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liuzhou

Food and Drink Disappointments

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You know. There is something you've only heard about and wanted, but when you get it it isn't the nirvana you expected.

Or you have had it and loved and wanted it again, but the second time didn't match the first etc.

 

I am giving my age away a little, but as a kid growing up in Scotland in the 1950s, Coca Cola was this exotic manna that I really needed to sample. I only ever saw mention of it in imported comic books or television.

 

In 1959, the family took a short break in a seaside resort on Scotland's west coast. It rained the whole time. As usual. To divert my brother and me, our parents took us to some live performance show which I remember nothing about other than that my father my managed to procure two bottles of manna in the classic Coca Cola bottles. I was so excited I nearly had an accident.

 

I tasted it and wept. It is just sugary water! I still can't drink it.

Then our vacation was cut short when my next brother decided to be born and we had to decamp back home

Tonight, I was disappointed to find the the chicken breast I left to defrost all day had magical turned into a piece of pork when I got home.

 

What disappointments have you encountered?

 


Edited by liuzhou (log)
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For me, most alcohol proved rather disappointing, although I always liked it in things such as sweets. The lovely colours, especially seen with light coming through, made it seem like it would have to surpass all the usual things I drank (with the possible exception of orzata), and essentially be the manifestation of a whole new, higher level of flavour. When I finally tried it, it was such a let-down, sour/bitter, and burning or stinging. The whole experience was a lot like Denis's discovery of what 'carminative' actually means. I persisted, because at some level, I continued to believe what I had in the first place/I'm freakishly optimistic about the strangest things, and eventually found a few iterations that approximated my expectations: some liqueurs, boal madeira (I still haven't tried Chartreuse, because I so want to believe it is amazing). But I still like alcohol best as asupporting ingredient in something essentially non-alcoholic.

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

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Carrots.

 

I was very young.  Watching Bugs Bunny cartoons on TV.  He made carrots seem so damn delicious.  I begged my mom to cut some up for me.......

 

I took a bite.

 

NOTHING like I imagined.

 

Raw carrots still aren't my favorite thing to eat.

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Thomas Keller's Bouchon Bakery and his Addendum restaurant.

 

Here's the conversation I had with one of my friends after we went up to visit Keller's places:

 

Apart from the burnt and overcooked baguette from the bakery, I was terribly disappointed with the pulled pork sandwich.  The pork was nice and tender but lacked any flavor.  It was bland, Bland, BLAND!  The only flavor in the sandwich came from the dressing, which was applied with a heavy hand.  The coleslaw and pickles were redolent of vinegar, so much so that my tongue tingled long after finishing the sandwich, and the concoction overpowered the minimal taste of the pork.  The roll was pretty mediocre - something reminiscent of what one would purchase in a supermarket. Even worse was the two large pieces of gristle that I bit into - very unpleasant.

 

The fried chicken, while flavorful and moist, was greasy - grease was literally running down my fingers while eating a piece of breast.  Shame on you, Thomas Keller!
 
The bread pudding was far too sweet for my taste, and the bread had no "pudding" texture, rather it was hard and chewy, perhaps something some people might like.  The pudding, such as it was, was loaded with raisins, increasing the sweetness and adding a texture that, in my opinion, conflicted with the bread.  It is not something I would order again. It seemed that there was more fruit than bread, and the bread, in and of itself, offered very little flavor or, perhaps, was overshadowed by the cloying and over sweetened fruit and sauce ingredients.
 
My chocolate roll with "vanilla crème filling" had absolutely no noticeable vanilla taste.  It reminded me of a cheap supermarket item called Ho Ho's (Keller's is called Do Do's, suggesting his creation to be an upscale version of the Ho Ho).  While the chocolate cake was pretty good, and the chocolate coating was nice, albeit a bit heavy handed and unevenly applied, the vanilla filling, which is what I bought the dessert for, was truly bland ... I could make a better tasting filling in a few minutes in my minimalist kitchen, of this I'm sure.

 

When I got home and opened the packages from Bouchon, I discovered that the wrong items were packed.  I ordered a lemon tart and they packed a cookie!
 
I sure hope The French Laundry has better quality food, because Addendum and Bouchon were, at least, inconsistent.
 
I also found it somewhat pretentious that there was no menu posted.  Unless someone had gone to the website, there was no way to know what to order, or what sides came with each dish.  I believe one of you mentioned that there was no menu posted for the restaurant next door, Ad Hoc? and that a sign suggested a visit to the website to get the menu.

 

Also, the Addendum website says each meal comes with two sides, yet I received only a single bag of potato chips with the pulled pork sandwich.
 
While I enjoyed the day out, and spending time with you, Keller's creations left much to be desired.

 

My friend responded:

 

Yes, I agree with you.  I think Keller's britches have gotten way too big for him.

For dinner, I had the double chocolate muffin and boy was that puppy DRY!  I absolutely hate dry food and it seems like the person who's charge in the bakery is over baking everything.  I've been doing a lot of baking lately for our Tuesday night crew at the Mammal Center and none of my stuff reminds me of the Sahara Desert.  I always under bake my cakes, cookies, and then add minutes back to the baking time if I need to. 

I've decided never to visit the bakery again since every time I visit, it gets more and more disappointing.  Keller better wake up & pay attention to his empire because I think his reputation may be in danger. 



Edited to correct a couple of typos.
 


Edited by Shel_B (log)

 ... Shel


 

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Well it happens a lot. Why I don't eat out much anymore. Compounded by bad service or execution. Often goes hand in hand. 

 

I was gratified/disappointed at the same time to find out last week my rice is far better than what is to be found at Niki's Tokyo Inn.  

 

 

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Turkish Delight! My only acquaintance with it came from The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. I didn't encounter the actual stuff until well into adulthood. I'm not sure what I thought it would be like, but - well - not that. "Edmund," I thought, "for this you betrayed your siblings not to mention an entire oppressed population? You asshole!"

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"There is nothing like a good tomato sandwich now and then."

-Harriet M. Welsch

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Turkish Delight! My only acquaintance with it came from The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. I didn't encounter the actual stuff until well into adulthood. I'm not sure what I thought it would be like, but - well - not that. "Edmund," I thought, "for this you betrayed your siblings not to mention an entire oppressed population? You asshole!"

ACK!  Turkish Delight is one thing I've always wanted to try and never had the chance.  Just like you, I learned of it in that book.  

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We are with Radtek.  Don't eat out anymore.  Except for fish and chips.  And only one place in the small city near us.  The downside of this is the constant cooking of Chinese food which the DH loves above all.  So much work.  Oh well.  And no more breakfasts out. 

Are the restaurants all falling down on the job?  Or are we becoming too choosy?

The worst disappointment occurred about 5 months ago.  I loved, loved, loved Apple Fritters from a local coffee place.  Talked about them regularly.  Hadn't had one in YEARS!  Such self-control.  Finally gave in.  Such anticipation.  Mouth watering.  Almost drooling.

 

Gack!  Horrible.  You needed a magnifying glass to see the apple bits.  Enough dough to sink a ship.  I was devastated.  Torn up inside.  (Well, I can be a bit overboard at times.)  That's it for me.  I've tried them all across the USA to Utah and never found a good one.  If you know of a place that makes good Apple Fritters off I 70, 44 or 4o, please let me know.  And no, I don't want to make them.

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Darienne

learn, learn, learn...

Cheers & Chocolates

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Cheesecake.

 

I think some disappointments come about because some ingredients have changed over the years or are formulated differently in different places, even if the same recipe is used everywhere and/or for many decades by a single producer.

 

For a long while, many years ago, in the Yukon, I made the New York cheesecake recipe from Dinners for Life and it was spectacular, consistently so. Intermittently, over the years, in different places, I have made that same recipe using whatever ingredients were available locally and it has disappointed every time since, mostly in a textural sense. I believe that the cream cheese and ricottas have changed somehow or were never the same as what I used many years ago.

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Any  fast food chain is  a disappointment,  Kentucky fried Chicken and Subway in London was horrid.   But otherwise it is Mac&Cheese,  it looks like it at least would be edible but it is not, American   BBQ sauce, ugh  yes I get brands as Stubbs, Jacks and few others here that are made in America for the American market and I cant eat it, the sweetness is sickening and  dont get me started on any meat with  maple syrup, it just way too sweet and weird.  Yeah  I dont like overly sweet stuff and not with meat.  The lingon jam I eat is  sweet and sour and that I can handle with food.  

Oh and Haggis, haggis just taste like  pölsa which I do like but it isnt  magical and mythical as  haggis is made up to be.

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Cheese is you friend, Cheese will take care of you, Cheese will never betray you, But blue mold will kill me.

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Deryn spoke of potential changes in cream cheese and ricotta.  Oh yes, and also sour cream and cottage cheese...and I bet the list goes on forever........   :sad: :sad:

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Darienne

learn, learn, learn...

Cheers & Chocolates

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Caviar

 

Sea Urchin

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Way down the scale but still a disappointment: Brownie Brittle. We had seen it at Costco for a couple of months but had yet to pick any up when we happened by where they were handing out samples. I had imagined something of the texture of peanut brittle with the flavor of a good brownie. Not so much.

 

We fell in love with Corazona oatmeal bars some time ago. They quickly became a staple for snackage.  Then Costco clearanced them. SInce we could still buy them at our local supermarket our main disappointment, at that time, was having to pay more for them.  Costco brought them back. The packaging and flavor selections had changed. But, far more importantly, they changed the recipe, made them less sweet and started promoting themselves as a heart-healthy snack. I wasn't buying them for my heart, I was buying them for my mouth so to speak. The changed recipe made it's way into our supermarket also. Sad.

 

From some years ago: Grgich Hills Zinfandel. Wonderful nose, very tasty but it had the mouth-feel of water. I am used to a good red having some "texture" on the tongue. My BIL agreed with my assessment.


Porthos Potwatcher
The Once and Future Cook

;

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...I am having one at this moment. There are many fine Middle Eastern restaurants in the Metro Detroit area, but...I have just finished lunch at what many consider the best place one of the best and I have had my second disappointing experience. I should add that this is one of the very few places that serves Iraqi-style food. That may explain its popularity. The good Lebanese places are truly delightful. 

    Also, IMHO Locum/Malban, the original Middle Eastern version of Turkish Delight is wonderful but very different from the version produced here.


Edited by Naftal (log)

"As life's pleasures go, food is second only to sex.Except for salami and eggs...Now that's better than sex, but only if the salami is thickly sliced"--Alan King (1927-2004)

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I have to agree with the Turkish Delight. I tried it for the first time in 2007, it was from a specialty boutique and had been made someplace in the middle east. I recall paying a fairly hefty price, but, thinking of C.S. Lewis: 'wow, I finally get to try this exotic treat'! It was just some bland soft squares with bits of rubbery nuts. Guess I need to find a better brand or make some myself...

 

Talk of things changing reminds me that I tried a strawberry Pop Tart about 5 years ago after not having any since maybe the early 1970s. (not that we had them very often in my childhood) It was horrible! The crust recipe has to be different now, and the filling seemed more like a candy product than a fruit jam.

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Dole Whip...

 

I had heard it was magical, so when I took my son to Dutch Wonderland last summer and I saw they had some, I bought some...

While it was good, there was no magic...

 

However that sushi I had when I was 17 for the first time was everything I ever wanted


Wawa Sizzli FTW!

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Re: Turkish delight, Hacı Bekir or nothing. Seriously. The original and BY FAR best.

 

What about the kind from Harrods?


Wawa Sizzli FTW!

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The only thing that jumps to mind are rock shrimp. I adore shellfish and especially shrimp and spiny lobster. These were tasteless to me. Granted I've only had the frozen ones from Trader Joes.

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From some years ago: Grgich Hills Zinfandel. Wonderful nose, very tasty but it had the mouth-feel of water. I am used to a good red having some "texture" on the tongue. My BIL agreed with my assessment.

 

I have not tried the method, but there is literature on using an homogenizer to improve the mouth feel of wine.

 

My biggest disappointment recently was Friendly's Coconut ice cream.  A coworker recommended it highly.  It was on sale but sold out.  I finally tracked it down.  It was vile.

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Most recently it was a can of cassoulet.  I have never had cassoulet but it seems like something I would love.  

I saw a stand of specialty / gourmet french imports at a local farmers market, and one of the things they sold were cans of cassoulet.  Admittedly I don't normally have much hope for anything in a can, but this was french made, and sold to me by a french person, and it cost over $20 for a small can sitting alongside other decidedly niche and desirable items, so I thought it might be OK.

In reality it tasted exactly like a can of 50c refried beans, or that weird bean-paste they smear on cheap burritos.  I can only hope that genuine cassoulet is much better!

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Oh smoked shrimp!  How I adore smoked shrimp, so I went to the east cost  where the best  shrimp is had and ordered  a  smoked shrimp sandwich in café by the docks, well guess if I was surprised , it was shrimps in mayo flavoured with liquid smoke and they where badly shelled.  *sigh*  Sitting a the dock watching boats come in with  basket of fresh smoked shrimps wasnt fun.

 

Or the time  in the Netherlands,  we went to a restaurant, which we had been before, just 1 year earlier and ordered their  wonderful entrecôte  with  green pepper sauce,  well  we didnt get the right meat, the sauce was edible but not like it used too and the  veggies was badly over cooked, we wanted to leave when we realised that the owners sat outside smoking pot with a  biker gang and every time we tried to stand up  they acted threateningly to us.  So we ate up and then where allowed to get out of there.  We talked to some friends and found out the former owner's daughter had taken over and her "friends" made sure guests stayed.  Yeah,  time to avoid that place.


Cheese is you friend, Cheese will take care of you, Cheese will never betray you, But blue mold will kill me.

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Darienne,

 

I can totally relate to the "no more breakfasts out" statement in your post.

 

Even mom and pop cafes in our area have quit bothering to preheat the serving plates. If anything calls for that it is breakfast eggs, meats, potatoes, pancakes, and so on.  :sad:

 

If you are very lucky anymore your breakfast may be served fresh off the grill, but it has a half life of about twenty seconds when served on a stone cold plate even if everything is cooked perfectly. The thermal sink of the cold plate saps all the heat almost immediately. This especially applies if they are serving it on thick china platters that used to be preheated, and were perfect for breakfast service when they were.

 

That's okay though. Breakfast is cheap, easy, and fast to cook at home, and I know how to preheat plates, syrup, soften butter for pancakes, biscuits or toast. I just feel sorry for folks who are relegated to eating out all the time because they lack cooking skills or access to a good cook.

 

No wonder cereal is so popular now.

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> ^ . . ^ <

 

 

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