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Ethnic foods you're supposed to like (but hate)

Discussion in 'Social Life, Food & Drink, Travel' started by SField, Jun 24, 2009.

  1. SField

    SField Senior member

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    I don't understand this introspective projecting. People don't need to defend themselves against accusations of snobbery. It's not like foods require truffles and foie gras top be delicious -- a simple, well-made omelette costs a whopping 30 cents and can be had every day.

    Actually one of the great tests of any chef is how well they can cook an egg. Some of the biggest technical challenges are the things that are quite simple.

    I was also saying to Kwilk how I cannot stand chefs, some of them my friends, and their obsession with putting truffles (and even worse, truffle 'essence') on fucking well everything. Foie has now become some ubiquitous and overused that it is maddening... the same with Wagyu and scallops.

    In general I don't really like junk food. I do like a few of those really greasy fries you'd find at a fair ground, and a really good chicken wing can taste great. Unfortunately most of the time it just tastes like shit and makes you feel terrible afterwards. If I want fast food I'm likely to eat something middle eastern. I don't like food that's been engineered. I'm not even the biggest fan of "molecular gastronomy". I do love eating at Fat Duck or Alinea or Gagnaire, but honestly this isn't the type of food I cook, and it isn't always my favorite. I like simpler fare by people like Ripert, Ramsay, Robuchon and Ducasse (although the sauces get quite involved).
     
  2. why

    why Senior member

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    Actually one of the great tests of any chef is how well they can cook an egg. Some of the biggest technical challenges are the things that are quite simple.
    Yep, and most of them are French emulsions. My pet peeve is American restaurants fucking up pasta. If a cook can't make pasta correctly, he should've never gotten past the burger station at McDonald's. As for truffles: nine times out of ten I feel like I'm being bought whenever I have them.
     
  3. Pariolino

    Pariolino Senior member

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    Yep, and most of them are French emulsions.

    My pet peeve is American restaurants fucking up pasta. If a cook can't make pasta correctly, he should've never gotten past the burger station at McDonald's.

    As for truffles: nine times out of ten I feel like I'm being bought whenever I have them.


    You don't know what you are talking about. Ever. You probably haven't spent enough time outside of a suburb to know what a good truffle tastes like. Now go and babble on about your Italian relatives, and your in depth knowledge of international cuisine attempting to pepper your inanity, and insanity, with delicious morsels of misused foreign words, putz.
     
  4. VKK3450

    VKK3450 Senior member

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    VKK - what you're saying isn't news to anyone. Do you know how a typical french kitchen is structured? The people you are refering to are probably the commis chefs, and they are tasked with doing a lot of bitch work and perfect repetition of an ideal. I don't know who is saying that these people are great artists? Who are you saying this to? Just remember that every single Robuchon or Blumenthal or Adria started as a commis, but not every commis will become like them. Creative decisions are left up to the chef de cuisine or exec chef. I thought this was common knowledge?

    I'm familiar with the brigade system thanks

    As I said in my post, it was partially general commentary. I find that many chefs hold themselves up as authorities on food when in reality there are many food enthusiasts who probably know more about food than they do. This does not only apply at the commis level.

    K
     
  5. HitMan009

    HitMan009 Senior member

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    Asking SField those questions seems to me like you're projecting your own habits onto him -- that is, you're hoping he becomes more agreeable with your own tastes. A better method would be to raise your own taste, appreciation, and ultimately satisfaction.

    (My omelette's worth.)



    My taste is not as high as SField but I have a deep appreciation for food. I rarely go out to eat when I do, it's gonna be a good restaurant. At home, I tend to cook light and appreciate clean and undoctored flavors. Hence my love for steaming and using the oven. Or a nice tomato salad in the summer with just some tomatos, slices of red onion and a light dressing.... Simple but absolutely delicious. In the morning.... over easy eggs and a piece of bread to mop up the yolk... comfort food at it's simplest and best. Now, I mean I don't buy all organic but do so as often as I can. I also dunno anyone that doesn't have a craving for something that is not the healthiest. There is nothing like properly prepared french fries. Say I make french fries which is rare but I do. I use peanut oil which is not only the best but the peanut oil is a very healthy oil. A person has to live a little.

    This is not projecting..... SField mentioned those restaurants that are top of the top. First of all, those are not restaurants most people would frequent often so I wanted to know on any given day, what someone that talks so highly of food would eat.
     
  6. SField

    SField Senior member

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    I’m familiar with the brigade system thanks

    As I said in my post, it was partially general commentary. I find that many chefs hold themselves up as authorities on food when in reality there are many food enthusiasts who probably know more about food than they do. This does not only apply at the commis level.

    K


    Again, depends on the chef and on the enthusiast. There are a lot of critics who probably can't cook that well who are enormously knowledgeable. I definitely think Jeffrey Steingardten is an example of someone who knows an awful lot. However I also know a lot of chefs who do know a lot as well, so if this is some kind of veiled insult in which you're saying that I or maybe some of my colleagues are clueless about food, and you with your food magazine subscriptions know something we don't, then think what you want but I think you'd mistake a lot of good, talented chefs with that kind of belief. Believe it or not, most good cooks really love food and do all that they can to find out more about it. Just like any lawyer or engineer or teacher can be totally passionate about what they do, or conversely, just do it for a paycheque... but, it seems like you're going down the road of the similar "O, all the people I know who went to Ivy leagues are stupid, whereas my most successful friends went to community college".
     
  7. VKK3450

    VKK3450 Senior member

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    Again, depends on the chef and on the enthusiast. There are a lot of critics who probably can't cook that well who are enormously knowledgeable. I definitely think Jeffrey Steingardten is an example of someone who knows an awful lot. However I also know a lot of chefs who do know a lot as well, so if this is some kind of veiled insult in which you're saying that I or maybe some of my colleagues are clueless about food, and you with your food magazine subscriptions know something we don't, then think what you want but I think you'd mistake a lot of good, talented chefs with that kind of belief. Believe it or not, most good cooks really love food and do all that they can to find out more about it. Just like any lawyer or engineer or teacher can be totally passionate about what they do, or conversely, just do it for a paycheque... but, it seems like you're going down the road of the similar "O, all the people I know who went to Ivy leagues are stupid, whereas my most successful friends went to community college".

    Read into it what you will. You are putting some words in my mouth there though.

    I'm not an enthusiast, and I’ve never said that I know a lot (or anything) about food. I have done my bit in the industry though.

    I also don’t discount good chefs, but there is a lot of noise out there...

    K
     
  8. SField

    SField Senior member

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    Read into it what you will. You are putting some words in my mouth there though.

    I'm not an enthusiast, and I've never said that I know a lot (or anything) about food. I have done my bit in the industry though.

    I also don't discount good chefs, but there is a lot of noise out there...

    K


    It's curious that the real adulation does in fact come from writers and critics who do know a lot. I mean, I'm not the idiot who made Wolfgang Puck famous. It isn't the fault of a great chef that he receives more attention that he probably deserves, and as a reaction to that on the part of the layman, he is now derided because some truly underserving chefs are deemed to be shit.

    I'm not reading anything into your comment, but I'm just detecting the same kind of bit that often happens on this forum whenever there is something to do with high achievement and pedigree (although, this is curiously absent when just about everyone here discusses clothes. Hugo Boss and Armani are terrible. There are established temples here, but woah woah woah, if you try to apply that same philosophy to any other area it's immediately derided as elitism and an emperor with no clothes paradigm)...
     
  9. VKK3450

    VKK3450 Senior member

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    It's curious that the real adulation does in fact come from writers and critics who do know a lot. I mean, I'm not the idiot who made Wolfgang Puck famous. It isn't the fault of a great chef that he receives more attention that he probably deserves, and as a reaction to that on the part of the layman, he is now derided because some truly underserving chefs are deemed to be shit.

    I'm not reading anything into your comment, but I'm just detecting the same kind of bit that often happens on this forum whenever there is something to do with high achievement and pedigree (although, this is curiously absent when just about everyone here discusses clothes. Hugo Boss and Armani are terrible. There are established temples here, but woah woah woah, if you try to apply that same philosophy to any other area it's immediately derided as elitism and an emperor with no clothes paradigm)...


    I'm hardly one to downplay high achievement and pedigree, and I've made that clear on this board. You are barking up the wrong tree there.

    I also don't deny / begrudge popular chefs their success. Not sure where you picked that up from.

    K
     
  10. The Snob

    The Snob Senior member

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    I never realized how much I missed SField until now. As a side note, what's with the Chinese cuisine apologists? 'My step-father is Chinese and I can't even make what he makes so that means Chinese food is amazing' was [​IMG]
    Uh, no I never said that. I was referring specifically to my old thought that Chinese food was just stuff thrown together which was debunked a) when I visited China, and b) when I got down to cooking it myself with aid from the step-father and realizing that everything needed to be diced just so. It was specifically in response to a remark about knife skills being non existent. That was just one note among many that I made wrt to SField's post. Also, SField, I have no problem with people not liking something when it's simply a matter of personal preferences based in reality. I don't like the taste of dill and and I don't like snow peas. If someone lambasted me for being some kind of idiot for these personal preferences, well, I mean it'd be pretty silly. My entire point in all the posts was re: your statement that 99% of Chinese food is slop in oil with no regard paid to ingredients and technique and the other 1% that is tolerable was prepared by French-trained chefs--well that is just a) a totally insular, condescending statement, and b) patently false. I mean I can't argue for it if you're talking about Chinese food cooked in North America (and in all my posts I made note of my distaste of North American Chinese food), but Chinese food in China is another matter as exemplified by that sampling of photos from all ends of the spectrum. And then to further patronize me and assume I am some kind of ignorant fool with a horrible palate? Yeah, sorry, not going to stand for it. Anyway, your last post was much better explained... and further if your top restaurant choices are those extremely high end, and as another poster remarked 'church of food' places listed, then yeah, I can see where 99% of Chinese food you've had would disappoint. That is just not the style of Chinese cooking as it has evolved though I'm sure as everything moves to that haute end of the spectrum, we will see such places pop up in Asia. Still, I contend your original statement as being totally disingenuous.
     
  11. SField

    SField Senior member

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    I'm hardly one to downplay high achievement and pedigree, and I've made that clear on this board. You are barking up the wrong tree there.

    I also don't deny / begrudge popular chefs their success. Not sure where you picked that up from.

    K


    If that wasn't your intention then I apologize.
     
  12. SField

    SField Senior member

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    Uh, no I never said that. I was referring specifically to my old thought that Chinese food was just stuff thrown together which was debunked a) when I visited China, and b) when I got down to cooking it myself with aid from the step-father and realizing that everything needed to be diced just so. It was specifically in response to a remark about knife skills being non existent.

    That was just one note among many that I made wrt to SField's post.



    Also, SField, I have no problem with people not liking something when it's simply a matter of personal preferences based in reality. I don't like the taste of dill and and I don't like snow peas. If someone lambasted me for being some kind of idiot for these personal preferences, well, I mean it'd be pretty silly.

    My entire point in all the posts was re: your statement that 99% of Chinese food is slop in oil with no regard paid to ingredients and technique and the other 1% that is tolerable was prepared by French-trained chefs--well that is just a) a totally insular, condescending statement, and b) patently false. I mean I can't argue for it if you're talking about Chinese food cooked in North America (and in all my posts I made note of my distaste of North American Chinese food), but Chinese food in China is another matter as exemplified by that sampling of photos from all ends of the spectrum.

    And then to further patronize me and assume I am some kind of ignorant fool with a horrible palate? Yeah, sorry, not going to stand for it.

    Anyway, your last post was much better explained... and further if your top restaurant choices are those extremely high end, and as another poster remarked 'church of food' places listed, then yeah, I can see where 99% of Chinese food you've had would disappoint. That is just not the style of Chinese cooking as it has evolved though I'm sure as everything moves to that haute end of the spectrum, we will see such places pop up in Asia. Still, I contend your original statement as being totally disingenuous.


    I don't necessarily mean that the 1% I think is good is done by trained chefs (or French training in particular). I exagerate obviously, but in general I don't like the concept of most Chinese food and as you say some things are less appealing to your taste, so are many things in Chinese food. Again, I eat something Chinese at least a few times a month. As a regular meal I don't have too much of a problem with it as long as the oil and salt are kept in check. Bonus points for a flavor that doesn't come from chilis. I should have said that I don't compare it favorably just like a great tailor who works at A&S or Attolini might not be terribly enchanted by the typical Vietnamese or HK style tailor. Both are marvelous for what they do but different people have different priorities.

    Keep in mind that the whole culinary world is obsessed with Asian flavors, many of them Chinese. Iggy's, Tetsuya, Jean Jorges etc... are all fantastic places which I feel pay great respect to old eastern tradition while looking forward and amalgamating old concepts to match modern sensibilities. This interests me a lot, so I am not throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Like I said before, I probably just haven't had the right food yet, and just as I cannot bring myself to rule out the existence of a god, I do not rule out the existence of a rustic mexican or chinese meal that will really blow me away.
     
  13. madaboutshirt

    madaboutshirt Senior member

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    SField, I would recommend a place that may be of interest to you and all the foodies in this thread. There is a restaurant in Beijing called "Fang Shan" (here is the link but the website is in Chinese), literally FangShan means "replicating/imitating the cooking of Emporor's kitchen". The restaurant is not very well known to westerners or even the locals in Beijing. It's situated in a park called BeiHai (North Sea), the park itself is located behind the Forbidden city (palace) and used to be the Emprors's garden. The restaurant was opened in 1925, the last and only time I went there was about 10 years ago. I ordered a set menu which costed 250 RMB (it was a lot of money back then, even for today's standard). Because the food is supposed to be prepared for the Emporors, its not very oily. Have a look at some of their dishes here. I am certainly no expert in Chinese culinary but Chinese cooking places great emphasis on cooking techniques such as knife work, temperature control, presentation, taste, smell etc. I suppose in a way its not very different from western food. However the concept of fine dining in Chinese culture is nothing like that of the western culture. Especially when it comes to peasant foods. Emporor's food, traditionally, is considered to be of the highest standard. So if you ever get the opportunity to try it out, I hope it satifies you. IMO in order to really appreciate Chinese food, one needs to be able to appreciate Chinese culture and its philosophies first. I think to some degree this is limiting your experience with Chinese food. regards, Song
     
  14. imatlas

    imatlas Senior member

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  15. superfans124

    superfans124 Senior member

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    [​IMG]

    wow, how much does that go for at sotheby's?
     
  16. Lostinthesupermarket

    Lostinthesupermarket Senior member

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    I have found most Mexican food to be horrifically bland. I don't understand the appeal. Every single time a Mexican person or someone tells me what to eat, I'm always dissapointed by the lack of interest and the gross heaviness of it. The only good Mexican food I've had is actually in Mexico where I ate what was actually very meditaranean in style, and even then, italians prepare fish and light fare far better. Still, most of the food in Mexico is bad. Most of it looks like it was made for a dog.
    There are a bunch of different regional approaches to food in Mexico. I find most of them delicious, particularily southern Mexican food. The ersatz version made by non-Mexicans that you find all over America is foul, but it's not Mexican food. Italian food suffers similarly in translation. Using cream to make carbonara sauce should be a capital crime.
     
  17. Flambeur

    Flambeur Senior member

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    There are a bunch of different regional approaches to food in Mexico. I find most of them delicious, particularily southern Mexican food. The ersatz version made by non-Mexicans that you find all over America is foul, but it's not Mexican food.

    Italian food suffers similarly in translation. Using cream to make carbonara sauce should be a capital crime.



    I don't know where you live, but I am pretty sure 90% of ALL food prepared in american restaurants (McDs or Trotters) is made by mexicans or at least hispanics (guatemalans, etc)...
     
  18. Lostinthesupermarket

    Lostinthesupermarket Senior member

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    I'm a reasonably frequent visitor to the US but I don't live there.

    If that's the case then I think it's safe to say that a lot of Mexican immigrants to the USA don't have particularly warm feelings for you guys. It might be a good idea to sort out that amnesty for illegals.

    Or maybe they are just Mexicans who don't know how to cook?
     
  19. shriek11

    shriek11 New Member

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    to each his own.
     
  20. Flambeur

    Flambeur Senior member

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    I'm a reasonably frequent visitor to the US but I don't live there.

    If that's the case then I think it's safe to say that a lot of Mexican immigrants to the USA don't have particularly warm feelings for you guys. It might be a good idea to sort out that amnesty for illegals.

    Or maybe they are just Mexicans who don't know how to cook?


    no offense but you are kind of babbling about things you don't really understand at this point
     

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