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Criminally underappreciated foods


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Monkfish! In the Uk it only because popular in the last decade or so. A fishmonger near where I lived said it was because they were so ugly that the fishermen were scared of them. I thought that was quite funny.. lol!

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1. Rutabagas. Definitely agree. I don't even think I know what they look like.

2. Barley. Great cooked with browned onions and chicken broth. Great mixed with sauteed mushrooms, like the mushroom and barley take-out of my childhood. Fantastic in all kinds of soups. I like it better than soup with rice or noodles. Think Scotch Broth. Now there's an under-appreciated soup.

3. Parsnips. Gaining ground! Last night for dinner I made mashed potatoes and parsnips with a little chevre and chives. Really good. And for thanksgiving I made a sweet-potato parsnip pie, based partly on the David Tanis recipe for parsnip pie in Fine Cooking.

4. Okra. You either love it or hate it. If you hate it, it's because somebody didn't know how to cook it, or you never actually tried it and you're operating on heresay. I would debate that it's under-appreciated, since the people who appreciate it (like me) appreciate the hell out of it. I miss it all winter long.

5. I didn't appreciate beets, except in borscht, for many years, but I discovered that my problem was that I didn't like handling dark red beets. Once I discovered chiogga amd golden beets I went to town.

6. Collards. Under-appreciated by most of the country; they don't need or deserve to be boiled to death.

7. Broccoli Rabe. Far better than regular broccoli.

How about over-appreciated foods? Tilapia, bubble tea, bottled ketchup, ladyfingers, bananas.

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One problem holding parsnips back, I think, is their colour. They're a pale cream/gold colour doesn't offer enough of a colour contrast if you're considering them for a roast dinner, like my mother would have. Next to the roast potatoes, they would present a plate of bland white/yellow.

Are there any more interesting ways to serve them? Pureed as a soup? With spinach as a contrast?

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I'm not sure how much people appreciate tongue....it is getting more expensive, but the texture/succulence of the meat really appeals to me, especially in tacos or in a stew. I very rarely find fellow tongue-cravers in my neck of the woods, which is a shame- a whole tongue is a TON of meat for 1 person!

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Parsnips. I had never tasted them until two years ago when I decided we should try them. Yummm... :wub:

We are not quite vegetarians, but my favorite parsnip dish, and the one we will eat on Monday night for Winter Solstice celebrations is roasted fall vegetables: parsnips, white potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, with Brussels Sprouts and mushrooms. The sprouts are for me and the mushrooms for DH.

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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Tongue is something I have every few years or so to confirm that I really don't care for tongue. My wife likes it, so once when we got the tongue in our cooperative bulk beef purchase, I made it for her, but indeed, she couldn't eat the whole thing before getting tired of it after a week or so.

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Many different fishes are under-appreciated in U.S. culture. Including: bluefish, mackeral, herring. Note that these are all "oily" fish. Somehow, while "oily" fish like salmon and tuna are largely appreciated, these three are not. Part of it, I'm sure, is that when served uncured/pickled/smoked, i.e., fresh, these fish need to be very fresh, indeed, particularly the bluefish.

Organ meats of all sorts are pretty much under-appreciated, too. Tripe is pretty much reserved to ethnic eating these days, even though it's a patriot food, i.e., George Washington's troops ate it in pepper pot soup that winter in Valley Forge. (Though I guess pepper pot soup can't be too unappreciated, given that Campbells still cans it.) Other than chicken livers, a lot of folks avoid any organ meat. I don't eat many, though I'm a fan of smoked tongue (or when it's braised Mexican style)

Mutton. You can't even find it anymore if you don't know a sheep farmer. (Once again, though, Campbell's uses it for making the stock in its Scotch Broth, though the little pieces of meat are lamb.)

Turtle. Unless I'm mistaken it's pretty much only consumed (and even then not much) in certain areas of the Mid Atlantic and South. Here in Philadelphia, it's only in snapper soup.

Bob Libkind aka "rlibkind"

Robert's Market Report

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Many different fishes are under-appreciated in U.S. culture. Including: bluefish, mackeral, herring. Note that these are all "oily" fish. Somehow, while "oily" fish like salmon and tuna are largely appreciated, these three are not. Part of it, I'm sure, is that when served uncured/pickled/smoked, i.e., fresh, these fish need to be very fresh, indeed, particularly the bluefish.

We used to eat bluefish when we were really, really poor. Never liked it.

Our dogs ate canned mackerel for years. But we never even tasted it.

My Mother's family ate herring pickled and as a child I hated it. So much for those three fish. :raz:

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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Monkfish! In the Uk it only because popular in the last decade or so. A fishmonger near where I lived said it was because they were so ugly that the fishermen were scared of them. I thought that was quite funny.. lol!

Yes, monkfish in other countries!

And anything slimy like natto and okra.

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Parsnips are relatively little used by most people here (Norway), and thus underappreciated, but it's still rather expencive as they're either imported or, when in season, produced in small numbers.

I myself truly love them, they are used a lot in stews (with lamb or game), I don't think they add that much to soups as they have a rather mild flavour which tends to get cooked out in the soup (but they do add a nice sweetness to the consomme). It's still good, but it seems like such a waste.

However; I love them served with meat, pan fryed and caramellized to enhance their sweetness, or as a puré (which gets even better with carrot). They are truly best at the start of the harvest when they are tenderest and you can roast them whole with butter and a little broth.

Hm, I guess I have to buy some now.

Btw: here parsley root is also very under appreciated (as a lot of root vegetables are).

- Searching for inspiration and knowledge -

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I totally agree with root veg and barley, especially hulled barley, being under-appreciated.

Fresh sardines and anchovies are two more I would to the list. Plentiful and great tasting.

Dan

"Salt is born of the purest of parents: the sun and the sea." --Pythagoras.

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Btw: here [Norway] parsley root is also very under appreciated (as a lot of root vegetables are).

Not rutabagas, a.k.a. yellow turnips or "Swedes". I hate 'em, even when mixed (as is usual) with some potato. To my mind, they are over-appreciated! And they're pretty ubiquitous, and are especially popular as an accompaniment to that west Norwegian holiday favorite, Pinnekjøtt.

Come to think of it Pinnekjøtt is a much under-appreciated food, except among hard-core Norwegian lamb lovers and their American cousins. It's mutton (or lamb) breast which has been dry cured and hung for a couple of months, then resuscitated in a water bath before steaming. Incredibly intensive lamb/mutton flavor, so if you don't like strong lamb you will abhor this dish.

Bob Libkind aka "rlibkind"

Robert's Market Report

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When I think of underappreciated foods - I think of foods I don't eat. The foods I do eat (including many on the above lists) don't seem underappreciated when I know that they are so very good.

For a Christmas pot luck dinner, I prepared a rutabaga carrot dish - mashed rutabagas with grated carrots and other ingredients. It was very well received. Actually, I was surprised by how very well it was received.

The above lists include cauliflower, brussels sprouts, okra, and lamb which were all a part of the regular rotation in my mother's cooking. My favorite vegetable is okra - pickled, fried, okra & tomatoes, steamed with lemon juice are all excellent ways to serve a very underappreciated vegetable.

For some reason, I have always been drawn to the less common ingredients. I enjoy finding tasty ways to prepare rutabaga, okra, parsnips, black eyed peas, and other less familiar foods. I hadn't thought about it before - but, perhaps, my unconscious goal has been to change or broaden the food choices for us all. The preparation of white potatoes (as an example) have been unfairly judged by me as boring while it is exciting to find tasty recipes for the less well known foods.

Since moving to Georgia, I have learned about many additional vegetables. I had never eaten rutabaga, field peas, collards, turnip greens, parsnips, and probably some other vegetables until our move to Georgia. Now, they are enjoyed on a regular basis.

Perhaps my enjoyment of various international recipes is because of the unfamiliar ingredients in them. That may also be why our pantry is so full. We have, but seldom use, rose water, orange blossom water, file' powder, star anise, and numerous other items which have been purchased for specific recipes.

My list of underappreciated foods includes hominy, okra, rutabaga, lamb, parsnips, and brussels sprouts - but also such ingredients as I mention above (rose water, etc.).

Edited by Milt (log)
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Lobster used to be something fed to criminals and slaves. Tuna belly was considered no better than dog food until just a few decades ago. Oysters used to be a free snack food given out in bars to keep people drinking. Sure, there are some foods which could be considered underappreciated today but it's hard to think of many examples that had such a reversal in status.

Tomatoes would kill you. They've certainly enjoyed a reversal in status from deadly to divine.

And for foods that are unappreciated, I nominate buckwheat. When I was a kid, buckwheat was a staple in every pantry. Now it's getting harder and harder to find. I fear that as demand for it drops, farmers will grow less and less and, as the population that once enjoyed buckwheat pancakes every Sunday morning gradually disappears, so will buckwheat.

We're all about ease of preparation these days. And making buckwheat pancakes from scratch doesn't seem to fit.

__________________________

Edited by Jaymes (log)

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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I'd like to add cooked radishes. One year it rained endlessly and we had this bumper crop of huge radishes. Why we always plant radishes I don't know. I don't even like them.

Somewhere in the depths of my muddled mind I recalled that some Scandinavian country actually cooked and ate radishes. I simply boiled them like potatoes and poured a cheese sauce on them. I could not believe it! They loose their red color and their sharp bite and they were DELICIOUS!

Never had a bumper crop since. :sad:

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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