How Real Are We?

There are times when it occurs to me that it is all too easy for we bloggers to present a non-representative persona in our posts – sometimes we do that unintentionally, but then I often get the impression that many bloggers simply blog to ‘invent’ an alternative self – one that’s much more like their own fantasy self image. I try not to do that folks, and when I sense that something I’m about to say may stray from the real me, I try to correct it.

But then there are those things which we choose to overtly avoid revealing about ourselves, mostly because -I think- we fear doing so would make us a bit weird in the minds of our readers – but that’s only a guess, my friends, because the doctor himself has no such reservations -at least as my food preferences go- and I thought I’d do a post on those food preferences which others tell me are weird (after all, I myself do not consider them strange, so I must depend on the consideration of others for this information).

Ready?

  • I like gummy pancakes. I not only like them, I adore them. As I think back on this, I believe the reason may lie in the fact that early on in life I determined that I like thin, crepe like pancakes much more than the ‘cakey’ type – and of course, as a cook I now know that the thinner your batter, the less chance it will rise as it cooks. And I especially like thin, crepe-like pancakes made with sourdough – and although I’ve never tried this, I think I’ll soon try making a crepe with a bit of my spent sourdough starter only, instead of throwing it down the drain. I let you know what I think of the outcome.
  • I also appreciate gummy rice. In fact, I have a problem understanding the appeal of fluffy, separate grains of rice. Kind of reminds me of Uncle Ben’s Minute Rice, which I haven’t had for many years, and for some reason, my mother absolutely loved. I think the Asians are with me on this, because I can’t imagine trying to eat separate grains of rice with chopsticks! Besides, if you want gummy rice, all you have to do is to put your raw unwashed rice and cold water into a pan together, and then begin cooking – voila! Guaranteed sticky rice.
  • I love stale jellied candies.  Hey, I see a pattern here – but maybe it’s just lazy brain syndrome at

    photo credit: nationwidecandy.com

    work. Whatever! I can trace this one back to my childhood when I discovered the joy -and deliciousness- of finding ‘lost’ jelly beans buried in the grass of our stored Easter baskets in the attic – Damn, those were good! My fetish was reinforced when I discovered that the vendors on the Boardwalk at Belmar, N.J. (where we’d all go every day of our adolescent summer) were intent on selling last year’s Dots and Black Crows early every summer. I’m sure they thought I was one weird kid, when I’d ask them if they still had any of those stale candies from last year. Nowadays, I simply hide them from myself -sometimes for years- and then I’m overjoyed at finding them fortuitously – one of life’s small pleasures.

  • I find the tails of fried shrimp more delicious than the shrimp itself. My wife has never failed to remark just how strange this habit is – I think she is quite embarrassed to see me collecting them from my table-mates and enjoying them one by one (they really are quite delicious). I, OTOH, find it impossible to believe that others can actually try them and still not be convinced of their utter deliciousness.
  • I like cold food. And I’m not just talking about potato salad, vichyssoise, or even yesterday’s pizza. I think this proclivity results from my lifelong habit of eating so slowly that at least half of every meal I’ve ever consumed has been cold. At this point in my life, I’ve grown to appreciate just how wonderful cold food actually is – and I’ve come to recognize that many dishes release their flavors much more readily in their cold state than when heated. OK, this is controversial – humor me.

    photo credit: sodahead.com

  • I like cheese with character. Give me a choice between a young Jack cheese, and an aged, washed cheese, and it’s not even a choice. Let Chuck e Cheese have the Jack, thank you. I love going into an upscale grocery like Whole Foods, and browsing their cheese department – it’s a great place to discover new cheese tastes, and I’m quite sure that they’d keep feeding you samples of everything they had, if you wanted to stick around that long and test their hospitality. I’m working my way up to the royalty of stinky cheeses – if only they weren’t the most costly ones!
  • I like milk-poached eggs.  I don’t often give my mother credit for giving me inspiration, food wise – in fact, I can trace my desire to learn to cook back to my recognition that my mother’s cooking was not really that good. But she did introduce me to milk-poached eggs, and I thank her for that. What is a milk-poached egg? Well, whenever I have a desire for something a little special for breakfast, I’ll whip up a quick but luxurious milk-poached egg: toast a slice of your best bread, heat a small skillet to medium-hot, add a Tbs of butter and let it begin to foam – add an egg or two, and immediately slip in about a ¼ of a cup of milk – cover with a lid, and let the milk bubble up for the better part of a minute or so. Then quickly, move the toast to a plate and the egg(s) over the toast – pour the milk from the skillet over all – and enjoy.

    photo credit: southbeachfishmarket.com

  • I have a special appreciation for fresh albacore tuna. I recognize that there may be nothing strange about this, since many others share my appreciation, but each year when our local tuna season kicks off, I marvel at why such a delicious fish should be available so cheaply! I have the same emotion about a Florida fish known as mullet, pork shoulder, calves liver, eggs, dry beans, and many of the unique salts of the world.
  • What I’m willing to spend big bucks on:  Quality coffee; fresh soft shelled crabs; coconut oil; micro-plane graters; naturally ripened fruits; and good fresh fish.

    photo credit: brandalert.co.uk

  • What I’m willing to avoid (even though I may love them) when the price goes up: Lamb; lobster; scallops; prime rib; snob wines; outrageously priced olive oils and vinegars, and anything with a famous chef’s name on it.

Now you know all about my food likes – at least the unusual ones. I bet you’ve got a few of your own, don’t you! Are you brave enough to tell us?

About drfugawe

I'm a guy with enough time to do as I please, and that my resources allow. The problem(s) are: I have 100s of interests; I have a short attention span; I have instant expectations; I'm lazy; and I'm broke. But I'm OK with all that, 'cause otherwise I'd be so busy, I'd be dead in a year.
This entry was posted in Food, Musings and Mutterings and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

35 Responses to How Real Are We?

  1. Dana Staves says:

    I hate edamame! I know it’s like the cool thing to order in tapas restaurants and it’s got all kinds of nutritional value and everyone loves it. I think it’s fussy and too big for its britches. The first time I had it, I thought it was a snap pea and I popped the whole thing in my mouth, only to find that the pod is too fibrous to actually chew, but the restaurant I was at was too nice for me to spit it in my napkin, so I swallowed it, and henceforth, vowed my dislike of edamame. Awkward moment: being on a date and having the other person order edamame for the two of you, gushing about how great it is. So I guess that’s more a food dislike, but you know, it feels good to say it! :)

    • drfugawe says:

      Oh, I love that story, Dana! and beautifully told – I can just see you having that experience, and I feel that pain. Painful but really funny too.
      Ha!

  2. sjburnt says:

    Great posting Doc.

    I like crackling cake. Yup, a heart attack with frosting. Pork cracklings – the stuff left over from making lard? If you add it to the batter of a yellow cake, then add brown sugar frosting? It is like having your cake, and bacon, too.

    Now, if I can avoid having a cardiac event, all will be well.

    Because I just finished making some shagbark hickory syrup to put on my pancakes, and I would hate to miss that!

    • drfugawe says:

      I’m of the opinion that lard, and cracklins, are health foods – one day soon, medical science will own up to it! My doc and I often discuss the fact that there are some folk who seem not to be bothered by fats, and I think I’m one. I had heart valve surgery sev years ago and afterward, they told me my veins/arteries were ‘completely’ clean! And I think butter must make up 15% of my calorie intake daily. So, I’m with ya on that.

      I’ve never had cracklin cake, but plenty of cracklin biscuits – I just rendered a batch of schmaltz (chicken fat), and I’ve got about a pint of schmaltz cracklins – I think I’ll use your idea and slip them into my next cake.

  3. Glenda says:

    Hi Doc
    I love any food that is free. Even though I can afford to buy whatever I like, it is so much better when it doesn’t cost anything. I just love it when someone gives me some of their produce or I pick my own. It doesn’t matter how bird-eaten or snail-nibbled it is, I will use it all, even if I have been given a year’s supply. I would rather die than throw any away. I am always trying to think of ways to use up all those strange bits and pieces in the fridge like chutneys and sauces that people have given me or I have made years (and I really mean years) ago.

    • Glenda, what do you do when a jar has gone furry? I’ve never been game to scrape off the mould and eat the bit underneath…(shudder)… ;-)

      • Glenda says:

        Hi Celia, if it goes furry I throw it out. But that has only happened once and it was when our fridge went off. I have eaten chutneys more than 10 years old. Of course, once they are open I keep them in the fridge. We have an amazing assortment of goodies in there. If I really can’t find a purporse for a chutney that has been opened for ever, I put it in the dogs’ food.

  4. drfugawe says:

    Damn, a gal after my own heart! But there is a downside to this otherwise admirable habit, I can’t tell you how many dishes I’ve ruined by using an ingredient that I should have really just pitched. And every once-in-awhile, I’ll simply run out of space in the area where I store my canned things, and as much as it pains me -and it does- I’ll actually purge the oldest stuff, (which really doesn’t have any taste left anyway). Does this admission mean I’m out of the club?

    • Glenda says:

      ‘fraid so Doc. Next time you make up a big pot of food for Henry, but half a jar of chutney in. He won’t care and you will be readmitted to the club.

      • drfugawe says:

        Oh Glenda, you don’t know Henry well! We’ve only found one dog food he’ll eat – but I guess if we pretended to be eating it first, he’d probably eat it.
        When you talk of chutney, are you referring to the British kind of chutney? Or is Aussie chutney more like American catsup/catchup/ketchup? (I have trouble with this stuff!)

        • Glenda says:

          Yes, I must be talking British chutney. Ketchup … we call tomato sauce.

          • drfugawe says:

            Oh wow, I’m just getting in deeper now; if you call ketchup, tomato sauce, then what do you call ‘tomato sauce’? (our tomato sauce is the stuff that Italians put on pasta, which they call, tomato gravy, at least Italians in the US) See, it’s getting deeper!

  5. I like pickled raw squid Korean-style for breakfast, and I adore my toast spread thickly with peanut butter and then topped (thinly) with Vegemite. But I hate bananas, mandarins, and I’m not overly fond of mangoes. I’m perpetually being told that I’ve failed at being Chinese (because no-one has ever heard of a Chinese person not liking mangoes!).

    • drfugawe says:

      You know, I think I’ve only tasted Vegemite once or twice in my life, and I didn’t much care for it – but I was young and unsophisticated, taste-wise, and I now eat all kinds of things I didn’t then. I’ve got to get some of that stuff. Did you know that mangoes are the world’s most nutritionally influential food, per capita? Mostly because it grows wild in India and environs. I can’t imagine life without bananas.

      • Glenda says:

        Doc, you can’t tell an Australian you don’t like Vegemite, its our national dish:) Get some of your beautiful sourdough bread with lots of melted butter and a fine scraping of Vegemite (you have to start slowly). It is one of the best things on earth.

        • Glenda’s right, you know. There is almost no better hangover cure. Personally, I like the sourdough toasted, with lots of oozing butter and Vegemite…sigh…it’s almost the perfect breakfast.. :)

          • drfugawe says:

            Vegemite is a fermented food, right? I would eat almost anything that’s been fermented (except maybe Japanese natto) But last time I looked, Whole Foods (the biggest chain organic grocery in the US) wanted about $5 for a very small jar of it – and my allowance won’t cover that. OK, I promise I’ll get some and give another try – maybe my taste has matured as much as the rest of me.

  6. Sandee Murren says:

    Dear Heart, I think your habit of eating catsup on French toast is disgusting! Sadly, you’ve got both our daughters enjoying it!! **Shutter** Yuck. “Normal” people eat syrup!

    • Sandee, we eat our French toast…with VEGEMITE. :)

      Actually, my eldest son loves it with maple syrup and bacon, which I think is bizarre, but apparently that’s how the Canadians eat it?

      • drfugawe says:

        Interestingly, Celia, it was while I was in my first year of college that I learned that almost all US kids learn to eat syrup on their French Toast – but I had a roommate from Canada who ate ketchup on it – and he told me that was more common in Canada than in the US! Strange. Seems to me, I recently did a post on this – but I always thought it was rather natural to put ketchup on FT, since most Americans eat ketchup on scrambled eggs. In fact, most Americans eat ketchup on almost anything – Really! So, why those same people should consider eating ketchup on FT strange is very strange itself.

    • drfugawe says:

      Ooo, that is most unkind of you, my dear – you know well that I am so culinarily flexible that I would never have anything but syrup on my croissant French toast at The Mill Pancake House – and that occasionally, I’ll even have syrup on FT at home too. Please!

      BTW, you might check your spelling of catsup/ketsup/ketchup (etc.. etc., etc. …) Our international guests may not be aware of the many acceptable choices in this country for the above word, and of the fact that you have chosen one of those obscure, arguable, and not-yet-acceptable versions. Let us not make this diversity of world-wide English any more confusing than it already is! If Heinz says it’s ‘Ketchup’, that’s good enough for me – http://www.heinz.com/our-food/products/ketchup.aspx

      • Sandee Murren says:

        Since I’m not a fan of catsup/ketchup/ketsup I guess I never paid attention to it’s spelling! I like syrup on everything! Guess that’s why the doctor keeps harping on dieting! Not too sure I’d like Vegemite! We tried it when we were in England about 100 yrs. ago; I think my taste buds have just recovered.
        I love clams on the half-shell! What a perfect treat. I know that gives you nightmares!

        • drfugawe says:

          I guess within the context of this post, I have no choice but to admit my ‘issue’ with raw shellfish – but let me add that I have no problem with most sashimi, including scallops, whose texture I’ve heard give other sashimi veterans trouble. Maybe it’s a mental thing, and I’m over it now. I can remember being in a bar one night eating steamed clams and oysters, and I mentioned to the shucker across the bar that I couldn’t eat raw clams – he just looked strangely at me and said, “Those steamed ones you’re eating now are only a few seconds from being raw – only difference is that instead of being cold, they’re warm.” He made a good point. Yeah, I should try again.

  7. Joanna says:

    This post has cheered me up no end ! What a great conversation going on here :) :) Stale sweets are great particularly old salmiak liquorice where the hard coating dusted with pure liquorice powder has attracted moisture and become toothsome and soft and sticky – a childhood joy finding where my Mother had hidden my Grandfather’s liquorice care parcels – balancing on chairs and peering into fobidden top cupboards! If you want stinky cheese pop over to my Dad’s where there are always a few pieces of artisanal cheese crawling around under a glass dome on the side – and then there was my own dear Mother who always ordered artichokes for dessert if she got a chance… oh I could go on and on – I quite fancy Celia’s breakie today. It is going to be 28 C up here in Cumbria where I am currently visiting – outrageously hot !

    • drfugawe says:

      Oh Jo, you have no idea how much I love liquorice! Is salmiak one of the salted ones? Do you think ‘foreigners’ would like it? At least, those of us who love liquorice?
      Enjoy the heat – or is that too hot? (for us, it’s on the border)

  8. Lynn D. says:

    Your milk poached eggs sound divine. Too bad I’ve already had breakfast. I like cold food, too. Over 30 years ago I got a copy of Claudia Roden’s A Book of Middle Eastern Food. It was a revelation to me that so much of her delicious food was to be served at room temperature. It takes so much stress out of meal prep when not everything has to be served piping hot. I think that if I could have only one cookbook that would be the one

    • drfugawe says:

      Hi Lynn,
      I also have Roden’s, Book of Middle Eastern Food – and with your motivation, I shall pull it down and get motivated to do a dish or two from it (I’m remembering that I have a jar of preserved lemons that I did sev years ago, from her instruction, I think – I need an excuse to use them.).

      I have a beautiful collection of cookbooks, which I don’t use much at all – it’s just always so easy to do a quick search on the web, and use that instead – sometimes it just takes hours to find something you know it in a book somewhere, but you just can’t find it. So, I find myself reading my cookbooks for pleasure instead, which I shall do with Roden’s book – thanks for the suggestion.

  9. Joanna says:

    salmiak is the ammonium chloride plus liquorice powder taste – different from sodium chloride. If you have tried various Dutch or Belgian liquorices you might have come across it? I don’t know if you would like it. The very salty stuff with sodium chloride is too much for me. I am a bit of a killjoy when it gets too hot. I don’t mind sitting in the shade looking out at it though :)

    • drfugawe says:

      I know people talk about ‘acquired tastes’, but I think there’s much more going on there than most would assume – I’ve had the salted liquorices, and enjoyed them – but then, I’m a salt lover. I shall try and find some of the ammonium chloride kind – sometimes difficult if Amazon doesn’t carry it. But unless I know about all the liquorices, I can’t say I love liquorice!

  10. Glenda says:

    Hi Doc, we call sauces that go on pasta by their Italian name, ie Arrabbiata, Amatriciana, Napoletana, Carbonara or Marinara, etc or if the sauce is not a classic Italian sauce, then it is often described by its main ingredients.

  11. drfugawe says:

    Ummm, …. apparently, the Aussies are not as linguistically lazy as we Americans – we MUST have a generic term for such things, because without one, it may default to a more colorful descriptor such as, ‘you know, that shit!’. But I think our laziness was never in jeopardy of being corrected, when the Italian immigrants themselves were fearful of referring to tomato sauce by its classic names (for fear of being too Italian, I think) and instead called it by the much more American name, ‘gravy’ – which really only confused other Americans.

    Cultural diversity is so much fun, isn’t it?

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  13. tuppercooksl says:

    Hey Doc!
    I DON”T like seafood! If that doesn’t separate me from the vast majority of foodies out there, I’m not sure what would. Well, I will eat steamed clams and calamari done right, and beer battered perch, but that’s extent of it. The thought of sushi makes me want to yack

    I DO like cheap bologna and yellow american cheese! I will also admit that I eat Totino’s frozen pizza rolls a couple times a year!

    • drfugawe says:

      Oh dear … don’t know what to say …. Ha! just joshing, Tup. You can dislike whatever you want, it’s fine! Besides, we already know you’re strange. Ha.

      Actually, I don’t like all seafood, and I grew up with a beach always within walking distance – and there are times when I have a strange desire to have a bologna sandwich on pizza bread (you ever have pizza bread, Tup?) like I used to as a kid in NJ. But I’d put swiss on it, not american.

      You getting ready for summer, amigo? You’d better stockpile your favorite beer before the other boys beat you to it. And make sure that grill is working right too.

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