Broken Base / Food And Cooking
Most of this is due to the fact that many dishes have several
variants, especially among different regions and cultures. But people insist that there's only one way to do it
. This is especially true if someone adds an ingredient out of left field to a traditional dish.
As with the other Broken Base entries, this is for wars
, not disagreements or generally-accepted varying mileage. If there's a substantial middle ground, or most people don't really care one way or the other, it's not
a Broken Base.
- Barbecue, Although "what counts as 'Barbeque'" is not one of them, because there's an enormous middle ground that doesn't care whether it's been slow-cooked over indirect heat (the purist's definition) or not. The actual Broken Bases tend to be regional disputes:
- Pork only (Carolina, Memphis) or pork and beef (KC, Texas)?
- Which cuts? Carolina has a minor civil war over Eastern-style (whole-pig) and Lexington-style (just the shoulder). Texas is of course famous for brisket, and Memphis for ribs, and KC for barbecuing more or less anything that used to have hooves.
- Which leads to another question: Can you barbecue sausage? Carolina, Memphis: No! Texas, KC: YES!
- Vinegar-based sauce (Carolina) or tomato-based sauce (Memphis, KC, Texas)? Within Carolina, do you leave out tomato altogether (Eastern Carolina) or let a little bit in (Lexington)?
- How important is the sauce? Does anyone do it with just the dry rub (Memphis, for some items), or must the sauce be absolutely top-notch (KC), or is it a sideshow (Texas)?
- Sauce cooked on or added afterward? Sweet or savory sauce? Spicy or mild? Liquid Smoke: Boon or Blasphemy?
- Chili wars — especially among competitive chili cooks — make even the BBQ battles look tame. The big one is over whether beans are allowed or not; they lynch people in Texas who prefer beans. Then there's ground meat vs. chopped meat, red vs. green, soupy vs. thick, and how spicy is too spicy? Whether vegetarian chilis count or are an unholy abomination depends on the person.
- New York style or Chicago style? Or the recent California style, which the New York and Chicago pizza fans are united against?
- The Italian original vs the American "blasphemy"?
- Thin-crust vs. regular crust vs. deep dish
- How to take care of cast iron cookware. There's one school that holds you wipe out the residue when you're done cooking in it, and otherwise leave it alone. Soapy water should never touch it, and scrubbies are right out. Another school of thought is "wash it out quickly then heat it and oil it." If something scorches on, light scrubbing is acceptable.
- There is no name for a Middle East/Mediterranean style of coffee in which incredibly fine grounds are placed directly in the water and heated almost to boiling two or three times which won't carry a risk of getting you punched, as every name is a nationality that has a history with the others. While the actual way it's made varies, everyone generally aims for a similar flavor profile and is just trying to avoid a dud batch, although some nationalities are fond of adding flavors like hyssop, which is disliked by others but mainly thought of as a quirk.
- What's the correct way to make a Philly Cheese Steak?
- Mayo or no mayo?
- What type of cheese: American, Provolone, or Cheez Wiz? This is the main arguments, with Provolone and Wiz being the biggest camps.
- What cut of steak?
- There's also the debate between Pat's and Geno's, the two "originators" of the sandwich which do each part of the sandwich differently.
- Sierra Mist Natural vs Original Sierra Mist.
- Milk chocolate versus dark chocolate. Or whether or not white chocolate should be considered chocolate at all.
- Microwave oven or Strictly traditional? This has become a three-way split with chefs recently: Some treat microwaving as just another means of cooking to be learned and mastered with its advantages and disadvantages. Some consider it an abomination to be wiped out that renders anything put inside of it inedible. (This is one of the points of contention with Ron Ben-Israel on Sweet Genius.) There are also some chefs within the continuum who disdain cooking with it but are fine with using a microwave oven to boil water or melt chocolate, and they generally will accept it as a last resort when pressed for time, as is common in Chopped.
- What to put on hot chips/fries? Often depends on the country you're from. Mayonnaise or tomato sauce/ketchup or barbecue sauce or sweet chilly sauce? To salt or not to salt?
- If you are in Edinburgh, Scotland, then there is only one answer: the rather ill-defined brown concoction Edinburghers call "chippy sauce." Notable for being despised by everyone else in the entire world.
- If you're in Canada (and Quebec) there's poutine, fries covered in light gravy and cheese curds, which is seen as gross by Americans.
- The proper way to make coleslaw, people tend to have their own way of making it. There are two main points of contention: The cut of the cabbage: long shreds or chipped? and the dressing: Salad dressing-based? Creamy? Vinegar? Whether or not it should include onions and/or carrots are relatively minor compared to the big two..
- The name of Luncheon Meat in Australia and New Zealand. It has 6 names.
- Vegemite vs Promite vs Marmite
- Mustard. Sweet or savoury? Wine or vinegar? How much? In Europe, Frenchmen defend Dijon or "French" mustard as the only proper type. The Germans cling like limpets to Bavarian sweet mustard. The British think they are both wusses and go in for spicy English mustard (usually Coleman's). And what will they all agree on? That American yellow mustard is worse than Hitler.
- Nutella. Original Nutella, brand name clones (such as East German Nudossi) or no-name imitations? With or without butter underneath? Spoonwise or not? And the most base-breaking question: Is its German article DER Nutella, DIE Nutella or DAS Nutella? (Duden dictionary says all three versions are allowed.)
- Within the candy loving community there's American Smarties◊ vs International Smarties◊. American Smarties, also known as "Rockets", are fruit flavored wafer candies while the version sold elsewhere is more similar to M&Ms. Given that Smarties are known as the chocolate ones almost everywhere the argument tends to be in favor of the international version.
- Miracle Whip vs Mayonnaise. The most common consensus is that you either adore one of the two or you loathe it with a passion.
- The perpetual "last straw" of Deadly Thanksgiving Dinners: "From-Scratch" vs Canned Cranberry Sauce
- For vegetarians, Quorn or Tofu?
- Some people were raised with eating meatloaf made entirely with ground beef and can't fathom the idea of it being made with any other type of meat. Then there are the people who were raised with eating meatloaf made with a combination of meats and think the idea of a meatloaf made just with ground beef is unappetizing.
- Also, what filler to use? Bread crumbs, oatmeal, corn flakes, or crackers? Even within the cracker contingent, the debate rages between saltines and Ritz.
- Tomato paste, tomato sauce, or ketchup? None of the above. Brown gravy or bust.
- Butter vs. margarine is a common source of contention, especially since a sizable part of the population was raised back when butter was considered verboten and will thus only ever know about margarine.
- In the Balkans countries, people who prefer margarine often use its low price as an argument to eat it.
- Regarding the above - many arguments have been started about its name. Standardised language allows only Slavic words maslac and maslo, but for some reason puter (with a p) is the most widely used term. Now, there is also buter, closest to the original...
- Should hot chocolate be made with water or milk?
- Tea vs. coffee in the UK.
- Amongst tea drinkers, those who use tea bags vs. those who prefer loose leaf. Tea bags are definitely more convenient, but loose leaf fans insist the bag prevents the tea from brewing properly, ruining the taste.
- Butter: on the top or the bottom of the bread?
- Clam chowder: New England style (white, milk-based) or Manhattan (red, tomato-based)?
- How should Italian beef be served? Dipped or dry?
- Is Pisco from Chile or from Peru? As soon as the question is made, BOOM will go the dynamite.
- Soy sauce on rice: Standard practice (especially in some countries, such as Indonesia), odd but acceptable, or a Fandom Berserk Button (especially in East Asian countries)?
- Should sushi be made strictly with traditional fillings found in or near Japan? Is it acceptable to use locally available fillings if traditional Japanese ones are unavailable, too expensive, or of low quality? Or can sushi be made from pretty much anything, as long as it's edible, tastes good, and has sushi rice under or around it? Among the latter two, if it isn't sushi anymore, then what is it? Do they deserve respect as cuisine, or should sushi chefs avoid making them?
- Different countries with similar foods get this. What is the proper way to cook them? For example, Puerto Rican "Arroz Con Dulce" vs Mexican "Arroz Con Leche". They're both rice pudding, fyi.
- There is a dish popular in Central America and adjacent areas containing mostly beans and rice, just three problems; of course the whole thing is aggravated by the fact that it is a staple food in many places and part of the daily diet of millions of people
- First: What do you call it? Gallo Pinto? Casamiento? Moros y Cristianos? Rice and Beans? Something else entirely?
- Secondly: What condiments are okay? What about Salsa Lizano? (Ticos love it, everybody else thinks it's weird) What about Cilantro? What about coconut milk? (The Caribbean Coast likes it, everyone else considers it sacrilegious)
- Red beans or black beans?
- Plantains: Green or ripe? The green variety tastes almost like potato, the ripe variety has a much more banana like taste and gets a slight caramel flavor when fried
- Where was Brunswick stew invented? Brunswick, Georgia or Brunswick County, Virginia? Both places claim to be the origin of the popular Southern dish, and no one is quite sure which of the two places it came from.
- Fish sourcing has been split for a long time in the western world between farm-raised fish and wild-caught fish: Wild-caught fish is widely agreed to taste better, but farm-raised fish (done properly, at least) is more sustainable as the farms are built to satiate human demand for seafood. That is, the matter is split, among both foodies and chefs, between whether they want their fish to be as tasty as possible or if they'll compromise the quality to ensure wild populations aren't depleted. People get quite fierce and passionate on both sides.
- In Spain: tortilla de patata with onion, or without onion?
- The U.S. ban on Kinder Surprise eggs: Overreacting, or an important measure especially given American Frivolous Lawsuit and Think of the Children! culture?