Re: Oh, you mean _REALLY_ SEXXXXXY?

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Shorter Ben: ostentation is ostentatious, and sucks.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 4:19 PM
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Not all ostentation is the same. For instance, an ostentatious writing style often bespeaks greatness matched with humility.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 4:21 PM
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Ostensibly. But really, it sucks.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 4:22 PM
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Sucks to your assmar.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 4:22 PM
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I liked ben w-lfs-n's earlier stuff better.


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 4:28 PM
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Everyone to whom I've suggested this, almost without exception, has assented after only a moment's thought, which suggests to me that I have articulated a great but unrecognized Truth of the Age.

Details requested on the admixture of this group with the "politcal conversation" peers.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 4:28 PM
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No overlap.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 4:30 PM
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(no one could get like kudos for lauding pork belly, which is, unsurprisingly, just as fatty, or even other cured pork products--though I suppose that upscale people can also get some cred for going nuts over guanciale, as long as they say, or know their auditors know, that it is bacon made from jowls)

This Times article says you're wrong. Prosciutto/jamón is the new bacon.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 4:38 PM
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And don't tell me you've missed the salumi fad, too.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 4:39 PM
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Anyway, I am dissenting; if truly straight, the kissing straight girls aren't getting any particular pleasure out of it, whereas I'M LOVING THIS FUCKING BACON, w-lfs-n.

Also, no such thing as straight girls.


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 4:40 PM
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I'M LOVING THIS FUCKING BACON, w-lfs-n.

Eponysterical!


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 4:42 PM
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And don't tell me you've missed the salumi fad, too.

This can all be subsumed under the guanciale case as a specialized variant for those who want to signal largely the same thing while also wanting to signal that they're classy.

10: it's the ostentatious enjoyment that I'm referring to. Do you get particular pleasure from shouting your bacon-love from the rooftops? Maybe, maybe, but maybe some of the straight girls get some pleasure from their not actually transgressive acts, too: that need not be why they're doing it, here and now, but rather a double effect.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 4:46 PM
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But that's just it. It's a mild, normal enjoyment (bacon tastes nice, kissing is fun) performed publicly as if to do it gives you some kind of superiority over provincial Puritanism. Most people like bacon. Most people like kissing.

I sort of get this same feeling when out with the sort of stoner-type who is constantly insisting that sunlight is BEAUTIFUL, not just because Stoner-Type thinks the sunlight is particularly beautiful, but with the insistence that everyone else is failing to understand how magical it is that sunlight is beautiful and that Stoner-Type is a superior person for having this childlike wonder and insisting that no one else gets it, man.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 4:48 PM
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Anyway, I don't think (though I may be wrong since I move in realer, more authentic, poorer circles than does Josh) that no salumi fad has reached the pervasive proportions of the bacon shit. You can't swing a cat without hitting some food blog with bacon cupcakes (a combination inspiring shudders, even if I have eaten a few in my time and enjoyed it), or candied bacon, or bacon candy, or bacon burgers, or bacon logs, or bacon-infused bourbon, or bacon martinis, or bacon this, or bacon that, or stfu with the bacon already. That people are also willing to put Chris Cosentino's kids through college (if he has any) isn't on the same scale, at the least, and is presumably an outgrowth of the larger bacon trend.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 4:50 PM
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You know what's really sexy? A woman (or several women) who knows how to handle a shuttlecock. Make badminton, not war.


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 4:51 PM
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The OP is exactly right. If you really wanted to rebel, you'd take up crocheting. Or maybe cat-swinging.


Posted by: Merganser | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 4:51 PM
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And this post finally articulated for me why I dislike XKCD. It expresses what are extremely common, if not universal--and indeed, cliché--opinions about the world (love is amazing! the world is beautiful! finding your inner child will free you!) but in the insistent rhetoric of someone trying to find a non-cliché way of saying clichéed things. No, I don't just mean the sunlight is beautiful, I mean that, like, it's amazing to be alive and that photons travel from so far and create this special feeling within me and YOU JUST DON'T UNDERSTAND.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 4:52 PM
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The double negative in 14 is just an expression of my earthy authenticity.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 4:55 PM
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Tres cosas me tienen preso de amores el corazón, la bella Inés, el jamón y berenjenas con queso. .....
Alega Inés su beldad, el jamón que es de Aracena, el queso y berenjena la española antigüedad.
Y está tan fiel en el peso que juzgado sin pasión todo es uno, Inés, jamón, y berenjenas con queso.

Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 4:56 PM
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But liking salumi wouldn't be the same thing. For part of the point* of the bacon fetishization is that it is so down-home-regular.

*Even if a point is that which has no part.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 4:57 PM
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Muttroe? Idoengeddit.


Posted by: paranoid android | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 4:58 PM
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Yeah, 20 too. I wanted to mention that as well in the post but, obviously, did not.

R. Muttroe. There's no larger significance there. It was an allusion of opportunity that came to me after I had typed "R. M".


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 5:01 PM
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Or! The way a 13-year-old boy (or emotional equivalent) eats steak in front of his cousin, whom he just found out is a vegetarian. Surely the boy is enjoying his steak, so it is not unreasonable for him to comment on its deliciousness. But the terms he uses, given the possibility of taunting the presumed-prudish cousin, and the insistence with which he holds it under her nose for her to smell how unbelievably delicious and tender and juicy and bloody and dead it is, smacks of a sad kind of lack of comfort with himself (as with bacon, straight-girl-kissing, and stoners in the sunlight).


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 5:02 PM
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23: Did your cousin do that to you? My brothers would do things like smear lobster "moutarde" (green slime) on my plate or chase me with pig snouts. My brothers are 15 years older than I am.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 5:05 PM
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Stoners in the Sunlight is the name of the third volume of the roman fleuve I'm writing about the last ten years.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 5:06 PM
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or emotional equivalent

You've met my uncle?


Posted by: Merganser | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 5:06 PM
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Anyway, I don't think (though I may be wrong since I move in realer, more authentic, poorer circles than does Josh) that no salumi fad has reached the pervasive proportions of the bacon shit.

Not yet it hasn't, but give it time. The bacon-loving and salumi-loving demographics overlap substantially.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 5:06 PM
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But liking salumi wouldn't be the same thing. For part of the point* of the bacon fetishization is that it is so down-home-regular.

Where do you think the salumi thing comes from? Salumi's awesome 'cause it's authentic, man. Re-read the pig-killing episode in A Cook's Tour and tell me I'm wrong.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 5:08 PM
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Muttroe, Shaggy!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 5:10 PM
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24, 26: My cousins all did it. My father still does it. A couple of guys I've been out with (once) have done it. They sure showed me!

All I know how to say in response is, "Yes, I know, steak is delicious. It's very yummy, and I've eaten it hundreds of times. It does not bother me to watch you eat it. I would happily cut a steer's throat myself to feed you more of it. I just don't want any. Thank you for being so generous with your food."


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 5:12 PM
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28: Yes, yes. It's authentic -- and also fancy furrin' food. People may love salumi, homemade charcuterie, and raw milk cheeses -- but that is foodie stuff. Part of the bacon absurdity is that it is anti-foodie. Like that man with his horrifying log of bacon.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 5:14 PM
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Along with elitism and heart-healthy-whatever-ism, vegetarianism belongs as a constitutive element of the fictive Puritanism ben identifies. But oppressive vegetarianism is real, no? I think I should continue enjoying bacon.


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 5:16 PM
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Mutt roe is a delicacy in some cultures.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 5:16 PM
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But oppressive vegetarianism is real, no?

I'm inclined to say "no", actually, and I live in San Francisco.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 5:18 PM
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31: Sure, it hasn't filtered down yet. But I deny that the bacon-fetishization is entirely anti-foodie; the Bacon of the Month Club has foodie written all over it.

I think this also overlaps with the trend of upscale restaurants serving PBR and other assorted cheap beers.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 5:18 PM
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I think this also overlaps with the trend of upscale restaurants serving PBR and other assorted cheap beers.

Yes. And there is foodie overlap (I just got a Tasting Table email about lamb bacon), but the omnipresent bacon thing is largely non-foodie. I think.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 5:21 PM
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I wouldn't have thought lamb was nearly fatty enough for that.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 5:23 PM
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oppressive vegetarianism is real, no?

I don't think any of the people who harassed me with meat had extensive experience being oppressed by vegetarians. In fact, I'm fairly sure I was the first they'd ever met. And I'm not an ideologue about it, and never have considered in the farthest reaches of my mind preventing anyone from filling up with meat to their hearts' content. So I don't know where that hostility and hatred comes from, but every vegetarian I know has similar stories.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 5:23 PM
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36: I dunno, most of the people I know who fetishize bacon fall into the Demographic That Shall Not Be Named.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 5:27 PM
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So I don't know where that hostility and hatred comes from, but every vegetarian I know has similar stories.

With this, as with so many other thing, it's the vegans' fault.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 5:28 PM
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40 actually isn't true.

As far as I can tell, is defensiveness.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 5:29 PM
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39: yeah, but don't you think that the fetishization specifically of bacon is performed as a non-foodie posture?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 5:29 PM
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2,130 hits for "vegetarian's nightmare." You'll show them! You're so fucking tough and amazing and revolutionary for doing exactly the same thing that a vast majority of everyone in America does!

Seriously? It sort of reminds me of how protestant Christians are all "Jesus will make you a crazy rebel and you'll give atheists sleepless nights!" Actually, atheists mostly don't give a shit; they just wish you weren't so obnoxious.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 5:31 PM
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I've never felt the least bit oppressed by vegetarianism, and can't really see a form it would take.

I don't know where that hostility and hatred comes from

From the steroids and growth hormones in our meat?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 5:31 PM
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I've never felt the least bit oppressed by vegetarianism, and can't really see a form it would take.

Imagine being cornered and hectored by Madeleine Murray O'Hare outside Ruth's Chris, or something.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 5:32 PM
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Huh, so it really is "O'Hair".


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 5:32 PM
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mmm, jamón.


Posted by: So Five Years Ago | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 5:33 PM
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And "Madalyn". Shit. Well, Madeleine is her militant vegetarian cousin.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 5:33 PM
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In the cases described here, I suspect that it has nothing to do particularly with vegetarianism and everything to do with annoying little sisters/dipping pigtails in inkwells.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 5:34 PM
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42: Mmm, I dunno, Ben. I'm fairly foodie. This post is just more of your Jewish oppression of real Americans, anyhow.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 5:35 PM
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annoying little sisters/dipping pigtails in inkwells.

So, sublimated incestuous desires? That's some deep interpretation.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 5:35 PM
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42: You might say it's performed as simultaneously a foodie and a non-foodie posture. What, after all, is more foodie than ostentatiously taking pleasure in the people's food? See, again, the bits in A Cook's Tour praising street food the world over.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 5:35 PM
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40 is true in that vegans are more likely to be ideological about it, and I have had an obnoxious vegan roommate (who still ate my non-vegan food out of the fridge). But none of my family members had ever met a vegan. They just thought my vegetarianism gave them a position of power over me and exploited it.

Maybe soup's right and it's more a defensiveness because they feel my choice forces them to defend their own and they haven't thought about it. But why would I care about someone's reasons for eating meat? I don't tell people why I'm a vegetarian.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 5:36 PM
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Michael Bauer's Fried Chicken Fridays constitute further evidence of what I'm talking about.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 5:37 PM
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I would happily cut a steer's throat myself to feed you more of it.

Wow, AWB is totally invited to the collective farm.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 5:39 PM
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I think this also overlaps with the trend of upscale restaurants serving PBR and other assorted cheap beers.

WTF is wrong with Californians?

One of the things that makes me most proud of Pittsburgh is that when someone tried to open an ironic diner*, about 15 years ago, it promptly failed.

* Called Mr. Jones. It's hard to explain what an ironic diner is, but I trust that y'all know what I mean.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 5:41 PM
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In 1993? It was premature.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 5:41 PM
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My college co-op had an incident of vegetarian oppression that was met with massive retaliation, but I don't think it was typical of any broader social forces.

The house was close to, but probably not quite, half vegetarian, and dinners were cooked on a volunteer basis: you'd sign up the week before, give the Kitchen Chair your shopping list, and cook dinner for 30. Rules were that if you cooked meat, there had to be enough vegetarian food to make a respectable dinner out of; a vegetarian dinner counted as dinner, with no need to supply meat.

One week, a bunch of the house vegetarians decided to be obnoxious? make a statement? and coordinated to sign up for all the dinners in the week, and to make particularly obviously vegetarian meals. Like, no lasagna, no quiche, all steamed veggies and stir-fry. There was gloating and obnoxiousness.

The next week a particularly meat-appreciating resident signed up to cook, and announced his menu as 'Vegetarian Surprise'. When we were called to dinner, each table had a large rare roast on it with a knife stuck in it, leaking juices all over the tables. The vegetarian option was deliberately burnt.

Things returned to their normal, peaceful baseline after that. And of course that's not the norm of vegetarian/meateater interactions.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 5:42 PM
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56: Attire: ironic trucker caps?


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 5:42 PM
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17: At the risk of conveying YOU JUST DON'T UNDERSTAND, I have to disagree. The joy of XKCD is that its intended audience does understand, so it can leave much unspoken. It's all about shared appreciation of nerdy pleasures.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 5:43 PM
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One of the things that makes me most proud of Pittsburgh is that when someone tried to open an ironic diner*, about 15 years ago, it promptly failed.

Where was this? I was (kinda sorta) living in the 'burgh at the time, and a place like that would have brightened my life considerably.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 5:43 PM
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the omnipresent bacon thing is largely non-foodie. I think.

Non-foodie perhaps, but definitely what Josh says in 39. Which is a very foodie group.

Having said that, I'm pretty sure that there's a significant portion of the Yay Bacon group that is the same people who eat 5 pound hamburgers. A group, I might add, that does feel oppressed by a sort of Puritanism, and so do things like go to Hooters and vote Republican.

Am I making sense?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 5:45 PM
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61: I actually don't know. Shadyside, maybe? It came and went quickly. Actually, it's possible it was at the corner of College and Ellsworth.

It's entirely unclear to me what would brighten your life about a plate of meatloaf served with a wink and/or sneer.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 5:46 PM
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Thank you for this post and comment 14 (double negative and all.) It's something that needs to be said.


Posted by: JL | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 5:47 PM
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but in the insistent rhetoric of someone trying to find a non-cliché way of saying clichéed things. ... YOU JUST DON'T UNDERSTAND.

Clichées get a bad rap from writer-types. Ideas pass into cliché precisely because of their universality, and the non-clichéed illustration of universal themes is a hallmark of art. Lots of folks who aspire to art fail to achieve it, but I (mostly) wouldn't belittle the effort.

xkcd doesn't have much pretense; it's mostly observational comedy. It's Seinfeld, after a fashion. That sort of thing isn't to everyone's taste, but almost by definition, it can only work when it's not snobbish or exclusive.

Now sometimes it doesn't work, and it's annoying and elitist. If you can truthfully say, "Actually, I quite like airline food," you're not going to find jokes about it very funny.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 5:53 PM
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In 1993? It was premature.

It may have been as late as 1996. The people who did it single-handedly brought good-not-fancy food to Pittsburgh, and so deserve our thanks (and have been extraordinarily supportive of ex-employees doing things on their own - the November mini-meetup was at such an establishment). They could very well have been ahead of their time - there's conceptual overlap with a now-popular joint - but mostly I think they misread Pgh.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 5:54 PM
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63: Huh, I was living right near there and completely missed it. And given that I didn't know of *any* place to get a plate of meatloaf, I'd have been willing to put up with the wink and/or sneer. (Well, if it was *good* meatloaf.)


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 5:56 PM
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I get the objection in the OP footnote as well as 17, but I also think 60 is right.

OTOH, if Munroe really possesses a ball pit, that's kind of ridiculous.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 5:56 PM
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OTOH, if Munroe really possesses a ball pit, that's kind of ridiculous.

Yes, he really does.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 5:58 PM
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54: $20 for half a fucking fried chicken, prepared more or less precisely as I would at home? WTF?

And keep in mind my bona fides - I know from restaurant prices. But Jesus.

Shit, this thread has totally sucked me in. Must go cook for family.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 5:58 PM
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$20 for half a fucking fried chicken, prepared more or less precisely as I would at home? WTF?

That was pretty much my reaction the first time I ordered fried chicken at this place, but dear lord was it worth it.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 6:00 PM
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And 66 confirms exactly what I was getting at in 67.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 6:01 PM
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Stoner-Type is a superior person for having this childlike wonder and insisting that no one else gets it, man.

Which is why I put dish soap in Stoner-Type's bong water. Bubbles are AWESOME, man.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 6:01 PM
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I thought ironic diners were more of an 1980s 50s revival thing. Ed Debevic's , Johnny Rocket's, etc (think of the place where Uma and John Travolta dance in Pulp Fiction).


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 6:01 PM
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And given that I didn't know of *any* place to get a plate of meatloaf, I'd have been willing to put up with the wink and/or sneer. (Well, if it was *good* meatloaf.)

I know this won't help you, but best meatloaf in the city is probably at Cupka's 2, on East Carson St. I'm a bit reluctant to give them business, due to some egregious flaunting of the City's permit approval process, but credit where due. And served without a hint of irony or hauteur.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 6:02 PM
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I'm sure there are ways that the perception of sneering enjoyment, as annoying as they are to non-enjoying onlookers, are even more obnoxious to co-enjoying onlookers. The baconophile who isn't too busy forwarding pictures of girls wearing bikinis made out of bacon to eat bacon has got to be annoyed by this crap, as the actually-bisexual girl is annoyed by Katy Perry, as the meat-eater (or vegetarian) who isn't a dick about it has got to be annoyed by this weird show-offy behavior. If you like something, you can just like it without making everyone else look shallow and stupid.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 6:02 PM
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74: I thought Johnny Rocket's was just a straightahead ripoff of the Apple Pan (the food, anyway). Mmm, the Apple Pan.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 6:03 PM
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Huh. I wonder if Mr. Jones was supposed to be an Ed Debevic's thing. I actually enjoyed ED's the time I went.

OK, I can smell that the oven is ready (for pizza). Goodbye.

Really.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 6:04 PM
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Since I'm down with real people, one of the things I'm most anticipating about my upcoming Chicago trip is going to Harold's.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 6:04 PM
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77 -- Huh. Hadn't thought of that, but I do love the Apple Pan.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 6:06 PM
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56, 62: Yes. And they drink PBR just because they think it is super best. This is all part of the same thing.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 6:11 PM
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I actually enjoyed ED's the time I went.

Those fuckers locked me and a group of my friends in the restaurant after closing one night because we wouldn't pay the large-group service fee (after truly horrendous customer service, the details of which escape me now). Never went back after that.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 6:15 PM
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Oh, and apropos of shitty beer, this rundown of the American beer market c. 1975 (from Robert Christgau, of all people) makes for some entertaining reading.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 6:19 PM
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Ed Debevic's reminds me that there should be a single word in English -- double secret nostalgia? --for nostalgia for another decade's nostalgica

For example, I sometimes get a vague wistfulness for the 80's version of the 50s (Ed Debevic's), or the 90s version of the 70s (various Tarantino-esque things) -- nostalgia for the nostalgia of times past.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 6:23 PM
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Although I have been a vegetarian for more than ten years, I was a vegetarian-taunter in high school. I can't recall my motivations, precisely, but I think it had to do with reading an implied declaration of moral superiority into my friend's declaration of vegetarianhood, plus the average 16-year-old boy's reaction to a girl (hur hur!) declaring herself grossed out by something (hur hur hur!).


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 6:28 PM
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SPQR where they have the expensive fried chicken is actually very good and not that expensive for a fancy restaurant. I have not had the fried chicken there though.

The chicken here is excellent:

http://www.cookingforengineers.com/article/240/Hard-Knox-Cafe-San-Francisco-California



Posted by: lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 6:32 PM
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And I am delighted to discover via 84 that Robert Christgau approved of Natty Boh. From the land of pleasant living! I am less delighted that the current owners represent it as a source of civic pride now that it's owned by Pabst and brewed in Milwaukee.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 6:33 PM
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1. I really, really liked bacon before it was cool, but
2. I don't eat that much, since I'd like to live past forty, and
3. the Internet thing with the bacon is getting sort of old, even though
4. bacon remains extremely delicious and
5. I have a super awesome fiancée.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 6:34 PM
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Is that an oblique way of thanking said super awesome fiancée for wearing a bacon bikini?


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 6:43 PM
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88 reads like it should be turned into Mad Libs.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 6:49 PM
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83 -- that list is fascinating, particularly since the testing was done from cans.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 6:50 PM
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85: It's a bit odd (or perhaps not: perhaps it's perfectly understandable) how many people are bothered by other people's vegetarianism.

I've been a vegetarian for years (but I don't really think of myself as a vegetarian, it's just that I don't eat meat), but I sometimes think I should go back to moderate meat-eating. It's not that I have any desire to eat meat, because I don't. But it sometimes seems like an antisocial way to eat.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 6:50 PM
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I think sometimes I come across as anti-vegetarian because I am often question people about their reasons (and/or ask specifically what they will or won't eat since I'm truly amazed at the number of fish-eating vegetarians out there who self-describe as just vegetarian - not the same thing to me at all!). I'm just curious about what makes people make the choice; I was raised vegetarian for a solid 5-6 years and I quite enjoy vegetarian meals, but I feel like I'm a fairly committed meat eater at this point.


Posted by: DL | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 7:01 PM
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I don't think it's "anti-vegetarian" to ask, DL, but I would recommend not asking during dinner. I've tried just telling people I'll tell them later, but that seems offensive, for some reason. There's pretty much no reason for becoming a vegetarian that anyone wants to give while other people are sitting there eating meat. It forces you into the horrible position of sounding either like a scold or someone who gets off on grossing people out. (In my own case, being forced to tell the story during dinner means, "So there was this one time I smelled burning human flesh...," so if coerced into it, I lie and say I'm a vegetarian because it's economical.)


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 7:07 PM
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That is, I think what non-vegs want to hear is that there's some reason that people are vegetarians, like something about how grain farms for feed take up too much land or something, and that sounds reasonable. Or that someone wants to lose weight and is at risk for high blood pressure. But I doubt that anyone truly becomes and stays a vegetarian for life entirely because of intellectual reasons. It has to really become a personal taboo to stop altogether in adulthood. And personal taboos usually have something to do with fear of eating shit or blood or nervous systems, or the textures of muscle fibers that once made a live animal move around and swat flies off itself.

The instant you get into the realm of asking someone why they have a personal taboo against consuming certain foods, you're getting into shit you really don't want to hear or think about while eating your burger. And it's also shit the vegetarian doesn't want to talk about while eating her gardenburger.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 7:13 PM
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It is really awkward. to say "I am abstaining from something you do all the time for moral reasons, which are the sort of reasons that apply to you, but which for some reason you don't recognize."

If I say "I don't eat meat because I don't want to support animal suffering." The immediate inference is that the person you are talking to does support animal suffering. On the other hand, if no one ever did or said such things, we'd live in a land of complete moral conformity.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 7:29 PM
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In support of the final paragraph of the post, I offer the example of one of my roommates, a great overgrown child in many respects, who expressed surprise the first time he saw me cooking myself some bacon for breakfast. He took some bacon when I offered, but explained, "I don't buy bacon, myself, because I can't trust myself around it. And if I cooked it all the time, it wouldn't be as special."


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 7:32 PM
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I can't trust myself around it.

This is cracking me up.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 7:36 PM
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First they came for the Papst Blue Ribbon, and I didn't care, because I don't drink shitty beer.

Then they came for the cupcakes, and I didn't care, because cupcakes are for children.

Then they came for the bacon, and I was sad, because I like bacon.

When they come for my scrapple, there will be blood on the floor.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 7:40 PM
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When they come for my scrapple, there will be blood on the floor.

From the scrapple?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 7:42 PM
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That all makes sense, helpy-chalk and AWB. I don't generally do of it people that I don't know very well; in fact I don't think I've ever asked it of someone I didn't know past the acquaintance level. That doesn't excuse the asking, though, I suppose.

I suspect that because I was raised with it as the default option that I don't really think about it being a taboo for people; it just seems like a common-sensical thing to do. I'm also more aware of food taboos that deal with bad personal memories (a mother that forces you to finish your plate of x,y,z over and over and thus you can't stand it, etc) so I am not sure that I really associated such things with vegetarianism before.

Sadly, I think I'm even more fascinated now about the choice now that you've brought up the shit/blood/etc taboo, but I'll remember this and refrain from asking. Of course, I'm the same sort of person who could perfectly well discuss gruesome or otherwise impolite things over dinner without it ruining my appetite in the least, so I'm probably just more socially deaf to the meaning behind these sorts of things than most.

Ok, now that I'm done excoriating myself for being rude in the past, I have a serious question. Why do so many people not consider fish to be meat/flesh?


Posted by: DL | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 7:50 PM
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I come across as anti-vegetarian because I am

Hah. Just caught this lovely typo. I'm not, I swear! I even know some vegetarians. They're like, my best friends. Really.


Posted by: DL | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 7:53 PM
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Why do so many people not consider fish to be meat/flesh?

Blame the pope.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 7:54 PM
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Why do so many people not consider fish to be meat/flesh?

Fish don't have personalities.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 7:54 PM
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Why do so many people not consider fish to be meat/flesh?

Otherwise the Reformation would have happened hundreds of years earlier.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 7:54 PM
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103: It's more than that, isn't it? Or is it really that simple?


Posted by: DL | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 7:56 PM
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In Jewish law, fish is pareve and therefore neither milk nor meat, and so can be eaten in the same meal as either.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 7:57 PM
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Fish don't have personalities.

They do, though. They're just unlikeable ones (just think of all of our fish metaphors/smilies for people - cold as a shark). Maybe that makes them easier to eat?


Posted by: DL | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 7:58 PM
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101: Furthermore, fish/seafood is the lowest order people normally eat - most meat is either mammalian or warm-blooded bird, but fish and especially shellfish are pretty goddamn primitive.

At least, that's my guess.

Well, and more: fish in general, and some fish very much so, is more environmentally benign than (most) meats, and ethically less problematic as well (consider how some people won't eat farmed meat but will eat game, for ethical reasons). So if your objection isn't a semi-absolute won't-eat-sentient beings/freaked-out-by-flesh thing, then fish can slip in there legitimately. Doesn't justify using the term, but you can see how it would fit into a worldview.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 7:58 PM
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107: That at least makes sense to me; given what I understand to be the reasoning behind not eating milk and meat together. Hm.


Posted by: DL | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 7:59 PM
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110: Right, in that fish don't make milk so you can't boil the child animal in its mother's milk, symbolically or not. But birds don't make milk, and chicken is meat, not pareve.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 8:01 PM
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I've been trying to figure out if it has anything to do with the fact that the one food animal that many of us have likely dispatched ourselves (because at some point, nearly every one goes fishing, right?) is a fish. For me, that was a transformative moment, it made me go straight back to being a vegetarian for awhile as a kid. But I suppose others may have had less dramatic deaths and it didn't seem like much. I don't know. Sorry, I'll stop using Unfogged as my personal ouegie board on human behavior.


Posted by: DL | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 8:03 PM
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96: you could just straight up tell people it's because you think you're a better person than them.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 8:04 PM
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Why do so many people not consider fish to be meat/flesh?

Because fish are these strange other-creaturely creatures who inhabit another (muddy, murky, watery) world with which we do not "naturally" or easily identify? Closer to insects than to mammals, in other words, in terms of the range and limits of our sympathy (by "sympathy," I mean something like fellow-feeling with another who seems like us, or close enough that we can make a small imaginative leap).


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 8:04 PM
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I doubt kashrut has much to do with the reasoning modern soi-disant vegetarians who eat fish.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 8:04 PM
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There is some debate about fowl. Some Orthodox rabbis say not even fish is pareve, so just to be on the safe side it shouldn't be eaten with dairy. But yeah, fish's animal status is weird. (I don't eat it, despite having killed in cold blood and gutted a number of fish and other animals as a child.)

Maybe fish is considered less of a meat because it's not as bloody as mammals or fowl?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 8:06 PM
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96: you could just straight up tell people it's because you think you're a better person than them.

But that would be wrong. The reason is x, and that makes rob a better person than me. But he isn't a vegetarian because he's a better person than me. He wouldn't stop being a vegetarian if I became one.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 8:06 PM
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Hey, non-ethical food question:

I met a nice Singaporean (?) couple a few weeks ago, witha girl who played with Iris. I'm going to have them over for dinner, but can't figure what to cook. Obviously, it would be stupid to cook Asian food for them. Seems a little self-conscious to cook down-home American food for them, and I don't know them well enough to make schmancy European food.

I guess my sense is that I'd like to make something spiritually allied with SEAsian cooking, but that they haven't had before. Mexican, maybe?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 8:07 PM
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117: you're right. "you think" doesn't belong in there.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 8:08 PM
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Oh, and ben: the heart is still in my freezer. Waiting for the right dinner guests (not the Singaporeans).


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 8:08 PM
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I've lived with a number of goldfish. No discernible personalities.

Also, there was a study recently that was looking for octopus personalities, and found that they have none.

Some people will tell you that octopuses are mollusks, but I say they are fish.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 8:09 PM
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I doubt kashrut has much to do with the reasoning modern soi-disant vegetarians who eat fish.

No, but there are certain aspects of kashrut that I think formed categories that biological science doesn't divide that way. And I'm guessing part of the baconating craziness is, at its root, a little gesture toward kashrut.

I'm just waiting for turtle-eating to hit its treify stride! I used to love turtle soup as a kid.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 8:10 PM
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118: What about something just sort of nice and clean and not too dairyish, like a salmon filet and pasta, a nice salad?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 8:12 PM
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And I'm guessing part of the baconating craziness is, at its root, a little gesture toward kashrut.

No. It's a gesture towards Islamic dietary law. I wish I knew the term for this. I thought, "maybe it's halakha!" but that's completely wrong.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 8:12 PM
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despite having killed in cold blood and gutted a number of fish

I've only killed a few fish, but it was always in the heat of the moment.*

* This is not actually true.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 8:13 PM
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My goldfish had personalities. One was a ravenous, murdering little fiend that would eat anything that came in it's way. The only one that survived was a shy, retiring fellow that hid behind the plant.

What, what, you say, that's not an actual personality? I can't hear you!

(And, ahem, octopus = cephalopod. Not a fish, definitely not).


Posted by: DL | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 8:14 PM
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Also, there was a study recently that was looking for octopus personalities, and found that they have none.

Same deal with electrical engineers.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 8:14 PM
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124: halal/haram.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 8:14 PM
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Dhabihah Halal, I guess.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 8:14 PM
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124: Halal, no?


Posted by: DL | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 8:15 PM
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I think 114 pretty much gets it.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 8:15 PM
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124: halal/haram.

No, those are analogues of "kosher" and "treyf", not the terms for the system of law as a whole, as is "kashrut".


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 8:16 PM
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I think there are some people who become vegetarians for straightforward intellectual reasons. I also know people who are veggie+some seafood for intellectual reasons.

Of course, this may just mean I know a lot of philosophers.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 8:17 PM
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Sigh, pawned.

And yes, I think 114 probably gets to the heart of it. I just don't understand it in an emotional way, even though I get it intellectually. I'll just add it to the pile of other things I don't get about people.


Posted by: DL | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 8:17 PM
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Fish = lobsters = bugs

However, as Susie Derkins says, bats aren't bugs. How many vegetarians eat bats? Not many, in my experience.

I am imagining JRoth at sea, with no sort of default food setting. You tried to be everything to everyone, but you're master of none! Me, I would just make steamed shrimp and brussels sprouts. With pepper.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 8:17 PM
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Maybe soup's right and it's more a defensiveness because they feel my choice forces them to defend their own and they haven't thought about it.

That's pretty much the the sense I meant it in, anyway. Thanks for expanding after I wandered off for dinner.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 8:18 PM
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Surely JRoth can find something in between "down-homey Americana" and "European haute cuisine".

I would make some short ribs or a roast chicken, but that might be because I heart both of those.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 8:20 PM
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Please put "soi-disant" in several sentences in #135.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 8:20 PM
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It swims, its a fish.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 8:20 PM
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Roast chicken is awfully down-homey, but super tasty so I vote for that. Maybe he should work some bacon into the meal.


Posted by: DL | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 8:21 PM
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Soi-disant bats aren't bugs.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 8:22 PM
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It swims, its a fish.

Ogged turned into a fish? Is that why he left the blog?


Posted by: DL | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 8:22 PM
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133: Do those people actually stay vegetarian? Most of the ideological vegetarians I know do it for ten years or so and then decide it's not worth the hassle. I, on the other hand, know absolutely that it's not worth the hassle (when in others' houses, etc.), but I can't stop being vegetarian, despite very excellent reasons to do so in the past.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 8:22 PM
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Can't find a cite at the moment, but my Japanese gf told me that there were some elaborate rationalizations back in the day for circumventing Buddhist dietary strictures, like defining rabbits as fish when circumstances demanded.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 8:23 PM
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Roast chicken can be tarted up, or the tarting-up can go in the accoutrements. What about a rack of lamb? What about milk-braised pork shoulder? What about deep-fried pizza?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 8:23 PM
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It's February. Go with roast chicken and root vegetables and something sour-sweet for dessert. When do we get rhubarb? I miss rhubarb.


Posted by: DL | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 8:25 PM
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143: It's hard to say -- I've only known them five or six years, but they seem to be serious about it.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 8:27 PM
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What about some sort of bluefish? What about pot au feu? What about conking them on the head with a sack full of potatoes?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 8:27 PM
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WHAT ABOUT THE CHILDREN???


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 8:27 PM
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It swims, its a fish.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 8:28 PM
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Clams and mussels steamed in wine, with garlic and herbs. Mmmm. Or cheese curds, or suckling pig. I really don't know.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 8:28 PM
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So to wade into the "what's with non-vegetarians" aspect of the whole thing, I don't think you need to assume that people who get defensive are doing so because they haven't thought about the issues; given that some percentage of vegetarians think of their vegetarianism as an objectively superior moral choice, and those who fail to see this as somehow lacking, morally or intellectually, wondering if your dining companion feels this way about you can be fairly uncomfortable. Which is not to excuse being a jerk. I think people should eat what they want to, in peace, and am hardly going to press them about it -- especially at freakin' dinner. That's tacky no matter what you eat.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 8:30 PM
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Ok, JRoth, I've got your recipe.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 8:31 PM
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Geez, Sifu, the thread has moved on, you're hungry, and you're just trying to start a big fight with people who aren't even in the thread. Knock it off.

Oh, okay.

JRoth: you should make 'em hominy.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 8:34 PM
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Do those people actually stay vegetarian?

I've run into a lot of the 10ish years thing too. I suspect there is a often the following pattern. If you're intellectually committed to the idea of avoiding meat due to environmental impact, say, then you're also probably convinced that no single meal is particularly important. However, if you grew up with a heavily meat based diet (hello, most of north america) and actually like the stuff, you also realize it's going to be a big shift to actually change your patterns. Having a roast every weekend probably undermines that. So you jump right in, make hard and fast rules, look into totally new cuisines, get used to cooking vegetarian.

So at first you're kind of a pain in the ass when eating with friends, etc., but you're being consistent about this it's mostly workable. After 10 years or so, though, you've pretty much figured out how it all works, have a workable veggie based diet, and are pretty comfortable with it. So you find yourself thinking that if you're visiting Aunt Rosie who always makes spaghetti with meat sauce for guests, it's maybe not worth putting her out to conform to your diet, which is after all about your own overall impact on average, so you start to make that shift. And if you end up at a restraurant with friends where the veggie options are going to be lousy, you'll just go ahead and have something the place can actually do well, etc.

Clearly that's not how it works for everyone, but I suspect it does for a number of people who are vegetarian for intellectual reasons that don't include a belief that using animals for food is inherently wrong.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 8:35 PM
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Geez, Sifu, the thread has moved on, you're hungry, and you're just trying to start a big fight with people who aren't even in the thread. Knock it off.

Oh, okay.

Oh, I thought the purpose of the comment was to remind me that my manners are truly horrible. No more asking people, I swear!


Posted by: DL | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 8:35 PM
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I should note I've also met people who've done the dietary changes for far longer than 10 years (30, 40 anyway) and at least claim not to be squicked out by the whole thing at all.

Being squicked out probably helps, granted.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 8:37 PM
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156 reinforces exactly why I don't need to be starting a fight here. How thoughtful!

157 also reinforces the point. What a jerk I am!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 8:38 PM
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You sure are some jerk, Sifu.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 8:39 PM
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Because fish are these strange other-creaturely creatures who inhabit another (muddy, murky, watery) world with which we do not "naturally" or easily identify? Closer to insects than to mammals, in other words, in terms of the range and limits of our sympathy (by "sympathy," I mean something like fellow-feeling with another who seems like us, or close enough that we can make a small imaginative leap).

Paging Mary Douglas.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 8:40 PM
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I am. I should buy everybody ice cream after that. With kosher marshmallows and fair trade chocolate sauce. But I won't, because I'm a jerk.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 8:40 PM
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Ahem, what about the lactose intolerant people, Sifu?


Posted by: DL | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 8:41 PM
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They can take pills. It's the milk allergies that are the real problem.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 8:42 PM
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153 reminds me, this is what you should make. They can't help but be impressed.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 8:43 PM
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JRoth, when having people over I always think in colder weather particularly there's a lot to be said for some sort of braise/roast or stew or otherwise mostly self contained thing that sits for a while. No rushing around like mad, time to have salads or whatever and some wine without checking on things 30 times. Also, whole house will smell good and everything comes out of the oven ready to go. Besides, it's winter.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 8:44 PM
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160: wikipedia says, like nuh uh:

[I]n a 2002 preface to Purity and Danger, Douglas went on to retract her initial explanation of the kosher rules, saying that it had been "a major mistake."

Or maybe that's not what you're talking about. Sifu, you jerk. Let the man explain himself.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 8:45 PM
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152 is right, and generally, because I live in a big city, I've found that most of the people I meet are generally accommodating. If they invite a bunch of people over, they'll either provide one or two veg snacks or they'll tell everyone to bring something if they're veg. (I don't mind just not eating snacks, either, if I need to, but if it's more formal, people get insulted.) But where my parents live, no one would think to do this, or even ask, so you're really putting everyone out when you sit there and poke at your third helping of green beans. And my mom and I often travel together to parts of the US where many restaurants don't offer anything that isn't meat, not even a baked potato. I really don't mind not eating while she enjoys her fried fish basket, but it makes her feel awful. She's the one who now says "Let's go to Big City instead of Tiny Towne so I don't have to sit across from you while you don't eat."

I think vegetarianism always feels like a bigger burden to the non-veg than it does to the veg, especially if it means the veg isn't eating.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 8:45 PM
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soup's account in 155 seems about right.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 8:46 PM
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Dude. Do you talk like this too?


Posted by: Adam | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 8:46 PM
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167.last sounds about right to me.

The contrast restaurant-wise in different parts of the country can be pretty amazing, too. Same goes for europe too though, with perhaps added bonus fun of language mangling and misunderstanding.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 8:47 PM
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I think vegetarianism always feels like a bigger burden to the non-veg than it does to the veg, especially if it means the veg isn't eating.

I actually love planning meals for guests that have a significant vegetarian component; it's more fun that way. But having been on both sides of the fence this makes quite a bit of sense.


Posted by: DL | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 8:48 PM
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158 linked to the wrong comments (decrement each index by one), jerkily.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 8:49 PM
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146 ftw. I even have a roaster in the freezer.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 8:50 PM
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83 -- As I can frequently be heard to say, the world is going to hell in a handbasket, and most things are worse now than when I was a young adult. Not beer though. I've had most of the beers linked in 83, and you kids don't know how good you have it.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 8:52 PM
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Paging Mary Douglas.

Oh, I've got her on speed-dial. I don't pretend to be intellectually "rational" and ethically consistent about any of this, and I don't underestimate the (possibly overdetermined) significance of the "ick" factor.

As a non-meat-eater, I really can't go too far along the path of moral righteousness, since wouldn't this require that all my shoes and boots and handbags be made of pleather?


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 8:53 PM
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I think vegetarianism always feels like a bigger burden to the non-veg than it does to the veg, especially if it means the veg isn't eating.

Yeah, I'd written something like this a few minutes ago: being a vegetarian, or mostly-veggie plus fish on occasion, or variations thereon (say, lowfat diet) is just not that radical a thing, yet it generates alarm.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 8:53 PM
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Hence, I doubt people my age drink PBR with a shot of irony. We lived in that world. It's not funny.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 8:53 PM
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174: which, since they drink PBR, is troubling.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 8:53 PM
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which, since they drink PBR, is troubling.

Yeah, but ironically.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 8:56 PM
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[I]n a 2002 preface to Purity and Danger, Douglas went on to retract her initial explanation of the kosher rules, saying that it had been "a major mistake."

Yeah, she has a late book called Leviticus and Literature that revises the early stuff, or rejects it altogether. She had a very restless mind. But Purity and Danger is still a classic. I was just thinking of its general point about social classification as our effort to bend the world to some particular conception of order.

I find Douglas very hard to read, though. Really suggestive in that way that leaves you unsure of whether you're just not getting the point, or whether the point is just not always that well developed or worked out.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 8:58 PM
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179: enough ironically troubled youth and we'll have a generation of ironic superpredators, and nobody wants that.

180: yeah that's interesting; does she imply that it's because we have a natural need to categorize, or that it comes from social hierarchy, or what?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 9:02 PM
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The ads for Rainier were much better, I think, for irony.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=64-Ieeu7oIA

http://video.aol.com/video-detail/rainier-beer-wild-rainiers-mickey-rooney/2903034982/?icid=VIDURVENT03

In the face of this, what's PBR ever had?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 9:03 PM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 9:04 PM
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My recollection from a long conversation with an ex-orthodox friend was that he was taught that chicken is pareve, but that nonetheless you can't eat chicken with cheese because someone who saw you doing so might *think* that you were eating meat with cheese. This was tied into some story about a leader during the Maccabean revolt who authorities tried to make eat meat and dairy together in public, but who privately gave him the option of having chicken instead, but he refused so as not to harm morale.

The reason for this whole discussion was why on earth it's kosher to have fake meat in soy milk. The obvious answer being that they didn't have fake meat or soy milk a thousand years ago, but still it's fun to argue about these things.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 9:07 PM
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Someone was telling me just the other day that many, or most, of the kosher laws are really just a ban on Canaanite rituals/customs. Like they were the original bacon lovers or something.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 9:07 PM
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Soy milk isn't really that recent an innovation. But I guess it's kind of exotic in certain cultures.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 9:12 PM
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The reason for this whole discussion was why on earth it's kosher to have fake meat in soy milk. The obvious answer being that they didn't have fake meat or soy milk a thousand years ago, but still it's fun to argue about these things.

Yeah, well, they didn't have corn in the Old World a thousand years ago, but it's still not kosher l'pesach.

Stuff like this is how I rationalize not keeping kosher.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 9:14 PM
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In my experience PBR is cool so that broke hip people can go into bars frequented by hip people with money. By brand-naming one cheap beer as hip, you don't have to go in and ask for the cheapest thing they have.

If you wanted to be really transgressive, you'd order Hamms in a can. No cheaper than Pabst, I don't think, but it's the bar trades code for bottom of the line neighborhood old man bars. The beer than which none lower can be ordered in the given marketing area.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 9:19 PM
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180: yeah that's interesting; does she imply that it's because we have a natural need to categorize, or that it comes from social hierarchy, or what?

She's a Durkheimian. So, we try to impose the grid of the social order on the natural world, but bits of nature are constantly not fitting in properly. Conversely, we legitimate core social institutions by analogy to this allegedly natural order. The most durable social arrangements are ones that seem to be extensions of nature. The most problematic aspects of nature are the ones that don't conform to the system of social classification. The tendency to write in this slightly gnomic style is a consequence of reading too much Mary Douglas.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 9:23 PM
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The thing that really bothers me about the ironically ordered PBR is that PBR is a particularly bad cheap beer. I'd take Budweiser over PBR any day. I think Coors (not light) is probably the best of the national mass-produced crappy beers, though of course there's Yuengling's where it's distributed.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 9:24 PM
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190: Yeah, but I'm just glad Frank didn't yell "Mil! Waukee's! Best!"


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 9:30 PM
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God, worst hangover of my life from drinking PBR (practically by the case) on a camping trip.


Posted by: DL | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 9:32 PM
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189 seems on its face to be utterly sensible. Though I feel quibbles rising to the surface instantly. I'm not familar with Mary Douglas.

I've mentioned here before a paper by Cora Diamond called "Eating Meat and Eating People," a central point of which is that we don't eat people just because people are not something [in the category of things] we eat.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 9:34 PM
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185: I've heard that. The dietary rules were to distinguish the Chosen People from Those Other Guys.

The thing that bothers me about ironically ordered PBR is that I really associate it with being the non-cool beer of middle-aged parents.

189 is cracking me up.

On the lapsed vegetarianism thread, I wonder if part of the lapse is that due to the fact that the persuasive ethical arguments for abstaining from meat are often better arguments for reducing meat consumption or ensuring that the meat comes from a humane source.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 9:34 PM
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PBR is cheaper than Bud, though. If you want something bad and cheap, Hamms is the gold standard. Pabst is about the same as dozens of others. The one I can't stand is Miller, because it's a clear-bottle beer.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 9:35 PM
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PBR is a particularly bad cheap beer.

I haven't had it in decades, but I remember really, really hating it. And mind you, I have always liked Budweiser, and always been happily willing to drink other cheap American beers, so I'm no beer snob.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 9:36 PM
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I was drinking PBR before it became ironic. Not exclusively, but often.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 9:38 PM
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Back on the OP, I just want to articulate 2 things.

On the one hand, I think this is a very insightful post, and well- (as opposed to merely complexly-)put.

BUT.

There is clearly a thread of bacon-idolatry in popular culture that is unrelated to instances of bacon-idolatry as embodied by XKCD. To wit, the Baconator sandwich.

This is more or less what I was trying to say in 62, but the example of the Baconator really clarified things for me.

SWPL* baconists are reveling in love for something declasse and unsubtle.

Red state (Maxim?) baconists are reveling in love for something manly and bad for you.

There's definitely overlap in motive, but I think there's a big gap - BaCon09** will have some mutually suspicious cliques.

* God help me.

** I'm so pleased with this that I want to organize a bacon convention, just to use it.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 9:40 PM
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Relevant comic. Son, you been readin' too much Internet.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 9:41 PM
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194.last seems right to me. Strict vegetarianism is going to come from a not-strictly-rational* place, but eating (much) less meat than a typical American is very easy to argue from a rational standpoint.

* "rational" used narrowly, as something totally logical and reason-based


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 9:44 PM
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191: About fifteen years ago, I was in Rome and I saw a guy drinking Milwaukee's Best LIGHT. An young Italian guy had brought it clear back from America and was drinking it in a public square, I guess to advertise that he'd just been to America.

But I agree with 190 about Yuengling. It's my 'surviving the recession beer'.


Posted by: MH | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 9:45 PM
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189: interesting. And Durkheim talks about where the instinct to categorize comes from in the first place, I assume?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 9:46 PM
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199: Wow, superb.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 9:47 PM
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Maybe I should just read Durkheim, eh?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 9:47 PM
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the Baconator sandwich

Fuckers. Stole. My. Name.

Sorry, it still stings.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 9:49 PM
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"instinct to categorize"?

I fear that Sifu is getting all cog-sci on us again, but I may be wrong.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 9:51 PM
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206: why would this be surprising, or a problem?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 9:53 PM
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Gran Torino is full of Emerson-style non-ironic upper midwest PBR drinking.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 9:56 PM
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146 ftw. I even have a roaster in the freezer.

Woo .... will you mail me my share?


Posted by: DL | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 10:00 PM
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will you mail me my share?

Wishbone?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 10:04 PM
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And Durkheim talks about where the instinct to categorize comes from in the first place, I assume?

Crudely (because of the limits of my expertise and currently zoned brain state, not because I'm patronizing you), Durkheim saw himself in dialog with the likes of Hume and (especially) Kant and his successors on the origins of the basic categories of perception and understanding. His answer is that they come from society rather than directly from experience or from some innate faculty. This is why you need a science of society: there's an intimate link between the social structure and the organization of patterns & categories of thought. Durkheim immediately runs into problems in specifying the nature of this link in detail, but this is basically what The Elementary Forms of Religious Life is trying to do.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 10:06 PM
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207: You asked in 202, And Durkheim talks about where the instinct to categorize comes from in the first place, I assume?

I haven't read Durkheim for a long time, so that's a wash by now, but I'd say that sociologists and anthropologists in general are engaged in description of observed behaviors and attempts to discern patterns, and it's the rare theoretician who goes so far as to speak of something like a species-wide tendency to categorize in the first place.

It's not surprising that you're interested in that, and it's not a problem, except that the sorts and levels of explanation a cognitive scientist or neuroscientist is interested in will differ from the sorts a philosopher or a sociologist or a public policy analyst will be interested in. There are intersections, of course.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 10:09 PM
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211: okay. Yeah, that ties in to the reference to him I saw recently, which referred to his ideas of socially constructed memory (in a cog sci context: how did parsimon know?!?). Thanks, perfesser!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 10:09 PM
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Wishbone?

It does have the virtue of being light and dessicated, I suppose.


Posted by: DL | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 10:10 PM
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I once saw myself in dialog with Hume and Kant. But once I started the dialog with Julius Caesar, they started watching me swallow the pills.


Posted by: MH | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 10:10 PM
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the sorts and levels of explanation a cognitive scientist or neuroscientist is interested in will differ from the sorts a philosopher or a sociologist or a public policy analyst will be interested in

In what sense? Especially in the case of the sociologist or the philosopher, I'm curious.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 10:12 PM
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Douglas is infinitely more fun than Durkheim.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 10:13 PM
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AHA! Gonerill immediately puts things in perspective. thanks, man.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 10:13 PM
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I'd say that sociologists and anthropologists in general are engaged in description of observed behaviors and attempts to discern patterns, and it's the rare theoretician who goes so far as to speak of something like a species-wide tendency to categorize in the first place.

I'd thought that many anthropologists had reached the conclusion that you can't observe behavior except within a pre-existing theoretical frameworkd of categories; that is, that categories come before observation. Indeed, wasn't culture itself, in some circles, defined as a system of categories?


Posted by: Michael H Schneider | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 10:16 PM
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Perhaps bacon has just become a synecdoche for gluttony and indulgence on the whole? After all, most attempts to popularize a concept are based upon a single concrete form (even if sometimes only concrete in legend) of that abstract notion.

Is that so wrong, Ben?

Not all of us can so easily grasp the metaphysical, probe the immaterial with such fluid logic, or fully unpack the nature of an abstruse notion without laying a single finger upon an aspect of its realization.

I.e.: We're not all getting our fucking top-tier PhDs in Philosophy. That's why we taste the aspect of reality which feels closest to truth rather than attempt to suss out the theoretical nature of the truth we are seeking. We eat bacon as a symbol of base hedonism, and the full embrace of adulthood as license to indulge as well as cause to demure. Bhakta yoga, not jnana yoga.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 10:18 PM
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nebber mind.


Posted by: Michael H Schneider | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 10:18 PM
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Also, PBR isn't half bad for a cheap beer. Provincialism demands that I choose it or Old Style, and it has become my beer #5-10 of choice.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 10:20 PM
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220: Base hedonism and knowing the names of types of yoga?


Posted by: MH | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 10:20 PM
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Double crap, I meant bhakti yoga, not bhakta. I don't know if Bhakta means anything other than last-name-of-a-dude-I-knew-in-middle-school.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 10:24 PM
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146 ftw. I even have a roaster in the freezer.

Uh, you mean 137, right?

I don't find 189 gnomic at all. Maybe I should read some Mary Douglas. I liked Elementary Forms (read with a different Durkheimian, JZ Smith, whose "God Save This Honourable Court" I was just quoting in email (this page and following) earlier today!)!


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 10:27 PM
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That's why we taste the aspect of reality which feels closest to truth rather than attempt to suss out the theoretical nature of the truth we are seeking.

This, as an explanation of bacon cupcakes, this is gnomic.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 10:28 PM
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Hume had a very sophisticated account of human change in human history, even well before his first major work fell 'stillborn from the press', as he would have it, and as too many others have since given too much credit to. Please don't give too much credit to his self-deprecating turn of mind toward la doux commerce of la politesse. Dude pretty much blew Kantianism out of the water, and pretty much before the fact (though he anticipated Kant, of course, and even had an answer to him).


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 10:29 PM
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At one point I was thinking of making my facebook status be "Ben W-lfs-n is matter out of place", thereby showing off that I know the one Mary Douglas thing that everyone knows, but then I discovered that burners use it, too, and I was all, "no thanks!".


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 10:30 PM
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Uh, you mean 137, right?

Sigh. I was hoping no one would notice that. You can have the wishbone. To think I felt so special.


Posted by: DL | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 10:33 PM
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226: Whenever people feel they're on to something good, they'll take it too far. That's what happens to the empirically-driven, as we lack the foresight of inductive reasoning. This applies doubly so to foodstuffs.

(Also, I totally had to look up "gnomic". This is a battle I'm doomed to lose.)


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 10:33 PM
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If 169 is addressed to me, the answer is "sometimes", though I'm not sure I've ever actually uttered "phatic".

Really suggestive in that way that leaves you unsure of whether you're just not getting the point, or whether the point is just not always that well developed or worked out.

This is a good way to go far.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 10:33 PM
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231.2: Indeed, that seems to describe all the "must-read" theory driven books in history. I can never quite decide if I'm just not quite smart enough (certainly plausible), or if it's complete and utter bullshit.


Posted by: DL | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 10:37 PM
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228: so you can't quote any philosophy burners reference (however unknowingly) approvingly? I have some bad news.

Also, I'm quite startled to see you using the term "burners". I would think you'd want something a little less familiar.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 10:39 PM
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So which philosopher or social scientist had the foundational idea of the imperative category? I'm all confused.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 10:39 PM
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Mary Douglas was an anthropologist, Sifu.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 10:43 PM
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Oh, okay.

You'd love burning man!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 10:47 PM
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Don't lie to me, jerk.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 10:48 PM
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Anyway, it would no longer have been unknowing, after I found out, oder?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 10:49 PM
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As to whether various foods are foodie food, I offer this excellent sentence from that New Yorker article on breastfeeding we discussed last month:

A brief history of food: when the rich eat white bread and buy formula, the poor eat brown bread and breast-feed; then they trade places.

Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 10:53 PM
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Oh, I meant the burners unknowingly reference her (and others) approvingly. That is, they approvingly reference their concepts, but are in a state of unknowing about said concept's origin.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 10:54 PM
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216: In what sense? Especially in the case of the sociologist or the philosopher, I'm curious.

If you're asking for a general outline of the sorts or levels of explanations a philosopher might seek, I don't think I can answer, maybe because I'm really tired. The cognitive scientist will tend to look for mechanistic explanations? How's that? I don't think a philosopher would ever use the term "instinct" to describe the categorizing behavior we humans engage in, unless, I suppose, he or she were talking about language use from a particular angle.

(this is actually an interesting question. thanks. I did some wandering around in ethology -- animal behavior, primatology -- at one point, and it wasn't really my field, and it was some of the funnest work I did to put together courses melding philosophy of mind/language and Jane Goodall.)


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 11:03 PM
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Also, Tweety, you are using "reference" wrong(ly).


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 11:05 PM
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Not entirely apropos bacon-love, but neither entirely unrelated, I fear that the current economic meltdown will lead to a resurgence of comfort food, particularly highfalutin comfort food of the kind that William Grimes railed against years ago. So on top of the hipsters ironically eating mac and cheese and the manly lunkheads inhaling bacon by the pound in hubristic defiance of dietary common sense, there'll be investment bankers ginning up demand for meatloaf at all the swank eateries, because even though they're still rich by any reasonable standard, they lost sooo much money and they need to be mommied, and there's this place that'll make their comfy meatloaf out of fucking Kobe beef, and anyway they can't cook at home because they don't want to sully the pristine surfaces of their 8-burner Viking stoves. Just the thought is enough to make me swear off anything remotely resembling comfort food, except! I made beef bourguignon last week, and it was kind of satisfying.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 11:19 PM
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there's this place that'll make their comfy meatloaf out of fucking Kobe beef

Already been done.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 11:25 PM
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Fucking Christ. Seriously, I thought I was reaching.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 11:28 PM
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And I just noticed this, but... it's a sad statement on how badly Google's fucked up Groups that you had to go to the Wayback Machine to find that post, w-lfs-n.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 11:31 PM
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242: nah.

241: The cognitive scientist will tend to look for mechanistic explanations?

Not really, no. The cognitive scientist would tend to look for explanations in terms of what's known about the functional organization of the brain, and how other cognitive tasks get performed. The larger project of cognitive science, insofar as it has one, is to integrate e.g. cognitive psychology and ethnography and other sort of traditional methods of looking at behavior with an understanding of the brain borne of neuroscience. So when Gonerill talked about Douglas and Durkheim doing work on the relationship between social and natural categories, I thought both of some computational neuroscience research I've read about examing the neurochemistry of curiosity (and how that applies to classification) and of a reference to Durkheim in a (topic-wise, fairly wildly divergent, as often happens in cog. sci) paper on distributed cognition, which deals with how the same functional kinds of operations the computational people model get integrated and/or built up in a social/environmental context.

Which is why I was curious. Instinct might not have been the right word. Natural talent?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 11:31 PM
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243, 244: a resurgence? You mean you've been able to find a restaurant at some point in the past four years that hasn't tried to serve you mac and cheese?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 11:33 PM
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248: I'm pretty sure I haven't seen it on the menu here.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 11:36 PM
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Dude, I live in Portland. We're into the whole fresh food thing here. Despite all the hipsters, the mac and cheese thing remained a minor phenomenon. I know a place where you can get authentic cheese curds, though.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 11:37 PM
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it's a sad statement on how badly Google's fucked up Groups that you had to go to the Wayback Machine to find that post, w-lfs-n.

Since all I could remember about it was that it was by Lisa Pea (except that "lisa pea" actually isn't in the post!), that it involved the string "is, equally" and the topic of girls wearing pants, and that it was linked from Carlos May's old homepage, it's not as bad as you might think.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 11:38 PM
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250: you missed out, I guess? LA and (from what I hear) New York were (and are, really) lousy with tarted-up devilled eggs and corn on the cob.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 11:39 PM
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On the other hand...


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 11:39 PM
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246: Try using Google to find the website of an outdoor clothing company, instead of hundreds of poorly implemented shopping sites. It's actually easier to randomly type in URLs.

re: vegetarianism, is it still considered impolite to avoid topics of conversation at dinner that will bring up disagreements over deeply held beliefs?


Posted by: water moccasin | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 11:41 PM
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250: I have no idea how you guys managed to avoid the plague. God knows it's infested the Bay Area.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 11:41 PM
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||
Tweety, you should take a look at the photo of Muammar Qaddafi that's currently on the NYT homepage and tell me I'm not crazy for thinking, for a fraction of a second, that it was Manny Ramirez.
|>


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 11:43 PM
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254.1: That's what Wikipedia's for.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 11:44 PM
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256: The Sox hat probably threw you off.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 11:45 PM
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256: that's awesome. Somebody should photoshop in a grill next to him.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 11:48 PM
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252, 255: It turned up here and there, but the local sourcing trend has been way bigger. If it had been macaroni made from Umatilla County wheat mixed with Tillamook and Rogue Valley cheeses, people might have noticed.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 11:50 PM
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244/245: That's not really fair --- he's been doing the fancy ingredients presented as common foods schtick for a long time now. Nothing to do with the economy, really.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 11:56 PM
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Speaking of Portland cuisine (and getting back to blaming vegans), here's Mark Bittman on a vegan restaurant up there:

Lunch: At a local vegan place. Laughable, and I was looking forward to it. "Pizza" consisting of a seed cracker with glop on top; noodles with sort of Thai flavored glop on top; bowls of under-flavored beans, grains and kale. Could have been okay if not so self-righteously vegan. Was hungry immediately. Was hungry while eating.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 11:58 PM
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re: vegetarianism, is it still considered impolite to avoid topics of conversation at dinner that will bring up disagreements over deeply held beliefs?

In that case, isn't it more the taboo on discussion that will invariably turn to things that some might find nauseating? You might have passed a really impressive road kill on the way to dinner too, but not everyone would enjoy a graphic retelling.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 11:59 PM
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261: It wasn't just Keller, though. The funny thing is that the other two restaurants Bauer mentions are far from top-notch; they're both view restaurants in marinas. Gotta do something to bring people in, I guess.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 12:01 AM
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Stoner-Type is a superior person for having this childlike wonder and insisting that no one else gets it, man.

Which is annoying, but not nearly so annoying as people complaining about (metaphorical) stoner types.


Posted by: Martin Wisse | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 12:03 AM
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re: vegetarianism, is it still considered impolite to avoid topics of conversation at dinner that will bring up disagreements over deeply held beliefs?

I don't consider it impolite. I'm weird, but my standard answer is something like, "You know how some people don't like onions or mustard or spicy things or cilantro or what have you? I don't like meat. Nothing more, nothing less. And pass the wine, if you would."

And that's an honest answer.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 12:04 AM
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267

It wasn't just Keller, though.

Ah ok, I just skimmed. In that case, I probably wouldn't lump Keller in with the other --- serving up Kobe meatloaf is exactly the sort of thing he would do. On the larger point; yeah.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 12:05 AM
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And that's an honest answer.

That's fair enough Stanley. There are a lot of vegetarians for whom an honest answer is unlikely this uncontentious though, which I think was the point above.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 12:07 AM
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268: I know, soup. I just like being a snowflake.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 12:08 AM
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You know how some people don't like onions or mustard or spicy things or cilantro or what have you?

freaks.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 12:10 AM
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It occurs to me that I haven't asked somebody why they're vegetarian in probably the a decade; it's so common in California that it just wouldn't occur to me.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 12:10 AM
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Further on 269, if a more ideological vegetarian wants a good answer that won't disrupt dinner, even if it's a bit of a polite hedge, I submit that one as a good one. You can get into it in detail later if someone wants to press the matter.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 12:12 AM
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It's completely common around me; and yet, I ask(ed). It has nothing to do with finding it weird or unusual or anything else like that, I just like knowing what makes people make decisions that become central to their identity. (As is often the case with vegetarians, though I have certainly met a number where it is not).


Posted by: DL | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 12:13 AM
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"So, why are you a vegetarian?"

"I know soup. I just like being a snowflake."

"Oh! More tofu scotch eggs?"


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 12:14 AM
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273: yeah I don't really like people, though. Why know more?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 12:15 AM
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275: Good point. I need to like people less, and then I will cure my noisiness.


Posted by: DL | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 12:17 AM
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DL, you need only cultivate a quiet air of disdain, the rest will sort itself out.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 12:19 AM
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Run silent, run misanthropic.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 12:20 AM
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Well, and more: fish in general, and some fish very much so, is more environmentally benign than (most) meats

Tell that to the Newfie cod fishers. Most fish is hunted, not farmed after all and hence far from substainable. Our hunger for fish is turning every part of the oceans into desert and because once common fish like herring or cod are becoming scarce we're even going for the deep sea fish, where we're fishing up stock that has taken years, if not decades to grow.

Far better to be vegetarian and eat a bit of bacone very now and again than be the kind of vegetarian who eats fish.


Posted by: Martin Wisse | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 12:22 AM
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It should be apparent from my brief spell at commenting here that I don't run towards the strong and silent type. If only.


Posted by: DL | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 12:23 AM
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279: Tell us the carp are safe. I assure you, a man's fate hangs in the balance.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 12:25 AM
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279: which is not to mention that aquaculture is much newer, and there's both less energy and less experience behind questions of sustainability.

None of which is to mention the carbon cost of any food production. Of course there's a continuum, from industrially farmed cattle on the one hand to locally grown vegetables from a farmer's market on the other, but hey, here we all are implicated to one degree or another. Is it better to have less kids? Is it better to live somewhere walkable? Or is it better to make concessions at the margins and push for systemic change?

What the fuck am I on about?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 12:26 AM
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Actually freshwater aquaculture is one of the few bright spots. Eat only invasive carp and tilapia, and you're probably doing a lot of good!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 12:27 AM
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262 is interesting, in that Portland is a vegetarian-friendly town, and most places make sure to include vegetarian items that are on a par with the rest of the menu, but the vegan places (I'm pretty sure I know the unnamed restaurant) generally make no concessions to finesse. In theory, this should be a great place for vegan restaurant food, but not yet IME.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 12:27 AM
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What the fuck am I on about?

Hook. Line. Sinker.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 12:28 AM
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Most fish is hunted, not farmed after all and hence far from substainable.

This does not follow, exactly. But you're right, for the most part the big fisheries are huge problem too. Which doesn't make current CAFO meat production less of a problem. And there are some fisheries that are doing quite well, iirc.


Is it better to have less kids? Is it better to live somewhere walkable? Or is it better to make concessions at the margins and push for systemic change?

d) all of the above?


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 12:30 AM
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Is it better to have less kids?

If you fed them fewer bacons, they'd have less mass for sure.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 12:34 AM
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286.last: well, right.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 12:38 AM
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But of course, it actually isn't possible for everybody to have less kids, eat more sustainable food, or live someplace walkable, what with the lack of systemic change.

287: sorta depends.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 12:41 AM
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287: sorta depends.

I was making fun of you.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 12:45 AM
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290: isn't it boring, when it's so easy?

"Les Bacon" would be a kind of good name for somebody or other.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 12:46 AM
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290: isn't it boring, when it's so easy?

Nope.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 12:54 AM
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292: see? See how I do that for you?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 12:55 AM
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Also, hey, look: cool maps!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 12:56 AM
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"Les Bacon" would be a kind of good name for somebody or other.

A villain, for sure. "Less bacon?" What's with that? Bacon Moore, however, would be a hero.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 1:17 AM
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Oh geez, Jesus, now you're part of the problem, too. Ben'll be just so disappointed.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 1:19 AM
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So where are the kissing girls?


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 1:28 AM
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297: banned!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 1:31 AM
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I'm weird, but my standard answer is something like, "You know how some people don't like onions or mustard or spicy things or cilantro or what have you? I don't like meat."

See, I'd describe that as being rude. If you had a dinner guest who announced "Oh, I hope you aren't cooking anything with onions. I don't like onions. You are? Well, you'd better have an alternative dish that's onion-free. No, it's not an allergy; I just don't like them", wouldn't you be offended? Wouldn't you think that was, well, sort of childish behaviour?

Be quiet and eat what's put in front of you, my grandparents would say.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 3:36 AM
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265: Not a metaphor. I have literally had that exact conversation about sunlight a dozen times or more.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 3:55 AM
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Yeah, re: 265

Wrong. Stoner types are really really annoying. I speak as someone with a fairly intimate knowledge of said millieu.

It's exactly the same quasi-elitist bollocks that people complain about vis a vis 'hipsters'.

"We are the keepers of the hermetic secrets, etc."

"Dude, you're making a totally commonplace observation."

"Uh-huh, you only say that because you aren't an initiate of the rosicrucian mysteries...."


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 3:57 AM
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Bugger at spelling mistake in 301



Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 3:58 AM
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I think stonerism might just be a kind of mysticism. I see the world in a grain of sand! And heaven in a wild flower! And the same thing annoys me about mysticism, because it insists that no one on earth sees things that you do.

Maybe I get this annoyance from growing up listening to my cousin's poems about Jesus that are about, like, how amazing waterfalls are. YOU DON'T GET IT THEY'RE AMAZING.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 4:11 AM
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Or! Anti-abortionists whose entire argument depends on the fact that they see the face of God in every unborn child or whatever. Fetuses are pretty damn common, man. God's spreading himself rather thin.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 4:15 AM
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279 is very true, though I think carp are probably OK for now (freshwater, farmed since Roman times).

In passing, I think most of the "fish eating vegetarians" I've met wouldn't know canon law or kashrut if they bit their ankles. Most of them admit that it started as a shoddy compromise in some situation where vegetarianism was really, really hard, and they acquired the taste for it. Points for honesty, good luck to them.

301. Yes but. Stoners are more annoying than hipsters because it's harder to hate them without feeling guilty about it. Like puppies.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 4:18 AM
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304. I suppose the point is that god is everywhere. But the logic of that would be that god is equally (neither more nor less) in every pregnant woman and every physician (and every pharmaceutical salesperson). Which is arguably a less pernicious argument, though obviously I still don't buy it.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 4:32 AM
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303: My uber hippie friend from college once told me that she read a poem about waterfalls (in French, some symbolist) that literally made her 1. high and 2. come.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 5:23 AM
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307: Damn. That's a helluva pome.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 5:32 AM
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308: I know, right? I'm going to have to try to remember what it was and, uh, test drive it.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 5:41 AM
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I think it works better if you smoke dope and masturbate while reading it.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 6:22 AM
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re: 303

Yes, and tell people of that ilk that you are a philosopher ... that's just a way of opening oneself up to a special kind of hell.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 6:24 AM
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I wasn't kidding about carp, see? World's most important fresh-water food fish, and totally sustainable. Sport fishing in the U.S. taboos carp, for reasons unknown to me, and the state spends money eradicating them. They're undemanding about what they eat and where they live and are easily farmed, and they routinely group to 10-20 pounds.

One problem is that they feed by grubbing around on the bottom and tend to destroy a lake's esthetic qualities. The second problem, in MN, is that the whole state is so polluted with mercury from coal-fired plants that it's recommended that you only eat wild fish once a week or once a month, depending. I wish that I thought that the MN Health Dept was being overcautious.

As far as sustainability goes, anything that brought the carp population down would be an environmental plus for most non-carp speciies.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 6:34 AM
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310: Heh. The person in question is a multiply-published novelist these days.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 6:37 AM
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Is she bigger than a breadbox?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 6:38 AM
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John, I never supposed for a moment you were kidding about carp. All the mediaeval great houses of Europe had fish ponds full of them, for very good reasons (not decorative), same as they all had dovecotes. In my lifetime and yours, these will probably be the main sources of animal protein in the west. Or else nobody will have the sense to re-invest in them, so we'll have to do without.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 6:40 AM
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Given that I've eaten carp a fair bit [in Czech] and have seen carp lakes, etc, I never really supposed you were kidding, either; just exaggerating slightly for comic effect.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 6:41 AM
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316. Am I right in remembering that the Czechs eat carp for Xmas dinner? Now that'll be a hard sell in the Anglosphere.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 6:47 AM
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Uh, you mean 137, right?

You and DL can split the wishbone.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 6:52 AM
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Oh, and to be clear, it was DL's suggestion of root veg that sold me. Not that I hadn't perked up at 137.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 6:53 AM
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Carp is the main fish in Chinese cuisine, in China anyway. Someone could eat a lot of carp without knowing it. If I weren't lazy I would have made a connection with Chinese restaurants in MPLS and started raising carp in a little pond somewhere. To my knowledge there isn't much of a commercial fishery because most people refuse to eat it.

The father of the objectivist poet Lorene Niedecker was a carp seiner in Wisconsin. Carp used to be eaten more than it is here, possibly when the less-assimilated immigrants were still around. You still can get smoked carp here around Christmastime.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 6:58 AM
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I think that the investment in carp ponds is very low. They eat practically anything, and I think that you harvest by draining the pond.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 7:00 AM
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re: 317

Yeah, they have it on Christmas Eve -- which is when they have the big meal.

Carp in several ways -- fried carp, carp in breadcrumbs, soup [with carp roe and dumplings]. All served with potato salad.

It's nice. Although carp has quite amazing bones.

All over Prague leading up to Christmas there are guys with live carp in big tanks, you buy them and take them home to keep in the bath for a few days before killing and eating.

I've seen the 'carp in the bath' scene used to comic effect in a few Czech movies. "Pelíšky", for example.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 7:02 AM
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particularly highfalutin comfort food of the kind that William Grimes railed against years ago

I'm feeling completely underwhelmed by the Grimes piece. Now part of it may be that, while you can get mac&cheese at some nice restaurants here, nonsense like "fancy" deviled eggs and corn on the cob has come nowhere near the best restaurants here. Faced with those things, I might be more willing to go along with Grimes.

But fundamentally I disagree with his premise, that foods like mac & cheese and meatloaf are simply incapable of being tasty. It's food snobbery of the most idiotic sort (and I love that cream pie, a truly satisfying example of which I have never tasted, gets a pass, because it's "regional;" bullshit). Now, the insistence that fancy ingredients + 1950s recipe = brilliance is, indeed, insipid, but the truth is that the best meatloaf I've eaten is, well, quite tasty. And some of the mac & cheeses I've had are as good as good Italian pasta dishes.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 7:07 AM
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I watch a guy get carp (behind a dam) with a bow. The arrow head could hold the fish and was attached to fishing line. The reel was on the bow.


Posted by: MH | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 7:09 AM
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279: In addition to farmed freshwater fish (as noted), small ocean fish (sardines, herring, anchovy) are at least as sustainable as tropical fruit consumed in temperate zones.

Anyway, even a great big tuna has a smaller carbon footprint than a side of feedlot beef, albeit from a decreasing stock.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 7:17 AM
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re: 325

Anchovy are the nicest fish I've ever eaten. Not the tiny preserved fillets we all know. But whole fresh anchovies, deep fried, in Spain. Just delicious -- and surprisingly big, too.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 7:18 AM
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Yes, and tell people of that ilk that you are a philosopher ... that's just a way of opening oneself up to a special kind of hell.

Works with people of the opposite, university-of-life ilk, too. "Lemma tell ya *my* philosophy."


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 7:19 AM
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re: 327

Yeah, that's when having the ability to shift accents comes in handy.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 7:20 AM
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See, I'd describe that as being rude. If you had a dinner guest who announced "Oh, I hope you aren't cooking anything with onions. I don't like onions. You are? Well, you'd better have an alternative dish that's onion-free. No, it's not an allergy; I just don't like them", wouldn't you be offended? Wouldn't you think that was, well, sort of childish behaviour?

As a host, I feel rude if I haven't asked dinner guests in advance if they have any particular dislikes.

As a guest, I do feel obliged to shut up and eat what I'm served, but I don't have any strong dislikes (dispreferences, certainly).

I believe that good manners require meeting in the middle, not the host - the person charged with the comfort and pleasure of his/her guests - dictating to everyone what they shall eat.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 7:22 AM
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And then you come across a stoner philosopher who has developed a Rawlsian theory of smoking up.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 7:25 AM
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325: Anyway, even a great big tuna has a smaller carbon footprint than a side of feedlot beef, albeit from a decreasing stock.

And as every human urge to reproduce is sacred, tough shit for the tuna. And, "Hello carp."


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 7:25 AM
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Also! If you are vegetarian -- or have been in a serious, non-15-year-old-girl way -- say so when you mention vegetarianism. It lets your interlocutor know you aren't out to get them.

Especially avoid sounding like you want a debate; I have never yet debated vegetarianism with someone and not left thinking that the other guy was dumber than I thought. (This involves both sides, too.)


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 7:30 AM
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But whole fresh anchovies, deep fried, in Spain. Just delicious -- and surprisingly big, too.

Similar to smelts? Iris loves those.

I've actually almost completely eliminated non-sustainable fish from my/my family's diet. Smallfish, freshwater farmed fish, wild salmon. The only regular exceptions are a bit of fried cod and occasional sushi. Near as I can tell, most of my shellfish is pretty defensible.

In contrast, 8 years ago we probably had farmed salmon twice a month. Then I found out just how bad farmed salmon was. That was tough habit to kick. And while the wild stuff is notably tastier, we can only afford it 2-3 times/year. I would not say it's 12X tastier.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 7:32 AM
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re: 333

Farmed salmon doesn't always have to be bad. Some Scottish farmed salmon is farmed in fairly healthy/sustainable ways.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 7:44 AM
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329. I'm actually not sure I could cook a meal without onions, apart from a boring old roast dinner or something, which I wouldn't offer to guests. I might well not ask that one, because I've never heard of it.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 7:46 AM
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I'm actually not sure I could cook a meal without onions

Ain't that the truth.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 7:52 AM
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Some Scottish farmed salmon is farmed in fairly healthy/sustainable ways.

I believe that I've heard that. Norwegian the same?

Mostly I know to avoid Canadian and Chilean, which is 99" of what we get here. PNW is supposed to be bad as well.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 7:53 AM
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As a host, I feel rude if I haven't asked dinner guests in advance if they have any particular dislikes.

So you'd call up your guests and go through the menu, and if one of them said "Well, I don't like green beans because I don't like the squeaky noise they make when you bite into them" you'd change the menu?

That's very considerate of you -- this may be a cultural difference, but that's not even a question I'd consider asking. The exception would be allergies, and superstitious dislikes - kosher/halal, etc. But I wouldn't ask, or expect to be asked, "Is there anything you just don't like?" There's just an assumption that most people like most stuff*. I'd associate obstinate and vocal dislikes of particular foods with people under the age of 10 or so.

(*The exception might be if the planned menu was something really unusual like steamed chicken feet or pickled calves' brains. But you probably just wouldn't serve that, unless you knew in advance that your guests were into that sort of food.)


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 7:57 AM
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re: 337

Essentially, they just drop a big cage into a fast-flowing part of a sea-loch. With fast flowing water, etc they don't have to worry about sea-lice or heavy feeding.

A lot of it isn't that well farmed, either, though.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 8:01 AM
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ut I wouldn't ask, or expect to be asked, "Is there anything you just don't like?"

I regularly ask guests, "Is there anything you don't eat?" or "Is there anything you can't eat?" Then I almost always serve a buffet and tell people what the options are, so they can decide for themselves and it doesn't have to be a Really Big Deal. On Saturday I'm cooking for vegetarians, vegans, and omnivores, although this time I don't have to worry about halal.

I think this thread has under-mentioned the degree of social complexity and power differentials that are involved here. I have been in situations where it felt excruciatingly embarrassing to offend the host by refusing to eat ____, and situations where the host or other guest went beyond taunting into rude interrogation and insult. Yes, it's bad manners, and no, one shouldn't be friends with these people, but it's not possible to live one's whole life avoiding them.

This is particularly complex when one is being introduced in business situation or with a significant other's family and each choice or statement is being taken as a sign that you are a prima donna who is going to insist on having things your way for the rest of time. I have absolutely known people who were beyond strident in their critique of other people's food choices, and I often reflexively wince when I have to express my own desires in their wake.

Of course, because the dominant script in our culture is that the vegetarian/vegan/macrobiotic/kosher/halal/whatever folks are the scolds/nuisances and the meat-lovers are the relaxed ones, the actual instance of bad manners among the two groups gets coded differently.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 8:09 AM
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And then you come across a stoner philosopher who has developed a Rawlsian theory of smoking up.

This hits uncomfortably close to the home.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 8:12 AM
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Any just set of toking norms must improve the trip of the least-high.


Posted by: Merganser | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 8:23 AM
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My only food weirdness is an aversion to dessert. It just completely ruins the meal for me to have something sweet at the end. This can be very hard to understand for some people, who tend to assume it's actually a diet thing that I'm embarrassed to admit.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 8:24 AM
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And then a Quinean tweaker comes by.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 8:24 AM
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This is particularly complex when one is being introduced in business situation or with a significant other's family and each choice or statement is being taken as a sign that you are a prima donna who is going to insist on having things your way for the rest of time.

Yes. I've seen this happen at a business dinner where two client representatives spent the entire dinner harassing a partner from my firm about his vegetarianism -- ordering kid and talking about how adorable baby goats are, and how intelligent and strongly they bond with their mothers, and then going off onto weird discussions of animal husbandry (that was the conversation where I learned the two concepts of a "tease pony" and a "marker bull"). My partner was clearly annoyed, but had no choice but to take it all in good humor.

(I enjoyed the whole dinner immensely; while the clients were behaving terribly badly, the partner was a nightmare himself, and seeing someone give him a hard time was a pleasure.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 8:26 AM
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On Saturday I'm cooking for vegetarians, vegans, and omnivores, although this time I don't have to worry about halal.

This sounds about usual, and I agree that buffets are the way to go. But I think people are reacting against guests who are picky eaters within their own cultural frame. It's a difference. Picky eaters make me think, "overindulged brat", and if I've put wholesome vegetarian, vegan, omnivore, whatever is appropriate food on the table, then they can fuck off if they don't want it.

(I usually buy halal meat anyway, except pork products - cheaper and tastes better.)


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 8:26 AM
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a diet thing that I'm embarrassed to admit.

Heh. I don't like most salad dressing. In any short of a very good restaurant (actually, in any restaurant where they ask you what dressing you want, rather than treating the dressing as a component of the salad you ordered), I'll ask for no dressing. And then I feel ridiculous ordering a cheeseburger and dessert -- I'm always expecting someone to point out that just cutting out salad dressing won't make any difference.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 8:29 AM
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a diet thing that I'm embarrassed to admit.

Cheese and biscuits? Or don't you have that over there?


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 8:30 AM
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346: I basically agree. I do have a friend who reminds me that her husband doesn't eat tomatoes or onions. That to me is borderline -- I've known her long enough that if I really thought she was being obnoxious I would say so, and I don't particularly want my guests to have to go into the details of their medical ailments.

I certainly know people who can't/don't eat some foods due to IBS or other medical conditions, and I don't particularly want to assume spoiled-brat pickiness on their part and box them into giving me a diagnosis.

But again, all problems solved with buffet and a moderately diverse menu. Or as my mother always said, just pre-eat!


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 8:33 AM
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Beans and rice for all. Corn meal mush for those allergic to those. Yeast cakes for those allergic to corn.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 8:38 AM
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I certainly know people who can't/don't eat some foods due to IBS or other medical conditions, and I don't particularly want to assume spoiled-brat pickiness on their part and box them into giving me a diagnosis.

Sure. We regularly cook for someone who's gluten free due to coeliac disease. Another challenge, you never realise what has flour in it till you have to find out! But you can usually spot the spoilt brats, they're the ones who sound entitled. The people who are entitled generally don't.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 8:40 AM
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Thank you LizBreath. Creamy salad dressing is crap. The only ones I can endure are usually "Italian" or "vinaigrette". At Subway I just ask for vinegar as the last condiment. I always have to ask "Italian dressing, is that creamy?" because sometimes it is, and that is no good. But "creamy" sounds like a good thing to a waiter, so sometimes they try to say yes, it's creamy and delicious.

the real question should be something like "Is the Italian dressing opaque? If not, I'll have that."

"Yeast cakes"?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 8:42 AM
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"Yeast cakes"?

Marmite sandwiches!


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 8:44 AM
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Cheese and biscuits for dessert? Even given that biscuits mean something different on your side of the pond that's a little odd.

Marmite on toast is the best breakfast food ever.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 8:45 AM
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I regularly ask guests, "Is there anything you don't eat?" or "Is there anything you can't eat?"

Yeah, exactly. I don't care what their reasoning is. My goal is to make them a meal they'll enjoy, not to force them to share my tastes. If they hate onions, guess what? I can cook them a great meal without a single onion in it.

I suppose it would be annoying if the list were really long and/or broad, but that's a rare case.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 8:46 AM
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354. Cheese and crackers to you. Absolutely standard option to offer people who don't like dessert, in restaurants and at home.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 8:48 AM
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Nobody ever gets upset when I say please, please, no olives in the thing you're making. It's almost like nobody really likes olives as an ingredient very much. People who are fanatically pro-olive are the people who eat them like grapes.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 8:48 AM
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352: Just ask is the Italian is like a vinaigrette. That way it's a positive question, and also lets them know what you're really looking for.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 8:50 AM
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356: Cheese as dessert remains an exotic concept here. And since a fair number of people offer cheese as a cocktail accompaniment, it's a bit awkward to bring the tray back out.

357: AB also dislikes olives. Mushrooms, too, but those are easier to eat around - olives really affect the surrounding tastes.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 8:52 AM
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356: That is so fucking civilized. Rule Britannia, bitches!

I'm actually a citizen of the UK despite never having lived there. Dual US/UK, one from each parent.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 8:56 AM
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Mostly I know to avoid Canadian and Chilean, which is 99" of what we get here. PNW is supposed to be bad as well.

Yeah, the PNW is essentially interchangeable with the west coast of Canada for this purpose, just smaller industry.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 8:56 AM
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Absolutely standard option to offer people who don't like dessert, in restaurants and at home.

Cheese plates on dessert lists are less common in the US than EU at restaurants, but I do see them (and am far more likely to order that than a sweet dessert, so I do notice). However, I think many people here never think of it at home. It's a shame really.

One thing I really like about bashing around europe is finding cheese plates of local stuff; even better if I've never heard of some of it.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 8:59 AM
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Cheese and crackers is/are an appetizer.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 9:00 AM
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I mock people who think cheese counts as dessert. Fools! They're missing desserts!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 9:03 AM
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Have some birthday cake, heebie.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 9:05 AM
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Have some birthday cake cheese, heebie.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 9:07 AM
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you never realise what has flour in it

Nearly everything. Seems like eating out would be particularly challenging.

I've just recently come to appreciate olives. Working at a Pizza Hut in college set me off of them for many years (tomato sauce too, though I overcame that one much sooner). I'm still only so-so on black olives, but the rest are yum.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 9:08 AM
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Rule clarification: We only have to be nice to heebie in the birthday thread.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 9:08 AM
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I've had two cupcakes already! Although it would still count if they were cup-cheesecakes, because that would be delicious.

One time, in lieu of cupcakes, a friend put icing on muffins and served them at her party. I was horrified and have not quite forgiven her. It tasted wrong. And they'd been sitting out and I'd been eyeing them in anticipation for hours.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 9:10 AM
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Cheese and crackers is/are an appetizer.

Can be, but is in no way limited to.

I've just recently come to appreciate olives.

An awful lot of olives I've run into in the US and Canada really were pretty bad. It took a trip to Spain to teach me they can be wonderful. So I pretty much try and find a good source now wherever I'm living, but it can be difficult some places.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 9:13 AM
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367.1 Too true. She carries her own bread to restaurants and has been known to take wheat free pasta into a trattoria and ask them to cook it for her. (She tried this one in a fancy looking place near the Spanish steps in Rome, and the headwaiter took her aside and said, "Madam, I am so sorry we cannot do this. All the food is microwaved. True story.)

I think working at a Pizza Hut might put me off olives, though I've loved them since I was 4.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 9:14 AM
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So I pretty much try and find a good source now wherever I'm living, but it can be difficult some places.

I eat these by the can. Is that considered a good source? They are delicious.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 9:16 AM
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Three cupcakes so far today! Mwah-ha-ha!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 9:17 AM
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Yeah, olives vary wildly in quality.

The bog standard green ones that we were handed as tapas in Grenada were better than a lot of the 'premium' ones we'd get here.

Black olives I really like in tapenade, in in puttanesca style sauces. But not as a snack food on their own. The more purplish ones marketed here as 'kalamata' style olives are fine, though.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 9:17 AM
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I've got a friend whose allergic to gluten, and when I've had Thanksgiving with them, gluten-free, I've felt as full as normal, but not as uncomfortable being that full. I really think gluten does jack up your bowels.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 9:18 AM
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The bog standard green ones that we were handed as tapas in Grenada were better than a lot of the 'premium' ones we'd get here.

Yeah. Many restaurants in (parts of?) spain/portugal seem to treat them like chips&salsa in a tex-mex place. A little bowl just shows up with your waiter. Surprisingly good ones.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 9:20 AM
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I really think gluten does jack up your bowels.

I'm sure you're right. My sister went gluten free for a year, and keeps it low since, and she says she feels much better. I'd try it, but, you know, bread.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 9:22 AM
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My boyfriend has some kind of wheat or gluten allergy and some kind of milk allergy (he has avoided serious medical inquiries into the nature of these allergies, but both make him sick). So some restaurants will have almost nothing he can eat. He's very good about making a meal out of what's available, especially as a guest in someone's house. But it's definitely a pain for him and a bit of a pain for me.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 9:24 AM
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Increasingly (tho far from generally yet) restaurants in Britain are marking gluten free options on the menu in the way they have marked vegetarian options for years. Is that also the case in America?


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 9:26 AM
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Rule Brittania, bitches! I like that. Also, happy birthday, heebie.


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 9:28 AM
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379: I've seen "gluten free" labels on some items on some menus, but very infrequently.

Of course, restaurants in many parts of the country are still not clearly marking vegatarian options, or even reliably offereing them. So, there's that.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 9:30 AM
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Nobody ever gets upset when I say please, please, no olives in the thing you're making.

While I wouldn't get upset at this request made in advance, we have a number of fairly regular dinner dishes that would be pointless without olives.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 9:30 AM
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"Gluten free" labels are not very common, but apparently there's quite a bit of demand for such stuff. A restaurant in the Village, Risotteria, is all gluten-free, including the breadsticks, and there's usually a line out the door. The boyfriend was beside himself with joy.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 9:34 AM
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379: Britain is ahead of us on that curve, certainly, as it was with vegetarian stuff for a decade, but in NYC at least if there isn't something gluten-free on the menu (there usually is), one can make a request and such requests are often made.

NYC is also ahead of the curve on the whole diagnosis thing -- 8 years ago I had never heard of celiac; now I know at least 5 people with it.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 9:35 AM
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True coeliacs are quite rare, even in subpopulations (like Ireland) where the genetic markers are relatively common. People who profess gluten intolerance for themselves or, increasingly, their children, are much more common and indeed on the rise. Over the last few years I have watched several parents essentially engineer the food-intolerance/allergy of their choice into their kids, whether it's refined sugar, gluten, eggs, or of course peanuts. You even see bullshit like orange juice allergies. Having middle- or uppper-middle class kids who aren't allergic to anything is fast becoming a minority position, and quite unfashionable. It's been quite gratifying to see the new large-scale trial research showing that ruthlessly isolating children from certain foods actively creates an allergic reaction or intolerance where none was really present before.

I have another rant -- and about 20 clinical trials, which I recently had to shove in the face of a pre-K teacher with zero qualifications in the area of nutrition who was nevertheless eager to tell me what to feed my kid -- about the mythical association between sugar and hyperactivity.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 10:01 AM
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I hope that the state workers are keeping an eye on the Gonerill household. Sometimes they wait too long before intervening, with tragic results.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 10:05 AM
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re: 385

Quite.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 10:05 AM
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They can come pry my packet of yogurt-covered peanut sugar wheaties from my cold, dead hands.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 10:07 AM
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Risotteria

Oh heavens, yes.

That was also the scene of one of the worst first dates in history. Happily, I was only observing it.

M: So, after my third wife...
F: [visibly recoiling] Your third wife?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 10:11 AM
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True coeliacs are quite rare, even in subpopulations (like Ireland) where the genetic markers are relatively common. People who profess gluten intolerance for themselves or, increasingly, their children, are much more common and indeed on the rise.

Yes. That. Of my 5 celiac friends, one was diagnosed because she was in the hospital, in horrible pain, frighteningly thin, and quite unable to gain weight. The other 4? Well, let's just say that 12 years ago they had seasonal affective disorder and 15 years ago they had candida or chronic fatigue.*

(*I am sure there are people who suffer terribly from these afflictions, but I have a certain number of friends who have been diagnosed with all of them. That just seems unlikely.)


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 10:11 AM
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385. Up to a point, Lord Copper. I agree that the allergy industry is something that needs pushing back fairly vigorously, but if adults discover for themselves that they feel better for moderating their gluten intake (or their sugar intake or whatever), they shouldn't be ridiculed for doing so. We need to find a vocabulary that distinguishes this from allergy: "Meden agan" springs to mind.

As to fashionable dietary parenting, I entirely agree. You've got to eat a peck (nearly 9 litres) of dirt before you die, say the old wives. If the kid isn't clearly made ill, make them eat it. Then they won't grow up to annoy their hosts at dinner parties.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 10:19 AM
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small ocean fish (sardines, herring, anchovy) are at least as sustainable as tropical fruit consumed in temperate zones

Sadly, no longer true of anchovy. My heart sank when I read that, because I love me some anchovies. The pickled Spanish ones, boquerones, especially.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 10:22 AM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 10:25 AM
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391: "Then they won't grow up to annoy their hosts at dinner parties."

Overgeneralization. They could annoy their hosts over something besides the food.


Posted by: MH | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 10:25 AM
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||

Hey OFE and ttaM, how's the snow? Did it make it to Sheffield?

|>


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 10:32 AM
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392: well that fucking sucks.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 10:34 AM
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||

My sister the drug-alcohol counselor had a client come in drunk for her intake assessment yesterday. Immediately afterwards, in walked a traffic cop to cite her for drunk driving on the way to the treatment center.

|>


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 10:35 AM
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397: So a pretty straightforward assessment, then.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 10:43 AM
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385: My brother-in-law's elementary school had a policy (or something) of ensuring all of the boys were on Ritalin. I know that ADD is real, but no way it's universal. (My mother-in-law put her foot down, and later pulled him out of the school.)

Around here vegetarians are common enough that it's really a non-issue when dining out or entertaining. Come to think of it, it's probably even-odds that someone will ask "You okay with meat?" rather than "Are you a vegetarian?"


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 10:48 AM
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"There is evidence that the subject's drinking problem might be severe".


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 10:50 AM
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re: 399

That is so beyond fucked. I could seriously hurt someone who suggested that policy. No fucking about.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 10:53 AM
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I think that one reason why meat-eaters are a bit touchy is that vegetarianism, however tolerant, problematizes an area of life, food, which many relied on as a comfort zone, and a refuge from problematization. Tobacco and alcohol have been problematized up the yinyang for a century or more, sex has always already been problematized, but people thought they had one refuge. Not.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 10:55 AM
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395. 4 - 5 inches in the lower parts of Sheffield, probably 3 x that on the moors. More forecast tonight and tomorrow.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 10:57 AM
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Huh. Seems there are anchovies in Puget Sound. Anchovies de-problematized! Now I just need a boat.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 10:59 AM
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399.1 Only question, why did she wait till later?


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 10:59 AM
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Corrections and education can be entirely overwhelmed by their custodial function.

Hearing people justify such programs puts you face to face with the extreme bureaucratic mind grounded on a secular scientific myth.

If I'm not mistaken, it's this kind of science that Foucault was especially aiming at, not Newton's Laws of Motion or recombinant DNA. We ground practices on science the way The Church grounded practices on scripture or Aristotle. (Often the scriptural grounds were shaky too, it's just that practices need justification, and for the church these had to be religious justification.)


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 10:59 AM
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I'm a little techy around vegetarianism sometimes, despite myself, because I think I eat too much meat and would like to cut back, both for my health and the environment. But I really like meat, so the mere presence of a vegetarian can make me feel accused. I try really hard not to let my tetchiness become apparent, but it's there.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 10:59 AM
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Of my 5 celiac friends, one was diagnosed because she was in the hospital, in horrible pain, frighteningly thin, and quite unable to gain weight. The other 4? Well, let's just say that 12 years ago they had seasonal affective disorder and 15 years ago they had candida or chronic fatigue.*

I totally have this circle of friends, as well. One with excruciating symptoms who had been hostpitalized and really scrawny her whole life. The other two have upset tummies and general malaise and the vapors. When I said my friend was allergic to gluten, I almost put it in scare quotes.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 11:05 AM
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Just remember that if open sores appear on your legs after you've been on your healing diet for awhile, it means that the poison is working its way out.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 11:11 AM
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385: My brother-in-law's elementary school had a policy (or something) of ensuring all of the boys were on Ritalin. I know that ADD is real, but no way it's universal. (My mother-in-law put her foot down, and later pulled him out of the school.)

Is she a reliable narrator, either in terms of correctly understanding the school policy, or correctly reporting it? Because this is tough to believe -- who'd write the prescriptions for the little boys without symptoms?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 11:12 AM
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407: Me, a bit, too. I have moral problems with factory farming (although not with meat eating. But living off game isn't practical.) and don't approach living up to my beliefs, which makes me a bit tense on the subject.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 11:13 AM
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about the mythical association between sugar and hyperactivity.

Really? I used candy to stay awake during class all through grad school, and when I'm driving on road trips. I swear it's more effective for me than coffee.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 11:14 AM
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405: Public school. And oddly, because my brother-in-law was mildly hyperactive/learning disabled*, and she waited to get him into a special public program at a different school.

*I'm not really sure what the diagnosis was, but whatever it was, being in an environment with more teachers and aides seemed to be better than drugs. He also wasn't allowed much sugar, and it seemed to help.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 11:20 AM
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410: She is a reliable narrator, and the usual way this worked was this. Like eye testing, but malignant. You got a note from the school nurse explaining that your kid was showing symptoms of hyperactivity, and most parents then went to the doctor (not all that hard to get Ritalin when you have evidence it's affecting his schoolwork), and if you didn't, the kid got known as the bad kid. (My b-i-l was a bad kid because he ran up and down the hallways shouting because he liked the noise.) I'm not sure whether it was a policy or an aggressive nurse, but it was not a good situation.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 11:25 AM
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I totally have this circle of friends, as well.

I think this is why I only ever have about six friends at any one time.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 11:27 AM
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407 and 411 evoke how I feel sometimes, as may have been obvious.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 11:30 AM
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Me, a bit, too. I have moral problems with factory farming (although not with meat eating. But living off game isn't practical.) and don't approach living up to my beliefs

Yeah, this is what I was getting at in 41. I think there is a significant population that understand some of the impact their diet has, but don't like thinking about it for various reasons. The veggie in question doesn't have to say anything at all for a person in this position to feel defensive, and some act this defensiveness out in pretty obnoxious was (others, don't of course).


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 11:33 AM
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Olive fans are missing out if they have not tried these.
http://www.graberolives.com/


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 11:36 AM
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Really? I used candy to stay awake during class all through grad school, and when I'm driving on road trips. I swear it's more effective for me than coffee.

See, e.g., here.

Regardless of what parents might believe, however, sugar is not to blame for out of control little ones. At least 12 double blind randomised controlled trials have examined how children react to diets containing different levels of sugar.2 None of these studies, not even studies looking specifically at children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, could detect any differences in behaviour between the children who had sugar and those who did not.3 This includes sugar from sweets, chocolate, and natural sources. Even in studies of those who were considered "sensitive" to sugar, children did not behave differently after eating sugar full or sugar-free diets.3 ... When parents think their children have been given a drink containing sugar (even if it is really sugar-free), they rate their children's behaviour as more hyperactive.4 The differences in the children's behaviour were all in the parents' minds.4

Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 11:37 AM
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Yeah, but what did they use for the control? That's right. Sugar pills.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 11:38 AM
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The simple act of snacking while on a road trip could help keep you awake, too.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 11:38 AM
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Maybe I'm still experiencing a real effect of sugar, and it doesn't contradict 419, in that I don't notice any hyperactivity - I'm able to concentrate very well in class while eating candy - just that it staves off getting drowsy.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 11:40 AM
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421: I don't feel nearly as alert with chips or pretzels or that kind of thing.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 11:41 AM
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My brother-in-law's elementary school had a policy (or something) of ensuring all of the boys were on Ritalin. I know that ADD is real, but no way it's universal. (My mother-in-law put her foot down, and later pulled him out of the school.)

That is scary. Based on the current DSM, we are worried that our son has the ADHD without hyperactivity (which is currently diagnosed more than the ADHD with hyperactivity).

Apparently, the DSM has been going back and forth on whether ADHD without hyperactivity is a diagnosable syndrome.

It was not in 1968; was in 1980 (when the name was changed to ADD); was not in 1987 (when the name was changed to ADHD); and was again in 1994 (when the name confusingly remains ADHD).

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/medicating/adhd/diagnostic.html

That doesn't make me particularly comfortable moving down the medicallization route.


Posted by: lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 11:44 AM
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422. 423: Sure, I'm not saying it doesn't do anything for you. The original comment was just about teachers attributing any high-spirits or running about shouting, etc, to sugar in the diet, which is bullshit.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 11:45 AM
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Cheese as dessert remains an exotic concept here.

Your contributions to this thread have made me happier and happier I don't live in Pittsburgh anymore, JRoth.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 11:47 AM
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People, don't upset Heebie. She's in a delicate condition.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 11:49 AM
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The phrase "ADHD without hyperactivity" is only necessary because it's so hard to detect the strikethrough in the phrase "ADHD".


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 11:50 AM
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Having middle- or uppper-middle class kids who aren't allergic to anything is fast becoming a minority position, and quite unfashionable

So far as I know, none of my three kids has any food sensitivities. My oldest has a very slight allergy to dust mites, but given the general state of both my and my ex's houses, it's gotta be one weak-ass allergy.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 11:52 AM
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If I want a sugar hit to stay awake when coffee is only partially effective, my drug of choice is Twizzlers.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 11:57 AM
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Twizzlers are disgusting.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 11:59 AM
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You've got to eat a peck (nearly 9 litres) of dirt before you die, say the old wives. If the kid isn't clearly made ill, make them eat it.

Making kids eat dirt seems a bit extreme.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 12:08 PM
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Ben seems extra bitter these days.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 12:09 PM
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Don't try to deny it, apo.

Red Vines are love, though.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 12:10 PM
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434: Sir Kraab is inordinately fond of Red Vines, although only if they've been properly staled. They're hard to find down here though.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 12:12 PM
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I knew that, despite her association with you, SK was at heart good people.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 12:14 PM
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Red Vines are perfect. People don't understand when I explain my hatred for Twizzlers and love for Red Vines. They don't taste one bit alike.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 12:16 PM
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Twizzlers are like plastic.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 12:16 PM
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437: Each is foul in its own unique way.

I'm fascinated by the texture, revolted by the taste. If only they made a Red Vine that tasted like bacon.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 12:18 PM
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436: "Was"? What has M/tch done to Kraab?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 12:21 PM
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If only they made a Red Vine that tasted like bacon.

Drunk college women would eat them between makeout sessions at W-lfs-n's favorite watering hole.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 12:24 PM
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All this about allergies on a day with an article saying that the common blood tests for allergies are terribly inaccurate.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 12:28 PM
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http://secondratesnacks.com/twizzlers-vs-red-vines

Not that 62% of readers agree: twizzlers.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 12:29 PM
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"Not" s/b "Note"


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 12:30 PM
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420 is great.

Twizzlers are flavored plastic.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 12:32 PM
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Red Vines are superior in every way.

Though I, like Sir Kraab apparently, enjoy them best when stale and need a lot of chewing. It's like sugar jerky. Horrid for your teeth, great as a distraction and as a stress relief. (Also, the stale ones make better straws, but I would never, ever do something as juvenile as sip my soda through a red vine straw. Never).


Posted by: DL | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 12:50 PM
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420 is great.

Oh no, next thing Cala is going to start insisting that sunlight is BEAUTIFUL, man!


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 12:56 PM
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Yeah, this is what I was getting at in 41. I think there is a significant population that understand some of the impact their diet has, but don't like thinking about it for various reasons. The veggie in question doesn't have to say anything at all for a person in this position to feel defensive, and some act this defensiveness out in pretty obnoxious was (others, don't of course).

It's also possible to put a lot of serious thought into food and still not become a vegetarian. You might decide that the amount of meat you eat is small enough that the deleterious environmental effects of meat growing are a small component of your total environmental footprint, that well-prepared meat provides a good-tasting, compact source of protein and calories, and that the "can you harm it / can you kill it / can you eat it" columns on the Tom the Dancing Bug comic "Human Morality Made Simple" are remarkably accurate.


Posted by: water moccasin | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 1:51 PM
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Tom the Dancing Bug comic "Human Morality Made Simple"

I just saw this on Friday for the first time! It is taped up to a professor's door.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 1:53 PM
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447. Wow!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 1:56 PM
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Twizzlers are so, so much better than Red Vines, which are inedible.

Note the regional breakdown we're sampling.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 2:05 PM
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450: Um, I think you meant to say, "Dude!".


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 2:08 PM
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Oudemia, Sir Kraab, and I don't come from anything like the same region, Sifu.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 2:08 PM
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So JP, where does "favored red plastic foodstuff" rate on the Suitable for Geographical Mockery scale?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 2:10 PM
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Sure you do. It's the not-New-England region.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 2:11 PM
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I just saw this on Friday for the first time! It is taped up to a professor's door.

I think that may be the only print copy still in existence, actually. It's certainly where I saw it.


Posted by: water moccasin | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 2:17 PM
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454: Sir Kraab and I could drive to one another's hs in something like 15 minutes. But it is true for Ben -- not so close.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 2:19 PM
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454: Above local pronunciations of place names from foreign languages, and below annoying sports teams. About even with the presence or absence of ironic diners. Excuse me, "ironic" diners.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 2:21 PM
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457: Though, I grew up in California (which I think Ben did too?). I'm guessing not close to oudemia and Sir Kraab, then, but still there appears to be clusters!


Posted by: DL | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 2:24 PM
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I don't think I've ever tasted Red Vines. Twizzlers are okay, neither awesome nor disgusting. This is like Coke versus Pepsi, I take it?

Myself, I prefer gummy whatevers.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 2:27 PM
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So NJ and CA come out for Red Vines. MA for Twizzlers.

The first time out of Newark after 9/11, returning to Chicago post Tgiving, I was carrying a giant-ass bag of Twizzlers in my carry-on (my parents never got the yes-I-like-bad-red-licorice/no-I-don't-like-Twizzlers thing) and this was when they still had big scary army men with guns rifling through one's things. So big scary army man pulls out my Twizzlers and says, "Sorry, Miss. I have to confiscate these." And I was all shocked, "Gee! OK! Why?!" And the big scary army man said, "Haven't you heard of the Protect America's Twizzlers Act?" Ha ha, Mr Big Scary Army Man. I tried to give them to him, but then he was horrified that he had successfully shaken me down for my Twizzlers.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 2:31 PM
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460: Sir Kraab also has a serious addiction to Swedish Fish. I can't remember if she requires them to be staled or not.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 2:39 PM
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462: Swedish Fish are the best. Even though I prefer the red ones, I resist the purchase of red-only Swedish Fish because that is cheating.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 2:43 PM
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It appears that Red Vines is more of a Western US item. (It was not a brand name that I recognized.) They are made by American Licorice, located in Bend, Oregon; and they provide the following somewhat contradictory copy:

Deeply rooted in the traditions of the American West, the Red Vines® brand is the premium-quality licorice. It continues its old-world licorice making practices starting with the same tried-and-true ingredients from its original recipe. Red Vines® is the only major brand still making twists with respect for tradition. The result is a distinctive, rich taste; soft and chewy texture; and desirable appearance, setting it apart from other chewy confections. In fact, Red Vines® candy is the number one non-chocolate confection in the West, where licorice means Red Vines®.

And there is this: Today, this small-batch, artisanal approach to licorice making is still used by the company, which produces more than 1,000 miles of Red Vines each day.

Artisanal licorice for the masses!
Not to mention:
1983: Red Vines® debuts in its now iconic knob-top jar. Laydeez!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 2:44 PM
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Mm. Swedish fish. I actually think I just like red food dye. (Though that doesn't entirely explain the aversion to Twizzlers).


Posted by: DL | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 2:45 PM
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I haven't seen variegated Swedish Fish for sale in a while—only all-red packages.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 2:46 PM
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Bah to all vine licorice. Red ROPES damnit.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 2:47 PM
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I resist the purchase of red-only Swedish Fish because that is cheating.

I barely ever see any packaging except the only red ones. I do really want to find some of the black ones now.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 2:47 PM
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467: I prefer ropes, too. With ropes, though, you run into the problem of "Do they taste like Red Vines or Twizzlers?" Because some taste like one and some the other. I find that Twizzler-tasting ropes seem to be more opaque than Vines-tasting ropes, as is the case with Twizzlers and Vines themselves. I have given this *a lot* of thought.

If you want to get your Swedish Fish variegated, you pretty much have to have them measured out at a candy store -- not those little yellow bag ones in the supermarket.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 2:52 PM
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467: Made by the same people that make Red Vines.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 2:52 PM
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this small-batch, artisanal approach to licorice making is still used by the company, which produces more than 1,000 miles of Red Vines each day

Maybe they employ hundreds of thousands of people. Amazing that they can sell it so cheaply.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 2:53 PM
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It was not a brand name that I recognized

I am only familiar with it because of the Aimee Mann song.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 2:54 PM
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Mmm! Also! I have half a box of Red Vines in my glove compartment right now, which are good and stale.

454: Sir Kraab and I could drive to one another's hs in something like 15 minutes.

Though oudemia and I are Jersey soul sisters, it was not until I was in D.C. and a California co-worker introduced me to the greatness that is stale Red Vines did I see just how revolting Twizzlers are. Sifu, I don't hate you for not agreeing with us; I pity you for not understanding.

Once, the co-worker's mom shipped her one of those "iconic knob-top [plastic] jars" that hold like 200 vines. Good times.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 2:57 PM
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What kind of licorice do they sell in movie theaters if not Red Vines?


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 2:58 PM
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Twizzler-style ropes also tend to be shinier - which is why they feel like plastic in your mouth.

You can also find the multi-colored packs of Swedish Fish at places that tend to sell specialized candies; store-front news-stands are good for this.


Posted by: DL | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 2:58 PM
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474; Twizzlers.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 2:59 PM
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All red licorice is gross. Although I've never seen or tasted Red Vines, so it's barely possible that they aren't gross, but I doubt it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 3:00 PM
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474: Red Hot Dollars! Which were red, all right, but raspberry-flavored and coin shaped. God those were good.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 3:03 PM
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Salty licorice is really good.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 3:03 PM
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477: LB, the product on the right is not gross. NOT gross. The product on the left is also delicious.

But the vending machine stuff? Yeah, gross.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 3:04 PM
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477 gets it right. The only times in my life I'd ever heard of Red Vines before today were in a Simpsons episode, and in that "Lazy Sunday" video.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 3:05 PM
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Hmm, I find black licorice totally gross. Red is fine.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 3:07 PM
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482: Racist.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 3:10 PM
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Red Hot Dollars! Which were red, all right, but raspberry-flavored and coin shaped. God those were good.

You can still get them, you know.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 3:10 PM
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482: I'll bet you think that red licorice is all spiritual and wise and in touch with the earth.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 3:11 PM
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Red licorice is good, but black licorice is better. Salty black licorice is ok if it's not too salty.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 3:12 PM
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479: I've never had salty licorice, although I've heard about and am fascinated. But I love black licorice generally.

480: Possible, but I doubt it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 3:12 PM
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482: Racist.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 3:12 PM
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if you click on "Where to find Red Vines" on the their website you get a map where you can click on states to find retailers. For instance in MA: Costco, CVS, Target, Walgreens, and Walmart. Much longer lists in the West.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 3:12 PM
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482: racist.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 3:12 PM
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Yeah, that RJ's stuff is good.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 3:13 PM
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490: Copycat.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 3:14 PM
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What exactly does 'red licorice' have to do with licorice? It's not licorice flavored, it's sort of blandly sweet. The only thing that makes it licorice, as far as I can tell, is that it's molded into the same shapes real licorice is sold in.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 3:16 PM
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Native american peoples called red licorice "twaize".


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 3:16 PM
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Ben in 486 is exactly correct on all points.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 3:17 PM
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And even though I like red licorice, I have often wondered about what LB wonders about in 493.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 3:19 PM
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Also very good. I like black licorice better, too, but if you think these products are gross, LB, you've never tasted them.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 3:19 PM
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John, there's still an opportunity to call 468 racist . . .


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 3:20 PM
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493: they are often made in the same confectionaries as traditional black licorice.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 3:22 PM
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Ben in 486 is exactly correct on all points.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 3:22 PM
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Huh. That word doesn't mean what I thought it meant. Candy-making-places, not confectionaries.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 3:25 PM
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501: You should have asked ben.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 3:26 PM
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493 is correct. Also, black licorice is one of the most disgusting "foods" ever created. It tastes like olives, except worse. The idea that it's a form of candy is a strange and archaic notion like none other.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 3:27 PM
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Masturbating furiously to 503?


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 3:29 PM
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501: Next you're going to tell me they don't actually manufacture nuns at a nunnery.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 3:29 PM
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I can understand not liking black licorice -- it's a strong, weird flavor. But the red licorice thing -- do all you people like all vaguely chewy not particularly flavored candy? Red licorice and Swedish Fish and Red Hot Dollars and so on? Or do you have purely shape-based preferences between them?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 3:29 PM
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do all you people like all vaguely chewy not particularly flavored candy

Gummy this-or-that could have no flavor whatsoever, so far as I care. it's all about the mouth-feel. Red licorice is a poor replacement, but will do in a pinch. I also chew on the plastic rings that separate from soda bottle tops, pens, rubber bands, etc. This behavior has gotten worse since I quit smoking. I almost never have a pen run out of ink before I render it unusable.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 3:34 PM
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506: I just like chewy things. Taste matters to a degree, but I like to chew. Thus, jerky is one of my favorite snack foods. ( I don't, though, chew on non-food items).


Posted by: DL | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 3:38 PM
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Huh. I'm like that too, a bit (that is, I've got the pen thing under control, and am hardly ever seen wandering around with blue lips from getting an accidental mouthful of ink, and I've managed to switch from biting my nails to chewing on my knuckles in a non-injurious fashion). But I don't want to eat the stuff I'm chewing on.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 3:40 PM
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I bought a giant bucket of Twizzlers once in college. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but pretty much put me off them permanently

The Target near us has small bags of multicolor Swedish Fish, but the large bags are red-only.


Posted by: fedward | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 3:40 PM
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Well, I guess I don't find it "not particularly flavored." In fact, in the realm of cheap candy, "chewy fruity" is definitely my favorite genre. I can't abide cheap black licorice -- like say a black jellybean, but I adore a more molassesy or salty black licorice. Pontrefact Cakes are super yummy -- except I feel like maybe they have been reformulated semi-recently. I think they used to be more molassesy.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 3:40 PM
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509 to 507. And to 508, the impulse to chew on stuff, for me, is very separate from the desire to eat it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 3:41 PM
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511: I like gumdrops and jellybeans -- red licorice just reads to me as no flavor other than sweet.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 3:43 PM
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It tastes like olives, except worse.

Black licorice, while disgusting, really doesn't taste like olives. This might as well be Teo saying it looks like a pigeon, only scarier.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 3:45 PM
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I will agree that black licorice that did taste like olives would be disgusting.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 3:46 PM
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Cryptic Ned may be less reliable about food than ben, even.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 3:48 PM
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Both of them taste to me like some sort incredibly salty decaying plant. The nuances are lost.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 3:49 PM
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Olive candy.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 3:51 PM
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I love that the past 80 or so comments in this thread have been about explicitly childish foods.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 3:51 PM
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OLIVE LICORICE!


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 3:52 PM
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(For those in or near Minneapolis, I note that you can buy varigated Swedish fish in most grocery stores and even some convenience stores...the Loon, for example, source of much vegan-junkfood-for-anarchists-hanging-out-at-the-radical-bookstore.)


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 3:54 PM
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I love that the past 80 or so comments in this thread have been about explicitly childish foods.

My fears are realized.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 3:55 PM
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Disturbingly enough apo, that's almost certainly better than this


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 3:56 PM
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(to come full circle)


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 3:56 PM
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523: I've had the bacon bar. It's actually quite delicious and probably not at all what you'd expect. The mushroom chocolate bar, OTOH, sounds repulsive.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 4:00 PM
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Your contributions to this thread have made me happier and happier I don't live in Pittsburgh anymore, JRoth.

I was talking about in America, you smug West Coast elitist fuck.

There are a million restaurants in America. A few thousand offer cheese as dessert (a dozen or two of them in Pittsburgh). That's exotic.

It's easier to find sushi than to find dessert cheese. I'm pretty sure this also holds in places that think that $20 for bog-standard southern fried chicken is an acceptable practice.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 4:00 PM
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493: The only thing that makes it licorice, as far as I can tell, is that it's molded into the same shapes real licorice is sold in.

Yes, as far as I can tell it is just that both are "extruded candy products" per the American Licorice Co. people. And their copy is great on the Black stuff:

Red Vines Black Vines[sic] provide a licorice to consumers who have an acquired taste for black licorice. Black Vines gives a sense of nostalgia, especially for those who grew up eating black licorice. It also gives a chance to share with those around you who have never tried black licorice....a great way to bring people together!
Comity through the liver of candy!

Red Vines Red Twists ingredients: Corn Syrup, Wheat Flour, Citric Acid, Artificial Flavor, Red 40
Red Vines Black Twists ingredients: Molasses, Wheat Flour, Corn Syrup, Caramel Coloring, Licorice Extract, Salt, Anise Flavor


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 4:02 PM
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The Vosges bacon bar is quite good. Their chocolates are really expensive, but a bartender at Fresh Salt used to also work at the Vosges store and sometimes gave samples to the regulars.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 4:03 PM
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And to 508, the impulse to chew on stuff, for me, is very separate from the desire to eat it.

I think I used to like to chew on things more generally (I seem to recall stealing my sister's teething rings when I was 7 or so), but for me the way of avoiding the pen & ink problem was to transfer the need to chew to things that belonged in my mouth and I could swallow without harm- thus, I only like to chew on edible things.


Posted by: DL | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 4:06 PM
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It's actually quite delicious and probably not at all what you'd expect.

Everyone I know who've tried it (4-5 people) told me it was disgusting, and all of them were big fans of bacon and chocolate. Apparently mileage varies.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 4:17 PM
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I was talking about in America, you smug West Coast elitist fuck.

Hey, I'm not elitist: I like bacon!


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 4:17 PM
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The Vosges Barcelona bar, which is smoked almonds, sea salt, and milk chocolate, is super delicious, even if CA scolds me for buying $7 candy bars.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 4:19 PM
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The bacon chocolate bar is great. I only know one person who agrees and at least three who disagree though.

I'm starting to think that maybe I've seen Redvines at the store, but assumed they were a generic brand of Twizzlers identical in every way to Twizzlers, so didn't take any note.

Personally I like Goldenberg's Peanut Chews. I hear they're vegan too.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 4:20 PM
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Personally I like Goldenberg's Peanut Chews. I hear they're vegan too.

Love love love them. They were my favorite candy of all as a little kid.

(Weirdest part about this thread: I am not really a candy person. I almost never buy it, and would almost always prefer something salty to something sweet. My opinions, nonetheless, are strongly held!)


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 4:23 PM
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I read (heard) an interview with a cattle farmer who'd switched to aquaculture. He said the remarkable thing was how similar it was. He'd pull up to the ponds in a pick-up with feed in the back. Just like his cattle, his fish knew his engine and would crowd around his end of the pond at feeding time.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 4:26 PM
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The bacon bar is, indeed, awesome, but it doesn't have a particularly strong bacon flavor. More like excellent, slightly bacon-infused chocolate than chocolate covered bacon.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 4:27 PM
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Coming back to the lack of cheese plat thing, I suspect more people/restaurants would offer cheese as dessert option if good cheeses were more common, and local ones easier to acquire. The US agricultural law etc. isn't very cheese friendly, so it's much harder to make cheeses that will stand on their own well, here (as against an ingredient).


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 4:27 PM
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532 -- The Barcelona Bar is also super awesome. That slightly salty chocolate flavor is great. Both it and the bacon bar are too rich to eat at once, at least for me.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 4:29 PM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 4:33 PM
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Carp seem more swinish to me. Smoked carp is a version of bacon.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 4:37 PM
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Coincidentally, I just ate a bag of gumdrops / spicedrops, which is my favorite. 10 oz. There's a definite down side to that.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 4:40 PM
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I've never had the Vosges bacon bar, but was told by a reliable source that the bacon parts have an unpleasant greasy and stretchy texture, as the uncrisped parts of cooked bacon tend to do. Scoops in Los Angeles, which offers a bacon ice cream, overcomes this issue by incorporating hard, crunchy crystalline bits of bacony salt, and leaving out the fatty parts of bacon altogether.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 4:42 PM
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I liked the bacon bar enough to overwrite when I first had it, but I've since fallen out of love with it. The overwhelming flavor is of the salt which they also put in it.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 4:45 PM
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After dinner cheese plates in the USA are sort of where espresso was 30 years ago. Cheese instead of desert seems essentially "foreign" or "exotic" and just not something that Americans are in the habit of consuming, although at the same time it's not hard to find plenty of restaurants in all major cities that serve after dinner cheese plates.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 4:45 PM
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||
I hate LaTeX. I am not a typesetter. I am not an editor. If I'm going to pay publication fees, you can do that stuff, fuckers.

Also, what jackass decided phd theses needed to include figures. I hate you.
|>


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 4:45 PM
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JMS, 542 wasn't my experience. No stringy bits in the bacon bar.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 4:47 PM
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||

The Democrats are still keeping their powder dry. I feel like starting a wet powder party. What profiteth a man if he gains all the dry powder in the world but loses his own soul?

"Dry powder" is just a euphemism for "corporate contributions".

|>


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 4:47 PM
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Apparently the Republican appointed by the Democrats to the Senate has promised to not run for re-election. Yeah, sure. That's an extremely trustworthy thing to say.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 4:49 PM
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I hate LaTeX. I am not a typesetter. I am not an editor. If I'm going to pay publication fees, you can do that stuff, fuckers.


LaTeX is terrible. But it's typically much, much better than the alternatives for something like that.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 4:57 PM
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546: It seems that my reliable source is a liar. I must say I always suspected this about her.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 5:00 PM
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551

Falsus in unum, falsus in omnibus.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 5:01 PM
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552

MJ likes to put together an ice cream lunch at Scoops, consisting of brown bread ice cream, bacon ice cream and avocado ice cream eaten together.

I began to write the above intending to comment on the disgustingness of such practice, but I confess it sounds kind of good to me right now. It's like 85 degrees today.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 5:01 PM
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Yeah, you may be right, Soup, but I can still hate the imperfect thing, even if it is the best on offer.


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 5:08 PM
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554

Where are you, Mozambique?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 5:08 PM
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554: Probably. Mozambique is notorious for lousy document preparation software.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 5:28 PM
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Based on this thread, it seems that many of you do not like comfort food that is being produced in your country. Please send some of it my way, including any leftover bacon. Thank you - - - OHMR.


Posted by: OPINIONATED HUNGRY MAPUTO RESIDENT | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 5:47 PM
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I think it works better if you smoke dope and masturbate while reading it.

I think this generalizes more broadly to all poetry -- indeed to written works of all kinds (excepting certain symbolic utterances, e.g. the Oath of Office, the Eucharistic Rite...).


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 5:47 PM
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Send me your banking information, Mr. Emerson, and I can help while you help me.


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 5:48 PM
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554 is awesome. I'd like to eat that.

Black licorice is also awesome. What kind of ComSymp plant doesn't like molasses?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 6:52 PM
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I love molasses. Black licorice has molasses in it? Then why does it taste like anise and salt?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 6:58 PM
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why does it taste like anise

Yes, it's the tasting like anus part that I don't like.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 7:05 PM
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||
The NYT's love affair with Portland comes to my very neighborhood. That's my corner coffeeshop in the photo.
|>


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 7:08 PM
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562 wuzme, obvs.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 7:11 PM
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Ya know, Jesus, if the NYT liked Wobegon, I'd keep silent about it. They liked the Iraq War too.

I should be back by April.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 7:14 PM
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559: Oh sure, Sifu. You and your Triangle Trade forebears.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 7:31 PM
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564: True to fashion, they're late to the story, and they neglected to mention the most interesting places. That's a hipster sake bar next to the coffeeshop, BTW.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 7:37 PM
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To this day Sifu has a weird taste for codfish, molasses, and rum, but the Emancipation Proclamation really cramped his style.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 7:39 PM
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Huh. I just now read the original post by one ben w-lfs-n. I apologize to ben for having not read it previously. It's pretty good. I like that it makes me smile. Yay.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 8:01 PM
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better than a weird taste of codfish, molasses and rum.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 8:02 PM
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544 seems about right.

However:

Not only do I not buy cheese as dessert, but I also don't buy nut-, honey-*, or red bean-based items as dessert.

Dessert is a course that features chocolate, fruit, cream, and/or a pastry/graham cracker crust. Anything else is bullshit foisted on you by someone too incompetent (or impoverished) to procure chocolate, fruit, cream, pastry, and/or graham crackers.

I cannot express how strongly I feel about this.

If you don't like sweets after your meal, that's fine. But whatever you're eating isn't "dessert." Just as a cordial drunk before dinner doesn't suddenly become a "cocktail."

* I recognize the eminence of honey-based treats, but chocolate has been known to all civilizations for several hundred years now, and it's time to get with it.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 8:11 PM
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JRoth's ideal dessert is an IV of chocolate topped with strawberries.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 8:14 PM
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I also don't buy [...] red bean-based items as dessert.

Racist.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 8:15 PM
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I want a burnt almond torte and a chocolate sour cream cake.


Posted by: MH | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 8:16 PM
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I want a girl with a short skirt and a long jacket.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 8:17 PM
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Cake works.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 8:19 PM
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Speaking of Pittsburgh being behind the times, what is 'bottle service', why is it such a big deal and what does it have to do with an 'ultra lounge'? Won't any bar sell you the whole bottle? They know how many shots are in it.


Posted by: MH | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 8:20 PM
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If you don't like sweets after your meal, that's fine. But whatever you're eating isn't "dessert."

If I may channel Ben for a moment, you have just spent several posts this thread talking about "dessert cheese," which, because I am a a Frenchified twee bitch, confused me, because I didn't know if you were talking about a final cheese course (this is what I assumed), or some kind of sweet cheese (I was pretty sure you didn't mean this), but either way, the cheese course isn't "dessert cheese," even if it is the last thing you eat.*

*Don't hate me! I really was confused!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 8:25 PM
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576: bottle service isn't really about the bottle(s), it's about paying extra (100s of dollars in a trendy place) to get a table and pretend to be somebody important.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 8:25 PM
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570. -- Wait, you don't like cheese plates, or you don't like calling things like cheese plates "dessert"?

Even if its the latter, I don't see why honey or one of the Asian red bean desserts wouldn't count.


Posted by: robert halford | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 8:25 PM
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576: Bottle service is getting VIP treatment by agreeing to buy bottles of shitty things (like truly mediocre champagne), for a wildly marked up price.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 8:27 PM
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I don't see why honey or one of the Asian red bean desserts wouldn't count.

Because JRoth is insane about this. Also, cheese with honey and walnuts, maybe figs. Ricotta with fruit. These things are pretty unambiguously dessert, I'd have thought (although I understand, even if not buying it, the complaint of lack of sugar in a cheese+crackers type arrangement)


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 8:28 PM
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the cheese course isn't really in existence here.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 8:30 PM
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JRoth: Not even cheese with fruit?

What I object to are "health-conscious" and/or "calorie-counting" versions of what are meant to be fat- and sugar-laden desserts. I mean, fair enough if you find the cheesecake too fattening. Have a piece of fruit, or don't have anything at all. But cheesecake made with low-fat or no-fat cream cheese? That's an insult to the very concept of cheesecake.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 8:36 PM
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Belgian foie gras chocolate with fig. .


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 8:40 PM
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578, 580: Thanks. I heard it on a radio ad and wasn't sure what to make of it.


Posted by: MH | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 8:42 PM
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Have a piece of fruit, or don't have anything at all.

Truest thing ever. I am angered by Tastee Delite. Eat ice cream or go without!

Ricotta with honey is a lovely dessert. One I will always order if on the menu. But decisively dessert and not the cheese course.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 8:44 PM
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My grandma used to make these little cupcake things filled with ricotta. It was an Easter treat.


Posted by: MH | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 8:48 PM
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But cheesecake made with low-fat or no-fat cream cheese? That's an insult to the very concept of cheesecake.

See also your local yogurt aisle.

Eating lousy approximations to something because you feel you can do it more often (or in larger volume) than eating the real thing has never made any sense to me.

If they're really good approximations to the real thing, great. They hardly ever are.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 8:50 PM
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583: This objection has arisen before: the objection to "substitute" anything. Yet I am here to tell you that quiche made with milk -- 2% milk even -- instead of heavy cream is perfectly acceptable. For example. (Though in that case you might want to call it a tart.)

Perhaps the objection is just to desserts that aren't as fat- and sugar-laden as the ancestors intended them.

Anyway, you guys can't have any of my banana muffins that are made with no sugar at all. Ha.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 8:52 PM
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583 is right. Even more so since low-fat whatevers but especially dairy often has just as many calories (fillers to make it taste creamy.)


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 8:53 PM
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the objection to "substitute" anything

Is that really the objection though? I don't object to any sort of substitution, if it stands on its own.

What is annoying is poor quality substitutions being hailed as virtuous in some (typical muddle headed, as Cala points out) sense.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 8:56 PM
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... which is particularly true of dessert, because really, what's the point if it isn't really good?


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 8:57 PM
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See also your local yogurt aisle.

Oh, weird: in the grocery store a couple of months ago, I was trying to find some yogurt without high fructose corn syrup (usually Brown Cow or Stonyfield Farms), and was saying so to my friend, and an older gentleman in the aisle interrupted to ask What, what?

turned out he had been in the yogurt business for years (past) and had never heard of this high-fructose corn syrup bullshit. Read the labels, I'm not kidding, I said. We did. He revelled, like, Wow, just wow, he had no idea. We parted friends.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 9:00 PM
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||

Fuck Fortran. Stupid-ass language.

|>


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 9:00 PM
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Or generally forgetting that fat is also a nutrient like protein and carbs.

I tend to state it strongly because I really hate how chemical thickeners taste, and I really really hate low-fat cheese, but 2% milk is fine.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 9:01 PM
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So, ordering bottle service would be a good way to attract the sort of women who kiss other women in bars to attract men?


Posted by: MH | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 9:01 PM
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I like to keep going back to the original topic from time to time.


Posted by: MH | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 9:02 PM
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cheer up essear, it could be much, much worse.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 9:03 PM
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So, ordering bottle service would be a good way to attract the sort of women who kiss other women in bars to attract men ... who aren't you, while taking advantage of your bottle service. Now you've got it.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 9:04 PM
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I think MH is onto something. We should all pool our resources to corner the bottled bacon-infused liquor market so that it can be sold at absurd markup to guys wanting to attract women who kiss women to attract guys.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 9:04 PM
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593: A lot of the european style yogurts are still ok, but yeah, it can be really hard to find unadulterated yogurt some places these days.

fuck HFCS. fuck it to fuckity-fuck.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 9:06 PM
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To clarify, by "dessert cheese" I mean a cheese plate served after the meal. When god intends us to be eating sweets.

Not even cheese with fruit?

Makes a very nice summertime dinner.

Even if its the latter, I don't see why honey or one of the Asian red bean desserts wouldn't count.

Because red bean desserts are fucking disgusting. Don't take it from me. Take it from my wife, who lived 2 years in Japan, eating every crazy thing* they gave her, liking most of it, but recognizing the fundamental truth that sweetened bean paste is about as much like dessert as grape juice is like wine.

Honey is merely eh. Pouring honey on filo dough doesn't, IMO, make "dessert" any more than white sugar on white bread does. A lot of people lean way too heavily on honey, is all I'm saying.

A lot of people here seem to be bringing up fruit-based desserts as a counterargument, which is weird, since I mentioned fruit. Of course fruit is dessert. Not necessarily a great one (try handing someone a Red Delicious after an otherwise gourmet meal), but a perfectly acceptable one. I think that berries with honey-sweetened sour cream and shortbread is a spectacular, yet simple dessert. It also hits 3 of the 5 categories I mentioned. I have trouble seeing how such a thing proves me "insane."

Dinner is a savory experience. Serving a savory dish (cheese) afterwards and calling it dessert (or failing to offer dessert as well) is, well, well-attested. Doesn't mean that I have to think it's unstupid.

OK, have to go join AB in bed. I just gave her a chocolate-Kahlua cookie for dessert, so she's feeling warmly towards me. If I'd given her a chunk of cheddar, I could stay here all night commenting.

* eg, live sushi


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 9:06 PM
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Ferrara Pan's Alexander the Grapes. Which are now called Grape Heads, I think. That's really all I have to say.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 9:07 PM
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my banana muffins that are made with no sugar at all

How do you get the sugar out of the bananas?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 9:07 PM
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low-fat cheese

An utter abomination.

600 seems like a perfect segue to the new post.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 9:08 PM
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I really really hate low-fat cheese, but 2% milk is fine.

Most recipes work about as well with 2%/reduced-fat dairy as with whole fat*. Skim/no-fat is almost always a disaster.

* Some adjustment may be necessary, but often not.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 9:09 PM
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We're dealing with a hard-shell dessert fundamentalist, folks. He's produced his own, corrected edition of the Orthodox Dessert Bible. Do not argue with him!


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 9:11 PM
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Because red bean desserts are fucking disgusting.

Actually, I rather like manju.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 9:12 PM
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I suspects ulterior motive for the praise of chocolate desserts.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 9:13 PM
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Doesn't mean that I have to think it's unstupid.

That's true. On the other hand, you were already wrong about red bean, so I'll take all the rest with many grains of salt.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 9:13 PM
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600 seems like a perfect segue to the new post.

It really was, but doesn't seem to have worked.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 9:14 PM
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611: Probably because thinking about eating is incompatible with thinking about Jonah Goldberg.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 9:16 PM
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How do you get the sugar out of the bananas?

Sulfuric acid


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 9:21 PM
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612: perhaps many don't want to run the risk of permanently associating him with bacon in their minds.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 9:22 PM
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When I was little my mom would make little rice-flour pancakes filled with red bean jam for me. I actually thought that red bean jam and chocolate were the same thing.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 9:29 PM
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604: How do you get the sugar out of the bananas?

(Has JRoth finally gone to bed with AB after their cookie? Then I can reply that the banana-nut muffins are marvelous for having no added sugar, whether white or brown.)


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 9:30 PM
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599: I forgot that part, but I'm old.


Posted by: MH | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 9:39 PM
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Banana nut muffins are good, but they aren't dessert. Muffins are a breakfast pastry.


Posted by: MH | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 9:40 PM
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MUFFINS ARE FOR PEOPLE WHO DON'T HAVE THE BALLS TO ORDER CAKE FOR BREAKFAST


Posted by: OPINIONATED GRANDMA | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 9:45 PM
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I got a red bean flavor bubble tea, or whatever it is that trendy people call bubble tea. Then I realized that if I had gotten a peanut flavored bubble tea, if there was such a thing, it would have tasted exactly the same.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 9:48 PM
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No, they aren't dessert. I don't really like dessert anyway.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 9:51 PM
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I used to not like dessert. Then I stopped smoking.


Posted by: MH | Link to this comment | 02- 3-09 9:54 PM
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I used to like dessert. I still do, but I used to, too.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02- 4-09 12:20 AM
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Thanks, Mitch.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 4-09 12:21 AM
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For instance, an ostentatious writing style sometimes bespeaks smallness matched with arrogance.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02- 4-09 12:43 AM
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"smallogance"


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 02- 4-09 1:26 AM
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Best. Environmental. Campaign. Ad. Ever. "Back the ban on coal-fired power stations....or the bacon gets it!"

Oddly enough I'm subscribed to a list called Serious Change ("Save the economy!") run by one of the MySociety people; it sounds appropriate.

Also, allergies and middle-class parenting bullshit. I can testify that self-diagnosed "hyperactivity" was fashionable in the 1980s both as a way of dodging responsibility for little Tarquin's appalling behaviour ("he's not a poisonous little thug...he's hyperactive") and also as an excuse for food snobbery. This was before the existence of an actual treatment for it, which probably had nothing but good consequences for my generation.

More recently, the number of kids who are entitled to have more time for their exam papers, have the papers sent to a special marker, or have the papers remarked because of their *handwave* disorder has gone through the roof; some of the best-performing schools in the land also have the highest rates of special consideration. It's cost-free, but you have to know it's possible and be able and willing to harass your kid's teachers until they fill in the form - or else get on the board of governors and harass the head to fill in the forms automatically for *all* the kids.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 02- 4-09 9:41 AM
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I just bought some twizzlers from the vending machine on account of this thread. Disgustingly plastic-y, but somehow satisfying nonetheless and I ate them all anyway.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 02- 4-09 2:09 PM
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624: Um, you're welcome? What are you thanking me for?


Posted by: Mitch | Link to this comment | 02- 5-09 8:22 AM
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I'd like to thank you falettinme be mice elf again.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02- 5-09 8:32 AM
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