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Amazing, Awesome, and Incredible Food

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  • Steve May 31, 2013 06:19 AM
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Truly incredible. Not to be believed. I was amazed. Amazed and awed. I was filled with a sense of wonder. And veneration. Perhaps a feeling of dread also at what was to come of my life and the world around us.

Remember the first time you saw the Grand Canyon? Yeah, eating that mini-burger was all that and more.

No, scratch that. Awesome is not even a satisfactory way to describe the experience. It was super awesome.

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  1. Twizzlers

    1. Meal at the Fat Duck, in 2010. Then the world's second best restaurant (if you give any credit to the San Pellegrino awards).

      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/725893

      1. It is hard to pick just one because I have very vivid food memories from different periods in my life.

        I guess I will go with the real chocolate mousse I had around 13yo.

        1. La Spezia. Arrived on a late afternoon train. Checked in and went to a resto nearby that was recommended by the staff. Ordered a grilled seafood dish and a pitcher of the local wine. I'm still haunted by the memory of the flavor of the seafood. I've never had anything come close. Not even at Le Bernardin or EMP.

          1. the very first time I tried a triple creme cheese

            1 Reply
            1. re: HillJ

              That's right up there for me as well. It was around 1974, at a small cheese shop in San Francisco. I asked for a nice sharp cheddar, and the cheesemonger said "sure, but try this first".

              The cheese was L'Explorateur (76% butterfat) and it's still one of my favorites. I've had some peaches and white nectarines that fall into that category as well.

            2. Dungeness crab with butter and lemon. Still puts me in a state of rapture.

              1. I chalk it up to the impoverished state of the average American's vocabulary. FWIW you see a lot more "awesomes" and "amazings" on Yelp than you do on CH.

                6 Replies
                1. re: Bob Martinez

                  That is probably because Yelpers think it is sufficient to describe food as "awesome", whereas Chowhounders are more likely to tell you that it "was perfectly cooked to medium rare but needed a tad more seasoning".

                  Mercifully, "awesome" has not generally entered the vocabulary of those of us who speak English English.

                  1. re: Harters

                    I didn't start traveling to the UK until my early 30s and it was a revelation to me. In the U.S. articulate people are looked upon with suspicion. God help you if you use a word that someone else doesn't know. People act as if you're trying to show them up.

                    In the UK you're *expected* to be articulate. It's the norm, not the exception. I found the whole experience liberating - it freed me up to use the words that fit best.

                    1. re: Bob Martinez

                      It depends on the crowd but I also think Americans are far more expressive, facially, and can get across the meaning. I say that as someone who's spent time with the deaf community and used sign language.

                    2. re: Harters

                      I think it was Queer Eyes for the Straight Guy where one of the hosts said you can tell a heterosexual woman by how often the word "awesome" was used. I rarely use it in everyday speaking but when I'm teaching a fitness class, it's a quick, easy word to get the idea across, without excessive verbiage while doing burpees.

                      1. re: chowser

                        I'm one who rebels against the overuse of "awesome." There are few things (maybe the Grand Canyon being one) which truly inspires "awe" in me. Cheaply made jewelry on QVC doesn't cut it (only bring it up 'cause a friend made me watch last night, and I had over my yearly quota of "awesome")

                      2. re: Harters

                        I thought that it meant that a guy was very well endowed.

                    3. The Carpaccio at the Angus Zone in Saint-Agapit Quebec.

                      1. Roganic (London) last year. Had to stop eating at one point due to sensory overload.
                        Burger I had yesterday in a London pub comes a close second

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Paprikaboy

                          If you enjoyed Roganic, PB, then going to have to come to the north west to try the mother ship.

                        2. Steve, dear, you are missing the most important word. I will revise it a bit for you:

                          *Like*, truly incredible. Not to be, *like*, believed. I was *like*, amazed. Amazed and awed. I was filled with *like* a sense of like wonder. And veneration. Perhaps *like* dread also at what was to come of *like* my life and *like* the world around us.

                          Sigh.... I hear this all too often in conversations about food! I was sitting near two young ladies in a little cafe not too long ago, and they were describing their mac and cheese as *like* the most *like* best dish in *like* the city!

                          5 Replies
                          1. re: iluvcookies

                            Too true.

                            1. re: iluvcookies

                              need to add a few kindas

                              As in kinda like

                              1. re: iluvcookies

                                "ya know?"

                                1. re: ricepad

                                  And at least two sentences need to start with "So I ..."

                                  1. re: lsmutko

                                    This comes across as kind of pedantic. I can not imagine writing, "so I..." but verbalizing this does not seem egregious.
                                    Or I like have been in California too long soooo..."

                              2. This is one of those threads that makes me aware of what the mean age on Chowhound probably is.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: lamb_da_calculus

                                  A few years old, but things probably haven't changed that much.
                                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6030...

                                2. Sadly enough I have never had the pleasure of eating food that rose above the level of very delicious. Never had any amazing food, food that I wished to venerate or food that I would chose to die for.

                                  I have not given up hope yet.

                                  10 Replies
                                  1. re: kengk

                                    YES !!!! To Die For!!!! How could I have missed that one?

                                    Best. Hyperbole. Ever.

                                    I forgot.... because I just had an oatmeal cookie that was like crack.

                                    1. re: Steve

                                      I'm rather enjoying the two very different paths on which your thread veered:

                                      1. What the best thing a Hound ever tasted was and perhaps where it was had.

                                      2. Overused hyperbolic words used to excess in describing the taste of a dish.

                                      :-)

                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                        I know, it's great!

                                        Sorry, I can't stop myself.

                                        1. re: Steve

                                          "it's great"

                                          A pitiful example of hyperbole in comparision with your other offerings, Steve. I am, literally, astonished.

                                          1. re: Harters

                                            Yeah, I guess the awesomers' wellspring of verbiage is based more on repetition than depth.

                                      2. re: Steve

                                        I literally died the first time I had sushi. Must have been the fugu.

                                        1. re: Chatsworth

                                          I literally died the first time the flavor literally exploded in my mouth.

                                        2. re: Steve

                                          Where? Share.

                                          1. re: chowser

                                            On a street corner. I scored the oatmeal cookie from my connection. It really was like crack.

                                            1. re: Steve

                                              I need your connections.

                                      3. The veal with crab and asparagus at my favorite Italian restaurant. It was delicious. Not "awesome." It was, after all, meat and seafood and veg. Not the face of God, though the wine was pretty damn good.

                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: RosePearl

                                          Ok, the Face of God is a new one for me. I prefer the Breasts of Tiresias, but I doubt that will catch on with the 'awesomers.'

                                          1. re: Steve

                                            Silly. You must use Boobies of Tiresias for it to catch on.

                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                              Linda, you're right.
                                              Linda, you're absolutely fan-TAS-tic!

                                              Thank you, that IS funny. OMG.

                                        2. One of my pals has recently been bitten by the Gasm Bug. She's a baker, so I am frequently regaled with accounts of Piegasms! and Chocogasms! and Cakegasms! There was even a Merengue-gasm. (Mind you, I am a fan of meringues, but am of the opinion that the Merengue-gasm is, um, faked. Or maybe just at the level of pleasant hug...) I told her to avoid bakeries; she might scare other customers.

                                          The + gasm thing has gotten a little eye-roll inducing. Maybe more folks need a better honest-to-goodness reference point?

                                          9 Replies
                                          1. re: cayjohan

                                            Maybe your friend hasn't had a real good original gasm to realize that no baked good came truly come close.

                                            1. re: Bkeats

                                              Right?

                                            2. re: cayjohan

                                              She must have a great dance partner if she has merengue-gasms. I wonder if salsa does it for her too ;)

                                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                I love it! I don't often type these letters, but: LOL(ololo, etc...)! Apparently my spellcheck recognizes dance > confections! When I think about it, there's some support right there for a nascent thesis on the "why" of it all: her husband only does the polka. And her salsa of choice is Frito-lay. Gal needs to live a little!

                                                1. re: cayjohan

                                                  I'm glad you appreciated my joke :) I figured you would but humor doesn't always translate so well here...

                                                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                    My internal-translator goes to humor as a first search, honestly! And now I know the perfect pairing of music and treats for my pal's upcoming visit! Can't wait to tell her about this - she'll love it!

                                                  2. re: cayjohan

                                                    Does a Frito lay lead to gasms?
                                                    Hithertobefore I had thought that eating beans led to gasms.

                                                2. re: cayjohan

                                                  Well, if "cooking shows" produce food porn, then it makes sense that eating would be an orgasmic experience.
                                                  The first I ever ate real Belgium chocolate mousse my brain literally exploded. This explains my mental deficiencies to this day.

                                                  1. re: Kalivs

                                                    .

                                                3. I don't know, but I make this hot pepper dip (1 pound of habaneros, 1 head of garlic, 1 bunch of cilantro and olive oil) and everyone always starts with the oooohs and ahhhhs after they taste it. Oh, and they are speechless and cry sometimes - they must be feeling what you are describing!

                                                  3 Replies
                                                  1. re: acssss

                                                    Habanero-gasmic!

                                                    1. re: cayjohan

                                                      oh, so that's what the ooohing was about... and here I thought my dip tasted so good

                                                      1. re: acssss

                                                        If ooohing is the ambient sound, I'd say you're spot on with your dish!

                                                  2. Hilarious...

                                                    1. As a quick thought, first thing that came to mind was tom yum soup. In Thailand with tons of lemongrass, it was stand up and applaud. Still love it.

                                                      1. A gorgeous freshly baked apple strudel.

                                                        In a normal location it would've been very god. But I had it in Namche Bazar, and that made it the awesomest awesome that ever awesomed.

                                                        1. Kabayaki in Kyoto, July 2000- my first time trying unagi. It was at a beautiful restaurant (have no idea where it was/if it's still there) with small streams running through the interior, and eel, blissfully ignorant of their fate, swimming around immaculately placed (and maintained) tanks.

                                                          Discovering Manadonese cooking in Indonesia, early 2008- arguably the spiciest regional cuisine in the archipelago, and I couldn't get enough of it. Fish (ie, skipjack tuna), squid and fruit bat, liberally "outnumbered" by bird's eye chilies and tomatoes. There was a certain freshness that seemed greatly lacking in another rival - makanan Padang - for fieriest eats, but that also might have been disguised by the lime juice present in Manadonese sambal. Desserts are a treat too, but I could eat the savory plates everyday and all day.

                                                          Künefe, Turkey, January 2006- as pleasant as Istanbul (specifically, but all of Turkey counts too) is for wandering and eating, künefe is the one food that I'd go the extra distance for. Luckily, it's common in that country so that distance might just be crossing a street, but when not in the eastern Mediterranean, the going gets tough.

                                                          Jonathan
                                                          http://buildingmybento.wordpress.com/
                                                          http://collaterallettuce.com/

                                                          1. Feeling seriously old here. When I first read the op, I assumed it to be about the deterioration of the meaning of superlatives. What is now “amazing” used to be really good. What is now “awesome” used to be excellent. Oh, well. I’ll just sneak off and go deposit my social security check.

                                                            3 Replies
                                                            1. re: JoanN

                                                              Yeah language does that. Meanings evolve an' stuff.

                                                              Happened to "obsessed". Now it no longer refers to an extreme and unhealthy attraction but merely to liking something for the moment--usually due to a recent popularity.

                                                              1. re: JoanN

                                                                The other overuse that gets to me is "stunning." I'm seldom, if ever "stunned" by something. Good or nice is nowhere near stunning.

                                                                1. re: pine time

                                                                  I actually ate lunch backstage at Radio City Music Hall with the Rockettes. I can tell you, that meal (or maybe it was my dinning companions) was ABSOLUTELY STUNNING!!

                                                              2. This is why we need to go to newspeak and get rid of excessive adjectives. No more awesome, incredible, amazing. It was double plus good. It was triple plus ungood. Done. Numbers are definite, no attempted creativity needed.

                                                                1. Those pig's feet we had in Chartres were marvellous, but my gastronomic life has been one damned epiphany after another, often under mundane circumstances. My first lamb chop, for instance, was in the cafeteria in the basement of Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry, and no less life-changing for that. My first real pizza, my first sushi - in both cases, my inner sense was that I'd discovered a vital food group my body had craved forever but only just now found. Tripe I'd had as an ingredient in canned Pepper Pot soup (Campbell's still has it, but hard to find and badly dumbed down), but to be served a gratin dish of it in the form of Tripes Provençal, at Café Europa on the Cours Mirabeau in Aix-En-Provence, was a whole 'nother universe of Innards Love. My first skate wing, roast goose, the young raccoon my mom braised the same way she did the other small game Dad brought home, my Grandma Kuntz's oatmeal-date bars, my first grits'n'eggs at 3 AM at a roadside diner in Nashville … all those defining moments in a mostly enjoyable long journey, superseded but never forgotten.

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: Will Owen

                                                                    "often under mundane circumstances"

                                                                    Perhaps, like me, you derive enormous pleasure through humble rather than vainglorious efforts. Those monstrous gothic cathedrals in Europe leave me cold, but a small wooden church can have me welling up with tears.

                                                                  2. I am totally blown away by how this blogger Frankensteined the ultimate, ridiculous, perfect, amazing, awesome, insane coconut cake.
                                                                    She did not, however, mention whether it is to die for.
                                                                    http://willowbirdbaking.com/2013/04/0...

                                                                    1. Walking into a Japanese convenience store for the first time. Then, on the same day, discovering a department store food hall. That summer of 2000 day was a bit overwhelming.

                                                                      Traveling somewhere that didn't just have hot dogs and pretzels on the street. Although as a NYer, I was a fan of those two choices, Jakarta, Istanbul, Bangkok, numerous Chinese cities, etc. are all in a completely different league.

                                                                      I still haven't learned to eschew ice when ordering a drink, but when that day comes...

                                                                      Jonathan
                                                                      http://buildingmybento.com
                                                                      http://collaterallettuce.com

                                                                      1. Just been reading a post on another board (one where someone might advise you about your trip - if you get my drift).

                                                                        Person spends a week in this resort area. Mainly eats in chains or obviously downmarket crap places - all of which are AMAZING at worst and, at best, are mega-stellar AWESOME.

                                                                        Unfortunately it is a town that gets barely a mention on Chowhound so I may have to take luck on the AWESOME places.

                                                                        1. It is funny how this thread is heading in two directions. So I'll say I had a meal at a place in Zurich that was amazingly cheese-gasmic and it made me way more excited than the Grand Canyon. The half and half fondue, and an assortment of dried meats from this place:
                                                                          http://www.fribourger-fondue-stuebli....
                                                                          The mangtor had a job interview there a few years back. Sadly, he would have needed to make a gazillion billion dollars yearly to make Switzerland life work.

                                                                          1. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9071...

                                                                            1. Dessert at Gravetye Manor, near Gatwick, in the late 80's. Also was fun staying there

                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                              1. re: FriedClamFanatic

                                                                                I fear you may have missed the humourous point of the thread, FCF.

                                                                                At least I hope so. I know the food at Gravetye and it's much too good to be named in this thread.

                                                                                1. re: Harters

                                                                                  LOl.probably...........T-storms were closing in and I was reading fast

                                                                              2. The first time I ever made a beurre blanc successfully. My first taste of grilled halloumi cheese. Clement Faugier sweet chestnut paste. Passion fruit. Guava paste.