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Foods or Dishes About Which You Are a Purist


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I made chili for dinner and popcorn for a late night snack tonight, and I realized that I'm a purist about both. The idea of putting beans in my chili or parmigiano reggiano on my popcorn makes me want to institute a Department of Culinary Purity -- an impulse that I generally find annoying.

So fess up. What are the dishes or foods that you absolutely do not modify from the classic version?

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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I made chili for dinner and popcorn for a late night snack tonight, and I realized that I'm a purist about both. The idea of putting beans in my chili or parmigiano reggiano on my popcorn makes me want to institute a Department of Culinary Purity -- an impulse that I generally find annoying.

So fess up. What are the dishes or foods that you absolutely do not modify from the classic version?

Great topic! Fettucini "Alfredo" i.e. Fettucini alla panna---butter, cream, Parmigiano. Period. (OK, OK... salt, pepper, maybe nutmeg depending on the cheese)

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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PESTO!! I hate the "black walnuts" thing. i don't understand leaving out pine nuts. my best friend won't put garlic in and gets all holier-than-thou about it, when really i think it's ridiculous that she won't put garlic in!

for me (ok, maybe i have control issues...) pesto=basil + garlic+ olive oil + parmesan reggiano + pine nuts. salt, perhaps a little lemon juice to brighten it, but nothing more nothing less.

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I'm with you on chili - and that means chopped beef, not ground, and wrangling dried chiles -- no chile powder, no tomatoes. (Where would cowboys get tomatoes?)

Martinis must be made with gin, and enough vermouth to add a presence.

Pasta Puttanesca shouldn't skew red, just a few chopped tomatoes.

Hamburgers should be pressed from 70/30 ground chuck -- you should still be able to see the pattern of the grind -- and enhanced with no more than salt and pepper, and (thank you, Paul Newman for this tip) a drop of W sauce spread lovingly over one side with a fingertip. Waygu, foie -- pfui.

No chicken in my Caesar -- yes to raw eggs and W sauce.

Espresso black and dark: don't wiggle that bottle of sugary fruit, spice or extract anywhere near it.

There's only one topping for pancakes, and that's maple syrup.

I have spoken.

Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com

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pesto.  i get so pissed when the pesto is "spinach pesto" or "walnut pesto" or what have you--at least when the purveyor isn't up front about it.

oy--my grandmother once told me "ooh, parsley makes a wonderful pesto!" this is the same woman who once took the leftover used coffee grounds out of the coffee pot and dumped them over a pot roast she was making.

(apologies to those who like parsley pesto or coffee ground pot roast.)

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Being from Philly originally, there are two things that I (and other Philadelphians) know that no one else can duplicate -- the hoagie and the cheesesteak. Living in Atlanta, hoagies don't even exist, and I will never, ever order a cheesesteak from a restaurant -- it just won't be right.

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pesto.  i get so pissed when the pesto is "spinach pesto" or "walnut pesto" or what have you--at least when the purveyor isn't up front about it.

oy--my grandmother once told me "ooh, parsley makes a wonderful pesto!" this is the same woman who once took the leftover used coffee grounds out of the coffee pot and dumped them over a pot roast she was making.

(apologies to those who like parsley pesto or coffee ground pot roast.)

we posted our posts at exactly the same time!

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pesto.  i get so pissed when the pesto is "spinach pesto" or "walnut pesto" or what have you--at least when the purveyor isn't up front about it.

oy--my grandmother once told me "ooh, parsley makes a wonderful pesto!" this is the same woman who once took the leftover used coffee grounds out of the coffee pot and dumped them over a pot roast she was making.

(apologies to those who like parsley pesto or coffee ground pot roast.)

we posted our posts at exactly the same time!

:smile::smile: i was just happy to see someone else who had the same opinion!

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I'm a purist about ingredients; less so about preparations. I don't have the family background to be picky about recipes. I like everything that's made well with good ingredients.

Even cheesecake, which I always make New York style, no graham cracker crust. But I'll eat it even when it's made differently. And I like bagels with stuff in them, something which could well get me lynched in certain parts of the country. I'm from Seattle, I don't know from bagels.

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And I like bagels with stuff in them, something which could well get me lynched in certain parts of the country.

:laugh: I was reading this thread and thinking to myself, bagels. Leave the friggin' blueberries OUT, please. And while your at it, get those pineapple slices off my pizza!

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And I like bagels with stuff in them, something which could well get me lynched in certain parts of the country.

:laugh: I was reading this thread and thinking to myself, bagels. Leave the friggin' blueberries OUT, please. And while your at it, get those pineapple slices off my pizza!

Absolutely on the bagels. I'm okay with onion, garlic, long island (no, it's not an 'everything'), what have you. But the moment you put a blueberry near one I'm thinking you don't deserve a bagel.

I'm not so much an purist about dishes. I'm a purist about the ingredients. It says butter? Okay, don't even think of using anything else. Don't tell me I can use fat free half-and-half. Don't leave out the fish sauce and then complain that the dish didn't turn out well. Don't swap out the sugar for splenda, or even suggest it. You want something low sugar? Than go find a low-sugar recipe

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And I like bagels with stuff in them, something which could well get me lynched in certain parts of the country.

:laugh: I was reading this thread and thinking to myself, bagels. Leave the friggin' blueberries OUT, please. And while your at it, get those pineapple slices off my pizza!

Absolutely on the bagels. I'm okay with onion, garlic, long island (no, it's not an 'everything'), what have you. But the moment you put a blueberry near one I'm thinking you don't deserve a bagel.

I'm not so much an purist about dishes. I'm a purist about the ingredients. It says butter? Okay, don't even think of using anything else. Don't tell me I can use fat free half-and-half. Don't leave out the fish sauce and then complain that the dish didn't turn out well. Don't swap out the sugar for splenda, or even suggest it. You want something low sugar? Than go find a low-sugar recipe

I have to agree, there. Blurby seems to have the right of it. That, and I'm tough on pizza, too.

Don't even get me started in the cocktail department...

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And I like bagels with stuff in them, something which could well get me lynched in certain parts of the country.

:laugh: I was reading this thread and thinking to myself, bagels. Leave the friggin' blueberries OUT, please. And while your at it, get those pineapple slices off my pizza!

I think blueberry, banana nut, and chocolate chip bagels are delicious. But my pet peeve is places that don't boil the bagels or use malt.

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I don't care how many blogs or articles I read about fancy-pants latkes made with things like duck fat or parsnips, I have finally gotten it close enough to Nana's that I'm not changing a thing!

“Don't kid yourself, Jimmy. If a cow ever got the chance, he'd eat you and everyone you care about!”
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I dunno, everytime I try to be a "purist" about something I find out I was wrong, so I've kind of given up.

Sure, I like Gin in my Martinis and such, and will do my best to research and accurately make a recipe for Gumbo or Jambalaya. But, if the "accurate" way of doing it sounds like it is going to suck, I will have no qualms about changing the recipe.

In the popcorn example, if I'm making it, I'll insist on doing it with oil on the stove. No microwave, no air popper, etc. After that, if you want to put freshly grated parmesan reggiano on it, like my wife, that's fine with me. In Mexico they put all sorts of weird things on their corn on the cob, and they probably invented both corn and popcorn.

---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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So, maybe this is an obvious question, but are you more likely to be a purist about foods from your region or ones you grew up with? I grew up in Seattle before there was a true "cuisine" there. Sure, we picked blackberries and filberts, caught fish and crabs and dug clams and geoducks. But they're ingredients, not preparations. I'm a product of the 60's, and much of the food I grew up with besides the great local things and our garden, were the kinds of things I feel no sentiment over. TV dinners, Mac and cheese, that kind of thing. Maybe that's why I can't really care whether I eat a bagel with asiago cheese or jalapenos--it's not ingrained in me that it's not the "right" way to make them.

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Maybe that's why I can't really care whether I eat a bagel with asiago cheese or jalapenos--it's not ingrained in me that it's not the "right" way to make them.

I'm not sure how much I really care about whether a preparation is "right" or "authentic" per se... I care about which one is "best" in my estimation. For example, my staunch insistence on the simple combination of ingredients in Fettucini alla panna is due to the extremely large number of terrible variations, mostly attempting to cover up the use of substandard cheese. So I am a "purist" in the sense that I have settled on what I consider to be the "best" version, and I scorn all others as containing absolutely unnecessary embellishments. Maybe this thinking doesn't qualify me as a purist at all...

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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Absolutely on the bagels. I'm okay with onion, garlic, long island (no, it's not an 'everything'), what have you...

"Long Island"? I've never heard everything bagels called "Long Island" bagels, and I grew up there. :blink: Is that a Seattle regional thing?

"I know it's the bugs, that's what cheese is. Gone off milk with bugs and mould - that's why it tastes so good. Cows and bugs together have a good deal going down."

- Gareth Blackstock (Lenny Henry), Chef!

eG Ethics Signatory

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I agree about the only true pesto. I have never seen any point in substituting any ingredient.

Bagels - yep, they have to be plain or egg, possibly pumpernickle, and perhaps the plain ones can have some toasted onion pressed into the surface. (The venerable Brooklyn Bagel Bakery in downtown Los Angeles made these varieties, which were my introduction to bagels way back in 1959.)

Aioli is what it is. And what it is, is garlic! Absent the garlic you have something-oli!!

And for my own consumption, and for family and friends who have no religious dietary restrictions, I make my pie dough with lard. I have yet to find any fat substitute that produces a flakier or more tender crust. (And that includes butter, which I love in certain pastries, but not in my pie dough.)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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I am not sure if this qualifies me as a purist what-so-ever (because, like others have commented, what I am about to say is not a preparation, it is an ingredient)....but I will only use the 'REAL' cheese in recipes (heck, I will only use REAL cheese for straight eating also!)...and by 'real' I mean full fat....not that hokey pokey light, low-fat, reduced fat crap. Some of the "light' cheeses are okay...but they are FAR from good, and FAR from their original yumminess.....they lack in so many areas - taste, texture, melting ability, tendency to not get all gelatin-like when cooking/melting them.

In my opinion, less of the REAL thing is better than a whole lot of the light versions.

Now, I must clarify, I am not talking about cheeses that are NATURALLY lighter/lower-fat by nature (Mozerella, goats milk cheeses, etc....)...I am talking about cheeses that were tampered with by some scientist (food scientist, hehe) in order to make them less fatty.

I say, with my cheese give me the fat!

***Disclaimer - I am a HUGE cheese lower....every kind of cheese.

Add cheese to just about anything and it tastes better (desserts are excluded from that, at least usually :) )

"One Hundred Years From Now It Will Not Matter What My Bank Account Was, What Kind of House I lived in, or What Kind of Car I Drove, But the World May Be A Better Place Because I Was Important in the Life of A Child."

LIFES PHILOSOPHY: Love, Live, Laugh

hmmm - as it appears if you are eating good food with the ones you love you will be living life to its fullest, surely laughing and smiling throughout!!!

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