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January 28, 2012

Wrong on So Many Levels
Posted by Jim Macdonald at 11:36 AM * 155 comments

I was reading a sign high on the wall behind the bar: ‘Only genuine pre-war British and American whiskeys served here.’ I was trying to count how many lies could be found in those nine words, and had reached four, with promise of more …
—Dashiell Hammett, “The Golden Horseshoe”
Comments on Wrong on So Many Levels:
#1 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: January 28, 2012, 11:40 AM:

That beats the corn chips I occasionally buy, whose package announces proudly "Authentic Mexican tortilla chips ... Made in Australia".

#2 ::: B. Durbin ::: (view all by) ::: January 28, 2012, 12:02 PM:

I am reminded of this classic commercial.

#3 ::: Xopher HalfTongue ::: (view all by) ::: January 28, 2012, 12:32 PM:

Hmm, things named after places are often not FROM those places, but are fantasies ABOUT those places. I would not have been at all surprised if Texas Toast was invented in New York. (It actually was from Texas, but it's not a stretch.)

Baked Alaska was certainly not invented in Alaska, and was first called that in a New York restaurant. French Toast does originate in France, according to this article, but was called "pain perdu" (lost bread) there; it was named French Toast elsewhere.

#4 ::: Xopher HalfTongue ::: (view all by) ::: January 28, 2012, 12:49 PM:

The name of German Chocolate Cake is based on a brand name. Nothing to do with Germany. London Broil is a North American creation with no connection to London, England (though it occurs to me that London, Ontario is in North America).

Let's not go into Moon Pies...

#5 ::: Keith Kisser ::: (view all by) ::: January 28, 2012, 01:32 PM:

Xopher @4:

Wait, Moon pies aren't made in a small resort town on the shores of the Sea of Tranquility?

#6 ::: Keith Kisser ::: (view all by) ::: January 28, 2012, 01:35 PM:

A question endlessly debated back in college: is it possible to have an authentic English pub in the US?

#7 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: January 28, 2012, 01:36 PM:

Eskimo Pies are also not made by Inuit. Nor do they contain any actual Inuit.

#8 ::: inamac ::: (view all by) ::: January 28, 2012, 01:46 PM:

It could have been worse. It could have said 'English Whiskys'.

Pre- which war?

#9 ::: Xopher HalfTongue ::: (view all by) ::: January 28, 2012, 01:49 PM:

And Girl Scout Cookies!!! Completely free of actual Girl Scout!

#10 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: January 28, 2012, 01:54 PM:

inamac #8 Pre- which war?

The Great War. The scene is a bar in Mexico during Prohibition-times. The story was written in 1924.

#11 ::: Adam Rice ::: (view all by) ::: January 28, 2012, 01:59 PM:

See this sign for New York-style Chinese food. In a small town in Arizona.

#12 ::: thanate ::: (view all by) ::: January 28, 2012, 02:04 PM:

My father once bought an "authentic Australian drover's coat" from a shop called Pure Country Western Wear in Pigeon Forge, Tn.

#13 ::: little pink beast ::: (view all by) ::: January 28, 2012, 02:06 PM:

Around here we have Old Dutch Restaurant-Style Tortilla Chips. With a windmill on the bag.

#14 ::: Roy G. Ovrebo ::: (view all by) ::: January 28, 2012, 02:13 PM:

Inverted trope: I had a bottle of "American-style" maple syrup and it was actually made in the US.

#15 ::: Debra Doyle ::: (view all by) ::: January 28, 2012, 02:22 PM:

Roy@14: I had a bottle of "American-style" maple syrup and it was actually made in the US.

But was it maple syrup or maple-flavored syrup?

#16 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: January 28, 2012, 02:45 PM:

Keith Kisser #5: I'm contemplating the prospect of Chattanooga as a lunar outpost. It's a curiously compelling image.

#17 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: January 28, 2012, 03:09 PM:

To the best of my knowledge, there are no Hawaiians in "Hawaiian pizza." Nor, to the best of my knowledge, are there any homegrown pizza palaces in this state which bake such awfulness as the things marketed as such.

For my taste, ham and pineapple go together just fine, but on top of a flatbread with tomato sauce? Blech.

#18 ::: jennygadget ::: (view all by) ::: January 28, 2012, 03:18 PM:

"And Girl Scout Cookies!!! Completely free of actual Girl Scout!"

Don't be so sure. There must be some reason there are fewer Junior Scouts than Brownies.

#19 ::: Roy G. Ovrebo ::: (view all by) ::: January 28, 2012, 03:19 PM:

Debra@15: Sorry, can't remember. I seem to remember it was genuine maple syrup, but it's years ago.

#20 ::: KayTei ::: (view all by) ::: January 28, 2012, 03:37 PM:

jennygadget@18

I'm thinking the name "brownies" itself is your first clue to look further...

#21 ::: Renee ::: (view all by) ::: January 28, 2012, 05:11 PM:

Many American-made soy sauces aren't made with soy -- they're made with wheat. My favorite brand is made from 'soy based hydrolyzed plant protein'... which is a bit disturbing, actually.

I think I won't think about it.

#22 ::: janetl ::: (view all by) ::: January 28, 2012, 05:21 PM:

French fries contain no francophones. The term isn't even appropriate as an honorific for a the best producers of fried potatoes. If that were the basis, I believe they would be Flemish Fries.
The American dish called "Belgian waffles", smothered in strawberries and whipped cream (usually out of a can) would never be served in Belgium.

The most mis-used adjective on food labels is probably "All-Natural".

#23 ::: Rob Thornton ::: (view all by) ::: January 28, 2012, 05:39 PM:

Despite being born in Maryland, I have only found Maryland fried chicken outside the state. In fact there is a Southern chain of the same name whose closest outlet is in Bristol, Virginia. And no one seems to know what, if anything, differentiates Maryland fried chicken from the rest of the, um, breed.

The Washington City Paper has a meditation on the mystery of Maryland fried chicken.

#24 ::: Marcos ::: (view all by) ::: January 28, 2012, 05:53 PM:

While not a food, don't forget that Chinese Checkers was invented in Germany...

#25 ::: Peter Erwin ::: (view all by) ::: January 28, 2012, 06:03 PM:

In Spain you can get hamburguesa americana = "American hamburger".

Which is a hamburger with a fried egg on top, which I don't think I've ever encountered in the US...

#26 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: January 28, 2012, 06:13 PM:

"Nor do they contain any actual Inuit."

Thank you very much, Mister Upton Sinclair.

#27 ::: elise ::: (view all by) ::: January 28, 2012, 06:27 PM:

The vinarterte made by the Icelandic-Americans of Minneota, Minnesota, would not be recognized by inhabitants of Vienna. (Layers of cardamon-spiced dough and prune sauce make a vinarterte, though there are variations, such as the almond icing used by some Icelandic-Canadians. Why yes, I am reading Bill Holm again.)

#28 ::: boyhowdy ::: (view all by) ::: January 28, 2012, 07:00 PM:

" a hamburger with a fried egg on top, which I don't think I've ever encountered in the US..."

...which means you've never been inside a Red Robin restaurant, where the "Royal" is exactly that. Personally, I've seen fried egg burgers in many places, but RR is the most obvious and most prolific of the chains carrying them.

Bonus points: in our region of New England, at least, Red Robin is also notable for having televisions sets inset into the floors of their waiting areas, showing athletic events underfoot (and under scuffed hard plastic) while you wait to garner table-level access to booths where one can watch even more TV in multiple directions as at a sports bar. The floor-inset TV is, surely, a truly American conceit, and I've not seen it elsewhere.

#29 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: January 28, 2012, 07:04 PM:

Peter Erwin @ #25, boyhowdy @ #28, let me introduce you to the Hawaii delicacy called Loco Moco. Hamburger, fried egg, rice, brown gravy.

#30 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: January 28, 2012, 07:28 PM:

San Francisco's French bread is actually Italian, going by the bakery names. ('Toscana' is one of the bigger names.)

And adding to the misleading names: I say a place today that was labeled as a 'sports grille and bar'.

#31 ::: rm ::: (view all by) ::: January 28, 2012, 08:04 PM:

I think (and don't dare look up the actual fact, in case I'm wrong) that "french fries" are "french" because of the way they are cut, which is "french cut" as in "french cut green beans," that is, in sticks with angle-cut ends. I think the term comes from a chef whose name was French. I actually believe all this even though I have no idea what I am talking about; thanks for listening.

#32 ::: rm ::: (view all by) ::: January 28, 2012, 08:07 PM:

Welcome back, boyhowdy.

#33 ::: rm ::: (view all by) ::: January 28, 2012, 08:14 PM:

I am wrong in #31, but I felt like getting out a useless factoid that irritates my brain all the time but which I can't ever verbalize because I have managed to acquire a few social skills in middle age.

On the other hand, it's fascinating. "French cut" is a word for julienning, or cutting and trimming in a way that could be like fries. But actually french fries are "French" because they came from France before there was a term "french cut."

#34 ::: Tracie ::: (view all by) ::: January 28, 2012, 08:55 PM:

I have had hamburger with fried egg on top in the US, but it was called "Australian" and was served by actual Australians.

#35 ::: Tracie ::: (view all by) ::: January 28, 2012, 08:55 PM:

I have had hamburger with fried egg on top in the US, but it was called "Australian" and was served by actual Australians.

#36 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: January 28, 2012, 09:09 PM:

Linkmeister @ #17, long ago but not so far away (Lawrence, KS), my boyfriend* worked at one of the hottest pizza joints at the time. the Hawaiian pizza was very popular. As I recall (from the mists of time), it's not something I'd go for most of the time, but I'd share it because I can't eat much of a pizza by myself. It was not gross or nasty.

We took a trip to Hot Springs, AR,. got there in the evening and ordered out pizza because we were all starving. He tried to order a Hawaiian Pizza, they asked him to describe it and then said, "Boy, you ain't right. This is a pizza shop, not a produce stand. What do you really want to order?"

*We got married in 1978. He still 'ain't quite right', but I got the right one, and a fanboy at that, the first time.

#37 ::: Keith Kisser ::: (view all by) ::: January 28, 2012, 09:14 PM:

Peter Erwin@25:

Oh yes, we have fried eggs on hamburgers here in the US. Sometimes also with ham and cheddar as well.

#38 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: January 28, 2012, 09:53 PM:

Stefan Jones #26: As the Rastaman said when the surprised woman cried out "Lord Jesus Christ!", tell no one thou hast seen I.

#39 ::: heckblazer ::: (view all by) ::: January 28, 2012, 10:35 PM:

I suspect Vermont curry is not a traditional food of Vermont, if only because it lacks maple syrup:

http://www.house-foods.com/curry/products.aspx

#40 ::: errolwi ::: (view all by) ::: January 28, 2012, 10:46 PM:

Fried egg is a standard option on New Zealand burgers - and beetroot is near-compulsory. McDonalds here sometimes has a Kiwiburger, which contains beetroot (and an egg maybe?), but no New Zealanders or kiwifruit.

#41 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: January 28, 2012, 11:00 PM:

Adam Rice @11 said: See this sign for New York-style Chinese food. In a small town in Arizona.
My biggest 'bwuh?' moment in a grocery store of late was finding in a dairy case something marked boldly as "Canadian-style" sour cream.

My Toronto-born husband has no idea what they were on about. This was a small local grocer that had several sorts of 'ethnic' specialties showing, some with Arabic on the label and some with Cyrillic, so I'm not certain what ethnicity thinks Canada has its own 'style' of sour cream ...

#42 ::: thomas ::: (view all by) ::: January 28, 2012, 11:07 PM:

errolwi #40: Fried egg is a standard option on New Zealand burgers - and beetroot is near-compulsory
Australia, too. The beetroot is a great addition except for the stain potential.

#43 ::: thomas ::: (view all by) ::: January 28, 2012, 11:24 PM:

When visiting relatives near Macclesfield (outside Manchester), I saw a large brick building in a field, dating from the era when the town was the world's largest producer of finished silk. This building was being divided up for residential use. It was advertising "New York style apartment living".

#44 ::: Mary Frances ::: (view all by) ::: January 28, 2012, 11:55 PM:

Then there's Canadian bacon, which I believe is at least not called that in Canada.

#45 ::: Bruce H. ::: (view all by) ::: January 29, 2012, 01:12 AM:

I lived in Maryland for six years (and still have family there) but this is the first I ever heard of Maryland Fried Chicken.

The Last Samurai tells of fried chicken restaurants in London named for many different American states. I so wanted this to be true that I never tried to check it out.

#46 ::: janetl ::: (view all by) ::: January 29, 2012, 01:17 AM:

I once saw "Utah Roll" on a sushi menu. I didn't investigate further. Yes, it was in Utah.

#47 ::: Bruce H. ::: (view all by) ::: January 29, 2012, 01:25 AM:

>> "Utah Roll"

Boiled wheat and crickets?

#48 ::: Xopher HalfTongue ::: (view all by) ::: January 29, 2012, 01:55 AM:

People used to argue whether Petoskey, MI was named after the Petoskey stone found near there, or whether the stone was named after the place. Nope. They're both named after a guy named Petosegay.

There's a thing called a Michigan rock which actually is from Michigan, but isn't a rock: it's compressed paint from old cars.

#49 ::: Bruce Cohen (Speaker to Managers) ::: (view all by) ::: January 29, 2012, 02:21 AM:

The Stone of Scone was not made with baking soda. Neither was the Scone of Stone, even though the latter is alleged to be edible.

Scotch eggs do not come from Scotland originally: Fortnum & Mason's in London claims to have invented them, but it's also possible the Moghuls beat them to it.

#50 ::: Gray Woodland ::: (view all by) ::: January 29, 2012, 03:24 AM:

"Healthy" food in the UK is now often marketed in supermarkets under the simple banner of "Free From", the implicit sequel being, "...whatever you think is nasty*".

When this got its start, my brother was somewhat alarmed to walk into a certain well-known store and find himself staring at an aisle marked "Free From Food".

*Subject to terms and conditions. May contain nuts anyway. Or anything. Freedom not for sale in Swaziland or Chipping Sodbury. By inferring this you consent to our Non-Disclosure Agreement and agree not to sue us for brain-strain incurred in the process. Hooray for Captain Planet! Did you know that people bolting their food causes 150000 deaths per year, join our responsible table manners campaign at our website. Fnord. Mayor Snorkum will lay the cake**. Void.

#51 ::: praisegod barebones ::: (view all by) ::: January 29, 2012, 06:12 AM:

Bruce Cohen @ 48: it's also possible the Moghuls beat them to it.

Surprising if true: isn't pork an important ingredient? (That said: I've often been struck by the similarities between
içli köfte and Scotch eggs.)

#52 ::: James E ::: (view all by) ::: January 29, 2012, 06:39 AM:

Bruce H. @45: This Londoner can confirm the presence of cheap-and-cheerful fast-food places called things like Oklahoma Fried Chicken, in sufficient number and range that you could probably collect them in an I-Spy book. The most unlikely one I've seen so far is Vermont, but I'm holding out hope that some confused-but-enthusiastic entrepreneur has opened an Alaska Fried Chicken.

#53 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: January 29, 2012, 07:40 AM:

Here in the Netherlands, one of my food discoveries is filet Americain: raw beef with onion and various spices. It's sold in tubs at deli counters and spread on bread. It goes beautifully with a young cheese (Edam-equivalent).

#54 ::: Gray Woodland ::: (view all by) ::: January 29, 2012, 07:45 AM:

Bruce H @ 45, James E @ 52: Strangely, Rhode Island is one of the dwindling band of states not yet known to be chickenfried in London. Full saturation has been delayed by the branching off of names like "Kenssy" and (my favourite WTF-generator to date) "Kennedy Fried Chicken".

ObSF: Kentucki Fried Lizzard Partes, though widely and eagerly awaited, has yet to make its debut on this side of the pond.

#55 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: January 29, 2012, 08:52 AM:

Abi @ 53... filet Americain: raw beef with onion and various spices. It's sold in tubs

Welcome Chez Chef Chewie's Le Millenium Falcon!
("Not that kind of tub, Serge.")
Oh.
Nevermind.

#56 ::: rm ::: (view all by) ::: January 29, 2012, 09:23 AM:

You ate that? You're braver than I thought.

#57 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: January 29, 2012, 10:10 AM:

44
It isn't really bacon, either. It's more like ham. (Tasty, though.)

#59 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: January 29, 2012, 10:13 AM:

I can say, truthfully, that you will be able to get 'Texas toast' in Texas. It isn't usually garlic-flavored though.

#60 ::: elise ::: (view all by) ::: January 29, 2012, 10:35 AM:

Xopher @48: Oh, Fordite! Some people call it Detroit agate. Interesting stuff. Yeah, it's the layers of paint built up on the old painting bays of car manufacturers, many many different colors deep. When I've seen it, it's mostly been cut en cabochon to show off the layers.

I note with amusement that the website cited says that appropriate care is to buff it with Turtle Wax or the like.

#61 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: January 29, 2012, 10:36 AM:

Didn't the makers of Dragon Sausages get in trouble a while back because the sausages contained no dragon?

Ah, yes, as Clifton mentioned here, and some followup commentary. His link no longer goes to the original article, however.

#62 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: January 29, 2012, 10:37 AM:

elise (60): Oooooo, pretty!

#63 ::: Debbie Notkin ::: (view all by) ::: January 29, 2012, 01:21 PM:

My favorite "lies per word" sentence isn't about food at all. It's from a right-wing high-school football coach, widely quoted in the early 1970s, who said "God gave man short hair so he could dominate over women."

#64 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: January 29, 2012, 01:56 PM:

elise #60: And wouldn't that stuff puzzle a future archaeologist!

#65 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: January 29, 2012, 02:26 PM:

Did Tartars actually eat steak tartare? In any case, the current incarnation seems to have come from France.

#66 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: January 29, 2012, 03:14 PM:

I was dumbstruck the first time I encountered Snyder's of Hanover brand Traditional Salsa in a local grocery. For those not familiar with the manufacturer, the Hanover in question is Hanover, Pennsylvania -- about fifteen miles east of Gettysburg, or an hour's drive west from Lancaster if you don't get stuck behind a horse and buggy. Snyder's makes Pennsylvania-German snack foods, many of which are pretzel-based.

In the years since I made that discovery, Snyder's has continued to make what they think are Mexican-style snacks, but I'm pretty sure it's the Pennsylvanian fondness for sweet vegetable pickles and relishes that gets us products like "garden-style sweet-and-sour" Sweet Salsa and Tres Bean Dip.

(Proposition: As long as you stayed off the interstates, you could navigate from NYC to Lancaster County just by stopping at roadside diners and checking out the salad bars, which gradually shade from NYC-style deli coleslaw, half-sours, and marinated antipasto veggie mix, to Central Pennsylvanian corn relish and three-bean salad.)

Little pink beast @13:

Around here we have Old Dutch Restaurant-Style Tortilla Chips. With a windmill on the bag.
Because nothing says "Old Dutch" like tortilla chips, and vice-versa.

When Patrick and I were bicycling around Haarlem, we passed an eaterie called the Cafe Popocatepetl. It wasn't open, so I'm still wondering how the locals pronounce that.

Peter Erwin @25, et seq.:

In Spain you can get hamburguesa americana = "American hamburger".

Which is a hamburger with a fried egg on top, which I don't think I've ever encountered in the US...

You can sometimes get that in the U.S., but I strongly associate it with Toronto. When I was living there, it was a common burger variant, usually listed as a "banquet burger".

errolwi @40:

Fried egg is a standard option on New Zealand burgers - and beetroot is near-compulsory. McDonalds here sometimes has a Kiwiburger, which contains beetroot (and an egg maybe?), but no New Zealanders or kiwifruit.
Is it true that New Zealanders classify any warm chunk-style meat-on-a-bun sandwich as a burger? That was the impression Patrick got when he was there, IIRC.

janetl @46, Bruce H. @47, re "Utah Roll": funeral potatoes around a double-strength jello core, wrapped in seaweed and sprinkled with crushed canned onion rings?

Xopher @48: Michigan is rich in cool rocks.

There's a thing called a Michigan rock which actually is from Michigan, but isn't a rock: it's compressed paint from old cars.
Also known as Fordite, or NameOfManufacturer + "ite" if you know the specific source.

The best stuff comes from auto plants and third-party auto repainting shops, which can yield finely striped deposits built up over many years. It can be surprisingly hard and stable.

#67 ::: Theophylact ::: (view all by) ::: January 29, 2012, 03:14 PM:

Marcia and I were once in a small restaurant near (if I recall correctly) the Turtle Fountain, and we couldn't help overhearing much of a conversation at the next table. The customers were a middle-aged Italian-American man and two younger Italian men.

The American ordered a martini, and was baffled that the waiter had no idea what he wanted (some vermouth, perhaps?). He grew more upset yet when he ordered pasta and found it impossible to get red pepper to sprinkle on it.

His companions were quite unable to explain to him that these supposedly quintessentially Italian items were unknown to genuine Italian dining.

#69 ::: elise ::: (view all by) ::: January 29, 2012, 03:19 PM:

TNH @68: I was thinking of you when I wrote that. *grin*

#70 ::: Bruce H. ::: (view all by) ::: January 29, 2012, 03:31 PM:

>> Utah Roll

OK, I googled it.
1. ingredients not described
2. Crab, asparagus, mayonnaise
3. ingredients not described
4. Crab and avocado
5. deep fried yellowtail and cream cheese
6. Tuna, crab salad, and avocado
7. ingredients not described
etc.

#71 ::: Bruce H. ::: (view all by) ::: January 29, 2012, 03:36 PM:

James E. @52:
Thank you so much. I think that's delightful. I grew up in Texas, Montana, and Colorado. Have you seen any of those?

#72 ::: hedgehog ::: (view all by) ::: January 29, 2012, 03:43 PM:

re #50, Gray Woodland:

... Chipping Sodbury ...

(Wakes up) What? Why pick on Chipping Sodbury? What should I know?

Yate-Based Hedgehog.

#73 ::: Jim Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: January 29, 2012, 04:03 PM:

Let us not forget Green Mountain Gringo Salsa, from the canyons of Vermont.

#74 ::: Gray Woodland ::: (view all by) ::: January 29, 2012, 04:17 PM:

hedgehog @ 72:

Why pick on Chipping Sodbury?

Alas, there's that pesky NDA to reckon with. I could tell you, but then I'd have to sue myself.

#75 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: January 29, 2012, 04:26 PM:

66
Teresa, I was in a restaurant the other evening, in Richmond (California, not any of the others), and had guisado de cerdo con nopales, which is definitely sour and thoroughly tasty. The platanos con crema are also worth meeting.

#76 ::: Tobias Sturt ::: (view all by) ::: January 29, 2012, 05:43 PM:

James E @52 & Gary Woodland @54 - the greatest name for London fried chicken joints being "Bertie Rooster's", of course, which I seem to recall is somewhere in darkest South East London

#77 ::: James E ::: (view all by) ::: January 29, 2012, 06:20 PM:

Bruce H. @71: I have a feeling I've seen Colorado Fried Chicken somewhere but couldn't swear to it. I might have to start carrying a camera and maybe try to collect as many states as possible.

Tobias Sturt @76: Bertie Rooster's! That's brilliant. Almost, but not quite, brilliant enough to make me overcome my northern-based antipathy to crossing the river.

#78 ::: BSD ::: (view all by) ::: January 29, 2012, 10:14 PM:

In Manhattan, you can see borough- or neighborhood-style restaurants and dishes. Notably Chinatown-style Chinese food (actual meaning: slightly-more-authentic-than-usual generic NYC-grade American Chinese Food); Brooklyn-style pizza (actual meaning: actually archaeo-Manhattan-style, possibly even coal-fired); Brooklyn-style steakhouses or just "Brooklyn Tomato Salad"/Tomato & Onion with Brooklyn Dressing (by "Brooklyn" they mean Peter Luger); and broadly, Brooklyn-style food (meaning DIY/handmade/seasonal/funky, sort of.) Note Hecho en Dumbo which is a Mexican restaurant in the East Village, Manhattan.

#79 ::: Doug Burbidge ::: (view all by) ::: January 30, 2012, 12:01 AM:

Teresa @ 66:

Is it true that New Zealanders classify any warm chunk-style meat-on-a-bun sandwich as a burger?

Yes, and in Australia too -- "burger" here is a form factor, not an ingredient. So a chicken burger is a round roll sliced horizontally with a large chunk of chicken meat inside (plus various and optional salad and dressing). A chicken sandwich would be two flat slices of bread with mutiple chunks of chicken between. A cheese burger, though, still contains both cheese and beef; and a bacon burger is likely to contain both bacon and beef.

You can also have a vegie burger.

#80 ::: Thomas ::: (view all by) ::: January 30, 2012, 12:31 AM:

Teresa @ 66: Is it true that New Zealanders classify any warm chunk-style meat-on-a-bun sandwich as a burger?

Up to a point. A chicken breast in a bun is a chicken burger, but a chunk of steak in a bun is still a steak sandwich.

#81 ::: Loren ::: (view all by) ::: January 30, 2012, 12:55 AM:

Australian burgers - the egg and beetroot slice have already been mentioned. So I shall add the bacon and the slice of pineapple as well.

#82 ::: Russ ::: (view all by) ::: January 30, 2012, 09:06 AM:

Doug Burbidge@79/Thomas@80

That's pretty much the same taxonomy as in the UK, FYI.

#83 ::: Ingvar M ::: (view all by) ::: January 30, 2012, 10:06 AM:

rm @ #33:

I was under the belief that they (french fries) were Belgian. Although in Sweden, they're simply "pommes frites" (or more likely, one of "pommfritt", "frittar" or "pommes" (the last with a rising tone and the stress on the "pom" and a falling, semi-long second syllable)).

tracie @ #35:

Hah, a burger with egg (and between two slices of "french bread" rather than in a burger bun) is a "Parisare" in Sweden ('Parisian', I guess, in English).

bruce @ #45:

I've mostly seen "Southern Fried Chicken" and "Dixie Fried Chicken" in and around London (and, of course, the ubiquitous 'KFC' that used to be longer in name.

#84 ::: Jon ::: (view all by) ::: January 30, 2012, 11:53 AM:

Linkmeister @ 17:

Ham and pineapple, I dunno (better white pie than standard, for my money), but pepperoni and pineapple on a tomato pie? Someone hide the other half of the pie before I eat that, too...

#85 ::: rm ::: (view all by) ::: January 30, 2012, 01:34 PM:

Ingvar, maybe so, but Wikipedia told me that Thomas Jefferson wrote of eating fried potato sticks in "the French style." That was probably code for his plan to subvert real American values to a crypto-Islami-Jacobin agenda.

#86 ::: Soon Lee ::: (view all by) ::: January 30, 2012, 01:51 PM:

Thomas #80:

Whereas I'd still call "a chunk of steak in a bun" a burger, a steak burger. That would be on the basis of the type of bread used, so any meat in a burger bun would be called a burger of some description.

errolwi #40:
Also no kiwis (the bird of the residents of New Zealand) in kiwifruit (which is actually a Chinese gooseberry).

#87 ::: Soon Lee ::: (view all by) ::: January 30, 2012, 01:52 PM:

...the bird or the residents of New Zealand

#88 ::: Jeremy Leader ::: (view all by) ::: January 30, 2012, 02:03 PM:

Two restaurants in downtown Los Angeles have disputed for years which was the actual inventor of the "French Dip Sandwich". Cole's Pacific Electric Buffet claims to have invented it in 1908, and that the name came from the use of French bread. Philippe the Original claims that while their French founder, Philippe Mathieu, opened his eponymous restaurant in 1908, he invented the sandwich in question in 1918, and it was so named because its creator was French. Wikipedia scurrilously suggests that it may have been invented as a way to use stale rolls.

My first question on reading of a "kiwi burger" was "is it made with the birds, the fruit, or the shoe polish?"

#89 ::: cajunfj40 ::: (view all by) ::: January 30, 2012, 02:12 PM:

Jeremy Leader@#88: Two restaurants in downtown Los Angeles have disputed for years which was the actual inventor of the "French Dip Sandwich".

I would suggest that whichever of the two advertises and/or puts it on their menu as something like "French Dip Sandwich au Jus" vs. "French Dip Sandwich with Au Jus" would be the winner. I don't remember when I first noticed that most menus said "French Dip Sandwich with (With Juice)", but since then I cannot fail to see it...

#90 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: January 30, 2012, 02:50 PM:

cajunfj40: Even worse is the tendency toward "French Dip Sandwich with Au Jus Sauce," which I've seen a couple of times.

#91 ::: praisegod barebones ::: (view all by) ::: January 30, 2012, 02:54 PM:

Soon Lee @ 86:

No geese in a gooseberry, Chinese or otherwise...

#92 ::: Lylassandra ::: (view all by) ::: January 30, 2012, 03:36 PM:

@61: I would be remiss if I didn't link to unicorn meat.

#93 ::: Mycroft W ::: (view all by) ::: January 30, 2012, 04:10 PM:

It's only about yearly that I don't see "French Dip with Au Jus", which in Canada is even less palatable than across the border (where I would expect that "Chile with con Carne" would be the equivalent).

Do we still see "Automatic ATM Machines" or "Personal PIN Numbers" (which are used for Identification, of course)? That was the bugaboo of a decade ago.

I do remember a discussion one night on local CBC about where that staple of Canadian "Chinese" Food, Ginger Beef, came from; that is, whether it was invented at the Palliser Hotel in Calgary, or another hotel (who's name I can't remember) in Calgary. That same discussion talked about the fact that (with the softwood lumber dispute in full swing), the largest single source for wood for chopsticks in China was Alberta; and that they were starting to see "Authentic American-Style (or San Franciso-Style, I can't remember) Fortune Cookies" served at the ends of meals in Beijing.

#94 ::: Jon Baker ::: (view all by) ::: January 30, 2012, 04:34 PM:

Or, at the Colonial Diner in central NJ 25 years ago, "Open Face Roast Beef Sandwich Au Jus With Gravy."

#95 ::: Connie H. ::: (view all by) ::: January 30, 2012, 04:36 PM:

At various times, Pepperidge Farm has advertised both croissants and bagels with their traditional folksy Yankee accented announcer, with the tagline "Pepp'ridge Fahm remembehs." I'd grant them the croissant, there are plenty of French-Canadians around here with authentic New England accents, but the bagels strain my SFnal-exercised credulity to its snapping point.

#96 ::: Xopher HalfTongue ::: (view all by) ::: January 30, 2012, 04:38 PM:

Mycroft 93: It's only about yearly that I don't see "French Dip with Au Jus", which in Canada is even less palatable than across the border (where I would expect that "Chile with con Carne" would be the equivalent).

Nope. It's "Chile con Carne with meat." I've actually seen that one.

#97 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: January 30, 2012, 07:26 PM:

#73 Jim

How about Vermont Curry from--ta-da--JAPAN??!
(H-Mart not only carries it, it's one of the things usually being cooked up for samples in the store in Burlington, MA, on weekends.)

#98 ::: Bruce Cohen (Speaker to Managers) ::: (view all by) ::: January 30, 2012, 07:28 PM:

Connie H @ 95:

Surely you knew that American bagels are the product of a cargo cult started in Roswell, N.M.? They are circular and have a hole in the center to represent the star gates that so many of the cult have been abducted through. They're not boiled as real bagels should be because that tends to destroy the superconducting circuits that generate the tachyon field.

#99 ::: Jeremy Leader ::: (view all by) ::: January 30, 2012, 07:32 PM:

Jon Baker @94: I remember the Colonial Diner! Though I wouldn't be surprised if there were more than one such in central NJ.

Veering a bit from food, here in Los Angeles we have the Page Museum at the La Brea Tar Pits (it's right there in the title of the Page's web page).

#100 ::: Mycroft W ::: (view all by) ::: January 30, 2012, 07:34 PM:

Xopher: I was going to put it that way, but didn't think it would ever happen. Oops.

Paula L: I read "in JAPAN...H-Mart [] carries it" and just about lost it. Now trying to figure out what else H-Mart would sell in Japan...

(And now I've got a very Japanese-looking Ash, with his tentacle, quoting appropriately-mangled lines from Army Defence Force of Darkness in my head. Note to self: <Jack Benny>Now cut that out.</Jack Benny>)

#101 ::: Xopher HalfTongue ::: (view all by) ::: January 30, 2012, 07:44 PM:

Mycroft, saw it on a school lunch menu when I was in high school. That would put it in the mid-70s in Michigan.

#102 ::: Neil W ::: (view all by) ::: January 30, 2012, 08:22 PM:

#77 James E I have a feeling I've seen Colorado Fried Chicken...

Listen people for I have something to tell you. Once upon a time somewhere in the vicinity of Manchester we came across Alaska Fried Chicken. And here is the most mysterious thing - we could not tell the chicken or chips from those sold by any other generic fried chicken joint*.

Alaska Baked Chicken would be something else I assume.

* Such as, for example, Stepney Fried Chicken.

#103 ::: Victoria ::: (view all by) ::: January 30, 2012, 09:05 PM:

#66 Teresa Nielsen Hayden re "Utah Roll": funeral potatoes around a double-strength jello core, wrapped in seaweed and sprinkled with crushed canned onion rings?

Do you mean the cheesy or the mushroomy funeral potatoes? Does the jello contain carrots or fruit?


#70 Bruce H.: Utah Roll OK, I googled it.

You're no fun....

I still remember my Japanese friend's response to fruit in gelatin. She was shocked and mildly horrified. After trying it she called it "good, but strange." Japanese gelatin is like double strength finger jello.

#104 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: January 30, 2012, 09:17 PM:

Neil W, Baked Alaska Chicken might be even more interesting. Is the bird from Alaska, or is it cooked as Baked Alaska is, topped with ice cream and meringue?

#105 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: January 30, 2012, 09:30 PM:

FWIW, Philippe's menu says:

PHILIPPE “FRENCH DIPPED” SANDWICHES are a delicious combination of a crusty French roll dipped in our own authentic “jus” created from our freshly roasted meats. Ask for “single-dip”, double-dip” or “wet”.

#106 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: January 30, 2012, 09:33 PM:

And Cole's says (their menu is a PDF):

COLE'S CLASSIC FRENCH DIPS
Served with a cup of our Au Jus & Atomic Pickle Spear

(I don't think I want an 'Atomic Pickle Spear'. Really.)

#107 ::: liz ::: (view all by) ::: January 30, 2012, 11:24 PM:

In Rhodes Island they serve New York System hotdogs. In Connecticut they eat hamburg, not hamburgers. I haven't figured out why yet. The only place I've had a fried egg on my burger was France.

#108 ::: Calton Bolick ::: (view all by) ::: January 30, 2012, 11:40 PM:

What a coincidence: a Canadian friend of mine was griping about the inauthenticity of the fried egg inside the "Grand Canyon Burger" that McDonald's Japan was offering as part of their limited-edition "Big America" burger specials. Apparently nothing says "Grand Canyon" like fried eggs, mozzarella and cheddar cheeses, steak sauce, and -- to go by the TV commercials -- monster trucks.

Currently in the rotation: the "Las Vegas Burger". Coming soon: the "Beverly Hills Burger" and the "Broadway Burger".

#109 ::: Bruce Cohen (Speaker to Managers) ::: (view all by) ::: January 31, 2012, 02:26 AM:

I sometimes make a hamburger for myself with a fried egg, a slice of genoa salami and pepper jack cheese. It's almost what the McMenamin's pub chain here calls a Wilber Burger (where I got the idea), except they use ordinary salami and plain jack cheese. If someone asks me what I call it, I plan to tell them it's a "Columbus Burger" after the origin of the salami.

#110 ::: errolwi ::: (view all by) ::: January 31, 2012, 02:50 AM:

To add to the info provided re Kiwi/Aussie burgers above, anything in the first 5 sections of this NZ gourmet burger chain's menu we call a burger. They used to have a couple of fish burgers as well. The local chippie just throws a piece of deep-fried fish inside a burger bun (with standard salads), but Burger Fuel had grilled, non-battered fish. Lamb burger is also available in rare places.

Note kumara is the locally-grown type of sweet potato.

#111 ::: Peter Erwin ::: (view all by) ::: January 31, 2012, 04:51 AM:

Bruce Cohen @ 98:
Oh, my. That's even better than the explanations for the origin of croissants.

#112 ::: James E ::: (view all by) ::: January 31, 2012, 09:55 AM:

Neil W @102, Linkmeister @104: that's what I had in mind. Frozen chicken pieces, meringued before baking so the inside stays cold. Salmonellicious.

#113 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: January 31, 2012, 10:52 AM:

Not quite off the menu here, when I first got to Venice, and was living in an area not too far from the railway station, I kept seeing tourist joints with signs advertising "toast". I never went into such places, so it took me forever to figure out that they were talking about grilled sandwiches instead of catering to some weird breakfast-in-the-afternoon crowd.

#114 ::: Soon Lee ::: (view all by) ::: January 31, 2012, 03:08 PM:

Mycroft W #93:

Mine is work-related: PCR reaction.

#115 ::: elise ::: (view all by) ::: January 31, 2012, 03:08 PM:

A friend who worked in the wholesale food supply industry used to check the signage in any grocery store we were in, to see which of his accounts were where, and how they were selling. One evening when we were shopping, he nearly folded double with laughter because of a sign directing people to the Sarah Lee Pizza Bites, a then-new product in the freezer case.

Yeah, it said in big letters, "Sarah Lee Bites!"

#116 ::: Marty In Boise ::: (view all by) ::: January 31, 2012, 04:34 PM:

I'd imagine that nobody in Ulaanbaatar would recognize the dish that Idaho restaurants call "Mongolian Barbeque." (Just wiki'd it--yep, it originated in Taiwan...)

I also won't venture to guess what they'd call a "a situation that is so balled up it is beyond description."

#117 ::: eric ::: (view all by) ::: January 31, 2012, 06:09 PM:

I remember a burger w/ onion and a fried egg at one of the dining halls back in college, Upstate NY. I think it was called a Bo Burger, but the reasoning escapes me.

#118 ::: Ian C. Racey ::: (view all by) ::: January 31, 2012, 06:14 PM:

James E @52

There's a Euro Fried Chicken in Bradford. Apparently that tickled me enough I took a picture.

Gray Woodland @54

I've seen Kennedy Fried Chicken in New York, with the name scripted in such a way it was clearly meant to look like "Kentucky Fried Chicken" from a distance.

Not that I spend my holidays crisscrossing the Atlantic in search of dodgy independent fried chicken establishments.

#119 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: January 31, 2012, 07:12 PM:

Re: Utah roll: At least two major sushi restaurants here (North Carolina) have a large percentage of their menu devoted to sushi with local-themed names. Rolls are named after local sports teams, neighboring towns, nearby streets. I kind of enjoy it.

Re: eggs on hamburgers: Red Robin, a national American chain restaurant, puts a fried egg on its signature burger. I have never ordered it, for fear that my arteries might just clang shut at the sight of it.

Other incongruous food: There is a food truck here that serves Korean barbecue tacos. Yes. And kimchee quesadillas.

#120 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: January 31, 2012, 07:15 PM:

Derp, missed boyhowdy @ 28 mentioning Red Robin. You are correct about the floor TVs, too. How terribly American is that?

#121 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: January 31, 2012, 09:11 PM:

119
Los Angeles has a truck serving kosher tacos. ('What makes this taco different from all other tacos?')

#122 ::: Xopher HalfTongue ::: (view all by) ::: January 31, 2012, 10:05 PM:

P J, except that you'd never ask that question, because of course while they may be kosher, they probably can't be kosher for passover...or maybe it's only that my brain recoils at the idea of a matzoh taco shell. (I'm pretty sure corn isn't allowed whether you leaven it or not...but it's a long time since I discussed these things with someone who knows.)

#123 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: January 31, 2012, 10:49 PM:

Xopher, that's what it says on the front of the truck. (Soft tacos use flour tortillas: these days they mostly use vegetable shortening or even oil.)

#124 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: January 31, 2012, 11:19 PM:

Rob, #23: I have to admit that I had never heard of "Maryland fried chicken" until now. From the sound of the article, it seems rather as if I were to call my mother's stuffing recipe "Authentic Tennessee Stuffing" -- technically true, but a topic about which much more could be said.

abi, #53: Your filet Americain bears a certain resemblance to Ethiopian kitfo, which is generally served with inerja bread to pick up chunks in. I'm not quite brave enough to go tartare-style, but there's a nice Ethiopian restaurant in Dallas which offers the option of medium-rare kitfo.

elise, #60: Ooh, pretty! Looks like really random poly-clay work -- and I'll bet it has a similar feel as well.

Teresa, #66: The Popocatepetl is not in Canada!

Jon, #84: My now-ex and I thought we might challenge a restaurant in Winnipeg when we were at the 1994 Worldcon. We ordered a pizza that was half shrimp/ham/pineapple (him) and half mushroom/onion/feta (me). They didn't even blink -- and the receipt slip had "Live Long and Prosper" printed at the bottom. They knew who their customers were going to be during the week!

cajunfj40 & TexAnne, #89/90: Oy. And you're right, nobody in this country says it correctly on the menu. The "Au Jus Sauce" variation probably comes from the fact that it's labeled that way on the container (I've seen a new container being brought out of the back).

Paula, #97: I'm not surprised they use it for samples. There are probably a few things in the world that smell more appetizing than fresh hot curry, but I can't think of any offhand.

errolwi, #110: Does anybody offer rooburger?

Marty, #116: Around here, Mongolian BBQ is a style rather than a specific dish. You go down a buffet line of raw ingredients, selecting what you want and putting it into a bowl; then you add spices and a cup of sauce and take it up to the grill. They cook it all for you and serve it with your choice of starchy substrate. The chain I linked to is the most common, but you can also find little independent outlets that do the same thing.

P J Evans, #121: Somewhere in the LA area there's a roach-coach that serves a grilled mac-and-cheese sandwich. I swear I'm going to find it the next time I'm out there and try one.

#125 ::: Bruce Cohen (Speaker to Managers) ::: (view all by) ::: February 01, 2012, 01:36 AM:

Lee @ 124:

I've had the tartare kitfo served on a bed of inerja covering the entire table. You rip off pieces and spoon up the meat with it. It was very good (and very spicy-hot). With dessert we were offered Ethiopian whiskey, which we were told was much like Scotch. Well, it clearly hadn't been anywhere near the British Isles, but it wasn't bad. Much better than what Suntori was making at the time.

#126 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: February 01, 2012, 08:41 AM:

Nitpicking: It's injera. And it's very tasty.

#127 ::: John M. Burt ::: (view all by) ::: February 01, 2012, 01:01 PM:

We adopted three Ethiopian children, so we got to know a lot about injera and what goes on it, such as alicha, wat and doro wat.

We knew the kids were getting the hang of this English-language thing when they saw the "Who's On First" sketch and actually understood it. This led to a conversation in which I suggested that someone might have a similar misunderstanding of the name "wat". Big laugh, but just a couple of days later, it actually happened: a guest said, "No, I mean what is the name of this red sauce here?"

For months afterward, any sort of language mixup was answered with, "Who's on first, wat's on injera".

I used that incident in my YA novel about the Christmas Truce.

#128 ::: Jörg Raddatz ::: (view all by) ::: February 01, 2012, 01:52 PM:

It is quite interesting to look at the way some "ethnic-style" dishes are made up. For example, a dutch deep freeze food company offers potato dishes that combine potato slices with vegetables and meat.

Dutch style: Potatos, bacon strips, mushrooms, onions - yes, that is basically boerenfriet.

German style: Potatos, onions, green beans, currywurst. A rather unfamiliar combination.

Greek style: Fried potatos, courgette, bell peppers, gyros meat. Sounds right.

Italian style: Fried potatos, spinach, salami cubes, mozzarella. Hm, Italian wikipedia says that fried potatos per se are an dish of South Tyrol, so they don't seem too popular in the other parts of the country.

Swiss style: Fried potatos, cheese, ham, onions. Going for a kind of rösti, I guess.

Turkish style: Fried potatos, onions, bell peppers, chicken shawarma. Sounds like a near miss.

All in all, they aseem to have rather good ideas what "foreign" cooking tatses like. Much better than what a German pizza maker offers:

Pizza Culinaria Dutch-style - with sliced ham, red onions and sauce hollandaise. Ick.


#129 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: February 01, 2012, 02:40 PM:

And then there's Jordan almonds -- not from Jordan at all, but apparently from Spain. According to Wikipedia, the adjective is a variation of the French word for garden, jardin.

#130 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: February 01, 2012, 03:07 PM:

Whenever I go up to Quebec City, I ask my mom to make a pâté Chinois. Why it's called a Chinese pie when it consists of a layer of mashed potato at the top and at the bottom, with in between them a layer of crumbled hamburger meat and a layer of corn, I cannot guess.

#131 ::: Carol Kimball ::: (view all by) ::: February 01, 2012, 03:22 PM:

Serge at 130:

The food service at our college called that "Shepherd's Pie". As if any shepherd could eat it conveniently. Some kind of enclosed sandwich, sure. But wrapped in mashed potatoes?!

#132 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: February 01, 2012, 03:35 PM:

Carol Kimball @ 131... Calling it a shepherd's pie makes more sense, anyway.

The term "shepherd's pie" did not appear until 1877, and since then it has sometimes (incorrectly) been used synonymously with "cottage pie", regardless of whether the principal ingredient was beef or mutton. The term "shepherd's pie" should be used when the meat is mutton or lamb, with the origin being that shepherds are concerned with sheep and not cattle. This may, however, be an example of folk etymology
#133 ::: Quixote ::: (view all by) ::: February 01, 2012, 04:16 PM:

Mycroft @93:

I hadn't heard the Palliser (or any other Calgary hotel) as the origin for ginger beef. What I heard was their origin was either the East Gate or Silver Inn restaurants in East Calgary. Interestingly, that entree has been radiating out geographically for years. 20 years ago in Vancouver it was rare. Ten years ago about half of the Chinese restaurants had it. Nowadays it's ubiquitous.

#134 ::: jennythereader ::: (view all by) ::: February 01, 2012, 04:48 PM:

elise @60: I wish I'd known that stuff existed a few years ago when my Dad retired from General Motors. His first job in the company was in the paint department, and I think a piece would have made a great gift.

#135 ::: Neil W ::: (view all by) ::: February 01, 2012, 07:02 PM:

Carol Kimball @131, Serge Broom @132:

Serge's pâté Chinois sounds like cottage pie. Cottage pie and shepherd's pie are traditionally made in my family on a Monday (or Tuesday) to use up the remains of a Sunday roast of beef or lamb (respectively). Usually we only top it with mashed potato, not have any on the bottom. Although corn has been introduced to the recipe occasionally, more normally it is made from chopped roast meat, onion, carrot and the leftover gravy.

Occasionally a similar dish has been made leftover pork and been dubbed swineherd's pie or pigman's delight or pork in a pot, because according to my Mum I don't give the same dish the same name twice in a row.

#136 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: February 01, 2012, 07:34 PM:

My mother always topped shepherd's pie* with biscuits. I was quite surprised the first time I heard of the mashed potato version. And I've never actually seen it that way, so I'm not sure I believe in it. :)

*a way to use up leftover vegetables, usually with freshly-cooked ground beef. The batch made with leftover spaghetti was...odd.

#137 ::: Tracie ::: (view all by) ::: February 01, 2012, 11:41 PM:

When I lived in Maryland, several of my favorite sushi places served Maryland, Chesapeake and/or Baltimore rolls. All of them featured some sort of Maryland crab (natch) -- blue or soft shell. The soft shell ones, with the little feet hanging out the ends, were a little hard for me to eat without closing my eyes, like the equally tasty but disturbing soft shell crab sandwiches with the little feet dangling outside the hamburger bun. It didn't help that they were sometimes called spider rolls or sandwiches.

#138 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: February 02, 2012, 09:21 AM:

Tracie @137: Around here (Chicago), tiny-crabs-in-sushi-with-legs-hanging-out rolls are called 'spider rolls' generally. We also have a regular appearance of a 'Philadelphia Roll,' whose other ingredients are subject to change but always includes a big julienne-style piece of cream cheese. Often it's salmon and cream cheese, sometimes with a bit of some kind of vegetable.

#139 ::: Debra Doyle ::: (view all by) ::: February 02, 2012, 10:32 AM:

Serge Broom@130: Whenever I go up to Quebec City, I ask my mom to make a pâté Chinois. Why it's called a Chinese pie when it consists of a layer of mashed potato at the top and at the bottom, with in between them a layer of crumbled hamburger meat and a layer of corn, I cannot guess.

And now at last I know why our local school cafeteria (in a town about 15 miles south of the Canadian border; seriously, we're closer to Montreal than we are to Boston) had "Chinese pie" rather than "shepherd's pie" on its menus. We've got a lot of Francophones in the school district, and some of them were probably lunchroom ladies.

#140 ::: elise ::: (view all by) ::: February 02, 2012, 12:14 PM:

Ian @ 118: I've seen Kennedy Fried Chicken in New York, with the name scripted in such a way it was clearly meant to look like "Kentucky Fried Chicken" from a distance.

Around here, there is a major grocery store chain called Cub Foods, and one small store with similar lettering called Cup Foods. We also have a large realty company called Edina Realty and a tiny one called Edna Realty which was pretty obviously trying to look like the big one.

Various on various kinds of meat pie: When Mike got his kidney transplant and was recuperating in the hospital, Neil Gaiman arranged to have a local pub deliver him a steak and kidney pie. At the hospital. It was hilarious. Mike ate half of it, which was doing quite well for someone at that stage of recovery, and announced in a pleased tone that he had been the envy of the ward because his dinner smelled so good.

#141 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: February 02, 2012, 12:21 PM:

According to Wikipedia, French fries on their own are a Belgian culinary specialty. Somebody call Monsieur Poirot!

#142 ::: Tracie ::: (view all by) ::: February 02, 2012, 02:21 PM:

French fries and Belgian fries are not really the same. Aside from having different cuts (Belgian are thicker), Belgian are fried, then fried a second time right before serving, with no freezing intervening. The familiar French fries are either fried only once or are blanched, fried, and frozen at the factory, then fried again at the restaurant. My local purveyor of Belgian fries is Keba Spitfire Grill.

#143 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: February 02, 2012, 02:35 PM:

Could pâté chinois have anything to do with this place?

#144 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: February 02, 2012, 03:50 PM:

Tracie @ 142... French fries and Belgian fries are not really the same

You ARE trying to make me quote Poirot, aren't you?
:-)

#145 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: February 02, 2012, 03:51 PM:

fidelio @ 143... Hmmmm... Might be.

#146 ::: lorax ::: (view all by) ::: February 02, 2012, 04:33 PM:

PJ Evans @123:


Xopher, that's what it says on the front of the truck. (Soft tacos use flour tortillas: these days they mostly use vegetable shortening or even oil.)

Are you sure about that? Many places they'll ask if you want corn or flour, but almost any taco truck worth its masa will use corn tortillas as the default. Offhand I can't recall encountering a flour tortilla at an LA taco truck or taqueria. (Corn tortillas are whitish in color, rather than the bright yellow of Anglo-style hard taco shells, which makes them less visually identifiable as corn, but the texture is unmistakable.)

#147 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: February 02, 2012, 07:00 PM:

Serge Broom #130: I also grew up calling that "shepherd's pie".

#148 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: February 02, 2012, 08:23 PM:

Tracie, 142: That's not French vs. Belgian, that's good restaurants vs. average restaurants--or French homes vs. American restaurants.

#149 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: February 02, 2012, 09:18 PM:

146
I have several packages of soft-taco-size flour (whole-wheat) tortillas in my freezer. (The kosher taco people are/were using flour tortillas.)

#150 ::: AC Chapin ::: (view all by) ::: February 03, 2012, 09:08 PM:

It is Maryland Fried Chicken primarily because Perdue is based in Salisbury, and Delmarva was historically big on chicken production. Businesses used to get local cred for setting up in old commercial chicken houses.

It was a daily ritual to hold your nose during the part of the drive to and from school that passed right by the Perdue plant. When I went off to school it took me some time to figure out what was odd about the traffic West of the Bay: you could go a whole *day* and not see a single chicken truck.


(On another topic: there was a long-ago Alexi Sayle sketch about a shop with sandwiches named for celebrities, and a customer complaining about the amount of actual Ethel Merman in the Ethel Merman Sandwich.)

#151 ::: elise ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2012, 12:41 PM:

What I remember about Belgian fries was the lovely mayonnaise to dip the glorious fries in.

Juan had a co-worker (or was it a boss?) back in his university-working days, when he was still hanging out with the agronomy and soil & water & climate folks, who was Belgian and who rented a small farm outside of town where he and his wife had an impressive garden and a big lawn under spreading trees. One day everybody in the department was invited out there for an afternoon, and Belgian fries, fresh made, were the treat of the day. They were really, really, really good.

Mike and I found a Belgian fries shop in NYC at one point. I think they had at least thirty different flavors of things to dip the fries in. Dunno if it's still there, though.

#152 ::: Bill Stewart ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2012, 09:59 PM:

Eric@117, I'd forgotten about there being onion on the Bo Burger. Were they only at the Straight, or did they make them at the other cafeterias as well in the years you were there? (I was class of 78.)

And a "California burger" usually refers to a hamburger with a big slice of onion, lettuce, and tomato, and usually pickles etc.

Another vote for calling the potato-and-beef thing "Shepherd's pie", even though you'd expect that it'd be made with mutton.

#153 ::: B. Durbin ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2012, 11:37 PM:

@ TNH, on "Michigan Rocks": Evil Rob's grandfather was a rockhound who has at least one of "his" rocks in the Smithsonian (serpentine? I don't remember). He also cut & polished rock jewelry. In Junction City, Oregon, they used to manufacture roughly 2/3 of the RVs in the country. He made cabochons of some of the layered paint chips. After he died, they made their way to me in a collection of unset cabochons. I gave them to Theresa Mather, on the theory that she'd do something fun with them.

#154 ::: B. Durbin ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2012, 04:32 PM:

And now I've been told it's Wyoming Jade in the Smithsonian. There you go.

#155 ::: Jeremy Leader ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2012, 07:30 PM:

Bill Stewart @152: I'd always understood a "California Burger" (at least here in Southern California) to contain a big slice of avocado.

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