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non-chowish foods.......

  • srsone Jun 24, 2011 04:23 PM
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ok...kaimukiman has a thread going 400 strong now about what he considers non-chowhound worthy cooking techniques and some foods...

i have only found CH in the past year and a half....and consider myself a mostly normal average cook...
but i do like good food...

but his post got me thinking...and from lurking around and reading lots of other posts....
i have noticed a distinct disdain (bordering on hate) for certain foods...

mainly....

the dreaded green can......
jarred tomato sauce......
chef boyardee....
velveeta....
kraft bbq sauce..(altho i must admit trying it recently..it doesnt taste like i remember)
HFCS....

what others am i missing?

..

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  1. I love hot dogs. My husband who is not a chowhound at all says it's disgusting and is amazed I love them. I don't think a love of street meat is wrong! I use jarred tomato sauce too when I'm in a hurry but passata is a MUST when I'm making pasta puttanesca. I haven't noticed a hate for velveeta, the opposite in fact, but maybe that's because I was reading about mac and cheese. I can be lazy so I do buy frozen pie shells even though I know how to make it from scratch and do it once in awhile. In fact I use the lazy way out often, especially when I'm cooking for people whom I know won't appreciate my efforts. I'm not going to do everything from scratch for people who can't appreciate it mentally or physically by at least trying something new or special. The people who will appreciate it means I'll cook a day or two just for them. The others get a few hours.

    2 Replies
    1. re: S_K

      Also might want to check out the thread (one of mine from 2009,) How do you define trashy?

      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/585076

      Personally, I am ALL for honest enjoyment of any food, and avoid snobbery about what is or is not the "correct cooking tool, technique, food". Snob away as I am chowing down and having a great time. To me that is what makes us CHers.

      1. re: S_K

        A good hot dog (especially one from that dying breed---the local butcher) is indeed a "chowish" food. There are a few mighty fine store bought ones too that are not at all "un-chowish".

        Now, Mac & Cheese from a box...that's pretty far down on the Chow Chain I think.

      2. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/551276
        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/710806
        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/675046
        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/500569

        4 Replies
        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

          ok add instant coffee to the list.....

          but i dont drink coffee at all....so i dont care one way or the other about it...

          and the red and white cans.......

          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

            LOL, I knew this had been rehashed a few times. You're the CH historian.

            1. re: chowser

              too bad i can't draw a paycheck for it ;)

            2. re: goodhealthgourmet

              *thumbs-up*

            3. A young friend of mine just posted on Facebook his current favorite dish: Dorito casserole.

              In a 13 x 11-inch dish, place a package of Doritos. Brown 2# hamburger and 1 chopped onion, drain and pour over Doritos. Mix 1 can cream of mushroom soup, 1 can cream of chicken soup, and 1 can Rotel tomatoes, popour over hamburger. Bake at 350 30 minutes. Top with lots of grated cheese and bake until melted and bubbly. If there is a less Chowish dish out there, I don't want to hear about it.

              25 Replies
              1. re: pikawicca

                i like frito pie.....

                but ive never tried a dorito dish like that

                1. re: srsone

                  Have you had many? I think my kids would devour the Dorito pie and it would become a favorite--which is why I'll avoid making it.

                  1. re: chowser

                    i make frito pie once in a while...
                    but usually i just brown ground beef and onion..add chili then just put the chili on top of the fritos..and top with cheese..
                    i find that if i bake it the fritos get too soggy for my taste...

                    and i have gotten it from sonic once or twice..

                    1. re: srsone

                      We used to do Frito pie with the Girl Scouts--just pour chili into mini bags of Fritos, add cheese and shake. They loved it.

                      1. re: srsone

                        I keep threatening to make a Dorito or Frito pie thing-y for Super bowl one year.

                        I have never had one.

                        I chicken out every year.

                        I am too afraid I will REALLY, REALLY like it!!!!!!!

                        1. re: sedimental

                          its good....

                          join us on the dark side.....

                        2. re: srsone

                          We used to make Frito taco salad. All the ingredients of American tacos--ground beef with packaged seasonings, ice berg lettuce, orange Tilamook, slightly hard fresh tomatoes and canned black olives...maybe some green onions if we were being daring. The hot and cold parts were all tossed in a big bowl with the Fritos. Haven't had that in at least 40 years!

                          1. re: escondido123

                            yes we do a dorito salad...or now with the retro dorito taco chips...
                            basically taco in bowl...
                            chips,lettuce,taco flavored ground beef,shredded cheese,tomatoes...usually kidney beans...not all the kids like olives(or me)...

                            my family says i must be adopted...im the only one on my side that doesnt like olives...

                            1. re: srsone

                              I grew up hating olives, until I had ones like Kalamata and oil cured that don't come from a can....now I love them.

                              1. re: escondido123

                                Those were the first olives I dared to try and absolutely loved them. Talk about working towards a food backwards! I'm still quite sure I won't like green olives, unless they're hidden in a finely chopped tepenade.

                              2. re: srsone

                                The Dorito salad from the 80's that I remember is exactly what you describe, with the addition of Catalina dressing. Don't know why, but it works. Thinking about it kind of makes me want it now....

                              3. re: escondido123

                                Whenever we have taco salad, it's similar to what you have described with the exception that everyone actually makes their own salad, that way they can choose which items and how much, lilke a salad bar. I don't consider it to be 'non-chowish' at all.

                                1. re: John E.

                                  We still make Taco salad at least once each summer. Catalina dressing, fritos, onion, hamburger, lettuce, tomato, shredded cheese, adobo seasoning in the hamburger, beans optional(Bush bbq). Great on a hot summer night!

                                  1. re: trail 6

                                    We had taco salad tonight with carnitas instead of ground beef. Occasionally I will buy the restaurant size flour tortillas and put all the taco salad stuff in and roll it up. Sort of like a taco salad wrap.

                              4. re: srsone

                                For next week's family vacation, I'm going to make a version of the Texas Frito Brittle I saw on a cooking show http://www.thechocolatebarshop.com/pr... . I'm going to use PB Pretzels, Dark Chocolate, and add bits of dried fruits. It'll be quite the non-chow experiment!

                                1. re: tracylee

                                  OK, this wasn't a huge hit - not an adventurous crowd. My sister thought I'd brought two zipper bags of wild mushrooms and didn't try it until the end. Dad liked it, but complained that the chocolate melted on his fingers. I didn't end up with enough dark chocolate, but used every chocolate in the house that didn't have bits of something in it - Lindt dark bars, Bakers semi-sweet, bittersweet and unsweetened, ending with Nestle special dark minis. It was still somewhat dark, and it turned out pretty yummy, in my humble opinion!

                                  1. re: tracylee

                                    would it be better with milk chocolate?
                                    and maybe cutting it up and adding toothpicks or something to hold it with?

                                    and the link doesnt work for me...

                                    1. re: srsone

                                      Hmmmmm...it's on the front page of the site here: http://www.thechocolatebarshop.com/

                                      They might have preferred it with milk chocolate. I have issues with sugar, so dark is better for me, so I leaned that direction. Next time I'll do some of both.

                                      Good idea on the toothpicks. I made it on a sheet pan with waxed paper, but it could be done somehow in much smaller pieces and chilled with toothpicks in it, held up by plastic wrap. Maybe muffin or mini-muffin tins?

                                      1. re: tracylee

                                        that link worked...maybe it was just me...
                                        mini muffin size sounds about bite size...

                          2. re: pikawicca

                            My mother made a casserole like that when I was growing up in the 70s. She called it Mexican casserole (apologies to Mexico), and I think it may have appeared in Sunset or some other magazine of that era. In her version, you use plain crushed tortilla chips and there are no canned cream of yuck soups. It does have a carton of cottage cheese mixed with a can of diced green chiles. There may have been some packaged taco seasoning in there and it was topped with shredded jack cheese. It wasn't chowish, but we did love it.

                            1. re: Isolda

                              Well, I think if you love it...it IS chowish! I define chowish-ness as looking for the best in every food. Trash food is no exception :)

                            2. re: pikawicca

                              Ghetto Tamale

                              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GCYCKm...

                              1. re: Eat.Choui

                                I wonder if the guy in the video learned to make the 'ghetto tamale' in jail? There was a story in today's newspaper that the prisoners at the Minnesota State Penitentiary are upset that ramen in the prison commissary are up to .37¢ and they only make .125¢ per hour at their prison jobs. By the way, each ghetto tamale has about 2 days worth of sodium. Don't eat this without a diuretic for dessert.

                                1. re: John E.

                                  I personally think this Ghetto Tamale has gone far enough, unless you actually live in the ghetto and are speaking from experience, in which case go for it.

                                2. re: Eat.Choui

                                  I was impressed when the guy had a "swap out" ready to plate.

                                  I think Food Network should give him a show.

                              2. Cook's Illustrated ranked boxed Mac and Cheese varieties and one of the highly recommended ones used Velveeta. They admitted, while not the best cheese, it melts beautifuly.

                                I'd agree with the other one's you've mentioned, but in a pinch. That being said, I've been to fine dining establishments and had pasta that tasted no better than Chef Boyardee (or from what I remember it tasting like when I was 7).

                                1. SPAM. Personally I like the stuff, but any mention of Spam will result in a long list of protesters

                                  1. Bottled salad dressing.

                                    1. hamburgers bought pre-formed -- or maybe that's just me

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: woodleyparkhound

                                        the flanders ones we had tasted pretty good..
                                        we had a last minute party thrown on us at the last minute...and we ended up with flanders pre seasoned 20 pack from publix...they actually tasted pretty good..except for the weird shape i would eat them again...

                                      2. I used to make a dish I called Mexicali. It was ground beef & onions & Garlic, with a can of tomatoes, and a couple of cans of beans, which I had to put in the food processor so one daughter could eat them, she had a texture thing with beans, and had cheese mixed in it, and on top of it. It was seasoned with taco or enchilada seasoning, and served with nacho chips.
                                        Everyone loved it. If I made it now I'd serve it like tacos without the shell, and over lettuce with all the taco type raw veggies on top. that is basically how I serve chili today.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: Nanzi

                                          That actually sounds like a good dip for a party. All the teen boys and men would go for it. The girls would, too, but only after the guys had left, and they'd eat that fattening concoction in secrecy, with shame....;+)

                                        2. Mayonnaise, ketchup, plain potato chips. I guess they can all be trashy, though they have their place. Here in South America they are immensely popular--all three, and don't evoke the derision they would in US "foodie" circles.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: Wawsanham

                                            Sounds like Ecuadorian salchipapas, using french fries instead of potato chips. Classic Guayaquil street food.

                                          2. On your list the only things I would not ever buy are the Kraft BBQ sauce (there are too many better sauces out there) and the green can (life is too short for fake parmesan. About ten years ago we started to always keep a hunk of the real stuff in the refrigerator).

                                            1. After reading this post and going through some of the old ones linked by ghg (and others), I've come to sort of a new conclusion on so-called "non-Chowhound worthy foods".

                                              I don't think there are any.

                                              Whether a particular item of food is Chowhound worthy or not is not a function of the food itself, but rather how the individual qua Chowhound interacts with that food item.

                                              Let's take your example of Chef Boyardee, srsone.

                                              I remember a post by Sam Fujisaka (rip) where Sam waxed so eloquently and poetically about how he would transform a can of Chef Boyardee into a gourmet meal by dumping the contents of the can into a noodle strainer, rinsing the ravioli of the canned sauce, and then reheating the ravioli in a skillet with his own homemade sauce of EVOO, fresh tomatoes, herbs, etc.

                                              Not so non-Chowhound worthy anymore, right? And it has less to do with that darn can, than it has to do with how the Chowhound interacts and develops an intimate rapport with that said can, right?

                                              There are foods that you may not personally like, or enjoy eating, but that in and of itself does not make them "Non-Chowish" -- it just makes them "Non srsone-ish". And there's nothing wrong with that.

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: ipsedixit

                                                it wasnt mainly me...
                                                just foods that ive noticed while posting and reading the many,many threads...that seem to illicit strong negative reactions..

                                                i use the "green can".... have done so as far back as i can remember...never had a problem with it..i dont cook much with it if a dish calls for parm ...i get fresh from the store...
                                                but when u see posts about it that wonder why it smells like vomit..it makes me think about it..and ask questions... which is what CH is for i think...

                                                i also eat chef boyardee...never thought about doctoring it up like that tho...if i was going to have ravioli..i usually get fresh made ones...and the CB reference..that came from ttommy's post about being 49 and never eaten any..there are several very negative posts about it in the thread..

                                                and i wasnt really focusing on personal preferences for certain foods...thats entirely up to each person...

                                                1. re: srsone

                                                  I wasn't really calling you out, srsone (and no offense intended if I did offend). Just using examples you cited.

                                                  My point was that chowish-foods are about what we do with them. I can make a bowl of white rice and some fast-food soy sauce packets very very chowish; whereas I know many people could take a can of the finest caviar and big bulb of black truffles and end up with nothing better than a big slice of salty fungus.

                                                  Like I said, it's all a matter of perspective and interaction.

                                                  Cheers.