I find some generally held beliefs about food and cooking not to be true ("food myths"), but some people swear that they are true. Please comment on your agreement or disagreement with any of the ones listed below OR can you provide some of your own food myths?
I find the following not to be true:
1. Tomatoes taste better if they are not refrigerated: Well, if they are cold when you serve them, they don't have as much flavor, but if you let them return to room temperature, I don't see a difference between tomatoes kept at room temperature and those stored at cooler temperatures.
2. Steep your tea for at least two minutes because it will taste better: The longer I steep my tea, the more bitter it gets. With a black tea, about a 30 second dunk is all the tea needs.
3. Parsley improves everything: I don't get parsley. If you eat it by itself, it has almost no flavor, unlike, for example, basil or mint. So why bother putting it in a recipe? I keep doing so because all the the recipes tell me to, but can you really discern any difference in the flavor of a dish, if it is left out? I can't.
4. Hard plastic cutting boards won't harm your knife because they are made to deal with your knife: Nothing makes your knife go duller faster.
5. Long, slow cooking of Italian tomato sauce (for example, for spaghetti) improves the flavor of the sauce because the ingredients (garlic, basil, oregano, etc.) meld together: I find just the opposite. The sauce becomes flat tasting, which I think is the result of the acidity of the tomatoes disappearing. A tomato sauce cooked briefly has much more zing and fresh flavor.
6. Using a garlic press alters the flavor of the garlic: I've never noticed any difference.
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