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Do you prefer cuisine type food or the traditional rustic type of cooking?

I tend to lean toward the more traditional type of cooking and eating, although I'm not totally opposed to "New" fare. Especially when it comes to latino foods, nothng beats a basic simple recipe using traditional ingredients...garlic, onions, peppers, cilantro, etc. in a stew or soup. Some newer cooking sometimes adds ingredients to traditionial recipes that totally venture far off from what a dish was supposed to be. If new cuisine is the name, then I would prefer original dishes rather than changing a tried and true favorite. Maybe I'm just old fashioned.

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  1. My favorite meals are stews and braises. I'm not much into fancy restaurants and delicate ingredients. I love hearty dishes with complex flavors. :)


    3 Replies
    1. re: Dommy

      Me too. Stews, braises, noodle soups, sauces that can be soaked up with rice or bread...delicate food is fun once in awhile for a treat, but if I had to give up one or the other I'd choose hearty food for life.

      I agree that new takes on old favorites should be re-named. I might like the fancy mac n' cheese, but I would be less thrown off it it were presented as "five cheese gratin." When I order mac n' cheese, I just want cheddar and cream!

        1. re: prunefeet

          Me too! I love to make (and eat) roasts, braises, almost anything slow cooked in heavy pots, especially marrow bones! I love the smell that a day of rustic cooking gives your kitchen.

    2. I'm much more into rustic fare than nouvelle cuisine... nouvelle cuisine strikes me as more art than food.

      1. Rustic...peasant...country...in all it's various names and guises, I tend to prefer simpler foods, prepared well.

        1. I agree with all posts. I sometimes find it hard to find an authentic recipe for a dish that doesn't include some off-the-wall ingredients.

          1. I appreciate high-end cuisine, but I usually have to think about it. High-end cuisine is usually intellectual. Rustic cuisine has soul.

            Repeating what I said elsewhere, rustic cuisine is primal. It is like Marlon Brando shouting "Stella" in "Street Car Named Desire" It appeals to my deepest, inner cravings for deliciousness.

            This year I've eaten at a lot ... A LOT ... of the mom and pops of all cultures near my house and it has been more satisfying than most of the prim and proper, restrained upscale restaurants in the past.

            I enjoy food from the wrong side of the tracks ... culinary slumming. It is more exciting, interesting and tasty.

            I can't think of a better donut that I've had than the long coil of churro, pulled hot from the fat, crisp on the outside, creamy and light within. Purchased from the probably illegal churro guy who had temprorary sanctuary in front of the church after mass. It was drama and deliciousness.

            Out of all the food mentioned so far on the Chowtour, I almost want to hop a plane and buy one of those $1 whole crabs cooked by kids at a 'tarp-covered, roadside" crab shack. I've bookmarked that info.


            I grew up in a poor, blue-color city that had some of the most delicious food. I think, rustic food has to be delicious because when you are parting with hard-earned dollars, you won't waste bucks on anything that doesn't rock your tastebuds.

            1. Rustic, ethnic, homestyle, country whatever you want to call it... except for what is considered American homestyle and depression era cooking, most of which I can't stand. Nouvelle and fusion can be good in small doses, but so much of the time it is way overdone.

              1. I like any good food, nouvelle or traditional but I always come back to comfort foods. For me that means stir-fries with rice or noodles, homemade soups, curries, roasts and casseroles and slow-cooked ragus.

                But I would be bored with eating the same style of cooking every day, so I welcome innovation and creativity in the kitchen.

                1. Few chefs are creative enough to come up with something brand-new that can compare with techniques and dishes that have evolved over many generations.

                  On the other hand, significant new technlogies like sous vide can lead to great new dishes and major improvements on old ones.

                  1. It's starting to get blurry in regards to rustic vs. haute. When goat starts being served at high end places and braises more common, lines have definately been crossed. I'll eat either and be happy if it's well prepared.

                    Practically speaking however, I break it down like this:

                    Eating/everyday meals - rustic / traditional
                    Dining/entertainment - nuevo / haute cuisine

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: ML8000

                      Chez Panisse erased that line a long time ago.

                      1. re: Robert Lauriston

                        Yes, that's what I was inferring. They were serving goat for a while as well.

                        Thanks for letting me know.

                        1. re: ML8000

                          I had goat at Chez Panisse not long ago. They'll cook anything that's good.

                      2. re: ML8000

                        I think it has to do with preparation and how it's presented. I think a fancy restaurant can do Rustic (Jar's Pot Roast) just as good a chinese place can do precious (for me, anything with frog's legs! :P).

                        When I'm at either place, I tend to go for more complex, more big bowl, more piping hot than something served seperately, on two plates, slightly dressed and needing a special fork.


                      3. I like it all, I don't discriminate. If it is delicious, I eat it. Some rustic dishes, like Indian and Thai curries, moles, etc. are in truth complex and highly refined preparations that lean heavily on technique. So where is the line between rustic and "cuisine" type food? Because there are also restaurants that you would never consider rustic that prepare very simple food.

                        1. For me, nothing on this earth beats a good broth--which is deceptively simple but not so easy to perfect. Throw in some noodles or rice and I am in heaven.

                          I like trying nouvelle cuisine. Like others have said, it is intellectual more than a sensual experience for me. I can appreciate the food but, at the end of the day, give me a bowl of noodle soup and I am happy.

                            1. I prefer to do the kind of cooking a family would expect. Call it rustic, if you will, but to me it's the highest form of cookery, because it is cooking as love first and foremost; cooking as an intimate act. Think of the honor of preparing what people would want put into themselves, and it all makes sense.

                              I use professional insights and technique and equipment if it serves that end, but I have no patience with making food exquisite in all dimensions, an art object.

                              Then again, I am a cook and not a baker, so that may explain my bias.

                              1. There's a bit of confusion here. Haute cuisine IS traditional, but a very fancy and refined version of the same dishes that came from the country (rustic).

                                Nouvelle cuisine is the extremely important (and delicious) break from the staid traditions of haute cuisine. With some exceptions, haute and nouvelle exist mostly in pricey restaurants, not so much in the home.

                                I'm not positive that I can muster much enthusiasm for spending the money on haute cuisine, not that there are many practitioners. The rare place that gets a spark out of me with nouvelle cuisine can be thrilling and delicious. Rustic done right is almost always spectacular.