Food for Thought

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Food for Thought

Post by strife » Fri Aug 10, 2018 12:48 pm

This Economist piece is a year old, but I don't this it was ever posted here.

"WHAT is soppressata? Google searches for the Italian meat surged last week, thanks to a column by David Brooks in the New York Times in which he recounted an awkward lunch at an upscale delicatessen with “a friend with only a high-school degree”. Upon suspecting that his less-credentialed companion might have felt alienated by a menu which listed ingredients such as “soppressata, capicollo and ... striata baguettes”, Mr Brooks and his colleague then retreated to a Mexican restaurant, which he surmised would constitute a class-neutral haven.

Mr Brooks used this anecdote to highlight a broader argument: that cultural social barriers, such as differences in what people eat, contribute just as much to inequality as economic trends and government policies do. Snarky commenters on social media—many of them the sort of educated coastal liberals who might frequent gourmet sandwich shops — promptly tore into Mr Brooks, both for his theory and his anecdote. But whereas proving that there is a causal link between social mobility and salami savvy is difficult, it appears that Mr Brooks’ general observation that Americans’ culinary preferences vary by social class rings true. [ ... ]"

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Re: Food for Thought

Post by Steve_in_Exile » Fri Aug 10, 2018 12:57 pm

No fucking way I'm eating sushi or prosciutto--I am with the "less credentialed" on that.

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Re: Food for Thought

Post by strife » Fri Aug 10, 2018 12:59 pm

Steve_in_Exile wrote:
Fri Aug 10, 2018 12:57 pm
No fucking way I'm eating sushi or prosciutto--I am with the "less credentialed" on that.
Why not?
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Re: Food for Thought

Post by Steve_in_Exile » Fri Aug 10, 2018 1:04 pm

I don't like raw food, especially raw pork. I'm OK with sushi that doesn't contain raw fish. I don't like the texture of raw fish and I also find it flavorless.

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Re: Food for Thought

Post by strife » Fri Aug 10, 2018 1:07 pm

Steve_in_Exile wrote:
Fri Aug 10, 2018 1:04 pm
I don't like raw food, especially raw pork. I'm OK with sushi that doesn't contain raw fish. I don't like the texture of raw fish and I also find it flavorless.
We have different ideas of 'raw' - I don't consider cured meat to be raw. Granted, a lot of sushi does contain raw fish, but it's safe. Fair objection on the texture and taste - those are subjective, obviously, and I disagree. That's not a moral judgment though. I don't consider you a Horrible Person for them.
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Re: Food for Thought

Post by Curtis E Wipe » Fri Aug 10, 2018 1:22 pm

The left used to care about poor people. Now, many of them care more whether their raddichio is organic, sustainable, and farm-to-table.
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Re: Food for Thought

Post by Steve_in_Exile » Fri Aug 10, 2018 1:24 pm

strife wrote:
Fri Aug 10, 2018 1:07 pm
a lot of sushi does contain raw fish, but it's safe
I don't think it's 100% safe. I don't think that's completely accurate.

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Re: Food for Thought

Post by DCComic » Fri Aug 10, 2018 1:24 pm

Curtis E Wipe wrote:
Fri Aug 10, 2018 1:22 pm
The left used to care about poor people. Now, many of them care more whether their raddichio is organic, sustainable, and farm-to-table.
The right used to not give a blind fuck about anybody but themselves.
Now they don't give a blind fuck about anybody but themselves.
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Re: Food for Thought

Post by Curtis E Wipe » Fri Aug 10, 2018 1:26 pm

DCComic wrote:
Fri Aug 10, 2018 1:24 pm
Curtis E Wipe wrote:
Fri Aug 10, 2018 1:22 pm
The left used to care about poor people. Now, many of them care more whether their raddichio is organic, sustainable, and farm-to-table.
The right used to not give a blind fuck about anybody but themselves.
Now they don't give a blind fuck about anybody but themselves.
I agree. The left used to fill in the gap.
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Re: Food for Thought

Post by strife » Fri Aug 10, 2018 1:28 pm

Curtis E Wipe wrote:
Fri Aug 10, 2018 1:22 pm
The left used to care about poor people. Now, many of them care more whether their raddichio is organic, sustainable, and farm-to-table.
Yes, that's the Decadence. I don't consider Living Well to be a leftist thing, which is why I don't call myself a leftist.
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Re: Food for Thought

Post by DCComic » Fri Aug 10, 2018 1:36 pm

Meanwhile, some people prefer the security of eating in places where everything on the menu is familiar.
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Re: Food for Thought

Post by VinnyD » Fri Aug 10, 2018 2:03 pm

When did capicola become upscale? Is mortadella also upscale these days?

I wonder if the Brooks anecdote is true. If so, like most Brooks anecdotes, it only tells us something about David Brooks, and nothing about the world.

I don't think I have eaten sushi in the last five years. Not sure about prosciutto. Yes to Mexican food.

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Re: Food for Thought

Post by Chip_Oatley » Fri Aug 10, 2018 2:05 pm

I think it's too simplistic.

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Re: Food for Thought

Post by VinnyD » Fri Aug 10, 2018 2:14 pm

I have only read the bit of the article quoted in the OP.

Does the article claim that class differences in diet are greater now than in the past? If so, does it supply any data in support of that claim?

If the answer to either question is "No", then I say the article isn't worth the time it took to write it, or even the time it would take toread it.

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Re: Food for Thought

Post by birdlite » Fri Aug 10, 2018 2:42 pm

Chip_Oatley wrote:
Fri Aug 10, 2018 2:05 pm
I think it's too simplistic.
Agreed. I think it shows trends about...Italian meat names.
When they write that Republicans don't eat as much Indian food, they don't follow up by looking at how many rural v. urban people eat Indian food. My sense is that it is less about political affiliation than it is about availability..which does lead to familiarity. For example, if you surveyed Iowa Republicans, I bet you would see more of those Republicans who live near Fairfield,Iowa eat more Indian food than those who live near Algona, Iowa.

I could go on. It's interesting, and may open discussions, but I would hate to make decisions on it.

Oh, and David Brooks is an ass.

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Re: Food for Thought

Post by Chip_Oatley » Fri Aug 10, 2018 2:48 pm

Yes, availability leading to familiarity.

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Re: Food for Thought

Post by eric84 » Fri Aug 10, 2018 2:50 pm

Curtis E Wipe wrote:
Fri Aug 10, 2018 1:26 pm
DCComic wrote:
Fri Aug 10, 2018 1:24 pm
Curtis E Wipe wrote:
Fri Aug 10, 2018 1:22 pm
The left used to care about poor people. Now, many of them care more whether their raddichio is organic, sustainable, and farm-to-table.
The right used to not give a blind fuck about anybody but themselves.
Now they don't give a blind fuck about anybody but themselves.
I agree. The left used to fill in the gap.
Did those people who now think about raddichio really care about poor people before? I kinda doubt it.
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Re: Food for Thought

Post by Godjira » Fri Aug 10, 2018 2:54 pm

Soppressata is working class where I come from.
That's the kind of bold flavor they enjoy in Albuquerque!

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Re: Food for Thought

Post by Shavenhead » Fri Aug 10, 2018 2:57 pm

This thread is making me nauseous.
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Re: Food for Thought

Post by Godjira » Fri Aug 10, 2018 2:57 pm

Except it’s pronounced “supra sod”
That's the kind of bold flavor they enjoy in Albuquerque!

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Re: Food for Thought

Post by Ped_Yai » Fri Aug 10, 2018 3:01 pm

There's also an old article from I forget where about a college professor who did not know how to talk to his plumber.

I was reading a book last week called "The Sum of Small Things" about how "How the leisure class has been replaced by a new elite, and how their consumer habits affect us all".

Prosciutto vs. Mexican sort of fits in there. Although the first time (one of two) I ever heard a discourse on prosciutto, in which capicola was also explained, was from my Italian football playing roommate in college. His father was a floor installer who butchered his own meat.

The second time was in Madrid when there was Andalusian ham and melon on the menu. I asked the waiter if Andalusian ham was like prosciutto. He told me to wait a minute and he'd come back in a free moment and explain.

He gave me a long explanation of "Prosciutto de Parma" and how it was made, and then Andalusian ham and how it was made (the same way). Having thoroughly explained how they're basically the same, he concluded by stating "Andalusian ham is better."

Anyway "The Sum of Small Things" made some interesting points, some of which had been covered by Brooks in "Bobos in Paradise", but made gross and sometimes ridiculous generalizations.

I finally gave up when the author discussed the cost of housing in San Francisco, and how it was double the cost in "smaller" cities such as Philadelphia, Dallas, Houston, and one other one I cannot recall. Smaller? Where was the editor on that one?
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Re: Food for Thought

Post by Godjira » Fri Aug 10, 2018 3:08 pm

Capacola sounds less fancy when pronounced gabba-gool.
That's the kind of bold flavor they enjoy in Albuquerque!

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Re: Food for Thought

Post by Curtis E Wipe » Fri Aug 10, 2018 3:52 pm

VinnyD wrote:
Fri Aug 10, 2018 2:03 pm
When did capicola become upscale? Is mortadella also upscale these days?
Yes, and pimento loaf.
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Re: Food for Thought

Post by strife » Fri Aug 10, 2018 3:56 pm

All processed Italian meats were exotic to me growing up.
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Re: Food for Thought

Post by ben_hanscombe » Fri Aug 10, 2018 3:58 pm

Godjira wrote:
Fri Aug 10, 2018 3:08 pm
Capacola sounds less fancy when pronounced gabba-gool.
Exactly. I know the word from watching The Sopranos with the subtitles on.
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Re: Food for Thought

Post by Curtis E Wipe » Fri Aug 10, 2018 4:01 pm

DCComic wrote:
Fri Aug 10, 2018 1:36 pm
Meanwhile, some people prefer the security of eating in places where everything on the menu is familiar.
Yes? And?

I can see why people from the working class could see how food isn't something to experiment with, but something to enjoy with family. There's a certain brilliance to chain sit-down types of the Ruby Tuesdays variety. After a hard week of work, you don't have to quibble over menus deciding where to go. Everyone in the family can find something that suits them. Pop can have a couple of beers. And it won't break the bank.

Trying the new crudo with celery root foam is a luxury for those with the time and disposable income to care.
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Re: Food for Thought

Post by mad hatter » Fri Aug 10, 2018 4:08 pm

funny

sushi is very common here even in small townd these days.

prosciuto not so common and relatively expensive.

Mexican more exotic because its not right next door.



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Re: Food for Thought

Post by VinnyD » Fri Aug 10, 2018 4:32 pm

Tony Soprano was an awful snob.

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Re: Food for Thought

Post by Moethebartender » Fri Aug 10, 2018 7:38 pm

Tony Soprano was a fictional character, VD poster.

I'd suggest it has more to do with culture than it does to do with bankroll. A poor kid from an Italian background will likely be very familiar with the Italian meats above. The average guy walking around Detroit, quite possibly less so. My boss, who is a black guy from the South is from a very affluent family and went to college for a time in Blighty. When we went to a relatively upscale Italian restaurant recently, he ordered "pasta with meat sauce" - he wasn't familiar with anything else on the menu. Iit's not because he grew up poor or even that he was uncultured, it's just that it wasn't a cuisine that he's terribly familiar with and didn't grow up with. While I'd probably fare better because I'm traveled in the South, I can well imagine that I'd be somewhat overwhelmed in some Cajun restaurant whose cuisine he knows like the back hand, whereas I have a more limited experience with it. So I think I'm largely agreeing with Chip. I think Curt makes a fair point that when you're on a budget and providing for the family is a priority, you're not going to be experimenting with the unfamiliar as much.
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Re: Food for Thought

Post by Higgs Bossom » Fri Aug 10, 2018 8:09 pm

DCComic wrote:
Fri Aug 10, 2018 1:24 pm
The right used to not give a blind fuck about anybody but themselves.
Now they don't give a blind fuck about anybody but themselves.
And yet, people like you always seem surprised about that.

Just like some people here want to know why I don't criticize the Republicans as much as I do Democrats. That is easy, because Republicans act like I expect. Why should I be upset at a group for behaving like I know & expect them to act? I expect them to carry water for big businesses & the wealthy. & to pander to religious social conservatives. I don't expect Republicans to go after bankers playing fast & loose with the rules.

By the way, how many bankers did Obama go after again as a result of the financial meltdown?

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Re: Food for Thought

Post by BulletPark » Fri Aug 10, 2018 8:11 pm

I agree - it has to do with levels of exposure overall and not social or financial background. I have eaten all three things on the above list numerous times and know how to order them but I would be more or less at sea in a Cantonese or Ethiopian or Persian restaurant.

In Dublin, of course, I always order the bowl of oat vomit with mowed lawn on top. New York Matinee called it "a playful but mysterious little dish".

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Re: Food for Thought

Post by DCComic » Fri Aug 10, 2018 8:14 pm

Higgs Bossom wrote:
Fri Aug 10, 2018 8:09 pm
DCComic wrote:
Fri Aug 10, 2018 1:24 pm
The right used to not give a blind fuck about anybody but themselves.
Now they don't give a blind fuck about anybody but themselves.
And yet, people like you always seem surprised about that.
We're divided by a common language.
I'm not even slightly surprised and I'ver no idea how you read that I am.

The point of my post was it's context.
You missed that.
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Re: Food for Thought

Post by Curtis E Wipe » Fri Aug 10, 2018 8:50 pm

Yeah, and “level of exposure” has nothing to do with education, social class, or finances.
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Re: Food for Thought

Post by BulletPark » Fri Aug 10, 2018 8:57 pm

Curtis E Wipe wrote:
Fri Aug 10, 2018 8:50 pm
Yeah, and “level of exposure” has nothing to do with education, social class, or finances.
You're right!

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Re: Food for Thought

Post by flojin » Fri Aug 10, 2018 9:00 pm

Steve_in_Exile wrote:
Fri Aug 10, 2018 1:04 pm
I don't like raw food, especially raw pork. I'm OK with sushi that doesn't contain raw fish. I don't like the texture of raw fish and I also find it flavorless.
Fun fact: undercooked pork used to be a vector for trichinosis in the US. An entire generation grew up terrified and generally cooked the shit out of pork.

The government finally stepped in and regulated how pigs were raised and trichinosis is no longer a threat from pork.

Also, cured meat is not raw. Salami is also cured.
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Re: Food for Thought

Post by Steve_in_Exile » Fri Aug 10, 2018 9:39 pm

flojin wrote:
Fri Aug 10, 2018 9:00 pm
Also, cured meat is not raw. Salami is also cured
Raw means not cooked, and both prosciutto and salami are not cooked, thus they definitely are raw meat. They are both cured and raw. Although I will admit that I am inconsistent on this issue because I do eat salami but won't eat prosciutto.

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Re: Food for Thought

Post by Lost Soul » Fri Aug 10, 2018 9:46 pm

The smart people are pounding down the Mexican food.
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Re: Food for Thought

Post by VinnyD » Fri Aug 10, 2018 9:52 pm

In Italy, prosciutto crudo, raw prosciutto, means what we call prosciutto. Prosciutto cotto, cooked prosciutto, means what we call ham.

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Re: Food for Thought

Post by Lost Soul » Fri Aug 10, 2018 9:54 pm

Spain has some awesome raw hams too. I forget the name, but they are tasty.
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Re: Food for Thought

Post by VinnyD » Fri Aug 10, 2018 9:58 pm

There are two that I know of, jamón serrano and jamón iberico.

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Re: Food for Thought

Post by Curtis E Wipe » Fri Aug 10, 2018 10:14 pm

As much as I love pork products, I prefer to stay away from the ass of the pig. Maria Schneider would understand.
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Re: Food for Thought

Post by andybox » Fri Aug 10, 2018 10:18 pm

Sushi is one of life’s great pleasures.
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Re: Food for Thought

Post by section8 » Fri Aug 10, 2018 10:19 pm

Steve_in_Exile wrote:
Fri Aug 10, 2018 9:39 pm
flojin wrote:
Fri Aug 10, 2018 9:00 pm
Also, cured meat is not raw. Salami is also cured
Raw means not cooked, and both prosciutto and salami are not cooked, thus they definitely are raw meat. They are both cured and raw. Although I will admit that I am inconsistent on this issue because I do eat salami but won't eat prosciutto.
Salami is also fermented.
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Re: Food for Thought

Post by flojin » Fri Aug 10, 2018 10:24 pm

There's an old Italian place down the street from where I live that has the best prosciutto I've ever had. It's incredible. Wrap a chunk of melon in that and you've got a perfect summertime snack.
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Re: Food for Thought

Post by cuchulainn » Fri Aug 10, 2018 10:24 pm

Whether cured or cooked, sausage is not raw. The curing process kills bacteria.

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Re: Food for Thought

Post by Ped_Yai » Fri Aug 10, 2018 10:34 pm

Lost Soul wrote:
Fri Aug 10, 2018 9:54 pm
Spain has some awesome raw hams too. I forget the name, but they are tasty.
You apparently didn't read what I wrote above:

The second time was in Madrid when there was Andalusian ham and melon on the menu. I asked the waiter if Andalusian ham was like prosciutto. He told me to wait a minute and he'd come back in a free moment and explain.

He gave me a long explanation of "Prosciutto de Parma" and how it was made, and then Andalusian ham and how it was made (the same way). Having thoroughly explained how they're basically the same, he concluded by stating "Andalusian ham is better."
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Re: Food for Thought

Post by Moethebartender » Fri Aug 10, 2018 11:07 pm

Prosciutto de Parma is fucking outstanding. If Steve prefers salami, no worries, more for me. The whole thing is based upon where the product originated and there are very strict regulations around it. Of course, none of this applies in Amerikkkka where there are no strict regulations around food, and what is called one thing in a restaurant might be an entirely different thing in reality. Especially when it comes to seafood, where some 70% of the shit sold in markets is mislabeled on purpose.
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Re: Food for Thought

Post by cuchulainn » Fri Aug 10, 2018 11:21 pm

Jamon de Iberico is better than Prosciutto de Parma.

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Re: Food for Thought

Post by strife » Fri Aug 10, 2018 11:30 pm

Pata negra.
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Food for Thought

Post by Godjira » Fri Aug 10, 2018 11:36 pm

In Japan, it’s called nama hamu, or raw ham.

Prosciutto is good because it sometimes doesn’t contain nitrates like other cured pork products.
That's the kind of bold flavor they enjoy in Albuquerque!

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