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5 food myths , Today's NYTimes


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todays NYTimes Food section goes over 5 foos myths :

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2024/04/08/dining/kitchen-myths.html

 

for review purposes :

 

1 ) Truth or myth: Never use soap to wash a cast-iron pan.

 

''''  The prohibition against soap comes from a time when all soap was made with lye, which could eat through a patina in minutes. And it’s true that most of the time, soap is unnecessary. Most of your cleaning power should come from hot water and gentle scrubbing or brushing, the way cast-iron pots like Chinese woks and Indian kadai are traditionally cleaned. ''

 

2}  Truth or myth: Pasta cooking water should taste as salty as the ocean.

 

''''   To test the myth, I cooked eight batches of spaghetti at salt levels ranging from none to Pacific Ocean (3 percent) to Mediterranean Sea (4 percent). I can confirm that seawater is too salty. As I worked my way up from a teaspoon to a tablespoon of kosher salt per gallon, the pasta was noticeably undersalted, and its flavor got lost in the finished dish. I most liked water that tasted as salty as a light chicken stock, or two tablespoons per gallon of water. '''

 

3) Truth or myth: Always wash rice until the water runs clear before cooking.

 

''' For the indica rices (jasmine and basmati), the difference between unwashed and rinsed rice was imperceptible. For the japonica, to my taste the washed rice had just a microdose less starch, taking it from already excellent to perfect.  '

 

4 )  Truth or myth: Have all of your ingredients prepared and your cooking oil heated before starting to cook.

 

''' But for slower food, like soups and stews, it’s perfectly fine to start the pan over low heat, and turn the heat to high only once everything is in. Diced vegetables like onions and celery take longer to cook than minced aromatics like ginger and garlic, so put the vegetables in first. They will soften, and then turn golden, and then — quite a lot later — caramelize. (Speaking of: Another persistent myth in American cooking is that it takes 8 to 10 minutes to caramelize onions, which is pretty much impossible unless you are a restaurant chef and stirring onions over high heat is your only job.) '''

 

5 )  Truth or myth: Always brown meat at the beginning of the cooking process, to ‘seal in’ the juices.

 

'''  If you’ve ever spent an hour patiently browning chicken thighs in batches, only to move to the next step and find you’re about to submerge them in liquid that will reduce the skin to flab, you may have wondered what all that work was for. Many traditional stews are built without it: a Central American jocón, a West African mafe and a Provençal daube all skip browning and rely on other ingredients to deepen their flavors. ''

 

the whole article might be behind a paywall.  its possible your public library card may be used , through the libraries site online to view the NYTimes , WSJournal and other newspapers .

 

of course , if you live in a country that shuns P.L. , you might be out of luck.

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by rotuts (log)
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Who woke them up? Most of these were debunked years ago.

 

I disagree with No. 3 though. Starch in rice isn't the only reason to wash it. Depending on where it's sourced and processed, there can be all sorts of unwanted contaminents in there. It certainly doesn't do any harm to rinse / wash it.

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...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

A terrible thing is ignorance, the source of endless human woes, spreading a mist over facts, obscuring truth, and casting a gloom upon the individual life. - Lucian of Samosata (born 120, died after 180 CE)

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

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@rotuts thank you for paraphrasing the article for those of us who can't get behind that paywall. It is much appreciated.

Although most of us with more knowledge of Food Science know that these have been debunked, there are still those out there that cling tightly to these myths because that's the way they've always done it and there are those new to cooking that still don't know.

As for number five, I usually sear the meat before cooking, not to seal in the juice but to add another dimension of flavor.

 

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"There is no sincerer love than the love of food."  -George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, Act 1

 

"Imagine all the food you have eaten in your life and consider that you are simply some of that food, rearranged."  -Max Tegmark, physicist

 

Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

 

"...in the mid-’90s when the internet was coming...there was a tendency to assume that when all the world’s knowledge comes online, everyone will flock to it. It turns out that if you give everyone access to the Library of Congress, what they do is watch videos on TikTok."  -Neil Stephenson, author, in The Atlantic

 

"In questions of science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual." -Galileo Galilei, physicist and astronomer

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@rotuts pretty much captured it but if anyone wants to read the whole article, here's a gift link.

 

I agree that most of these have been thoroughly debunked but they continue to be perpetuated in cookbooks, new and old. 

The pasta water tasting like the sea is especially odd as many people have never tasted the sea or have no memory of it to reference but almost every one knows how salty they like their soup. 

 

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#4 indeed, especially for alliums

"There is no sincerer love than the love of food."  -George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, Act 1

 

"Imagine all the food you have eaten in your life and consider that you are simply some of that food, rearranged."  -Max Tegmark, physicist

 

Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

 

"...in the mid-’90s when the internet was coming...there was a tendency to assume that when all the world’s knowledge comes online, everyone will flock to it. It turns out that if you give everyone access to the Library of Congress, what they do is watch videos on TikTok."  -Neil Stephenson, author, in The Atlantic

 

"In questions of science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual." -Galileo Galilei, physicist and astronomer

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2 hours ago, rotuts said:

Diced vegetables like onions and celery take longer to cook than minced aromatics like ginger and garlic, so put the vegetables in first.

 

No one here in China is going to follow that advice. It is standard to use the aromatics first to flavour the oil everything else will be cooked in.

 

 

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...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

A terrible thing is ignorance, the source of endless human woes, spreading a mist over facts, obscuring truth, and casting a gloom upon the individual life. - Lucian of Samosata (born 120, died after 180 CE)

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

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