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non-chowish foods.......

srsone Jun 24, 2011 04:23 PM

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...


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

what others am i missing?


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  1. s
    S_K RE: srsone Jun 24, 2011 04:44 PM

    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
      Quine RE: S_K Jun 27, 2011 09:57 AM

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


      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
        The Professor RE: S_K Jun 30, 2011 09:03 PM

        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. goodhealthgourmet RE: srsone Jun 24, 2011 04:46 PM


        4 Replies
        1. re: goodhealthgourmet
          srsone RE: goodhealthgourmet Jun 24, 2011 06:03 PM

          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
            chowser RE: goodhealthgourmet Jun 27, 2011 07:44 AM

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

            1. re: chowser
              goodhealthgourmet RE: chowser Jun 27, 2011 03:01 PM

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

            2. re: goodhealthgourmet
              mateo21 RE: goodhealthgourmet Jun 27, 2011 10:33 AM


            3. pikawicca RE: srsone Jun 24, 2011 06:18 PM

              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
                srsone RE: pikawicca Jun 24, 2011 07:56 PM

                i like frito pie.....

                but ive never tried a dorito dish like that

                1. re: srsone
                  chowser RE: srsone Jun 27, 2011 07:44 AM

                  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
                    srsone RE: chowser Jun 27, 2011 09:06 AM

                    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
                      chowser RE: srsone Jun 27, 2011 09:08 AM

                      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
                        sedimental RE: srsone Jun 27, 2011 09:09 AM

                        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
                          srsone RE: sedimental Jun 27, 2011 11:11 AM

                          its good....

                          join us on the dark side.....

                        2. re: srsone
                          escondido123 RE: srsone Jun 27, 2011 09:39 AM

                          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
                            srsone RE: escondido123 Jun 27, 2011 11:10 AM

                            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
                              escondido123 RE: srsone Jun 27, 2011 03:21 PM

                              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
                                tracylee RE: escondido123 Jun 30, 2011 10:33 PM

                                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
                                jeanmarieok RE: srsone Jul 7, 2011 10:32 AM

                                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
                                John E. RE: escondido123 Jun 28, 2011 09:05 AM

                                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.
                                  trail 6 RE: John E. Jul 7, 2011 10:29 AM

                                  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
                                    John E. RE: trail 6 Jul 7, 2011 07:50 PM

                                    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
                                tracylee RE: srsone Jun 30, 2011 10:35 PM

                                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
                                  tracylee RE: tracylee Jul 9, 2011 10:33 PM

                                  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
                                    srsone RE: tracylee Jul 10, 2011 12:11 PM

                                    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
                                      tracylee RE: srsone Jul 11, 2011 10:30 AM

                                      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
                                        srsone RE: tracylee Jul 11, 2011 11:53 AM

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

                          2. re: pikawicca
                            Isolda RE: pikawicca Jun 27, 2011 10:07 AM

                            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
                              sedimental RE: Isolda Jun 27, 2011 11:03 AM

                              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
                              Eat.Choui RE: pikawicca Jun 30, 2011 07:38 PM

                              Ghetto Tamale


                              1. re: Eat.Choui
                                John E. RE: Eat.Choui Jun 30, 2011 08:08 PM

                                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.
                                  escondido123 RE: John E. Jun 30, 2011 09:11 PM

                                  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
                                  pamf RE: Eat.Choui Jul 1, 2011 10:15 AM

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

                                  I think Food Network should give him a show.

                              2. j
                                jhopp217 RE: srsone Jun 27, 2011 12:27 AM

                                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. ChrisOC RE: srsone Jun 27, 2011 07:43 AM

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

                                  1. e
                                    escondido123 RE: srsone Jun 27, 2011 08:46 AM

                                    Bottled salad dressing.

                                    1. woodleyparkhound RE: srsone Jun 27, 2011 03:24 PM

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

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: woodleyparkhound
                                        srsone RE: woodleyparkhound Jun 28, 2011 08:52 AM

                                        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. n
                                        Nanzi RE: srsone Jun 28, 2011 08:47 AM

                                        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
                                          Isolda RE: Nanzi Jun 28, 2011 09:21 AM

                                          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. w
                                          Wawsanham RE: srsone Jun 30, 2011 04:53 PM

                                          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
                                            tracylee RE: Wawsanham Jun 30, 2011 10:37 PM

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

                                          2. John E. RE: srsone Jun 30, 2011 07:28 PM

                                            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. ipsedixit RE: srsone Jun 30, 2011 09:37 PM

                                              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
                                                srsone RE: ipsedixit Jul 1, 2011 05:54 AM

                                                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
                                                  ipsedixit RE: srsone Jul 1, 2011 09:54 AM

                                                  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.


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