General Topics RSS

Highlights from the General Topics and Cookware boards. Food trends, food products, and burning questions.

Is Mate Better When Sipped Through a Bombilla?

passycafe says, “I’ve been happily steeping my plebeian yerba mate tea bags until I read that I’m all wrong. Seems I need a gourd, a bombilla, and mate that is

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Indoor and Outdoor Markets Around the World

“The best indoor market I’ve ever been to is absolutely the Mercato Centrale in Florence, Italy,” says woodleyparkhound. “It’s huge, and they sell the best quality ANYTHING you need to

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Getting Use from the Mortar and Pestle

Does your mortar and pestle sit quietly alone, gathering dust? Or do you actually use it? Many hounds use their mortars and pestles for pesto, unsurprisingly. More surprisingly, chefathome uses

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Why Do Ice Cubes Shatter Instead of Releasing Cleanly?

“I have heavy plastic ice cube trays that came with my refrigerator,” says somervilleoldtimer. “I flex them to get the cubes to pop up enough so that I can flip

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What’s the Most Frugal Cuisine?

arktos wonders which cuisine gives the most bang for the buck in terms of flavor, and nominates Mexican as the winner: “you can feed a family with only a chicken,

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Delicious Processed Monochrome Scrambled Eggs

“I have a weakness for a certain type of scrambled eggs, and that is the type I have most often had at cheap roadside diners on roadtrips and also on

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Vinegar Eels?!

cranbear likes raw organic apple cider vinegar mixed with water. “Today I mixed my usual batch, and after drinking half the glass noticed that it had little super short squiggly

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Microwave Cooking’s Sordid History

“I was recently skimming my mom’s cookbook collection, and I found a few interesting books (mostly published by microwave companies) from the late 1970s about ‘microwave cooking,'” says anakalia. “I

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Mind If We Eat Your Fish Heads and Beef Fat?

“I guess being Asian, I’m used to shrimp and prawn shells being prepared so they’re edible,” says Jase. “Usually it’s this type of preparation where the shell is fried so

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Do Two Tortillas Make the Taco?

Why do many authentic Mexican taquerias serve tacos with two tortillas each? “It’s to help with saucy fillings,” says eight_inch_pestle. “It also makes a great tortilla-to-filling ratio. And I have

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The Cheesy Peanut Butter of Norway

“Gjetost (brown goat cheese) is the ‘peanut butter’ of Norway,” says Passadumkeg. “Unless one is a Norsk-a-phile, I can’t imagine how one would use it. Generally on Sundays we have

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Does Popularity Dumb Down a Restaurant’s Food?

Jase has a small, local Mexican seafood restaurant that he loves. “No English translations on the menu, no-frill place, bare booths and tables, dinged up flatware and plates,” he says.

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What Makes a “Hole in the Wall” Restaurant?

“In the UK (to the best of my knowledge and experience) a hole in the wall place is a wall, with a hole in it (i.e. a serving hatch),” says

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Enchilada Sauce: As Many Recipes as There Are Grandmas

What makes enchilada sauce enchilada sauce, wonders kjonyou? Oh, if only it were that simple. “Just saying ‘enchilada sauce’ is as amorphous as saying ‘pasta sauce,'” says sedimental. “There are

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What Goes on Popcorn?

What’s the best way to prepare and top popcorn? “If you’re popping in oil, some of the tastiest popcorn I’ve ever had was popped in peanut oil and seasoned with

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Spaghetti with Cinnamon?

tatamagouche was slightly horrified and slightly intrigued to encounter a huge bowl of spaghetti with meat sauce … and also a bunch of cinnamon sticks in it! “I know a

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Big, Fat, Delicious Wild Mushrooms

Porcini mushrooms, also known as cèpes, are big, fat, delicious wild mushrooms, says Nyleve. “They dry beautifully and are most widely available in that form, but you can sometimes find

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Slurp Your Noodles—Deliciously!

Why do Japanese people slurp their noodles with gusto? Or, perhaps we should say, why do Americans eat noodles quietly? E Eto, writing from Japan, relates a Japanese television program

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Glass or Plastic?

Which is better for food storage: glass or plastic? “I have always considered glass to be associated with a bit higher quality of product, and the fact you can reuse

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Where Did Condiments Come From Before Grocery Stores?

“Before items like soy sauce, oyster sauce, etc. were commercially produced on a large scale, where did people get them?” asks luckyfatima. “Did they make them at home? Were there

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Ancient Roman Fermented Fish Sauce

You might say that garum, an ancient Roman condiment made from fermented fish viscera, was the ketchup of its day—or perhaps the Worcestershire sauce of its day, says BobB. “There

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