Things that are pissing you off- Food & Drink Edition

Discussion in 'Social Life, Food & Drink, Travel' started by kwilkinson, Apr 25, 2010.

  1. itsstillmatt

    itsstillmatt The Liberator Dubiously Honored

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    don't get me wrong, i love some things with smoke, but they tend to be lean. smoked chicken on the rotisserie? pork ribs? tri-tip with a good sear and a little smoke? sure. but sometimes it seems there's a certain chili cookoff mentality that dictates that ANYTHING can be improved by smoke.
    I described this in the Modernist Cuisine thread as Haut Trash Blanc. Smoking, pickling anything that mimics something that came in a blue box back when I was a kid. Palates are going to have to improve before food does. I think the movement of caring more about food is great, but it is hard to overcome a bad cultural palate.
     


  2. foodguy

    foodguy Senior member

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    these are just stages and there have been so many of them. there's nothing wrong with the impulse. personally, i love pickles, particularly with fatty foods. and i love smoke, in its appropriate place. what's going on is just an overenthusiastic embracing of them because they're new (well, to the young chefs who are discovering them).
     


  3. itsstillmatt

    itsstillmatt The Liberator Dubiously Honored

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    these are just stages and there have been so many of them. there's nothing wrong with the impulse. personally, i love pickles, particularly with fatty foods. and i love smoke, in its appropriate place. what's going on is just an overenthusiastic embracing of them because they're new (well, to the young chefs who are discovering them).
    That's interesting, because I have a completely different take. My sense is that they embrace them because they are familiar, not new. It is more like, dude, that would be bitchin' if we like pickled this, or made a bad ass macaroni and cheese, or something. Same with smoke.
     


  4. TheIdler

    TheIdler Senior member

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    The word "veggies". Pretty much a guarantee that I'm going to be served insipid vegan crap. Is "vegetables" really too hard, you stupid hippies???
     


  5. foodguy

    foodguy Senior member

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    That's interesting, because I have a completely different take. My sense is that they embrace them because they are familiar, not new. It is more like, dude, that would be bitchin' if we like pickled this, or made a bad ass macaroni and cheese, or something. Same with smoke.

    not my take. pickles were pretty much unknown in fine dining until about 5 years ago iirc. then a few people started doing them to serve with charcuterie (another trend in danger of becoming excessive) ... an altogether appropriate idea. that begat a few newspaper/magazine articles, which begat a few cookbooks and now they're everywhere.
    this happens a lot with ingredients, particularly ... pimenton de la vera, chipotle, habanero, etc. etc. etc. ... they come, enjoy a moment in the sun, then quietly retreat to being used where they make sense.
     


  6. SField

    SField Senior member

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    I'm so done with charcuterie. Another annoying trend. Haven't had much of it that tastes good or is worth the price. Compare that to Spain where you can get a heavenly plate of Jamon for like 10/15 Euros...

    You know, you could say there are food "trends" in Europe, but it's more like evolution of philosophy. There isn't this sudden obsession with a fairly basic technique or ingredient that we see here. As matt says, evolution of palates is necessary. One thing that I really have come to appreciate about Chicago is the age of diners at 'fine dining' places, especially the good casual places like Bristol or Sepia or Avec. Young people are becoming more aware of food options that are commonplace in other parts of the world but are alien here. It gives me a tremendous amount of hope. Contrast that with the temples in NYC which is predominantly older, and I'd say a much less varied crowd for blue bloods.

    But as we know, these obsessions are necessary. If chefs hadn't put truffles, creme fraiche, scallops, foie, and even god forsaken balsamic vinegar on every menu in the last decade, then a lot of people wouldn't have known about it.

    Slowly, offal is becoming part of the more adventurous american's vocabulary, while the aforementioned are now in the vocabulary of suburban housewives everywhere. Say it's truffled and even people in the square states get excited. Even though it's total bullshit, it at least indicates an increased awareness. The cynic and kindred spirit of Matt in me rolls my eyes, but the realist in me reminds me that this is necessary when a massive portion of this country has little to no food tradition, and that 50 years ago we were quite utterly in the stone age.


    Soon, everyone will know what ramps, celeriac, and quinoa are, because of their ubiquity on menus.
     


  7. mordecai

    mordecai Immoderator

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  8. SField

    SField Senior member

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    The case for Alice Waters?

    That's been hashed out here... she's annoying but American food would be even more retarded without her.
     


  9. KJT

    KJT Senior member

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    Interesting post. Thanks.

    I'm so done with charcuterie. Another annoying trend. Haven't had much of it that tastes good or is worth the price. Compare that to Spain where you can get a heavenly plate of Jamon for like 10/15 Euros...

    You know, you could say there are food "trends" in Europe, but it's more like evolution of philosophy. There isn't this sudden obsession with a fairly basic technique or ingredient that we see here. As matt says, evolution of palates is necessary. One thing that I really have come to appreciate about Chicago is the age of diners at 'fine dining' places, especially the good casual places like Bristol or Sepia or Avec. Young people are becoming more aware of food options that are commonplace in other parts of the world but are alien here. It gives me a tremendous amount of hope. Contrast that with the temples in NYC which is predominantly older, and I'd say a much less varied crowd for blue bloods.

    But as we know, these obsessions are necessary. If chefs hadn't put truffles, creme fraiche, scallops, foie, and even god forsaken balsamic vinegar on every menu in the last decade, then a lot of people wouldn't have known about it.

    Slowly, offal is becoming part of the more adventurous american's vocabulary, while the aforementioned are now in the vocabulary of suburban housewives everywhere. Say it's truffled and even people in the square states get excited. Even though it's total bullshit, it at least indicates an increased awareness. The cynic and kindred spirit of Matt in me rolls my eyes, but the realist in me reminds me that this is necessary when a massive portion of this country has little to no food tradition, and that 50 years ago we were quite utterly in the stone age.


    Soon, everyone will know what ramps, celeriac, and quinoa are, because of their ubiquity on menus.
     


  10. Piobaire

    Piobaire Not left of center?

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    You guys are depressing the hell out of me. [​IMG]
     


  11. kwilkinson

    kwilkinson Having a Ball

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    don't get me wrong, i love some things with smoke, but they tend to be lean. smoked chicken on the rotisserie? pork ribs? tri-tip with a good sear and a little smoke? sure. but sometimes it seems there's a certain chili cookoff mentality that dictates that ANYTHING can be improved by smoke.

    Well you're free to disagree. I think it would be fun to try. And FWIW, I generally don't go apeshit over smoked foods like a lot of people do. Just want to try it. Nothing more, nothing less. Not some big trend with a recent culinary grad that is going to bring down the food culture of America. I just want to taste it.
     


  12. Piobaire

    Piobaire Not left of center?

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    FWIW, I used my smoke gun to smoke some home made mozzarella. It was very good.

    There, I'm not depressed any more.
     


  13. foodguy

    foodguy Senior member

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    You know, you could say there are food "trends" in Europe, but it's more like evolution of philosophy. There isn't this sudden obsession with a fairly basic technique or ingredient that we see here. As matt says, evolution of palates is necessary. ...


    good points. i've been doing this for a LONG time (insert old guy joke here). i'd say that american food culture is now emerging from adolescence a entering a fairly promising young adulthood. and i think this obsession with basic techniques is really healthy. sure it gets carried to extremes, but we're americans and that's what we do. but the difference between obsessing about making your own charcuterie and the previous obsessions with incorporating soy sauce into beurre blanc, or stacking food into architectural constructs tells me that we're growing up. this too shall pass and those dishes will have become just another part of most chefs' repertoires.
    granted, the euros do it different ... but that's the advantage of having an established regional food culture that didn't suffer the massive interruption american food culture did in the period from before WWII to the 1980s. or at least it hasn't yet. but at the same time, i hear from european chefs that they envy american cooks because they're not constricted by that same culture.
     


  14. ChicagoRon

    ChicagoRon Senior member

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    Soon, everyone will know what ramps, celeriac, and quinoa are, because of their ubiquity on menus.
    I still don't know what the hell celeraic is, despite having eaten it numerous times. And I know a few things about food, even if a little less than a few other guys who poast here.
     


  15. foodguy

    foodguy Senior member

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    I still don't know what the hell celeraic is, despite having eaten it numerous times. And I know a few things about food, even if a little less than a few other guys who poast here.

    celery root.
     


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