Plant Based Meats- a mini rant

Discussion in 'Food and Drink' started by bixby, Nov 18, 2021.

  1. Armaegis

    Armaegis Friend

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    As a kid growing up in an Asian household but in a very not-Asian neighbourhood, I never understood why kids on tv hated their vegetables. Then when I went for my first sleepover (I think I was 8), my dad told me that not only would they be serving meals individually on plates, but also their vegetables would be mushy and greyish, but I should just smile and eat it and not say anything. That was a valuable lesson.

    Now I hate to generalize... but seriously a lot of y'all have no idea how to cook vegetables.
     
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  2. loadexfa

    loadexfa Friend

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    This white person would like generalize and point out ... white people are the worst. :D
     
  3. Beefy

    Beefy Almost "Made"

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    I remember my grandma feeding me boiled peas. And yes, they were always horrible grey mush. Damn white folks....
     
  4. dasman66

    dasman66 Self proclaimed lazy ass - friend

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    mine fed me disintegrating broccoli
     
  5. mitochondrium

    mitochondrium Friend

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    so you are saying Ersatz meat is like audio. Only in audio we have the amirites who think they have found an infallible method how to judge quality :)
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2021
  6. mitochondrium

    mitochondrium Friend

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    i think you have to divide white people into different sub groups. At least in Europe there are countries with a strong culinary culture and there are countries where culinary culture is weak. Funny thing is this is linked to religion. It is highly likely culinary tradition and culture is strong in a RC country whereas it is highly unlikely in the Protestant countries. Not a surprise at all if you visit RC or Protestant churches you get a clear impression who is (also) catering for the senses and who does not.
     
  7. Thad E Ginathom

    Thad E Ginathom Friend

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    I've got to stick up for the white people here! We (Brits, at least)mostly stopped turning vegetables into mush by about 1959. OK, maybe... 1964.

    Fake food. Don't care for it, unless it has some good quality in its own right, wouldn't ever buy it. There was some imitation-veal thing I used to enjoy about forty years ago: we ate it because we liked it, not because it was or wasn't.

    If the chemists come up with an artificial meat that is a great experience to eat, I'll go for it. I haven't tried any of the latest stuff mentioned here, but it looks as if I should not hold my breath.

    I'd love to think that I could eat without contributing to the mass torture of millions of creatures every day (but... does a carrot have no feelings?) and it would be easy to follow the heart into a vegetarian diet. I am not one of those to whom a meal is incomplete without meat: I love all sorts of veggie food, both western and Indian.

    Trouble is, a meal can be complete without meat, but a week can't. Somehow my body kicks up the demand for its dead-creature food.
     
  8. yotacowboy

    yotacowboy McRibs Kind of Guy

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    Maybe a better way to put it is that plant-based meat is priced like a luxury good. Cost is not a good indication of quality.
     
  9. purr1n

    purr1n On vacation

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    LOL, it's like what I say about white people who say they hate tofu. I wouldn't eat that shit either the way they prepare it.

    There was also this one time where someone gave me the evil eye outside of a Whole Foods when I commented that this Indian dish tasted wrong, that it was made by white health nuts who had no idea how the real thing tasted like.

    Also, the 28 varieties of greens that my grandmother cooked - they can't grow in Europe.
     
  10. Armaegis

    Armaegis Friend

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    This has me thinking a little bit... Is there any correlation/causation here between the stereotype of badly cooked vegetables and those who immigrated post world wars (or who spent a generation in depression) and perhaps lost that knowledge of how to cook veggies (or maybe the veggies were different or some other related factor)?

    I don't know about the rests of the world, but I feel like the stereotype is very strongly a North American thing.
     
  11. loadexfa

    loadexfa Friend

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    I have run into this problem so often with Indian recipes online. I find way too many that are from white people that apparently don’t know what Indian cooking is supposed to taste like. Drives me nuts and wastes so much food.
     
  12. Tchoupitoulas

    Tchoupitoulas Friend

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    Family members tell me we stopped boiling beef around, then, too.

    Whole Foods' Indian dishes are a travesty; somehow they manage to pull off the weird trick of making the food smell enticing but be utterly tasteless. And it's not just Indian food. Pre-prepared food from Whole Foods is uniformly bland. It's as though they're scared of seasoning.

    That's an interesting idea. Is it religion, though, or climate and, by extension, quality fresh ingredients? The further north you go from the Mediterranean, the more likely you are to find boiled veggies. France represents a complex, intermediary zone: at once sunny south and frozen north, predominantly Catholic but also a site for the wars of the reformation and historically home a large Protestant population, and with food that, for the most part, is excellent but that also has its share of misses.

    It's an interesting question. I think there's something to be said for the persistence of poverty in Britain when it comes to boiled veggies; diet wasn't great for the working class until the second half of the twentieth century, and very few members of the working class could afford meat and, to a certain extent, fresh veggies. A lot of fruit and veg were canned/tinned, and I wonder if this contributed to the fad for over-boiled vegetables.

    It's worth remembering that a lack of access to high-quality foodstuffs persisted through the depression and into the post-war period of prolonged austerity, especially with rationing, which only came to an end in 1954. My mother was born in 1944. She remembers fondly the special treat that was an orange as a Christmas gift (it was one of the most expensive gifts she received). For far too many, rationing actually improved their diet and access to foodstuffs.

    Britain has a reputation for poor cuisine that's in part well deserved and also, in some cases, unfounded. I'll spare you the robust defense of British food except to mention that growing up middle class in the UK in the 80s-90s, my family seldom if ever ate in restaurants. We did so only for birthdays. The same could be said for my friends and neighbors. Affordable restaurants were pretty shit; there wasn't a culture of eating out regularly as there was in the US. There were plenty of high-end beaneries in London, to be sure. But for most visitors to the UK, for most of the 20th century, the food in restaurants would have been bloody awful.

    EDIT: to get us back on topic (and my apologies for the off-topic), it's pretty odd that a century ago, few people could afford meat whereas now, so-called "food deserts" are places where there are few opportunities to get fresh fruit or vegetables, and now there are also the expensive options of buying plant-based foods that mimic meat...
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2021
  13. Thad E Ginathom

    Thad E Ginathom Friend

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    b.1952.

    I think there was some rationing on one or two things that extended thus far. Effectively, I don't remember rationing. (mind you, I was only 2 in '54).

    The effect of the war-time years on my parents was frugality.

    There's nothing wrong with boiling vegetables, although it's often better to steam, but that boiled-to-sludge tradition was awful.

    A lot of Indian curry has the life cooked out of it too. And the flavour of chilli cooked into it. Big country: many culinary traditions. My first impressions of some South Indian food was that they managed to combine bland with super-chilly-hot! I still don't like more than just a little chilli.

    My growing up diet was meat every day. Often a basic meat+potato+veg standard. My mum was a decent cook: no mush.

    BTW, mushy peas is a thing. Not one that I like.
     
  14. Cspirou

    Cspirou They call me Sparky

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    My wife is essentially vegetarian but she doesn't really get the fake meat thing

    "What's wrong with the black bean patty?"
     
  15. Biodegraded

    Biodegraded Friend

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    Tradition vs availability. In NZ my parents (both born there in the 1920s to parents who were themselves born there) cooked veggies as the Brits did, and also overcooked meat (and liked it that way) well past 1959. This was nothing to do with wartime rationing or unavailability of certain foods, as NZ grew all sorts of edible vegetables and animals through those years; it was more about coming from British traditions and having had it passed down that this was how food should be prepared. Up to and I think including the 1970s, purportedly the best selling book in the country (incl. the Holy Bible) was a thing called the Edmonds Cookbook, published by the local manufacturer of baking powder. Later editions did feature exotica like rice-based dishes, but very few examples (can't tell you exactly how many because Mrsdegraded threw my copy away in horror some years ago).

    My father, now 98, is still eating the same sort of meat & 3 veg diet he's always eaten, but in the >quarter-century since he discovered the microwave the veggies have been prepared in a much more healthy and tasty fashion. But - trying desperately to come back to topic - I really doubt he could be persuaded to try any vegetable product pretending to be meat, even though he'd probably pan-fry the hell out of it just the same...
     
  16. purr1n

    purr1n On vacation

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    I call it white health neurotic suburban Californian person's idea of good food. It's not the seasonings - well it's that too. It's the fact that many Indian dishes have a bunch of ghee and fat. The good Indian restaurants kind of overdo it compared to home cooked stuff (thinking Shalimar up in the Bay Area), but that's what makes the restaurants' stuff different from home cooked stuff really.

    The problem is this with these types: healthy food cannot, must not, taste good.

    If that Indian dish were to taste much better or have more flavor that that streamed chicken breast over two sticks of asparagus with zero oils, then it must be "unhealthy".

    This is true in many ways, especially if one does not exercise portion management. Personally, I'll take the super rich foods, but less of it, and with less carbs (little bit less rice, and I can just eat a 1/4 to 1/2 of the nann). Bland food I find unhealthy for the soul.
     
  17. purr1n

    purr1n On vacation

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    On plant based meats...

    It's so dumb in a sense. My grandmother and my dad eventually became vegetarians. Stuff like setian, which I guess can be a "meat substitute" was pretty common. My meat intake was very minimal, only small quantities, and with practically zero beef, until I left the house.

    The white person's version of seitan looks utterly gross. Here, I found this through an Internet search:
    [​IMG]

    I don't know what the fuck that is above.

    When made from scratch, it's utterly delicious. Balls of gluten deep fried, puffed up, and then finished off in a pan, sauteed in a bit of sugar, rice wine, and soy sauce, maybe with some sliced shiitake mushrooms. I don't know WTF that is above at thespruceeats. That's not suitable for humans nor dogs.

    Of course seitan is made from wheat. Pure gluten. California nutjobs who are "allergic to gluten" can't eat this anyway. Feeling like shit because one ingested too many carbs isn't a gluten allergy. People who are truly allergic to gluten will break out in hives and stop breathing.

    Next time I make seitan, which my daughter loves, I'll post a pic.
     
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    Last edited: Nov 19, 2021
  18. Cspirou

    Cspirou They call me Sparky

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    I've noticed this with buckwheat flour. In britanny and Japan, buckwheat is refined just like wheat flour and used delicate soba noodles or crepes.

    In the USA finding this kind of buckwheat was impossible. Only the whole version, like whole-wheat flour, was available because buckwheat seems to be thought of as a healthy alternative to white flour.

    As a result most anything I found with buckwheat was unpleasant to eat.
     
  19. Boops

    Boops Friend

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    Yes please. It’s been a while but my wife would occasionally make seitan from scratch for use as a meat substitute in a lamb curry recipe from a Madhur Jaffrey cookbook. It was incredible.
     
  20. DrForBin

    DrForBin Friend

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    hello,

    tl/dr: one of those vegetarian freaks weighs in.

    ovo lacto vegetarian here, switched to this diet in 1971.

    i f*ckin' LOVE cheese, thus the lacto part. i also like a fried egg sandwich on an egg bun with ketchup, runny yolk for the win, thus the ovo part.

    about meat analoges: if you can suspend your expectations of these products tasting like the real thing you might have better luck. i cook with them to add protein. e.g. Beyond Beef Crumbles added to Marinara sauce or chilli, Field Roast Frankfurters cut-up into half round slices, cooked in butter (the lacto part) and scambled with eggs and sharp chedder (both parts.),
    MorningStar sausage links BAKED with baked eggs and bagels, Starbuck's Impossible Breakfast Sandwich at the start of a road trip.

    do they taste like meat? how would i know? i've been this way for 50 years. can they taste good? i think so. part of it is prep, part of it is expectations.

    what i really, really, really miss are things that live in the ocean with shells...crab, lobster, clams, ABALONE!

    cheers!
     

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