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In response to something I said elsewhere about food facts, or just what people are inclined to eat from time to time, what thing(s) about food just amazes you everytime you hear it?

This may seem a little vague, but I want the answers to be as broad as possible. For example, I had a recent thread about odd things people turn into sandwiches. That floors me.

I am also floored by people who, all other things being equal, find no enjoyment in food whatsoever. That gets me every single time.

Or the idea that we have no idea what the ancient Greeks and Romans meant by certain herbs they have listed in their recipes. Did these things disappear? Did we really just *lose* that knowledge?

So: What gets you??

*Waves at Gifted Gourmet* :laugh:

"My tongue is smiling." - Abigail Trillin

Ruth Shulman

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* waves back at StudentChefEclipse* :wink:

Nice work indeed!! .. will answer tomorrow because it is so late here ..1 a.m. ...

like I said, starting a topic isn't too difficult once you know what you want to know ... :hmmm:

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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* waves back at StudentChefEclipse* :wink:

Nice work indeed!! .. will answer tomorrow because it is so late here ..1 a.m. ...

like I said, starting a topic isn't too difficult once you know what you want to know ... :hmmm:

So you do sleep?!! :biggrin:

It floors me that despite everything we hear in the US about being a nation with too many obese people the fast food industry just finds new ways to "make it bigger" -- and sells more of it all the time! :blink:

It floors me that people really like that crisco shortening cake icing on grocery store b/day cakes. :raz:

It floors me that no one thought to start that Tater Tot thread before Jason's genius stepped in to absolve us of our gulity pleasure. :wink:

Judith Love

North of the 30th parallel

One woman very courteously approached me in a grocery store, saying, "Excuse me, but I must ask why you've brought your dog into the store." I told her that Grace is a service dog.... "Excuse me, but you told me that your dog is allowed in the store because she's a service dog. Is she Army or Navy?" Terry Thistlewaite

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Consistently floors me how completely emotionally involved the vast majority of people on earth are with their food...not to say they are 'gourmet' or not...but try to plan a menu for someone...anyone...and you will find a zillion things that they can not tolerate/despise/will not taste....and another billion things that they love/need to have to eat/feel are indispensible in the situation.

People....of all kinds and styles...they all do this. They might not give a hoot about what clothes they put on in the morning....they might have the sloppiest-kept house in the world....they may not care or know a thing about their own government or politics or anyone elses....but try to write a menu for them?

Pandora's box.

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Exactly, what you said!!!

I detest picky, picky, picky eaters that complain about every little thing. And some of these people have such chutzpa.......

I was really floored a few months back when a couple of guests brought along an uninvited addition (she had dropped in on them unexpectedly and then wanted to come along to dinner) who came into my house and started to light a cigarette. I immediately asked her not to smoke as my house is strictly smoke-free.

She flounced out onto the patio and smoked her cigarette, standing just outside the screen door so I closed the glass slider.

She complained about the water, asking if it was bottled - since we are on a well and have the best tasting water around - this was insulting to me.

She didn't like the dressing on the salad and complained about the duxelles on the meat and scraped it off the meat and managed to push it off her plate onto the table cloth.

I had tried to be gracious but the final straw was when she stuck a spoon in the tart tatin and my homemade ice cream and made some remark about thinking that a "gourmet cook" would fix something besides plain old apple pie, then went out to the patio to smoke another cigarette.

My guests saw that I was ready to explode and apologized for bringing her and made their excuses and immediately left. They were embarassed and the other couple were astonished at the performance of this nitwit who, as far as I was concerned, was a party crasher.

I was actually surprised that the couple, whom I have known for years, would even consider bringing an extra person - I later learned that she had been foisted on them by the man's employer so he felt obligated.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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That sounds like an appalling situation, andiesenji...one wants to take these sorts of people and send them off to a small farm somewhere miles from anywhere without a telephone or transportation and watch as they try to find their way.... :biggrin: . I see this more often in children, and more often in the children of today than of when I was a child of course (the usual historic refrain.... :wink: ) I think it might have to do with the ease and plenty of food today. They don't like what's on the table, it is easy for them to go to the fridge and get something else to 'nuke'. Actually, it is often encouraged for kids to find something for themselves to eat...for parents arrive home from work and there is half an hour before hopping back in the car to take the kid to soccer practice, ballet, whatever....which of course leads me to the next thing that floors me...how often children eat their dinners in the car! I think about three out of five weekday dinners are eaten on-the-run by kids today...

One of the funniest 'thank-you' cards I got from the kids after doing that 'fresh corn' thing at the school was from a boy who decorated the card nicely (sixth graders really start to show their artistic abilities...it is great to see!) and wrote inside:

"Thanks for the corn. My mom loved eating it while she took me to football practice. It was good."

Raw corn. Wrapped in wax paper with bits of butter smooshed on it. That...was Mom's supper. (!)

So thankful am I to contribute to the greater food pleasures of the world. :wacko:

But the original thing...in my first post...was more about having a client, say for a catering job...and trying to write a menu...going in with no presuppositions and allowing them free rein. Yikes!

I am sure you have experienced this situation, too..... :rolleyes: ...it seems each person's even more 'normal' food preferences and needs can fill a standard size notebook!

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Or the idea that we have no idea what the ancient Greeks and Romans meant by certain herbs they have listed in their recipes. Did these things disappear? Did we really just *lose* that knowledge?

There are a few herbs and spices that scholars debate, but I don't recall which exact ones they were. A popular Roman spice, sylphium, is known to be extinct; it is thought that the last plant known was served to Nero. In later years the Romans discovered the Indian spice asafoetida (hing) which was a close substitute, and is available to this day (warning: there is a reason the name of the spice includes the word "foetid"...)

And as for your original question...McDonald's. McDonald's floors me. Maybe it's different elsewhere, but up here they're ghastly horrible; far and away the worst of the fast food chains. How do they keep on selling like they do? It's beyond me.

“What is called sound economics is very often what mirrors the needs of the respectably affluent.” - John Kenneth Galbraith

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

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Rudeness. It floors me! The complete lack of consideration for another person. It makes me so angry I could spit! To keep this on topic, I mean specifically that of patrons in a restaurant, guests in ones home, the guy picking up a take-away order at the local sushi place. I'm not naive, I've travelled a fair bit, but I am still often floored at the behaviour I witness. andisenji's post is an excellent example. What the hell happened to treating people with common courtesy? :sad: Even if you're served a poorly cooked meal in a restaurant it doesn't take any more energy to politely request that the server replace it. As for being a guest in someone's home? If you don't like it, shut up and be polite. The person who placed the food in front of you worked hard to put it there. Respect them and thier intentions, and if you need to grab a take-away on the way home, fine, do so. :wink: End of rant. :hmmm:

Barbara Laidlaw aka "Jake"

Good friends help you move, real friends help you move bodies.

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i am not afan of mcdonalds ...but in their defense...

the only good thing ive seen mcdonalds sell so far is their salads.....

though there are still better ones out there...the salads they sell..while they wont set the culinary world on fire.....you can at least eat them

what floors me....

people who go to restaurants who are so darn picky....legitimate dietary restrictions aside....i know of a person who will throw a hissy fit if parsley is put on the plate ( i think as a garnish)...maybe its just me but i dont think that having parsley on a plate as a garnish or otherwise is a reason for throwing a hissy fit and returning the whole thing to the kitchen..to me it would seem to be a matter of just removing it and then eating your dinner...not a big deal

another thing that floors me....my ex husband...often id ask him what he wanted for dinner...his standard reply would be oh i dont care...and then complain through the whole meal when it was set in front of him...im sure we all have at one time or another known somebody like that in our lives..so andie...i feel your pain..and for the couple who had no choice but to bring this gate crasher im sure it ranked right up there as one of the most embarrasing times in their lives...hopefully neither they nor you will ever have to put up with that sort of situation again..ive a feeling the gate crasher isnt a very happy person in life in general and is possibly a chronic complainer about all things...not just food

i genuinely dont understand people like that..life provides us with a wonderful bounty of all things good..whether it be food orh teh beauty in nature or whatever we consider part of the bounty of life.....fortunaltey those moments when we are floored by things...it is just for those moments they are ahppening...and though we may remember them for a while..at some point we do get over it.....until when or if the next such moment comes along

Edited by ladyyoung98 (log)

a recipe is merely a suggestion

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If I recall rightly about sylphium, it was once the most used herb? spice? in it's day, which led to it's extinction, because it was biennial, or some reason it didn't repopulate denuded areas of it. It would be so cool if it were found in gravegoods, and modern science could resurrect it, so to speak. I have always wondered about that, as well, chromedome.

Picky, rude eaters can ride back out on the jackass they rode in on. I agree there's a level of civility generally lacking in people nowadays, andiesenji, but your friends were incredibly dense foisting her on you. They should have shown the class to cancel, even at the last moment, and toted her butt to a place like Outback, etc.

But next time you have a vacancy for your stupendous food, I volunteer to fill the gap. It'd be a LONG ride for a meal, but yours sound more than worth it :biggrin:

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As far as things known in ancient times disappearing, it is true that sometimes plants are selected for a particular characteristic and the parent plant gradually disappears from domestic use.

It is possible to find an occasional ancestor plant in the wild but it is a huge job to search for them and people who are interested in such things either don't have the time or the money to search or there is no access to the areas where such plants might have survived.

One of the notes in my great grandmother's journal refers to lovage, a particular favorite of mine in the herb garden, and in the next sentence she wonders whatever happened to "smallage" which was apparently some kind of "salat" green, known in the time of Elizabeth I, but seemlingly no common mentions of it afterwards.

Did the name change to something else that rapidly or did it suffer a blight that destroyed all known plants?

Other people have wondered also and have written about it.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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I'm always a bit boggled when I meet someone who proclaims (proudly? it almost seems so) that they don't like vegetables. :blink:

Okay, I can see not liking certain vegetables. I have my own list of veg to avoid (green bell peppers, brussels sprouts...). But all vegetables? There are so many vegetables that are so very different from each other, how can you dislike them all?

Edited by Lexica (log)

"The dinner table is the center for the teaching and practicing not just of table manners but of conversation, consideration, tolerance, family feeling, and just about all the other accomplishments of polite society except the minuet." - Judith Martin (Miss Manners)

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I can only think offhand of a couple of things that have really floored me, although, they probably shouldn't have.

One is people who refuse to eat pasta...not b/c of the low carb thing, but b/c they don't like it....that just amazes me.

And people who don't like chicken. Vegetarians aside, of course. I was shocked one day when I invited a friend to dinner and when I told her what I was thinking of cooking, she told me she hated chicken....that floored me, I had never considered that someone I knew wouldn't like it, LOL.

The general things that floor me are the rudeness I see that a few people have mentioned....first, even though I do usually ask people when I invite them if they have any allergies or food aversions, what ever happened to going to someone's house and just eating what they're serving? I have to admit, that I like most things, and just the fact that someone else is doing the work is enough to make me happy, but it's amazing that people would come into your home, eat your food and drink your wine and have the gall to complain about it at all!

And sometimes when my dh asks people what brand of liquor they drink, I feel like telling him "they'll drink whatever we have"......I think going to someone's home and having a drink doesn't require that you go out and buy a bottle of Penfold's Grange b/c that's my favorite wine, LOL....our homes aren't restaurants and you don't always get it your way :raz: I know it's nice and hospitable, but really....sometimes it just gets out of hand I think.

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The only people I've met who can't stand chicken have all grown up around commercial chicken operations. This I can understand - If you've had to eat chicken as the major part of your diet and your mother wasn't very creative you'd probably never want to see another chicken.

From Dixon, Wyoming

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You know, I am floored in sympathy with andiesenji and the others who have posted about the epidemic of rudeness around. It's especially galling in relation to food, I think, because food represents hospitality to so many of us. So Bad Behavior then is a double slap. :angry:

And thanks, chromedome, sylphium was exactly what I was thinking about when I wrote that; I'd just had the name roll out one ear, I guess. :laugh:

This is really interesting! I love the responses; keep them coming, please. :smile:

"My tongue is smiling." - Abigail Trillin

Ruth Shulman

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another thing that floors me....my ex husband...often id  ask  him  what he wanted for dinner...his  standard  reply would be  oh i dont care...and then  complain through the whole  meal when it was set in front of  him...

I share your astonishment, having dated someone like this in the past. When I met the man who is now my husband, I told him bluntly that I would ask him once, and if he said he didn't care, I was going to take him at his word and please myself. And I do. Telling me you don't care when you do is lying, pure and simple.

What still continues to astonish me is people who make things like macaroni and cheese out of a box, or brownies out of a box, when making them from scratch is only a very, very little bit more work than making the stuff in the box. I'm not talking about things that really do involve a lot more work to make them from scratch (chicken pot pie comes to mind) or having a box around for an emergency - I'm talking about things that really are almost the same amount of work, and that teensy little investment in time and effort gives a enormous payoff in taste and quality.

Marcia.

Don't forget what happened to the man who suddenly got everything he wanted...he lived happily ever after. -- Willy Wonka

eGullet foodblog

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Aside from rudeness about food, about which I'm in agreement with everyone upthread, what floors me is how people aren't honest with themselves about what they eat.

I have a client for whom I make a certain gingerbread all the time - she's basically addicted to it. One day she told me that she'd found the same recipe online, and was now making it for herself, so I could make something else. After a month or so she confessed that hers was never as good as mine. Hmmm, I said. After another month, looking really desperate, she insisted that I look at her recipe to see what the problem was. Her recipe had less than half the sugar I used, and I told her so. "Oh, I don't like a lot of sugar" she told me. I had to tell her that it was the idea of little sugar that appealed to her, because, in fact, she loved my cake, didn't like her own, and the difference was the sugar. She went back to having me make it for her, because she couldn't bring herself to use that much sugar.

Then there's salt. I made a dish for a friend, and because he was a friend and not a client, I gave him the recipe. He called me in great disappointment and told me that his had tasted nothing like mine, although he'd followed the recipe exactly (including the "salt to taste" portion). I asked him how much salt he'd used, and it was about a quarter of what I'd think is reasonable. When I told him that was most likely his problem he told me that they don't like salt. In fact, when people ask me why my food tastes so good I usually tell them it's salt. They never believe me, because they all know that salt is evil.

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It floors me when someone is invited to share a meal at your house, and before they accept, they ask you what you're having. Or how about when food is served and someone stares at it (no matter how lovely, or even how familiar the dish) and says what's in this? Now I've already done the courteous host bit by making sure I don't feed anyone something they truly hate, or are allergic to. It's just something that people feel free to do now that I never would consider. An invitation to share a meal is a personal sharing -- if the food's great so much the better -- I win double! But no matter, the invitation is to share someone's company.

Judith Love

North of the 30th parallel

One woman very courteously approached me in a grocery store, saying, "Excuse me, but I must ask why you've brought your dog into the store." I told her that Grace is a service dog.... "Excuse me, but you told me that your dog is allowed in the store because she's a service dog. Is she Army or Navy?" Terry Thistlewaite

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What still continues to astonish me is people who make things like macaroni and cheese out of a box, or brownies out of a box, when making them from scratch is only a very, very little bit more work than making the stuff in the box.

What's really astonishing is popover mix. You still have to add eggs and milk, so all that could be in it is flour with a little fat and salt.

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how people aren't honest with themselves about what they eat.

I have a client for whom I make a certain gingerbread all the time - she's basically addicted to it.  One day she told me that she'd found the same recipe online, and was now making it for herself, so I could make something else.  After a month or so she confessed that hers was never as good as mine.  Hmmm, I said.  After another month, looking really desperate, she insisted that I look at her recipe to see what the problem was.  Her recipe had less than half the sugar I used, and I told her so.  "Oh, I don't like a lot of sugar" she told me.  I had to tell her that it was the idea of little sugar that appealed to her, because, in fact, she loved my cake, didn't like her own, and the difference was the sugar.  She went back to having me make it for her, because she couldn't bring herself to use that much sugar.

Sigh. Yes.

Mind-boggling.

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Abra, your post reminds me of certain family members :smile: who say they don't salt things at the table but buy loads of prepackaged mac 'n cheese, Homestyle Bakes, canned broths and sauces, etc ad naseum. I asked why last time they visited and the response was "for health". I said if you don't have high blood pressure it's OK to salt to taste.

I didn't bother saying that can of tomato sauce you just added to your soup has about 1,500 mg of sodium, so of course it doesn't need any salt. You should see how much salt is in the Stove Top stuffing :blink: that was served one night. I try so hard not to comment, so hard. But it worries me to feed that to my toddler.

I don't think people read labels and assume most of the salt is added at the table. This kind of illogical "diet" really floors me!

Edited by kellycolorado (log)
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Negative: it floors me that people STILL go out to dinner having drenched themselves in cologne or perfume & completely screw up the experience of flavors for everyone within 15 feet of them.

Positive: it floors me that certain staple flavors (e.g., garlic & onions) haven't lost an iota of their appeal to me in c. 50 years of life on this planet. Some of us really must be hard-wired for this stuff.

Thank God for tea! What would the world do without tea? How did it exist? I am glad I was not born before tea!

- Sydney Smith, English clergyman & essayist, 1771-1845

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It floors me that restauranteurs still think it is a good idea to keep the noise level so high that you can't hear your server, conversation is impossible, and your ears ring for a week.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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