Controversial opinions about food

Apparently, people like to eat.

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Re: Controversial opinions about food

Postby pkcommando » Wed Jun 24, 2015 4:38 pm UTC

freezeblade wrote:Cherry tomatoes, when sliced in half then turned flat-side-up on a pizza, turn out amazing. The tops char from the super-hot temps.

I'll have to try that. I've done grape tomatoes with flat side down, for the obvious structural stability reasons, but not up.

Is it just me, or are the tomatoes on pizza better the next day when you reheat the leftovers? I recently made up a batch of 5 mini pizzas (pepproni, onion, grape tomato halves) one Sunday and then put the other 4 aside to reheat throughout the week for quick dinners. Sunday night, the tomatoes were just chunks in the pizza that melted into the other flavors. Monday onward -> tomato flavor explosion!
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Re: Controversial opinions about food

Postby Lazar » Wed Jun 24, 2015 4:43 pm UTC

Also, when you say "super-hot temps", are you talking about a pizza oven? We make pizza all the time at our house, but we just use a regular oven.
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Re: Controversial opinions about food

Postby PictureSarah » Wed Jun 24, 2015 5:09 pm UTC

I think the across-the-ponders mean an entirely different thing by "grill" than we 'muricans do.
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Re: Controversial opinions about food

Postby freezeblade » Wed Jun 24, 2015 5:52 pm UTC

Lazar wrote:Also, when you say "super-hot temps", are you talking about a pizza oven? We make pizza all the time at our house, but we just use a regular oven.


I have a few tips for how to get some well-done pizza-oven style pizza in a home oven.

Arrange quarry tile on a rack in the upper 1/3 of the oven, as well as a rack in the middle of the oven.
Preheat the oven as high as it will go (550 for me) for an hour, then slide the pizza directly on the stone, so the other stone is right above it.

When I had a different oven, it had another element above for the broiler, which I turned on when the pizza went in, this worked even better.
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Re: Controversial opinions about food

Postby Bakemaster » Thu Jun 25, 2015 3:57 am UTC

All you need to know about making pizza at home is discussed at one point or another in Serious Eats: The Pizza Lab.
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Re: Controversial opinions about food

Postby Nath » Thu Jun 25, 2015 4:45 am UTC

Skillet broiler.

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Re: Controversial opinions about food

Postby roband » Thu Jun 25, 2015 9:18 am UTC

Made a cast iron pan pizza based on the Serious Eats recipe last night. My oven doesn't get as hot as I'd like (maxes at 250C), but it worked well enough that I'll be making dough on a weekly basis now.

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Re: Controversial opinions about food

Postby AngrySquirrel » Tue Jul 14, 2015 9:40 am UTC

Incoming rant:

So, I have issues with British food. I have expressed this on numerous occasions, and there's always someone who tells me "you just haven't tried the right british food". And when pressing people for answers as to what constitutes "the right british food" it always boils down to "whatever you haven't tried" or "a traditional british breakfast". And a) I have tasted british breakfasts, the great thing about british breakfasts is that they add a lot of bacon, claiming your cuising is good cause you add bacon is cheating. and b) You can't just take credit for bacon brits, that's not how it works!

British cuisine still sucks, and claiming all indian food as "british" cause colonializm is not cool either.
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Re: Controversial opinions about food

Postby Quercus » Tue Jul 14, 2015 10:11 am UTC

British food culture for the last 50 years or so has indeed been awful, and is only slowly improving now. That said, it has two big things going for it a) If you go back far enough in history (generally 16th Century or earlier) British food was the envy of Europe, and there's quite a lot of historical revival of that era going on in higher end British restaurants these days b) the diversity of immigrant populations we have means that we have amazing food from all sorts of places here, so you can eat fantastic food in Britain, without eating British food (of course that's not British food - anyone who claims it is is an ass).

Also, the good British food that's still around is not that commonly available or well known. Often it's also very regional, even local - there isn't really a consistent British food experience (not one you'd want to have anyway) - stuff comes from particular regions or counties. Here are some examples:

  • Apples. British apples are widely reputed to be the best in the world - we have hundreds of varieties, although because of the crappy food culture you have to go to some specialist places to get all but the useless common ones.
  • Cheeses. Again, hundreds of small, artisanal varieties, again not very widely available.
  • Game - we do seriously good game, paricularly in pies. Rabbit and pheasant are two that I'm particularly fond of.
  • Samphire grass - the best accompaniment to fish in the world in my opinion. It's a plant that looks a bit like a very small asapargus, that grows by the seashore. It's served steamed or lightly fried with butter and it's fresh, tangy and slightly salty.
  • Summer pudding, with mulberries - this one simply isn't commercially available, because you can't buy mulberries, but if you know someone with a mulberry tree it is the pinnacle of desserts in my opinion (I don't think anyone has worked out a way to pick a mulberry without damage, and if they are damaged they get mould on them within about six hours).

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Re: Controversial opinions about food

Postby Zohar » Tue Jul 14, 2015 12:51 pm UTC

As a vegetarian, the only really British food I enjoyed was some desserts. I didn't find British food to be particularly bad, though.
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Re: Controversial opinions about food

Postby Echo244 » Tue Jul 14, 2015 2:33 pm UTC

British vegetarian food == I hope you like cheese and onion!
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Re: Controversial opinions about food

Postby Zohar » Tue Jul 14, 2015 2:36 pm UTC

Echo244 wrote:British vegetarian food == I hope you like cheese and onion!

Not really, there's beans and mushrooms and tomatoes and such. But yes, I do like those things. I actually love cheese. Cheese is wonderful. Om nom nom. I want some cheese. I have no cheese. :(
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Re: Controversial opinions about food

Postby Quizatzhaderac » Tue Jul 14, 2015 2:37 pm UTC

Quercus wrote:British food culture for the last 50 years or so has indeed been awful, and is only slowly improving now. ....
Also, the good British food that's still around is not that commonly available or well known. Often it's also very regional, even local - there isn't really a consistent British food experience (not one you'd want to have anyway)
This is very heartening to hear. I spent my pre-teen years living in England and my family quickly lost hope of acclimating to English food. At school I ate the smallest lunch possible and I had to avoid eating dinner at friends' houses.
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Re: Controversial opinions about food

Postby bigglesworth » Tue Jul 14, 2015 3:30 pm UTC

The great thing about British food is that if you don't like it, you're unlikely to ever have to eat it. There will always either be another option, or no option for British food in the first place.
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Re: Controversial opinions about food

Postby Angua » Tue Jul 14, 2015 5:19 pm UTC

What I think of as British food:
Roast beef and Yorkshire pudding
Toad in the hole
Roast pork and applesauce (especially with crackling, though squirrel might say that's cheating)
Fish and chips
-berries and cream
Crumble
Trifle
Custard
Apple pie
Rhubarb (I'm not a fan)
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Re: Controversial opinions about food

Postby roband » Tue Jul 14, 2015 9:30 pm UTC

Suet pudding!

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Re: Controversial opinions about food

Postby Quercus » Tue Jul 14, 2015 10:12 pm UTC

Angua wrote:What I think of as British food:
Roast beef and Yorkshire pudding
Toad in the hole
Roast pork and applesauce (especially with crackling, though squirrel might say that's cheating)
Fish and chips
-berries and cream
Crumble
Trifle
Custard
Apple pie
Rhubarb (I'm not a fan)


The only one out of that list that I really like a lot (well, except crumble) is the one you don't like - Rhubarb. The stuff is amazing in my opinion, so fresh and sour and lovely. My mum's rhubarb fool is pretty close to ambrosia (the mythical food of the gods, not the awful processed dairy products brand).

Also no one has mentioned crumpets. Crumpets are pretty great.

I'm trying to think of the number of times I've actually cooked British food recently, and I can only think or two occasions in the past couple of years (unless you count strawberries and cream) - I did a rhubarb and almond tart, and some fish finger sandwiches (but really properly - started with fresh sea bass, sliced, breaded and cooked it myself, homemade sourdough bread and homemade tartare sauce from homemade mayo).

Finally, with the dishes being mentioned we should really be talking about "English food". I haven't seen a single Scottish or Welsh dish mentioned.

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Re: Controversial opinions about food

Postby AngrySquirrel » Tue Jul 14, 2015 10:15 pm UTC

I object to claiming rhubarb as a "british" food thing. It's an ingredient, not a meal. Are we talking rhubarb pie, rhubarb cake, rhubard soup, rhubarb porridge or something else here?
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Re: Controversial opinions about food

Postby Angua » Tue Jul 14, 2015 10:20 pm UTC

To be fair, I don't have much experience with European food. however, with regards to rhubarb it is basically just boiled (presumably with sugar but you can't taste it) and served with cream. They just refer to it as 'rhubarb'

I don't get the British love for sour fruit. Rhubarb, gooseberry, wild strawberry, wild raspberry, all the apples they seem to cook with.
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Re: Controversial opinions about food

Postby Quercus » Tue Jul 14, 2015 10:33 pm UTC

Angua wrote:I don't get the British love for sour fruit. Rhubarb, gooseberry, wild strawberry, wild raspberry, all the apples they seem to cook with.

I'm not sure there's anything to get - sour fruit just tastes really good to me, and it always has. On the other hand I seem to have a much lower tolerance for sweet flavours than lots of other people.

Angua wrote:To be fair, I don't have much experience with European food. however, with regards to rhubarb it is basically just boiled (presumably with sugar but you can't taste it) and served with cream. They just refer to it as 'rhubarb'

That way of doing it is okay, but the quintessential British rhubarb dish IMO is fool - sweetened rhubarb puree folded into lots of fresh whipped cream. The combination of sweet and sour with the richness of the whipped cream is wonderful.

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Re: Controversial opinions about food

Postby Moo » Wed Jul 15, 2015 2:56 am UTC

Also Eton Mess.
And roast potatoes.
And Christmas pudding.
And sausages and mash.
And trifle.

Although I can understand the accusation that the quintessential British palate is comparatively bland, I find good British food very comforting and warming. You can certainly get very bad versions of traditional British dishes, and there are some odd things on offer, but I don't get the food hate*. Gastropubs are awesome.

* which is not to say I'm denying peoples opinion or the right to hold it, I just don't understand the vehemence with which it is often held. And I don't necessarily mean AS here, but generally speaking
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Re: Controversial opinions about food

Postby Echo244 » Wed Jul 15, 2015 8:53 am UTC

Angua wrote:To be fair, I don't have much experience with European food. however, with regards to rhubarb it is basically just boiled (presumably with sugar but you can't taste it) and served with cream. They just refer to it as 'rhubarb'

I don't get the British love for sour fruit. Rhubarb, gooseberry, wild strawberry, wild raspberry, all the apples they seem to cook with.


Probably because the classic recipes are centred around what grows in Britain...

Gastropubs are awesome if they do things right. If they do things wrong, like offer me a pie on the menu then serve me a stew with a pastry disc perched on top at a jaunty angle, bad things can happen...

And yes, most of the items on Quercus' list were ingredients rather than dishes, so Britain has some excellent ingredients, but... well, many of the good dishes take a while to cook, so are either special occasion/weekend things, or done adequately en masse, chilled and reheated.
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Re: Controversial opinions about food

Postby dubsola » Wed Jul 22, 2015 6:14 am UTC

Echo244 wrote:If they do things wrong, like offer me a pie on the menu then serve me a stew with a pastry disc perched on top at a jaunty angle, bad things can happen...

So annoying!

This is a pretty awesome meal, and I'd say it's pretty English: Pork and cider. Especially when it's made with that dry-ass West Country cider that is so so delicious (and utterly unique to GB).

Quercus wrote:Samphire grass

Delicious

Quercus wrote:I haven't seen a single Scottish or Welsh dish mentioned.

Oooh... Like Welsh rarebit*, or black pudding, or smoked kippers for breakfast. Yum!

* I can't really think of any Welsh dishes so...

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Re: Controversial opinions about food

Postby freezeblade » Wed Jul 22, 2015 4:56 pm UTC

Controversial opinion: most forms of tinned fish is god damn amazing.

Kippers and eggs for breakfast? bring it on.
smoked oysters with creamy cheese on crackers for snack? yes please.
sardines in oil mashed up with some veg on toast for lunch? oh yeah.
cherrystone clams and anchoveys on a white sauce pizza for dinner? mmmhm.
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Re: Controversial opinions about food

Postby Quercus » Wed Jul 22, 2015 5:15 pm UTC

freezeblade wrote:Controversial opinion: most forms of tinned fish is god damn amazing.

Kippers and eggs for breakfast? bring it on.
smoked oysters with creamy cheese on crackers for snack? yes please.
sardines in oil mashed up with some veg on toast for lunch? oh yeah.
cherrystone clams and anchoveys on a white sauce pizza for dinner? mmmhm.

Is that controversial? Those all sound delicious and quite normal to me.

Related possibly controversial opinion: pickled/marinated anchovies are far superior in many roles to the more commonly available salted anchovies.

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Re: Controversial opinions about food

Postby freezeblade » Wed Jul 22, 2015 5:20 pm UTC

Quercus wrote:Is that controversial? Those all sound delicious and quite normal to me.

Related possibly controversial opinion: pickled/marinated anchovies are far superior in many roles to the more commonly available salted anchovies.


Most friends of mine find all tinned fish that is not tuna a disgusting proposition. Especally henius to them is the idea of anchovys on pizza.
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Re: Controversial opinions about food

Postby Quercus » Wed Jul 22, 2015 5:32 pm UTC

freezeblade wrote:
Quercus wrote:Is that controversial? Those all sound delicious and quite normal to me.

Related possibly controversial opinion: pickled/marinated anchovies are far superior in many roles to the more commonly available salted anchovies.


Most friends of mine find all tinned fish that is not tuna a disgusting proposition. Especally henius to them is the idea of anchovys on pizza.

Weird. Among people I know disliking tinned fish is not uncommon, but it usually goes along with disliking other non-tinned fish.

Tuna is one of my least favourite tinned fish (it's okay, but I'm always thinking about how much better it is fresh when I'm eating it).

Edit: I recently discovered that one of my local shops sells jars of pickled cockles (small clams). They are my new favourite snack.

Random fact: When searching for whether the term "cockle" has made it across the pond I find that I am granted the right to gather up to eight pounds of cockles from the foreshore by Magna Carta.

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Re: Controversial opinions about food

Postby Quizatzhaderac » Wed Jul 22, 2015 7:14 pm UTC

Quercus wrote:Is that controversial? Those all sound delicious and quite normal to me.
That's an America versus Britain thing. Fish is not considered a breakfast food in America.

Regarding anchovies in other places: there's a joke cliche about how anchovies being a universally hated pizza topping. However, all the major pizza chains carry anchovies, so obviously a large minority of Americans must like them.
When searching for whether the term "cockle" has made it across the pond....
I've only heard it used to poetically refer to the chambers of the heart; as in "That warms the cockles of my heart."
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Re: Controversial opinions about food

Postby Quercus » Wed Jul 22, 2015 8:13 pm UTC

Quizatzhaderac wrote:
Quercus wrote:Is that controversial? Those all sound delicious and quite normal to me.
That's an America versus Britain thing. Fish is not considered a breakfast food in America.

Ah, that must be why your kippers come in tins, rather than being available fresh (well, as far as that description applies to smoked fish) from most supermarkets. You're missing out!

Kipper is actually only the second best breakfast fish IMO - smoked trout (with poached egg) is the best.

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Re: Controversial opinions about food

Postby freezeblade » Wed Jul 22, 2015 8:24 pm UTC

The only smoked fish we can get in the grocery store is generally salmon, and mostly for use as a replacement for lox, to put on bagels with schmear.

Maybe toss some capers on that too.

And some thin sliced red onion.

BRB getting lox and bagels.
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Re: Controversial opinions about food

Postby Dthen » Wed Jul 22, 2015 9:06 pm UTC

I think when talking about fish in the US it is important to note that most of the US is quite a long way from the sea.
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Re: Controversial opinions about food

Postby freezeblade » Wed Jul 22, 2015 9:58 pm UTC

Dthen wrote:I think when talking about fish in the US it is important to note that most of the US is quite a long way from the sea.

Well, The USA that matters is on the coasts.
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Re: Controversial opinions about food

Postby Thesh » Wed Jul 22, 2015 9:59 pm UTC

Dthen wrote:I think when talking about fish in the US it is important to note that most of the US is quite a long way from the sea.


But not most Americans.

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Re: Controversial opinions about food

Postby Bakemaster » Thu Jul 23, 2015 5:33 am UTC

Quizatzhaderac wrote:
Quercus wrote:Is that controversial? Those all sound delicious and quite normal to me.
That's an America versus Britain thing. Fish is not considered a breakfast food in America.

You live in Florida and you never had a fisherman's breakfast? Other examples include crab cakes (possibly in benedict form), smoked salmon/trout, lox and bagels (already mentioned)...
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Re: Controversial opinions about food

Postby Quercus » Thu Jul 23, 2015 7:15 am UTC

Bakemaster wrote:crab cakes (possibly in benedict form)

Now that I have to try (definitely in benedict form)

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Re: Controversial opinions about food

Postby Moo » Thu Jul 23, 2015 7:18 am UTC

Tinned fish is also looked down upon a bit in South Africa, especially since tinned pilchards are a common and cheap staple for a lot of people and is seen as food for poor people (and also it smells quite... distinctive). They make fantastic fishcakes though, preferably using 1 part pilchards and 1 part tinned tuna.

I am not actually much of a fan of fresh tuna, but enjoy I it tinned. Other tinned options I like is tinned salmon quiche (or even tinned tuna works for this) with spring onion or leek, and smoked mussels with cream cheese and sweet chili sauce on crackers or toast.
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Re: Controversial opinions about food

Postby Angua » Thu Jul 23, 2015 8:33 am UTC

In the Caribbean we don't tin our fish much, we eat it salted.

I don't really like fish in any form, though tuna sandwiches which are mainly acting as a bulking agent for the mayonnaise, lime juice/malt vinegar, jalapeño peppers and lots and lots of seasoning salt are amazing.
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Re: Controversial opinions about food

Postby Quizatzhaderac » Thu Jul 23, 2015 4:15 pm UTC

Quercus wrote:]You're missing out!
As I said, I used to live in England, so I'm quite sure I'm not.
You live in Florida and you never had a fisherman's breakfast?
Never even heard of it. Like most people who live in Florida, I'm not actually from Florida.
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Re: Controversial opinions about food

Postby Quercus » Thu Jul 23, 2015 10:38 pm UTC

Angua wrote:In the Caribbean we don't tin our fish much

Now I can't get the image of someone preparing a fish for soldering out of my head (definition 3).

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Re: Controversial opinions about food

Postby dubsola » Fri Jul 24, 2015 5:19 am UTC

Canned tuna very much depends on the brand, the John West stuff is awful, and the Sirena stuff is delish.


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