Food Snob Rules That I’m Not Buying
Just because it’s a foodie thing doesn’t mean that it’s really better
I don’t really care about what I’m supposed to do or supposed to like, and food and drink are no exception to that. If something is supposed to be better but it doesn’t taste that way to me, I’m not going to abide by some kind of cheffy rule just to act like I’m cool. I think that this stuff is more hype than truth.
Here are a couple of my food pet peeves:
You know what is really unappealing to me? Tepid white wine! There’s a food snob rule that white wine should not be served too cold because it purportedly mutes the flavor and you can’t enjoy it properly. I have never had a really cold glass of white wine that I couldn’t taste or didn’t enjoy. On the other hand, I’ve often not enjoyed wine that was no longer cold enough.
Some restaurants just serve their white wine way too warm to start with, and some serve it appropriately cool — for about half the glass. I’d rather not put ice cubes in my wine, but I’d much rather do that than drink warm white wine. When James and I drink white wine at home, we put it into the freezer for about 10 minutes before we open the bottle. That way, the entire glass stays cold until nearly the last drops in the glass. We both have to intentionally sip it and not just quaff the entire glass in 5 minutes because it’s so enjoyable and tastes so good that way.
Everyone knows that you should eat good beef medium-rare, or if you must, medium, right? If you cook it more than medium, it turns to shoe leather, right? But that isn’t actually true. I only eat beef that is cooked medium-well or well done because I don’t like food that is two different temperatures or textures. I want it all to be consistent throughout. Barely seared tuna steaks is my idea of hell. I can eat raw tuna or raw beef, but I don’t want meat that is part one way and part another.
The well-done beef that I eat is tender and juicy because I only eat it at home where it can be prepared slowly enough to get cooked through. I have found one restaurant where they will cook your beef to whatever temperature you want without a fuss. They just warn you that it’s going to take longer to be ready, and that is fine with me.
If people prefer rarer meat, that’s no problem, but it’s a food snob myth that well-done meat can’t be incredibly juicy and delicious. Looking down your nose at those of us who don’t want pink in our meat is a problem.
I understand that fat can provide flavor, but it also has other properties that I’m not so crazy about. I don’t like rubbery texture and I don’t like the tendons, gristle, or the other unappealing things that often go along with fattier cuts of meat.
Most people who consider themselves to be serious about food turn up their noses at chicken breasts.
“Ugh, they have no flavor. I prefer thighs.”
If you like chicken thighs, that’s great, but chicken breasts that are properly prepared have plenty of flavor, particularly if you are cooking with a good quality bird. The same goes for beef. It doesn’t necessarily have to be fatty to be flavorful.
What is the purpose of these food snob rules anyway? Is it just a way to show that you are better than other people because you are more serious than they are about le cuisine? Believe me, we are very serious about good food at our house. My husband James is a gourmet cook who plates everything beautifully. We have pretty well-developed palates and have even been known to critique restaurant food (to each other, not to the chef) by pointing out what’s missing — “This really needs some acid to make it work…..”
I guess I’m just further reiterating that although there are some food rules that make sense (such as having a good balance of fat and acid, for instance) there are plenty of other ones that are really just a function of personal preference. No matter what other people believe about food, I’m always going to prepare and eat or drink things in the way that is most enjoyable to me.