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May 24, 2011 11:57 AM

The dream has died

I've been searching for a chilidog that matched the ones I used to eat when I was a kid. The place closed up 3 years ago.

After having a dog at Super Duper Dog in Fairfield Ct I realized that I was chasing a dream. Its like trying to have that first kiss, winning touchdown. So instead of always being disspointed I decided to enjoy what I have today and move forward.

I don't know how many others have been on a simular search but take my advice, STOP, you'll never find it but enjoy the search and whats in front of you.

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  1. And the problem is we're not working with the same taste buds if it was a childhood memory so maybe it can never be duplicated. I was dreaming about the cinnamon rolls from the dairy case that my mom used to bake up as a special Sunday morning treat. Made some last month and they were nothing special. Ah, memories.

    1 Reply
    1. re: escondido123

      so true! it's the childhood taste buds in part, i think. i've gone back and eaten so many foods i used to love--even ones made identically from scratch--and it's just not the same.

      to the OP--why not start a quest to make your own perfect chili? might be frustrating, but a tasty venture at least.

    2. Well.. that's especially true if the original source is gone. But I moved from Japan in the early 60's, and one of the foods I missed the most was the special Yokohama-eki (train station) shu-mai. There are many delicious shu-mai in many delicious Chinese restaurants, and there are frozen ones, like those from Ajinomoto that come close. But none really satisfied my need.

      On my first business trip back in the 1980's, I made it a point to get some at the store in the new Shin-Yokohama station. Sure enough, they had those flat boxes with the small ceramic shoyu containers, and they tasted exactly like my childhood memories. I bought lots - brought some on board the jet on the way home with the promise that I finish them during the flight.

      So sometimes, your memories do hold true. Your palate changes and grows, but taste memories are strong - with smell and textural components, as well as the remembrances of the environment and people. Having one come back to life is a truly joyous food moment.

      1 Reply
      1. re: applehome

        Shumai at station
        Shumai on jets
        or in steamer basket
        best that it gets.

        Oh my, oh my.....
        grasp supple walls of those shumai
        with chopsticks in steamer
        Oh, my.... Umai......

      2. I recently went in search of a childhood taste memory and was delighted to find that it tasted exactly as I remembered it.

        It was Thrifty brand ice cream in the black cherry flavor. My grandfather used to take my brother and me there every Sunday and buy us a cone. I almost always chose black cherry. I was missing him bad a few weeks ago and got to thinking about the ice cream. Went and bought some and was very happy to discover that it still tastes like love.

        1. Dreams should not die. Memories, however, DO augment. First taste does and childhood ones are often not a match by "adult" tastes. Those childhood tastes got you to where you are now.

          Go for it! Was it a "Rippper"? Or boiled? Steamed? Grilled? Many variants. I more or less thought my Childhood place ( and we *owned* it! I made SO many) could never be the same. But ya know, I stopped eating with memories and started, again, with taste. Found some~

          1. Now that I'm old, an ex-smoker, and have destroyed most of my smelling apparatus thanks to chronic rhinitis (yes, the damage from nose-blowing happens, and it's permanent), there's a whole lot of those taste memories that I shall never experience again. Like the astonishingly voluptuous flavor of really good vanilla ice cream, or the musky, woodsy flavor of wild mushrooms persisting through the richness of reduced cream. But although I can no longer experience the intense chickeniness of a full-grown free-running barnyard fowl, I can still tell when I've got one instead of those poor overgrown, fattened-up juveniles from Foster Farms and the like.

            No point crying over spilled sensitivity, kids. Just treasure what you have, keep on looking for the best stuff and enjoy it all you can.

            5 Replies
            1. re: Will Owen

              Thank you, Will.

              Somehow, I see dumplings with chicken and gravy.

              1. re: FoodFuser

                Not only a poet, but a by-golly clairvoyant! Chicken and dumplings was one of the dishes bobbing around in my head while I was writing that, and one with a complex set of aromas I'll probably never thoroughly smell again: a dense layer of rich chicken-fatty gravy, the damp wheat-and-soda smell of steamed biscuit dough, a complexity of carrot, celery, onion. Again, one culprit will be my own damaged olfactory apparatus, but unless I find a friendly chicken guy who raises Plymouth Rocks or Buff Orpingtons on a combination of mash, table scraps and their own foraged bugs, that proper stewing fowl will forever elude me.

                1. re: Will Owen

                  A memory now muddled by passage of time
                  was taking first place for my chicken and dumplings
                  amongst foreign students in Japan
                  I'm sure in the States would not have passed muster
                  But for sure it was fun.

                  Pecked at the rocks of limestone Nashville Basin
                  Floated the Cumberland River.
                  Many good times in Gallatin where my aunt, in a rest home
                  helped me with things like my chicken and dumplings.

                  She brought my technique up to family memories.

                  Gallitan, Cumberland, Nashville basin
                  add to that aunt and you got all the makin's
                  of chicken and dumplin's.

                  1. re: FoodFuser

                    You are correct as usual, FF … it is also true that if you get to know folks up around northern Sumner County, where my brother lived for quite a while, you can always get a good farmyard chicken from someone when you want one (and frequently a pig, too). John fried us up quite a few of those on weekends; don't think he ever ventured into stewing with dumplings or noodles, mostly because fried was SO good.

                    1. re: Will Owen

                      Some dreams do not die.

                      Such as days on the Cumberland
                      and eves in sweet Gallatin
                      watching and learning of chickens
                      in all their renditions.

                      Blissful, whether stewed up with dumplings,
                      or lovingly fried.

                      Gallatin also a place of deep tears deep cry
                      as I as a youngster roamed Civil War cemetery
                      where bodies of men were deposited there
                      after such useless battle
                      Place where I first wondered "Why" upon ponder of War.

                      Dream never dies when kept simple to chickens
                      or to waters keep flow to our rivers
                      or limestone deep laid.

                      Just think family, and rivers, and rocks underlay us.
                      And also of chickens.