I have formed a mental list like this before but likes and dislikes change from time to time.
I was just fussing about some of the foods we or other people consume that I would not even miss if they were permanently removed from the global table.
But I would look like a hater if I didn’t represent the foods that help brand me as a true foodie.
For Your Pleasure Here Is My Not So Crafty Top Ten List
1. Boxed macaroni And Cheese: Now we all have been guilty of this at one time or another. My wife still comes home with a half-dozen of the over salted, one-dimensional processed food. I get it, it’s easy and cheap. But tasty? Not.
2. Canned Vegetables: Don’t get me wrong, I grew up with canned foods. In my area we had a yearly Can-Can sale and mom would by a year’s supply of canned green beans, canned corn and canned peas. Bleh. As a matter of fact, I never knew what fresh vegetables tasted or looked like until I was much older. Now I can plan an entire meal around fresh produce. Here is my tip: If you can’t buy or cook fresh veggies then buy frozen. Frozen fruit and vegetables are harvested and frozen in their prime.
3. Cranberry Jelly: This has always been a pet peeve of mine. This was featured on our holiday table growing up. I think mom got this from that Can-Can sale. For those like myself that swear they do not like cranberry sauce, based on their experience from that molded bland jelly stuff: Ewww. Of all the things to make from scratch, this is one of the easiest. Try it. I believe you will find a simple recipe on the back of the cranberry bag.
4. Velveeta Cheese: My father-in-law and I have been joking about this for years. He loves Velveeta. Isn’t it advertised as a cheese food? What does that mean? Velveeta is about as far from real cheese as Wonder is from fresh-baked bread. Oh, I know what Velveeta is good for…a door stopper.
5. Margarine: Once again, we had a beautiful large tub of this yellow, greasy goop at all of our meals growing up. I mean it’s easier to spread right? I once read Margarine was first created as gun grease. Pass me the butter please.
Now For My Crafty Top Five Favorite Foods
1. Cumberland Sausage: When my wife and I visited our friend Caroline in England, we asked her to prepare us a proper British meal. She chose Bangers and Mash. I know what you are thinking. Mashed potatoes and sausage? Big deal. But it was. This peppery spiced sausage from the North was just what the Dr. ordered. When we returned two years later, we made sure Caroline made this for us again.
2. Plantains: My two favorite things: cheap and good. Just like most Americans, my first experience with plantains was the typical accompaniment to Jerk Chicken. But you may be surprised at how diverse this starchy fruit really is. Add them to stews, make a fritter out of them, mash them and make plantain pancakes, saute with pineapple and butter. The list goes on and on.
3. Bastilla: Thank God I don’t eat this a lot because it would surely suck if I got tired of such a complex, well crafted dish. My first experience with Bastilla was at a Moroccan restaurant called Casablanca. The North African restaurant is an exotic experience for the newbie. Eating with your fingers, belly dancing and of course seven courses. Bastailla is always served early and consists of shredded chicken, toasted almonds, cinnamon and eggs baked between light layers of filo dough topped with powdered sugar. Hell yeah!
4. Pork Wings: Say what? You mean chicken wings? No, I said Pork Wings. Actually these are Pork Knuckles. What are pork knuckles? They are the lean boneless cut from the tip portion, the front part of the leg above the kneecap. They are best braised but my local Gastropub slow cooks them and carmelizes them with a nice spicy sauce. Sublime.
5. Foie Gras: That’s right folks, Duck Liver. The first time I tasted Foie Gras was in France for a culinary vacation. We visited a duck farm where the fattened ducks are raised for their delicate liver. My friend Peggy, an Archeologist, would bring back some delicious Foie Gras from Haiti. We would eat it like crack addicts.
So share with me some of your favorite and not so favorite foods.