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Random food thoughts - Street edition

Discussion in 'Streetwear and Denim' started by i01111000, May 12, 2013.

  1. Fuuma

    Fuuma Senior member

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    I definitely don't hate obsessives, I know several on various topics and I guess I can be one myself. I just have a theory that hipster-artisan (let's call this foodism but it could be linked to flowers or artisan axes) culture just filled a void in American "arts of life" (America was not a place where these "arts" were very elevated although I do enjoy some low brow local traditions myself i.e. apple pie, tough work wear etc.) and comes with a slew of bad consequences and stop and go hype that will make someone gather superficial knowledge on ze internet, loudly e-declare only this particular variant is worthy and the rest is shit for plebs and then move on to something else. A complete loss of perspective if there ever was one, wine being pretty funny that way (it is not better when it is more expensive, just rarer/harder to produce/etc., you can love a cheap wine without being a philistine).

    Also, foodie burger are fucking stupid, it's a fucking burger, get something nicer, not everything needs to be elevated.
     
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  2. dieworkwear

    dieworkwear Senior member

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    I don't know. If you don't like hipsters then ... don't be around them? I don't know any hipsters and I live in the Bay Area. My landlord is a coffee obsessive, and he's just an 80 year old dude who writes books on coffee. Another friend is a wine obsessive, but he and his wife are just a married couple that has a vineyard. Another friend is a food obsessive, and he's a middle aged chef who works at fancy restaurant here in the Bay.

    Anyway, my original point is that someone who has an artisanal chocolate company doesn't have to be looked down on for growing up in society without the "fine arts" (can't remember what term you used, but it felt very "decline of the west" kind of argument). There have been obsessives for centuries, even on niche things (aka their generation's version of cupcakes or whatever).
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2015
  3. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

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    Sounds like you just hate the internet and the democratization of nerdiness, and in general, the modern "sharing" culture.

    Burgers are awesome. I love them at all levels.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2015
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  4. Find Finn

    Find Finn Senior member

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    Would also subscribe to a @willy cheesesteak




    You can get bars with 70-80% chocolate (aka. the good stuff), some places have begun to do flavoured ones with coffee, orange, sea salt, pistachio, chili etc. etc.




    I don't know about that, at least in Copenhagen there's 3-4 good tea shops, who has a lot of good "cheap" teas from around $5 a 100g. One of them even puts a for dummies label on all their stuff, so you know how warm the water needs to be and how long it needs.

    I'm thinking about getting one of these.

    http://www.wilfa.no/dev/produkter/svart/svart-te/

    It lets you warm water to an exact temperature.
     
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  5. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

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    Speaking of burgers, made some awesome ones yesterday. Really simple, but I also have really good beef, which I get from a friend of mine who does some ranching. Made the patties with just beef - no binder or anything else needed. Just a plain patty, with the sides thicker than the middle, so that when the thing plumps up, it will have a burger shape rather than looking like a huge meatball. Generously salt both sides. Smoked paprika on one side, and cracked black pepper on the other. Cook in a cast iron, on high heat, to get a good char on both sides. Meat cooked to medium rare. A heap of sharp cheddar on the first charred side (the pepper side) right after the flip. Toasted, buttered potato bread buns for a really satisfying, soft bit with some crispiness. A good (yes, artisanal) mayo, and ketchup - I find that there is not enough of a sweet element to many burgers, which is a really nice traditional touch that is missed, and some restaurants refuse to give you ketchup. Sauteed onions, a piece of iceberg and a slice of tomato.

    Is that artisanal? I suppose that I used enough artisanal products for that to be so. Hipster? The kids liked it, so, unlikely. Delicious? Mos def.
     
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  6. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

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    Maybe it's because I don't live in a city like San Francisco or Portland or New York, where people seem to really enjoy lining up for food, and because I don't follow instagram or tumblr, except to monitor/do the Styleforum ones and do enough research the those things work, but the hipsterization of things has not really affected me in a negative way. I get to enjoy the products, and not have to deal with the (punchable looking) people.

    If I had to move back to a major city, I think that I'd choose LA for sure. The hipsterness is not nearly as oppressive, and the relatively cheapness of commercial real estate means that you can find places were the owner is really, really good at one thing, and the business can survive, and even thrive, without the trappings of coolness that seem necessary in those other cities - hardwood floors, exposed brick walls painted white, either chrome and glass or heavy wooden or mismatched furniture, copies of Monocle, good looking and well dressed sales/wait stafff, etc...
     
  7. NaTionS

    NaTionS Senior member

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    Next time you're in the city stop by Fog City News. I'm not a big sweets guy but I've bought a few chocolates there while picking up magazines and the people who work there know a ton about chocolates.
     
  8. gettoasty

    gettoasty Senior member

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    @NaTionS Appreciate the rec

    It's been a long time since I visited SF. I plan onto later in the summer when Bloomingdales starts their sale. Perhaps I will swing by to grab some chocolate for the family and myself.

    I haven't had chocolate for 5+ years I think often due to the dairy content. Would be cool to pickup some and snack on at work :eek:

    Any tea suggestions for cold water (room temperature)? The water boiler at work is used too often with little maintenance from co-workers, too grimy. I just bring my own bottled water everyday =\
     
  9. dieworkwear

    dieworkwear Senior member

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    You can kind of sort of brew stuff overnight in cold water, but the taste won't be the same. Hot water not only speeds up the brewing process, but it also intensifies the taste. Sometimes when I have some left over tea leaves though, and I don't want to waste them, I'll put some in a big cup overnight in my fridge. The next day it'll become a weak flavored tea.

    You could also just brew your own tea at home and bring it with you in a thermos. The key is to take the leaves out -- don't let them sit in your thermos. Otherwise, the leaves will burn, and your water will oversaturate, and your tea will taste really bitter.

    For good, inexpensive tea, jasmine is a good stand by. They come in little balls, which you can find online and in Chinatown. I also like Dong Ding, which is reasonably cheap. You can but it online through Eco Cha or Far Leaves Tea. Actually, both of those places will have pretty good tea selections, so you can try a variety of low-priced teas. Good tea doesn't have to be expensive. Price is mostly determined by rarity and demand, which is partly determined by how good the tea tastes, but not solely.

    If you're interested in tea, The Way of Tea by Master Lam Kam Chuen is a good starting point as far as books go.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2015
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  10. momentoftruth

    momentoftruth Senior member

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    I too also sometimes go into overboard rants about so-called foodies and niche obsessionists and all the annoying stuff that Instagram/Pinterest/Yelp have wrought (may be a French thing). But really, as long as no one forces me to line up for food for > 10mins, or discuss trendy restaurants while I'm sitting in one, who cares. Nerds gonna nerd-out, it's a lot easier to ignore when it's online-driven and really outside the scope of 99% of the general population.
    I still have faint hope that this foodie thing is just part of a slow transition to a stage when more Americans realize that yes, "it's just food" (but still good and as natural as possible), and that it should be more accessible to everyone, not be a badge of how cool you are.
     
  11. indesertum

    indesertum Senior member

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    this is such a hipster argument

    it's discussion if you talk about film and art, but it's obsession if you talk about coffee and chocolates?

    food and drinks have been a much loved much discussed part of human culture forever. why is it at all inferior to any other type of culture? the "filling in a void in US culture" and "America was not a place where these 'arts' were very elevated" parts were particularly egregious

    you're railing on people for "e-declaring only this particular variant is worthy and the rest is for plebes", but you're also e-declaring only this particular variant of culture is worthy and the rest is shit for plebs.

    i get the impression that it stems from an insecurity of knowledge. nobody is advocating that loving cheap wines (chocolate or tea or whatever) makes you a phillistine. I feel like the opposite is true. the more you know about some subset of culture the more you advocate good cheap variants of it. a lot of us spend money on expensive artisan clothes but we also advocate buying cheap good things from uniqlo or new brands like grana.

    i hear this type of argument when people talk about any aspect of culture (the snobbish "i don't know what you're talking about so let me tell you how what you're talking about sucks and the things i like are better"). just because you don't know about it doesn't mean nobody else gets to enjoy and discuss it

    the SF equivalent to your arguments would be if people were talking about carpe diem and you chimed in saying "this obsession with boots are dumb. not everything needs to be elevated. i just walk in the nearest artisan shoe store and buy whatever the proprietor thinks is cool"

    this "literature is cool to talk about, but if you talk about burgers you're a dumbass hipster" mindset is so incredibly hipster itself. i'm sure when baroque music first came out the hipsters were going "this music was made to elevate culture among plebs. gregorian chants are where it's at"


    i've been dipping more into my tea collection (been enjoying taiwanese gaoshan oolongs in particular). i think my favorite tea shops in the US is red blossom in SF (been lusting after xu de jia ceramics forever), verdant tea in minneapolis (they specialize in fresh direct imports from china. the dude lived in china for a long time developing relations with local tea farmers. really excellent seasonal selection), silver tips in tarrytown, and i really loved this small retailer/wholesaler in waterbury, VT called liberty tea (dude was really really knowledgeable and has excellent taste)

    but yeah the number of good shops are few and far between and i feel like that's because the population of tea drinkers in the US is much smaller than that of UK or asian countries.


    i was reading how the recent development in the chinese market is the demand for tea that looks pretty when brewed (something about the way it unfurls) and independent of how it actually tastes
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2015
  12. dieworkwear

    dieworkwear Senior member

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    Yea, I mostly just drink Taiwanese oolongs these days.

    Which teas unfurl in pretty ways? I can only think of those big floral jasmine balls, where a flower pops out at the end, but those are still pretty cheap.
     
  13. Find Finn

    Find Finn Senior member

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    Tried making ice tea a while ago on a sweeter green tea, that didn't go down very well, even though I tried multiple versions. put in fridge warm, put in fridge cold, no heat.

    On a related note rooibos is a nice cheaper tea.
     
  14. indesertum

    indesertum Senior member

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    it was mentioned a few times by the author and also by a chinese tea buyer in this book (really recommend reading it. it's very well presented)

    had a really hard time googling it tho (and my chinese isn't very good). they weren't talking about blossoming teas, but had to do with how attractive the color of the leaves were and whether it remained parallel to the sides of a glass during infusion (seems to me like a very odd thing to value, but from what i understand the trend is clear teaware and i guess i can see where they're coming from)
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2015
  15. dieworkwear

    dieworkwear Senior member

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    Hm, strange. Although, that doesn't seem that different from a lot of teaware. Do you use yixing pots? They supposedly take in the flavor of tea over time, but I've been using one for over ten years and can't taste any difference between tea brewed in my regular pots and this yixing. For all the money you can drop on one, it feels like it's more about just aesthetics, rather than anything "practical."

    Japanese tea ceremonies also feel like they're more about the ceremony than the tea (although, maybe I'm biased cause I don't like Japanese tea).
     
  16. indesertum

    indesertum Senior member

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    my tea set up for myself is really simple (cup and strainer and temperature controlled water kettle). i do tea gongfu style with a gaiwan when i drink with other people.

    honestly i dont really believe that yixing pots improve flavor but yeah for me also they add a nice aesthetic aspect to the whole ritual that is really pleasing. i do prefer the cracked patina that pale celadon ceramics accrue over time with use.

    i want to do a japanese tea ceremony. there's a japanese tea garden in portland and they do a ceremony once a month which i'd like to check out.

    i also am not a big fan of japanese green teas in general because a lot of them have these strong iodine seaweed type notes that I find unpleasant, but i love that whole matcha ritual with the bowl and whisk and i love those 3rd, 4th steepings of gyokuros (just so damn expensive and you also have to use more of it than normal).
     
  17. Kid Nickels

    Kid Nickels Senior member

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  18. VitaTimH

    VitaTimH Senior member

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    Hey guys! Was asked to post some recs for Taiwanese xiaochi (street food, etc.) Not at home so I'll write more extensively later but for now, enjoy a picture of Ice Monster's mango snow ice, a Taiwanese variant on more traditional shaved ice. Featured on CAN as one of the top ten desserts in the world! [​IMG]

    More to come @ instagram.com/styleforum
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2015
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  19. nicelynice

    nicelynice Senior member

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    So good
    last time I was there, friend took me here - somewhere in Shilin Night Market

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2015
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  20. MGoCrimson

    MGoCrimson Senior member

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    Very touristy and not street food, but you must stop by Din Tai Fung. Go to the one that's not in 101 and get the pork+crab, fish+celery dumplings and whatever small plates strike your fancy. Otherwise really just look for busy street vendors(lots of good stuff around the Chiang Kai-shek memorial in the morning) and peruse the night markets. Also, a meal at a beef noodle soup place is a must.

    I can come up with a pretty long list of restaurant recommendations if you'd like
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2015

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