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hard boiled egg not peeling right [moved from General Chowhounding]

Kenji at Seriouseats has recently done the ultimate double blind testing of the best way to cook hard boiled eggs for easy peeling.

http://www.seriouseats.com/2014/05/th...

May 21, 2014
mpad in Home Cooking
2

Please help me eat papaya

In Mexico papaya is usually eaten with a good squeeze of lime and salt. Really brings out the flavor.

Jul 18, 2013
mpad in General Topics
2

Does Seattle have it's own cool coffee place like Intelligensia or Blue Bottle?

I think Cafe Nervosa is quite popular with medical professionals and media personalities.

Feb 13, 2013
mpad in Greater Seattle

Frozen Tofu - Miso Soup

Koya dofu is freeze dried not just frozen. Don't know how it is processed, but it is a dried product, not a frozen product. Once it is rehydrated it has a spongy texture, not at all like regular tofu, but its sponginess means it absorbs a lot of flavor from the liquid it is cooked in. Mt. Koya is the site of a lot of Buddhist temples, so it may well have been developed as a meat substitute for Buddhist vegetarian cuisine (shojin ryori). Though Japanese Buddhist cooking doesn't really try to imitate meat as much as Chinese Buddhist cooking does.

I've never had frozen tofu, but it seems that it does change color and texture, not in an unpleasant way, but just different from fresh tofu, so I agree with gnomatic that you should only use it in soup if you want that chewier texture.

Feb 09, 2013
mpad in Home Cooking

food shopping at Winners

As with anything else at Winners you have to be selective. A lot of their food can be more expensive than comparative quality other places, for example olive oil. That being said, I have found some great bargains there as well. Once they had DO (Denominacion de Origin) paella rice from Spain and I bought up every bag I could find. Also interesting risotto rice from Italy, not just Superfino Arborio but also Vialone Nano and Carnaroli. I also get a lot of very good teas there, though I usually wait until it is on clearance for around $3 a box.

Jan 30, 2013
mpad in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Survey: Preference for Materials of Kitchen Knife Handles.

Thanks. Maybe I'll give it a try on one of my knives and see if I like it.

Jan 29, 2013
mpad in Cookware

Survey: Preference for Materials of Kitchen Knife Handles.

Does the tung oil change the feel or texture of the wood?

Jan 29, 2013
mpad in Cookware

Survey: Preference for Materials of Kitchen Knife Handles.

Are you just using regular mineral oil?

Jan 29, 2013
mpad in Cookware

Survey: Preference for Materials of Kitchen Knife Handles.

I quite like the Fibrox handles on the Forschner/Victorinox knives. Halfway between plastic and rubber it doesn't slip in your hand, even when covered in grease.

For Japanese knives I quite like the wood handles. They also have enough texture and absorbency not to slip. Personally, I like the feel of the octagonal handles best.

Speaking of Japanese wood handles, I was wondering whether people oil or wax them or just leave them as is.

Jan 29, 2013
mpad in Cookware

Uses for walnut oil?

I brown some butter and before it is done add some shallots and chopped walnuts, trying to aim for all three to be done at the same time. Adding a glug of walnut oil stops the cooking. Pour over boiled green beans. Parmesan cheese optional.

Jan 16, 2013
mpad in Home Cooking

Is it possible to dislike an entire country's worth of food?

Who said "it's clear that you have no idea what real Mexican food is"? I can't find the quote when I search for it.

I'm sorry you find disagreement haughty. Everybody has a right to an opinion but that does not make all opinions equally valid. And the fact that someone has the right to state an opinion does not mean that no one else has the right to disagree with it and outline their case why they believe the first opinion was wrong. The opinion I disagreed with was NOT whether or not he was right to dislike a certain cuisine but whether he was correct in his identification of the cuisine. That is for the most part not a matter of pure opinion but one in which certain evidence may be presented and discussed.

There are many many subjects that I am not familiar with. I will readily admit that I know next to nothing about medieval history or engineering of bridges or particle physics or any number of other subjects. I may have some small understanding based on what I may have read in the press or online, but I would recognize that if I find myself in disagreement with a professor in one of those subjects or even someone who took an undergraduate course a long time ago or even someone who had just read a book or two on the subject, I would recognize that maybe their knowledge might be better than mine and consider whether I may need to adjust my understanding or might want to do more research to confirm my beliefs. Nobody obliges me to do so, but I would want to. I wouldn't consider this person haughty for pointing out where I might lack a full understanding of the subject.

Now, I am no expert on Mexican cuisine but I have a certain amount of experience that is more than most people have and so I share my thoughts on a forum meant to discuss food. I have NEVER suggested that a poster doesn't have a right to dislike whatever food he cares to. The poster can go ahead and hate that food and never eat it again and I would have no problem with that. All I suggested is that based on certain phrases used in his post, in my experience it was likely that the poster's dislike was of Mexican American food and not Mexican food. My suggestion was also based on probability, given the dearth of good quality Mexican restaurants compared to Mexican American. What the poster cares to do with that information is none of my business.

If I am wrong in my interpretation of the type of "Mexican" restaurants the poster had sampled I apologize, but this poster has provided no further evidence that I am mistaken.

Jan 14, 2013
mpad in General Topics

Is it possible to dislike an entire country's worth of food?

This is interesting. Sometimes it is harder to see culture from the inside than from the outside. To us it seems impossible to define American food since it looks so varied from the inside and we are aware of the history and variability of dishes. Maybe those on the outside see some commonality that those of us inside don't or maybe that perceived commonality is incorrect and based only on a limited exposure to the true amount of variability, as when American food is dismissed by Europeans as just hamburgers and hot dogs.

Might the same be true for us here looking in on the cuisines of others? To us here with a limited experience of Japanese food filtered through what is available in restaurants here that may or may not be mediocre representations, Japanese cuisine might seem quite limited. But to a Japanese person they would see a lot of variability--What links sushi, tempura, yakitori, ramen, soba, tonkatsu, okonomiyaki, oyako donburi, sukiyaki and yudofu together? (And that list doesn't include hundreds of more dishes). They would be aware of the Portugese origins of tempura. Is ramen Japanese now no longer a Chinese dish? What about the yoshoku dishes such as hambagu, kareraisu and so on? Are they Japanese or foreign food?

The same would be true of a Thai or Mexican or French or Italian who would be aware of regional variability and influences from other cultures (Chinese Thai for example) in their cuisines that we might not be aware of from an outsider's perspective.

Jan 14, 2013
mpad in General Topics

Is it possible to dislike an entire country's worth of food?

But what if your supermarket only stocked one kind of cheese--Velveeta--and consequently this was the only kind of cheese you had ever tried. And so when you complain on a certain forum for the discussion of food that you don't like cheese you say that it is because you don't like neon orange color or the rubbery texture or the artificial flavor. Based on the adjectives you've used to describe your reasons for disliking cheese those of us with more experience of other type of cheeses might suspect that it is possible that you've only ever tried Velveeta and might suggest that you might try other more authentic varieties before condemning all cheese as neon orange, rubbery textured and artifically flavored.

Are you obligated to do so? Of course not. If you try some aged Parmesan, real Cheddar, unpasteurized Brie, etc. and then decide that you still don't like cheese would that be wrong? Of course not. Not everybody has to like everything. If you never wanted to try cheese again that would be none of my business.

But your condemning all cheese based on a narrow sample that is not representative of what cheese can be would not be right. Understandable maybe given the lack of alternatives at your theoretical supermarket, but not right. You need not go to the extreme of trying every single cheese variety in the world to broaden your your sample, though, before coming to an informed opinion.

Unfortunately the state of most "Mexican" food outside of its home country is Velveeta. (To use the example I presume you are alluding to.) Based on what is most widely served in "Mexican" restaurants it isn't the average diner's fault if they were to believe that burritos and chimichangas and fajitas were the extent of Mexican cuisine.

While I would never, of course, butt in on someone's private conversation on why they dislike this kind of "Mexican" food to try to explain to them that what they ate wasn't real Mexican food, this is a forum for discussing food and so don't think it is "arrogant" to comment on opinions about food expressed by others here, whether on cheese or on Mexican food. To express a differing opinion is not equivalent to saying that the original poster did not have the right to express his opinion in the first place. It is simply expressing a differing opinion and trying to provide reasons why I believe this poster's opinion might be misinformed.

I and other commenters did not assume for no reason that just becuse a certain poster disliked Mexican food it must be because he hadn't tried enough of the real McCoy. The mention of liking fajitas but not the other offerings in Mexican restaurants set off red flags that the poster is very likely not eating in authentically Mexican restaurants, which would not be serving fajitas, but rather in Mexican American restaurants. Mentioning that everything is accompanied by refried beans also triggered these red flags, The characterization of Mexican food as overcooked meat with gloppy sauces does not concord with the experience of those of us who have been fortunate to eat in good quality Mexican restaurants here or in Mexico. And so we simply pointed out that this poster's dislike was probably of Mexican American food and not of Mexican food.

If we are trying to increase the knowledge and understanding of Mexican cuisine or Japanese cuisine or cheese or any other aspect of food and dining, that should be the function of a site like Chowhound. People can take or leave what I post, that is their perogative, but shutting down discussion can't serve what one presumes Chowhound is supposed to be about.

Jan 14, 2013
mpad in General Topics

Is it possible to dislike an entire country's worth of food?

I'll play those odds. It wasn't only me commenting on the fact that Sal's description of Mexican food did not agree with what we understand Mexican food to be from our experiences. But then, it is not my acquaintance with REAL Mexican food that matters--it is that of 112 million Mexicans.

If Sal cares to clarify what exactly he has eaten in his Mexican restaurants and it included not enchiladas or burritos or fajitas, but included any of birria, barbacoa, chilorio, moles (poblano, manchamanteles, colorado, amarillo, negro, etc), chiles en nogada, pozole, menudo, cochinita pibil, papadzules or panuchos I'd be pleased to be proven wrong.

Jan 13, 2013
mpad in General Topics

Is it possible to dislike an entire country's worth of food?

This is about the fifth time on this discussion that I am repeating that I have no problem with someone not liking Mexican food. No one is required to swoon in rapture. Lots of people may not like it. I HAVE NO PROBLEM WITH THAT. I have pointed out that there are cuisines I don't particularly like.

I am no "gatekeeper" to authentic Mexican food but I have lived in Mexico and so have tried the real thing. And so I am in a position to be able to say that the large majority of restaurants serving "Mexican" food in here and serving food that would not be recognized as Mexican in Mexico. Calling a restaurant "Mexican" does not make it so if it is not serving Mexican food. Having also lived in Japan I can also say with confidence that if you think your teriyaki bento lunch special is representative of real Japanese food you'd be mistaken.

I can call a hamburger a 28 day aged ribeye steak but that doesn't make it one. But the situation here is that almost all of the steakhouses ("Mexican" restaurants) are serving hamburger (burritos) to people who don't know any better. If you know that you've eaten hamburger and on that basis don't want to try a 28 day aged ribeye steak then fine, But you can't go around claiming you've eaten the steak and you didn't like it 'cause it was crumbly and overcooked and the bread made it hard to appreciate the meat.

Jan 13, 2013
mpad in General Topics

Is it possible to dislike an entire country's worth of food?

What umbrage do I have? I don't care whether sal_acid likes Mexican food or not. I frankly don't understand the idea that sal_acid has the right to post his opinions regarding Mexican food but somehow I don't have the right to disagree with those opinions.

Jan 13, 2013
mpad in General Topics

Is it possible to dislike an entire country's worth of food?

For the umpteenth time, I don't care what sal_acid or you like or don't like. You have the right to like or dislike whatever you want. If you want to lump Japanese, Korean, Chinese (the various regions), Vietnamese, Thai, Burmese and Malaysian cooking all together as "Asian" and decide you don't like any of it that is none of my concern.

But we are participating in a discussion here and statements were made that I felt I had relevant experience to comment on. I never said that sal_acid had no right to dislike Mexican food. In fact, I've said numerous times that he is perfectly free to come to that decision. I simply said, which I continue to believe, that having apparently never eaten real Mexican food he may want to reserve his judgement until he has had a chance to try the real McCoy.

The state of Mexican food outside of Mexico is particularly bad. The fact is that it would be difficult for most people casually eating in "Mexican" restaurants here to come to any kind of appreciation of what the real cuisine is sad. That is probably changing with time.

Have you seen the movie Big Night? The state of Mexican food outside of Mexico is like the state of "Italian" food in the U.S. in the 50s. If you've seen the movie you'll recall the frustration of the chef when all the customers kept demanding spaghetti with meatballs and red sauce and wouldn't try the risottos or any of the other great and authentic food he wanted to be cooking.

Mexican cuisine is so deeply misunderstood outside of Mexico that it is just a shame when it is misrepresented as "overcooked meat with gloppy sauces and refried beans." And one would think one of the functions of Chowhound is to be able to discuss this.

In Mexico most "sushi" is rolls filled with Philadelphia cream cheese dipped in soy sauce with minced chiles. I'd be equally frustrated with a Mexican who dismissed all Japanese cuisine on this basis.

Jan 13, 2013
mpad in General Topics

Is it possible to dislike an entire country's worth of food?

Then why bother posting on Chowhound at all. If we aren't here to talk about our experiences in food then what is the point. It isn't about giving a damn what someone likes or dislikes it is about talking about the how's and why's of food.

If someone posted on one of the boards that they hated the food at a restaurant that you enjoyed over repeated visits would you not post that your experiences were different. Again, if not for the benefit of the original poster but for the benefit of others who might dismiss a good restaurant on the basis of what you feel is an atypical experience?

Jan 13, 2013
mpad in General Topics

Is it possible to dislike an entire country's worth of food?

Taco Bell is hardly the only lousy Mexican food in the U.S. If you want to believe that when you eat your chimichanga and drink your frozen margarita with "premium" Jose Cuervo Especial tequila you're experiencing good and authentic Mexican food I don't care. But if you are then going out and trying to convince others that this qualifies you to make pronouncements on Mexican cuisine in general then I reserve the right to make a counter argument.

I find it funny how Sal seems to have the right to make his pronouncements on Mexican food but I don't have the right to make mine.

Jan 13, 2013
mpad in General Topics

Is it possible to dislike an entire country's worth of food?

No one's getting hurt but this is a forum to discuss food, so that is what we're doing.

Let's say that this foreigner is writing in Chowhound about how American food is nothing but greasy soggy fried chicken and skinny little meat patties on steamed buns. Would you not contribute to the discussion, if not for the benefit of that particular foreigner but maybe for the benefit of others, by pointing out that KFC and McDonald's isn't the sum of American food and that there are lots of other and much better options to try.

Would you not encourage him to try regional barbecue styles or the cooking of Louisiana or suggest better restaurants he might try before dismissing the entire cuisine of America?

Jan 13, 2013
mpad in General Topics

Is it possible to dislike an entire country's worth of food?

sal_acid has characterized the Mexican food he has tried as "overcooked meat with gloppy sauces and refried beans". This description is inconsistent with Mexican food as understood not just by me but also by several other posters here who are familiar with Mexican cooking, whether in Mexico or in good quality restaurants in the U.S. On the other hand it seems consistent with the food served at burrito platter type "Mexican" restaurants. Those with a familiarity with Mexican food will recognize that nachos, burritos, chimichangas and so on served at these types of restaurants do not bear much of a resemblance to food prepared in Mexico.

On this basis several posters have broached whether it may be the case that sal_acid has simply not tried good quality Mexican restaurants and so would lack the experience to determine whether he truly dislikes Mexican food or rather dislikes "Mexican" food--the stodgy, heavy cheese laden stuff served at most Mexican American restaurants.

Jan 13, 2013
mpad in General Topics

Is it possible to dislike an entire country's worth of food?

No one is obliging you to keep eating food you don't like. If you never care to seek out good Mexican food that is none of my business.

From the comments you have made, though, it is very clear that you have never had quality Mexican food. And yet you have made very broad pronouncements dismissing the entire cusine as "overcooked meat with gloppy sauces and refried beans". All that people are pointing out to you is that you have never had good Mexican food and so may want to keep an open mind about the cuisine until you have that opportunity.

Commenters are not concerned about your opinion being different from theirs. They are more concerned that your dismissal may discoiurage someone else from delving in to this complex and widely misunderstood cuisine. On the internet nobody knows you are a dog, as the old New Yorker cartoon goes. Those commenting on your post are doing so not to try to convince you to eat something you don't want to but to point out to others that your opinion on Mexican cuisine may not be the best informed.

Jan 13, 2013
mpad in General Topics

Is it possible to dislike an entire country's worth of food?

I'm not discounting someone's experience. I have stated many times throughout this discussion that someone who has tried Mexican American restaurant cuisine and not like it has that right. I have no objection to someone not liking Mexican American restaurant cuisine. For that matter I have no objection to someone who has had a sampling of good and authentic Mexican cuisine, in Mexico or in good restaurants in the U.S. or by trying cooking out of cookbooks by recognized authorities such as Diana Kennedy or Rick Bayless, and then decides they don't like Mexican food on this basis. I for example, don't particularly like Indian food, and that is on the basis of not only eating in a variety of Indian restaurants here, but also of a month of eating in India. I personally will still make effort to continue to eat Indian food because I believe that for me it is an acquired taste and lots of people whose opinion I respect very much appreciate Indian food. But if someone didn't want to do this in their case for Mexican or any other cuisine I have absolutely no objection to it.

But what I have objected to is the dismissal of an entire cuisine on what must be recognized as insufficient evidence to do so. I have used Mexican as an example because I have lived there and in Japan and have personal experience with these cuisines and how they compare to what is available in restaurants here. There are lots of other cuisines that I do not have that much experience with but I'd recognize that I shouldn't dismiss all, say Vietnamese food because I think pho that I've tried here is boring.

What would we think of a foreigner who had only tried McDonald's and KFC and proceded on that basis to dismiss all American food?

Jan 13, 2013
mpad in General Topics

Is it possible to dislike an entire country's worth of food?

I guess the point is that this discussion is on Chowhound and there is an assumption that people commenting here have an interest in food and a curiosity in trying new and different foods. Lots of people don't have an interest in food--it is simply fuel. But for those who do one would hope for a certain curiosity to try new foods.

Lots of foods are acquired tastes. If everybody who tried olives or strong cheeses or wine or Islay scotch or caviar or spicy food gave up because they didn't like it the first time there'd be a lot of people missing out on a lifetime of good eating experiences. Sometimes you have to push through and and trust that the many many people who appreciate these things know something you don't yet and learn to appreciate them.

Wisdom is knowing what you don't know. Giving a try of an unfamiliar cuisine at one or two mediocre ethnic restaurants in the U.S. should be recognized does not provide you enough information to make sweeping generalizations about an entire cuisine.

Trying the burrito platter at the local cheap "Mexican" joint in the neighborhood and not liking the food because you find it stodgy is fair enough. Deciding after trying a few such "Mexican" meals that you don't like Mexican-American restaurant cuisine and that with a world of other culinary possibilities you don't want to waste stomach space eating at those types of restaurants again is also fair enough.

But dismissing an entire cuisine--one widely recognized as among the world's greats--as "overcooked meat with gloppy sauces and refried beans" on this basis is not right. One should perhaps realize that Mexican cuisine is highly regarded by other people with more experience in it and that UNESCO didn't recognize Mexican cuisine at the same time as French cuisineas an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity for no reason.

One may or may not want to then persevere through and make an attempt to eat at better regarded Mexican restaurants in the U.S. or to read books by authors like Diana Kennedy or Rick Bayless or even to try going to Mexico to try the real cuisine in its home. Not wanting to make those efforts is fair enough, but then you also can't in fairness make the claim that you have experienced enough of Mexican cooking to make sweeping generalizations about it.

Jan 13, 2013
mpad in General Topics

Steak Safety re:mechanical tenderizing

Costco used to be my go to for steaks, but now all of them, including ribeyes and strips have warning labels that they must be cooked to well done because they've used mechanical tenderizing. Why tenderize a steak that is already tender like the ribeye, especially since doing so poses a health risk to customers.

I'm in Alberta and they're stilill doing this even after the practice infected people with e coli here.

Jan 13, 2013
mpad in General Topics

Is it possible to dislike an entire country's worth of food?

Many cuisines have a set of ingredients and combinations of flavors that they draw on. That is what distinguishes the flavors of one cuisine from another. For example:

Japanese: dashi (katsuobushi and konbu), soy sauce, miso, sake and mirin. One way or another those ingredients will be in virtually every Japanese dish. Others common but not in every dish would include rice vinegar, nori, sesame seeds, katsuobushi, ginger, wasabi, Japanese mustard, daikon and lots of others.

Mexican: dried chiles (ancho, pasilla, guajillo, arbol, chipotle), fresh chiles, tomato, tomatillo, herbs (cilantro, epazote, hoja santa, Mexican oregano), nixtamalized corn.

Indian: lots of spices used in complex combinations (cumin, coriander, cardamom, fenugreek, asafoetida, amchur, mustard seeds, turmeric to name just a few), chiles

Jan 12, 2013
mpad in General Topics

Is it possible to dislike an entire country's worth of food?

That reminds me of the menus at the small lodges on the trails hiking in Nepal. The menus would advertise pizza, burritos, falafel, and a range of other international options. but no matter which you ordered the result would be the same--a chapati with tomato sauce, paneer and dal.

Jan 12, 2013
mpad in General Topics

Is it possible to dislike an entire country's worth of food?

I'll give credit to someone who's cooked out of Diana Kennedy's books as having given real Mexican food a try and so fair enough for them to then say they don't like Mexican food.

I have no problem with people not liking the flavor profiles in Mexican or any other cuisine, so long as they've tried a sufficient cross sample of the real thing to be making an informed decision.

The truth about many ethnic restaurants is that they aren't serving a very "authentic" (and I know that the very meaning of authentic can trigger huge debates in Chowhound) food. This can be from a lack of availability of ingredients or because financially they figure they need to broaden their appeal or for other reasons. Most immigrants who open restaurants don't come with a lot of cooking experience but opening a restaurant is seen as the best path to operating their own business.

Little of the Vietnamese food I've had here tastes much like what I ate in Vietnam. Many Vietnamese immigratns were ethnic Chinese from the south and so the restaurants they opened don't necessarily reflect the full breadth of the country's cuisine.

But having lived in both countries, what is passed off as "Mexican" or "Japanese" in restaurants here is particularly egregious.

Jan 12, 2013
mpad in General Topics

Is it possible to dislike an entire country's worth of food?

Years ago I got severe food poisoning at one of the Indian canteens in the old Chungking Mansions in Hong Kong and it took me years before the smell of Indian food didn't make me nauseous by association (it made travelling around India a few months later quite difficult!)

I still can't say I like Indian food much, but I can recognize that the problem is with me and not with the cuisine and I do make an effort to eat at Indian restaurants once in a while.

Jan 12, 2013
mpad in General Topics

Is it possible to dislike an entire country's worth of food?

With all due respect, having lived in Mexico I can say that it is not very likely at all that you've had a real sampling of the true range of Mexican cuisine. Your again reducing Mexican cuisine to "overcooked meat with gloppy sauces and refried beans" demonstrates that you have not had real Mexican food. Just because a restaurant in Texas, Delaware, Pennsylvania, etc. says it is "Mexican" doesn't mean that it really is. I'm sure that 99% of the "Mexican" restaurants in the U.S. specialize in the nachos, burritos and frozen margaritas. There may well be Mexicans in the kitchen (there are in French and Italian restaurants as well) and there may even be Mexican Americans eating there but that still doesn't mean they are serving Mexican food and not a version designed to appeal to the American (and even second and third-generation Mexican American) conception of what Mexican food is.

If you want to say that you don't like "Mexican-American" food that would be fair enough, but it does not seem like you have had sufficient experience with the real cuisine of Mexico to be in a position to be able to pronounce whether you like it or not.

To be frank, having lived also in Japan, the same would be true of the majority of Americans who claim either to like or to dislike Japanese food based on their experiences eating in the large majority of "Japanese" restaurants in the the U.S.

Jan 12, 2013
mpad in General Topics