Saw this item in Business Insider, and it got me thinking:
Chowhound presents postings from people with broad experience and diverse experience, locale , but also of expertise. I first started using it when internet searches about French cooking and dining led me here. The opportunity to exchange information, and to learn from those more knowledgeable than I has proven to be gratifying. It is, however, sometimes frustrating, when someone posts a review of a restaurant, and cannot seem to be able to describe the experience beyond “it was good, the portions were large.”
The reader obtains no point of reference from which to evaluate, and worse, I fear the diner doesn’t know how to enjoy the full measure of the experience either. Going to a place because it is trendy can be fun, but if one doesn’t understand food techniques, flavors, blends, then one is only spending money, and such a restaurant might as well be called “Lemmings.” When a person buys an expensive bottle of wine because “Parker gave it a 94,” I am sure that the person doesn’t understand the wine, nor how to enjoy it, and a $5 bottle may yield more pleasure for that person.
This is a serious problem, as I see it, as there are those who feel it is snobbery actually to know something, or to do the work required to gain true skill. That is sad for those who miss out, but also weakens the utility of a site such as this. When one, for instance, doesn’t appreciate a foam, how can one report a restaurant’s sabayone or zabaglione? How about when someone’s “adaptation” or “style” is really the reflection of aberrant technique and nothing but a dodge?
Since this is a site about learning from each other, one would hope that all participants remember that another’s pointing out that a CHer ‘s is incorrect or doesn’t know something is not insulting nor rude, as it might in a live setting, but rather meant as instructional. No one here knows everything, and raising the level of discourse can only profit us all.