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Old 06-22-2006, 07:39 AM   #1
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Regional annoyances

Okay, I'm from the Pacific Northwest. We don't claim to know much regarding food around here, aside from coffee, Pacific Salmon, Dungeness Crab, and maybe a couple of other things.

The thing that annoys me are the people who come to my neighborhood, and then claim that their neighborhood is the only place to get good... whatever. For instance, there are a lot of people from a certain notorious east-coast city who claim their city is the only place "real" pizza is ever made, despite what people from Italy might think. (There is even disagreement among towns in Italy over who makes the best pizza!) I won't even go into this east-coast city's wacked-out pronunciations of various foreign foods, like gyros or jalapenos.

Then there is a mid-western city that claims to be the chili capital of the world, and yet they pour their "chili" over noodles, something that isn't even allowed in the chili competitions in the states where chili came from.

And speaking of the states where chili came from, the inhabitants there often scoff at the traditional method of alder-smoking the Indians have done around here for centuries. Apparently alder isn't "real" smoking wood.

I also know people from that afore-mentioned notorious city who claim it is impossible to get fresh fish in Seattle. I mean, come on! Seattle is a port city; you only need to go down to the piers to get fish right off the boat!

So what's my point? Okay, I know that as an individual, you can't do much about what your city or state claims. However, what you can do as an individual is refrain from commenting on how much better the food or anything else is back home, and maybe even learn something about the local food while you are at it. As to bragging about what you are used to and putting down what your hosts like, trust me. Most people don't want to hear it, even if you are right.

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Old 06-22-2006, 09:06 AM   #2
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This has never bothered me. Unless someone makes a personal stab at something that I make, I enjoy hearing about all the different ways people make things or think theirs is the best and why.
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Old 06-22-2006, 09:15 AM   #3
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I agree with TG. I love hearing that NY has the best pizza and then going there and experiencing it for myself. I can then make my own determination as to if I agree or not. I happen to agree that NY has the best pizza in general that I have ever had.

On the other hand I was disapointed with Deep Dish Pizza in Chicago. I have had better (again only IMO) deep dish pizza elsewhere.

Each person has their own tastes and opinions. I for one, love to hear about them and compare them to mine.
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Old 06-22-2006, 09:19 AM   #4
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Aww, but, unlike you GB, I don't get a chance to try it for myself. LOL
I just have to take their word for it.

and as for the chili on pasta, I've never tried it, but, don't see that it wouldn't be good. Any meat dish, imo, is good with pasta, heck, just about anything is good with pasta.
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Old 06-22-2006, 09:24 AM   #5
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It's a combination of regional pride and the understandable feeling that what you grew up eating is the best version of that food. If you grew up eating rice pilaf with raisins in it, no pilaf that lacks raisins is going to taste right to you.
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Old 06-22-2006, 09:41 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by texasgirl
and as for the chili on pasta, I've never tried it, but, don't see that it wouldn't be good. Any meat dish, imo, is good with pasta, heck, just about anything is good with pasta.
Ah, now, Texasgirl, you disappoint me. I thought everyone in Texas knows what makes good chili, and that pasta ain't a part of it!
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Old 06-22-2006, 09:43 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M.
It's a combination of regional pride and the understandable feeling that what you grew up eating is the best version of that food. If you grew up eating rice pilaf with raisins in it, no pilaf that lacks raisins is going to taste right to you.
Sure. I agree. My point is, just don't go complaining to your host about the lack of raisins, or telling them how much better the pilaf is back home when they plunk some pilaf in front of you.
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Old 06-22-2006, 09:51 AM   #8
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Kelly, This just my opinion, but I think your brush might be a little broad. More than a few times I've sat at a picnic table while a Texan and a Tennessean argued passionately about whether it was brisket or pork butt that was just a waste of a good smoke oven. I've never heard any malice in these discussions. Just friendly rivalry and pride of place.

In fact I think the influences that homogenize the pallet are much stronger and regional differences need to be cherished and preserved.

The snoot nosed disdain of some visitors, that is a mask for ignorance and intolerance is of course, what I think you meant in your post, and I agree that it's disgusting.
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Old 06-22-2006, 10:00 AM   #9
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There are regional and national diversities in cooking and naming the same dish. For instance, I've just learned that the exotically name Greek gyros talked about here is our bog-standard, leave the pub-treat of a doner kebab! Whodathunkit?

And the idea that the ONLY way to cook something is silly. I cook 'national' dishes, like clooty dumplings, cottage pie, dundee cake etc.... but my cousins and sisters and sisters-in-law make the same dish.... None of them taste exactly the same - so what chance foreigners, with different milk, butter, flour etc making EXACTLY the same as my version? Best to eat graciously, thank your hosts and then go home thinking 'thank god, next time I eat that, it'll be cooked the CORRECT way!)
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Old 06-22-2006, 10:03 AM   #10
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Living in beautiful Southern Illinois, this is a particular sore point with me, and here's why.
I ran a greenhouse business here for 22 years, and just about everyone in four counties came in sooner or later, plus a lot of travelers who saw my sign when they turned off the interstate to get food and gas.
A lot of people from upstate, Chicago in particular, choose to retire down here. Living expenses are cheaper, the pace here is slower, the people are friendly, and our warm season is two months longer.
BUT...all I'd hear from them is, "In Chicago we have this...in Chicago we have that...yadda, yadda, yadda."
I had to be courteous, so I couldn't suggest they go back to Chicago, but I finally came up with a good comeback.
"I wonder why nobody retires and moves to Chicago?"

I think it's a matter of good manners. If you're a guest in another city, or recently moved there, don't knock the local foods, customs, etc.
If you're a guest...sure it's different. If it were the same, you might as well stay home.
If you've recently moved, well, you're not in Kansas anymore, Dorothy. It's time to roll with the changes.
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