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Which European dishes/beverages are done worst in USA

post #1 of 70
Thread Starter 
My nominations:
(a) Espresso-in a typical American attempt to give you more for your money, most USA restaurants run 2-3 times as much water through the same amount of grounds, giving you a very bitter drink with no crema.
(b) Bouillabaisse/fish soup-the real French stuff is an acquired taste and definitely not for the American palate (it is usually grainy [ground fish bones] and tastes strongly of fish); USA restaurants serve all sorts of differing tasting thin and weak stuff, none authentic. I remember when one French restaurant in Atlanta, which was actually run by recently arrived French people, served the real stuff, and tired of getting complaints, finally wound up telling most Americans who tried to order it: "You won't like it; only French people like it."
(c) Risotto-a subtle and delicate dish in Northern Italy-USA restaurants serve gross, overly complicated, gummy and cheesy stuff.
(d) French white wines-this will be controversial, but I swear that they sweeten up those that are exported here to appeal to the American (sweet tooth) palate and to be more comparable to California chardonnay, which is mostly quite sweet; Sancerre is tart and dry there; not here. Vouvray is medium dry there; dead sweet here.
post #2 of 70
It's hard to find a good paella in the states.
post #3 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by kennethpollock
My nominations:
(a) Espresso-in a typical American attempt to give you more for your money, most USA restaurants run 2-3 times as much water through the same amount of grounds, giving you a very bitter drink with no crema.
(b) Bouillabaisse/fish soup-the real French stuff is an acquired taste and definitely not for the American palate (it is usually grainy [ground fish bones] and tastes strongly of fish); USA restaurants serve all sorts of differing tasting thin and weak stuff, none authentic. I remember when one French restaurant in Atlanta, which was actually run by recently arrived French people, served the real stuff, and tired of getting complaints, finally wound up telling most Americans who tried to order it: "You won't like it; only French people like it."
(c) Risotto-a subtle and delicate dish in Northern Italy-USA restaurants serve gross, overly complicated, gummy and cheesy stuff.
(d) French white wines-this will be controversial, but I swear that they sweeten up those that are exported here to appeal to the American (sweet tooth) palate and to be more comparable to California chardonnay, which is mostly quite sweet; Sancerre is tart and dry there; not here. Vouvray is medium dry there; dead sweet here.


I feel that pretty much all of the food that is great specifically because of its simplicity in europe is over complicated in the US. a lot of pasta dishes are like that, too. I find that american chiefs in italian resteraunts often just shove pretty much every thing that they can think of in their sauces.
post #4 of 70
Espresso and pizza come to mind. However, I've never had a steak in Europe that can compare to the US.
post #5 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bradford
It's hard to find a good paella in the states.
Not at my house
post #6 of 70
this thread could easily be about how food from one country rarely translates well in others. i know that mexican food is almost never done well here. for example, flour tortillas don't exist in mexico. the flour tortilla was invented in america to appeal to american tastes. real enchiladas are made with corn tortillas, and they don't have melted cheese on top. they have freshly grated mexican cheese, like asadero, not jack or cheddar or any of the other cheeses americans prefer. they also have to be very spicy, spicy enough to burn your mouth and make your nose run. that's what enchilada means.

my korean friends tell me the korean food here is much more heavy and greasy than the food in korea.
post #7 of 70
Germans can't make pizza. I'll take a NY style pizza over a German one any day, even if it's not nearly as good as what you get in Naples.
post #8 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark_Y
Espresso and pizza come to mind. However, I've never had a steak in Europe that can compare to the US.

I've never had a steak in the US that can compare to Argentina. And that includes Argentinean restaurants in Miami that use beef from Argentina.

Jon.
post #9 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by matadorpoeta
this thread could easily be about how food from one country rarely translates well in others. i know that mexican food is almost never done well here. for example, flour tortillas don't exist in mexico. the flour tortilla was invented in america to appeal to american tastes. real enchiladas are made with corn tortillas, and they don't have melted cheese on top. they have freshly grated mexican cheese, like asadero, not jack or cheddar or any of the other cheeses americans prefer. they also have to be very spicy, spicy enough to burn your mouth and make your nose run. that's what enchilada means.

my korean friends tell me the korean food here is much more heavy and greasy than the food in korea.

I think that mexican food is a problem - it doens't translate that well outside of the country, and fake mexican food is never good.

chinese and italian food can be unauthentic and still be pretty good. ny pizza is nothing like italian pizza, but it is still good. I have had chinese food in india, thailand, latin america, eastern europe and other places that has taken on a lot of characteristics of the local food, and is still pretty good, even if somebody from china would wonder why it is called chinese.
post #10 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by tiger02
Germans can't make pizza. I'll take a NY style pizza over a German one any day, even if it's not nearly as good as what you get in Naples.

Whoohh... You mean you prefer one of these either really thick (NY style) or incredbly greasy pizzas over a pizza that can be had in Germany? Most pizzas around here come realtively close to the original as I don't really know any restaurant that has pizza that is not genuinely italian (except the turkish Döner places that sell "pizza"). I like the pizza around here a lot better than the one in the us- then agian it might be an acquired taste.

(P.S. The best frozen pizza I ever had was La Pizza- get some of those and I bet you'll like them)
post #11 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by tiger02
Germans can't make pizza. I'll take a NY style pizza over a German one any day, even if it's not nearly as good as what you get in Naples.
I think it depends on where you go. If you're in the sticks then your pizza will come with a can of veggies dumped on top and minimal cheese atop a cardboard crust. But at least in Berlin and Hamburg it's pretty easy to find a good pie. In Berlin, the best pizza is usually from the Turks or Kurds that run Döner-Kebap stands. Even in Western districts like Charlottenburg. The best pizza I've ever had has come from Austria. There's this little hole-in-the-wall restaurant in Salzburg that I discovered drunkenly once that has I think the best pizza in the world. They're called Toskana or something like that. Also, in Vienna it is very easy to get an excellent slice of pizza on the street. Even at the bottom of some metro stations! Also, Hanseat, the heart attack in a pan you're thinking of is Chicago pizza, not NY pizza. NY pizza is thin and places a premium on good ingredients rather than orgies of grease.
post #12 of 70
fish'n'chips
post #13 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by SGladwell
I think it depends on where you go. If you're in the sticks then your pizza will come with a can of veggies dumped on top and minimal cheese atop a cardboard crust. But at least in Berlin and Hamburg it's pretty easy to find a good pie. In Berlin, the best pizza is usually from the Turks or Kurds that run Döner-Kebap stands. Even in Western districts like Charlottenburg.

The best pizza I've ever had has come from Austria. There's this little hole-in-the-wall restaurant in Salzburg that I discovered drunkenly once that has I think the best pizza in the world. They're called Toskana or something like that. Also, in Vienna it is very easy to get an excellent slice of pizza on the street. Even at the bottom of some metro stations!

Also, Hanseat, the heart attack in a pan you're thinking of is Chicago pizza, not NY pizza. NY pizza is thin and places a premium on good ingredients rather than orgies of grease.


Actually, the quality of german pizza is directly effected by the economy in italy. 15 years ago, pretty much every little (western) german village had a few italians who made pizza, because they could make a great living and send money home. now, why would an italian want to live in germany if he isn't married to a german? I remember some fantastic pizzas in germany that were very similar to what you would get in a mediocre place in northern italy, but that is from a while back.
post #14 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by globetrotter
Actually, the quality of german pizza is directly effected by the economy in italy. 15 years ago, pretty much every little (western) german village had a few italians who made pizza, because they could make a great living and send money home. now, why would an italian want to live in germany if he isn't married to a german? I remember some fantastic pizzas in germany that were very similar to what you would get in a mediocre place in northern italy, but that is from a while back.
I haven't spent much time in rural Germany, nor does my long term exposure to Germany go back to before the Wall. In the time I have spent in rural Germany - defined for me as everything but Berlin, Dresden, Leipzig, Hamburg, Cologne, and a few isolated cosmopolitan college town outposts such as Goettingen - I've found it even more insufferable than rural Red America. As for why one would want to live in a place like Berlin instead of anywhere in Italy, beyond one big reason (the weather) I can't think of a single reason why not. And if weather's the reason to live somewhere, everyone should be in coastal Chile, the Algarve, or Durban, RSA...
post #15 of 70
Beer.

There are some better beers in America these days, but I've never had an American IPA, for example, that could even come close to a fresh English one. God I miss it.
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