Your regrets: foods replaced by food like substances?

Talk about things that are not necessarily related to music or the guitar.
ben etow
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Re: Your regrets: foods replaced by food like substances?

Post by ben etow » Thu May 16, 2019 10:28 am

simonm wrote:
Sun May 12, 2019 10:56 am
Bread, Beer, Milk, cheese, chocolate.

Bread throughout Europe has been replaced by factory produced bread-like objects that are re-heated to produced fluffy looking baguette like objects that turning into a sticky chewy mush when put in your mouth. Some "premium" versions has the added features of cutting strips out of the roof of your month and even mored exclusive variants additional burn you with too much salt.

The first sign in any country that bread is being eliminated is the introduction of the industrial bagel (I cannot deny that a few New Yorkers here have local bakers who still make real ones.) This is a chewy tasteless roll that soon seems like something interesting when compared to the fluffy sticky balloon goo on the other shelves in the supermarket. It still has a certain "body". People who like fat often extoll the virtues of bagels but the reason is that it has enough physical strength to carry the load of sour cream and other fats they load it up with. Once people accept the industrial bagel as "bread" then all is lost.

Beer is a mixed bag. What has happened in Europe is that the older decent brands have been bought up by the mega breweries or other large food concerns. Small brewers are forced to close as people believe advertising. The older brands are made more efficient with the taste being removed. The mega-brewers then introduced nationally or internationally available "craft-beers" (written on the bottle so it must be good) as premium beers costing 3 or more times as much as the true small brewery beers and all is well. So yes there is still a reasonable of chance of finding a decent beer almost anywhere, butt he production landscape has completely changed. Small local breweries whether traditional or new are in a very precarious position: they can be steam-rolled at any time by a new "craft beer" from one of the mega breweries who are perfectly capable of very good beers if they want.


Some people here haved experience milk fresh from the cow. Many others will have memories of milk in glass bottles where cream floated to the top and solidified enough that you could turn the bottle upside down with the lid off and the milk would not flow out. Yet others may be puzzled why cream is white but the colour "cream" is yellow. Others may be puzzled that not all milk comes chocolate flavored ....

Cheese ... there are a few bright spots to be honest. The french fortunately hold cheese in reverence. Industrial cheddar (insert name of any regional "hard" cheese) on the other hand has a texture like erasers for pencils and possible the same taste. I once was totally puzzled by some Irish "Kerrygold" cheddar in slices which I bought in Ireland. It has the EU mark on it for a Belgian Dairy. I was told that is was in fact Irish Cheddar but it was shipped to Belgium to be sliced and packed as the cutting and packing process required more investment that the producer wanted to expend. So you buy a "local" Irish cheese in Ireland that has travelled across the Irish sea, the UK, the English channel, through Belgium and then back and all that 100% above board.

"Premium Chocolate" versus real chocolate. It has unfortunately got to the stage where almost every single chocolate with a recognizable brand name regardless of the price and percentage of cocoa in it tastes mainly of sugar, salt and lecithin. Airports are a perfect place to confirm this. Every "duty free" shop on the planet has almost the exact same range of vastly overpriced "chocolate-like" products with international brand recognition. Price is proportion to colour - darker = more expensive. Smoothness (i.e. more chemicals ) is a synonymous with quality. Cloying sweetness pleases everyone so long as everything else is a taste free. Tiny exaggeration on the latter point - if sold as pralines then an appropriate range of alcohol or chemical fruit flavors is OK.



So what has gone extinct or is endangered in your food world? Tofu comes to mind as something that might have change over the years but I have 0 experience.
Move to Belgium! :D
Not perfect, but you can find any of the lost products you mentioned. Agreed, you have to search a little for them, but even for cheese, I don't have to go to France (50 km from home... Most products - even good chocolate - are cheaper in France so I go regularly to France anyway).

kirolak
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Re: Your regrets: foods replaced by food like substances?

Post by kirolak » Thu May 16, 2019 3:48 pm

Mark Clifton-Gaultier wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 2:25 pm
kirolak wrote:I will try to find the ingredients etc here ...
I found a clear set of online instructions:
https://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Make-Tofu/
I use lemon juice rather than the salts - you can also substitute terra alba (from a home-brew supplier) or nigari flakes.

You will end up with a handy by-product of soy fibre (okara) which can be used to make unohana (with soy sauce, mirin, carrots, burdock and mushrooms) or tempeh (I haven't tried this). Let us know how you get on.
That just sounds too daunting :lol: I think I will just go & play a scale & give up eating

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Peter Frary
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Re: Your regrets: foods replaced by food like substances?

Post by Peter Frary » Fri May 17, 2019 5:41 pm

Real eggs have nearly disappeared from use in restaurants and bakeries here in the US. Instead, powered or dehydrated eggs are used. Dehydrated eggs are sold in 5 gallon plastic buckets and are claimed to have a 25 year storage life. If you want real eggs in a restaurant, be sure to order over easy, over hard or hard boiled. Omelets and scrambled and often made from tasteless dehydrated eggs. Likewise, powered milk is often used in candy and bakery items...
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Re: Your regrets: foods replaced by food like substances?

Post by LVR » Fri May 31, 2019 5:53 am

Shrimp. They used to taste great. Farmed shrimp have no taste at all, and no texture either.
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Re: Your regrets: foods replaced by food like substances?

Post by gitgeezer » Fri May 31, 2019 12:06 pm

There's been some talk on this thread of "cheddar" and "real cheddar." Cheddar is not a protected designation, so there's no such thing as real "cheddar." Any cheese maker in the world can make a cheese and call it "cheddar." What standard do they aim at for processing, texture, and flavor? Who knows. If you want a cheese as close to real cheddar as you can get, you must look for "West Country Farmhouse Cheddar," a protected name for a cheese made around the village of Cheddar in Somerset, England, the home of the original cheddar.

One of my favorite cheeses is parmesan. I've long noticed that the flavor and texture of parmesans here in the U.S. vary widely, from gritty and tasteless to creamy and pungent. Then I learned that all "parmesan" cheese sold in the U.S. is imitation. In the EU, "parmesan" is a protected name and may be applied only to the "Parmigiano-Reggiano" cheeses made in those regions of Italy and in accordance with a standard process. Now I make sure my parmesan cheese is labeled "Parmigiano-Reggiano" and states that it is a "product of Italy."

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eno
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Re: Your regrets: foods replaced by food like substances?

Post by eno » Fri May 31, 2019 3:53 pm

We never buy food-like substances in our family. Not only that, we only buy organic food. Good quality food is more expensive and you need to look for it but fortunately it is still available at many places (like Whole Foods in US). The more we buy good quality food the more we support farmers and food industry that produces them, so it's basically our choice. The high-quality food farming and processing will not survive without customers buying their products.

Same argument applies to the food-like producing industry: it's exactly us who support them and let them grow on our money when we buy their products. Yes, we get brainwashed by their ads but that does not make us less guilty. Who is there to blame: a drug dealer who offers drugs or an addict who wants them? I think it's both.
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Re: Your regrets: foods replaced by food like substances?

Post by Andrew Pohlman » Fri May 31, 2019 5:12 pm

In the SF Bay Area, we still have ample REAL bakeries with some of the best sourdough bread on Planet Earth!!! There is a family owned and operated bagel bakery 5 mins from my house! Employee owned and operated companies like The Cheese Board in Berkeley set the standard for excellent world class cheeses. And of course, we have the Marin French Cheese Company that produces Brie and Camembert that rivals the best on Mother Earth!

We are so lucky. I say all that, but I have had to resort to yam fiber noodles to cut out fast carbs like pasta. They are terrible alone, unlike fettuccine, olive oil, salt and pepper - they are super rubbery and tasteless. But in spaghetti with tomato and meat sauce, they are really quite good.

For all other things culinary in nature, we are truly blessed in the SF Bay!!! We have excellent food choices where ever I turn. Of course, many people actually CHOOSE Jack in the Box... :roll:
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Mark Clifton-Gaultier
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Re: Your regrets: foods replaced by food like substances?

Post by Mark Clifton-Gaultier » Fri May 31, 2019 6:09 pm

gitgeezer wrote:here's been some talk on this thread of "cheddar" and "real cheddar." Cheddar is not a protected designation, so there's no such thing as real "cheddar." Any cheese maker in the world can make a cheese and call it "cheddar."
Exactly - "cheddar" now has virtually no meaning - certain traditional makers have had to re-brand themselves as "west country farmhouse cheesemakers" in order to define their product.
gitgeezer wrote:If you want a cheese as close to real cheddar as you can get, you must look for "West Country Farmhouse Cheddar," a protected name for a cheese made around the village of Cheddar in Somerset ...
Sadly that is not exactly the case. For the purposes of this protected designation award the term "west country" includes Devon and Cornwall - legal it might be but no real cheddar (and I maintain that there is such a thing) ever came from those counties.

After the UK's exit from the EU I wonder in any case how long the PDO will exist?

Meanwhile - those of you bored from interminable discussion of the pointlessness of apoyando or guitarists' lack of musical nous might like to try instead, whiling away the hours watching real cheddar maturing in the caves of Wookey Hole - near Cheddar Gorge.

Search for Ford Farm, Somerset - unbelievably they have a live cheese cam in the cave.

One can still buy a small truckle for about £20.00 ($25.00) and it's ok - but other names to look for are Montgomery's and Keen's .... yum.
truckle.png
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Re: Your regrets: foods replaced by food like substances?

Post by CarbonElitist » Sat Jun 01, 2019 8:28 pm

Maybe it's different over here in the States, but it seems like the opposite is happening. Big chain grocery stores such as Wal-Mart and Kroger seem to be getting higher quality food items over the past few years. It's still often not as good as what you usually find at your local farmer's market, but most grocery stores have their own bakery and the produce is still fresh. (Depending on the produce and season.) With that being said, whenever you mass-produce something, there is almost inevitably a drop in quality. It's too complicated and labor intensive to vet good ingredients on a massive scale, especially as the supply and demand goes up. In fact sometimes inferior ingredients will be chosen as substitutes because they are cheaper. The unfortunate consequence is that you sometimes get food that is emptied of all flavor (or that has an odd chemical flavor), but at least it is food and it is affordable and we have access to it. That's something a majority of the world does not have.
Mark Clifton-Gaultier wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 6:09 pm
That looks like a tree stump. What would you call a person who sells it? A kojak or a lumberjack?
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Re: Your regrets: foods replaced by food like substances?

Post by hilm3g » Sun Jun 02, 2019 3:44 am

Getting harder to find milk cheese and yogurt in So Cal stores that is not fat free, larded with sugar and fake fruit instead.

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Re: Your regrets: foods replaced by food like substances?

Post by simonm » Sun Jun 02, 2019 7:56 am

eno wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 3:53 pm
.....
Good quality food is more expensive and you need to look for it but fortunately it is still available at many places (like Whole Foods in US). The more we buy good quality food the more we support farmers and food industry that produces them ...
Enjoy it while it lasts. Whole Foods is now part of Amazon. Expect it to change into another cost cutting purveyor of prepared factory food, albeit with an "organic" label. It will move towards online services from a few regional warehouses. Non-persishable food fits that model much better than perishables. It is likely the case that Amazon now controls a significant percentage of the organs food supply chain which will quickly mean that you are supporting Jeff Bezos and friends rather than the farmers.

One chain of organic supermakets in Germany has changed from a place selling a fair percentage of fresh stuff to a seller of prepackaged (fast) food with an increasing proportion of fashionable vegan factory products with a token amount of loose vegetables and a small cheese counter. Quality is still generally good however. But "organic" fruit from New Zealand or Chile is a contradiction in terms to my way of thinking.

They sell various "organic" meat products and as far as I can see the main difference is the price and the fact that the colouring in the cold cuts isn't listed always as E numbers so that you can see that the red colour is from beetroot juice for example.

The only way to have even moderate control over what you eat is to have a plot where you can grow some of your own food.

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Mark Clifton-Gaultier
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Re: Your regrets: foods replaced by food like substances?

Post by Mark Clifton-Gaultier » Sun Jun 02, 2019 12:35 pm

CarbonElitist wrote:That looks like a tree stump. What would you call a person who sells it? A kojak or a lumberjack?
A cheesemonger.

I don't understand the Kojak reference - over here the most well known "Kojak" is a character from a rather ridiculous American cop television series who talked his way through a David Gates ditty into the UK popular music charts. Weird.

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Re: Your regrets: foods replaced by food like substances?

Post by gitgeezer » Sun Jun 02, 2019 3:49 pm

Each issue of Consumer Reports has a page of marketing oddities, including food. The current issue shows labeling for lobster that says "Maine Lobster" in large print, while in smaller print says "Product of Honduras."

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Re: Your regrets: foods replaced by food like substances?

Post by Robert Rogers » Mon Jun 03, 2019 11:20 am

I decided over 20 years ago enough was enough as far as American food and booze was concerned. I moved out of the Yuppie City (Austin) I lived in, bought 1/3 acre of land with deep soil, and built a small stone house. The first thing I did was start a vegetable garden; the second was an orchard. These were some of the best decisions I ever made. I am able to garden nearly year round here (July and August excluded) and raise most of my food. My orchard includes 7 apple trees (grown mostly for cider), peach, persimmon pomegranates, olive, and fig trees. All are in production. I still have to buy some groceries of course, but to me there are few more satisfying things (okay maybe more than a few) than going into the back yard and picking fresh produce for the day's meals.

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eno
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Re: Your regrets: foods replaced by food like substances?

Post by eno » Mon Jun 03, 2019 3:19 pm

simonm wrote:
Sun Jun 02, 2019 7:56 am
Enjoy it while it lasts. Whole Foods is now part of Amazon. Expect it to change into another cost cutting purveyor of prepared factory food, albeit with an "organic" label. It will move towards online services from a few regional warehouses. Non-persishable food fits that model much better than perishables. It is likely the case that Amazon now controls a significant percentage of the organs food supply chain which will quickly mean that you are supporting Jeff Bezos and friends rather than the farmers.

One chain of organic supermakets in Germany has changed from a place selling a fair percentage of fresh stuff to a seller of prepackaged (fast) food with an increasing proportion of fashionable vegan factory products with a token amount of loose vegetables and a small cheese counter. Quality is still generally good however. But "organic" fruit from New Zealand or Chile is a contradiction in terms to my way of thinking.

They sell various "organic" meat products and as far as I can see the main difference is the price and the fact that the colouring in the cold cuts isn't listed always as E numbers so that you can see that the red colour is from beetroot juice for example.

The only way to have even moderate control over what you eat is to have a plot where you can grow some of your own food.
That's definitely a trend, sadly. As people become more aware of organic food more consumers' money flows into it. Any market sector that sees a significant flow of income from consumers quickly becomes taken over by money-hunting "investors" who care about nothing but profits. As a consequence, those sectors become commoditized and the quality of products degrades quickly. In some countries like Japan the culture works against that trend and they often mange to maintain good quality of products even in the most commoditized market sectors. But in the West, especially in US, it almost became a law of market economy.
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