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Ingredients Not Found at High End Restaurants

lamb_da_calculus Oct 29, 2012 05:53 PM

Today I was slicing some okra into a stir-fry when I realized something: I've read many reviews of many high-end restaurants/tasting menu tours/etc. And I don't think I've ever seen okra used.

After some googling it turned out I was wrong. Thomas Keller seems to have used it a couple of times. But that made me wonder: are there any other ingredients which are very rarely/never seen in high-end dining?

(I don't mean prepared foods, like saltine or jello. I mean natural, normally eaten stuff (like okra) that somehow never makes it into tasting menus or their ilk.)

  1. Bada Bing Nov 5, 2012 05:27 PM


    1. l
      lcool Nov 5, 2012 05:51 AM

      Last night,12 at the table,all over 60 with many banquets,Michelin stars and equal under their world travel belts.Several memories of ALL OFFAL,feet,jowl,tongue,brains etc,frog legs etal of the rarities in this thread,EXCEPT curds,cottage cheese.There was only one example and it was house made,served with salty pickle sort of condiment.

      1. v
        Vidute Nov 4, 2012 10:34 PM

        Chicken gizzards. On very few menus, period.

        1. t
          tokyopix Nov 2, 2012 08:17 AM

          I don't really see bigger birds, like goose or turkey. Maybe b/c they don't lend themselves to individual portions well? I had goose in a lovely country hotel once, but I've never seen these two items in high-end restaurants I've been to.

          1. tcamp Nov 2, 2012 07:56 AM

            I haven't seen tripe in any high-end places (DC area).

            1. Chemicalkinetics Oct 31, 2012 10:33 PM

              <And I don't think I've ever seen okra used>

              There are probably exceptions, but you are generally correct.

              <are there any other ingredients which are very rarely/never seen in high-end dining?>

              Sure, anything which they deem contradict the meaning of high end. If high end means expensive Western restaurants, then my guess is that you won't find many vegetables which are popular in the less expensive restaurants. For example, I think you will rarely find collard green, turnup green in high end restaurants. I also think you will not see many ethnic vegetables in a high end Western restaurants. For example, Chinese broccoli or Japanese Daikon.

              26 Replies
              1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                huiray Nov 1, 2012 07:46 AM

                Let's not limit ourselves to Western expensive restaurants. As I said elsewhere here, nothing in the OP says we have to. :-)

                BTW, I remember seeing daikon on menus in Western high-end places.

                p.s. This place is an International Place, is it not? ;-)

                1. re: huiray
                  Chemicalkinetics Nov 1, 2012 08:42 AM

                  <Let's not limit ourselves to Western expensive restaurants>

                  But it is so much easier to answer the question that way. :)

                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                    huiray Nov 1, 2012 08:43 AM

                    But why would you, when the world's cuisine includes SO MUCH more than what is found in USAmerican/Western cookery and the OP does not limit us so?

                    I also refer you to ipse's post above: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8755...

                    1. re: huiray
                      huiray Nov 1, 2012 10:33 AM

                      Shark's Fin, or Sea Cucumbers; or Birds' Nest, Abalone, etc etc - these are things that would be unlikely to be found in Western/USAmerican-European dishes in high-end places...but they would form the backbone of many high-end menus in places in HK or China or SE Asia and where they do not cleave to the limited and politically-correct menu options of a USAmerican menu.

                      1. re: huiray
                        Chemicalkinetics Nov 1, 2012 03:12 PM

                        <do not cleave to the limited and politically-correct menu options of a USAmerican menu.>

                        However, these ingredients are not used in Western menu has more to do with cultural and traditional difference, not political correctness.

                        Most elite restaurants try to avoid using ingredients which are considered cheap. For example, whiting (fish) is considered cheap, so I can imagine that elite restaurants would avoid using whitening. Same for collard green or turnip green.

                        For Chinese elite restaurants, they like to serve live ocean fishes. Yet, fishes like flounders or catfishes are not as popular in elite Chinese restaurants.

                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                          Veggo Nov 1, 2012 03:15 PM

                          I don't call it political correctness. I call the preservation of endangered species a moral imperative.

                          1. re: Veggo
                            Chemicalkinetics Nov 1, 2012 03:19 PM

                            Whatever you may consider -- political or moral correctness. It is not why these ingredients were not used. There certainly wasn't a heavy sense of political correctness or moral correctness in 1800's, and Western restaurants just never all into using these strange ingredients.

                            Chinese also serve chicken feet, turtles and frogs too, which are not endangered. They are just too strange in a Western restaurant.

                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                              Veggo Nov 1, 2012 03:55 PM

                              Occidental tastes may not embrace all asian traditions. That's the way it is. Works both ways. Say cheese!

                              1. re: Veggo
                                Chemicalkinetics Nov 1, 2012 05:38 PM

                                <Works both ways>


                              2. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                meatn3 Nov 1, 2012 05:33 PM

                                You'll find turtle soup on the menu at some of the fanciest restaurants in New Orleans. Turtle soup was once fairly common in the US. It became less so due to turtle populations decreasing and eventually conservation laws enacted.

                                Frog legs were once found frequently in higher end US dining establishments.

                                All three of these items would have been eaten in rural households 100 years ago.

                                1. re: meatn3
                                  Chemicalkinetics Nov 1, 2012 05:41 PM

                                  Yes, you are correct about the turtle. As for frog and chicken feet, maybe 100 years ago in elite restaurants. As of now, I have never seen them in my menu -- not high end restaurants.

                                  <All three of these items would have been eaten in rural households 100 years ago.>

                                  Rural households do not count. We are talking about high end restaurants. I also cited that I don't see collard green and turnip green in high end restaurants, but they are very common dishes in not-high-end restaurants like BBQ joints, soul food restaurants.

                                  Ok, I am sure sure there are the high end expensive soul food restaurants and high end BBQ restaurants.... but.

                                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                    meatn3 Nov 1, 2012 05:50 PM

                                    I mentioned rural households since your post seemed as though you felt there was general western aversion to the items. Frog legs were on fancy menu's in the US within my life time and I'm not close to 100!

                                    1. re: meatn3
                                      Chemicalkinetics Nov 1, 2012 06:30 PM

                                      No, I mean mostly modern high end restaurants. You probably didn't catch everything I said, and only noticed one of the posts.

                                      "Sure, anything which they deem contradict the meaning of high end. If high end means expensive Western restaurants, then my guess is that you won't find many vegetables which are popular in the less expensive restaurants. For example, I think you will rarely find collard green, turnup green in high end restaurants. I also think you will not see many ethnic vegetables in a high end Western restaurants. For example, Chinese broccoli or Japanese Daikon."

                                    2. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                      huiray Nov 1, 2012 06:09 PM

                                      I've had mustard greens in Volt before. Deep-fried kale elsewhere. Marvelous simply deep-fried smelts at Naha. Etc etc.

                                      1. re: huiray
                                        melpy Nov 2, 2012 08:49 AM

                                        I think Volt using many interesting lesser used ingredients.

                                      2. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                        melpy Nov 2, 2012 08:48 AM

                                        We can get frog legs at a higher end restaurant here, same restaurant only has four main entrees: whole snapper, veal, frog legs, and quail.

                                        The have other entrees that are in a different section as well.

                                        1. re: melpy
                                          Chemicalkinetics Nov 2, 2012 08:51 AM

                                          I tried frog legs a few times (less than 3 times, I think), and I am just not all that into them. Just saying.

                                      3. re: meatn3
                                        Veggo Nov 1, 2012 05:50 PM

                                        What's the third? My buddies ate frogs' legs at my Tiki bar this afternoon. Woody's River Roo in Ellenton, FL. Not at all higher end, though.
                                        Turtle soup is out of bounds, but I have fond memories of it in Mazatlan in the late 70's. Turtle meat was like flank steak, but tastier.
                                        Times have changed.

                                        1. re: Veggo
                                          meatn3 Nov 1, 2012 05:58 PM

                                          Chicken feet.

                                          My father's family considered the chicken feet removed from the stock a treat. I feel certain they would have been an ingredient in US fine dining, but am unaware of them being served on their own.

                                          I'll try to look up Woody's next time I'm in the area. I haven't had frog legs in a while!

                                          1. re: meatn3
                                            Veggo Nov 1, 2012 06:24 PM

                                            Chicken feet.

                                            The train from Monterrey to Mexico City on my winter college break, 1972, landlubbing from Connecticut to Acapulco, stopped many times, and vendors came aboard selling food. I was hungry. A woman passed through selling a tray of tacos. I was very much ready for this occasion, until I saw a chicken foot dangling from several of her offerings. I passed. And I was hungry.

                                            1. re: Veggo
                                              meatn3 Nov 1, 2012 07:11 PM

                                              Chicken feet.

                                              My parents honeymooned in Mexico City and Acapulco - I'll have to ask my father if he indulged. They are a standard ingredient in my stock. The sight of them swirling slowly about looks a bit macabre though. I have tried eating them in other guises but they just aren't for me.

                                              1. re: meatn3
                                                huiray Nov 1, 2012 07:19 PM


                                                1. re: huiray
                                                  meatn3 Nov 1, 2012 09:50 PM

                                                  That's great! The colors are fabulous together.
                                                  I would eat it!

                                                  1. re: huiray
                                                    kubasd Nov 5, 2012 04:38 PM

                                                    HA! That's exactly what I thought of re: this subthread!

                                      4. re: Veggo
                                        TroyTempest Nov 5, 2012 05:40 PM

                                        Well put veggo!

                              3. re: huiray
                                babette feasts Nov 1, 2012 06:22 PM

                                People can only speak from their experience. Many of us have been to very few or no high-end non-western restaurants. I appreciate you sharing your wider perspective.

                            2. EWSflash Oct 31, 2012 08:39 PM

                              Velveeta, I should hope.

                              1. p
                                Panini Guy Oct 31, 2012 08:26 PM

                                I'm going with iceberg lettuce. Haven't seen that on a high end menu around here in a long time.

                                You'll see it as a 'wedge' salad at some of the old school institutions, but otherwise not used (I'm not counting as a wrap for a Vietnamese roll or part of a taco filling).

                                1. e
                                  Enigma3 Oct 31, 2012 07:10 PM

                                  I have yet to see whole coelacanth, Loch Ness liver or yeti burgers. Yet I persist in the pursuit.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: Enigma3
                                    TroyTempest Nov 5, 2012 05:40 PM

                                    Have you had ceolecanth filets?

                                  2. p
                                    paprkutr Oct 31, 2012 06:54 PM

                                    Plain, Frenches Mustard

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: paprkutr
                                      meatn3 Oct 31, 2012 06:56 PM

                                      On that note I guess we could include Miracle Whip!

                                    2. c
                                      chefathome Oct 31, 2012 06:18 PM

                                      Gooseberry fan here. The only time I have seen them on a higher-end restaurant menu was at a Michelin-starred restaurant in Enlgand. The item was a take on a fool. And it was delicious!

                                      9 Replies
                                      1. re: chefathome
                                        Harters Nov 1, 2012 03:51 AM

                                        You'll regularly find gooseberry on British menus, when they're in season. As you found, it's often as a fool, or similar concoctions, although it is a classic sauce to go with mackerel. I have a sense that chefs move on to gooseberry when rhubarb goes out of season, so they retain that sharp sweetness

                                        1. re: Harters
                                          chefathome Nov 1, 2012 07:34 AM

                                          Ah...although I did know that gooseberries are prevalent and loved in the UK, I did not realize it was common on the menus. I will pay particular attention next visit!

                                          1. re: chefathome
                                            Harters Nov 1, 2012 08:20 AM

                                            Certainly here in north west England, chef.

                                            By the by, the village of Goostrey (which is only a few minutes from me) still holds an annual gooseberry competiiton to find the biggest berry. Such competiitons used to be quite common. http://www.goostrey.info/local_information/organisations/gooseberry_society

                                            I'm not sure whether this BBC clip will be viewable to people outside the UK but here goes:

                                            1. re: Harters
                                              huiray Nov 1, 2012 08:40 AM

                                              Sorry, I get a "media selection request failed" message emblazoned across the incipiently-loading video. In the USA here.

                                              1. re: huiray
                                                Harters Nov 1, 2012 09:17 AM

                                                I thought it might not be viewable to non-UK people.

                                                1. re: Harters
                                                  huiray Nov 1, 2012 09:43 AM

                                                  ...which raises a perennial question regarding UK videos that are non-viewable elsewhere - WHY NOT!?? Nothing to do with you personally, of course.

                                                  1. re: huiray
                                                    Lizard Nov 2, 2012 05:42 AM

                                                    It has to do with the licensing of commercial content, which is often done by territory. Virtual fences or blocks are raised in the absence of borders on the Internet.

                                                    And as outraged as you are about the inability to watch things streaming from UK sites, do not kid yourself that the US is open and accessible to anyone who wants from anywhere in the world.

                                                    Also, to keep it about food: I'm with Melanie and Ipsedixit: None. Things fall in and out of favour, but I seriously question the idea that there is a never. I'm sure anything nominated can easily be rebutted by someone who has dined on such a thing.

                                                    1. re: huiray
                                                      Harters Nov 2, 2012 07:05 AM

                                                      I suspect much might relate to the BBC being 100% funded by British taxpayers (paying through the TV licence fee). Except and in so far as the BBC offers programmes through its international channels (such as BBC America), which operate commercially and are outside the licence remit. I don't know what the situation is regarding viewability, or otherwise, of programmes made by British commercial TV channels - such as Channel 4 or ITV.

                                                      1. re: Harters
                                                        huiray Nov 2, 2012 07:32 AM

                                                        @Harters & Lizard: I suspected so too, but still wonder in a general sense why selected programs - especially those** that might bring good publicity to the UK - would not be made available internationally, as a "public good" of sorts.

                                                        Lizard, indeed I am aware that US TV content is frequently not available outside the US, just as Canadian [private] network content is often also not available Stateside & etc. (e.g. Top Chef Canada :-) ) (some CBC videos - "national type" like CBC News, e.g., but not most (all?) TV shows - are viewable in the US)

                                                        **OK, I suppose the show you were referencing (regarding culinary uses of gooseberries) might not be the best example of something that ought to be internationally available...

                                        2. tim irvine Oct 31, 2012 05:01 PM

                                          Oddly enough salsifies, a high end ingredient based on the price for canned ones, are something I haven't seen in high end restaurants. Ditto, at least around here, gooseberries.

                                          1. Sandwich_Sister Oct 31, 2012 03:48 PM

                                            I know you can find some of my list somewhere on a high end restaurant menu but what I'm thinking of I've never seen and might be scarce.

                                            Black Eyed Peas
                                            Iceberg lettuce - probably for great reason. :)


                                            Cottage cheese as mentioned above
                                            American Cheese

                                            4 Replies
                                            1. re: Sandwich_Sister
                                              huiray Oct 31, 2012 05:00 PM



                                              BTW are you saying that "Cheese" - just "Cheese", as you propose - is NOT found nor served in high-end restaurants?

                                              1. re: huiray
                                                Sandwich_Sister Oct 31, 2012 05:25 PM

                                                I think you missed my point as "cheese" was the ingredient category under which cottage and American fell in to.

                                                Maybe I didn't make that known better, sorry, but there is no way to make a heading here under which items can be listed.

                                                1. re: Sandwich_Sister
                                                  huiray Oct 31, 2012 05:29 PM

                                                  Oh, OK.

                                                  Actually you can. A colon after the "cheese" could be used then bullet-point the list entries (option-8 on a Mac will give you • ), for example.

                                              2. re: Sandwich_Sister
                                                TroyTempest Nov 5, 2012 05:37 PM

                                                a lot of high end steakhouses serve the wedge salad made with iceberg lettuce

                                              3. WhatsEatingYou Oct 31, 2012 07:33 AM

                                                Truffle Oil

                                                1. m
                                                  malibumike Oct 30, 2012 09:56 AM

                                                  That rarity of all rairities, glorious "SPAM"

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: malibumike
                                                    huiray Nov 1, 2012 07:56 AM

                                                    That might be the closest to something not found in high-end places anywhere on Earth as I have seen here on this thread. Maybe. Oh, it's a beloved ingredient in many dishes in many places but at a level below "high-end"...

                                                    1. re: malibumike
                                                      TroyTempest Nov 5, 2012 05:36 PM

                                                      Not according to this guy, from a post a couple of years ago


                                                    2. ipsedixit Oct 30, 2012 09:47 AM

                                                      Ingredients Not Found at High End Restaurants

                                                      No such thing.

                                                      6 Replies
                                                      1. re: ipsedixit
                                                        Melanie Wong Oct 30, 2012 09:52 AM

                                                        I'll just say that I share the same position and back out of this thread instead of saying "no" to every item nominated.

                                                        1. re: Melanie Wong
                                                          ipsedixit Oct 30, 2012 09:53 AM

                                                          Yeah, I vacillated myself as to whether I should even bother replying because now I'm stuck with this thread under my profile forever ...

                                                          1. re: ipsedixit
                                                            huiray Oct 30, 2012 10:03 AM


                                                            Of late I've hesitated to post on many threads because of that concern. (And TPTB won't do anything about enabling a capacity to ignore threads that one no longer wishes to "follow".)

                                                        2. re: ipsedixit
                                                          Steve Oct 30, 2012 09:57 AM

                                                          There are many ingredients that are rare at high end restaurants.

                                                          1. re: Steve
                                                            huiray Nov 1, 2012 07:54 AM

                                                            What are your nominations for these? Are these places strictly Western/European-origin/USAmerican places or do they encompass the wide range of high-end places found throughout the world?

                                                          2. re: ipsedixit
                                                            Maximilien Oct 30, 2012 10:16 AM


                                                          3. h
                                                            Harters Oct 30, 2012 09:45 AM

                                                            You'd be likely to find okra on menus of upscale south asian restaurants. A place I know has a listing of "kararee subziyan" - a Punjabi dish described as "crisp fried okra with carom seeds and lotus stem with peanut and coriander". Another place serves the Parsee dish of khara bheeda nay papeto - where okra and potato are flavoured with cumin, coriander seed and leaf.

                                                            1. w
                                                              Wawsanham Oct 30, 2012 08:49 AM

                                                              Maybe, these are processed: bologna, wonder bread (or similar), macaroni & cheese without truffles or lobster, potato chips as a side to sandwiches.

                                                              4 Replies
                                                              1. re: Wawsanham
                                                                Puffin3 Oct 31, 2012 05:55 AM

                                                                Actually my younger sister ordered 'wieners and beans' with some potato chips on the side in a 'fancy' Parisian restaurant once. She was served, tarbais beans in what looked like a cassoulet with the pork sausages minus the duck and a huge plate of 'frites'. Beverly asked for some ketchup. The waiter looked like he was going to weep. He brought what looked like some tomato puree in a small bowl.

                                                                1. re: Puffin3
                                                                  Bob W Oct 31, 2012 12:24 PM

                                                                  That is a great story! I love the weeping waiter.

                                                                2. re: Wawsanham
                                                                  Chowrin Nov 1, 2012 06:59 PM

                                                                  Lebanon Bologna!

                                                                  1. re: Chowrin
                                                                    melpy Nov 2, 2012 08:45 AM

                                                                    Ugh. Let's keep it that way. Haven't seen pudding meat, pon hoss, hog maw either but I'm not complaining!

                                                                3. Veggo Oct 30, 2012 08:43 AM

                                                                  Huitlacoche, because they don't know where to get it or how to use it.

                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                  1. re: Veggo
                                                                    babette feasts Oct 30, 2012 08:36 PM

                                                                    Was just in SF, where 'white corn ravioli, huitlacoche butter, and smoked goat cheese' is on the menu at SPQR. And, a few summers ago, we (work) got some from one of the organic farmers we worked with, don't remember what, if anything we did with it. You're right, it is rare to see and is generally not on non-Mexican menus, but with the close relationships so many chefs and farmers have, it might not be so hard to find after all.

                                                                    1. re: Veggo
                                                                      Panini Guy Oct 31, 2012 08:21 PM

                                                                      I'm really feeling good about Pittsburgh dining on this thread. We're 4 for 4 so far (okra, rapini, tongue, huitlacoche). Heck, Salt of the Earth alone used all four this year.

                                                                    2. e
                                                                      escondido123 Oct 30, 2012 08:29 AM

                                                                      Ground beef (other than burgers), canned tuna, evaporated milk

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: escondido123
                                                                        huiray Oct 30, 2012 08:55 AM

                                                                        Not sure about the evaporated milk. Other than more "common"/low-end uses, this is used in various E/SE Asian dessert recipes, including Almond Jelly, which may be offered at various high-end Chinese restaurants, but it may be that they make it without that ingredient...

                                                                        Oh, BTW, nothing in the OP limits the discussion to Western-European/strictly USAmerican-Caucasian restaurants.

                                                                        ETA: Depending on what you consider "high-end", I think variations of Mapo Tofu (using both tofu [see above] and ground meat), for example, would be available even in "high-end" Chinese restaurants. Also, ground beef *is* indeed the main component of "beef balls" in dim-sum in any high-end Chinese place that serves dim-sum. Or "beef cheong fun" also in dim-sum. Etc etc etc. I think you will find "ground beef" in Michelin-starred restaurants in Hong Kong and other places. :-)

                                                                      2. b
                                                                        bobbert Oct 30, 2012 07:20 AM

                                                                        Dry herbs/spices. No garlic powder, dry parsley flakes, etc.

                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                        1. re: bobbert
                                                                          letsindulge Oct 30, 2012 09:55 AM


                                                                          1. re: bobbert
                                                                            Maximilien Oct 30, 2012 10:15 AM

                                                                            Dry herbs have their places in longer cooked dishes.

                                                                            Dry spices (?) are used everywhere, or are you thinking about somethig else?

                                                                            1. re: Maximilien
                                                                              bobbert Oct 31, 2012 11:47 AM

                                                                              Thought I might get called out on that. We'll just say "in general" where fresh should be used they usually do not use dry. Garlic salt. Garlic powder. That chopped garlic stuff in the jar. Dry parsley. Not so much as the fresh stuff.

                                                                          2. t
                                                                            Tudor_rose Oct 29, 2012 09:20 PM

                                                                            Black rice, which I think should be used in more sushi restaurants. It's amazing stuff.

                                                                            The only time I see okra is in gumbo.

                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                            1. re: Tudor_rose
                                                                              Melanie Wong Oct 30, 2012 01:09 AM

                                                                              Uh, remember that black rice is also called forbidden rice because its consumption was limited to the Chinese emperor. Can't get more high end than that.

                                                                              1. re: Tudor_rose
                                                                                mpjmph Oct 30, 2012 07:30 AM

                                                                                The Blue Talon in Williamsburg, VA uses black rice in several dishes.

                                                                              2. meatn3 Oct 29, 2012 08:20 PM

                                                                                Cottage cheese.

                                                                                18 Replies
                                                                                1. re: meatn3
                                                                                  pmarie1 Oct 29, 2012 09:02 PM


                                                                                  1. re: pmarie1
                                                                                    huiray Oct 29, 2012 11:41 PM

                                                                                    High-end Chinese, Japanese, Korean, etc etc restaurants would use it, I would think...

                                                                                    1. re: pmarie1
                                                                                      Melanie Wong Oct 30, 2012 01:04 AM

                                                                                      No so. Yuba (tofu skin) is trendy.

                                                                                      1. re: pmarie1
                                                                                        Michael Rodriguez Nov 1, 2012 08:34 AM

                                                                                        Two high-end restaurants in the San Francisco area (Manresa and Coi) offered house-made tofu recently. It was delicious.

                                                                                      2. re: meatn3
                                                                                        cresyd Nov 1, 2012 04:07 AM

                                                                                        I completely agree about the cottage cheese comment - and I have to say it kind of made me sad. I'm a big fan of cottage cheese (and living in Israel - it's far more popular in the diet than in other parts of the world) - and it would be interesting to see what an actual chef would do with it.

                                                                                        1. re: cresyd
                                                                                          melpy Nov 1, 2012 04:19 AM

                                                                                          I wish cottage cheese didn't vary so wildly by brand. Hood whole fat is one of the best out there but the market is very limited. Surprising since their other products seem to have a farther reach. I would definitely be interested in a restaurant using good cottage cheese is some way.

                                                                                          1. re: melpy
                                                                                            cresyd Nov 1, 2012 04:26 AM

                                                                                            I don't know enough about how cottage cheese is made to make a serious recommendation - but I wonder if even the notion of a restaurant making their own cottage cheese and providing it as special in that way? Sort of like places that do the 'homemade poptart' concept. Either way, I'm a big fan and would be interested to see what a refined culinary mind would do with it.

                                                                                            1. re: cresyd
                                                                                              Steve Nov 1, 2012 05:55 AM

                                                                                              I had cottage cheese as an appetizer at an expensive steakhouse in Washington DC. It was very delicious, topped with a couple of simple ingredients.

                                                                                              Though as you point out, it is a rarity.

                                                                                              1. re: cresyd
                                                                                                chefathome Nov 1, 2012 07:33 AM

                                                                                                Two weeks ago we had homemade cottage cheese at an upscale restaurant in Croatia. It was made even more spectacular by using their own fresh, green and peppery olive oil. Surreal! It was one of their starters. Brilliant.

                                                                                                1. re: chefathome
                                                                                                  melpy Nov 1, 2012 08:08 AM

                                                                                                  That sounds sublime!

                                                                                                  1. re: melpy
                                                                                                    chefathome Nov 1, 2012 10:05 AM

                                                                                                    Oh, it was. Although that meal was superb, it is their cheese and olive oil that are most memorable.

                                                                                                    1. re: chefathome
                                                                                                      cresyd Nov 1, 2012 02:31 PM

                                                                                                      In Israel, cottage cheese with olive oil and/or olives is fairly common, but basically in a home cooking sense. I'd really love to see it dressed up.

                                                                                                      1. re: cresyd
                                                                                                        chefathome Nov 1, 2012 02:35 PM

                                                                                                        Yes! It is so refreshing to taste this type of offering in a fine restaurant setting. The particular Croatian restaurant I mentioned also grows/uses their own figs, walnuts, peaches, most vegetables and herbs. They make other cheeses as well. We had some of their whipped ricotta that was out of this world!

                                                                                            2. re: cresyd
                                                                                              emu48 Nov 1, 2012 10:30 PM

                                                                                              Well, that's because Israeli cottage cheese is so good that everybody eats it. American cottage cheese, for the most part, is so bad that nobody eats it unless they're doing it because they think it's a low-fat diet food. As an American, I've hated cottage cheese since childhood, when Mom made me eat it. Living in Israel, I love having it every day for breakfast. On the other hand, israelis can't seem to make a decent hotdog. Go figure.

                                                                                              1. re: emu48
                                                                                                cresyd Nov 2, 2012 04:50 AM

                                                                                                Out of curiosity - what milk fat percentage do you prefer? I think often that the praise of Israeli dairy has to do with the fact that there's more fat in the products.

                                                                                                1. re: cresyd
                                                                                                  emu48 Nov 3, 2012 11:32 PM

                                                                                                  3 percent and 5 percent milkfat cottage cheeses are most common in the Israeli stores where I shop. Both taste rich and creamy and I'm happy with either.

                                                                                                  1. re: emu48
                                                                                                    cresyd Nov 3, 2012 11:58 PM

                                                                                                    Just curious, I just moved in with a new flatmate - and while I am mostly a 3% milkfat cottage cheese person, he only eats the 9% variety. Which I find way too fatty. But on the plus side, minimal risk of us eating one another's food.

                                                                                                2. re: emu48
                                                                                                  chefathome Nov 2, 2012 08:38 AM

                                                                                                  Croatian cottage cheese is vastly superior to North American, too. I cannot bring myself to eat it here in Canada unless it is homemade. I am unsure of the fat content in that made in Croatia but it fuller fat, that is for certain. It is common there and everyone (and/or their grandmother!) seems to make it.

                                                                                            3. s
                                                                                              Steve Oct 29, 2012 08:17 PM

                                                                                              Rare to see tongue. I do a lot of menu reading and it almost never appears.

                                                                                              In France you will see all kinds of liver, sweetbreads, tail, snout, kidney, but even there... tongue doesn't make it.

                                                                                              7 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: Steve
                                                                                                Melanie Wong Oct 30, 2012 12:59 AM

                                                                                                Duck tongues are trendy now.

                                                                                                1. re: Steve
                                                                                                  akq Oct 31, 2012 02:17 PM

                                                                                                  It may be becoming less rare: I just had a really nice app of corned beef tounge sliced very thin that was outstanding at Copperleaf in Seattle (Seatac).

                                                                                                  1. re: akq
                                                                                                    Steve Oct 31, 2012 04:17 PM

                                                                                                    Yes, I had a pastrami tongue at Rogue 24. Anything to hide the fact that it's tongue....

                                                                                                    1. re: Steve
                                                                                                      huiray Nov 5, 2012 04:43 AM

                                                                                                      Has anyone pointed out to them (regarding their website) that it is "Prix fixe" and not "Pre-fixe"?

                                                                                                  2. re: Steve
                                                                                                    robt5265 Nov 4, 2012 09:50 PM

                                                                                                    tongue is very popular in Mexico. It's even in every meat market and supermarket.

                                                                                                    1. re: robt5265
                                                                                                      huiray Nov 5, 2012 04:40 AM

                                                                                                      I imagine so! Your post reminds me about the wonderful and tasty tacos de lengua I can get for almost no money at a local Guanajuato Supermercado in their food court. Also popular in various regional Chinese cuisines. Sichuan comes to mind as one... However, I think the question here is whether it would be on the menu (tasting or otherwise) of an expensive high-end fancy restaurant. Perhaps there are such restaurants in Mexico?

                                                                                                      1. re: huiray
                                                                                                        robt5265 Nov 5, 2012 09:02 PM

                                                                                                        It would be on a menu of a high end restaurant for sure in France and many other European countries. Think tongue in aspic, a dish that goes back atleast to the 19th century French haute cuisine.

                                                                                                  3. f
                                                                                                    ferret Oct 29, 2012 07:22 PM

                                                                                                    I doubt you'll find any vegetable that hasn't been used in a fine dining establishment.

                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: ferret
                                                                                                      njmarshall55 Oct 31, 2012 09:19 AM

                                                                                                      Agreed, but broccoli rabe seems to be hard to find, especially in non-Italian places.

                                                                                                      1. re: njmarshall55
                                                                                                        Panini Guy Oct 31, 2012 08:17 PM

                                                                                                        Not in Pittsburgh. Rapini is currently on the menu at at least 6 of the top 25 restaurants in town (only two of which are Italian)..

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