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  1. #261
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    Quote Originally Posted by ItalianFan View Post
    I can't believe that you were actually unhappy with Italian food. which is certainly NOT just pasta and pizza. Sushi?? fish carpaccio (very available in Southern Italy) is the same thing without wasabi. burritos?? piadine ...same thing, as for Thai food, I grant you no equivalent but you can certainly find watery soups with noodles and veggies a la Thailand. sorry, but I consider the consistent, unrelentlng Italian effort to defend their regional specialities against feeble imitations and to make "slow food" with genuine ingredients and authentic regional specialities to be the "way to go" to healthy and delicious food. I have nothing against other cuisines but I feel that Italians definitely make a huge effort to eat healthy and varied meals that a lot of other countries would do well to imitate.
    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?

  2. #262

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    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.
    Last edited by Willowway; 02-27-2013 at 04:20 PM.

  3. #263

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    Quote Originally Posted by Asli View Post
    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.
    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.

  4. #264
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    Quote Originally Posted by euterpe View Post
    Irina despised Sarah Hughes because Sarah had deprived Irina of "my Olympic gold medal".
    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 hear outside a million panicking birds, and know even out there comfort is done with; it has shattered even the stars, this creature at last come home to me.

  5. #265
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    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.
    "Youth and vigor is no match for age and deceit." -- Prancer

  6. #266
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    Quote Originally Posted by VIETgrlTerifa View Post
    ^ 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.

    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.

  7. #267
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    Quote Originally Posted by PRlady View Post
    I don't understand Marmite and the French love for organ meats.
    Marmite is made from yeast extract, not meat. Are you confusing it with Bovril?
    I hear outside a million panicking birds, and know even out there comfort is done with; it has shattered even the stars, this creature at last come home to me.

  8. #268
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    No, she's just saying she doesn't "get" why people like it. Neither do I.
    Actual bumper sticker series: Jesus is my co-pilot. Satan is my financial advisor. Budha is my therapist. L. Ron Hubbard owes me $50.

  9. #269
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    Quote Originally Posted by ItalianFan View Post
    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.
    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.

  10. #270
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    [QUOTE=Asli;3850122]

    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".

    NO Asli you misunderstand me. The "feeble imitations" I referred were not other cuisines but imitation Italian products produced abroad. "Parmesan" cheese from Wisconsin, fake mozzarellas etc are fraudulent products labelled in such a way as to mislead customers into thinking that they are genuine italian products, which they are not. other cuisines are just as legitimate as Italian.

  11. #271
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    Quote Originally Posted by MacMadame View Post
    No, she's just saying she doesn't "get" why people like it. Neither do I.
    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!
    To think that fun is simple fun, while earnest things are earnest, proves all too plain that neither one thou truthfully discernest.

  12. #272
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    Quote Originally Posted by PRlady View Post
    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.
    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.
    Last edited by elka_sk8; 02-27-2013 at 08:28 PM.

  13. #273

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    Quote Originally Posted by PRlady View Post
    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.
    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.
    Creating drama!

  14. #274
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    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!
    Last edited by ItalianFan; 02-27-2013 at 05:35 PM.

  15. #275
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    Quote Originally Posted by allezfred View Post
    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!
    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
    I meant to take the high road.... but I missed the exit.

  16. #276
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    Quote Originally Posted by allezfred View Post
    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!
    Liver - love it!

    Quote Originally Posted by peibeck View Post
    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.
    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.

  17. #277
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    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by ItalianFan View Post

    I can't believe that you were actually unhappy with Italian food. which is certainly NOT just pasta and pizza. Sushi?? fish carpaccio (very available in Southern Italy) is the same thing without wasabi. burritos?? piadine ...same thing, as for Thai food, I grant you no equivalent but you can certainly find watery soups with noodles and veggies a la Thailand. sorry, but I consider the consistent, unrelentlng Italian effort to defend their regional specialities against feeble imitations and to make "slow food" with genuine ingredients and authentic regional specialities to be the "way to go" to healthy and delicious food. I have nothing against other cuisines but I feel that Italians definitely make a huge effort to eat healthy and varied meals that a lot of other countries would do well to imitate.
    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.
    Last edited by IceAlisa; 02-28-2013 at 12:56 AM.
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  18. #278
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    Quote Originally Posted by IceAlisa View Post
    Russians also eat organ meat, brain, for instance. It's not a staple but I've encountered it growing up.

    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.

  19. #279
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    Quote Originally Posted by sadya View Post
    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.
    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.

  20. #280
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    Quote Originally Posted by berthesghost View Post
    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.
    Both "marks" would depend on the criteria, which can in either case be objective or subjective.
    "The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources."-- Albert Einstein.

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