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Everything posted by Wilfrid

  1. Does anyone else set out proper napkins at dinner as a matter of habit, and not just for guests? Or am I the loony? Once you get used to them, it's hard to go back to hastily torn scraps of kitchen towel.
  2. Entirely consistent with the possibility that simplicity can be complex.
  3. Best prose style on eGullet. No smilies. And knows where to find good authorities too.
  4. Thanks, balex. (It's probably used differently in wine circles .)
  5. Thanks for playing with Steve, Craig - I managed to get some work done today.
  6. This is the kernel of many misunderstandings here, both among those who think there is absolute truth in these matters, and those who think there is only opinion. Those are not the only alternatives on the table. Which is just as well, since the first is demonstrably nonsense, and nobody really believes the second (although people will spend a lot of time telling us they do).
  7. The last paragraph of that is particularly intriguing. I wonder if it's true. (I meant the link GJ posted.)
  8. Adam, if you are comfortable, (oh never mind...)
  9. No Wilfrid you are wrong. This is a food board and all statements are made within the context of the dining experience. To misappropriate those statements into the context of a science experiment, or to test the exactness of the language in the context of linguistics, is where we always go wrong (well not me, but the scientists and the pedants .) Wilfrid is right, however. Look at what I said again. You can put it in the "dining experience", you can put it in a sandwich, you can put it in a baby's bottle. I am not talking about scientific experiments, I am talking about the same bit of fo
  10. One thing Nathan's has over McDonalds is heaps of freshly opened oysters and clams. I'll always go there for that (and eat a hotdog as an afterthought ). I am not saying they're the greatest oysters and clams in the world, but it's fun to eat a pile of them off a paper plate in the sunshine. As for sunshine...
  11. We are arguing about different things, Steve. I am arguing about the assertions made early in the thread that taste cannot be affected by anything other than the actual food and drink, and that therefore presentation cannot affect it. The premise there has nothing to do with dining, and there is no reason to confine it to those terms. And if the premise is false, which you agree it is, the conclusion does not follow. You (not you personally - whoever) need a different argument to support that conclusion. Now, if you agree with me, perhaps we can move on.
  12. Stuck in the mud. Steve, you taste things differently. I give you a glass of wine. Then I give you a mouthful of chocolate. Then I give you the same wine again. It tastes different. If taste was determined only by what was in the wine glass, it would always taste the same. If you'll concede me that, then the only question is how many extraneous influences there might be and how successfully we can control for them. As to the original point of all this, concede that psychology or just mood can influence taste, and there seems to me then to be no reason presentation can't influence taste.
  13. Taste is not about the ability to notice things. It has nothing to do with understanding food or wine or being able to discuss it. That's at a different level. All along I've been discussing what happens when food or drink meets the olfactory system and taste buds. It seems absolutely obvious that not every person, on every occasion of tasting the same food, has exactly the same taste experience. If that's the case, it's simply false to say that elements extraneous to the actual food cannot effect how it tastes. I have no idea why anyone would deny what I've just said. It seems elementar
  14. Good, we're all agreed now. Which is just as well, as Mr Shaw, with his "actual taste" theory, bailed on the thread pages back.
  15. Not data, a logical argument. If taste is identical to some aspect of the food's physical or chemical properties, then it is necessarily identical to those properties and will occur wherever those properties occur. It's like if I were identical to Bux, I couldn't show up without Bux showing up. But we know that the same physical and chemical properties are present when taste varies. You can do that with a baby and an adult, or the same adult with and without a severe head cold. It doesn't matter. This demonstrates, beyond any shadow of a doubt, that something is relevant to taste other t
  16. You mean we needn't get into a discussion about scope of modal operators? Well that's a relief. I know people are speaking loosely, but I disagree somewhat that it doesn't matter. Endless threads on eGullet spring from people being unwilling to define their terms and use them consistently. My philosophical bent on this thread was prompted by the absolute terms in which early posters dismissed the possibility that taste could be affected by anything other than the food in and of itself, vide Fat Bloke: "Again, semantics. Yes, if taste includes perception of taste, all sorts of things other
  17. I find it hard to imagine just slicing and eating the cotechino with which I'm familiar. Used to be able to get zampone in Soho in London, but so many of the old Italian delis have gone . I remember buying it from Fratelli Camisa, a few doors down from the legendary Pigalle. I believe they closed their doors. Gabby at I. Camisa on Old Compton Street might be able to source it.
  18. And zampone is the version stuffed inside the pig's foot, with the trotter still on the end. I mean, you want to talk about delicious juices... (sex-throb Emeril impersonation there).
  19. Raw or cured, the usual preparation does indeed involve slow simmering in liquid for about forty five minutes to an hour. You wanted it heated through thoroughly.
  20. I am not addressing the presentation issue here. I am addressing the position struck by Fat Bloke early in the thread, and others later, that presentation can't affect the taste of food, because the taste is determined by what is literally on the plate. No-one said that was the case only for fine dining - on the contrary, it was advanced as a self-evident generalisation. I have demonstrated that the position is unsustainable - and the baby formula example is a good one. This means that people who contend presentation can't affect taste have to find a different and better argument.
  21. As for the poaching liquid, if you prick your cotechino here and there to avoid it splitting, it will leach delicious fat into the water you're poaching it in. You can the use that water, with seasoning and any other additions you fancy, like minced onions, to cook your lentils. You'll then want to slice the cotechino and re-heat the slices to serve over the lentils - I'd just turn the slices gently in a warm, dry pan. Your entire menu sounds heavy to me. This is a very large, dense sausage we're discussing, to be served with lentils. Bread and pasta? I am thinking a salad to start, and
  22. All great comedians need a straight guy. Tommy is the closest I could get.
  23. This thread, in its meandering way, is bringing out some profound misconceptions. First, I agree there's a way things are "supposed to" taste, if by that one means that - all conditions being equal - they will usually taste that way. Included in the "all conditions being equal" qualification are things like: - the tasters must be adults (and apparently not elderly) - the tasters certainly have to have the same "hard-wiring" and be healthy - the taster probably need to come from the same cultural/geographical purview (we could debate how much that's true) - the tasters mustn't be tasting this
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