As anyone who knows me well can attest, I can be a bit of a food snob. I like to think I’m discerning. Not in the sense I only eat the finest Russian caviar for breakfast every morning and eschew say, a cheeseburger, but I like food with quality ingredients prepared well, whether a meal costs $10 or $100. Hence I’ve compiled a food snob’s ‘Seven Cardinal Sins’ of eating out or delivery/takeaway, or seven gripes I have about ingredients/preparation I commonly encounter. It doesn’t necessarily mean it makes a dish totally bad, but in my opinion it does detract when it could be better. So without further ado, let’s begin.
Two years in virtual hibernation has meant many of us are familiar with food delivery. It certainly has made life more convenient and I’m overall thankful for it, but like with anything at times things aren’t quite up to your satisfaction. I know restaurants and delivery couriers are under the pump, but one thing that really turns me off is cold food! It’s not just occasionally, but usually when I order something it arrives at room temperature or lukewarm at best. I know certain things cool down faster – such as burgers – but it’s happened with everything from pizza to kebabs to dumplings. Perhaps heat retaining packaging is solution?
Cold, Untoasted and Stale Burger Buns
I’ve got my sights on two well-known fast food chains in particular: KFC and Hungry Jack’s. I used to prefer getting Zinger burgers from KFC because original recipe is usually soggy/swimming in oil these days (a topic for another article), but the buns are usually cold, untoasted and stale. So much so I’d often throw out the bun. Which is a shame because I still think their zinger patties are delish. I hope anyone working at KFC is reading this (we can hope) and takes note. Likewise, Hungry Jack’s doesn’t toast either, just like other places, but it’s becoming the norm nowadays.
Dry/Packaged Pita Bread
Sticking on the subject of starch-based protein enclosements (is that a word? If it’s not I just invented it)…some might have different opinions, but one thing I really don’t like is that really dry, papery type of pita bread you buy in packets. Many kebab shops use these, and it always detracts from what could be a great kebab in my opinion. It’s dry, rough, and just not that pleasant to eat. Even toasting it merely makes it drier. The only way it’s yummy is if it’s deep fried in oil…like baked with a generous amount of olive oil and seasoning, like pita chips. Otherwise I’ve discovered fluffy, soft pita and I love it. I also love a fresh, fluffy loaf of Turkish bread to enclose and soak in that juicy, fatty kebab filling.
I’m sure most food snobs will agree, but any place that specialises in dumplings should hand make their own dumplings- it’s a no brainer. If it’s just one or two gyozas with a bento, I can forgive that, but generally, I will not order dumplings themselves that are merely taken out of a packet. They’re not any cheaper, anyway. Unless you really prefer the taste of frozen, go for fresh. As with noodles, I have asked if they’re fresh not frozen.
Overly Tall Burgers
Maybe this is a fashion, but what’s with those burger towers that require a mouth like that freaky clown at Luna park to devour? I usually have to press down that shite like an overzealous packer squeezing all their clothing into their suitcase. Like, have you forgotten basic physics? Then again, fashion isn’t always practical.
Overly Sweet Curries
I’ve been to Thailand thrice. I love Thai cuisine, and I know some dishes are on the sweet side…but the way many Thai places here dump a lot of sugar into their curries, so they resemble desserts with vegetables and meat in them, really puts me off. Even when the curry is otherwise quite good. This sometimes happens with Indian, Malaysian, Indonesian (granted the latter is naturally sweet). Don’t get me wrong, I like my sweets, but I don’t want my savoury mains to taste like them.
Watery Pasta Sauce/Overly Creamy Sauce
This brings back traumatic memories of the ‘Italian’ at my uni food court. The ‘carbonara fettucine’ was bits of fettucine so soft they were about to disintegrate (granted al-dente is tricky when feeding many, but still), in a sauce that managed to be both watery, overly creamy AND tasteless and totally unseasoned at the same time. It tasted like you were eating bad carbonara dumped in dishwater. Ew. I find many Italian places do pasta sauces that are way too thin and watery, not thick. I know traditional carbonara lacks cream, but I don’t mind a bit in it, but it shouldn’t be a cream swimming pool for noodles.
So in conclusion, those are my food snob’s ‘food sins’…well in actuality I have plenty more, but I don’t want this article to go on for too long. Do you agree/disagree? Leave a comment and let us know!