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Your most disliked trend in the food industry.


PSmith
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I never said that the reason I avoid it is because it's unsafe.

~Martin

Didn't you provide a string of references upthread regarding the dangers of irradiated food?

Yes, I certainly did, because someone asked for them.

~Martin

~Martin :)

I just don't want to look back and think "I could have eaten that."

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

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A little more on the 14oz pints that are showing up in restaurants everywhere.

http://online.wsj.co...2381153273.html

The short pour is even worse in combination with one of those glasses, percentage-wise. Take a "standard" beer glass and pour 12 oz into it. The level will be 1/2 inch from the top. So with one of the thick bottomed 14 oz glasses, you will be getting only 10 oz.

I grew up with actual liquid volume lines on beer glasses and that's government regulation I can get behind.

It's almost never bad to feed someone.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Sticking an egg on top of everything. I love eggs. I mean I LOVE eggs, but not on top of everything.

"I eat fat back, because bacon is too lean"

-overheard from a 105 year old man

"The only time to eat diet food is while waiting for the steak to cook" - Julia Child

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An I going to get yelled at if I say I hate Modernism?

Probably. This site seems to be a nexus for gastro-geekery. Personally, what I dislike about 'modernism' is that its practitioners define themselves as somehow apart and above gastronomy, when in actual fact the only fundamental difference is a self-consciousness about what happens to food at a molecular level. What's missing from modernist cuisine are such things as restraint, good-taste, knowledge of culinary history, vision and imagination. Hence so much of its output is characterised by the infantile appeal of brightly-coloured and over-flavoured pap. I can see its appeal for young and gastronomically ignorant technophiles, but credibility requires that the movement achieves a lot more than making stuff very, very soft.

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An I going to get yelled at if I say I hate Modernism?

Yep :raz: Actually, yelling, no; holding forth at exhausting length, yes.

An I going to get yelled at if I say I hate Modernism?

Probably. This site seems to be a nexus for gastro-geekery. Personally, what I dislike about 'modernism' is that its practitioners define themselves as somehow apart and above gastronomy, when in actual fact the only fundamental difference is a self-consciousness about what happens to food at a molecular level. What's missing from modernist cuisine are such things as restraint, good-taste, knowledge of culinary history, vision and imagination. Hence so much of its output is characterised by the infantile appeal of brightly-coloured and over-flavoured pap. I can see its appeal for young and gastronomically ignorant technophiles, but credibility requires that the movement achieves a lot more than making stuff very, very soft.

The only 'ism' that I can see as being intrinsically indefensible is 'extremism'. Why always 'my team or yours, enemies to the death'? Food extremism must one of the least attractive, yet persistent trends in the food industry.

Why do you regard Modernism in cooking as being at odds with 'such things as restraint, good-taste, knowledge of culinary history, vision and imagination'

(N.B. I'm capitalizing this simply to indicate that this refers to 'modernism as a cooking approach', rather than the broader philosophy)?

Please identify three examples of 'brightly-coloured and over-flavoured pap'!

The Modernism I'm familiar with almost obsessively pursues a diversity of flavours, not to mention, 'over-flavoured pap'?! Pap is implicitly bland (trust me to know this, I spend most of my time in Denmark), so this just seems an oxymoron.

A sense of being 'apart and above gastronomy, when in actual fact the only fundamental difference is a self-consciousness about what happens to food at a molecular level'?

How so?

I see an enthusiasm for understanding how things work, for being enthusiastic over sweating the details, even when the end result is soup dripping from the ceiling and a partial spoonful of some really intense reduction. Can we bore people to death with a blow-by-blow of a 56-step process? Well, yeh... sorry about that. :blush: But that's hardly snobbery.

The kitchen is our lab.

There's no denying the geekery, but the people who seem most drawn to Modernism as an approach tend to be equally geeky (science/technology) in other parts of their lives; I'm just not seeing some sort of universal snobbery.

Can there be a sometimes perplexing tendency to vacuum seal/cook everything sous vide? Yep. But I again, I don't see snobbery, I see geekery and a fondness for pushing buttons.

There's more to Modernism than cooking things sous vide.

Are there snobs who are drawn to Modernism? I don't doubt it, but I haven't come across them yet. Could that be because I'm so grotesquely snobbish that I don't recognize snobs when I see them (not a day goes by that I don't ask myself that very thing, but I don't think that's the case, at least, not the part about not recognizing snobs)?

Did I mention the kitchen is our lab? It is, but we tend to have taste buds, and not infrequently, the desire to recreate something wonderful we once had, by any means available. Today, the available means include an incredible range of ingredients (including a fantastic array of once beyond-reach imports) and technology.

Miss the amazing mortadella you had in Bologna on your honeymoon, and depressed by the local offering which taste of nothing? With access to various works on Modernism, you can have a crack at this yourself, having carefully furnished yourself not only with the knowledge to accomplish this, but also with the crucial information you need to ensure you create something delicious, rather than an outbreak of food poisoning.

I grew up in Florence. My favourite foods are very simple and traditional, and many of these items were first created using cooking methods that are no longer easily available (cooking in embers overnight doesn't work out so well in today's flats), making today's results often inconsistent/unsatisfactory, or are mostly made commercially, and not necessarily what they were when I was a kid; and dammit, I'd like to be able to drink chinotto soda that is not so bloody sweet.

When you dig into the physics and chemistry of food, you have the opportunity to not only create modern flight so fancy, but to find alternate routes to traditional favourites.

Modernism as an approach is about 'This is what we can do, now', and the breadth of what this involves is vast. What it does not implicitly involve is a rejection of tradition, history – have you see some of the most significant works on Modernism, and the amount of history that is discussed? – vision, or imagination – take a look at the array of imaginative, lovely, and delicious-looking Modernist dishes posted in the lunch and dinner threads.

I do understand that enthusiasm can be wearing, and that there are those who have embraced Modernism as an aesthetic/credo, but to dismiss it as an approach make no more sense than dismissing the widespread use of the food processor and gas/electric stove because 300 years ago everyone was using open flame.

We are here, now, and we cook accordingly :wink:

Michaela, aka "Mjx"
Manager, eG Forums
mscioscia@egstaff.org

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Sous-vide buffalo wings, seriously?

I had fun cooking them and the bones easily sliding out one time while keeping moisture.

Removing the salt and pepper shakers from the dining tables.

Just as long as the diner doesn't salt the food BEFORE trying it and send it back for being to salty.

RIDICULOUS!

Edited by ScottyBoy (log)

Sleep, bike, cook, feed, repeat...

Chef Facebook HQ Menlo Park, CA

My eGullet Foodblog

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An I going to get yelled at if I say I hate Modernism?

Probably. This site seems to be a nexus for gastro-geekery. Personally, what I dislike about 'modernism' is that its practitioners define themselves as somehow apart and above gastronomy, when in actual fact the only fundamental difference is a self-consciousness about what happens to food at a molecular level. What's missing from modernist cuisine are such things as restraint, good-taste, knowledge of culinary history, vision and imagination. Hence so much of its output is characterised by the infantile appeal of brightly-coloured and over-flavoured pap. I can see its appeal for young and gastronomically ignorant technophiles, but credibility requires that the movement achieves a lot more than making stuff very, very soft.

I don't have a problem with people engaging in the discussion of modernist cuisine, nor do I have issues with the technology employed. I did co-found this Society, and when we did, our objectives were to embrace everything of a culinary nature. I'm glad people have a place to discuss it.

HOWEVER. I do think that technology and the techniques should be applied where they make sense, and that modernism is not the only way or the right way to approach cooking. I also do not think the application of the technology or techniques are necessarily practical or sensible for a home cook or enthusiast. Basically it boils down to use it where it makes sense and is practical, and too much of one thing is not necessarily good.

As a practicing technologist, I am a bit turned off by the overwhelming use of modernism in cuisine. I see cooking as a fairly low tech activity that is meant to be enjoyed to escape the modern trappings I have to deal with on a day to day basis, that is enhanced occasionally by the use of enabling technology when it is warranted -- like the use of high-end BBQ thermometers/thermal control systems or say PID's in espresso machines where precision is required to produce a better end product.

Edited by Jason Perlow (log)

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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An I going to get yelled at if I say I hate Modernism?

I won't.

In my fridge there is a decidedly modernist product that my wife uses every day. I take my coffee black but she uses fat-free half and half in hers. Skim milk manipulated with additives and processes gives the mouth feel of half and half. Some place in EG land there is a thread about this topic where it is roundly ripped as the worse sort of processed crap that large food companies foist on us.

I have always wondered if this process had showed up in the MC book if it would not have been praised and copied.

There ain't much new with lots of the techniques the modernists embrace. For those that care to turn there kitchens into laboratories I salute you for your curiosity.

I would only hope that those of us who continue to cook using non-modernists techniques are not considered Luddites or losers or worse as has been suggested by some. There are more things I could add but I will hold them close.

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I also do not think the application of the technology or techniques are necessarily practical or sensible for a home cook or enthusiast.

I suppose I can see your point. The modernist cuisine at home technique that gets laughed at the most around here is bloody sieving everything.

It's almost never bad to feed someone.

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I don't have a problem with people engaging in the discussion of modernist cuisine, nor do I have issues with the technology employed. I did co-found this Society, and when we did, our objectives were to embrace everything of a culinary nature. I'm glad people have a place to discuss it.

HOWEVER. I do think that technology and the techniques should be applied where they make sense, and that modernism is not the only way or the right way to approach cooking. I also do not think the application of the technology or techniques are necessarily practical or sensible for a home cook or enthusiast. Basically it boils down to use it where it makes sense and is practical, and too much of one thing is not necessarily good.

As a practicing technologist, I am a bit turned off by the overwhelming use of modernism in cuisine. I see cooking as a fairly low tech activity that is meant to be enjoyed to escape the modern trappings I have to deal with on a day to day basis, that is enhanced occasionally by the use of enabling technology when it is warranted -- like the use of high-end BBQ thermometers/thermal control systems or say PID's in espresso machines where precision is required to produce a better end product.

This is all absolutely fair and reasonable, BUT. There are people who find the idea of going amok with modern technology really relaxing, and there are those who are very detail oriented, who find fine-grained control soothing. We love the little gadgets that give us precise, accurate information! Being able to fine-tune a recipe feels really great!

But none of this seems to directly conflict with more traditional approaches (today's low-tech was once state of the art); Modernism seems like an addition to what can already be done, not a replacement.

Michaela, aka "Mjx"
Manager, eG Forums
mscioscia@egstaff.org

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We don't eat out much except at pubs or ethnic restos, so I don't see a lot of trendy stuff. But a friend took me out to lunch today at a trendy bistro. Every dang course was sweet! i had a squash soup -- that came with candied pecans and sweet potato chips and tasted like warm pumpkin pie filling. Next we had ricotta fritters -- which came with raisins and were drizzled with honey. Then a salad of arugula and goat cheese, which had candied grapes and glazed pears. I don't mind an occasional sweet touch, for a change, but this felt like dessert with vegetables. A big miss.

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This is all absolutely fair and reasonable, BUT. There are people who find the idea of going amok with modern technology really relaxing, and there are those who are very detail oriented, who find fine-grained control soothing. We love the little gadgets that give us precise, accurate information! Being able to fine-tune a recipe feels really great!

Let me phrase it another way.

Use my culinary powers as a Jedi Master for good rather than evil I must. Modernism is the Dark Side. Together the light and the dark you must have, but overall, controlled the Dark Side must be.

EVIL THE DARK LORD MHYRVOLD IS. BEWARE THE PATH OF HIS EVIL BOOK, FOR IN IT THERE IS ONLY FRUSTRATION AND DESPAIR AND EMPTY WALLETS.

Edited by Jason Perlow (log)

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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. . . .

There ain't much new with lots of the techniques the modernists embrace. For those that care to turn there kitchens into laboratories I salute you for your curiosity.

Exactly! Just a few more people using the techniques in (to us) interesting ways.

I would only hope that those of us who continue to cook using non-modernists techniques are not considered Luddites or losers or worse as has been suggested by some. . . .

This should (I'd hope) go without saying, and since part of the idea behind Modernism is to use the best techniques or ingredients, the traditional is not going to be discarded simply for not being the latest thing. There may be a better way of roasting chestnuts than to cut an X in their tops and pop them in an ordinary oven (I've had no luck with the open fire thing), but I haven't found it. Yet.

Let me phrase it another way.

Use my culinary powers as a Jedi Master for good rather than evil I must. Modernism is the Dark Side. Together the light and the dark you must have, but overall, controlled the Dark Side must be.

EVIL THE DARK LORD MHYRVOLD IS. BEWARE THE PATH OF HIS EVIL BOOK, FOR IN IT THERE IS ONLY FRUSTRATION AND DESPAIR AND EMPTY WALLETS.

Too late for us; we've settled in, and like it here! To quote the only fridge magnet I ever willingly bought, we heard 'Come to the dark side, we have cookies', and thought 'Fantastic', then looked at the recipe, and decided to fraction the butter, do distinctly different things to each fraction, recombine them and add them to the dough using carefully measured pressure, speed and temperature, then chilled, froze, thawed and formed the cookies, and are now planning to bake them in the microwave... to see what happens).

Michaela, aka "Mjx"
Manager, eG Forums
mscioscia@egstaff.org

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...a friend took me out to lunch today at a trendy bistro. Every dang course was sweet! i had a squash soup -- that came with candied pecans and sweet potato chips and tasted like warm pumpkin pie filling. Next we had ricotta fritters -- which came with raisins and were drizzled with honey. Then a salad of arugula and goat cheese, which had candied grapes and glazed pears. I don't mind an occasional sweet touch, for a change, but this felt like dessert with vegetables. A big miss.

I too hate overly sweet meals.

Me three. Save it for dessert!

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Too late for us; we've settled in, and like it here! To quote the only fridge magnet I ever willingly bought, we heard 'Come to the dark side, we have cookies', and thought 'Fantastic', then looked at the recipe, and decided to fraction the butter, do distinctly different things to each fraction, recombine them and add them to the dough using carefully measured pressure, speed and temperature, then chilled, froze, thawed and formed the cookies, and are now planning to bake them in the microwave... to see what happens).

That... is why you fail.

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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Techniques are just techniques. SV....braising...spit roasting...pick whatever gives the best result. I don't care if you use xanthan gum or a roux; just so it's good.

What I don't want is faddish stuff. Foams on the plate,for example. Looks like spittle. Deconstructed dishes are almost always awkward and cool off too quickly.

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Traditional techniques used by someone who doesn't understand cooking and their appropriate use can lead to absolutely atrocious results.

Modernist techniques used by someone who doesn't understand cooking and their appropriate use can lead to absolutely atrocious results.

The common denominator in these two sentences is not the cooking technique.

Modernist, conventional, whatever. Don't blame the techniques, blame the idiots who are using them wrongly.

Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

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