Cheating... or chef's trick?

8
11
Joined Apr 28, 2011
 You are correct and I am a food snob. There is no way your stock from a can or paste will taste better than my homebrew stock made from fresh ingredients. Fresh tastes better...always.
 
5,516
186
Joined Apr 3, 2010
You are entitled to your opinion as others are entitled to theirs. To bad we can't have a cooking contest .
 
6,367
129
Joined Feb 1, 2007
 ...and I am a food snob.

At least you're honest about it. Most snobs, as evidenced just by this thread alone, are not.

Fresh tastes better...always.

A typical knee-jerk statement. But you don't want to stake anything important on it. Not in a blind taste test, anyway. I guarantee there are dozens and dozens of dishes and ingredients that, in an honest test, you would not be able to differentiate fresh from frozen. Or wild-crafted from farmed. Or, to put a point on it, enhanced stock from fresh-ingredients only (whatever that happens to mean).

That aside, I'm curious as to what you mean by fresh. I don't reckon it's the salt---that's a rock which has been around for ten thousand years. Can't be the peppercorns. Those were harvested and processed at least two years ago. Certainly not the chicken? Not unless you slaughtered and dressed it just before adding it to the pot. What's that you say? You buy your chickens already processed? Hmmmm. Just how fresh are they? No sense even talking about the onions, carrots, and celery. Unless you have grown them yourself and picked them just before adding them to the stockpot, they are not fresh.

Well what do you know? Turns out your snobbery is misplaced, because you aren't using fresh ingredients after all.

The fact is, PublicServant, I am a snob about certain things. But I remain true to my snobbery. For instance, I won't go anywhere near a "fresh" tomato for 8 or 9 months of the year. Can you say the same? Or would you rather use unripe, tasteless "fresh" ones while you sneer at somebody who uses canned ripe tomatoes that are bursting with flavor? After all, the fresh ones taste better---always. Isn't that what you said?
 
9
10
Joined Apr 23, 2011
I recenly made 12 gallons of lobster bisque and I used 90 pounds of lobster bodies I think thats cheating.

SooperSaucer
 
5,516
186
Joined Apr 3, 2010
 ...and I am a food snob.

At least you're honest about it. Most snobs, as evidenced just by this thread alone, are not.

Fresh tastes better...always.

A typical knee-jerk statement. But you don't want to stake anything important on it. Not in a blind taste test, anyway. I guarantee there are dozens and dozens of dishes and ingredients that, in an honest test, you would not be able to differentiate fresh from frozen. Or wild-crafted from farmed. Or, to put a point on it, enhanced stock from fresh-ingredients only (whatever that happens to mean).

That aside, I'm curious as to what you mean by fresh. I don't reckon it's the salt---that's a rock which has been around for ten thousand years. Can't be the peppercorns. Those were harvested and processed at least two years ago. Certainly not the chicken? Not unless you slaughtered and dressed it just before adding it to the pot. What's that you say? You buy your chickens already processed? Hmmmm. Just how fresh are they? No sense even talking about the onions, carrots, and celery. Unless you have grown them yourself and picked them just before adding them to the stockpot, they are not fresh.

Well what do you know? Turns out your snobbery is misplaced, because you aren't using fresh ingredients after all.

The fact is, PublicServant, I am a snob about certain things. But I remain true to my snobbery. For instance, I won't go anywhere near a "fresh" tomato for 8 or 9 months of the year. Can you say the same? Or would you rather use unripe, tasteless "fresh" ones while you sneer at somebody who uses canned ripe tomatoes that are bursting with flavor? After all, the fresh ones taste better---always. Isn't that what you said?
GREAT ANOLOGY !
 
251
15
Joined May 24, 2009
One does not have to add gelatin to clarify a stock to a consomme. One may have to add gel to make it an Aspic

Ice cubes, mirepoix, herbs, chopped lean beef. egg white  and shells produces an excellent consomme ffrom the simmering stock
You say "have to" as if clarifying with gelatin is more work, or more expensive, or less thorough.  In reality you don't "have to" use a raft anymore.
 
5,516
186
Joined Apr 3, 2010
You say "have to" as if clarifying with gelatin is more work, or more expensive, or less thorough.  In reality you don't "have to" use a raft anymore.
Not more work, but since the original method has been done for years , Why do it , it imparts no flavor and adds additional cost. I do believe in change, but not when I have been doing it the tried and tested ways for 40 years and it has not failed me yet. If someone can show me a better way, I will go it otherwise no I stick with classical methods.
 
8
11
Joined Apr 28, 2011
When I say "Fresh" my intent is to say "as fresh as I am able to acquire at the time of year." I try to cook with the seasons, utilizing whats availible. I am from Jersey, where Tomatos grow triumphantly. My girlfriend cans (Mason Jars) in the fall from her garden for use over the winter, but I will find myself at shopright in January buying a mexican fruit...as I have no real choice in the matter if I want a "Fresh Tomato". Fresh, to me, chef, means Not from a can or pre-mix.
 
3,401
166
Joined Sep 18, 2008
... Fresh, to me, chef, means Not from a can or pre-mix.
Regardless of flavor or taste?

For me, when "fresh" tastes better, then "fresh", otherwise, otherwise, whatever has the best flavor, canned, dried, frozen, pickled, preserved, etc., for most foods.

There are some proteins that I prefer "aged" over "fresh", inter alia beef.

There are some vegetables/fruits that are better "aged than "fresh", inter alia avocados, persimmons (Hachiya), bananas.

Getting "hung up" on one descriptive term at the expense of all others leads to less than optimum flavor/taste, IMHO.
 
 
6,367
129
Joined Feb 1, 2007
So what you're saying, PublicServant, is that the appearance of fresh is more important to you than actual taste and quality. I have to agree: that's a position that just about defines snobbery.

Let's compare those tomatoes.

On one hand, your galpal takes fully ripened tomatoes, at their height of flavor, and lovingly preserves them for later use. On the other hand, a fieldhand in Mexico picks a tomato while it's green. They ship it to a climate-controlled warehouse (read cold storage). Just before sending it on to market they run it through an ethylene gas environment, which causes the pigment to develop. The tomato, however, is still unripe and tasteless.

Given that choice, why would anyone choose the Mexican tomato?

The difference between us, it seems, is that you want the nebulous ego booste of bragging how you only use fresh. And I want to serve the most flavorsome dish I can.

Meanwhile, tell your girlfriend she can ship those jars down to me, where their contents will be appreciated.
 
5,516
186
Joined Apr 3, 2010
So what you're saying, PublicServant, is that the appearance of fresh is more important to you than actual taste and quality. I have to agree: that's a position that just about defines snobbery.

Let's compare those tomatoes.

On one hand, your galpal takes fully ripened tomatoes, at their height of flavor, and lovingly preserves them for later use. On the other hand, a fieldhand in Mexico picks a tomato while it's green. They ship it to a climate-controlled warehouse (read cold storage). Just before sending it on to market they run it through an ethylene gas environment, which causes the pigment to develop. The tomato, however, is still unripe and tasteless.

Given that choice, why would anyone choose the Mexican tomato?

The difference between us, it seems, is that you want the nebulous ego booste of bragging how you only use fresh. And I want to serve the most flavorsome dish I can.

Meanwhile, tell your girlfriend she can ship those jars down to me, where their contents will be appreciated.
KY!

Why waste your explanations on this guy, he is all to set in his supposed perfect ways. I think I see why he is a Former. Let him basque in his own little world telling himself  ""His is the only right way"" If Vatel and Careme came down to earth he would not believe them either.!
 
7,676
845
Joined Apr 3, 2008
It's getting nasty around here.  Each person will have their own philosophy of cooking so who is anyone to go against that?  In the US and probably globally right now people are less and less aware of seasonal produce because everything is available all the time.  My friend called me a couple of weeks ago and asked me where can she buy figs.... uhm nowhere!  I thought she was crazy.  Yet last week when my mother came to visit from greece for a visit I tried serving her a juicy bunch of grapes to which she replied "I don't eat grapes in April!"  So I guess I fall somewhere in the middle.  If it tastes good I eat it.

Anyone else find that the produce sold at Costco tastes like absolutely nothing?

As far as using soup bases and other convenience products I'm neither here nor there.  I have never used them myself in my own stocks but I don't judge if anyone else does, maybe they know something I don't.  What's the big deal?  Oh by the way, I know someone who rubs MSG on their roast beef before they cook it.  Ick.
 
251
15
Joined May 24, 2009
Ah, MSG.  Another ingredient close to my heart.  How often are you tasting something and you've seasoned your dish but it still needs something.  The answer is MSG.
 
8
11
Joined Apr 28, 2011
I embrace others opinions. How else am I going to learn and grow? I believe a good chef is always growing. KY, Pete, andKouk, make valid arguments that cause me to critically re-evaluate my perceptions, isn't that the purpose of a discussion forum?

As for my status as "former" I switched careers to something more cerebral to save my failing knees and lower back.

Now I'm a social worker who protects vulnerable elderly and disabled adults from abuse, neglect, and exploitation.

By the way..what does db stand for anyway?
 
6,367
129
Joined Feb 1, 2007
where can she buy figs....

Just as an aside, and having nothing to do with this thread: My 3-year old fig tree has just set its first one ever. Hooray! One for our side!
 
136
12
Joined Oct 15, 2010
Anyone else find that the produce sold at Costco tastes like absolutely nothing?

Not always. Once, I was able to get these beautiful black velvet apricot that I've not seen elsewhere. I bought a box. Went home and tasted it and it was just gorgeous. Went back to Costco a few days later and they were gone. Haven't seen the same ones since. I usually get chanterelles from there when they are available. Flavor wise, they were no different than the once I picked up from the farmers market at double the price.
 
6,367
129
Joined Feb 1, 2007
.....to critically re-evaluate my perceptions,

Does this mean I'm not getting those canned tomatoes? /img/vbsmilies/smilies/biggrin.gif
 
5,724
586
Joined Sep 5, 2008
where can she buy figs....

Just as an aside, and having nothing to do with this thread: My 3-year old fig tree has just set its first one ever. Hooray! One for our side!
They do take time to produce, but then they produce more and more each year - I suppose you knew that already...

My biggest problem with our fig tree is timing: pick them a bit too early and they're not quite ripe, but wait for them to be ripe and the birds and squirrels will have eaten them all. We tried to put nets on top of them but then the birds and squirrels still get in, and then get trapped inside the net, what a mess.

But fresh figs are absolutely wonderful, I love them!
 
Top Bottom