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The ultimate Bolognese...
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simona



Joined: 11 Mar 2005
Posts: 696
Location: israel

PostPosted: Tue Jul 20, 2010 9:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

KYH, I'm with you, and completely agree on the culinary confusion.
A bolognese is a bolognese , is a bolognese . Why should vegans want to call a vegan sauce bolognese?
It reminds me some of the pecularities of the Kosher cuisine ( No, I'm no kosher, I eat pork and seafood and meat with cheese..) . The kosher cuisine interdicts eating of sea-food ( shrimps, calamari etc). But you can buy "kosher shrimps" which practically are a fish kind of paste/mixture shaped in the shape of shrimps or scallops. I could never understand why - if religion does not allow eating shrimps- one has to go to such lenghts to have shrimp-shaped fish ? Anyhow, kosher shrimps are a contradiction in terms, like vegan bolognese.
Maybe I'm conservative ( but I'm old, so I'm excused), but like you, I want to be sure that when I order a tournedot rossini I'm not getting a tofu steak with mushroom foie gras..

No more war, more champagne (the real one please..)
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KYHeirloomer



Joined: 21 Aug 2007
Posts: 552
Location: Central Kentucky

PostPosted: Tue Jul 20, 2010 10:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, Simona, I must really be out of the loop. I've never even heard of kosher shrimp or scallops.

But then, I'm still trying to get my head around the concept of "kosher bacon." And that's been around for many years.

I've got no problems with the idea of breading and deep frying a fish paste. Depending on the other ingredients it could be quite tasty. Heck, it's fried ain't it? How could that be bad?

By why mold it into an alien shape and call it by a strange name? That just confuses people who aren't in on the joke.

More to the point, it disappoints people who are familiar with the true gelt. Artificial crab, for instance, might be very appealing to people who've never had real crab. But for folks who have..... well, you're a lady, so I'll refrain from comment.
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swan



Joined: 23 Nov 2004
Posts: 450
Location: a Dutchie in HongKong

PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2010 2:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

haha, this post is more fun than I thought it would be.
Because my original recipe DOES include meat - but DIARY?!?! NO!!! Not in my bolognaise! (apart from the butter ofcourse).

Then - the 'copy' foods. Actually quite common and even almost an art in Hongkong (don't know about China).There are some famous vegetarian restaurants that serve everything from shrimp to intestants to chickenfeet - ALL FAKE Smile!!!
I've been taken to one by my chinese friends and we had a great meal. It almost felt and tasted like the real thing (ok - I did not try the chickenfeet...!)
So, out of curiosity and to experience it it was fun - but I tend to lean towards KY: just call it something different!
Besides that I think I feel that if you choose not to eat certain foods, then don't eat them. Don't go look for the exact same thing, just made from something else!!
I know that goes more for vegans and vegetarians by choice than, for example, if one is allergic to something, then it's nice to have a good replacement. I do get that. But if you make the choice stick to it!!!!!
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KYHeirloomer



Joined: 21 Aug 2007
Posts: 552
Location: Central Kentucky

PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2010 3:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

>Then - the 'copy' foods. Actually quite common and even almost an art in Hongkong <

For awhile it was a big thing among pastry chefs to produce desserts that mimiced savory dishes; cheeseburgers & fries; ham & eggs, etc.

As with the Hong Kong copy foods, its one thing to produce these things to be trendy and gimmicky---there's a market for that sort of thing. But that's not the same as misnaming a dish.

>Because my original recipe DOES include meat - but DIARY?!?! NO!!! Not in my bolognaise! (apart from the butter ofcourse). <

There's a difference, Swan, between those variations one finds, cook to cook, on one hand, and making a totally different dish but using the same name, on the other.

And that's the crux of the disagreement. With a true bolognaise, some use dairy, some don't; some add carrots, some don't; some use a heavy hand on herbs, some go lighter. But in each case there's the recognition that bolognaise is a tomato-based meat sauce.

What if instead of tomatoes we used a bechamel for the base? Would anyone here still want to call that a bolognaise? Leaving the meat out is no different. It is a key ingredient; indeed, the signature ingredient. Without it you have something else, something that might taste very good. But it is not bolognaise.

Simarly, dipping a fish paste in light batter and frying it is a lot of things. But shrimp tempora is most assuredly not one of them, no matter how much you play with the shape.

There has been a progessive dumbing down of culinary terms, methods, and standard recipes, particularly in the United States. Calling something a "vegetarian bolognaise," IMO, contributes to that unfortunate state of affairs.

That, really, is the point I've been trying to make.

[/i]
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swan



Joined: 23 Nov 2004
Posts: 450
Location: a Dutchie in HongKong

PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2010 4:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

would love to go out to dinner with you, KY, and drive possibly eachother, but even more the waiters and the kitchen perhaps a little crazy Smile with our shared knowledge!
My husband is laughing his head off if once again I want to know something about techniques or ingredients in restaurants, especially if I think something is not as it should be, as promised or as they say it should be...Razz

I think you are right about the gimmick of food - that can be fun. A friend of mine was at a charity dinner to raise money for the Aids-fund. It was in a very innovative restaurant in HK and we all had fun - though lots of people were quite shocked- when she told about the desert. I'm not even sure I can describe it here - but be sure I don't mean to offend. It was sugarwork with cream and it resembled, well, the thing the pope thinks one is not supposed to use, even to protect you from a deathly disease. Mind you - it resembeled a used one. Very funny, great for the occasion, a real gimmick. Some found it went too far...

but - back to bolognaise - I agree with you on terminology!!
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KYHeirloomer



Joined: 21 Aug 2007
Posts: 552
Location: Central Kentucky

PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2010 2:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Drive each other a bit bonkers, Swan? Maybe so. But I do not hold those kinds of conversations with wait staff.

For various reasons (not the least of which is that I'm a better cook than most of the chefs around here), we don't go out very often, usually just for special events such as birthdays and anniversaries. So we tend to choose our restaurants carefully, specifically so as to not be disappointed.

Doesn't always work, but, in general, we've been lucky.

Taking it out on the server is an exercise in futility, IMO. I used to be a server, and know what the job should be, even though it's often not.

If a dish isn't prepared properly the server should already know that, and not bring it out. There's no point engaging in an academic discussion. I just point out the problem, send it back to be made correctly, or order something different.

To put a point on it; if the menu listed "vegetarian bolognaise," I might have a chuckle about it with my companions. But it would never occur to me to call the server over and point out that vegetarian bolognaise is an oxymoron. Of course, I wouldn't order it, either.

On the other hand, if I ordered bolognaise, and the sauce had no meat, I would return it, explaining to the server why I was unhappy with it so he/she could relate that to the kitchen.
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KYHeirloomer



Joined: 21 Aug 2007
Posts: 552
Location: Central Kentucky

PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2010 3:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think you are right about the gimmick of food - that can be fun.

It certainly can, so long as you know what's going on, and that sort of thing appeals to you.

Personally, there are a lot of these "attractions" that I just don't understand. For instance:

1. Places where you get to cook your own food. Say what? I've got a grill at home, and can buy steaks from the butcher a lot cheaper. Why would I want to pay money to fight with strangers for grill space?

2. Restaurants in which you are, by intent, treated like crap. I'll go to my grave not understanding the appeal of these places. If I want mediocre food, served by surly staff, I can go eat at my sister's house. I don't need to pay for the priviledge.

3. Any restaurant that depends on shock gimmicks. F'rinstance, those places in which you eat completely in the dark. What gives with that? While it's not always true, psychologically I feel that if the food is good, they wouldn't need such tactics to lure me in.

4. Places that masquarade a limited selection with big menus. I don't know if I'm being clear on this, so will give an example. There's a casual dining place in town known for it's big menu. It is big, both physically, and in the number of listed dishes. The thing is about 20 pages long. But, once you start analyzing the selections, there are only five or six actual main courses, which they ring changes on and give strange names to. For instance, there may be a dish composed of shrimp and scallops in a flavored bechamel sauce. One listing will have more shrimp than scallops, with a lemony sauce. Another has it with more scallops than shrimp, and a lime sauce. Sorry, but to me that's the same dish. And if you do that six, or seven, or ten times it isn't appealing, it's annoying.
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