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Everything posted by FaustianBargain

  1. I think I have tried the oxtail paella dish, but only without the paella. and no cheese. Did the bacalao dish have any potatoes in it? I can see how spanish cheese can be incorporated into the dish. It seems to be a complement to the basic dishes with additional pizzazz. Although, I am wondering if it is like the French AOC cheeses being used in French provincial dishes..matching regional cheese to regional provincial dish?
  2. That is exactly what I thought. Even though it is a bloody shame. At this point, it is becoming increasingly difficult for France to wrestle her way out of the EU as there is too much at stake. I really doubt if they can ever be recovered.
  3. Found this when I was googling for some info on Spanish cheese...I dont know if it has already been discussed in other forums, but I thought this to be an appropriate topic for discussion here... French mobilize to save cheeses under threat of extinction There are some interesting bits: [..] [...] It does sound rather bleak, but is it true?
  4. I have once entertained the idea of employing evolution as an argument against intensive farming of the animals that come to our table as food. I gave it very serious thought for a couple of weeks and discarded it. Do our waters, our glaciers, our seasons evolve in synch with our evolving technologies. If they proceed at an even rate, then your argument might hold true. However, it is difficult to pace the random and often chaotic explosions of science and technology with the measured evolution of the species. Evolution, as you probably know, happens in small increments. I am currently reading Ancestors' Tale by Richard Dawkins and I am in awe about our species and earth..at the same time, I am a little concerned about how we fritter away our precious resources without paying heed to the consequences. There is actually an evolutionary theory(the key word being 'theory') that the animals we domesticated for our food or as our pets evolved to be eaten by us. The theory suggests that certain animals find evolutionary trade off in being domesticated because they can benefit from the humans during their reproductive phases. They are evolved so that they have lesser testosterone..higher serotonin levels etc.(experiments prove this) They escape the threat from wild creatures(those above them in the food chain, that is) during their most fertile reproductive phase when they are taken care by the humans. Their genes get a chance to replicate. Their demise and ultimately their appearance as food on our plates is a price worth paying for the fecundity of their genes. This applies to pets like dogs(derived from the vulpine family) and cows and goats and chicken etc. I have always found the practice of slaughtering young lambs for their tender flesh rather perverse and it would be ironic if the above mentioned theory were true. Relatedly, the factory farming of animals is a mistake that has compounded effects that effectively derail evolutionary designs. Let us take salmon for example. Salmon evolved to be food for bears. It is beautiful(in a macbre way) to witness the spawning instinct of the salmon at the same time as the bears come to the streams for their nourishment. Or let us consider the shark or the crocodile. They have reached the pinnacle of evolution. The shark need not evolve anymore. In its environment, it is the ultimate killing machine. It is at the top of it's food chain. However, it can still fear mortality because of human expansion into its territory. At its peak, the shark can evolve nomore. Vertically, it has hit upon its ceiling. With no more room for further evolution, the species will become extinct. Having said all this, it is an interesting experiment to consider human recklessness as a factor towards shifting evolution. It can and has been argued that evolution has frozen. We can evolve no more, but let us consider that invalid. Evolution takes tens of thousands and thousands of years to happen. From single celled creatures, from the bottom of an ocean, through a series of accidents and mutations and after thousands and thousands of years, we stand here today...at the top of the food chain. Assuming evolution to engage in what is obviously reckless behaviour will not offer comfort when the next couple of generations suffer. It is possible that we, the human species, might perish before the next evolutionary leap occurs. Thinking twenty steps ahead will only cause us to falter. On a different note, I must protest the term 'fundamentalist' used here. It is essentially an insult hurled and denotes fundamentalist xians who denounce evolution and embrace intelligent design. This is no place to argue the merits of evolution over intelligent design.
  5. Thank you for posting this, Jamie Maw. I do remember reading this at that time when I was trying to decide which side of fence I'd like to be...It is informative and offers the view from the other side of the border. Your Canadian version and derricks' Californian experience are two objective pieces of reporting that I have read about foie gras farms. Thanks again.
  6. I have been speaking to someone about creating a new standard combining iso 26000(social responsibility standards) and iso 14000/14001(environmental management) that is specifically designed for how we eat. So far, the response hasnt been very good. Basically, for restaurants it would be a completely new standard as a combination of HACCAP, social responsibility and environmental management all brought together. Although, it sounds like a far fetched concept, I think the idea itself has some merit.
  7. A Faroese friend of mine absolutely loves puffin. Cute or not, it is food. It is the issue of the Grind that is a tad upsetting to me. Does Iceland have any such traditions?
  8. Ronnie, I feel obliged to answer again because you have raised this issue again. Whether Trotter's extracted public comments have any effect on how the vote swings is a different issue from whether he is responsible for the vote. Having said that, you may as well be right when you say that his comments would have an effect upon the vote. I too hope that the members of the city council will not vote in a manner that would offend one's basic right to eat.
  9. Surely, you are kidding me. Would you also like to know where I live?
  10. Wow..what a slew of replies Ok, people. Think what you may..but there is a code in the kitchen. In professional kitchens, you DO NOT tell the chef what to cook. You DO NOT tell him how to cook it. You DO NOT criticise the techinique. It is simply not done. You can come up with any number of responses to follow this, but this is what happens in REAL kitchens. Trotter or anyone else do not have the right to tell any other chef how to cook. Do you know how Heston travels when he goes outside to cook? Often he lugs around his equipment and whatever it is he creates magic with...the menus are planned..the recipes are decided upon...When it is done, it is DONE. Good luck. I have tried my best. The next time another state bans foie gras production or possession..or when the next chef gets terrorised, I hope you have some other plan of action other than placing the blame on someone else or whining about the seizure of gastronomic freedoms. There are people who do. There are people who talk. Enjoy it while it lasts because without a sense of direction or strategy, the days of foie gras in the United States are numbered. I have wasted enough time on this.
  11. Thank you, I am touched. I am sure there is some kitchen in this whole wide world that will take me in for what I am and where I will be happy....
  12. What I had was a light brown and yes, smooth and soft. Not too crumbly, tho. Is there any other kind of cheese that I might have mistaken skyr for..?
  13. What you are essentially saying above is that Chef Trotter should have 'vetoed' the wishes of Heston B/Tetsuya/diners who expect foie gras(possibly) to serve/enjoy because he doesnt want to serve foie gras himself? In other words, you are upset because he didnt trample upon the rights of others to cook or eat foie gras. Hmm.. ← I want to know why, FB, in your world, people either "veto" others wishes or "trample upon the rights of others"? Please read bourdain's screed. I was only repeating his words. Well, is there any legitimate give and take in the foie gras community? Why dont you guys fly to France or to Canada to enjoy your foie gras? This is such shoddy debating practice. <SNIP>
  14. Thanks for bringing that up. Illinois legislators are currently considering S.B. 413, introduced by Senator Kathleen Wojcik (R, 28). This legislation would prohibit force feeding birds. This cruel method is used to turn duck and goose livers into the "delicacy" known as pâté de foie gras. S.B. 413 unanimously passed the Senate Executive Committee on Wednesday, March 9th. It will soon be considered on the Senate floor. Your help is needed now! Liver and let live related to Sen.Wojcik's bill. Mark Caro's article came hot behind the heels of Sen.Wojcik's bill. Trotter, as ronnie_suburban suggested had nothing to do with Alderman or Wojcik's proposed legislation. Caro approached Trotter. Caro carried the messages from Tramonto to Trotter. The tilt of his article was on Trotter's comments rather than The new one proposing a ban on consumption/possession of foie gras is not yet passed. That one would be Sen. Joe Alderman in Ill. The proposal to ban possession/consumption of foie gras was already considered prior to the Trotter interview. From here At the end of the day, it makes no difference. Unless someone is looking for someone else to blame. Legislation also is being considered in Oregon, New York, Illinois and Massachusetts that would make it a criminal act even to possess the delicacy. Activists recently persuaded about 10 restaurants to stop serving foie gras in Pittsburgh. edit: additional data here dated March 14, 2005. SB 861 in Oregon was proposed March 7, 2005, iirc. The issue of banning foie gras production and banning possession blurs. Sen. Wojcik, for example, assured when her bill was passed that restaruants can continue to serve foie gras, but there was no space in Ill to set up foie gras farms. Her words: Her legislation was approved without opposition by a Senate committee Wednesday and moves to the Senate floor. No businesses operate in Illinois that force-feed birds. Wojcik wants to keep it that way. The practice was recently banned in California, and many European countries have done the same. "No one is going to be harmed in Illinois," Wojcik said. "The restaurants can still purchase their foie gras. All we're saying is that if you're planning on coming to Illinois and starting a business to do something like this, then the door is closed." I hope this helps.
  15. What you are essentially saying above is that Chef Trotter should have 'vetoed' the wishes of Heston B/Tetsuya/diners who expect foie gras(possibly) to serve/enjoy because he doesnt want to serve foie gras himself? In other words, you are upset because he didnt trample upon the rights of others to cook or eat foie gras. Hmm..
  16. His words were inflammatory as a defensive reaction to a very personal attack from Tramonto. This is very obvious when you draw the timeline and track the order of the interviews. Did his words support Group C? (Begin Edit)Maybe, but only Group A can feel incensed and extra sensitive about it. Group B is not obligated to make Group A feel better and safe. This is what I meant earlier that Group A needs Group B rather than the other way around. This is also the reason why Group A has to cut out the wild thrashing and try to negotiate a compromise with Group B.(End Edit)To anyone who has felt defensive against an insult or a hurt before, it is obvious that the drama that unfolded was undoubtedly a personal one and had nothing to do with the issue of foie gras. (Begin edit)There was no hidden agenda to hoist Group C's cause.(End edit) This is why I said Group A and Group B should eliminate the noise factor and start establishing rules. No, they can never be bum pals. But they can certainly protect themselves from unnecessary conflict arising from stray elements that crave entertainment. Reminds me of a story from my youth. It has a moral, you know. A story about the family that fought in public and exposed their weakness while the opportunistic audience looted their home as they were busy hurting themselves. I cannot speak for Chef Trotter, but that seems to be a reasonable and rational conclusion to arrive at.... Amen.
  17. Yes. This is where I think Mark Caro's reporting has been very naughty. I have said this many times and I dont mind repeating myself once more. Rick Tramonto denounced Trotter before Trotter made that unfortunate remark because Tramonto was interviewed about Trotter before Trotter made an official statement. This is all documented in the earlier pages of this thread. Blame Caro. Not Trotter. It is your $$. You make the call. This is not clear. How did Trotter come in the way of you having it elsewhere. In fact, one of the criticisms against Trotter earlier in this thread was that he served foie gras at the charity dinner. This was false. When it was clarified, it was obvious that he did not stand in the way of either the diners having foie gras when they expect it or in the way of chefs who saw it as a way to express their culinary prowess. I do not comprehend how and where this misunderstanding that Trotter is personally looking forward to banish foie gras from the foie gras loving public's plate occured. It is also a fact that the legislation to ban foie gras consumption/possession was discussed in the papers before the article 'Liver and let live' by Mark Caro in the Chicago Tribune was published. Trotter's public statement was coaxed out by a reporter and how does all this translate into Chef Trotter taking away your right to enjoy foie gras?
  18. You mean Group C? Group B That would be Group C. There is a clear overlap between B and C that Group A likes to stress. This is the core problem. This alienates those who are willing to let the foie gras lovers do what turns them on. It is quite tragic really. A conflict is born when there are ways to avoid it. The line between B and C blurs for Group A because they have much to lose. I would hate it too if something I love is yanked away from me, but lashing out at the wrong person isnt helping anyone. The distrust has to evaporate. There is nothing Group B can do. It is in the hands of Group A. They cannot cry foul about Group B following their heart. They have to act instead of feeling victimised. P.S. I know my way of explanation is a tad bizarre. I am also aware that it might be subjected to unkind comments. But I really want to lay it out in very simple terms so the noise component in this issue can be eliminated. Once the noise is eliminated, the environment is so much more friendly for everyone to live together without grabbing each other's throats. Not forever..but at least for a long time in the near future.
  19. If I were on the pro foie gras camp, I can think of a couple of strikes. But alas, you are on your own. Yes, I am done. Stick a fork in me and turn me over. I can be anything you want me to be... Ok. Ignored. Who is the other camp? And why does "you" (who is this "you" by the way?) Need "them" more than "they" need "you". ← Done. What I meant is.. those who do not favour foie gras do not need the help of those who believe that they need foie gras for their mental health. if the in-fighting stops, the currently scattered groups can be broadly classified into three groups. as mentioned in the simplified thought experiment yesterday.. Group A* -love foie gras -against violence -for freedom of choice Group B** -dont care for foie gras -against violence -for freedom of choice Group C*** -dont care for foie gras -will do anything to achieve goal -against freedom of choice A and B can exist together, but C cannot exist with B. C is a threat to both A and B. Optimal solution is to eliminate C. When A and B join and collectively oust C, the only bone of contention is the issue of foie gras since out of 3 principles, they agree upon 2. With co-operation, both A and B can get what they want. Without co-operation, C will run amok, B will keep fighting as will A, but it is A who will be deprived. Without co-operation, A will be the loser. B has nothing to lose. A battle for values can be an ongoing battle. In fact, it is strengthened as time lapses. First things first, draw the battle lines and identify the groups. Alienate B group members from C group members. Draw group B together. Kiss and make up. Whining makes the group look weak. [..] *example: cannot think of anyone..closest example...derricks, maybe? **example: Chef Trotter ***example: loony right wing
  20. I'll leave it the reader to determine if it's personal, or about the food. It comes off as least "heat of the moment" kind of statement than Trotter's, but I think they're both too well aware of the media to make that kind of claim anyway. ← Precisely, Bux! I am willing to believe that bourdain never really meant that Charlie Trotter cooks like he has 'never been fucked'...just like Charlie Trotter never meant what he said about cooking Rick Tramonto's liver. edited to add.. Oh ivan..ivan..ivan..foie gras does not fancy eating make...I can whip up a 'fancy dinner' for you..for a dozen people..for a hundred..without foie gras. C'est vrai.
  21. Where is the other camp? I want to TP and egg their tents. (I'm kidding Faust. I want to be very clear about that. Don't quote this as an example of "violence" from the my camp). More importantly, what exactly is the other camp you are referring to? Fine dining restaurants need to cater to the anti-foie gras consumer? Or do they need to submit to anti-foie bullies? Oh no, I'm not saying that all anti-foie gras folks are all bullies. I'm saying that some of them have been known to use bullying tactics and not just on Chef Manrique. Tactics like physically disrupting the flow of business can be very persuasive. ← You can continue to dwell on that. It makes a great excuse and excellent raw material for a blame game. Dont you want to move on and make things happen?
  22. I cannot convince you of anything. All I can do is put forth the facts..rather the visible facts. It is upto you to sift through it and arrive at a logical and rational conclusion. If you wish. We can go on like this till the cows come home, but the bottom line is this... whether we like foie gras or if we find the treatment of ducks for foie gras deplorable, we are in the same square. We do not wish grief upon others who disagree with our values. We do not want violence to terrorise the lives of innocent people. We definitely do not want to trample upon each other's rights. When I say 'we', I mean you and me and Trotter and bourdain and egullet foie gras lovers and the saner farm sanctuary members. It wasnt because of the right wing loonies who went ape shit on Chef Manrique that foie gras production was banned in CA. Surely, a few restauranters would have denounced foie gras because of intimidation. But many(Chef Trotter being one of them) gave it up on their own from the evidence that was collected and presented by other animal rights activists. It was legislation. It was incessant lobbying to the public and state that made it happen. Let those who are pro foie gras use the same elegance of strategy to revert what has been done. If they can. Let them offer support, financial or otherwise, to those restauranters who feel that they cannot take the risk of serving foie gras. Let them take matters in their own hands. Let them *make* their constitutional rights work for them. The right way. I challenge them pull up their balls and ACT instead of whining. This is laziness.* Let the best man win. But together, let both them work as a team to disable the domestic terrorists. Fighting against each other is folly and a profoundly tragic waste of time and energy. edited to add: * and acting like in '5th grade' doesnt help. You know what happens when you act like you are in 5th grade? You go to the 6th grade. That's it. Good luck. I know, some of you here think that Trotter is 'puerile'. But you need those from the other camp more than they need you. Seriously.
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