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Feb 12, 2009 10:31 AM

Are there any foods you just cannot bear eating any way except straight up and delicious?

I know I'm a bit freaky, but there are a few things I just cannot tolerate to see chefs mix up or fry or use as a garnish. For me that's sacrilege.

One is beluga caviar. I don't care what people do with salmon roe or blackfish caviar, but if it's the "real" stuff -- prime beluga -- I don't want it sprinkled with chopped eggs or chopped onions, I don't want it plopped on top of sour cream on blinis, I don't want it atop an hors d'ouvre or garnishing something else. I want it on a plate or in a bowl all by itself with a nice mother of pearl spoon and maybe a flute of champagne on the side.

The other is sea urchin roe. I feel the same as I do about beluga. Anything you add to sea urchin roe diminishes it. And so does cooking it! And I don't want it to be more than two hours out of the ocean or the flavor will be off. Consequently I don't eat it in sushi bars unless the chef is still in his wet suit with his air tank strapped to his back..

Do any of you have foods that you cannot handle eating any other way than pristine with total solo flavor? I'm curious what they might be.

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    1. re: todao

      Oh me too! No mignonette, ever.

      1. re: Gio

        Ditto, ditto
        Four dozen this Sunday as starters at Wynn's champagne brunch.

        1. re: Passadumkeg

          Oysters and champagne. A marriage made in .... heaven.

          1. re: Gio

            It is a champagne lunch. Mom used to get pissed at me when I'd tell her I must have been switched at birth because my favorite food are caviar, oysters and champagne. Where are my millionaire real parents?

            Lamb chops. No mint jelly or sauce, just the natural rare "juice".

            1. re: Passadumkeg

              Oh yes, lamb chops. I've always figured mint jelly was for people who don't really like lamb but are being compelled to eat it at a family dinner. And definitely rare. Only 8a.m. here in Calif. but I could chow down on some nice chops right now.

              1. re: c oliver

                I have to marinate my chops, and use a slightly excessive amount of salt for the (criss-crossed) fat. And I eat them slightly pink in the middle, but I wouldn't say rare.

                1. re: c oliver

                  C O, I will some times make lamb chops eggs and fome fries for breakfast if we are feeling special.

                  1. re: Passadumkeg

                    I've been known, if there are any left from the night before, to nuke them just the tiniest bit to get the fat a little warm and eat them for breakfast also. Life is good :) BTW, I had never tasted lamb until I moved to SF in '76. The first time was a beautiful rack of lamb at a restaurant that's since closed. It was love at first bite.

                    1. re: c oliver

                      Lamb & pork are our most eaten commercial meats w/ beef a easy third and chicken a distant fourth (American "Tyson" type chicken tastes off, like antibiotics).

          1. re: todao

            omg yes, nothing better than a fresh oyster

            1. re: AngelSanctuary

              I'm a huge fan of sweet kumamoto oysters, but recently had a fantastic scallop sashimi with all the parts separated beautifully: soft rich roe, dense gelatinous parts which I thought were tendon, and sweet succulent flesh -- wonderful range of textures from just one shell that oysters may not be able to match.

              1. re: limster

                yeah, I was thinking about scallops too. I love fresh scallop sashimi.

          2. Dungeness crab. Hmm, could this already be a theme developing?

            1. White peaches. The yellow ones are fine for poaching, baking, whatever, but I think the white ones should only be eaten fresh.

              5 Replies
              1. re: metaphora

                Interesting, I was going to say fresh peaches as well, but yellow are my preference. Canned peaches are fine for what they are, and if you really want cobbler/pie/whatever, you might as well use frozen, but fresh, ripe peaches are perfect as they are. At most, silce 'em up and put them on ice cream.

                1. re: metaphora

                  I love both white and yellow peaches, but white should only ever be eaten fresh. Cooking them destroys that light floral aroma and you end up with bland mush.

                  1. re: mordacity

                    Agreed! We had a white peach tree in the backyard at my house growing up, and they were the most incredible, perfumey stone fruits I've ever eaten. A shame that grocery store white peaches, and even many at farmers' markets, tend to be bland and mushy even before cooking! It's so hard to find one that isn't inbred these days.

                    1. re: operagirl

                      That reminds of when I used to eat rambutans off the tree in my late grandmother's yard.

                    2. re: mordacity

                      Unless you pick them, cut them in half and throw them on to a dying barbeque til they barely get grill marks and drizzle with the best balsamic vinegar you have.....oh I miss my peach trees.

                  2. Fresh raspberries. (Although if they're not perfect, I might add a bit of sugar),

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: PAO

                      Agreed - berries in general, but especially raspberries! I'm take-it-or-leave-it when it comes to chocolate; my heart sinks whenever I see a dessert menu with the all-too-common combination of berries and chocolate. Why ruin a perfectly good raspberry?

                    2. Both of your two and coconut;straight from the shell I can eat it until sick.Do ANYTHING with it,to it or use it in anything and I won't eat it.SWEET OR SAVORY

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: lcool

                        Gosh, reminds me of baby coconut -- used to get them at hawker stalls -- the top taken off, a straw for the juice and a long spoon for the delicate white flesh.

                        1. re: limster

                          that's them,a great offset to spicy street food in Asia