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Food/dish you are surprised hasn't caught on

I always thought cocktail sauce could become a major force at least in the U.S. but it is still relegated to seafood. Maybe the makers all do ketchup so they don't want to hurt their sales of that.

Tortilla Esponola is another one. Americans love eggs.

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  1. Duck (and Goose).

    (Wild) Duck and Goose could barely be more popular among hunters in America and yet the domesticated versions barely show up on our tables (at some restaurants, yes, but not like Chicken and Turkey in our Homes).

    And when you consider that Goose and Duck are a great "compromise" between red meat and lighter meats (like Chicken and Turkey), I really don't get it. But, I am mainly confused because I love the stuff.

    27 Replies
    1. re: DougRisk

      I love the stuff too, but you are basically highlighting the flaw of this discussion: Good does not equal popular to the general American palate. Homogenized, generic, sweetened, unthreatening, no truly defining taste - that's what sells.

      1. re: MGZ

        Ya got that right! I'm just waiting to see the first tank semi trailer pumping out cheese sauce into the various chain joints.

        1. re: MGZ

          Seems a needless generalization.

          1. re: jmckee

            As the discussion is implicitly about popular tastes, it seems generalizations are practically required. The instant inquiry can best be paraphrased as "why aren't these great tasting things more commonly enjoyed?" Whether an individual enjoys them is irrelevant and fundamentally established by the basic premise. How else could we address the topic? Economic concepts, for example, would only go so far.

          2. re: MGZ

            Well, we just need to define parameters: I think we'd all agree that in the past 20 years food culture in the US has made great strides (case in point, uh, Chowhound). If we're talking about the still-sizable minority of the population that *does* care about food, it's a far more interesting argument...

            I do think for decades due to industrial economy we were swayed away from stronger tasting meats/fish—game, goat, duck, etc. But that's changing...

            1. re: MGZ

              You know, I find that others are WAY more critical of Americans than I am. When I think of the number of things that have caught on in America in last 40 years, it is pretty amazing. But, to give just one example that Anthony Bourdain has highlighted: Sushi.

              Sure, sure, there is plenty of bad Sushi to be had. But many good options as well. And, like he said, if America is willing to take on Sushi then we are likely to take on anything.

              1. re: DougRisk

                Americans have recreated sushi so as to make it acceptable to their tastes. They have not really embraced it in its true form. I can't put it any better than our friend la2tokyo did in a recent post:

                "I quit making sushi after ten years because everyone forced me to put hot sauce on their fish and turn all their sashimi into ceviche. I got so sick of waking up in the morning to go to the fish market, working all morning to prep the best product that was humanly possible for me to serve, and then have someone ask me to cover it with mayonnaise, bake it in the oven with sriracha on top and turn it into a "Volcano" roll or something like that." http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/802516

                Things don't really "catch on" in this country, they are brought here from other places and made to conform to what is common and acceptable. That's been going on for a lot more than forty years.

                1. re: MGZ

                  I know what you mean. Our supermarket has stopped making a lot of the nigiri options to make room in the case for the "fancy" rolls. They just look so unappetizing to me with all that sauce and god knows what else on them.

                  1. re: MGZ

                    it wasn't the customers who came up with mayonnaise and chili drenched sushi - it was chefs.

                    1. re: thew

                      Yep, I guess you're right. I tried one of those rolls in a restaurant and was so disappointed. There were so many ingredients on it, it was just a mess and I couldn't even taste the fish!

                      1. re: dmjordan

                        they love mayonnaise in Japan. its on everything. including sushi

                      2. re: thew

                        thank you. People cannot "demand" things that they don't know about.

                      3. re: MGZ

                        "Things don't really "catch on" in this country, they are brought here from other places and made to conform to what is common and acceptable."

                        Based on my travels, I don't think this is simply an American thing. I think it's a human thing. YMMV

                        1. re: GirlyQ

                          Yeah, I find that imported cuisine is almost inevitably tweaked to fit local tastes and ingredients.

                          My impression is that the sushi rolls were originally designed to get people who wouldn't touch raw fish with a ten food pole into sushi restaurants, and a lot of people will only eat the rolls, rather than sashimi. I actually do like the rolls, if done well, but tend to think of that as a separate food type. In East Asia, you have to search around to find a place that does decent rolls though, as you generally aren't going to find a dynamite roll at a sushi restaurant.

                          But I still maintain that processed cheese slices have absolutely no place in a sushi restaurant of any type.

                          I've seen some interesting things done to pizza and Italian food in Asia - takoyaki or kimchi beef pizza come to mind, as does Taiwanese pasta (Boil spaghetti, very al dente. Choose one of three sauces - tomato, cream or pesto. Mix sauce and pasta with the ingredients of choice, say bacon and mushroom, or seafood, or mixed vegetables, and serve with cream of corn soup and sweetened iced tea on the side).

                  2. re: DougRisk

                    I think people are intimidated by cooking it at home, due to the fat. It's not hard to manage with a bit of practice, but roasting a chicken rarely involves flames or smoke. And I suspect badly prepared chicken is more palatable than badly prepared duck.

                    I love duck myself, though. If I don't feel like cooking it at home, there's a roast duck place on the corner near my apartment, selling half and whole ducks. You get the breast sliced and served much like Beijing duck, with pancakes, sauce and green onions, and the rest of it is chopped up and stirfried with basil, chili-peppers, and sauce.

                    1. re: tastesgoodwhatisit

                      Duck, goose and pheasant are amongst my favourite things to cook and eat. If I see them on the menu you can be sure I'm having it!

                    2. re: DougRisk

                      Quorn.

                      My coworkers in UK eat boatloads of this stuff. All the benefits of tofu (or your favorite soy product) with a meat-like texture... so they say. See http://www.quorn.com/Recipes/

                      Also marmite of course...

                      1. re: drongo

                        Our eating of quorn no doubt co-incides with the loss of our empire.

                        1. re: Harters

                          I could have sworn there's quorn in the U.S. But even so, there are so many meat substitutes available in the U.S. (certainly in NYC, DC, and Boston) that the cultured fungus that is quorn isn't really needed.

                          1. re: Lizard

                            It's in the fake frozen meat products section in larger supermarkets.

                            1. re: ferret

                              Why are you telling me this?

                              1. re: Lizard

                                The "could have sworn there's quorn in the US." Yes, there is, in larger supermarkets.

                                1. re: ferret

                                  But there isn't in Canada. Banned here.

                                  1. re: piccola

                                    Why is it banned here?

                        2. re: drongo

                          I checked my local Acme supermarket... and lo & behold, I'm now the proud owner of a package of frozen Quorn "Naked Chik'n Cutlets". It was in the section of the supermarket labeled "Natural/Organic" ... I laughed long and loud.

                          Now to try this stuff...

                        3. re: DougRisk

                          I agree with duck and goose. If I find one in the local market is is also frozen and shoved in the back of the case ... and always overpriced. Which may be the reason it hasn't caught on. Other things I rarely find in the market that I would like are lamb and rabbit.

                          1. re: DougRisk

                            Oh yes. Duck is one of my favorite foods. I have liked goose the times I have had it, but it's hard to find

                          2. I will replay again...

                            Crumpets. They take almost no effort to prepare, they are easy and tasty, they take on many popular toppings (i.e. Butter, Jam, Preserves, Cream, etc) and are relatively inexpensive (in their home countries).

                            And we love our starches.

                            18 Replies
                            1. re: DougRisk

                              I think the problem with crumpets is that they aren't different enough from American-style English muffins to really seem to be worth it for most shoppers.

                              1. re: beachmouse

                                beachmouse wrote: "I think the problem with crumpets is that they aren't different enough from American-style English muffins to really seem to be worth it for most shoppers.".

                                Great comment. This makes me really curious as to what English muffins and crumpets are like in the US, because to me these 2 things are so different in texture and taste. It's like saying that bagels and hamburger buns aren't much different to each other.

                                1. re: Billy33

                                  what are you guys talking about? there are crumpets in every store I've ever been to in America.

                                  1. re: Billy33

                                    I've never seen a crumpet, and to look at me you can tell I have had a few cookies in my time.

                                    1. re: Billy33

                                      Indeed, crumpets and English muffins, in Canada anyway, are quite a bit different. I would never confuse one for the other. I guess they are both bready, cakey type things and both delicious with butter and jam, but the comparisons pretty much stop there.

                                      1. re: SnackHappy

                                        Thjey look similar as well.
                                        They both serve as vessels for whatever topping you might want, and the toppings will be similar. ie - butter and jam, peanutbutter, etc...

                                        The big difference is in the texture - crumpets are doughy, soft, and very chewy, but English Muffins are crispy and doughy..

                                        I love both!

                                        1. re: NellyNel

                                          "Thjey look similar as well." [sic]

                                          I don't know about that. A crumpet is like a pancake cooked on one side. English muffins are more like a bun.

                                          1. re: SnackHappy

                                            Sorry, but an English muffin is nothing like a bun!

                                            They are both round disks with nooks and crannies.

                                            1. re: NellyNel

                                              I guess we don't get the same kind of English muffins. The ones I buy are smooth all over and I have to split them open to find any nooks and crannies. Much like I would with a bun.

                                              1. re: SnackHappy

                                                Well, actually, you got me there, you do have to split them open - but once open Crumpets and EM's are basically the same shape.

                                                Thomas' Enghlish muffins are the Only brand! I think you can get generic, but I don't know of another brand name that do them. Never saw them in a bakery or anything like that, either.

                                                I wonder why?

                                                Anyone?

                                                1. re: NellyNel

                                                  Wolfermans?

                                                  http://www.wolfermans.com/gifts/store...

                                                  1. re: chowser

                                                    Whaddya know!

                                                    I've never seen them.

                                                    I did Google home-made English muffins, and homemade one look exaclty like crumpets, actually.

                                                    1. re: NellyNel

                                                      Someone gave me a gift once, years ago. They were okay but not worth what they probably cost.

                                                    2. re: chowser

                                                      Wolferman's as a business enterprise is a puzzler. I have yet to eat a product from there that tastes "artisanal." It's all just variations on store-bought English muffins. Huge waste of money from my perspective.

                                                      1. re: ferret

                                                        Is that true of most national mail order food stores that are popular? The ones that come to mind quickly are Harry and David, Omaha Beef, Swiss Colony, off the top of my head. I think of them as gift items when you don't want to send a gift certificate or flowers and don't know the person well.

                                                        1. re: chowser

                                                          None of those have good quality products, in my experience.

                                            2. re: NellyNel

                                              Perhaps north American "English muffins" are different from muffins in England. Here, a muffin is like a bread bun, soft and doughy. A crumpet is a completely different beast, in its taste, look and method of cooking.

                                              I had never seen a muffin until I visited America in 1980 when I was intrigued to see "English muffins". They're quite popular in shops here now. Our normal supermarket does a very nice cheese and black pepper one.

                                              1. re: Harters

                                                I'm pretty certain English muffins are the same as muffins in the UK. They're bread cooked on a griddle whereas a crumpet is a type of griddle cake made from batter and not leavened dough. Taste and texture are quite different.

                                                I think the similarities pretty much stop at general shape and size, geographic origin and usual toppings.

                                    2. I'm assuming that you mean havn't caught on in America?

                                      I say this as the things you and the earlier posters mention are popular here in different parts of Europe. I imagine there are some popular American things that havnt caught on here.

                                      20 Replies
                                      1. re: Harters

                                        Chime in! What hasn't caught on in the UK that surprises you? I'd be curious.

                                        1. re: Jen76

                                          Salad. Good, inventive, salads.

                                          And in line with a discussion on the UK board that involved schooling one of the UK posters whose knowledge of the US was entirely limited to occasional visits: DELI. Seriously impossible to find sliced turkey breast for deli sandwich. And few options elsewhere-- UK is a fan of the reformed meat product if the general popular offerings are any indicator. (I am DYING here.)

                                          And frankly, the celebration/recognition of Hanukkah. That is, I cannot understand how a festival that celebrates with fried foods has not caught on here.

                                          1. re: Lizard

                                            Inventive salads? I see them all the time...

                                            But I agree with you about many Jewish foods that aren't known outside hardcore deli culture: matzoh brei, gribenes, kreplach...

                                            1. re: tatamagouche

                                              Do you live in the UK? Because really, no salad... And outside of London and certain major city centres, hardly any Jews. I am very lonely up North.

                                              1. re: Lizard

                                                Living in Edinburgh I have never (knowingly) met a Jew here, but then I'm in the student community and I only know the religion of close friends. I do think there is some sort of society/community at the uni - most major faiths have one.

                                                1. re: Xantha

                                                  There are around 250,000 Jews living in the UK (as per 2001 national census), with some two thirds living in Greater London. The next largest centre of population is Manchester with about 30,000. That's less than 0.5% of the total population.

                                                  That's about the same sized group as Chinese and a bit smaller than Bangladeshis - both groups have had major impact on UK food culture. No doubt, because many have been involved in the restaurant trade , whereas Jewish immigrants brought other skills and did not, generally, set up restaurants or other food related businesses here.

                                                  In terms of population movement, it's perhaps interesting that the census notes there are more folk born in America living in the UK , than born in Bangladesh. And American born residents are the fifth largest foreign group (after Irish, Indian, Pakistani, and German).

                                                  1. re: Harters

                                                    Just a quick request that the focus here remain on food. Racism and antisemitism are huge, important issues, but really too huge and off-topic for our site.

                                                    1. re: Harters

                                                      250K Jews (or any other population) in the UK doesn't sound like a whole lot of folks to me, but then I'm not a statistician. Harters- is that a significant population?

                                                      1. re: EWSflash

                                                        Well, I like to think we're significant, but no, these numbers are tiny.

                                                        1. re: EWSflash

                                                          Not statistically significant - as I mention upthread, less than 0.5% of the population.

                                                    2. re: Lizard

                                                      I normally find myself in complete disagreement with Lizard whenever the state of British food is concerned. However, in this respect, for once I agree with her/him.

                                                      It is certainly much easier to find good food and ethnically diverse food in urban areas than it is in rural.

                                                      In that, I'm fortunate to live within an hours drive of three of the UK's major cities so it is comparitively easy. That said, many of the country's top restaurants (as rated by Michelin stars or Good Food Guide scores) are found away from the major industrial cities. Only last week, in rural Wales, we had two great dinners at nationally acclaimed "upscale bistro" type places.

                                                      1. re: Harters

                                                        Only very recently decent coffee has started to catch on. Until a couple of years ago, the best you could get was that awful milky 'coffee' Starbucks served up or horrible stewed liquid. Coming from New Zealand where good coffee is a way of life, I couldn't believe there were very few decent cafes in London that served good coffee and a nice home booked muffin or great breakfast (i.e. not a greasy spoon). Cafe culture hasn't really caught on here in the UK - yet.

                                                        1. re: pj26

                                                          Well even in the USA, we are not homogeneous. Ice coffee, down south, was not popular for years. And you could not have gotten that most delicious of ice creams, coffee, in the south either. But you could get more weird super sweet fruity flavors.

                                                          And up north, you can get ice tea, but your basic southern sweet tea is not a staple.

                                                      2. re: Lizard

                                                        Hi—sorry, been in deadline hell. No, in the U.S.

                                                    3. re: Lizard

                                                      "turkey" in US "delis" is definately a "reformed meat product". I find myself wondering what natural turkey tastes like!

                                                      1. re: sandylc

                                                        Sorry, but no. Perhaps where you live, but in NYC, turkey is turkey breast. Full stop. Perhaps we should stop making generalisations about such an enormous country.
                                                        (Although your statement really really makes me want to make a generalisation about the flyover states.)

                                                        1. re: Lizard

                                                          http://www.usdec.org/files/Deli/PDFs/...

                                                          Go ahead, make your generalization. Let's see what it is. :-)

                                                          1. re: huiray

                                                            Erm, would you mind making your argument? This data is something, but I honestly have no idea what kind of point you want to make.
                                                            In the meanwhile, i can continue to aver that I've had proper trket breast from many an NYC deli.

                                                            1. re: Lizard

                                                              "In the meanwhile, i can continue to aver that I've had proper trket breast from many an NYC deli."
                                                              --------
                                                              Sure. But one can also get reformulated turkey, as described in that pdf file I posted, in NYC as well as almost anywhere else in delis in lots of places. Your statement in your post suggested that "turkey" in a NY deli was always and only turkey breast. Even if that was true, the pdf article makes clear that such "whole muscle" turkey breast meat destined for delis was compressed together and processed further - so one can hardly say that one gets "turkey breast", as a piece of breast such as one might see after being cut from a whole turkey, as the only offering in a NY deli.

                                                              As for that "generalization" about flyover states in the US, from someone who lives in Europe - let's see what it is...

                                                    4. re: Jen76

                                                      Patterns of immigration can affect things, of course. We have always had significant Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jewish immigration to parts of the UK. My own area, in north west England, has a very long-standing Sephardic community - such that when Ashkenazi were emigrating westwards in the 19th and early 20th century, from Russia, through England, to America, a significant number stopped here. But their foods have never really impacted on the wider community.

                                                      Similary, we had significant immigration in the 1940s/50/60s from the Caribbean which has had minimal impact on food culture.

                                                      If I had to guess at reasons for this - when we have very much taken on board foods of more recent immigrants (from Hong Kong, Bangladesh, India and Pakistan) - I suspect it's because those immigrant groups precede our growing overseas travel in the post World War 2 period and the consequent discovery of "foreign" foods. It is also the case that both Jewish and Caribbean groups quite quickly Anglicised themselves in many ways. That is not to say that there are not communities, it is just that in food terms, they dont get a wider audience.

                                                      On a specifically American theme, I would agree with Lizard about salad. It is generally rare to find the prominence given in America to it in not only the UK but throughout Europe.

                                                  2. Fruit Fools.

                                                    I mean really, it's good home-made whipped cream with fruit and sometimes (though not when I make it) nuts folded in. Easy, and c'mon it's a dish based on folding things into that heavenly fluffy dairy product WHIPPED CREAM!

                                                    Oh well, it's lack of popularity makes mine look all impressive (and lessens the chance that it will be a duplicate of what somebody else brought.... not that too many fools would be a BAD thing....) when I bring it to a party lol. Being here in California there is always some wonderful fruit (ESPECIALLY during strawberry season! OMG strawberry season in CA.... Oh yes....) to make a fool of. One time for a party I made a chocolate/coffee whipped cream and strawberry fool and put them in the same bowl (after the manner of Neapolitan ice cream... separate flavours touching, know what I'm talking about?) and it went over really well.

                                                    For that matter, home made whipped cream in general. I understand that we Americans like our pre-made stuff, but I have run across so many people who have either never (and I mean never) had home-made whipped cream or only had it once or twice in their life, it's crazy. Cold cream, softened/melted gelatin, vanilla, and sugar in the mixer mixed until desired thickness and everything measured only according to taste (in other words, as unsweet or as sweet as I've wanted it, I've never managed to mess it up). In case anybody is curious, I prefer to make my whipped cream ultra thick. I basically play "chicken" with it in the mixer and let it whip until it is JUST about to separate and make butter. So far I've managed to avoid making butter, but my mom did tell me once that she managed to accidentally make whipped butter one time by overwhipping her cream. She said it was wonderful on toast, so it was no great loss.

                                                    14 Replies
                                                    1. re: Popkin

                                                      Good point. I left convenient off my list above.

                                                      1. re: Popkin

                                                        I hear ya! I make fools regularly and love them. My favourite is elderberry which I had in England. Not only fools but Eton Mess! I mean, it's delicious and so simple.

                                                        1. re: Popkin

                                                          I read your first line with the voice of Mr. T in my head.

                                                          1. re: Popkin

                                                            This.

                                                            I recently read a posting on another (non food) board where someone was crowing that she had FOUND A SUBSTITUTE FOR COOL WHIP. Just whip some cream with your mixer!!

                                                            I truly wish that I was kidding, that there were not Americans who think that Cool Whip is the original and whipped cream a substitution that they cleverly came up with.

                                                            1. re: rohirette

                                                              Ha—ouch.

                                                              1. re: rohirette

                                                                Cool Whip was something I ate (blech) when I was on weight watchers in the 80's.

                                                                Now, it's a staple in most homes of the families I know. I believe it became that
                                                                way because people thought they could have a low fat option to whip cream. However,
                                                                far fetched the flavor is, it can be an alternative for some I suppose. For me, it's not a replacement, I'd rather not eat it at all.

                                                                1. re: rohirette

                                                                  I know what you mean. My wife was amazed when I suggested that, rather than BUYING Stay-Puft Marshmallows, that I MAKE marshmallows at home! She truly didn't know that you could actually make your own marshmallows!

                                                                  1. re: rohirette

                                                                    I'm really glad (but also sad) that I just read that. HA

                                                                    1. re: rohirette

                                                                      The sister of a guy I used to date had made Knoephle soup from scratch and she proceeded to tell me she couldn't believe the recipe had called for cool whip. Being of German descent I asked to see the recipe..lo and behold the recipe called for whipping cream which she assumed meant cool whip...

                                                                      1. re: rohirette

                                                                        First time tonight I laughed out loud- and then a shiver ran up my spine. Thanks for the full experience.

                                                                      2. re: Popkin

                                                                        You put gelatin in your whipped cream? Whipped cream for me is always 40% fat, hand whisked with some regular sugar and some vanilla until it forms soft peaks.

                                                                        1. re: Xantha

                                                                          I just like a really stiff whipped cream (^_^) I usually whip up a good bit then stash it in the fridge for use for a couple of nights, and the gelatin helps keep it stiff in the fridge. I would of course never denigrate the softer styles, whipped cream is always heavenly.....

                                                                          I also really like to use it for for frosting cake and cupcakes, much preferred in this house to buttercream for the most part.

                                                                          1. re: Xantha

                                                                            I use gelatin in whipped cream when I'm going to transport it. I also like it fairly stiff.

                                                                          2. re: Popkin

                                                                            What we do instead of fools is, we have our fruit with ice cream. And what we do instead of trifle, is we make shortbread.

                                                                          3. falafel- its fried, portable, cheap, and yet unavailable in many areas in the united states

                                                                            camembert - so similar to brie, yet not a household name in the usa

                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                            1. re: PotatoPuff

                                                                              I actually prefer Camembert to Brie. And I never met a falafel I didn't like.

                                                                              1. re: PotatoPuff

                                                                                Falafel? Not sure about "unavailable in many areas" but larger cities are overrun with falafel options. Near my office in downtown Chicago there are no fewer than 7 falafel-centric fast-food places within a fairly quick walk. Jeez, it's even on Subway's menu. If it's not in your town yet, it soon will be.

                                                                                1. re: ferret

                                                                                  I was thinking the same thing. Years ago in New York City, I used to think that the falafel was the city's official food.

                                                                                  Still, they can be difficult to find in many non-urban places.

                                                                              2. I think this is regional. (I live in a part of the US where fowl is not uncommon, for example, but fresh fish is almost impossible to obtain unless you're a fisherman.)

                                                                                In general, in the US, I'm surprised that cooking Indian food at home has not caught on as much. It's a food that pays off in flavor for little efforts, IMO. The spices may seem daunting, but the actual ingredients are so simple, whole, and healthy. OK - maybe I just answered the question for myself there. Americans want processed fat, cholesterol, and salt, which McDonald's gleefully delivers, so.... enough said.

                                                                                7 Replies
                                                                                1. re: velochic

                                                                                  Actually, I think it's far less the simple/whole/healthy part than "the spices may seem daunting" part. Americans do eat Indian food out lots; you were talking about cooking at home—and as someone who loves her Madhur Jaffrey, I can see why non-regular cooks would be daunted by making their own masala etc.

                                                                                  1. re: velochic

                                                                                    I agree w/ tatmagouche think it is the spices that are daunting (and expensive). There are quite a few that aren't found in a "typical" American kitchen and it is expensive to buy them all, if you don't make it frequently. It can also be also time consuming (at least the dishes I generally make), compared to a quick pasta meal. And, there's the lingering odor.

                                                                                    1. re: chowser

                                                                                      I buy my spices at the coop and they are pretty inexpensive, and you can buy only what you need. And as far as the "lingering odor," I myself love having my home smell like Indian food. To each his own.

                                                                                      1. re: jillcatt

                                                                                        Immediate smells are always good--nothing beats food currently being cooked. But, days later, smells aren't as appetizing. I've known a lot of people who rent out houses and they've said it turns people off completely when the house has lingering odors, especially when the current tenants have been there for years and it permeates everything in the house.

                                                                                        I'm not bashing indian food at all. I like to make it and do have the spices. I was trying to explain why I think it's not as popular to cook to many americans.

                                                                                        1. re: chowser

                                                                                          Mr Pine is from India, so I make Indian food quite often. However, when I fry samosas, I do so on the patio table, just to avoid that hot oil smell in the house. Other Indian cooking: I crank up the exhaust fan to "overload" and open every window--does seem to help.

                                                                                          1. re: pine time

                                                                                            Mr. Pine is a lucky man! I love samosas but have never made them for my husband. How do you make samosas on the patio table? As I said, I love the smell while I'm cooking but a couple of days later, I don't like walking into the house to the stale smell. Maybe the key is getting a better exhaust.

                                                                                            1. re: chowser

                                                                                              I do all the prep inside, then take my tiny (Fry Baby) deep fryer to the patio table. so, it's the frying smell that I keep outside. when I'm doing the fillings (usually do 2--1 meat and 1 veg), I have the exhaust fan on blast level and all the windows open. Love samosas, and sometimes we'll make a huge plateful and that's dinner, not an app!

                                                                                  2. As far as Italian restaurants, panna cotta. They always have tiramusu, but rarely panna cotta, which I love.

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. re: dmjordan

                                                                                      It's funny because we have panna cotta on more menus in our area (Canadian prairies) and almost never see tiramisu! Having panna cotta on menus makes me thankful as I have celiac and must avoid gluten, anyway. Both are so easy to make - I like to infuse panna cotta with herbs.

                                                                                    2. The first thing that comes to my mind is smazeny syr or fried cheese, immensely popular in the Czech Republic. It's a thick piece of edam fried in breadcrumbs. It can be served on a plate with a side dish, but is more popular as street food on a bun with sauce that is similar to tartar sauce.
                                                                                      It is so, so good--and goes down way to easily after drinking. My friends and I always wondered why this hasn't caught on in the US.

                                                                                      9 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: alliegator

                                                                                        I was there last summer and had it. I'm not surprised it hasn't caught on. It's the Eastern European equivalent of the TGI Friday's mozzarella stick.

                                                                                        1. re: alliegator

                                                                                          Agreed. Have had it there, too, and make it at home.

                                                                                          1. re: alliegator

                                                                                            There's one I've never heard of...sounds great.

                                                                                            1. re: alliegator

                                                                                              I'm surprised a food truck hasn't picked up on the idea.

                                                                                              1. re: chowser

                                                                                                We have the Tabor cart in PDX that makes it with Muenster...delicious!!! They make it as a sandwich, but I like it as a plater with spaetzle and salad..and the fabulous tarter sauce

                                                                                              2. re: alliegator

                                                                                                If you're bemoaning the lack of fried cheese, I'm guessing you've never been to Wisconsin. :)

                                                                                                My favorite fair/festival food when I was younger was to munch a near foot-long stick of fried cheese. It was like hot, deep-fried heaven. And now I want to try it on a bun with sauce. :)

                                                                                                1. re: mse924

                                                                                                  I have not been to Wisconsin. But I am visiting my best friend (my flatmate in Prague and a fellow smazeny syr lover) in Minneapolis soon. Maybe I should insist on a weekend road trip :)

                                                                                                2. re: alliegator

                                                                                                  Sounds like this would go over really well at the Minnesota State Fair, where you can buy practically any "food item" deep-fried on a stick. Rumor has it that this year's newest treat is a stick of butter....deep-fried on a stick. Really.

                                                                                                  1. re: jillcatt

                                                                                                    We had that here in WI too! I was too freaked out to try it, but people who did said it tasted surprisingly not as gross as you would think. It was wrapped in a wonton-type deal and sprinkled with powdered sugar.

                                                                                                    And Alliegator, have your friend take you to Culver's in Minnesota. It's a Wisconsin-based chain. A walleye sandwich with a side of deep-fried cheese curds is a pretty accurate representation of upper-Midwest cuisine :)

                                                                                                3. I'm surprised Indian food isn't more popular. Sure, it has its following and is pretty widely available, but not to the extent of Mexican food, or cuisines from the rest of Asia (especially Thai, Chinese). I really hoped the Indian concept would have won America's Next Great Restaurant, OK there were flaws with that contestant but I would totally go for fast-casual naan & curry. I don't think the heat level or individual spices are that different from Mexican or Thai, so what is it that makes Indian food seem scary and weird? 1 billion south Asians can't be wrong...

                                                                                                  9 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: babette feasts

                                                                                                    When it comes to "ethnic" food I think immigration patterns play a major part. The UK is big on Indian food and mediocre (but ever improving) on thai and chinese. It's not surprising as India was part of the commonwealth.

                                                                                                    I'm not overly familiar with American immigration after the early 20th century but I'm given to understand that many emigrated from east asia (China, Vietnam) during the latter half of the last century which might account for their cuisines being more present? And Mexico as a bordering state is a given to have culinary exhanges with. Is there a large Indian population in the US?

                                                                                                    1. re: Xantha

                                                                                                      Not sure I agree with BF on this one—Indian food in the US is not the staple it is in the UK, but it's reasonably widespread. I grew up in Oklahoma (not OKC or Tulsa) in the 70s/80s, and even we had an Indian food resto...I've lived in LA, Iowa City, Boston, Denver/Boulder, and more briefly Santa Cruz and Eugene, OR, and never been without Indian restaurants.

                                                                                                      1. re: tatamagouche

                                                                                                        Yes, it is reasonably widespread, just nowhere near the level of Mexican or Thai. It seemed like on ANGR, they kept saying in effect, 'Is middle America ready for Indian food'? Seemed silly to me, because it IS pretty common here. But, within 3 miles of my house there are at least 3 Thai restaurants, 3 sushi, 4 Mexican/ish plus a taco truck, several American, several pizza, and 1 Indian resto. Go a few miles farther and you get lots more Mexican and into Vietnamese territory. The biggest concentrations of Indian restaurants in Seattle are near the University and (apparently) near Microsoft.

                                                                                                        1. re: babette feasts

                                                                                                          Again, depends on region: I *wish* Boston had as many Mexican restaurants as it does Indian!

                                                                                                      2. re: Xantha

                                                                                                        Yes, I'm sure immigration and borders have a lot to do with it.

                                                                                                        1. re: Xantha

                                                                                                          In my town, in deepest darkest Silicon Valley, there is an incredibly large Indian population.
                                                                                                          Many different kinds of Indian restaurants also.

                                                                                                          1. re: 512window

                                                                                                            We have quite a few Indian restaurants, but most are mediocre (San Diego area)--very little adventurous spicing and not a good representation of regional dishes. Mr. Pine keeps saying we should open an "Indian grub" restaurant with samosas, bhel puri and other delights. Not sure most Americans would have a clue that they are.

                                                                                                            1. re: pine time

                                                                                                              Actually, that's a good point relating to Babette's original—*regional* Indian cuisine we don't see a lot of. It's usually Punjab.

                                                                                                        2. re: babette feasts

                                                                                                          I've always loved going out for Indian, but was not seduced into cooking at home until Raghavan Iyer's 660 Curries came along. It took me about 70.00 in spices/ingredients, plus 20.00 for a second grinder to set up cooking at home. For many people that's a sizeable barrier to entry, compared to tossing together a pasta or whatever other weeknight meal.

                                                                                                        3. Poutine. It is big in parts of Canada but is it available much in the U.S.?

                                                                                                          21 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: chefathome

                                                                                                            It's trendy in gastropubs.

                                                                                                            1. re: babette feasts

                                                                                                              In the U.S.? I did not know that. Thanks!

                                                                                                              1. re: chefathome

                                                                                                                On that note, chorrillana from Chile. Also a form of loaded fries. Actually, Chilean cuisine in general is one we don't get much of, arguably because Chileans don't emigrate as much as many of their counterparts in Latin American countries.

                                                                                                                I know I'm not generally supposed to link to specific posts on my blog but hopefully this will be okay because it explains chorrillana:

                                                                                                                http://www.ruthtobias.com/globeater/2...

                                                                                                                To go further with this, pastel de choclo is often considered Chile's national dish, & it's basically a pot pie with corn, beef, onions, raisins—nothing not to love.

                                                                                                                1. re: tatamagouche

                                                                                                                  Chorrillana would go over well since it kind of reminds of TGIF type foods. Maybe, Chilean foods have not had such a big impact because of the sparse immigration, and because it it kind of "simple and home cooking-like" and might not create the theatrical and exotic experience Americans seem to prefer when going to a Latin American style restaurant.
                                                                                                                  I also know of a Chilean lady in California who was marketing pebre (a Chilean "salsa") as "Chilean Salsa"--but, with the difference that she had to spice it up a lot for the American market--to an extent that it basically became un-Chilean.

                                                                                                                2. re: chefathome

                                                                                                                  Poutine has been in the US for quite some time in the form of Disco Fries, which was influenced by Canada.

                                                                                                                  1. re: monavano

                                                                                                                    That is interesting - I cannot believe I had not heard of Disco Fries before! I have not been to the U.S. in about four years but used to fly to a few states regularly for work. Weird.

                                                                                                                    1. re: chefathome

                                                                                                                      Disco Fries are primarily in the NE region, New Jersey in particular. Is there anything better than smothered fries?
                                                                                                                      I drool when I watch Chuck (Chuck's Day Off) make lobster fries. OMG!!

                                                                                                                      1. re: monavano

                                                                                                                        OK - thanks for the explanation. I have never been to the NE region. Poutine can be very delicious, that is for sure. Sadly as I have celiac I must make it myself rather than enjoy it out.

                                                                                                                        Those lobster fries look divine, don't they? Wow...

                                                                                                              2. re: chefathome

                                                                                                                Down south we call it gravy fries....

                                                                                                                1. re: PotatoHouse

                                                                                                                  Huh. I learned something today! :-)

                                                                                                                  1. re: chefathome

                                                                                                                    West Lake Soup (basically egg drop with minced or ground beef and cilantro in it, as well as often mushrooms and stuff like that). While this is a stardard at a lot of resto's within Chinatowns (to the point where you will probably find it in even very small places). outside it is usally only found in the high end places; and basically never at the americanized "neighborhood" place. This has always baffled me a little, as West like often not only (if well made) is tastier than egg drop or a lot of the egg drop variants that are on the soup list of a neigborhood, it's probably cheaper for the resturaunt to make (beef and cilantro have got to be cheaper than a sefood mix) and they usually can price it as a "premium" soup. I sort of could understand the dearth twenty or so years ago, when cilantro might have been considered an "exotic" ingredient, but nowadays while there are still a lot of people who don't like it, I doubt it would be considered odd to see on a menu.

                                                                                                                  2. re: PotatoHouse

                                                                                                                    Is that just like the fries with gravy eaten by the guys in the movie Diner set in Baltimore? Is that all poutine is?

                                                                                                                    1. re: chocolatetartguy

                                                                                                                      Gravy and cheese curds on fries. But I'm not sure how many American imitators actually use fresh curds. One pub in Seattle serves frites with demi glace and a fontina cream sauce as their ode to poutine.

                                                                                                                      1. re: babette feasts

                                                                                                                        I know of a number that get their cheese curds from WI, like Euclid Hall in Denver.

                                                                                                                      2. re: chocolatetartguy

                                                                                                                        gravy AND
                                                                                                                        the freshest cheese curds that go squoic-squoic-squoic when you eat them

                                                                                                                        sometimes with foie gras. oh the gluttony!! XD

                                                                                                                        1. re: dumpycactus

                                                                                                                          And served with a pitcher of beer.

                                                                                                                          I have fond memories of a pub in Montreal where we found a happy hour special of classic poutine and $5 pitchers of Gluiness.

                                                                                                                      3. re: PotatoHouse

                                                                                                                        Gravy Fries are not Poutine. You need cheese, and then it is time to Disco.

                                                                                                                        1. re: PotatoHouse

                                                                                                                          gravy fries dont have fresh cheese curds...its not close to poutine

                                                                                                                        2. re: chefathome

                                                                                                                          We have "disco fries" at many diners. It's fries smothered in gravy and melted cheese, which isn't cheese curds, but it's sort of close.

                                                                                                                          1. re: Avalondaughter

                                                                                                                            trust me, it isn't close. I live in montreal and some places try to use mozzarella or other cheeses and its disgusting. If its what I ate and was told thats what poutine is I would never order it again. Its all about fresh cheese curds that havent melted.

                                                                                                                          2. re: chefathome

                                                                                                                            Very popular in the land of Springsteen and The Sopranos. But, in the Garden State, we call them Disco Fries.

                                                                                                                            (Actually, it is really only popular in the Belleville, Bloomfield, Union, Montclair, etc. parts of NJ)

                                                                                                                          3. Family home meal I'm surprised I don't see many US Families make - Moussaka - It should be just as popular as lasagna.

                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: Sandwich_Sister

                                                                                                                              Moussaka (vegetarian) was common in my house as a kid.

                                                                                                                              While I love it, I'm not surprised it isn't really popular. Not many people outside of the true home cook realm seem to venture to such things as eggplant.

                                                                                                                              1. re: Sandwich_Sister

                                                                                                                                People are funny about eggplant. I make moussaka all the time and people who hate eggplant love it. They don't know what eggplant can be. It is more time consuming to make than lasagna for me.

                                                                                                                              2. For years, I thought Banh mi was going to be the next big thing. Then I thought "Empanadas, now that's going to catch on!". In both cases, it never happened. Montreal is still drowning in 99cent pizza and shish taouk (chicken shawarma) places. Ramen is looking like its about to go mainstream, but I'm not holding my breath.

                                                                                                                                19 Replies
                                                                                                                                1. re: SnackHappy

                                                                                                                                  +1 on empanadas. I love them, and they're not the easiest thing to find around me. I do make them sometimes, trying different recipes from around the interwebs.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: alliegator

                                                                                                                                    Have you ever found a good recipe for a baked empanada? Far from traditional, I know, but I have difficulty eating fried foods, so I've always looked for a baked empanada, figuring as long as the filling is traditional, it might work!

                                                                                                                                    1. re: milkyway4679

                                                                                                                                      There are lots of baked empanadas. Chilean and Argentine empanadas are baked as is the Galician version. No need to go all "untraditional".

                                                                                                                                  2. re: SnackHappy

                                                                                                                                    This may be a location thing as well. The Banh Mi is very popular here in Orlando but we also have a section of town that is the Vietnamese district.

                                                                                                                                    Also we have lots of Colombian / Venezuelan / Spanish bakeries here were you can order Empanadas all day long.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Sandwich_Sister

                                                                                                                                      Well, again, I guess it depends on how we define "catch on." Are we talking slider-level popularity, whereby chains begin to appropriate them? Are we talking become popular in their "natural habitat" (in this case, Vietnamese sandwich shops, Latin joints)? Do we mean that we see high-end/ American contemporary variations on them? In the latter case, I've certainly seen banh mi take off—less so empanadas, but then I live in an area with lots of Mexican and Central/South American joints serving them as well as pupusas, gorditas, etc.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: tatamagouche

                                                                                                                                        Banh mi has starting taking off recently in London, around half a dozen places have opened in the past year. It's certainly not yet mainstream, but think it's a great addition to the eating scene (even if there is disagreement around 'authenticity'!)

                                                                                                                                      2. re: Sandwich_Sister

                                                                                                                                        We have lots of latino bakeries and banh mi places, too. I can find Chilean, Argentinean, Colombian, Uruguayan and Venezuelan empanadas very easily. The only thing I can't get is a Galician empanada which is too bad because they are darn good. I can also go to neighbourhoods with many banh mi shops to chose from. It's just that these foods are not catching on with the general population.

                                                                                                                                      3. re: SnackHappy

                                                                                                                                        Well we have La Chilenita which is really popular but I agree Im surprised there aren't more...

                                                                                                                                        and I honestly dont know how so many of the shwarma places that don't stay open till 3am are still around.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: kpaxonite

                                                                                                                                          Shish taouk is the undisputed king of Montreal fast-food. It dethroned the souvlaki sometime during the nineties. And I guess before that everybody ate steamies. If they ever let us have taco trucks, perhaps that could be the next thing.

                                                                                                                                        2. re: SnackHappy

                                                                                                                                          Banh Mi sandwiches are HUGE in many areas

                                                                                                                                          1. re: twyst

                                                                                                                                            Yes, I understand that they are quite a big deal in Vietnam, even. I was talking about my neck of the woods.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: SnackHappy

                                                                                                                                              LA, Houston, NYC, New Orleans and countless other major cities are overrun with places serving banh mi now.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: twyst

                                                                                                                                                not just banh mi, but the flavors of banh mi are migrating into many other sandwiches as well, at least here in NYC

                                                                                                                                          2. re: SnackHappy

                                                                                                                                            But why wold Banh Mi and Empanadas become so big. There are already baguette sandwiches and meat pies (as well as spinach or cheese pies--spanakopita and tiropita), empanadas are basically the same.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: Wawsanham

                                                                                                                                              "But why wold Banh Mi and Empanadas become so big."

                                                                                                                                              Because there was real enthusiasm for both of them that didn't translate into mainstream adoption. And I don't really understand your argument. Of course there are other types of food served in bread and baked in dough. Does it mean that people have to stop at one type? Like I wrote upthread, Montrealers switched allegiances from souvlaki to shish taouk (chicken shawarma) and yet they are both grilled meats served in pita.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: SnackHappy

                                                                                                                                                Like I said they are basically the same as something that already exists. Maybe, that means that they actually have caught on. Besides, judging from all the talk, at least Banh Mi seems to be a big thing--though it seems like hype to me as it is just a baguette with topings.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: Wawsanham

                                                                                                                                                  I don't know where you get you banh mi and empanadas from, but over here banh mi are made in Vietnamese bread that is quite distinct from any French baguette I've ever tasted and standard fillings for empanadas are also something I've never seen in other turnover, chaussons, calzone, pastie or what have you.

                                                                                                                                                  Anyway, I still think dismissing entire types of food based on the fact that other foods look similar is an odd argument. That's iike saying people shouldn't eat curry because we already have stew.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: SnackHappy

                                                                                                                                                    I'm not saying that people shouldn't eat something. I'm just trying to explain (to myself, I suppose) why these foods "have not caught on" (actually they seem to have caught on)--and one reason is that they are just a different guise of something that basically already exists.
                                                                                                                                                    About banh mi. They don't exist where I live (in Chile). I've just seen pictures or read a lot about them--on boards like this one or in articles. Empanadas are very big here--and they are very similar to English meat pies (cornish pasties) or calzone as the "Empanada con pino" and the "Empanada napolitan" exist and are more or less those two things. Really it's just dough with something in it--same as turnovers, etc...

                                                                                                                                            2. re: SnackHappy

                                                                                                                                              The Banh Mi is everywhere here in Seattle - yeah! I wouldn't mind finding empanadas as easily as well... tho we do have a great salvadorean bakery nearby here, with papusas, which are close:)

                                                                                                                                            3. pommes frites

                                                                                                                                              Americans love their french fries but you don't see french fries stands like in Europe.

                                                                                                                                              6 Replies
                                                                                                                                              1. re: GraydonCarter

                                                                                                                                                French fries? Most everyone gets them at fast food joints, which are EVERYWHERE.
                                                                                                                                                Still, nothing beats good, hot artisan-style Euro fries.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: Tripeler

                                                                                                                                                  with mayo.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Tripeler

                                                                                                                                                    I know fast food joints also sell french fries. I meant a place that sells only french fries.

                                                                                                                                                    http://www.friitz.com/

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: GraydonCarter

                                                                                                                                                      Now there's a winning business model.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: ferret

                                                                                                                                                        Ya, lots of failures. On the Belgian Fries website they list all the US locations of various attempts and nearly all are closed. In fact, the only shop listed as still open is Maine's Duckfat Restaurant, a small sandwich shop that serves "classic Belgian fries made with local Maine potatoes fried in duck fat."

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: ferret

                                                                                                                                                          On friday, while driving the loop around Baltimore, I saw on my GPS a location for Boardwalk Fries. There may be as many as three locations remaining in Maryland, but this franchise location has been shut down and replaced by a pizza place. Great location but the business model is based on a $2 item.

                                                                                                                                                          From their website, "In the summer of 1980, while strolling along the Boardwalk of Ocean City, Maryland, enjoying the sights and smells of the ocean, brothers David and Fran DiFerdinando imagined a business that they couldn't resist. Together, they founded Boardwalk Fries® - today the only major French fry brand in the United States."

                                                                                                                                                          The chain has since been rebranded as Boardwalk Burgers and Fries.

                                                                                                                                                  2. As far as what hasn't caught on in America. What about tea shops that specialize in afternoon tea?

                                                                                                                                                    Are we too busy as Americans to enjoy this?

                                                                                                                                                    14 Replies
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Sandwich_Sister

                                                                                                                                                      "tea shops that specialize in afternoon tea"

                                                                                                                                                      I'm struggling to think of anywhere where this has caught on.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                        That is kind of the point food/dishes you are surprised hasn't caught on.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Sandwich_Sister

                                                                                                                                                          I'd read the OP as intending to mean food/dishes which were big "somewhere" but had not caught on "somewhere else".

                                                                                                                                                          Most of the posts upthread seem to have read it the same way - in that they mntion food that is big "somewhere else" but not where they are. On that basis, I can't think of anywhere where an afternoon tea shop is big. Of course, if you're responding to the OP on the basis of "Hey, a really good idea would be shops selling afternoon tea and I'm really surprised they havnt caught on", then I'd see that as a valid, if different, point.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                            I (the OP) think I came up with one example of a food that is "big 'somewhere' but had not caught on 'somewhere else'" as you put it with my Tortilla example. I also think I came up with one that I'm surprised hasn't caught on in cocktail sauce.

                                                                                                                                                            I welcome other interpretations. Interesting stuff here.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: spike74

                                                                                                                                                              How exactly would you expect cocktail sauce to explode in popularity? It's a standard with shrimp but why would you expect it to be popular as a general condiment?

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: ferret

                                                                                                                                                                I'm not sure I get the cocktail sauce thing either as an example. A lot of people have it with shrimp, prawns (prawn cocktail), crayfish etc, so it has 'caught on'. What else would you have it with? Isn't this like saying you are surprised tartare sauce hasn't caught on?

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: pj26

                                                                                                                                                                  Cocktail sauce would taste good as marinade for chicken or other meats, could be used to add a little kick to a gravy, might taste good on a hamburger, how about on string beans?

                                                                                                                                                                  That's what I mean. People put ketchup on everything, why not cocktail sauce? Why haven't the makers tried to expand the marketing?

                                                                                                                                                        2. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                          I know what you mean - a shop "specialising" in "afternoon tea" sounds weird! But FWIW, there are I believe at least a few countries where it is common to while away the afternoon in good company with tea as the beverage of choice. India, especially North, is very much like that. Any time of the day is good for a chai break, but after lunchtime it becomes more and more likely that the chai break will become extended and turn into a friendly group laze-about. Snacks get called for, and especially if the company is all male the talk will turn to politics or cricket or both. In South India you can do the same but with coffee.

                                                                                                                                                          I guess that's the kind of thing sandwich_sister was thinking of?

                                                                                                                                                        3. re: Sandwich_Sister

                                                                                                                                                          Yes, and I think America is more of a coffee culture. Although I've found British-themed shops and tea houses here and there. There's always the Ritz Carlton.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: monavano

                                                                                                                                                            get your coffee and quick mentality. We have one tea shop I know of here in Orlando. I should check the Ritz. :)

                                                                                                                                                          2. re: Sandwich_Sister

                                                                                                                                                            > afternoon tea

                                                                                                                                                            You mean "high tea," which they do serve at some Ritz-Carlton locations (Palm Beach and Naples to name a couple. The DC Ritz has an afternoon tapas bar).

                                                                                                                                                            For some reason they also serve high tea at the Liberty Hall museum every Wednesday:
                                                                                                                                                            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UBCl_8...

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: GraydonCarter

                                                                                                                                                              You can find "high teas" in most upscale hotels in large metropolitan areas. Why it doesn't take off is because no one outside of tourists or the independently wealthy have the luxury of taking an afternoon tea break.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: GraydonCarter

                                                                                                                                                                Actually, the correct usage is "afternoon tea." Back in the 60's, folks who didn't know better thought that "high tea" sounded more upper class. It doesn't. Unfortunately, the tacky misnomer caught on in the U.S.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: GraydonCarter

                                                                                                                                                                  "9. Afternoon Tea or Low Tea vs. High Tea: Please do not refer to your afternoon tea as a high tea. Remember, a high tea is served in the late afternoon or early evening (5 PM to 7 PM) taking the place of dinner. Served at a “high” table with seated place settings. The foods are heartier and consist of salads, one or two hot dishes, pot pies, cold chicken, sliced meats, cakes, fruit tarts, custards and fresh fruits. The tea may be served hot or iced. The addition of any supper dish would be appropriate."

                                                                                                                                                                  http://oldfashionedliving.com/tea-eti...

                                                                                                                                                              2. I am surprised that sandwiches haven't caught on in the US. I don't mean subs but square sliced bread filled with anything. In the UK all the supermarkets sell pre-packaged sandwiches, so do the gas stations and there are sandwich shops all over the place which make them to order. Sandwiches are a British way of life especially for lunch.

                                                                                                                                                                14 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                1. re: smartie

                                                                                                                                                                  "I am surprised that sandwiches haven't caught on in the US."

                                                                                                                                                                  Sandwiches are all over the place in North-America. Diners, cafeterias, delis, cafes, corner stores, supermarkets, gas stations, vending machines. You can find sandwiches in all these places.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: SnackHappy

                                                                                                                                                                    Not to mention lunchboxes everywhere

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: EWSflash

                                                                                                                                                                      And sandwich-specific tupperware.

                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: SnackHappy

                                                                                                                                                                      I think what smartie is saying is the prepackaged sandwiches in triangle shaped plastic containers, that you can grab and go. Some of these sandwiches in the UK are really delicious (i.e. 'gourmet' ingredients, creative combinations) and really fresh. In North America (well Canada at least) many of the great sandwiches are sit down dining. Corner store and gas station sandwiches are no where near the quality of the UK sandwich shop ones. And the ones you get at Starbucks, etc, look as though they have been there for a while...and cost too much for what they are!

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: ukers

                                                                                                                                                                        thanks ukers. The quality of to go sandwiches in the US are nowhere near as fresh and interesting as you can get in any supermarket or even a gas station in the UK.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: smartie

                                                                                                                                                                          We have a chain of small grocery stores here called Fresh & Easy run by Tesco. They sell lots of prepackaged ready to eat foods - sandwiches, salads, and heat&eat meals. I've tried their sandwiches on occasion when I need a quick lunch, but I can't say I was impressed. I think they are a bit expensive for what they are at $4. They are fine in a pinch, but nothing to write home about. I remember grabbing a sandwich at Pret a Manger (I think that was the name) at Heathrow during a layover. It was definitely better. I see they have some US locations now, but only back East, unfortunately for me.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: smartie

                                                                                                                                                                            Thanks for clearing that up. Your post didn't really say anything about that quality of the sandwiches. That being said, most diners, coffee shops and bakeries around here offer good quality sandwiches.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: SnackHappy

                                                                                                                                                                              Redacted. Freshly made sandwiches trump the boxed (usually-- there are some grim filled rolls in my village that come far below the Boots shapers lunch). The selection available to me from traiteurs on the continent or sandwich places along the North East U.S. have been superior to boxed, so the failure for these ready-meals to catch on? Well, I suppose still surprising. There's no accounting for taste...

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Lizard

                                                                                                                                                                                I agree - give me a freshly deli made sandwich over our pre-packaged, shipped in sandwiches any day.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Lizard

                                                                                                                                                                                  I was wondering if I'd missed out when I was visiting the UK because I didn't have a decent premade sandwich. They were all what I'd expect from sandwiches that had been sitting around in a refrigerator.

                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: smartie

                                                                                                                                                                          They may be the most commonly-eaten single item in the US. But because they are so easily made at home and packed in lunches, you may not be seeing them to the degree you expect, pre-packed in stores, because there's not as much need. But certainly any convenience store has shelves full of them. Every diner or coffee shop has dozens on the menu.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: smartie

                                                                                                                                                                            We do have that in America - the problem is that most of it is made out of that dreadful processed meat, and cheese product that isn't much cheese.

                                                                                                                                                                            I often see them and say "I can make a better sandwich at home with better quality products for the same or close to the same about of money"

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Sandwich_Sister

                                                                                                                                                                              Sandwich_Sister, perhas you could limit your generalisations to the Orlando area? I can assure you that that is not the case in major cities in in the NE.

                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: smartie

                                                                                                                                                                              I know what smartie means, though. Locally I can go to any one of a dozen sub shops before I will find a NYC-style deli that serves a pastrami on rye.

                                                                                                                                                                            3. Ploughman's Plate is one of my favorite lunches, and here in the NE not many restaurants have it on their menu.

                                                                                                                                                                              13 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: mcel215

                                                                                                                                                                                Maybe you're living in the wrong England?

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: kpaxonite

                                                                                                                                                                                  lol!

                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: mcel215

                                                                                                                                                                                  Americans havent' caught on to Stilton cheese.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: GraydonCarter

                                                                                                                                                                                    what makes you say that?

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: thew

                                                                                                                                                                                      Stilton as part of a Ploughman's lunch... It is blue. Everyone knows cheese is yellow.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: GraydonCarter

                                                                                                                                                                                        If you go for Stilton's cousin, Blue Shropshire, it is both.

                                                                                                                                                                                        Whenever I hear this I kerp thinking of the British Skit (from Not The 9 O'clock News, I think) where someone in a pub says "I'll have the plougman's lunch) and the waitress nods, turns to an actual plougman (circa 18th century) steals his plate, and places it in front of the first person.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: GraydonCarter

                                                                                                                                                                                          i know what stilton is. i've eaten it often. I'm an american.

                                                                                                                                                                                          i still don't know why you say what you said

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: thew

                                                                                                                                                                                            GraydonCarter's comment is puzzling. For one, many Americans know about Stilton. It's a popular cheese. And for another, Stilton isn't even ubiquitous in the Ploughman's lunch in the UK (if only) where cheddar often appears on the plate.

                                                                                                                                                                                            I continue to be baffled by these negative generalisations, which carry a whiff of self-aggrandisement with them. (Can't help but think of a cousin-in-law who dismissed all Americans based on her visit to Palm Springs. And can't help but think of all the hounds who would leap to agree with her in order to appear worldly.)

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: thew

                                                                                                                                                                                              You're not like many Americans. Many (although certainly not all) Americans do seem to think cheese is that rectangular package of 8 (or whatever) slices of yellow stuff with a taste and texture called "cheese".

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: huiray

                                                                                                                                                                                                again - any generalization about 300,000,000 people tends to be as false as it is true

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: thew

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Sure. Many probably think it, many probably not. I said many, not all. Your comment applies to yourself as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: huiray

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Food snobbery rears its ugly head. As does anti-Americanism.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: jmckee

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Not at all. I eat those square pieces of yellow stuff myself, as occasion arises. Perhaps you are projecting your own prejudices.

                                                                                                                                                                                      2. I'm still waiting for people to catch on to the cuisine of Portugal. We've done just about everything else!! It's ridiculous that there are a lot of people of Portuguese desent here in the S.F. Bay Area, but not a single Portuguese restaurant, not counting the Grubstake, which is only pseudo. The food is Mediterranean, with lots of seafood and I think this type of food would really catch on if folks were aware of it. And it's a lot cheaper that those trendy tapas places with basically the same type of food.

                                                                                                                                                                                        8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: arktos

                                                                                                                                                                                          Tons of portugese chicken and other portugese foods in Montreal

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: kpaxonite

                                                                                                                                                                                            Toronto too. But it's true that Portuguese food isn't exactly trendy.

                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: arktos

                                                                                                                                                                                            OMG - yes!!! But then, I think everything about Portugal is under-appreciated. I visited for the first time nearly six years ago, have been back about once a year since, and always marvel at what a hidden gem it is. Foodwise, for me, that's true even more for the baked goods than it is for the savory main course offerings. Even the plainest cookies can be revelations, and the range of things the bakers do with custard boggles my mind.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: peelmeagrape

                                                                                                                                                                                              Loads of Portuguese food in NJ. It's all about the immigrants!

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Jerseygirl111

                                                                                                                                                                                                True enough, and the fame of the Ironbound area in Newark is well-known, but really only within the region. I'm not too sanguine about the *widespread* recognition of Portuguese food elsewhere in the US, for example, except in other localized areas perhaps (or even its being distinguished from Spanish food - not that I can do it readily too!!).

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Jerseygirl111

                                                                                                                                                                                                  And Fall River, MA!!

                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: arktos

                                                                                                                                                                                                Ha! I am currently writing a column on Catalan cuisine, like Portuguese, bafflingly over-looked. (Highly recommend Colman Andrew's excellent "Catalan Cuisine" the beef stew with oranges and olives is remarkable.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: pikawicca

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Portuguese and Catalan cuisines are probably overlooked because the world, especially the US, has become so globalized. That means they have to compete with hundreds of other cuisines--not just 5-10 cuisines, which would have been the case 30 or 40 years ago.

                                                                                                                                                                                              3. Rijsttafel, hot beignets and jambalaya all deserve wider availability. And the creamy vegetable soup and brown bread served everywhere in Ireland – inexpensive and healthy. And coffee trucks serving really good coffee like those that can be found parked on the side of the road all over Oregon.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Also Spanish, Croquetas (either queso or jamon). They are not easy to make well but the fried potato, cheese and ham seems right of the alley of the American palate and I'm not sure the flavors are out of place with a lot of American dishes.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  JeremyEG
                                                                                                                                                                                                  HomeCookLocavore.com

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: JeremyEG

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Aren't croquetas the same thing as croquettes? I do sometimes see croquettes on menus. I have been making them for years, and like you, have wondered why they don't catch on more thoroughly. They are not hard to make, but are time-consuming; on the other hand, they are not expensive ingredient-wise and use up bits of leftovers well.