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Not-So-Great Cuisines of the World

By contrast, what national and ethnic foods are you less fond of?

My parents claim that they don't like Mexican food, though my mom has changed her view since she had some of the real stuff on a conference trip to Acapulco (IJCAI 2003) that I took her along on. I personally haven't met a cuisine I didn't like, though there are some very strange Asian dishes that I am not sure I want to try: take rats and water cockroaches, for example, which are Cantonese delicacy. Actually, I might try rat, but I'm squicked by dog meat, like most Americans.

I've always heard bad things about British food, but some of the pub meals that my folks and I had in Edinburgh (IJCAI 2005) included fish and chips, bangers and mash, etc. and they weren't bad at all.

Is there anything you've tried but don't want to have again? Anything you refuse to try even once?

--
Banazir

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( 38 comments — Leave a comment )
tamf
Nov. 16th, 2008 03:38 pm (UTC)
cheap british food can be godawful. i kwite like deep-fried things, but even i got enough at the seaside restaurant where *every single dish* consisted of deep-fried something or the other in batter. if you're not too fond of fake sweeteners and colouring, most english bakeries are also no-goes.

but my favourite least favourite food is the type of bread served along with czech meals. it has the consistency of a sponge and the taste of absolutely nothing.
banazir
Nov. 16th, 2008 07:18 pm (UTC)
Deep-fried something or the other in batter
I've heard of the "English breakfast", where everything is pan-fried if not deep-fried. Fake sweeteners and coloring don't bother me that much, but I don't go looking for them. I've see that kind of thing imitated in Taiwan and other Asian countries, and it's a good thing that the French habit of making baked goods fresh and natural is catching on in the Pacific Rim.

Say, what is the name of this tasteless, spongy Czech table bread, so I know to avoid it?

Thanks,
Banazir
tamf
Nov. 16th, 2008 08:42 pm (UTC)
i have no idea what it's called, and i don't want to know, either! but if you see a round, white thing lying on the plate of your czech dish, DKNOT EAT IT! you have been wormed.
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(Deleted comment)
tamf
Nov. 17th, 2008 12:32 am (UTC)
so how do you get through the third week?
borgseawolf
Nov. 17th, 2008 08:40 am (UTC)
Tea? ;)
borgseawolf
Nov. 17th, 2008 08:41 am (UTC)
Re: Deep-fried something or the other in batter
I think we're talking about pampuchy... the thing is, it's a texture food, not a taste food. The Japanese have plenty of those (gobo has absolutely no taste at all) - you're not supposed to eat them by itself, but dip it in the sauce, and let it infuse with other flavours.
borgseawolf
Nov. 16th, 2008 04:22 pm (UTC)
I don't think there is any cuisine in the world that has no redeeming features. I've tasted literally dozens of them, and there is not one I'd say "I won't try anything from it ever again"

The Brits got a bad reputation because of the French. Their food does not look like much (looks like shit on toast, frankly), is not healthy, and most of the Brits have no idea how to cook, but when well done, it's very, very tasty. I like their puddings, their pies, their seafood, and their cheese. Cauliflower and Cheddar is great.

German cuisine is the one which has the least amount of things I'd like to eat, but even they make some great things with cabbage, with dumplings and noodles, with freshwater fish, and their cakes are the best in Europe, IMO.

And then the Irish have also some bad reputation, but they have the greatest bread ever, and dublin bay prawns and oysters and GUINNESS.

I even like traditional American diner-style stuff; and most Asian and African countries have at least few really good things to serve on rice; and in general, the poorer the nation, the better desserts they make.

So really, I like them all, as long as they're properly made...
banazir
Nov. 16th, 2008 07:23 pm (UTC)
Cauliflower and Cheddar
I personally like that, but I grew up eating it and didn't even know that was British!

What kind of pies and puddings? Are we talking desserts or blood pie/pudding?

I rather like rinderouladen and bierrocks. Freshwater fish, great! I do like German CHOKLIT and cake thereof.

Describe Irish bread, please? Shrimps and oysters, I have not had much of in the Irish style. Beer, good.

Frankly, I think meatloaf, mac and cheese, and other diner-style things are not the best America has to offer. Maybe pies. I like buffet fare a little, and surf and turf (steak and shrimp) a lot.

African stuff on rice - yes, but how do you like couscous? Also, I like basmati rice and jasmine rice better than Thai rice, and Thai rice much better than sticky rice.

--
Banazir
(Deleted comment)
borgseawolf
Nov. 17th, 2008 08:36 am (UTC)
Re: Cauliflower and Cheddar
I've been through the town of Cheddar a few weeks back. They still make cheese there.

Puddings as in proper English sweet puddings; sticky toffee or bread and butter (which is exactly what it says in the name, plus raisins and sugar) - classics. And savoury pies: Cornish pastry, cheese&onion, curry veg etc. (which reminds me, large part of modern British cuisine is anglicized Indian-style food like tikka massala)

Irish bread is soda bread - it's almost honey-sweet (even though no sugar is used), brown and moist, and eaten simply with some butter is like the best cake.

As for rice, it would be hard to tell which ones I like best...it depends on what it's served with or on, as at home we often use whatever rice we're left with for meals; I suppose things like risotto, paella, pilaf - these are my favourite ones; then Japanese, of course, and then everything else. French red and wild rice - not so much (although they're not really rice)
borgseawolf
Nov. 16th, 2008 04:52 pm (UTC)
Altho', if I had to choose, I would point at Nordic countries and especially Iceland. They have Skyr and a few good fish recipes, but that's about it. They have no vegetables of their own, and have some of the most revolting dishes I've heard of.
But they're such lovely people otherwise that everything's excused :)
banazir
Nov. 16th, 2008 07:25 pm (UTC)
Lovely people, terrible food...
Yes, well, don't forget the liquor. ;-)

You know, I might do this thread with music, too.

--
Banazir
tamf
Nov. 16th, 2008 08:40 pm (UTC)
i'm inclined to agreen
there is an awful lot of mashing and boiling involved and not very much taste. the taste you do get from the fresh fissssh and yummy things like cloudberries is nice, tho.
la_petite_singe
Nov. 16th, 2008 05:44 pm (UTC)
I cannot say I am fond of Indian food very much. Too spicy for me. I hope British food isn't too bad, because I'll be stuck with it for 5 months next year. :D
banazir
Nov. 16th, 2008 07:26 pm (UTC)
Spice is the variety of life
Hey, nice underground sign plus Big Ben icon! Is that for reals or spliced together?

Also, what are you going over to the UK for?

Cheers,
Banazir
la_petite_singe
Nov. 16th, 2008 07:29 pm (UTC)
Re: Spice is the variety of life
I don't rightly know, actually--someone else made it; I just thought it was a great angle. Looks real, though! And I'm studying abroad in London next semester (Jan-May). :)
(Deleted comment)
banazir
Nov. 16th, 2008 08:49 pm (UTC)
Westminster station
Gotcha! Thanks.

--
Banazir
(Deleted comment)
banazir
Nov. 17th, 2008 03:25 pm (UTC)
Re: Westminster station
You mean la_petite_singe's underground icon? Or my double-decker bus one?

--
Banazir
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tamf
Nov. 16th, 2008 08:37 pm (UTC)
Re: SALMIAKKI
*madgiggle* but it's the foodstuff of gods! or possibly trolls...
banazir
Nov. 16th, 2008 08:53 pm (UTC)
Gods and Monsters
Salty liquorice or salmiak (salmiakki in Finnish) is a variety of liquorice (confectionery) that contains a relatively large amount of ammonium chloride (NH4Cl, "salmiac") in addition to the liquorice root extract, sugar, and starch or gum arabic that constitute normal liquorice.

Wow. That's like... Ammonia Janes, or sumfink.

(Note to elf and Tamf'n'Menny: dknot mention tew Hax where they get the ammonia for rill Chonese thousand-yeat eggs.)

--
Banazir
(Deleted comment)
banazir
Nov. 16th, 2008 11:29 pm (UTC)
Salmiakki Koskenkorva!!!
AUUUGHRA.

They.
put.
it.
in.
VODKA.

There anaz words.

--
Banazir
mrowe
Nov. 17th, 2008 01:52 pm (UTC)
Re: Salmiakki Koskenkorva!!!
Yes. They do. And I'll be stocking up again at the Finnish Church Christmas Bizarre in two weeks time...
tamf
Nov. 17th, 2008 12:43 am (UTC)
Re: Gods and Monsters
ooh! mebbe you can make a special-eggstra(hee-hee!)-SIKRIT list for freinds who like ammonia in their food?

i had pickled egg soup at a chonese restaurant once... i dknot remember if the seriously pickled eggs were green or brown, but they were delicious.
borgseawolf
Nov. 17th, 2008 08:38 am (UTC)
Re: Gods and Monsters
I think I've tasted all the most hardcore varieties (and yes, there are varieties MORE hardcore than the usual tourist stuff)

If I had to describe the taste, it would be something like a rotten raw mushroom. Although I can see how one can grow fond of it if one's forced to eat it since childhood.
kai_ta_loipa
Nov. 16th, 2008 08:29 pm (UTC)
there isn't a cuisine i've tried that i haven't liked at least somewhat.

there are, however, several specific dishes that i will probably never eat:

aspic -- i can't even tolerate sweet jello, but who in their right mind would put something like fish in gelatin?

menudo -- can't get past the smell.

genitalia -- they might be delicious. that andrew zimmern guy seems to love eating yak penis and hedgehog balls, but i can't get past what it is to try it. call me a prude.

in general, i also can't eat things that are looking at me. the eyeballs have to be gone, or able to be hidden by garnish.
borgseawolf
Nov. 17th, 2008 07:50 pm (UTC)
You wouldn't have much to eat at a traditional Polish party! (as do I) - the usual dishes are tripe soup and jellied fish. We don't eat any genitalia though... I wonder why...

Also aww Gordonlamb :)
bojojoti
Nov. 16th, 2008 11:53 pm (UTC)
The Swedish have great breads and cookies, but beware lutefisk. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lutefisk
I've never had the desire to try it; however, I love fruktsoppa, pepparkakor, and a number of Swedish treats.

I can find something I enjoy in most ethnic foods. I had the opportunity to try Ethiopian food while visiting D.C., and it was so good.

Mexican food south of the border often contains more fresh fruit and vegetables. Along the coasts, fish is involved, and most Americans don't think along those lines when considering Mexican food. It isn't all drenched in cheese!

I enjoy variety, and I'm very grateful that worldwide cuisine is more readily available than it was even 50 years ago.
borgseawolf
Nov. 17th, 2008 08:39 am (UTC)
Isn't lutefisk mostly Norwegian, not Swedish?

The Icelanders national dish is rotten shark head ;)
bojojoti
Nov. 17th, 2008 06:40 pm (UTC)
In Kansas, a large number of Swedish people immigrated and made there homes here (Lindsborg is known as "Little Sweden"). It is a tradition among the local Swedes to have lutefisk for Christmas dinner. This may be more of an American Swedish tradition.

Our church was established by the Swedish community, and we celebrate Santa Lucia each Christmas, which is a Swedish commemoration about an Italian girl.

Santa Lucia

My daughter is the tiny one to the far right. We truly are a global community.

I don't pine for lutefisk, and you may keep your rotted shark's head, too!
borgseawolf
Nov. 17th, 2008 07:48 pm (UTC)
Santa Lucia's day is more about pagan winter festival of light (Lux, and Lucifer) than anything else ;)
bojojoti
Nov. 18th, 2008 07:10 am (UTC)
How things change! It now kicks off a large baked goods/crafts fundraiser to support missionaries. Light out of darkness...
( 38 comments — Leave a comment )

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