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Jun 17, 2010 07:18 PM

What food always catches your eye but that you (almost) never buy?

For me, this is broken down into two categories of foods that make me look and stare but that I ultimately walk away from:

Foods that bring back memories of childhood: circus peanuts, oreos, planter's cheeze balls (or Utz now in that big big container), ritz crackers, hot dogs, yahoo chocolate drink, kraft mac n cheese, stouffer's french bread pizza, frozen broccoli/corn in cheese/butter sauce (fwiw, my mom never allowed any of these so i thought of them as forbidden fruit).

Foods that I can't afford but want to eat: lobes of foie gras, veal cutlets, filet mignon, duck breasts, great wines.

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  1. Conch. I like conch, but I think I would screw it up if I tried to prepare it at home. Also yuca, for the same reason. Oh, and razor clams.

    12 Replies
    1. re: small h

      yucca is really easy to make. just peel it and cook it. they're like potatoes.

      1. re: fara

        There's something about that alligator-like skin that makes me nervous. But I'll give it a go.

        1. re: small h

          I'm so glad this thread was revived. I have, over the past year or so, bought and cooked conch, razor clams and yuca. I make yuca home fries pretty frequently, now. And I might make conch and razor clams again, although the conch was a bitch to clean, and the razor clams terrified me by waving their siphons around when I put them in salt water to soak.

            1. re: nomadchowwoman

              There's something about putting your fears out there on the interwebs that inspires you to overcome them. And by you, I mean me.

              1. re: small h

                And me, too. I can't begin to enumerate the many things I've tried since following CH. But never conch. Of course, I've never seen it here.

            2. re: small h

              I'm curious as to where you bought conch, and in what form? Was it a 5 lb. frozen box from Turks & Caicos?

              1. re: Veggo

                I bought it fresh and out of the shell from these guys:


                at the Union Square Greenmarket in Manhattan. I think it was $5/lb.

                1. re: small h

                  I'm a bit confused; there must be types of snails or whelks that are also called conch. The queen conch I am familiar with does not live in that region.

                  1. re: Veggo

                    What I know about conch could fit in a thimble, but this recent article in the New York Times discusses lobster fishermen in Long Island Sound who have branched out into conch fishing. It does seem likely that "conch" is a catchall term for several species of sea snail.


                    1. re: small h

                      Thanks. That's unfortunate about the lobsters in LIS. I hope you are getting plenty of bluefish in season, and some swordfish. I have been away from the area for a long time.

                      1. re: Veggo

                        I see lots of bluefish on offer, swordfish not so much (and it's prohibitively expensive when it is available). I wish I had the opportunity to chat at length with the vendors about all things fish, but they're always very busy. Which is good, of course.

      2. Frozen crab legs, Nutella, really good steak, pre-made lobster bisque, any kind of cheese, deli salads, most of the bread in the bakery. I don't buy most of these for various reasons the biggest being calorie/fat conscious (with good reason).

        8 Replies
        1. re: melpy

          I am always looking at the Nutella too. Never ever bought it. But I always imagine buying it.

          1. re: Sal Vanilla

            Same for Nutella, I will buy it next time!!

            Frozen sardines, shrimps, smoked salmon, Crab. Duck.

            1. re: Sal Vanilla

              Haha! I am glad they revived this thread!

              I finally tried it. My imagination had lingered on it too long though. Once I tasted it I was sorta meh on it. I ended up tossing it because SOMEONE kept putting their saliva covered paws in it and when I got back around to wanting to use it to make nutella rice crispy treats it was growing something webby, green and scary.

            2. re: melpy

              I've never had Nutella, but it is one thing I keep passing up at the store, I'd love to try it.

              1. re: Sandwich_Sister

                You should get some then!! I heard the italian one is better, anyone know where to get it in the GTA, I'd rather invest in it if it's available.

                1. re: BamiaWruz

                  Just bought some of the Italian product at Seafood Depot (up north of Steeles, off Weston Rd.). I haven't opened it yet for a comparison tasting but since I'd heard it was better than the domestic version and that it was hard to find, I picked it up.

                  Oh, right, and also because when we were recently in Paris, we had a phenomenal dessert with a killer sauce that the restaurant owner whispered was made of nothing but Nutella and vodka. I haven't tried it yet but I definitely will.

              2. re: melpy

                I just ate the remnants of my jar of Nutella with a spoon on Friday night while having a chocolate craving :-) So decadent & I must re-up on my next grocery shopping trip. I confess I've had the jar for a couple months hiding in the pantry so I could make it last longer...

                For me, I pass up lobster, prime rib, expensive cheese and ice cream & expensive chocolate (even though I'm a chocoholic, my purse has it's limits!) unless on sale...then I'll load up.

                I also pass up Wise Onion & Garlic chips, zero candy bars, frozen white castles, frozen Jamaican beef patties, frozen french fries; mostly because they don't taste the same as they did when I was a kid and frozen white castles & beef patties are just plain wrong!

                1. re: Cherylptw

                  If Jamaican beef patties are wrong... I don't wanna be right.

              3. +1 on the wine. i can't really drink it anymore, so i just torture myself by wandering up & down the wine aisles at TJ's, Costco & Whole Foods, ogling all the bottles i wish i could try.

                1. ice cream.

                  baked goods.


                  1. fish - I like it, but then I have to think how to cook it without the smell in the house. I really do want to and sometimes I do, but then I imagine myself in the kitchen either breading for frying strips, getting out the foil and baking, or pan frying then I fast forward to 'that after smell' and usually stop myself.

                    7 Replies
                    1. re: smartie

                      I used to think the same thing, but cooking en papilotte does a lot to prevent the smell from escaping. Or you can use plenty of citrus to not only flavor your fish but send a much more pleasant aroma to escape your kitchen.

                      1. re: JungMann

                        another trick is to fill a pot with water and cinnamon sticks or powdered cinnamon, and simmer away. it fills the house with a lovely holiday baking smell. no fish :)

                        1. re: JungMann

                          I always cook en papilotte. Especialy when Im just cooking for one. Its a perfect "singles" meal and it really doesn't smell up the house like cooking on the stove top does.

                        2. re: smartie

                          We cook fish 3-4 times a week and never get a bad fish smell. If you're using good quality fresh fish, you really shouldn't have a problem with any smell from my experience.

                          1. re: Rick

                            you must live in a "magic house" similar to that of our dear departed Sam Fujisaka. it doesn't matter if the fish is so fresh it jumped out of the ocean and into the pan, it still throws off an aroma when you cook it. typically, the oilier the fish, the stronger the odor...a quick sear on lean shellfish like shrimp & scallops usually doesn't generate too much of a smell, but things like salmon & sardines will stink up the house. my mother has an incredibly severe seafood allergy, and i was never able to cook fish in the house - the second it hit the pan & generated fumes she'd have a reaction.

                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                              I live in a magic house. The only fish that stinks in my house is canned tuna.

                              Now liver permeates everything and the instant I smell it (no matter how many onions and bacon slabs get tossed in the mix) I actually gag. Not figuratively. I have to leave the house and my husband gets really mad at me for my high drama.

                          2. re: smartie

                            I third en papilotte. I live in a small condo, however I like en papilotte because it's amazingly moist and flavorful. I do a monkfish with squeezed blood orange, fresh ginger, garlic...yum. With that being said, I like blackened tuna and only cook when I can open the windows ans let fresh air in!!!