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Regional favorite that you just didn't get once you finally had a chance to try it

c
cycloneillini Apr 12, 2009 07:01 PM

Several years ago when I still lived in Illinois, a corporate merger brought us together with folks from Texas, specifically Houston (where I now live). Whenever the Houstonians came to IL for any length of time, they would talk about having "Whataburger withdrawals" and how Whataburger makes the best fast food burgers in the world. Well, I have to tell you, I've been in Texas eight years now and I still don't get the obsession with Whataburger. I find them dry and tasteless no matter what you dress them up with. Has anyone else had a similar experience?

  1. r
    RGC1982 Apr 12, 2009 07:37 PM

    I too moved to Texas, and still don't get the obsession with pickled jalapenos on EVERYTHING. They are good on somethings, but not everything.

    9 Replies
    1. re: RGC1982
      janetms383 Apr 14, 2009 09:52 AM

      Deep fried pickles! uck!

      1. re: RGC1982
        Cascokat May 9, 2009 09:45 AM

        I'm a native Californian now living in Texas. I've been searching for three years trying to find REAL Mexican food around here! What is it with putting chili on everything? I just don't get it!

        As for the Chick-Fil-a, as soon as you get your order, open the bag that the sandwich is in. Otherwise, you loose the crunch (found out the hard way).

        I agree with the "what's-so-great-about-Whataburger" comments. However, give me an In-n-Out burger ... seriously. PLEASE. GIVE me one! :)

        1. re: Cascokat
          MinkeyMonkey Dec 17, 2009 04:26 PM

          Yes, In-n-Out burgers are the best ever!! I, too, am no longer in L.A. and although I hardly ever eat burgers, I do miss those. And, most visitors agree, they are surprisingly good fast food and better than expected.

          When in Santa Fe, we tried frito pie because "we just had to" and "I always have this when I'm here". No, not special, just something I can make at home.

          Krispy Kreme in Florida, before they were available everywhere. Meh, not so special.

          What I DID like were the cheese curds in Oregon from the Tillamook dairy...so very good!

          1. re: MinkeyMonkey
            RetiredChef Dec 19, 2009 10:17 AM

            Funny how people are so different - the first thought I had when I read the OP was In-N-Out, don’t get it. Here are the first 4 American items that came to my mind.

            In-n-Out burgers – (belch), greasy, nasty pasty cheese, tons of relish in their ‘secret’ sauce and those disgusting fries, sorry I’m not sold by the marketing so I don’t think only ultra-cool Californians eat here.

            Nantucket Bay Scallops – These are revered as the black truffle of scallops, actually they have just a bit more flavor then regular bay scallops but don’t even come close to high quality diver sea scallops.

            Boiled Peanuts – wall paper paste, yuck why destroy such a nice nut?

            Tillamook cheese – Nothing wrong with this cheese, but to some it is the holy grail of cheese, it’s a decent quality mass produced cheese, nothing more and nothing to go ga-ga over.

            1. re: RetiredChef
              linguafood Dec 19, 2009 11:56 AM

              Never had boiled peanuts myself.... but it's not a nut. It's a legume.

              1. re: linguafood
                RetiredChef Dec 19, 2009 04:24 PM

                peanut is a legume.

                However in culinary terms we use the term nut quite differently, walnuts and almonds are technically drupes and cashews and corn nuts are technically seeds, but we seem to call them nuts without the diction police coming in to correct us.

                So while a ground nut is technically a legume, most people would be scratching their heads as they reached for a monkey nut and cracked it open - wondering why in the world would someone would call a simple goober pea a legume?

                I suggest a compromise Pass the peagumes please. ;)

                1. re: RetiredChef
                  linguafood Dec 20, 2009 08:19 AM

                  Ha! "Peagumes" is something I would pass on without ever trying them '-)

                  That sounds awful...

                  1. re: linguafood
                    thew Dec 20, 2009 09:38 AM

                    i had peagumes once. no big deal - shot of penecillan fixed it right up

              2. re: RetiredChef
                Ed Dibble Dec 27, 2009 08:05 AM

                Growing up in Oregon, we loved Tillamook because back in those days so much cheese was cheesewiz, Kraft American slices and the like.

                If you ever get the chance to taste real long aged Tillamook (3-5 years old), that is something special.

        2. goodhealthgourmet Apr 12, 2009 08:10 PM

          i felt the same way about Chik-Fil-A when i lived in ATL. i didn't eat meat at the time so i never even tried their chicken biscuit, but i didn't understand what everyone thought was so great about the waffle fries - meh, and the lemonade! why does everyone love their lemonade so much?

          4 Replies
          1. re: goodhealthgourmet
            lynnlato Apr 13, 2009 12:24 PM

            I hear what you're saying, sister! I've lived in CLT for 13 yrs now and I still don't get it. My kids love it though and family that comes to visit from PA loves it also. I hate their fries, the lemonade is ordinary and while I like their chicken, it doesn't "wow" me. I do think they have great customer service, clean restaurants and a slightly healthier menu than most fast-food restaurants though. And I do like their cole slaw.

            1. re: lynnlato
              Davwud Apr 14, 2009 04:50 AM

              I had heard so much about how CFA was so great. I decided I'd give it a go. It was bland and very unappetizing. All in all, I thought the whole visit sucked. I truly don't get it.

              DT

              1. re: Davwud
                t
                turqmut Apr 15, 2009 08:26 AM

                Their sandwiches are much better if they're very freshly prepared. If they sit long at all the chicken loses it's crunch and gets kind of steamy/wet. They are fantastic when they're "new".

            2. re: goodhealthgourmet
              ktmoomau Apr 20, 2009 11:44 AM

              I am not a huge fan of the lemonade, but living up north (well in DC which is technically below the mason dixon, but has poor Southern food in general), their sweet tea is the best that you can find around here.

              If I want a fried breaded chicken sandwich I like theirs, but it is something I would go any great distance for.

            3. b
              beth1 Apr 12, 2009 08:32 PM

              Thank you. Now I miss Whataburger. I'm in San Diego now, but we had them when we lived in Florida. Now we have In-and-Out. They're good. I don't get the whole pickled carrots and jalepenos in EVERY taco shop. They don't really do it for me. The California burrito, however, is a different story.

              2 Replies
              1. re: beth1
                s
                StatenEats May 6, 2009 06:26 PM

                Beth, I am from San Diego and now in NYC. I could kill for a California burrito, a Rubio's fish taco and an In-and-Out burger.

                1. re: StatenEats
                  c
                  Cinnamon May 8, 2009 10:15 PM

                  Me too, and I'm in L.A. It's just that it's after 10pm and I don't want to go out, though.

                  I'm not really into any region's pickled stuff, I agree with Beth. Not long ago in Prague I ordered a cucumber-tomato sandwich. What I got was pickles, grilled cheese, grilled tomato and mustard on hot bread.

              2. ipsedixit Apr 12, 2009 11:06 PM

                Scrapple.

                5 Replies
                1. re: ipsedixit
                  steakman55 Apr 14, 2009 03:37 PM

                  Yes, by all means, scrapple. OTOH, What-a-burgers are one of the great sandwiches in the history of the world, particularly double meat and cheese. If you could have those with Chik fil a waffle fries and lemonade, it would be perfection. But scrapple, no way no how.

                  1. re: steakman55
                    Passadumkeg Apr 14, 2009 04:02 PM

                    I love scrapple and lug it 500 miles back up to Maine. My Yankee wife, however, is not enthused.

                    1. re: Passadumkeg
                      lynnlato Apr 14, 2009 05:28 PM

                      Scrapple is just a breakfast hot dog, shaped differently of course. Pig scraps mixed with cornmeal and flour, plain and simple. Now livermush, on the other hand...

                    2. re: steakman55
                      s
                      san antonio eater Aug 12, 2009 02:29 PM

                      I've got to concur on the Scrapple thing. Gross. As a native Texan, however, I have never understood the What-a-Burger phenomenon. They were ok when I was growing up in a small town and they were the only fast food around, but we never eat them now. Those What-a-burger onions! Yech - they stay with you for days.

                    3. re: ipsedixit
                      Mawrter May 8, 2009 10:08 PM

                      Word. I shudder. I get scrapple with my hog share, and hand it over to friends / family that like it.

                    4. linguafood Apr 12, 2009 11:36 PM

                      Philly Cheesesteak.... guess you have to grow up with it. But then, not a lot of Non-Germans 'get' our love affair with white asparagus --

                      22 Replies
                      1. re: linguafood
                        Glencora Apr 13, 2009 12:11 PM

                        I'm afraid I'm a non-German who doesn't "get" white asparagus. I was in Germany a few Springs ago and kept ordering it by mistake. Once it was listed on the chalkboard as "spare ribs." I thought it would meat! I love green asparagus but white doesn't appeal to me at.

                        Another for me was chicken fried steak in Texas.

                        1. re: Glencora
                          linguafood Apr 13, 2009 12:19 PM

                          Wait -- the asparagus was listed as "spare ribs?" Perhaps a really, really bad attempt at the word 'asparagus'? Whoa. I feel that's another customer I should add '-D

                          Speaking as one of those crazy Germ's who go absolulety apesh!t about that stuff -- one factor I'm sure being that it's _such_ a seasonal thing: only about mid April thru June 24, and that's it for the year -- I find that white asparagus has much more flavor than green asparagus. Well, not all white asparagus is created equal.... but I'm sure you got the 'good' stuff, and just didn't care for it. Neither does my man, who's non-German and doesn't get it either. That, and smoked herring with raw onions '-D ha.

                          1. re: linguafood
                            EWSflash Apr 25, 2009 01:43 PM

                            You want to see some faux-pas-riddled menus that tried their best to accommodate the English-speaking customer, go to engrish.com and take a look around.

                            1. re: EWSflash
                              linguafood Apr 25, 2009 02:09 PM

                              Oh, I have that site bookmarked, but haven't gone on it in a while. Pee-yer-pants funny stuff....

                              1. re: linguafood
                                kubasd May 1, 2009 05:33 PM

                                I have that site bookmarked as well! So hilarious....

                                The menu part is def my favorite

                        2. re: linguafood
                          l
                          lagatta Apr 13, 2009 04:48 PM

                          I love both kinds of asparagus. The white kind is also common in France. And I love the German springtime meals designed around asparagus. Smoked herring, are you from the North, linguafood? That is also common in the Netherlands. I do like it, but not always the easiest thing to digest.

                          1. re: lagatta
                            linguafood Apr 13, 2009 10:00 PM

                            Both my parents are from Northern Germany, tho my dad had the higher appreciation for all things fishy -- I still remember our last dinner with him, where matjes, raw onions, and pan-fried potatoes were served.... much to my husbands disappointment, who tried filling up on the potatoes. My dad was incredulous to hear that matjes was not everyone's cup o'tea.

                            Let's say it's not something I want to eat every day, but whenever I return to Germany, I get a LOT of the stuff I can't really get around here -- herring in dill creams sauce, herring salad with apples, onions, and red beets, smoked fish, teewurst....

                            ah. only two more weeks :-D

                            1. re: linguafood
                              Passadumkeg Apr 13, 2009 11:59 PM

                              We had herrings, rye, cheeses, and hard boiled eggs w/cold cuts for Easter breakfast.

                              1. re: Passadumkeg
                                linguafood Apr 14, 2009 12:06 AM

                                Ah -- hard boiled's a bit hard-core for me, I prefer a soft one for breakfast. Unless I have a toasted slice with cream cheese and sliced hard boiled egg on it.

                                Really looking forward to German breakfast again!

                                1. re: linguafood
                                  Passadumkeg Apr 14, 2009 12:14 AM

                                  Sliced boiled eggs are an integral part of the Norwegian frukost bord, breakfast table; layered on smorbrod, open faced sandwiches.

                                  1. re: Passadumkeg
                                    linguafood Apr 14, 2009 12:53 AM

                                    Schmecksville!! Only... 9 more hours till breakfast --

                                    1. re: linguafood
                                      l
                                      lagatta Apr 16, 2009 01:19 PM

                                      linguafood, please report on your gastronomic visit. Suppose that should be on the "international" board.

                                      1. re: lagatta
                                        linguafood Apr 16, 2009 01:49 PM

                                        Hmmmm.... which gastronomic visit are we talking? I leave for Berlin in a little over a week, and will be there till early August.... which means a LOT of resto visits :-D. I'm excited! And the international board is quasi my home!!!

                          2. re: linguafood
                            operagirl Apr 24, 2009 10:01 PM

                            Agreed on Philly Cheesesteak sandwiches. Tasted like junky processed crap to me.

                            1. re: operagirl
                              Mawrter May 8, 2009 10:12 PM

                              You might have _had_ junky processed crap.... there's plenty of it. The good stuff is *VERY* good to me, but then I'm a native. You have to do someplace with a good rep among locals, with good meat and good rolls, and I prefer it with provolone (not Whiz), fried onions, mushrooms, and hot and sweet peppers.

                              1. re: Mawrter
                                kchurchill5 May 10, 2009 08:27 AM

                                It was par ... nothing like I thought. I make awesome cheese steak, but good meat, good cheese and cooked right. I did enjoy the atmosphere and I am sure that is what it is all about as many similar type foods. So overall, good, but quality, NO. But like I said ... atmosphere and history and tradition is just as important!

                                NY delis not impressed, some chicago style Italian sandwich, OMG, what is the deal with that. The south I enjoyed most. Oysters fried, I don't like but that is just me. CA, pretty good, TX didn't like the style of cooking at most places. OK, KS and NE had some awesome BBQ however and was impressed by the food. Seattle, I don't have a complaint, but I did eat mostly seafood, but impressed.

                            2. re: linguafood
                              Mawrter May 8, 2009 10:15 PM

                              Are you all talking about white asparagus like it's a Philly/PA thing, or is it just we're a bunch of SEPAians talking about white asparagus? I'm confused. And intrigued. I would be very happy to find a good local source for white asparagus!

                              I think of it as a Western European thing... the Spanish serve a lot of preserved white asparagus on salad, and in season in France and Italy. It's hard for me to find and if anyone knows of a good source, I'd be thrilled!

                              1. re: Mawrter
                                linguafood May 9, 2009 04:47 AM

                                The latter. I've tried white asparagus in the U.S. and it's just not the same. The terroir is actually important for it to develope its flavor... and the best asparagus still comes from Germany :-D

                                1. re: linguafood
                                  Mawrter May 9, 2009 09:04 PM

                                  Well, I can't disagree since I've never had it in Germany. I think the terroir thing might be partly because it's a perennial. That is why I don't allocate space for it myself - I need my garden to be producing something more than once a year.

                              2. re: linguafood
                                k
                                Kelli2006 Aug 12, 2009 08:40 AM

                                I'm German and I never understood the love affair with white asparagus. It was a religion with my grandparents on both sides, but it's just "meh" to me.

                                1. re: linguafood
                                  j
                                  jesssala Nov 2, 2009 11:29 AM

                                  I lived with Germans (IN Germany) for about 6 years, I LOVE white asparagus! Fresh from the field, with fresh from the field (AKA organic - yes, you CAN taste the difference) boiled salted potatoes, a slice of boiled ham and a velvety hollandaise sauce on the asparagus. OMG my mouth is watering....

                                  1. re: jesssala
                                    linguafood Nov 6, 2009 06:51 AM

                                    Thanks, mine too, now '-). Ah well, 'only' have to wait another 6 months... >sigh<

                                2. ElsieDee Apr 13, 2009 12:35 AM

                                  Boiled peanuts (in the south).

                                  31 Replies
                                  1. re: ElsieDee
                                    lynnlato Apr 13, 2009 12:24 PM

                                    This is what I was going to post. Boiled peanuts are disgusting, IMHO.

                                    1. re: lynnlato
                                      alkapal Apr 14, 2009 07:35 AM

                                      good! more boiled peanuts for me!

                                      1. re: alkapal
                                        bayoucook Apr 14, 2009 08:03 AM

                                        and me!

                                        1. re: bayoucook
                                          Boccone Dolce Apr 14, 2009 06:52 PM

                                          Try them again Elsie. My first taste was like nibbling on a bo- weevil.
                                          When someone brought them back from a roadside stand -they were hot and they were worlds better. Still not something I seek out (I really don't like to eat with my fingers all that much) but they were better hot.

                                          1. re: bayoucook
                                            c
                                            Cinnamon Apr 15, 2009 08:50 PM

                                            Me too. And I still remember the really good boiled-peanut pie at Billy Carter's restaurant in Plains.

                                            1. re: bayoucook
                                              kubasd May 1, 2009 05:35 PM

                                              and me! especially the spicy ones.... my favorite southern snack ever, and I dont' even like regular peanuts. Side note, anyone make them at home?

                                              1. re: kubasd
                                                bayoucook May 3, 2009 05:27 AM

                                                I do, all the time. The easy way: in the crockpot with salt or cajun salt, cayenne etc. if I want spicy, even crab boil sometimes. Usually put them on before bed, then eat them sometimes the next day. Can just boil them stovetop too.

                                                1. re: bayoucook
                                                  alkapal May 6, 2009 04:00 AM

                                                  bayoucook, from where do you buy your green peanuts?

                                                  1. re: alkapal
                                                    bayoucook May 6, 2009 06:14 AM

                                                    Hi. Our Walmart Superstore has them a few times a year, and I also get them at farmer's markets and local stands. Just the smell of those green peanuts takes me back!

                                            2. re: alkapal
                                              d
                                              DishDelish Aug 12, 2009 06:35 PM

                                              Boiled peanuts, a Hawaiian favorite! My hubby introduced me to this, it is not bad. He wanted to make them but we couldn't find raw peanuts anywhere in Alaska.

                                              1. re: DishDelish
                                                alkapal Aug 13, 2009 06:20 AM

                                                harvest is in september, so you can get some fresh "green" peanuts online, soon.

                                                1. re: alkapal
                                                  d
                                                  DishDelish Aug 13, 2009 01:37 PM

                                                  I never thought of getting them online. What a great idea. Thanks! ;)

                                                  1. re: DishDelish
                                                    alkapal Aug 13, 2009 02:55 PM

                                                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/430248
                                                    some sources mentioned here. i also recall "lee brothers" being mentioned: http://www.boiledpeanuts.com/index2.html

                                                    for roasted peanuts, i adore "golden gourmet" peanuts from n.c. crunchy, big, delish! http://www.peanut.com/locations.asp sign up for their email special offers. i just got a BOGO deal.

                                                    i'm going to find out if they'll sell them raw.....

                                                    ~~~~~~
                                                    look! "boiled peanuts" on facebook (notice the festivals): http://www.facebook.com/pages/Boiled-...

                                                    1. re: alkapal
                                                      d
                                                      DishDelish Aug 19, 2009 02:29 PM

                                                      Thanks Alka! I think my hubby wants to make them himself though so I'm going to look for raw peanuts online. I just found some on Amazon and I'm going to add it to my wish list!
                                                      I'm going to have to become a friend of boiled peanuts on facebook. ;)
                                                      Or maybe I can just ask him to bring some home from Hawaii...

                                                      1. re: DishDelish
                                                        alkapal Aug 20, 2009 04:21 AM

                                                        dish, call lee brothers and ask when the green peanuts will be in (sometime in september-october, iirc). then order them to boil! i think i'll have to do that this year -- and revive my boiled peanuts thread.

                                                        1. re: alkapal
                                                          d
                                                          DishDelish Aug 20, 2009 04:48 PM

                                                          I just talked with my hubby yesterday about bringing home some raw peanuts from Hawaii. If he doesn't end up bringing them home for some reason I'll give them a call. =)

                                                          1. re: DishDelish
                                                            alkapal Aug 21, 2009 05:17 AM

                                                            when's harvest in hawaii? raw peanuts are one thing, but raw "green" peanuts (fresh out of the ground) are another.

                                                            1. re: alkapal
                                                              d
                                                              DishDelish Aug 21, 2009 12:41 PM

                                                              I have no idea??? I'll have to ask my hubby.

                                            3. re: lynnlato
                                              steakman55 Apr 14, 2009 03:39 PM

                                              Perhaps they weren't salty enough, or were not cooked to right doneness, or mushy, or maybe you just didn't have them with a Coke. At any rate, done properly, they are unequalled.

                                              1. re: steakman55
                                                bayoucook Apr 15, 2009 05:25 AM

                                                yes, or a cold Barg's in the bottle - I seek them and find them addictive

                                            4. re: ElsieDee
                                              s
                                              synergy Apr 15, 2009 05:39 PM

                                              Boiled peanuts. Couldn't get them down. I don't understand the love of them sorry.

                                              1. re: synergy
                                                alkapal Aug 13, 2009 03:27 PM

                                                synergy, you did shell them, i hope! ;-).

                                              2. re: ElsieDee
                                                b
                                                berkleybabe Apr 17, 2009 06:42 PM

                                                Oh yeah. We were coming back north from Fla., stopped at a roadside place where they came right out of the big cauldron....I'd rather eat wallpaper paste or poi. Bleah.

                                                1. re: berkleybabe
                                                  kattyeyes Apr 17, 2009 06:45 PM

                                                  OMG--poi--another regional favorite I just don't get! ;)

                                                  1. re: kattyeyes
                                                    d
                                                    DishDelish Aug 13, 2009 04:45 AM

                                                    It is one of those tastes you have to grow up with I think, my kids love poi! I on the other hand do not ... but I try not to let them know that I don't because I want to encourage their adventurous palate. I added sugar and butter to it once and thought it was ok, but my hubby made me swear that I would never let the kids know I did this because he wants them to like it the pure Hawaiian way. I do like Kahlua pig in taro leaf though (which is the leaf of the taro root that they make poi from). Taro leaf sort of reminds me of spinach, which I love.

                                                  2. re: berkleybabe
                                                    alkapal Apr 18, 2009 04:32 AM

                                                    you *did* shell them, right? ;-).

                                                    1. re: berkleybabe
                                                      Kajikit Apr 28, 2009 04:12 PM

                                                      I desperately wanted to try boiled peanuts so we bought a bag from a roadside stand... one peanut each and we were DONE. Talk about vile! Smushy, soggy, and burnt-tasting all at once. What a waste of five dollars. But at least we know NEVER to buy them again!

                                                      1. re: Kajikit
                                                        alliedawn_98 Apr 28, 2009 07:00 PM

                                                        Boiled peanuts from those roadside stands aren't a very good example. Lots of times they use dried peanuts and you should use green. If they tasted burnt and were soggy, then they were overcooked. A good boiled peanut tastes a lot like a fresh, not dried, black eyed pea when cooked.

                                                    2. re: ElsieDee
                                                      k
                                                      KristieB May 7, 2009 10:11 PM

                                                      I agree. I found them more than slightly repulsive...(shudder)

                                                      1. re: ElsieDee
                                                        kchurchill5 May 10, 2009 08:30 AM

                                                        Love them!!

                                                        1. re: kchurchill5
                                                          bayoucook May 11, 2009 10:37 AM

                                                          Me too!! So much so that I buy canned ones when they're not around.

                                                      2. Morganna Apr 13, 2009 05:06 AM

                                                        Maidrites in Iowa. :) In the end, it's just steamed ground beef. ;)

                                                        9 Replies
                                                        1. re: Morganna
                                                          sebetti Apr 13, 2009 11:51 AM

                                                          As a former Maid-Rite employee (DSM zoo - one summer before college), I can reveal only that there is also a mystery powder that gets added which makes it much more than just ground beef....oh so much more!

                                                          Oh, hell. I ate them everyday for a summer and I still never got them.

                                                          1. re: sebetti
                                                            Morganna Apr 13, 2009 12:23 PM

                                                            They served them at our school cafeterias, and they always ran out of them because those would be days when everyone bought hot lunch. Along with taco and pizza days, too. Don't get me wrong, maid rites were better then the regular turkey tetrazini crud by a long shot. I mean, I like just plain ground beef and all, still, I don't get why it's such a huge "thing". :)

                                                          2. re: Morganna
                                                            r
                                                            RGC1982 Apr 13, 2009 06:01 PM

                                                            Okay -- what, exactly, is a Maid Rite? Is it a burger?

                                                            1. re: RGC1982
                                                              Morganna Apr 14, 2009 05:30 AM

                                                              Take ground beef, put in a pan, add water (some people add minced onion, or some other flavouring), stir and stir until meat is browned thoroughly, cook covered, so it steams, as well. Serve on a bun (usually pretty wet, as well). There is great debate over what it is proper to serve it with. Catsup, mustard, pickle, onion. There are purists who debate this, but I -think- the most common is mustard and pickle. Not sure on that. :)

                                                              The term "loose meat sandwich" is completely accurate. :)

                                                              1. re: Morganna
                                                                t
                                                                turqmut Apr 14, 2009 07:00 AM

                                                                And this is as bad as it sounds.

                                                                1. re: Morganna
                                                                  Catskillgirl Apr 15, 2009 12:44 PM

                                                                  I just had a flashback to grammar school. There was something called "beef crumble" served weekly over whipped fake potatoes. The beef was loose and definitely wet - I'm betting they were serving us bastardized Maid-Rite's under another name. :-)

                                                                  1. re: Morganna
                                                                    c
                                                                    Cinnamon Apr 15, 2009 08:51 PM

                                                                    Too bad the middle part of the country didn't have more Asian immigrants early on. Sigh. (Though I have had great fried catfish and roasts there, and very respectable BBQ in KC.)

                                                                  2. re: RGC1982
                                                                    sebetti Apr 14, 2009 12:00 PM

                                                                    MaidRite's originated at a local (mostly small town) Iowa franchise named - MaidRite -- now owned and trademarked by the MaidRite corporation. There is a 'secret' spice blend that is added to the loose beef that makes it a MaidRite rather than a loose beef sandwich.

                                                                    I think there were a lot of towns that were simply too small to have a McDonalds so they had MaidRites instead, hence the nostalgia.

                                                                    Although I don't think it qualifies as gross or bad, they are exceptionally uninteresting.

                                                                    1. re: sebetti
                                                                      Morganna Apr 15, 2009 05:09 AM

                                                                      Oh I never thought they were gross. Just uninteresting, and messy . :)

                                                                2. Bob W Apr 13, 2009 07:15 AM

                                                                  Great thread.

                                                                  Boiled p-nuts -- most definitely. A vile product.
                                                                  Scrapple -- not quite that bad but still pretty bad.

                                                                  Now as for Maidrites -- AKA loose meat sandwiches -- I have to say that when I discovered these in Gainesville FL, at a place run by an ex-Iowan, I have to say I very much liked them and frequented that place often for a cheap relatively healthy lunch. This despite the disgusting name of loose meat sandwiches.

                                                                  Here's one that I know leaves people cold: RI clamcakes. They always ask, "Where's the clam?" The answer: "If you squint, you might be able to see a bit of clam." If you want to eat clams, you order clams. You don't order clamcakes to eat clams. You order clamcakes because you're really hungry and you're at the beach. Clamcakes are summertime comfort food for Rhode Islanders. They are basically the same as conch fritters, for people who have had them in FL.

                                                                  9 Replies
                                                                  1. re: Bob W
                                                                    al b. darned Apr 14, 2009 12:29 AM

                                                                    I lived in RI for ten years and never really got "stuffies," aka stuffed quahogs. Really just half a big clam shell filled with Stove Top Stuffing and put under the broiler. They claimed to have chopped quahogs in them, but I could never taste it.

                                                                    The clam fritters we had in Vermont actually had discernible clams in them, but maybe that was a Long Island recipe, since the clams came from there (along with annoying relatives).

                                                                    1. re: al b. darned
                                                                      Bob W Apr 14, 2009 07:02 AM

                                                                      Oh yeah, stuffies are just like clamcakes in that there is little clam in either, but you should be able to see little bits of clam. In any event, stuffies are best eaten drenched in hot sauce (and accompanied by a cold Narragansett), so whatever clam flavor there might be is totally overwhelmed.

                                                                      Nuf said about all things Long Island 8<D

                                                                      1. re: Bob W
                                                                        al b. darned Apr 15, 2009 10:07 PM

                                                                        I hear you can get Nastygansett again but I'm not sure why you would want to.

                                                                        The LI Clam Fritter recipe was very good, it was the relatives that came with them that were annoying.

                                                                    2. re: Bob W
                                                                      bayoucook Apr 14, 2009 05:18 AM

                                                                      As a life-long southerner I have to defend boiled peanuts. Maybe yours weren't cooked correctly? I don't know ONE person who doesn't crave them down here - I guess b/c we're raised on them. I love them plain boiled with salt, or jazzed up with crab boil and cajun seasoning. I guess it's a regional thing....

                                                                      1. re: bayoucook
                                                                        Bob W Apr 14, 2009 07:00 AM

                                                                        We got some from a bus parked by the side of the road near Gainesville FL. I'm pretty sure that was a good source. LOL Mrs. W loves them -- she grew up visiting relatives in rural VA -- but me, not so much.

                                                                        1. re: Bob W
                                                                          c
                                                                          Cinnamon Apr 15, 2009 08:53 PM

                                                                          A little OT, but one thing I loved about driving into NYC was that you could - if you wanted to - buy sugarcane off the back of a truck just over the bridge into the Bronx.

                                                                        2. re: bayoucook
                                                                          b
                                                                          BrooksNYC Aug 12, 2009 05:39 PM

                                                                          I've only ever had boiled peanuts at restaurants in Charleston, SC, but was instantly smitten. LOVED 'EM.

                                                                          1. re: bayoucook
                                                                            alkapal Aug 13, 2009 06:22 AM

                                                                            bayoucook, i think i've asked you before about your source for green peanuts?

                                                                            1. re: alkapal
                                                                              bayoucook Aug 13, 2009 09:01 AM

                                                                              Hi alkapal! Yes, they're sold at the local groceries in season, as well as at roadside farm stands and produce stores. When I can get them, I boil a ton of them and freeze them.

                                                                        3. Ed Dibble Apr 13, 2009 07:50 AM

                                                                          Cincinnati chili. Not chili - just weird.

                                                                          30 Replies
                                                                          1. re: Ed Dibble
                                                                            jmckee Apr 13, 2009 10:28 AM

                                                                            It is weird. It is also indeed chili, albeit not of a bent that agrees with some other regions' conceptions.

                                                                            1. re: jmckee
                                                                              alwayscooking Apr 13, 2009 06:56 PM

                                                                              Not only doesn't it match other chilis, it just isn't good (and I've had the 2 major contenders). I guess only a local could stomach it. It tastes like someone read about chili and then went to their pre-war, mid-western pantry and threw stuff together.

                                                                              1. re: alwayscooking
                                                                                Davwud Apr 14, 2009 04:52 AM

                                                                                I'm not local and I love it. We often stop in a Skyline when we're driving through.

                                                                                DT

                                                                                1. re: Davwud
                                                                                  t
                                                                                  turqmut Apr 14, 2009 07:03 AM

                                                                                  I've always found it odd, too, but I believe Cincinnati chili came from Greek immigrants interpretation of chili.

                                                                                2. re: alwayscooking
                                                                                  c
                                                                                  Cinnamon Apr 15, 2009 08:53 PM

                                                                                  That is the perfect description, of an awful food.

                                                                              2. re: Ed Dibble
                                                                                themis Apr 13, 2009 08:27 PM

                                                                                When I saw this thread topic, my mind blurted, "Cincinnati chili." There is room in my philosophy for the possibility that I just have never had a good version -- but I have to say, just by basic components, it seems like a terrible idea from the start.

                                                                                We have Whataburgers here, and I like to refer to them as Mustard Sandwiches. Doesn't seem to matter which location you make it to or what you order, it's just going to be swimming in fluorescent yellow mustard.

                                                                                But then, we have In and Outs here as well, and I haven't sussed out their appeal, either. I don't want to have to learn some sort of secret language to get a decent burger and fries. I just want a decent burger and fries, and I have never gotten one there.

                                                                                1. re: themis
                                                                                  t
                                                                                  travelmad478 Apr 14, 2009 09:44 AM

                                                                                  I had the same reaction--my first thought on seeing the thread title was Cincinnati chili. I find it pretty horrible. My best friend is from Cincinnati and she insisted on taking me to Skyline, as well as some pizza place (Rose's, I think?) and an ice cream place (the name started with a G) that are all supposedly local standouts and her nostalgic favorites. They were all bad. Not just mediocre--bad!

                                                                                  1. re: travelmad478
                                                                                    Davwud Apr 14, 2009 11:17 AM

                                                                                    I can't comment on the other two but Skyline is not bad. You just don't like Cinci chili is all.

                                                                                    I firmly believe if they called it some other name, more people would like it.

                                                                                    DT

                                                                                    1. re: Davwud
                                                                                      alwayscooking Apr 14, 2009 11:19 AM

                                                                                      Anything served atop watery overdone speghetti tastes evil.

                                                                                      1. re: Davwud
                                                                                        t
                                                                                        travelmad478 Apr 14, 2009 11:52 AM

                                                                                        > I firmly believe if they called it some other name, more people would like it.

                                                                                        That may well be true, but no matter what you call it, I don't like cinnamon-tinged Sloppy Joe meat, which is essentially what Cincinnati chili is. And the vile hot dogs served with it don't improve matters.

                                                                                        1. re: travelmad478
                                                                                          Davwud Apr 14, 2009 12:15 PM

                                                                                          That's fair enough but if you read threads on it people complain that it's not chili. It is, just a different kind. It really isn't anything like what is expected and is thought of as crap.
                                                                                          It's like saying that Tex Mex isn't Mexican. Of course not, it's Tex Mex.

                                                                                          DT

                                                                                      2. re: travelmad478
                                                                                        j
                                                                                        jacquelyncoffey Apr 14, 2009 03:57 PM

                                                                                        Cincinnati chili was the first thing that pooped into my head, Skyline is pretty bland, and I never bothered to try any others. The pizza place is LaRosa's, and the ice cream place is Graeter's. LaRosa's is lousy, their sauce, which everyone raves about, is loaded with sugar. Graeter's I didn't get until I tried the Black Raspberry Chunk, which is their specialty. I love it, and any other flavors with the chocolate chunks, those are key. The other flavors are meh, not even close to the ice cream I could get in CT - sigh :-(

                                                                                        1. re: jacquelyncoffey
                                                                                          t
                                                                                          travelmad478 Apr 14, 2009 05:50 PM

                                                                                          Those are exactly the places I was taken to. That pizza sauce was NASTY. I couldn't believe anyone would serve it! Since when is pizza supposed to be sweet?

                                                                                          I had the black walnut ice cream and it tasted like bad gum.

                                                                                          1. re: jacquelyncoffey
                                                                                            alkapal Apr 15, 2009 04:09 PM

                                                                                            >>>>Cincinnati chili was the first thing that pooped into my head<<<<<

                                                                                            i'm guessin' that was a freudian slip?

                                                                                            1. re: alkapal
                                                                                              j
                                                                                              jacquelyncoffey Apr 20, 2009 01:17 PM

                                                                                              It most definitely was a slip, an appropriate one at that ;-)

                                                                                          2. re: travelmad478
                                                                                            BobB Apr 24, 2009 05:22 AM

                                                                                            The ice cream place is Graeter's. I found it to be pretty decent. I have yet to try Skyline or any other Cincy chili, but my understanding is that you can't look at it as chili, that's a misnomer, it's actually a sort of Greek-style meat sauce.

                                                                                            1. re: BobB
                                                                                              jmckee Apr 27, 2009 09:47 AM

                                                                                              ....except that it IS indeed chili. Not chili as understood by Texans or chile as interpreted by New Mexicans, but an oddly spiced chili.

                                                                                              As a native Cincinnatian I kind of wonder why folks are so opposed to our local specialty. Like it or don't -- but it is chili, and it is ours, and we love it. It's every bit as much chili as Philly Cheesesteak is a steak sandwich, as a Chicago deep dish pizza is a pizza.

                                                                                              1. re: jmckee
                                                                                                BobB Apr 27, 2009 10:03 AM

                                                                                                "It's every bit as much chili as Philly Cheesesteak is a steak sandwich, as a Chicago deep dish pizza is a pizza."

                                                                                                I actually agree with you there, but probably not in the way you'd like. ;-)

                                                                                                1. re: BobB
                                                                                                  alwayscooking Apr 27, 2009 10:08 AM

                                                                                                  Oh my goodness - I so agree. I thought I just hadn't tried enough places for either the cheesesteak or pizza - the chili I've, unfortunately, have had enough times and places to really know that it's just not very good (having not grown up there, I wasn't given the Cincy taste training).

                                                                                                  1. re: alwayscooking
                                                                                                    jmckee Apr 27, 2009 10:13 AM

                                                                                                    I don't think it's training. I think it's genetic; we're born knowing that here chili is a more runny, oddly spiced concoction that naturally should be served atop spaghetti with cheese, onions, and beans.

                                                                                                    1. re: jmckee
                                                                                                      e
                                                                                                      emmyru Aug 21, 2009 12:38 PM

                                                                                                      I am a native cincinnatian who now lives up North. It kills me that I can't get to skyline easily. So I just have to defend the stuff. I will say though that I think you really have to be from Cincy to enjoy it. The first time my now husband came to Cincinnati with me and tried skyline he hated it. I almost had to end our engagement. Now he loves the stuff. I also like Larosas so maybe I just have bad taste in food. :) Now I want a 3 way and a coney.

                                                                                                      1. re: emmyru
                                                                                                        Sandwich_Sister Aug 25, 2009 03:48 PM

                                                                                                        My husband is from Columbus Ohio, and my father is from Cleveland, move to florida when he was 19 and has been here ever since though. Anyway the first time I ever had cincinati chilli was when my husband, then boyfriend at the time made it for me. I thought it was delicious although I was weirded out when he said the meat sauce was what he always puts on his hotdogs for a chili dog.

                                                                                                        My southern roots, I had never heard of that, we always just put day old southern bean and meat chili on our chilli dogs.

                                                                                                  2. re: BobB
                                                                                                    t
                                                                                                    travelmad478 Apr 27, 2009 10:09 AM

                                                                                                    Ditto! ;-)

                                                                                                    1. re: BobB
                                                                                                      m
                                                                                                      MakingSense Apr 27, 2009 10:16 AM

                                                                                                      Cincinnati chili is basically the meat sauce component of moussaka.

                                                                                                      A brief history is included with this recipe
                                                                                                      http://whatscookingamerica.net/Beef/C...
                                                                                                      but it's fairly common knowledge:
                                                                                                      "Macedonian immigrant Tom Kiradjieff created Cincinnati chili in 1922. With his brother, John, Kiradjieff opened a small Greek restaurant called the Empress.
                                                                                                      The restaurant did poorly however, until Kiradjieff started offering a chili made with Middle Eastern spices, which could be served in a variety of ways.
                                                                                                      He called it his "spaghetti chili."
                                                                                                      Kiradjieff's "five way" was a concoction of a mound of spaghetti toped with chili, chopped onion, kidney beans, and shredded yellow cheese, served with oyster crackers and a side order of hot dogs topped with more shredded cheese."

                                                                                                      1. re: MakingSense
                                                                                                        s
                                                                                                        san antonio eater Aug 12, 2009 02:39 PM

                                                                                                        oh my! can't say that sounds very appetizing but next time I am in Cincinnati I am goin to try it - just to say I did!

                                                                                                    2. re: jmckee
                                                                                                      Bob W Apr 27, 2009 01:26 PM

                                                                                                      Here in the DC area we have a small chain called Hard Times Chili that offers a few different kinds of chili. I confess to always getting the Cincinnati. I kinda like it.

                                                                                                      1. re: Bob W
                                                                                                        kubasd May 1, 2009 05:42 PM

                                                                                                        Same here. It's actually the only time i've had cincinnati chili, and I loved it. I got it served over cornbread with cheese, sour cream, onions, and tomatoes... Just delicious and perfect after a late night of drinking.

                                                                                                        1. re: Bob W
                                                                                                          l
                                                                                                          lvanleer Aug 13, 2009 01:53 PM

                                                                                                          I also admit to getting the Cincinnati style at Hard Times in the DC area because my mom made a similar version and served it over spaghetti with cheese and onions even before Hard Times opened.

                                                                                                  3. re: themis
                                                                                                    s
                                                                                                    StewieBoy Apr 18, 2009 07:50 AM

                                                                                                    Crystal Bergers are the same - mustard on a bun with dry burger to sop it up. Nasty bit of business!

                                                                                                    1. re: StewieBoy
                                                                                                      bayoucook Apr 18, 2009 07:55 AM

                                                                                                      The ones I've had were delicious. Mustard, catsup and onions on a steamed soft roll. Heaven.

                                                                                                2. k
                                                                                                  KevinB Apr 13, 2009 10:31 AM

                                                                                                  Grits. I apologize in advance to Southerners, but on annual golf trips to South Carolina, I tried - I really did - to get into grits, but just never made the leap. Honest to god home fries are what I want with my morning eggs.

                                                                                                  Love Waffle Hut, though!

                                                                                                  45 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: KevinB
                                                                                                    m
                                                                                                    markabauman Apr 13, 2009 10:33 AM

                                                                                                    Lutefisk

                                                                                                    1. re: markabauman
                                                                                                      sebetti Apr 13, 2009 11:53 AM

                                                                                                      errrr....I don't think anyone actually likes Lutefisk. It's just tradition.

                                                                                                      1. re: sebetti
                                                                                                        h
                                                                                                        hilltowner Apr 13, 2009 11:56 AM

                                                                                                        My grandfather LOVED lutefisk. LOVED.

                                                                                                        1. re: hilltowner
                                                                                                          Morganna Apr 13, 2009 12:21 PM

                                                                                                          Oh yeah, lutefisk. bleah! Lefse, warm, fresh, with butter, YUM but lutefisk!? eeeww. :)

                                                                                                      2. re: markabauman
                                                                                                        Passadumkeg Apr 14, 2009 12:01 AM

                                                                                                        I like lutefisk.

                                                                                                        1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                                                          Morganna Apr 14, 2009 05:32 AM

                                                                                                          Eeee! You're EEEEVil. ;)

                                                                                                          Lutefisk is... just... weird texture, weird taste, ewgie. :) I will admit, I only had it once, back when I was in my teens. MAYbe I'd like it now... I like a lot of things now I couldn't stand then. :)

                                                                                                          1. re: Morganna
                                                                                                            Passadumkeg Apr 14, 2009 09:50 AM

                                                                                                            I associate lutefisk w/ Christmas and a huge smorgosbord feed. I prefer lutefisk to Poptarts any day.

                                                                                                            1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                                                              Morganna Apr 15, 2009 05:10 AM

                                                                                                              Yah, that's when I had it. Visiting a friend's family up in Minnesota around the holidays. Big party, food spread, ooo lala. I had fresh, gramma-made lefse with farm butter (one side of the family had a farm with cows, mOooooOOO!). I know I'll never be able to repeat that particular lefse experience, so I just cherish it in my mind. :) But the lutefisk, it... it scarred me. ;)

                                                                                                        2. re: markabauman
                                                                                                          Chocolatesa May 13, 2009 08:22 AM

                                                                                                          Actually I'd like to try that sometime. My mom is from Sweden and I love Swedish food.

                                                                                                        3. re: KevinB
                                                                                                          Morganna Apr 13, 2009 12:24 PM

                                                                                                          I'm a heathen, I don't like grits in the south, either. Though I have to be honest, the only grits I've ever seen available in the south were plain, made with water, and maybe served with some butter. I prefer my grits doctored by cooking them in chicken broth and chipoltle powder then mixing in shredded sharp cheddar. :)

                                                                                                          1. re: Morganna
                                                                                                            Mawrter May 8, 2009 10:25 PM

                                                                                                            That sounds like Southern polenta to me, and I'd like it. Nothing more insipid to me than polenta made with plain water ... it needs to be cooked with something flavorful!

                                                                                                            1. re: Mawrter
                                                                                                              Morganna May 9, 2009 05:03 AM

                                                                                                              Shhh you'll start a fight. :) polenta and grits are actually relatives of each other. Well, technically, they're the same idea, and they're also the same as cornmeal mush, from early American cooking, but don't say that out loud, we'll get whacked. They're cornmeal that's been cooked to soft in liquid. Those from the south have vociferously stated that the cornmeal used in grits is different from that used in polenta, and I don't have enough expertise in either product to either confirm or deny this (some people say southern grits are treated with lye, but that's hominy grits, and not all southern grits are hominy grits from what I understand). Aaaanyway, Alton Brown did a show on grits, and said that really, polenta and cornmeal mush, and grits were the same thing. I have known Alton to be mistaken about some things, but not very often. :) There, now we've gone and started a war!

                                                                                                              BTW, for those of you convinced that I am wrong, or Alton is wrong or whatever, I am not going to respond to posts "correcting" me. It is good enough for me that I've had polenta, grits, and cornmeal mush, and I've actually -made- all of them, as well. I'm content with my opinion, but thanks for trying to make me see the light if you're so inclined.

                                                                                                              1. re: Morganna
                                                                                                                applehome May 9, 2009 11:03 AM

                                                                                                                Polenta = plain or corn grits, (not hominy). Maybe - but you ignore what people say about their differences at your own peril - not anybody else's. Your pre-refusal to engage in a good dialectic hurts us to some extent - there's nothing like a good debate that people can learn from. Is Polenta and Grits really the same thing? Can I make Polenta from a tube of grits? But mainly, it's up to you (as it is to each Chowhound) to learn to differentiate for your own benefit.

                                                                                                                The culture and lore - the origins and evolutions and names and products and recipes are different - and these differences are important in food. Is eating Italian beefsteak the same as the porterhouse at Peter Luger? Is blue-fin tuna carpaccio the same as sashimi? The products are somewhat the same, the experiences are not.

                                                                                                                Just because YOU can't tell the difference between hominy and plain corn or all the wonderful heritage grains (like the specialized Italian red trentino flint corn for polenta) or new-crop vs. stored, or any number of other incredible variations (including the grain size and milling method), doesn't mean that others can't or don't get into it and learn to appreciate the wonderful variations of corn.

                                                                                                                Have you even been to the Anson mills site or others like it? The background page is particularly wonderful. The founder, Glenn Roberts, speaks of the foods his mother used to talk about, growing up in the low country - the foods that were no longer available because people had stopped differentiating and understanding their heritage. People like Roberts have spent a lot of time bringing back the heirloom varieties and differentiating and experimenting with modern corns. Obviously, it's meaningful to someone.

                                                                                                                I'm no Southerner, but being Japanese, I get into rice seriously, and can taste differences in grades of rice, as well as types, freshness (again, new crop). I love to taste different rices side by side - compare a standard grade calrose, like Nishiki with their premium product, Tamanishiki, and really understand that underlying "riceness". Most Americans who didn't grow up with rice every day could care less whether they're eating Carolina long-grain rice or California medium grain calrose. Pass the gravy.

                                                                                                                Ditto corn. It's cultural, and there are real differences that the cultures understand - even if those on the outside do not. It may all be the same to you. But those that are seriously into grits or polenta will know what differentiates them, what corns milled in what ways, mixed with what ingredients, will yield the results they seek. You can certainly use Quacker Oats quick grits for your polenta, but if you tasted great examples of each, made by people who know and understand their heritage, they won't be made from the same product. (Of course, grits lovers wouldn't be caught dead with the cardboard tube stuff, either.)

                                                                                                                As far as Alton goes, his grits program perfectly shows the level he operates at. He simply didn't get into any detail - his research staff never delved into the real effects of nixtamalization, how its done today, and by whom, or just explore the differences in flavor between plain and hominy grits. It's a TV show - what you remember from it is what you wanted to. Unless you've got all his programs indexed to the scenes, in a searchable database, it's hard to use entertainment videos as references. You're much better off with BOOKS!!! With indexes! Get a copy of Harold McGee's On Food and Cooking. He gets into the size of milling, the differences between dry-milled and wet-milled products - he indicates that Polenta was originally a barley product, talks about the different ways the flavors are developed. Alton is rarely going to be the best person to quote or reference - he's not a primary source, neither a chef, a researcher, a writer nor a scientist - he's a TV star.

                                                                                                                1. re: applehome
                                                                                                                  m
                                                                                                                  MakingSense May 9, 2009 10:35 PM

                                                                                                                  Thank you, Applehome. A beautiful explanation of why real grits are worth soaking overnight, why they don't need anything other than plain water, and why I don't mind tending them on the stove for 60 to 90 minutes until they look just right.
                                                                                                                  Oh, and why, when that sweet, pure corn smell fills my house, I know in my heart and soul, why it's worth paying so much for them.

                                                                                                                  And I feel like that about good rice too. Ah, the sweet scent of it...

                                                                                                                  1. re: applehome
                                                                                                                    alkapal May 10, 2009 04:17 AM

                                                                                                                    applehome, you say "tube of grits"; do you mean the quaker quick grits?

                                                                                                                    i love all kinds of good grits, but sometimes don't have an hour to make them, so i have and use the quaker. when i have the designer grits <irony intended>, i'll use them, too. right now, i'm using bob's red mill polenta/grits <their label>, which are light yellow. i need to re-order my rockland plantation stone-ground grits, too: http://thenibble.com/reviews/main/rub...

                                                                                                                    <ps, the link has some interesting info about white vs. yellow grits.>

                                                                                                                    1. re: applehome
                                                                                                                      Morganna May 10, 2009 06:09 AM

                                                                                                                      Just fot the sake of clarity, I can tell the difference between hominy grits and cornmeal. I can even tell the differences between cornmeals (I happen to keep a fancy local cornmeal on hand that has a much more complex flavour and that I like a great deal, it's from Nitty Gritty Grains)..

                                                                                                                      What I was saying was that I couldn't tell the difference between polenta and cornmeal mush and grits. As recipes go, they're the same thing, the same process, pretty much the same end product with only the variations you get from -any- recipe when you vary the ingredients. From a technical standpoint, grits, polenta, and cornmeal mush are prepared the same way.

                                                                                                                      They're three names for the same thing. Just like in latin America, each country has their own name for tamale, but they all -mean- the same thing, the same general preparation method, even if the ingredients vary a bit and thus the flavour. It's the same food concept.

                                                                                                                      1. re: Morganna
                                                                                                                        applehome May 10, 2009 01:40 PM

                                                                                                                        Yes, of course, all corn mush is corn mush. All beef is beef, all sushi is sushi, and all beer is beer. But just like you don't barbecue real Wagyu Strip for 12 hours, you don't eat all grits as polenta. We're chowhounds - foodies. We yearn to tell the difference between Kurobuta and the supermarket leaned out pork - we want to learn the best ways to cook and eat both. So I'd be real interested in having some of that Italian heirloom red trentino flint, cooked by a polenta expert - maybe even several experts who would argue about cooking times and recipes. And I'd love to try some of those shrimp and grits that prize-winner made against Flay in his Shrimp and grits showdown in Georgia. I wouldn't have him cook my polenta, and I wouldn't have those Italian food expert chefs cook my shrimp and grits.

                                                                                                                        I really don't understand why, as a chowhound, you will distinguish some foods, but not recognize that others will do the same for other foods, perhaps ones that you do not appreciate. I realize that, that argument could be taken to the extreme - why, for example, l do I not appreciate those that wish to differentiate between McD's and BK, and write about that difference here. But, in fact, we have a board dedicated to that purpose, even if I can't appreciate it.

                                                                                                                        There are an incredible number of different tamals and tamales all over Mexico alone, never mind the other Latin and South American countries and regions. It would indeed be a wonderful Chowhound tour to try to experience every one.

                                                                                                                        1. re: applehome
                                                                                                                          Morganna May 11, 2009 03:58 AM

                                                                                                                          That isn't the point or the distinction I'm trying to make. Frankly, your attitude in this discussion is precisely why I was unwilling to engage in the first place. Yes, there are tons of different styles of tamales but they're all STILL TAMALES and no one tries to say "no, these aren't tamales" when you are talking about them.

                                                                                                                          Yet people like you continually insist that polenta and grits and cornmeal mush are -different- which is -confusing- to people who don't know much about this cooking stuff or about cooking with cornmeal specifically. So what happens is newbies ask "What is grits? Is it like Polenta?" they get rebuffed, told very pedantically "No, they're not".

                                                                                                                          Which, in one respect might be technically correct, it is still misinformation for the poor schmuck who has fallen into this little web of elitism. Yes, grits are -too- like polenta. And cornmeal mush. It's the same food concept in the same way that the diversity of tamales in Latin America are all still tamales and you can still just call them tamales even if one set is wrapped in corn husks and another in banana leaves.

                                                                                                                          As for why I'm "picking on" grits, it is grits/polenta that I see this elitist attitude happening most frequently with. People come away confused, thinking that they're missing some very obvious difference given how vociferously grits hounds defend the difference between grits and polenta.

                                                                                                                          And, by the way, anyone who can make good grits can make good polenta can make good cornmeal mush. Thinking that you need to be some special sort of person to prepare one or the other successfully is also elitist. It's liquid, cornmeal of some sort, and flavourings. It's not rocket science. Folks implying that there's some special secret you have to be born knowing or spend years learning is just another reason I hate this conversation.

                                                                                                                          For those folks who have never had grits or never had polenta, and who have been confused (as I was for years) about what magical difference there is between them that you think you're too much of a visigoth to undertand because of how emphatically people defend one or the other from being likened to one or the other... there is no magic. It's cornmeal of some sort, cooked in a liquid of some sort, with whatever spices or flavourings you might apply.

                                                                                                                          1. re: Morganna
                                                                                                                            applehome May 11, 2009 10:29 AM

                                                                                                                            Absolutely - And steak is red meat of some sort, cooked over heat in some way, with whatever spices and flavorings (sorry US spelling) you might apply.

                                                                                                                            You can't make too much of this food stuff, you'll end up being a food nerd of some sort - a foodie or even a chowhound, for crying out loud...

                                                                                                                            1. re: Morganna
                                                                                                                              bayoucook May 11, 2009 10:41 AM

                                                                                                                              Morganna - the first time I had polenta (creamy, in Italy) I loudly said "But this is just like grits, with cheese!" - loved it. And I make great grits, polenta and cornmeal mush. Love that stuff!

                                                                                                                        2. re: applehome
                                                                                                                          Sam Fujisaka May 10, 2009 08:13 AM

                                                                                                                          Just another note on "heritage grains". There are so few grain varieites in use in the US now that Americans don't seem to understand how vast is crop genetic diversity and have come up with "heritage varieites" when one or two traditoinals somehow leak back into the system. Rice, maize, potatoes, and beans each still count with thousands of traditional varieties still grown around the world. Just go south of your border to start finding many, many traditional maize and bean varieites.

                                                                                                                  2. re: KevinB
                                                                                                                    lynnlato Apr 13, 2009 12:28 PM

                                                                                                                    I don't "get" grits as a breakfast food - my tastebuds always wanted to know why there wasn't any brown sugar and maple syrup on it (they always confused grits w/ cream of wheat). But I like grits as a savory side with shrimp, scallops or even as a substitute for polenta (they are very close cousins).

                                                                                                                    1. re: lynnlato
                                                                                                                      poptart Apr 13, 2009 08:17 PM

                                                                                                                      I totally agree! The watery, run-of-the-mill ordinary grits are a real yawn. Only had grits once that were truly wonderful...coarse ground, flavorful.

                                                                                                                      If given a choice between regular grits and regular cream of wheat, I'd choose cream of wheat!

                                                                                                                      1. re: poptart
                                                                                                                        t
                                                                                                                        turqmut Apr 14, 2009 07:09 AM

                                                                                                                        Depending on how they're prepared, grits can be stellar or terrible. I had some at a plantation bed and breakfast that were incredibly good-cream maybe?

                                                                                                                    2. re: KevinB
                                                                                                                      q
                                                                                                                      quazi Apr 13, 2009 07:22 PM

                                                                                                                      if I had only tried grits at waffle hut(waffle house maybe?) I would hate them too. thin watery grits. go to a better restaurant and get shrimp and grits. then tell me. The best way to have them is stone ground made with milk and/or stock. it ike the difference between boiling bag white rice and good basmati

                                                                                                                      1. re: quazi
                                                                                                                        lynnlato Apr 13, 2009 08:13 PM

                                                                                                                        Amen! Well said, quazi. I love shrimp and grits.

                                                                                                                        1. re: lynnlato
                                                                                                                          m
                                                                                                                          MakingSense Apr 13, 2009 09:59 PM

                                                                                                                          Then you still don't really like grits.
                                                                                                                          You could just as easily pour the shrimp sauce over pasta, couldn't you?
                                                                                                                          Proper grits should be stone ground, made with water. http://ansonmills.com/recipes-corn-2.htm
                                                                                                                          Maybe you have never had really good grits, prepared properly.

                                                                                                                          They are perfect breakfast food with butter, salt and pepper. Never, ever with syrup! That hurts my teeth to think about it.
                                                                                                                          If you're at home, you can cut up your fried eggs into the grits but that looks tacky when you're in a restaurant.

                                                                                                                          1. re: MakingSense
                                                                                                                            bayoucook Apr 14, 2009 05:21 AM

                                                                                                                            Making Sense - agree totally. A quick grit or an instant grit (ugh) never gets in this house. If we can't get stone ground, we get the original long-cooking ones. Salt, freshly ground pepper, real butter....yum. Grillades and grits, a favorite too.

                                                                                                                            1. re: bayoucook
                                                                                                                              Davwud Apr 14, 2009 05:38 AM

                                                                                                                              We have some quick grits around but they're usually covered up when we cook them.
                                                                                                                              I have to admit, I was stunned how exponentially better stone ground grits are.
                                                                                                                              Instant grits are about as good as rice cakes.

                                                                                                                              DT

                                                                                                                            2. re: MakingSense
                                                                                                                              lynnlato Apr 14, 2009 07:52 AM

                                                                                                                              I have had them prepared "properly" and I don't like them. The only way I like them is shrimp and grits style. Call it what you want, but that's my preference. I think generally Northerners look at grits and think "oh, like cream of wheat" but then taste it and are shocked that it is a savory dish, not a sweetened one. I understand that they are not traditionally served w/ syrup or anything sweet. I was just saying that's the expectation from someone not from the south, generally speaking.

                                                                                                                              1. re: lynnlato
                                                                                                                                m
                                                                                                                                MakingSense Apr 14, 2009 12:37 PM

                                                                                                                                That is so odd. I was visiting some friends in the Nawth and was served a bowl of what I assumed to be some sort of textureless, overprocessed grits, until I put the vile crap into my mouth.
                                                                                                                                OMG!!! What was that? Wallpaper paste???? Nope. Cream of Wallpaper Wheat. That stuff isn't even fit for hospital food. Why would anyone eat that?

                                                                                                                                1. re: MakingSense
                                                                                                                                  f
                                                                                                                                  fern Apr 14, 2009 12:41 PM

                                                                                                                                  Are you referring to shrimp grits or cream of wheat? I love a bowl of steaming cream of wheat with brown sugar stirred in. Actually, now that you mention it, wallpaper paste isn't so far off! Even so, l love it. It's good chilled, sliced, and fried in butter, too.

                                                                                                                                  I have never had grits! I ought to change that, yes?

                                                                                                                                  1. re: fern
                                                                                                                                    Davwud Apr 14, 2009 12:54 PM

                                                                                                                                    Just make sure they're good.

                                                                                                                                    DT

                                                                                                                              2. re: MakingSense
                                                                                                                                c
                                                                                                                                chef4hire Apr 23, 2009 05:49 PM

                                                                                                                                tacky, but Betsy's pancake house doesn't seem to mind...2 eggs over easy, grilled andouille and double grits, please ~ $5.65 and I can mash it all together without one sideways glance

                                                                                                                                LOVE me some grits

                                                                                                                                1. re: chef4hire
                                                                                                                                  bayoucook Apr 24, 2009 05:08 AM

                                                                                                                                  Me too, chef. In fact, it may be my main comfort food. When I get sick, I crave them - just grits in a bowl with a spoon, real butter and freshly ground black pepper (stomach growling).

                                                                                                                          2. re: KevinB
                                                                                                                            al b. darned Apr 14, 2009 12:33 AM

                                                                                                                            As a Northerner, I don't get grits, either. To me they taste like bland Cream of Wheat. They're ok once in a while, but not every day for b'fast. I'll take home fries with my bacon & eggs, please.

                                                                                                                            1. re: al b. darned
                                                                                                                              a
                                                                                                                              Avalondaughter Apr 23, 2009 12:49 PM

                                                                                                                              Grits are like popcorn - not much by themselves, but are a vehicle for salt and butter.

                                                                                                                              If you can eat polenta, you can eat grits. Purists will tell you they're different. They're not.

                                                                                                                              I also like grits baked in a casserole with lots of garlic and cheese. BTW, I'm a northerner whose completley northern family always likes cheese grits at holidays. I don't know how this came to be.

                                                                                                                              1. re: Avalondaughter
                                                                                                                                kattyeyes Apr 23, 2009 12:53 PM

                                                                                                                                Maybe the milkman had a southern accent? JK, JK! ;)

                                                                                                                                1. re: Avalondaughter
                                                                                                                                  jmckee Apr 27, 2009 09:44 AM

                                                                                                                                  Well, um, yeah, they ARE different; polenta is made from cornmeal. Grits are hominy. Texture is very different, a bit more of a firm bite to grits.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Avalondaughter
                                                                                                                                    m
                                                                                                                                    MakingSense Apr 27, 2009 10:28 AM

                                                                                                                                    They ARE different and you can taste the difference once you eat REAL grits and polenta. You'll never do that if you're covering up the corn flavor with garlic and cheese. The pure corn flavor is missing from supermarket grits and most standard products. God save us all from <shudder> instant grits which must be one of the last vestiges and outrages of Reconstruction.

                                                                                                                                    Anson Mills markets their own grits grown organically from heritage seed.
                                                                                                                                    For a description of the differences among the types of corn used for polenta v. grits and among the various types of grits:
                                                                                                                                    http://ansonmills.com/grits.htm

                                                                                                                                    And they are something all "by themselves." Clouds of Southern Dreams that make the butter and salt proud.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Avalondaughter
                                                                                                                                      applehome Apr 28, 2009 11:00 PM

                                                                                                                                      Corn or plain grits = polenta, made from the whole corn kernel. Hominy = posole, made from corn that's had the hull removed and stripped of their bran and germ, either mechanically or by nixtamalization (processed with alkali). Hominy grits = grits made from the processed hominy. So not all grits are = polenta.

                                                                                                                                      Quick grits = finer cut grits which cook quicker.

                                                                                                                                      Instant grits = tasteless junk, just like instant oatmeal, etc... parboiled, powdered, processed beyond recognition... it's not even the same food

                                                                                                                                      Nixtamalization not only enhances digestability, but also offers nutiritional benefits - conversion of niacin and amino acids to a more absorbable form. Its invention probably saved the Meso-American civilizations.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: applehome
                                                                                                                                        k
                                                                                                                                        KevinB Apr 28, 2009 11:39 PM

                                                                                                                                        Well, all this exposition might explain why I still don't like grits; I don't like polenta either. Flavourless mush. If I have to have a starch, I'd rather have pasta, potatoes, or bread (white rice is OK for Asian food) than grits or polenta.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: applehome
                                                                                                                                          alkapal May 6, 2009 04:04 AM

                                                                                                                                          applehome, your explanation is right on!

                                                                                                                                          and to think many chowhound threads on grits have gone on and on and on!

                                                                                                                                    2. re: KevinB
                                                                                                                                      Mawrter May 8, 2009 10:19 PM

                                                                                                                                      I can't remember ever liking grits in the South, either, although recently my dh started making a breakfasty thing with polenta meal - you know, cook it like cereal, add salt, butter, honey. I like it. But we all do better with protein in the morning, so I never bothered to see exactly how unorthodox his is.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: KevinB
                                                                                                                                        Chocolatesa May 13, 2009 08:28 AM

                                                                                                                                        I've never had either grits or polenta (with the exception of firm polenta in a tube bought at the grocery store and fried in a pan with some sliced cheese on top, didn't love it, didn't hate it as far as I can remember) but I'd like to try some sometime.

                                                                                                                                      2. mollyomormon Apr 13, 2009 12:09 PM

                                                                                                                                        Paella. Maybe I've just never had a great version, but every time I have had it, some of the seafood has been overcooked and the rice tends to be gummy. I love the idea, but the execution has always fallen short for me.

                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                        1. re: mollyomormon
                                                                                                                                          linguafood Apr 13, 2009 12:20 PM

                                                                                                                                          Ah, see. Good paella is a whole other story --

                                                                                                                                        2. m
                                                                                                                                          mnos Apr 13, 2009 12:54 PM

                                                                                                                                          Sweet Tea. It is so syrupy and excessively sweet. I like iced tea with maybe a little bit of sugar but sweet tea is over the top.

                                                                                                                                          11 Replies
                                                                                                                                          1. re: mnos
                                                                                                                                            al b. darned Apr 14, 2009 12:39 AM

                                                                                                                                            Actually I prefer mine unsweetened. That stuff they sold at McD's last summer was enough to melt your teeth. If that was even a faint example of sweet tea, no thank you.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: al b. darned
                                                                                                                                              alkapal Apr 14, 2009 07:39 AM

                                                                                                                                              mickey d's sweet tea (year round here and florida, i know for sure) is the "sweet tea" sugar profile.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: al b. darned
                                                                                                                                                EWSflash Apr 25, 2009 02:06 PM

                                                                                                                                                The kid at McD's drive-through told me they put 4 pounds of sugar in for every three-gallon recipe of sweet tea they make. Made my teeth hurt and my stomach churn. Sweet tea is an abomination of the tea leaf. And I lived in Tennessee far a few years as a kid.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: EWSflash
                                                                                                                                                  kattyeyes Apr 26, 2009 06:07 AM

                                                                                                                                                  If that's true, THAT is VILE!!!

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: kattyeyes
                                                                                                                                                    Sam Fujisaka Apr 26, 2009 07:33 AM

                                                                                                                                                    That's no more, and possibly less, sugar than what's in a soft drink (and the reason I don't drink them).

                                                                                                                                                  2. re: EWSflash
                                                                                                                                                    bayoucook Apr 26, 2009 08:03 AM

                                                                                                                                                    Sweet tea is a staple here in the South. For a gallon of tea I use a scant 1/3 cup of sugar; my family has always made a very lightly sweetened tea, the way we like it.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: bayoucook
                                                                                                                                                      kattyeyes Apr 26, 2009 01:44 PM

                                                                                                                                                      That sounds much nicer. I have nothing against sugar--just can't fathom having more gallons of sugar per gallons of liquid as outlined above.

                                                                                                                                                2. re: mnos
                                                                                                                                                  b
                                                                                                                                                  beachmouse Apr 14, 2009 09:50 AM

                                                                                                                                                  To me, the key to sweet tea is to ask for it half sweet and half unsweet so you can taste the tea along with the simple syrup. Any restaurant in the South I've been in is pretty much used to people sometimes asking for it that way.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: beachmouse
                                                                                                                                                    t
                                                                                                                                                    TampaAurora Apr 15, 2009 12:42 PM

                                                                                                                                                    A cut sweet tea or an Arnold Palmer will make any day better.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: TampaAurora
                                                                                                                                                      ktmoomau Apr 20, 2009 11:50 AM

                                                                                                                                                      oooh I loooove Arnold Palmers...

                                                                                                                                                  2. re: mnos
                                                                                                                                                    HungryRubia May 8, 2009 07:26 AM

                                                                                                                                                    Ugh! I hate sweet tea too! I don't get it!

                                                                                                                                                  3. s
                                                                                                                                                    swamp Apr 13, 2009 02:54 PM

                                                                                                                                                    I visited Wisconsin and tried the boiled whitefish that everyone raved about. HORRIBLE. I am a huge fish eater and just could not understand it.

                                                                                                                                                    Just for the record I am a native Texan and absolutely love Whataburger, one of the main things I missed when living in Wyoming for a few years. Pickled jalapenos make them even better.

                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: swamp
                                                                                                                                                      e
                                                                                                                                                      emerilcantcook Apr 16, 2009 12:45 PM

                                                                                                                                                      When I was living in WI, I never understand the deal with fish boil either. But of course I don't practice the meatless Friday thing and I like fishy fish. I also think it is more of a symbolic ritual rather than a meal that people consume just for the taste. Most locals I knew of treated the Friday fish night as a social outing.

                                                                                                                                                      Cheeseballs also scared me, a lot. Especially when they were pinkish.

                                                                                                                                                      On the other hand, bratwurst on mash is something I dream about every other day.

                                                                                                                                                    2. chowser Apr 13, 2009 03:30 PM

                                                                                                                                                      Marmite, vegemite, frickles

                                                                                                                                                      6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                      1. re: chowser
                                                                                                                                                        p
                                                                                                                                                        pastry634 Apr 13, 2009 03:44 PM

                                                                                                                                                        I live in Milwaukee, and I still don't get the fascination with butter burgers. One of the most famous burger places in the city (Solly's) puts a ridiculous amount of butter on the burger. I cannot describe the amount in words, so I'll let the link do the talking. Regardless, I think its quite disgusting.

                                                                                                                                                        http://roadfood.com/Reviews/Overview....
                                                                                                                                                        (And yes, that puddle below the burger is all butter)

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: pastry634
                                                                                                                                                          Jen76 Apr 13, 2009 03:55 PM

                                                                                                                                                          I was born and raised in Milwaukee. I miss butter burgers (along with good frozen custard, stuffed pizza and the cheesecake squares from National Bakery), especially from Kopp's. Culver's opened a store here in metro-Phoenix, but they've never been as good as Kopp's, imho.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: pastry634
                                                                                                                                                            Chocolatesa May 13, 2009 08:59 AM

                                                                                                                                                            I love butter! That looks delicious :D When I was a kid we were too poor to afford real butter so when we bought it instead of margarine for Christmas I'd eat it straight in tiny spoonfuls :P

                                                                                                                                                          2. re: chowser
                                                                                                                                                            purple goddess Apr 28, 2009 11:20 PM

                                                                                                                                                            There is a very fine art to the spreading and eating of Vegemite. Spread right, on white toast, with lashings of butter, it is God's own food. The key is to have a very thin layer.

                                                                                                                                                            White toast with Vegie and sliced tomatoes = best hang/bong over food ever.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: purple goddess
                                                                                                                                                              k
                                                                                                                                                              KevinB Apr 28, 2009 11:47 PM

                                                                                                                                                              "Hangover" food I eat five to six hours after the event. But when does one eat "bong over" food? 5 or six minutes later?!

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: KevinB
                                                                                                                                                                purple goddess Apr 29, 2009 03:40 PM

                                                                                                                                                                yep. Great food for the munchies.. or so I've been told.

                                                                                                                                                          3. o
                                                                                                                                                            ola Apr 13, 2009 03:45 PM

                                                                                                                                                            poutine

                                                                                                                                                            9 Replies
                                                                                                                                                            1. re: ola
                                                                                                                                                              l
                                                                                                                                                              lagatta Apr 13, 2009 04:52 PM

                                                                                                                                                              I'm Québécoise and don't like poutine. Think it is a waste of frites. But often people use it as a greasy thing to ingest upon pub-closing time.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: ola
                                                                                                                                                                Bryn Apr 14, 2009 04:48 PM

                                                                                                                                                                I just find that restaurants use such crappy gravy. I love a good poutine with squeaky curds and good gravy.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: ola
                                                                                                                                                                  t
                                                                                                                                                                  The Chemist May 8, 2009 07:37 AM

                                                                                                                                                                  Living in Montreal, I can have it about once a year and enjoy it. Any more than that and it's too much. It's hard to avoid when you have friends inviting you to La Banquise every weekend. If I have it, it has to be the classic, non of this 20 toppings thing. And the cheese MUST be squeaky curds...

                                                                                                                                                                  If you can't hear the squeak, it's not poutine.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: ola
                                                                                                                                                                    Mawrter May 8, 2009 10:21 PM

                                                                                                                                                                    I was all excited to try it.... and finally got a chance about five years ago, after many poutine-less trips to Montreal. And.... yuck.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Mawrter
                                                                                                                                                                      t
                                                                                                                                                                      travelmad478 May 12, 2009 07:20 AM

                                                                                                                                                                      I had the same reaction to poutine when I had it in Montreal this past winter. Yech, mainly. I had plenty of other great food in the city but that was a major disappointment. I'd rather just have french fries with gravy, diner style.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: travelmad478
                                                                                                                                                                        Mawrter May 14, 2009 09:33 PM

                                                                                                                                                                        Good eating in Montreal! Love that city!

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Mawrter
                                                                                                                                                                          b
                                                                                                                                                                          BrooksNYC Aug 12, 2009 05:43 PM

                                                                                                                                                                          Great poutine is absolutely world-class. I'd kill for good poutine in NYC! And yes, Montreal is a fabulous city.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: BrooksNYC
                                                                                                                                                                            John Manzo Dec 18, 2009 06:53 AM

                                                                                                                                                                            You can find "good poutine" anywhere in Canada.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: John Manzo
                                                                                                                                                                              Davwud Dec 18, 2009 07:42 AM

                                                                                                                                                                              LOL

                                                                                                                                                                              DT

                                                                                                                                                                  2. alliedawn_98 Apr 13, 2009 03:47 PM

                                                                                                                                                                    Fried tenderloins (pork) in Indiana. I lived where they supposedly have the best tenderloins and they are shipped even to Great Britain. I simply wasn't impressed with them at all.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. lynnlato Apr 13, 2009 03:54 PM

                                                                                                                                                                      Wow, the South is taking it tough, eh?

                                                                                                                                                                      1. f
                                                                                                                                                                        fern Apr 13, 2009 05:13 PM

                                                                                                                                                                        I'd been told not to miss the toasted ravioli in St Louis,, MO but I wasn't thrilled.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. m
                                                                                                                                                                          mom22tots Apr 13, 2009 05:34 PM

                                                                                                                                                                          Okra...no matter how it's prepared, I think I'm missing its appeal.

                                                                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mom22tots
                                                                                                                                                                            felix the hound Apr 16, 2009 12:46 PM

                                                                                                                                                                            Have you tried indian style okra ( bindi)?

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: felix the hound
                                                                                                                                                                              m
                                                                                                                                                                              mom22tots Apr 18, 2009 08:57 PM

                                                                                                                                                                              No...totally unfamiliar.

                                                                                                                                                                          2. h
                                                                                                                                                                            huaqiao Apr 13, 2009 06:50 PM

                                                                                                                                                                            I think the South gets the brunt of the hate because they have more distinctive regional cuisine. I really can't think of very many regional foods here in Southern California. Anything that's any good gets exported pretty quickly(French dip, pastrami burger, ranch dressing).

                                                                                                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: huaqiao
                                                                                                                                                                              poptart Apr 13, 2009 08:21 PM

                                                                                                                                                                              Ranch dressing! I never got that one. Milky dressing on a salad is kind of gross to me.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: poptart
                                                                                                                                                                                janetms383 Apr 14, 2009 09:51 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                Ranch dressing on a pizza! Don't get it, don't want to

                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: huaqiao
                                                                                                                                                                                Passadumkeg Apr 14, 2009 12:03 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                Fried okra.

                                                                                                                                                                              3. p
                                                                                                                                                                                phoenikia Apr 13, 2009 09:37 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                Gjetost (Brown cheese) from Norway.

                                                                                                                                                                                Marmite and Vegemite.

                                                                                                                                                                                Foie Gras in France. Regardless of the price/treatment/presentation, it just tastes like underdone fatty liver to me, and I'd rather eat other things in France.

                                                                                                                                                                                48 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: phoenikia
                                                                                                                                                                                  h
                                                                                                                                                                                  Humbucker Apr 13, 2009 09:55 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                  Proper Foie Gras IS underdone fatty liver, is it not?

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Humbucker
                                                                                                                                                                                    p
                                                                                                                                                                                    phoenikia Apr 14, 2009 06:07 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                    Yep, guess I just don't get it.

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: phoenikia
                                                                                                                                                                                    Passadumkeg Apr 14, 2009 12:05 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                    Gjetost is just Norwegian peanut butter, enjoy it just the same.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                                                                                                                                      lynnlato Apr 14, 2009 07:57 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                      Is that salmon paste in a tube? A Swedish friend of mine used to turn his nose up at peanut butter, saying "it's the most vile thing on Earth" and in the same breath would tell us how he grew up in Sweden eating salmon paste in a tube. This I found to be the most vile thing ever. I guess another example of a regional thing. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: lynnlato
                                                                                                                                                                                        hangrygirl Apr 14, 2009 09:07 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                        Gjetost/Geitost/Brunost is brown cheese, traditionally made with Goat's milk - although I prefer versions that use part cow's milk, as it's a bit milder:

                                                                                                                                                                                        "Brunost is made by boiliing a mixture of milk, cream and whey carefully for several hours so that the water evaporates. The heat turns the milk sugar into caramel which gives the cheese its characteristic taste."

                                                                                                                                                                                        People usually hate it or love it, but I think the flavour's tangy, sweet and delicious! I kind of think the psychological thing of it being brown has a lot to do with it.

                                                                                                                                                                                        IMPORTANT NOTE:
                                                                                                                                                                                        If you are in Norway and want to try Brunost, do not confuse it with Gamalost, another brown cheese. Literally translated, it means "old cheese", and it's much more of an acquired taste.

                                                                                                                                                                                        Wikipedia compares the flavor to Roquefort, I compare it to old socks.

                                                                                                                                                                                        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gamalost

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: hangrygirl
                                                                                                                                                                                          Passadumkeg Apr 14, 2009 09:53 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                          In case I forget, happy 17th of May! I might work as a kayak guide in Hardanger Fjord in the summer of 2010.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: hangrygirl
                                                                                                                                                                                            lynnlato Apr 14, 2009 10:01 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                            Interesting... I have to say, it sounds good to me. The Brunost, that is. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: hangrygirl
                                                                                                                                                                                              kattyeyes Apr 14, 2009 05:52 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                              That's funny--I do think "old cheese" is reminiscent of old socks. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: kattyeyes
                                                                                                                                                                                                Mawrter May 8, 2009 10:23 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                See, honestly, I think "old socks" is a good thing on some cheese. I haven't tried the Norwegian thing, but I would, given the chance.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Mawrter
                                                                                                                                                                                                  kattyeyes May 9, 2009 05:42 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I know what you mean as there are enough cheeses in the world that fit the "old socks" flavor profile, so clearly people eat them and like them. They just don't do it for me. I tried one just the other day when I was cheese shopping and what it was, I don't recall (no need to remember something you'll never buy). I was especially grateful for the next cheese nibble I sampled after that to get that socky taste outta my mouth.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: kattyeyes
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Mawrter May 9, 2009 09:06 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I know exactly what you mean. When it's bad, it's bad, and you want that taste OUTTA your mouth!

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: kattyeyes
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Passadumkeg May 10, 2009 02:50 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                      So many tastes are learned. After living in Norway for 5 years, we are very fond of gjeit ost. There is always a block of Ski Queen in the fridge and when we go to Portlnd, we pick up a better grade of brun ost. It is as common in Norway as horrid American (erzats) cheese is here. We usually have the gjeitost at the start of a frukost board breakfast on top of Wasa Knekebrod and topped w/ warm sliced hard boiled egg.
                                                                                                                                                                                                      I hate these "what don't you like" threads' so un chowish and very whiney. Too much negative energy. I feel that if a culture or large group of people like something, there must be something to it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                                                                                                                                                        alkapal May 10, 2009 04:30 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                        yet those very threads are some of the longest! go figure! passa, i agree with you; i think the "what i don't like" threads are not very useful. <although i cannot claim that i've *never* posted on one. ;-) i think this thread, though, is not quite in that category.>

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: alkapal
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Passadumkeg May 10, 2009 05:21 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                          While I'm grousing, I also wonder about this Northern dislike of Southern food. Scargod and I just finished a road trip through the deep south and the best food we had was southern. Grits are new to me and I love them; especially w/ a thick slab of country ham and a couple of eggs. This was in southern Georgia. An incredibly beautiful area. Savannah may be my favorite US city.

                                                                                                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                                                                                                                                                          f
                                                                                                                                                                                                          fern May 10, 2009 05:13 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I think sometimes people want to share in the experiences of others by joining in with a "Yes! I know what you mean!" or a "Listen to this one!".

                                                                                                                                                                                                          What is unfortunate is when we devolve into "That is DISGUSTING. How can anyone eat that?" and "Jane, you ignorant slut, if you weren't so far beneath the real chowhounds you'd be eating this thing the right way and loving it."

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Now I have to go google some of the foods in your post. I can't resist. :) I learn so much here. Love that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: fern
                                                                                                                                                                                                            f
                                                                                                                                                                                                            fern May 10, 2009 05:33 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I love cheese so had to look into those you mentioned. Saw the brun ost described as caramely. Sounds delicious. I will watch for it, although life in suburbia doesn't always provide.
                                                                                                                                                                                                            All of the recent travel focus on the area has gotten my attention. I could begin my trip research here with some cheese. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Not implying we're taking a big trip, it will be a long time off.
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Still, it doesn't hurt to prepare.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Did you and Scargod post about your trip? I'll search around.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            eta: Found it. Here's the link in case others are interested:
                                                                                                                                                                                                            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/618143

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: fern
                                                                                                                                                                                                              Passadumkeg May 10, 2009 02:39 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Fern, we are on the tail end (2 more years) of putting 5 kids through college. We drive 21 and 23 year old SAABs; eat from our garden and from what I hunt, catch and forage; we seldom dine out; but boy do we save up for vacations when we usually visit our kids. My "new" Miata is 21 years old, but it gave me reason for a chow trip w/ Scargod, God bless him. June 20 we go visit 2 of our kids that live in Asia and see my new grandkeg.
                                                                                                                                                                                                              Carpe Chow!

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                                                                                                                                                                f
                                                                                                                                                                                                                fern May 10, 2009 04:11 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                My hat is off to you! Our last one (of 6, but one didn't really go to school much) goes off in the fall. 3 in school next year. I think we can, I think we can...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                The Miata sounds like a howl, and your trip! What a blast!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                We're like you, driving the cars until they give a little cough and then wander off to die. No cable TV, even had dial up until less than a year ago! Our kids think we're Amish. I've always planted a garden but have decided not to buy ANY flowers for pots or beds this year and only put in edibles. I'm excited about that.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                We've never had lots of extra $ but we have managed to get the kids through college (so far!), give them study abroad experiences, and take some great trips ourselves. Just depends where you want your money to go, right?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                2 kids in Asia at the same time, wonderful!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                *Hearty congratulations* on the new baby, what an exciting and joyous trip it will be.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: fern
                                                                                                                                                                                                              bayoucook May 11, 2009 10:46 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                              fern - that is exactly what I objected to earlier in this thread. It's so unpolite to say that a region's beloved food is disgusting. Much better to say it just wasn't to your liking. I had a hard time with this thread a few times since it seemed to dump on the South a lot. Then I realized 1) we're a very distinguishable area; and 2) most people lump all southern food into one place, like Making Sense talked about in one of the earlier responses. Virginia food is not the same as Mississippi food - even Mississippi food isn't like Mississippi food! We have the Delta region, the central part that is a country of its own, and the south, totally different from the rest of the state. So - I got over it! But I still cringe at "disgusting". It's rude!

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: bayoucook
                                                                                                                                                                                                                f
                                                                                                                                                                                                                fern May 11, 2009 01:15 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I'm with you. My guess is people don't necessarily intend to be that rude but fail to realize that when you dis my food you dis my culture/family/history. Don't talk about my Momma, either.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I find the history of it all fascinating but I'm generally curious, anyway.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I've enjoyed this thread for that reason, learned many things about who eats what and where. Like you said, it's too bad when folks don't approach with an open mind or at least try to be polite if their experience wasn't positive.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I do think the insults and snobbery get ridiculous but also believe most of the time the poster just didn't think that part through.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Maybe I have to believe that in order to justify my addiction to this site. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: fern
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  bayoucook May 11, 2009 01:39 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  (laughing) me too!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: fern
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    thew May 11, 2009 02:30 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    i disagree. if i find, say, natto disgusting, that reflects nothing more than my personal taste about a food. it reflects nothing about how i might or might feel about japanese culture, or your family.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: bayoucook
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    kchurchill5 May 11, 2009 04:07 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I love southern food, however I did say the philli steak was gross or disgusting. Please don't put me in that category. I just can't agree with cheese whiz and processed meat. Southern cooking is fresh local ingredients. Now beef on weck, NY, fresh meat good rolls, fresh made. Chicago pizza, Yuck, but not disgusting, Just not my idea of pizza is all.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    All cultures and regions have different cuisines which is what makes cooking interesting, we may hate the pizza or the burgers or the style of cheese steaks but over all cuisine in unique and is what makes the area. Southern as a generalization is wide spread but very unique in many areas. I like most southern cooking, but from what I have found. Fresh local ingredients which I think makes it great food with a unique style.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    So if I said disgusting to NY Philli Cheese Steaks, sorry, but I didn't see much fresh meat or cheese in the one I ate. Sorry Philli lovers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: kchurchill5
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Passadumkeg May 11, 2009 06:19 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      A good cheese steak is steak and provolone on great bread. I won't eat the cheese whiz ones.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        kchurchill5 May 11, 2009 07:04 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Now true, good beef and good cheese is nice. Just everyone I had while up there was cheeze whiz and crappy beef. Maybe the wrong places which could of been. My cheese steak has good steak and cheese. Next time is there recommend a place for me. I can't remember the name but it was recommended as a landmark, but to me ... not good. but I am sure there are good places. Provolone is great

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: kchurchill5
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Passadumkeg May 12, 2009 01:10 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          "South Street, South Street, where all the hippest meet..." is a tourist trap of Philly. Hollyeats and the local chow board have some good recs. I left the area in '71! I did, however, teach our maid in Bolivia to make dynamite cheese steaks, using tenderloin and freshly delivered baguette.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            kchurchill5 May 12, 2009 06:41 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Now that is my type of cheese steak!! I wish I remembered where I went recommended, but just not good to me. Maybe just expected more. I'm going up next month and will get some recs before I head up there.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Maybe I was just too damn COLD to enjoy anything to eat last time. It was 35, cold rain, drizzle sleet which didn't help. My taste buds were probably froze. This FL gal doesn't like anything under 70, lol.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: kchurchill5
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Passadumkeg May 12, 2009 10:10 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Sounds like summer in Maine.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Bob W May 12, 2009 10:15 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I differentiate between a "cheesesteak" a la Philly, which in my humble opinion consists of uniformly bad ingredients that when combined create something unique, and a "steak and cheese" like what I'd get in Mass or RI, the basic ingredients of which -- meat, cheese, and bread -- are all better than what you get in Philly. For example, the "steak bomb" at the long gone Ann's on Needham St. in Newton, Mass. Now that was something hound-worthy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Bob W
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            kchurchill5 May 12, 2009 03:39 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I think I seen the Diners Drive in and Dives and pretty much expected what I got, but at the same time with all the hype over it and I can eat junk food and it doesn't bother me, but I just expected more. Now one of the NY hot dogs on the street as bad as it was for me was good. So next time I go, I will get some good places to go. When we went we didn't have much time so we went to some famous corner in Philli, 1 place on 1 corner and another on the other side. Both longtime favorites I guess. Well, I ate it and it was fine but I wouldn't eat it again. There was this small restaurant in upstate MI years ago, no longer but the owners were from Philli and NY. They sold beer of weck, good NY hot dogs, Philli cheese that was awesome like you are saying. Real meat, real cheese and good bread. Now that was good. But by the time I was old enough to enjoy those classics, they were closing. Yes Bob W I am in search next time of a GOOD real cheesesteak.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: kchurchill5
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Bob W May 13, 2009 10:27 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              "When we went we didn't have much time so we went to some famous corner in Philli, 1 place on 1 corner and another on the other side. Both longtime favorites I guess."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              That's gotta be Pat's and Geno's on S. Passyunk Ave in South Philly, right across the street from each other. I've been there once, during my pre-internet chowhounding days. I got a cheesesteak at Pat's and like you said, it was ok. But the cult that has arisen around these things is, IMHO, way, way out of proportion to the actual product. Surely a roast pork sandwich with broccoli rabe -- which I sadly have still not had the pleasure of devouring, since I've been to Philly only four times in my life, all of which came before I even heard of roast pork sandwiches -- is a superior sandwich.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: Bob W
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Passadumkeg May 12, 2009 05:22 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              There is good Philly w/ above ingredients.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      kattyeyes May 10, 2009 06:42 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I think this thread has been fun as so many people have chimed in to "defend" their regional favorite that someone else "just didn't get." In fact, through those posts, we've all had a chance to learn about what's considered good or authentic about a particular regional favorite, so some might try a dish again in search of a better version.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      If you have learned to love the flavor of old socks, please continue to enjoy it--and have my portion, too. Everyone won't love everything--that's life. Alternatively, I think it would be "un chowish" for people to visit an area and say, "That just SOUNDS gross--I'll never try it!" People who have posted at least gave something new a shot and decided, "Not for me!"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: kattyeyes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        f
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        fern May 10, 2009 07:04 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        We have a friend who often brings a cheese we refer to as "The Sweat Sock Cheese". It fits and we enjoy it. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I agree, it's been fun to see what others say in defense of "their" food. Good info, things to be learned.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: fern
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          kattyeyes May 10, 2009 07:09 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          HA HA...one of my mom's oldest friends would always refer to our Pecorino Romano as "that stinky cheese!!!" Pecorino Romano of all things--can you imagine? And yet, for sure, there are others who would chime in and say, "You know--*I" think it's stinky, too!"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Cheers and happy eating!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: kattyeyes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          bayoucook May 11, 2009 10:47 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          k - my point exactly!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Sam Fujisaka May 10, 2009 08:20 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          But, keg, you've posted 489,321 times about how you dislike Spam!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            h
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Humbucker May 10, 2009 09:35 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            "I hate these "what don't you like" threads' so un chowish and very whiney. Too much negative energy."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Isn't it a little inconsistent for you to say that when you routinely add a bit of negative energy to any thread mentioning spam? I understand that you don't like it and it was probably associated with some terrible experiences for you, but there a lot of people who genuinely do like it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            When I was kid my mom used to cook me spam and I enjoyed it. When I became a smart aleck teenager, though, I gave my mom the whole "spam is disgusting and unnatural" spiel whenever she tried to buy a can even though I continued to like the taste. Now I realize that there are a lot of worse things than spam out there and I should just enjoy spam because I like it, instead of being faux-repulsed by it because of what other people say.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            However, my mom really liked Arby's roast beef sandwiches, too, so maybe I'm genetically flawed...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            p.s. I like gjetost, too!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Humbucker
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              EWSflash Aug 8, 2009 01:07 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Hmmm- A big fat plain Arby's roast beef with a little horsey sauce and a little of that weird sweet arby sauce is probably my biggest guilty pleasure. That and Kraft mac & cheese.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              If that constitutes a genetic flaw then so be it. I yam what I yam, as Popeye said.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3. re: hangrygirl
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      operagirl Apr 24, 2009 10:23 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      My grandma loves Gjetost, and I've bought it a couple times on my own. Never managed to get through a whole package of it though -- after a few nibbles, it starts tasting like an odd combo of caramel and kraft mac 'n cheese.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: operagirl
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        p
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        pacheeseguy Apr 25, 2009 09:33 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I sell it in my cheese shop, it's a very good selling product.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Many folks enjoy Gjetost melted over a slice of apple pie or apple dumplings.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I like it with a slice of crisp apple or pear on a cracker.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        But a little goes a long way, it is sweet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: pacheeseguy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          dinaofdoom Apr 25, 2009 01:03 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          it is also delish melted on a tart apple pie.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          mmmmmm.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    4. re: lynnlato
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Passadumkeg Apr 14, 2009 05:26 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Kalvi Salmon paste in the tube, yum! The perfect topping for the perfect smorbrod. We have a tube of salmon w/ dill in the fridge right now.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        poptart Apr 15, 2009 06:31 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Not sure if it's the same kind but I bought a tube of salmon paste at Ikea and it was soooooooo good!!!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        so many wonderful possibilities of what you can spread it on.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3. re: phoenikia
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    lynnlato Apr 14, 2009 07:55 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I despise live in all its forms EXCEPT foie gras. Chicken livers? Blech! But, for me, foie gras is fatty, creamy goodness. I don't get the iron/metallic tastes that I get from other liver dishes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: phoenikia
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      LJNew May 12, 2009 10:26 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Gjetost tastes a little like peanut butter rubbed on a goat. It is admittedly an acquired taste that if you live in the US there is not much reason to acquire.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      However, it is transformed when thinly sliced on hot toasted whole grain bread and gets all melty. It is also delicious whne you are crossing the fjords on a norwegian ferry on a rainy day and go into the little cafe for gjetost on a waffle and a cup of steaming coffee. Then you start to love it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: LJNew
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        kattyeyes May 12, 2009 01:51 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I love your explanation of peanut butter rubbed on a goad! Priceless. Should I ever cross the fjords as you describe, I shall find a little cafe to experience gjetost just as you outlined above.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        P.S. The dog in your avatar cracks me up--looks like a smiling dog when it's small, then when you mouse over it looks like an attack dog! ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: kattyeyes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          LJNew May 13, 2009 08:13 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Thanks kattyeyes - I thought it was a good "chow hound"!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Actually the cafes are on the ferries. It is much quicker to cross the fjords by ferry than try to drive around them, so the norwegian highway dept. operates a whole system of ferries along the west coast. My recolleciton is they all seemed to have little cafes on them, so if its too cold and nasty to stand outside you go inside and have a snack. I assume it is still the same, although I have not been in about 10 yrs or so. Need to go back and research this I guess!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. al b. darned Apr 14, 2009 01:01 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      As I noted in a previous post in this thread, I grew up in Vermont and live in central NY state. My "problem" with most Southern food is it is so often deep fried, covered in thick gravy, or over cooked. My general perception of Southern food is "unhealthy."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      IMHO, chicken-fried steak is a good example.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Greens to me mean Swiss chard, beet greens, spinach, etc. steamed until just heated thru, crisp, and bright green in color, served with a sprinkling of lemon juice, salt & pepper, and sometimes butter. To me, greens fried in fat until they are mushy and are more brown than green is not only unappetizing, but also unhealthy. Even Alton Brown prepared greens this way on one show and proclaimed how good they were, but not to me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      It seem that I am not the only "northerner" to feel this way. About ten years ago, Bob Evans" opened a bunch of restaurants around here. Within five years they were all closed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      47 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: al b. darned
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        LaLa Apr 14, 2009 04:53 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Southerner biting her tongue.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: LaLa
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          m
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          MakingSense Apr 14, 2009 09:12 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I just got a few of the dawgs from under the porch to walk down to the tackle shop with me to get me some chew.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Spittin' makes all us Southern hicks feel better.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: LaLa
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Morganna Apr 15, 2009 05:12 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Yeah, well, sorta me to, and I'm no southerner. Fried steak, done right, is wonderful. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: LaLa
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              bayoucook Apr 15, 2009 05:27 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              another southerner really biting her tongue (they just don't know)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: bayoucook
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                kattyeyes Apr 15, 2009 05:33 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Well, don't bite your tongues, then. Change the perception if it's out of line with reality. I'm sure al b. darned comes in peace and I do, too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                al b. darned said:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                My "problem" with most Southern food is it is so often deep fried, covered in thick gravy, or over cooked. My general perception of Southern food is "unhealthy."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I don't know about overcooked, but most Southern foods I've loved are covered in gravy and unhealthy (biscuits and gravy is a great example). I love biscuits and gravy--just don't consider them health food. And, thought you may not have voted for her as such, Paula Deen (Queen of Butter) hasn't helped the image of Southern cooking much. Help us out here!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: kattyeyes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  bayoucook Apr 15, 2009 08:55 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Okay, I can only speak for South Mississippi b/c it's my home, but I have relatives in North Mississippi. Here on the coast we have an abundance of fresh fish and seafood and that's probably the basis of our diet. We might fry the fish or seafood, at most, twice a year, if that. Our fried seafood comes from poboys and church fish fries. Yes, we will have the occasional un-healthy meal (we have to/we crave it), but mostly we eat lean chicken and little red meat along with our seafood. Growing season lasts all but two months of the year, so we have fresh fruit and veggies most of the time. We grow oranges, limes, and lemons in the back yard. We "overcook" our turnip greens because they taste good like that and the potlikker is richer. I haven't had a biscuit and gravy since I left home at 18. Breakfast is oatmeal and fresh fruit, eggs on Sunday. We get takeout Chinese, pizza or fast food maybe twice a month. We make soups, stews, and gumbos, and make a meal of garden veggies and never miss the meat. We're known for growing fresh catfish and we love that too - I haven't fried any in over 30 years, love it baked/grilled/broiled. I've been here almost all my life and everyone I know eats like this. We're as health-minded as people in other states are. We KNOW we can't live on breaded/fried/gravied things all the time, but oh! what a delight it is when we can have those goodies! Does that help?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: bayoucook
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    kattyeyes Apr 15, 2009 03:31 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Speaking just for myself, and smiling while saying so, I never thought all southerners were eating fried food daily...any more than I think anyone anywhere else is these days. I'm willing to guess ol' al b. darned didn't think so either. But the fried/gravied goodies ARE traditionally southern, no? Shoot, I'm of Italian heritage. Would I love to eat a cannoli daily? Sure! Do I--of course not. Wait, one edit: I DO think Paula Deen probably eats naughty, fried, buttery meals of her choosing every day. More power to her!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I'm jealous every time I read about a Chowhound (from the South or California) picking citrus fruits in their yards. I say all the time "I wish we all could be California girls!" Lucky you! My cat is anxiously waiting for her new lemongrass to grow again in place of the *lemonhay* that's left behind since last summer. Right now, the only thing that's growing back outside is chives and it's just refreshing to see something GREEN again!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Maybe it would be akin to people not from my neck of the woods thinking New Englanders only eat lobster, fried clams or N.E. boiled dinners. Or that people from Philly only eat cheese steaks and cream cheese. :) But I honestly don't think any of us are quite so narrowly defined--north or south.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    P.S. I don't know how many years it's been since you were 18, but I think you might be overdue for some biscuits and gravy. ;) I agree, it is truly a delight!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: kattyeyes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      bayoucook Apr 15, 2009 04:02 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Thanks kattyeyes - it was never a fave of mine or I probably would've had it.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I really dislike that white sausage gravy on a biscuit, don't know why. I think it is akin to what you said about New Englanders, etc., the south is a pretty well defined region, and we are capable of eating some weird stuff to those not used to it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: bayoucook
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        kattyeyes Apr 15, 2009 04:05 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        HA HA! OK, well, I'll eat your portion, then.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: kattyeyes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          bayoucook Apr 15, 2009 04:07 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          You know what I did love? Tomato gravy! Just remembered it. Mmmm

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: bayoucook
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            kattyeyes Apr 15, 2009 04:13 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            What is it?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: kattyeyes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              bayoucook Apr 16, 2009 05:17 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I've never made it, but you make a roux out of bacon drippings, add some onion and probably other stuff, then chopped tomatoes and water, seasonings, until it's thick and gravy-like. It was good on biscuits with eggs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: bayoucook
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                alkapal Apr 16, 2009 05:32 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                love tomato gravy. my mom serves it on plain white rice (or toast). hers is simply made with bacon drippings & white flour roux, and finely chopped peeled and seeded tomatoes, milk, salt and a little pepper.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                so simple, so summery good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: alkapal
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  bayoucook Apr 16, 2009 07:10 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  that's right, alka, it did have milk in it
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  gonna try some this weekend

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: bayoucook
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    kattyeyes Apr 16, 2009 08:00 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Let's not get into trouble. Here is the link to the Saveur recipe:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    http://www.saveur.com/article/Food/Tomato-Gravy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Note when you are viewing the recipe online, there's an "address" that begins with http://www.saveur... That's what you can cut and paste so you don't need to go to the trouble of paraphrasing the recipe. Ca va bien? :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: kattyeyes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      bayoucook Apr 16, 2009 10:33 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      trying again:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      http://www.saveur.com/article/Food/Fr...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      that's what I get time and again after following your directions

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: bayoucook
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        kattyeyes Apr 16, 2009 10:42 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Okeydoke, so you posted (another regional favorite MANY don't get!) fried okra. Is that the page you were trying to share? If so, it worked perfectly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Edit: Please check your e-mail. We'll figure this out offline, K?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: bayoucook
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          alkapal Apr 16, 2009 11:58 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          good post. i've never seen fried okra like that, though. ;-).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: alkapal
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            bayoucook Apr 16, 2009 12:13 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            That's one way my family has always cooked it. The other is to put the slices of okra into a mainly cornmeal mixture (after dipping in egg white) and frying in oil in a cast iron skillet. It gets kind of loose that way, and tastes so so good, different from the other recipe, but both delicious.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            One friend I have uses tempura batter on his.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: bayoucook
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        alkapal Apr 16, 2009 07:36 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        i use a mac, and select and copy the url address in the header of the item i want to link, then paste into my chowhound post.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        re saveur's recipe, let us know how you like it. they've fancied it up.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        mom's recipe doesn't have garlic, thyme, cream (!) or even onion. (maybe some onion, but maybe not). try it on rice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: bayoucook
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      kattyeyes Apr 16, 2009 06:45 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Oooh, I'll bet. Sounds good and fattening and not unlike that other "health food" I enjoy from your part of the globe. ;) I'll have to try it, so thank you for explaining. I went 20 years without knowing about biscuits and gravy, either (we were an SOS family).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      alkapal: It's like the Depression-era food thread in which so many dishes were served on toast! When my mom doesn't feel like making a big dinner, she'll often still go to something on toast.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: kattyeyes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        alkapal Apr 16, 2009 06:53 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        a quickie way to make the tomato milk gravy is to use canned tomatoes, when you have no good summer tomatoes. updated technique: use a stick blender!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: kattyeyes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              m
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              MakingSense Apr 15, 2009 04:10 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              < "But the fried/gravied goodies ARE traditionally southern, no?" >

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Nope. Not just Southern. Anyplace that people flour/bread or otherwise coat meat and cook it in fat on the stovetop and cook it in or serve it with a sauce is the same thing. Swiss steak, braised meats, etc. are common across the US. They're part of the tradition of German cooking that was spread throughout the Great Plains during the Westward Expansion.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Southerners love their Chicken Fried Steak but there are similar "nameless" items on family tables and as Blue Plate Specials in diners across the country. Heck, down to Salisbury Steak, whatever that is supposed to be.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Here's a recipe for Braised Cube Steak from last month's New York Times. We used to call this Smothered Steak. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/04/din...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Paula Dean is like Gypsy Rose Lee - she's got a gimmick. Nobody I know eats like that or uses any of those so-called Southern recipes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: MakingSense
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                al b. darned Apr 15, 2009 11:23 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I'm sorry if I offended anyone...it was not intended. I was not as clear as I meant to be. I guess that's what happens when you try to be lucid at 4 am. Even if I didn't offend, but you have a differing opinion please do not bite your tongue. Speak up...that's how we learn.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                To all who did respond, thank you for your enlightenment. Your points are well taken.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I did not mean to imply I thought that all southerners, or anyone else for that matter, ate unhealthy every day. I know that is not the case. With the exception of the over cooked greens I like most "southern" food, but I still don't get fried green tomatoes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I guess I meant that the perception of southern foods is as I described. And this perception is not helped by FN or Travel.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                >>>
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Paula Dean is like Gypsy Rose Lee - she's got a gimmick. Nobody I know eats like that or uses any of those so-called Southern recipes.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                <<<

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                It's not just Paula. Whether it's AB, Bourdain, Zimmern, Fieri, or whoever, whenever they do a show on or in the South they inevitability feature something drowned southern style gravy, fried green tomatoes, fried dill pickles, fried okra, or some similar "classic southern dish." And there is some southerner right next to them happy to oblige them and gush about how this is "true southern food and we eat this every day."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                In all fairness, tho, buffalo wings and chili cheese fries ain't exactly health food.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                OTOH, while I have spent a good portion of my life in NE, I had never heard of a "NE Boiled Dinner" until I was living somewhere else.,,and have never had one. I don't know anyone who has. Lobster and/or clams were/are special treats.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                BTW - Philly cream cheese is not and never has been made in Philadelphia. It is made in upstate NY.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: al b. darned
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  bayoucook Apr 16, 2009 05:20 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  al, you didn't offend anyone, I think the south had to be targeted b/c we ARE a distinct region of the US, and my state is #1 in obesity, so we all know the score here. My reply answered for me and those people I know and come into contact with on a regular basis, and we do eat pretty normally I think. But that fried stuff is never far from our minds!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: al b. darned
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    kattyeyes Apr 16, 2009 06:53 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I never knew that about Philly cream cheese. That's pretty funny, actually!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I made a N.E. boiled dinner for the first time Saturday night so I could have leftover corned beef for hash, then reuben soup. It was really tasty! But I don't remember having it very often growing up and I've lived in CT my whole life (OK, not yet!). I know my mom made it this past St. Patrick's Day (we used her leftover CB for our maiden reuben soup voyage). And I don't remember anyone referring to it as a N.E. boiled dinner, either, but that's what the recipe was called on the corned beef packaging.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I do agree the perception of southern foods is as you described, though, as that was my perception, too. And also agree FN and TC don't do anything to shatter those perceptions.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: al b. darned
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      m
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      MakingSense Apr 16, 2009 09:09 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Don't worry about it, but please try not to buy into to stereotypes about the South. Central Casting does more than enough of that to us and we're an easy target.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The Food Network and media do the same thing to most areas of the US because it's easy. They pick the outlandish or colorful or things that people are already familiar with so they don't have to do a lot of set-up. And they're into entertainment.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Hey, let's face it, the South has some colorful people who actually work at being colorful. When they do New England, they want that good accent and the stereotypical Yankee.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      There were good reasons for the original recipes for long-cooked greens and fried green tomatoes which don't really exist anymore. I've moved on and I think a lot of others have too.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Hardscrabble subsistence farmers in the rural South grew what they could in their yards. They grew greens year-round and picked them as they needed them. Those greens were often tough and HAD to be cooked until they were tender enough to be edible. They long-cooked greens out of habit.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I now cook greens as a seasonal food, knowing that they're best young and fresh, and especially after the first frost in the Fall. Those cook quickly and stay bright, even a little crisp, and still have a lot of flavor.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Green tomatoes were making-do food. When Fall came, the tomatoes stopped ripening on the vine and there was no way that you would waste precious food. You figured out a way to make dinner out them, so you fried them up or made relish from them. Since they were good, people started cooking them as a regular thing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      There's a lot of history in most of our Southern food just as there are in the foodways of most of the heritage foods of America.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      We've lost so many of those stories today. Why we eat what we eat in certain sections of the country. There are probably things in Vermont that you ate for certain reasons at certain times of the year before refrigeration, long haul shipping, and supermarkets.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      That's the basis of local, seasonal and regional foods that we got away from for so long in the US. What a pity! And how nice that we are rediscovering it.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Maybe some of these traditions don't really translate very well to other sections. Maybe they do.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I actually think it would be a shame to homogenize American food so that we all eat the same things everywhere. I don't cook with walnuts and maple syrup. I use pecans and cane syrup. My food is who I am.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Why should you eat Southern food in Vermont unless you're a Southerner pining for home?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: MakingSense
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        al b. darned Apr 17, 2009 10:56 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        >>>
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I actually think it would be a shame to homogenize American food so that we all eat the same things everywhere.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        <<<

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I couldn't agree more!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        As I read thru the the comments here, especially yours, it got me thinking about "stereotypical ethnic cuisine." Being of Russian/Polish heritage, I cringe when I think that some people think Hillshire Farms kielbasa or Mrs. T's perogies are authentic. Fortunately there are a couple of stores locally that make a mean kielbasa and the perogies they sell at the Ukrainian church down the road a couple of times a year freeze nicely. So is all locally made Polish food to die for? No. The perogies from one of the places that makes great kielbasa are kind of nasty and so are their cabbage rolls.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I certainly wouldn't put most of this food in the "health food" category, either. There seems to be an abundance of "brown food" in the typical Polish cookbook. But just as with "southern food," this is what the poor folks ate in the "old country," brought it with them, and fed it to their kids. There is plenty of that "traditional" food I don't care for, either.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        As for green tomatoes, we used to (and still do) just bring them in and put them on the window sill and let them ripen. (Some people put them in a paper bag to do this.) The one year I had too many green ones I made marmalade and "green tomato mincemeat" from them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: al b. darned
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          EWSflash Apr 25, 2009 02:36 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          "Brown food"- LOL
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          That's my opinion of German food in general (never been there, I admit). Brown and either sour or overly sweet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I haven't had enough Polish food to form an opinion of it, but perhaps it's tsimilar. I've got German on all sides of me, inc. near-100% on DH's side. My beloved mother-in-law will combine raw hamburger, sauerkeraut, and minute rice in a big bowl, mix it up, throw it in a casserole and cook until the rice is "done". Surprisingly, with a whole bunch of salt and pepper it tastes pretty good, but wow, is it ever German. My mother was much more into fresh foods, aside frorm frequent forays into the 1960s-style American culinary abominations-you know, TV dinners and so forth..

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: EWSflash
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            linguafood Apr 26, 2009 08:09 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            German food is neither brown, nor overly sour (not even well-made sauerkraut is) or sweet. Whatever that concoction your MIL cooked up doesn't sound like anything I've ever heard of -- it may well be one of those home invented dishes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            German food beats the crap out of Polish food, that's for sure.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Visit. Eat. Enjoy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: linguafood
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Caroline1 Apr 28, 2009 06:37 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Unless you're Polish, of course.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: linguafood
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                EWSflash May 2, 2009 08:37 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I hope to. I'm not claiming to be any kind of expert on German food, just pointing out to al b. darned that my experience with Brown Food is usually German rather than Polish.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Linguafood, I looked up what she called that dish online and what I found bore little to no resemblance to what she makes. But if you saw what she calls "chalupa" and had a deep appreciation for Mexican food you'd flat-out gag- underseasoned overcooked pork mixed with canned refried beans, slopped on a plate and covered with Fritos. Fritos! She's not a bad cook, actually, I think she mostly suffers from having graduated from college in 1948 with a Home Economics degree- not a lot of World Cuisine being taught in South Dakota at the time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: linguafood
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  k
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  KristieB May 7, 2009 10:21 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Or unless you adore both cuisines, as do I.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: al b. darned
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            RealMenJulienne Apr 20, 2009 12:16 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I must say, Al B, as another northerner I theoretically hated overcooked southern-style greens for a long time, right up until I actually tried them. These greens are freakin' awesome! I've come to the point where I'll go to a barbeque restaurant and just order a big dish of turnip greens, with cornbread to dip into the leftover broth.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            This is not to detract from your opinion, but just to support the southerners in their love for long-cooked greens!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: RealMenJulienne
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              bayoucook Apr 21, 2009 09:02 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              This southerner appreciates your support. They have an almost creamy taste, don't they? I've had lightly cooked ones before, but they don't touch the smoky/sweet/salty/earthy taste of over-cooked greens with hot cornbread.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: RealMenJulienne
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Jen76 Apr 22, 2009 04:08 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Hmmm. This makes me want to try them now. I always thought they looked rather...well...gross. They reminded me of the "cream of spinach" soup I was given in the hospital after surgery when I was a kid. It was rather unpleasant to say the least. But, I do love cornbread.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Jen76
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  RealMenJulienne Apr 24, 2009 09:09 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Bayoucook, the greens I've had are indeed almost creamy in texture, but I like that the creaminess comes from the vegetable starch cooking out and not added dairy. I also really like how there is a contrast of textures in the vegetables, between the leaves and stems and whatever else is in there.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Jen, I agree that greens are not much to look at, especially next to a colorful spring vegetable saute or something, but close your eyes and give them an honest try. They have a very intense, earthy, vegetable flavor, and even though I am a lightly-cooked-fresh-vegetable-fan I still love them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: RealMenJulienne
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    bayoucook Apr 24, 2009 09:56 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    RMJ - you summed it up perfectly for me! Thanks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: RealMenJulienne
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      bayoucook Apr 24, 2009 10:00 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      RMJ - I just read your bio and we have something in common: I CANNOT bake. I can bake a cake from scratch (hate it tho') and make pretty good biscuits (southern women learn that at age 7 ha), but if it has yeast in it, forget it. Love my bread machine. Ruined refrig. yeast rolls for the 10th time for Easter. Cook's Illus. Almost No-Knead Bread hated me, quick breads are out of the question. I carefully measure wet and dry ingredients and use a thermometer for the water for the yeast. It ain't gon' happen! Poor us!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: al b. darned
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  j
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  jaredbronski Aug 19, 2009 09:12 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Well, I grew up in NE and we had Yankee boiled dinner every week or two the entire time I was growing up.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I suppose that you don't know what "tonic" is either... :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: al b. darned
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      John Manzo Apr 15, 2009 12:35 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Chard and beet greens but especially kale HAVE to be cooked to death so they're not horrible woody nightmares. You can't speak of chard and spinach in the same breath and cannot prepare them the same way.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: John Manzo
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Caitlin McGrath Apr 15, 2009 03:54 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I respectfully disagree. Chard and beet greens take longer to cook than spinach, but not by much; they can certainly be done as a simple saute. And kale takes more time than either, but absolutely does not need to be "cooked to death" to be palatable. I have nothing at all against stewed greens, but that style of cooking isn't necessary to avoid "horrible woody nightmares." I hate piles of tough or woody greens, but I never do the long-cooked style at home.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: John Manzo
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          al b. darned Apr 15, 2009 10:22 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          >>>
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          You can't speak of chard and spinach in the same breath and cannot prepare them the same way.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          <<<

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I also disagree because I *do* prepare them the same way. I cut out the woody stems so I mostly have leaves. Maybe you have different chard, but the chard grow is about the same size and texture of spinach. The main difference is chard grows all summer and into the fall, where spinach bolts at the first heat wave.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: al b. darned
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            bayoucook Apr 16, 2009 05:22 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Spinach is a lovely saute. And I have had mustard/collard/turnip greens cooked lightly, and they were horrible. Bitter and just woodsy and earthy. Those I will continue to pair with some sweet turnips and cook down, long, and slow.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: bayoucook
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              alkapal Apr 16, 2009 05:34 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              mustards and collards are not good when sauteed like spinach, imo. they need long cooking to be tender. but fresh mustard greens, cooked right, are sweet and tender. mmm mmm good!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: John Manzo
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Sam Fujisaka Apr 23, 2009 04:02 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Many greens are related to squid and octopus - either cook for a minute or two or cook em for hours.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Sam Fujisaka
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              small h Apr 23, 2009 08:48 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              So true. And either way is fine by me. There's a recipe in Chez Panisse: Vegetables for broccoli cooked to a fare-thee-well. And it is awesome. I know broccoli is not a green, per se, but heck, not everything needs to be crunchy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. al b. darned Apr 14, 2009 01:07 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          While not "regional" as in America, I don't get mushy peas. When I was in Great Britain, I was told I "had" to try the meat pie with mashed potatoes and mushy peas. The meat pie was pretty good, albeit a bit greasy, and the mash was good, the mushy peas were just wrong. I'm glad we won the war.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: al b. darned
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Peg Apr 14, 2009 12:26 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Good mushy peas (homemade) are wonderful, especially with lots of black pepper and a mound of creamy mashed potatoes. Commercial mushy peas are usually dyed lurid green and is often mint flavoured - disgusting, I agree.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Peg
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              poptart Apr 15, 2009 06:37 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I agree....have had both horrible mushy peas (very bland and boring) and wonderful ones. I guess like grits, they can be either one extreme or the other! :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: al b. darned
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              t
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              thursday Aug 20, 2009 03:01 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Oh, I'm so on board for disliking mushy peas! Especially minted mushy peas. *shudder*

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Though I have to put in the disclaimer that I find peas mushy and pasty to begin with, so celebrating that fact and ruining my fish and chips with them...unforgiveable!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            3. Lindseyup67 Apr 14, 2009 04:28 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Here in the U.P. of Michigan, it would have to be pasties. Unless made at home with some good steak and spices in them, IMO anywhere you buy them, they are bland and nothing to write home about........

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              14 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Lindseyup67
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                t
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                turqmut Apr 14, 2009 07:15 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Three out of three votes from my family that pasties are inedible.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Lindseyup67
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  a
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Alicat24 Apr 14, 2009 03:01 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I've been in West MI for the last 15 yrs. but I grew up outside of Detroit. Pasties were a MUST have on our vacations to the U.P. (along with good smoked whitefish). I've always thought that bland was the hallmark of them (and love 'em just the same). I'm interested in what is done with them differently in a home kitchen up there to spice them up vs. what you find in the restaurants/roadside place's.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I cobbled together my own version, LOTS of rutabaga and potato, small amounts of onion and carrots boiled till tender. Browned ground beef (I've never liked the shaved/chopped beef) with a bit of garlic salt and fresh cracked pepper then all into the crust and baked. The result is less than stellar but better than nothing. I went online a few years ago to search for recipes and was surprised to find so many that had raw ingredients going into the oven. I suppose I didn't think everything would cook well enough from raw (especially the rutabaga) without burning the crust.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  As time has marched, I've wanted to add more flavor but I'm torn.. There's no end to the ways I could ramp it up but then it wouldn't be the pasty I know any longer. Just adding a side of gravy doesn't do much (first time I ever even encountered it being offered was in Copper Harbor about 15 yrs. ago).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  So Lindsey, any tips from a true Yooper? BTW, my hubby had never had a pasty until I introduced him 20 years ago, he wouldn't get on board and still calls them Nasties! :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Alicat24
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    greedygirl Apr 14, 2009 04:51 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I think you're talking about what we call Cornish pasties. I love them. Traditionally they are made with skirt steak, swede (rutabaga) and a little onion which is not cooked before putting in the pastry. Delicious.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: greedygirl
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Morganna Apr 15, 2009 05:13 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Cornish pasties are one of the things I want to try when we finally get a chance to visit that part of the UK. Though the first visit, it turns out, will be in the Manchester area for our best friend's wedding.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      What's a "local delicacy" or treat in the Manchester area? :) and are they over-rated? :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Morganna
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        greedygirl Apr 16, 2009 02:14 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Manchester is probably the right place to try an Eccles Cake, which can be delicious but are definitely not diet food.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eccles_cake

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Other good things to try from that region: black pudding from Bury, Bakewell tart (from Derbyshire), Cheshire and Lancashire cheese (both crumbly white cheeses), Lancashire hotpot, potted shrimps from Morecambe Bay (strongly recommended).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: greedygirl
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        a
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Alicat24 Apr 16, 2009 10:31 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        As I understand the history they are indeed an offspring of Cornish pasties or meat pies. Immigrant's to the US in the 1800's who made their way to our Upper Penninsula to work in the copper mines brought the pasty with them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        If you trust Wikipedia (I'm wishy washy) later waves of Finnish immigrant's round about 1864 decided to adopt the pasty as thier own. The Finn's (if true) might explain the distinct accent/way of speaking that our Yooper's have. Very similar to the way of speaking those in Minnesota and the movie "Fargo" had but distinctly different.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Rather frustrating to not find concrete information and trust me I've searched!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: Lindseyup67
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      chowser Apr 15, 2009 10:07 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I think of pasties as being an English thing--do I have the wrong version? I didn't care for them either--high fat meat in a pastry pocket, served cold. Something about cold congealed fat that didn't sit well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: chowser
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Peg Apr 15, 2009 11:37 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        They should NOT be served cold, so I think you should try them again!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Peg
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Glencora Apr 15, 2009 12:35 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I was served slices of meat pie (not individual pasties) as picnic food in England. Cold, fatty meat, with a hard-cooked egg in the middle. Is that not typical? It was a bit bland, but not bad.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Glencora
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Glencora Apr 15, 2009 12:40 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            That reminds me of Scotch eggs. I didn't "get" that at all. Though I want to add that I had lots of really wonderful food as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Glencora
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Peg Apr 16, 2009 01:57 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              That's a pork pie (or I think with an egg it's a picnic pie, but I'm not certain on that). And you're right - cold congealed grease. Back when I ate meat and was a poor student I used to buy a slice of freshly made pork pie in Sheffield market - it would still be warm and juicy and delicious - that is the right time to eat them I think, not out of supermarket cellophane.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Peg
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Glencora Apr 16, 2009 09:27 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I was lucky enough to stay with my friend's granny, an amazing baker. She made the pie from scratch, so I think it was a pretty good version, just not my thing. She also made scones and rock buns for tea almost every day, and for dinner, wonderful Yorkshire pudding with beef and boiled potatoes (and, unfortunately, some nasty cabbage.) What DID come in supermarket cellophane was a pink and yellow checkerboard-patterned cake with stiff, icky frosting.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: Glencora
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                greedygirl Apr 16, 2009 02:08 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Pork pie is excellent if you get a well-made one. Unfortunately there are a lot of bad pork pies around.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Scotch eggs are great hangover food and one of my guilty pleasures!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: greedygirl
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Glencora Apr 16, 2009 09:29 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Hangover food! I think I'd rather have a bacon sandwich. (see other thread)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. JungMann Apr 14, 2009 06:19 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          New York Italian. I still am not sure how Manhattan's Little Italy manages to stay in business.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: JungMann
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            janetms383 Apr 14, 2009 09:51 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I'm with you there!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Bob W Apr 14, 2009 07:08 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            As a RI native, I suppose I should love jonnycakes, but.... Maybe it's because I'm a northern Rhode Islander and jonnycakes are more of a southern RI thing. (Yes, I know you think RI is too small to have such differences, just humor me)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            A few years back, I saw a bag of RI jonnycake meal (from Kenyon's Mill in beautiful Usquepaugh) at the market. I bought it and ended up throwing most of it out. We made them a couple times but the interest quickly wore off.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            What do people (RI or otherwise) think of jonnycakes? One famous place to have them is Commons Lunch in Little Compton. If you're going to try them, that's where you should do it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            20 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Bob W
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              t
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              thinks too much Apr 14, 2009 10:58 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              On the kicking RI while it's down, I don't get coffee milk. It's like watery melted coffee ice cream. At least chocolate milk has taste, but coffee milk is not much more than overly sweet milk.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              But I do like clam cakes about once a summer. And even good stuffies.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: thinks too much
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Bob W Apr 14, 2009 12:52 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I'm a big coffee milk fan -- I once had the VA license plate COFE MLK. Autocrat is my syrup of choice, but they are all made by the same company now.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                And check this out. One time I was driving around when I had that tag on my car when I guy pulled up along side me and yelled, "Are you from RI"? When I said sure am, he told me he was too (from Smithfield, I think) and was toting around a CASE of coffee syrup in his trunk.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Now, if you want a really hard-core RI specialty, how about snail salad? Unlike fried calamari, snail salad hasn't caught on nationwide. Can't imagine why. 8<D

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Bob W
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  h
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  huaqiao Apr 15, 2009 10:54 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Coffee milk is a very common drink in Asia. I'm sure that's how most people in places like Japan and Taiwan consume coffee. I'm curious how different the RI version is compared to the Asian versions.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: huaqiao
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Bob W Apr 15, 2009 11:11 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Coffee milk in RI is made by adding sweet, coffee-flavored syrup to milk. There are three main brands of coffee syrup, now all made by the same company. In order of increasing coffee flavor, they are Autocrat, Eclipse, and Coffee Time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Supposedly coffee syrup was created by immigrants to acclimate their children to the taste of coffee. I don't know about the accuracy of that, but I did start drinking coffee milk as a youngster and moved right into coffee in high school (weak Dunkin Donuts coffee with plenty of milk and sugar). The sugar soon fell by the wayside as did most of the milk, but I never moved all the way to black coffee.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I also love Thai and Vietnamese iced coffee, btw.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Bob W
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      h
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      huaqiao Apr 15, 2009 02:56 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I need to get a hold of some RI coffee syrup so I can conduct an informal tasting of coffee milks from around the world. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: huaqiao
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Bob W Apr 16, 2009 07:12 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        www.autocrat.com

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Coffee milk is the official state drink of RI, beating out Del's Lemonade, which was awarded a consolation prize of official summertime treat or something equally idiotic.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: huaqiao
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Sam Fujisaka Apr 23, 2009 04:05 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Common in Taiwan are large packets that contain instant coffee, powdered milk, and sugar. Just add hot water.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: thinks too much
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    al b. darned Apr 16, 2009 12:06 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I miss being able to grab a pint of Garelick Farms coffee milk in the mini mart. All is not lost, tho, as I have a quart of Autocrat Syrup in the fridge.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Now if I could only get Del's lemonade....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3. re: Bob W
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    chowser Apr 15, 2009 10:05 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Long displaced RI'er here, kind of southern RI to divide it even more, I guess, near Wickford and I never liked jonnycakes either, though I love most corn based foods. I did like coffee milk back then but what do high schoolers who don't drink coffee know. I did love Del's lemonade but not crazy about it since it's gone nationwide. I did love clam fritters, then--deep fried hunk of dough on the beach. What's not to like?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: chowser
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      kattyeyes Apr 15, 2009 03:33 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I know--I love fried dough, too. And, think about it, when we're wearing beach attire, can you think of a less appropriate thing to eat? ;) But we were young and it tasted SO GOOD. Still does.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: kattyeyes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Bob W Apr 16, 2009 07:13 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Fried dough rocks! Doughboys in Maine, clamcakes in RI, zeppoles in NYC, funnel cakes in the Mid-Atlantic, conch fritters in Florida....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Bob W
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          chowser Apr 16, 2009 09:05 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Why stop at dough? I've told my husband that one day I'm going to buy a huge fryer and open a stand at fairs. I won't have food but it'll be a "you buy it, we fry it" stand. People can bring whatever they've bought, we'll dip it in a special batter and deep fry it. Maybe we'll have an assortment of things that don't go bad, too--candy bars, Twinkies, etc.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: chowser
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            kattyeyes Apr 16, 2009 09:13 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I'm in--let's do it! :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: kattyeyes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Andria Apr 16, 2009 06:13 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Mmm... deep-fried snickers or mars bars. I wish I could get those in Montreal.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Andria
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                kattyeyes Apr 16, 2009 07:52 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Andria, please introduce yourself to bigfellow on his "What's for dinner tonight" thread. He's in Montreal and he posted about making deep-fried candy bars in the restaurant where he worked. Deep-fried bliss is in your future. :)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/5960...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: kattyeyes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  greedygirl Apr 17, 2009 01:04 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Deep-fried Mars Bars and the like can be found in fish and chip shops in Scotland - although how commonly is a moot point. It's often used as an example of how unhealthy a typical Scottish diet can be. Nigella Lawson advocates the deep frying of Bounties.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: greedygirl
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    kattyeyes Apr 17, 2009 06:01 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I had to look up Bounties (across pond translation: Mounds bar). That has to be killer. Mounds are one of my all-time faves!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: kattyeyes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      kubasd May 1, 2009 06:18 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I just always wonder why they don't do a cross mounds/almond joy bar with dark chocolate, coconut, and almonds. Then It'd truly be my favorite candy.... mmm mounds..

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: kubasd
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        EWSflash May 2, 2009 08:24 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Ooooooooooooohhhhhhh- yeah!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: kubasd
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          alkapal May 6, 2009 04:08 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          there isn't a dark chocolate almond joy?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          oops... guess not! http://www.typetive.com/candyblog/ite...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. thew Apr 14, 2009 11:16 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      in and out burger

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      29 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: thew
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        h
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        happycat Apr 14, 2009 05:43 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Me, too. Just can't understand what's so great about In & Out. Sure, it's better than McDonald's, but that's damning with faint praise.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Hush puppies. Another strike against the South. Heavy, doughy grease bombs. Makes my stomach hurt to think about them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: happycat
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Davwud Apr 14, 2009 06:58 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Not at all. More or less they're little chunks of corn bread.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          DT

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Davwud
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            m
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            MakingSense Apr 14, 2009 09:16 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Ah! But they ARE "heavy, doughy grease bombs" when Yankees try to cook them.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Same with most Southern foods. They just don't know how.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: MakingSense
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Passadumkeg Apr 15, 2009 12:23 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              There is I feel something about the cold that dulls the senses. Just looke at English and Scandinavian cuisine.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                MMRuth Apr 15, 2009 12:09 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I was just about to post the contrary about English food - and, seeing your post, Scandinavian for that matter. I've been exploring British food quite a bit lately, and haven't made a thing I didn't like so far. Ditto for the "British" food I ate in London recently. And, I'm a big fan of Scandinavian food - just made a cardamom cream cake this morning when a friend said she was coming over for coffee.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: MMRuth
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  m
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  MakingSense Apr 15, 2009 12:28 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I think Britain suffered an enormous loss during the years of WWII and just after. They had so little and were under such stress. So many people stopped cooking and they lost the customs and habits.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Was that at least 10 or 15 years from the late 30s until the world economy began to return to normal in the mid-50s?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  If you assume that things had been hard during the Depression, that would be more than 25 years when cooking stopped because foodstuffs were hard to get or rationed.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  An entire generation was raised not knowing good British food or how to cook it. That generation had nothing to pass on....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  And NO - "good British food" is NOT an oxymoron!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: MakingSense
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    MMRuth Apr 15, 2009 01:52 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yes - they had a full 15 years of rationing. I've been reading a lot of Elizabeth David's books lately, as well as material about her. As you probably know, her early books have been credited with changing how the English approached food, and, as well, Americans such as Alice Waters, Chuck Williams, and many more. Simon Hopkinson was a big fan of hers, and she of him.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: MMRuth
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Passadumkeg Apr 15, 2009 05:41 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I lived in the Nordic countries for 10 years and visited the UK often, my comment stands for daily national cuisine.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      MMRuth Apr 16, 2009 03:30 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I guess I should say - that British and Scandinavian food *can* be good, if prepared properly. That's more what I meant.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        greedygirl Apr 16, 2009 04:16 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        How long ago though? There's been a food revolution in the UK in the past decade, just as there has in the States. It's hard to generalise on "daily national cuisine".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      greedygirl Apr 16, 2009 08:19 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Also I'd just like to point out that it's a hell of a lot colder in winter in large parts of the United States than it is in England. Ours is a temperate climate - doesn't get that hot or that cold. To compare the British and Scandinavian climates is nonsense, really. And there's absolutely no evidence that our "senses are dulled".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3. re: MakingSense
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Davwud Apr 15, 2009 04:44 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Well being Canadian I guess I'm exempt.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I usually use a deconstructed hush puppy for breading my catfish when I do it that way. It's great. Then you make hush puppies with the left over dredge. Good stuff.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      DT

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: MakingSense
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Morganna Apr 15, 2009 05:15 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        *cough* Sorry, but I beg to differ. I make a damn good hushpuppie and the furthest south I ever lived was Mason City, Iowa. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Morganna
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          m
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          MakingSense Apr 15, 2009 11:35 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          So sorry, Morganna. Speaking in generalizations. Yes, even some people who have never set foot South of the Mason Dixon can cook a great Hush Puppy and some Southerners can't do it to save their souls.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Sadly, some of the people who mock them have never had good ones.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: MakingSense
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          bayoucook Apr 15, 2009 05:31 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          So true MS - and we don't live on this deep southern food - it's an occasional treat at least for us - I cook all kinds of food, generally keep the fat and salt low and exercise like a demon - does anyone still perceive us in such an old-fashioned way? Before this thread, it seemed most CHs loved southern food.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Now it's a pariah. May not read this thread anymore - blood pressure.....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: bayoucook
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Morganna Apr 15, 2009 08:28 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Aww don't take it that way! This thread is hardly about a majority consensus thing. :) Just 'cos there are some folks here (really it's only a few, isn't it?) who don't like the southern food they've had, hardly makes southern food a pariah. :) Plenty of examples from other regions have been brought up. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: bayoucook
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              m
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              MakingSense Apr 15, 2009 12:06 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The general perception of Southern food is not "old-fashioned." It's ignorant.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Check back on some of the old CH threads with responses to an OP asking for foods for a Southern-themed meal. Yikes! Shades of Daisy Mae and Bubba.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Nobody ever believes that Southern Food is elegant and sophisticated.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Even if they visit Charleston, all they want is Shrimp and Grits, which is simple fisherman's food.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Go to New Orleans and eat Jambalaya and it better be spicy. Visitors don't seem to be aware of the classic Creole specialties.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Southern restaurants don't do themselves any favors by serving dishes that cater to what tourists expect rather than honoring traditional foods.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              People have NO idea. Paula Dean and the New York Times don't help a bit. They make it all seem like Dogpatch and NASCAR.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: MakingSense
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                bayoucook Apr 15, 2009 12:30 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I agree. The restaurants and tourist places have a LOT to do with it. No one I know uses Paula Dean's recipes, likes Dogpatch or watches NASCAR. What upset me a little bit was people on here calling some of our regional food "disgusting" - maybe again, it's a southern thing, but I'd simply say I didn't like it, would never call it disgusting. Ya' know?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: bayoucook
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  m
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  MakingSense Apr 15, 2009 01:54 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Again, it's ignorance with a shot of rudeness.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Most of those posters have never actually been to the South, except maybe for a quick vacation to New Orleans, Florida, Atlanta or wherever.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  They find recipes for some so-called "soul food" or Southern "specialty" like macaroni and cheese (????), gumbo, pecan pie, fried chicken, greens, cornbread, or whatever. Then they mess with it. And maybe they're not very good cooks to begin with.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Gee, what they're eating and serving to their guests might actually BE "disgusting."
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  They've never tasted the real down-home versions of even those few stereotypical foods, much less the real Southern foods that we grew up with cooked by good cooks.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  It would be like us making bagels out of cornbread batter and then going "yuk."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Of course, most people outside of the South, particularly in the NE and on the West Coast, lump the entire "south" together as one big homogeneous region. That would be like saying "European" food, as though there were no difference between Britain and Italy.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Anybody with a lick of sense knows that the Gulf South and the Panhandle is nothing like the Low Country, the Mountain South, the ArkLaTex, the Tidewater, Memphis and the Delta, Kentucky, etc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  But to them, it's all Red State Dogpatch and they assume license to bash away.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The worst are the Yankees who move South, should have learned better, and still continue to bash. They're changing Southern food for the worse with their short-cuts and cream cheese.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  A friend who works for a big Southern newspaper keeps praying that the hurricanes and mosquitoes will make them move back North.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: MakingSense
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Mawrter May 8, 2009 10:35 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Wait a minute! I didn't think the Florida was really *in* the South, except in the north and inland. No?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Mawrter
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      c
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Cinnamon May 8, 2009 11:13 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      OK. Take a deep breath and concentrate. Southeast Florida is New England. Southwest Florida is Midwest. A blend is in the middle, where Southern starts seeping in, and the farther north you go the farther South it gets. The Keys are their own planet filled with old-time Keysians who seem a little Southern but have been there so long they're really indigenous. Pockets of fancy Florida Southern do exist around the Southwest edges, old-school gentility - sort of, in their own way - who helped settle the place.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Cinnamon
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        alkapal May 9, 2009 04:20 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        pretty good summation there, cinnamon. except -- we say that se florida is new york!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        follow the interstates i-95 and i-75 migration routes!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: Mawrter
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Sandwich_Sister Aug 11, 2009 08:03 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I live in Orlando and we have a saying. "The more north in Florida you go, the more south you really are. Although you can get southern food anywhere in florida south and central florida isn't classified as "the south"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Sandwich_Sister
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          alkapal Aug 11, 2009 04:40 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          clarify that to read: the southern florida east and west *coasts* aren't typically "southern" unless you're dealing with old families. inland, labelle and clewiston, e.g.: oh yeah, they're classic florida-southern.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: bayoucook
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Sam Fujisaka Apr 23, 2009 04:08 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Is Dogpatch a regional dish?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Sam Fujisaka
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        bayoucook Apr 24, 2009 05:11 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Haha, no Sam, it's a hillbilly cartoon. Good one.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: happycat
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              chowser Apr 15, 2009 10:09 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Good hush puppies are addicting. I could eat a whole bowl of them but too often, it's this dense, not heavy enough of corn flavor, blob. But, I'll take good hush puppies any day.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: happycat
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                al b. darned Apr 16, 2009 12:14 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                OOOOHHHHH! Hush puppies! I got addicted to the ones they made at Fass Bros. Fish House in Norfolk in the 70's. Crispy, crunchy and not at all greasy. "All you can eat" to boot.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: al b. darned
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  h
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  happycat Apr 23, 2009 09:48 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Okay, you're all probably right that most of us who bash Southern food haven't had the good stuff, correctly made, so don't know what we're talking about. Guess I'll have to do some in-depth research, fork in hand ( :

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            3. starlady Apr 14, 2009 11:41 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Old Bay seasoning.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              My parents lived in Baltimore for a couple years and when ever I went to visit them and we went out, anything seafood was just coated in the stuff. We stopped going out to eat and would just bring fresh seafood home.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: starlady
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Davwud Apr 14, 2009 12:16 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I like Old Bay but "Coated" in it may be a bit much.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                DT

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: starlady
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  shaogo Apr 16, 2009 03:23 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  What is it with Old Bay Seasoning? I never thought it was very good at all.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: shaogo
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Bob W Apr 17, 2009 07:51 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I'd never heard of it until I went off to college in Baltimore. Now I'm a big fan. I reguarly use it in my "famous" chicken salad.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Utz has been putting Old Bay on potato chips for 30 years; they call this product "The Crab" Chip. Other chippers followed suit.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Bob W
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Mawrter May 8, 2009 10:40 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I like it in moderation but my dh detests Old Bay. I suspect he may have suffered at the hands of people around here who bought it once in the 70s and trotted it out once every decade since. <gak>

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. m
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  MakingSense Apr 14, 2009 12:57 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  French fries with vinegar, like they serve them at Thrasher's and other places on Maryland's Eastern Shore.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The vinegar tastes OK but it just makes the fries, well, wet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  17 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: MakingSense
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Andria Apr 14, 2009 07:13 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Agreed... the aroma sucks you in, but the soggy fires... they just suck.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: MakingSense
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      jmckee Apr 15, 2009 09:59 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The comedian Jim Gaffigan has this comment in one of his acts: For the English, vinegar is their ketchup. How bad is your food of you put vinegar on it to make it better?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: jmckee
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        k
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        KevinB Apr 29, 2009 12:15 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Oh, foo. I was brought up in Quebec, and even the Quebecois in the 60's preferred vinegar with their chips to ketchup. (Of course, now they prefer gravy as in poutine, but that's another thread.) I've come to appreciate both, but - especially with fish - there's nothing like a good malt vinegar on freshly made (i.e. not frozen) fries. It complements the potato taste, rather than overwhelm it as ketchup does. Of course, if I'm getting a FF meal with pre-fab fries, then I WANT ketchup on them, as the fry then becomes a flavourless mushy vehicle for ketchup transportation.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: KevinB
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          linguafood Apr 29, 2009 03:43 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I second the vinegar on fries. In Greece, I like to squeeze some lemon juice over the hand-cut fries, too. It's a good combo.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: linguafood
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            purple goddess Apr 29, 2009 03:41 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Spain was the first place I was ever served mayo AND vinegar on hot chips.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Converted for life.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: purple goddess
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              linguafood Apr 29, 2009 04:53 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Hey, if we're talking bong-over food -- have you ever had "frites w/ oorlog sauce" in Amsterdam / Netherlands? Oorlog = war (wtf?), and it consists of mayo and peanut sauce side by side, and sprinkled with raw onion. It's no romantic food, but boy, does it taste awesome at 1 a.m. "-D!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              And also, BTW, totally OT (well, sorta), because it took me many visits to even try this local specialty. But I did love it. At 1 a.m.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: linguafood
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Paulustrious Apr 30, 2009 07:31 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I lived in Amsterdam for two years, and the BEST munchie food comes from the pannekoeken huizen - pancake houses. You could have just about any meal you wanted wrapped in a crepe. Start with something like sausage, ham and fried egg crepe followed by peaches, whipped cream and blackcurrant liqueur crepe.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                All in the company of your best friends, all equally bong-ho.