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TDG: JAZ Hates Raisins


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Janet Zimmerman is not happy about the raisin situation.

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Be sure to check The Daily Gullet home page daily for new articles (most every weekday), hot topics, site announcements, and more.

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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Although I would qualify myself a raisin "non-hater', and have been known to cook with them, I found this piece HILARIOUS! I have friends who feel exactly this way - and actually are even more vehement about it. The hiding sultanas had me rolling on the floor - its one of my favorite tricks.

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I'm still not sure it's fair at this time to demonize them with an illustration portraying them as miniature Saddam Husseins...

raisinblue300.jpg

=Mark

Give a man a fish, he eats for a Day.

Teach a man to fish, he eats for Life.

Teach a man to sell fish, he eats Steak

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OK JAZ here's another one for you: my mother in law keeps a jar of gin with raisins soaking in it. Each morning she takes 3 for medicinal purposes. She says she got the idea from an Italian friend who was remarkably well preserved.

And you thought I couldn't come up with anything better than the blue cheese and raisin thing?

Never torture your siblings: they will grow up to be writers.

When the universe gives you what you want, ask for more.
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Rich's Chicken Salad Sunrise (Stolen from my Brother)

Thanks Bro!

chksunri.jpg

Ingredients:

2-3 Lb. Boneless Chicken Breast.

1 Cup Celery, cut diagonally.

1/2 Cup Red Onion, small dice.

8 oz Raisins, black, golden, or a mixture.

8 oz Cashews or other nuts.

1/3 to 1 gram fresh Saffron

1 tbs. olive oil

1 tbs. balsamic vinegar

1 Cup Chicken Stock or Water

Salt & Fresh Ground Pepper to taste

1/2 lb pasta, cooked al dente' (I use bow ties)

1 Large red or green Bell Pepper, fine julienne.

1 Tbs. Fresh Thyme or Mint (or about 1tsp of dried leaves)

3 Cups mayonnaise, either homemade or a quality brand like Hellmann's or Kraft

Chopped Chives or Green Onions for Garnish

1 Cup Brandy or Bourbon (optional)

Preparation:

1. Pound the chicken breasts lightly so that they are of an even thickness (~1/2 ") and then grill over a hot flame, marking well, but being careful not to overcook. Refrigerate to cool. When the chicken is cool, cut into 1/2" cubes.

2. As an option, soak the raisins in the brandy or bourbon for an hour. Drain, reserving the liquid.

3. Combine chicken stock or water, olive oil, and vinegar. If you used brandy or bourbon for the raisins, add about 1 tbs. of the reserved liquid as well. The amount of saffron that you will need will vary greatly with the purity and freshness. With this method, having too weak a mixture will be more of a problem than too strong a mixture. Chop the saffron threads very finely. Add the saffron to the stock mixture and simmer until reduced to about 1/4 cup in volume, and then cool. Mix this liquid into the mayo. The color should be a fairly bright, but not a totally alarming yellow (more than a legal pad, but less than a taxi). If the color and flavor seem too strong, just add more mayo.

4. Gently mix the diced chicken, drained raisins, celery, onion, bell pepper, and thyme or mint in a large bowl.

5. Fold the saffron mayo into the salad, whatever amount looks good to you. Add salt and pepper to taste. It's best if you can let the flavors meld overnight The nuts are best added about 1 hr. before serving so that they don't become too soggy. The left over bourbon or brandy can be used for deglazing sautéed foods. It's especially good when used for pork, game, or poultry. Of course you can also guzzle it as an after dinner drink!

=Mark

Give a man a fish, he eats for a Day.

Teach a man to fish, he eats for Life.

Teach a man to sell fish, he eats Steak

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I am in the bizarre raisin lover/hater camp. I think putting raisins in cereal is horrible. The textures don't go at all, and the milk doesn't plump up the overdried raisins. But right now I am eating Raisinets, and I enjoy raisins in savory dishes and in cakes.

No, I don't get it, either.

Jennie

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What can they possibly add, besides a virtually indiscernible touch of flavor and little pockets of squishy stickiness?

I absolutely love them:

Cinnamon Raisin Bread

rum Raisin ice cream (I'm soaking soem in rum as we speak to make a batch)

in pilaf's

in stuffings and dressings

in Picadillo

Pannetone

the list goes on and on....

They add a great sweetness and that is like nothing else and it is VERY discernible. As for their texture, well I love that too (same goes for dates, dried apricots, prunes,...). Do you hate those as well?

Other than the raisin-hating banter, I enjoyed the article :smile:. No seriously it was fun to read. Good work.

FM

E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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I am kinda neutral on cooked raisins, but oatmeal raisin crisp is the god of all breakfast cereal, I have been known to eat a whole box in a few hours. I keep telling myself that I have had enough, but five minutes later I find myself pouring another bowl. oh man so good.

Gimme what cha got for a pork chop!

-Freakmaster

I have two words for America... Meat Crust.

-Mario

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At the peak of their populatity, the California Rasin themed dolls, toys, and collectables were generating more revenue per year than the rasins they represented. I suppose it's safe to assume JAZ has no love for them either.

Chief Scientist / Amateur Cook

MadVal, Seattle, WA

Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code

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JAZ:

I am completely down about raisins in chicken salad.

Otherwise, I'm perfectly happy to eat your piece of my grandmother's raisin/sour cream pie.

In High School I would pack this snack for myself every morning: baggie containing a mixed handful of sultanas and walnuts. A snack even greater than the sum of its parts. Guess we would have sat a different tables at lunch. :biggrin:

Edited by maggiethecat (log)

Margaret McArthur

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1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

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Did you all like the illustration? Would you like to see more of them in future articles?

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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I'm with you on the golden raisin thing....they are like wormy little grubs. And just thinking about grubs makes me want to take a shower...yuck!

As a child I hated raisins, now I have to be in the mood for them and only in certain dishes/foods. A delicious pain au raisin is terrific. I agree, not in cinnamon bread (a great raisin-less cinnamon swirl bread is at The Bread Garden on Domingo in Berkeley -- do you know it, Janet?)

kit

"I'm bringing pastry back"

Weebl

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I am in the bizarre raisin lover/hater camp.  I think putting raisins in cereal is horrible.  The textures don't go at all, and the milk doesn't plump up the overdried raisins.

Only if your idea of raisins in cereal are those nasty, sugary things found in Raisin Bran. Fresh raisins are a wonderful addition to cereal--they add sweetness so you don't need the extra added sugar.

I'm a definite raisin lover--could you tell? :raz:

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I'm with you on the golden raisin thing....they are like wormy little grubs.  And just thinking about grubs makes me want to take a shower...yuck!

Agree with the "yuck" comment.

Edited by pogophiles (log)

Those who do not remember the pasta are doomed to reheat it.

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Did you all like the illustration? Would you like to see more of them in future articles?

Illustration trez cool... :cool:

=Mark

Give a man a fish, he eats for a Day.

Teach a man to fish, he eats for Life.

Teach a man to sell fish, he eats Steak

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Great article and illustrations!

Sorry to disagree but I am a raisin lover and would but them in close to everything it I could, unfortunately my husband and 2 daughters won't touch them.

well that means more cinnamon rolls and raisinets for me! :biggrin:

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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I liked the illustration as much as JAZ hates raisins.

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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Good lord, Janet has SO got this one nailed.

I've said for years... what have the poor grapes done to deserve having this done to them?

Yes, yes, yes, yes, YES!!! Keep the loathsome things as far away from me as possible!!

My theory as to why I despise raisins when I'll glady eat most anything else stems from the fact that, unlike many women, I tend to store iron. Thus I surmise that because I'm the "opposite" of anemic, my ever-efficient body has programmed itself so that I naturally reject high-iron foods. Science? I doubt very much that it is, but I suppose it makes as much sense as any other reason! :wink:

Delightful, witty article, JAZ. Keep 'em coming . . . :smile:

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