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Thread: Cooking - Whats for dinner?

  1. #26
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2004
    I feel like that sort of shifts over time. Like, people don't want things TOO sweet, but they do prefer things that are slightly sweeter than they're used to. And then they get used to that... So over time, as companies chase optimum sweetness and people's preferences shift, they shift towards ever sweeter.

  2. #27
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Yeah, I figure there has to be a... sweet spot, though.

  3. #28
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2004
    In 200 years people will just eat lollipops, rock candy, pixie sticks, and nutrient pills.

  4. #29
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    If the new Fallout games are any indication, people will still be eating supermarket food that's lying around all over the place for some reason. Or maybe that's just an East Coast thing.

  5. #30
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2006
    Location: Washington DC
    Quote Originally Posted by Starker View Post
    Of course people here like sugar and sweet things. If companies around here started to add sugar in everything, people would eat it right up. That's not a cultural thing, it's a human thing. If people didn't like sugar, why do you think it's necessary to keep children away from snacks and junk food? Not because children have a culture of liking sugar, that's for sure.
    Well, kids are biologically hardwired to like sugar in a manner that normally declines into adolescence and adulthood, so I don't think that's very relevant. Kids literally don't have a sense of 'too sweet'.

    Have you never tried a food and found it unappealingly sweet? My family once shared a birthday cake with some friends in Tbilisi and they simply couldn't tolerate how overwhelmingly sweet it was. I've had shepherd's pie made with sugar added to the filling and I can't stand it. I find sugared bread unpleasant. It's just wrong.

    Take coffee. Starbucks makes a killing on various coffee drinks that basically amount to a scoop of ice cream in a cup of coffee. If this were a universal preference, you'd think Italians- in the comfort of their own homes, where EU regulations on commercial products have no reach- would be dumping a good quarter-cup of sugar in every cup of coffee out of the moka pot. Yet there is a genuine preference for black coffee in Italy that largely does not exist in the US.

    Quote Originally Posted by Starker View Post
    I wager that's also the reason why companies in the US add sweeteners to everything -- it's because they've tested it and found that people like it better.
    Of course they've tested and found that their market- Americans- like it better. But I think you are making a pretty big leap in assuming that reflects a universal human preference that is prevented by law in other countries.

    It's not like they didn't have ready access to sugar in Nairobi, and there certainly weren't laws preventing domestic companies and restaurants from incorporating it in their food, but not once in two years did I eat anything local that was as sweet as a stack of pancakes with syrup. Cultural differences.

    Quote Originally Posted by Starker View Post
    If it was the other way around, It would be really curious that the US is such a homogenous place that people have a sugar culture everywhere and that all the immigrants also adopt the culture.
    It's not, and they don't. 'Sugar culture', if you want to call it that, is strongest in the South, where sweet tea predates the rise of sugar-added groceries and diabetes/obesity rates are through the roof.

    And immigrant communities use a lot less sugar than mainstream American cuisine, with the exception of those that have adapted to cater to an American audience (see: General Tso's Chicken).

  6. #31
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2006
    Location: Washington DC
    Quote Originally Posted by SubJeff View Post
    Our bread is really, really dreadful. Really dire. If it's worse in America I just can't. Bread on the continent is soooooo much better. Anywhere. Imho.

    If the packaged curries are great to you then a. the restaurants back home are trash and b. next time you come to London message me and I'll suggest nice curry places for you. Packaged curries are also dreadful, imho, but we do have some really great curry houses.
    Yeah, pre-packaged bread is worse in America. Although actually I may be speaking from a non-representative sample, as my strongest memory of English bread was a quaint little bakery in Woolwich Arsenal.

    I'll have to take you up on that offer of curry recommendations, whenever I get out to London next.

    Quote Originally Posted by SubJeff View Post
    re: light American beers. There is something to be said about these unobtrusive refreshers. They aren't far off Corona, Dos Equis, Birra Morretti etc and I think they get an undeserved bad rap.
    Fair, and there's something to be said for economical and easy-drinking beer. When we're feeling especially bourgeois, my wife and I mix a Belgian-style witbier from a local brewery with homemade lemonade, and that's our summer-porch-sitting beverage of choice.

    I will contend that light beer (eg Miller Lite, the stuff competing for low calorie counts, as opposed to just the mild lagers) is generally pretty bad.

  7. #32
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    I'm not saying by any means that sugar consumption is prevented by law outside of the US. That's a completely ridiculous proposition. But there are policies to discourage companies for overusing sugar -- for example by having taxes on sugar-sweetened drinks. There are also regulations that limit what can be marketed to children and lots of other public health focused policies. I think that there would be much more sugar consumption and that foods would have way more sweeteners and preservatives and additives in them if it wasn't for those regulations and policies.

    Also, I have no idea what the food policy is in Kenya, but somehow I doubt that it's one of the biggest sugar producers in the world who subsidises its sugar industry with billions of dollars. And could it perhaps be that the southern sweet tooth has also something to do with the sugarcane production there?
    Last edited by Starker; 1st Jun 2020 at 21:10.

  8. #33
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2001
    Location: Lockdown... if only
    A decade-ish ago, I used to travel to Japan regularly for work. OT: the best Korean BBQ I've ever had was in Tokyo, Roppongi to be precise. Anyway, whenever I'd be gone for a week or so, upon returning back the US, I would be reminded how over-flavored most American restaurant food is. Especially chain restaurants.

    In some cases, it's too much sugar, especially desserts, drinks, and Westernized Chinese food. But in my humble palate's opinion, over-salting food is an even bigger problem IMO. Butter is over-used as well. And in general, it seems like most new chefs around here try to make everything an over-complicated flavor bomb.

    Having said that, if you live in or near a major city, you'll notice there's a foodie revolution and plenty of variety for everyone. Americans in general are moving away from the traditional, low budget Americanized dishes that I grew up with and embracing variety, and we're exploring different ethnic foods apart from our own family traditions.

  9. #34
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2001
    Location: Somewhere
    yeh I much prefer more simple ingredients, but of good quality, which is pretty much the whole japanese cuisine ethos. Thats not too say that complicated, textured dishes arent good either, but its stuff like thai, indian, or malaysian that i like, with its mix of balance between flavors.

  10. #35
    Still Subjective
    Registered: Dec 1999
    Location: Idiocy will never die
    I eat a lot of Asian food, mostly made by me these days but I've been to a lot (a lot!) of Indian, Bangladeshi and Pakistani restaurants. Probably more than all the others (French, Italian, etc) combined.

    I found the food in Sri Lanka to be absolutely awesome. A lot of the flavours were familiar but man was it good. I highly recommend it.

  11. #36
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2001
    Location: Lockdown... if only
    I'm not surprised. England has quite a variety of good food from the subcontinent. When I briefly lived in greater London, I used to eat Indian a couple of times a week because an average Indian restaurant there was better than the best I've had here. I didn't give Bangladeshi and Pakistani food a fair shot because I was too busy enjoying the Indian restaurants. Likewise, in Sydney I used to eat a ton of SE Asian food, mostly Thai but frequently Sichaun, Malaysian, and occasionally Vietnamese. I really miss the Thai food especially. Here in the NE USA, we have an over-abundance of good Italian food, comfort food (our name for hearty winter season dishes), upscale pub food, and fresh regional seafood. But if you want good Asian food, you almost have to be in a major city.

  12. #37
    Still Subjective
    Registered: Dec 1999
    Location: Idiocy will never die
    Thai food, in Thailand, is amaaaaazing. In the UK it's very, very poor. I've found exactly two places I rate, after trying many many and many based on recommendations. I've been to places where the food was nice, but it really wasn't Thai. A lot of the time it's like someone told someone "this is what Thai food tastes like" without ever having tried it for real. It's odd. I've never been to India but I've eaten a lot of Indian food in Africa.

    Tomorrow, I make... feijoada!

    Never tried it before and we usually have a feijoada night at a Brazilian friend's place twice a year, a big get together. This year it's virtual so we have to make it ourselves. I looks simple enough but I know it's never going to be.

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