Re: Tacky Food

1

What is so tacky about eating a "pig in a blanket"? They're awesome!


Posted by: XYZ | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 8:08 AM
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Tuna Melts. Canned tuna mixed with mayo put on a white hamburger bun with a slice of American Cheese and then nuked tell the cheese melts.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 8:09 AM
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3

All tacky food is cheap and delicious. That's why poor people eat it, which is what makes it tacky.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 8:10 AM
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4

I've always felt that lobster rolls are pretty tacky.


Posted by: arthegall | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 8:10 AM
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5

Patty melts. Donuts. Hash browns.


Posted by: Klug | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 8:18 AM
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Artichoke dip. Actually, I have a soft spot for almost any kind of 70's dinner-party showoff food; all that fatty inauthenticity is something I've very fond of. My mother used to make a 'curry' to use up the Thanksgiving turkey that had no relation to any actual Indian food (the sauce was basically curry powder in cream), but was ridiculously good once you'd strewn enough sherry-soaked raisins, toasted almonds, toasted coconut, fried bananas, etc. over it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 8:20 AM
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7

Chicago-style hot dogs. Garlic soup. Cocoa Pebbles. Funnel cakes. Not together.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 8:21 AM
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8

Sausage and sauerkraut. Smoked carp. Pickled herring.

Pickled turkey gizzards are the tackiest local specialty, but I don't actually like them.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 8:23 AM
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9

I eat glue.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 8:24 AM
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10

Peopoe, peopoe, toast the tuna melt, or grill it. There is nothing deliciously tacky about nuked bread, it's just gross.


Posted by: JL | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 8:26 AM
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9: Silly heebie. Glue is for sniffing. Paste is for eating.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 8:26 AM
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12

9: Nice pun on tacky, though.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 8:27 AM
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13

I eat push pins.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 8:27 AM
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14

What surprises me is the defensiveness Becks is feeling. Pretty much all the food writers acknowledge the appeal of comfort food, and those who write at length and try to present a worldview often do so at length.

So if it isn't the high end, where's the oppression coming from?


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 8:27 AM
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I am completely safe from sex-crazed vegan predatory jailbait chicks. During their rampages through the streets looking for helpless TAs to seduce, when they smell me they will just say "eeeeeuuw" and make the gagging sign.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 8:28 AM
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I don't believe in the tackiness of food. There is only the tackiness of the eater.

Pigs in a blanket are but mere shadows of the Tator Pig: sausage (brat, frank, whatever) in a baked potato (with a groove cut through) covered in sour cream. I found a picture of one on Flickr.


Posted by: charleycarp | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 8:28 AM
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toast the tuna melt, or grill it. There is nothing deliciously tacky about nuked bread, it's just gross.

You know I when I make them I do usually broil them, but they just aren't the same as the nuked ones my mother used to make. That is probably the nostalgia talking. Also you can't use regular bread. The cheap white hamburger buns seemed to stand up to the microwave without getting soggy.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 8:29 AM
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3: Interesting, although I think only partly correct.

Since I was roundly condemned here for liking hippie pizza not four months ago, I will reiterate that I like hippie pizza, and that I think this counts as "tacky" amongst the pizza snobs frequenting this blog.

Fake lobster! Fake crab! Yum!

Both natural and artificial banana flips. Jojo potatoes from the convenience store across the street. An annual big, sugary cake with frosting flowers for my birthday. Store-bought frosting.

Many of the Minnesotan potluck foods--I don't think I could live on a steady diet of them, but all the weird cream-cheese pimiento-on-ritz things and the various casserole-ish things with prepackaged fried onion. Creamed canned greenbeans topped with fried onion.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 8:30 AM
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19

Full English/Irish/Scottish Breakfast. (The only difference being the attitude to black and white pudding.)

I was going to say coronation chicken, but LB has essentially pwned me at 6.

What's tacky about pickled herring? Food of the gods, especially the one-eyed kind that has a dodgy relationship with ravens.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 8:30 AM
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You know what can't be too tacky? Duck tape. The $2 roll is significantly less tacky than the $3 roll. Not a joke.

Tackiness isn't free.

In the same way, you want your vacuum cleaner to really suck. And your concubine too, maybe.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 8:30 AM
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21

Pot roast is sort of tacky, though it can be very tasty. With braising so in fashion these days, I suppose pot roast has come full circle, but if cut back to the basics and stop telling people you're making a carbonnade à la flamande or whatever, you can glory in all the tackiness.


Posted by: JL | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 8:31 AM
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22

I love pickled herring and sardines and regard them as gourmet delicacies, but I've learned not to bring them to potlucks. One host actually hid the herring so that no one would have to see it.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 8:34 AM
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23

Fake lobster! Fake crab! Yum!

When my sister-in-law to-be was in grad school for food science, she helped develop that stuff. She'd bring over big bags of it. She also brought over lots of the real (or unadulterated) seafood they bought for the lab and didn't finish, which we preferred, but that didn't stop us from eating the fake stuff.


Posted by: JL | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 8:34 AM
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24

Fruit roll-ups are tacky.

Anything that comes in embarrassing quantities of individual packaging - like lunchables - is tacky. Things like grits and the Tator Pig are yummy and country old-timey.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 8:35 AM
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BTW, one of my Decemberist contacts (not an actual band member) gave me his pickled herring recipe. Drying out the herring with salt before pickling is the key step I was missing.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 8:35 AM
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21: Pot roast is an international miracle food (from which I am now pretty much barred because of the whole sorta-kinda-mostly-vegetarian thing). If I were to embark on a global eating tour, I would make pot roast my lodestone, so to speak. I had the most incredible pot roast in a Xinjiang restaurant in Beijing, with big flat weird bread on top, and it haunts me (in as much as pot roast can haunt anyone) to this day.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 8:36 AM
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27

Cap'n Crunch.
Fatback biscuits.
Fried chicken gizzards.
59-cent microwave pot pies.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 8:36 AM
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28

When my sister-in-law to-be was in grad school for food science, she helped develop that stuff. She'd bring over big bags of it. She also brought over lots of the real (or unadulterated) seafood they bought for the lab and didn't finish, which we preferred, but that didn't stop us from eating the fake stuff.

Really? Seriously? I thought it was Japanese for some reason. But wow! Does she plan to put "created fake crab" on her tombstone?


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 8:38 AM
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29

Oh, and E-Z Cheese.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 8:39 AM
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30

Pickled herring is indeed awesome.

I like hippie pizza too, if it's done well, as well as regular kinds. But for tacky and delicious, you have to have a pizza strip. Rhode Island is a leader in great tacky foods.


Posted by: JL | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 8:40 AM
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31

Fake lobster! Fake crab! Yum!

Ah, you mean krab! Me no like, but I love the spelling. In law school my bestest study partner and I used to come up with all sorts of alternate spellings for legal terms to denote things not the same as the "real" thing but which functioned pretty much equivalently. For example, "konsideration".

I can't remember enough about consideration now to possibly remember what "konsideration" stood for, but it was damn amusing at the time.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 8:40 AM
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32

Margaret Thatcher invented soft scoop ice-cream. Now that is tacky.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 8:41 AM
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33

Frozen tortellini with butter.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 8:41 AM
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34

Egg McMuffins, and fast food breakfast generally. While I genuinely don't like fast food burgers and so forth these days, days when we're driving someplace first thing in the morning I'm secretly very pleased at the prospect of stopping at some fast food chain an hour into the drive for breakfast.

In the same vein, are deli egg-sandwiches tacky? Because I love them.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 8:42 AM
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I had the most incredible pot roast in a Xinjiang restaurant in Beijing, with big flat weird bread on top, and it haunts me (in as much as pot roast can haunt anyone) to this day.

Damn I miss Xinjiang food.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 8:42 AM
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36

S/B "predatory sex-crazed jailbait vegan chicks."


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 8:43 AM
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37

Corn dogs, breakfast burritos, and freezy pops.


Posted by: Lunar Rockette | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 8:45 AM
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38

lobster rolls, artichoke dip, pot roast, hippie pizza, frozen tortellini

Several people here seem to have a very different definition of tacky than the one with which I'm familiar.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 8:46 AM
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39

Really? Seriously? I thought it was Japanese for some reason.

It is--surimi. I should have said that she helped develop it as a product for the American market--testing different processes for making it on an industrial scale, adjusting taste and texture, etc. I was like 12 at the time, I'm not really sure what else was involved.

She went to work for Pillsbury out in Minneapolis and has many great stories to tell about tacky foods. In fact, both of my brothers are married to food scientists, with one brother also in the profession. It's a weird business. The other sister-in-law was for many years in charge of the production of those funny little marshmallow things in cereals like Lucky Charms. They're called "marbits."


Posted by: JL | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 8:49 AM
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40

freezy pops.

Oooh! and Flintstones Push-ups!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 8:49 AM
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41

Yes, why is a lobster roll tacky? Lobster is a disturbing food, I admit, but it hardly seems tacky.

It's all relative, of course--perhaps we just mean "food that our teeny-tiny local cohort of people almost just like us would consider declasse". Although I don't want to live anywhere where lobster is declasse.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 8:49 AM
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42

Creamy heated dips with some sort of bread/cheese crust on top are fully awesome.

When I was little my sister and I though my dad was genius for inventing a simple delicacy we called "The Cheeser." This involved white bread (I've tried it with wheat as an adult and the appeal isn't there), individually wrapped slices of velveeta cheese (again, decent cheese won't really melt the right way), dried onion flakes and garlic salt. This combination (assembled int he intuitive way, with two open-faces) was placed in broiler until the cheese began to form slightly burnt chemically bubbles on top. Yum and superyum.


Posted by: rachel | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 8:50 AM
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43

Chicago style hot dogs are tacky? And here I thought that qualified as the high end version of the hot dog.

Velveeta. Gotta love the Velveeta.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 8:50 AM
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44

Tubby Dog. Had its genesis as a hot dog night at a now-defunct club, and is now an actual restaurant that serves food beamed back by highly advanced slacker-bachelors from a not-too-distant future. Including a hot dog that involves Cap'n Crunch cereal and peanut butter, no joke.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 8:50 AM
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40: Flintstones Push-ups!

Okay, this will reveal just how fucked up my childhood diet was, but man: Flintstones Chewable Vitamins. Those things were like crack. (Also Pez.)


Posted by: Lunar Rockette | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 8:51 AM
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46

39: This is making me feel like I've wasted my life. I've preferred--for political reasons--to be a mere cog in a large machine...but if I had realized that I could have studied to make colored marshmallow bits! Oh, for my youth again!


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 8:51 AM
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47

45: I was heavily vitaminized as a child for this very reason. But the orange ones were rather gross.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 8:52 AM
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48

MARBITS! Awesome. I remember vividly how disappointed I was when I finally got to eat a bowl of Lucky Charms and discovered how unmarshmellowlike the marbits truly were.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 8:53 AM
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49

Unmarshmallowlike, too.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 8:54 AM
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50

47: Indeed. Purple or GTFO, really, was my motto.

Also, hushpuppies. Mmmmm.


Posted by: Lunar Rockette | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 8:55 AM
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51

I am also remembering that my sister, a diabolically picky eater, was into this thing she called "tuna balls." I cannot, as an adult, fathom how my mother prepared this and uttered its name with a straight face. Anyway, tuna balls consisted of canned tuna fish mixed with mustard, mayo and bread crumbs, formed into meatball shapes and baked in the over for 15 minutes. The meatball shape was crucial.


Posted by: rachel | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 8:55 AM
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52

Is somebody going to attempt an explanation for why this distinction, which I've suggested is not shared by foodies, is so delicious?

My guess is that it's an enactment of the moralizing impulse and its transgression. People who moralize things play an important, if often unwitting, role in American society by allowing everyone else the joy of flouting what ought not to be rules to start with. It's the drive to see ourselves transgressing that causes us to pretend to take this strictures seriously in the first place. Putting 'em up to knock 'em down, like dominoes or bowling pins.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 8:55 AM
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53

Funnel cakes

Yes!


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 8:55 AM
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54

41: I think what makes it tacky is the hotdog bun and the storebought mayonnaise. While lobster is a luxury food, lobster rolls are how you eat them where they're cheap and lowclass. Jar mayonnaise (which I love) adds a lot of tacky to any food in which it's an ingredient.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 8:55 AM
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55

Devilled eggs, scrapple, ring tum ditty, tuna casserole, kidney stew: tacky, awesome.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 8:57 AM
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56

Oh my god--I just remembered the ultimate. The SO suffers from Crohn's Disease, which can limit her choice of foods, especially when she's not feeling well. Late winter/early spring this year she had a really hard time, mostly just eating jello and broth, sometimes some white rice, not too much more. My parents were naturally concerned and wanted to help, so: they let us a cookbook--a gelatin cookbook. From the late '60's, maybe early '70's. They raved about some of the recipes for different jello salads, done with grapefruit and so on (which she could never eat anyway, but nevermind.) So we took it home and looked it over. Oh. My. God. The thing was amazing, just a never-ending font of tackiness. The ultimate? If I remember correctly, it was a recipe for macaroni and cheese, gelatin-style, made with mayonnaise and American cheese. Serious. I'll try to scan the cookbook cover and get y'all the recipe when I get home.


Posted by: JL | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 8:57 AM
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57

Do fried clams count?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 8:58 AM
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58

53: Well, the thrill of transgressing, but also the value that we as poncy middle/upper-middle types place on achievement--it's an achievement to learn to appreciate and prepare fancy food; it's an achievement to prefer a complex and subtle taste to a simple, strong one. There's this strong narrative of self-improvement and achieved status at work.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 8:58 AM
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59

Another vote for 59-cent pot pies.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 8:58 AM
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60

Oh, fried dough! Can't forget fried dough. Funnel cakes are so nouveau tacky.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 8:59 AM
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61

38 gets it exactly right. Is this going to turn into one of those things like the occasional wedding comments where everyone says 'You don't have to spend a lot of money, Cala, we had a lovely party for 50 guests in a penthouse rented from a senator with a private harp quartet and a sushi service" except it will be "Oh, I'm slumming it because I didn't buy the organic heirloom tomatoes."

On tacky food: dips made with sour cream, seasoning packets and random midwest additions.



Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 9:00 AM
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52: It's a class/knowledge/snobbery thing. Mom's turkey curry (which comes out of a cookbook I adore, with mid-60's 'French' (dumbed down for American cooks) classic meals, and then a bunch of showoffy things to do with the leftovers) is something that anyone who knew anything about Indian food wouldn't make as Indian food -- making it marks you as a provincial know-nothing. I like it a whole lot, but I wouldn't serve it to anyone I was trying to impress, because I'd think they'd think I was an idiot who couldn't find India on a map.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 9:00 AM
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63

And then there's the drive to distinguish ourselves from those imaginary "other" poncy educated types,the ones who are too uptight to enjoy things. Kind of like marketing in the nineties--"don't conform, buy this product to be different from Those Others". What would Lacan say, people?


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 9:00 AM
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64

I don't want to live anywhere where lobster is declasse.

I would--it would probably be cheaper.


Posted by: JL | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 9:01 AM
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65

Yeah, I don't know if this is still the case, but I had a college friend from Maine who grew up not terribly well off, and said that he and his siblings would bitch about 'Lobster for dinner again?'


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 9:02 AM
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66

38: Seriously.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 9:03 AM
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67

Fried clams aren't really tacky, are they? I'm having some trouble sorting through the simultaneous class and kitsch dimensions of tacky to come up with the right foods. I stand by Cheesers, though.


Posted by: rachel | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 9:04 AM
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54 - You know, at one point lobster was poor person food. Not ghetto poor person food, of course, but hard working New England fisherman-food. (Seriously, if you were a 19th-century rich person, would you want to eat a giant aquatic cockroach?) Oysters too, iirc. I think John "Serious Pig" Thorne has a chapter in one of his books talking about the transformation of staple poor-white-Nor'easter food into hoity toity Bostonian food.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 9:05 AM
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69

Lobster was dirt cheap the last time I was in Jamaica.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 9:05 AM
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70

MARBITS! Awesome.

Yeah. They sent me this giant plastic jar of them once--add as many to your cereal as you like! She has stories about marketing people coming to her when they had a tie-in for a movie or whatever and wanted to do a special marbit for a cereal. They'd say things like, "Well, we'd like the Captain [or whatever] to be holding his sword in the air, and if you could give him his blue hat, with his shirt maybe like the one in the big fight scene, etc." She'd have to explain to them that he'd be just another blob like the other marbits.


Posted by: JL | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 9:06 AM
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71

I'm thinking about tacky as 'unfashionable, and served without a conscious sense of why it's mistaken for it to be unfashionable,' not just cheap.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 9:06 AM
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72

Corned-beef hash from a can. And, umm, oh yeah, Fruit Loops once a year.


Posted by: Roamsedge | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 9:07 AM
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73

An old roommate had relatives from eastern Canada and she says that it's still weird for her to think of lobster as a luxury food given that her grandfather thought of them as sea spiders for poor people.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 9:07 AM
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74

No food is tacky. The people waiting in line with you for the Double Fried Bacon Burger are.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 9:08 AM
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75

Pot roast strikes me as unfashionable in a different sense than either tuna melt or EZCheeze.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 9:08 AM
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76

Corned-beef in a can. Like Spam, but not.

I also used to get canned tortillas with a 1/2" of fat floating on the top. Mmmmmmmmmmm.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 9:12 AM
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71: By that definition, the very best tacky food is almost always to be had at hole-in-the-wall greasy spoon diners. (Or greasy chopstick diners, I guess, in the case of Chinese food. Best salt and pepper squid I ever ate was at just such a place in Vancouver.)


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 9:12 AM
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When I was in Maine we got lobster from an actual lobster fisher-person and we had two lobsters each! It was rather overwhelming, and it disturbed me mightily both to be dismembering a poor dead creature and to be fairly enthused about it. I'm actually glad I don't live anywhere where lobster is cheap; lobster would be my crack, and I think it would destroy me, both physically and morally.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 9:12 AM
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79

Ooh, country fried steak! With gravy! That's in my top 10 favorite foods ever.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 9:13 AM
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80

Pot roast? what the hell is unfashionable about pot roast? Is baked chicken going to be unfashionable next? There have to be some food items that exist beyond fashion, right? Pot roast, for example, apple pie, milkshakes, pb & j, etc.


Posted by: rachel | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 9:13 AM
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81

By that definition, the very best tacky food is almost always to be had at hole-in-the-wall greasy spoon diners.

See, no. Everybody loves greasy spoon diners.

Truly tacky food, in this day and age, is defined by tons of individual packaging. The stuff that you truly have ambivalent feelings towards. LIKE LUNCHABLES, goddamnit!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 9:15 AM
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82

Great, I knew this thread would be full of "My favorite tacky food is [something that nobody else has ever thought of as tacky, leading everyone else to wonder how much undiagnosed tackiness pervades their lives]".

Pot roast? Fried clams? Lobster roll? Hush puppies? Gizzards? Bzzz, wrong.

On the other hand, I can't think of anything that isn't basically a snack food, so I'll sit this one out.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 9:17 AM
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83

Packaging is a fair litmus test in many cases. Lunchables may be the most exemplary. But Chef Boyardee is no more packaged than a can of organic black beans. Unless you consider processing to be sort of intangible packaging.


Posted by: rachel | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 9:17 AM
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84

I think of tacky as 'includes as one of its ingredients a convenience product intended for mid-century American housewives which has not gone out of style in suburban Pittsburgh or the midwest generally if you count Indiana and Kansas and the sort of thing you should be ashamed to like.' So, cream of mushroom soup, shake & bake, canned tomatoes dumped on things, those crunchy onion things, things topped with marshmallows, cheez whiz, quik things based on cream cheese.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 9:17 AM
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85

I like chicken fried chicken. And Ro-tel with Velveeta as a dip. Ditto corned beef hash in a can; not so sure about deviled eggs being tacky (but they fall under the mayo addde category, so I suppose are under consideration). And scrapple - yeah. Thick enough to be mushy in the middle, thin enough to get crispy on the outside. And, cocktail weenies in BBQ sauce are a simple, direct pleasure. McManlypants is responsible for introducing me to the Ro-tel/Velveeta combo as well as weenies in sauce.


Posted by: KJ | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 9:17 AM
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86

I don't feel remotely ambivalent about Lunchables themselves, but I agree with the basic premise of 81 -- today's tacky food is all about being very storebought and processed and packaged.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 9:18 AM
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food science really is cool.
i remember talking to a neighbor in wilmington, de one time who worked as an ice cream technician. he asked me what kinds of ice-cream i liked, and i said i liked e.g. breyers, which at the time had no gums, stabilizers, etc.
he said this style of ice-cream texture was known in the industry as very 'brittle', i.e. it goes from very hard to melted in relatively few degrees, unlike the ice creams that have a wide temperature-range of softer consistencies. (courtesy of plasticizers, no doubt).

oddly enough, this is exactly the way that metallurgists use the term 'brittle' to describe the behavior of e.g. aluminum, that goes from full hardness to a puddle within a few degrees.

that's why you can't forge a decent sword out of ice cream.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 9:18 AM
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52: I'm having more fun thinking of tacky foods than I would get out of a serious discussion, but: let it never be said that foodies do not moralize. There's Jane and Michael Stern,sure, but then there's Alice Waters.

Pot roast, which I called tacky, is great. Like Frowner said, it's found the world over, with all sorts of yummy variations. And you can make it as a serious food, with a lot of high quality ingredients, attendant pretensions, etc. Or you toss a chuck roast in your crock pot and follow some recipe out of Fix-It and Forget-It, possible involving ketchup. I bet I'd enjoy both, but they call up different associations.


Posted by: JL | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 9:18 AM
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81: Everybody loves greasy spoon diners.

Well, there's hipster-friendly facsimiles of greasy spoon diners, and there's the real thing. Actual truck stops, for instance, that serve three dollar bacon and egg breakfasts and have both kinds of music in their jukebox, country and western. It's the latter I'm thinking of.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 9:20 AM
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Not that there's only one definition of tacky, of course, but I think truly tacky food has to give one the illusion that it wasn't just ripped out of a package. Pizza Pops are nasty, but no one's going to serve them as a family specialty at a block party, whereas they might do the same with mom's crab & cheez whiz bites.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 9:21 AM
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Things topped with marshmallows! I'm going to make something topped with marshmallows this weekend, I think, although I'm not sure what yet. (Spam? Velveeta? Arugula?) Of course, I'm also making this fantastic raita that one of my co-workers gave me the receipe for, so I'll have a gastronomically intense weekend, anyway.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 9:24 AM
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Honest-to-God poutine -- the actual dish, not the pussified mix of gravy and cheese and McCain fries that most places out here try to pass off as poutine -- is also a great tacky delicacy. And I'd love to try, but have not tried, those terrifying Southern dishes where you stuff four animals into each other, bathe them in Nacho cheese and cook them with a flamethrower.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 9:24 AM
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I went to a dinner-time party hosted by a Very Big Deal Academic at my university, held in her very sophisticated urban condo, and she served Pizza Bites, microwave Buffalo wings and Sour Cream and Onion chips (with ridges) next to bowls of salsa. You really can't know for sure what people are going to serve.


Posted by: rachel | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 9:25 AM
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84: Ah yes, sausage stroganoff with cream of mushroom soup. How could I have forgotten?


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 9:25 AM
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81, 86: Yeah, the Lunchables/Hot Pockets category of food doesn't strike me as tacky, so much as just wrong. 'Tacky' seems to me to require that the maker/eater is impressed with the food -- "This is Great-Aunt Mildred's famous Cocacola/hotdog/marshmallow jello salad; everybody demands it at potlucks." The heavy packaging stuff is just Purina Bachelor Chow™.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 9:26 AM
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I just went and looked up scrapple, since I realized that I didn't know what it was, and it occurred to me that there is actually a scrapple-like Chinese dish made from pork scraps, pulverized turnip and rice flour. (Turnip cakes! How I long for dim sum!)


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 9:27 AM
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79: Ooh, country fried steak! With gravy! That's in my top 10 favorite foods ever.

I just, in June, had a pretty good version of it in Wilkesboro, NC. Some 24-hour biscuit place just off 421. Yeah, tacky but dang good.


Posted by: Roamsedge | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 9:27 AM
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The heavy packaging stuff is just Purina Bachelor Chow™

Brilliant.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 9:29 AM
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Not mine, sadly. Futurama.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 9:31 AM
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I have a soft spot for almost any kind of 70's dinner-party showoff food

Fondue, bitches. I love fondue. In the lobster roll category, cheers for Red Lobster, the home of those glorious, greasy garlic biscuits.

Pot roast? Fried clams? Lobster roll? Hush puppies? Gizzards? Bzzz, wrong.

Yeah. There's a difference--or should be a difference--between "tacky" foods and "country" or "soul" foods. Collards with ham bones aren't necessarily any tackier than risotto; both are basic regional dishes. To me, "tacky" foods are either highly artificial, mass-produced, or wrapped in some kind of grossly sentimental appeal.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 9:31 AM
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"This is Great-Aunt Mildred's famous Cocacola/hotdog/marshmallow jello salad; everybody demands it at potlucks."

At large parties in the SO's family (by large I mean 80+ people--her mom had nine siblings, all but one of whom stayed in the Boston area and most of them had multiple kids, plus their kids, etc.) there is often a half dozen different kinds of ambrosia salad--and you must try them all. The gelatin cookbook, though ensures my family the tackiness crown in the relationship.


Posted by: JL | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 9:33 AM
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There's a difference--or should be a difference--between "tacky" foods and "country" or "soul" foods.

It can be fairly argued that regional dishes can be, and often are, executed with spectacular tackiness.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 9:34 AM
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99: Only half a style point, then.

Oh, god, ambrosia.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 9:34 AM
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Fluffernutters.


Posted by: Clueless | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 9:36 AM
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Collards with ham bones aren't necessarily any tackier than risotto; both are basic regional dishes.

Yes, but as I was pointing out with 88, these foods can be done in different ways that can register differently. So, long-standing traditional foods: not tacky! Versions of the same put through the culinary wackiness of mid-century (and beyond) American culinary experiments: sometimes very tacky.


Posted by: JL | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 9:40 AM
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Almost all y'all are nuts, except Cala at 84. I also thought that IDP had a good point at 14. The set of people who seriously look down on "tacky," actually-good-tasting food has little overlap with the set commonly called "foodies." The former set is mostly actual snobs of one stripe or another (riche and nouveau being the main ones), while the latter is simply people who pay attention to and like food.

That said, there's a myth - voiced here by Brock at 3 - that "All tacky food is cheap and delicious. That's why poor people eat it...." This suggests - falsely - that things like a McDonald's Quarter Pounder and Lunchables are actually good-tasting, and only snobs dislike them, for reasons of snobbery. Speaking as someone who will go to great lengths to find chicken-fried steak or open-faced meatloaf with fries and gravy - declasse foods, no doubt - some cheap foods are simply nasty. I'm not judging those who eat them - they have their reasons - but don't try to throw some reverse-snobbery on people who can taste the difference between a good cheap hamburger and a shitty cheap hamburger.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 9:42 AM
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I'm reminded of this:

I even discovered the key word of American culture, namely 'Why not,' starting with the traditional invitation such as 'Why don't you have dinner with me tomorrow?' and ending with a declaration of love such as 'Why don't you sleep with me tonight?' Europeans do things due to emotional or rational reasons that speak for such an action whereas Americans do things when nothing seems to speak against such an action. That explains the admirable activity and hospitality but also the lack of purpose and taste to be found in America, as well as the horrible cuisine in this country. Pineapple and mayonnaise--why not? There are, of course, reasons against this combination but there will probably be no longer any Europeans capable of explaining these reasons until the average American will be able to understand them.

Posted by: JL | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 9:44 AM
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You know what's an amazing source of tacky-with-a-twist/insane recipes? Stalking the Wild Asparagus. It's this early 60's book on how to gather and prepare wild foods -- acorns, cattails, wild salad greens; but the recipes are what you'd expect from a cookbook published in '62, with the crushed cornflake toppings and so on.

It's very entertaining to read.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 9:44 AM
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It can be fairly argued that regional dishes can be, and often are, executed with spectacular tackiness.

Maybe even usually are. I love collards, but I once knew someone who served canned collards cooked in Wesson oil with a chunk of fatback and adorned with hot dogs (substitute Vienna sausages as you will) cut into tiny wedges.

Versions of the same put through the culinary wackiness of mid-century (and beyond) American culinary experiments: sometimes very tacky.

Absolutely.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 9:44 AM
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To me, "tacky" foods are either highly artificial, mass-produced, or wrapped in some kind of grossly sentimental appeal.

Oh, this is better than Cala's 84.

Which reminds me that, in my 106, I should have followed house style:

Cala, 84:

I think of tacky as 'includes as one of its ingredients a convenience product intended for mid-century American housewives which has not gone out of style in suburban Pittsburgh or the midwest generally if you count Indiana and Kansas and the sort of thing you should be ashamed to like.' So, cream of mushroom soup, shake & bake, canned tomatoes dumped on things, those crunchy onion things, things topped with marshmallows, cheez whiz, quik things based on cream cheese.

I Don't Pay, 14:

What surprises me is the defensiveness Becks is feeling. Pretty much all the food writers acknowledge the appeal of comfort food, and those who write at length and try to present a worldview often do so at length.

So if it isn't the high end, where's the oppression coming from?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 9:46 AM
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106: There is snobbery in effect, but it's snobbery between the upper-middle-class and the middle-class or the cosmopolitan city dwellers and the small town enclaves. Or between people who grew up in Smallville and moved to Metropolis and don't want anyone to know (hence why you need to know that cheez whiz is tacky. If you like it, they'll know you really don't belong.)


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 9:48 AM
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OK, Kraft macaroni and cheese in a box.

Anyone who wants to defend pickled turkey gizzards has to eat one first. Which I will do now and then, but I've never developed a real taste for them.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 9:51 AM
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Or between people who grew up in Smallville and moved to Metropolis and don't want anyone to know (hence why you need to know that cheez whiz is tacky. If you like it, they'll know you really don't belong.)

Except that people in Metropolis know that cheez whiz is awesome. Worries about "tacky" foods are neuroses run wild.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 9:53 AM
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I even discovered the key word of American culture, namely 'Why not'

"Some cooks see things as they are and ask, 'Why?' I dream foods that never were and ask, 'Why not?'"
--RFK. Top Chef, 1968.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 9:55 AM
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113: I'm not sure it's run wild given how many here started off their tales of tacky food with things that would impress my mother.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 9:58 AM
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Worries about "tacky" foods are neuroses run wild.

Is anyone here actually worrying about them?


Posted by: JL | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 10:00 AM
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To me, "tacky" foods are either highly artificial, mass-produced, or wrapped in some kind of grossly sentimental appeal.

I agree with this. But then I think "What do I eat that fits this description" and the answer is Lipton noodle/powdered sauce mixes that you mix with boiled water/milk.

That doesn't seem tacky, though. Maybe because there aren't any misled people who would be proud of serving it to others.

I think the word "tacky" is just a classist word.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 10:01 AM
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When I was in Maine we got lobster from an actual lobster fisher-person and we had two lobsters each!

Bow before me, Frowner.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 10:01 AM
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I went to a dinner-time party hosted by a Very Big Deal Academic at my university, held in her very sophisticated urban condo, and she served Pizza Bites, microwave Buffalo wings and Sour Cream and Onion chips (with ridges) next to bowls of salsa.

Was there any self-conscious retro irony involved?

I remember an art opening when an artist brought a dish made with spam and velveeta -- he could have posted a sign by it "Intended for ironic purposes only -- not meant to be eaten".


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 10:02 AM
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In Shediac, New Brunswick, the self-proclaimed "lobster capital of the world," someone told me that the abundance of lobster was directly related to the abundance of sewage effluent in the bay.

Turning garbage into gold!

And the foul!


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 10:03 AM
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I remember an art opening when an artist brought a dish made with spam and velveeta -- he could have posted a sign by it "Intended for ironic purposes only -- not meant to be eaten".

Ugh, what a waste of effort. Clearly someone who does not actually have any opinions as to what's good or bad, or else there would be some things he likes that he'd like to share with people.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 10:04 AM
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Okay, right. I can distinguish between overpackaged food, which is some-perfect-word, and the sincerity of a mid-century-dish that instructs you to blend a package of marshmellows with a half-jar of mayonnaise and spread it on Miracle Bread Hot Dog before putting a tiny hot dog in an embarrassingly clitoral localtion.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 10:04 AM
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Pronounced Low-Cal-Shun?


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 10:08 AM
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118: Well, at least I have something to strive for now. I'd assumed that eating five lobsters at a sitting would kill a person, but I guess not. Did you feel all right afterwards?


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 10:08 AM
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This thread makes me think of that hideous Food Network show, "Semi-Homemade with Sandra Lee." She does things like "make" asparagus soup by opening a can of asparagus soup and pureeing raw asparagus into it, or throwing a crown rib roast into the oven with her special treatment of packaged taco seasoning. A few days ago she made "nachos" by plopping beans from a can onto frozen waffle fries and zapping it in the microwave. Shudder.

My mom and I use her for our Two-Minute Hatred.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 10:10 AM
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Sort of unrelated, but it makes me chuckle: shivbunny is not an adventurous eater. Nor am I compared to some, but I'll go out for Indian food or make ratatouille or eat sushi, so that should give you a rough idea of what he's comfortable eating. And so I was trying to convince him that he'd like it if we went to the nice Malaysian place and he said, "Not going to happen. It would be like me trying to get you to eat...[pause] hot dogs." Silence.

"You know what I mean. You'll eat anything else!!!"


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 10:11 AM
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That Sandra Lee show is a wonder, but she obviously has a following, despite the snark.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 10:12 AM
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125: Or the filled cupcakes made by buying cupcakes and squishing in canned filling. My dad pointed to that as proof of the Evil Liberal Downfall of Society and he likes casseroles!


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 10:13 AM
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125: But what you describe is disrespecting mid-century food, which is a whole different ballgame.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 10:13 AM
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I love spam.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 10:15 AM
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124: I felt sated and victorious. There were a couple of big, sturdy guys at an adjacent table who each had eight -- and this was on top of mussels, smelt and other stuff that came with the meal.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 10:15 AM
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129: We love this stuff to the extent we grew up with it, but someone thinking of new varieties of it, and self-confidently carrying on on The Food Network takes it to a whole new level. Apparently no irony atoll.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 10:16 AM
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Fish love cheez whiz.


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 10:18 AM
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no irony atoll

They blew up this place in a nuclear test. That's why the world seems so much more ironic now.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 10:21 AM
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132: I dunno. I think my mom skipped out on that whole generation of food by being from Alabama. She learned how to make things from scratch. The kind of stuff Sandra Lee serves to guests is food I wouldn't even serve to myself, home alone.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 10:26 AM
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I had several delicious lobster rolls last weekend in NH. Yummy.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 10:26 AM
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I remember an art opening when an artist brought a dish made with spam and velveeta

Was it at this exhibition?


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 10:28 AM
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125: I'm not actually sure that I wouldn't add some grated asparagus to canned asparagus soup, if I were sure that the canned soup tasted all right--that seems like the key point. I'm not absolutely above fancying up pre-made soup from time to time, although mostly yuppie co-op soup, the kind that comes in those difficult-to-recycle foil box things.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 10:34 AM
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135: Nor I, now. My mom—we had actually said "mum" in Canada— mostly opened cans for convenience, followed by frozen and micro when they became available. The sort of elaborate semi-homemade was actually kind of rare. We didn't dress up convenience.

By high school I was often the one responsible for dinner. Shake-and-bake chicken, surrounded in the oven by baked potatoes, with some canned vegetable warmed-up on the stovetop would have been typical.

My mother did a good job with family traditional meals, mostly New England in character. But she was too tired or stressed to do much of that when I was a teenager.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 10:34 AM
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Peanut butter sandwiches. Somehow, I always thought I would grow out of the taste. But it turns out no.

Chex mix. ... homemade of course...



Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 10:36 AM
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Velveeta on white bread. Hostess Sno-Balls. Meatballs in barbeque sauce that my friend Tony makes for his Xmas party, made with frozen meatballs, barbeque sauce, Worchester sauce and something else out of a bottle. Egg McBiscuits, or whatever they're called. And every ten years or so, fish sticks.


Posted by: DominEditrix | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 10:42 AM
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138: Agreed. Those foil-box soups are good, especially with added ingredients.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 10:43 AM
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140: I pack myself a peanut butter & jelly sandwich for lunch just about every work day.

I told this to my elderly aunt once, and she told me that she used to pack lunch for her husband and one time she made him a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. When he came home that day he told her that she better never do that again if she wanted to stay married.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 10:44 AM
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My pick for favorite tacky food would be the smoked sausage at my favorite Memphis bbq place-- they take a longish piece of very cheap smoked sausage, deep fry it, put it on a hot dog bun and pour bbq sauce on it and then slather their cole slaw on it, which is made with massive amounts of ballpark mustard. You get this electric neon red from the sauce, and electric neon yellow from the mustard, all of which makes the green peeking through from the slaw look a little industrial too.

Not something I've eaten since heart surgery.

I'd agree with LB that leftover-turkey-curry is good-tacky (it's one my mom made throughout my childhood, something I assume she picked up growing up in the NE), though I've a chicken curry recipe that pushes that "low" dish pretty high, without getting it any closer to India.

I don't see anyone saying pot roast, fried clams, or hush puppies are tacky. Could be made tacky, but not tacky in and of themselves.


Posted by: TomF | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 10:47 AM
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oh, and I used to be a sucker for Goldfish crackers. Pretty tacky.

Whoever nominated frozen pot pies, franks-in-bbq-sauce, and anything with rotel or velveeta was on the right track. Only I'd count those all as BAD tacky foods.


Posted by: TomF | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 10:49 AM
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There's a place near me that sells deep fried hot dogs(w/the bun and everything).


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 10:53 AM
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When my dad was out of work for a few years, my mom took to making "breakfast for dinner" a few nights a week to save money. We'd have pancakes and stuff. Dad thought that was the height of tackiness. My ten-year-old brother and I thought it was bitchin'.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 10:53 AM
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Oh, breakfast for dinner was the best. Mmm.


Posted by: DaveB | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 10:57 AM
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Everytime I see "A White Bear comments on Tacky Food" in the side bar, I think "A Whacky Bear comments on Tight Food".


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 10:57 AM
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We had a breakfast-for-dinner menu, w/o the hard associations. Fried eggs, bacon, and boiled potatoes and turnips—called rutabagas in the US— mashed together. That last took much longer than the other parts, of course, but made the meal substantial.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 10:57 AM
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We did that! It was always pancakes. (Yes, Bisquik.) And bacon.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 10:59 AM
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will in 130:

I love spam. I had Filipino roommates for a while, and they all ate spam. Kentucky Fried Chicken seemed to be a big family treat, but they never got the rolls or whatever it is that is served with KFC. They always brought it home and served it with rice.

SCMT in 113:

Except that people in Metropolis know that cheez whiz is awesome. Worries about "tacky" foods are neuroses run wild.

I can't tell whether Tim is joking when he links to the steak and cheese sub, but I'm pretty sure that Cala is referring to the spray/foam cheese product. My paternal grandmother used to serve that stuff a lot. That may be 'tacky,' But I don't dislike it for snobbery reasons. I genuinely find it revolting. I probably loved it as a kid. I certainly liked Velveeta, though I've never cared for American cheese--even the high-end kind, like Land -o-Lakes.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 11:01 AM
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I have never had deep-fried Snickers, but I think that we can agree that they're super-tacky, and I might very well like them.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 11:07 AM
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The Minnesota State Fair is world famous for tacky deep-fried things on sticks. B. went there last year, IIRC.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 11:08 AM
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Breakfast for dinner, French style. Not tacky.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 11:09 AM
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My brother hates ketchup, as many do, but why? Tomatos, garlic, vinegar, salt, a teentsy bit of sugar. All good things unless you're an anti-sugar fanatic. And it's Azteco-Asian.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 11:10 AM
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You get this electric neon red from the sauce, and electric neon yellow from the mustard, all of which makes the green peeking through from the slaw look a little industrial too.

How very Daniel Manus Pinkwater.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 11:11 AM
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There's a Chinese breakfast pastry called "you-tiao" (= "grease stick".) Unquestionably tacky. A lot of Chinese pastry is tacky.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 11:12 AM
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154: Fried cheese on a stick! Delicious!

I had this at the Ohio State Fair.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 11:12 AM
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Remember Gladwell's article about Ketchup? about how designer or variety kinds failed, and Heinz had achieved a kind of perfection?


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 11:12 AM
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153: They're quite good, but eating an entire one gets more than a bit cloying. Deep-fried Twinkies, on the other hand, are lovely.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 11:12 AM
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159: C'lumbusite?


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 11:14 AM
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I've been told that that in Sweden they have something called "American Sauce" which is ketchup, mustard and mayonaise blended together.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 11:15 AM
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162: yes


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 11:16 AM
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Upper Arlington H.S., 1970. OSU, 1975.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 11:17 AM
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165: I'm not from Columbus, I've just lived here now for almost 20 years.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 11:20 AM
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Re: CheezeWhiz [or however it's spelt] - when my diplomat buddy was stationed in Botswana and the Embassy was to throw a party for the local bigwigs, it was discovered that the "party supplies" consisted of a carton of CheezWhiz. The Embassy staff managed to pass off CW on crackers as "an American delicacy".


Posted by: DominEditrix | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 11:22 AM
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Goldfish crackers are tacky? What?


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 11:22 AM
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At our Superbowl party, we ate corn dogs dipped in Ro-tel/Velveeta dip.

Also great: mushy Vienna sausages from a can and fish stick sandwiches.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 11:24 AM
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Emerson in 156:

My brother hates ketchup, as many do, but why? Tomatos, garlic, vinegar, salt, a teentsy bit of sugar. All good things unless you're an anti-sugar fanatic. And it's Azteco-Asian.

Strictly speaking, I don't think that ketchup requires tomato. If you look at a bottle of Heinz, it says "Tomato Ketchup." Originally ketchup was any fruit-based sauce intended for meat. Tomato ketchup is the only one that's survived.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 11:27 AM
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Lucky Charms is my most frequent tacky food vice, but the tackiest is a dessert my mum makes at Christmas which is a divine mixture of ice cream, marshmallows and crushed candy cane.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 11:28 AM
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Goldfish crackers are tacky? What?

Yeah, I had no idea that this was the case either.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 11:28 AM
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Ginger Yellow in 171:

the tackiest is a dessert my mum makes at Christmas which is a divine mixture of ice cream, marshmallows and crushed candy cane.

Except for the marshmallows, that sounds like peppermint stick ice cream which is not tacky at all. Shaws just had a sale on Brigham's, so I loaded up. For a while Brigham's, which nearly went out of business and closed all of their restaurants, didn't sell their peppermint stick ice cream to supermarkets, as opposed to their restaurants, except during the Christmas season. It was so dumb, since it's one of their best flavors.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 11:32 AM
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170: Apparently you can make a delicious mushroom ketchup. I also find tomato ketchup inexplicably gross. I love all the ingredients, but if I accidentally eat something with a little ketchup on it, I get really nauseous.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 11:35 AM
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There's a Chinese breakfast pastry called "you-tiao" (= "grease stick".) Unquestionably tacky. A lot of Chinese pastry is tacky.

More "oil stick" than "grease stick", isn't it? That is, you put "la you" in your noodle soup, "hot-spicy oil", not "hot-spicy grease". But really, it's just like an unsweetened donut, a twist of deep-fried rather crueller-ish dough.

We used to get (and perhaps I've mentioned this here before; forgive me) a very occasional composite breakfast item called a "jian bing"--a sort of thin crepe-ish thing with miso paste on it and an egg broken and cooked on, all wrapped around a you tiao. So good. Wow, this brings back such memories of East China Normal in the early morning, walking down to the little alley where all the breakfast vendors would set up shop. If the past were not deep as the sea and more difficult to cross, and all that.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 11:42 AM
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174: You can buy a delicious mushroom ketchup, with a bit of ingenuity. But it's not like mushroom flavoured tomato ketchup - more a liquid flavouring agent. Much called for in c18 food, by the way. I cooked a c18 dinner for Mrs OFE's 40th, and used quite a bit.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 11:42 AM
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delicious mushroom ketchup

I understand each of these words separately, but put together in that order, it does not compute.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 11:47 AM
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174: Racist.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 11:48 AM
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rather crueller-ish dough

I want cruellest dough.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 11:48 AM
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Probably disavowal of wh*t* tr*sh roots, actually.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 11:50 AM
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179: April is the cruellerest month, bringing donuts out of the dead land.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 11:51 AM
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Goldfish crackers strike me, immediately, as not tacky but juvenile. And so then I wonder how much of what registers as tacky shares a directedness to the under 13 set. Advertisements for many of these items, Velveeta, marshmallows, pizza bites, various frozen things, are typically aimed at moms/kids. When we indulge in tacky foods, is the real thing that we are indulging in feeling less-than-adult? This also may be why I can never accept pot roast as tacky: there are few things more stoically adult than pot roast.


Posted by: rachel | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 11:54 AM
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181: Breeding donuts out of the dead land. Don't want to know quite how they do that, though.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 11:54 AM
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Ambrosia and jellied salads are tacky, but not juvenile.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 11:56 AM
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I will show you fear in a handful of ambrosia.


Posted by: rachel | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 11:57 AM
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180: For the same reason, my parents raised me never to want bumper stickers, multiple piercings, tattoos, pet snakes, lottery, hot dogs, tank tops, belt buckles, feathered hair, hunting, cursing, or race car watching.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 11:58 AM
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186: Fuckin' A


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 12:04 PM
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Some of it stuck, some didn't.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 12:06 PM
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Actually, the only things I would want out of AWB's 186 list are hot dogs and tank tops, but I'm famously heat-intolerant. I don't have a problem with pet snakes, but probably won't have one.

I can't imagine having a problem with a good hot dog (except for vegetarians, I suppose).


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 12:15 PM
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How very Daniel Manus Pinkwater.

Have you ever read his book for adults, The Afterlife Diet?


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 12:18 PM
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I think the anxiety in my house was the association with scrap meat. People who used to be very poor and then creep up into the middle class don't want to be seen eating scrap meat.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 12:19 PM
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On a good day, I bet you could have all of the elements of 180 achieved simultaneously, probably in the back of a pickup with a cooler full of Natty Boh.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 12:22 PM
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"Ro-tel/Velveeta dip"

Becks! That's called queso!


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 12:27 PM
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Bostoniangirl: Cheesesteaks frequently have honest-to-goodness cheese whiz on them.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 12:27 PM
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Natty Boh!

A few years ago, on that street in Baltimore where everyone does over-the-top Xmas lights (34th St.?), one yard had a tree made of Natty Boh cans The cans were cut open lengthwise into strips with the ends of the strips curled up. Hard to describe accurately, but quite lovely.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 12:29 PM
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I just learned that in Philadelphia on Bastille Day, a woman dressed as Marie Antoinette stands on one of the guard towers of Eastern State Penitentiary, shouts "Let them east Tastykakes!", and throws Tastykakes into the crowd.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 12:38 PM
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I have a "friend" who occassionally and just orders an entire plate of bacon ("how many strips do you want?" "Like, thirty goddamn strips.") covered in that melted liquid nacho cheese. Tacky as hell, but arguably genius.

(There is not infrequently marijuana involved in this decision.)


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 12:43 PM
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197 s/b "occassionally goes to waffle-house"...


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 12:44 PM
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I don't have a contribution so far. I think of "tacky" as implying some kind of good intentions or earnestness, and the tastes I'm embarrassed about are plain, unapologetic junk.

But on the subject: what about 50's through 70's home cooking that was genuinely bad? I've heard it posited that some of the mind-boggling family dishes we remember were clearly horrible even in their own time, and that this was some wives' silent rebellion against their required drudgery. (Little that would have gotten into the recipe books, I imagine.)

Does this ring any bells? I don't have personal examples, being the wrong generation.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 12:55 PM
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199: No personal experience of such, but I do recall a scene in The Corrections in which the mom takes out her anger at her husband by cooking the food the kid hates the most for dinner -- and then of course the kid isn't allowed to leave the table till he eats it. I can't remember what the food was --- probably just an overcooked vegetable.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 1:04 PM
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Don't know about "silent rebellion." My mother's abilities never much developed, and she was all through her life happier working outside the home, even though she thought she should want to stay home and make home.

My grandmothers were old when I knew them, and their cooking was awful. Whether it always had been or not I didn't know. All three just rudimentary, no, decayed. I'm not really talking "La Technique" here, although bad, cheap tools when much better ones were available, used or cheap or actually in storage, was indicative. No real knives, for instance.

When I moved out, I started making better meals for myself, even though I'm not much of a cook and am too gregarious to be able to eat alone; I go to diners just for the company.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 1:06 PM
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161:[deep fried snickers are] quite good, but eating an entire one gets more than a bit cloying. Deep-fried Twinkies, on the other hand, are lovely.

I enjoyed the one deep fried snickers I ate, but between the shape, color, texture, and temperature, I found it tough to avoid the impression I was eating a deep-fried turd.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 1:13 PM
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"Eat a deep-fried turd" is the new "eat a bowl of dicks".


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 1:19 PM
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We used to get (and perhaps I've mentioned this here before; forgive me) a very occasional composite breakfast item called a "jian bing"--a sort of thin crepe-ish thing with miso paste on it and an egg broken and cooked on, all wrapped around a you tiao. So good. Wow, this brings back such memories of East China Normal in the early morning, walking down to the little alley where all the breakfast vendors would set up shop. If the past were not deep as the sea and more difficult to cross, and all that.

Good God Frowner but you're killing me today with the food nostalgia. Man do I miss me some jian bing. You could also get it with chili paste, and green onions, and some vendors sprinkled on these black seeds that tasted oniony, I forget the name. Damn those were good.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 2:12 PM
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195: on that street in Baltimore where everyone does over-the-top Xmas lights (34th St.?)

Pffft, like there's just one. But yeah, 700 block of 34th in Hampden, the ultimate destination of my familial car-based Christmas Eve pilgrimages.

And somewhat related: those half-a-lemon things with a semi-powerdy candy cane stuck in them that you'd suck the juice out through. God, those were fucking fabulous. I assume they're another Baltimore thing, because I've never seen them anywhere else, but maybe not.


Posted by: Lunar Rockette | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 2:16 PM
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Just how many Old China Hands have we got anyway?


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 2:16 PM
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206: Three, I think, although Emerson's hands are Taiwanese.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 2:18 PM
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Everyone in my mom's (Philly born and raised) family thinks Cheez Whiz on cheesesteaks is disgusting. They get theirs with provolone.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 2:24 PM
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In 168, someone noted:

"Goldfish crackers are tacky? What?"

I guess I was just thinking "junk food I've kinda liked at various times." I should just stick with the deep fried smoked sausage at the bbq place.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 2:45 PM
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My favorite in Taiwan was the shaur bing, a dumpling with a juicy hamburger kind of thing inside.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 2:48 PM
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204: I'd forgotten the green onion, but it really was essential to the whole now that I think about it. That was such a strange year, when I lived in Shanghai. Although I was about as miserable and frightened as I've ever been about one fifth of the time, the rest was pure, giddy happiness. I still wish I'd stayed. Beijing was great, but a much less intense experience. Although I still remember the first day I was back in Beijing, standing outside my apartment in the foreign teachers' block, jet-lagged and dizzy, looking out at the sunset sky and smelling that distinctive damp-concrete-rotting-vegetables-coal-smoke-cooking smell of urban China and feeling such intense relief that I'd managed to make it back.

210: We had those in Shanghai, but it was pork inside. Were they stupendously, bizarrely full of meat juices?


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 2:59 PM
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They were so juicy that you had to eat them a special way, or they'd squirt you. Mmmmmm.

Normally you'd eat them with vinegar, chile oil, and soy.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 3:05 PM
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I'm an old China hand too. I think moon cakes are sort of tacky. And gross when they have seafood in them.


Posted by: rachel | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 3:16 PM
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210: like jiaozi in Beijing? Those are too yummy for words.


Posted by: rachel | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 3:17 PM
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Have you ever read his book for adults, The Afterlife Diet?

I have not. Do you recommend it? There are a handful of his childrens books that I absolutely love (The Snarkout Boys among them) and many that I used to enjoy, but that I wouldn't want to re-read.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 3:17 PM
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Jiaozi are tasty but different. They're eaten the same way, though, I think.

This is N. Chinese cuisine, with maybe a Middle-Eastern influence via the Uighurs et al.

A halal version of Chinese food does exist, via Chinese Muslims (Hui). It would also be kosher.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 3:29 PM
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I've squirted more than enough jiaozi juice in my own face, which is even better post the vinegar/garlic/soy dip. I agree that they are eaten in the same way.


Posted by: rachel | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 3:31 PM
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A halal version of Chinese food does exist, via Chinese Muslims (Hui). It would also be kosher.

Probably not, actually. Kosher food is generally halal, but it doesn't work the other way around.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 3:34 PM
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I listened to the audiobook version of Pinkwater's Chicago Days, Hoboken Nights (to tie in with another thread). It was quite good.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 3:36 PM
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With a couple of deleted letters, the first eleven words of 217 undergo an exponential increase in hilarity.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 3:41 PM
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The elders of Zion would have you believe that, Teo. As I understand, there's a certain tendon that Muslims (but not Jews) will eat. Hence the Chinese name "tendon-eaters" for Muslims (or maybe Jews).

Chinese typically neither know nor care whether Muslims, Jews, Catholics, Protestants, and Mormons are the same or different. All just honkies.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 3:46 PM
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220: Well, yea.


Posted by: rachel | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 3:47 PM
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The juicy dumpling things in Shanghai are called xiao long bao. They kind of look like tiny steamed buns, but the wrapper is wheat noodle type stuff, not steamed bread. And yeah, they're insanely juicy. I've seen them referred to as "soup dumplings" some place, which to me brings to mind the small dumplings served in a broth, but which is apparently intended to convey the juiciness of the insides, as in "waaaahhh, they're full of soup!"


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 3:49 PM
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223: N.B.: "waaahhh" is meant to sound like the Chinese version of "wow" (i.e. to rhyme with "awwwww"), not like a baby crying.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 3:51 PM
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Now I'm hungry too.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 3:56 PM
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As I understand, there's a certain tendon that Muslims (but not Jews) will eat.

Is this meant to contradict what I said in 218? Because it doesn't.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 4:05 PM
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Like the Chinese, I don't care. But I presume that few halal dishes have that important tendon, and Muslim cooks are not required to use it. So by picking carefully on the halal menu (or talking to the cook), presumably you can keep kosher the way you couldn't on a Christian menu.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 4:09 PM
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No, you can't, unless you want to just stick to vegetarian dishes (in which case a Buddhist restaurant is probably a better bet). Meat has to come from an animal slaughtered in a very specific way to be kosher, while the halal slaughter rules are considerably laxer.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 4:14 PM
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A lot of 50s - 70s food was bloody awful. I used to own a few [Marguerite Patten, iirc] cookbooks from that era [probably pinched from my Mum] and the food in them was heavily dependent on a lot of tins and processed produce. It certainly wasn't the sort of thing you'd find in a modern popular cookbook.

That said, probably the most consistently useful cookbooks* I own are also from that period. So it wasn't all bad.**

* this http://www.goodwebguide.co.uk/index.php?art_id=703& in particular.

** I also own the first English, early 60s I think, edition of Larousse Gastronomique which is surprisingly useless.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 4:18 PM
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Probably I shouldn't rely on Chinese sources for these things.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 4:18 PM
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My mother was a wicked food-hippie when I was little and for years the pb&j sandwiches I took to school were horrors of thick, crumbly, sprouted wholegrain bread, clumpy "natural" peanut butter, and honey or apple butter. So naturally, the tackiest food I take pleasure in as an adult is a Jiffy peanutbutter and Smuckers grape jelly sandwich on Wonder bread.

I also really like scrapple, which isn't really tacky (I think?) but usually gets a good "ewwwww" reaction in conversations like this.


Posted by: cerebrocrat | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 4:29 PM
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Scrambled eggs with squirrel brains and prions is really tacky.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 4:43 PM
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two comments!

1. I enjoy fruit cup.

2. 160: Remember Gladwell's article about Ketchup? My takeaway from that article, besides how Heinz was perfect and Whole Foods Ketchup was shite, was that ketchup activates all five tastes: salt, sour, sweet, bitter, and umami.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 4:59 PM
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"natural" peanut butter

Oh man, a jar of that ended up in our pantry through some mysterious process. My kids flatly refuse to touch it, and I'm sympathetic.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 5:03 PM
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I thought halal meat had to be slaughtered facing Mecca, with the slaughterman uttering a prayer as he cut the animal's throat. That would tend to rule out kosher meat being acceptably halal.

New Zealand exports a lot of meat to Muslim countries, and getting it halal-certified is a tricky process.


Posted by: Basil Valentine | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 5:19 PM
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Natural peanut butter is great.

Generally, isn't the tackiness of a given food partly a function of the context in which it's eaten or served? Go ahead and chow down your goldfish crackers on your own; don't serve them at a function.

I only think "tacky" at, say, a Thanksgiving dinner at which someone opens a can of "french-cut" green beans, dumps a can of cream of mushroom soup on it, and sprinkles it with a tin of "fried onions." Sure, sure, pretend you actually cooked.

Yes, my mother, trained in the 50s, used to do this sort of thing (not anymore).

An acquaintance serves Thanksgiving meals like this, anyway. Appetizers are mini hot-dogs rolled in crescent-roll bread, and so on. I can't stand that food. All or most nutritional value has been stripped from it. It reflects an entirely unthinking attitude toward food.

The tackiness, then, is two-fold: it's utterly clueless to serve food like that to guests whose culinary preferences are unknown. Go for something safer, for god's sake. It's inappropriate in the context.

And the particular foods cited are tacky simply because they're stuck in a highly outdated understanding of nutrition.

I'm not making much sense. Sorry. Tired.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 5:31 PM
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"natural" peanut butter

The jarred natural stuff is terrible, since you have to churn the stuff to remix the oils each time, but there's a magical place called Whole Foods where you can grind your own, and that's pretty good. But I use the almond grinder, because almond butter is yummier.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 5:38 PM
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Moules Frites is a pretty damn tacky dish, but usually quite yummy as well.

Actually, almost everything Belgian is tacky, food or otherwise.


Posted by: Petey | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 5:40 PM
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Forkless Gourmet Bun Meals are authentic ethnic meals in a bun. Finally, authenticity meets simplicity. Forkless Gourmet Bun Meals are "What America Eats".

Commentary. Also.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 5:41 PM
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there's a magical place called Whole Foods where you can grind your own

Yeah, this stuff is great. My local health food store provides. No almonds, though. Maybe I'll ask 'em.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 5:50 PM
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"No almonds, though. Maybe I'll ask 'em."

Once you go almond, you never go back.


Posted by: Petey | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 5:53 PM
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Almond butter is the shit. So good.


Posted by: JL | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 6:02 PM
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OT: okay, unfog-Bos, if anybody does make it to Great Scott, I will be there about 10:30, wearing a Bill Clinton t-shirt. Hope some of you make it.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 6:07 PM
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I don't think I've been to a club show since seeing the Donnas and Pansy Division, along with the unbearable Mr. T Experience in 1999. Sadly, while I can't remember the exact line Martin Amis used to conclude his description of going to see the Rolling Stones in Visiting Mrs. Nabokov, it remains pretty much how I feel about ever going to a show again. Have fun. I'll be sitting at home in my underwear drinking rum--look for me!


Posted by: JL | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 6:18 PM
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I would just like to note that the last line of 19 is beautiful and I haven't read anything else in the thread.

My favorite tacky food: "cheese" balls made by my mother. They involve Rice Krispies. They are delicious. I see no point in being ashamed of the foods we love.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 6:18 PM
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Wow. I remember seeing live music. I enjoyed that.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 6:28 PM
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They involve Rice Krispies

But not cheese?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 6:29 PM
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244:

Do not be a weeping willow
crying at dumb movies
(I hated Titanic you see)

You should rock like Brian Grillo
Make an oilcan out of me
(I vomited projectively)

Stew.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 6:33 PM
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Wow. I remember seeing live music. I enjoyed that.

Seems like so long ago. Last year I attempted a daddy's night out at a Mogwai show with my pal who has 2-year-old triplets. We ended up having waaay too many mushrooms, lasting for three tunes and having a very long and strange walk home. Moral: don't assume anything when the guy who supplies those little chocolate cups is 'my cousin Jimmy from Kentucky.'

That said, last December's Unfogged mini-meetup involved live music and was fun. So maybe it's not all over yet.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 6:50 PM
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On Natural peanut butter

The jarred natural stuff is terrible, since you have to churn the stuff to remix the oils each time, but there's a magical place called Whole Foods where you can grind your own, and that's pretty good. But I use the almond grinder, because almond butter is yummier.

Almond butter is indeed delicious. Cashew butter was my favorite as a child. Ogged, you don't have to churn the oil each time. You just mix it together once and then refrigerate it

apostropher in 234:

Oh man, a jar of that ended up in our pantry through some mysterious process. My kids flatly refuse to touch it, and I'm sympathetic.

Go ahead, feed your kids that partially-hydrogenated crap, apo.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 6:56 PM
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Go ahead, feed your kids that partially-hydrogenated crap, apo.

Okay.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 6:58 PM
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You just mix it together once and then refrigerate it

B-girl speaks the truth. My kids love the stuff.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 6:59 PM
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And refrigerate it upside down, so that when it separates anyway, the oil had to travel through the jar. Then flip it back over. Like a super slow egg-timer.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 7:01 PM
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I don't think I've been to a club show since seeing the Donnas and Pansy Division, along with the unbearable Mr. T Experience in 1999.

I'm going to just make shit up and imagine that MTX was somehow anachronistically warblogging to the treasonous fifth column Pansy Division, in a ludicrously wrongheaded attempt to get into the Donnas' collective pants.

I don't particularly recommend Pinkwater's The Afterlife Diet, no. The Pinkwaterian disgusting food reference just reminded me of it. (Also of one of his NPR essays.)


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 7:01 PM
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251: They'll love you when they have their heart attacks.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 7:04 PM
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I may be down with the fancy almond butter, but you'll pry my jar of Skippy Chunky Peanut Butter out of my cold, dead hands.

Funny, for years--maybe more than a decade--after high school, I couldn't eat peanut butter. After having it for lunch, day in day out, with the only variation being jelly or Fluff, I simply couldn't deal with it. Now it's all good.


Posted by: JL | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 7:04 PM
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After having it for lunch, day in day out, with the only variation being jelly or Fluff, I simply couldn't deal with it

I feel that way about red apples with a mealy texture. Never again, never again.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 7:05 PM
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I feel that way about red apples with a mealy texture. Never again, never again.

Oh god, don't remind me. I am something of an apple fanatic, but when I think of the apples of my youth, yeesh.


Posted by: JL | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 7:08 PM
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And dry oranges that won't peel easily. With tons of seeds. And little red boxes of raisins. And flattened sandwiches with the jelly soaked through the bread. And a capri-sun with a lost straw that you can't figure out how to open. And eventually you try to tear the corner open with your teeth and it spills all over your shirt.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 7:14 PM
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But enough about my lunch today. Back to the topic at hand.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 7:15 PM
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heebie, I loved Capri Sun.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 7:15 PM
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Canned salmon, later tuna, with Miracle Whip on disintegrating white bread, that had clots of margarine in it.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 7:16 PM
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nd a capri-sun with a lost straw that you can't figure out how to open.

I was with you to that point (especially the jelly coming through), but, showing my age, all we had was the little cartons of milk we could get in the cafeteria--no straws.


Posted by: JL | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 7:16 PM
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heebie, I loved Capri Sun.

I did, too. That was my favorite part. Also I liked my lunchbox. It had a built-in propeller that actually spun.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 7:18 PM
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Also my mom sewed me an Orphan Annie dress which I loved a lot.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 7:19 PM
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Little Orphan Annie would make a great Halloween costume. Especially if you did Dead and Rotting Orphan Annie or something. Maybe I'll do that this year. The key is, start planning early for Halloween, everybody. Start now. Go. Start.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 7:21 PM
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One difference between Canada and the U.S. in the early sixties was that the paper straws of the day were required in Canada, in the U.S. kids drank from the opened carton.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 7:21 PM
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You know what was fucking delicious disgusting, but I ate them with gusto? Tastykake Butterscotch Krumpets. Not so much Hostess Fruit Pies, even if Spiderman did use them to defeat Doc Ock.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 7:23 PM
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I'm having trouble remembering them. And google images didn't turn anything up. Were they little cookie disks that came in a row? With caramel in the center?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 7:26 PM
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Oh, I found them. I was thinking of something else.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 7:26 PM
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Mealy apples = terrible.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 7:29 PM
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I'm having trouble remembering them

That's because they were called Butterscotch Krimpets®, Heebietoes. I am living proof that too much processed sugar (and watching every episode of Turbo Teen) rots your brain.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 7:30 PM
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That's because they were called Butterscotch Krimpets®,

Let's all reminisce!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 7:32 PM
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The Terrible Mealy Apples would be a good band name.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 7:33 PM
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Bostoniangirl is a ... girl ... after my own heart. Except for the Capri Sun. Just the natural peanut butter.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 7:35 PM
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I like natural peanut butter. And pithy apples are awful.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 7:39 PM
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I adore almond butter, though I prefer salted, and for some reason none of our local stores offer it that way. Yes, I know I could salt it myself, but the prospect of getting it all evenly stirred in is daunting.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 7:42 PM
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Could you just salt your sandwich before you eat it?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 7:42 PM
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Au contraire, snarkout. Processed sugar and Turbo Teen are the only things slowing rapid descent into dementia.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 7:47 PM
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Thank God for YouTube, then. (TT is even worse than I remembered it.)


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 7:50 PM
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I could, but that also seems... not quite ideal. (I realize I'm a loon.)


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 7:51 PM
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Not quite ideal? ...Or perhaps so ideal that you can't handle it?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 7:56 PM
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Not just a little ideal, SO ideal. Too ideal! Ideal like a gas law!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 8:04 PM
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Salt your tongue and then take a bite?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 8:10 PM
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Krimpets were never disgusting, especially not if you've lived to taste Hostess cakes. I was in Philly last year and got back into Tastykakes. It's true, nobody bakes a cake as tasty.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 8:13 PM
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I don't really want to bite my tongue, even if it's nice and salty. I'm picky! I know!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 8:17 PM
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247: Precious little of it, at any rate.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 8:19 PM
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I'm beginning to think you don't want a solution, young lady.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 8:20 PM
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For a solution, salt some water.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 8:21 PM
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Shanghai are called xiao long bao

Delicious, but did you ever wonder how they get soup into a dumpling? Watching through the window, I fear its little gobs of congealed fat put onto dough, wrapped up tight, and heated until it melts. The size of the restaurants in Shanghai's outskirts was terrifying. You could fit four applebees into one of those.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 8:50 PM
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Tastykakes are awesome. I prefer the chocolate cupcakes to the butterscotch krimpets, though.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 9:14 PM
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Mmmm......melted congealed fat. One of the keys to tastiness.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 9:18 PM
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This thread is eerily timed for me. My house is hosting a macaroni-and-cheese cookoff this weekend. At least four contenders so far. I've been trying to get in touch with my grandma for her recipe—which uses Velveeta and Campbell's Tomato Soup, and is fucking delicious.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 9:19 PM
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Mac & cheese is really good, but, dang—use some real cheese, Stanley.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 9:21 PM
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I'm open to suggestions, ben, but staying true to Grandma may trump my loyalties to fake people from the internet.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 9:24 PM
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I hear you like cock, so you might try dick cheese. PK can probably supply some.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 9:28 PM
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If you're making macaroni and cheese from scratch (or anything with a cheese sauce, really) the key is using evaporated milk instead of normal milk. It makes your sauce much less likely to break and separate if you're using real cheese (e.g., not Velveeta).

Note that evaporated milk is so not the same thing as sweetened condensed milk.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 9:33 PM
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34 is just so true it hurts my brain. LB, have we finally found something we can truly and totally agree upon without reservation or rancor?


Posted by: NCProsecutor | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 9:39 PM
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I don't doubt that lw is right in 290, but a person could conceivably achieve the same thing using congealed stock or, for maximum tastiness, a combination of stock and fat.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 9:40 PM
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May I point out that "melted" and "congealed" are mutually exclusive?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 9:58 PM
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On topic, God knows why: I like McDonalds fish sandwiches, and have ever since I worked as a McDonalds' cook in 1969. It's the only thing I could ruin with my cooking.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 10:00 PM
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"couldn't"


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 10:03 PM
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May I point out that "melted" and "congealed" are mutually exclusive?

No, they're not. I call it mongealed and it is a tasty conglomeration of temperatures.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 10:14 PM
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Little Orphan Annie would make a great Halloween costume. Especially if you did Dead and Rotting Orphan Annie or something.

Didn't you know? If you dress as Little Orphan Annie as an adult, you have to make the costume Slutty Little Orphan Annie. I don't know why, but it's the law.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 10:16 PM
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Don't even ask what the eye holes are for.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 10:17 PM
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305: So one can see out?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 10:19 PM
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Oh, I have all sorts of angry rants against slut-o-ween.

But this is funny: last year I went as a Catholic School Girl, but a real one - head gear, awkwardly long knee-length skirt, tennis shoes, frumpy polo shirt. I got to hug lots of sexxxy school girls and exclaim that we had the exact same idea!!!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 10:19 PM
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307: Did you, um, happen to catch any of these hugs on video? No reason.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 10:20 PM
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Oh, it wouldn't have made a very funny video. I was so drunk that it just deteriorated into us sloppily kissing and pawing at each other's clothes. There's one funny bit when it starts to rain and our clothes get transparent, but it probably doesn't translate well if you weren't there.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 2-07 10:25 PM
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re: 309

... and then everything inexplicably appeared to move in slow motion.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 12:21 AM
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You know what was fucking delicious disgusting, but I ate them with gusto? Tastykake Butterscotch Krumpets.

Am I the only one who initially read Tastykake as having four syllables? It kind of ramped up the delicious disgusting like that.


Posted by: rapoli | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 12:24 AM
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Thank to 285, I have that fucking jungle on permanent repeat in my head. Damn you, Wrongshore! Damn your black heart to the depths of hell!


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 12:57 AM
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'Lobster for dinner again?'

Growing up in the rural midwest with our own livestock, my version of this was, 'Steak for dinner again?'


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 2:41 AM
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My house is hosting a macaroni-and-cheese cookoff this weekend.

Awesome. You know what helps make a great mac and cheese? A couple of ounces of this stuff. So much rich, smoky flavor. More than 2 or three ounces is overkill, it dominates everything. But it mix it in with some regular cheddar and some monterey jack, and you've got a killer mix of cheese for your sauce. The Grafton Village Cheese Co. smoked cheddar, which is more widely available, is also good, if not as intense.

I've never had a problem with regular milk, though I'm sure evaporated would work fine. To tell the truth, I often use a mix of milk and chicken stock, and have no trouble and no loss of creaminess. When making it with the smoked cheddar, I sometimes like to throw in some diced red bell pepper and thyme and use a bit extra dry mustard. Then toasted breadcrumbs with some thyme added on top. Yum.

Switching topics to snacks, an old friend of mine used to like to perv on Little Debbie.


Posted by: JL | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 7:40 AM
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JL, you missed out, man.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 8:10 AM
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I can't turn the sound up at work--it would violate our culture of deathly silence--but wow, I could have spent last night listening to a band while sideways!


Posted by: JL | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 8:16 AM
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Yeah, that was the beer filming.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 8:18 AM
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But this is funny: last year I went as a Catholic School Girl, but a real one - head gear, awkwardly long knee-length skirt, tennis shoes, frumpy polo shirt. I got to hug lots of sexxxy school girls and exclaim that we had the exact same idea!!!

Intellectually, I really hate the idea of slut-o-ween. But, I was also hoping to see your video.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 8:27 AM
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Gotta say, it took me back. I remember being in high school and going to The Living Room in Providence to see the Replacements. I don't remember what we had to drink, but it was undoubtedly cheap and bad. By the time they finally came on, I was lying on what must have been an unbelievably filthy couch near the back of the room. I remember thinking "Please, God, let this end" as they fumbled through several attempts at playing "Nowhere Man." They were probably as drunk as I was, only somewhat better able at handling it.


Posted by: JL | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 8:32 AM
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I second the Kraft mac'n'cheese, Chex mix, fruit cup and queso (though queso was not a childhood food but a late-night post-drinking food, because of the age I was introduced to it.) I still get a craving once or twice a year for boxed mac and cheese, fulfill that craving and then feel really ill about an hour later.

My brother and I really liked the Pillsbury cinnamon-rolls-in-a-can, which are tacky as hell but I still have a residual fondness for. Also, I can't believe no one mentioned Rice Krispies treats.

Nut butters that are not peanut: gross. Skippy or any other processed peanut butter: also gross.


Posted by: Magpie | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 1:12 PM
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If the tacky food thread is not yet dead, can I get some love for Liberace's sticky buns? (More here.)


Posted by: JL | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 1:57 PM
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