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Lies They Feed Us: "Wild," "Crab," Etc.

Lies They Feed Us: "Wild," "Crab," Etc.
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  • Post #91 - June 25th, 2006, 9:29 am
    Post #91 - June 25th, 2006, 9:29 am Post #91 - June 25th, 2006, 9:29 am
    David Hammond wrote:Lies Randomly Encountered, #918,207,139

    On Navy Pier, a sign above a small, sparkly clean hot dog stand with no obvious name: "Voted #1 Hot Dog in Chicago"

    By whom? No one! It's a LIE!!


    Maybe they wwre referring to their raw ingredient...a Vienna hot dog.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #92 - June 25th, 2006, 12:58 pm
    Post #92 - June 25th, 2006, 12:58 pm Post #92 - June 25th, 2006, 12:58 pm
    LAZ wrote:If I saw something promising "fresh green beans," I would assume they had started from a raw, unfrozen state, but would be cooked before serving.


    Yes; in a restaurant, that would be true, but I expect washed, uncooked green beans to be the starting point. Calling canned green beans that have just recently been opened and heated up "fresh," that's an inappropriate use of the word. I also expect "Fresh" bread to start with ingredients, not opening a package - and also that it not be stale.

    But use of the word "fresh" in reference to ingredients that can be purchased raw should mean at the very least raw, unfrozen and uncooked. The most frequent infraction I see is in the seafood department: "fresh" shrimp are very often thawed, having been frozen on the boat, I've seen "fresh" fish with ice crystals still in it.
  • Post #93 - June 27th, 2006, 9:31 am
    Post #93 - June 27th, 2006, 9:31 am Post #93 - June 27th, 2006, 9:31 am
    Mhays wrote:But use of the word "fresh" in reference to ingredients that can be purchased raw should mean at the very least raw, unfrozen and uncooked. The most frequent infraction I see is in the seafood department: "fresh" shrimp are very often thawed, having been frozen on the boat, I've seen "fresh" fish with ice crystals still in it.


    The word "fresh" as used in regard to fish in particular is now so devoid of meaning as to be practically meaningnless. It is an out-and-out misrepresentation, an untruth, a lie, and we accept it, unthinking (except in cases like this thread :wink: ), just one more lie in a growing pack of lies. You could hardly find a more perfect example of Orwellian doublespeak.

    Hammond
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #94 - November 4th, 2006, 10:13 am
    Post #94 - November 4th, 2006, 10:13 am Post #94 - November 4th, 2006, 10:13 am
    Cod?

    Racing between meetings last week, I stopped for a fast bite at Portillo’s on Roosevelt Road. I had been going through Mark Kurlansky’s Cod: A Biography of the Fish That Changed the World, so when I spotted Cod Sandwich on the menu board, I had to have it. Also, earlier in the day, I had heard reports that there will be no ocean fish left in less than fifty years -- http://tinyurl.com/y43qew -- so I figured I should act fast to get my fair share (assuming the fish I had was oceanic and not farmed).

    The sandwich was actually pretty good – fish was fried relatively lightly, meat was white and flakey, and the bun was big and thick with fresh lettuce.

    What I’m wondering, though, is this: What kind of fish did I actually eat? Perhaps what I ate was of one of the many fish related to what for centuries had been called Cod (other gadiformes, like Haddock or Whiting), or as I suspect is more likely, it was one of the many fish (over a dozen from the Southern Hemisphere) that are called Cod but are actually unrelated to the traditional fish. In other words, not actually Cod at all, unless saying makes it so.

    Then again, maybe it really was Cod. At any rate, not a bad sandwich…

    Hammond

    Portillo’s
    7600 W Roosevelt
    708-383-7557
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #95 - November 4th, 2006, 10:34 am
    Post #95 - November 4th, 2006, 10:34 am Post #95 - November 4th, 2006, 10:34 am
    David Hammond wrote:Cod?



    I think most fast food style fishbricks are at least part shark. I wish I could remember the attribution for this fact, but I can't. It's just one of those things that seems to rattle around in my head. It seems to be at least partially corroborated by this http://www.filetofish.com/GCM/index.html
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #96 - November 4th, 2006, 10:41 am
    Post #96 - November 4th, 2006, 10:41 am Post #96 - November 4th, 2006, 10:41 am
    stevez wrote:
    David Hammond wrote:Cod?



    I think most fast food style fishbricks are at least part shark. I wish I could remember the attribution for this fact, but I can't. It's just one of those things that seems to rattle around in my head. It seems to be at least partially corroborated by this http://www.filetofish.com/GCM/index.html


    Portillo's was actually not a brick but a seemingly real filet with a fish-like shape. I'm not saying it was high-end fish, but it was better than edible, and I doubt it was shark (a fish I honestly don't like too much, and so am morbidly sensitive to).

    Incidentally, excellent source! Makes me feel almost scholarly using Wikipedia.

    Hammond
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #97 - November 4th, 2006, 10:52 am
    Post #97 - November 4th, 2006, 10:52 am Post #97 - November 4th, 2006, 10:52 am
    David Hammond wrote:Portillo's was actually not a brick but a seemingly real filet with a fish-like shape.


    In the spirit of semi real fast food cooking, Culvers has a breaded walleye sandwich that is surprisingly fishlike and good.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #98 - November 6th, 2006, 11:08 am
    Post #98 - November 6th, 2006, 11:08 am Post #98 - November 6th, 2006, 11:08 am
    The Culver's walleye dinner is absurdly large, and pretty good, with two or three large filets, obviously excised from a fish with minimal processing. PIGMON, this mild, but fishier than "cod" critter might be your answer. Having recently spent more and more time (VI-like) outside of Chicago in the less cosmopolitan parts of the Great Lakes (WI and MI, mostly), I've come to admire a few regional foods that seem underrepresented in our urban island: especially lake perch and walleye. (I'd say Great Lakes whitefish, but that actually is pretty well represented among the old-school fancy spots around town). A big plate of lake perch lightly sauteed in butter is an awfully fine thing. And, yeah, there's much better than Phil Schmidt's out there.
  • Post #99 - November 21st, 2006, 12:20 pm
    Post #99 - November 21st, 2006, 12:20 pm Post #99 - November 21st, 2006, 12:20 pm
    Since the thread has covered several of the major food groups and terms (fresh, prime, homemade, etc.) used by various food purveyors I would like to add the following descriptive quote for the missing "poultry" classification

    From Macri's Deli menu in South Bend, IN:

    Boneless Chicken Wings...White meat Chicken Breast Chunks served with your choice of sauce. 6.00


    Is this one of the more idiotic examples of "advertising copywriting" you have seen? No, I’m sure there are many worse examples.
    Bruce
    Plenipotentiary
    bruce@bdbbq.com

    Raw meat should NOT have an ingredients list!!
  • Post #100 - December 28th, 2006, 10:55 pm
    Post #100 - December 28th, 2006, 10:55 pm Post #100 - December 28th, 2006, 10:55 pm
    So, the Wife went to TJ Maxx yesterday and brings back a one-pound bag of coffee. On the label, in big letters, it says KONA COFFEE. It was $6.99 for the bag. Real deal or routine deception?

    Well, though the brand name is Hawaiian Gold, the smaller print clarifies that it's a blend of Hawaiian coffee (Kona? Not certain) and Costa Rican coffee.

    Hammond
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #101 - December 28th, 2006, 11:26 pm
    Post #101 - December 28th, 2006, 11:26 pm Post #101 - December 28th, 2006, 11:26 pm
    David Hammond wrote:So, the Wife went to TJ Maxx yesterday and brings back a one-pound bag of coffee. On the label, in big letters, it says KONA COFFEE. It was $6.99 for the bag. Real deal or routine deception?

    Well, though the brand name is Hawaiian Gold, the smaller print clarifies that it's a blend of Hawaiian coffee (Kona? Not certain) and Costa Rican coffee.

    Hammond


    From Wikipedia

    Because of the rarity and price of Kona coffee in the marketplace, some retailers sell Kona Blends. This can be misleading to the consumer. These blends are not a combination of different Kona coffees but rather a blend of Kona and Colombian or Brazilian coffees. These blends usually contain only 10% Kona coffee and 90% cheaper imported beans. Current Hawaiian law requires blends to state the percentage of Kona coffee on the label. There is no matching Federal law. Some retailers have resorted to using the nonsensical term "Kona Roast." The premium price Kona brings makes the association with Kona irresistable to coffee marketers.

    I seem to remember reading something about buying packages that only say 100% Kona coffee or making certain they weren't blends.
  • Post #102 - December 29th, 2006, 12:09 am
    Post #102 - December 29th, 2006, 12:09 am Post #102 - December 29th, 2006, 12:09 am
    David Hammond wrote:So, the Wife went to TJ Maxx yesterday and brings back a one-pound bag of coffee. On the label, in big letters, it says KONA COFFEE. It was $6.99 for the bag. Real deal or routine deception?

    Well, though the brand name is Hawaiian Gold, the smaller print clarifies that it's a blend of Hawaiian coffee (Kona? Not certain) and Costa Rican coffee.

    Hammond


    There is no "truth in labeling" on coffee. When I was in Kona a decade ago and visited a plantation, the growers stated that most Kona blends had as little as 10% Kona mixed with cheaper beans. At the time, maybe 1992, authentic 100% Kona was going for about $20/lb.

    Costco carries a similar product.
  • Post #103 - December 30th, 2006, 10:15 am
    Post #103 - December 30th, 2006, 10:15 am Post #103 - December 30th, 2006, 10:15 am
    jlawrence01 wrote:There is no "truth in labeling" on coffee. When I was in Kona a decade ago and visited a plantation, the growers stated that most Kona blends had as little as 10% Kona mixed with cheaper beans. At the time, maybe 1992, authentic 100% Kona was going for about $20/lb.


    What knocked me out was that the label said in big letters KONA COFFEE. No obvious indication that it was a blend until I read the reversed out copy. It'd be like buying a pound of something labeled BEEF only to find that it contained over 90% soy meal.

    David "Would you like lies with that?" Hammond
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #104 - December 30th, 2006, 9:49 pm
    Post #104 - December 30th, 2006, 9:49 pm Post #104 - December 30th, 2006, 9:49 pm
    David Hammond wrote:What knocked me out was that the label said in big letters KONA COFFEE. No obvious indication that it was a blend until I read the reversed out copy. It'd be like buying a pound of something labeled BEEF only to find that it contained over 90% soy meal.

    David "Would you like lies with that?" Hammond


    When I was in Hawaii in 1991, I asked the Kona growers how I could tell 100% Kona vs. a blend. He said that if the price was less than $20/lb it was a blend.

    TJ Maxx has some pretty good food items, but wait until they mark them down in mid-January or so.
  • Post #105 - January 2nd, 2007, 6:33 pm
    Post #105 - January 2nd, 2007, 6:33 pm Post #105 - January 2nd, 2007, 6:33 pm
    What caused a six year old at the Christmas party to say, "Hey! That's no fair!"
    Image
  • Post #106 - January 2nd, 2007, 6:38 pm
    Post #106 - January 2nd, 2007, 6:38 pm Post #106 - January 2nd, 2007, 6:38 pm
    HI,

    It looks like someone was picking out the fruits or possibly there were far less fruits than the picture suggested? From your picture, it could go either way.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #107 - January 2nd, 2007, 6:53 pm
    Post #107 - January 2nd, 2007, 6:53 pm Post #107 - January 2nd, 2007, 6:53 pm
    Cathy2 wrote:HI,

    It looks like someone was picking out the fruits or possibly there were far less fruits than the picture suggested? From your picture, it could go either way.



    The latter - slim pickings for the kid ;)
  • Post #108 - January 27th, 2007, 9:49 am
    Post #108 - January 27th, 2007, 9:49 am Post #108 - January 27th, 2007, 9:49 am
    Antonius wrote:"Look, Honey, let's get some of those special imported tomatoes and make some Puttanesca tonight..."
    _______


    ___La Mariola Gioconda___
    ____ di San Marzano ____

    ***Prodotto Genuino di Prima Qualità! ***
    *****Pomodori Tipo Italiano!! *****


    ................................Grown and Packaged in Blossomendrot, Illinois........................

    This brand of tomatoes (the "San Marzano" brand) is fairly ubiquitous at higher end grocery stores in the Boston area. As I have been unable to find Carmelina and certain other brands I purchased in Chicago out here, I decided to try these out. Bad idea, as not only do they not bear much visible or taste resemblance to any San Marzanos I have had, the fine print on the back of the label stated "Grown domestically in the United States."

    Amazon.com Product Desciption wrote:Plum tomatoes named after the region of San Marzano near Naples, Italy have traditionally been the tomatoes of choice for the best flavored tomato sauce. These are domestically grown tomatoes which use the same variety of seed.
  • Post #109 - May 20th, 2007, 7:32 pm
    Post #109 - May 20th, 2007, 7:32 pm Post #109 - May 20th, 2007, 7:32 pm
    At Duke’s last night, I ordered a Beef Dish Vytautus, which was billed as a “ribeye stuffed with sautéed boletus and onions, then grilled.”

    Image

    It wasn’t stuffed; it was grilled and topped (with boletus and onions, granted, but it wasn’t what I expected). It was not bad at all – in fact, the meat was pretty taste – but it wasn’t as advertised, and I was too much of a wuss to complain to the young waitress who I felt would have no idea what was on the menu or why the chef made it the way he did. Maybe by not saying anything I lost the right to bitch…maybe.
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #110 - August 29th, 2007, 9:33 pm
    Post #110 - August 29th, 2007, 9:33 pm Post #110 - August 29th, 2007, 9:33 pm
    Tavern at the Park

    Went there tonight. Their site promised "breathtaking views" of Millenium Park (http://www.tavernatthepark.com/press01.htm), but there is -- and I kid you not -- only ONE table with a view of anything in the park: #216. It's not even a very good view (you can pretty much just see the top of the Gehry stage, the top of the peristyle, more like a peek than a view).

    Fortunately, I tend to go more for the food than the sights, but still, I felt fooled.

    Tavern at the Park
    130 E. Randolph
    312.552.0070
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #111 - August 30th, 2007, 2:58 pm
    Post #111 - August 30th, 2007, 2:58 pm Post #111 - August 30th, 2007, 2:58 pm
    David Hammond wrote:Tavern at the Park

    Went there tonight. Their site promised "breathtaking views" of Millenium Park (http://www.tavernatthepark.com/press01.htm), but there is -- and I kid you not -- only ONE table with a view of anything in the park: #216. It's not even a very good view (you can pretty much just see the top of the Gehry stage, the top of the peristyle, more like a peek than a view).

    Fortunately, I tend to go more for the food than the sights, but still, I felt fooled.

    Tavern at the Park
    130 E. Randolph
    312.552.0070


    Perhaps the most striking décor element, however, is the remarkable view. “We concentrated on making sure that every seat in the restaurant has a view of Millennium Park,” says de Castro. In summer 2008, the visual will become even more spectacular when Tavern at the Park’s rooftop terrace opens, offering not only vistas of “Cloud Gate”, the striking Frank Gehry-designed Jay Pritzker Pavilion and the contemporary Harris Theater for Music and Dance, but also a secluded space for guests to enjoy a refined dining and drinking experience. “Guests will feel as though they are part of the park,” explains de Castro, “but at the same time enjoy some privacy.”


    David, could you have been in the basement? :shock: Something is grievously wrong here.
    "Good stuff, Maynard." Dobie Gillis
  • Post #112 - August 30th, 2007, 3:10 pm
    Post #112 - August 30th, 2007, 3:10 pm Post #112 - August 30th, 2007, 3:10 pm
    imsscott wrote:
    David Hammond wrote:Tavern at the Park

    Went there tonight. Their site promised "breathtaking views" of Millenium Park (http://www.tavernatthepark.com/press01.htm), but there is -- and I kid you not -- only ONE table with a view of anything in the park: #216. It's not even a very good view (you can pretty much just see the top of the Gehry stage, the top of the peristyle, more like a peek than a view).

    Fortunately, I tend to go more for the food than the sights, but still, I felt fooled.

    Tavern at the Park
    130 E. Randolph
    312.552.0070


    Perhaps the most striking décor element, however, is the remarkable view. “We concentrated on making sure that every seat in the restaurant has a view of Millennium Park,” says de Castro. In summer 2008, the visual will become even more spectacular when Tavern at the Park’s rooftop terrace opens, offering not only vistas of “Cloud Gate”, the striking Frank Gehry-designed Jay Pritzker Pavilion and the contemporary Harris Theater for Music and Dance, but also a secluded space for guests to enjoy a refined dining and drinking experience. “Guests will feel as though they are part of the park,” explains de Castro, “but at the same time enjoy some privacy.”


    David, could you have been in the basement? :shock: Something is grievously wrong here.


    Just walk in and see for yourself. Now, I must add, the bar which does feature booths along the street may give you a street-level look across Randolph (and, if traffic is light, the park), but the main first floor dining room pretty much has no exterior windows at all and the upstairs has a huge bank of windows...but the tables are located across a chasm (created for more bar headroom) a good 30 feet away, making a view impossible.

    We were seated in the main dining room at first, and I asked if there was a second floor and we mentioned the "breathtaking view" to the hostess, who said something like "Yeah, I know they say that, but..." However, she was most gracious, mentioned table #216 and told us she'd see if she could seat us there. We were then escorted to the upstairs table by Managing Partner Peter de Castro who was very helpful and accomodating. All the servers and staff were genuinely friendly folks.

    Still, if it's a view you want, I suggest packing a picnic and sitting IN the park.
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #113 - August 30th, 2007, 3:20 pm
    Post #113 - August 30th, 2007, 3:20 pm Post #113 - August 30th, 2007, 3:20 pm
    Back upthread Crab vs Krab was mentioned,

    I dont think restaurants are trying to pull a fast one when it comes to substituting the fake crab for the real. Crab costs what it costs, and if you think you are getting king crab, snow crab, dungeness crab, lump crab for a bargain price in a dish you may order you are not, you are getting Krab.
  • Post #114 - August 30th, 2007, 5:09 pm
    Post #114 - August 30th, 2007, 5:09 pm Post #114 - August 30th, 2007, 5:09 pm
    jimswside wrote:Back upthread Crab vs Krab was mentioned,

    I dont think restaurants are trying to pull a fast one when it comes to substituting the fake crab for the real. Crab costs what it costs, and if you think you are getting king crab, snow crab, dungeness crab, lump crab for a bargain price in a dish you may order you are not, you are getting Krab.


    So we're supposed to guess, based on price, whether it's real or fake? Of course it isn't unreasonable for restaurants to use krab. But I also don't think it's unreasonable to expect what's printed on the menu to be what's in my dish. Just because it's common practice and because I can probably make an educated guess doesn't make the lie acceptable.
    Dominic Armato
    Dining Critic
    The Arizona Republic and azcentral.com
  • Post #115 - August 30th, 2007, 6:10 pm
    Post #115 - August 30th, 2007, 6:10 pm Post #115 - August 30th, 2007, 6:10 pm
    i'm very hyper sensitive on this matter. what's printed on the menu should be correct and in the dish otherwise it's deceptive advertising. "stuffed" or "organic" or "house made" should mean exactly that, and so on and so forth. one very common one is that often shiitakes and portabellas are referred to as wild mushrooms, which they are not. they're cultivated (unlike myself).

    and yes, by accepting it, you are encouraging it. kind of like not voting. you lose the right to bitch.
    "In pursuit of joys untasted"
    from Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata
  • Post #116 - August 30th, 2007, 6:22 pm
    Post #116 - August 30th, 2007, 6:22 pm Post #116 - August 30th, 2007, 6:22 pm
    jazzfood wrote:and yes, by accepting it, you are encouraging it. kind of like not voting. you lose the right to bitch.


    Exactly right! The crab/krab substitution is only so prevalent because people accept it. We have big exposes about fish substitution when 99% of the dining population could never tell the difference (not that that makes it okay either!), but substitute a processed fish paste for an expensive crustacean and that's just how it is? If you don't call places on it (not that you have to be an ass about it, though I imagine that's sometimes warranted), you end up with the crab/krab situation where "crab" on a menu is most likely to be fake.
    Dominic Armato
    Dining Critic
    The Arizona Republic and azcentral.com
  • Post #117 - August 31st, 2007, 7:13 am
    Post #117 - August 31st, 2007, 7:13 am Post #117 - August 31st, 2007, 7:13 am
    The only places I have run into Krab being used and the menu stating it was Crab in the description of the dish has been chinese restaurants, but for a $7-$10 dish I know thats what is coming.

    I dont know of any restaurant I have been to that has tried to insert Krab in a $20+ entree. I eat enough crab(at least once a week) to know the difference.

    I guess stick with crab legs, claws, or whole crabs if unsure. :wink:
  • Post #118 - August 31st, 2007, 8:30 am
    Post #118 - August 31st, 2007, 8:30 am Post #118 - August 31st, 2007, 8:30 am
    Dmnkly wrote:Exactly right! The crab/krab substitution is only so prevalent because people accept it.


    Dom,

    I have a hunch that in your newly adopted home town of Baltimore, where a strong culture exists of all things crabby, you'll see a lot less of that type of substitution.

    :twisted:
    "Bass Trombone is the Lead Trumpet of the Deep."
    Rick Hammett
  • Post #119 - November 2nd, 2007, 10:11 pm
    Post #119 - November 2nd, 2007, 10:11 pm Post #119 - November 2nd, 2007, 10:11 pm
    Among the many food items that ticked me off at La Tache tonight, the back-breaking straw was a clafouti that contained no fresh fruit (let alone cherries), but was instead a backed bread-like platform, lacking all custardy goodness, slathered with some kind of jam, squirted with a berry-based syrup and topped with whipped cream.

    I was angy the whole way home. I know I shouldn't take this kind of thing to heart, but it really gets my goat when restaurants present such affronts to consumers.

    La Tache
    1475 W. Balmoral
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #120 - November 4th, 2007, 1:27 pm
    Post #120 - November 4th, 2007, 1:27 pm Post #120 - November 4th, 2007, 1:27 pm
    Monday, 11/5, around 10:30AM, on WLS, 890 AM, I’ll be talking about government regulations, the Nanny State, and The Lies They Feed Us.

    You can listen here: http://www.wlsam.com/
    Last edited by David Hammond on November 5th, 2007, 7:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”

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