A Beginner's Guide to Olives: 14 Varieties Worth Seeking Out

@BananaP, I used to dislike them, too, but now they're easily one of my favorite food items. When I was younger, they were just way too strong for me. It wasn't until around the same time that I started liking other strong flavors -- like coffee and wine -- that I found their appeal, all of which happened in college.

I had always assumed that black olives would be stronger, but I generally find them to be milder -- a little more salty and subtle -- than green.

The Food Lab's Emergency Cooking Kit: How to Fit All the Tools You Need in One Small Box

@kenji and daniel, I actually have one of both and still vastly prefer the straight one. I can see why having the extra visibility might be a priority for chefs, but I still don't get the ergonomics of the shape. It's always struck me that the direction of force doesn't make sense for the motion you're performing, which is why I was thinking that there must be some better way of holding them that trickles through the pros that the rest of us don't get, like how there are T-shaped screwdrivers that have more of a pistol grip that are better for applying downward force.

The Food Lab's Emergency Cooking Kit: How to Fit All the Tools You Need in One Small Box

@badseed1980, I hate to say always, but I'm pretty sure that in this instance a preference for the straight shape is always what I hear from people. And just to elaborate, I work in product design and have worked on kitchen tools and gadgets, so this is something I asked people about pretty obsessively for the duration of one particular project.

Manner Matters: A Spicy Food Lover's Conundrum

@canihavesome, yeah, now that you mention it, that's the assumption I've always operated on. I usually integrate nose wipes into a I'm-just-thoroughly-wiping-my-mouth motion, but would never think of actually blowing my nose at the table.

I actually have less of an issue with nose running when I eat spicy food and more of an issue with face sweats. My nose gets sweaty enough that my glasses will start to slide off. It's gotten worse as I've gotten older, and if my parents are any indication, will only continue to do so. Between that and reflux, I just find myself eating spicy foods less and less. On a tangent, what drives me crazy is that there's this kind of unspoken assumption that someone is less worldly and daring for not eating spicy food. I would just like my stomach to stop trying to digest my esophagus, thankyouverymuch.

Re: negative comments, I think in general that they're actually great so long as they're constructive. It's cool when someone can turn something into a more lively discussion with a little dissent. But comments that amount to "I don't see the value in this therefore it is objectively bad" definitely don't fit that category. And Molly, I love your responses

The Food Lab's Emergency Cooking Kit: How to Fit All the Tools You Need in One Small Box

Question about the peeler: I've noticed that on cooking shows, the chefs seem to overwhelmingly favor y-shaped peelers. I find them super awkward and uncomfortable, and when I've asked friends, family, and coworkers about it, they usually echo my sentiments. Is there some professional secret to holding those things that we're not in on?

Culture Club: 6 Made-in-NYC Yogurts Worth Seeking Out

@kenji, I appreciate how hard of a look you're all taking at how to improve the site, but I've gotta side with figolfin. I see having to email about an issue as a big step down in user experience from being able to open up or find a Talk post where the community could discuss something like this. I've also been missing the funnier shorter posts that used to show up, like the funniest comments of the week -- it made my day when I showed up in it once. With less content, less community... the key word is less. There's less that I come here for. That bums me out.

Why You Should Refrigerate Tomatoes and Ignore Anyone Who Says Otherwise

People get really uppity against perceived sins against tomatoes round here.

Why You Should Refrigerate Tomatoes and Ignore Anyone Who Says Otherwise

Interesting, I'm usually the first person to complain about click bait headlines, but I didn't think this one qualifies, mainly because I think a main part of the definition of click bait is that it awkwardly withholds information to make you click -- I don't really see how this could have elaborated more in a single headline. "Your Kitchen Is Too Warm for Your Tomatoes, Probably"?

How I Built a Barbecue Restaurant in Brooklyn: Decorating With Flamethrowers

Is the polyurethane going to be thick enough to make the top smooth? Nothing quite so frustrating as not being able to set a drink down on a flat surface when you're at a bar.

Why You Should Refrigerate Tomatoes and Ignore Anyone Who Says Otherwise

I've always put them in the fridge because otherwise it takes just a few hours for them to be swarming with fruit flies. I'd rather eat a tomato with sub-optimal texture or whatever than one with bug eggs in it, blech

Hey Chef, What Can I Do With Mint?

Are we going to get suggestions for other common garden herbs, too? My parsley is out of control and I can only eat so much tabbouleh.

Dim Sum Classics: Braised Chicken Feet (Phoenix Claws)

@The Grillin' God, I shuddered at that sentence but powered on ... until I got to that shot of sniping off toes. Nothankyouverymuch

This Week at Serious Eats World Headquarters

Hambone's wrinkly haunches are a sight for sore eyes.

9 Must-Try Vietnamese Drinks

That lime soda description is very similar to my method of choice when Myer lemons are in season and I want lemonade by the glass -- dump what seems the appropriate amount of sugar in just enough water just hot enough to dissolve it, then add lemon juice, ice, and fizzy water as wanted. I tend toward "ít đường" but occasionally end up with those sugar clumps.

I also like the sound of their coffee-drinking style. I've never understood the European mentality of slurping down an espresso -- give me something to nurse and enjoy, and with another drink on the side? Love it

This Week at Serious Eats World Headquarters

Does that goat on the left only have one random horn, or is he just rocking some kind of rockabilly hairstyle? I am so very pleased with my pun...

The Magic of No-Bake Desserts: Black Sesame and Honey Puddings

Is that a placemat in the first photo? Love it

Five Minute Miso-Glazed Toaster Oven Salmon

@ccbweb, thanks! That's actually what my mom has and she basically told me to throw out my fully functioning Delonghi and that she would replace it with a Breville. I told her that it would be ridiculous to ditch something fully functional, but now I'm having second thoughts... (I'd of course donate it instead of tossing it)

Five Minute Miso-Glazed Toaster Oven Salmon

I'd love to know what kind of toaster oven you used because mine definitely does not brown things that well.

7 Ways to Use a Cast Iron Frying Pan (Besides Frying)

For hitting that rascally road runner over the head when the anvil didn't do the trick.

Tales of a Cookbook Writer: What if a Dish Makes Me Gag?

@Mouseman, well if that's the case, I'll file beets away with cilantro.

Just found this article about the science of it. I'm totally fine with most of the other foods he mentions, but I can recall an instance when I couldn't eat fish (maybe tilapia?) because it tasted really muddy to me, but my mom -- a beet lover -- had no idea what I was talking about. Damn you, geosmin!

Tales of a Cookbook Writer: What if a Dish Makes Me Gag?

Ditto to Ocean -- excellent storytelling!

badseed, I also really appreciated her attitude and approach to something that doesn't appeal to -- or even repels -- her. I recently began thinking about food I hate differently. Rather than thinking that people who like beets, for example, are crazy, I started thinking of myself as missing out on a good experience. They seemed so happy with their beets. I, too, could be that happy.

Basically it just means that I keep trying food again and again. There's usually not an epiphany, but I've gone from a total pickle and onion aversion to a truce with them. Beets still taste like mud to me, but maybe someday we can live together in harmony. Cilantro is the exception. Science tells me that it just taste different to different people, so I'm at peace with our mutual hatred.

Manner Matters: How to Make a Graceful Exit

Call it an Irish goodbye if you want, but I'm a big proponent of not making a big exit. Feeling obligated to say goodbye to everyone is a tedious process that keeps you an hour longer than intended. It's like a slow, agonizing band-aid removal.

Quietly thank the host and say that you have to leave soon -- soon, not now, because one person overhearing that can start a chain of people realizing you're getting out of there and making their slow goodbyes to you. If there's anyone you should be giving your card to, make sure you've done it before this point.

Eating Soup Dumplings in Shanghai? Xiao Long Bao Are Only Half the Story

There are soup dumplings that had not yet been covered on Serious Eats? Inconceivable!

Manner Matters: How to Order Pizza for a Group

A good formula is to get a mix of 3 types: cheese, meat, and veggie pizzas. Chances are good that any given person will not like one of the topping options and still have two other options to go on. And who really needs more than that?

If you know the group better, I think it's great to get more creative, but to also check if they're in the mood for certain things. It's also easy to build on the 3-variety format for larger groups by adding in 4th or 5th options that might have less universally loved toppings, like Western or Hawaiian.

@AndroidUser, I had a coworker with a severe lactose intolerance, so if the office was doing pizza lunch or dinner together, we always got a small cheese-free pizza that was mainly for him. It always had some meat and veggies on it and was almost like an open-faced hot sandwich, which was definitely tasty and other people always wanted some, so it's not like there was a random sad, cheeseless pizza that didn't get eaten. But even if he was vegan and it was his choice, should we not have accommodated and included him?

Where Do Cocktail Prices Come From?

I'm usually more of a wino, but if I'm someplace renowned for their drink menu, I always try something. Some have definitely been over-hyped, but the ones that weren't were definitely something unique. I'm okay with splurging on a fancy cocktail sometimes in the same way that I'm okay with splurging on a fancy meal sometimes; it's because it involves food sourcing, equipment, and expertise that I just can't replicate at home.

@sdfishtaco, yeah, paying that much for a well drink, sure, but I don't think we're talking about your standard gin and tonics or 7 and 7's. This is about drinks that come in golden pineapples or have bananas carved to look like dolphins. Drinks with mysterious ingredients like falernum and cynar. It's like going to a steakhouse to get a burger and pointing out that you can get one cheaper at Mickey D's. I don't think I've ever seen a specialty cocktail in Chicago for under $10, and even that strikes me as low.

My first taste of Meyer lemon?

I've read so much about Meyer lemons, but never tried one, so when I saw them at the store yesterday I had to grab one.

Having never tasted one before, what's the best way to first experience it? I know it's sweeter than your typical lemon, but I figured I still shouldn't just bite into it like any other fruit, yet I also don't want to make something too strong or convoluted that doesn't let me taste the difference between it and your run-of-the-mill lemon.

Suggestions and/or recipes would be greatly appreciated!