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The all-time classic Chowhound threads

By Davina Baum

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Is there anything Chowhounds hate more than being pinned down? The best this, the most delicious that—consensus is rare, and the divergent opinions are one of the things we love about the boards. And yet, some can agree on the all-time classic Chowhound threads. As Chowhounds may no doubt point out, condensing the greatest threads into pithy blurbs doesn’t do them justice; that’s why we’ve distilled them down extrasmall, so you’ll just go and read them.

  1. The Risotto Nazi

    The thread: Absolute Best Risotto You Will EVER Eat: Toasted Pistachio Gorgonzola Dolce by Joe H. (87 replies.)
    The upshot: The most precise recipe you will ever read.

    “For those on this board who are into cooking make this EXACTLY the way I describe. Don’t make it if you CHANGE ANYTHING.”

  2. Rude Rib Rube

    The thread: Guest insists on bringing a dish… rude?? by SanJoseHound. (283 replies.)
    The upshot: An overeager guest offers to bring his wife’s version of a dish he knows is already on the menu. Rude? Not rude? (Plus: It’s a Chowhound cliff-hanger; no response from SanJoseHound until three months later.)

    “I have a mischievous suggestion. Bin your rib plans, go for barbequed chicken, and don’t tell the sod. It scuppers his competitive instinct, and you won’t have to change any of your plans for side dishes, beverages, etc. And who doesn’t love barbequed chicken?”

  3. Live to Eat, Work to Eat

    The thread: What do Chowhounds do for a living (besides eat of course)? by kevin. (581 replies.)
    The upshot: Chowhounds usually are moderated out when they talk about their personal lives. Here, they let loose.

    “What wonderful dinner party conversation this group would have.”

  4. Porcine Experimentation

    The thread: Bacon Brittle by Louise. (71 replies.)
    The upshot: This recipe—bacon brittle with Aleppo pepper and roasted peanuts—was a success.


  5. Don’t Eat Here

    The thread: Wo Hop —worst meal of my life by Brian S. (15 replies.)
    The upshot: It’s not always about the best chow.

    “I ordered squid in black bean sauce, which I love. And out it came, squid floating in [a] lake of brown glop, like flotsam on the muddy banks of a fetid bayou. The taste was indescribably foul. I thought the squid had putrefied. It’s hard to tell but I’m pretty sure it was the sauce. It took so much will power to eat each bite.”

  6. Beyond the Soup Nazi

    The thread: Favorite Seinfeld food moments by Brian S. (271 replies.)
    The upshot: An impressive feat of television trivia. Chowhounds recall Elaine’s business scheme to sell only muffin tops, George eating the pastrami sandwich during sex, Jerry’s cereal collection, Elaine eating Peterman’s $29,000 piece of wedding cake, and more.

    “Hmmmm… does envelope glue count?”

  7. The Cassoulet Diet

    The thread: Languedoc: Turned Away at Restaurant Emile in Toulouse by Melanie Wong. (26 replies.)
    The upshot: A lunch of cassoulet, a dinner of cassoulet, more cassoulet, and then some duck.

    “I pacified myself with the thought that with each passing minute, the cap on my cassoulet was growing crustier and more delicious.”

  8. On the Rise

    The thread: Bittman’s No-Knead Bread…Wow! by Kagey. (120 replies.)
    The upshot: For a recipe that’s supposedly foolproof, there are a lot of questions—about pans and yeast and flours, with helpful responses from baking-savvy Chowhounds.

    “Bittbread? Bittbread? Did you just invent a new name?”

  9. Out of the Pan

    The thread: The Apple Pan hickory burger revisited (with clear eyes) by Arthur. (146 replies.)
    The upshot: Los Angeles restaurant Apple Pan always makes its way into the regular “best hamburger in LA” threads, but it is invoked multiple times in a thread about overrated/overhyped restaurants and one about restaurants people would defend.

    “I guess there’s no convincing each other of our views–I’ll sulk on the counter over a steak burger w/ fries at the Pan…”

  10. Just About the Chow

    The thread: Preview of Minako on Mission by chowhoundX. (2 replies.)
    The upshot: The best threads aren’t always the longest, or the ones with fantastic fireworks of opinion.

    “There are lots of great Japanese places where you are served by a nice-but-stern, masterful chef who wields his knife like a sword; at this place you are taken care of by a sweet, nurturing obasan… who gently but firmly reminds you to eat your veggies.”

Davina Baum is managing editor of CHOW.

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