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An Open Letter to Serious Eaters

Hey Ed. Hey Kenji.
I've had a couple of days to think about it, please delete my account, my profile and all my comments and posts. I too would like to move on.
Don't worry, I will re-register with a new email address (actually, it is a very old fake address), a faked IP address and my fake social media accounts. But more than likely, I will visit your site with Google Incognito.

An Open Letter to Serious Eaters

I've been here since the beginning and with time the site has become less of what I wanted and more of what I didn't want. Good luck with your future endeavors. I realize that your staff has grown and you need to pay salaries. Mario, Gina Depalma are no longer contributors. Heck, even Ed is a rare contributor now. The writers I came here for are mostly gone. You have become a site of marginal interest to me now. I liked Talk and was one of the, apparently very few, people that read and commented on the posts. Sure some of the n00bies questions were inane and the spam was regrettable, but it was part of what made the website a "community." I guess you can't monetize community, so that aspect of Serious Eats is now dead (even if it played a role in your two Beard Awards).

I have opted out of social media sites for privacy issues. My work place blocks them, even though I keep fake social media profiles with a different identity for work reasons--it's complicated. Your new social media policy comments, while not conducive to community participation, can now be monetized over and over again. More power to you if you want more random search hits from people who won't be back. But Serious Eats will never be a community again.

Walmart Goes Organic, Farmer Suicides Increase, and More in Food Policy This Week

Don't you mean "The Environmental Impact of Cow Farts" or maybe if you're fancy "The Environmental Impact of Cow Flatulence."

What do you guys prefer plastic or wooden

Here is "the wood vs plastic cutting board study" that concluded: "We believe, on the basis of our published and to-be-published research, that food can be prepared safely on wooden cutting surfaces and that plastic cutting surfaces present some disadvantages that had been overlooked until we found them."

What do you guys prefer plastic or wooden

I started with a vintage maple board that died after almost two decades of use. I switched to plastic, I didn't like it what it did to my knives at the time. Switched again to bamboo with the color code thin plastic sheets for meat, fish and poultry. I found the bamboo and the plastic developed cut marks which when my knives ran over them dulled and bent the edge of the blades so I had to sharpen them more. Then about 10 years ago, I seriously upgraded my cutlery and invested in a 18 x 12 x 1 3/4 John Boos end grain maple board. It is the only board I use now. I can whack a big beef bone with my biggest cleaver and make a 1000 vegetable slices with my sharpest knife and it looks as good as the day I brought it home. I just clean it with a damp sponge with hot soapy water and rub some mineral oil on it when it starts to look dry. And it looks great on my limited apartment granite counter top. I do have a cut piece of rubberized shelf liner under it to keep it from moving.

Cornmeal Issue Part 2: Less smoke & folded pie

Two other thoughts: 16 in is kind of large for a home oven. Experiment with 12 in, then move up. And you really do have to let your oven rip at 550 for an hour to get your oven up to temp. You say, on the stone, the pizza cooks in about 6 min, it shouldn't burn in that amount of time. If you are making two pizza in a row in a home oven, you need to let it get back up to temp. Invest in an oven thermometer. You can't trust your stove thermometer, and put the oven thermometer on the rack not on the stone, what you want to measure is the air temperature.

Cornmeal Issue Part 2: Less smoke & folded pie

Skip the oil, that may be causing some of the burning. You want some charring on your crust. But the only way it will actually burn at 550, is if you are leaving the pizza in too long. If you say in response "if I pull in out before the crust on the end burns, then the center will be underdone," then you are over dressing your pizza. Cut back on some of the toppings.

Cornmeal Issue Part 2: Less smoke & folded pie

I will repeat my earlier advice. You flour and cornmeal a dry peel before you place the dough on it. Then once you top the dough (on the peel), you shake the peel a few times to make sure the dough moves freely and will slides off easily with a couple of shakes on to the stone.

I don't understand why you are putting flour and cornmeal on the stone in the first place.

And saucing the unadorned pizza ON THE STONE IN THE OVEN! is just crazy talk. It lacks even a smidgen of common sense. By the time you sauce it your 500 degree oven is cooking your pie at about 325--if that.

Cornmeal on stone burning

I use cornmeal on the peel to help the pizza slide off. I never put it straight on the stone. And yes, it does burn, so I have to disable the smoke alarm before I put the pizza in the oven.

Culinary land mines

You people are all weirdos!

Except for the afore mentioned gristle, hair and arteries, most of your "culinary land mines" are just yummy. Mmmmm, cilantro, marzipan, bread and butter pickles, anise "flavors," anchovies, raw onions, etc.

Moving from SoCal to New England

So you're moving to Conn to join the Village People? Are you going to be the Native American or maybe the Leatherman? Shouldn't you be moving to Greenwich Village or have they all retired to Groton--sooo many seamen, I mean, sailors!!;)--with a nightly review at Mohegan Sun?

Moving from SoCal to New England

You are going in the wrong direction. You should be moving from New England to Southern California. I'll take earthquakes and year round 70 degree sunshine over rain, humidity and blizzards any day. (At least, that is what I did--with a few detours in between--and not for one moment do I regret it.)

1. Yankee (yes, it is a cuisine), Italian, Polish, German, Portuguese, Puerto Rican, Greek, even French.(there are probably more ethnic food inroads there since I left 30 years ago.)

2. Don't know about fine dining anymore. Chains: Friendly's, Howard Johnson and A&W. In Springfield MA, there is the best Italian Pastry shop in America, in Agawam MA Pajer's makes a Italian Sub that cannot be beat and Frankie's Firehouse Pizza was my family go to in North Central Conn.

3. Go to every Farmer's Market you can. I'm in Santa Monica so I am spoiled. But the citrus and exotic warm weather produce cannot be beat. Do get me wrong N.E. has awesome Farmer's Markets and produce. Apples, corn, peas and asparagus come to mind as N.E standouts. But you won't find fresh Kaffir Lime leaves or Blood Oranges in New England. To my mine fish tacos vs. lobster rolls is an even trade.

Prosciutto Knife Recommendations?

I don't have any recommendations, prosciutto ham freaks seem to prefer a hand crank rotary slicer like an antique Berkel. Jamon and Iberico ham freaks prefer a stand and a long thin knife made for slicing ham. Do a search for Iberico ham knives and you might find what you are looking. I found this this.
At its most basic, a prosciutto knife is either a long thin fillet knife or a long thin carving knife. It shouldn't be too flexible.
Good luck.

Mozzarella - salted or unsalted?

I would only eat unsalted fresh Mozzarella the day it is made. It is creamier and possibly cheesier. Unsalted Mozzarella rapidly starts to break down in texture.

Salting helps preserve fresh and all other varieties of Mozzarella and also helps it retain water rather than leech out, thus a firmer better texture as time passes. Smoked mozzarella has to last at least through the process of smoking, so it needs to be salted.

How to preserve dried New Mexico chiles in Washington state

As long as your brother lives indoors, the chiles will be fine in just about any dry storage solution. They sell cellophane bags of dried chiles in the supermarket in the Mexican aisles in the NW just like anywhere else. You are seroiusly over estimating the humidity in dwellings in the NW. It's not like the walls are dripping with moisture.

This Week at Serious Eats World Headquarters

Kittehs and Doggies work for me. But please burn that sugar bear costume immediately ... with FIRE!

Need help finding a restaurant for high profile guests

If you're in NYC, you should definitely try Dorsia. But reservations can sometimes be difficult to get.

Need help finding a restaurant for high profile guests

I hear there is a pretty good restaurant in Grand Forks, N.D called "Olive Garden."

If this is a serious question, it would help if you specified a geographical location.

I'm quitting the site

I'm okay with this.

I'm commenting to see where this thread goes.

What is Mezcal? (Not the drink)

I don't think it is a bad idea. Think of it as a very sweet, very smokey barbecue sauce, so be careful not to over do it. Remember Agave nectar is a sugar substitute.

What is Mezcal? (Not the drink)

It is what you think it is. Smoked agave hearts that can be eaten as a sweet snack.

Yogurt Knife Recomendations?

I can't live without this one Sanelli Premana Professional. I saw Mario Batali use it once on Iron Chef and I knew I had to have it for all my yogurt needs.

Cockles in the fridge

That is not how you are supposed to store shellfish. Shellfish should be kept cold in cloth or natural bag with a wet towel covering them. If they have been sitting in fresh water, they are likely dead and inedible. They should be eaten by the next day. Under optimum conditions, they can last 2 days in the refrigerator depending on how fresh they were when you bought them. If they are open and when you squeeze them and they don't close, they are certainly dead. If they close on their own after you squeeze the shells, they are alive and edible.


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