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Snobbery to think flavors should not be masked?

Discussion in 'Social Life, Food & Drink, Travel' started by Kyoung05, Mar 4, 2011.

  1. StephenHero

    StephenHero Senior member

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    I just eat what Tyler Florence and Giada tell me to eat.
     
  2. Kyoung05

    Kyoung05 Senior member

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    kyoung i agree with you but we're the minority. i dont know about you but i'm the guy who always gets things "plain" or with stuff "on the side." i feel like a lot of people overdo it with the extras/condiments. then again, i don't even like ketchup on my french fries.

    I'm not saying sauces or mixers or what have you have no place. If fact, when well done, I agree that they can definitely enhance the dish/drink/etc., but this usually means that they compliment, rather than mask, the base ingredients. For instance, when someone takes a burger and adds tortilla chips, jalapenos, onions, guacamole, etc. can you actually taste the beef that is the backbone of that burger? Again, I understand that taste is subjective, but the human palate can only discern a finite number of flavors at a given time, so I think at some point, adding too many ingredients/flavors is done at the expense of ingredients, right?
     
  3. cptjeff

    cptjeff Senior member

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    Should we ban Worcestershire and Tabasco next?

    If you try to stop me from putting Worcestershire on cheesesteaks, I will unleash the black market nuke I have sitting around on you. This is not a question. I will hurt things.







    *this post may contain a SMALL bit of exaggeration.



    Okay, actually seriously, some people do overuse condiments. And I do agree with many that the pleasure of taste is often in subtlety, and that the HFCS loaded condiments we typically see can and often do completely bury those subtleties in flavor of 10 different varieties of sweet. It's not inventive, and it's not really all that enjoyable. Actually, it's a criticism of craft beer too. Shoveling in hops to make your beer extra bitter does not good taste make. Balance and subtlety, please.

    Unlike many purists though, I'm not completely against condiments. Sauces and spices, used right, might cover up the flavor to some of those people. But they can enhance as well. To use some hopefully familiar examples, it's the difference between Texas Barbecue and NC barbecue. Texas dumps buckets of sweetened tomato sauce onto beef. NC uses a vinegar based sauce to contrast with the sweetness of the pork, creating a smoky, tangy result that's not entirely pork, but a worthy creation that stands as a separate category.

    Or cocktails. Yes, lots of liquors are delicious by themselves. But combined, you can make amazingly tasty things that bear little resemblance to the original forms. Yes, you could stick to the purity of the original forms, but why would you limit yourself?
     
  4. gladhands

    gladhands Senior member

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    My wife lives for condiments and sauces. She is the one the snobs complain about. Food, in her mind, is a sauce delivery mechanism. I also like sauces, but I do prefer to be more connected to my ingredients. If I order duck, I'd like to taste duck, but I'd also like to taste cooking.

    I've found that aside from the lobster rolls, most seafood in New England is incredibly bland. The expectation is that you should be wowed by the "freshness" as oppised to the seasoning/sauce. That just doesn't do it for me.
     
  5. changy

    changy Senior member

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    Depends on what you are eating/drinking. If you are having great/fresh sushi, then sure, don't mess it up by dunking it in soysauce mixed with wasabi. If it's an all you can eat for $13.99 sushi joint, the spicy mayo is probably required.

    In some cuisines, the sauce is the focus. Think Korean, Sichuan, Indian.
     
  6. Piobaire

    Piobaire Senior member

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    Both extremes make it hard for me to properly enjoy food. A good sauce, such as one of the "mother sauces," well made and applied can really enhance a dish. However, burying something in nacho cheese sauce will rarely enhance the dish, unless you're 21 and are high with the munchies. So I guess this brings context into things too...
     
  7. globetrotter

    globetrotter Senior member

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    I don't know - I think that correct use of sauces, condiments, chutneys, pickles etc, contributes greatly to enjoyment of life. I like the occasional heavy sauce - stir fried, stewed or other. but I also really like to have several stand alone items - meat, a starch, bread, a vegetable, and have a small line up of condiments to add to them in different ratios each bite.
     
  8. Quadcammer

    Quadcammer Senior member

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    If I happen to like soy sauce with wasabi on my sushi, I'm going to eat it that way.

    I wouldn't eat at a place with crappy fish anyway, so its a given that the food will be very fresh. But once you've had it a few times, maybe you want to add something to it...there is nothing wrong with that.
     
  9. Bohe

    Bohe Member

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    Depends on the food/drink in question. I drink cognac with coke myself, but I enjoy it neat too, both these experiences are polar opposites in terms of taste, aroma etc. Jack Daniels is crap, so it doesn't matter what you mix it with because you won't miss out on much.
     
  10. coop86

    coop86 Senior member

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    I'm probably going to get a bunch of crap for this based on the hot sause thread but...

    I agree, I have never understood why some people dump, not drizzle, Tabasco on everything claiming it "enhances" the taste of the food. Might was well eat a bunch of toast soaked in Tabasco at that point.

    Another is people who order the hottest wings and completely cover them in blue cheese/ranch dressing...
     
  11. mm84321

    mm84321 Senior member

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    All things considered, people who don't put ketchup on their cheeseburgers have always confused me.
     
  12. ktrp

    ktrp Senior member

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    They are different styles of cooking, both have their place.

    To overgeneralize terribly, italian cooking has more of a focus on highlighting great fresh ingredients in a simple way that lets their quality shine through, french cooking, while demanding great ingredients as well, has traditionally been more focused on formal culinary training creating new flavours out of the ingredients. A lot of french recipes are based on other recipes based on some basic stock made out of xyz ingredients and so on.

    There are snobs on both sides, I imagine. The traditional parisian style might view the italian as not cooking at all, just a bunch of farmers who are proud of what they grew/raised. Modern foodies tend to be very ingredient focused, perhaps in reaction to the crap ingredients most of us grew up with in north america.
     
  13. greekonomist

    greekonomist Senior member

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    ...putting Worcestershire on cheesesteaks...

    [​IMG]
     
  14. LawrenceMD

    LawrenceMD Senior member

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    I'm probably going to get a bunch of crap for this based on the hot sause thread but...

    I agree, I have never understood why some people dump, not drizzle, Tabasco on everything claiming it "enhances" the taste of the food. Might was well eat a bunch of toast soaked in Tabasco at that point.

    Another is people who order the hottest wings and completely cover them in blue cheese/ranch dressing...


    blue cheese (actual blue cheese) and tabsco on burgers... so gooooooood...

    yellow mustard, relish, and ketchup on a hot dog... soooo gooooood...
     

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