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Most Underrated Foods

  • jpmcd Nov 13, 2008 03:27 PM

I have been on a pink grapefruit kick recently and realized I didn't eat much of it before because I associated it with the elderly people at my local diner eating it with a spoon

But eating the supremes and squeezing all of that delicious juice is so delicious!

Is there a food you love that you think is underrated by others?

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  1. Grilled liver, collard greens, brussels sprouts, stinky tofu.....

    35 Replies
    1. re: dpan

      The OP said *under* rated. (Grimacing) These you mentioned, IMO, should never be mentioned in any sentence calling them "food."

      1. re: al b. darned

        You might want to take back your words when you realize you are including collards in the mix. I realize Southerners can't cook Collards worth the effort to forage them... but there are OUTSTANDING Ethiopian, Portugese & Mexican versions of Collards that frankly... I would take over Mashed Potatoes or a Choice Filet any day... and no I am not a vegetarian.

        1. re: Eat_Nopal

          My wife makes a great stir fry with chopped collard greens with garlic and fermented black beans.

          1. re: Eat_Nopal

            eat nopal, why you diss southerners' collards?

            1. re: Eat_Nopal

              Couldn't disagree with you more! I simply love southern collard greens!

              1. re: FoodChic

                I was harsh... but the way other cultures do Collards... you will feel the same way.

                1. re: Eat_Nopal

                  No they would just be happy to have found another way to enjoy their collards while still loving southern collards.

                  1. re: viperlush

                    I totally agree with viperlush. My first tastes of southern collards were not good--overly salty/sweet/bitter/tangy (a lot of people don't know how to cook it). When I finally had it prepared correctly it was an epiphany! Now I seek it out.

              2. re: Eat_Nopal

                Gasp! Southerners cannot cook them? Take that back!

              3. re: al b. darned

                I totally disagree with that. especially w/r/t brussels sprouts. I'm with you, dpan.

                1. re: tatamagouche

                  Thanks. The American aversion to brussels sprouts (and also to collard greens) is with the way it's traditionally prepared. Most people eat the kind that's been boiled forever and totally devoid of taste and texture. I love sprouts (and greens) that are stir fried in a hot wok or sauteed, and retains a firmness to the texture and more importantly the taste.

                  1. re: dpan

                    Roasted brussel sprouts is the way I go now. Can't eat them when they're like "regular cooked cabbage" - but roasted? I'm ALL over that.

                    1. re: LindaWhit

                      Even better when roasted with a LOAD of garlic and then drizzled with good balsamic right before serving. YUM!

                      1. re: pinkprimp

                        OMG, that sounds WONDERFUL. *runs to store to get her some sprouts*

                        1. re: pinkprimp

                          Toss them with a bit of pecorino romano after the garlic and balsamic, you will think you have died and gone to heaven!

                          1. re: pinkprimp

                            With enough garlic, almost anything tastes good. :-)

                          2. re: LindaWhit

                            totally agree. tender young farmer's market brussels sprouts roasted with a shallot butter sauce. delicious.

                          3. re: dpan

                            and I LOVE collards that are cooked for hours into a melting-soft dal.

                            1. re: dpan

                              BRAISED is the way to go with Brussel sprouts. Cut them in half, saute some pancetta or bacon pieces, brown the sprouts, add the stock and whatever -- toasted pine nuts, etc - cover and cook for maybe five to 10 minutes. Totally sweet and flavourful. No bitterness.

                              1. re: dpan

                                I think brussel sprouts are well-appreciated these days, seems like a lot of people make them more regularly now and there is huge passion for them, myself included - in the fall and winter, i eat them once a week

                                1. re: jpmcd

                                  I'm still waiting to pick my BS from the garden. A good frost makes them sweeter. They're waiting for Thanksgiving.

                                  1. re: Passadumkeg

                                    Although using that particular acronym sounds like something totally different... :)

                                    1. re: tatamagouche

                                      I think you missed the BS thread. What a divisive veggie.

                                      1. re: Passadumkeg

                                        Divisive indeed. Probably socialist. Bet they only eat them in blue states.

                                        1. re: tatamagouche

                                          Okra in red states?

                                          1. re: Passadumkeg

                                            Heh. Yeah. Loving both, guess that makes us Chowhounds apolitical (or omnipolitical?).

                                            1. re: tatamagouche

                                              I don't think I've ever had okra properly prepared. I know it is loved (especially by the Texas fish out of waater, Scargod.) so next time I visit my daughter in Austin, gonna do a sampling. Okra tacos?

                                2. re: dpan

                                  >the way it's traditionally prepared. Most people eat the kind that's been boiled forever and totally devoid of taste and texture.

                                  but which is not devoid of smell, the stench of which you'll never remove from your abode!

                                  1. re: BeaN

                                    What is the way to avoid the smell? Evey time someone has offered them
                                    to my I declined.I can't even get past the odor in the environment.
                                    If proper cooking is the solution.Whats the answer to handling /size of and
                                    recipe?

                                    1. re: BeaN

                                      Smell? What smell?

                                      1. re: BeaN

                                        Smell? Stench? What are you talking about? Do you blacken yours?

                                        Common is to batter and fry them. I like to lightly steam smaller pods where they are still al dente. Then just butter over them. Sooo hard to find good okra in CT. It's either a conspiracy or CT produce people think you are not supposed to sell them until they start turning black....

                                        1. re: Scargod

                                          ? perhaps there is a chemical,enzyme or ? that not all people smell.My neighbor in Italy was devastated when I had the English Boxwoods removed.I could not stand the odor healthy box has.She could not smell them at all.I am not the only one with box and viburum issues,but do understand we are a minority.
                                          OKRA ? maybe specific odors ?to individuals

                                          1. re: lcool

                                            To me, the fragrance of boxwood is one of the loveliest on earth.

                                      2. re: dpan

                                        I used to tease my husband mercilessly about one of his favorite treats: a dozen Brussels sprouts, steamed and eaten naked (the sprouts, not the man). Yecch! THEN one day I tried them roasted with garlic. and oil..the next day we made a gratin...after that a stir-fry with sweet onions, red bell peppers, and mushrooms...even tried them pickled with lots of dill. I'M HOOKED!! Mmmm.

                                  2. re: dpan

                                    i totally agree, i have an absolute addction to stinky collard greens and brussel sprouts (most of my friends think i'm a bit odd actually because i love most vegetables like they do chocolate) i grew up on a farm and i have had a taste for them since i was little. my mum and dad are always saying even when i was a baby my favourite food was mushed greens! ;-)
                                    onto another underated food item, the skin on fish also fish heads they are delicious if you ever make fish stock with a whole fish (head innards and all) try a fish eye, they are fantastic! the white of the eyeball is especially good (and if you are game enough don't forget to suck the gritty head innards out either disgusting but rewarding!)

                                  3. Pea soup. I never hear anyone really talk about it and it is sooo good with bits of bacon, ham and caramelized onions.

                                    7 Replies
                                    1. re: jacquelines

                                      2nd this.
                                      Also, prunes! It's sad that everyone associates them with ... regularity. I think they are the tastiest of dried fruits.

                                      1. re: fbf242

                                        I always replace raisins in baking recipes with chopped prunes. They have a softer texture and richer flavor and everyone seems to enjoy the result, until you tell them!!

                                        1. re: fallingup

                                          fallingup, tell them you used "dried plums." then, they'll not fret. funny, isn't it? prunes have such a bad rap that even the *growers* wanted to call them something else!

                                      2. re: jacquelines

                                        mmmmm Anderson's pea soup.

                                        Santa Nella and Buellton California. Oh, and there's one down by San Diego (near Legoland) too.

                                        1. re: jacquelines

                                          The best part of T-day is pea soup made from turkey carcas. Can't wait.

                                          1. re: jacquelines

                                            Whenever I talk about it, most people shudder, but I love it, especially home made with, like you said, bacon, ham and onions. The thicker the better...

                                            When I serve it, I like to put a big, hard sourdough pretzel right on top. It adds a little extra flavor and tastes so good after it soaks up some of the soup.

                                            1. re: cuccubear

                                              I looooove pea soup. In the winter I have it about 4 times a week for lunch. When i'm feeling lazy I just eat the amy's organic pea soup..... so good!

                                          2. Heinz Ketchup. It's the only thing keeping me alive.

                                            4 Replies
                                            1. re: Kate is always hungry

                                              I find it highly overrated with people I know. They just like to slather it on everything to my disgust.

                                              1. re: AngelSanctuary

                                                AngelSanctuary, i'm with you. i'll never understand the appeal of drowning food in ketchup. my sister does that - of course it *must* be Heinz - and it makes me sick.

                                                two foods that are definitely under-appreciated/underrated - pumpkin and cranberries. people rarely bother to trot them out unless it's the holidays, and even then they're relegated to their tired, predictable roles as pie filling and turkey accompaniments.

                                                most underrated herb - thyme
                                                spice - cardamom

                                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                  ghg, look at my recipe for southern sour cream pound cake -- i make a version with cardamom and chocolate.
                                                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/4771...

                                                  1. re: alkapal

                                                    sounds divine. i know we've discussed our mutual appreciation of cardamom on prior threads...it's the "secret" ingredient in several of my recipes ;)

                                            2. Though not really a food, and based on the Ketchup reply....Gatorade - it saved my life a couple of times in the Peace Corps, yet so many people won't touch the stuff.

                                              3 Replies
                                              1. re: tracylee

                                                If it is cold, I like the original and orange flavors of Gatorade. If it gets warm, however...BLECH!!!

                                                1. re: al b. darned

                                                  When I turned 19, the first bottle of alcohol I bought was vodka, but I couldn't afford orange juice to go with it. I could afford orange Gatorade, though. So I bought that. Warm. It was.. hideous. Might be why I never was much of a drinker. ;)

                                                2. re: tracylee

                                                  I cant drink the bottled Gatorade because of their inclusion of HFCS, but I do love the version made from dry powder.

                                                  Have you tried Whole Paycheck's 365 Ketchup made without HFCS? It is about the same price as Heinz and the taste is far superior.

                                                3. Cabbage!

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: spellweaver16

                                                    Love cabbage, although I often have to restrain myself from my tendency to sautee and eat an entire head to prevent my GI tract from exploding with air, but it's so tasty, easy to prepare and versatile.

                                                  2. Pink grapefruit (Texas Sweet preferably) is perfect just peeled and eaten out of hand like an orange.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: chocolatetartguy

                                                      + 1

                                                    2. Beets. The whole family loves 'em. And, as someone else already mentioned, tofu. If you know what to do with it, it can be wonderful.

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: laurachow

                                                        and the beet greens, too!

                                                      2. Hey jp, don't look at elderly people like that! I'm elderly and proud of my nutritious diet. Only I don't eat grapefruit at diners because my neighborhood is too upscale for that, and I like to eat a whole grapefruit at a time.. . Enjoy!

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: neverlate

                                                          sorry, didn't mean to offend - glad you are long living on the grapefruit!

                                                          I live in the NYC Sutton Place area, which is upscale but there are diners in every neighborhood here...but since it is Sutton Place, they also have early bird specials ;) which is very different scene than say the west village

                                                        2. Seasonally, definitely brussel sprouts and beets. And radishes - long live crudite.

                                                          1. cauliflower, eggplant, broccoli, egg whites... ripe honeydew, persimmons, grapes, and iceberg lettuce (shredded please with some balsamic vinegar and bragg's amino acids)

                                                            3 Replies
                                                            1. re: Emme

                                                              Not in This house....cauliflower, eggplant, broccoli are weekly staples here.

                                                              I think zucchini and it's cousin, summer (yellow) squash are underrated. Ubiquitous in late summer, the butt of many jokes... but delicious dry fried to a caramelized stage which brings out it's sweetness.

                                                              1. re: Gio

                                                                zucchini and summer squash are also delicious when rubbed with just a bit of olive oil and grilled.....I usually put some on the grill everytime I fire it up in summer!

                                                              2. re: Emme

                                                                In the US, eggplant's underrated...but hardly around the world!

                                                              3. Rice.

                                                                Especially white rice.

                                                                20 Replies
                                                                1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                  Potatoes.
                                                                  Especially varietals.

                                                                  1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                    Potatoes, especially cold. It was many years before my sister, father and I admitted to my mother (and each other), that we were sneaking the leftover potatoes out of the fridge and eating them plain.

                                                                    1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                      Homegrown potatoes, freshly dug from the garden, boiled but still firm, melted butter and salt. They are amazingly easy to grow. Even raw, they have the texture of apples and no starchy taste. MMMmmmmm...can't wait for next summer.

                                                                      Actually anything homegrown and straight from the garden.

                                                                      1. re: dinin and dishin

                                                                        Oh!. You are not kiddin! The first time I grew my own potatoes I was gah-gah over them...
                                                                        The experience was.... epiphanic. They were like... butter under butter.

                                                                        1. re: Scargod

                                                                          those tiny fresh new potatoes are so delicious with simply salt and butter. i could eat a ton.

                                                                          1. re: alkapal

                                                                            I just made some french fries from our garden potatoes. Two were bad, so I quick grabbed 2 store bought ones. In the meal, I could tell the store bought one by flavor and mealy texture.

                                                                      2. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                        Oh, Lord - the humble, yet exalted, spud. Was there ever a staple so simple, yet so full of grace? Simply boiled with a bit of butter? Or the same, cooled overnight, fried with a bit of bacon and onion? Mashed with a bit of gravy? Pureed and piped into a dauphinoisse? Cold, boiled, and combined with mayo and others into innumerable summer salads? Or just cold and boiled, served next to freshly grilled sardines in Portimao? Grated and fried as humble hash browns, or uplifted into supernal latkes? Roasted next to beef, simmering in its fat and richness? Baked, bursting with butter, sour cream, chives, bacon, broccoli, chili, or whatever else your heart desires? (Try sour cream and salsa!)

                                                                        And the varieties! Here in Canada, we enjoy New Brunswick and PEI spuds (and is there a true Canadian extant who can hear "Bud the Spud" without a tiny tug at the heart strings?), Maine and Idaho bakers, and scrumptious Ontario baby whites. Red, white, boilers, and bakers, and the buttery Yukon Gold.. I love them all.

                                                                        And I haven't yet mentioned the two forms in which we love the spud most - chips and fries. There is no burger so perfect, no hotdog so supreme, that it cannot be improved by the addition of a side of potato in either form. Fries - by themselves, or with ketchup, mayo (hello Belgium!), chili, cheese, gravy, or as the heart-stopping poutine - or chips, in plain, BBQ, sour cream, salt & vinegar, or any flavour can add the finishing touch to any casual or al fresco meal.

                                                                        Let me save my last few words for the ultimate potato dish: pommes souffles. Potatoes that are precisely sliced, deep fried once, cooled, and then plunged into boiling oil until they puff up like small pillows, quickly sprinkled with salt and then served. Potato chips for the angels, fries for the gods. Paraphrasing from the strawberry: "Doubtless God could have made a better veg; doubtless God ever did".

                                                                        1. re: KevinB

                                                                          brilliantly crafted wordsmithing, good kevin! i could salivate over each dish!

                                                                          ps, you didn't *intentionally* stiff the succulent and savory potato gratin, did you? ;-).

                                                                          1. re: alkapal

                                                                            Oh, not intentionally; just a few slips of the cortex...

                                                                            Au gratin, scalloped, Anna - so many dishes, so little time!

                                                                          2. re: KevinB

                                                                            Well put KevinB. You made me drool.
                                                                            I know the list is already long, but in the cold of winter, let's not leave the perogy in the periphery. What a perfect way to combine the potato with all the best complementary ingredients, butter, onions, sour cream and cheese...and served all wrapped up like a little Christmas present.

                                                                            1. re: dinin and dishin

                                                                              Don't forget kapusta and ground pork pierogie!

                                                                            2. re: KevinB

                                                                              "--uplifted into supernal latkes?" I love that!

                                                                              I will be tomorrow night when my brother makes latkes using my father's recipe which goes back generations.

                                                                              1. re: Kate is always hungry

                                                                                Kate, will your brother share the recipe? I've been thinking about making latkes for the last couple of week. While I like my usual recipe from a vegetarian recipe book, I am always looking to try a new version. Sadly, latkes are not a traditional food in my family, so I have no reference point about what they should taste like beyond my own and the sad, sorry storebought versions that have disappointed me.

                                                                                1. re: dinin and dishin

                                                                                  I'm sorry I didn't see your response sooner! The recipe is very basic. He shreds about 4 medium potatoes, drains off the extra liquid, shreds 1 medium brown onion, adds an egg and a heaping tablespoon of flour and a little salt. They are fried in hot vegetable oil. The key is that the shredding is done by hand with a utensil our father called a "ribeisen." It's made of steel and looks like a small rectangular tennis racket. The recipe is nothing fancy or unusual but it's been enjoyed by our family since there potatoes arrived in Europe. I dip the latke into sugar and then take a bite of sour cream.

                                                                                  1. re: Kate is always hungry

                                                                                    Kate, you had me right up to the bit about the sugar. I always think of these as a savory dish. Is this a common practise or your own unique spin on it? :)

                                                                                    While googling the device, I came across another CH thread on the subject. Sounds like latkes are much like all of my grandmothers recipes, more based on feel than exact science. I usually use green onions, but now I will have to try them with a manly man's onion and see what the difference is.

                                                                                    this is the thread:
                                                                                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/578151

                                                                                    This is the device I found:
                                                                                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/578151
                                                                                    http://www.parkers-pantry.com/product...
                                                                                    (not sure I can explain this one to Mr. DnD.

                                                                                    )

                                                                                    Now I have to add Sour Cream to this list of underated food.

                                                                                    Thanks for posting this Kate.

                                                                                    1. re: dinin and dishin

                                                                                      D&D, you are very welcome! The sugar is my own doing. I don't remember if my parents used sugar. I also dip cheese blintzes in sugar before adding the sour cream.

                                                                                      Totally agree about Sour Cream--in fact, some people are convinced that I use the latkes and blintzes merely as a vehicle for the sour cream. Based on the proportion of sour cream used, I might tend to agree.

                                                                                      1. re: Kate is always hungry

                                                                                        lol kate. Truth be told, one of the reasons I love potatoes is that they are the perfect delivery vehicle for several vices -- butter, salt and sour cream. That they can carry all three at once makes them truly amazing.

                                                                            3. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                              Now that this part of the thread has drifted through potatoes, perogies and latkes, I must add Sour Cream to the list of underated food. Such a perfect companion to both savory and sweet food. I simply must lick the spoon when I'm done serving it. It has the ability to elevate both the potato and pancake to new levels.

                                                                              1. re: dinin and dishin

                                                                                sour cream...I've actually always thought it was OVERrated....my husband loves it but I think it's too cold and milky and covers everything else up

                                                                                1. re: jpmcd

                                                                                  Not cold! It can be warmed up and seasoned and used judiciously and be wonderful! Go put chipotle in some and let it sit for a while...

                                                                          3. Molasses
                                                                            Honey as a sweetening agent
                                                                            Chives
                                                                            Lima Beans

                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                            1. re: Olallieberry

                                                                              Fordhook lima beans with butter and garlic crutons, YUM!!!

                                                                              1. re: shorebilly

                                                                                Lima beans and corn = succotash; a favorite since youth.

                                                                            2. sweet potatoes. My CSA had the simplest recipe for them-- microwave till soft, scoop out the flesh, and squeeze on some lime juice. Amazingly good.

                                                                              I love grapefruit too--

                                                                              1. Cassava/yuca, yuca leaves, sweet potato leaves, bitter gourd, cabbages, the wide wide world of greens, okra - and iceburg lettuce.

                                                                                Tripe, lung, heart, kidney, headcheese, liver.

                                                                                Canned sardines, canned smoked eel.

                                                                                Mutton and goat.

                                                                                Properly cooked rice.

                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                                  I like this list! Well, most of it. Iceberg lettuce to me is neutral. I've not tried lung. I love eel - I did not know it was available canned

                                                                                  1. re: plf515

                                                                                    Iceberg has no flavor really but I love the crunch. I use it quite often along with Romaine and Spinach but taco salad is always iceberg.

                                                                                2. In the US, millet. I love millet, it has a wonderful flavor.

                                                                                  Grains and legumes of all kinds are under rated in the US.

                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                  1. re: charlesbois

                                                                                    Yes, definitely millet. The fact that it looks like I'm eating birdseed makes it even better!!

                                                                                    I eat a LOT of grains. My current favorites are pearled barley (did you know processing barley doesn't destroy its fiber content? It's good fiber all the way through, not just the hull) and bulgur. Bulgur with cubed pumpkin, sauteed onions and celery, and just a dash of good soy or Worcestershire...mmmm. For beans, I like adzuki, chickpeas, and properly spiced lentils and split peas.

                                                                                    I quit eating meat over 20 years ago, and at first all the fiber- and cruciferous veg-eating made the house rather, uh, musical. But trust me, most people find their systems adjust quickly!

                                                                                  2. Bulgur, black currants, licorice (fennel, anise, Pernod, etc.), rhubarb, cats. You think I'm kidding? When was the last time you read a recipe that calls for a cat? See? Cats.

                                                                                    43 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                      Lentils and Beans all kinds.

                                                                                      1. re: Trazom

                                                                                        Very true on the lentils!! They're so good and you can make them in a million different ways, from healthy to decadent. But I think they're catching on.

                                                                                      2. re: Caroline1

                                                                                        caroline, you must must must watch this: cat's in the kettle http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wOy2QC...

                                                                                        -----------
                                                                                        licorice is indeed underappreciated. did you know licorice is a legume? http://plants.usda.gov/factsheet/pdf/...
                                                                                        i've been doing legume research. maybe i'll post it on a new thread. fascinating range of foods and plants -- all "legumes"

                                                                                        1. re: alkapal

                                                                                          That is funny! Thanks, alkapal. A while back, a girlfriend was the director of the English as a Second Language program at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces. She did some tutoring herself and one of her favorite students had just arrived from China, to join her husband who had been here for a few years. They owned a Chinese restaurant, and kept inviting Sylvia to the restaurant on the day they were closed so they could prepare a "special meal" for her in appreciation of her work. But she never went. When I asked her why, she said she'd been checking the missing animal reports and there were just "too damned many cats missing in their neighborhood!" I told her she should go anyway. Just don't eat the "rabbit!"

                                                                                          As for "licorice," I was shopping at one of the two new "farmer's markets" that have sprung up near me in the last month. They had some pretty good looking organic fennel for cheaper than pesticided fennel at Albertson's, so I bought a head. The woman behind me in the checkout line asked how I fix it. She said her husband loves it but she cant' stand it. I smiled and said, "Then you must not like licorice." She protested. "Oh, no! I LOVE red licorice!" LOL!

                                                                                          1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                            That video is too funny. It reminds me of the time we went to visit my daughter at college in a small town in Tx., and I wanted to eat at a chinese place. She said there was only one around, but she would'nt eat there. Good grief, why not? Well, she did once, and the taste was a bit off. When she left she noticed it was next door to a run down pet shop and she was positive she had been fed cat or dog! Now when I invite her for chinese, she jokingly asks if there are any pet stores nearby.

                                                                                            1. re: danhole

                                                                                              i think the asian-food-made-from-cats stereotype/myth is terrible and I am surprised that it is still out there

                                                                                              1. re: jpmcd

                                                                                                It's not strictly untrue. http://www.snopes.com/horrors/food/ch...

                                                                                                It's quite normal to eat that stuff in some Asian countries

                                                                                                1. re: Soop

                                                                                                  I've eaten rat and dog in Asia, but never, ever cat. And believe me, I look for new foods everywhere I work around the globe.

                                                                                                  1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                                                    Yeah, humans will eat what they need to eat when tehy can, depending on their culture. I've never been to a restaurant that serves locusts or monkeybrains or something like that, but I've heard that people do it.
                                                                                                    In a middle eastern country, I heard that sheeps eyes were delicacy. In Scotland, haggis is made from heart and lungs.

                                                                                                    It's just cultural perspective, and thus not right or wrong, just different. I would add that although you can't rule out it never happening, I doubt any Asian restaurants in the western world would ever knowingly serve up something like that maliciously. There's just no point with the abundance we have.

                                                                                                    1. re: Soop

                                                                                                      While its not a myth that what Western folks might consider animals absolutely not meant to be eaten are indeed eaten all over the world (and by Chinese folks). Also its a fact that its not wrong to eat these animals.

                                                                                                      I do take offense to the sniggering that goes on around the idea that mystery meats are a hazard of eating Chinese cookery. I take offense to the idea that you are more at risk of eating something unsavory at a Chinese restaurant than anywhere else.

                                                                                                      1. re: fuuchan

                                                                                                        Please don't be offended. Are you offended by children who won't eat adult foods? It's not at all unusual for small children to dislike things that adults enjoy. Think of civilizations as being similar to humans in their development. Younger cultures almost always have limited diets, which is similar to the way children develop. The older the culture, the more the diet encompasses. The limitations are availability within the culture's native territory. In this light,, the Chinese diet draws on both China's very ancient culture and it's vast territory. An extremely complex and varied diet is China's norm. It's unfair of you to expect American's, or even Europeans, to match Chinese norms.

                                                                                                        In other words, it's okay to laugh at us, but please don't be offended. '-)

                                                                                                        1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                          Except in America we have gotten worst... the proportion of Chicken Breast & Filet Mignon only eaters seems to be growing with each generation. Of course... the best part is that the superior neglected cuts like Thighs, Cross Cut Shank & Oxtails sell for artificially low prices.... and I like that!

                                                                                                          1. re: Eat_Nopal

                                                                                                            Which is why I don't mind the masses paying premium prices for chicken breasts when I get my thighs for $0.79 a pound. Now oxtails are expensive no matter how few people buy them :(

                                                                                                            1. re: dpan

                                                                                                              I agree Oxtails are a luxury item... but not compared to a Filet Mignon... I can usually buy a the whole "wheel" for under $10 (Whole Foods can be a particularly good deal... they will not have them on display but often have them in the back... in fact one time I bought $100 worth of Skirt Steaks... and when I asked about Oxtails & Soup Bones... the kid gave me a huge bag full of goodies like Marrow Bones, Oxtails, Ribs, Cheeks etc., for free)

                                                                                                            2. re: Eat_Nopal

                                                                                                              Hey Nopal, the butcher nearest me ONLY sells cuts like fillet, sirloin, ribeye and maybe rump.

                                                                                                              I really wanted a tough stew joint with lots of flavour!

                                                                                                            3. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                              I'm not offended that the typical American doesn't eat these foods (lots of cultures don't consider things Americans eat as food items, either).

                                                                                                              I'm just generally miffed by the stereotype and that the joke can even be made that the local Chinese restaurant is swiping cats off the street and feeding it to unsuspecting customers and that its even a concern to some people.

                                                                                                              1. re: fuuchan

                                                                                                                That old joke ignores the fundamental economics that it's hard work getting enough stray cats to make a living off of it. It's cheaper to just stock up on cheap meats. In China, dog and other exotic meats are delicacies, so nobody is gonna give it to you if you're not paying top price for it.

                                                                                                                1. re: dpan

                                                                                                                  Meat pies anyone? Isn't there a line in Sweeney Todd about the competition making their pies out of cats? I never understood the Asian-cat connection due to kitty quickness but Sweeney Todd made me think again when I first saw it about 10 years ago.

                                                                                                                2. re: fuuchan

                                                                                                                  There are culinary jokes about a lot of ethnic foods. If there were more English restaurants in the U.S., people would be saying "Don't eat the meat pies in any Brit Pub that's near a barber shop!" Or for Scots restaurants, "Don't eat the oatmeal if it comes in a skin!" We don't have a lot of Brit or Scots restaurants in this cuntry, but fortunately, we do have a lot of Chinese restaurants, hence the jokes.

                                                                                                                  And call me obtuse, but it never occurred the jokes were made because caught cats were cheap meat, but more that nothing else tastes like cat. But never having (knowingly) tasted cat, why have I assumed in this direction? hmmmm... I'll have to think about it.

                                                                                                                  1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                    I think you should put on your acute hat.
                                                                                                                    I think I've heard more comments about what's in tamales than anything about Chinese food. Maybe because of where I came from but I also related it to poor and inexpensive food or hole-in-the-wall places, not the taste.
                                                                                                                    There was always the joke in the '70s about a "--- Box" fast food place that used horse meat. I can't find any proof of it occurring.

                                                                                                                    1. re: Scargod

                                                                                                                      I don't have any cute hats. Haven't worn hats since the 50s!

                                                                                                                      Ever tasted horse meat? I have. I would bet that a horse meat burger would be a giant step up for Old Jack! Probably make some pretty good tamales too. Horse meat is a bit sweeter than beef, but it's flavor is pleasing. Well, that may depend on the breed. The horse meat I've had was American Thoroughbred,. The kind of horse you see run in the Kentucky Derby. Don't know if that means a quarter horse would only be one fourth as good... '-)

                                                                                                                      1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                        Just a 4 hr drive for me to Quebec City and horse meat (agree w/ sweet flavor) and steak tartare. Quebec City, I feel, is the most beautiful colonial city in North America, along w/ Savannah, Charleston and Santa Fe.

                                                                                                                3. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                  The notion that younger nations are like children in their dietary habits while older nations have more mature palates seems ridiculous. How are you judging an "encompassing" diet, or taking into account the vast variety of diets eaten in different countries, both young and old? When you say "culture" do you mean, for example, general American stereotypical, patriotic, chicken pot pie, barbeque culture? Or do you mean San Francisco Bay Area vegetarian/vegan/foraged and homegrown culture?

                                                                                                                  1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                    This is beyond me (from a knowlegable, educated point of view), but the Americas were inundated with a variety of food cultures from the times boats started landing here. China may be a very old culture but wasn't it a fairly closed country for a long time?
                                                                                                                    OTOH, those boats have had a hard time reaching Kansas...

                                                                                                                  2. re: fuuchan

                                                                                                                    Most of the cats I've seen running around in cities (or the country) are as skinny as my cat, and I can only guess he'd be very stringy because he's so lean, and simply wouldn't taste very good. Maybe a slow braise to get some flavour out of him, served with a side of Lab-Chow, which would also need long, slow cooking, as she's old.

                                                                                                                4. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                                                                  The reason Sylvia would never accept the invitation is because the woman told her that they did eat cat. She bewailed the fact that they were forbidden to serve it in their restaurant in Las Cruces by law, despite the fact that some of their Chinese customers asked for it. They had served it in their restaurant in China. I don't recall which city, if I ever knew. Sylvia was a dedicated cat lover.

                                                                                                                  Google "cat recipes" and "eating cats in China" and you'll pull up lots of information, some seemingly more reliable than others. Here's an interesting article/recipe from salon.com:
                                                                                                                  http://dir.salon.com/story/mwt/featur...

                                                                                                                  Maybe you're just not asking in the right restaurants, Sam? Better luck next time! '-)

                                                                                                                  1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                    Locals consistently tell me that I shock and awe them as to what I find and eat in their own countries. But I don't believe anyone eats cat. Dog, rat, fruit bat, yes. Horse, tapir, hedgehog, wildebeaste, gnu, dik dik, impala, marmot, pangolin, porcupine, all OK. Capybara, pig, and all rodents in-between bring 'em on. Sparrows, foul Guiinea fowl, ... mmmmm!

                                                                                                                    But cats, mudhens, greebes, mink, sable, badger, parrot, eagle, ... fuggeddiboudit.

                                                                                                                    1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                                                                      Oh gee, thanks a lot! So where were you with the good advice when I bagged a mudhen with my brother's Red Ryder bee bee gun when I was about ten and insisted my mother cook it for me? I would eat five cats before I eat another mudhen!

                                                                                                                      You know, I don't find the idea of eating a cat nearly as off-putting as I find the thought of "Where's the meat!" At best, they're scrawny critters. Meanwhile, I guess I'm two up on you, Sam. I've eaten mudhen and parrot. And neither one tastes like chicken.

                                                                                                                      1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                        Yuh caint bag no mudhen wit no BB gun. Theys tough as S*^#. Have to use a .22. Can't imagine eating mudhen or parrot. How were they?

                                                                                                                        1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                                                                          Perhaps it was a head shot?
                                                                                                                          Wikipedia: On the Louisiana coast, the Cajun word for coot is pouldeau, from French for "coot", poule d'eau - literally "water hen". Coot can be used for cooking; it is somewhat popular in Cajun cuisine e.g. as an ingredient for gumbos cooked at home by duck hunters.
                                                                                                                          You know....Cajuns will eat about anything in a gumbo. Caroline?

                                                                                                                          1. re: Scargod

                                                                                                                            All I know about Cajun, I learned from some guy on TV who wore red suspenders... I gare-on-teee! Well, him and Popeye's Chicken. '-)

                                                                                                                            1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                              Me too! Justin Wilson. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oScmod... hilarious!
                                                                                                                              The Daisy 25 was "hot". The "Red Ryder" was just normal velocity. As a kid, I had a Red Ryder, and eventually, a Crosssman .22 pump, pellet rifle. I put a few holes in neighbor's windows with the BB gun. BBs ricochet awfully bad.
                                                                                                                              My current RWS .177 (BB caliber) pellet rifle, at 4X the Red Ryder velocity, with scope is hell on squirrels and rabbits. I bet I could even bag a mud hen (but I won't)!

                                                                                                                            2. re: Scargod

                                                                                                                              Well, we'll eat just about anything but my preference will go to chicken and sausage gumbo. The smoked sausage would be a mix of pork and deer (yes, white-tailed deer). Believe me, it's not a gamey taste at all. A nice hot, dark, strong roux, rice and some sides like potato salad or candied yams and it's not complete if it doesn't make your nose run. Drop a boiled egg in the gumbo bowl and I'm set!

                                                                                                                              Eh, don't fall for the gumbo down in New Orleans. That's not Cajun. Come to the country. Start in the Lafayette, Louisiana region and work your way about 50 miles in circumference and you'll experience some great local dishes. Boudin (pronounced: boo-DAHN) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NX_pou... , boiled crawfish (in season), jambalaya, etouffee (pronounced: Ay-too-fay), etc.

                                                                                                                              A couple of links:

                                                                                                                              Stop by the A+ rated locations at the following link for some excellent boudin:

                                                                                                                              http://www.boudinlink.com/

                                                                                                                              Most notably here for boudin and jalapeno sausage cheese bread:
                                                                                                                              http://boudinlink.com/Bourques/Bourqu...

                                                                                                                              If anyone is in Louisiana, drop by in the parishes numbered 8, 9, 11 & 12 at the following link for some of our cooking:

                                                                                                                              http://www.realcajunrecipes.com/herit...

                                                                                                                              All are welcome in Acadiana!

                                                                                                                              1. re: CajunJacques

                                                                                                                                cajunjacques, please let me know these things:

                                                                                                                                1. will vacuum packed hickory smoked tasso ham (from richard's shop) be ok to eat if it was not refrigerated for 2 1/2 days, but kept in air conditioned hotel room in lafayette? (thanks a lot, mr. alka!!)

                                                                                                                                2. same question for vacuum packed hickory smoked andouille.

                                                                                                                                it has been sitting in my fridge, and i'm a little squirrelly about using it. please, sir, help me out.

                                                                                                                                ps, a business associate of mr. alka sent us boudin blanc from don's specialty meats (which got an a+ rating on that boudin link) and it was delicious. the business associate said don's was the very best. the sausage came from don's via ups in a styrofoam carrier with freezer packs to keep it cold.

                                                                                                                                also, thanks for the cajun recipes link. i've already found -- with just a quick glance at the appetizers section -- a recipe for "alligator eggs" that i want to try: http://www.realcajunrecipes.com/recip...

                                                                                                                                what could i substitute for smoked alligator sausage, if i can't find any?

                                                                                                                                1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                  Well alkapal, as you see I missed this post one month ago! I'm trying to figure out why I didn't get an email that someone replied to my post? I came back as I was going through my "history" in my Firefox web browser.

                                                                                                                                  To answer your post:

                                                                                                                                  Questions 1 & 2: Personally, I wouldn't eat it if was not refrigerated the day I would have bought it. Next time you do get the tasso and andouille consider getting something similar of what you received from Don's Specialty Meats. Even those cheap thermal bags and blue ice packs or similar can buy you some time on your next purchase.

                                                                                                                                  Thermal bags:
                                                                                                                                  http://images.google.com/images?compl...

                                                                                                                                  Blue Ice packs:
                                                                                                                                  http://images.google.com/images?compl...

                                                                                                                                  As for the "alligator eggs" recipe you can substitute it with the mentioned andouille or go with chaurice sausage (other spellings include: cherisse, chorizo and chorisso).

                                                                                                                                  Chaurice sausage recipe:
                                                                                                                                  http://www.jfolse.com/recipes/meats/p...

                                                                                                                                  If you want some really, really good andouille get it in LaPlace, Louisiana. I lived there for a year with my parents when I was in the 2nd/3rd grade school years. I don't recall the name of the places where my parents would buy andouille but here's a couple of links (no pun intended!):

                                                                                                                                  The first link is a place that was featured by Alton Brown of Good Eats on the Food Network. The series was called "Feasting on Asphalt." He and his crew rode motorcycles along the Mississippi River roadways from New Orleans up to the northern most part of the river.

                                                                                                                                  "Feasting on Asphalt" episode guide:
                                                                                                                                  http://www.altonbrown.com/adventure/t...

                                                                                                                                  Ok, first link of place he stopped (Bailey’s Andouille and Produce):
                                                                                                                                  http://www.baileysandouille.com/

                                                                                                                                  Another andouille link (not visited by Alton Brown):
                                                                                                                                  Jacob's World Famous Andouille
                                                                                                                                  http://www.cajunsausage.com/

                                                                                                                                  I see that Jacob's ships but I don't see that Bailey's does or not, you may need to call to verify.

                                                                                                                                  Anyway, I hope your tasso and andouille didn't spoil but to be on the safe side I would have passed on that amount of time not being refrigerated even if they are vacuumed sealed. Just my thought.

                                                                                                                                  Oh, almost forgot. So you enjoyed that boudin did you? Good deal! Everyone who asks me, "What's boudin like?" I tell them it's similar to dirty rice (rice dressing) stuffed in sausage casing. Most people are turned off by pig intestine casing from the video I posted in the link but mostly you'll find in the stores down here is artificial casing. The meat texture varies from store to store... some have a stringy texture and some have a grounded texture. Whatever floats you're boat!

                                                                                                                                  Edit:

                                                                                                                                  I just found a site that sells alligator sausage:
                                                                                                                                  CajunGrocer
                                                                                                                                  http://www.cajungrocer.com/farm-pride...

                                                                                                                                  Not sure where they're located but returned merchandise is to be sent to Lafayette, Louisiana.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: CajunJacques

                                                                                                                                    thanks cajunjaques, or i guess, merci beaucoup!

                                                                                                                                    i guess the raccoons, foxes, crows and possums will have some mighty fine eatin' in my back yard! ;-(((.

                                                                                                                                    thanks for the tips, so i can recover from my tasso-andouille-loss-syndrome ("TALS" -- and yes, i am asking for my TALS "bailout" check from our esteemed elected o-fish-alls.)

                                                                                                                                    happy new year jaques. and...please don't be a stranger here on the chow boards, ya hear!?!

                                                                                                                                    ps, awesome avatar photo! cay you describe what is happening there? did you take it?

                                                                                                                                    1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                      Hey alkapal,

                                                                                                                                      Yes, they'll have some mighty fine eats by your misfortune. Bonne chance on your next purchase. Lol... clever acronym for the syndrome and twist on officials ;)

                                                                                                                                      Happy New Year to you and yours also and I'll be poking around here.

                                                                                                                                      The avatar photo is really nice! I'll provide a link to where I uploaded the photo:

                                                                                                                                      http://img517.imageshack.us/img517/26...

                                                                                                                                      It is a golden eagle attacking a fox. I received this in an email and by researching about it, it was photographed by Finnish photographer Pekka Komi:

                                                                                                                                      Series of photos (eagle and fox
                                                                                                                                      )http://www.tarsiger.com/gallery/index...

                                                                                                                                      Some people dispute whether this actually happened. So, Snopes tackled this one:
                                                                                                                                      http://www.snopes.com/photos/animals/...

                                                                                                                                      I wish I could have photographed anything remotely like this! Too cool!!!

                                                                                                                                      1. re: CajunJacques

                                                                                                                                        simply magnificent! loved the fox's expression in frame 1, too! ;-).

                                                                                                                                        i wonder if fox is an underappreciated food? i've never heard of anyone eating it. now it has me thinking about how many carnivores -- or scavengers -- we eat?

                                                                                                                            3. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                                                                              The mud hen could have been a lucky shot, but then again, Red Ryder BB guns were pretty hot! The mud hen had the aroma and flavor of roasted pond scum. From a really rank pond.

                                                                                                                              The parrot wasn't bad. A tad tough, but after all, it was an old parrot. When I was growing up, Margaret and Kris Michelson, close family friends, raised exotic birds of nearly every type known to man. Or it seemed that way at my tender years. They had a HUGE aviary for the macaws. They were the only parrots that didn't keep residence inside the house. One of them was killed in a freak accident, so Margaret seized on it as a unique opportunity to expand their practical knowledge about birds, and invited us to dinner. I remember that I liked it better than peacock, but not as much as pheasant or quail, or turkey. But compared to mud hen, it was a James Beard Award Winner!

                                                                                                                      2. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                                                                        Sam, in my Lonely Planet guidebook for Vietnam, there was a restaurant outside of Hanoi that specialized in cat. We didn't try to go there, but unless someone was "pulling our respective legs", such a place exists.

                                                                                                                        1. re: 1sweetpea

                                                                                                                          We have to look into this more, but I would suspect the reference was to masked palm civet cat, which is eaten (and a source of SARS). The civet is not at all like a house cat.

                                                                                                                    2. re: jpmcd

                                                                                                                      Let me clarify - this was an 18 yr. old girl, with an active imagination. Now, 12 yrs later we laugh about it, and she admits it was pretty silly. It has not stopped us from eating asian food, and I don't think cat is normally on any menu, or dog for that matter. At least not in the USA. Other countries do eat those. To each his own.

                                                                                                                5. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                  Thanks,too cute just forwarded it to my neighbor in Italy,will be a hit

                                                                                                                  Also on the menu in the Veneto,even more so near Vicenza."as rabbit" until very recently.Don't think it went away until the 70's The last stanza of a local ditty about the four city(Verona,Vicenza,Venetzia,Padua) trade group" Vicentinni manga gatti"

                                                                                                              2. Figs. A lot of people are afraid of them.

                                                                                                                24 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: sparkalina

                                                                                                                  Along with figs, medjool dates

                                                                                                                  1. re: laliz

                                                                                                                    dates! love those also and some people at my office did not even know what they are!

                                                                                                                    Lets add chestnuts. Everyone here knows that you roast them o'er an open fire...but 2 out of 20 people in my random survey had ever had one. And only 1 (um....me) likes them.

                                                                                                                  2. re: sparkalina

                                                                                                                    Fresh figs only! Sorry, but dried figs (like dried dates) leave me cold.

                                                                                                                    1. re: chicgail

                                                                                                                      In the summer of 1966 I worked on fig harvest and dehydrating out on “Old Man Xxxxxxxx’s” (the guy who wore a pistol strapped to his fat a**) fig farm north of Madera in the Central Valley of California. One had to get up at 4:30, drive or get picked up and driven to Xxxxxxxx’s place off of Highway 99 in Fresno and then drive in pick-up trucks to the fig ranch as the scorching valley sun came up, already sapping your strength. Work included: walking for hours under the trees, hitting (hard and with snap) the branches with a 10 foot 2 x 4 with a rubber bumper, snapping the branch and releasing the figs. The fig sap would hit you in the eye, burning and blinding. Your arms felt like rubber for most of the day. And the days were 115 degrees F. You would then ride the rake, a machine that raked the figs and the rocks and the previously scraped and leveled fine fine powdered dry dry silt/clay up into heavy wooden boxes that you would have to stack eight high while covered with that fine fine powder that the rake and tractor kicked up in billowing blinding heavy clouds. You were covered and had to be healthy for all that got into your lungs. Lift those boxes up eight high needed strength that could take you to the Olympics. We then had to pass the figs through the dehydrator – emptying the crates onto trays and a conveyer and removing all of the dirt clods and rocks. The sun beat down – again 115 degrees F – with no mercy. And who where we? Usually a crew of 5 -6 high school kids (like me). And the conversation? Every other word was “f^*k, literally. To this day as a party trick I can insert that word in every other as artful as could Joey Burrelli. Work allowed a 15 minute morning break, a half hour for lunch, and a 15 minute afternoon break. Eight hours were up at 5:00. It hen took almost two hours to get back home, exhausted, with time to eat and go to sleep. And what were we paid? Exactly $12.43 per day. Twelve dollars and forty- three cents!

                                                                                                                      Dried figs leave you cold? I only hope but doubt that getting a dried fig to consumers is not the same as it was in 1966.

                                                                                                                      1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                                                                        Good Lord, Sam. That sounds like something Erskine Caldwell might have written....

                                                                                                                        1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                          The funny thing is the life-long repercussions of growing up and having to work as I did. That type of work contributed to me becoming a social, ag, and environmental scientist, a career that has been the best in the world. But one that keeps me well aware of the people who produce our food.

                                                                                                                          1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                                                                            You're a treasure, Sam I am. I'm so glad you're here.....and, I'm honored that I get to read what you have to say.

                                                                                                                            1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                              Ditto

                                                                                                                        2. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                                                                          Let's hear it for Caesar Chavez and the good work he did. I trust that fig harvesters have an easier time of it these days? (Well, I don't really trust that they do, but hope that they do.)

                                                                                                                          1. re: pikawicca

                                                                                                                            Without any disrespect for Sam... I think his experience at the Fig Farm are the least of the difficult conditions facing farm workers.... much progress has been made... but its no panacea.... grape pickers are still sprayed by planes spewing pesticides, they are still contracting skin cancer at abnormal rates and their workers comp lawsuits are still settled at rock bottom amounts by lawyers who go out for bottles of Petrus afterwards.

                                                                                                                            1. re: Eat_Nopal

                                                                                                                              Grapes are not sprayed by air; and pesticides are not applied to grapes anywhere near harvest.

                                                                                                                              1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                                                                                but pesticide drift is still a problem, and pesticides are used and sprayed for other common CA crops, including cotton and many vegetables.

                                                                                                                                http://www.orionmagazine.org/index.ph...

                                                                                                                                1. re: susancinsf

                                                                                                                                  Cotton areas in CA are quite distinct from grape and vegetable areas. Vegetables are generally not sprayed by air. Farmers cannot afford having their pesticides drift off and away from their fields (any chemical sprays are applied when there is minimal wind), in part because downwind farmers have legal rights to not receive pesticide drift and in part because pesticides cost money.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                                                                                    Sam you are spot on
                                                                                                                                    Chemical trespass is a serious issue,not casual.Even helicopter sprays,which can minimize drift in calm conditions now have a $5000.00
                                                                                                                                    minimum rate to leave the barn.Hard to come by no matter how hard you network and book collectively in the economic/fuel/drought/fire climate for the fourth year now.EAST & WEST.Add on the task of record keeping,also
                                                                                                                                    costly.EPA # sprays are minimized more for $$$ reasons than simple social/environmental ones.Hopefully to a permanent more rational end.

                                                                                                                          2. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                                                                            Yikes. I may not like dried figs any better than I did, but I sure have respect for those who pick and process them.

                                                                                                                            1. re: chicgail

                                                                                                                              After that I could not eat figs of any type for years. But could sing,

                                                                                                                              You're f****g darn f*******g toootin
                                                                                                                              I f********g love f************g fig f***************g Newtons .....

                                                                                                                              1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                                                                                I wondered when you'd give us the lyrics.

                                                                                                                            2. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                                                                              Try raising tobacco. I'm sure it worked out to way less than $12.43 a day, since the job lasted danged near all year.

                                                                                                                              1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                                                                                I picked cotton one summer in the Texas valley. Not as bad a conditions as yours, but at least you could eat figs... We had poisonous snakes, too!

                                                                                                                                1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                                                                                  You had me at Fresno.

                                                                                                                                2. re: chicgail

                                                                                                                                  i love good date fruit. once, my husband and i spent a week -- for a colleague's wedding -- at a high-end hotel in tunis. the hotel gifted a large box of dried (?) dates for us. or maybe they were just wrinkly-skinned, but moist inside. but, they were so soft, sweet and delicious, like the best candy. i don't think that i've had the fresh soft undried dates, though.

                                                                                                                                  i never knew that the "date world" was this complicated re cultivars, and level of processing/aging: http://www.palmwonders.com/content/ab...

                                                                                                                                  1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                    the dates I had in Tunisia were a culinary highlight of my time there, and as a result I did start to appreciate dates for the first time.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: susancinsf

                                                                                                                                      susan, i wish i knew the particular cultivar of date that i had there. i'm sure tunisia has tons of cultivars, so it would be difficult to figure out which one it was. i ended up snacking on that box the entire week. they were irresistible.

                                                                                                                                      the tunisian buffet breakfast was superb, too -- all the wonderful local foods, and pan-mediterranean, really. we were some truly happy "campers".

                                                                                                                                      1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                        Medjools from Indio are one of the most remarkable things I've ever eaten. I remember seeing some at the Santa Monica farmer's market in the early '90s that had white stuff oozing out of them. I said, "What's wrong with these?" The vendor said, "Nothing...that's sugar."

                                                                                                                                        But I almost never buy them, b/c when I start to eat them I CAN. NOT. STOP.

                                                                                                                              2. All the winter root vegetables,parsnips etc.Big gourd winter squash.Legumes,peas,
                                                                                                                                beans,sprouts,not just one or two varieties.Rice ?we eat it everyday,yet have many friends that think good rice is difficult or mysterious.

                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                1. re: lcool

                                                                                                                                  I wondered how far down this thread I would have to read before someone mentioned some of my favorites! Parsnips, turnips, rutabagas, celery root, kabocha squash, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, new potatoes, whole garlic cloves.... just cut them up, toss with olive oil, sprinkle kosher salt, spread on a sheet pan, into a nice hot oven and roast - only one of my most favorite things ever....

                                                                                                                                2. Endive, or even dandelion greens. Most people think they are weeds, and too bitter, but boiling for no more than 10-15 minutes and then adding salt, pepper, olive oil and lemon gives you a great side dish (horta)

                                                                                                                                  1. grits, organ meats top my list.

                                                                                                                                    1. My vote, as a cooking ingredient, is apple cider. Not the vinegar, just the beverage! Great for braising pork tenderloin, and it adds a nice touch to sausage prepared in the skillet.

                                                                                                                                      10 Replies
                                                                                                                                      1. re: SavoryTv

                                                                                                                                        Though I love the taste, if everyone knew how many thousands of tiny bugs are in fresh cooked brussel sprouts, they'd never eat them. They say that it os BEST to eat these FROZEN because the freezing process kills the "visitors".

                                                                                                                                        Just sayin'...

                                                                                                                                        1. re: chocolatebirthdaycake

                                                                                                                                          whaaaaaaat?

                                                                                                                                          1. re: chocolatebirthdaycake

                                                                                                                                            "They" also say that brussels sprouts hold on to a lot of pesticides because of the way they grow. I don't care. I try to buy organic produce when I can, but can never find these organically grown, and don't like them frozen. Apparently, I like fresh bugs.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: chocolatebirthdaycake

                                                                                                                                              [They say that it os BEST to eat these FROZEN because the freezing process kills the "visitors".]

                                                                                                                                              Whereas the boiling/roasting/braising process doesn't? Or are you warning us off raw brussels sprouts?

                                                                                                                                              1. re: small h

                                                                                                                                                Out of curiousity I just visited a few websites regarding this issue, Green Giant and Whole Foods included. They all said to soak the sprouts in salted water for 15 minutes before cooking to remove the bugs. What. I have never done this and must be a bug lover like madgreek.

                                                                                                                                              2. re: chocolatebirthdaycake

                                                                                                                                                It really depends on the bugs, doesn't it? If they aren't dangerous to eat and I don't see them, I can't imagine why I would care.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: chocolatebirthdaycake

                                                                                                                                                  I just finished separating the leaves of 2 pounds of organic brussels sprouts -- nary a bug. In any event, any cooking method would kill bugs.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: pikawicca

                                                                                                                                                    Cooking would kill the bugs, it wouldn't necessarily remove them. Since I'm feeding brussels sprouts to in-laws for Thanksgiving, I think I will use the salt-water soaking method to remove them before I cook them, thank you.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: chicgail

                                                                                                                                                      Well, mine had no bugs, so I didn't need to kill them. Frankly, I've never had buggy brussels sprouts.

                                                                                                                                                2. re: SavoryTv

                                                                                                                                                  Cook our oat meal in apple cider. Also great hot w/ a shot of rum and a dash of cinnamon.

                                                                                                                                                3. Tofu and rice rock! Not brown rice, though, hate the taste, even though it's better for you. No matter how my aunt, a really good cook makes her brussel sprouts, I refuse to eat them.

                                                                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                  1. re: alissers

                                                                                                                                                    Bittermelon (Filipino Ampalaya) - properly prepared, sliced up then sauteed with pork and onions... or added to stews. Gives the dishes that counterpoint, kinda like how kimchi wakes up the palate, problem is I'm now addicted to kimchi... but that is another thread.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: fresnohotspot

                                                                                                                                                      I love stuffed and steamed ampalaya (which I leaned in Canh Tho, Vietnam, and posted the recipe a bit ago).

                                                                                                                                                    2. re: alissers

                                                                                                                                                      I thought I'd hate brown rice, but we have been trying it and I kind of like it. Texture is a bit funny but I like it, and it's good for me to boot :) And yes, I love bitter melon, though I was never fond of it as a kid. Love it with fermented black beans and garlic, with shredded beef and oyster sauce. It's also great in a soup with pickled mustard greens and pork.

                                                                                                                                                    3. Brown Rice. Superior, nutty flavor & great texture much better than white rice.... and its not even that healthy for you... just a bit healthier than white rice... but its not really a whole grain like many people assume.

                                                                                                                                                      1. Kohlrabi. Why this vegetable isn't more widely used is beyond me--it's delicious.

                                                                                                                                                        Sweet potatoes--they are fairly common, but I think they are underrated with respect to savory dishes (though they do make their holiday appearances under some sort of sugary cloak, be it brown sugar or marshmallows)

                                                                                                                                                        Kale. And wheat berries.

                                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                        1. re: nofunlatte

                                                                                                                                                          Fresh. I want to make it clear that I am talking fresh from the garden.
                                                                                                                                                          Turnips, beets, black-eyed peas, pintos, lima beans.
                                                                                                                                                          Then there's tongue. But the only fresh from the garden is mine!
                                                                                                                                                          Canned: hominy

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: nofunlatte

                                                                                                                                                            Keep those marshmallows away from my sweet potatoes. Either mash them with bourbon, pecans and brown sugar, or roast them crispy and savory.

                                                                                                                                                          2. Regular (i.e., Scandanavian, Portuguese, Morrocan, etc.) canned (what I call "red") anchovies and those wonderful Italian white anchovies. The former are great in dishes in which they are not even recognizable but add a layer of flavor that few can identify. They're great for sauces. (And if I tell people who liked what I cooked that the dish contained anchovies, they are immediately turned off!) White anchovies in oil I've just discovered recently, having eaten them for the first time while visting Venice, Italy. They're mild and flavorful.

                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                            1. re: gfr1111

                                                                                                                                                              Gosh yes. I love the anchovy.

                                                                                                                                                            2. Saurkraut, so healthy, so many uses.

                                                                                                                                                              14 Replies
                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                                                                                passa, you might love this recipe: http://www.chow.com/recipes/13527
                                                                                                                                                                i do! in fact, now the weather is perfect for it.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                                                                                  I love Sauerkraut

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Soop

                                                                                                                                                                    Recipe looks good. Looks a little like pigs in a blanket, without the blanket. Pork ribs Russian style is to bake them covered in saurkraut. Like a different animal.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                                                                                      sorry, passa, but how does it look like pigs in a blanket? it is meatballs made with ground beef, pork and veal, not sausages.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                        Pigs in a blanket are stuffed cabbage w, ground meat , rice and spices, no sausage.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                                                                                          You'red talking Slavic "Pigs in a blanket." "American" pigs in a blanket are wrapped in pastry. English pigs in a blanket are wrapped in bacon. It's a common dish at cocktail parties, often made with dairy case cans of crescent rolls or puff pastry. Personally, I'd rather have celery stick.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                                                                                            Hermano, American pigs in blankets are hot dogs in puff pastry.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                                                                                                                              Moi Brat (my brother in Russian),
                                                                                                                                                                              In my New Jersey Ruskie upbringing, they were golumkie or holuptsie and called pigs in a blanket at church suppers. I've heard of these mass market inferior pigs in a blanket, but a hot dog is still a hot dog. I guess it's like jfood's NJ Sloppy Joes. Maybe New Jersey really is the epicenter of good food.
                                                                                                                                                                              El Guajalote Grande Marco

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                                                                                                "Moi Brat (my brother in Russian)"

                                                                                                                                                                                Or a rotten kid in French?

                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                                                                                              info on "pigs in a blanket" (with photo): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pigs_in_...

                                                                                                                                                                              this refers to the slavic immigrants to america calling passa's Gołąbki "pigs in a blanket."
                                                                                                                                                                              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gołąbki

                                                                                                                                                                              and this is a little OT, but heartwarming, different version of "pigs in a blanket": http://images.google.com/imgres?imgur...

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                What a linguistic feast: Gołąbki, golumpki, golabki, golumpkies, golumpkis, holupki, töltött kaposzta, holubtsi, golubtsy, balandėliai, or Sarma!

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                                                                                                                                  made me think of "snufflelupagus" ;-D
                                                                                                                                                                                  http://muppet.wikia.com/wiki/Mr._Snuf...

                                                                                                                                                                                  or someone "galumphing" along......

                                                                                                                                                                                  no offense to the real words or persons associated therewith. it's just that i've only had a couple sips of coffee, and my brain is still (obviously) in surreal dream mode.

                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                  That is one smart tiger... pretending to love & rear those little piglets... until they get plump enough to be a good dinner!

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Eat_Nopal

                                                                                                                                                                                    oh no! .... and oh crap, it is a dark story: http://www.snopes.com/photos/animals/...

                                                                                                                                                                                    dang it, eat nopal, dissin' my southern collards, now hittin' my heart-warming momma tiger story!!!! ;-(

                                                                                                                                                                      2. I eat my grapefruit with a spoon. How else do you eat it? I'm not elderly by the way, although I feel like it sometimes.

                                                                                                                                                                        Oh, I do this at home, if that's the issue (ie diner).

                                                                                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: JamieK

                                                                                                                                                                          I take one for a morning snack. Peel it like a navel orange and eat in sections.
                                                                                                                                                                          "...and I'm gettin'n old" Niel Young

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: JamieK

                                                                                                                                                                            I like to cut it up like an orange and eat it off of the peel.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: BeaN

                                                                                                                                                                              ooh i'm going to try that right now - sounds much easier than cutting supremes

                                                                                                                                                                          2. I thought of porkchops. See, I never liked them cos they were always too dry. Then I cooked them a little pink one time, and it transformed them. They were extraordinarily good. I think I'll pick some up tonight...

                                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Soop

                                                                                                                                                                              Porkchops AND sauerkraut. Had that combo (with rice) just last week. So good!

                                                                                                                                                                            2. Smoked fish is so underrated in this country. I love smoke trout, blue fish, salmon, oysters, mussels...etc. I can't get enought of it.

                                                                                                                                                                              21 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: FoodChic

                                                                                                                                                                                I think I love you.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: FoodChic

                                                                                                                                                                                  Fin Haddie is smoked haddock and a Maine staple. Smoled herring too. Google Duck Trap and Sullivan Harbor fish smoking. There is also one in Stonington. Smoked scallops, yum.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                                                                                                    Smoked scallops...oh goodie!!

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                                                                                                      I've only ever heard it called "finnan haddie," and had no idea it was a favorite in Maine. It was a favorite of my English grandmother, who loved it boiled in milk/cream then served on toast for breakfast. She was from northern England, around Sunderland, but I don't know if it's a regional dish. Aha! Amazing what you can learn from Google! It's a Scot's dish, and Sunderland is not far off the border with Scotland! Which is also why she used to call me her "wee canny bairn." '-)

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: FoodChic

                                                                                                                                                                                      I didn't know it was underrated, but smoked fish - any fish - is probably the bestr food in the world!!! The Philippines has tinapa, a smoked sardine-esque fish, and salted fish in a ratio of 1 to 200000. One has to look high and low to get smoked instead of salted.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: FoodChic

                                                                                                                                                                                        It is? I live in Manhattan, where smoked fish is revered. Of course, some people don't think we're part of "this country."

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: small h

                                                                                                                                                                                          Umm, yeah. Manhattan isn't exactly representative of the culinary tastes of the rest of the country.
                                                                                                                                                                                          Sorry.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: FoodChic

                                                                                                                                                                                            So what is?

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: small h

                                                                                                                                                                                              Well since New York is one of the culinary meccas of the country, I wouldn't exactly expect those in Des Moines, Reno, or Lubbock to identify with what New Yorkers eat.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: FoodChic

                                                                                                                                                                                                That implies that "what New Yorkers eat" is monolithic, which it is not. Because of the population density and the wide variety of cultures represented here, you're more likely to find the kind of food popular in Des Moines, Reno or Lubbock than vice versa. So I would agree with cimui, below.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: small h

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Lubbock? You must be kidding. Jack rabbit in NYC? Where is Veggo when I need him?

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Scargod

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Well, I know you can get rabbit. Does it have to be JACKrabbit? Look, I'm not suggesting - as I'm sure you know - that every single solitary regional delicacy across this great land of ours is readily available in the pinnacle of culinaria (made-up word) that I call home. It's just that I thought FoodChic's harrumph-y "you're not like us" comment required a response.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: small h

                                                                                                                                                                                                      First of all, I never said "you're not like us," so you should rethink those quotes. Second, you said," Of course, some people don't think we're part of "this country." This whole attitude is your own...I won't deal with it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      My post was about smoked fish and that I find it's underrated. To which you replied "I live in Manhattan, where smoked fish is revered." Well Manhattan is a very small portion of this country, and Manhattan is different from the rest of the country in its culinary delights.
                                                                                                                                                                                                      New York has standards of food that the better part of this country does not have. The masses of the US eat in chain restaurants...no smoked fish to be found there.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Deli, to the better part of this country means Jason's Deli or McAlisters. And guess what? You won't find smoked fish there such as the bounty of fish found in New York delicatessens. Smoked fish to most means getting it in a can at Albertson's.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: FoodChic

                                                                                                                                                                                                        i don't think that's true everywhere in the u.s. smoked herring and salmon is a pretty standard item on the average brunch buffet at restaurants here (msp--northern midwest), & you can get many non-canned smoked fish at the regular grocery store-- yes, i'm sure we don't have the seventeen kinds of smoked eel you can get in manhattan. i'm just saying it's available here and people buy it and eat it. many people fish and smoke their own freshwater catch with cold-smokers, which are practical here in the winter. other cured fish (unsmoked, tho) such as gravlax are consumed regularly. and. . . i have no idea what a jason's deli or a mcalisters is.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: FoodChic

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I'm a little confused about what this discussion is actually arguing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Are we talking about whether or not New York palates are unlike those in the rest of the country?

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Is it about whether most people in the US like or have even tasted any kind of smoked fish?

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Maybe it's a holdover from the election about what the "real" America is. Or is this just one of those "I'm more right than you" debates.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I think we know that while there is an increasing number of chains that homogenize our expectations about food, regional difference are still relevant factors in what we like and seek out in food. Consider that one is not necessarily better than the other; just different.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          What's familiar to you (e.g. Jason's or McAlisters) may be a total mystery to me and I'm in an urban area that is NOT New York. And while big cities are likely to have more resources and types of cuisine than are small towns, there are people in those towns who have found a way to experience and appreciate the unfamiliar. There are also people in New York and other big cities who prefer Dennys or McDonalds.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: Scargod

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Armadillo in NYC? Lockhart BBQ? Al Pastor? I wonder?
                                                                                                                                                                                                        But they do have wicked good smoked whiting and chubs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                                                                                                                          You said the magic word: chubs. I ate those every Saturday night as a kid in Chicago. I still love them, when I can find them in California, with a buttered bagel and a tomato or two.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Kate is always hungry

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Kate, i know you made the comment about chubs a month ago, but if you happen to read this, get thee to Barney Greengrass in BH!

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Thanks for the recommendation. I'm drooling already!

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: FoodChic

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Ouch.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: FoodChic

                                                                                                                                                                                                    hmm, i'd say manhattan is representative of many of the culinary tastes in the rest of the country. you might be surprised at how well regional american is done, here, in part because of how many people move here from all over. (i will confess that i haven't seen hotdish on the menu, anywhere, though -- yet!)

                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Pinto beans.

                                                                                                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Hermano, I'd almost agree ... but I'd go for black beans.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Nah. Fava beans. But they'll probably never be popular because you have to skin them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Two words, but one glorious taste and texture sensation: Chicken Thighs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  White meat should be abolished! ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Why are people mentioning such mundane foods? Just about everything here, I took for granted as being very well rated by the Hounds. I guess I shouldn't even mention Pork Spine Meat...

                                                                                                                                                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Eat_Nopal

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Pork Spine meat? Do you mean pork neck bones? Very yummy, one of my favorite bases for korean soups! I love how the meat just falls off the bones when it is done. I also love the little bits of nervous tissue and cartilage.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: moh

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Neck Bones are good... but I was referring to the Spinal Column... it has dark, marrow-esque layer of meet running the entire length... and very juice & tasty flesh embrassing all the spinal "ribs"

                                                                                                                                                                                                        http://www.inspection.gc.ca/english/f...

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Eat_Nopal

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Pork spine meat is used in a Koean soup that is a notorious hangover cure. Had it before my son's wedding (in the morning). How is it used in Mexico.
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Getting cold here, just made a big pot of posole.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I think real tacos (not gringo salad ones) are under rated!

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                                                                                                                            It is used into Soups, Mole Verde, Queretaro style Mole de Olla, in Cantinas it is served as a Botana, in Tlaxcala they make what I refer to as the Mexican Matzo Ball soup... its Pork Spine in a dried Chile broth, with Verdolagas (Purslane) & Masa Dumplings...

                                                                                                                                                                                                            http://www.lasrecetasdelaabuela.com/c...

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Its really used in infinite ways... as its one of the most popular & sought after parts of the pig throughout Central & Southern Mexico.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: Eat_Nopal

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Which raises the question, underrated by whom, the answer to which many of these posts touch on.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      3. pearl barley. fresh lima beans (nothing like those dry, hard, washed-out-tasting nasties you got in the school cafeteria).

                                                                                                                                                                                                        12 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: cimui

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I love lima beans! Even those dry, pasty ones in generic vegetable medleys. I think I'm the only one...

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: fallingup

                                                                                                                                                                                                            The classic Fava Soup with Nopales & Mint.... made from dried Favas... and absolutely delectable.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: fallingup

                                                                                                                                                                                                              fallingup, perhaps you are honoring the venerable "veg-all": http://www.vegall.com/products/origin...

                                                                                                                                                                                                              just bought some for quick soup.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              love fresh baby limas and frozen baby limas, and big old dried-and-cooked-with-ham-bone-yellow giant limas

                                                                                                                                                                                                              look at the second item down -- maltese chick pea and lima bean salad: http://morselsandmusings.blogspot.com...

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                In the mid Atlantic states, a native American food, limas and corn mixed, is called succotash, was a staple of my childhood and I still love it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I grew up on succotash, Still love it, too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: fallingup

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I also love the limas! Fresh is the best. I got some speckled limas at the farmer's market this year that were so delicious. Then frozen is my day to day choice, and when I have the time a big old pot of "butter beans" (white dried limas) cooked with a hamhock. I had an argument once with someone who swore they didn't like limas, but loved butter beans. Like DUH! What the heck do you think those are??? Yes these beans are seriously underrated.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: danhole

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  dani, on lazy days, i use the "glory" brand seasoned southern style butter beans. btw, their collards are just about perfect! http://www.gloryfoods.com/product.asp...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Thanks. I'll try that. I've always wondered how good that brand was.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              3. re: cimui

                                                                                                                                                                                                                wow, who knew lima beans would get this level of support? i'm glad to know i'm in such good company!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: cimui

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  cimui, join up at "lmsc.org" (lima bean support club).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  nah, just kiddin"! but, keep the faith, baby!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    heh...wrong website...cause i'm losing my lima bean brain! it "should've been" lbsn.org. (lima bean support network). gee, WHAT is with me!?! sounds like it might be for "beans that 'really like' each other." {;^D

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: cimui

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I tried growing limas in Maine this summer. What a failure, too cold, too rainy. Bummer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. cauliflower, cod, kale, bulgur, homemade applesauce, squash/gourds, matzoh meal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Lot of great foods listed here, so my take on some of them:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Brussels Sprouts - love them roasted too, but steamed a little, crisp, then add sea salt butter, yummy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Grapefruit - When I took my sons on Boy Scout camp outs, we'd halve a GF, eat the insides, leaving the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    "bowl" intact. Then we fry two eggs in the bowl, till firm, making a great campfire breakfast.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Root veggies: parsnips, turnips, fennel, & squash - Roast them in the oven on a sheet pan with a rosemary honey glaze. Delicious

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Sardines...yum - mashed with lots of black pepper and rice vinegar.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      French's yellow mustard - sometimes you just need that tartness
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      garlic cheese grits

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: lindsley

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        i have a gazillion mustards, and you are right, lindsley, sometimes you just need old french's mustard. it is nostalgia food for me -- on white bread with bologna! i grew up in s.w. florida -- fort myers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          ooh, the "b" word...bologna! White bread with yellow mustard, 2 slices of bologna (be sure to tear that thing off around the edge!), 2 slices of cheese - mash it together real hard and eat...it all sticks behind your front teeth and is so good! (Haven't had this in YEARS....would have to leave town to buy bologna incognito!! Ha!)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: lindsley

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            yeah, great texture to that sandwich! {;^D

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: lindsley

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Embarassed to admit this... used to love bologna, but now that I've had mortadella. I would have a hard time gong back now...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: moh

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                yes, i just had some mortadella the other day -- or "MOHR"- Ta-DELL-a," as giada would say it. but i'd also had a recent hankering for the red-tubed sliced version, but it didn't taste as good as when i was a kid. in fact, it had very little flavor. (oscar meyer i think was the brand. maybe i need to try something else...)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                remember rolling the bologna up with a dill pickle spear inside and eating the roll-up while the pickle juice runs out and drips everywhere? optional: dip end in mustard, and gobble!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Steel-cut oats. Take a long time to cook, but the wait is (IMHO) worth it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. DURIANS!! They're not gross, they're DELICIOUS!!! They are sweet and creamy and the flavor is one of a kind =)!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Some people are sensitive to bitter and may not like brussel sprouts or because they're usually overcooked. Roasting them is great, so is the classic Julia Child version; trim outer leaves, steam briefly and stir fry in butter lightly (don't overcook).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Under-rated foods include chestnuts and parsnips and rutabagas.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: nickn

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I really love good quality Vietnames fish sauce. I'll buy organic, low sodium chicken or vegetable stock, combine the two, then add a few dashes of fish sauce to make a broth with lots of depth in virtually no time at all. I'm also a kimchee lover. Two Korean friends made a feast at my cottage once. In all honesty, I could have left all the meaty items to the other guests and gone to town on the banchan, kimchee and outstanding short grain brown rice. That's what I ate the next morning for breakfast. I don't keep kimchee around often because I'll wind up consuming the entire jar in one sitting, then bloating up from all the sodium.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Nickn, how do you prepare rutabaga? I've only had it once or twice and wasn't that impressed. I'm game to try it again, but I need some instructions.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Capers for sure. For their value as a pizza topping alone, they belong on this list.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                For Americans only: Fresh apricots.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. I resisting posting these because I thought of them too pedestrian & boring... but given some of the lame stuff on this thread, I guess I can't get laughed off. Foods that are WAY underrated (among the American general public & I guess a big cross section of Chowhounds as well) in my humble opinion:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  > Nopal Cactus Paddles
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  > Huitlacoche (Corn Smut)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  > Chayotes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  > Sweet Squashes like Chilacayotes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  > Escamoles (Giant Ant Larvae)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  > Cauliflower
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  > Heirloom Beans
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  > Octopus
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  > Fish Roe
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  > Oxtails
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  > Headcheese
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  > Goat
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  > Mutton
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  > Beef Marrow
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  > Rabbit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  > Verdolagas (Purslane)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  > Amaranth Grain
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  > Wild Rice
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  > Wheat Berries
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  > Brown Rice

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  11 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Eat_Nopal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Got some rabbit for a stew coming, but seeing cauliflower reminded me; there's a chef on UK TV called Hugh Fernley Whittingstall. He likes all vegetables except caulliflower, and challenged someone to come up with a good recipe. The guy came up with some great twists on caulliflower cheese, but the best one was (and this is from the top of my head) making a thick dipping sauce from blended caulliflower, and then deep frying cheese in breadcrumbs to dip into it. I thought all the ideas were good though.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Good to see you again!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Soop

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      fantastic books though, HFW writes--despite the cauliflower impediment. i was poring over the MEAT one just yesterday evening. heroic!!! *standing on chair, applauding and whistling loudly, wiping away tears*

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Soop

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Sounds like a good recipe... there are several compelling Cauliflower dishes I've had in Mexico....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        > Sweated Cauliflower Slices served in Mole Verde
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        > Cauliflower & Cheese fritters baked in a Tomato-Jalapeno-Chicken Broth sauce
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        > Cauliflower & Shrimp fritters served with Black Bean-Avocado Leaf sauce

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        And of course the most prevalent way to eat Cauliflower south of the border... Pickled with Brocoli, Carrots, Onions, Garlic, Jalapenos and of course herbs & spices etc.,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Eat_Nopal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I'm going to try some of those since I just got a good head...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I've never seen broccoli in the pickled mix (which I enjoy), but then, I've never been to Mexico... Harlingen is as close as I've been.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I'm going to start scouring New Haven for chayotes. I have found cactus!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Scargod

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Pssst! Tex, in many Mexicanos' hearts, Texas still is Mexico, the land of Atzlan. You Texans just keep tryin' to bulid a wall the keep 'em from coming home. What would TexMex be w/out the Mex?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The Mex war was just another Iraq, only worse, we stayed.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Celantro seed is underrated.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Gringolito

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              No need to get historic here... but the Southwest was untenable for the young Mexican nation... not only was the country immediately embroiled in a Civil War that would last 100 years... but those northern territories were just never really Mexico....there was nothing to keep them glued together in the face of Russian, French, Spanish & American expansionist interests. Once the Central American fiefdoms broke away from Mexico it really was all over... that those Northern territories remained under the Mexico City government for decades is almost a mystery. Perhaps, with greater foresight... Mexico could have broken up those territories to multiple countries and let them face each other down... anyone who has ever played Risk can appreciate that it what was really a no win situation.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Eat_Nopal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Thinks amigo.I just like giving my buddy Scargod a rough time. I'm aware of the history of Norhern Mexico. Mi cunyada is from Northern New Mexico(Tierra Amarilla) and "traces" her family back to the 1580's (hidden jews escaping the inquisition?) and has been studied etymologically for their antiquated dialect. They lost most of their land after tne Mexican war. It now has natural gas wells. I have a master's from the U of New Mexico in American studies. I get in trouble here in New England teaching high school non-Pilgram non-New England centric American history!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                How's Hawaii. Snowed here all weekend and we have single digit temps.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Most underrated food? Pulque!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Great to know... I see you are well versed in the history of the Crypto Jews (boy did they make a mistake in aligning themselves with the Anglos didn't they? Maybe they should have opened their territories to Palestininan immigration instead.).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Hawaii... I am melting in the brutal Hawaiian winter... otherwise going well.... oh yeah, I miss good Mexican, Ethiopian & Indian food... and soft Goat cheese that is properly ripened and not slimy from the humidity =)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: Eat_Nopal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        count me in the fanbase for chayotes as well as wheatberries. Although i've only discovered both in the past year.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Eat_Nopal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Real wild rice does seem to be an unknown quantity. The advent of this California stuff is really unfortunate.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: bbqboy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Which is why I work to get the word out.Every year we purchase 25# .15# is for gifts.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            With the addition of tips and recipes after a year or two we add more converts to the fold.20 pounds or more takes the sting out of the $$,quite price competative (CA or
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            other cultivated)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Mild, creamy, buttery muenster cheese. Colby, too. Heated through, then eaten with a fork. Who needs crackers and wine...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Moose meat (esp. 'bottled')
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Rabbit pie
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Cod (esp 'cheeks')
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Seal flippers
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Canned salmon
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Carnation evaporated milk, in coffee
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Molasses as a sweetener in tea
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Boiled raisin cake
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Mushy peas

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            (and if you can guess where I am from, you are probably from there, too)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: LJS

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              yay ! a fellow Newfoundlander !!! :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I grew up having Carnation milk in my cereal btw

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: im_nomad

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Got it in one! I really miss Newfoundland food around Christmas time and can go all nostalgic over dumplings in brown sugar sauce and moose stir fry, never mind Ches's fish and chips (with gravy!).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: LJS

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  and dressing, don't forget dressing ! :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Schav, of course. How can you not survive a hot, summer day without a cold fresh glass of schav (Manischevitz, of course, not Golds)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. after awakening this morning with a breakfast craving for a steaming bowl of oatmeal, i have to add that one. oatmeal really is one of the most underrated foods

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I have a recipe for an Irish soup with oatmeal in it called Brotchan....but have never gotten around to making it. I love the idea of oats as a grain in savory dishes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Beef Tongue, Ox Tail and.....Intestine!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Jaytizzle

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yes! ... lengua tacos - my favorite taco truck meal.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Kare-kare (Filipino ox tail stew), served with bagoong alamang (shrimp paste).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The closest I get to intestine is the casing for home made longanisa or chorizo.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Jaytizzle

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      One of the most memorable meals I've ever had was while I was living in Colombia. The dish was Lengua de Cabra, which along with other dining experiences at the time changed my attitudes towards offal. Be it tripe, liver, sweetbread and on and on.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Pudding, rice, chocolate, tapioca, flan....all comforting...all highly underrated
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      On the rare occasion I see pudding offered at a party, I gush with glee :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      19 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Was the reaction of most at a party last evening.A lemon pudding and a chocolate pudding with various flavor sugar cookies were eaten down to a smear and a crumb.It was such a comforting and easy thing to do (special request)..I had not made pudding in years.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: lcool

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          lcool...if I may: very cool!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Pudding always wound up at the kids table at many of the parties we attended...and there I would go...with bowl & spoon ready...until it dawned on me....pudding is enjoyed by everyone :) thank you for helping me make the point that homemade pudding is underrated.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            pudding for dessert was always the highlight for me when we would eat at one of those salad bar restaurants [e.g. Lettuce Souprise You, Sweet Tomatoes, Souplantation] in college :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I had forgotten just how tasty,easy and pleasing old fashioned pudding and a refrigerator cookie "scoop" could be.It was the request of a friend/guest after a
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              chat about nostalgic foods.It is just astonishing how many things slip below the radar and get neglected for no reason.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I tend to get all caught up with the pear saute',chocolate sauce and cognac etc and forget the so called not "sophisticated" desserts.Me,the person that harps about foundation.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            After cheerleading that homemade pudding was an underrated food...it occurs to me as I sit here enjoying a bialy for lunch; toasted to my liking with just a smear of sweet butter and my first cup of joe that, bialys are underrated as well!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Move over bagel and make room for bialy!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              i'm with you on the bialy, HillJ. on the one occasion in the past couple of years that i purposely "glutened"myself since going GF it was to enjoy some Zabar's nova - not on a bagel, but rather on a sliver of a toasted Kossar's bialy. [i must confess, however, that those few moments of gustatory pleasure were still NOT worth the ensuing 3 days of pain.]

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Kossar's is a wonderful bialy. Gluten-free they are not. Great opportunity for some creative bread baker to originate a gluten free bialy!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The only thing keeping us from eating them more than 2 or 3 times a month is ????
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                where to find them.Rockville isn't part of the family path and Calvert Woodley is only
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                a periodic stop.So where else is there??

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: lcool

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/172906

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  lcool, did you happen to catch this thread for DC?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    HillJ,before CHOW for me,thank you.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Was surprised to only see one Rockville merchant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: lcool

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    lcool, definitely order them from Kossar's...there's no other way to go!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    http://www.kossarsbialys.com/

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    and HillJ, believe me, a the bialy is *number one* on my GF wish list..i don't usually do breads, but i just might have to work on that...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      thanks,I'll investigate the direct from Kossars source.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      ghg,they are not hard to make.twice a year I dig out a ?newspaper recipe of long ago.Some of the prep is tedious,but not difficult.Just time consuming.If you are interested I'll dig it out and post/type it here for you.Too busy now,but early January works.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: lcool

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        i know, making regular bialys wouldn't really be a challenge...but gluten free is an entirely different story.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Love those bialys, buttered with a glass of orange juice. Not too easy to find in southern California. I like it when they have a ton of onions in the center. I think I'll have to track one down for breakfast tomorrow.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Kate is always hungry

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Kate - in addition to your beloved chubs, you'll also find good bialys at Barney Greengrass.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Thanks again! Can't wait to try it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: Kate is always hungry

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Kate, if you ever get a hankering to make them - the "Cooking with Julia" cookbook has the BOMB of a recipe for bialys.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Sal Vanilla

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          really? i might have to track down the recipe and attempt a GF version...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Sal Vanilla

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Thanks Sal Vanilla. I just might do that. It won't be for a while but I will report back. I love bialys. Could it be because my maternal grandmother came from Bialystok????

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Celery! It is such a good purveyor of so many great foods. And theoretically negative calories.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        That's a really good call. From the root to the stalk to the leaves to the seeds.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: tatamagouche

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          so true.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          the stalks are one of my favorite snacks - i have some nearly every day. and coleslaw just wouldn't be the same without those seeds. but the leaves are definitely the most underrated part of the plant...i cringe when i see people wasting them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Seeds in cole slaw, seeds in barbecue sauce. I agree completely about the leaves. I like to put them in my homemade chicken soup shortly before serving.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Celery has been on the come since the Wonder Pets debuted on Noggin.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3. Okra, spinach, eggplant, zucchini..

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Seafood and fish, a lot of people don't like it thinking it's smelly ..blah blah. BUT it can be very good, if it's fresh and prepared nicely.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Mussels and oysters too, so goooooooood!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Then there is "foreign" foods, if you don't try you won't know.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. The lowly dried bean... completely underappreciated and an excellent meal to serve to get people to head on home after a few hours after the meal (we have friends who like to stay until three in the morning). Luckily they are veggies... I always include a healthy portion of beans!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Sal Vanilla

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Beans, beans, the musical fruit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The more they eat, the sooner they scoot

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                beans, beans, a musical fruit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                the more you eat, the more you toot

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                beans, beans, they're good for your heart
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                the more you eat, the more you....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                well, you get the idea ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  We are thoooo thophisticated!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    LOL! you're too much, Sam :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    the more you fart, the better you feel
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    so eat beans at every meal!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: Sal Vanilla

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Nooooooooooooooo We've got to cut back on these greenhouse gas emissions!!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Look at what the cows are doin' to us!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                3. I never knew that grapefruit was under-rated, as it was a staple growing up (my biggest complaint was having to brush my teeth before eating it--toothpaste and grapefruit are an awful combination).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Newest favourite (discovered on CH): sauteed turkey liver, which most people think the cat should enjoy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Others:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Sweetbreads
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Prunes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Mincemeat
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Sardines in tomato sauce (crumbled atop thinly sliced red onions, sprinkled with vinagre, topped with salt and a generous grind of black pepper and served with slices of french toast)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Spaghetti Squash (sauteed in olive oil or glace with garlic and habanero slices)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Okra, as long as someone else makes it
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Zucchini/courgette flowers--added to soups or stuffed and fried. Yum!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Blood sausage
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Haggis
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Anchovies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Pickled herring in wine
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Baby octopus (1-2 bite sized)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Snails--steamed and served with hairpins
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Figs--fresh or dried
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Finely shredded pork skin
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Breadfruit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Caralien

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I like everything on your list!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Caralien

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Yum!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. i'm too tired to scroll thru 300+ entries to see if we've already mentioned this one, but as i was slicing some for dinner tonight i had to add i to the list...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      broccoli stems. love them!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        the best part,never get all mushy in a gratin.Stems of artichoke also qualify,same flavor ,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        less labor.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: lcool

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          i like the broccoli stems better than the florets...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. I have a thing for gelatinous stuff: pigs feet, chicken feet, beef tendon.... YUM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Figs & Watermellon.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. In America, rice. I was at a book fair where they had a panel of food writers and someone asked them what their comfort foods were. Three of the six said "rice." At first, I was surprised, but when I thought about it more, it made perfect sense. Risotto, fried rice in many different cuisines, biriyani, sushi, etc., etc. Americans are not primarily rice eaters, so rice is,. to my mind, underrated.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: PAO

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              This recipe for brussels sprouts will convert even the toughest critic of the bs. It's from a great restaurant in Phoenix-

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Chelsea’s Kitchen Brussel Sprout Salad

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 pound Brussel sprouts
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Handful Marconi almonds (Trader joes has them)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Handful dried blueberries & cranberries
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              4 oz. diced pancetta (Trader Joes)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Shaved Manchego cheese ( take a vegetable peeler and shave off strands of cheese)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Dressing:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              A few tablespoons fresh lemon juice
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Some lemon zest ( about 1 Tbsp)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1/4 cup champagne vinegar
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              One-tablespoon whole grain mustard
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Two tablespoons honey or real maple syrup
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1/2-cup olive oil & canola oil (whatever combo you prefer)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Salt and pepper

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Whisk together & adjust for taste

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Blanche the brussel sprouts in boiling water with small amount of salt and sugar in the water. Blanche for about 2-3 minutes.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Drain and cool under cold water, When cool, peel each Brussels sprout (I know-labor intensive), I wound up peeling only the larger leaves and leaving behind the core piece for soup) You will need to cut off the stem part as you peel.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Right before serving toss all the ingredients together. Or toss the Brussels with vinaigrette and arrange all the goodies on top for a more dramatic presentation.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: panarosmith

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I love roasted brussel sprouts...they are amazing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Chicken Gizzads 2 lbs they shrink by half
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Clean and bring to a boil add two cubes of salt free chicken bullion. Skim top until the gunk is gone. Simmer for one hour add water if necessary to keep gizzards covered. Drain and rinse put back in pan and cover half with water, one quarter with white wine and one quarter red wine two cubes salt free bullion cubes. Simmer for one half hour and then add 1 tsp of dried oragano, 4 Tbs of salt free butter, 1 tsp of dried basil, half tsp of black pepper, simmer until liquid is of a somewhat creamy consistancy and serve over Basmati Rice. UUUUMMMMMMM Cheap and Cheerful

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. COTTAGE CHEESE: you can play around with it so much...make it sweet or savory. It's a good dessert if you jazz it up or a dip for veggies. Plus, it's a fabulous meat-free protein source and provides a lot of calcium (which many Americans don't get enough as adults).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. golden rasins

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Mexican Candy is underrated. I like Vero Mango, Mango Flavored Chili Covered Lollipops.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Tamarind.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Corned beef hash!! Most people stare at me as I inhale it cup by cup (I swear it must have crack in it). I and most of my family love it, but the rest of the world that I've encountered seems to stare in disgust and won't even go near it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Most kinds of offal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Anchovies, sardines.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Eel