Re: Truth In Advertising

1

advertising halal food, also sells egg and bacon sandwiches.

Is the stuff they're using for the halal food up to spec? Are they ensuring there are no forms of cross-contamination? If they're handling the bacon and egg sandwiches completely separately (excepting the fact that it's in the same shop) that should be ok.....

....And that's what I get for using Orthodox kosher rules as a guide.

In Judaism, the permissibility of food accompanies a vast corpus of secondary factors. For instance, vessels and implements used to cook food must also be kept separate for dairy products and meat products. If a vessel or implement used to cook dairy is then used to cook meat, in addition to the thus contaminated food becoming non-kosher (according to various situation-specific rules), the vessel or implement itself can no longer be used for the preparation or consumption of a kosher meal. Depending on the material properties of the item (e.g. if it is made of metal or of clay, if it is one piece or has joins etc. etc.) it may be rendered permissible ("kashered") by certain procedures or it may be irretrievably contaminated. In general, the same policy extends to any apparatus used in the preparation of foods, such as ovens or a stovetop. Laws are somewhat more lenient for modern cooking apparatuses like microwaves, although this depends greatly on tradition (minhag) or individuals' own stringent practices (chumrot). As a result of these factors, many Conservative and Orthodox Jews cannot eat dishes prepared at any restaurant that is not specifically kosher, even if the actual dish ordered uses only kosher ingredients. This level of stringency does not have an analog in Dhabiha Halal.

Right. So if the halal food is um, halal, all t's crossed and i's dotted, then it should be ok to sell it in a shop that sells bacon and egg sandwiches, although I might think they would want to use separate utensils... but this is a cart, so I'm assuming they're just selling repackaged stuff. That should be ok to (re)sell to the infidels.

max
['Not kosher tho.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 6:31 AM
horizontal rule
2

No, they're cracking eggs and grilling bacon, not selling pre-wrapped sandwiches. They might sterilize the cart between the pig-ridden breakfast menu and the halal lunch, and maybe halal standards worry much less about contamination than kosher, but it did strike me funny.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 6:35 AM
horizontal rule
3

Turkey bacon?

I know it's insensitive and bigoted to say this, but ritualists are crazy. Philip Roth was right.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 6:37 AM
horizontal rule
4

Probably turkey bacon. Over here "Full English Breakfast" - eggs, bacon, sausages, beans, tomatos, toast - is incredibly fashionable among Muslims for breaking the Ramadan fast in winter. The bacon is turkey and the sausages are usually lamb.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 6:45 AM
horizontal rule
5

I'm certainly not the sharia police

Oh, you just wait until the Democrats win the Presidency, then they'll be sharia police on every corner right after we surrender to al Qaeda.


Posted by: Ugh | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 6:45 AM
horizontal rule
6

4: Selling turkey bacon to New Yorkers without clearly identifying it as such might start a riot. It could be, but I doubt it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 6:46 AM
horizontal rule
7

Jesus, those guys are Anglicizing in a most unfavorable way. "Now that we're British, Ahmed, we'll have to learn to eat crappy food."


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 6:50 AM
horizontal rule
8

but ritualists are crazy
Indeed. We couldn't bring sippy cups or a booster seat to the seder because they'd had bread or milk on them at one time.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 6:57 AM
horizontal rule
9

7: Jesus, those guys are Anglicizing in a most unfavorable way

All according to plan. Given the advanced state of dhimmitude within the realm of our formerly great co-languagists, the only weapons left are necessarily subtle and indirect.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 7:10 AM
horizontal rule
10

7: good lord, Emerson, the English breakfast is about the only decent part of British cooking.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 7:20 AM
horizontal rule
11

10. I dunno, Ajay. Chicken tikka masala isn't all bad.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 7:39 AM
horizontal rule
12

I don't know about that, but most of the best things in British cooking *can* be consumed at breakfast. (Kippers! Kedgeree! Devilled Kidneys! Ketamine!)


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 7:41 AM
horizontal rule
13

8: you couldn't boil them or whatever?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 7:42 AM
horizontal rule
14

13: Also roast leg of lamb, if the Lucullan w-lfs-n is anything to go by.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 7:43 AM
horizontal rule
15

Sweet jesus I do love some kippers. And some Ketamine, but I don't think I believe Alex on that score.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 7:43 AM
horizontal rule
16

in 14, "13" s/b "12".


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 7:43 AM
horizontal rule
17

Perhaps uniquely, there were many food items I was quite excited to try when I went to England. A real breakfast with kippers, obviously, but also authentic Scones (even more like hockey pucks than I had imagined!) and Yorkshire Pudding.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 7:44 AM
horizontal rule
18

FYI, LB - Alan's makes the best falafels.


Posted by: Toadmonster | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 7:45 AM
horizontal rule
19

The whole 'British food is crap' thing is massively overdone. In fact, it's total bullshit, in my experience.

I'm not super widely travelled, but my experiences in mainland Europe haven't convinced me that British food is particularly inferior. There seems to be crappy food everywhere and if you are paying restaurant prices, the UK is as good as most.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 7:49 AM
horizontal rule
20

13- Rituals say various things, I don't think boiling can solve the bread issue, and for the milk issue it depends on what kind of plastic or something. Like the man said, crazy.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 7:54 AM
horizontal rule
21

British men are pasty-faced and have bad teeth, also.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 7:55 AM
horizontal rule
22

My sister has a story of visiting a friend of a family friend for dinner in Ireland, and the kindly woman cooking taking the veggies out of the boiling pot after 30 minutes and asking her if she wanted them a little underdone.

19: They were invading countries with warm climates and seasonings for a reason.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 7:55 AM
horizontal rule
23

Yes, it's fundamentally snobbery-based crap.

Regarding kippers and ketamine, today's Guardian has an interview with a guy who took so much K that his dealer refused to sell him any more on principle.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 7:56 AM
horizontal rule
24

They were invading countries with warm climates and seasonings for a reason.

This theory has the benefit of also explaining the Louisiana Purchase and the Mexican War. Without Manifest Destiny, the US would be nothing but chowder, from the Atlantic to the Great Lakes.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 7:58 AM
horizontal rule
25

Robot babies gestate in a computerus.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 7:58 AM
horizontal rule
26

Weird, they must have a surfeit of turkey in the UK or something. Whenever I've been to predominantly muslim countries in Southeast Asia or the Middle East, they've actually served beef bacon with breakfast.

Now that is a depressing and limp breakfast accoutrement. Really painfully mediocre stuff that looks just enough like proper streaky bacon (only darker, more a deep reddish-brown color) to enter the uncanny valley of fake baconhood.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 7:58 AM
horizontal rule
27

re: 21

I tend to alternate between pasty-faced, beetroot-faced and tanned [for about 2 weeks in August once I've passed through the beetroot phase].


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 7:59 AM
horizontal rule
28

Some of us love chowder. Hot spices are overrated, they're the enemy of subtle flavor. As the French -- the greatest cooks on earth -- will tell you.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 7:59 AM
horizontal rule
29

28 to 24.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 8:00 AM
horizontal rule
30

My English relatives all serve delicious food at home. And not all scones are like hockey pucks! Like all quick breads, though, they really should be eaten very fresh.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 8:01 AM
horizontal rule
31

painfully mediocre stuff that looks just enough like proper streaky bacon (only darker, more a deep reddish-brown color) to enter the uncanny valley of fake baconhood

Also applies to the organic free-range uncured nitrite-free version sold at Whole Foods. The surreal color comes from a natural dye derived from beetroot.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 8:01 AM
horizontal rule
32

19: They were invading countries with warm climates and seasonings for a reason.

In all seriousness, I have a couple of cookbooks that concentrate on historical recipes, mostly from English cookbooks of the 17th and 18th centuries. They aren't really lacking in seasoning [at all]. They all require about 400kg of meat, though.

"First skin your roe-buck, then marinate in six hogsheads of juniper berries and best port wine. Add a pound of all-spice, a log of cinnamon, and the gizzards of 20 wrens, etc."


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 8:04 AM
horizontal rule
33

You forgot the turtle.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 8:14 AM
horizontal rule
34

24: Without Manifest Destiny, the US would be nothing but chowder, from the Atlantic to the Great Lakes.

I'm sure we would still have gotten around to Jell-o. Which has noted here before, does not get the kickass respect that the consumption of other stange body parts does. For instance, if Obama weren't such a food elitist, he'd be kicking ass in places like Altoona today.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 8:15 AM
horizontal rule
35

Hot spices are overrated, they're the enemy of subtle flavor.

I saw a documentary once about an EU-sponsored program to bring chefs into schools to teach European children to cherish their culinary heritage. A French chef was doing a demonstration with a group of German children to teach them about the tastebuds on the tongue. As he placed different foods on the tongues of the blindfolded children, they called out whether they were tasting sweet, salty, sour, etc.

At one point, the chef put a piece of ginger on a child's tongue, and the child said "Scharf!" (hot!). The French chef barked at him, "No! That taste is bitter. Hot is not a taste. It is a sensation of pain."


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 8:15 AM
horizontal rule
36

32: That's true actually; one of the main reasons they were travelling to the countries in the first place was to trade for spices. Pepper was worth its weight in gold - literally - for large parts of the Middle Ages. They wouldn't have paid that if they didn't like cooking spicy food.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 8:17 AM
horizontal rule
37

today's Guardian has an interview with a guy who took so much K that his dealer refused to sell him any more on principle

I knew a guy like that. He got off the stuff eventually -- mostly by not having it available -- but the one time I did know him to get his hands on some, he injected the whole vial into his ass forthwith, despite having already put away most of a handle of bourbon.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 8:17 AM
horizontal rule
38

I'm not widely travelled in Europe. But I found the food to be quite tasty in Italy, in a "why the heck am I going back to America" kind of way. Let me suggest that there is a range within countries and across them as well.


Posted by: benton | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 8:18 AM
horizontal rule
39

Dealers with corporate social responsibility; an epic buzz-kill.

The French chef barked at him, "No! That taste is bitter. Hot is not a taste. It is a sensation of pain." And associated with brown poor people.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 8:19 AM
horizontal rule
40

They wouldn't have paid that if they didn't like cooking spicy food. have to disguise the taste of decomposing meat.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 8:20 AM
horizontal rule
41

I've read recently that the 'sauces invented to disguise the taste of rotting meat' explanation is a myth.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 8:22 AM
horizontal rule
42

It's half-plausible until you actually encounter some rotten meat...


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 8:23 AM
horizontal rule
43

I had dinner guests trying to explain halal rules recently. There seemed to be a wide middle ground of being excused on grounds of ignorance (this after I assured them that the pudding did not have gelatin in it, and someone said merrily, "Oh, I just don't ask!").

Perhaps it's just an extension of the general cross-religious "If you don't know you're sinning, it isn't wrong" mentality?


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 8:24 AM
horizontal rule
44

41: really? URL? Ten Lies My Teacher Told Me lied to me by omission!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 8:24 AM
horizontal rule
45

Also, until you recall the various Euro-practices of hanging beef, poultry, etc., for some time before eating.

I know that this is a minority opinion in the blogosphere, but I don't particularly like bacon.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 8:25 AM
horizontal rule
46

37: he injected the whole vial into his ass forthwith

Did he come back with any insights on ECCO vs. SSI?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 8:28 AM
horizontal rule
47

Sifu: This is what I was thinking of.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 8:28 AM
horizontal rule
48

In all seriousness, I have a couple of cookbooks that concentrate on historical recipes, mostly from English cookbooks of the 17th and 18th centuries. They aren't really lacking in seasoning [at all]. They all require about 400kg of meat, though.

The thing about historical cookbooks is that they are not necessarily reflective of what was commonly consumed in that day and age. Your everyday foods were so firmly established in family life that oral tradition sufficed to transmit them. "Home economics" type guides did start to become more common in the 19th century, but the market for such books required a level of literacy (and disposable income) that was not very widespread outside of certain subpopulations.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 8:30 AM
horizontal rule
49

I'm sure we would still have gotten around to Jell-o.

And cream of mushroom soup, and casseroles with potato chips on top!


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 8:30 AM
horizontal rule
50

"I'm not super widely travelled, but my experiences in mainland Europe haven't convinced me that British food is particularly inferior. There seems to be crappy food everywhere and if you are paying restaurant prices, the UK is as good as most."

Well that's the problem. Home cooking has improved enormously in the last 30 years, and the major cities, London especially, have fantastic restaurants. But we have no middle ground. Because we don't go out for meals that regularly (or maybe it's the other way around), we don't have a tradition of good, cheap food at restaurants. So people who visit England who eat in either tourist restaurants (universally rubbish, and astoundingly overpriced - need I say more than Abeerdeen Angus Steakhouse?) or bistro type places either get ripped off or eat shit food. The reputation is entirely understandable, but it glosses over the tremendous amount of good, good value food that is available for people in the know.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 8:35 AM
horizontal rule
51

A White House aide fielded the call and, although quite aware, of Dr. Lilly's impressive credentials, was not convinced of the urgency of the matter, and informed him that the President was unavailable.

Thank God Cheney didn't pick up the phone. He was there at the time, no?


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 8:39 AM
horizontal rule
52

47: ah, I think I heard an interview with the author of that book.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 8:50 AM
horizontal rule
53

46: I suspect so; he was very into the insights provided by Ketamine (which are, incidentally, startling and often quite substantial, if utterly nonsensical) but I was clever enough not to ask.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 8:51 AM
horizontal rule
54

8: This is hilarious -- booster seats? Not actually dishes despite small children's eating habits. You might as well disqualify the floor if milk has ever been spilled on it.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 8:53 AM
horizontal rule
55

According to the old-skool cookbooks I've read, once the Europeans discovered Eastern spices, for a while in the 12th and 13th centuries, they were adding them indiscriminately to EVERYTHING. You see some medieval receipes that call for like three tablespoons of saffron to add into some dish with ginger and cinnamon and cloves and tumeric and pepper and everything else and it's just clear that it's spice-overkill. Some of the medieval omigod---spices!1! receipes look fucking good though. And yes, obviously, they're all receipes designed for aristocratic if not royal budgets.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 8:58 AM
horizontal rule
56

Meanwhile, I am searching for shelf-stable (UHT) milk (not cream or half-and-half) in small sizes, suitable for putting in one's tea, but these seem only to be available in the UK. America, you are letting me down.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 9:00 AM
horizontal rule
57

I used to get those all the time in the US, rfs. Parmalat makes them, and so does Horizen. In New York, you'd go to Fairway, but you live somewhere else, so.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 9:02 AM
horizontal rule
58

Really small, not a glass of milk small. They make those too?


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 9:03 AM
horizontal rule
59

Perhaps it's just an extension of the general cross-religious "If you don't know you're sinning, it isn't wrong" mentality?

A friend of mine, when we were in Greece, had to stop eating a particular brand of olives after it was revealed that red wine vinegar had been used in their production—but he didn't have to do anything to make good on his having previously eaten lots of them. No way to know. God understands.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 9:08 AM
horizontal rule
60

58: Oof, no. I've only seen individual packets of UHT dairy like that in American greasy spoons, and they're all of half-and-half since god-fearing folk drink coffee. Even in the UK, I only ever saw milk poured out of the big whopping container or out of a little milk pitcher for the table (and it was usually cream with my grandparents, but that was so that it could serve double duty for dessert).


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 9:08 AM
horizontal rule
61

Obviously normally I refrigerate my milk like a normal person, but I want milk in my tea in my fridge-free office!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 9:10 AM
horizontal rule
62

It would probably be sort of fun to become expert on the Kosher laws just to pester Orthodox Jewish acquaintances with unwanted information.

No one has ever explained the taboo on vinegar pickles. Is vinegar like vegetable milk or something?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 9:11 AM
horizontal rule
63

Sormcrow: "I'm sure we would still have gotten around to Jell-o."

mcmc: "And cream of mushroom soup, and casseroles with potato chips on top!"

I know I'm revealing myself to be a Barack Obama level elitist by saying this, but I think American food is far more deserving of a negative reputation than British food. Bland, fatty, unhealthy? We are the ones who really have that covered. And this applies both to the McDonald's branch of American cuisine and the midwestern jell-o casserole branch.

Seriously, which nation is fatter, the US or the UK? Doesn't this point to a problem in national cuisine?


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 9:12 AM
horizontal rule
64

See!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 9:12 AM
horizontal rule
65

shrub, you should make your office even more old-world-shabby-chic by having an ice bucket that you fill with ice every day, and putting your milk in it. Turn the lack of a refrigerator into an eco-conscious statement of personal style!


Posted by: peter | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 9:12 AM
horizontal rule
66

No, the ones I've seen are sized like those apple juice boxes. If you want smaller, I suggest raiding a diner, as Po-Mo said above.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 9:12 AM
horizontal rule
67

@ 35
At one point, the chef put a piece of ginger on a child's tongue, and the child said "Scharf!" (hot!). The French chef barked at him, "No! That taste is bitter. Hot is not a taste. It is a sensation of pain.

Physiologically speaking, that's perfectly true.


Posted by: Tiny Hermaphrodite | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 9:12 AM
horizontal rule
68

expert on the Kosher laws just to pester

In the styles of Rodney Dangerfield and Megan Mullally on even and odd days, respectively.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 9:13 AM
horizontal rule
69

There's a tiny coffee and sandwich place around the corner from my office run by a Middle Eastern family that sells all sorts of bacon this and chicken that sandwiches. Except they don't -- everything is vegetarian and this is just kind of understood by the folks who go there. If there are signs explaining it, I haven't seen them.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 9:14 AM
horizontal rule
70

And this applies both to the McDonald's branch of American cuisine and the midwestern jell-o casserole branch.

just because America was the dominant nation during the period of the time when fast food was developed doesn't mean America should be blamed for fast food.

and anyway, Scotland's fast food is far more bereft of choices that don't make you feel like you want to die after eating them.


Posted by: peter | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 9:14 AM
horizontal rule
71

Where's the ice from, dear Liza, dear Liza?


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 9:14 AM
horizontal rule
72

71: Your home. just carry it with your lunch.


Posted by: peter | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 9:15 AM
horizontal rule
73

No, the ones I've seen are sized like those apple juice boxes. If you want smaller, I suggest raiding a diner, as Po-Mo said above.

No no, you see: that's cream.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 9:15 AM
horizontal rule
74

just because America was the dominant nation during the period of the time when fast food was developed doesn't mean America should be blamed for fast food.

No, America is to blame for fast food because it was developed by American businesses responding to market situations established by American government policies.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 9:17 AM
horizontal rule
75

but I think American food is far more deserving of a negative reputation than British food.

Country hams! Crab cakes! Fruit pies! More varieties of BBQ and chili than you can shake a regulation stick at! Pizza with whatever the fuck you want on!

Don't forget to take these traditional American foods into account the next time you disparage this great country!


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 9:17 AM
horizontal rule
76

re: 48

This particular book is compiled from a number of sources. Some of which were 'published' cookbooks and others were kitchen notebooks and recipe books from various large houses [with some stuff from the lower social classes]. So yeah, the food contained in it is largely 'haute' cuisine and petit-bourgeois cuisine rather than representative of everyday eating.

That's essentially what restaurant food is, as well, though.

re: 50

we don't have a tradition of good, cheap food at restaurants.

I'm not entirely convinced other places really do either. A recent trip to Rome was extremely disappointing. I'd have had better food if I'd just walked into a random Italian restaurant in Glasgow. Ditto when I was in Spain a while ago. I had one stellar [and cheap] meal in Spain -- really one of the nicest meals I've ever had -- and lots of mediocre stuff.

I'm with you on the poor standard of restaurants here catering to tourists, though. I think my (high-ish) opinion of UK cooking is partly from having been based in Glasgow for a long time, where there isn't a huge tourist market. So, if you stick away from the big national chains [Bella Pasta and the like] you're able to eat pretty well there. London, or Oxford, on the other hand ...

It's always a mistake to generalise based on London, I think.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 9:18 AM
horizontal rule
77

62: It's the wine in the vinegar, not the vinegar itself. If nasty goyim touch wine while it's made, it has to be boiled (making it mevushel). My best friend (who is now Chasidic) said it was because Christians might have used the wine in some kind of seekrit jesusy way.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 9:19 AM
horizontal rule
78

Young Master w-lfs-n is right, I need to back off on the self-hating American thing and appreciate the good parts of American food. None of which involve McDonald's or the state of Indiana.

Pizza with whatever the fuck you want on it is great. Also great: burritos with whatever the fuck you want in them.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 9:19 AM
horizontal rule
79

I was in London five-or-so years ago and just went to random restaurants that looked inviting as I walked by them and had delicious meal after delicious meal. I was mostly having ethnic food, but still.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 9:22 AM
horizontal rule
80

||
Students just came into my office and turned off my lights "for Earth Day."
|>


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 9:22 AM
horizontal rule
81

63: Doesn't this point to a problem in national cuisine?

Semi-seriously expanding on my not serious point in 9, I do think the the US has used its industrial cuisine as an effective weapon against the world.

Friedman's fatuous "no country with a McDonald's has invaded another country with a McDonald's" "worked" because those with them were too busy sucking American capitalist dick.

On preview it is clear that this is an utterly trite and unoriginal observation on a subset of American mercantile imperialism , but too late.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 9:24 AM
horizontal rule
82

80: the Earth demands your blindness.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 9:24 AM
horizontal rule
83

re: 79

Again, also true. With the possible exception of the area around 'chinatown'/'picadilly' where I've had some rubbish.

However, the steak/pasta/bistro type places serving 'non-ethnic' food can be pretty poor, in my experience. Ginger Yellow's mention of the Angus Steakhouses being a case in point.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 9:24 AM
horizontal rule
84

78: You can still be a self-hating American; you just have to take those other foods into account.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 9:25 AM
horizontal rule
85

Cider vinegar is OK?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 9:27 AM
horizontal rule
86

just because America was the dominant nation during the period of the time when fast food was developed doesn't mean America should be blamed for fast food.

Most people in cities in most countries ate out of cookshops and off barrows throughout history until the early c20, because they didn't have kitchens in their rooms and microwaves hadn't been invented. Pies, fried whatever, hot potatos, bubble and squeak, all cheap and filling, and a nutitionists nightmare.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 9:29 AM
horizontal rule
87

good point, OnFatEng. OK, branded fast food then.


Posted by: peter | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 9:30 AM
horizontal rule
88

79: yeah I was mostly talking about traditional (which is to say, pretty common 100 years or so ago) English food. There's lots of great restaurants in England now.

Some of the old favorites, though? Spotted Dick comes to mind, but there's a bit of a cavalcade of dense, overcooked, meaty pudding or bricklike things.

None of which is to excuse American industrial food. I'd take a seventeen pound artisanal steak and kidney pie over a Carl's Jr. Low Carb Breakfast Bowl any day.

Well, no I wouldn't. But the latter is obviously immoral.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 9:30 AM
horizontal rule
89

re: 86

Probably less of a nightmare in the days when the majority of the population did hard physical labour all day and when the problem was largely getting to few calories rather than too many.

Near suicidal now, of course.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 9:31 AM
horizontal rule
90

74: Actually I think the jello and cream of mushroom soup cuisine was a moment, part of the fifties and sixties embrace of expert approaches to nutrition, convenience and, you know, better living through chemistry. Also, after the depression and war rationing, practically anything probably tasted good.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 9:31 AM
horizontal rule
91

85: Yes. And so is hard cider the beverage. Although said Chasidic friend has an hilarious story of some acquaintances of hers happily drinking cider at some pub in the UK and complimenting the proprietor on it. He was so flattered he wanted to show them his technique, which involved a pig's head in the fermenting vat.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 9:31 AM
horizontal rule
92

91: C'est moi, oudemia.

I am also informed that students have created the world's largest vegan sandwich (or something) "for Earth Day."


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 9:33 AM
horizontal rule
93

91: which involved a pig's head in the fermenting vat

Dunk a shrimp in that glass and you're approaching the least kosher foodstuff possible.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 9:34 AM
horizontal rule
94

Scotland's fast food is far more bereft of choices that don't make you feel like you want to die after eating them.

Unfair. Scottish fast food may increase your chances of death, but after eating it you feel great. There is nothing to beat pie and chips with sauce on a cold winter evening. ttaM, bear me out on this.

I'm puzzled by the Angus Steakhouses. They are always in prime city-centre locations, where the rent and taxes must be astronomical, and I've never seen one with more than a couple of tables occupied (invariably by tourists). I can only conclude they are part of some massive money-laundering scam or tax fiddle.

Re obesity - my impression is that it's not so much that American food is bad or unhealthy, it's just that the portions are so huge. "Never eat more than you can lift" - Miss Piggy.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 9:36 AM
horizontal rule
95

He was so flattered he wanted to show them his technique, which involved a pig's head in the fermenting vat.

Heeeurk!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 9:37 AM
horizontal rule
96

re: 94

Unfair. Scottish fast food may increase your chances of death, but after eating it you feel great.

Yes, although I personally favour the deep-fried battered haggis with curry sauce [food of the gods!].



Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 9:38 AM
horizontal rule
97

After reading 91, I was awfully glad I had the mute button on so that the other people on my conference call didn't hear me snort.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 9:38 AM
horizontal rule
98

95: I hadn't realized there was an onomatopoeic term for the sound of a pig's head floating in a vat of fermenting apple cider, but you seem to have found it.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 9:39 AM
horizontal rule
99

it's just that the portions are so huge

Very true, but last time I was there, which was admittedly too long ago, nobody in ordinary places minded if you ordered one between two of everything, which made it a lot more manageable. The food itself was generally fine.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 9:40 AM
horizontal rule
100

The whole 'British food is crap' thing is massively overdone. In fact, it's total bullshit, in my experience.

Can I get an "Amen!" for Scotch eggs? Whoever invented Scotch eggs deserves to be memorialized on the national currency.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 9:44 AM
horizontal rule
101

March of Empire


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 9:50 AM
horizontal rule
102

94.3 Never Eat Anything Bigger Than Your Head - Kliban.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 10:11 AM
horizontal rule
103

I am also informed that students have created the world's largest vegan sandwich (or something) "for Earth Day."

The American spirit! "We'll supersize any holiday"


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 10:22 AM
horizontal rule
104

103: it would be kind of hilarious to present them with some back-of-the-envelope calculations of how much fossil fuel was used to grow the food in the sandwich.

Mean-spirited, but kind of hilarious.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 10:26 AM
horizontal rule
105

Actually I think the jello and cream of mushroom soup cuisine was a moment, part of the fifties and sixties embrace of expert approaches to nutrition, convenience and, you know, better living through chemistry.

Which reminds me, I never scanned in the recipe for gelatin macaroni and cheese. Something that needs to be seen, if not prepared or consumed.


Posted by: JL | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 10:28 AM
horizontal rule
106

103, 104: Seriously. It seemed kind of de trop to me; I can only assume/hope that they intend on feeding 1,000,000 homeless people with it. But what do I know? I am literally sitting here in the dark.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 10:33 AM
horizontal rule
107

106: Oops, I did it again . . .


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 10:34 AM
horizontal rule
108

105: That sounds as good as or better than my current favorite artifact of the 20th century kitchen, Cakes Men Like. which I don't believe for a moment.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 10:38 AM
horizontal rule
109

In my personal experience the poor reputation of british food is well earned. I attended a conference at a beautiful castle one summer where we were trapped with nasty english food. I still chuckle remembering the breakfast on the third day of what I believe was boiled bacon. They had a bowl of fruit salad at the end of the serving table and everyone skipped everything else and just lined up for the fruit (from a can as it most certainly was.)

The best part was the lady serving the food who was scandalized and kept telling everyone that that was their "pudding" and that they needed to eat the other stuff too. Being an international conference this is where we all just played dumb -- pointed and grunted -- and got our pudding sans boiled meat.

That said, leaving the castle and going to one of the local Indian places was wonderful.


Posted by: ukko | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 10:38 AM
horizontal rule
110

106. If the students have now gone away to cut sandwiches, couldn't you turn the lights back on?


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 10:39 AM
horizontal rule
111

106: even better, assuming every office isn't lit by five or six 100 watt incandescent bulbs, you could do your back of the envelope calculation of the relative carbon emissions created generating the power to light the offices for the day vs. the burning of hydrocarbons to create the food.

If you want us to do this, get some measurements on the sandwich.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 10:39 AM
horizontal rule
112

108: whoah.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 10:41 AM
horizontal rule
113

my current favorite artifact of the 20th century kitchen, Cakes Men Like

Awesome. I did not know about this book.


Posted by: JL | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 10:43 AM
horizontal rule
114

it would be kind of hilarious to present them with some back-of-the-envelope calculations of how much fossil fuel was used to grow the food in the sandwich.

First Sifu lets Blume post comments from his laptop, and now he has invited Glenn Reynolds to do the same?


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 10:44 AM
horizontal rule
115

Speaking of food, Obama's breakfast leftovers are for sale this morning on Ebay.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 10:44 AM
horizontal rule
116

115: What? He didn't finish his waffles and sausage link? Do even need to mention the word? It's all in the upbringing, just ask Big Russ whom I'm sure enforced membership in the Clean Plate Club.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 10:49 AM
horizontal rule
117

I'm puzzled by the Angus Steakhouses. They are always in prime city-centre locations, where the rent and taxes must be astronomical, and I've never seen one with more than a couple of tables occupied (invariably by tourists). I can only conclude they are part of some massive money-laundering scam or tax fiddle.

It's the silly prices, surely. The other weird thing is that the people in them eat steaks at 5.30pm.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 10:55 AM
horizontal rule
118

114: what can I say, semi-coherent Vegan sanctimony rubs me the wrong way.

Is it reactionary? Maybe.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 11:05 AM
horizontal rule
119

112: oh yeah?


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 11:19 AM
horizontal rule
120

Furthermore.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 11:20 AM
horizontal rule
121

I know that this is a minority opinion in the blogosphere, but I don't particularly like bacon.

Have you had a thick slice of bacon right off the slab? I myself can't abide the ubiquitous "crispy" (read "burned") bacon, but adore bacon in thick, meaty format.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 11:24 AM
horizontal rule
122

120: damn now I'm hungry. I'm literally eating lunch as we speak, but it isn't helping.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 11:28 AM
horizontal rule
123

I know that this is a minority opinion in the blogosphere, but I don't particularly like bacon.

Few of us here actually like bacon, Flippanter, but Apo runs a tight ship and we fighting him would bring us too much grief. He's a bacon missionary of the cruelest sort.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 11:31 AM
horizontal rule
124

I went in an Angus Steakhouse once, the one at the Marble Arch end of Oxford Street. I'd been out for hours and I was pregnant and needed to eat and it was the nearest thing. Plus I thought the banquettes might be comfortable. It was, as you might expect, truly fucking disgusting.

(But I do think that Bella Pasta - or Bella Italia as it is now - is one of the better chains.)

The best places to eat in our town (halfway between Oxford and London) are all independent ethnics - two Italians (well, one's Sardinian), a very nice Thai, etc. I can't remember the last time I went out for 'English' food.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 11:33 AM
horizontal rule
125

I can't remember the last time I went out for 'English' food.

Well, apart from pub-type places.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 11:37 AM
horizontal rule
126

I don't particularly like bacon.

In the next ten months, during which Flippanter might foolishly consider launching an attack on bacon, I would be able to totally obliterate him.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 11:40 AM
horizontal rule
127

independent ethnics

This is just a more polite way to call them uppity, isn't it?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 11:50 AM
horizontal rule
128

re: 125

Good pub food is pretty much the quintessence of decent 'English' cooking, though. Sausages, onion gravy, mash with mustard, etc.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 11:55 AM
horizontal rule
129

angus steakhouses are a well-known front for some ill-known non-food-related racket -- no one british ever eats in them ever (ever), and tourists only do bcz no one has bothered to point this fact out to them

the one time i tried, with a friend, for a bet, the place was empty -- and no one bothered to come out and take our order for 20 mins, so we went elsewhere

(it's perfectly possible to eat really well really cheaply in the UK: british food was incredibly awful up till about the mid-70s,
but it really really needn't be any more)


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 4:45 PM
horizontal rule
130

(pub food curiosity: for a long time the food that wasn't sausage-and-mash, pie-and-mash etc was always thai -- no one's ever explained this to me)

("eggs, bacon, sausages, beans, tomatos, toast"


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 4:48 PM
horizontal rule
131

oops: ("eggs, bacon, sausages, beans, tomatos, toast" = NOT a full english breakfast, which totally requires black pudding also, obv)

sorry for multiple posting, i'm hungry now


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 4:49 PM
horizontal rule
132

God, I wish for a country pub to eat at, outdoors, right now.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 4:57 PM
horizontal rule
133

When I write my Book of Food, I'm just going to copy the part on Britain from all those old books saying that British food is wretchedly bad. It's sort of touching to try to see people trying to argue the opposite, as if people sometimes changed their minds about things, or something.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 5:17 PM
horizontal rule
134

132: no you don't, it's raining like anything in England right now.

I don't particularly like bacon.

Zionist.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04-23-08 2:29 AM
horizontal rule
135

131. Yes, but this was originally about breakfasts fit for Muslims. If you can come up with a way to make a halal black pudding, I'm sure there's a business opportunity for you.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 04-23-08 3:17 AM
horizontal rule
136

116: : What? He didn't finish his waffles and sausage link? Do I even need to mention the word?

And Maureen Dowd comes through like a champ she is, her piece today is titled "Wilting Over Waffles" and among Obama's elitist food failings are:

He split the pancakes with Michelle, left some of the waffle and sausage behind, and gave away the French fries that came with the cheese steak.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-23-08 5:38 AM
horizontal rule
137

135: a blood-free black pudding? Could be a challenge.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04-23-08 5:55 AM
horizontal rule
138

re: 137

There's always 'white pudding'. Nicely Scottish, too.

You'd need to replace the pork with lamb, though.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_pudding

Or use one of the veggie versions.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04-23-08 6:21 AM
horizontal rule
139

I presume you could make halal haggis, too.

Ah, yes, you can.

http://heritage.scotsman.com/haggis/Scots-butcher-creates-halal-haggis.2484905.jp


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04-23-08 6:25 AM
horizontal rule
140

What is the point of veggie white pudding? I'd rather eat a bowl of porridge, which wouldn't be all that different.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 04-23-08 6:28 AM
horizontal rule
141

re: 140

It's just a bit of salty fried stodge. Scots have many forms of this. It's harder to fry porridge.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04-23-08 6:30 AM
horizontal rule
142

It's just a bit of salty fried stodge. Scots have many forms of this.

Okay, so coming on the heels of the defenses of UK food above, you do realize this is a little funny, right?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-23-08 6:33 AM
horizontal rule
143

Salty fried stodge is universal (see 86 above); it doesn't define the cuisine, just the survival rations. Sometimes, as with e.g. white pudding or Spanish croquetes, people have tarted it up until it's quite nice.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 04-23-08 6:42 AM
horizontal rule
144

141: I'm sure you could make porridge rissoles. Make the porridge fairly thick with whole rolled oats, add flavourings, allow to cool, cut into chunks, roll in flour and fry... hmm. Might try that. Have to experiment with the flavourings though. Grated cheese?


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04-23-08 6:58 AM
horizontal rule
145

re: 142

Nope. Being all humourless, and shit, fried stodge is nice. It's not healthy, but I defy anyone to eat a really good fried breakfast, or deep-fried haggis in curry sauce [which really is delicious, I'm not trolling] and say it's horrible.

Cuisine that contains fried stodge can still be cuisine that's nice to eat. Point already made by ajay in 94, above.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04-23-08 7:16 AM
horizontal rule
146

Hey, I like fried things as much as anybody. It's just that the traditional knock on UK cuisine is that it's heavy, fried, under-vegetabled, and profoundly unfresh. Which is to say things like fried, savory pudding.

Which, again, sounds f'in' delicious to me, but.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-23-08 7:21 AM
horizontal rule
147

Also, wikipædia-ing, a white pudding supper may be the least healthy vegetarian meal ever devised.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-23-08 7:24 AM
horizontal rule
148

146: "the traditional knock on UK cuisine is that it's heavy, fried, under-vegetabled, and profoundly unfresh..."

If where traditional means FRENCH and from actually a LONG TIME AGO, the knock is that everything British (meat, veg, puddings, everything) is BOILED, and then all the flavour thrown away in the water. The fried issue is much more recent: untilk the 70s, Brit food chauvinists still happily denounced "foreign muck" (ie French food) as "oily" -- meaning fried -- and full of garlic.

The Brit Empire was secretly driven by a yen -- among the adventurous -- for foods with flavour, which the post-Napoleonic pro-boiling putsch had caused to be suppressed. Sadly it was the Dutch who actually cornered the imperialist market in spices, but Brits abroad went crazxy inventing pseudo-Asian breakfasts and re-importing them. When we were driven home, the curries followed us -- undeserved but hurrah.


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 04-23-08 9:22 AM
horizontal rule
149

That "Cakes Men Like" book sounds interesting. I like old cookbooks. Amazon is selling used copies for $0.02 and up. Thing is, I found this picture from the book...

http://www.perpetualocean.com/tetherdcow/cowimage/porkcake.jpg

...and it illustrates a problem I have with older cookbooks: missing details like pan size, oven temperature, etc. Maybe back then people did enough baking to know what size a "large pan" is and what a "slow oven" is and so on.


Posted by: Annie | Link to this comment | 04-23-08 9:27 AM
horizontal rule
150

re: 147

One thing I remember, was that the fish and chip shop in the next town did the strangest 'suppers' [where a 'supper' means, 'with chips']. They did all the usual stuff -- fish [i.e. haddock] supper, special fish [cod], haggis, sausage, mince pie, etc.

But the owners clearly had adventurous taste at the fish market, so you could get fish other than haddock or cod. I remember conger eel, skate, some kind of shark(?), alligator (I think), etc.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04-23-08 9:32 AM
horizontal rule
151

re: 149

I have a large Czech cookbook that's like that. Very vague on the details.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04-23-08 9:36 AM
horizontal rule
152

I'm not sure that Cakes Men Like is actually all that old, although the photos, art and recipes definitely are. The version I have is a Chronicle book, which means it could quite possibly be a from-scratch assemblage of retro archness, rather than a reprint.

The slow oven thing--yes, in the olden days you were more looking for a temperature range than a specific temperature.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 04-23-08 10:12 AM
horizontal rule