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Brewing beer, curing meat, or making cheese? Share your food adventure

Foods that surprise you?

sweet ginger Aug 11, 2006 08:51 PM

So last night I threw a chicken in the oven to roast. With a young baby, I'm just getting back to cooking again, and I figured, it's not too difficult to season a chicken and pop it in the oven! But I am telling you, no matter how often I have roasted chicken, I am ALWAYS surprised and delighted at how simple and delicious it is! So my question to you all is, What foods are so simple that they surprise YOU at how delicious they are?
Warm from the garden tomatoes sprinkled with salt is another one...

  1. m
    mielemaiale Oct 3, 2006 02:39 AM

    A good fresh oyster

    Well cooked jasmine rice

    Thai takeout broccoli and bean sauce wide noodles

    A good hunk of summer sausage

    Yes, yogurt and good honey

    Acme bread with soft Organic Valley butter and a bit of salt

    Braised dark greens (kale, chard, dandelion etc.)

    Salmon eggs with quail eggs on toast or nigiri

    Brown rice O-nigiri with umeboshi(plum paste)

    Late season melon

    Mango Lassi

    Red Stripe

    1 Reply
    1. re: mielemaiale
      TexasToast Oct 3, 2006 10:16 AM

      How do take-out places make broccoli in soy and garlic taste SO good?


    2. a
      Atahualpa Sep 20, 2006 03:42 PM

      Pho -- noodles, broth, meat, herbs! So good.
      Fresh garden tomatoes with fresh mozzarella.
      Warm Baguette.
      Pasta with lemon, butter, parm., salt.
      Sushi, Sashimi.
      Cucumber salad with rice winegar, salt, and cilantro then tossed with a small touch of sesame oil that is heated up with sichuan pepper corns and chile flakes. I went without sichuan pepper corn for a month this summer and being deprived of this salad hurt.

      There are so many more, but Pho and soba in particular needed onto this list.

      1. a
        andlulu Sep 20, 2006 01:48 PM

        - pasta tossed in a wok w/ butter & garlic until it roasts.
        - warm flatbread served w/ fresh,cold tzatziki.
        - expertly made french toast, steaming hot & cruncy from carmelized sugar. (my husband is the only one who makes it up to par for me)
        - well made sweet potato casserole. i could eat WAY too much of this.
        - silk vanilla yogurt w / honey, cinnamon & peach puree. Mmm!

        1. anthonyrza Sep 20, 2006 06:52 AM

          ripe, juicy nectarines and heirloom tomatoes

          roasted sweet potato slices with butter and caramelized brown sugar

          fresh baked crusty bread dipped in olive oil and balsamic vinegar

          buttered white bread with cinnamon and sugar on top

          and of course, prosciutto.

          1. HillJ Sep 11, 2006 01:18 PM

            EllenMM, absolutely agree..and will add
            Fresh served, frozen yogurt from the health food store
            Anything that involves raspberries
            Fish tacos

            1. e
              EllenMM Sep 11, 2006 02:50 AM

              Sabra hummous, sliced summer tomato on FRESH pita.
              Sliced REAL white meat chicken, Hellman's mayo, lots of s, & p. on any really good bread.
              Any hot home-made soup (mushroom/barley, split pea, sweet/sour cabbage, fish chowder, etc.) on a cold, rainy day.
              Sliced summer tomato on any sandwich.

              1. e
                elenoise Sep 10, 2006 06:37 AM

                maple sugar candy, maple syrup!
                sweet potatoes (any way they come, mashed steamed, etc),
                roasted vegetables (especially asparagus, onions, butternut squash, garlic, etcetc)
                the perfect peach, mango or pineapple
                pumpernickel bread, or pumpernickel pretzels
                all tomatoes, in their prime
                lemon sorbet
                homemade jam, pickles
                medjool dates! always, my favorite.
                bananas! oh! i have eaten one every day for years
                tamari almonds in the fridge. they snap when you bite them. mm
                pickled anything
                wilted greens with garlic

                1. bolivianita Sep 10, 2006 01:16 AM

                  Growing up one of my favoritre meals was Fried eggs with rice and tomato salad. I still love this for dinner and in the summer try to make it at least once a week. The tomato salad has to have green onions and parsley and a dressing of red wine vinegar and olive oil.

                  1. Veggietales Sep 9, 2006 04:53 PM

                    IN leaner times, like post college, I would boil penne, saute whole garlic cloves in half butter and olive oil, throw in half can of dice tomato with juice, reduce to au sec,throw in pasta and just a dash of balsamic vinegar. Season with S/P and sugar.

                    I lived on that for almost 2 years. I think I just make myself some pasta today.

                    1. f
                      Fredster Sep 9, 2006 03:25 AM

                      Spaghetti with olive oil, fresh garlic, oregano, ground pepper and parmesan cheese

                      Bacon (bacon well done) and eggs, good homefries, brown toast

                      Fresh ontario peaches or strawberries

                      Fresh butter croissants

                      A good hamburger with prepared mustard, relish, onions and tomato

                      Corn on the cob

                      Plain yogurt with good honey drizzled on it

                      Oatmeal with honey or maple syrup, raisins, milk and blanched almonds

                      Steamed broccoli

                      1. NeNePie Sep 6, 2006 05:35 AM

                        Baked whole sweet potatoes with butter
                        A BLT on wheat toast with lots of mayo
                        Home-fried hard shell tacos with anything, tomatoes, lettuce, shredded cheese and salsa

                        1. juniorcruz Aug 25, 2006 09:25 PM

                          • garlic pizza
                          • pizza with portobello mushrooms
                          • grilled asparagus
                          • a freshly toasted whole grain bagel with extra virgin olive oil drizzled over it... (this was first discovered a couple of years ago while cramming with a studying group.)

                          1. b
                            Bostonbob3 Aug 25, 2006 09:08 PM

                            Just the smell of onions cooking in butter (or better yet, duck fat), is enough to, uh...I better not go there.

                            1. PaulF Aug 25, 2006 09:06 PM

                              Scrambled eggs at my favorite diner.

                              1. s
                                S_K Aug 25, 2006 07:25 PM

                                The goodness of fresh fruit. The goodness of fresh fish, freshly baked bread. Fresh anything really. I love it all. :)

                                1. j
                                  jennyfur Aug 24, 2006 08:58 PM

                                  dates...hot little peppers..or just about ANYTHING wrapped in BACON!!!!!

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: jennyfur
                                    Ruth Lafler Aug 24, 2006 11:06 PM

                                    Oh, yeah. Bacon is good, and high-quality bacon (I've been buying Neuske, thick cut from a slab) is transcendent.

                                    The other day I had a bowl of thick, full-fat Greek yogurt with fresh cherries mixed in, drizzled with honey. I couldn't believe how delicious it was.

                                  2. Caitlin McGrath Aug 23, 2006 07:47 PM

                                    I've got to add another simple (ingredient-wise) food that never ceases to surprise me and send me over the moon with its deliciousness: caramelized onions.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                      chocolate chick Aug 24, 2006 07:46 PM

                                      I could eat caramelized onions on just about anything! There's almost nothing better (almost).

                                    2. Scagnetti Aug 22, 2006 02:39 PM

                                      Grilled rustic bread, topped with goat cheese, diced tomatoes dressed with EVOO, and shredded basil. Summer personified.

                                      Baked bacon wrapped dates.

                                      1. b
                                        bijoux16 Aug 22, 2006 01:55 AM

                                        big fat Medjool dates (dried, not fresh), plain or with a small morsel of sharp cheese.

                                        1. MMRuth Aug 21, 2006 07:08 PM

                                          Grilled Cheese Sandwich - EVOO, pain de mie, a mix of shredded gruyere and fontina.

                                          1. pikawicca Aug 21, 2006 07:04 PM

                                            Avocado and bacon sandwich on whole wheat toast with mayo and iceberg lettuce, sea salt and pepper.

                                            Nearly-halved figs stuffed with fresh goat cheese, wrapped in prosciutto and baked just until warmed through.

                                            1. JMF Aug 21, 2006 06:52 PM

                                              BLT, made with super tomatoes and smoky bacon on white toast.

                                              Open face grilled cheese with tomato, made with white toast that is buttered, then super thin sliced ripe tomato layered on, a nice sprinkle of a good salt and fresh ground pepper, then layered with extra sharp cheddar and broiled.

                                              Peruvian style aji verde. A paste made from jalapenos, queso blanco or ricotta, and mayo, with just a little olive oil, cilantro, salt, and lime juice. Sometimes add bread crumbs to thicken it. Amazing flavors that go great on bread, raw and cooked veggies, raw and cooked fish, meat, burgers, hot dogs, you name it.

                                              South American style roast corn slathered with mayo, pecorino romano, and cayenne.

                                              Fresh squeezed orange juice and fresh made lemonade or limeade. Also chicha morada, Peruvian spiced purple corn drink, well chilled.

                                              Thai green curry. So simple to make and sooo tasty.

                                              1. steinpilz Aug 16, 2006 08:09 PM

                                                Kay hit a lot that I'd second, as well as many earlier posts. I'll add:

                                                fresh squeezed OJ
                                                cereal and milk (I like JustRight)
                                                fresh shucked oysters and clams
                                                a good simple hamburger
                                                sweet corn on the cob
                                                Concord grapes right off the vine

                                                1. k
                                                  Kay Aug 16, 2006 06:16 PM

                                                  As white trash as it is...beer can chicken on the grill is always ridiculously good.
                                                  A fresh, real tomato from the garden.
                                                  Fresh raspberries right off the vine.
                                                  Grilled cheese sandwich with tomato and a nice mustard.
                                                  Gnocchi with black truffle oil.

                                                  And nice artisan bread toasted with butter. Or a smear of red raspberry jam.

                                                  1. s
                                                    sheiladeedee Aug 16, 2006 05:42 PM

                                                    buttered noodles

                                                    a dead-ripe Stanley plum

                                                    slow roasted pork shoulder, no rubs or anything, just salt and pepper it, put in a slow oven and cook all day until the skin is crisp and the meat falls apart. Well, maybe with a couple of onions in there too...

                                                    1. b
                                                      Biggie Aug 16, 2006 04:12 PM

                                                      a fresh-baked biscuit with melted butter and a drizzle of good honey

                                                      1. Das Ubergeek Aug 16, 2006 02:18 PM

                                                        Caprese salad -- on or off a piece of ciabatta.
                                                        Roasted chicken done well (as opposed to well-done).
                                                        Black Mission figs with goat cheese and just a dab of honey.
                                                        Perfectly cooked jasmine rice.
                                                        Spätzle -- the one thing I can think of that tastes worse with white flour than whole wheat flour.
                                                        Fish and chips -- cod, with tartar sauce.

                                                        1. The Engineer Aug 15, 2006 12:54 AM

                                                          Mild (American style) coffee and smoked bacon... all you need for a great breakfast!

                                                          1. f
                                                            fara Aug 15, 2006 12:35 AM

                                                            the combination of mayo, fresh tomato, and s&p on toast.
                                                            rice dishes: fried rice, curry, risotto, so satisfying.
                                                            white marinated boquerones (med. sardines)
                                                            a good enchilada.
                                                            juicy, salty meat with excellent french fries.
                                                            fresh fettucine alla carbonara (w/bacon, egg, salt and pepper).

                                                            1. Katie Nell Aug 14, 2006 03:16 PM

                                                              cinnamon toast under the broiler
                                                              chocolate milk
                                                              really, really, really good watermelon!

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: Katie Nell
                                                                Katie Nell Aug 23, 2006 08:21 PM

                                                                You know what my fiance did for me the other night... sprinkled a tiny little bit of Penzey's Vietnamese cinnamon on top of my chocolate milk... this just puts chocolate milk on a whole other level! So good!

                                                              2. e
                                                                erikka Aug 14, 2006 02:20 PM

                                                                Crunchy peanut butter
                                                                really fresh, crisp greens/veggies
                                                                granny smith apples in peak season

                                                                1. c
                                                                  Calamityville Aug 14, 2006 05:10 AM

                                                                  Good fresh bread with any or all of the below

                                                                  Red and White Burgundy, Willamette Valley Pinot Noir and Dry Creek Zinfandel

                                                                  Just about anything with mushrooms or truffles

                                                                  Stinky cheese

                                                                  1. m
                                                                    melly Aug 14, 2006 05:03 AM

                                                                    Tomatoe and cuke sandwich..with a dill mayo.

                                                                    1. janedoe67 Aug 14, 2006 04:52 AM

                                                                      grilled cheese and tomato soup

                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                      1. re: janedoe67
                                                                        OrganicGal Sep 20, 2006 01:34 PM

                                                                        Oh, too funny to see this! I was just talking this morning about how it's finally getting cool, and I was SOOOOOOO looking forward to my first big bowl of tomato soup and grilled cheese! Mr. Organic about melted when I mentioned it...that's the plan for supper tonight!

                                                                        1. re: janedoe67
                                                                          amkirkland Sep 20, 2006 04:48 PM

                                                                          You nailed it for sure! I've had the urge to inoculate myself with the flu just to have the relief of tomato soup and grilled cheese.

                                                                        2. c
                                                                          chef poncho Aug 14, 2006 04:50 AM

                                                                          In the good old days when you applied for a job in a kitchen you were asked to prepare three things: an omelet, a vinaigrette and to roast a chicken.

                                                                          A roasted chicken with mushrooms, pancetta and buttery mashed potatoes is damn close to perfection for me.

                                                                          1. rcheng Aug 14, 2006 04:30 AM

                                                                            Creat any kind of savory sandwich/burger and put a fried egg into the mix. Yum.

                                                                            1. kare_raisu Aug 14, 2006 02:50 AM

                                                                              black beans (pinch of cumin), avocado, fresh! corn tortilla

                                                                              1. chowmeow Aug 14, 2006 02:50 AM


                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                1. re: chowmeow
                                                                                  serious Aug 21, 2006 10:58 AM


                                                                                2. j
                                                                                  Jfields Aug 14, 2006 02:45 AM

                                                                                  The roasted chicken for me as well. I am also a new mom and have not liked chicken on the bone due to many bad chicken and dumpling episodes with my mom. But now with the baby I love to season a whole chicken and throw it in the oven. So easy and so yummy.

                                                                                  1. Emme Aug 14, 2006 01:20 AM

                                                                                    Concur on the roast chicken, particularly those that have been brined like those from Costco. Also, spaghetti with butter and parmesan.

                                                                                    Roasted or steamed cauliflower, grilled vidalia or maui onions when in season, and burnt (yes burnt) asparagus as it takes on a sesame-ish flavor.

                                                                                    Rice cakes with apple butter or apricot jam.

                                                                                    1. chocolate chick Aug 14, 2006 12:16 AM

                                                                                      Eating an early MacIntosh apple right off the tree!!!

                                                                                      Did this today at Barton Orchards in Fishkill, NY.

                                                                                      Absolutely nothing better, nothing more simple.

                                                                                      1. c
                                                                                        cooknKate Aug 13, 2006 05:09 PM

                                                                                        buttered noodles with freshly grated parm and asiago, cracked black pepper and smoked sea salt

                                                                                        1. toodie jane Aug 13, 2006 03:34 PM

                                                                                          crunchy & creamy:oven roasted or fried red potatoes

                                                                                          1. sivyaleah Aug 13, 2006 03:02 PM

                                                                                            I'm with you on the roast chicken. There is nothing like it.
                                                                                            And I agree with Jllp, properly made bread is overwhelming to me. I'm not a baker at all and I'm just in awe of the art of taking such simple ingredients and producing something so utterly satisfying

                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                            1. re: sivyaleah
                                                                                              prunefeet Aug 14, 2006 08:56 PM

                                                                                              Me too. Can't wait until it's oven weather again...

                                                                                            2. Caitlin McGrath Aug 12, 2006 10:27 PM

                                                                                              Whole wheat toast with butter and honey. Takes no thought, but it's so utterly satisfying every single time. I make it thinking how satisfying I know I find it, but then it still surprises me.

                                                                                              1. j
                                                                                                Janet from Richmond Aug 12, 2006 10:10 PM

                                                                                                Macaroni and cheese
                                                                                                Meat loaf
                                                                                                Grilled cheese sandwich
                                                                                                Cheese enchiladas
                                                                                                Grape nuts cereal

                                                                                                1. PseudoNerd Aug 12, 2006 09:27 PM

                                                                                                  roasted and salted TRUE Virginia peanuts
                                                                                                  seasonal fruit
                                                                                                  toro (sashimi form)
                                                                                                  cardamom pod
                                                                                                  honey and abbamele
                                                                                                  freshly whipped cream
                                                                                                  roasted vegetables

                                                                                                  1. j
                                                                                                    Janet Aug 12, 2006 06:16 PM

                                                                                                    The very best is a tomato eaten in the garden.

                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: Janet
                                                                                                      chaddict Aug 12, 2006 10:52 PM

                                                                                                      That really does have to be among the best, especially when they are still warm from the sun and you eat them whole like peaches.

                                                                                                      1. re: Janet
                                                                                                        atheorist Oct 1, 2006 11:45 PM

                                                                                                        Warm from the sun!

                                                                                                      2. j
                                                                                                        Jefferson Aug 12, 2006 06:11 AM

                                                                                                        Applying the "nothing added" and "works every time" tests:

                                                                                                        Peanut butter, right off the spoon
                                                                                                        (Current pick: Trader Joe's Organic Crunchy)

                                                                                                        Tortilla chips, especially slightly warmed

                                                                                                        Raw hamachi or salmon or scallop, deftly sliced by a sushi chef

                                                                                                        (Darn it, I'm drooling!)

                                                                                                        Unfortunately, there are so many foods that CAN be amazing but too seldom are. Sigh.

                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                        1. re: Jefferson
                                                                                                          Atahualpa Sep 20, 2006 03:36 PM

                                                                                                          Absolutely! Raw fish with good soy sauce is fantatic when sliced right and the texture is bang on.

                                                                                                        2. Cheese Boy Aug 12, 2006 04:39 AM

                                                                                                          Kamut cereal with unsalted roasted peanuts, golden raisins, and ice cold milk.

                                                                                                          Toasted bagel with cream cheese and honey drizzled on top.

                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: Cheese Boy
                                                                                                            Non Cognomina Aug 13, 2006 05:27 AM

                                                                                                            Ah, one of the simple pleasures I miss when I'm not in NYC is a hot sesame bagel from Essa Bagel with cream cheese and honey. Sadly, it is true that bagels aren't as good anywhere else in the world.

                                                                                                            1. re: Non Cognomina
                                                                                                              Cheese Boy Aug 13, 2006 05:41 PM

                                                                                                              Have a look at the top left of their homepage to navigate (menus, etc).

                                                                                                              Big, plump, chewy: http://www.ess-a-bagel.com/door/

                                                                                                              IMO, the best, especially for sandwiches.

                                                                                                              1. re: Non Cognomina
                                                                                                                Atahualpa Sep 20, 2006 03:34 PM

                                                                                                                Amen to that! I went to NYC for the first time this summer and stayed around the corner from Essa. I only had a bagel there on the last day and have been missing it ever since! So crisp and salty on the outside, so chewy and great on the inside! You can't find a bagel that good in Toronto (good, but not that good).

                                                                                                            2. g
                                                                                                              grover78 Aug 12, 2006 02:24 AM

                                                                                                              Somewhere in Elizabeth David's "English Bread and Yeast Cookery" she says "toast is nothing more than a vehicle for getting more butter into your mouth". My favorite.

                                                                                                              1. jillp Aug 12, 2006 12:53 AM

                                                                                                                Really good bread is always a surprise to me. The ingredients are so mundane and yet, dang, the result - when properly prepared - is just wonderful.

                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                1. re: jillp
                                                                                                                  Kelli2006 Oct 3, 2006 02:56 AM

                                                                                                                  I have to agree that great bread is so simple once you understand the theory and have a little experience. Its amazing that just 5-6 ingredients can make something so beautiful and necessary for a great meal.

                                                                                                                  I have to add,
                                                                                                                  Onion soup
                                                                                                                  Cinnamon rolls
                                                                                                                  pot roast
                                                                                                                  roast potatoes
                                                                                                                  vegetable curries.

                                                                                                                2. v
                                                                                                                  Val Aug 12, 2006 12:47 AM

                                                                                                                  Some mornings, I'm so rushed that I throw roasted peanuts or even better, mixed nuts and raisins together to eat in the car on the way to work, especially with the raisins thrown into the nut container & you shake it up, the salt adheres to the raisins a bit...SO delicious--it's that sweet and salty thing, I guess, but it usually holds me til lunchtime!

                                                                                                                  1. Non Cognomina Aug 12, 2006 12:31 AM

                                                                                                                    Pot roast

                                                                                                                    Fresh cucumbers from the garden with rice wine vinegar

                                                                                                                    Thin, crisp brown toast with very good butter

                                                                                                                    Mussels steamed in white wine with fresh herbs and crusty bread

                                                                                                                    Plums, halved and roasted on the grill

                                                                                                                    1. p
                                                                                                                      piccola Aug 12, 2006 12:29 AM

                                                                                                                      Eggs. Every time, no matter how they're prepared. (OK, not too keen on the hard-boiled.)

                                                                                                                      Grapes. The red ones. I'm addicted.

                                                                                                                      Watermelon, too.

                                                                                                                      Fresh tofu. It tastes clean. As does fresh cottage cheese.

                                                                                                                      Naan. Possibly other types of bread as well.

                                                                                                                      6 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: piccola
                                                                                                                        sweet ginger Aug 12, 2006 12:34 AM

                                                                                                                        You know, I've been on an egg kick lately. I was watching Jacques Pepin the other day- he did bowtie pasta tossed with cheese (I think it was gruyere, but I did butter & parm), then topped it with a fried egg- you break up the yolk & it coats the pasta- Oh so good!

                                                                                                                        1. re: sweet ginger
                                                                                                                          piccola Aug 12, 2006 11:26 AM

                                                                                                                          I like the poached-egg-on-salad meal for that same reason.

                                                                                                                          1. re: piccola
                                                                                                                            Divamac Aug 13, 2006 04:26 AM

                                                                                                                            I was watching the movie "Spanglish" where Adam Sandler's character, a chef, prepares a sandwich of lettuce, tomato and sunny-side up egg on toasted artisan bread. I made one for myself and - oh my - so simple and so good!

                                                                                                                            1. re: Divamac
                                                                                                                              Pei Aug 14, 2006 02:53 PM

                                                                                                                              Thomas Keller of The French Laundry was a consultant on that movie and actually made (or taught Sandler how to make) that sandwich. Rent the DVD and watch the extras! It's pretty good food TV.

                                                                                                                              1. re: Divamac
                                                                                                                                steinpilz Aug 16, 2006 07:56 PM

                                                                                                                                Lettuce tomato and cold "real" (not processed) chicken breast on toast is also very good.

                                                                                                                                1. re: Divamac
                                                                                                                                  TexasToast Sep 5, 2006 09:15 AM

                                                                                                                                  Thank you Steinpilz for recognizing the difference between "real" and processed chicken!

                                                                                                                                  I still pity the people who buy sliced "deli-meat" because they don't want the "pre-packaged" stuff off the shelves. Unless it's a real breast, it's the same slop!


                                                                                                                          2. yayadave Aug 12, 2006 12:05 AM

                                                                                                                            Fish in parchment.

                                                                                                                            1. TexasToast Aug 12, 2006 12:02 AM

                                                                                                                              Spaghetti with truffle oil and fresh aged parmesan (not cheap, but simple and really (Tyler Florence over-use)) delicious!


                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: TexasToast
                                                                                                                                Marge Aug 15, 2006 12:50 AM

                                                                                                                                Fresh Aged parmesan...a new oxymoron for me!

                                                                                                                                1. re: Marge
                                                                                                                                  TexasToast Sep 10, 2006 02:28 PM

                                                                                                                                  Well, so is fresh sour cream.


                                                                                                                              2. chaddict Aug 11, 2006 11:19 PM

                                                                                                                                Spaghetti with olio e aglio. Grilled brie sandwiches on sourdough.

                                                                                                                                1. ipsedixit Aug 11, 2006 11:14 PM

                                                                                                                                  Perfectly cooked white rice

                                                                                                                                  Strawberries and creme

                                                                                                                                  Bag of granola (or GORP)

                                                                                                                                  Ripe avocado with sea salt

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