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Your most embarrassing chowhound moment?

Inspired by a post I just made, I was thinking we could rally together in a group cringe:

"Worry not, I still experience a full-body cringe when I recall (years ago) exclaiming to chowhounds back in Minnesota that the "DRUGSTORE HERE HAS SUSHI AND IT AINT HALF-BAD, CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS SH#T?" We live and we learn... some of us in Rite-Aid."

You have to understand - I was in a landlocked state (mainly) and was paying a premium 5-6 dollars for the sushi trays at the foofy department store basement market... and to find the equivalent for 4 dollars at the drugstore in a premium city... I thought I had arrived.

What is your most embarrassing/novice/wet-behind-the-ears chowhound moment?

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  1. Just want to say that's a really great question, though I'm still sifting through many choices. Actually I have a feeling the worst ones probably happened when I was too incapacitated to remember what they are.

    1 Reply
    1. re: tatamagouche

      Not terribly embarrassing, but one that comes to mind was at a business lunch on my first trip to China. One of the courses was a duck soup, and I insisted on taking a piece of the duck meat from the serving pot, despite my local colleagues telling me it was not to be eaten. They were right, the flavor had been so fully extracted into the broth that the meat tasted like paste. But I took it, so I had to eat it.

      I also remember attending an outdoor event with my mother when I was in my early 20s at which she saw a nice runny brie for the first time in her life (my parents were not foodies by any stretch of the imagination) and commented to the crowd at large that it was such a pity that the cheese had spoiled in the sun. I, cocky young connoisseur wannabe that I was, set her straight. End result: we were both embarrassed, and I still cringe to think about it. Sorry, mom.

    2. Back in the '70s, Crudites were suddenly the "in" thing to serve to your guests, along with a nice dip of some kind. Unfortunately, I had seen the word in print, but had not heard it in conversation at that point. When my guests arrived, I brought out my tray of artfully cut-up vegetables, and announced that we would snack on Crudites before dinner.

      And, as you might guess, I slaughtered the pronunciation. Luckily nobody corrected me when I pronounced the word as "Crude-eets".

      6 Replies
      1. re: Ted in Central NJ

        Good thing you didn't serve "whores-devours"!

        1. re: ChefBoyAreMe

          But if you call them "horse dovers," you'll immediately be recognized as a witty Flintstones fan. 8<D

        2. re: Ted in Central NJ

          Ok, i feel your pain...i probably should not admit this, but i had a pronunciation issue with petit fours. I was in a bakery with my mom and best friend and pointed out how "delicious those pah-teet fours look." We are from the south and I joke around a lot about how some of our older relatives talk. My best friend gave me this look of "ok, stop being stupid," and said something about how she liked petit fours. She actually thought my mispronunciation was a joke...i felt really stupid.

          1. re: Ted in Central NJ

            I had trouble with this one too... luckily it was my mom who corrected me. And I actually can read some French fairly well, but most people don't spell it with the accent grave over the e, so I didn't even think about it being something besides "Crude-eets". Let's blame it on the Americanized spelling! ;-)

            1. re: Ted in Central NJ

              Wow. Ignorant me. All this time, I thought it was croo-deets. I just listened to a pronunciation, and it's croo-dee-tay. I've never seen it spelled w/ the accent over the e, though, and we usually just say raw veggies, so I've never heard it actually pronounced.

              Ignorant ignorant me. It makes me wonder what else I've been mentally mispronouncing all this time. . ..

            2. I hope this qualifies..
              At a pool bar in Cabo drinking the happy hour pina coladas and all of us were well into our 3rd drink and when I received my drink, I did not receive a straw so in Spanish, (I speak Spanish) but after the 3rd pina, it went out the window but I asked instead of a straw in Spanish, I asked the waiter if he had a 'small manhood'...the look on his face..and the horror on mine..OMG!
              He still works at the resort and we still laugh about it...hee hee

              1 Reply
              1. re: Beach Chick

                HA! that's hilarious! Glad he can laugh about it now, but I can only imagine the initial awkward silence -- unless he came right back with "of course not!"

              2. At a Chinese new year's dinner a few years ago, someone at the other end of the table was serving the crab and egg soup, which was very thick. My cup was passed to me via a large lazy susan. Unbeknownst to me, the server had spilled a small amount of the soup on the outside of the cup, and as I reached over the table to pick it up, it slipped out of my hand, spilling the soup. Which stayed there on the lazy susan for much of the meal; a shortage of napkins, and the wait staff was too busy or too indifferent to clean it up (I suspect the latter, since I implored the waitress to clean it up at least 3 times). So there it was, looking like a pool of vomit spinning around in the middle of the table while everybody was trying to eat....

                1. My first job out of college was with a small pr firm that specialized in restaurant pr. One of my first events was a dinner we had secured for a client at the James Beard House. I was very young and, having grown up in the country, not very experienced in the art of fine dining. Needless to say, I was also very nervous. I am seated at a table with an assortment of food writers, foodies, and my boss. I take the first cut of my meat and push too hard. Half the meat and half the contents of the rest of my plate lands on the table. The most embarrassing part of the whole episode is that everyone at the table acted as nothing had happened.

                  1. Oh lord why am I doing this...

                    I remember the time my ex and I arrived at Thanksgiving dinner hosted by a friend with bottles of White Zinfandel in hand - we thought we were so swanky! My friend was a caterer with better taste than ours, and it was very sweet the way he and the other guests refrained from mocking us. In fact, he smiled, opened it and put it on the table with the other bottles without batting and eye.

                    Since then I've graduated to better stuff...I have to at least appreciate white zin as my gateway wine, but I still hate to admit I ever drank it regularly <blush>

                    17 Replies
                    1. re: lisa13

                      Hey, we all started somewhere. I'm not ashamed to admit that back in college I drank Boone's Farm, and saved the Mateus rosé for special occasions!

                      1. re: BobB

                        LOL on the Mateus..that was the fancy stuff...hee hee

                        1. re: BobB

                          Oh Lord, Bob, my introduction to "fine wine" was Mateus! And I even remember Virginia Dare and thought that was oh so good.

                          Another time in my early 20s, a friend and I splurged on a fine 3 star French restaurant and I asked the waitress for "pate".........one syllable. I will always remember that waitress with love since she didn't mock me.

                          1. re: eartha

                            I unfortunately did not have sucha gracious waiter when I order the "no- chee" and he looked down his nose to clarify "you mean the nyo-kee?"

                          2. re: BobB

                            Mateus or Lancers! On more than one occasion I've had to push the cork down into the bottle with a screwdriver because I didn't own a corkscrew when I was 22...

                            1. re: BobB

                              Ahh, Boone's Farm and Chips Ahoy at the drive-in ... good times!

                              1. re: Meann

                                Annie green springs and Boones farm strawberry hill, AH let the good times roll!!

                            2. re: lisa13

                              20 some odd years ago i ordered my steak at the pacific dining car to be topped with roquefort, of course pronouncing it with 3 syllables(ro, que, fort). the laughter at the table was deafening. :-(

                              1. re: TBird

                                uh oh, now i am embarrassed. you've known for 20 yrs. why didn't i? oh well, i'm a rube.

                                1. re: TBird

                                  as per www.foodsubs.com:
                                  Roquefort Pronunciation: ROKE-uh-furt (Americanized) or roke-FOOR (French).

                                  Looks like you were mostly right afterall.

                                2. re: lisa13

                                  Ha ha. White zin was my wine of choice back in college! Hey, there was even a time I drank Manaschewitz!

                                  I remember I once had a party and my cousin brought over a bottle of Trader Joe's wine. She then saw my boyfriend's (now DH's) wine fridge and started freaking out. It was fine -- we were just happy to see her.

                                  1. re: Miss Needle

                                    Miss N,

                                    no need to be embarrassed about consuming their product except for contributing their child's trust fund.

                                    I once met an offspring of the Mani.... family at a party. upon meeting a co-worker of mine from SE Asia that night remarked "oh I'm learning all about you people in my minority studies class!"

                                    he was less than flattered.

                                    1. re: hill food

                                      Wow, what a social faux pas -- ten times worse than the most embarrassing chowhound moment!

                                    2. re: Miss Needle

                                      Two buck Chuck? My mum gave each of my in-laws a gift bag for Christmas - she called en route to the party, letting me know she was including wine in the bags: "Charles Shaw...that's good wine, isn't it?" (She didn't know how much it cost, as it was part of a supply left over from a catered party at her work). As it was a fait accomplis, I didn't have the heart to say anything...

                                      1. re: Morticia

                                        Morticia: well, of course you didn't. Is the term noblesse oblige appropriate? or is it just good manners. I get a kick out of these things and you can always cook with it anyway. or play hooky on a Wednesday and drink it at 11 AM in your jammies watching trash TV (my pick).

                                    3. re: lisa13

                                      Why is drinking white zin embaressing? I never understood why people get so up in arms over wine. Everyone has their preferences. Sometimes I can appreciate a dry red wine but many times I actually prefer a white zin. If you like it, so what?

                                      1. re: lisa13

                                        Oh Lord, I too started out with the white zin. Not too long after my husband and I started dating it was my birthday and he took me out for dinner and drinks. I thought I was so cool, out with my boyfriend, drinking wine, and drinking... and drinking... and drinking....

                                        It was also one of the first times I spent the night (oh my!) and the first time I woke up with a hellacious vomiting hangover.

                                      2. Oh, take your pick. "Pesto" with dried basil, anyone? Eating about a third of a creme-soaked paper doily? Leaving the bag in the turkey on TWO CONSECUTIVE THANKSGIVINGS? I think I kept the white zin market afloat in the late 80's.

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: southernitalian

                                          hee hee...dried basil for Pesto..LOL..you kept the white zin market afloat till the 80's..you are very funny southernitalian..
                                          I left the bag in the turkey with all those organs in as well..gross!
                                          still laugh about the meat loaf I made years ago with Courvoiseir...NEVER use it in a meat loaf..
                                          What's that SNL skit with the Billy Dee Williams and Courvoiseir...'Lady's Man's Meat Loaf..

                                          1. re: southernitalian

                                            Hey, I've eaten that doily too!!

                                            Your post really made me laugh. How was that dried basil pesto? Just curious!

                                          2. The first time I cooked a meal for my bf. He's a total foodie and former chef and at the time it intimidated the hell out of me. I asked him if he had a special request and he said "porkchops". I had never made one (I am a baker, not a cook... I have about three dinners I can prepare really well and porkchops is not one of them) but thought, "hey, how hard can it be". I went all out: brining the meat, homemade applesauce, the works. I was shopping and prepping and cooking for HOURS. Then I go to put what was supposed to be the stock and pan drippings in the gravy... but I grabbed a big measuring cup of concentrated apple cider from my applesauce making. When we sat down and started eating and he took one bite of meat and gravy and said "hmmm, this is really good... is it supposed to taste... like... apples?" It was AWFUL... like if jolly rancher made a meat flavor. We laugh about it all the time now but I was crying on the inside after all that work!

                                            1. Okay, I just went searching for mine... it was when someone asked what to do with a 50-year old bottle of balsamic tradizionale. It was a little over 2 1/2 years ago, and I still blush when I think about it! My favorite way to use balsamic vinegar (cheap balsamic vinegar!) at the time was to reduce it to make a syrup to drizzle over steak or veggies or what have you, so I suggested that. Someone said something along the lines of you've got to be kidding me, you don't reduce a $150 bottle of balsamic tradizionale! So, of course, I was mortified and got snippy with him!

                                              Ducking head in shame... still not over it! :-( I hope you've forgiven me for not knowing sivyaleah!

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: Katie Nell

                                                I have a friend that used to pronounce hors d'oeuvres... whore d vores..

                                                1. re: LaLa

                                                  There was one banquet hall by the house that would post on their outdoor sign that they had hors d'oeuvres and we'd try to say it. It always came out as "Whores de ooovers". As my ex-MIL would say, "She grew up in a corn field; she doesn't know any better".

                                                  I still struggle with anything in French and will say so in advance....and no, I don't say "Pardon my French"! *grin*

                                              2. In the very early days of Chowhound, we had a poster who called himself "Al Pastor". I thought that was his real name, and even referred to good old Al as someone like me, who posted with his real name. I guess no one had the heart to correct me, because the embarrassment hit me years later, when I found out what al pastor is! I still cringe.

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: Pat Hammond

                                                  OMG! I remember him. As I wasn't too familiar with Mexican food back then (and still now), I also thought his name was Al! Somebody once made some comment about his name. I googled it and realized my error as well.

                                                  1. re: Pat Hammond

                                                    Lol, thanks for the smile...i needed one today!

                                                  2. Germany. At a business dinner where the host was allowing us to "travel the countryside through the different beverages." We started off with this thimble of brownish alcohol. No one said anything but had turned to watch me. I looked down at it and bravely saluted everyone with "Slainte" as I took that first sip. "Medicinal" was out of my mouth before I knew better. The host fell out of his seat laughing at my blistering red face. The rest of the evening was less unpleasant for me.

                                                    1. In 19 months as a Chound, the monitors have spared me from embarrassment by deleting 585 of my posts which would have tarnished my reputation during life, and my legacy in afterlife. I am breathless and tongue-tied as how to express my gratitude.... :)

                                                      3 Replies
                                                        1. re: Beach Chick

                                                          Guest of honour at a very posh debutante party has never had squab before. Stares at tiny bird for a bit, then goes for a decisive move with a major fork stab. Fork does not connect and instead somehow sets entire squab airborne (fly, be free again, small pigeon) across table and into host's lap. Host quietly finishes course without batting an eye.

                                                          PS this happened to a friend of mine in the Southern US, not to me. Really. Although it totally could have. If I was a debutante. Or had never eaten squab.

                                                          1. re: grayelf

                                                            I loathed debutante cotillions because I had to behave for three hours.... in a row.

                                                      1. I don't know if it's "most embarrassing", but I only recently found out what sweetbread is. I mean, duh. I thought it was bread that is sweet. Then I think I remember reading a thread oh this board about sweetbread and thinking to myself, well, yes, of course I like sweetbread. Then I read the posts closer and realized that y'all were not talking about cinnamon buns or banana bread at all! (Though in my defense, I generally don't eat meats so I don't pay attention to what they are called, and growing up, all of the food names were in Japanese, since we spoke Japanese at home.)

                                                        4 Replies
                                                        1. re: anzu

                                                          hmm, sauteed sweetbreads on toasted sweet bread? maybe just maybe.

                                                          1. re: hill food

                                                            Well, all right. I'll admit mine. When the movie came out, I told a co-worker that I wanted to see "Rat-TAT-u-ee......."
                                                            Yes, she corrected me. I wanted to dive under the nearest desk, disaster drill-style.

                                                          2. re: anzu

                                                            I moved to Dallas right after high school and was looking through D magazine's restaurant index for different places i couldn't wait to try. I circled the ones that looked appealing. One place mentioned their sweetbread...i like sweets, i like bread, sounds delicious, so i circled it. I never got around to that place and not long after that was reading a review of some place and found out what sweetbread really was...so you aren't the only one. Unfortunately, i grew up somewhat sheltered!

                                                            1. re: iluvtennis

                                                              The whole sweetbreads issue is funny. I went to a restaurant that offered a special Tasting Menu. Thankfully I knew what sweetbreads were (thanks Chowhound!) but I tried it and it was okay, but not something I would probably order otherwise, or at least not at this place. When I told my daughter that I wasn't impressed with the sweetbreads, she said "Why not? You like bread and sweets?" When I told her what it really was she was most thankful that she knew before she ever had the chance to encounter that particular dish!

                                                          3. I am guilty of crud EETS.
                                                            And Boone's Farm (college)
                                                            And White Zin (early 90s)
                                                            But the two worst both happened in college. I grew up in a small Kansas town, where the only restaurants were the cafe and the Pizza Hut. I was on the debate team in college which allowed for a lot of travel.
                                                            On one trip we went to St. Louis... and out on the balcony of a lovely restaurant our group ordered shrimp. Um, I'd never had shrimp before (I was 19), but gamely took on and bit into it.... looked up and realized everyone else was peeling theirs first.....
                                                            Later that year we went to the Air Force Academy in Colorado. For the awards dinner we were served (what I later recognize to be) incredible prime rib. Filled the entire plate.... and other than a sear just at the edges.... was pink as could be. My mom always cooked meat well done. I was in horror. I confessed my horror to a team mate beside me (who luckily was a bit more wordly and who's parents traveled and owned a restaurant). He convinced me to not send it back. But to just cut off a piece, close my eyes and try it. I thought I would be disgusted... but oh my..... that was the most incredible taste and texture ever. I finished the whole thing.... but never heard the end of wanting to send it back to be cooked.

                                                            1. mine is only marginally food related, but i was reminded of it by these stories

                                                              i was in my early teens, and my best friend at the time found some trashy porn novel that a few of us were reading out loud to each other ... i was reading about what i thought was some strange chinese food fetish because the character was consumed with (what i pronounced as) won-ton desire.......

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: thew

                                                                Wontondesire .... thanks, Thew! I think I have a new screen name!!

                                                              2. Mine was only a few months ago, and absolutely mortifying at the time. A friend took me for dinner at Hibiscus, which is a Michelin-starred, much hyped resto in London, and we went for the tasting menu. I was a little intimidated because it was far and away the poshest restaurant I'd ever been to, so consequently I was on best behaviour for fear of putting my foot in it. All going well, though, until one of the courses arrived - two oysters perched on a little pile of seasalt, with an apple topping. I've only had oysters a few times before, and never really been a fan, but didn't want to show myself up so figured I'll just swallow, smile, and take a big gulp of wine. Only my throat disagreed, and refused to let the oyster down, and I involuntarily retched it back onto the plate, making a rather unpleasant sound. I'm wishing the ground could swallow me whole, and while everyone in the restaurant was too well-mannered to say anything, I felt so embarassed through the rest of dinner. With that in mind, if I ever take a tasting menu again I'm going to specify no foie, no offal, and NO OYSTERS!

                                                                2 Replies
                                                                1. re: babybat

                                                                  Many moons ago at age 28:

                                                                  Went to the Piedmont of Italy on a business trip.

                                                                  The staff of the factory we were visiting took us out to a very nice rustic restaurant.

                                                                  Our hosts were pleasantly surprised with my chowishness (the rest of the Americans were OBVIOUSLY shrinking from the local chow...I ordered Wild Boar Piccata) but I was VERY firmly reprimanded by our host:

                                                                  "Monch, my mother always said 'We never run at the table'!

                                                                  I was, unwittingly, "hoovering" my plate in typical American fashion.

                                                                  I was embarassed, but got over it after the four rounds of local grappa we had.

                                                                  I STILL have to remind myself to slow down and the voice in my head, doing the reminding, speaks with an Italian accent.

                                                                  1. re: babybat

                                                                    LMAO!!! OMG, that made my day babybat!
                                                                    I love oysters, but have been with people that when they're trying then for the first time, have done that involuntary throat and gaggy reflex noise, and I for whatever sick reason find it hilarious!

                                                                  2. siting at the woolworths lunch counter (yes, that was some time ago). picked up the ketchup bottle and gave it a good quick shake to loosen up the contents... half of which ended up on mom's white pants. i got to take mom shopping after lunch.

                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                    1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                                      When I was younger I attended a campaign party that included a terrific open bar. Being barely in my 20s, I took full advantage of free booze and, after several hours, absolutely required a visit to the diner to sober up. When my plate of onion rings came out I struggled to get the Heinz out of the bottle. Several quick jolts later, out it flew. Missing my plate entirely and drenching a large Greek woman dressed head-to-toe in white.

                                                                      1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                                        Ha! My sister did that, and ended up with a lovely ribbon of red on her right shoulder. Our dining companion asked, "Are you all right?", then broke into laughter, leaving my sister wishing she were under the table.

                                                                        1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                                          I just did that with Tabasco a few months ago. It ended up in my purse, my hair and on the table.

                                                                        2. On vacation in Greece at the breakfast table, attempting to speak French to my table-mate. She delicately cracks open the top of her soft boiled egg. I try to imitate her and knock my egg across the room. I can laugh about it now.

                                                                          1. In a slightly high-end french resto. We order a bottle of wine (lovely Morgon from Lapierre). The waiter offers me a taste to make sure the bottle is ok. I swirl the glass to release the volatile components of the wine. The wine splooshes all over the white table cloth. Oops.... The waiter was quite gracious , but my friends still bring it up and laugh!

                                                                            1. I like salad cream. Enough said.

                                                                              7 Replies
                                                                              1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                (i like salad cream too. I quite miss my farmer's lunches from years ago, or was it ploughman's lunch?)

                                                                                1. re: moh

                                                                                  what is salad cream? (i proudly display my ignorance)

                                                                                  1. re: Firegoat

                                                                                    It is an English salad dressing, a kind of poor relation to mayonnaise. Thinner, sweeter and more vinegary - I love it! (My mother, who is the polar opposite of a chowhound, won't eat salad without it.) My favourite brand is made by Heinz.


                                                                                    That link says that Marco Pierre White likes it too! I am in good company....

                                                                                    1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                      And they say you can't learn anything useful on the internet. My kids have all sorts of toy kitchens, and one of them came with a few little plastic condiment bottles, one of which was "salad cream." For the past three years every time I clean up their crap, I pick up that little bottle and say (to myself) WTF is salad cream?

                                                                                  2. re: moh

                                                                                    Ploughman's, probably. Have you lived in England then, moh?

                                                                                    1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                      Spent a lovely year in Blackburn Lancashire! Had a great time! Also had chance to travel around a bit. I haven't been back in a very long time, and would love an opportunity to visit again.

                                                                                      Ploughman's rings a bell. I have very fond memories of salad cream. And I miss all the great village chippies. Scones with Devonshire clotted cream, black pudding, cheeses with those Jacob crackers and local butter, Melton Mowbray pies, steak and kidney pie, bangers and mash, haggis in Edinburgh, lamb with mint sauce/jelly, Yorkshire pud, British Cadbury Flake, oh the list is endless. All so very exotic to a young Korean-Canadian in her first year away from home. Loved the hillsides, and all the sheep, and all the walks. Very nice memories.

                                                                                  3. re: greedygirl

                                                                                    I LOVED salad cream when I visited family in London! Ended up finding it in our supermarkets as well. (My stepbrother and his wife thought I was silly for liking it so much, but hey - it's good!)

                                                                                  4. at a french resto many moons ago, i ate an artichoke for the first time. i thought that the choke was edible. gaaaccckkkk! those bristles are killer....

                                                                                    once at a job interview, four of us went to lunch at a chinese place. i ordered pork, not "getting" that one of the diners was jewish, and would not eat pork. i didn't know 1. she was jewish, 2. jewish people didn't eat pork.

                                                                                    in that same vein, i once suggested a great sandwich combo to a (jewish) professor: rare roast beef with olive-cream cheese, grilled on pumpernickle. gaaacckk, again!

                                                                                    8 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: alkapal

                                                                                      Oooh! The artichoke story made me laugh. Sorry, I'm sure it was very painful for you but right now I'm picturing you trying to chomp on a choke. : )

                                                                                      I think my most embarrassing moment has to be when I was a teenager I tried to make a dark chocolate raspberry dacquoise. I wasn't as familiar with liqueurs, and didn't have the wonderful Internet as we do today to look things up. I had problems finding framboise and brilliantly thought that saccharine-sweetened raspberry syrup would be the same thing. As it was a major ingredient for the recipe, it made the entire thing inedible. Seriously, days of work down the tubes. Everybody made a face when they ate it. The only thing untouched by the nasty syrup was the layer of dark chocolate, and that was the only thing people ate.

                                                                                      1. re: alkapal

                                                                                        Don't feel too bad about either of the latter two. As an old Woody Allen joke goes,

                                                                                        A lady walks up to a rabbi and says, "Rabbi, why can't we eat pork? The rabbi replies, "We can't? Uh-oh." 8>D

                                                                                        Do a search on here for the word trayf (yiddish for nonkosher food). I'm pretty sure it's now an official food group for jewish people.

                                                                                        1. re: alkapal

                                                                                          My ex went into a jewish deli in NY and ordered a ham sandwich.

                                                                                          He knew it's not kosher to eat pork...he knew he was in a kosher deli...he just didn't make that connection at the time. The guy behind the counter gave him the "you gotta be kiddin me" look, and he quickly realized his error =)

                                                                                          1. re: lisa13

                                                                                            lisa: a friend worked in a Kosher deli and was asked for a pastrami with provolone, his response was something to the effect of "I can make an open-faced provolone sandwich and an open-faced pastrami and what you do with it after that is entirely up to you"

                                                                                            1. re: hill food

                                                                                              If the deli stocked both pastrami & provolone, it was not a kosher deli. Kosher-style, maybe.

                                                                                              1. re: small h

                                                                                                I'm sure I have the exact details wrong and don't recall what was requested, this was many years ago and I'm still puzzling out the Kosher rules (not too hard to peg my upbringing, eh?) as they're fascinating and I'd hate to offend anyone. but you get the point.

                                                                                                maybe it was just Kosher-style and he took it farther than necessary. knowing him that wouldn't be too surprising.

                                                                                                1. re: hill food

                                                                                                  I'm only semi-literate in kosher rules, but I know you gotta keep the meat & dairy separate - no playing together on the same plate, no sharing silverware. And even though I know this, I once ordered a bagel & cream cheese at the 2nd Ave Deli. Denied!

                                                                                          2. re: alkapal

                                                                                            This makes me think about the best/worst food disaster story(this happened to a good friend), he was taking his wife to be out on thier first date. the appetizer was a chiled artichoke, which he had never eaten before. Margo shows him how to eat it and he dives in with enthusiasm, talking a blue streak to cover his nerves. a few minutes later Margot looks down in horror to observe that Jack has finished the artichoke and has continued on to munch on the floral centerpiece on the table. It couldn't have put her off too much since they've been married for 45 years.

                                                                                          3. Actually, it's a moment I haven't had yet but I'm about to.

                                                                                            We've been having trouble with our homemade ice cream. Turns out great initially, but once frozen, is hard as a rock. Inedible. We've tried leaving it out on the counter to thaw, but it takes about 4 hours to get to a "scoopable" softness, and doesn't have the right texture anymore.

                                                                                            I've been wanting to ask for help on these boards, but the only subject lines I can think of involve some variation of "How to freeze ice cream". *headdesk*

                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                            1. Unfortunately for me I have several. Including similar and worse mispronunciations of words, menu items and basically anything French. Guilty of loving White Zin and thinking I was drinking a FINE wine, ohh yes, Manaschewitz too. But I think the worst was at The Palm. It was my first steakhouse experience, about 8 years ago. I ordered the Filet Mignon. When it is was served I ask for BBQ sauce. Since they didn't have any, I was totally disappointed and asked for ketchup instead. I then proceed to smother my filet in mounds of ketchup...

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                                                                                              1. re: misnatalie

                                                                                                Reminds me of a date I had when I was about 25 and went out with a 19-year-old college freshman (not my normal habit, I've always preferred women a few years older than me).

                                                                                                I took her to my favorite French restaurant where she ordered steak au poivre, and when it arrived she asked the waiter for ketchup. He calmly explained that if he went to the kitchen and asked the chef for ketchup he might not survive the encounter. He did offer to bring her some A1, though.

                                                                                              2. IN THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION-

                                                                                                in florence at a mom and pop place the wife/waitress was bringing us pasta when she slipped and dumped the bowl of it all over the table. she stood there frozen and horrified for a moment. the husband/owner ran over to the table looked at the mess, looked at us, looked at the mess, shrugged, and said "put cheese on it"

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                                                                                                1. re: thew

                                                                                                  Another IN THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION inspired by thew's post:

                                                                                                  Yonks ago I was a waitron in a cafe where there was a T-shaped tiled area in front of the pass that also led to the tables. Unbeknownst to me, someone had strategically mopped part of it. I grab four big platters of fish and chips and head out to deliver them. And deliver them I do, only onto the carpet between the tables as I slip on the wet floor and they go sailing off in formation to land with a squishy ratatat! With my usual aplomb (pretty stroppy for a 16 year old), I recover my footing and inform the table their "flying fish" is served :-).

                                                                                                2. I'm sure I have other ones but the one that comes to mind is about 9 years ago I had edamame for the first time at a friend's party. I know, I lived under a rock right? I didn't realize you had to free the beans from the shell first so I ate it, shell and all. That shell is not fun to eat at all and I totally couldn't understand why everyone liked these things so much. The other person who was standing at the edamame bowl at the same time said nothing - the look on her face said it all to me.

                                                                                                  The really terrible part about this (though it's funny in a sick way) is that I was at the party with who is now my ex-husband, and he later did the same thing too in front of me -ate the shell and all. Only I said to him "christ, you don't eat the shell" and he turned bright red and throughout this exchange I never let on that I had just done the same thing. So I basically turned my own embarrassment into his. I'm a much nicer person now, I promise.

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                                                                                                  1. re: pellegrino31

                                                                                                    haha! Oh I did the edamame thing too, in front of my hipper-than-thou boyfriend. There is a long list of I-will-never-live-down-the-same unenlightened foodie moments with that man, but at least I came out a little more educated for my pains!

                                                                                                  2. Finding out there is a HUGGGGGGGGGGGE difference between a HEN and a CHICKEN when jamming one into a set-it-and-forget-it rotisserie.
                                                                                                    Great googly moogly-my husband still makes fun of me for that one. I just grabbed the FATTEST bird I could get my hands on.

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                                                                                                    1. re: Boccone Dolce

                                                                                                      boccone dolce, sounds like a real "juicy story" -- please dish details!

                                                                                                      1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                        really? well, as you may know but I did not, a hen is an old, tough bird that likes to laze in a hot bath for several hours before it gets yummy- unlike a chicken that you can spit-roast for 12 min a pound. The bird never cooked- it was so tough, and so raw for so long that we gave up and ordered pizza. One of my sisters happened to call as I was cleaning up and I told her that I couldn't understand why the bird wasn't done after 4 1/2 hours on the rotisserie- it wasn't a turkey and yes, the Ronco was working fine. She asked if I picked up a duck instead-or maybe it was a rubber chicken? I grabbed the label out of the trash and sure enough it read "Hen". She told me to make soup out of it but I was really sick of dealing with it at that point. I really do hate to deal with whole, bone-in birds but we had just gotten the machine and it was fun to make things in it, so.......

                                                                                                        1. re: Boccone Dolce

                                                                                                          i don't think i've ever even seen "hen" at the grocery store.

                                                                                                          it still wasn't done after 4 1/2 hours? wow!

                                                                                                          1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                            Sounds like what we in Germany call "suppenhuhn" -- a chicken only good for chicken soup or broth. Quite different from a broiler.

                                                                                                            1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                              alka- look near the whole bagged chickens, they are gloriously round, fat babies. I googled "hen" and these are sometimes called 'stewing chicken' -
                                                                                                              I dunno how long it was spinnin- maybe a month! and still all that time on the rotisserie it was raw/stringy and dirty-bird smelling.

                                                                                                              Years ago we taught one of my nephews the joke where you talk about a "henway" until someone asks "What's a henway?" So you can reply "Oh about 7 or 8 pounds" - heheheeh. He tried it out on a deli person here in FL and she was NOT amused. I laugh every time.

                                                                                                              1. re: Boccone Dolce

                                                                                                                Oh, an old rabbi used that joke often! Thanks for the good memory.

                                                                                                      2. A funny story from my first encounter with edamame: my ex and I were eating at our favorite sushi place, when the waitress brought us over a bowl of edamame, on the house. We were both chewing and chewing and chewing...finally, we had to spit out a wad of chewed up green fiber into our napkins and I realized: you are not supposed to eat the pods!

                                                                                                        1. When my husband and I were just married a couple of years, we went to a banquet for his company. The dinner was held in a nice restaurant with very low lighting. We mistook the sour cream for blue cheese dressing and both of us put it all over our salads before we realized it.

                                                                                                          And then there was the time when I was about 14 years old. Our parents and some friends took us to a Polynesian restaurant for the first time. Despite my mother's caution not to put the mustard all over my egg roll, I did anyway being a teenager and all-knowing of course. I gagged because it was so hot and awful tasting and she made my sister and I both leave the table and go outside!

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                                                                                                          1. re: PDeveaux

                                                                                                            One of the first times I ate brunch with my in-laws, I smeared strawberry preserves all over my breakfast potatoes, believing it to be hot sauce (it WAS a deep reddish-orange color, and came in a little ramekin...) I took a quick bite, and realized my mistake, but not before my father-in-law copied me and doused his omelet with the jam, too!

                                                                                                            1. re: Morticia

                                                                                                              maybe the FIL was sparing you "The Pain of the Lonesome Shame"

                                                                                                              in a situation like that take a page from S. Plath's The Bell Jar and act as if it's the most perfectly natural thing to do. salad eaten with fingers? sure. just do it with confidence and a straight face.

                                                                                                              it really comes in handy.

                                                                                                          2. I attended a wine tasting in my twenties and in a drunken rage insisted to one of the servers that the Montepulciano d'Abruzzo he was serving was actually Vino Nobile di Montepulciano from Tuscany. He was so polite and I was so loud and ignorant. Thinking about it still makes me cringe.

                                                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: Chinon00

                                                                                                              how in the world could you confuse the two?

                                                                                                              just kidding.

                                                                                                              my (ahem, um...few) truly embarrassing moments have been loud, and there are a few places (cities) where I've needlessly let a number of years pass before returning.

                                                                                                              assuming no violence occurred, they're pros, they've seen worse.

                                                                                                              1. re: hill food

                                                                                                                During a formal dinner in Guadeloupe (French West Indies) where I was sitting between the French Minister of Agriculture and a Guadelupean dignitary I mistook a scoth bonnet pepper for a cherry tomato and popped it in my mouth. As the fire exploded in my mouth I tried to smile and continue to make polite conversation, but let out a howl and a choke and had to excuse myself from the table. As I crept back to my seat my tablemates wondered why the crazy American was slighting the food.

                                                                                                                1. re: lattelover

                                                                                                                  That's not so embarrassing! You ate a scotch bonnet and survived! Wear it as a badge of honor with pride!

                                                                                                                2. re: hill food

                                                                                                                  "assuming no violence occurred, they're pros, they've seen worse."

                                                                                                                  This made me LOL. I used to cringe when my wonderful Brooklyn-born Sicilian-American hubby would slaughter the pronunciation of a word when ordering at a nice restaurant. I finally realized that the better the place, the nicer the waitstaff was, they would never dream of snootily correcting him and making him feel small. I had learned just enough French in school to be dangerous - I thought I knew how to pronounce things like a Parisian. wrong. But again, the better waitstaff would never make me feel uncomfortable!

                                                                                                              2. OMG this thread has me in a fit of giggles. I feel so much better now.
                                                                                                                I guess the one that I remember is the one where I was trying to impress my husband's, boss and wife, who are both foodies. We had them over for dinner (I was just beginning to be pretty good cook) and so I decided to make a dinner to impress. I made a filet mignon roast with bernaise sauce, and I forget the sides, but the best part was the dessert, a raspberry sorbet.

                                                                                                                Actually I did make it properly, removed the seeds and did the scraping bit every couple of hours and at the time it was painstaking. During dinner, I of course was drinking champagne, and got more and more talkative, telling them about how much work the sorbet was. I told my guests that you have to take the tiny seeds out, and scrape and freeze and scrape,and freeze and blah blah.

                                                                                                                I guess I had just said sorbet one time more than the bosses wife could take, she all of a sudden interrupts me and says "sor-bay". I look at her like, HUH??? and I remember staring at her for a few moments in silence getting it, and then bursting out in laughter. My husband wanted to shrink and run, and I just thought I was hilarious.

                                                                                                                We laughed about that for many years. It was twenty five years ago and she still tells the story.

                                                                                                                1. The first time I had sushi (I was probably 9 or 10), I ate the decorative chrysanthemum leaf that adorned the plate. The waitress kind of freaked out; maybe she thought it was poisonous. To this day, I'm a little nervous eating shiso.

                                                                                                                  1. Ah, memories....that Boon's Farm Pickled Tink made my step up to white zin seem so sophisticated.

                                                                                                                    When I first started working, I was at a business dinner...dessert rolls around, and the waitress comes around with a dessert tray to show off the evening's selection. How was I supposed to know you don't just help yourself, and hope you get to the death-by-chocolate thing before your co-workers do? She was sweet about, and said "I'll bring you a fresh slice from the kitchen".

                                                                                                                    I also recall a visit to my dear sweet granny in Arkansas - she always thought I was too thin, and when I was packing up to leave, she put about 20 pounds of raw turnips in my carry-on bag (actually, my only bag). I'm not sure if I was supposed to snack on them at the airport or what. I'm ashamed to say I dumped them at the stateline liquor store headed into Missouri.

                                                                                                                    1. I was eating at the Ajax Tavern in Aspen CO, back when Tobias Lowry was the exec chef. Anyway, I was a huge fan of his and was driving the wait staff crazy asking all kinds of questions about the ingredients and how everything was prepared. They were wonderful, and recognized that I wasn't just being a pain, I actually was just an enthusiast. Anyway, eventually they must have gone to the kitchen and told Tobias that he had a fan in the house and he came out to meet me. I totally lost it, in front of my husband who fortunately is very patient with his chef groupie wife! Long story short, I couldn't hold down a conversation, but he did end up very graciously sending me the recipe for everything I ate that day. Oh, and the waiter got a HUGE tip.