Re: Guest Post - The Dorito Effect

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Ask yourself this: How much soft drinks, potato chips, and tortilla chips would we eat if they weren't flavored? The answer, I believe, is much, much less.

What does this even mean? How much of any food would I eat if it weren't flavored? Certainly less cabbage than I do now, because the texture of cabbage isn't anything to write home about.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 9:03 AM
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Upon further consideration, it seems likely that they are using "flavored" to mean added flavors. (What? No, of course I haven't read the article.) How is that different from adding salt or spices or onions to "whole" foods, though?

(Not saying there are no lines to be drawn, just that they're perhaps not as bright as eliminating "natural flavorings.")


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 9:05 AM
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Wait, I love corn chips. Does flavoring in this instance include "salt"?


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 9:12 AM
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They're specifically talking about the sciencey advancements in flavoring from the 60s onward.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 9:16 AM
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Okay, read the article. "Flavoring" means artificially creating the flavor of another thing, and using it as a sort of flavor bomb. The guy's claim is that you've got xyz-flavored thing tasting as much or more like xyz than actual xyz does, and then you add that flavoring to something with sugar and fat and it's irresistible.

There's a thing at the end about pseudo-healthy foods, like soy milk and fruit yogurt. Do people actually think those are healthy?! is always my reaction. But then again, it's hard to even buy plain yogurt at some of the mainstream supermarkets around here.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 9:17 AM
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Wait, I love corn chips. Does flavoring in this instance include "salt"?

I had the same thought: I eat plenty of potato or corn chips which are just seasoned with oil/salt. But, on the other hand, I probably eat significantly less than the national average.

How is that different from adding salt or spices or onions to "whole" foods, though?

The answer that the article gives (which is hardly a bright line) is this:

The reason to be fearful of them is the effect they have on our behavior. These flavors make food more delicious than it deserves to be. Put that blueberry flavor in sugar water, and suddenly it's a delicious fruit drink that a child can't resist, and he's getting too many calories.

It also gives food the sheen of nutrition. It makes food tell a nutritional lie. Consider the beverage aisle. It's filled with all the different flavors. Soft drinks are all imitating real food. Lemon-lime, cola, orange soda. All these drinks really deliver is sugar water. It's interesting that no one would drink these things if not for the flavorings.

You can certainly quibble with that but here's the starting point of the conversation which I think is a good point.

[[W]e've been having a frantic conversation about food for 50 years, no one ever talks about the way it tastes. I find the salt, sugar, fat thesis of obesity interesting, but I think it doesn't tell us the whole story only because salt, sugar, and fat existed in abundance in the 1950s when we were trim. Part of what's changed since is availability -- corporations got really good at getting these foods to us. But it was the added flavoring that made these foods irresistible. Flavor technology got very powerful in the early 1960s, and it wasn't long after that that we began to see the startling increases in body mass index.

Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 9:19 AM
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Do people actually think those are healthy?! is always my reaction.

Healthy for me? No. Healthy enough to count as non-junk food for the kids? Basically yes, until they become too cartoony and dessert-like.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 9:22 AM
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I'm a little confused by the discussion of flavorings tasting like the things they're imitating. I don't often find that they do. Sometimes this is okay, like with the mint flavoring in cookies and toothpaste, and other times it is just gross, like with most berry flavorings.

This also captured by the childhood tendency to talk about the red-flavored popsicles or the purple-flavored ones. No actual connection to cherry or grape.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 9:23 AM
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Healthy enough to count as non-junk food for the kids?

We've mostly held fast against fruit yogurts, though I've certainly mixed jam into plain yogurt for Zardoz. But I have perhaps unusually strong opinions and feelings about yogurt.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 9:24 AM
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if you go back in time and give your grandmother some of the real food we eat now like cucumber or tomato, she wouldn't recognize them either

The hell with that. My grandmother would love my tomatoes, if I had any grandmothers left.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 9:24 AM
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Soft drinks are all imitating real food. Lemon-lime, cola, orange soda.

Wait, cola? You mean I've been tricked into thinking I'm eating real nutritious kola nuts like my grandma ate??


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 9:27 AM
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You were lucky. We just had un-kola nuts.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 9:28 AM
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Yogurt is actually currently making me super angry, because they've stopped carrying regular kid-cups of yogurt and now it's all tubes and pouches or huge-cups of yogurt, and there are no bulk options besides ultra-plain aimed at yoga-ladies. The same thing has almost happened in applesauce except there is still ONE UNIQUE option to buy a jar of applesauce.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 9:28 AM
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I almost completely stopped drinking soda and don't let my son drink it. I'm sure he picks up some of it at parties and such, but what can you do?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 9:29 AM
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Cucumbers used to have an intense flavor?!

Is this one of those individual taste things? Like with celery: I think it is very strong tasting, and Tweety thinks it is mostly tasteless. Or do we just eat different kinds of cucumbers?


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 9:29 AM
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Applesauce comes in pouches, like nature intended.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 9:31 AM
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Tweety is right. I mean, they both have a flavor which I enjoy, but it's completely lost in any dish that contains them. They're just texture at that point.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 9:32 AM
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15: I've gone from finding the taste of celery strong and unpleasant to finding it mild and quite nice. I have no idea when the shift occurred or why. I've been noticing that a lot of stuff I didn't used to like has become more palatable. Maybe it's the flavor-destruction effect of factory farming.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 9:33 AM
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13: Doesn't Activa come in smaller little cups? Will they eat that?


ultra-plain aimed at yoga-ladies

So you mean... yogurt. (I kid. Sort of.)


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 9:33 AM
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A good homegrown cucumber tastes like melon to me--so strong it's almost overwhelming. It's like the difference between shitty store tomatoes and heirlooms, barely the same food.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 9:35 AM
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I have all kinds of irritable 'get off my lawn' feelings about food and children and so on, none of which are terribly well supported. But I'm going to vent some of them now, anyway.

I think there's a pernicious interaction between this sort of artificial overflavoring and a common belief that children are at risk of injuring themselves by undereating (either generally, or on any specific occasion). Artificially overflavored food is more appealing, and if you need to make a kid eat because you're afraid that they won't otherwise, it's really tempting to go there -- you can always get them to eat Gogurt, but they probably have to be fairly hungry to enjoy beef stew. At which point the kid lives on Gogurt, and that's not good for anyone.

(I am not coming at this from the perspective of someone who has successfully raised my children to blissfully sustain themselves solely on kale and quinoa, we certainly eat junky stuff and they have irritating food dislikes and so on.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 9:36 AM
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19: They would. We switched to the chobani tubes though, which have a veneer of health.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 9:36 AM
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Throwing an Activa in the freezer for a couple of hours has become my ice cream cheat treat.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 9:36 AM
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I find the flavour of cucumbers both unpleasant, and incredibly pervasive. So, a classic 'greek' style salad with strongly flavoured cucumbers just tastes overwhelming of cucumber to me.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 9:36 AM
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I don't see cucumbers as anything but pickles that failed.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 9:37 AM
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I think there's a pernicious interaction between this sort of artificial overflavoring and a common belief that children are at risk of injuring themselves by undereating (either generally, or on any specific occasion).

I can't really gripe because our kids wolf down food in large quantities, but this irritates me too, to watch parents cajole their kid to take X many bites of their french fries or whatever. If the kid isn't hungry, let them be, and they can have something mildly unappealing and easy if they get famished before bed.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 9:38 AM
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re: 21

We've been quite lucky, because while we aren't particularly granola-crunchy-food-obsessives, xelA seems to quite happily eat most things, and actively likes vegetables and most of the foods we'd think of as tasty.

He's still very keen on sugary things, naturally: ice lollies, fruit juice, sweetened yoghurts, etc. But he'll happily munch away on most of the vegetables that kids stereotypically aren't supposed to like.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 9:40 AM
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A good homegrown cucumber tastes like melon to me

Me too—watermelon rind, specifically.

I get what I think the piece is trying to say about produce, and maybe it's just because I live in enlightened bad-tomatoless Portland, but it's not my experience that tomatoes or cucumbers or what have you are pale shadows of what grandma used to eat. Out of season, they might suck, but you just don't buy them then. Otherwise, we have great produce available.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 9:42 AM
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What is up with that, the begging kids to eat stuff? I remember my parents saying I had to eat the vegetable before I got dessert, but I was the sort of kid who would rather have a second helping of vegetable instead of dessert. I can see it would be annoying to make a family dinner that the kid picks at and then eats his weight in ice cream, but if the kid isn't hungry, he's not hungry. He's not going to end up accidentally bloated with starvation and picking flies out of his eyes.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 9:43 AM
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I basically share LB's view on feeding kids and have made similar points many times, but the charitable interpretation is that a kid who is hungry, or likely to be hungry at a time more inopportune than mealtime, is likely to be extremely whiny and annoying, and so insisting on kids eating is, like so many parenting practices, something that stems from the desperate desire to have your kids stop being so goddamn annoying.


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 9:51 AM
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There really is a substantial problem with the carefully engineered horror-foods that you see on the shelves of grocery stores, and honestly even given the amount of work that goes into them I think a lot of them aren't even as good as their less engineered versions. (Fruit-yogurt is gross, guys. Plain yogurt is great, and if you don't like how sour it is just add some sugar or honey yourself.) But this kind of article is just silly not-taking-pleasure-in-eating-food-demonstrates-virtue stuff. I mean, I get that for some people the pleasure of feeling enlightened/superior/whatever that comes with eating "healthier"* foods is better than the pleasure of eating tasty foods, but come on here. "If eating was unpleasant people would be thinner!" is true, but people who make this kind of argument misses an important point which is fuck you.

And saying that natural foods are delicious in ways that indicate their nutritional value is true, but in a totally unhelpful way because processed food is delicious in ways that indicates its nutritional value as well. Our sense of what is tasty isn't responding to the amount of vitamin A in foods or flavonoids or something, it's responding to the big, central, really important nutrients that we need in large quantities all the time, which is to say, fat, salt, protein, and calories, the same thing that those processed foods are (usually) processed to increase. What he's really saying is basically some reference to the idea that natural foods are full of antioxidants and aren't "empty calories" or something. But I'm not sure if there's much reason to think that equally tasty natural foods are nutritionally much different (in those ways) than their more processed versions: corn chips and grits really aren't made nutritionally different by adding MSG and lactic acid to one of them.

*Often not actually healthier in any real way.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 9:54 AM
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30 gets it right. My kids are in their 20s, and it's still always worth making sure they've had an opportunity to eat something if I'm going to be interacting with them. Especially if the interaction is going to be challenging in any way.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 9:55 AM
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30 gets it right. My kids are hungry most of the time. I was pleased yesterday when one of them picked a couple of tomatoes, which I then sliced up and offered to all the kids playing outside, who happily snarfed them up.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 9:57 AM
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but if the kid isn't hungry, he's not hungry

That's not true. "I'm not hungry" is a negotiating ploy, not a statement of fact. Going down that road leads to madness and becoming a short-order cook with a six-year-old boss.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 9:57 AM
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I love cucumbers.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 9:59 AM
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My kids are in their 20s, and it's still always worth making sure they've had an opportunity to eat something if I'm going to be interacting with them.

IME you could replace the first clause of this sentence with "People" and it would be equally true.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 10:01 AM
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Not that that would be gramatically sound. But you see what I'm getting at.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 10:01 AM
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Our sense of what is tasty isn't responding to the amount of vitamin A in foods or flavonoids or something, it's responding to the big, central, really important nutrients that we need in large quantities all the time, which is to say, fat, salt, protein, and calories, the same thing that those processed foods are (usually) processed to increase.

I don't think this is really true. Fat, salt, and carbs are appealing, but people don't eat buttered bread in the same way they eat Doritos. Buttered bread is a pleasure to eat, if it's good bread, but no one thoughtlessly eats five times a sane amount of it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 10:03 AM
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But this kind of article is just silly not-taking-pleasure-in-eating-food-demonstrates-virtue stuff. . . . "If eating was unpleasant people would be thinner!" is true, but people who make this kind of argument misses an important point which is fuck you.

I don't read it that way at all. I think of it as part of the literature approaching food from a public health perspective -- "we have evidence that American food habits have shifted significantly in the last 50 years, what has caused that?" He wants to make an argument about flavor, but I don't think he's starting from, "it is wrong for people to like tasty things."


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 10:03 AM
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People are in their 20s?


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 10:06 AM
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Oh clause. Nm.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 10:06 AM
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re: 38

All I need is some lentil soup or broth* to dip it in, and I can eat obscene amounts of buttered bread, even if it's not good bread.

* by which I mean something like this:

http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2008/feb/24/foodanddrink.shopping23


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 10:07 AM
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It's also worth noting that his main recommendation amounts to "it's better to cultivate healthy habits like being wealthy!", which is also both a pretty useless thing to say and one that's pretty revealing.

I'm guessing if people could obtain buttered (and salty) toast in the same quantities and the same ease as tortilla chips it wouldn't be completely surprising to see people absent-mindedly doing this. I've certainly had the experience of losing my self control when eating bread fresh out of the oven with some butter or olive oil and garlic.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 10:07 AM
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Cucumbers used to have an intense flavor?!

Yeah, when was that?

"It has been a common saying of physicians in England, that a cucumber should be well sliced, and dressed with pepper and vinegar, and then thrown out, as good for nothing." - Sam Johnson.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 10:09 AM
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In fact now that I think about it most of the foods that regularly-ish end up leaving me thinking "oh god what did I do?" afterwards are the sort that fit into his virtuous/healthy-foods category. Spicy lentils and injera have practically crippled me in the past, and I have to be very careful around watermelon.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 10:10 AM
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30, 32, 33: Oh, sure, people get hungry. But if food generally is available at reasonable intervals, that should be enough to deal with hunger, without worrying about wheedling a kid into eating.

While I'm being get-off-my-lawn-ish, there's a difference between things a kid won't eat because they find them disgusting, and things that just aren't what they want right then. The first, I think deserves a little catering to -- if fish makes the kid nauseated, then making sure there's bread or something so they don't go hungry when there's fish for dinner is perfectly reasonable. Kids will go hungry rather than overcome a real aversion. But when what's on offer is just not quite what they want, they'll eat when they're hungry.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 10:12 AM
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We could solve all these problems by eliminating grains and processed foods from our diets, of course, though I am SO BORED of making this point and I feed both to my own kids, for reasons explained in 30.


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 10:12 AM
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It's also worth noting that his main recommendation amounts to "it's better to cultivate healthy habits like being wealthy!",

Eh? There's a style of food/lifestyle writing which does come very close to, "ideally you should be wealthy enough to do this" and while his argument is quite congenial to that perspective he specifically says this:

When I was researching The Dorito Effect, I thought there was an absolute trade-off between quality and quantity. If you wanted delicious tomatoes, you wouldn't have many of them. This was very depressing, because it meant that only rich people would be able to afford truly delicious food.

What I discovered, however, is that we can get the flavor back into modern varieties of produce and still keep modern-day yields, disease resistance, and shelf life. We just need to care about flavor.

Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 10:14 AM
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There's also plenty of tasty, not overprocessed food you can make just fine with regular supermarket produce. Perfect heirloom tomatoes are very different from the pink softballs we get in the winter, sure, but a supermarket carrot is not nearly as different from the farmers' market version. Frozen peas? Pretty good! And so on. There are reasons to be concerned about industrial farming, but it's not that there's no available palatable whole food.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 10:18 AM
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Buttered bread is a pleasure to eat, if it's good bread, but no one thoughtlessly eats five times a sane amount of it.

Are you on crack?


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 10:32 AM
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Okay, come on. I'll eat lots of buttered bread too. I bake bread sometimes, and right out of the oven it's pretty compelling. But you still stop eating it a lot faster than you stop eating chips; it's not appealing completely regardless of hunger in the same kind of way.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 10:35 AM
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There has to be a lot of impact ascribable to just the easy availability and portion arms race in the snack industry. Buttering bread takes time.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 10:36 AM
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I used to bake bread pretty often in my old apartment, which I shared with a Balkan friend who would consume the entire loaf right out of the oven. She'd systematically cut off slice after slice, slather with butter, and eat. Very thin person. She claimed that women from her part of the world eat bread without any consequence until suddenly one day at 50 they turn into trucks.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 10:36 AM
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Consider the beverage aisle. It's filled with all the different flavors. Soft drinks are all imitating real food. Lemon-lime, cola, orange soda. All these drinks really deliver is sugar water. It's interesting that no one would drink these things if not for the flavorings.

First, what the fuck "real food" is "cola" supposed to be imitating?

Second, tonic water is basically unflavored carbonated sugar water. People drink it. It's not as popular as other soft drinks, but then again it's no more healthy for you than other soft drinks, so who cares.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 10:37 AM
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Tonic water is hardly unflavored.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 10:40 AM
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Tonic water is flavored with delicious quinine. It's nice even without gin, but let's be serious.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 10:41 AM
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We've had this discussion with LB before, and she remains wrong, probably because her children aren't sufficiently stubborn to have taught her the subtleties of refusing food.

On the OP, being crunchy and/or bite-sized and/or easily handled also goes a long way to enabling binging.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 10:42 AM
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Actually, my theories have not been properly tested, because Buck is weak. But I still have faith.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 10:44 AM
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(At this point, of course, they eat whatever, they're basically adults.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 10:45 AM
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It's also worth noting that the breads most (overwhelmingly) likely to lead to overeating are also the least processed ones available. My great-grandparents, when youngish, would probably not have recognized general supermarket bread, and would have thought of a lot of the expensive bread you can buy as inferior as well. Eat less processed foods, as a general rule, means fresh baked sourdough bread and butter or lard, which is very easy to overate. I think that it's a lot easier to feel like you've overeaten (short of physical discomfort) with bread than it is with potato chips, too. Bread doesn't cause any noticeably effect on you mouth, whereas I can't eat more than a moderate quantity of potato chips without feeling like I've damaged the skin/mucous membranes/whatever on the inside of my mouth.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 10:49 AM
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Fruit yogurt is delicious, what the hell is wrong with you people? Especially the full-fat kind. And kefir, fruit kefir is great. And that thin yogurt drink they have in China that comes in melon flavor.

I personally am fully capable of eating too much delicious natural food. Indeed, I made a very wholesome whole wheat flour fruit galette and an equally wholesome mustard-greens-and-onion-with-lemon like-a-gallette-but-not-sweet to take on a picnic last weekend and managed to eat basically the equivalent of one entire one all by myself. So tasty! Another part of my problem - I generally really like my own cooking, except for when I make cakes. Everyone else likes the cakes, but they kind of bore me at this point.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 10:53 AM
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Yeah, I just overate roasted Brussels sprouts, half of which I intended to save for dinner. So good.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 10:54 AM
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And mango lassi - you can't tell me mango lassi isn't good. What the hell, people?


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 10:55 AM
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Whether or not you like fruit yogurt depends on how much sugar is already in your diet. If you rarely eat sugar, fruit yogurt tastes way too sweet.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 10:56 AM
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As does just about any other processed sweet thing.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 10:56 AM
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Siggi's filmjölk comes in flavors with almost imperceptible sweetener.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 10:58 AM
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The idea that it's easier to control overeating than food selection is the cornerstone of a lot of diet advice, and, for most people at least, it seems totally wrong. Controlling overeating is really hard and fights back against a lot of natural human impulses, which have our bodies largely designed to think of food as scarce even when it totally isn't. If you have a shit-ton of food available as an American, which you do, if you're like most people you're going to eat it. So the only thing that really works is to make sure the thing you're overeating won't make you obese.


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 10:59 AM
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61, 62: Again, sure, I will overeat unprocessed whole foods too, if they're good, which roasted brussels sprouts are and those galettes sound awesome too. But it's still different from how people act around chips.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 10:59 AM
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61.last if the pics on twitter are anything to go by just outsource your cake-making to dq. They look amazing.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 11:00 AM
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The regular fruit yogurts are tasty, though I'd generally prefer to add my own fruit to plain yogurt, without the sugar/fruit slurry. The "diet" fruit yogurts are an aspartame-tasting abomination.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 11:00 AM
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28: it's not my experience that tomatoes or cucumbers or what have you are pale shadows of what grandma used to eat.

Well, we can't have experienced what grandma used to eat, of course. If she ate so-called Big Boy tomatoes, she might have been disappointed (they can be watery, with too-big cells); if she ate Beef Masters, she was probably very, very pleased.

In checking my personal sense just now, I ran across this ranking. Huh. I have not tried this "Better Boy" variety.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 11:01 AM
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Also, yogurt with 0% fat is an abomination too.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 11:02 AM
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I like sugar.

Actually, since I stopped drinking diet soda (a virtually lifelong addiction until last February) things taste a lot sweeter to me and I have found that I eat both different sweets (ice cream rather than pastry, for example, except for the galette, and that was because the fruit part was absolutely meltingly delicious; for some reason the Cub has been getting really good peaches) and less of them than I used to. Fruit yogurt remains tasty, though.

Gosh, I miss the old kind of co-op where it was all hippies instead of yuppies and they had these big bottles of strawberry kefir from a semi-local maker who none the less wasn't an artistanal yogurt gazillionaire but was instead just your usual seventies-esque health-food hippie.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 11:03 AM
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68: That's true. Here's my question, though:

If I buy the low-fat no-flavor chips, thinking, fuck it, I'm gonna eat the whole bag, so might as well make them less damaging, I will eat the whole bag in an evening. If I buy the kettle-fried fatty spicy jalapeño chips, I eat 1/4 of the bag and put them away because I get full. Still, I probably only buy a bag of chips once a month, so in total I'm eating 1 bag of chips. Does it matter whether I eat them over an evening or a week? I have not really done much of a study on it.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 11:04 AM
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From the OP, this I don't understand:

One of the things I like about avoiding carbs is that the food is pretty delicious. I have lost no weight whatsoever. But it's really doing wonders for my sense of resignation.

If the food is pretty delicious, why are you resigned?

Oh, are you increasingly less resigned? Dunno what carbs have to do with that, but okay.

Also! I too love cucumbers, but damned I'm overwhelmed by them at the moment. I'm looking into quick pickles.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 11:04 AM
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Does it matter whether I eat them over an evening or a week? I have not really done much of a study on it.

Pulling authoritative answers out of my ass (1) it doesn't make any difference, and (2) buy the full-fat kind, because they sound like they taste better, and if you're eating the same amount of chips either way why wouldn't you buy the good ones?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 11:08 AM
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69: Well, I like making cakes. I just don't especially like eating them, unless they're something special I've never made before. Mine are not things of beauty, though. They're good - better, frankly, than the fancy ones at the co-ops and better than at least a couple of the decent local bakeries - but they're rustic, to say the least.

Also, I specialize in vegan ones. It's amazing to me that I can bake an ordinary vegan cake and have it turn out better (better crumb, richer flavor, moister) than a similar cake from a bakery which uses butter and milk. I also feel that if my frosting made with buttery spread and coconut milk for fat/liquid tastes better than your buttercream frosting, you really need to step up your game.

A couple of weeks ago I made a vegan treacle tart and it was surprisingly tasty. (Although the truth is that I am not that good at shortbread, pate sucree or pate brisee. One uses coconut oil and buttery spread as the fat, and that actually works well - but I just don't have the right touch for working in the correct quantity of ice water.)


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 11:10 AM
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72: Eh, I like skyr, which is not really a yogurt, but is similar and traditionally made from skim milk.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 11:10 AM
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(2) buy the full-fat kind, because they sound like they taste better, and if you're eating the same amount of chips either way why wouldn't you buy the good ones?

And if it's more filling and you're eating it over multiple nights, that probably means there's other things you would eat on those nights that you don't, because you're eating the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th night of the good chips instead. So you can't just compare the total calories of the 1 bag of chips consumed per month.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 11:14 AM
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79 is sort of our philosophy when we switched from skim milk to partially de-fatted milk. Our son drinks much, much less milk now.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 11:16 AM
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(2) buy the full-fat kind, because they sound like they taste better, and if you're eating the same amount of chips either way why wouldn't you buy the good ones?

Yeah, that seems like a good application of Fuzzy Pink Niven's law ("don't waste calories" explained as, "don't eat a bad brownie sundae.")


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 11:18 AM
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Now that I think about it whatever my grandmother grew up eating it clearly wasn't good enough that she didn't drop it in favor of microwaving ground beef and putting canned green beans on top of it pretty much the second that became an option*, so maybe that's not the best rule of thumb.

*In the case of my grandparents I think this meant "becomes affordable" more than anything else. They grew up on farms, too, so clearly fresh vegetables were something they had access to.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 11:22 AM
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I say eat them all at once. The human digestive tract absolutely has to have a limit on how many calories it can extract from whatever you're running through it in any given hour/day/etc., and once you cross that line it's basically pleasure without any health consequences. This may require eating more than a single bag of chips though.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 11:23 AM
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Aren't you from the state that gave the world non-metaphorical Spam?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 11:24 AM
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From the OP, this I don't understand:

One of the things I like about avoiding carbs is that the food is pretty delicious. I have lost no weight whatsoever. But it's really doing wonders for my sense of resignation.

If the food is pretty delicious, why are you resigned? Oh, are you increasingly less resigned? Dunno what carbs have to do with that, but okay.

Because I would like to lose weight.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 11:27 AM
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Only in the sense that I live there now. The other parts of my family came from much more depressing areas.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 11:29 AM
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Because I would like to lose weight.

Ah, got it. I don't know what to say there: you do cardio exercise from what I understand (soccer), you do weight-bearing exercise (via Crossfit). I don't know, then.

I too would like to lose some weight, but I know exactly what to do about it, and know from experience that it will garner results. I'm hung up by back issues, mostly. I should go back to physical therapy, really.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 11:38 AM
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61, 63, 70, and 72 get it exactly right. This summer I've been subsisting until dinner on yogurt, milk, and fruit smoothies. Way more sugar (especially fructose) than I'd like, but delicious.
81: I finally quit my occasional vending machine habit when I started habitually noticing that the chocolate is terrible. This led to a brief period where I tried to replicate Twix bars with actual food.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 11:41 AM
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Way back in the archives, Alameida has a recipe for a homemade Twix counterfeit. I made it once -- not super Twixy, but not bad.

There's a coffee-bar/expensive Belgian chocolate shop in my office building, and they give you a chocolate with every overpriced coffee. A cup of coffee and a really good chocolate is exactly what I want midafternoon. (I'd take six really good chocolates, but that many isn't free with the coffee.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 11:51 AM
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What if you ordered six coffees and gave five of them to hobos or paralegals?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 11:53 AM
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Or the parahobos?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 11:53 AM
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This also captured by the childhood tendency to talk about the red-flavored popsicles or the purple-flavored ones. No actual connection to cherry or grape.

Whereas I can't convince either of my children that X-flavored whatever tastes nothing like X. I mean, there have been specific misses (Iris gave me a bow-by-blow critique of a pack of Chuckles last weekend), but the adult recognition that every banana-flavored thing tastes horrific* is not IME shared by children.

In other news, I disagree so thoroughly with more or less everything MHPH has said that I'm not convinced we're both the same species. Most relevant, the claim that food cravings are blunderbuss-like is IME simply false. Especially this time of year or in deep winter, when weather + produce availability tends to lead to a repetitive diet**, I'll realize that I really want some particular thing that is very unlike what I've been eating, and it's not because I've gone a week without fat/sodium/protein.

*and therefore definitionally not like bananas, since bananas are delicious

**people will say this is nuts to claim about summer, but come August it's all too easy to eat nothing but, essentially, salad, just like in winter it's one damn stew after another. Salad with peak produce is great, but it's not inherently nutritionally complete


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 11:55 AM
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I remember being somewhat annoyed in Germany that every coffee came with a butter cookie. The cookies were good, but as a coffee-swilling American, I ended up with way too much cookie in my life, until I started ordering ohne cookie.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 11:56 AM
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89: I think that's actually on her old, orthonymous blog, isn't it?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 12:00 PM
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As for begging/forcing kids to eat, there's 2 points: one is that, unless I'm going to be a food Nazi, meals where I'm present are the only times I can be certain the kids will be eating nutritiously*. Iris, in particular, is a slow and largely indifferent eater, with even favorite foods (only real exception are sweet breakfasts like pancakes, but even other things she'll beg for get nibbled and picked at; she's been this way since birth), so the rule is pretty much "I don't care what else you eat, but you need to finish your fruit/veg and make a dent in your protein." She's rail-thin, and sufficient caloric intake is a semi-serious concern. Kai is a more enthusiastic, as well as more inherently nutritious, eater, but also will forget to eat until the point of meltdown, so we need to stay on top of that.

It's possible the other point was contained in the above paragraph.

*funnily, partly because of Iris' tendencies, the family definition of "healthy" food includes things like pepperoni roll, because it's substantial and protein-filled, and fairly wholesome (OK, industrial pepperoni probably fails that test, shut up).


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 12:02 PM
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More seriously on the OP point about what qualifies as junk food for kids, it's almost all based on sugar content and/or grossly processed. That seems to work just fine. We mandate that kids have to finish their vegetables, and that's about it.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 12:05 PM
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I've never actually eaten a pepperoni roll. I understand the concept, but I've always been a little leery.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 12:08 PM
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I'm very very sure that I eat massively better than my grandparents did.

My paternal grandparents were poor Glasgow tenement dwellers who latterly became high-flat dwellers before they died. The east end of Glasgow is notorious for a life expectancy much worse than much of the Third World, and the diet is a big part of that. Apart from being unhealthy, it's also not very tasty.*

My maternal grandparents ate better, and my granddad grew a lot of fresh veg in his garden and two allotments, but it was still very basic meat-and-two-veg traditional British fare. Quite nice some of it: roast dinners, apple pies/crumbles, stews, etc. But not very interesting to eat, and pretty stodgy.

* Scotland has truly amazing native produce. The climate is perfect for growing a lot of crops, the fruit is very good, and the seafood, beef, and game, are great. But you'd not know this from the diet of ordinary working class Scots at least up until people became a bit more foody in the past 10 years or so.**

** restaurant food, on the other hand, can often be really excellent, as they've got great basic produce to work with.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 12:08 PM
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92. What makes food delicious/nutritious is a fair bit different from food cravings themselves. No amount of engineering is going to make a doritos-only diet tolerable for most people (for any real length of time anyway).


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 12:12 PM
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We don't mandate that xelA finish any particular part of his food. We just ask him to sit at the table, not to walk about while eating, and to eat a decent amount. He's a greedy wee bugger, though, so we aren't really forcing food down him. He largely eats what we eat at main meals, if we are home.

Tonight, his pre-bath snack was some German sausage (Schinkenwurst, Bierwurst, etc), some raw carrot and peas (in pod) with radishes, and some fresh tomatoes. That sounds quite healthy, but yesterday, he had an ice-lolly (i.e. popsicle) and a small bowl of quite sugary ceral for his pre-bath snack. So he still gets some sugary junk.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 12:13 PM
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My maternal grandmother gardened and cooked some beautiful things. I still use many of her recipes. But she made everything with 40 times the sugar and fat I'd dare use.

Paternal grandmother seems to think it's not against the Geneva Conventions to serve a can of asparagus after melting it in the microwave for 15 minutes on high and then burying it under black pepper.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 12:18 PM
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97 is just crazy. They're great!


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 12:22 PM
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To the OP, I pretty much buy this hypothesis (not as the whole problem, but a good chunk). As I've argued here before, a lot of fast food and junk food actually tastes pretty gross if you're not accustomed to it, because the flavorings are both intense and off. But if, like most Americans, you grow up on the stuff, it's whole and healthy foods that taste bland.

There's overlap, of course - Indian food, in particular, tends to be flavored up as much as possible with spices - but, speaking as someone raised pretty thoroughly on artificially flavored foods (both meals* and snacks), there was absolutely a transition between thinking Big Macs were great and a vegetarian dinner was bland to thinking the latter is tasty and the former overwhelming and kind of gross (I eat fast food a couple times a year, and I usually think it's OK, but absolutely don't want more of it; I'm more likely to hate it than to crave it).

*my mom was a semi-scratch cook, but with a pretty firmly postwar, middle American menu


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 12:32 PM
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There's a little bakery near me that makes a wonderful swank Twix, which is to say an extra-crispy Napoleon in chocolate. Not vegan - I think- but the whole bakery is gluten-free; the baker was a rising patissiere when she developed a terrible gluten contact allergy.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 12:35 PM
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As I've argued here before, a lot of fast food and junk food actually tastes pretty gross if you're not accustomed to it, because the flavorings are both intense and off.

Indeed. I don't think this even needs to be argued. As I've mentioned here before, I'm appalled by the overwhelming smell of salt whenever I have occasion to smell people nuking a pre-made dish of something or other for lunch. It smells unbearably gross. Salt.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 12:44 PM
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This is basically the Seth Roberts argument.


Posted by: bjk | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 12:45 PM
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||

In the back of my mind throughout is that a good friend is in intensive care right now for congestive heart failure, family members only allowed to visit. Every time the phone rings, I'm filled with dread.

Please continue to cheer and/or distract with talk of food.

|>


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 12:46 PM
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Blume is my sister in yogurt preferences. Very hard to find. No, I don't want 0% plain. Plain yogurt. There is so much sugar in the brands marketed at babies!

Flavor-intense processed foods are easy to overeat, but I wonder if that's mostly the combination of fat, sugar, and salt, and less whatever Flavor Bomb has also been added. (Exception: Cool Ranch Doritos, which are crack. Solution: Don't buy them.)

Our strategy with the Calabat has been to limit processed sugars/snacks (exception: Cheerios, goldfish), serve him healthy foods, and otherwise not worry about it. He's on the lighter end of normal, but a healthy weight, and he eats whatever he wants from what we've served him. He goes through phases, but if you average it out over a week he gets his meats and veggies and fruits -- but it might be that one day he has meat and half a pint of raspberries for lunch, and the next day raspberries go uneaten but he eats all the cucumbers. shiv stresses a little more than I do about whether he eats his veggies. We do desserts once a week.

It is awfully cute how he bulks up and then leans out as he grows. Baby bro!


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 12:51 PM
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"This is basically the Seth Roberts argument."

I am freaked out that that dude died.


Posted by: lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 12:54 PM
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how he bulks up and then leans out as he grows

Yes! I'll notice one day that Zardoz has become somewhat of a little chunker, and then the next week she's noticeably taller, and back to normal girth.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 12:54 PM
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They keep doing that. A year and a half ago, Newt was a distinctly chunky child. Over the last six months, he turned all of the chunkiness into leg-length.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 1:06 PM
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That's awful, oarsimon. My sympathy.

--

About yogurt: homemade might be worth it. The Instant Pot computerized cooker I'm so fond of does yogurt, or there are single purpose ones that make it right in the natty little containers.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 1:06 PM
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When I learned how to make homemade yogurt I felt a bit mad at the world. You just add a spoonful of yogurt to some scalded milk? And put it somewhere warm? And the milk in to yogurt out ratio is... one?

It doesn't help that I have a gas stove, and as a result the inside is always mildly warm (pilot light) in the way that makes yogurt cultures thrive. So it wasn't even something that required any more equipment than some reusable plastic containers.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 1:12 PM
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I made yogurt for years. The watchful waiting part between boiling the milk and waiting for it to cool down to the correct temperature to add the starter is a block of time I do not have these days. Is there a way to make that part easier?

I have the incubator with the little containers!


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 1:15 PM
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You can get a thermometer that will beep when it hits a target temperature.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 1:15 PM
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Sorry, pars. How stressful and saddening.
..........

We usually get (the Ken Kesey–affiliated) Nancy's plain yogurt and mix berries into it. The girls like smoothies, but constantly cleaning the blender is a PITA.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 1:26 PM
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Yes, xelA does that too. He's pretty heavy for his age, though. For a while he was up around 98th percentile, although he's only about 75th percentile for height. Though in lean phases, he doesn't look at all fat with his clothes off. You can see his little* muscles under the skin.

He calls smoothies 'bwwwrrrs' (onomatopoeic for the sound of the blender). We normally just chuck a banana, some milk, and some frozen raspberries in it and whizz.

* not so little, like a lot of toddlers, he's hilariously strong.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 1:28 PM
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Sometimes the "eat what your great-grandmother ate" stuff makes me roll my eyes, because my great-grandmother lived off of buns and black coffee, which is why her children were all born horribly malnourished (my grandmother, the oldest, helped deliver her siblings and said they all came out blue). In retrospect, many of them were probably on the autism spectrum, but it's hard to know where the line between autism and Norwegian male anti-sociality falls. My grandmother had such severe osteoporosis in her old age that her neckbones dissolved, and she had to have bones taken from her feet and wired into her neck (a surgery she woke up in the middle of, but didn't say anything because she was face down and didn't want to complain). But anyways, my ancestors mainly lived off of rotten fish, root vegetables, and beer soup, a diet mostly abandoned when people could afford to eat sugar and white flour. (My grandfather's main food groups were white flour, sugar, margarine, hard cheese, and sausage. Though FWIW, he did live a very long life and died of non-diet-related causes, so maybe there is something to that.)

I am mostly being contrarian, because I do agree with the larger point, which is that the American food industry is kind of uniquely awful in artificiality of the products they produce. It actively pisses me off when I spend time in "Europe,"* and the food at all levels is simply better tasting than American food, and the processed junk food has 1/3 of the ingredient list that American junk food does (see: Fanta).

*i.e. France and Italy, which is what people mean when they say we should eat like "Europeans."


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 1:41 PM
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You're 1/4 smurf, legally speaking.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 1:45 PM
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Overfeeding children is a huge problem in China, and I expect an explosive obesity/diabetes problem to develop there. East Asians are already susceptible to diabetes, and IIRC diabetes type 2 is the fastest growing illness in rural and urban China alike. Where I lived it's particularly acute, because most old people grew up during serious famine and food insecurity was a real problem through the late 90s, so grandparents have taken overfeeding to near pathological levels. Children can't go half an hour without some unhealthy snack shoved in their face. There is still a mindset that vegetables and whole grains are poor people food, and refined carbs like sugar and meats are a sign of wealth and good nutrition. People who fed their toddlers candy, soda, and beef jerky all day would tell me how unhealthy Americans were because we eat pizza every day.*

*Chinese pizza is made with ketchup and some heavy leaden substance which only vaguely resembles "cheese."


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 1:49 PM
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It would be fun to invent a time machine, just so I could send Michael Pollan back in time to live with his great grandmother. I think he would be horribly disappointed.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 1:49 PM
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In The Fire Next Time one of James Baldwin's proofs of the fundamental evil of White America is the lamentable quality of our bread.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 1:52 PM
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At least that's easier to fix than the whole structural racism thing.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 1:53 PM
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While I'm serially commenting, if people in Portland would be interested in meeting up, I'm free most of the time. SE Portland works best for me, though I can easily travel elsewhere.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 1:53 PM
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The extent to which a lot of other countries both feel the need to have pizza and simultaneously have absolutely horrifying ideas of what pizza is is kind of bizarre to me. I mean, there are cases where it's clearly just different interest in ingredients and there's no real issue there - putting squid on pizza seems unproblematic, but corn is an abomination.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 1:58 PM
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125: How about fried chicken or hot dogs?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 2:03 PM
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The first case I ever worked on as an attorney was a franchise issue against the "Thai Pizza Lord" -- an American guy who owned all the Pizza Huts in Thailand. The descriptions of popular Thai pizzas were troubling. Corn, yes, but also mayonnaise.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 2:04 PM
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From what little I know the first of those tends to be pretty high in quality wherever you go, and the second is a lot less common world-wide. I mean, sausage-in-a-bun is almost universal, but hotdogs in particular aren't as common.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 2:04 PM
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Isn't that mayonnaise usually more like Japanese mayonnaise - tarter and more flavorful? I can see that being good. Home made mayonnaise is absolutely delicious and it's not hard to imagine using it as a dipping sauce for pizza, the same way people use ranch or bleu cheese dressing here.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 2:08 PM
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124: I'm back early from backpacking, so I could make it this week. DQ, are you still around?


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 2:09 PM
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126 was asking how you felt about those as pizza toppings.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 2:12 PM
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"Inexplicable" and "Abomination" respectively, then. I mean, both are good, but there's no way that putting fried chicken on pizza doesn't make both worse. (I mean, the bones? How are you supposed to eat around that?)


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 2:13 PM
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a dipping sauce for pizza, the same way people use ranch or bleu cheese dressing here.

Also an abomination.

I mean, at some point you're far enough down the road that "pizza" doesn't mean anything, and a creamy sauce might be appropriate, but if it's recognizably the stuff they sell in pizzerias? Yuck.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 2:14 PM
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It occurs to me that, if you treat the pizza slice as a bun*, a hot dog on a pizza could be OK. But I think in reality it's almost always going to be a bad hot dog sliced onto a bad pizza, and, again, yuck.

*That is, take a wedge of pizza, lay a whole hot dog on it, and fold it up the long way.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 2:18 PM
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133: I agree! And yet the whole "abomination!" thing seems very silly to me. Picture a 16th century Italian gourmet reacting in horror to the new fad of putting tomato sauce on pasta (I may have the century wrong, but this must happened at some point, right?)


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 2:21 PM
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Corn is a mandatory ingredient on all Chinese pizza. It's really quite bizarre. Corn + seafood (shrimp & scallops) seems to be the most popular topping, which, combined with ketchup and the "cheese," is really wretched. My poor boyfriend visited me, and as an Italian he was taken out for pizza on a regular basis and asked to pronounce on its authenticity. People would frequently tell me that Westerners were strange for loving sweet non-desserts, and I tried to explain that we don't actually dump 5 tons of sugar in our breads/salads/pizzas/pastas, but I'm not sure anyone believed me.

I had a moment where I realized that I had a completely different palate than most of the people I knew,* and there was not a whole lot of overlap. Garlic and vinegar/acidic flavors were considered really gross by most people I knew.

*Most Chinese cuisines are excellent, but I lived in a part of China where, whatever else its charms, the food was at best uninspiring and at worst fairly terrible.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 2:22 PM
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Because of quantum mechanics, the sauce never actually touches the pasta.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 2:22 PM
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Wait. Who, exactly, is aiming yogurt at yoga-ladies? Why? Do the yoga-ladies enjoy this? No judgments.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 2:24 PM
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I'd love to take the train down for a Portland meetup. Whenish?


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 2:30 PM
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I'm free Friday and this weekend, and generally any time next week.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 2:43 PM
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I'd find it hardcto get away long enough this weekend but can be there midweek or next weekend ( but you'll be gone next weekend)?


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 3:00 PM
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I don't know about DQ, but I'm here through the end of August.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 3:14 PM
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#alltheyogaladies

We eat this.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 3:36 PM
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In cab to chez nous, we are no longer in Portland! Gateau gigantesque instagrammed here: https://instagram.com/p/5e-VTHB8Ky/

I think if you start from there you can see it grow menacingly... Robbie the Tiger should avert his eyes! Although there's a shit ton of butter in and on it does that count against the flour and sugar???

The stepdaughter successfully wed to charming man of her choice and son's debut as composer and musician in the bag as well, many cheerful greetings to all!


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 3:38 PM
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141 Make it Thursday next week, and I'll wave if you drive by during the 4 hours I'll be at Sea-Tac.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 3:39 PM
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"to chez nous", dq?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 3:40 PM
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(Or I could meet you for dinner, if there's a place we can go where I'll be able to get back before I turn into a pumpkin . . .)


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 3:41 PM
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Yes I'm en vacances so spending bc de temps avec mon fils et hence being as lazy as j'ai en envie avec language so there! Ha!


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 3:46 PM
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You can't smell salt.

One grandmother thought some spam and bowl of corn was a normal dinner, the other cooked a big fryup for breakfast every morning. Neither were any more or less healthy than what most people make today, though the former died at 55 and the latter at 93.

I lean more towards the side of "we get excess calories in sneaky ways" than "we make foods that we are more prone to overeating". Processed foods of the precooked/semicooked meal variety aren't that addictive, they just contain more calories, especially sugar, than that kind of meal would normally have. Same for sugar and alcohol in drinks.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 3:59 PM
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So - not the 13th in Portland... CCarp, in four hours you should be able to get to South Seattle for dinner and back on light rail, with a cab as disaster-plan? I'll look into suitable restaurants.


Anyone else for a Portland meetup? The 15th, the Dwarf Lord might come, and he lived in Taiwan and toured China right out of college, is interested in tales of change.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 4:05 PM
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I can smell salt.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 4:06 PM
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Does your left arm hurt?


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 4:11 PM
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Oh hi. I'll be in Portland sola the evening of 8/30, unless Mt St Helens erupts while I'm on it. I know Jesus McQueen is out that weekend, but would be happy to get dinner with others. Or just Buttercup. Or have a total freakout alone in my airbnb room, as is nominally planned.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 4:19 PM
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152: he can be a complicated communicator


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 4:22 PM
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152: he can be a complicated communicator


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 4:22 PM
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For the Portland meet up I highly recommend Scotty's Pizza at Division and 21st, recently opened delicious and the owners are lovely friends of my s/daughter.

Colas are just nonalcoholic and less tasty versions of Punt e Mes and other bitter sweet herby devices, non? Pointless but it's not like they are totally unrelated in flavor to real comestibles.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 5:06 PM
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Salt totally has scent!

Very sorry about your friend, parsimon.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 5:17 PM
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I mean, the bones? How are you supposed to eat around that?

I love caldo de pollo at Mexican restaurants but it's so damn confusing - a whole piece of chicken, on the bone, an ear of corn, cob and all, giant chunks of vegetables that require cutting - all just bobbing around in your soup. I make a mess.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 7:59 PM
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I can meet up on the 15th and the 30th, or really whenever. I was curious about Scotty's Pizza, as some family friends owned the previous business in that location (a bagel place), which has now expanded and moved to Broadway and will return to across the street from Scotty's.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 10:52 PM
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Contact info appended. We had mindblowing Thai food during a July visit, so I was planning to crawl into either that joint or the Farm for dinner. I believe schmancy (Seattle) pizza was the recovery meal the last time I climbed a Cascade, though, so that could become traditional. Let me know what you're up for.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 11:24 PM
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The 15th works for me, as does the location, but I'm happy to go wherever's most convenient. Emerson? Lurkers?


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 11:47 PM
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You would think that hot dogs on pizza are an abomination, but you know where you can find hot dogs on pizza everywhere? Italy.


Posted by: mealworm | Link to this comment | 08- 5-15 11:54 PM
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The best thing on pizza is potato, naturally, since carbs mixed with carbs is always unbelievably good (chip butties, macaroni pies, etc).

They have a pizza at one of the many ex-pat pizza places in Beijing which has walnuts and anonymous ham lumps and some kind of truffle-flavoured sauce which I will basically inhale without swallowing, despite 1) not otherwise liking walnuts and 2) not otherwise liking any of their pizzas.


Posted by: Seeds | Link to this comment | 08- 6-15 12:30 AM
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re: 163

In the carbs with carbs vein, my wife ordered potato tortelli in Florence and they were amazing. Huge. As in a whole meal was, I think, three of them, and delicious.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08- 6-15 1:00 AM
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Two lurkers might be up for delurking for pizza on the 15th. Depends on time of day, since we have hiking planned for most of the day but will then be wanting replenishment afterwards.


Posted by: Abby Bee | Link to this comment | 08- 6-15 1:14 AM
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164: That sounds unbelievably delicious.

I've had a pretty awful cold and sore throat for the last couple of weeks and... started coughing blood yesterday, which was sufficient to make me go to hospital. I left with literally a carrier bag full of medicine (although they seem no closer to explaining the alarming coughing blood thing, but they seemed quite relaxed about it). Anyway, I'm now doped to the eyeballs and can swallow and breath while sleeping now. I celebrated by eating 20 potato dumplings last night.

In further good news, I'm hoping to get all the babes with my new Victorian consumptive style.


Posted by: Seeds | Link to this comment | 08- 6-15 1:43 AM
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When you're my age you realise that your grandmother grew up in a time of limited refrigeration (icebox?) and no freezers, so her fresh vegetables, if store bought and not home grown, were pretty tired by modern standards. Also, she probably preserved a ton of stuff to make it last, using, yes, sugar and salt, not to mention potassium nitrate.

Et praeterea, ut censeo, let me append my regular whinge about the over-salting of everything, even in high-ish end restaurants.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08- 6-15 2:06 AM
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I'm getting interested in the smelling salt thing. First, you're all nuts. You desalinate water by boiling it. The salt stays behind and isn't in the vapor, which is what you're smelling. It doesn't have a smell.

But can anybody think of some bankshot method by which there's a physical explanation as to how smelling something could tell you anything about how salty it was? I don't think there's going to be, but maybe. (But I still don't think so. Every time in my life I've taken a mouthful of something badly oversalted, it's been a surprise.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 6-15 4:08 AM
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I wouldn't be surprised if there were some strong correlations between certain smells (e.g. microwaving crappy prepared meals, popcorn, etc.) and excessive saltiness, and it's be a small step from an association like that to thinking that you're actually smelling salt.


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 08- 6-15 5:04 AM
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Iodine? I mean, the "smell" of the ocean isn't saltwater, it's... the other minerals? Hmm. Mineral springs tend to have a smell, but I think that's usually just phosphorous.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08- 6-15 5:49 AM
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I went and stuck my nose in the spout of the Morton's container. I couldn't smell that. Then I tried the sea salt. No smell. The kosher salt had a scent, but I think that was the container. It may have been empty but I didn't check because I didn't have a pen on me and didn't want to have to get one to add kosher salt to the list it was empty.

But, I can still recall smelling the salt water like I make when I have a sore throat.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 6-15 5:50 AM
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I should have tried the pepper as a kind of anti-control. Too late as I left the house.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 6-15 5:53 AM
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Also, it seems like we should have more than three kinds of salt.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 6-15 5:59 AM
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133: I agree! And yet the whole "abomination!" thing seems very silly to me. Picture a 16th century Italian gourmet reacting in horror to the new fad of putting tomato sauce on pasta (I may have the century wrong, but this must happened at some point, right?)

Depends what the basis for declaring an abomination is. Purists of a certain stripe will declare, I dunno, mint pesto an abomination, but that's not what I mean. What I mean is that there's a certain combination of flavors/textures that make pizza wonderful, and adding ranch dressing to it makes it all wrong.

Now, there's a bunch of objections to this. The first is the one that Neb always espouses, which is a faux-naive "that sounds tasty to me", which IME he'll claim about literally any combination you can think of, because he's that way when he wants to make a point. And it's certainly true that lots of things that sound weird turn out to be tasty.

Further, it's true that pretty much anything will taste fine if you grow up on it. I'd say that hot fudge sauce on a hot dog wrapped in a zattar pita would be gross-and maybe Neb would even acknowledge as much-but if a family served it all the time to their kids, those kids would think it was fine and normal, and wonder why the hot dog vendor never has any hot fudge. More broadly, everyone in East Asia seems to think corn on pizza is fine, even great.

But to me the test isn't whether somebody who grew up with a food likes it; it's whether somebody who didn't gets excited about it. There was a time when balsamic vinegar on strawberries sounded really weird to Americans; now it's ubiquitous, because it works. On the flip side, chocolate has had no problem conquering every food culture, yet sweet red bean paste has not; I'd argue that's evidence that the former really is objectively preferable to the latter as a sweet, even though a billion East Asians are happy with the latter. Going the other way, does anyone outside the US eat corn dogs?

I've slid away from "abominations", but what I'm trying to get at is an argument that not every possible food combo is in fact equally good, at which point it's possible to argue that some are, in a hyperbolic sense*, abominable.

*so yeah, I'm basically in agreement that it's silly, but I don't think it's mindless


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08- 6-15 6:05 AM
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I can smell vinegar, balsamic or not.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 6-15 6:09 AM
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Specifically on pizza + ranch dressing, I'd argue that A. it's mostly done when the pizza itself is pretty awful, and people do lots of things to dress up a bad substrate, and B. Americans of a certain stripe have been trained to drown all sorts of food in ranch dressing, and are acting like people who pour ketchup on steak: the goal is not to enhance the underlying flavor, it's to drown it in something with a strong, familiar flavor (which kind of brings things full circle, thread-wise).

Which is to say, one doesn't dip pizza in ranch dressing because it's a great combination, like melon and prosciutto; one does it because one likes ranch dressing and doesn't really care about pizza.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08- 6-15 6:12 AM
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170: I'm pretty sure that the "iodine" in iodized salt is in the form of (nonvolatile) potassium or sodium iodide (or iodate). Elemental iodine is volatile and brownish-purple.

Re: smelling saltiness, the only dish I've ever sent back at a restaurant was inedibly salty. It was a butternut squash ravioli with pancetta and brown butter. The waitress suggested they remake it without the pancetta. ("Pancetta is supposed to be salty. Weren't you expecting that?") I argued and lost and got a dish without pancetta that was still way too salty.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 08- 6-15 6:17 AM
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A friend refers to ranch dressing as "fat girl ketchup" which is mean but also kind of hilarious.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 08- 6-15 6:19 AM
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Even your pure table salt isn't pure salt. You need some reagent-grade shit, for science.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 08- 6-15 6:21 AM
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178: Should've saved that for the meetup.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08- 6-15 6:23 AM
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177.2: Went to a restaurant the other night that was quite good, but 3/6 dishes were distinctly too salty, and of course once you're over salted, the effect compounds. I took a little break, and my dish went from Holy Shit Salty to A Little Too Salty.

Drives me nuts that chefs do this. I read an article awhile back where a chef's advice to the home cook was to use more salt: "Salt brings out the flavors, it makes everything better, use more salt!" No, you moron, you've been oversalting since you were 16, and your tolerance is sky-high. Normal people don't need 1/4 tsp in every bite just to be able to taste something.

I mean, it's certainly possible to underseason, and the anti-salt campaign of the last 20 years has fallen off the other side of the horse, but pro chefs are decidedly not the people to be setting the salt levels for America.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08- 6-15 6:28 AM
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180: Given that it's Selah's birthday, I hope the phrase BIRD ZOO will pop up at some point since I still have to hear it almost daily. (If she doesn't grow up to be Batman, she'll settle for being a bird zookeeper maybe. Or maybe Princess Catwoman like she's going to be for her party.)


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 08- 6-15 6:32 AM
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174: I don't think your test works the way you think it does. In Asia, you have a generation of adults that weren't raised on corn pizza, or any kind of pizza, and they like it. Here everyone is raised with a very particular idea of what are good and appropriate pizza toppings, and they don't. Why is the second group providing the "objective" evidence?


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 08- 6-15 6:32 AM
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174.2: it's not just neb, it's not faux-naive, and you're still wrong.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 08- 6-15 6:35 AM
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Also holy shit, did you really just argue that you know more objectively what tastes good than a billion Asian people?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 08- 6-15 6:43 AM
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I'm sure there are at least some people in Asia who won't eat corn on pizza.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 6-15 6:46 AM
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We've been doing corn on the grill this summer. In foil, because cooking it in the husk is a mess. It's very good that way. With butter and salt, it's much, much better than corn on pizza.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 6-15 6:49 AM
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Cooking it in the husk works fine (great, even) if you soak it for a while first, which admittedly is sort of annoyingly time consuming.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 6-15 6:58 AM
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It still makes a huge mess of ash when you husk it after it is cooked.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 6-15 7:01 AM
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It... doesn't for me? Do you take most of the husk off before soaking?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 6-15 7:05 AM
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No. Just the silk.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 6-15 7:06 AM
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Maybe that's it? I strip it down until there's just one layer of husk covering the corn.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 6-15 7:14 AM
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Didn't we have this conversation before? When you're hungry, it's not some sort of false consciousness. You're hungry because you need, in a word, food.

As for salt, you know what's weird? Yolam Ottolenghi's cookbooks. He constantly agitates for salt. More salt. In everything. Pasta should be cooked in water at least as salty as the Mediterranean.

That could be because salt is an ingredient, and he constantly insists on more ingredients and more of each ingredient...but he also has a restaurant in London, and the food there is not particularly salty, and is actually quite simple. Cold roast beef, good bread, really good salad.

But his book absolutely insists on pounds of salt and six different grades of za'atar.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 08- 6-15 7:15 AM
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Corn on pizza is reasonably common here. It crops up on quite a few veggie pizza options at big chains like Dominos. Looking at the menu for our local Dominos, there's 17 standard pizza toppings, and 3 have corn on them.

I've only had pizza a few times in the US, and it wasn't the toppings that stood out as unusual, it was the bases. Which seemed to have way too much semolina, or cornmeal dusted on it in/before cooking. The outcome was much more 'granola' in a slightly unpleasant way than I'm used to.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08- 6-15 7:17 AM
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192: I try that, but maybe I like the foil way better because you can put butter inside while it is cooking.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 6-15 7:18 AM
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194.1: I had corn on pizza in England, but I though it was an outlier.

194.2: There are lots of very different crust types here and lots of very strong opinions about crust. You get everything from what is basically a cracker to what is really a loaf of bread with cheese on it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 6-15 7:20 AM
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184:Ha! I was going to mention you as well.

Send me a picture of yourself eating the hot dog I described, and we can talk.

Also, 6 billion people disagree with the adzuki people. Are you saying they're wrong?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08- 6-15 7:24 AM
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197.2 is completely sincere, btw. I'm not going to take seriously your claims that all foods are equally delicious when you obviously don't mean them sincerely, but rather as a cudgel for people 6" to your right on the "willingness to entertain unusual foods" spectrum.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08- 6-15 7:25 AM
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re: 196.last

Yeah, it'd be common for the larger pizza places here to offer a choice of 3 crusts. Basically running from 'very thin' (often billed as Italian-style or something similar), normal (slightly doughy, maybe the thickness of a slice of bread), and then deep pan, which might be anywhere up to an inch thick.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08- 6-15 7:27 AM
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197.last: Chocolate is more widely available in a lot of forms, right? I love red bean stuff. So far the girls have been willing to try it as a bun filling and Nia and Selah liked it but only Selah wanted seconds. Mara and Nia both thought the texture was weird, that they hadn't expected it to be less chewy, perhaps more chocolate-y. But I think they're objecting to the style of presentation and not the flavor. (Standard caveat about texture mattering more to Mara than to most eaters.) If I got them red bean ice cream, they might have a different response. Probably that response at least on Mara's part would be that why can't I just buy vanilla, the one true ice cream, but that's kids for you.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 08- 6-15 7:30 AM
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The chains do that here, but most of the good places just have their crust.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 6-15 7:30 AM
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My kid are super-willing to eat corn dogs.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 6-15 7:32 AM
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Maybe it's not the salt I'm smelling but its reaction to the food, as I can smell when something is unsalted vs salted and I bet most people who've spent time working on the line in a serious kitchen can too.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 08- 6-15 7:33 AM
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I can smell corn dogs.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 6-15 7:34 AM
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I like corn on (some) pizza! Not canned corn, but I've certainly had pizza from Cheeseboard and Sliver in Berkeley with corn that was delicious. Mayo on pizza is a bridge too far for me, but I guess it gets there via okonomiyaki.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08- 6-15 7:36 AM
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Pasta should be cooked in water that salty.


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 08- 6-15 7:36 AM
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God, I miss Zachery's deep dish pizza. I don't care if it's an abomination.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 08- 6-15 7:36 AM
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But his book absolutely insists on pounds of salt and six different grades of za'atar.

And you know what? They taste damn good made with minimal salt and they one kind of za'atar sold off the Palestinian stall at the farmers' market.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08- 6-15 7:36 AM
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207: Just so long as you recognize it is an abomination.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 6-15 7:37 AM
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Pasta should be cooked in water that salty.

Ditto that!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08- 6-15 7:39 AM
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206: I do salt the pasta water, but I don't put in oil. That's just a waste of oil.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 6-15 7:39 AM
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I haven't been to sliver yet, I understand it is eerily familiar....


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 08- 6-15 7:40 AM
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A DELICIOUS abomination that I can almost taste from here.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 08- 6-15 7:40 AM
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I haven't been to sliver yet, I understand it is eerily familiar....

Yes, it is 100% just Cheeseboard pizza in an additional location. Handy when you're in the one place rather than the other!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08- 6-15 7:45 AM
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With a soupçon of making-off-with-collectively-created-value, yes! Intrafamilial baseball, but still.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 08- 6-15 7:52 AM
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Huh, I'd had the impression that the creation of Sliver was all pretty aboveboard and OK with everyone involved, modulo the degree to which collectives always involve some component of people annoyed with people. But that's all third-hand information on my part, so not worth a lot.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08- 6-15 7:55 AM
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197.2: one of us is making a claim about objectivity. It's not me.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 08- 6-15 7:58 AM
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Sliver also tends to have way less of a line. And they serve cocktails, which I think the cheeseboard may not?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08- 6-15 8:03 AM
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The first is the one that Neb always espouses, which is a faux-naive "that sounds tasty to me", which IME he'll claim about literally any combination you can think of, because he's that way when he wants to make a point

wtf, bro.

I certainly will not claim that about any combination you can think of.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08- 6-15 8:04 AM
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217 is itself objective.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 6-15 8:05 AM
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There was a time when balsamic vinegar on strawberries sounded really weird to Americans; now it's ubiquitous, because it works.

JRoth: Always at the after-party.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08- 6-15 8:07 AM
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I don't even know what to do with this red bean claim. Is the fabled Chinese culinary preference for sweets that aren't too sweet also objectively wrong? How did chocolate end up so widespread, anyway? This is all totally baffling.

Fwiw, I wouldn't order a mayo-having pizza. Sounds bad to me!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08- 6-15 8:20 AM
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I think I had some pastry with red bean paste. I worked with a guy from China and he brought it in for some kind of pagan moon feast celebrated with pie. It wasn't bad, but some frosting would have really made the thing work better.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 6-15 8:22 AM
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Is the fabled Chinese culinary preference for sweets that aren't too sweet also objectively wrong?

Wrong in the sense that it's not actually the preference?

It seems to be pretty strong in Japan - most traditional desserts involve azuki and I was served them pretty often. OTOH there's also plenty of cake, pastry, etc. out there for the taking.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08- 6-15 8:25 AM
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222: what about aioli?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 08- 6-15 8:27 AM
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I haven't read the rest of the thread but those shaved ice/red bean chinese dessert places in LA are awesome.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 6-15 8:29 AM
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Mayonnaise is meant for fried potatoes, people, not pizza.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 08- 6-15 8:29 AM
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+ and.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 6-15 8:32 AM
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Mayo is also for potato salad and egg sandwiches. Do these people put it on the pizza before baking it, which turns my stomach to think of, or after, in which case why?


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08- 6-15 8:34 AM
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Yes obvs I was addressing the vital question of mayonnaise/starch combos, rather than mayonnaise/protein /veggie combos.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 08- 6-15 8:36 AM
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224: wrong in the sense that they prefer something they shouldn't.

225: I considered and rejected aioli as well. The testimony of another would be more likely to get me to try that, though I'd still be skeptical.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08- 6-15 8:39 AM
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Socca with aioli, close?


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 08- 6-15 8:47 AM
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I'd eat that.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08- 6-15 8:57 AM
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Also, 6 billion people disagree with the adzuki people. Are you saying they're wrong?

That many people have tried it?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08- 6-15 8:58 AM
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I've never had corn on pizza, but definitely wouldn't call it an abomination. Isn't the whole point of pizza the variety of toppings? I've never had squid on pizza, but I've had shrimp, and it was good. Scrambled egg on pizza also sounds weird but tastes fine if you want something brunch-themed.

Cassandane and I tend to think that we eat better than most Americans, but now that I try to summarize it, maybe not. Standard sugary cereal for breakfast, often with something else like toast or, today, a muffin. On weekends, something big and heavy like omelettes and home fries or pancakes and bacon. For lunch, we normally take a frozen meal like a burrito or a noodle bowl to work; we're too frugal and/or lazy for healthier options. Dinner is normally a slab of meat and a vegetable, but fairly often, some kind of pasta and the sauce fills in for one of those. Snacks: these days, mostly nuts, but there's often chips or popcorn around the house.

Of course, our schedule and habits are all thrown off at the moment due to the 5-week-old (let's call her Daria), so I shouldn't expect things this month to be the same as a year ago or a year from now.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 08- 6-15 9:00 AM
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I've had sunny-side-up egg on pizza and tht's nice.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08- 6-15 9:02 AM
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I've had a calzone with egg inside. I think it may also have had artichoke, and a couple of other fillings. But definitely egg.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08- 6-15 9:06 AM
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Yay baby!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08- 6-15 9:09 AM
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Brik is the best egg-in-a-thing EVER. Messy and fabulosoh.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 08- 6-15 9:11 AM
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Ooh, a baby! Nice work, you two!


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 08- 6-15 9:12 AM
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I think more people have had babies than pizza with corn.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 6-15 9:13 AM
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But people still get congratulated on the baby thing instead of the abomination-pizza thing.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 6-15 9:14 AM
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Isn't the whole point of pizza the variety of toppings?

No.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 08- 6-15 9:21 AM
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Pizzas are like sports teams, their purpose is to give people something of which the home town variety is the best.


Posted by: Todd | Link to this comment | 08- 6-15 9:30 AM
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235: Congrats!


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 08- 6-15 9:34 AM
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246

Many congratulations on 235. But to be pedantic, the daughter of Cyrus and Cassandane should surely be Atossa.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08- 6-15 9:45 AM
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Thanks, everyone. I've mentioned before that we were expecting, and I posted on the other place that she was born, but, well, here it is here.

246: That's more pedantic than me. If it were a boy, the pseudonym might be Cambyses, for Cyrus' heir. But the feminine form of Darius, another notable Persian emperor and not nearly as obscure or weird-sounding, seems close enough for me.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 08- 6-15 9:52 AM
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I know lots of people named Atossa.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 6-15 9:53 AM
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247.2. Fine. Atossa was Cyrus' daughter and Darius' wife (also Xerxes' mother). She crops up as a character in Aeschylus' play, The Persians.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08- 6-15 9:55 AM
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Congrats. I'd assumed Daria was in honor of the 90s.


Posted by: Robertro Tigre | Link to this comment | 08- 6-15 9:57 AM
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I love corn pizza! Also, potato and mayonnaise. It's not exactly what one typically thinks of as pizza, tbh, but it's delicious.

Congratulations, baby-havers!


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 08- 6-15 10:10 AM
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Worst egg-in-a-thing: secret duck yolks in otherwise delicious moon cakes.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 08- 6-15 10:16 AM
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"Corn Pizza" is available as a baby pseud. Also Cry Wooter.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 08- 6-15 10:18 AM
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And let slip the wogs of dar!


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 08- 6-15 10:22 AM
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wrong in the sense that they prefer something they shouldn't.

Man, what? Azuki is perhaps not deserving of its prominence, but perfectly nice.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08- 6-15 10:32 AM
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Eh, maybe I'll use Atossa now and then after all. It's not like I've been entirely consistent what I've called my wife.

254: racist.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 08- 6-15 10:43 AM
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The way they do fatayer here is very much like pizza, especially if you get it just with cheese. Yum. The one with eggs and cheese even better. Yum yum. A Fremen cow-orker brought a big box of it to work the other day and I can think of little else ever since it was so good.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 08- 6-15 11:59 AM
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But to me the test isn't whether somebody who grew up with a food likes it; it's whether somebody who didn't gets excited about it. There was a time when balsamic vinegar on strawberries sounded really weird to Americans; now it's ubiquitous, because it works. On the flip side, chocolate has had no problem conquering every food culture, yet sweet red bean paste has not; I'd argue that's evidence that the former really is objectively preferable to the latter as a sweet, even though a billion East Asians are happy with the latter. Going the other way, does anyone outside the US eat corn dogs?

The strawberries and balsamic thing is news to me. I'll have to try it - I love both.

As for corn dogs, when I worked near Covent Garden my favourite local burger place did what they called hush puppies but were basically mini corndogs with andouille sausage, served with a honey mustard dip. They were great.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 08- 6-15 12:33 PM
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167: contrariwise, the modern system of trucking all the produce to a warehouse and then to supermarkets and then driving it home is new, possibly younger than your grandmother. When I was a kid in St Louie there was still a truck van (truck is the vegetable matter) a couple times a week that came from local farms. This worked because most of the houses had an adult home most days. Our van was divided into several sections, based on ethnicity, and very daring women would try something from other sections.

Garlic had not made it into the unmarked section at the time.

I think the last visit or two each fall were with big bags of root vegetables for the winter, and that the business had been continuous since the van was horse-drawn.

Winter greens in frozen places are new, although the Colebrooks are doing amazing work.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 08- 6-15 2:52 PM
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the modern system of trucking all the produce to a warehouse and then to supermarkets and then driving it home is new, possibly younger than your grandmother.

It's younger than me, kid, never mind my grandmother.

We didn't have a truck van, we had a greengrocer's store at the end of the street. You went every day and bought what he's got in that morning if you knew what was good for you. There was never much variety anyway. If you wanted garlic you drove to the next suburb and bought it in the shop which catered to the small Cypriot population there; olive oil came from the chemist (pharmacist), who sold it in tiny bottles to make heated drops for alleviating earache.

But we did have a refrigerator; it even had a small freezer compartment, about 12" high. This was progress.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08- 7-15 5:13 AM
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I had one of those in my dorm.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 7-15 5:55 AM
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The kids today all have Subzero units and a chest freezer. But they won't grow up with as much grit as we had.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 7-15 5:56 AM
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Grits are bigger in the south, Moby.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 08- 7-15 6:31 AM
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They taste worse than oatmeal, but you can't put cheese in oatmeal.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 7-15 6:32 AM
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264. Sure you can, with a bit of imagination.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08- 7-15 6:48 AM
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I maintain that it only counts of it is still a porridge-type thing. Also, I have never in my life heard the word "Stockist" before that.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 7-15 6:49 AM
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Oatcakes with cheese on them are delicious.

You can put cheese in polenta, which is, I guess, quite like grits. Grits always sound like manky polenta to me, when I hear them described.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08- 7-15 6:53 AM
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Grits are mostly just much cheaper at restaurants.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 7-15 6:57 AM
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259: My grandfather made a very comfortable living driving one of those trucks.

267: They're very similar -- if you call it polenta, you can serve it to yuppies.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08- 7-15 6:58 AM
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Apparently they're made with different kinds of corn. Grits are softer than polenta.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 08- 7-15 7:07 AM
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I didn't know that. I guess that's why polenta recipes always seem to want you to cook them for so long.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 7-15 7:13 AM
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You can buy "Quick cook" polenta which doesn't take 40 min. because it's pre-treated in, I imagine, much the same way as grits, now that they no longer use lye. Quick cook polenta is deprecated by food snobs, but a cursory examination of the shelves in any Italian grocery store tends to suggest that Italy is not a nation of food snobs, at least when it comes to polenta.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08- 7-15 7:21 AM
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Does polenta involve lye? Don't grits?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 08- 7-15 7:22 AM
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Quick polenta takes about 10 minutes.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08- 7-15 7:22 AM
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There's instant grits. Just add cheese.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 7-15 7:23 AM
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Thoroughly pwned by Chris.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08- 7-15 7:23 AM
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You just boil the cheese and add it to the grits.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 7-15 7:24 AM
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Sorry, that was confusing. Grits used to be treated with lye, but I gather no longer is. AFAIK polenta never has been, but with the abandonment of lye in grits, the difference between grits as now sold and quick polenta is reduced to white corn vs. yellow corn.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08- 7-15 7:26 AM
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Unsurprisingly, I heart grits.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08- 7-15 7:30 AM
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I didn't know they took out the lye. I thought you had to use lye (or something related) if you didn't want to get pellagra.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 7-15 7:32 AM
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Pellagra is a deficiency disease. Unless you eat grits/polenta to the exclusion of all other forms of starch, such as bread or potatos, you're golden.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08- 7-15 7:33 AM
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And pellagra sounds really unpleasant.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 7-15 7:34 AM
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Corn is still processed with slaked lime for masa, hominy etc, I don't know why that would be any different for grits?


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 08- 7-15 7:36 AM
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I thought hominy was grits.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 7-15 7:37 AM
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Hominy is whole kernels (treated with lye). Grits are ground up hominy.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 7-15 7:40 AM
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Or I guess grits and whole kernel hominy are both hominy, but you don't call it grits unless it's ground I DUNNO. You figure it out.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 7-15 7:42 AM
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Anyhow cooked whole-kernel hominy is a dynamite vehicle for gravy.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 7-15 7:42 AM
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We always move our gravy in a boat.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 7-15 7:43 AM
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I am pretty much talking about the last stage where you actually convey it into your mouth. If you're saying you prefer to just drink the gravy directly from the gravy boat with no intermediation, never mind, and I salute you.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 7-15 7:48 AM
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Unless you figure everybody from Mexico is buying masa and not grits, I don't see how you could sell corn meal here that would lead to a nutritional deficiency in those who relied on it as their sole starch.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 7-15 7:50 AM
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I just had an idea for Donald Trump to use.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 7-15 7:51 AM
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Plus, there has to be at least one candidate arguing that putting folic acid in the breakfast cereal is the mark of the beast.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 7-15 7:53 AM
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Maybe we could fluoridate the corn and put lye in the drinking water.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 7-15 7:56 AM
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This looks like something I might want to try when the weather gets cool.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 7-15 7:59 AM
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Jack cheese is such an unfortunately named product.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08- 7-15 8:06 AM
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The Wikipedia entry on "nixtamalization" implies that most maize isn't treated with an alkaline solution these days:

Health problems associated with maize-based diets in modern times have usually been remedied by means of vitamin supplements and economic improvement leading to a broader diet, rather than by adoption of nixtamalization. Though pellagra has vanished from Europe and the United States, it remains a major public health problem in lower Egypt, parts of South Africa, and southwestern India[citation needed].


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 08- 7-15 8:07 AM
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The hominy we get is treated with soaked lime and it is delicious: http://tierravegetables.blogspot.com/2012/01/hello-everyone-hope-you-are-enjoying.html?m=1

The corn tortillas we buy sure as hell taste like the corn has been treated. But who knows maybe grits are no longer processed properly. The only grits I ever ate with pleasure were cheesy souffléy at a wedding/christening about 15 years ago.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 08- 7-15 8:16 AM
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Like the recipe in 294?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 7-15 8:22 AM
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Yes! But I'd go with aged gouda - even dry jack is pretty meh.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 08- 7-15 8:33 AM
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259: My grandfather made a very comfortable living driving one of those trucks.

There's a good Chris Smithers song which references those trucks: "No Love Today"

And I can hear that produce wagon on the street
I can hear that farmer singing
'Cause I cried myself to sleep

"I got bananas, and watermelon
and peaches by the pound
sweet corn, mirleton, more better than in town
I've got okra, enough to choke you
Beans of every kind
If hungry is what's eating you
I'll sell you piece of mind"
But this ain't what you came to hear me say
And I hate to disappoint you
I got no love today


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 08- 7-15 8:38 AM
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Although if you're going to make soufflé for sure make green garlic pudding soufflé next spring. Mmmmmmmmmmmm. With lamb shanks and masses and masses of peas and lettuce stewed together.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 08- 7-15 8:42 AM
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Have you got procedures for these items, dq?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08- 7-15 8:45 AM
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Also the Fassbinder film, "The Merchant Of Four Seasons (1971) is about a man with a fruit cart (trailer).


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 08- 7-15 8:49 AM
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We had various produce vans coming round our street when I was a kid, so late 70s and early 80s. Fish vans, I think, still come round. We certainly had a fish van that parked up at the end of the street I lived in in Glasgow 1997-1998. It used to be great to just go down and get some fishcakes,* walk back upstairs and cook.

* bright orange artificial looking breadcrumbs, but really really tasty.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08- 7-15 8:53 AM
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Can something be both a cart and a trailer?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 7-15 8:53 AM
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Yes! Green garlic pudding soufflé recipe in chez panisse veggies, I believe, will confirm this evening. Lamb shanks just the usual way, brown em and slooow cook, with more green garlic and herbs herbs herbs particularly savory if you can get it. Depending on age of lamb, might need a splash of wine, I'd go for white here. Best masses and masses of peas and lettuce is in April Bloomfield veggie book. Sooooo good.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 08- 7-15 8:55 AM
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When I used to visit my grandparents in rural England (Suffolk) in the 1980s I was always struck by how the produce and milk vending was from an era that was no longer current at home in the US. Small greengrocers, doorstep milk delivery, etc.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08- 7-15 9:06 AM
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We had a milk delivery when I was a kid. It stopped by 1980 or so.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 7-15 9:09 AM
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When I worked/lived closer to central Oxford I still bought a lot of produce from small grocers and butchers. There's a good selection in the Covered Market, and the prices and quality are pretty competitive. I still occasionally pop in when I want to buy game, but as my office is now a mile outside town, it's more of an effort.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08- 7-15 9:17 AM
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The pudding soufflé recipe is basically a variation on the one in Olney's simple French food, just use a lot of green garlic. Or other tasty veg, very useful recipe.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 08- 7-15 9:22 AM
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There's a good selection in the Covered Market, and the prices and quality are pretty competitive.

This is true, but you know how the veg stand has two sides? One has both better quality and better prices (not the one on the same side as the cheese shop). I really love stopping in there.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 08- 7-15 12:31 PM
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I don't know why I felt like I needed to specify this. Perhaps because I forget every third time and then suffer from buyer's remorse.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 08- 7-15 12:32 PM
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I just made an appointment with a nutritionist whose name I got from my doctor. Prompted by having just concluded a period this summer where I was feeling relatively good, walking and exercising a lot*, moving well at racquetball... and then I got on a scale.

Objectively, I'm pretty sure my legs have gotten less fat and are showing more muscle definition over the past few years--but it is all going into the feared "apple" shape above the waste. Aging is great.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08- 8-15 9:52 AM
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