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Regional foodways you dislike?

i
Isolda Mar 13, 2011 01:53 PM

Are there any particular food ways (not trends, just regional ways of doing things) that you don't like about your area? Here in Massachusetts, it seems that everyone who serves coffee MUST serve it with half and half, which has a flavor and mouthfeel I detest, rather than milk. And if someone is offering both coffee and tea, they still trot out the half-and-half, which totally overpowers the tea.

I'm also picky about pizza. I can't stand Chicago pizza, which seems to have all the toppings under the cheese. And in St Louis, where a friend of mine lived for several years, pizzas were made with a processed cheese called provel, instead of mozzarella. If you wanted the real thing, you had to request it.

Obviously, there's no right or wrong here, just preference. Anything you dislike about the way restaurants or people in your area make certain dishes?

  1. s
    sueatmo Mar 13, 2011 05:40 PM

    Just a mild caution here about Provel. It is the real thing to a lot of St. Louisans! (Not so much to me, but to many others)

    Home barbeque in StL is likely to be pork steaks, which I understand is a foreign concept anywhere else. And the sauce is likely to be red and sweet.

    14 Replies
    1. re: sueatmo
      mtoo Mar 14, 2011 10:14 AM

      Good thing I'm a native because I LOVE provel and I LOVE pork steaks (slathered in Maull's, of course.) Good stuff.

      1. re: sueatmo
        i
        Isolda Mar 14, 2011 11:29 AM

        That's why I said there was no right or wrong WRT food. It's perfectly okay to hate something someone else likes, and vice versa.

        1. re: Isolda
          hill food Mar 14, 2011 11:51 AM

          people always hating on the provel...

          but Maull's? I'd rather make my own, ok how about a Not About Food thread on regional food brands that advertise and if you never hear that damn jingle ever again you'll die happy?

          1. re: hill food
            mtoo Mar 14, 2011 03:27 PM

            I make my own for pulled pork, but pork steaks require Maull's. It's one of the few products with HFCS that I knowingly, willingly and happily consume.

            1. re: hill food
              i
              Isolda Mar 15, 2011 11:05 AM

              Wait, I'm part of a club? I thought I was the only one! ;)

              1. re: Isolda
                hill food Mar 15, 2011 06:08 PM

                FIVE FAN-TAS-TIC FLAVORS - MAULL IT!

                actually I sorta like the stuff just hated the ad.

          2. re: sueatmo
            l
            lemons Mar 14, 2011 02:01 PM

            And your pal must have lived here a good while ago or just gone to certain pizza spots. More places use mozz, or even other cheeses. But you can still like provel as well as other cheeses. I never understand why it's become an either/or thing. Where was she on gooey butter cake?

            1. re: lemons
              s
              sueatmo Mar 15, 2011 06:18 PM

              I don't know why the provel thing has gotten to be such a touchstone for local pizza. Didn't it start with just one chain using it? Beats me.

              However, I have given the original post some more thought, and I've decided I don't like most Hill style Italian food. We've taken out of towners to the Hill from time to time and I've personally been a bit embarrassed about what we were given to eat. I also ate a few years ago at a popular Hill pasta place, and I was actually offended at the sloppy presentation of the dish. Where I live a Hill restaurant has opened an outpost, and after 2 tries, we will never go back. Food mediocre, and service bad.

              I understand the idea of the sweet tomato sauce and the butter in the dish and all, but I realize I don't like it.

              1. re: sueatmo
                l
                lemons Mar 15, 2011 08:38 PM

                There are two places on the Hill I like (I'm leaving Modesto out; it may be on the hill, but it surely isn't "of the Hill"). Gian-Tony's for trad, and Lorenzo's for modern Italian. Beyond that, you're on yr own.

                1. re: lemons
                  hill food Mar 16, 2011 12:53 AM

                  GT's is the one with the bocce court right? good pizza (and yes not provel)

                  1. re: hill food
                    l
                    lemons Mar 16, 2011 12:18 PM

                    Gosh, no, it's catty-cornered from Berra Park. You're thinking of Milo's I believe. Let me see if I can set up a link for Gian-Tony's.

                    1. re: lemons
                      l
                      lemons Mar 16, 2011 12:21 PM

                      And I did over in Great Plains; you can't do it in these categories.

                      1. re: lemons
                        hill food Mar 16, 2011 06:14 PM

                        really? it's been a while, but I could swear a place on a corner near Amigh$^%'s with a bocce court out back had either 2 guys names are a single hyphenated one.

                        I need to get out more.

                  2. re: lemons
                    s
                    sueatmo Mar 16, 2011 07:24 AM

                    I've had Lorenzo's recommended to me. If I need a place to take special visitors, we can try that. In the meantime, I've gone low carb.

            2. JungMann Mar 14, 2011 08:53 AM

              Northeastern/New York, also called Red Sauce Italian. For a cuisine whose admirers profess near-cultic devotion, I find it remarkably bland, unrefined and stalled by its undeserved self-regard. While regional Italian cuisine elevates flavors with herbs, produce and temperate drizzles of oils and sauces, Red Sauce seems to club it with grease, the suggestion of some dried herbs and a ladle of bland "gravy."

              Sicily is a pan-Mediterranean array of interesting flavors and nuance. Meanwhile New York's Little Italy has become a pantheon of excess: oil-soaked sponge bakes masquerading as eggplant parmesan, mountains of spaghetti and meatballs beneath a snowcap of parmesan blizzards and veal cutlets whose only seasoning is a thick coat of partially-cooked flour and tinny gravy.

              4 Replies
              1. re: JungMann
                bbqboy Mar 14, 2011 09:33 AM

                I think Red Sauce is all across America.

                1. re: bbqboy
                  JungMann Mar 14, 2011 09:55 AM

                  I've encountered less red sauce in Italian-American families outside the Northeast, but I see your point. There are definitely plenty of restaurants attempting to capture a red sauce ideal, but part of their mythology seems to be centered around New York Italian cooking.

                  1. re: JungMann
                    bbqboy Mar 14, 2011 09:57 AM

                    Well sure, that is the model for most checked tablecloth type places where there is no or little Italian-American presence.

                    1. re: JungMann
                      Naco Mar 15, 2011 09:06 AM

                      You're correct. Red sauce Italian is one of the frequent sources of heartsick nostalgia by Northern transplants on the South board, who generally feel, no doubt correctly, that the region is lacking in good examples of the style. And speaking as a native Southerner, while red sauce exists down here, it is not something that really arouses the passions of natives.

                2. Will Owen Mar 14, 2011 12:12 PM

                  Lots of people equate rich, oily mouth-feel with comfort. Warm, soft, gooey, savory and just a little bland are all good. Sharp, chewy, crunchy, or anything new and/or unexpected = bad. When I was a child in the Midwest, "spaghetti" was well-cooked pasta (nobody EVER called it that!) smothered in canned cheese and canned meat sauce; I joke that to a Midwesterner "al dente" is an Italian phrase meaning "noodles ain't done yet", but it was certainly true in our family. I even preferred my spaghetti leftover and re-heated, a savory paste on my tongue. I'd sneak some onto my bread and butter to make a rich, gooey sandwich … It's a wonder any of us had any teeth, we used them so seldom!

                  I've outgrown most of that, but I still retain my prejudices in favor of cream over milk, and wonder why anyone would NOT prefer a pizza's toppings to be under the cheese, given any choice in the matter. And as for the original question, I don't have an answer. I'm trying as many different ones as I can, and haven't found a bad one yet. And at 70 I could be running out of time ;-)

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: Will Owen
                    i
                    Isolda Mar 14, 2011 05:31 PM

                    This must be a matter of upbringing. I can't stand the taste of cream or half and half in coffee because I grew up with whole milk. (I don't love low fat milk, either). And I grew up with pizza that had toppings on top (so they'd cook and get all crispy.)

                    1. re: Isolda
                      Will Owen Mar 15, 2011 12:29 PM

                      "I can't stand the taste of cream or half and half in coffee because I grew up with whole milk." Okay, that sounds like a contradiction to me. I grew up with whole milk, which is why I DO love cream and half-and-half. Until around the time I got to my teens, we could buy pasteurized, non-homogenized milk, which we preferred partly because you could taste the cream better (and Mom liked it because when it soured you could still use it). In fact, we used to fight over who'd get the first glass, because no matter how well you shook it up that first glassful would have more cream than any of the others.

                      1. re: Will Owen
                        paulj Mar 15, 2011 01:58 PM

                        As a kid I gagged on the cream that rose to the top of non-homogenized (home pasteurized) milk. I had the same problem with the skin that forms on hot chocolate, and the stringiness of some varieties of squash. Most of my dislikes were based on textures.

                    2. re: Will Owen
                      o
                      odkaty Mar 15, 2011 09:03 AM

                      "Al dente" is not just the midwest. My grandmother (raised in WA & Japan) follows the same technique. We refer to the concoction as pasta soup ... may as well cook the noodles in the sauce.

                      Of course, she also makes potato salad by tossing the raw potatoes, onions and eggs all in one pot, to boil for what seems like hours before tossing with miracle whip, relish and yellow mustard if she's feeling adventurous. And then she has the audacity to get offended because my grandfather (and the rest of us) reach for the salt.

                    3. caseyjo Mar 14, 2011 12:12 PM

                      I live in Chicago, but really dislike Chicago pizza (it's really some sort of awkward pizza casserole). Of course, when my friends from back home come to visit me, they have to try to pizza, so I eat it more often than I care to.

                      I really can't complain about food in Chicago (there's amazing stuff to be had here), but I will say that it's generally less flavorful than the stuff I grew up on in California. I'm sure part of that is due to the amazing local produce we have in Southern California, but part of it does seem to be a regional difference in palate. I won't go so far as to say "bland," but I will say that, in many places, the seasoning isn't inspired.

                      On the flip side, the L.A. suburbs are filled with thousands of identical shopping centers with the same chain restaurants. It didn't matter that there were amazing local places to go to, many of my friends were perfectly happy spending night after night at the Olive Garden.

                      6 Replies
                      1. re: caseyjo
                        hill food Mar 14, 2011 12:52 PM

                        oh Casey, isn't there some kind of law? I think there is up North in Alameda county.

                        1. re: caseyjo
                          t
                          theuninvitedguest Mar 15, 2011 08:51 AM

                          I'm originally from Chicago and I couldn't agree more about deep dish pizza. It's so heavy and dense I feel gross after only one piece. And that buttery crust is way too rich. But, like you said, whenever anyone would visit they had to have deep dish.

                          I also like ketchup on my hot dog. Sorry about it.

                          1. re: theuninvitedguest
                            caseyjo Mar 15, 2011 09:06 AM

                            Oh yes, the butter crust. I've learned to just not take people to restaurants that offer it, because when they see it they have to have it. I always just order a salad and eat part of one "slice" (if you can call it that).

                            I do like the Chicago style hot dog though; definitely don't miss the ketchup!

                            1. re: theuninvitedguest
                              Will Owen Mar 15, 2011 12:32 PM

                              "And that buttery crust is way too rich." And some of us do not recognize "too rich" as a valid category!

                              1. re: Will Owen
                                l
                                lagatta Mar 16, 2011 06:50 PM

                                Perhaps, but buttery anything doesn't belong in pizza crusts. Should be olive oyl.

                                1. re: lagatta
                                  Will Owen Mar 17, 2011 12:55 PM

                                  Okay, that's another one of those "authenticity" arguments of the kind that always starts when someone mentions barbecue. I'd never use butter in a pizza crust myself, but if someone fed me one I would not complain. If one finds that something tastes good, then one should just go ahead and eat it. If not, don't.

                          2. j
                            James Cristinian Mar 14, 2011 12:24 PM

                            Sauce on BBQ, especially ribs.

                            9 Replies
                            1. re: James Cristinian
                              bbqboy Mar 14, 2011 02:57 PM

                              You don't like bbq sauce, or you don't like it applied during smoking?

                              1. re: bbqboy
                                j
                                James Cristinian Mar 14, 2011 03:09 PM

                                I love sauce in small amounts after the cooking, but I prefer to let the flavor of the meat stand on it's own, with just a little salt, pepper, and paprika applied as a rub. Long low and slow smoking is the way to go.

                                1. re: James Cristinian
                                  bbqboy Mar 14, 2011 03:21 PM

                                  true story. Sauce is best put in a pool on the plate and used for dipping the meat and fries.

                                  1. re: bbqboy
                                    EWSflash Mar 16, 2011 06:33 PM

                                    Agreed.

                                2. re: bbqboy
                                  Quine Mar 15, 2011 06:41 PM

                                  Dry rubbed only for me, don't try to cover it up. Not meant to start a flame, only just saying what I like.

                                  1. re: Quine
                                    hill food Mar 15, 2011 06:57 PM

                                    bbq means too many things to get in a knot over, every region has its own merits. just don't ask me to make somebody else's but I'll eat yours with gratitude and offer you some of mine.

                                    1. re: hill food
                                      Quine Mar 15, 2011 07:03 PM

                                      Which I would enjoy with gratitude. TY.

                                    2. re: Quine
                                      bbqboy Mar 15, 2011 10:41 PM

                                      agree with dry rub, disagree with James's mix. Needs more spices +sugar.
                                      And hickory. :)

                                      1. re: bbqboy
                                        hill food Mar 16, 2011 12:55 AM

                                        I gotta say low and slow and lotsa real smoke is about as universal as it gets. I prefer hickory. but appreciate the other types.

                                3. Candy Mar 14, 2011 01:05 PM

                                  Though my family is southern, much of our cooking reflects that, I lived in north eastern NY state, from middle school through college. when my husband decided to pursue another degree ( as Jeanne Thompson said about her husband "that man has over degreed himself") at Indiana Universtiy. We were supposed to be here18 mos. That was in '81 and that is another story.

                                  Anyway, what I have never adjusted to is the amount of sugar in food in the mid-west. If we are dining out you can be sure that we are not going to an "Italian" restaurant . When I buy bottled pasta sauce I read the labels carefully. I have long wondered if the big national brand companies have different formulations for different parts of the country. Even mayo tastes sweet and most breads do too.

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: Candy
                                    hill food Mar 14, 2011 01:20 PM

                                    Candy, in that case you would probably not enjoy a lot of the food in Puerto Rico. I like it but after a week or so the sugar level does get to be a bit much. and I thought it was just me about the MW food, it does taste sweeter than on the coasts.

                                    1. re: Candy
                                      i
                                      Isolda Mar 14, 2011 05:34 PM

                                      National brands do indeed have different formulas for different regions. The same brands of pickles, for example, are much milder here in New England than they are in the northwest, where my parents live.

                                      I like that we're not all the same, but I definitely have preferences!

                                      1. re: Candy
                                        Naco Mar 15, 2011 09:09 AM

                                        That is interesting, as one of the common stereotypes about Southern cuisine and taste preferences on this board is that they tend toward the sweet side.

                                      2. meatn3 Mar 15, 2011 08:23 AM

                                        In NC you come across Calabash style seafood a bit. Now I've not been to Calabash, but elsewhere the shrimp served are the tiny, tiny sized fried up Calabash style. Just doesn't do it for me. When I think shrimp I think something crisp, fresh and consisting of several bites - maybe that's from growing up on the Gulf of Mexico. But these itty bitty shrimp just aren't worth the bother - basically tastes like fried batter. Which may be their appeal. I have met many people who dislike seafood in any other form, but love those shrimp! Perhaps its place in regional foodways is to be the gateway dish that turns the seafood hater into a seafood lover?

                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: meatn3
                                          k
                                          KCMcG Mar 15, 2011 09:20 AM

                                          I am Canadian and I always find that foods in general are sweeter in the States. Apparently, in Canada we use a lot more salt in our packaged food and the Americans use a lot more sugar. The thing that annoys me is that I have bought items with 1/2 sugar or no sugar added expecting them to be less sweet and they are doublely as sweet as they have added sucrolose.

                                          1. re: KCMcG
                                            i
                                            Isolda Mar 15, 2011 11:03 AM

                                            This is so true. In fact, whenever I read reviews for dessert recipes on sites like Allrecipes or Epicurious, I tend to pay closer attention to the reviewers that say they're from Canada. I figure if they think it's too sweet, I'm going to need to cut down on the sugar in the recipe. And I do the same if people from the south and midwest US say it's just right. I know I'll hate it otherwise.

                                            1. re: Isolda
                                              l
                                              lagatta Mar 16, 2011 06:52 PM

                                              Yes, we are a salty bunch. And decidedly not sweet.

                                        2. EarlyBird Mar 15, 2011 09:13 AM

                                          Okay, I may be electronically beaten and banished for sharing this dislike, but I dislike basically most Southeastern barbecue. I'm a huge barbecue fan, but I find that most from this region, NC as an example, has very little smoke and the vinegar based sauce does nothing for me at all. I'm always disappointed when I re-try BBQ from this region. I much strongly prefer Kansas City and Texas style 'Q.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: EarlyBird
                                            Naco Mar 15, 2011 09:44 AM

                                            Eastern North Carolina barbecue is a passion of mine, but one cannot help but notice that many people from out of the area, including other parts of the South, dislike it.

                                            I would agree too that most of it is not good, because most places do not cook with wood or charcoal. It's a style that really demands that you spend time seeking out quality purveyors that cook traditionally.

                                          2. linguafood Mar 15, 2011 09:39 AM

                                            The bakers of Berlin are incapable of producing a fine breakfast roll - crunchy on the outside, fluffy on the inside. The so-called Berliner Schrippe is a tasteless, cottony, dry abomination.

                                            4 Replies
                                            1. re: linguafood
                                              m
                                              Mayor of Melonville Mar 16, 2011 04:02 AM

                                              Really? I've found the ubiquitous brotchen found all over Germany to be what you describe: crunchy outside, fluffy in the middle. And you can't find them in Berlin? I did the last time I was there in 2006.

                                              1. re: Mayor of Melonville
                                                linguafood Mar 16, 2011 08:35 AM

                                                Really. I didn't say you couldn't find the ubiquitous brötchen all over Germany. I said the regional quality of brötchen in Berlin (called Schrippe) is abysmal.

                                                If you can tell me which "bakeries" in Berlin - and most of them just finish pre-fab factory crap anyway - come even close to the crunchy fluffiness of the brötchen I am accustomed to, please don't hold back.

                                                1. re: linguafood
                                                  l
                                                  lagatta Mar 16, 2011 06:53 PM

                                                  That is a pity, considering how wonderful German breads and bread rolls can be.

                                                  1. re: lagatta
                                                    linguafood Mar 17, 2011 09:40 AM

                                                    Tell me about it! Thankfully, there are a number of Berlin bakeries producing some very nice breads - multigrain, pumpkin seed, rye. It's all good. Plus the brötchen is probably the nutritionally catastrophic equivalent to wonder bread, so I shouldn't be eating too many of those anyway.

                                                    But I can whine about them '-)

                                            2. KansasKate Mar 15, 2011 12:18 PM

                                              Jell-O salads w/ canned fruit & mini marshmallows are quite popular in the Midwest, but not so much at my house.

                                              For many families in eastern KS and western MO, chicken & noodles is holiday food, and it's eaten on top of mashed potatoes. That's just weird.

                                              Steakhouses in eastern Kansas put canned beets on the side salad, either diced or one big round slice. I forgive them because the steaks and onion rings are the absolute best.

                                              1. viperlush Mar 15, 2011 03:14 PM

                                                Old Bay. I like it on crabs and shrimp, and I do miss smelling it all the time in Bmore. But, I never understood the sprinkling of it on everything.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: viperlush
                                                  linguafood Mar 15, 2011 03:27 PM

                                                  Oh, good one! Though I don't like it at all and wish they wouldn't even "sprinkle" (it's usually very generously caked on) it on shrimp or crab.

                                                2. LorenM Mar 15, 2011 05:04 PM

                                                  I think it has to be that crappy chicory coffee they serve in New Orleans. I love the other regional cuisine but the tree bark-tasting coffee has got to go. Nasty!

                                                  6 Replies
                                                  1. re: LorenM
                                                    Will Owen Mar 15, 2011 06:03 PM

                                                    In my experience that's the verdict of maybe one person in ten or twenty, but absolutely no one seems indifferent to it. My mom hated it, and a co-worker almost hit me when I made a pot of it in the office machine. But those who like it REALLY like it, though not necessarily all the time.

                                                    1. re: Will Owen
                                                      hill food Mar 15, 2011 06:12 PM

                                                      but to echo the sweet n rich comments upstream, dissolve some sweetened condensed milk into that coffee and you've got something close to VN cafe sua da...

                                                      1. re: hill food
                                                        Will Owen Mar 15, 2011 06:25 PM

                                                        Yes, you're exactly right, and I'm sure that's why Café du Monde is available at most of the Asian groceries with a large Vietnamese constituency. But it's too sweet for me. I use just enough sugar in mine to round off the flavor. I'm really not any kind of dessert guy - my notion of a fine "dessert" is third helpings of the mashed potatoes and gravy! Though I will have some strawberry shortcake, if it's real. THAT requires cream …

                                                        1. re: Will Owen
                                                          paulj Mar 15, 2011 07:16 PM

                                                          Though I've read that the chicory is not why Vietnamese like Cafe du Monde. The grind and robustness of the coffee is more important, more like the ones used in Vietnam (which you can also buy in the US now). The stainless steel filters need a perc grind, and the sweetened condensed milk masks the flavor of a gourmet Arabica.

                                                          1. re: paulj
                                                            hill food Mar 15, 2011 07:25 PM

                                                            interesting, that never occurred to me. I always thought it was the flavor even though that didn't make much sense. ok that's at least 3 things I've learned today now (and it's only 9:20 CST!)

                                                    2. re: LorenM
                                                      Bob W Mar 16, 2011 05:57 AM

                                                      I love starting the day with some steaming hot chicory coffee when I visit NO, but the one time I bought a can of CDM coffee to use back home, it lasted for years.

                                                    3. Quine Mar 15, 2011 06:52 PM

                                                      Grew up in New Jersey and had lots and lots of "American Chinese" food. One of my faves which never varied much was Shrimp with Lobster Sauce (yeah, yeah I know now lobster in it etc., I did say "american"). Viusally, unappealing if you haven't grown up with it.

                                                      So when I moved up to MA, and New Bedford/FallRiver area at that. the first time I ordered SwLS takeout, I called them back and told them they sent the wrong thing. I mean it was BROWN! Dark Brown! Seems that was the way iy was in that area. Tasted exactly the same as I was used to.but that color, sure was WRONG!.

                                                      I do think that New Bedford / FallRiver "American Chinese" food is a different universe in itself. I never knew anyone could and would order Chop Suey. strained.

                                                      6 Replies
                                                      1. re: Quine
                                                        hill food Mar 15, 2011 07:01 PM

                                                        jeez Quine for rock bottom Americanized Chinese (actually food that has the Chinese Americanized out of it) if you're ever in the MW esp the St. Louis area look for a St. Paul sandwich - essentially an egg foo yung sandwich deep fried, sounds horrible, but is sorta good in an embarrassing way (kind of the one night stand of food - yeah I enjoyed it, but I'm not bringing it around to meet mom)

                                                        1. re: hill food
                                                          Quine Mar 15, 2011 07:05 PM

                                                          Does it have that only can only be found in "those" places brown Egg Foo Yung sauce? I am a sucker for that stuff!

                                                          1. re: Quine
                                                            hill food Mar 15, 2011 07:10 PM

                                                            oh yeah, if ALL the condiments aren't in packets, the tables aren't formica and the lighting's not florescent it's not the real deal. bonus points for cheap veneer paneling. keep looking.

                                                            squalor baby, squalor.

                                                        2. re: Quine
                                                          LorenM Mar 15, 2011 07:33 PM

                                                          I too faced the shock and disappointment when I ordered the old standby, shrimp w/ lobster sauce and was served shrimp AND ground pork in a brown sauce (and it wasn't very good). It kind of looked like S.O.S with shrimp.

                                                          It has always in the past been the stuff that is like thick egg drop soup with just shrimp, mushrooms and veg. I did some research online and discovered recipes for the brown, pork variation so it wasn't necessarily wrong. I just wish it was called something else so I know what dish I am getting when I order it from an unfamiliar restaurant. I don't really care which version is authentic (maybe neither), I just know which one I like.

                                                          1. re: Quine
                                                            goodhealthgourmet Mar 15, 2011 09:08 PM

                                                            i also grew up in Jersey eating that particular rendition of shrimp in lobster sauce...and i definitely would have been disturbed to order it and receive a brown sauce with meat in it instead of the thick yellow-tinged sauce i was used to!

                                                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                              LorenM Mar 15, 2011 10:16 PM

                                                              I guess it's the same feeling I had after eating New England Clam Chowder and then tried Manhattan Clam Chowder expecting something similar. I warmed up to it but only after making it myself.

                                                          2. goodhealthgourmet Mar 15, 2011 09:11 PM

                                                            speaking of tea, when i lived in Georgia it drove me crazy that the default iced tea was always "sweet tea." it wasn't just lightly sweetened iced tea, it was rot-your-teeth-and-send-you-into-a-diabetic-coma sweet. gag.

                                                            10 Replies
                                                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                              hill food Mar 16, 2011 12:59 AM

                                                              oh yeesh I really hate the sweet tea

                                                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                JungMann Mar 16, 2011 06:40 AM

                                                                I'm from the North, but I don't understand the concept of unsweetened iced tea. It's like drinking straight tannins!

                                                                1. re: JungMann
                                                                  viperlush Mar 16, 2011 07:02 AM

                                                                  At least you can add a sugar packet or some honey to unsweetened . "Sweet tea" isn't just sweetened tea. It's a tooth aching, stomach clenching sugar drink w/tea flavor. Give me unsweetened any day.

                                                                  1. re: JungMann
                                                                    goodhealthgourmet Mar 16, 2011 02:02 PM

                                                                    as i tried to explain - and viperlush clarified for me (thanks for that!) - it's the *level* of sweetness that i just find intolerable. i sweeten the plain stuff myself, but in the South they add *so* much that it basically becomes a viscous sugar solution with some tea flavor in the background. my teeth hurt just thinking about it.

                                                                  2. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                    b
                                                                    beachmouse Mar 16, 2011 02:56 PM

                                                                    If I'm ordering iced tea in a restaurant in the South, I always say "Half sweet; half unsweet" in order to get the sugar level down to tolerable and I've never had a waiter think that was somehow weird or our of the ordinary. When the drinks are self-serve, it's more of a 67/33 or 75/25 unsweet to sweet ratio- that way you end up with just enough sugar to temper the bitterness, but it doesn't seem excessive to me.

                                                                    1. re: beachmouse
                                                                      goodhealthgourmet Mar 16, 2011 03:11 PM

                                                                      that's a good solution. personally i prefer to have precise control over the sweetness, and i don't use sugar much anymore these days so it's easier for me to just do it myself. of course then there was the matter of people calling it "unsweet" instead of unsweetened...makes me cringe every time.

                                                                    2. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                      b
                                                                      brucesw Mar 16, 2011 05:57 PM

                                                                      I'm another one who can't stand sweet tea. Fortunately it is not the default at the majority of places around here but when it is, it will affect whether I eat there if they don't have non-sweetened or it takes too long to get it. Unfortunately I've encountered a lot of ethnic restaurants from countries that don't normally serve iced tea that will serve you Lipton pre-sweetened tea in a can with lemon also already added if you ask for iced tea. Gack!

                                                                      1. re: brucesw
                                                                        paulj Mar 16, 2011 06:14 PM

                                                                        Asking for iced tea at an Indian restaurant makes about as much sense ask for a mango lassi at Cajun or Texas BBQ joint. You are lucky they even have the Lipton cans (do doubt bought from their regular soda supplier). Asking for tea at a Thai place could get you something very different, though no less sweet.

                                                                        1. re: brucesw
                                                                          EWSflash Mar 16, 2011 06:43 PM

                                                                          if I somehow get a mouthful of sweet tea I just can't swallow it- I have to be rid of it, and feel lucky if I can keep from spitting it right out almost before I taste it, It's weird- almost a knee-jerk thing instead of a conscious decision.

                                                                          No sugar in my iced tea- ever.

                                                                          1. re: brucesw
                                                                            goodhealthgourmet Mar 16, 2011 07:48 PM

                                                                            Unfortunately I've encountered a lot of ethnic restaurants from countries that don't normally serve iced tea that will serve you Lipton pre-sweetened tea in a can with lemon also already added if you ask for iced tea. Gack!
                                                                            ~~~~~~~~~~
                                                                            i'll do you one better. here in LA they like to serve *fruity* iced tea - passionfruit, mango, peach...gag. i learned my lesson pretty quickly when i moved out here - ALWAYS ask.

                                                                        2. m
                                                                          Mayor of Melonville Mar 16, 2011 04:05 AM

                                                                          I dislike the practice of serving cole slaw on top of a smoked pork sandwich. I like slaw, just not on my sandwich. I also prefer smoked meat served with sauce on the side, not slathered over all.

                                                                          6 Replies
                                                                          1. re: Mayor of Melonville
                                                                            Bob W Mar 16, 2011 06:01 AM

                                                                            There could probably be a long thread just one what people do and don't like about various barbecue traditions -- sauces (broken down by sweetness, thickness, served on or off the meat, etc.), types of meat, chopped (coarse or fine) or sliced, preferred accompaniments, proper beverages, etc.

                                                                            1. re: Bob W
                                                                              hill food Mar 16, 2011 06:22 PM

                                                                              oh Bob, I think there is (and maybe more than a few) knock down bitch slap cat fight "you call THAT bbq?" type threads. it's sort of like gawking at a car wreck.

                                                                              my only real gripe is when a person might say bbq when they really mean grill. both are good but mean different things.

                                                                              1. re: hill food
                                                                                paulj Mar 16, 2011 06:51 PM

                                                                                reminds me of the thread where some Brits were trying to convince me that when I said shepherds pie I really meant cottage pie. :)

                                                                                1. re: hill food
                                                                                  Bob W Mar 16, 2011 07:27 PM

                                                                                  I just don't get those Texas brisket vs the world or Tenn ribs vs NC chopped threads. Yes, they're all called barbecue, but they're really different foods. So why not expand your mind?

                                                                                  It's like a Chinese food aficionado scoffing at Thai -- "you call THAT Asian food?"

                                                                                  My approach is to look for the best barbecue in whatever style is native to the area I'm in. If I ever get to Kentucky, I'll be looking for the best mutton. 8<D

                                                                                  Tip: When in North Florida, look for goat bbq!

                                                                                  1. re: Bob W
                                                                                    bbqboy Mar 16, 2011 07:43 PM

                                                                                    Hey bob, I started a new thread just for us. :)

                                                                                    1. re: Bob W
                                                                                      Will Owen Mar 17, 2011 12:51 PM

                                                                                      Bob: Moonlight Bar-B-Q Inn
                                                                                      2840 West Parrish Avenue
                                                                                      Owensboro, KY 42301
                                                                                      (270) 684-8143

                                                                                      Used to be lots of barbecued-mutton joints around northern KY, but they've gone thin on the ground. Sad.

                                                                              2. greygarious Mar 16, 2011 03:13 PM

                                                                                Having been raised in Manhattan and on Long Island in the 1950's-60's, I was used to German, Jewish, and French style bakeries. Every shopping area had at least one, all turning out crusty sour rye breads and rolls, buttercream cakes, and puff pastry treats. In the Boston suburbs where I've lived most of my life, the bakeries are almost always Italian or Greek. They don't seem to have heard of butter, and I loathe anise and honey in pastries.

                                                                                Also, I am really sick of the ubiquitous lime/chili/cilantro seasoning - the unholy trinity, sometimes corrupting a perfectly innocent mango. It puts in regular appearances on that PBS Scandinavian cooking show, so apparently it's a culinary pandemic.

                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                1. re: greygarious
                                                                                  i
                                                                                  Isolda Mar 17, 2011 02:41 PM

                                                                                  If it's ubiquitous (and it does seem to be so), then it's a trend, not a regional foodway.

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