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Most overrated 'luxury food?

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Thought of this when I saw the foie gras thread. If this stuff were dirt cheap, I wouldn't bother to make a sandwich out of it. Does anyone feel this way about prime beef? Lobster? Caviar? Truffles? Veal Prince Orloff?

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  1. I'm not that wild about filet mignon. And if we're including beverages, I'd say that the law of diminishing returns kicks in once you start spending much over 30 dollars on a bottle of wine.

    51 Replies
    1. re: Perilagu Khan

      I am not wild about filet mignon either, but that is just me.

      1. re: Perilagu Khan

        Some of the "luxury" cuts of beef are, to my mind, lacking in flavor. I'll take a hangar steak over a filet mignon. But the other things the OP mentioned, I love! Foie admittedly the least of the bunch (though I love livers).

        1. re: prolix

          Foie means liver in French (yes, even human livers), but I'm presuming you mean foie gras. I'm underwhelmed by it too; I love duck livers but the non-fattened ones are already plenty rich, and I find them more flavourful.

        2. re: Perilagu Khan

          Including single-malt Scotch?

          1. re: lagatta

            I was thinking about just that. It is very difficult to get reasonable Scotch (even blended) for less than $30 -- like Johnny Walker Black.

            Perilagu probably only meant wine.

            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

              I abhor Scotch, and I have had good Scotch. I, however, love Irish Whiskey.

              1. re: sisterfunkhaus

                Except for a similar spelling, that's where the similarity ends.

            2. re: lagatta

              Heavens no. I meant wine. Most liquors, including my beloved single malt Scotch, require at least a 30-dollar outlay.

              1. re: lagatta

                That isn't wine, although Alistair Cooke referred to "the wines of Scotland."

              2. re: Perilagu Khan

                I'm not wild about filet mignon either. I'll take a ribeye over it any day.

                1. re: KrumTx

                  Naturally. You're a Texan. ;)

                  1. re: Perilagu Khan

                    I am a Californian and I too prfer ribeye too. Just saying.

                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                      Honorary Texan. ;)

                      I prefer the NY strip, though. Perhaps that makes me an honorary Yank.

                      1. re: Perilagu Khan

                        Thanks, Great Khan,

                        I have a feeling (just a feeling) that New Yorker prefer filet mignon over NY strip. :)

                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                          You may well be right. I would be interested in knowing what the favorite cut of beef for New Yorkers is.

                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                            Well, I'm a Texan by birth, but I live in NY now. For many years (while I lived in Texas, actually), I preferred a filet, but living in NY has actually made me amenable to steaks with a good fat cap.

                            Most of the on-trend (good) restaurants are serving ribeyes, strips, flanks, hangers, etc. You'd have to go to The Palm to get your filet. Soooo, I disagree with your "feeling."

                      2. re: Perilagu Khan

                        Ha. True that. I keep a .38 in my nightstand and I prefer fried catfish to any scallop dish. So embarrassing. Klassy (with a capital k), too.

                        1. re: Perilagu Khan

                          Another Texan that prefers ribeye or chicken fried steak over filet, and no .38 on the nightstand, but a double barrel shotgun in the bed.

                          1. re: James Cristinian

                            I am from way out on the left coast and I prefer a ribeye. Tenderloin just doen't have any flavor to it. I prefer a NY strip to a tenderloin too.

                            1. re: James Cristinian

                              Let's hope it doesn't go off accidently.

                              1. re: linguafood

                                I've never known a ribeye to go off half cocked.

                                1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                  Exactly, breech open but ready for action. I'm boiling crawfish today, they can also be chicken fried.

                                  1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                    No, it's the people with shotguns *in their beds* who are half-cocked. Or could end up being un-cocked :-D

                                    1. re: linguafood

                                      I bleeve the technical term is decocked.

                                      1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                        Agreed.

                                2. re: James Cristinian

                                  Born in Texas but have never lived there long enough to consider myself a Texan. My problem with chicken fried steak is that it's so much harder to get a proper chicken fried steak in a restaurant than a ribeye. Prefer both of them over filet. Two revolvers in the nightstand for the New York reload which I don't think makes me a New Yorker even one little bit. Ha!

                                  1. re: Chimayo Joe

                                    Not a Texan, but I love a good steak and smoked brisket. Shotgun in the corner and this little Texas-made baby in the nightstand.

                                     
                                    1. re: grampart

                                      She's pretty.

                                    2. re: Chimayo Joe

                                      At my mother's retirement complex, they make chicken-fried steak out of....drumroll, please....CHICKEN!

                                      ?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

                                      1. re: sandylc

                                        If the chicken breast has been slightly tenderized and marinated properly, I'd be willing to try this. Obviously, it's not CFS, but that doesn't mean it couldn't be good eats.

                                        1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                          It would be like chicken schnitzel, or scaloppini.

                                          1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                            I am fine with breaded, fried chicken breast. But, exactly, it isn't CFS!

                                          2. re: sandylc

                                            The fake-out is not cool!

                                            1. re: sandylc

                                              That's called chicken-fried chicken.

                                              1. re: sandylc

                                                We call that chicken fried chicken, here in TX.

                                                1. re: TroyTempest

                                                  I've seen chicken fried chicken on many a menu, but never really given it much thought. Now that I know what it is, I might just give it a whirl.

                                                  1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                    Yeah, It sounds pretty dumb, but it's a good alternative to CFS.

                                              2. re: Chimayo Joe

                                                You're so right about the CFS.

                                                All my firearms are in the gun safe.

                                          3. re: KrumTx

                                            I'm not from Texas, and I don't have a gun, but give me a ribeye instead of a filet, please.

                                            1. re: kitchengardengal

                                              Not a Texan. Love ribeye. Filet is a vehicle for bearnaise.

                                              1. re: sandylc

                                                Ditto

                                                1. re: sandylc

                                                  Right- a good ribeye doesn't need aught but salt and pepper

                                              2. re: KrumTx

                                                I prefer Ribeye as well.

                                                1. re: sisterfunkhaus

                                                  ribeyes and scotch, let's go :)

                                                2. re: KrumTx

                                                  I prefer a rib eye or strip but why the lack of love for the filet? Not a lot of beef flavor on its own, but as an ingredient, there is much to be appreciated. You need a filet for Tournedos Rossini. That is a spectacular dish. Try it if you can find it. Hardly anyone makes it anymore because there's just so much work involved. Yes, I live in NY but I'm not a NYer. I'm a hick from down south and I love my double barrel side by side.

                                                  1. re: Bkeats

                                                    And I love Steak Diane!

                                                    1. re: sandylc

                                                      I could make a VERY crude joke about Steak Diane, but it would probably get me banned.

                                                      1. re: PotatoHouse

                                                        Oh, go ahead! If you can't say something nice, come sit by me.

                                                        1. re: mwhitmore

                                                          Dorothy Parker!..........lol

                                                          1. re: FriedClamFanatic

                                                            How correct! And I would have sworn it was original to Alice Roosevelt.

                                                3. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                  I'll see your $30/bottle and raise -- um, LOWER it to $15. Spending on wine can be really out of control for very, very small returns. More than almost any foodstuff, wine can be highjacked by "snob appeal".

                                                  My wife would concur with Caviar. I would Concur with foie gras.

                                                4. Champagne, compared (price/quality ratio-wise) to many other sparkling wines.

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: DeppityDawg

                                                    Agreed, there are fine sparklers (I love a quality crémant d'Alsace) that cost half what a low-end champagne does, and are far more refined.

                                                    1. re: DeppityDawg

                                                      Bad champagne can be *really* bad, as anyone who's been drunk on bad champagne can attest. It's worth spending extra for better champagne.

                                                      But, yes, there are other sparkling white wines that are perfectly enjoyable at lower prices compared to champagne.

                                                    2. Cavier, imo.

                                                      22 Replies
                                                      1. re: carolinadawg

                                                        +1. Never got the appeal of salty fish eggs. Don't mind roe on my sushi, but I'm not going to pay for caviar.

                                                        1. re: carolinadawg

                                                          I was like that too until I tried the real stuff. Osetra caviar yes please. American paddle fish or anything under $70/oz... nah I'll pass.

                                                          I really hope the American caviar takes off because I would like to have it more than twice in my life.

                                                          1. re: Crockett67

                                                            Hudson River caviar (yes, from sturgeon) used to be so cheap, they gave it away in saloons, like peanuts.

                                                            1. re: mwhitmore

                                                              Does it taste like the real thing? I will have to hunt this down.

                                                              1. re: Crockett67

                                                                Not remotely close to Osetra. Muddy like paddlefish.

                                                                1. re: Crockett67

                                                                  Hudson River sturgeon became extinct, so nobody alive has any idea what it tasted like. I seem to recall a rumor that they might be coming back as the Hudson has become less polluted.

                                                                  1. re: mwhitmore

                                                                    If they were truly extinct, how could they return?

                                                                    1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                      http://www.dec.ny.gov/lands/66626.html

                                                                      Seems that they were overfished and therefore banned but perhaps someday.

                                                                      1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                        The Hudson River strain could have been extirpated from the river, but sturgeon could repopulate the river from nearby areas where they have survived. They would be the same species, just a different population group.

                                                                        1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                          <If they were truly extinct, how could they return?>

                                                                          Well, you know evolution, don't you? Another species mutated and became the sturgeons. Thus, it is the second coming.

                                                                          (tongue firmly in place of the cheeks).

                                                                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                            The second coming complementing evolution--and here I'd been led to believe scientific creationism is nonsense.

                                                                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                              I am *not* worshiping a sturgeon.

                                                                              1. re: foiegras

                                                                                How many times do the sturgeons have to die before you believe in them? How many?

                                                                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                  The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind

                                                                                  1. re: FriedClamFanatic

                                                                                    Yes, that starts to make a bit more sense now.

                                                                              2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                well he was wrong on 3 out of 4.

                                                                                1. re: foiegras

                                                                                  I think you are answering the wrong post.

                                                                              3. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                                Good point. Restocked from outside sources? I'm just recalling hearsay, so I could have any part of it wrong, or my dimly recalled sources got it wrong. Now I am curious if Bkeats has found and tried some.

                                                                                1. re: mwhitmore

                                                                                  From what I read and posted, it's that the 'population' got so diminished that they banned the fishing of them.

                                                                                  1. re: c oliver

                                                                                    I think you are right.

                                                                      2. re: carolinadawg

                                                                        +1 on the caviar. I've had the really good stuff & believe that if it was $4.95 a pound people would complain about having to eat it.

                                                                        1. re: Pzz

                                                                          and one more. no fish berry jam for me either. but thanks for asking.

                                                                      3. Veal has always been something I don't really care for. In this sense, it is overrated for me. So are many other foods like filet mignon. I don't hate filet mignon, but it is just not what I like the most and therefore overrated in my eyes.

                                                                        I like sushi, but something I also feel they can be overrated too.

                                                                        5 Replies
                                                                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                          Absolutely agree re. veal.

                                                                          1. re: pinehurst

                                                                            You good folks never had my mom's veal cutlets, which were nothing more than chicken fried veal. Yumm!

                                                                            1. re: James Cristinian

                                                                              German Bockwurst YUMMMMM, I almost lived on it when I was in Germany it was so good.

                                                                          2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                            Veal chop. Always expensive, always boring.

                                                                            1. re: Steve

                                                                              Agreed on the veal chop. Me and my wife were discussing this exactly a day or two ago. We both find veal chops to be dryer and blander (blandier?) than the same cut of "regular" beef.

                                                                          3. In the scheme of things (what we spend our money on) I don't think many "luxury" food exist anymore.

                                                                            What I just paid for a lobe of foie gras is less than I pay a month for my cell phone.

                                                                            Now, if the taste just doesn't wow you for the money, I get it. But if you're targeting foods specific to the idea of high cost/luxury it's all in how you value your hard earned dough.

                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                            1. re: HillJ

                                                                              I never met a "luxury" food I didn't enjoy (unless my one aunt cooked it).

                                                                              1. re: MGZ

                                                                                Seriously some cigars cost more than these foods..

                                                                                1. re: HillJ

                                                                                  I doubt I could smoke one even if you paid me a princely sum...

                                                                                2. re: MGZ

                                                                                  we all have one of those aunt's MGZ (or cousin or in-law). Able to make even the simplest of foods into a culinary disaster. I'm not going to claim that instant mashed potatoes are anyone's idea of a gourmet dish, but since the 80's at least they have been edible. I knew someone who could literally turn them to something you could plaster your wall with. You could feel it hardening in your mouth. Her secret recipe. No idea what she did with them. We used to joke that she cooked them with the plastic wrapper. I'm thinking it must have been some ersatz cheese product.

                                                                              2. For me, caviar ... you couldn't give it to me.

                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                1. re: foiegras

                                                                                  's'okay, you can just give it to me when they give it to you.

                                                                                  1. re: prolix

                                                                                    And if prolix is out of town, call me.

                                                                                  2. re: foiegras

                                                                                    You can give it to me, but I'd just as soon many smoked fishes.

                                                                                  3. Anything involving gold. Might as well just burn $100 bills.

                                                                                    http://www.pastrychef.com/EDIBLE-GOLD...

                                                                                    15 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: tcamp

                                                                                      Probably worse than burning money.

                                                                                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                        And of course, there are always things like Jam infused with Princess Diana's hair or Jam infused with sand from the Great Pyramids or many other other and others.

                                                                                        http://news.blogs.cnn.com/2010/07/05/...

                                                                                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                          I don't call those foods luxuries though. Foods created for the sole purpose of getting a rise out of you are a different category of foodstuff. More like, "I dare ya."

                                                                                          1. re: HillJ

                                                                                            Good point about the luxury part.

                                                                                      2. re: tcamp

                                                                                        I've had peanut butter with edible gold in it, a fundraiser nabbed it as party favors; $100.00/jar. Made in CA. All I tasted was pb.

                                                                                        1. re: HillJ

                                                                                          Wouldn't a gloriously clear jewel-toned jelly be a better vehicle for gold? Not that i'd spend the money to be able to sh!t gold, but it's be a much nicer presentation IMO

                                                                                          1. re: EWSflash

                                                                                            Jewelry is nice too :)

                                                                                        2. re: tcamp

                                                                                          A pet peeve of mine.

                                                                                          1. re: tcamp

                                                                                            Putting gold on food is asinine, imo.

                                                                                            1. re: kengk

                                                                                              It makes a beautiful decoration for cookies at Christmas time. I use gold powder to make edible 'paint,' not gold leaf.

                                                                                            2. re: tcamp

                                                                                              We have a winner! But is it even food?

                                                                                              I hope you'll make an exception for Riga Gold sprats, which are quite affordable.

                                                                                              1. re: GH1618

                                                                                                And Yukon Gold potatoes!

                                                                                                1. re: lagatta

                                                                                                  Fools gold? j/k - I love those things.

                                                                                                  1. re: tcamp

                                                                                                    Hardly a luxury food; one of my favourite "normally-priced" potatoes. I make tortillas (I mean potato-based Spanish omelettes, not corn-based Mexican flatbread) with them, and they are good for potato salad too. I do like some fancier types of potatoes too, such as Rattes from the Jean-Talon Market, but even those won't really break the bank.

                                                                                                    1. re: lagatta

                                                                                                      Good point. In some food categories, the prices never get that high, even at the very high end. Potatoes definitely. The other day I found organic 'over-wintered' spinach at the greenmarket that tasted like spinach crossed with a sugary root vegetable. It was amazing and much of it was being bought up by the very high-end places here in NYC (Eleven Madison Park, Gramercy, Corton, etc.). The price per bunch? $3. More than the supermarket but not expensive enough to qualify as an expensive luxury in my book.
                                                                                                      JeremyEG
                                                                                                      HomeCookLocavore.com

                                                                                            3. Some of the really pricey chocolates are just not worth it to me. Bring me a box of Russell Stover any time! (Actually...make it See's and we have a deal!!)

                                                                                              19 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: jbsiegel

                                                                                                Agreed - I am much happier with a RS molasses chew or a See's Scotchmallow than the high end chocolates I've tried.

                                                                                                1. re: scarsdalesurprise

                                                                                                  Scotchmallow is the BEST!!!

                                                                                                2. re: jbsiegel

                                                                                                  I disagree strongly there. I hate over-sweet anything, including chocolate. It has to be black and at least 85% chocolate.

                                                                                                  1. re: jbsiegel

                                                                                                    I don't care for Godiva Chocolate at all! I'd rather have a Hershey bar.
                                                                                                    But See's Candies?? yuummm

                                                                                                    1. re: MyYums

                                                                                                      Offload your Godiva here ... it's not my favorite, but I won't touch Hershey's unless true desperation strikes.

                                                                                                      1. re: foiegras

                                                                                                        I do like Hershey's WAY better than Nestle.

                                                                                                        1. re: foiegras

                                                                                                          Kinda hate to say it, but Godiva really is supreme, IMO.

                                                                                                          1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                                                            They had a limited edition truffle for awhile that I really liked ...

                                                                                                            Have you tried Dude, Sweet Chocolate?

                                                                                                            1. re: foiegras

                                                                                                              I have not. And it's been many a year since I've sampled Godiva. Used to buy the stuff for my mom on Mother's Day quite regularly.

                                                                                                        2. re: MyYums

                                                                                                          I never saw the appeal of Godiva, either. Nor have I ever, ever been impressed with any other boutique fancy schmancy chocolates that I've tried. And I do keep trying, because some of them are so darn pretty!
                                                                                                          Give me Fanny Mae and I'm a happy girl. Especially a Pastel Toffee or a Trinidad.

                                                                                                          1. re: kitchengardengal

                                                                                                            There are a couple Godiva truffles I like, but I kind of view Godiva as the "faux-upscale-chocolate." Kind of the mall version of a really fancy-schmancy chocolate (Vosages, etc.) Now...I don't really like any of those other fancy ones either.

                                                                                                            Two more that I like a lot are Lake Champlain Chocolate and Choclatique.

                                                                                                            1. re: jbsiegel

                                                                                                              TJ's 85% is quite nice. Three small bars for $1.79.

                                                                                                              1. re: jbsiegel

                                                                                                                +1 on Lake Champlain Chocolate. And if I recall correctly, Valhrona supplies some of the Trader Joe's brands of chocolate. And Lindt is a good chocolate as well.

                                                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                  Thank god you kept your icon. So many people change their cool icons these days.

                                                                                                                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                    LOL! It's the only one I've had on CH (and I was one of those that protested the use of icons before they came about). I like it and can't be bothered to change it out. Other than the fact the avatar is way skinnier than me, it's what I do here on CH - I cook. :-) I'm the same on other blogs - I use Hobbes from the comic strip "Calvin & Hobbes" - haven't changed it out.

                                                                                                                    Your avatar makes me giggle when I see it.

                                                                                                            2. re: MyYums

                                                                                                              I like Godiva, but See's is just as good, IMO, and a lot cheaper.

                                                                                                              1. re: Isolda

                                                                                                                I like See's but have not had them for age. In term of other chocolate, I like Lindt more than Godiva.

                                                                                                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                  I keep thinking that somebody, someday, will give me a piece of that gucci candy that I think tastes better than a Snickers bar.

                                                                                                                  1. re: kengk

                                                                                                                    Now, Snickers to me has little to no chocolate flavor at all, and is very waxy.

                                                                                                          2. I don't think anything is "overrated" if you like it. There are certain foods that friends of mine have shipped to them for exorbitant amount of money. Perfect example is Katz pastrami. Now I like a good Katz pastrami sandwich and when I am in NYC I try to get over there and have one. If my husband isn't with me I'll bring pound home for him. But I am not having it shipped in at $24lb and another $30 to have it shipped. While its good pastrami it's not worth $54lb *to me*.

                                                                                                            However I have no qualms dropping the same money (and significantly more) on a single bottle of wine. My pastrami friend thinks that is not worth it.

                                                                                                            Maybe you mean the price when dining out? Because while veal is more expensive than crappy supermarket ground beef or no name chicken the price is really not that different when compared to a good cut of beef steak or local free range poultry. I can make veal parm or milanese for short money. But veal carries a pretty big ticket at restaurant, same as all the other foods you mentioned. Made at home, not really.

                                                                                                            If you are talking about dining out there are some more "expensive" dishes on a menu that aren't worth it to me because I can make it better at home. Steamed lobster cooked at home (with all the fixings) is easy and will cost me a fraction of the price to make it myself. Same with caviar (I have my grandmothers spoons) and prime rib.

                                                                                                            But I happily order (and pay the price) for foie gras!

                                                                                                            1. This is a good question. In my opinion, I would tend to think that macaron are the most overrated "luxury" (sweet) food item. ...and the reason I say that is because these little cookies are so expensive at price per. Honest to god, I make them at home for a fraction of what they would cost at Lauderee.
                                                                                                              I also think Sea Urchin is an overrated luxury food..it's so subjective though.

                                                                                                              1. sea urchin and foie gras are two of my favorite foods in the World. That said, these things can be found cheaper in the different parts of the World but I don't mind paying premium price for these as i LOVE them.

                                                                                                                To me, caviar is pretty over priced for what it is..and most cheeses are overpriced in US compare to Europe. Everything French seems to be more expensive once it leaves France.
                                                                                                                Lobster makes me think of cockroaches from the sea..while I do enjoy the taste, I can't stop thinking about it.

                                                                                                                I can tell a big difference in taste when it comes to fine chocolate. I think for the money, you get the best tasting chocolate from Lindt.

                                                                                                                Kobe beef, while really delicious, it can be way too fatty for my taste so I find this a bit overrated.

                                                                                                                I do agree that macarons are overrated and overpriced but I can't stop eating them myself.

                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: Monica

                                                                                                                  I agree with Lindt. Not a huge price tag, but they have the dark, bitter chocolate I like. I don't touch the sweet stuff. Take my espresso black, as well.

                                                                                                                  1. re: Monica

                                                                                                                    I've never thought of sea urchin as a luxury item, probably because I usually ate it in the water or on the boat when we picked them ourselves.

                                                                                                                  2. Truffles, regardless of color. (The fungus, not the chocolate.)

                                                                                                                    1. Actually, I was mistaken earlier. I submit that the most overrated luxury item is premium vodkas. Especially, if you are going to mix 'em with anything else. See, e.g., http://abcnews.go.com/2020/Consumer/s...

                                                                                                                      8 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                        There's some truth there. Whenever I order a mixed drink--except in the case of martinis--I stipulate well liquor. The "premiumness" of high-end liquor is lost in all the other flavorings.

                                                                                                                        1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                          On this I agree

                                                                                                                          1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                            Titos is good and fairly well priced.

                                                                                                                            1. re: sisterfunkhaus

                                                                                                                              Tito's is superb. Unfortunately, its price has skyrocketted, at least in my neck o' the woods.

                                                                                                                            2. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                              Totally agree. Especially if you live near a Costco with a liquor store - their Grey Goose knockoff is less than half the price and you truly can't tell the difference. Their American vodka is even cheaper (I paid $12 for a 1.75 liter bottle!!!!!) and it's easily as good as any well brand.

                                                                                                                              1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                                                Bio - you are in Queens, no? Where are you finding a Costco liquor store? I thought that there were none in NY.

                                                                                                                                1. re: EM23

                                                                                                                                  There's a Costco in Harlem. It's Wal-Mart that hasn't infiltrated NYC yet.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: loratliff

                                                                                                                                    although, there is a Sam's Club in Brooklyn. I delivered there a few years ago.

                                                                                                                            3. Please allow me to include saffron and truffles!
                                                                                                                              Neither my husband nor myself enjoy them at all.
                                                                                                                              I'm sure my inclusion of truffles will blow my chowhound rep!
                                                                                                                              I also join the anti-filet mignon crowd. I haven't eaten meat in 36 years, but when I did, filet mignon
                                                                                                                              was never a choice. Did not like the soft mushy.
                                                                                                                              Not many Chicago 'steak eaters' I knew enjoyed it.

                                                                                                                              11 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: VenusCafe

                                                                                                                                Not with me. I should have included saffron. Other than the color, I can't tell a dish with saffron from one without. Also agree about filet steak.

                                                                                                                                1. re: mwhitmore

                                                                                                                                  I just want to say how glad I am to hear someone say this. I hear people go on all the time about how great saffron is.

                                                                                                                                  Last time (and the first time, as far as I know) I ate something with saffron in it I got to use an epi-pen and visit the hospital. Maybe I'm not missing out on anything.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: mwhitmore

                                                                                                                                    Yeah, saffron doesn't really do it for me either. Just tastes sort of musty.

                                                                                                                                  2. re: VenusCafe

                                                                                                                                    I disagree there, too. I love saffron. But I can buy it for not too steep a price at supermarkets of relevant ethnicities, and a little goes a long way. Moroccan and Iranian friends have taught me to appreciate it.

                                                                                                                                    Somewhat "tougher" (more toothsome) cuts of beef that can still be grilled are usually much tastier than cuts like filet mignon.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: VenusCafe

                                                                                                                                      I'm right there with you on saffron and truffles. Saffron tastes of metal to me. I don't despise it but I will always appreciate the dish more if it's left out. I find it distracting.

                                                                                                                                      Truffles: I. Just. Don't. Get. I really want to I swear. Where I live they seem to put them on everything. Again, I don't hate them but never want them.

                                                                                                                                      Foie gras tastes like eating straight fat to me. Not gross but boring and lacking flavour, just like filet mignon. I'm in love with flap steak and it's wicked cheap.

                                                                                                                                      I do love, love, love great caviar. I doubt anyone really considers oysters in the luxury category but at sometimes $4 a pop it's borderline. I don't care. I want them all the time.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: ChervilGeorge

                                                                                                                                        Well, CG, you hit it. Bingo. Saffron has always seemed 'chemical tasting' to me. Metal?, ya!

                                                                                                                                        1. re: VenusCafe

                                                                                                                                          Very interesting. Saffron, to me, just tastes like "more!" Have never heard it called metallic. Fascinating how things taste differently to different folks.

                                                                                                                                          I'd agree with foie gras and the detestable white truffle oil.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: pine time

                                                                                                                                            I guess saffron is one of those foodstuffs, like fresh coriander, that people simply have widely diverging, almost visceral reactions too.

                                                                                                                                            I don't hate foie gras, I simply don't see the point for the price, and I can get un-force-fed duck livers, which I prefer - more liver flavour - and are much cheaper.

                                                                                                                                            I've read that foie gras was a by-product of force-feeding geese and ducks - for their fat. It dates back to the Egyptians and spread round the Mediterranean. Many sources point to Jewish communities taking the practice farther north, to what is now Alsace, as of course Jews couldn't eat lard, nor eat butter with meat dishes, and olive oil was rare and expensive, probably used more for ritual purposes. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foie_gras

                                                                                                                                            I've never had white truffle oil; don't even remember having white truffles. I've had plenty of black ones as they are fairly common in Umbria and not an extreme luxury food there; more a somewhat pricy regional speciality to treat guests.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: pine time

                                                                                                                                              Gordon Ramsay has referred to truffle oil as "a chef's dream,but has referred to white truffle oil as "one of the most pungent, ridiculous ingredients ever known to chef."

                                                                                                                                        2. re: VenusCafe

                                                                                                                                          Love saffron, even though it tastes like the water that comes out of a hot garden hose when you first turn it on. Or maybe that's why I like I it: it reminds me of summer.

                                                                                                                                          But truffles are another story. They ruin everything they touch. At one memorable meal, my son and I both ordered steak-frites, and the menu failed to warn us that the frites came with truffle oil drizzled all over them. Such a waste of good potatoes.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: Isolda

                                                                                                                                            Your description of the taste of saffron is one of the more interesting I have read---you are a good writer.

                                                                                                                                        3. My choice of overrated would be prime rib, but I think that comes from living in Reno NV for so many years where prime rib is as cheap as a good cheeseburger.

                                                                                                                                          1. Caviar is one thing I've never cared for. I don't mind roe as a sushi roll accompaniment, but I don't under the whole mother-of-pearl spoon, tiny little scoops thing. People make such a big deal about fish eggs.

                                                                                                                                            Put me down for another Filet Mignon non-fan. I'll take a nice ribeye or even a strip steak instead.

                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                            1. re: boogiebaby

                                                                                                                                              I liked caviar better than I'd expected to, but I don't understand why sturgeon roe is worth $60 an ounce and flying fish roe is worth $4.

                                                                                                                                            2. Lobster in most restaurants. The best lobster I've had has been cooked fresh in the islands, still sweet from the sea.

                                                                                                                                              15 Replies
                                                                                                                                              1. re: Halcyonwing

                                                                                                                                                Champagne & caviar... Let the Rich & Famous keep it! I just don't enjoy carbonated wine or fish eggs popping in my mouth. I'd rather have liverwurst on ritz crackers with an ice cold coca cola than champagne & caviar.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: MyYums

                                                                                                                                                  I'll remain discreet about what I think of Coca-Cola, except perhaps as a cleaning product for brass. Good liverwurst is wonderful, but shouldn't it be on good German bread?

                                                                                                                                                2. re: Halcyonwing

                                                                                                                                                  Oh yes...lobster in a restaurant is SO not worth it. To be honest, there are lots of things that fall into this category. I find most restaurant desserts to not be worth it either.

                                                                                                                                                  What is worth it - things I can't make "better" at home (great bread, a truly awesome piece of beef, etc.)

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: jbsiegel

                                                                                                                                                    Agree on resto desserts, also pastry shops. All looks, no deliciousness.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mwhitmore

                                                                                                                                                      Maybe is because I don't bake myself or the few pastries shop I have been to have been very good but the ones I have bought were amazing. There was a place around the corner from our apt in Florence that was to die for.

                                                                                                                                                      Recently my husband brought home a napoleon (sp) from the shop near his office that was sublime.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: mwhitmore

                                                                                                                                                        Might be you don't like such things or don't have a sweet tooth, but I personally would find short changed in life without pastries and desserts - good ones that is. And good ones (or maybe I should say great) are not very common at all. IMHO, pastry chefs are far too underappreciated for their skills, ingenuity and creativity.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: bulavinaka

                                                                                                                                                          Great breads and pastries are rare. That's why I feel fine eating a bit whenever I encounter them; it isn't very often!

                                                                                                                                                        2. re: mwhitmore

                                                                                                                                                          Lots of times I find bakery/pastry items to be dry.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: jbsiegel

                                                                                                                                                            Hubby has a lot of foods he finds "dry". One of them, puzzlingly, is peanut butter.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                              I totally get that ;) There's nothing that can make your mouth stick together like peanut butter (esp real peanut butter).

                                                                                                                                                              It's interesting that lots of people in this thread are saying that they can't taste things (actually, they're saying they have no taste/flavor, but I think they really mean that they can't taste them ;)

                                                                                                                                                              In my case, I will admit to probably never having had good caviar. But given my limited appreciation of the fruits of the sea, it may be that it would be wasted on me ...

                                                                                                                                                          2. re: mwhitmore

                                                                                                                                                            That is certainly not true of several pâtisseries here in Montréal.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mwhitmore

                                                                                                                                                              I tend to agree with you about the desserts. Interestingly enough, the only dessert I like is at Chili's. It's molten lava cake. I'm not a big Chili's fan, but I live in the town where it originated and have been there since I was a kid. I can't resist the warm gooey cake with the ice cream on it. It's amazing.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: sisterfunkhaus

                                                                                                                                                                Absolutely can't go wrong (in my world) with warm gooey and ice cream! :-)

                                                                                                                                                          3. re: Halcyonwing

                                                                                                                                                            Halcyonwing, I love what you wrote. And that applies to any islands (or rugged coastal area) where the lobster is caught.

                                                                                                                                                            I dislike elaborate preparations with fresh lobster or crab.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Halcyonwing

                                                                                                                                                              Can lobster be even considered a luxury food anymore? The last several years have seen prices drop below $10/lb at supermarkets. At certain Chinese seafood restaurants, they'll serve it up all cooked and prepared sometimes for $8/lb. Even pedestrian tilapia costs more to procure sometimes.

                                                                                                                                                            2. Caviar - never acquired a taste for it. I prefer Asti to Champagne, served Asti at our wedding.

                                                                                                                                                              Foie gras is just nasty. The texture is very off-putting. I'll take a ribeye over filet mignon.

                                                                                                                                                              Like lobster, though. Am I still chowish?

                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                              1. re: mrsbuffer

                                                                                                                                                                Asti is pretty darn tasty.

                                                                                                                                                              2. For me it's pine nuts. I didn't think of them as a luxury food until I went to buy some for a recipe. Mama mia, those things are spendy. Not only is there apparently not a way to extract them by machine, but they have to be picked one by one by virgin daughters of kings. And they're OK; they add something to a dish, but man!

                                                                                                                                                                I'm also on the fence about morel mushrooms. Now those, those are better than OK but again, I'd be happier if they weren't priced like they were only able to be found by unicorns by the light of a full moon in eclipse.

                                                                                                                                                                11 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                1. re: nokitchen

                                                                                                                                                                  Or at least invite me to the unicorn hunt ...

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: foiegras

                                                                                                                                                                    I think all the unicorns were bought up by Hewlett Packard. They bleed them for printer ink.

                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: nokitchen

                                                                                                                                                                    Any chance we have the gigantic popularity of pesto to thank for the over demand of pine nuts. While it was always an exhaustive process to extract nuts from pine cones coupled with the harvest in China and Russia down (blame climate changes) these delights use to be ignored by most consumers. Prices literally went from $7.00 to $37.00 in a relatively short period of time. Its a bummer.

                                                                                                                                                                    Foraging for food is always going to be expensive. At least mushrooms are lightweights. At $25.00/lb you get quite a bounty.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                                                                      It isn't "authentic" or quite the same, but you can make a credible pesto with walnuts. People in the craggy hills of Liguria and Côte d'Azur used that kind of nuts as that is what they could forage.

                                                                                                                                                                      I'm sure other soft nuts might do the trick too.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: lagatta

                                                                                                                                                                        You're right you can sub for walnuts and others but it's not the same. I'd rather split the cost of a 3 lb. bag with a pal and use pine nuts so I can enjoy this:
                                                                                                                                                                        http://hattery.com/food-is-a-universa...

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: lagatta

                                                                                                                                                                          I make a west Texas pesto with pecans. Mighty toothsome, too. That said, I still make traditional pesto sometimes as well.

                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                                                                          And those Chinese or Russian "pine nuts" are far inferior to those from the Mediterranean. I can no longer eat them unless I've purchased them myself and know their provenance - the inferior pine nuts give me "pine mouth". Blech.

                                                                                                                                                                          I have to agree with others who say caviar. Never had interest in it, although I've tried it. Didn't like it.

                                                                                                                                                                          The shaving of truffles over so many dishes isn't really my cuppa tea either.

                                                                                                                                                                          I don't cook lobster at home, but I *do* enjoy a good lobster roll at a lobster shack and am willing to pay the price once or twice a year during a New England summer.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                            Would you consider 8 oz for $30. a luxury? http://www.nuts.com/nuts/pinenuts/med...

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                                                                              Yup, I would. I spend money on good foods; but $30 plus shipping for 8 oz. is just too extreme for me. I might buy some once, just to savor the flavor. But I don't think it would be a regular purchase.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                That's why I enlist food partners to share luxury orders. I can buy the Mediterranean pine nuts while in NY.

                                                                                                                                                                        3. re: nokitchen

                                                                                                                                                                          Freshly picked morels, sautéed in butter, is a luxury that I love. Unfortunately when we moved away from So. Oregon we've not had them since :(

                                                                                                                                                                        4. Brut champagne, I really don't enjoy it.

                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: jaykayen

                                                                                                                                                                            And I don't like extra dry. Which brings up why is it called extra dry when it's less dry than brut?

                                                                                                                                                                          2. Do you remember when beef wellington was considered a luxury food? Now that Chef Ramsay has made it the mainstay of Hell's Kitchen it's not only overrated, it's lost that lovin' feeling!

                                                                                                                                                                            http://www.journeymancook.com/recipes...

                                                                                                                                                                            1. Caviar, truffles (the fungus kind), and sushi.

                                                                                                                                                                              21 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                I am with you on sushi. I love fish but I'd rather just buy a filet rather than spend a fortune on slivers of fish and rice.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                  I think raw sushi is overrated. It's generally very bland and soft. I don't hate it, but I love a good creative cooked roll with things like tempura shrimp, avocado. coconut, and spicy mayo. Lots of crunch and texture.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: sisterfunkhaus

                                                                                                                                                                                    Whereas as we only like it raw, nigiri or sashimi. REALLY don't like those rolls :(

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                                      I'm all about sashimi....completely plain!

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: jbsiegel

                                                                                                                                                                                        You know, I like sashimi plain too, as long as it's from a good fish. I don't trust the middle of the road sushi places here in Colorado to get really good fish though.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                                                                                                          I think Sushi Den and Sushi Tazu are very high quality.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Veggo

                                                                                                                                                                                            I've never been to either of those.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                                                                                                              They should be high on your list.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Veggo

                                                                                                                                                                                                Not sure why, since I stated above I'm generally not a sushi fan and am not really willing to pay for it...even if it's the "best sushi ever". Trust me, I won't like it. I've tried tons of sushi places in Chicago and I just.don't.like.it. I looked at Sushi Den's menu and I'd rather go elsewhere to get food I actually like. I like sashimi but I don't want to eat only that for an entire meal. It's a nice starter.

                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                                        I'm with you. I want to taste the fish, not the sauces. With the amount of stuff that gets piled into some rolls, there could be old socks inside and you wouldn't know it.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Bkeats

                                                                                                                                                                                          I just wondered, do they eat those rolls in Japan? It seems like something developed for the non-Japanese market? And, honestly, I think they're just plain silly looking :)

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Bkeats

                                                                                                                                                                                            Rolls are certainly an inventive way of getting rid of older ingredients.

                                                                                                                                                                                            The worst offenders are spicy tuna rolls. There's a reason they have to add the spice for you beforehand.

                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                                            +1

                                                                                                                                                                                      3. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                        Sushi isn't expensive enough to be a "luxury food," not unless you go to Masa in New York where the prix fixe is $450 - more if you want something to drink, plus tax and tip. My neighborhood sushi place has a top price of $22 for a sushi dinner, including 5 pieces of assorted sushi, 9 pieces of sashimi, a dragon roll, plus soup or salad and tea. For me that's not spending a fortune for a restaurant meal.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: John Francis

                                                                                                                                                                                          Whenever my SO orders sushi, it's at least $40 worth, which he eats all in one sitting... and that's at a place he says it's reasonably priced. To me that's a luxury...and, I don't get it. Thankfully the sushi place he likes has a full japanese menu so I can get something else.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                                                                                                            This is my issue. To even be remotely full I have to order alot of sushi and so it adds up and is usually upwards of $50 and I'm still hungry. I still enjoy it, but tend to have it for lunch or a quick snack so I don't have to battle the cost/fullness issue.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                                                                                                              I am astounded at how much sushi I see people order. I can have a cup of miso soup and one roll and I am full.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: sisterfunkhaus

                                                                                                                                                                                                Yeah he's also one of those awful people that can eat like 5000 calories in a day and not gain a pound.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: sisterfunkhaus

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Yea, that's a drop in the bucket so I gave up.

                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                              I don't know if I'd personally rate sushi as overrated. So much goes into making a great sushi experience, and it ain't cheap to go from supermarket level sushi to a true omakase experience. I would say though, that the law of diminishing returns does apply. It's just a matter of whether or not the consumer wishes to pay so much more for a sublime experience.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                                Sushi is not overrated. I am not talking about those sushi you get it from some Chinese owned places which you can get everywhere in US. Have you had a good piece of sushi in Japan? It will fall off your chair.

                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Caviar....I worked for a wealthy family as a cook. These tins the size of a Skol can would be shipped in.....over $1000! No way that is so much better than the low end caviar or anything else.especially when their tastebuds had been dulled by 2-3 scotches.

                                                                                                                                                                                                If I made filets or tenderloins, I usually had a sauce for them because I find them bland by themselves.

                                                                                                                                                                                                And.....most of you may know that in the 1800's, the prisoners in Maine Jails rioted over being fed so much Lobster..seems nobody wanted it back then.

                                                                                                                                                                                                And even in my lifetime, Mussels used to cover every jetty on Cape Cod, Ma, USA. Now, you are lucky if you can find any ( but I do like them!)

                                                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: FriedClamFanatic

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Yes, in the Gaspé (eastern Québec peninsula) and much of the Atlantic provinces, lobster was the food of the poor, and poor kids taking lobster sandwiches to work were jealous of those eating bologna...

                                                                                                                                                                                                2. truffles, I enjoy them, but honestly even if they were only moderately priced I wouldn't go out of my way for them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Escargots? (Snails.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Is seems that, the reason people eat them is the garlic butter. Why not just get the garlic butter and some bread? It would be a whole lot cheaper. (And less cruel to living creatures who can't run away quickly enough to escape.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                    9 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Chatsworth

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Those living creatures love my garden and my garden comes first. I don't find anything cruel about their demise :).

                                                                                                                                                                                                      They're better off deliciously served as escargot.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: latindancer

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Ah yes, but if you're "catching" the ones from your garden they're free and so not a luxury item. In fact, there's probably a net gain since they can no longer eat your lettuce. I am curious to know whether you eat slugs, which are pretty much snails without an attached house.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Chatsworth

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I've only ever had snails from canned. It wouldn't bother me to catch snails from the garden if I were, like, starving. I don't see them very often though, not enough to make a meal out of. I've had no qualms boiling my own lobster. Anyway, escargot are a lot like clams. But where clams taste 'briny', snails taste 'earthy' in a subtle way unlike anything else. It's not for everyone's palate and let's face it, it's peasant food at an overpriced French restaurant. But it is pretty darn tasty.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: Chatsworth

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I LOVE escargot cooked any way. I recently had it cooked with mushrooms in a tarragon cram sauce with toast points to dip in the sauce. Wow. Just wow.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: sisterfunkhaus

                                                                                                                                                                                                          They make a great stuffed mushroom.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: Chatsworth

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Escargot luxury food? Aren't they dirt (pun) cheap? Shows up on the menu of every pseudo-bistro around as an app for about $9. Doesn't seem like a luxury. You can buy cans of them in Stop and Shop for $3.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Bkeats

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I'm probably just showing my age because when I was (a lot) younger, they were considered a luxury item. The thought of them being available in a can is making me end this post so I can run for the toi...

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Chatsworth

                                                                                                                                                                                                              TMI. I would say if you've had escargots in a restaurant in the last 40 or more years, they came from a can. I've bought them that way and they're great.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I've bought them in tins in the 1970s. In some parts of Italy they are a fairly common pizza topping (certainly tinned).

                                                                                                                                                                                                        3. Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee

                                                                                                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: grampart

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Thank you. I somehow doubt that JBM coffee would prevail in a blind taste test against any number of better Central American coffees.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: grampart

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Not to mention any coffee that has passed through the digestive track of a feline.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Oops, see someone beat me to this below.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Truffle Oils. It's just companies serving up the masses with a oil that tastes like a leaking gas tank, but telling you your getting a "truffle aroma" for 1/20 the price. No thank you.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              That said, filet mignon is way overrated. No flavor, just tender. I'll take a cowboy ribeye any day.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Organic. Not worth the price differential. Suspect interpretations and verifications. Cooks and tastes the same.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Not to be confused with heirloom or free range. Which are not necessarily organic.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I could not possibly agree with this more.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  During the summer months I buy a lot of produce at the farmers market in Salem, Oregon. I don't think any of the vendors there are certified organic but I don't care. Their produce is local, fresh, and good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    SOME organic producer indeed tastes different/better. Apples are one. The peel of conventional apples tastes like nail polish remover smells to me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      My understanding is that organic foods are not about taste (maybe just a bit), but more about health benefits. So it is not surprising that organic foods do not taste better/worse than other foods.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Yes, it is more about health and environment than taste. But SOME foods DO taste better, as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Yes, the reduced effect on the environment is the biggest benefit to buying organic IMHO. Unfortunately I do not have the money to buy it most of the time, either.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Civet Coffee.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Not my favorite.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: latindancer

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Probably the elephant version too, no?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: grampart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I just spit up my joe - I'll never view coffee the same again...o_O

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: grampart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I haven't tasted that version :). Great picture.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I have with a few others and they just weren't all that good...actually some of them were downright bad.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Shark fin.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: bulavinaka

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            A big second for shark fin. Not just expensive and tasteless, but cruel to boot.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I'll throw in bird's nest too. Once again, the stuff has no flavor. And it's one of the most expensive ingredients in the world.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. For me it's very expensive coffee, salt, most expensive beer, jams as others have mentioned that contain strange things, crackers, expensive pasta, expensive olive oil used in cooking at least, expensive butter, aged beef, small cooking birds...what is there to eat? fresh vs frozen berries out of season, and pinenuts when they are usually expensive, imported from China, and walnuts other nuts go just as well in pesto. to give you an idea of what I mean by expensive brands, we tend to buy one step above regular supermarket but I feel I have found, for the things that matter, the most economical but tasty brand:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            goya coffee (for our stovetop demitasse-about $8/lb)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Celtic sea salt
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Heineken is sold by the case at our TJ's (I do appreciate a good Chimay occasionally but not going to buy it for home)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Anything a little better than a saltine is fine with me- I am horrified at the upsells in the cheese isle of dry pathetic artisanal crackers.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            DeCecco pasta- anything else is really a waste of money to me.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            TJ's Spanish olive oil works well for cooking
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Organic Valley unsalted eruopean style butter. It has a high fat content but is cheaper than imported brands. it's the best i've found.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            13 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: fara

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Sounds like you've worked out a good system.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: fara

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The fancy butter really gets me. I've tried many, many kinds and we always just go "eh." I always try it on toast first and never enjoy it more than organic salted butter that is the house brand of my local gourmet market.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: sisterfunkhaus

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I'm not really a butter freak as I know a lot of people love it but I do have a few that I prefer to use including Kerrygold and President. I guess I notice some difference, they are readily available and since I don't go through them very quickly not too expensive. However, in many taste tests I've read that Land O'Lakes take the prize :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: sisterfunkhaus

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I haven't bought salted butter in so many years, I have no idea what it tastes like :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: sisterfunkhaus

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      That's interesting, butter is one of the very few things I am very picky about. Most of them are in the dairy category, actually. Best tasting butter I ever had was in Germany and I am fairly sure it was a brand named Allgau. Also bought some of the pricey imported French butters. Echire was better than supermarket butter but not worth the price and not better than the Allgau. Great butter has a very faint sweetness to it (to my tastebuds) and it tastes buttery/creamy, not fatty. I'm so jealous of Americans being able to buy Kerrygold at the supermarket. I am considering starting up a small dairy-smuggling business from northern Vermont into Canada.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: montrealeater

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Kerrygold is indeed a wonderful butter has that sweetness you mentioned and lovely grassy notes. I do know many that do not like it because it does have a unique taste from the use of grass-fed cows.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I am undecided on beef from grassfed vs grainfed cows (and sadly suspect I may prefer the latter) but as for dairy grassfed is, imo, incomparable. The Allgau is grassfed, too. I find it hard to believe that people could not like grassfed butter. (although I do believe it)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: fara

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I'm with you on the beer... I live in Colorado so everyone here is ALL about the fancy beer. Give me a PBR or a Coors Light and I'm happy. The fanciest I get is Leinenkugel's Summer Shandy (in summer only) or Goose Island's 312, which is just a slightly nicer version of Coors Light haha.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I like the fancy beers - have to confess on that one!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I don't like silly posh things, but Coors Light is one of the worst beers on earth.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: lagatta

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            To you. I think it's fine.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              One of my SIL's who enjoy "finer" beers drinks Coor Light as kinda his everyday choice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I like "fancy" beers, but not American hipster beers. Give me a nice Belhaven or Bohemia and I'm a very happy man. That said, my regular brand is Lone Star Light and I'm content with it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. I think I have figured out the ultimate answer to this OP.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          That coffee from Indonesia (or something like that) that the monkeys eat the beans and then people pick the coffee beans out of the monkey poop and grind it and make coffee!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Yeah, that has to be the right answer, monkey poop coffee.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          50 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: PotatoHouse

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Yeah, but you can't make a good cup of crappuccino without it!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: grampart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              OMG, wish you could hear me laughing right now ...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: grampart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Crappuccino's not worth a shit unless served in a dungitasse.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  It took me awhile to figure what Crappuccino is. You mean the Starbuck Frappuccino which the "F" looks awfully like "C"?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  http://s3images.coroflot.com/user_fil...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I imagine that would suffice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Ok, I know there is another meaning too, but I wonder if this came above because it is a "Self inflicted" wound on Starbuck's part.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Anyway, I will see you later, my Great Khan.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Buona serra, mi amico.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: PotatoHouse

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                While I have no interest in the coffee which you mentioned, I cannot say it is overrated -- since I have never tried it and probably will never try it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                By the way, there is the Indian Rhesus monkeys chewed on coffee beans. Chewed on and spat out (not going thorough the digested system).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                And there is the Kopi Luwak coffee which is digested coffee by Asian Palm Civet (not a monkey).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kopi_Luwak

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: PotatoHouse

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  There're different variations of Civet Coffee. I've had many of them and each has their own distinctive taste according to the animal being used.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  However, for around $30 a cup & I've spent more, many of them (for my palate when it comes to my taste in coffee) have proven to be an 'emperor new clothes' phenomena.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  It's been fun trying them though.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: latindancer

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    $30 for a cuppa? That's the epitome of overrated luxury food.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      $30 for a cup of Joe! That's just ridiculous.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: grampart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Thirty bucks for a cup of booze, however, I could probably justify . . . dependin' upon the kinda day I'm havin'.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Com'on people. Starbuck coffee is about what? $5 a cup?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          A special drink only 6 times the regular price does not seem too outrageous. No more crazier than $100 burgers. or $100 ramen.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          http://most-expensive.net/burgers-world

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Tongue firmly planted in cheek, I presume.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: grampart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              No. I am serious. I am not advocating $30 for a cup of coffee. I do think it is very expensive, but considering all the other crazy things, it is LESS crazy I think.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Less crazy is still crazy. I'll pass on all of that crap.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: grampart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Don't know. I am not a coffee drinker. I will let you guys judge.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  In a world full of crazy people, the lesser crazy people are sane. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Here are some jams for you all:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  http://news.blogs.cnn.com/2010/07/05/...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Some people will pay that for glass of wine, port, scotch and other spirits. It's all about what a "luxury" to you.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Depending on one's income level paying $30 bucks for a glass/cup of whatever may actually be less of an "investment" then the person paying $6 bucks for Starbucks or $2 bucks for DD. It is all relative.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: foodieX2

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Certainly $30 coffee should be treated as a regular thing. Assuming it is good (if it is), then it is a "once a lifetime" experience. (Ok, maybe not once-once)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I remember reading about tea as well. There are cheap tea, and there are some really expensive tea leaf.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    "This is one of the most expensive teas in the world. One kilo of Da Hong Pao could fetch two million dollars."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    http://www.nhpr.org/post/tasting-chin...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: foodieX2

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Granted. For someone like Paris Hilton, that's just loose change.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I would gather most of us are not in that income level, but I might be wrong.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Agree but there is a middle ground. I am finally at a point in life where I don't have sweat the average cost of a "good" glass of wine, the cost of fun cocktail or opting for dinner out instead of cooking.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        While I still am frugal a nice bottle of Cakebread is no longer a special occasion type of wine. It actually costs me less, as a % of income/budget, than a bottle of Simi did years ago. Do I drink it every night with dinner? No but I now have it more than once a year on my b-day and don't think twic about it. I would think to some the same holds true to the person who choose to spend $30 on a glass of anything.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        And the bottom line is I don't begrudge anyone their indulgences. Having Katz shipped in from NYC seems foolish to me and complete waste of money but it's not my thing. It's my friends. If that how they chooses to spend their money and it is what makes them happy-go for it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: foodieX2

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Like I said earlier, I am not advocating $30 cup of coffee. I personally won't drink it because I am not well-verse in coffee. It will be a waste on me even if it is very good -- because I won't able to tell.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Everyone need to make that decision. It is expensive, but the price jump is no more than other things I have seen, like the really expensive meal in one of those 5 stars restaurant (Why $200+ per person) or expensive Scotch (why some Scotchs are $20 a bottle while some are $300) or really expensive tea ($2 millions for 1 kg)...etc..etc.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: foodieX2

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Perfectly said.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: foodieX2

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Oh, absolutely. How each of us spends their disposable income is about as personal and subjective as it gets.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              My mother owns about 7 different pairs of glasses, each easily around 300 Euro. I cannot fathom spending that much on glasses.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              My sister and her hubster spent an (insane, to *me*) amount of money on their coffeemaker.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I spend generous amounts of money on food, booze and party accessories. My family thinks I'm crazy :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: foodieX2

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            foodieX2,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Here for entertainment:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FA621_...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              CK- I am LMAO!! So what they say about her is really true, eh? I need to start watching TMZ.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: foodieX2

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                :) You should watch the whole video (from the start, not just the segment I forward) if you have not. It is pretty funny.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I did! Priceless! And I will never get back the time I spent watching the others that were listed on the side!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: foodieX2

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              My brother has five or six Starbucks-equivalents a day. I'd rather that one $30 cup. Not that that appeals to me; just sayin'.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Really good point. Why is ok to spend $2-5 every day but not OK to spend $30 every once in a while?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: foodieX2

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                True. But I think the working assumption of this thread is that the people in question are basically middle class. Obviously, if you're Carlos Slim, nothing is luxus.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I don't drink Starbucks. Not because it's overpriced, but because it's over-roasted and tastes like ass.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              So does Grampart's crappuccino.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                <tastes like ass>

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                As does most of the Civet Coffee I've consumed.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Cost aside...if I don't like the taste of something I'm not prone to repeating it. If I loved it and dreamed about the taste I'd pay the money, without questioning it.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                In my case, I love the taste of coffee. I've paid ridiculous price per pound for esoteric coffees from all parts of the world.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                There are people who love Civet Coffees. I'm not one of them and I'm not going to spend stupid prices for food or drink if I just don't like it regardless if I can throw the money away or not.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  And roasted way darker than necessary to hide the ass flavor. That's Charbucks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: latindancer

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I'm amazed at how many 'frugal' friends and family members of mine use those single serve coffee makers with the premeasured pods of coffee. I think the NYTimes estimated that that coffee ends up costing around $50/lb. It may be well worth it for some people but my guess is that most of them would think spending $15-$20 a pound on very good coffee from a reputable roaster would be a waste of money.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          JeremyEG
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          HomeCookLocavore.com

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: JeremyEG

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Don't get me started on the cost of the Keurig pods. We recently had to get a Keurig at work because the CEO kept on walking up to an empty coffeepot (someone would take the last cup and *not* make another pot, citing "I'm late for a meeting!)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            So far, for about 10 people who drink coffee in the office, we've gone through about $500 of coffee pods this year alone, when the previous big container of ground Folger's that would make over 200 cups of coffee was about $15.99, and we would have only gone through two of them. :-/

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Folger's is pretty awful, tho.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Yes, it is ghastly. There are many affordable coffees that are far less nauseating when taken black.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Two big containers of ground Folger's coffee that would last a year. Fresh tasting isn't a big deal with you and your fellow workers, huh?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: grampart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  No, grampart, two large containers of ground Folgers would have been enough until May, not the entire year. "This year alone" means from January to now.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  And I don't drink coffee at work. I just buy it for them. I grind my own beans at home and have 2 cups there, and that's it for me for the day. These, however, are NOT people who roast their own green beans and then grind the beans at home, as so many people here seem to do. Nor do any of them have $600-$1000 coffee machines at home. So why would they do so at work?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I gave them the choices of what was available at the big-box store; they said what was fine for them, and they were fine with the Folgers, surprisingly. They preferred it over Maxwell House, but preferred Charbucks ground coffee when I could get it. Which, to me, is even ghastlier. But any of the pre-ground coffees are going to be a good bit less fresh than grinding your own, including those in the expensive Keurig pods - which was the purpose of my reply to Jeremy - the expense (as well as the non-recyclability of the pods).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              3. re: JeremyEG

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                It is all about convenience. The single pod coffee market is actually growing - fast.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: JeremyEG

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I know very little, actually nothing, about those coffee makers you're referring to.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I was @ a really lovely dinner party a few months ago. I was asked if I'd like an espresso after dinner. Yes! I was given a vintage demitasse with 'espresso'. She took me into the kitchen to show me her new toy 'single serve coffee maker' I found the whole thing strange. She had a cupboard full of them in every flavor known to mankind. The espresso was just okay, in my opinion, with no crema and the color was 'off'...it was anything but smooth and enjoyable. It certainly wasn't honoring that beautiful vintage demitasse.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I'm a huge traditionalist when it comes to my coffee. When a friend came back from Turkey 40 years ago with a Cezve for me along with a pound of some of the best Turkish coffee I've ever tasted, it began a journey I've never let go of. I'll pay whatever I have to in order to get the best roasted bean along with the very best and appropriate appliances to brew it.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I don't understand why people use those pods, but that's just me. It takes a little more to find the bean, come home and grind it and brew it. To me, if just makes more sense price wise, in the long run, and certainly taste wise...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: latindancer

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    "I'll pay whatever I have to in order to get the best roasted bean along with the very best and appropriate appliances to brew it."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    It must be nice....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: latindancer

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Yes, I'm horrified by those things. Fortunately nobody I know has one; they have either little home espresso machines, mochas (espresso pots that go on the stove burner), French presses (Bodums?) or filter coffee makers. And a few also have Cezves.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      They cause environmental pollution as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I buy a locally-roasted, fairtrade organic coffee, espresso grind, dark brown roast (like a Northern Italian or Viennese roast, not the super dark). It really isn't very expensive per cup. I want decent coffee because I drink it black.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: lagatta

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        It can be affordable and pretty easy to have very good quality coffee at home. It sounds like you drink well!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        JeremyEG
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        HomeCookLocavore.com

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: latindancer

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Yes, the espresso you had was from one of the machines I'm referring to. It's not my place to tell anyone how they should spend their money but I do find that many, many people who use these machines really do not see the expense as a luxury. I've spent significant amounts on special wines or truffle dishes for a special occasion but I'm well aware that they are luxury purchases. i think most people spending the hundreds and sometimes thousands on the mediocre coffee from these makers believe they are not doing anything extravagant and would probably think your coffee purchases are silly. I could be wrong but the people I know who use these machines would think I got ripped off when I spent $17 last week on a bag of Guatemalan even though I spend far less per serving than they do.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        JeremyEG
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        HomeCookLocavore.com

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3. re: JeremyEG

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The #1 advantage of my SO traveling during the week.... I don't have to buy very many K-cups anymore (he doesn't like using the reusable cup). I don't drink coffee/tea/hot chocolate but the cups are part of the grocery bill, which I pay. When he's home during the week I spend about $30-40/mo just on those stupid kcups.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I have nobody to blame but myself... I brought the machine into the relationship. I won it in a giveaway. Before it entered the relationship, he was just fine with Folgers and Mr. Coffee. But now he's had something better he won't go back.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Grocery bill or not, he should pay for that. Idem if one partner drinks wine or beer and the other, no.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I say that as someone on the caffeine and wino side of the issue.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: lagatta

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Well without getting into specifics... the split of our household expenses is very very uneven, in my favor, so I have no issue paying for his coffee, even if I think it's silly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Anything labeled "organic"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Now, I don't always have the money necessary to get what I want from these guys all the time (you'll see the pricing). Nevertheless, this is luxury sh*t if ever there was any. I'm curious what others think about the "treats" available. I assure you, they provide "good eats". Maybe someone will find a splurge? If you wanna send me some live crawfish, or a tin of osetra, as a finder's fee, you're welcome to do so . . . .

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      http://www.farm-2-market.com/fish-sea...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        is it luxury or just over-priced? it's farmed seafood. or am I missing the sarcasm?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: seamunky

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          "[I]s it luxury or just over-priced?"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I'm not sure - kinda seems like a thin line between the two, no? Over a hundred bucks for four pounds'a wild, head on, white shrimp seems luxurious to me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            We have an elderly friend who, once her husband passed away, was blowing through money like we couldn't believe. I tried to describe her financial ability as she could have anything she wanted but not everything she wanted. Most of us have to make choices. There are things I won't buy that I'd enjoy and that makes room for the things I really, really want. PS: She fired us as her trustees and is continuing to squander her money :(

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I'm in complete accord. I quit a quarter-a-million dollar a year job over a decade ago. My life has been peppered with time when I had more money than I had time to enjoy it and others when I had more time than money to appreciate it. Grass is always greener, no?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Grass gets you through times with no money better than money gets through times with no grass.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: grampart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Agreed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I can afford 3 fingers worth now! (Of course I'm no longer a Middlesex County boy either......in the words of the immortal George Jefferson.....I'm moving on up!!)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Well played, old man, well played.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. I want to know if those fruits (often singles or a pair) for sale in Tokyo for over $100 are worth it. Are they THAT delicious? I'd love more info about that phenomenon in general, actually.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: montrealeater

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The musk melons and grapes are superior. As to whether they're worth it?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: bulavinaka

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Yeah I guess the 'worth it' thing is a personal call but you say they ARE very good? I have always wanted to try some of that fruit. Does it even exist in north america? Or, do we charge less for it? Or what? I want the Japanese $100 fruit thing explained to me damnit. I will ask Google later. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: montrealeater

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              These fruits are grown and handled with extreme care - I'm guessing there is no equal here in the States. The packaging is also specifically for formal gift giving. The melons have stamps indicating the optimal day of ripeness/day to eat it. No guesswork or tactile soothsaying involved. I'm sure lots of money is being made, but the quality in every respect is so apparent.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: montrealeater

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                No, those melons are not worth $100 a pop. It's about the perfection and care that went into create that perfectly shaped melon. It's usually a gift for someone important you want to impress like your boss. It's like buying a prada bag over a nine west bag.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Monica

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Thanks to you both for the explanations. I am disappoint because I wanted the answer to be "yes, those melons are worth $100 because they taste THAT good - I would pay $500 for them!" - I wanted there to be fruit this delicious for me to aspire to tasting. It's still cool tho. I wonder if there are specialty farms?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Many good answers here. One more I forgot that nobody has mentioned: Smoked Salmon. Just to make clear, it's not that I hate this stuff, but no big deal and unwilling to pay a big premium. If someone wants to feed me, great!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mwhitmore

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The thing that this thread brought to my mind is the trash/treasure thing. What I love and will be willing to pay for can be totally different from what some else love and will be willing to pay for. Life's good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Ain't it? We are so blessed...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: mwhitmore

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Yeah, lox is yet another thing that seemed like a good idea when it was $12 a pound. Barely worth it now.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Pzz

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  It definitely depends on the lox and there are many types.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Some of the best out there certainly *is* worth it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: mwhitmore

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I'll splurge on top-flight smoked salmon occasionally.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    And when I do I'm not buying a pound so the $ amount isn't the price/#.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: mwhitmore

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Here in B.C Canada they sell smoked salmon in such Elaborate packaging to Tourist it's a joke. I bet the packaging cost 10 x the salmon.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3. " If this stuff were dirt cheap, I wouldn't bother to make a sandwich out of it."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Comments like this make me wonder if you've tried, say, foie gras (and I mean the "good stuff") and decided that or do you just think it's overrated? I've certainly tried things and thought they weren't pleasing enough to me to justify the cost.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Yes, I have tried the *good stuff* at a Santa Barbara high-end Cal-French called, I think, Citrus. And it was...good. Just not all that. My initial comment may have been hyperbole, but I have had no desire to order it again, at any price. OTOH I think the fois gras ban is ridic.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: mwhitmore

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I appreciate your followup. For me, it IS worth it while some other things aren't. And I too think the ban is beyond "ridic."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Your post reminds me of a famous Christopher Hitchens quote about the four most overrated things in life. I won't post it here for fear of offending, but three of the things were food-related.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: ninrn

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        <I won't post it here for fear of offending, but three of the things were food-related.>

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        My hero. I doubt any one of them is Scotch.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: ninrn

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          There. I found out the Hitchens' list:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          champagne, lobsters, and picnics.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I agree with champagne and picnics for sure, but i do like lobster

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I like some kinds of picnics. We do ritual ones in the Montréal Botanical Gardens: on nice tables and benches, and awnings to take refuge if there is a shower or sun too bright. With beautiful trees and plants around us. Then we bring the food and wine we like, and chat for hours. Very pleasant.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Caviar, outside of potential bait when fishing, I have no other use for that stuff.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            9 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I'm curious. How would one use caviar as bait?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Something like this maybe? I suppose the sturgeon roe would be more difficult to get on a hook, though.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: grampart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Uh, yeah. Like impossible!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  OH.......I thought maybe he walked into a bar, found a lovely lady at the counter, then started dropping them like breadcrumbs....all the way to his apt. He meant fishing?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I used salmon eggs as bait many, many years ago. It never occurred to me at the time that people would eat them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: GH1618

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I remember doing that!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Trout caviar is a thing of beauty. I prefer it over any other kind.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Can't say I prefer it over any other, but it's quite tasty.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I've not tried it but now will keep an eye out. Thanks for the tip.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Wow, the last (and only) time i heard about Veal Prince Orloff was on a Mary Tyler Moore show episode. As i recall, Sue Ann made it for a special dinner that Mary was giving, and Lou invited himself to dinner taking more than his share of the VPO, leaving not enough for the remaining guests. Thanks for the memory, mwhitmore. They don't make TV shoes like that anymore.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: TroyTempest

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Agree, it popped into my head when listing possibly overrated foods. I have never actually tasted VPO, but I looked up the recipe in Escoffier. It seems like the kind of dish that is overelaborated for the sake of being fancy, not for the flavor. Or maybe veal needs all the help it can get!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. @OP, whenever I see your OP :), I wonder what you didn't like about the FB. I can't imagine anything more wonderful than FG on toasted brioche - kinda a sandwich!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I didn't dislike it. But I didn't think it was better than a chicken liver sauté. p.s. I'm glad you like it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mwhitmore

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Wow! There must have been something SERIOUSLY wrong with that piece then. Cause it doesn't taste like liver.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. specialty chocolates with chilis or spices in them
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          smoked salmon (eel, etc) or lox
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          wine(s)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          saffron (can't justify)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          sashimi
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          lobster