I tasted Belgian Endive many years ago and found it sour and sharp. I've ignored it since. Today I thought I would give it another go. What a surprise originally a starblvd post by the bitter sourness (which is its claim to fame) has been totally bred out. All that remains is the slight crunch and the basic shape. It seems a shame that so much produce is being developed in this direction. All the salad greens, for example, are being bred to converge to a mild soft standard. Both escarole and ordinary endive have lost a lot of their original punch. As for all corn (maize) varieties being reduced to a single peaches and cream kind, well...
originally a starblvd post by msh210, Mar/21/2004 22:03:22 [-05 EST]
The first night of Passover (two nights outside of Israel), Jews must eat maror, which means "something bitter": it's supposed to remind us of the bitter life the Jews lived in Egypt, as reounted at the start of the Biblical book of Exodus. There are five species identified as satisfactory toward filling this obligation. Romaine is first on the list (i.e., most preferable), but horseradish is on the list, too. Some people insist on horseradish (here in the States), though, because they maintain the Romaine isn't bitter. (They're wrong, I think, as, after all, Romaine is first on the list; but their insistence is my point in this discussion.)
originally a starblvd post by CAM, Mar/23/2004 21:45:30 [-05 EST]
And about about so-called "sharp cheddar" which isn't that sharp any more...
... is it the ingredients that are less flavourful, or or do you think are getting more accustomed to strong and spicy flavours? Or both?
originally a starblvd post by MEF, Mar/24/2004 08:54:42 [-05 EST]
Unlike vegetables and fruit that are continually being bred for blandness, cheddar cheese is simply cheaper to sell when it is immature. Cheddar reaches its peak in about 5 to 6 years whereas most supermarket versions rarely make it past 6 months. It is still possible to get great cheddar; it just costs more. I suppose it is still possible to trace down growers of older strains of fruit and vegetables, but not as easy.
originally a starblvd post by David, Mar/25/2004 06:53:56 [-05 EST]
We have the same situation in the UK. The mature cheeses are still around but more expensive. Whenever I taste a mature hard cheese I get a strong tingling feeling inside my cheeks which is almost painful. I only get this with the first mouthful and I even get it thinking about the taste. I don't know how common this reaction is but one of my sisters and two of my children experience the same thing.