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Old 02-06-2006, 09:16 AM   #41
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Okay, I have not read all the posts here, so I might be repeating, but here is a quick summary of the things Americans have no clue about, or/and some of the foods that are by far better in other countries.:
  • Bread and bread products
  • Cold cuts, cured meats of all sorts.
  • Milk and Dairy products, pretty much all of them.
  • Fish products, i.e. smoked or cured fish.
  • Pastries and cakes, and the rest of the sweets, including candy.

Well, that is a quick few things that came to mind. Oh, wow, that is pretty much everything on the market, hm …

Have to admit, though, it is starting to get better. When I first came here 16 years ago, it was much worse.
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Old 02-06-2006, 05:29 PM   #42
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GB interesting yet controversial and emotional topic. I believe the problem of massacaring a cuisine or popular dishes in a cuisine (pizza, curry etc.) is common in a lot of places not just unique to America (as urmaniac pointed out). For example in India people eat pizza with ketchup or hot sauce which is not authentic at all and everything from pasta to stir-frys are fusionised with spices. Similarly people in America are into chutneys (my personal pet peeve) and it is not even close to what an authentic Indian chutney would taste like.

The funniest example of this was when I visited Starbucks and ordered a chai tea latte. Chai means tea in Hindi (language commonly spoken in India). I told the cashier that your product if translated means Tea Tea latte and that does not make much sense and she laughed. Also they add a heavy dose of cinnamon to it which is not authentic by Chai standards. The original version is made with cardamom and ginger (fresh or powdered).

Bottom line is it's O.K. to adapt foods from different cultures and alter it for the western or eastern or whatever palate but don't claim it to be authentic or don't pass it as something that was created here and is the real deal.

I have the same problem when I visit India. Rather than banking on their traditional food and learning and perfecting Western cuisine they try and come up with a lot of bad tasting food just so they can sail on the trendiness of french, italian and other popular cuisines.
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Old 02-06-2006, 07:40 PM   #43
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OK, I am sorry some of you think this thread is "bashing" American culture or food. I don't believe that is what ANYONE intended.

Everyone has a certain amount of pride in their country's particular dishes, and I don't think it is out of line for someone from say Britain to comment on what they see as less than authentic in something that claims to be British.

Neither do I think daisy intended to cause such an uproar. If I am not mistaken, she is from Australia (correct me if I am wrong daisy) and she shared what she has heard about America that is less than stellar, and then her thoughts about her own country behaving in a similarly unhappy fashion.

I feel I should share that it is not an uncommon feeling that the US serves portions that are much too large. And it is something that your own citizens often admit. I think this might be a case of "its ok for me to bash my brother, but not YOU to do it."

Lets just agree that this thread is to be about things that are DIFFERENT and not about bashing anyone or anything shall we?
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Old 02-06-2006, 07:55 PM   #44
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Now worries here, Alix. I'm "in the biz", and whole-heartedly agree with what you say.

Portion sizes are 3 - 4 times the size you actually need. A person only needs 4 oz of meat per serving, and there are restaurants that serve 16 oz steaks, and some even bigger. That is mostly driven by marketing "hype".

I also understand the "national pride" issue in food. There aren't many styles of cooking that are native to this country, as we are a nation of imports. Many of our cuisines are imported as well, or fusions of imported cuisines. Off the top of my head, I can only think of a couple cuisines that are really native to this land.

Heck, I get all upset and discombobulated whenever PeppA and my MIL wan't to start fiddling with classic dishes, as they basically ruin it for me. I also recognize my own bias, as I'm trained in classic techniques, and any deviating from that really gets my goat.
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Old 02-07-2006, 12:18 PM   #45
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This thread has turned upp to be really 'ouchy' Food varies from place to place, one town to the next. One country to the next, one continent to the other.It's all about culture. I remember reading a recipe about buffalo wings or something. In my mind was this huge flying dinasour(sp) that looked like a buffalo! We are all learning a thing or two here, and people express themselves differently as we are not from the same household,cultures etc etc are different, we just share the same passion.Cooking. Lets enjoy it.
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Old 02-07-2006, 12:41 PM   #46
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could anyone help with my request?
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Old 02-07-2006, 01:26 PM   #47
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i know i should have let the negative comments go, but then i thought this entire thread is based on what americans don't do well in general, culinarily speaking, which in itself is negative. that's inviting trouble. to say someone has "no clue" implies ignorance, which also begets negativity.

i understand what you were going for gb (edification), but it turned into a light bashing, and was headed downhill.

i don't blame anyone for their comments, even daisy's. i've pm'd members about taking it easy with the blame, but i was told to pi$$ off.

i doubt the respondants have been to many places in america, so i understood them to be personal opinions or hearsay, however educated or not. if you've been around the u.s. and still think the food sucked, well, then you need a new guide. i would be happy to oblige. your dime tho...

i also happened to totally disagree with many of the responses. we have fantastic bread here (nyc), world class in fact. and great bangers, meat pies, etc., and we import our tea just as well as any non-equatorial country.

my objections are based on years of personal experience, not just prejudiced or biased conjecture.

that is i have regularly spoken with people, initially strangers - now friendly acquaintances, from all over the world when i used to work and hang out in pubs, almost on a daily basis. nearly all were very pleased with the food and related experiences, often to their surprise given what they'd heard.
to be sure, this was not always true about our culture, especially after truth serum was applied (alcohol).

anyway, sorry to be a bore

now back to the bash.. er, edification.
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Old 02-07-2006, 02:12 PM   #48
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B.T.; I agree whole heartedly. There is amazing food to be had in North America. I live along the shores of Lake Superior, and I invite anyone to make a better dish than pan-fried, wild, speckled trout from the streams emptying into that pristine lake. We also have world class cheddars from Ontario, Vermont, and Wisconsin. There are cullinary treats available to us that no one else in the world makes, such as baked beans, or a perfectly prepared New England boiled dinner.

And yes, though France is home to the mother sauces, I'm sure that there are those people in France who make fantastic foods everyday, and those that can hardly boil water, just as it is here.

I have traveled the Pacific and been treated to wonderful foods that can't be duplicated on American soil, things like the buffet table at a Phillipino resort that I had unique opportunity to experience. It was a once in a lifetime feast. I had wonderful Polynesian food in Hawaii. And the sidewalk stir-fries in Hong Kong were amazing. I didn't care for the pungeant sauces and raw seafood meals in Korea, but enjoyed the simple foods in the Perth Australian homes I had the chance to visit.

Are they better than the food available to me here, no way. They are just different. Of course there is wonderful cuisine in other contries. Of course there are places that make better chutneys, or better curry dishes, or better seafood. It's what they grew up with, learned how to prepare with recipes that have been used and improved upon for centuries. But I challenge anyone to make a better batch of corn-on-the-cob, or barbecued turkey cooked on a Webber Kettle than can be found at my house. And I happen to like my spaghetti sauce the way I make it. That's why I make it the way I do. There are those in my family who say it has too much oregano, or is too sweet. But that's ok. They can make their sauce the way they like it.

The attention and care given to food preperation in this country is second to none. And after all, how could anyone say that a batch of Goodweed's world famous pancakes with a good sage breakfast sausage and real maple syrup isn't a scrumptious breakfast?

And yes, I do consider myself a very good cook. But I know people who are far better, and far worse. I would say that there is no "best way", only that there is a best way for the person eating the food.

And sometimes, just sometimes, a good hot dog, roasted in an open campfire, while camping with a group of good freinds and family, will taste better than the finest champaigne and French cuisine. Throw in a couple of marshmallows, and some Hershey bars & graham crackers, and you're making great memories and good times.

Seeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
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Old 02-07-2006, 02:24 PM   #49
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Sizzles, Amen!!!
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Old 02-07-2006, 02:24 PM   #50
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The one "food" I would throw under the bus from the US is actually a beverage - Beer.

Now, I have the utmost respect for breweries like Bud and Miller, as someone who makes beer, I firsthand how hard it is to make a beer as light as they day without flaws showing, and to nail it consistently batch after batch speaks volumes of their skills, BUT... Beers like Bud, Bud Light, Miller, etc. have been advertised so heavily, for so long, that the general drinking public in the US has no idea of what beer can really be.

As an example, I have friends who run from Guiness (Too Heavy!) when it's actually one of the lightest beers around (That's why it floats on the top of a black and tan). Now, if you don't care for it because of the roasty taste, that's fine - but to see the color, and think it's heavy, that just bugs me.

There are breweries in the US that make world class beers, but in most cases the general public won't even try to go near them. In many ways it's similar to wine in this country. People grow up drinking kool-aid and soda, then try a big red wine, and pronounce "I don't like red wines" as a default judgement, even though there is a spectrum of different flavors still out there.

But the US does have the world beat on one particular culinary contribution...
Slow roasted BBQ! Of course, in typical American style, we can't even decide inside our own borders which BBQ is the best! (See Memphis, Texas, Kansas City, etc...)

John
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