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Everything posted by robb

  1. Sorry if you misunderstood. I made no attempt to equate tobacco with salt. I used the example to point out that people who are aware of health problems often ignore it consciously. Perhaps tobacco is a bad example because it affects others beyond the smoker. I could easily choose diets high in fat as the example. Given the press that the effects on fat can have on health in the last 15--20 years, I can't imagine there are many people who have not been made aware of the risks of a high fat diet. Yet people continue to choose to consume diets high in fat. I still say, let them if that's what they want.
  2. The 12 people in the US who still aren't aware that many in the medical profession believe that too much salt is bad for us are the same 12 people who aren't aware that cigarettes have harmful effects. I’m definitely not in favor of regulating to make the least informed among us safer. I take a libertarian view on this topic - if people want to eat lots of salt, let them. Bring on the un-pasteurized dairy products while were at it! I’ll make my own choices about the risks I’m willing to take.
  3. robb

    Salty Snacks

    Despana on Broome Street in NYC has mojama. ← Thanks!
  4. I simplly have no interest whatsoever in foods that are sweet. The sweeter they are, the more I dislike them. This applies to main course fare as well as dessert. For example I really dislike the americanized sweet sushi rolls you find in so many sushi bars around the U.S. All the sweet eel sauce they put all over everything just makes me cringe. At the same time I really don't enjoy almost any sweet dessert food. I'll take a cheese plate for dessert every time.
  5. I think the Austin version is great! I just found the common ingredients and concepts, as well as the not so common interesting as I enjoyed my breakfast.
  6. I was trying to decide what to have for breakfast this morning and settled on Spanish migas. This got me curious about migas and so I did some research. While this thread is fairly old, I didn’t find any other centralized source on migas on egullet. As mentioned above Migas means crumbs in Spanish. As far as I’m aware there are three types of migas, or at least three types of this dish that use the name Migas – more on that later. Migas are extremely popular in Spain. In fact there is a town in Spain, Torrox, which holds an annual Fiesta de Migas. Each region of Spain has a different version of the dish. The common thread is day old bread, torn into small pieces and sautéed in olive oil with onions and pimenton. Other additions sometimes include chorizo, Serrano ham, or bacon. The Mexican version uses tortillas instead of bread. I’ve seen recipes that include Mexican chorizo, onions, beans, and chilies, tomato and eggs or some combination. Once in a while I see people refer to a tortilla soup as Sopa de Migas. The Texas versions seem closer to the Mexican migas than the Spanish version. Tortilla chips are the most common starch component. The other main difference is the presence of an abundance of cheese which is typical of tex-mex cuisine. Otherwise, you can expect the presence of onions, beans, salsa, chilies, etc. I’ve seen references to dishes in other cuisines which appear similar to migas. One regional Indian dish, for instance, uses leftover bread which is fried in oil with onions and a masala. I wouldn’t be surprised to find a similar dish in many other cultures as well. The common thread seems to be using a leftover starch (bread, tortillas, tortilla chips) and cooking with onions with a fat (olive oil, bacon grease, pork fat rendered from chorizo, etc.) and sometimes other ingredients. This is probably a stretch and I’d be very surprised to hear of a direct connection to migas but I’ll point out that Chinese fried rice is really just a leftover starch fried in oil with onions and other ingredients.
  7. robb

    Salty Snacks

    I'm working my way through the many suggestions here. Does anyone know where I can find mojama in NYC or Boston (or in between)?
  8. I finished reading “Heat” a couple days ago. I’m still trying to decide what I think about it. “Heat” is fast, addictive reading – at least for those interested in cooking, restaurant kitchen life, and who know who Mario Batali is. (Yes folks, there are still people out there who don’t recognize the name.) It’s certainly well written and I really enjoy the perspective of the journalist in the kitchen of a significant New York restaurant over an extended period of time. It reminds me a lot of “The Fourth Star” by Leslie Brenner – a chronicle of a journalist who spends a year in the kitchens at Daniel before that notable restaurant received it’s 4 star review from the New York Times. Reading about what really goes on in these kitchens is fascinating for those of us not in the food industry. But, something is bothering me and I think it’s Mario Batali. Not the book, but Mr. Batali himself, or at least the books portrayal of him. Don’t get me wrong, I think he’s brilliant. I’d never turn down dinner at any of his restaurants (except Otto – not fond of the pizza there. I get my fill at Pepe’s, Sally’s and Modern in New Haven on a regular basis.) Much of my dismay comes from what’s almost certainly standard practice at the restaurant of celebrity chefs. If I had to pick a single issue, it would be the whole VIP thing. There are several passages discussing how Mr. Batali demands his staff wait on, serve and dote over VIP’s before the common folk. Again, I’m sure that this is as common as dirt but… it bugs me. I grew up in Southern California. There’s a legendary dive in Newport Beach called The Crab Cooker. It’s been there forever, serves food on paper plates with paper table cloths. A dive. I haven’t been there in a while but it used to be that, on a Saturday night, lines went out the door and down the block quite a ways. There’s a story from the early/mid 1970’s about then President Nixon walking up to the front of the line on a busy night and the Host, without ever looking up, saying to him “I don’t know who you are and I don’t care, everybody waits in line.” Regardless of what you think about Nixon, this is what I like to see in a restaurant. Any business is good business – one’s celebrity or VIP status doesn’t make their money any more valuable than the rest of us. I have other peeves, but not really about the book. That the book made me think about these issues is a testament to how well written and executed it is. I enjoyed it.
  9. robb

    KFC Famous Bowls

    I'm feeling queasy just thinking about this.
  10. I personally enjoyed the Sweden episode. I've been to Sweden a few times in both winter and summer. Given the limits of television, I thought it was a reasonable reflection of the Swedish people and of some of food there. I also thought it was funny, as most of the shows are. Aside from the general entertainment value, what I really enjoy about this show is that Tony and crew seem to make an effort to show what people really eat and how they live in the places they visit. I like a good high-end restaurant experience as much as anyone but when I travel (vicariously in this case) I try to experience authentic homestyle cooking when I'm there. Sometimes that food is boring - so be it. Rob
  11. I enjoyed the japan/china episodes as well. There's a little less sarcasm in these and that is a good thing.
  12. robb

    Salty Snacks

    I'll try some of these. Thanks!
  13. robb

    Salty Snacks

    I am addicted to salty snacks. I know, I know - I shouldn't eat too much salt. Regardless, I love them. However, I'm bored with the current selection of supermarket chips, pretzles, etc. I love olives and pickles of all kinds (especially japanese) too but I still crave more variety. What are your favorite salty snacks? Are there any you make and are willing to share the recipe for? Cheers.
  14. This article in this mornings paper discusses how the 2nd Avenue Deli's recent rent hike may put them out of business.
  15. Whoa, whoa. Easy there, robb. Remember that oftentimes presenting a poster is one of the early steps of presenting research. Also, their target audience is not science-types or the FDA. They aren't going to try to have this prescribed as a drug. They just want some data that supports their claim and they don't want to make it up. Don't beat them for being in early stages of their research. If you don't like it, don't buy it. But their methods, at least as reported, seem sound. Whether they lied or not is another question. ← I understand and am not suggesting they are lying. I'm simply saying that the data are thin for a claim, thus my statements about being skeptical. That's all.
  16. I'd be skeptical too, but let me say that you can get statistically significant results with a small sample IF the effect size is large. ← I know. But, they don't disclose much detail and, as I noted above, they didn't have enought confidence to submit the data to a publication where the data would be peer reviewed. After being active in the scientific / medical industry for over 20 years where peer review of results and analysis is required for credibility, this makes me skeptical.
  17. Ok - I read the abstract on their web site. It's was only published in poster form which is not peer reviewed. It also states that there were only 20 people in the study. Achieving statistical significance would be unlikely with this group. I'd be skeptical. Very skeptical.
  18. I guess I'd ask two things: 1) was the publication from the trial published in a peer reviewed journal? 1a) I'd want to see how many people were in the study, how it was measured, etc. 2) has the FDA evaluated this or is just something that the manufacturer claims?
  19. This is a tough issue. I am active on many message boards on a number of different topics. I see the 'slagging' issue everywhere. For some reason the internet, and the anonymity it provides, seems to make people more aggressive. People seem to have no problem making accusations without foundation. I notice they also make personal attacks more frequently than I encounter in face-to-face interactions. I find the egullet forums, especially in food media & news, a sometimes very hostile place. Why is that? Is anonymity and physical separation feeding it? It's more than passion for the topic.
  20. To each their own I suppose. For me, I don't understand the point of eating (volume) contests.
  21. I read my last post a few times and read this one a couple times as well. I assume you're using this extreme example to make a point. Otherwise, the tone of my statement was more black and white than I intended. I have no issue with the use of a pseudonym at all in any kind of writing. The problem occurs when someone with a conflict of interest posts and doesn’t declare this conflict. This is problem in all kinds of writing. Major newspapers and magazines are fairly careful to try to make relevant declarations. The byline itself doesn’t matter as much. In scientific and medical writing (something which I have much more experience in), declaring conflicts is also strongly encouraged but it’s not always mandatory and doesn’t always happen. This is a good discussion to have but, other than encouraging people to do the ethical thing and declare biases, I don't think there's much more that can be done.
  22. Not sure if you've made the trip yet or not. I've lived in SLC for 15 years now. The restaurant situation is improving but still dull. This is NOT a restaurant town. I travel extensively and take clients out to dinner all around the world. The SLC restaurants mentioned above are fine but, at their best, none would qualify as even a 2 star place in NYC.
  23. You ask how to name a restaurant rather than what the name should be. There is no straightfoward answer to this - it depends on many things. A couple (out of many) ways to look at it: If this is a neighborhood place rather than something where you are seeking 2 or 3 stars from the NY Times, I'd stick with something that evokes the kind of food you are serving. This will help draw people in and catch the attention of the various passers by. If you are spending a fair bit to build a restaurant and are more ambitious, you probably have a wider range of options. In this case, I'm personally fond of more obscure names that have a less direct connection with the food.
  24. I thought about this. Mark Twain is known for his fiction but he wrote non-fiction as well to pay the bills at certain times in his life. There's a difference between literature and news media though. I think privacy is important but if egullet is to be used as a credible source of news, journalism and criticism, relevant biases need to be declared. I think that was the original point.
  25. I see both points of view. I understand the point that egullet has become an influential part of the media. There are many members who post regularly who are part of the food industry including the media. At the same time there are probably an equal or larger number of members who are "lay-foodies" - people who are skilled cooks or food enthusiasts with no other direct connection to the industry. This latter group includes me. I am a working, visible, member of a very different industry. I work very, very hard to keep my personal life out of my business life. Very few people I work with know about my family, hobbies, passions and problems outside of work. I like it this way. I want the people I work with focused on business, not me. Unfortunately the same technology that makes the internet so interesting makes it dangerous too. Posting my name on a forum like egullet will likely make it searchable on the various internet search engines. This makes me uncomfortable. Still, I think the point is strong enough that I will make an exception for this forum.
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