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9 phrases to ban from restaurant menus


Alex
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Just to be clear, in Italian, scampi aren't shrimp. Gamberi are shrimp. Scampi are another species (or really, several species) more closely related to lobsters: langoustines, I guess.

I agree with jesteinf that shrimp scampi has been around long enough to deserve a pass. But even leaving that aside, "shrimp scampi" is just a shortened version of "shrimp scampi-style", which isn't a contradiction at all (even if Italians wouldn't typically serve scampi that way.) Sorry, Tribune food critics.

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The things that drive me nuts:

1) Fresh Frozen: Grrrr...it's either fresh or it's frozen, it's not both! :angry:

2) Walleye Pike/ Pike Perch: Neither of those names makes a lick of sense. Depending on where you live, you may expect the former name to mean a walleye or a pike (typically a Northern Pike). Pike Perch is just inane. Either use the scientific name for a fish or the accepted local/colloquial name, but don't use more than one!

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Sautéed fish, steak, chicken, etc... when it is really pan-roasted.  If you are placing your protein in a hot sauté pan with an eighth inch of oil and leaving it alone until browns it is pan-roasting not sautéing.

um, no its not. pan roasting is finishing by throwing the "pan" in the oven to "roast"

putting a piece of fish in a pan with a little hot oil is called "saute"...a lot more oil its called "pan fry"

pan roast is finishing in the oven. period.

I respectfully disagree. Saute translates into "jump". You might saute vegetables in a hot pan with very little oil while constantly tossing the vegetables until done.

When a cook places a product, i.e. rack of lamb, in a hot a pan with a eighth inch of oil and does not touch it until a beautiful dark golden crust is achieved and, yes, places the pan in the oven with a dab of butter to baste, that is pan-roasting.

Unless a cook is placing a piece of salmon in a saute pan and is constantly tossing it then it can be called "Sauteed Salmon".

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HOME MADE..........

My initial flavor test was the classic, bacon-lettuce-and-tomato sandwich. Homemade bread, homemade mayonnaise, homegrown tomato (from a neighbor), homemade bacon. The only thing that wasn't locally grown was the lettuce. It was the best sandwich I've ever had!

Naturally, my expectations were high so I had a bottle of wine to meet that expectation: 1976 Lafitte Rothschild. Mmmmmmm.....

Really Nice Aug 10 2003, 11:22 PM

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2) Walleye Pike/ Pike Perch:  Neither of those names makes a lick of sense.  Depending on where you live, you may expect the former name to mean a walleye or a pike (typically a Northern Pike).  Pike Perch is just inane.  Either use the scientific name for a fish or the accepted local/colloquial name, but don't use more than one!

Pike perch is the colloquial name. It's a fish of the perch family that looks like a pike. Is "horseshoe crab" inane? (It's not a horseshoe, or a crab.)

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2) Walleye Pike/ Pike Perch:  Neither of those names makes a lick of sense.  Depending on where you live, you may expect the former name to mean a walleye or a pike (typically a Northern Pike).  Pike Perch is just inane.  Either use the scientific name for a fish or the accepted local/colloquial name, but don't use more than one!

Pike perch is the colloquial name. It's a fish of the perch family that looks like a pike. Is "horseshoe crab" inane? (It's not a horseshoe, or a crab.)

Maybe where you're from it it. :rolleyes: To me it's the colloquial name of two different fishes (related ones at that). At least in my geographical area it's impossible to know what you'll get if you order "pike perch."

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Deeply Chilled.

Aka as frozen cheesecake from The Cheesecake Factory.

Said to a customer who wanted to buy a whole cheesecake( not me btw), " all of our cheesecakes our deeply chilled and can't be served right away".

That really gave me a good laugh.

Edited by CaliPoutine (log)
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My pet peeve is when something is named "Better than Sex _____". One aunt has a recipe in my cookbook for Better Than Sex Cake and she laughs everytime she says it. Like her nieces and nephews need to think about an aunt and uncle having sex.

First, I find it inappropriate.

Secondly, the cake couldn't be that good with all of the processed ingredients she uses for it. :rolleyes:

Rhonda

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Sautéed fish, steak, chicken, etc... when it is really pan-roasted.  If you are placing your protein in a hot sauté pan with an eighth inch of oil and leaving it alone until browns it is pan-roasting not sautéing.

um, no its not. pan roasting is finishing by throwing the "pan" in the oven to "roast"

putting a piece of fish in a pan with a little hot oil is called "saute"...a lot more oil its called "pan fry"

pan roast is finishing in the oven. period.

I respectfully disagree. Saute translates into "jump". You might saute vegetables in a hot pan with very little oil while constantly tossing the vegetables until done.

When a cook places a product, i.e. rack of lamb, in a hot a pan with a eighth inch of oil and does not touch it until a beautiful dark golden crust is achieved and, yes, places the pan in the oven with a dab of butter to baste, that is pan-roasting.

Unless a cook is placing a piece of salmon in a saute pan and is constantly tossing it then it can be called "Sauteed Salmon".

If it goes in the oven, and it's a dry heat method....how about we cut the crap and just call it "roasted".

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"Fresh Ahi Tuna"  Shouldn't we all expect whatever fish we order is fresh? 

"Excuse me waiter, I'll take the fresh tuna as opposed to the smelly tuna".

If the tuna is truly "fresh" and hasn't been frozen, this is reasonable.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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"Fresh Ahi Tuna"  Shouldn't we all expect whatever fish we order is fresh? 

I wonder about the term "Ahi Tuna" in the first place. Isn't "Ahi" just a Hawaiian word meaning "Tuna." If so, is "Ahi Tuna" just "Tuna Tuna." I know it has come often to refer to yellowfin tuna, but I'm pretty sure it doesn't have to.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Tender-crisp.

It's either one or the other. This is usually a mis-nomer for "warm raw vegetables," often merely nuked until warm. I think the French have another term which suits perfectly cooked vegetables better and that is "a point" which means "just to the point of doneness". Not mush, not raw.

"A point" also means rare, if applied to steak.

Ruth Dondanville aka "ruthcooks"

“Are you making a statement, or are you making dinner?” Mario Batali

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"Fresh Ahi Tuna"  Shouldn't we all expect whatever fish we order is fresh? 

"Excuse me waiter, I'll take the fresh tuna as opposed to the smelly tuna".

If the tuna is truly "fresh" and hasn't been frozen, this is reasonable.

I assume that, in the case of "fresh" tuna, this tradition arose to differentiate it from canned tuna -- which is the way most Americans experienced tuna prior to the 90s.. Similarly, all kinds of "fresh" meat are differentiated from preserved (pre-cooked, smoked, salted, canned, dried, etc.) forms. This gives rise to "fresh frozen" which indicates meat that has been frozen but not preserved, in the traditional sense (when it is thawed, it goes back to being "fresh," whereas this is not possible with any traditional form of preservation).

Edited by slkinsey (log)

--

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"Fresh Ahi Tuna"  Shouldn't we all expect whatever fish we order is fresh?

I wonder about the term "Ahi Tuna" in the first place. Isn't "Ahi" just a Hawaiian word meaning "Tuna." If so, is "Ahi Tuna" just "Tuna Tuna." I know it has come often to refer to yellowfin tuna, but I'm pretty sure it doesn't have to.

Actually, I believe that ahi does only refer to yellowfin tuna. Po'onui is bigeye tuna, aku is skipjack tuna, ahi palaha is albacore tuna, etc. (some info here).

--

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"(Fill in the blank) Almondine" bothers me ...(Ditto "with au jus," etc., as posted earlier.)

You could devote a Web site to that stuff (no doubt several exist). Like "Please RSVP." If people aren't interested in what their words mean, they don't even need to reach into other languages ("In regards to," "Brussel sprouts").

However. Among all the Restaurant Fake French used in the US of A, my best experience was with Almondine. A skilled chef friend at a corporate cafeteria once had a fine steam-table display of his fresh fish special "Almandine" (sic) ready for the upcoming lunch service. As someone with a taste for word trivia I was aware that "Almandine" is actually a dark-red mineral, and I mentioned that, amid some banter back and forth. Without a pause, chef grabbed a dark-red sweet pepper, quickly diced and seeded it, and tossed the crystal-like dark red bits over the fish dish. Got me, but good.

Edited by MaxH (log)
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The things that drive me nuts:

1) Fresh Frozen:  Grrrr...it's either fresh or it's frozen, it's not both! :angry:

2) Walleye Pike/ Pike Perch:  Neither of those names makes a lick of sense.  Depending on where you live, you may expect the former name to mean a walleye or a pike (typically a Northern Pike).  Pike Perch is just inane.  Either use the scientific name for a fish or the accepted local/colloquial name, but don't use more than one!

I've always thought that walleyed pike are so called because of the special character of their eyes. They reflect light and look like a moon and can be very striking. I imagine this name came to differentiate wall-eyed pike from northern pike, etc., through analogy with wall-eyed humans. It's a fine way to distinguish between northerns and walleyes. These are also the accepted local names where I've lived.

nunc est bibendum...

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Any chocolate dessert described as a sin ...

That's less about words than about a mind-set that likes to agonize on the edge -- neither just skipping the dessert, nor enjoying it with plain gusto. Maybe it's the idea that forbidden fruit is sweeter. (Goes back a long time, I understand.)
These naming conventions would only be (barely) tolerable if named in a deliberately quirky metacommenting way, such as "chocolate sloth cheesecake," "chocolate renal failure sundae" or "chocolate backdoor love cookies."

Now that's entertainment! Please advise if you see such. :biggrin:
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"Fresh Ahi Tuna"  Shouldn't we all expect whatever fish we order is fresh?

I wonder about the term "Ahi Tuna" in the first place. Isn't "Ahi" just a Hawaiian word meaning "Tuna." If so, is "Ahi Tuna" just "Tuna Tuna." I know it has come often to refer to yellowfin tuna, but I'm pretty sure it doesn't have to.

Actually, I believe that ahi does only refer to yellowfin tuna. Po'onui is bigeye tuna, aku is skipjack tuna, ahi palaha is albacore tuna, etc. (some info here).

As far as I know ahi refers to yellowfin and bigeye ("Both yellowfin and bigeye tuna are referred to as ahi in Hawaii" is what it says in the Fish Forever book as well as many other sources), and albacore is "ahi palaha" aka "ahi." I'm not aware of any other species of tuna being caught in commercial quantities around Hawaii, though I'm by no means an expert on that. But I've heard from a variety of sources that in Hawaii "ahi" just means "tuna."

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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This gives rise to "fresh frozen" which indicates meat that has been frozen but not preserved, in the traditional sense (when it is thawed, it goes back to being "fresh," whereas this is not possible with any traditional form of preservation).

I've never heard of preserved frozen, though, for example I don't think there's such a thing as frozen canned tuna -- at least not in the marketplace. I thought the use of "fresh frozen" arose to reflect quick freezing very soon after harvest/capture/slaughter.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Tender-crisp.

It's either one or the other.  This is usually a mis-nomer for "warm raw vegetables," often merely nuked until warm.  I think the French have another term which suits perfectly cooked vegetables better and that is "a point" which means "just to the point of doneness".  Not mush, not raw.

"A point" also means rare, if applied to steak.

I've occasionally heard "tender-crisp" used to describe the consistency of properly stir-fried vegetables, and it seems like an apt term for vegetables that have been nicely browned on the outside in a really hot wok while still crunchy on the inside.

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Kentucky Grilled Chicken, that's just wrong. :shock:

"He could blanch anything in the fryolator and finish it in the microwave or under the salamander. Talented guy."

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