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Author Topic: Is veal parmigiana on its way out?  (Read 1884 times)

abefroman329

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Re: Is veal parmigiana on its way out?
« Reply #25 on: February 14, 2019, 08:21:10 PM »

We ordered dinner from a pizzeria on Monday night and the special was veal parm, so.
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J N Winkler

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Re: Is veal parmigiana on its way out?
« Reply #26 on: February 14, 2019, 09:29:51 PM »

I don't understand all the trash talk about eggplant upthread.  I fix ratatouille quite often, to a recipe with onion, eggplant, zucchini, bell pepper, and garlic--it's absolutely fantastic with a gently poached egg on top.  I also like eggplant parmigiana, but tend to regard it as a vice food because of all the cheese.
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abefroman329

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Re: Is veal parmigiana on its way out?
« Reply #27 on: February 14, 2019, 10:13:16 PM »

There’s nothing wrong with it necessarily, I just don’t like it. Carnivores can be just as insufferable as vegetarians and vegans.
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kphoger

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Re: Is veal parmigiana on its way out?
« Reply #28 on: February 15, 2019, 01:09:14 PM »

I like eggplant OK, but I certainly understand people who don't.  It's a bit bitter, and it turns to mush easily.  It takes both a high-quality eggplant and a good cook for it to turn out good enough for most people to like, I think.
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sparker

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Re: Is veal parmigiana on its way out?
« Reply #29 on: February 15, 2019, 04:39:48 PM »

Eggplant seems to be particularly suited for wok-cooked Asian dishes, where pieces are added to the dish mixture near the end so it won't end up overcooked and mushy.  The Panda Express chain has had an eggplant dish since its inception -- but if a customer is interested in ordering the dish, it's best to wait until a fresh batch is brought in from the kitchen; if the stuff sits in the serving trays too long it does tend to get mushy if left more than 10-15 minutes. 
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abefroman329

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Re: Is veal parmigiana on its way out?
« Reply #30 on: February 15, 2019, 05:21:09 PM »

Panda Express is delicious and I'll fight anyone who says otherwise.  Sometimes I just don't give a fuck about authenticity.
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US71

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Re: Is veal parmigiana on its way out?
« Reply #31 on: February 15, 2019, 10:24:53 PM »

I like eggplant OK, but I certainly understand people who don't.  It's a bit bitter, and it turns to mush easily.  It takes both a high-quality eggplant and a good cook for it to turn out good enough for most people to like, I think.

Vegetables are what food eats ;)
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sparker

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Re: Is veal parmigiana on its way out?
« Reply #32 on: February 16, 2019, 01:21:24 AM »

Panda Express is delicious and I'll fight anyone who says otherwise.  Sometimes I just don't give a fuck about authenticity.

I consider Panda to be "quasi-Chinese" (and, according to the blurbs posted in their restaurants, they'd probably agree with me!).  Nevertheless, they do have a few consistently good dishes: their kung pao chicken is pretty good (hint: ask for extra hot peppers, then shred those into the dish -- otherwise it's a bit bland), as is their black-pepper chicken.  Decent chow mein as well, if a bit salty.  But IMO the sweet dishes are way too sweet -- orange chicken, the "sweet-fire" chicken breast, and the teriyaki sauce they serve with the chicken chunks (get it on the side).  But that's probably what made them a success in the marketplace -- catering to America's consistent sweet tooth.  Sleeper on the menu: their hot & sour soup (unfortunately, not all outlets carry it); great on a cold evening (like we've been having out here for the last few weeks).   
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US71

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Re: Is veal parmigiana on its way out?
« Reply #33 on: February 16, 2019, 11:17:21 AM »

Olive Garden ruined Italian food forever.

How do you feel about the McDonald's of Italian Food, Fazolis?  We have a couple decent Italian places here, so it's been a long time since I've been to Olive Garden
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RobbieL2415

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Re: Is veal parmigiana on its way out?
« Reply #34 on: February 16, 2019, 11:44:30 AM »

Olive Garden ruined Italian food forever.

How do you feel about the McDonald's of Italian Food, Fazolis?  We have a couple decent Italian places here, so it's been a long time since I've been to Olive Garden
McDonald's makes no effort to mask its true identity, especially after Super Size Me came out.  OG tries to make everyone think it's actually top-notch. Italian food is very easy to fabricate.
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formulanone

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Re: Is veal parmigiana on its way out?
« Reply #35 on: February 16, 2019, 11:56:59 AM »

Olive Garden ruined Italian food forever.

How do you feel about the McDonald's of Italian Food, Fazolis?  We have a couple decent Italian places here, so it's been a long time since I've been to Olive Garden
McDonald's makes no effort to mask its true identity, especially after Super Size Me came out.  OG tries to make everyone think it's actually top-notch. Italian food is very easy to fabricate.

There's a good reason brands usually don't try to play themselves down. You don't go to a job interview and tell the interviewer all your weaknesses, how you look for ways to shirk responsibility, plan on ratting out co-workers to get ahead, and typically count down the minutes until you can race out the door.

There's also some cities with no Italian restaurants, so the Olive Garden might be your only choice if you're hankering for a fettuccine alfredo with a mixed salad, and you don't feel like making it at home. The commercialization and growth of these restaurants is a nuisance for some locales, presents opportunities for others, and provides familiarity to those a bit indifferent. I'd rather not visit them on the road, but sometimes as a big group or the family is undecided, we wind up at one at least twice a year.

J N Winkler

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Re: Is veal parmigiana on its way out?
« Reply #36 on: February 16, 2019, 12:11:22 PM »

Olive Garden does very well even in markets (such as my local one) that have well-regarded authentic Italian restaurants.  Partly this is because the ad libitum salad appeals to health- and value-conscious customers who don't register that the mesclun is mostly coarsely shredded iceberg lettuce, with little to no nutritional content.

As for eggplant, the comments regarding bitterness and mushiness are interesting.  The bitterness goes away with cooking and is basically not noticeable with the addition of other ingredients like onions and garlic.  Eggplant is not supposed to be al dente in ratatouille anyway--its main purpose is to add smoky flavor--and when it is chopped into cubes a quarter-inch (or less) on a side and left to soak up olive oil for fifteen minutes, its texture is less noticeable as a part of the total mix than that of ingredients such as bell peppers and zucchini that go in later.

Years ago, when I found myself in Vienna for close to a month, I ate out frequently at a chain restaurant called Maschu Maschu.  It specializes in Israeli cuisine, which means many of the dishes are recognizably Middle Eastern (shawarma, falafel, etc.) with elements of acidity, bitterness, and (light) sweetness added by relishes.  Their Melanzanisalat (eggplant relish) goes well with hummus-based dishes, but does leave you feeling you have to get through the virtue food before you get to the good stuff.
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hbelkins

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Re: Is veal parmigiana on its way out?
« Reply #37 on: February 16, 2019, 03:08:33 PM »

I'm not a fan of Italian food because I don't like garlic. That being said, I'm surprised at how popular Olive Garden seems to be, even in bigger places that have more authentic and non-chain Italian places.
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abefroman329

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Re: Is veal parmigiana on its way out?
« Reply #38 on: February 16, 2019, 03:39:40 PM »

I'm not a fan of Italian food because I don't like garlic. That being said, I'm surprised at how popular Olive Garden seems to be, even in bigger places that have more authentic and non-chain Italian places.
Chains thrive because people like to know exactly what they’re going to get. I’d think someone with your palate would be able to grasp that concept.
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tribar

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Re: Is veal parmigiana on its way out?
« Reply #39 on: February 16, 2019, 06:02:53 PM »

Olive Garden ruined Italian food forever.

How do you feel about the McDonald's of Italian Food, Fazolis?  We have a couple decent Italian places here, so it's been a long time since I've been to Olive Garden
McDonald's makes no effort to mask its true identity, especially after Super Size Me came out.  OG tries to make everyone think it's actually top-notch. Italian food is very easy to fabricate.

There's a good reason brands usually don't try to play themselves down. You don't go to a job interview and tell the interviewer all your weaknesses, how you look for ways to shirk responsibility, plan on ratting out co-workers to get ahead, and typically count down the minutes until you can race out the door.

There's also some cities with no Italian restaurants, so the Olive Garden might be your only choice if you're hankering for a fettuccine alfredo with a mixed salad, and you don't feel like making it at home. The commercialization and growth of these restaurants is a nuisance for some locales, presents opportunities for others, and provides familiarity to those a bit indifferent. I'd rather not visit them on the road, but sometimes as a big group or the family is undecided, we wind up at one at least twice a year.

Fettuccine Alfredo is not an Italian dish.
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US71

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Re: Is veal parmigiana on its way out?
« Reply #40 on: February 16, 2019, 06:20:24 PM »



Fettuccine Alfredo is not an Italian dish.

So why do so many Italian places serve it?  :hmmm: :hmmm:
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J N Winkler

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Re: Is veal parmigiana on its way out?
« Reply #41 on: February 16, 2019, 07:46:55 PM »

Fettuccine Alfredo is not an Italian dish.

So why do so many Italian places serve it?  :hmmm: :hmmm:

Simple--the same reason you find chicken tikka masala at an Indian restaurant rather than Harry Ramsden's.
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Big John

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Re: Is veal parmigiana on its way out?
« Reply #42 on: February 16, 2019, 07:54:24 PM »

Fettuccine Alfredo is not an Italian dish.
It was first served in Italy before coming to the United States.  http://iml.jou.ufl.edu/projects/fall10/hoppner_v/history.html
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US71

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Re: Is veal parmigiana on its way out?
« Reply #43 on: February 16, 2019, 08:05:39 PM »

Fettuccine Alfredo is not an Italian dish.

So why do so many Italian places serve it?  :hmmm: :hmmm:

Simple--the same reason you find chicken tikka masala at an Indian restaurant rather than Harry Ramsden's.

Who?
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J N Winkler

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Re: Is veal parmigiana on its way out?
« Reply #44 on: February 16, 2019, 08:51:07 PM »

Harry Ramsden's is a British chain of fish-and-chips shops, so the name is metonymy for fish and chips in general, which is a stereotypically British dish.  Chicken tikka masala is every bit as British but nobody ever looks for it other than in Indian restaurants.
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Re: Is veal parmigiana on its way out?
« Reply #45 on: February 17, 2019, 05:01:48 AM »

I'm not a fan of Italian food because I don't like garlic.
Go to Italy - you'll find loads of food without it. Its throughout American 'Italian' food (and British 'Italian' food) because that's what we expect (perhaps due to our irrational idea that French cuisine is good food, and thus swimming in garlic is the aim. French food is fine, but French cuisine is about showing off chef skills and making bad ingredients palatable). I can't speak for America, but Britain has, in the last 15-20 years, gained a lot of proper Italian restaurants (ditto Indian, some of which embrace the fact they are Bangladeshi).

As for garlic, unless they overdo it, you shouldn't be able to notice it in most dishes - its meant to be a background note. My Grandad would run a mile from garlic, but when I visit them he either has chilli or lasagne in the down-market pub restaurant and eats it all (save garlic bread) despite them having quite a bit of garlic in them - perhaps ignorance is bliss? The chili especially was odd, as they seemed to put in a regular amount of garlic, then massively reduce the other spices/herbs compared to normal as they knew their clientele ordering these things want a 70s throwback and thus don't want more than a hint of spice (that's changed, but Grandad had settled on the lasagne every time before that happened).
Harry Ramsden's is a British chain of fish-and-chips shops, so the name is metonymy for fish and chips in general
Is it a decent substitution? I was in my late teens before I'd ever heard of them as I wasn't in the right part of England, and wouldn't have got the reference. And I'm at least in the right country.

Plus Harry does offer a Sri Lankan Fish Curry, and (IIRC, it took some time when the chain branched into South Wales for HQ to realise they needed this) Curry Sauce - so it wouldn't be a surprise if it did appear on the menu (though certainly a bit odd).
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Chicken tikka masala is every bit as British but nobody ever looks for it other than in Indian restaurants.
Err - it tends to appear on "classics" sections of chain pub restaurants menus: Brewers Fayre (enjoy the 'American' food at the top, and just be aware this is how an Italian sees 'Italian' food in the US - bad stereotypes), Wetherspoons. Marstons puts it on "Flavours of the World", but I'd argue that that is to anchor that section of the menu, which only has four things and it, and the veggie equivalent, are two of them (though quite why they couldn't have the Makhani and Tagine elsewhere?). It's readily available in supermarkets (unlike, say, Chicken Dansak, or others beyond the ~5 dishes stores do as ready meals), including as microwavable meals for toddlers.

But yes, we see it as 'Indian', normally with the air quotes.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2019, 05:04:15 AM by english si »
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J N Winkler

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Re: Is veal parmigiana on its way out?
« Reply #46 on: February 17, 2019, 11:55:17 AM »

As for garlic, unless they overdo it, you shouldn't be able to notice it in most dishes - its meant to be a background note. My Grandad would run a mile from garlic, but when I visit them he either has chilli or lasagne in the down-market pub restaurant and eats it all (save garlic bread) despite them having quite a bit of garlic in them - perhaps ignorance is bliss? The chili especially was odd, as they seemed to put in a regular amount of garlic, then massively reduce the other spices/herbs compared to normal as they knew their clientele ordering these things want a 70s throwback and thus don't want more than a hint of spice (that's changed, but Grandad had settled on the lasagne every time before that happened).

My experience with actual garlic has been that it has to be either very copious, or very raw, to leave the house with a characteristic trattoria smell or to leave you feeling like you are "eating your own breath" hours after dinner.  On the other hand, a very little garlic powder goes a long way, weaponizes your breath, and leaves an extraordinarily persistent aftertaste.  I suspect garlic powder is the flavoring agent in most garlic bread, which is one reason I tend to be very sparing about eating it.  Another is that bread, as a starchy food, interferes with weight management.

The dishes I fix regularly that are most likely to engender the trattoria smell are linguine puttanesca and broccoli pasta.  In both cases the garlic is cooked only a short time (pan-cooked in olive oil in the case of puttanesca, and briefly cooked in oil and then steamed for broccoli pasta).  About once a week I fix a bean soup that involves throwing in a handful of minced garlic at the very end of cooking, and it doesn't perfume the house because it cooks just enough over a one-hour cool-down period with the soup sitting on the stove with the hob turned off.

Many years ago, when I was young and foolish, I fairly often fixed a pasta dish that consisted of whole-wheat spaghetti and a sauce comprised of canned tuna, pesto, and minced garlic.  Only the pasta was cooked; the sauce was entirely raw and I mashed the ingredients together with a fork.  I could taste my breath for hours.  The following morning, I could put any random patch of my skin to my nose and smell garlic.  I was also told that I could be smelled from two floors away, and that the bathroom smelled of garlic after I used it, regardless of whether solids or fluids were involved.  (In mitigation, I plead that people often do odd things in graduate school, and this was hardly as extreme as not washing for thirty days, which a friend of mine tried.)

Raw garlic is a test to the stomach, so I don't think I would tolerate it as well as I did when I was younger.

Harry Ramsden's is a British chain of fish-and-chips shops, so the name is metonymy for fish and chips in general

Is it a decent substitution? I was in my late teens before I'd ever heard of them as I wasn't in the right part of England, and wouldn't have got the reference. And I'm at least in the right country.

Plus Harry does offer a Sri Lankan Fish Curry, and (IIRC, it took some time when the chain branched into South Wales for HQ to realise they needed this) Curry Sauce - so it wouldn't be a surprise if it did appear on the menu (though certainly a bit odd).

Re. decent substitution--yes, it's a bit of a stretch.  Apparently it has 35 locations in the UK, while Britain had something like 35,000 fish-and-chips shops in the 1930's.  I think the only locations I have seen in person have been at airports (Heathrow has one) and motorway service areas (Forton, perhaps?).

Quote
Chicken tikka masala is every bit as British but nobody ever looks for it other than in Indian restaurants.

Err - it tends to appear on "classics" sections of chain pub restaurants menus: Brewers Fayre (enjoy the 'American' food at the top, and just be aware this is how an Italian sees 'Italian' food in the US - bad stereotypes), Wetherspoons. Marstons puts it on "Flavours of the World", but I'd argue that that is to anchor that section of the menu, which only has four things and it, and the veggie equivalent, are two of them (though quite why they couldn't have the Makhani and Tagine elsewhere?). It's readily available in supermarkets (unlike, say, Chicken Dansak, or others beyond the ~5 dishes stores do as ready meals), including as microwavable meals for toddlers.

But yes, we see it as 'Indian', normally with the air quotes.

Point taken re. pub and supermarket availability.  In general, there is something othering about how ethnic or ostensibly ethnic foods are marketed, not just in the UK but in the US.  For example, "Mexican" food in the US is all about tortillas, taco shells, refried beans, and compotes of meat and vegetables stewed or marinated in spicy sauces.  Actual food in Mexico--as in what is available when you go into a sit-down restaurant and order a meal--is not that different from "standard" fare in the US:  for example, you can order a steak with vegetables for dinner, or an omelette for breakfast, and the biggest difference is that both come with refried beans on the side.
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Re: Is veal parmigiana on its way out?
« Reply #47 on: February 18, 2019, 01:27:33 AM »

In general, there is something othering about how ethnic or ostensibly ethnic foods are marketed, not just in the UK but in the US.  For example, "Mexican" food in the US is all about tortillas, taco shells, refried beans, and compotes of meat and vegetables stewed or marinated in spicy sauces.  Actual food in Mexico--as in what is available when you go into a sit-down restaurant and order a meal--is not that different from "standard" fare in the US:  for example, you can order a steak with vegetables for dinner, or an omelette for breakfast, and the biggest difference is that both come with refried beans on the side.

Regarding the "othering" effect, that's going to be an intrinsic effect of how we enjoy ethnic food. For instance, I'm going to be disappointed if I ask for Mexican food for dinner and am greeted with steak and vegetables and a side of refried beans. Sure, people from Mexico without a doubt eat steak, but it's not really a specialty of that place.
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Re: Is veal parmigiana on its way out?
« Reply #48 on: February 18, 2019, 03:15:54 PM »

In general, there is something othering about how ethnic or ostensibly ethnic foods are marketed, not just in the UK but in the US.  For example, "Mexican" food in the US is all about tortillas, taco shells, refried beans, and compotes of meat and vegetables stewed or marinated in spicy sauces.  Actual food in Mexico--as in what is available when you go into a sit-down restaurant and order a meal--is not that different from "standard" fare in the US:  for example, you can order a steak with vegetables for dinner, or an omelette for breakfast, and the biggest difference is that both come with refried beans on the side.

Regarding the "othering" effect, that's going to be an intrinsic effect of how we enjoy ethnic food. For instance, I'm going to be disappointed if I ask for Mexican food for dinner and am greeted with steak and vegetables and a side of refried beans. Sure, people from Mexico without a doubt eat steak, but it's not really a specialty of that place.
Wonder how they feel about Chipotle.
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Re: Is veal parmigiana on its way out?
« Reply #49 on: February 18, 2019, 03:29:06 PM »

Veal parm (along with veal marsala) is a staple dish at "red sauce" Italian restaurants in the NYC metro area and it isn't going away any time soon. When my aunt moved to NC, she had a hankering for veal and wanted to buy some to make for dinner. So she went to the butcher at the supermarket and they told her that they "don't club baby cows down here". Its also not commonly found in Italian restaurants in the area. I suspect the real reason is local demographics. People down there just aren't buying expensive veal like they do in Northern NJ.
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