Discussion in 'Great Skate Debate' started by TAHbKA, Feb 24, 2013.
I'm thinking of trying it this weekend to see what it tastes like.
I remember eating horse in France once when I was in my late teens....i remember thinking it tasted just like beef.
I confess that I have no scientific data about who has "the best and most abundant" fresh food but the reason I felt that it wasn't the US (and I wonder: why did no one question the person who made that sweeping original statement?) is that most of the produce in the US (excluding your friendly neighborhood farm in JUly) comes from giant agricultural businesses. Their interest is growing produce that the majority of customers want. Supermarket chains carry what their customers buy and in my experience the variety of produce is limited. Giant agriculture likes iceberg lettuce and not the obscure, hard to grow, even harder to harvest, little tiny salad greens we normally eat here in my area. (I know that in the last 10 years or so "arugula" has become available in the US and maybe even Lambs Lettuce but it is regularly mocked as outlandish something the "wine bar" trend setters eat. A normal salad in the US does not have arugula or lambs lettuce nor does it have "the Rose of Gorizia" https://www.google.it/search?q=rosa...D2EdOHhQeS5IDAAw&ved=0CDcQsAQ&biw=947&bih=587
Not "best" because: Big agriculture harvests too early since unripe produce ships better, has a longer shelf life. In Italy too, unripe produce shipped long distances is mediocre. But there are myriads of little farmers who contribute to the 0 Km food chain. So we have an infinite variety of produce, "more nearly ripe" if you will. There are small businesses specialized in labor intensive products that giant agriculture cannot possibly reproduce. These are usually "typical" regional products which can only be cultivated in certain restricted areas having special climate conditions cheeses, various kinds of prosciuttos but also fruits and vegetables (the Rose of Gorizia is one of these). There is a movement to rediscover old varieties of fruits and vegetables which are no longer cultivated on a large scale. Giving people back the unique and different taste of rarer produce. A great part of the fame of Italy is due to its food and the "slow food" movement does what it can to defend traditions.
In any case, this is what I meant by all of it. I confess, as I previously wrote, that I am not a PC person, I am hopelessly opinionated, for which I apologize. Please in the future just consider every post of mine as being automatically preceded by IMHO.
^ You seem to like it when people are "un-PC" but when someone dares to criticize Italian cuisine or culture, I bet you'll be the first to be offended. Just look at your defensive comment earlier. Sometimes being "real," "blunt", or "offensive" can be just as fake or contrived as giving diplomatic answers. I don't get people who are so happy when skaters are rude or even obnoxious because it usually shows their lack of foresight or intelligence and just makes them sound whiny most of the time. I mean I guess people only really like it when the skater says something the poster agrees with rather than truly liking the idea of a skater movin away from "PC" answers.
It gives us something to talk about, duh.
How true this is. While I can get almost anything if I look around in the US, it isn't necessarily good. I ate a banana in Mexico that taught me that until that moment I had no idea what bananas should taste like. OMG- it was heaven.
Sometimes the 'best' food isn't about vast selection, but about getting the food that was grown there and then- eating in season.
May be because it is unnecessary criticism, especially their cuisine.
Gosh - I was seeing arugula in good old southern Atlanta back in college, and I'm 63!! Steve Martin used to make jokes about it. I agree big agriculture has its drawbacks. I would like to state that the trendy thing now, and for the past 15 years or so that I'm aware of, is to buy locally grown produce, grown without pesticides and whatnot. Every town - and in many, many burbs and areas of big cities - are doing the same. Lots of backyard farmers around, supported by local nurseries. I actually live in a small north Georgia village, and we have a weekly farmer's market of locally grown produce. It's fabulous! We also have a farm about 30 minutes away that grows amazing produce and lots of vintage/heirloom crops, especially tomatos. I'm not speaking from simply a personal point of view. Looking at magazines and other media directed at healthy lifestyles - especially with us aging babyboomers trying to stay around longer - it isn't just myself or where I live that I'm talking about. Yes, your big chain groceries are seldom going to have the good stuff, but it can be found. And- if you research it, lots of chain stores are advertising "locally grown" produce in the summer.
I get the sense that lots of people think everyone in the USA lives on McDonalds or cheeseburgers and crappy, half-plastic garbage. No doubt many do. I don't know anyone who eats at Mc Donald's unless tied down and handcuffed. But I can guarantee that many don't eat fast food, and many are very careful and knowledgeable. Stereotypes about anyone are usually based on truth, but sometimes on old interpretations that need updating.
What's an unnecessary criticism for one person is simply the truth for another. Depends on who is on the receiving end of that criticism.
It doesn't bother me that Leonova doesn't like the US. Maybe I wouldn't like Russia if I went there. It happens. But it does turn me off that she is so conceited and for very little reason IMO. And it is all too evident that she doesn't like ballet class.
Geez, people, how many of you took ballet classes? For figure skaters? Is there anything MORE boring?! I recall hating it for all I was worth as a kid. 2-3 hours of aimless limbs moving was mindblowingly boring and I wanted to climb the walls at the end of it.
As for not liking being in the USA - well, having a bf in Russia and level zero English what would there be to like?
In most cases this is true, but criticising Italian cuisine is way to harsh... I loved real Italian cuisine when i spend nearly a month in Bologna. Even an american who was hyper critical of everything Italian, only thing she was happy about was the food.
I'm sure there are people out there in the world who aren't as enamored with Italian food (even though Italian food has has variety in ingredients and kinds of dishes depending on the region) for their own valid reasons. I'm sure my grandmother who was brought up on Vietnamese food and only really ate Vietnamese food wouldn't have liked it.
I am not an idiot and know an opinion when I see one; I don't need to have an opinion labeled as such, nor do I find such a label to be particularly meaningful (it's actually one of my pet peeves, but that's another issue). Your answer is still "I don't know" and "I have no objective evidence, only my own experience," just as it was before. When I said I was interested in knowing the answer, I didn't mean I wanted more of the same, thanks, particularly since I find your experience with the US to be very limited, if not bizarre. You know people who regularly make fun of salad? How.....interesting.
Isn't it pleasant to have non-PC conversations?
Yes, I remember having it when I was young, and you couldn't get away from it in the 90s.
I guess we were just lucky.
I had to google arugula. I know it as rocket!
Stereotypes often take a long time to turn around. British cuisine was mostly slated the world over until maybe the last 15-20 years, bland boring food, offal, vegetables boiled to death and back again. In the 80s and before it was mostly true. My parents who moved here in the early 80s complained that they couldn't find anything worth buying in the supermarkets having been brought up on South American food crossed with Spanish/Italian influences. The only thing my mum praised was desserts and caked in the UK. But things have moved on since then.
A little like the most often repeated stereotype of British teeth.....
I've heard a number of people complain they had difficulty finding dishes without seafood in them when they were in Italy (clearly this is regional- they were near the coast), so they didn't enjoy the food.
So yes, even vistors to Italy complain.
I loved taking ballet. I could spend hours at the barre. Took it throughout childhood, high school and college. My favorite form of exercise.
But for figure skaters it shouldn't really matter. They HAVE to take it, if not, we have the likes of Leonova et al. There lots of things they hate doing like traveling to the US, what's a little ballet?
I haven't read many articles about Leonova, but I hope you're drawing the conclusion that she's conceited based on more than this one interview.......I don't even really like Leonova's skating, I don't know why I am so compelled to defend her.
Re: the availability of fresh food in the U.S. It is available of course (I eat very little processed food and cook myself) but if you don't have facilities to cook eating out all the time would get old really fast. Also, having been to a few places in Europe and SE Asia, I was so jealous of the daily fruit/veg markets! As a visitor I found it very easy to pick up some fresh fruit, bread, etc. on a whim. In contrast, I live in an area of the U.S. where farmers markets are plentiful, but usually limited to once a week. The grocery chains, with some exceptions of course, carry a lot of out of season crap. Whenever I move to a new place, it takes a whole to sort out where to buy the things I like and when to get them.
Don't get me started on sidewalks. Again, I currently live in an area where walking is very common, but have lived in others where the lack if sidewalks made it difficult to walk ANYWHERE.
the original assertion was a subjective opinion and hence both unsupportable or uncontestable in any way other than offering another subjective opinion.
First, there's the "tech mark": can "most abundant" be factually proven. Depends on the criteria. The US appears to be the third largest producer of bulk quantity of food, but only ranks around 79th in terms of ratio of land to farm.
Then there's the "artistic mark": how can one possibly prove "best" which is innately subjected. Food is in fact a judged sport, from Zagats down to the local church fair.
I get that Lenova preferred the well made home made borscht to the poorly made fast food sushi, but did get a chuckle out her trying to pass off a big bowl of starch season with fat as "healthier" than lean raw fish. Nutritionists have been debating these things for forever.
I have spent a year in Italy and have visited numerous other times. I am almost moved to tears at the thought of the food - even the simplest dishes are so delicious! At meal times the wonderful smell of food invades the streets and in the afternoon it is the turn of the irresistable smells from the bakeries! I especially remember the first time I set foot in Italy - in Venice when I was 19 - exactly at the hour when the smell of the bakeries mingled with the first smells of dinner - it was heaven! And the carnival of colours in the local markets, my God!
Italians put a lot of loving effort into making every detail in their lives beautiful in an individual way and Italian food is a perfect expression of this ancient culture of beauty.
Of course Italian food is far from being just pizza and pasta. There is a great variety of dishes appreciated all around the world. However, ItalianFan, completely disagree with your calling other cuisines "feeble imitations". For instance, Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese cuisines have as distinct a style, as much variety as Italian cuisine and much older history. As for European cuisines, who imitates who is merely a matter of point of view.
Also I do not understand in what way appreciating other cuisines would damage Italian cuisine. The French are as particular about their cuisine and local products as you are, but French restaurants are able to serve their food without being "contaminated" by their many Japanese or Korean neighbours (for instance). As much as I worship Italian cuisine, liek IceAlisa I couldn't eat only Italian. It is like reading literature from just one country. Why not keep an open mind?
Not directly on topic but I'm with Asli in terms of loving a wide variety of cuisines. It's fascinating how different countries and cultures work with what is available and local to them. I'm very fortunate to be in an area that offers so many cuisines so well done. My latest discovery is Vietnamese food - lovely and some dishes are such a delicate blend of tastes - I'm getting hungry just typing. And my upbringing was Russian food from my grandmother (who btw could never get over the fact that in her new country - US - she could get oranges - she was so cute about it, she literally asked for one the day she died - of course that was so many years ago when regular Russians didn't have access to the wide range of food choices they have today).
That said and back to topic, there is no reason that a person (Leonova) wouldn't be far more comfortable with home cooking and what they are used to - aren't we all? And no one in their right mind wants rink food in any form - total junk. Doesn't mean she couldn't be polite and just stress what she likes.
I thought ItalianFan meant that the Italians are defending regional dishes against poor imitations, not that all other cuisines are merely poor imitations of Italian. At least, I hope so - because much as I enjoy some Italian dishes, I absolutely agree that Italy is not the only place in the world with good food.
And you know this how? Can you provide a link to an interview in which she said so, or is it just what you want to think?
I agree with IceAlisa that there seems to be a lot of anti-American resentment by Russians. Perhaps the different trajectories the two countries are on in terms of health and economic prosperity (even with all the American problems!) since the end of the Cold War has something to do with it.
The criticism of our food, if all you can get is fast food and skating-rink-food, makes sense. There's a lot of good food here but not at McDonalds! OTOH, I've taken foreigners to Whole Foods and watch them just about pass out in shock at the quality and quantity (and prices) of what's being sold.
Look, I loved the Russian food when I was there, the "appetizer" course left me stuffed like a pig. But in Croatia for Euros I took to making cracks about living on bread and pork, I barely saw a fruit or green vegetable for a week. (When I got to Israel afterwards, on my first day I stood in the street and admired a fruit-juice-stand in Tel Aviv. Nu, lady, what do you want? asked the owner. I'm just looking, I answered, which probably made him think I was nuts, but that fruit was so beautiful!) I don't understand Marmite and the French love for organ meats. Everybody's a bit provincial when it comes to taste in food and I'm not going to hold Leonova over an open flame for it.
Actually I was not offended at all, just surprised that someone would get tired of Italian cuisine since it is really incredibly varied from one region to another. It was the remark that its all "pasta and pizza", that I tried to refute. I know that Italians are obsessed with food and that for many other nationalities food is secondary and cooking is just a chore which they would rather avoid if they have little time and less interest. If you say to me Italy is a totally ungovernable country with corrupt politicians, I say, you are exactly right. Italy is very easy to criticize and I am certainly not blind to certain aspects. Its culture however is difficult to underestimate.
Marmite is made from yeast extract, not meat. Are you confusing it with Bovril?
No, she's just saying she doesn't "get" why people like it. Neither do I.
Is the cuisine of every region readily available in every area of the country though? For example, like I said, my friend who was in a coastal area of Italy said she could only get seafood, which she really dislikes- did she not look hard enough? Should she have been able to find delicious Northern Italian foods?
If I was in just one area of Italy, and not traveling all throughout, I could see getting tired of the food. Is there easy access to foods of other countries? That to me is the greatest thing about where I live- even though the city near me is teeny tiny we have great access to a wide variety of ethnic cuisines. I can get fairly authentic Thai, Ethopian, Japanese, Chinese (Americanized or "real china menu" as they call it), Mexican, French, and Indian food in just a short walk from work. Plus American favorites like sandwiches, burgers, or steaks. I can't get authentic Italian food though, you'd be right that what I'm getting is an imposter.
It's a British thing (like Vegemite is for Aussies). None of the rest of the world understands why anyone would want to eat it either.
As for organ meats (is that an American term for offal?), PRlady is in the minority. It's not just the French who like a bit of liver!
Which goes to show how much things can vary within a country, because the Croatian coast was so different in my experience (only spent a night in zagreb)! One of the most lovely markets I've ever been to was in Split. It was June and cherry season. I still dream of those enormous piles of beautiful cherries. Every morning in Croatia we'd make a breakfast of cherries, expresso and a pastry. It was heaven.
It is like the folks who complain about American beer. If you equate American beer with Budweiser, yeah it sucks. But equating American beer with Budweiser is such a limited point of view given the existence of so many excellent micro-brews from all over the US.
sKITTLE 1321--Well at times it can be difficult to find non seafood in a coastal area. Generally Italian restaurants are either seafood or meat so if your friend went into a seafood restaurant then the only choice she would probably be offered is some kind of frozen meat alternative. But there are non seafood restaurants in beach areas just as there are fish restaurants in Milan. Usually the different regional cuisines dominate each area of Italy. In the NW rice is favored, in the middle pasta, etc. Here in Friuli Venezia Giulia (extreme NE)thanks to our AustroHungarian background, we have tons of Slavic and German origin dishes which you would never find outside of this region and the neighboring Veneto and there are a LOT of potatoes on the menu. But you can also find Tuscan (probably the most well known regional cuisine) everywhere
Although Italians are usually quite convinced that their food is the best food, with recent immigration bringing more and more non Europeans, there are now many more ethnic restaurants than ever before. Most of the ones I have seen are either Chinese, Indian, Northern African, Turkish. I have never seen a Thai or Vietnamese restaurant but I live in a small backwater!
Organ meats = offal, although some Americans do use the term offal. With more and more processed and pre-butchered food in the US market, less people cook with offal. If you wanted it done correctly in the U.S. it probably should be through a finer dining experience, where someone has been trained to prepare liver/heart, etc. properly.
As for either marmite or vegemite, I've tried them both and
Liver - love it!
Calves' liver is sometimes on the menu at fine restaurants. Prepared well, it is melt-in-the-mouth tender, delicately flavoured, and delightful. Great with caramelized apples, or a cider sauce.
As a Jew I am supposed to like liver, chicken liver especially. Well, I can't stand it. A bit of fois gras, OTOH is just lovely. Russians also eat organ meat, brain, for instance. It's not a staple but I've encountered it growing up.
The Russian zakuski I cannot stand either and neither can my stomach. But I will say this in defense of borsch--it is not a bowl of starch, at least not where I come from. It's diced cabbage, beets, carrots and a little bit of potato so that there are 2-3 bites of it in your bowl. I like it but have to be in the mood for it. Borsch recipes vary by region and individual but I've never seen anything that could be described as a bowl of starch. A bowl of fiber is more like it. It's super healthy.
You need to read more carefully. I find Italian food absolutely delightful. I still dream of that cannoli. And yes, I did eat a lot of regional food besides pizza and pasta, for instance, arancini, caponata, carpaccio and an amazing bit of local fish in Capri. etc.. But like Asli correctly pointed out, what I disliked was eating ONLY Italian food and having no access to any other cuisine.
And no, fish carpaccio, while lovely, is not the same as sushi or even sashimi served with soy sauce and Wasabi. No need to bring down other cuisines.
I once ate brains as a child without being told they were brains (of sheep or cow, can't remember). My family is originally from Pakistan, I was born and raised in Holland however and not used to certain foods which seemed to be more normal in soms places in Pakistan. Amongst them brains. There is a Pakistani dish which you make with eggs, it's a sort of egg cury. My parents knew I'd refuse to eat brains, so they said the brains were egg cury. After I finished they told me I had just eaten brains. I felt like throwing up. The idea of having had brains still makes me sick.
Lots of foods are normal in the world which we think are weird. What about insects? Scientists say there won't be enough meat for everyone in the future and suggest we better get used to eating insects as they will provide us with enough proteins etc. when there will be shortage of meats. I can't imagine eating insects though, even if it is normal in many places.
Eating foods from different places in the world can be exciting, but also scary.
If you eat any grains, you eat insects- just not on purpose...
That said- I've had crickets and they aren't too bad, crunchy. I had them in chocolate and they tasted the same as a Nestle Krunch, which has rice grains. Definetly a novelty food though.
Both "marks" would depend on the criteria, which can in either case be objective or subjective.
Separate names with a comma.