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Food products I don't use.

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Re: Food products I don't use.

Postby Broadsheet » Mon Nov 12, 2012 4:23 pm

I had rolled crepes in Central Park filled with Nutella and whipped cream that were memorable. Must have been Italian.

Meanwhile, does anyone still use anchovy paste, Miracle Whip, or Velveeta (though that microwaved nacho dip with salsa does look good)? Garlic powder? Onion salt? Dried parsley? Powdered ginger? Powdered black pepper? Iodized table salt? Bottled lemon juice? Instant coffee, like Taster's Choice? Sanka? Postum?

I avoid cheap soy sauces made in China, including mushroom soy, because I have heard bad things about the production processes. I basically trust Roland brand imports. My mother, who was raised in Kyoto, used to serve La Choy soy sauce, which is horrible. Kikkoman, made in Walworth County or Japan, is great.
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Re: Food products I don't use.

Postby kittenwithawhip » Mon Nov 12, 2012 4:26 pm

Italian Nutella is INDEED very tasty. Plus at restaurants that serve breakfast they put little packets of it on the table like we use pats of butter or jam.

Many countries don't import the good stuff here. Dijon mustard is a different thing altogether in Dijon France.
American tastes are too homogenous I think.
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Re: Food products I don't use.

Postby O.J. » Mon Nov 12, 2012 4:36 pm

Broadsheet wrote:I had rolled crepes in Central Park filled with Nutella and whipped cream that were memorable. Must have been Italian.

Meanwhile, does anyone still use... Miracle Whip,.... or Garlic powder? Onion salt?


Miracle Whip is an abomination. People that use this crap should be publicly flogged. I only use garlic powder and onion salt when making rubs; otherwise, they're completely ignored.
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Re: Food products I don't use.

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Mon Nov 12, 2012 4:45 pm

Broadsheet wrote:Garlic powder
Great on popcorn. Great for mixing with some yogurt or sour cream to make a quick dip or sauce. Essential for rubs.
Broadsheet wrote:Onion salt

I pretty much avoid salt completely when cooking (doctor's orders) but honestly, flavored salts in general are just kinda wrong, imo. I have onion powder and salt, why do I need to buy them again in the same jar? Most salt "blends" are almost entirely salt anyway and many aren't flavor enhancers so much as just flavor pulverizers. Seafood seasoning? Please. Seems to me if your seafood needs that much salt, it's either shitty seafood or you don't really like the flavor to begin with (especially given that most anything from the ocean has plenty of sodium naturally.)
Broadsheet wrote: Dried parsley
Yep, use it all the time. Ditto dried chives and lots of other herbs and spices.
Fresh and dried herbs and spices have different flavors and different uses, it seems to me. Not only do I think it's just kinda snobbish to always insist on fresh (no offense, broad) but it's not always feasible.
Broadsheet wrote: Powdered black pepper?
OK, this one I agree with. There is no substitute for fresh-cracked pepper and no example I can think of where it makes more sense to use powdered stuff. Maybe if you're cooking for dozens and need large amounts?
Broadsheet wrote:Iodized table salt?
Good way to get iodine if you have other dietary restrictions, I suppose. But yeah, on the rare occasions when I do use salt when cooking, I generally use sea salt or kosher salt.
Broadsheet wrote: Bottled lemon juice
Sure. I almost always have fresh lemons around, but the bottled stuff keeps for a long time so it's nice to have around in case you run out. And there's no point in wasting a whole lemon if all you need is a splash.
Broadsheet wrote:Instant coffee
I've never minded instant, although freshly ground is absolutely superior in every way. But I'm not really much of a coffee drinker and I needed the kitchen counter real estate for more useful things than the coffee machine, so now I keep a small jar of instant in the fridge and it suits me just fine.
Broadsheet wrote:Kikkoman
Yes, and their low sodium version is every bit as good, imho.
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Re: Food products I don't use.

Postby rabble » Mon Nov 12, 2012 4:49 pm

I have onion and garlic powder in my camp kitchen. And it's nice to have them when I'm cooking and realize we're out of garlic and I can't drop everything and run off to the corner store.

That's what you guys use instead of garlic powder, right?
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Re: Food products I don't use.

Postby Stebben84 » Mon Nov 12, 2012 4:58 pm

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:I've never minded instant, although freshly ground is absolutely superior in every way. But I'm not really much of a coffee drinker and I needed the kitchen counter real estate for more useful things than the coffee machine, so now I keep a small jar of instant in the fridge and it suits me just fine.


Try these. Starbucks via

http://www.starbucks.com/coffee/via

It's a little pricier than other instants, but It's far superior. 1 packet makes a perfect cup of coffee. Apparently this type of instant has been available in Europe for a while. It's a different method than the old school brands, so the flavor is far superior. They are also great for camping.
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Re: Food products I don't use.

Postby LargeMarge » Mon Nov 12, 2012 5:49 pm

TheBookPolice wrote:
LargeMarge wrote:I don't get Nutella. I can eat it, but I don't get the devotion.

I just recently learned that not all Nutella is created equal. Most of what's available in the US is made in Canada. The actual Italian Nutella, imported in some specialty shops, is allegedly worth every penny and every ounce of devotion.


Interesting! I've only had German Nutella. My sister brought it back from Germany back when it was hard to find Nutella in the US (mid 80s). I also had it when I visited Germany in the early 90s.
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Re: Food products I don't use.

Postby rrnate » Mon Nov 12, 2012 6:29 pm

Things I avoid include:

BPA (Bisphenol A, found in canned goods) - sounds like the jury is out on if it's actually harmful or not, but if it IS, the stuff it might do sounds bad enough that I'm happy to avoid it. I mostly avoid canned stuff anyway but found myself often cooking with "crushed tomatoes" that were marked organic but packaged with this stuff; I've since changed brands.

Packaged Soup that isn't a "low in sodium" product - pretty mind blowing how much salt there is in most pre-fab soups.

Candy - pretty much all packaged candy (Snickers, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, etc.) all tastes the same to me. Not sure if I had a mouth stroke or what, but it's probably for the best.

Soda/Pop/Whatever - other than the occasional can of ginger beer that gets mixed with scotch, I avoid this too. That crazy dude in NYC might be on to something.

Canned Vegetables - how is this still a thing?

After multiple years of what I hope is mostly non-irritating food nerdism that has mostly just lead to me doing a lot of cooking, just about all pre-fab foods seem kind of gross to me.
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Re: Food products I don't use.

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Mon Nov 12, 2012 6:50 pm

rrnate wrote:Packaged Soup that isn't a "low in sodium" product - pretty mind blowing how much salt there is in most pre-fab soups.
I presume by "packaged" you mean something other than a can, right? Got any good recommendations? Most of the low sodium stuff I've had is either tasteless or they just jacked up the fat content to compensate.

Cuz yeah, I love soup, but holy shit -- what's with all the freaking salt? The numbers are usually ridiculous for a can of soup before taking into account that a can supposedly has two servings. (Seriously -- who the heck only eats half a can of soup? My entire life I've always had a can of soup as a light lunch. Half a can would barely be a snack.)

I know from my own experience cooking it that you do not need to add salt to soup to make it tasty. Certainly not chicken soup, which tends to be the saltiest prefab stuff. After all, there's already sodium in chicken!

My best recommendation: Tomato Mountain makes the most fabulous tomato (and shallot) soup I have ever tasted. And it's relatively low in sodium -- only 500mg in the whole jar, and it's so rich and creamy, getting two servings out of it is no problem.
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Re: Food products I don't use.

Postby rrnate » Mon Nov 12, 2012 6:56 pm

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:
rrnate wrote:Packaged Soup that isn't a "low in sodium" product - pretty mind blowing how much salt there is in most pre-fab soups.
I presume by "packaged" you mean something other than a can, right? Got any good recommendations? Most of the low sodium stuff I've had is either tasteless or they just jacked up the fat content to compensate.

Cuz yeah, I love soup, but holy shit -- what's with all the freaking salt? The numbers are usually ridiculous for a can of soup before taking into account that a can supposedly has two servings. (Seriously -- who the heck only eats half a can of soup? My entire life I've always had a can of soup as a light lunch. Half a can would barely be a snack.)


Yeah, I actually meant any kind of packaging, so totes cans. (Not sure why there has been a surprisingly large amount of soups in boxes at local grocery stores lately, but I suspect it's more or less a packaging gimmick?)

Amy's Organic line of foods has pretty solid low(ish) sodium soups, IMO - http://www.amys.com/health/special-diets/sodium (you have to scroll down a bit to get to the soups). I've had pretty much all of these and they're uniformly delicious (though vegetarian).

When I'm making the soup, I have found that I do need a little salt to make the flavors "pop", but I always wait 'til the very end to put it in. (I tend to use homemade veggie stock, so it's very not salty to begin with.)
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Re: Food products I don't use.

Postby fennel » Mon Nov 12, 2012 6:59 pm

I suggest cayenne pepper in small amounts. Even for folks who don't care for heat, a very small amount lessens the need for salt.
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Re: Food products I don't use.

Postby rrnate » Mon Nov 12, 2012 7:06 pm

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:My best recommendation: Tomato Mountain makes the most fabulous tomato (and shallot) soup I have ever tasted. And it's relatively low in sodium -- only 500mg in the whole jar, and it's so rich and creamy, getting two servings out of it is no problem.


Oh man, I am totally going to check this out. I've seen these at the store before but never made the plunge. Have you had their salsa and is it good?

Related thing I don't buy anymore - regular Tabasco sauce. It's Habanero Tabasco or NO BUY for me.
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Re: Food products I don't use.

Postby rrnate » Mon Nov 12, 2012 7:09 pm

fennel wrote:I suggest cayenne pepper in small amounts. Even for folks who don't care for heat, a very small amount lessens the need for salt.


Heh - a fennel pepper recommendation!

This is an excellent suggestion and I can "second" it. Not only does it work, Cayenne is a far more healthy option!

However, my wife is literally the best "heat detector" that humankind has ever seen, in that the smallest bit of something even relatively harmless like Cayenne will render food inedible to her.
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Re: Food products I don't use.

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Mon Nov 12, 2012 7:17 pm

rrnate wrote:
Prof. Wagstaff wrote:My best recommendation: Tomato Mountain makes the most fabulous tomato (and shallot) soup I have ever tasted.
Have you had their salsa and is it good?

Yes. They are fantastic.
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Re: Food products I don't use.

Postby Meade » Mon Nov 12, 2012 8:48 pm

I never use food products labeled "low fat" or "no fat". Why bother? That would be like buying fuel for my car labeled "low gasoline".
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