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Topic: Italian Food Is Overrated.
Username: LHMark
Posted 2003-09-20 21:22:38 and read 5434 times.

I, for one, am sick and tired of the decades of hype Italian cooking has recieved. I mean, it's good, but come on! It's amazing how many entrees you can make with four ingredients.

Every Italian-American will tell you that his or her mother/grandmother makes the best pasta sauce. They wax poetic about how Mama or Nona simmers it for hours and adds a secret list of ingredients passed on via oral tradition since the days of The Old Country. Invariably, the pasta is served (al dente) beneath a souplike, watery, acidic tomato broth. One would think it would at least be up to the quality of Prego ('80s slogan: "It's In There.")

I like Chicken French, but the name shoves an image into my head of the chef putting his tongue all over my food, and that makes me like it less.

I guess I'm in a ranty mood today. I just feel that most Italian food (by that, I mean the dishes we get in Italian restaurants and homes here in America) lacks the subtlety of flavor and texture inherent in much of the world's cuisine. It lacks the presentation of Asian dishes, the sweet/hot contrasts of Indian dishes, and the springy freshness of Mediterranean food. It's good, but there's better dining out there in this big ol' world.

Topic: RE: Italian Food Is Overrated.
Username: KROC
Posted 2003-09-20 21:27:13 and read 5417 times.

I, for one, am sick and tired of the decades of hype Italian cooking has recieved. I mean, it's good, but come on! It's amazing how many entrees you can make with four ingredients.

We totally agree.

Signed, Mexican Food

Topic: RE: Italian Food Is Overrated.
Username: MidnightMike
Posted 2003-09-20 21:28:53 and read 5425 times.


Very simple if you love cheese, then you will love Italian food, if not forget it. Depends of people's taste. My wife is from Japan, so her tastes is a little different (she is not crazy about cheese), me, I love "good" Italian food, "bad" Italian food pisses me off.

Topic: RE: Italian Food Is Overrated.
Username: CanyonBlue
Posted 2003-09-20 21:56:04 and read 5394 times.

Ya mean Spaghetti O's isn't quality Italian food??!!

Next thing you'll tell me is that Taco Bell isn't authentic Mexican......  Big grin

Topic: RE: Italian Food Is Overrated.
Username: Bobrayner
Posted 2003-09-21 01:04:46 and read 5357 times.

If you don't like what you're getting, go into the kitchen and make something better!
 Smile

Topic: RE: Italian Food Is Overrated.
Username: Fly727
Posted 2003-09-21 03:07:43 and read 5341 times.

LMAO !!

I love Italian food. Love the taste and the feeling of clogged arteries. If you get easily tired with pasta, cheese and salsa go Thai or fast food.

RM  Smile

Topic: RE: Italian Food Is Overrated.
Username: Jcs17
Posted 2003-09-21 03:44:33 and read 5342 times.

I love Italian food, I probably eat something Italian at least once a day--usually some kind of pasta dish from the cafeteria (surprisingly not too bad!). They may use the same four ingredients in every dish, but they are still the best four ingredients in the world!!! I'm a huge parm fan...eggplant, veal, or chicken.

Topic: RE: Italian Food Is Overrated.
Username: L-188
Posted 2003-09-21 05:27:59 and read 5319 times.

The problem with Italian food isn't the food itself.

But there are a lot of BAD cooks out there that think they can cook Italian.

The other thing is that you are better off going with recipies for a specific region of Italy rather then the generic italian recipies.

Topic: RE: Italian Food Is Overrated.
Username: Jwenting
Posted 2003-09-21 08:47:49 and read 5312 times.

the problem with Italian food is American cooks  Smile/happy/getting dizzy
oh wait, that's the problem with ALL quisines in America  Laugh out loud
Except Australian quisine of course, anyone can beat an Australian at that  Big thumbs up

Topic: RE: Italian Food Is Overrated.
Username: Jcs17
Posted 2003-09-21 10:33:11 and read 5285 times.

Jwenting, you forgot British cooks in your rant!  Big thumbs up

Topic: RE: Italian Food Is Overrated.
Username: Mx5_boy
Posted 2003-09-21 11:00:11 and read 5268 times.

LHMark,

The problem isn't with Italian cuisine it actually the Americanisation of Italian cuisine.

Italian cuisine in the USA is dreadful and exceptionally difficult to find a decent Italian restaurant. Similar things have happened here in Australia with homogenisation of regional cuisines, although we seem to have a reverse affinity for changeing that over the past ten years.

We still have the typical family run Italian restaurant in the suburbs that may be a bit ordinary (just like Australianised chinese restaurants) however that trend is changeing as more and more Aussies are opting for low cost good quality professional restaurants.

Go to Italy and some decent restaurants and a simple pasta al verde' will have you looking for more. Processed foods and intense farming take the natural taste from foods and more and more people want *taste* so the food manufacturers have to make sauces to cover the blandness of non organic foods.

Jwenting,

Not sure what you are saying about Australian cuisine but we don't really have one. What we do have is a mish mash of world cuisines and a number of brilliant chefs, both local and immigrant who have seized on the fact that our produce is so fresh and reliable that we can do anything without slobbering huge amounts of over processed and flavoured sauces.

Sure, Maccas, KFC and Hungry Jacks have their presence but they also have a Aussie flavour to them for the locals.

The average aussie family has gone from the Chops, chips and frozen vegies to Pasta, Stir Fry, Indian, Malaysian, Singaore noodles and steak once a week.

Although the multinationals are still trying to foist unwanted products on us. It's interesting to see that Boston Market is trying to build up a customer base here as an alternative to local aussie restaurants. Lone Star tried the same thing and it wasn't that popular. Why would anyone pay more than the local Thai restaurant for ordinary home cooked meals that Aussies can nip down to the supermarket and make themselves for 1/4 of the cost?

The average aussie can spot bullshit a mile away.

mb

*toybox* *daytime is playtime*

Topic: RE: Italian Food Is Overrated.
Username: KROC
Posted 2003-09-21 14:29:56 and read 5257 times.

I love Italian food, I probably eat something Italian at least once a day

Jcs, tossing your Italian Roommate's salad on a daily basis does not count as Italian food.

Topic: RE: Italian Food Is Overrated.
Username: JAL
Posted 2003-09-21 15:08:39 and read 5252 times.

What's wrong with Italian foods? They happen to be very good!!!

Topic: RE: Italian Food Is Overrated.
Username: Cptkrell
Posted 2003-09-21 15:29:03 and read 5253 times.

"The average aussie can spot bullshit a mile away"....does that mean Outback Steakhouse isn't popular in Australia? Not complaining about them (they are popular here in the U.S., and I've found the food good on my few visits, but I'm not entirely sure it's very "authentic").

BTW, Detroit is lucky enough to have several excellent Italian restaraunts, one, the Roma Cafe, is one of the oldest (if not the oldest established rest. in the community, and their fare is not only "traditional" but outstanding). Spaghetti with chicken livers is one of my favorites...o.k., maybe that's not traditional...jack

Topic: RE: Italian Food Is Overrated.
Username: Jaspike
Posted 2003-09-21 15:34:31 and read 5235 times.

Italian food is great. Loads better than KFC and that rubbish..

Josh

Topic: RE: Italian Food Is Overrated.
Username: Lstc
Posted 2003-09-21 16:12:50 and read 5242 times.

I, for one, am sick and tired of the decades of hype Italian cooking has recieved.



Writing off a whole genre of food because of the "hype"? We just witnessed an entire thread of "Whopper" versus "Big Mac". If you want to discuss hype, let's talk about what you can make with saturated fat, tons of MSG, over-processed cheese slices, and seaweed.....

And NO, I am not Italian.

Topic: RE: Italian Food Is Overrated.
Username: Alessandro
Posted 2003-09-21 18:29:50 and read 5216 times.

Spaghetti and Gelati (ice-cream) comes from China, so it´s not Italian.

Topic: RE: Italian Food Is Overrated.
Username: Jwenting
Posted 2003-09-21 19:28:01 and read 5210 times.

MX5, my father used to come in Australia regularly on business.
Australian quisine seemed to be "throw it on the grill and wait until it is black".
This was applied rigorously, even to McDonalds hamburgers.

Topic: RE: Italian Food Is Overrated.
Username: Turin_airport
Posted 2003-09-21 19:29:30 and read 5208 times.

LHMark, you are definitely right. 95% of what you can eat in U.S. as "Italian food" could be use as a (poor) meal for my dog.
Now I invite you to suspend your judgment until the day you'll come to visit Italy, and you will discover what Italian food is (probably the best in the world, IMO), how many different type of dishes and recipe you can taste (from appetizer to first main dish, from second main dish to cakes, each category with virtually hundreds of different recipes from twenty different regions. Not forgetting wines...).
For us food is not only something we need to survive: for us food is culture, tradition, knowledge.

Ciao!

T_a

P.S.: Alessandro, Chinese spaghetti, made of rice or soya, are a completely different thing from Italian spaghetti, made of grain and topped with thousands of different sauces. About gelati..., it's Italian, no way!

Topic: RE: Italian Food Is Overrated.
Username: Aloges
Posted 2003-09-21 19:35:48 and read 5206 times.

There are few things I like as much as Saltimbocca Romana, with Antipasti being one of them. When you discover how much more Italian food is out there than just Pasta and Pizza, you'll have a hard time to not at least like it.

Topic: RE: Italian Food Is Overrated.
Username: UPSfueler
Posted 2003-09-22 01:32:09 and read 5197 times.

Coming from a Italian background and being mainly Italian my self I have to stick up for my culture and say Italian food is the best IMO. I also have an Italian friend(moved from italy 8 years ago) and she makes the best pasta ever(haha), but really it is quite good. The best ive had since my grandma made it

Topic: RE: Italian Food Is Overrated.
Username: Srbmod
Posted 2003-09-22 02:04:36 and read 5199 times.

If you want to blame one person for crappy Italian food blame this guy:


Topic: RE: Italian Food Is Overrated.
Username: DaV
Posted 2003-09-22 02:36:24 and read 5184 times.

From a personal experience... never believe foreigns who'd like to sell their stuff for genuine Italian food!!

and the springy freshness of Mediterranean food.

Hope you are joking on that one...

Spaghetti and Gelati (ice-cream) comes from China, so it´s not Italian

The only debate over spaghetti is if the form was invented in southern Italy or in China, not the ingredients as T_a explained very well how different are the 2 products. And ice cream it's an Italian invention, in 3 different incarnation: gelato (made with milk), sorbetto (fruit, water and sugar, similar to gelato but without milk) and granita (minced ice, sugared water and juice -usually lemon/mint/watermelon-).

DaV

Topic: RE: Italian Food Is Overrated.
Username: Cptkrell
Posted 2003-09-22 03:34:09 and read 5179 times.

I was under the impression that Chef Hector Boyardi was a pretty decent Italian chef and his "mixes" became popular take-home items in the U.S. After being "discovered" and when packaging foodstuffs for the masses (ie: sanitary canning and distribution), he changed his product name to Boyardee to be more recognizable and pronouncible. I'm not saying that the brand name is by any means currently authentic Italian fare, but it seems to have been successful.

BTW, Lstc, when I was in Nice many years ago, a certain seaweed entree seemed to be a delicacy. But that, of course, was in France, not Italy..jack

Topic: RE: Italian Food Is Overrated.
Username: Mx5_boy
Posted 2003-09-22 14:01:10 and read 5143 times.

Ctpkrell:

""""The average aussie can spot bullshit a mile away"....does that mean Outback Steakhouse isn't popular in Australia? Not complaining about them (they are popular here in the U.S., and I've found the food good on my few visits, but I'm not entirely sure it's very "authentic"). """
______________________________________________________________

Sorry mate but we don't have the Outback Steakhouse in Australia. And I can assure you that the menu is NOT Aussie period. It was invented in your own country. As if we would have all those sickly sauces and cheese? What an insult.

_____________________________________________________________

Jwenting says:

"""MX5, my father used to come in Australia regularly on business.
Australian quisine seemed to be "throw it on the grill and wait until it is black".
This was applied rigorously, even to McDonalds hamburgers."""
______________________________________________________________

Maybe some bad suburban BBQ's but I never see blackened food at the restaurants that I go to? Your dad is full of it.

Besides the generic KFC, Hungry Jacks, Maccas, Pizza Hut, Domino's and a spattering of maybe 3 Taco Bells (no one here likes it) in Sydney the only other chain restaurants we have is maybe 3 Chili's, a couple of Hogs Breath, a couple of Sizzlers, a couple of Lone Star's and maybe 2 Denny's - the latest attempt being Boston Market which is failing miserably.

We just don't eat chain restaurant food. It's terrible.

mb

*toybox* *daytime is playtime*

Topic: RE: Italian Food Is Overrated.
Username: Matt D
Posted 2003-09-22 15:01:16 and read 5137 times.

Fast as lightning, KROC sends JCS down in disgrace.

Topic: RE: Italian Food Is Overrated.
Username: Ryanb741
Posted 2003-09-22 15:23:22 and read 5131 times.

Actually I'm a bit of a foodie and I can categorically state that Australia (Sydney and Melbourne in particular) has some awesome restaurants and top notch chefs. Australian chefs took the 'fusion cuisine' forward first. It's not all snags on the barbie!

In particular, the use of Oriental flavours in contemporary Australian/British style cuisine is an Aussie forte. David Thompson and Russell Armstrong are 2 notable Aussie Chefs. Also, Australia has some incredible seafood offerings - all that coastline brings an incredible variety of fish, shellfish etc.

And as for British cuisine being bad - well yes maybe the old school but remember that after Paris London has the most Michelin starred restaurants on the planet, so the grub clearly isn't that bad. You just need to make the effort to go out to a nice restaurant and order with an open, intelligent mind. Unless of course Taco Bell and Mc Shit really does float your boat.....

Topic: RE: Italian Food Is Overrated.
Username: JAL777
Posted 2003-09-22 18:35:00 and read 5122 times.

Mx5_boy:

OUTBACK STEAKHOUSE
Lot 4, 1190 Old Windsor Road
Parklea, Sydney 2768 NSW
Australia
Telephone: + 61 2 8824 5012
Fax: + 61 2 8824 5013
E-mail: raz@outbacksteakhouse.com.au
Website: www.outbacksteakhouse.com.au


And you'll be even HAPPIER to note that they are planning on opening MORE! Big grin

[Edited 2003-09-22 18:52:29]

Topic: RE: Italian Food Is Overrated.
Username: JAL777
Posted 2003-09-22 18:51:02 and read 5115 times.

We just don't eat chain restaurant food. It's terrible.

Hmmmm... according to McDonald's website:

McDonald's opened its first restaurant in Australia in December 1971. Today there are more than 680 restaurants throughout Australia.

Australia has a population of more than 18 million people. McDonald's restaurants in Australia serve more than 1 million customers a day.


Sure seems like Australian's hate McDonald's.

Topic: RE: Italian Food Is Overrated.
Username: Teva
Posted 2003-09-22 19:21:15 and read 5101 times.

Mx5_boy explained it very well:

Bad Italian food is overrated.
But a real Italian food is under rated.
And it is much diverse than people think.

Vitello Tonnato (veal with a tuna sauce) is exquisite.
Once, in a little city next to MXP, I had this:
Il petto di faraona su carotine e porri novelli con profumo di erbette
I cannot translate in English (In French, I can). But I can assure you it was fabulous. And it is not something you get everyday, even if this restaurant was not very expensive.

Teva

Topic: RE: Italian Food Is Overrated.
Username: Jwenting
Posted 2003-09-22 19:23:29 and read 5100 times.

MX5, he ate at peoples' homes, as well as star rated restaurants including the Hilton...

Don't judge people you don't know. My father wouldn't go into a bad restaurant knowingly, and in a strange city would likely stick to the ones recommended by business associates.

Topic: RE: Italian Food Is Overrated.
Username: Mx5_boy
Posted 2003-09-23 12:29:08 and read 5083 times.

Jal777 shows:

***OUTBACK STEAKHOUSE
Lot 4, 1190 Old Windsor Road
Parklea, Sydney 2768 NSW
Australia
Telephone: + 61 2 8824 5012
Fax: + 61 2 8824 5013
E-mail: raz@outbacksteakhouse.com.au
Website: www.outbacksteakhouse.com.au***
________________________________________________________________

Good lord! I can't beleive the yanks are trying to export so called American cover up food to aussies. Even though Parklea is probably one of the trashiest suburbs in Sydney. Real white trash and trailer parks to boot.

LOL

Same sort of suburbs which the few Chili's and other chain restaurants are..

Can't wait to tell the guys at work.

mb

Topic: RE: Italian Food Is Overrated.
Username: LHMark
Posted 2003-09-23 14:16:53 and read 5081 times.

I'm in full agreement with MX_5 on Outback Steak House. I don't like to be condescended at and have my intelligence insulted with a plastic faux Australian act when I pay $20 for a meal. Same goes for most chains (Chili's, T.G.I.Fridays, Bugaboo Creek - like Outback, but faux Canadan, etc.)

Topic: RE: Italian Food Is Overrated.
Username: Mx5_boy
Posted 2003-09-24 12:50:20 and read 5053 times.

LHMark,

LOL

Your right on that. But what is offensive is that some people in the USA actually believe that is the *aussie food*. Surely they couldn't be that brainwashed as to believe that? My friends in LA threatened to take me to the OBSS for dinner and I took control and went to the places I knew in the area that had organic food and did a good old aussie BBQ with natural unadulterated produce.

The result was brilliant. No-one felt the need to slather cheese or crappy processed sauces over the food I cooked and all were impressed.

Besides being a food snob, what get's me is the really hard sell of *American Chain Restaurants* here in Australia to get market share. So many have failed miserably and will continue to do so. I guess the difference here is that we know that Macca's, Pizza Hut, KFC and Dominoes is American fast food. Ditto to Chili's, Denny's and Lonestar.. However people soon realise that the meals they are paying sometimes $18.00 AUD for a steak dinner is a ripoff compared to their local pub or registerd club. So for some a trip to the Denny's or Lonestar is a *novelty* not a way of life.

I can go to a pub within a 5 minute walk that will give me a $5.00 AUD roast on a sunday with a large plate of Roast beef, lamb, chicken or pork, roast potatoes, onion, pumpkin, peas or beans with lashings of home made gravy.

These kind of places are everywhere in Sydney, which is why *chain restaurants* are simply not popular here.

Previously when travelling around the USA I would choose a greasy spoon diner over a chain restaurant ANYDAY. Chicken fried steak or big juicy pork chops with fries and coleslaw.. *yay* Or a big stack of pancakes with suasage, *real maple* syrup and sunny side eggs.

The big chains have made these places next to near impossible to find without a guide in many American cities!

Hoo Roo!

mb


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