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Old 01-03-2007, 10:37 AM   #61
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Originally Posted by GB
I would argue that part of the "sense stimulation that comes from the dining experience" are the above things you look to eliminate. When I go out for lobster I am sorely disappointed if it is served to me and the shell has been cracked or removed or the tail split in half. That denies me a part of my enjoyment of the overall meal. We go to Maine summer and will only go to restaurants that serve the lobster whole. Any restaurant that opens my bug for me is instantly scratched off the list of places we will return to.

No chicken on the bone? I could not imagine fried chicken any other way.

What about artichokes? They take a lot of work (processing) for very little meat, but what a joy they are.

The list can go on and on.
I'm ending up agreeing with some very divergent opinions! Most of all I agree with GB above, and yet Nicholas' point that food served at a table --particularly a formal table -- should be ready for the guest to eat without having to "process" makes equal sense. So I guess it's Andy's call that it's a matter of common sense and "situational" which ties it all up.

I goofed on this just two nights ago, serving glazed chicken wings and whole, unpeeled prawns to my guests at a very formal dinner. I wasn't oblivious to the problems that would ensue, but, still, I ended up feeling that I'd handled it poorly. I considered finger bowls but thought they'd be seen as pretentious ... then I considered nice moist lemon-ed towels but didn't have any such thing to whip into service ... then I considered supplementing the nice napkins with something paper, but my love of formality and beauty won. And so I did nothing and my guests had very sticky hands which DID make them a bit uncomfortable (emphasis on the "bit" -- Greeks aren't all that formal at the table by nature). Thank heavens discreetly-licked fingers don't offend me in the slightest, in fact, it strikes me as a compliment (I'd better not mention the couple of people -- well-bred both -- who lick their plates when inspired ...)

However, back to GB's comments: there is NOTHING in my world to compare with a Greek Easter lamb, on the spit, whole, over charcoal. And as it quietly twirls and roasts and spits and drips and sends the most incredible smells into the air, if you're a friend of the chef, you'll get a wee bit cut off with his knife -- juice from a lemon just cut in half squeezed over it, the excess dripping merrily onto the grass -- and slipped to you to eat right then and there. On the spot. Standing up. Feeling the heat of the charcoal on your knees.

Then again, there are also clams. Dug in the morning, steamed the same night. Served over newspaper, dunking them in butter with your bare hands.

As for kebabs? Souvlaki in this country comes two ways -- pulled off the skewer and tucked into a pita, or on the skewer with salt, oregano, and lemon, served just into one's hand or into a bag, accompanied with a couple of pieces of bread. It's eaten right off the skewer, in the street as you walk along, just leaning a bit to protect your clothes should a piece slip out of control. If eating it that way is rude ... may I always be so rude!
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Old 01-03-2007, 10:50 AM   #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ayrton
So I guess it's Andy's call that it's a matter of common sense and "situational" which ties it all up.
I couldn't agree more. Andy took one short sentence to say it so very well!
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Old 01-03-2007, 12:56 PM   #63
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Originally Posted by VeraBlue
... Imagine what a dull world this would be if we all looked and dressed exactly the same? ...
We could have whole Huge another separate debate about this. i for one like my body the way G-d gave it to me. Of, course something could be smaller and something else could be even biger, but I am very happy anyway.
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Old 01-03-2007, 12:57 PM   #64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buckytom
...

a gavone ...

Pardone my English, but what does it mean?
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Old 01-03-2007, 01:28 PM   #65
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charlie, a gavone is italian american slang for an oafish glutton. a person who eats a lot, often like a slob.

it is based on the italian word cafone, which means a boorish person.
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Old 01-03-2007, 01:36 PM   #66
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Thank you.
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Old 01-03-2007, 01:55 PM   #67
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LOL I think the moral of this thread is, no matter how "soigne" you think you are, there will ALWAYS be someone laughing at you.
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Old 01-03-2007, 04:37 PM   #68
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I was taught as a child that to openly laugh or point at someone who made a mistake be it in manners, speaking or how one was dressed, made you more in the wrong than they were...Never judge, you might end up on the receiving end of a judgement...
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Old 01-03-2007, 09:43 PM   #69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicholas Mosher
This is something that carries over into the way I choose to cook and present food. I like the food I serve to people to be ready for eating with either a fork, spoon, or chopsticks. I don't serve bones to people I'm feeding, or give them something that requires "processing" (like a whole steamed lobster). I also try to present the food so that the person doesn't have to pick up their knife. When I eat, I'm relaxed and observant, and don't want to do anything but receive every sense stimulation that comes from the dining experience. It's one thing that I appreciate about many Eastern cuisines that so many Western cuisines disregard (hemispheres, not US coasts).

The exception is hot roasted peanuts from the oven. Nothing like sitting back around a little TV outside with iced beers and roasted peanuts on a cool afternoon watching the Red Sox.
This is a very good thought. My kids have taught me that they want their food to be served at a temperature so it can be eaten when served. They hate boiling steaming soups and stews and "when it's cold; it's old!" (cold fries, cold bread).

Don't you just hate to try and unwrap one of those little chocolate balls making you feel as though you're scratching off the foil. When we get those in a little gift basket, we throw them away. Life is too short to try and get the chocolate out from under your fingernails!
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Old 01-04-2007, 12:26 AM   #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ironchef
LOL I think the moral of this thread is, no matter how "soigne" you think you are, there will ALWAYS be someone laughing at you.
I agree but would add a corollary.
The more "soigne" you think you are, the louder the laughter.
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