Economics professor and popular blogger Tyler Cowen sparks a lively conversation on his site, Marginal Revolution, about which foods can be produced en masse without significantly compromising quality.

Indian food, produced en masse, sits relatively well, especially the non-meat dishes and the ground meats. It can sit and stew for a long time. Chinese food, which usually should be cooked at high heat and served immediately, wares about the worst. Barbecue can do fine, if it is cooked properly to begin with (not usually the case, however). At Chipotle the carnitas are pretty good and they are cooked sous vide at a distance and then reheated in the restaurant.

But the top prize goes to Korean vegetable dishes, many of which are fermented and pickled in the first place. Natasha and I catered our wedding party with Korean vegetables (and a bit more, including some cold meats) with no loss of culinary value.

The concept of fresh kimchi is kind of oxymoronic, but as a commenter points out, how lovely it will be when a dinner party guest raves, "Mmmmm, this kimchi is so FRESH!" Other honorable mentions go to cured meats, cheese, sushi, and McDonald's burgers. [via Anil]


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