Author Topic: Food Discussion  (Read 31408 times)

Offline Steve_orino

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Food Discussion
« on: April 11, 2010, 05:11:29 PM »
Which side has the worse food?  The Yanks and their fast-food (are they really potatoes?) or the English and their funny-named food?

http://to55er.wordpress.com/2009/09/14/and-you-wonder-why-britain-needs-a-national-health-service/


And you wonder why Britain needs a National Health Service.
Sadly I was too busy yesterday to make it up to Ramsbottom, a small town just north of Manchester, for the Annual World Black Pudding Throwing Championships. For readers of my ramblings who are not completely aware of some of the more unusual of British culinary delights, black pudding is a type of sausage made from congealed pigs’ blood with spices and lumps of fat, wrapped in a length of animal intestine.  Congealed pigs’ blood with spices and lumps of fat -As part of the heart attack enducing 'Full English Breakfast'.

According to my food correspondent, Arti Choke, the nearby town of Bury is famous for the production of black pudding, along with tripe (cow’s stomach) and elder (steamed cows’ udder).

The aim of the Black Pudding Throwing Championships is to throw a black pudding that has been wrapped in a pair of ladies tights at a pile of Yorkshire puddings sat on a plinth 20 feet up a tower. Whoever knocks down the most Yorkshire puddings wins.

For readers of my ramblings who are not completely aware, Yorkshire puddings are like curled up pancakes, one of the two main constituents of toad-in-the-hole.


For all the "pretty pictures" click on the link.

Offline finnster01

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Re: Food Discussion
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2010, 05:24:19 PM »
The black pudding is optional for the Full English breakfast. Doesn't have to be there, just as some actually add a bit of beans to it as well. The main driver in what makes a great Full English vs a good Full English is the sausage. Try finding one of the speciality UK food stores in the US. They have them. Makes a big difference, trust me.

Now that I have both feet on both continents, I would argue it is less the fast food that is the problem in the US, it is the size of the portions that kills you. You could feed a small country in Africa for a week with those portions they give you here. I have to go to a lot of steakhouses in New York to entertain customers, and the size of a US porterhouse steak is basically half a cow.

Offline Steve_orino

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Re: Food Discussion
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2010, 11:42:12 PM »
On the breakfast, I've recently come across a local store that offers British fare - is it Bangers that I need to pick up?

Good shout on the portion sizes Finn - they can be ridiculous at some of our sit-down restaurants.

Being here in Texas, Mexican cuisine has become a favorite!  Everything from tamales, chorizo and huevo, the salsas, horchata (a drink), tostadas (tex-mex), and the list goes on...  One of the things I've really come to enjoy is the simple taco - not your Taco Bell taco - but a barbacoa taco, with nothing more than some cilantro, onions, & salt.  Mouth is watering just thinking of it!  I'm sure Mr. HatterDon can expound on this.

Love me some sushi!  Japanese cuisine has taken off in the past decade here in the States.  We're trying our best to mess it up as best as possible too...avocado, cream cheese, crawfish???

Probably the neat thing about the States, the Melting-Pot effect and the availability of a lot of cuisine.  Unfortunately though, when we get a hold of it, we can mess it up - see Chinese food.


Offline LBNo11

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Re: Food Discussion
« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2010, 12:21:03 AM »
...I spent some time in Texas (Houston) in the early eighties, and having only experience Wisconsin (La Crosse) before, I was given full insight into the excesses of USA fare, foodwise. There used to be a diner called "The Great San Francisco disaster" in Westheimer where girls on a trapeze would try to ring a bell suspended from the ceiling with their foot.

I asked for a T-Bone steak - when it arrived (cut off it's horns, wipe it's ass and stick it on a plate) it was an inch thick, overlapped the platter and came with a salad the size of a Brazilian rainforest. The amount of waste on my table alone where two or three forkfulls of salad were eaten at most by my native compatrriots, the rest wasted as mere decoration was a real eye-opener to a lad brought up in a rationcard minded Britain, where meat was a luxury and a salad was a lettuce and cucumber with a tomato! (Rocket was something you fired, Basil was a name and Waldorf was the name of a posh hotel).

Another revelation was my introduction to TGIF, a full 20 tears before it hit the British shores, but best of all, 'Benihana' the Japanese food restaurant, theatre combined with great food and warming sake.

No matter what may be said later in this thread, Britain has by far and away the most diverse and authentic cuisine from all around the world, and easily accessible to 'the masses'. Oh! and don't knock British nosh because the names don't sound appealing..!
« Last Edit: April 12, 2010, 12:23:00 AM by LBNo11 »

Offline Steve_orino

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Re: Food Discussion
« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2010, 03:07:53 AM »
Two words for you LB - Spotted Dick - appealing, really?   :011:

Offline HatterDon

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Re: Food Discussion
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2010, 12:43:41 PM »
not nearly so appetizing as Pigs in a Blanket.


Logicalman

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Re: Food Discussion
« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2010, 07:37:39 PM »
not nearly so appetizing as Pigs in a Blanket.

Surely you mean Toad-In-The-Hole there, dear chap?

OK then, following LBs entry into the discussion, I feel the need to weigh in here (and I DO mean weigh) as, like Mr Finn, being a not-too-distinct import to these shores, I still have the distinct memories of my homelands fair fare.

Echoing Mr F, there is nothing in the US to compare to the British banger, unless it gets imported. Agreed, looking at the nutritional values of the banger amounts to the same as flavored lard, but the taste, oh the taste. The only comparative cuisine can be found in Irish pubs dotted around the land, and even then, the banger is just not quite the same, very close, but you can still tell the difference.

I believe that the US offers a wider range of foodstuffs, but the UK offers a wider range or original foodstuffs. For example, you can get a ruby both sides of the pond, but on the western side, it really pales into blandness in comparison to it's more authentic eastern cousin (so there is something good about the UK immigration policy then).  So much of the US (foreign) food is altered for the US market taste and that's where the rub lies, once you have tasted the original, it's just not quite the same, then again, I would suggest there are few US palates that could take the 'real' Indian curry at it's face value.

To provide some balance to this though, I have failed to discover any good Mexican restaurant in the UK (outside of London) that can hold a candle to the standard US one. Just this weekend we visited Nashville, Indiana, down in the rocky outcrop of Brown County, and found a little Mexican place there. To say the food was delicious would be an understatement, and the portions, well like they say, things are always bigger this side of the pond.

Offline jarv

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Re: Food Discussion
« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2010, 09:17:05 PM »
I live in the Boston area. There is a large contingent of paddys....you can get the sausages but not imported. Apparently the yanks don't allow certain stuff to be brought in. So some clever paddys (and there are some) make them!

American foods....the worst....can't make chocolate or cheese. The choc. tastes like eating a candle. the cheese comes in many shapes and types but all taste the same....tasteless!.   The lamb is very poor. I have no idea what the farmers feed their sheep but....again, due to restrictions, can't get NZ, English or Scottish lamb here. The wheat capital of the world and you can't get a decent loaf. (unless some old german immigrant is still baking it, but lives 20 miles away). Cakes come in different coloured cotton wool.

The best....at reasonable prices lobster, shrimp, swordfish, tuna, and many other types of fish. Despite the inability to make chocolat, the chocolat ice cream isn't too bad. Having lived here so long I do without the worst and sub in the best bits.
Sauces for the good old bbq.

Offline YankeeJim

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Re: Food Discussion
« Reply #8 on: April 13, 2010, 02:39:54 AM »
Being in California and on many days in Ventura County I can say that what you can pick up at the local street side stands is extremely good. The fruits and vegetables are usually picked that same day. No airplanes or trucks. They are allowed to ripen on the vine. The strawberries are huge and very, very sweet. The broccoli, the asparagus, the corn, cucumbers, 8 kinds of peppers, apricots, lemons, limes, the artichokes are excellent, walnuts, almonds.  The tomatos, Oh sweet Jesus, are an orgasm in red.  :026:

Oh wait! Your talking about bangers and steak. Well, I didn't know the conversation was restricted to man food. Sorry.

As to spotted dick, penicillin?


Offline Tom

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Re: Food Discussion
« Reply #9 on: April 13, 2010, 03:16:32 AM »
Being in California and on many days in Ventura County I can say that what you can pick up at the local street side stands is extremely good. The fruits and vegetables are usually picked that same day. No airplanes or trucks. They are allowed to ripen on the vine. The strawberries are huge and very, very sweet. The broccoli, the asparagus, the corn, cucumbers, 8 kinds of peppers, apricots, lemons, limes, the artichokes are excellent, walnuts, almonds.  The tomatos, Oh sweet Jesus, are an orgasm in red.  :026:

Oh wait! Your talking about bangers and steak. Well, I didn't know the conversation was restricted to man food. Sorry.

As to spotted dick, penicillin?
I know exactly what you are talking about Jim. I live down here in San Diego and they have a street fair with fresh fruits and vegetables every Tuesday where I live. We need to hook up and watch some games together since we are so close to each other.

Offline jarv

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Re: Food Discussion
« Reply #10 on: April 13, 2010, 03:50:42 AM »
Yankee Jim, you are lucky. In Boston we get strawbs trucked in. When I got here, I bought a huge box for about $5, mouth wateriong at the prospect. They were awful, I tossed them away. Couldn't even make a decent smoothy in the blender. Tasteless.
Same with many other fruits in massachusetts. Plums, peaches, forget it. I really miss a good peach.'
New England is supposed to be good for apples. I don't get it. The apples in my back yard in England were 100 times better.
Please explain, anyone, why this is the case.

Logicalman

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Re: Food Discussion
« Reply #11 on: April 13, 2010, 10:26:25 AM »
Yankee Jim, you are lucky. In Boston we get strawbs trucked in. When I got here, I bought a huge box for about $5, mouth wateriong at the prospect. They were awful, I tossed them away. Couldn't even make a decent smoothy in the blender. Tasteless.
Same with many other fruits in massachusetts. Plums, peaches, forget it. I really miss a good peach.'
New England is supposed to be good for apples. I don't get it. The apples in my back yard in England were 100 times better.
Please explain, anyone, why this is the case.

Jarv,
Problems with the fruit is that with strawberries, once they are frozen, they def lose that tanginess.

As for the cheese, we have hunted for years and there are two available over here that are reasonable farmhouse cheddar: Black Diamond (from Canada) and Cabot sharp cheddar (from Vermont). The latter, with some raw onion, between freshly baked bread (we buy the par-baked type and finish them off at home), will get your taste buds jingling again mate, I can promise you that. Both are available over the counter at any general supermarket (Kroger - Fresh Market, etc), and they cost between 6 and 10 bucks a pound.


Offline jarv

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Re: Food Discussion
« Reply #12 on: April 13, 2010, 12:42:41 PM »
Logicalman,
Yes, the vermont cheddar is ok.(despite my rant)...I sometimes get the mature (in the black wrapping) but it is really expensive. When I was home in November, I bought a block of marks and spencers farmhouse cheddar (real basic cheese). Truly amazing by comparison. Stilton? wow.

Logicalman

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Re: Food Discussion
« Reply #13 on: April 13, 2010, 01:35:51 PM »
Logicalman,
Yes, the vermont cheddar is ok.(despite my rant)...I sometimes get the mature (in the black wrapping) but it is really expensive. When I was home in November, I bought a block of marks and spencers farmhouse cheddar (real basic cheese). Truly amazing by comparison. Stilton? wow.

Yep, that's the one, in the black wrapper. You are right though, nothing compares to the real farmhouse cheddars available back in the homeland.

Offline YankeeJim

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Re: Food Discussion
« Reply #14 on: April 13, 2010, 02:44:52 PM »
Yankee Jim, you are lucky. In Boston we get strawbs trucked in. When I got here, I bought a huge box for about $5, mouth wateriong at the prospect. They were awful, I tossed them away. Couldn't even make a decent smoothy in the blender. Tasteless.
Same with many other fruits in massachusetts. Plums, peaches, forget it. I really miss a good peach.'
New England is supposed to be good for apples. I don't get it. The apples in my back yard in England were 100 times better.
Please explain, anyone, why this is the case.


I spent two weeks in Glastenberry, CN last October and they had road side "honnor" stands. You went in, selected corn (silver queen), pumpkin, bell peppers, onions or a few other things. The price was posted and you simply left your money in a box. Not Ventura but pretty good.


Offline YankeeJim

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Re: Food Discussion
« Reply #15 on: April 13, 2010, 02:49:08 PM »
Yankee Jim, you are lucky. In Boston we get strawbs trucked in. When I got here, I bought a huge box for about $5, mouth wateriong at the prospect. They were awful, I tossed them away. Couldn't even make a decent smoothy in the blender. Tasteless.
Same with many other fruits in massachusetts. Plums, peaches, forget it. I really miss a good peach.'
New England is supposed to be good for apples. I don't get it. The apples in my back yard in England were 100 times better.
Please explain, anyone, why this is the case.

I bought a half flat (9 containers) last year for $9. We had strawberries every day & broke out the blender & scared up the tequila a couple of times. I took to filling a plastic baggie and taking them to work for lunch. We ended up giving the neighbor some so as not to waste. Gotta love it. Since I eat so well I wonder why I'm such a fat git?  :012:

Offline Steve_orino

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Re: Food Discussion
« Reply #16 on: April 13, 2010, 11:36:36 PM »
One cuisine I'm interested in is the Indian Curry.  I've read plenty where Finn & FatFred RAVE about a good Curry but I've come to understand that I can't get a proper one here in the States...

Another cuisine I have yet to try is Thai.  A lot of close family & friends seem to have had it and like it but I haven't tried it. 

Any suggestions or thoughts on Thai?

Offline YankeeJim

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Re: Food Discussion
« Reply #17 on: April 14, 2010, 02:07:13 AM »
Thai is similar in many ways to your basic Chinese. However, they tend to the spicy side on some dishes & use these little dried red peppers that are hot enough to start a fire. Push them to the side or you'll regret it. They have a nice cinnamon  flavored ice tea that is a bit creamy & quite good.

Offline jarv

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Re: Food Discussion
« Reply #18 on: April 14, 2010, 10:32:20 PM »
Steve,

In the Boston area there are a few decent curry places. It seems that the curry houses cook for the country they are in. Europe is not great, except for Belgium. Almost the same as England. Scotland is also poor. eevery curry tastes the same but the Scots, well at least my brother, insist it is the best.

For many years, I would eat Indian twice a week. Mostly after football training, 5 pints and then off to the Indian. I guess the point of training was to make room for that lot. Nothing to do with preparation for saturday!

I cook my own. A few years ago, in the UK I bught an authentic (UK) curry recipe book.(1000 recipes) Combined with a local Indian grocer in my town in Massachusetts, I now get it just the way it should be. Except Tandoori! It is almost impossible to cook Tandoori the way it comes out in England. By the way, the Indian restaurants here can't get it right either.

Find a local Indian grocer and you will get all the spices you need to make a decnt curry.

Cheers.


Offline McBridefan1

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Re: Food Discussion
« Reply #19 on: April 15, 2010, 02:14:30 AM »
I'm pretty sure all our food is made in China... everything else is.