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Jun 13, 2009 01:46 PM

Food Heresy - conventional wisdom says this, you say that.

For all the people who eat well-done steak, put red sauce on their seafood, and eat tomatoes in december... what food "rule" do you break? Mine is simple. Conventional wisdom is that melons taste best at room temperature, but I like them nice and cold. I'm sure people out there have much more flagrant "oh my god, you're not supposed to do that" tastes, so open up!

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  1. I have heard usually no cheese on seafood , but not anything against red sauce.

    19 Replies
    1. re: phantomdoc

      I like parm on linguini with clams. (There, I said it.)

      1. re: pesto

        Red clam sauce or white?
        I like red clam sauce.

        1. re: phantomdoc

          I'm a fan of white, but, I will eat just about anything with pasta!

          I just thought of another food heresy: I love liverwurst on Arnolds white and mayo.

            1. re: phantomdoc

              And the problem with that is?
              It's NASTY!

              1. re: al b. darned

                Please try it! It is delicious....I'm not kidding.

                  1. re: phantomdoc

                    Hellman's has become nasty. Too much sugar.

                    1. re: Candy

                      Too much sugar in Candy? Have they changed the formula for Hellmans? If so when?

                      1. re: phantomdoc

                        I noticed awhile ago that it seemed sweet to me and looked at the container. Sugar was right there. Kraft lists sugar as an ingredient but when listing nutritional sugars are listed as zero. In a side by side taste test DH and I decided Kraft was definitely lemonier and and brighter in flavor. He finished off what we had of the Hellman's (I've discarded the jar, but if I grocery shop this afternoon I'll look again) but that was the last jar.

                        Now having said that, I am wondering if that is a formula designed for the Mid-West. Since moving here from the Northeast I have noticed that there is a lot more sugar in a number of prepared foods. Pasta sauce for example. I avoid the big national brands like the plague and seek out smaller producer Eastern brands

                        1. re: Candy

                          I looked at Hellman's again today. Like Kraft they list sugar in the ingredients but not in the information on nutrition. To be fair I'd have to say do your own side by side comparison. I won't be going back. Kraft tastes a whole lot better to us.

                  1. re: pesto

                    Liverwurst with mayo is a natural combination, Pesto.

                    1. re: pesto

                      Nope, you're definitely NOT the only one. Liverwurst and white bread sammies are absolutely great!

                  2. re: pesto

                    Liverwurst w/ mayo is very, very good! I don't keep white bread around, but the next time I get some liverwurst I will have to get some! And that is NOT heresy!

                    1. re: pesto

                      "I just thought of another food heresy: I love liverwurst on Arnolds white and mayo."
                      I can think of no other way to eat liverwurst except to add iceberg lettuce and crushing raw onion into the meat.

                      1. re: Sal Vanilla

                        sal-gal, you got that right! (the real crunchy part of the iceberg, too!).

                        1. re: alkapal

                          My God it is like we were separated at birth!

                  3. re: pesto

                    I'm with you on that. Clams and linguini, white sauce, parmesan. Love it.

                1. I like cold melon, too. My biggest food sin? I like cold red wine.

                  Oh, and ketchup/catsup on my hotdogs.

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: Jen76

                    mayo on my hot dogs. My Dh's family like freshly squeezed oj at room temperature. The thought of warm oj makes me gag.

                    1. re: Candy

                      In many parts of the world, mayo is absolutely "conventional wisdom" for hot dogs.

                      1. re: Candy

                        I like lightly chilled. Not cold

                      2. re: Jen76

                        I like room temp white wine! And I'll drink a full-bodied red with just about ANY food.

                        1. re: Jen76

                          Same here on the red- and try this: Sherry on the rocks.

                          1. re: Jen76

                            There are a number of red wines that lots of people think taste better at a colder temperature. Beaujolais is a good example!

                          2. There shouldn't be any rules regarding condiments. Ketchup, mustard, mayo, sriracha, etc. are fair game on anything and everything as long as it tastes good to you.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: Humbucker

                              I don't agree to some extent. Many people use condiments as a crutch. In our society, mayo and cheese comes automatically with so many things now.

                              Take burgers, for instance. Burgers use to be quite simple, yes, put on your own condiments as you like. Now so many places will slap on things automatically like cheese, mayo, etc. So many folks have become mayo and cheese dependent. I think it's important to try and break the dependency or you'll never truly appreciate the food itself.

                              I use to be a big proponent of ketchup on a lot of things. But if I'm going to buy a fresh made bratwurst, I want to really taste it for what it is.

                              furthermore, I know folks who will go to a GREAT place for fresh steamed corned beef and , without tasting it, order it with mayo. Not only do I find that tto be yucky (personal preference), but the flavor of the corned beef will be masked.

                              It takes some doing, and training, but it's really worth it.

                              1. re: Humbucker

                                Agreed, Humbucker. I suspect that in the Real World, this point of view isn't heresy at all.

                                Food autonomy for all!

                              2. The ruse in Italian restaurants here in Northern New Jersey that tell you the only way to eat bread is with Olive Oil , and when you request butter. they do not offer it.

                                It's understandable why many restaurants started the practice of discontinuing offering butter on the table. The rise in costs associated with dairy and cheeses definitely had something to factor into policy decisions.......however my problem really increases with the places that substitute vegetable oil, instead of giving you the expected olive oil and telling you it is olive oil.

                                so to answer your original question.....I like real butter on my bread over olive oil given a choice.

                                22 Replies
                                1. re: fourunder

                                  Right kind of olive oil makes a big difference. My first experience with olive oil for dipping was in Napa Valley in a high end restaurant that bottled their own oil. it was 1989. It was in my vegetarian days and the chef did not want to give me the whole wheat pasta with vegetables. He told the waiter to say "It doesn't go". He made it for me anyway.

                                  1. re: phantomdoc

                                    There is no such thing as the "right kind of olive oil" if you prefer butter and it really is a pain when restaurants won't provide it.

                                    1. re: MakingSense

                                      When did this olive oil thing start? I can't stand when restaurants put a bowl of "olive oil" on the table with bread. Its almost as if the restaurants think it looks classy (just the opposite). i prefer good butter any day. Heresy, whipped cream in good coffee.

                                      1. re: doughreme

                                        My best recollection is that some high end Italian restaurants started doing it because it was "authentic," and even refused to serve butter. When the Italian trend caught on, the olive oil thing trickled down to lesser places, which also got away with refusing to serve butter, even if the quality of their oil might not have been as top quality. All in the name of Oh-so-Italian!
                                        Let's be honest. It's cheaper.
                                        I prefer butter.

                                        1. re: MakingSense

                                          A good extra virgin olive oil is NOT cheaper than butter, simply a matter of taste. Any good restaurant that serves oil should be using extra virgin.

                                          1. re: shorebilly

                                            Unless it's a boutique brand olive oil coming in a small bottle, wholesale butter will always be more expensive than wholesale extra virgin when it comes to a restaurant's application and or purchase.....but I agree with your last sentence and view.

                                          2. re: MakingSense

                                            Sorry I'm late here. I know you (MakingSense) are probably aware, but the olive oil thing isn't necessarily authentic--my friends and family in Italy say they don't do it there and never have. The exception is if it's an olive oil tasting.

                                          3. re: doughreme

                                            It is done in Italy, the restaurants doing it here are just trying to be authentic (or pretentious, depending on your point of view). What is NOT done in Italy, and drives me crazy when I see it, is the obnoxious practice of serving the oil with other stuff mixed in, be it dried herbs or balsamic vinegar. If the oil doesn't have the flavor to shine on its own, don't serve it at all!

                                            1. re: BobB

                                              If the oil doesn't have the flavor to shine on its own, don't serve it at all!


                                              Bingo....precisely my point about the vegetable oil. I really do not want it whether it includes any extras either.....funny, in what i believe to be an attempt to save money on the restaurants part....the patrons fine ways to add to the oil served. Vinegar, black pepper, crushed red pepper flakes and Pepperoncini are the usual suspects.....but what about parmigiano reggiano? Even if it's cheapo quality and mixed with cornstarch filler......what are they really saving?

                                              1. re: BobB

                                                In what part of Italy is it done in? In my travels to Rome and Florence I never saw it. I suspected it was an American thing.

                                                1. re: aimeekm

                                                  In 30 years of living in Italy I have never seen a restaurant serve a bowl of oil for dipping bread into except when specifically asked to by American guests. I'm not saying it can't happen otherwise ("never" is rarely safe to say), but I AM saying it is NOT normal practice and is generally regarded as ridiculous. The normal way to eat bread in a restaurant is unadorned. Butter on bread is more of a breakfast thing. Also, high-end places that make their own little precious breads often serve butter and will sometimes offer a bottle of some kind of special extra-virgin olive oil you are supposed to either pour directly on your bread, very sparingly, or pour, just as sparingly on your butter plate. The purpose in this case is to taste a special oil, not lubricate your bread. Likewise if you go to a frantoio and taste a new oil, you will have it on bread but it's unlikely to be poured into a bowl for dipping, more likely to be drizzled over bread cubes or, if you're lucky, a bruschetta. Dipping chunks of soft bread in bowls of oil is regarded as very wasteful of oil, to say nothing of filling, caloric, etc.

                                                  1. re: mbfant

                                                    It must be the high-end places where I've had it then - a lot of my Italian travels have been business trips on expense account. And I agree, it was very much a question of showing off the quality of the oil, not simply giving you oil as something to "lubricate your bread" (great phrase!)

                                                    1. re: BobB

                                                      I don't care if it's authentic or not - I LOVE dipping my good bread into good olive oil!
                                                      I love good butter too - depends on my mood...I think these days I prefer the olive oil.

                                                      1. re: NellyNel

                                                        Exactly, garlic parm and olive oil sometimes, butter another. Depends on my mood. I like them both.

                                                    2. re: mbfant

                                                      Bingo. I hate those "you stupid Americans" types of proclamations, but those of us on this side of the pond seem to have a problem with letting excellent bread stand on its own. When I lived in France, I never saw a piece of bread adorned with anything other than sauce from a plate at any time other than breakfast, and the same goes with my voyages into Italia.

                                                      1. re: dmd_kc

                                                        I make excellent bread. It is good on its own and sometimes I eat it that way, especially a heel that I (committing a baking no-no) snatch when straight from the oven. But I cannot think of a bread that is not enhanced by a smear of butter. I suspect Europeans eat it without butter (and sniff at butter's use on bread) because butter was unaffordable and it simply was not frivilously wasted on bread. A habit.

                                                        After having eaten far too many obnoxious day old dry rolls and having had to coax them down with my coffee (rather than enjoying it sip by sip), I choose to butter, jam, pate smear my bread to my hearts content... sniffers be damned.

                                                    1. re: invinotheresverde

                                                      What timing. There was some moron at my work the other night asking for the ingredients to make his FAMOUS "Italian butter". He used:

                                                      -Approximately 12 ounces of olive oil (three totally full cruets)
                                                      -Four full ramekins of chopped garlic
                                                      -One ramekin of parmesan cheese
                                                      -One ramekin of crushed red peppers
                                                      -Spalshes of balsamic vinegar

                                                      No one at the table even touched it. He kept insisting he needed more oil, more garlic, etc. What a waste. We should've charged him ten bucks for it.

                                                      1. re: invinotheresverde

                                                        I would have thrown him out and told him never to return...

                                                    2. re: BobB

                                                      What if the mixed herb, balsamic and oil tastes good with bread? How is it obnoxious to serve something that is appealing to your customers. Personally, I do not give a rip whether something is authentic in that case.

                                                      Do I eat my spaghetti with a spoonful of sauce and then eat the meatballs later as another course? Nope. It would be more authentic, but I prefer it. My guess is that the majority of other folks out there (in America at least) prefer it that way too.

                                                      1. re: Sal Vanilla

                                                        thank you! while most on these boards revere the saying "to each his own taste," that sentiment seems to be trumped for many by the "authenticity" argument. hey, i like it! i'll eat it!

                                                        sniff piff!

                                              1. re: Samalicious

                                                That's not even conventional wisdom anymore (white wine w/ fish I mean).

                                                1. re: John Manzo

                                                  But I grew up with Mosel-Saar-Ruwer rieslings with steak. Mom had to have low-alcohol wines. Finding: Riesling is such a food-friendly wine, it worked.

                                                  1. re: John Manzo

                                                    I enjoy both red and white wine...but usually I much prefer red. However, I honestly can't drink red with fish...
                                                    It seems to bring out a terrible "FISH" taste in my mouth. I mean awful.

                                                    Does this not happen to you?


                                                    1. re: NellyNel

                                                      Pinot noir with cedar plank salmon is wonderful and classic. Give it a try!

                                                      I don't think I've ever had wine bring out a fishy taste in fish, unless the fish wasn't all that fresh to begin with.

                                                      1. re: cimui

                                                        I don't think I ever eat fish unless it's perfectly fresh!

                                                        When I am drinking red wine and I bite into a hunk of Locatelli cheese, the flavor literally burts in my mouth; the combination is sublime. The same thing happens with fish - except the burst of flavor that emerges is disgusting.
                                                        I have tried it a few times, as I said, because I do prefer red wine.
                                                        Perhaps it is my palatte because I've been at dinner parties where we are all eating the same fish and both red and white wine available - and some guests are still drinking the red. I am wondering to myself if they do not experience what I do. I guess not or else they certainly would pour themselves out some white!