or Connect
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Cooking Discussions › Food & Cooking › Most overrated and underrated proteins
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Most overrated and underrated proteins

post #1 of 67
Thread Starter 

I think there are a lot of proteins out there that are either way overrated or quite underrated.

 

For example, while I like dorado (or dolphin), I think it's way overrated, especially when people call it mahi-mahi. There are much better fish out there in my opinion, but it has become exceedingly trendy.

 

I also think "Black Angus" beef is overrated. If an angus and, say, a Hereford were both raised properly and slaughtered at the appropriate time, one would find it practically impossible to tell the two apart once cooked. The feed and care of the cow, as well as the grading, has much more to do with the quality of beef than the breed alone. In other words, a prime Angus steak that is raised in a grain feedlot to fatten it as quickly as possible will most likely have less flavor than a Hereford that is free range and fed with a balanced diet of grasses.

 

Now to the underrated. Staying with the bovine theme, marrow (of all animals really) is quite underrated. I think it may be because of a gross-out factor for some, or the fact that it's simply not that abundant by nature, but properly prepared marrow is delicious.

 

I also think that wild game is underrated. I'm not sure why this is, and maybe I'm reading the attitude of some non-foodies the wrong way, but it appears that some people have an adverse opinion of the culinary qualities of rabbits, venison, squirrels, and the like. Regardless, these little critters make some of the best meals I have personally ever had.

 

What do you consider to be highly overrated and underrated proteins?

"We make our food; thereafter, our food makes us." - Winston Churchill (with a slight modification)
Reply
"We make our food; thereafter, our food makes us." - Winston Churchill (with a slight modification)
Reply
post #2 of 67

Over-rated: chicken breast

 

Under rated: legumes

post #3 of 67

I'd agree almost 100% with both your choices and analysis, Tyler.

 

Dolphin, of course, is the orange roughy of this decade. Only reason it's got so many names is because people think, when you say dolphin, that you're about to filet Flipper.

 

But I wouldn't rank it as the most over-rated. For me, among sea critters, that distinction would go to shark. But what can you expect from a creature that Ps through its skin!

 

Lawd, you don't want to get me started on Black Angus. That's been the greatest merchandising job since Moses sold the Hebrew chilun on the big ten.

 

I don't think marrow is so much underrated as under-available. Anyone who's had the pleasure of sitting down with a large marrow bone and a small spoon looks forward to repeating the experience.

 

Game is actually going through a resurgence. There were historical imperatives as to why Americans, as a race, didn't do game in the 20th century. But now that so much of it is farm raised it's appearing on an every growing number of menus, both in restaurants and at home. I've actually been working on an article about that, and you'd be surprised how popular it's become.

 

From where I sit, the most underrated protein is goat.

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
Reply
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
Reply
post #4 of 67
Thread Starter 

Game is actually going through a resurgence... But now that so much of it is farm raised it's appearing on an every growing number of menus, both in restaurants and at home. I've actually been working on an article about that, and you'd be surprised how popular it's become.

 

I've noticed this as well, and it's heartening. However, I think there's still some aversion to truly wild animals. I don't consider pen raised deer to be wild game any more than I consider deli ham to be a wild boar. The diet, habits, and ranging abilities of a deer make the wild version a completely different protein from it's pen-raised cousin, at least in my opinion. At the same time, I also understand that wild game is not commercially viable.

 

 

From where I sit, the most underrated protein is goat. 

 

I'm going to have to agree that it's extremely underrated.

"We make our food; thereafter, our food makes us." - Winston Churchill (with a slight modification)
Reply
"We make our food; thereafter, our food makes us." - Winston Churchill (with a slight modification)
Reply
post #5 of 67

Most overrated - Filet mignon and prime rib.  Been there done that.  I'm much more interested in the parts of the animal that needs to be cooked low and slow.  Those cuts have the best flavor.  I'll take chuck over prime rib anyday, as long as it's cooked right.

 

Most underrated - quail.  It's the tastiest little bird but a lot of people think they're too cute to eat.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

Reply

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

Reply
post #6 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Koukouvagia View Post

Most overrated - Filet mignon.

 

Agreed!!

 

Most underrated - chuck steak.

post #7 of 67

i agree that filet mignon is overrated..

 

i think one of the most underrated is liver..and i dont mean as in liver mousse i mean like a slab of liver pan fried.

post #8 of 67

MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM liver and onions with bacon.

 

Most overrated are the steaks and Ribeye (as in Prime rib, which it is not)

Most underrated....:

offal of any kind

root vegetables

Carp

Charcuterie...just to name a few

post #9 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by French Fries View Post

 

Agreed!!

 

Most underrated - chuck steak.



I'll agree with that.  When it comes to beef I am a firm believer that chuck is quite flavorful.  Makes much better burgers than ground round.

 

And chicken breasts are also overrated, especially the boneless, skinless ones.  Whenever possible I use bone in, skin on breasts for better flavor.  If the recipe calls for it I cut the meat off the bone AFTER cooking.  Hard to do with a stir fry, but leg and thigh meat has more flavor and works well.

 

Liver - I love it, my wife doesn't want it in the house.  I don't eat it as often as I'd like.  Oh well.

 

mjb.

Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
Reply
Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
Reply
post #10 of 67
Thread Starter 

Fortunately, my fiance lived in Brazil for three years as a child, so she has an appreciation for offal. I agree that liver, and really any offal, is widely underrated.

 

I also think that frogs are underrated.

 

Chicken, unless fried, is greatly overrated. The only reason to eat it otherwise is because it's healthy, but so is fish.

"We make our food; thereafter, our food makes us." - Winston Churchill (with a slight modification)
Reply
"We make our food; thereafter, our food makes us." - Winston Churchill (with a slight modification)
Reply
post #11 of 67

Hmm I would disagree about flake (aka shark) being over-rated. No bones to muck about with, for one,  But beer battered and deep fried then with crispy chips and tartare sauce and squish of lemon - luverly

 

I certainly agree that offal is highly under-rated.  My favourite being lamb kidneys followed closely by liver.  Can't comment on tripe or brains -just have never tried them and not sure I want to.  No reason, just puts me off in my mind.

 

Chicken breast - yes - over-rated, but if done well, as in really well prepared and properly cooked, can be good.  Just gotta practice and get it juicy enough.  I prefer thighs every time.

Fillet steak - give it a miss.  Little flavour, very costly.  Tender, yes, but scotch fillet or rib-eye beat it hands down.  I think with fillet it is more of a snob factor *because it costs so much.

 

Mutton is highly under-rated and further to that, harder and harder to get.  So many people want the little baby lambs.  So the market caters for that.  They've had no time to run around and work their muscles to get real flavour into their meat.  Sure, mutton requires slow cooking, the longer the better.  The end result - so tasty and tender.

 

 

 

 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
Reply
 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
Reply
post #12 of 67

Yunnan style duck heads are highly underrated.

IMG00084.jpg

 

Mmmmm.  Duck heads.

 

BDL

What were we talking about?
 
http://www.cookfoodgood.com
Reply
What were we talking about?
 
http://www.cookfoodgood.com
Reply
post #13 of 67
Thread Starter 

BDL, had duck heads when I was in Shanghai a few years ago. Very interesting to be sure. Also had chicken feet and goat eyeballs. Definitely an interesting culinary experience.

"We make our food; thereafter, our food makes us." - Winston Churchill (with a slight modification)
Reply
"We make our food; thereafter, our food makes us." - Winston Churchill (with a slight modification)
Reply
post #14 of 67

the only reason i don't eat duck lips is that i'm afraid they'll make me talk even more than i do! and with an accent already! who's the lucky person who gets to remove the tongue and eyeballs? and do what with? i know they don't get tossed out!.....2 cents worth, i think flatirons, tri tips and hangar steaks are hugely underrated...don't think beef filet is overrated at all..its just pricey and needs a  good sauce and preparation ..... a perfectly whole roasted or grilled beef tenderloin with bearnaise sauce(come on, who doesn't like bearnaise?) or a pepppercorn sauce is heaven..steak wise,i think the most popular are rib eye and new york...and understandably so...simple sraightforward meat on your plate, not to disappoint...all fish that is sustainable is good with me..as the islanders say, "gotta go to come back", which simply means, see ya later

joey


Edited by durangojo - 10/22/10 at 5:15am

food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

Reply

food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

Reply
post #15 of 67

Most overrated: turkey in any form, and especially the holiday roast turkey. Inedible! There are people who for some inexplicable reason expect it, so I have been dutifully making turkey at Thanksgiving for the past 35+ years, but I refuse to eat it. I make a tasty toast ham or standing rib roast for the feast, too. The idiocy of using ground turkey anywhere that ground beef, pork or lamb tastes far better, or of trying to call an atrocity of strips of protein made from turkey "bacon" or passing off ground turkey and spices as sausage. Also chicken breasts, goes doubly for skinless and boneless; all sources of moisture and flavor have been removed. Too many restaurants appear not to have any chicken thighs, skin on and bone it, in the house. It's the best part of the chicken. Using Mexican chorizo where the very different flavor of Spanish chorizo of one kind or another is expected.

 

 Most underrated: goat, bluefish, fresh grilled sardines, braised lamb shanks, and yes, chuck steaks with plenty of marbling. Using goose fat or beef kidney suet or rendered chicken fat for cooking fat. Wild boar. And yes, all manner of charcuterie! Country style pates, ubiquitous in Europe and hard to find in the US. It is also very difficult to find somebody selling prosciutto and serrano/iberico hams that haven't had the lovely layer of fat removed before selling. They wouldn't be caught dead cutting off all the fat in the countries of origin! Quail and quail eggs. Duck and goose eggs. Free-range hen eggs, and eggs from chicjens that produce something other than basic white and brown (such as araucana). Goat and sheep milk. Genuine (not cultured) buttermilk with actual bits of butter in it. (Not because they added it, but because it is the actual remains of butter-making.)  Raw milk and unhomogenized milk.

post #16 of 67

Why so much anger Dorine?  Is anyone anywhere allowed to like turkey in any form?  I'm actually new to turkey, have always disliked it and refused to eat it even at thanksgiving.  But in the past year I have grown to really like turkey a lot and roast a turkey breast at least once a month if not more.  I think it's a bit extreme to call the use of ground turkey "idiocy" because some people may actually prefer the flavor. 

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

Reply

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

Reply
post #17 of 67

Turkey is underrated

                                     I would love to see Turkey on everyday menus....not just Holidays. The comment I get is oh I save my turkey appetite for Christmas or ThanksGiving......(give me a break...lol) . Lamb Shanks are underrated ....I don' t see them on menus enough or any friends cooking them at home. They'll say" Lamb Shank? What's a Lamb Shank?"

 

Venison is overrated......call it deer and people think of Bambi! ...Venison seems to be the big deal in my neck of the woods. I see at least one everytime I head into town crossing the road or through the trees My sister has a freezer full. She just made Venison Egg Rolls for a Halloween Party we attended. The party food had to have a Ghoolish Theme so she called them " Road Kill in a Coffin!" This was the hit of the party! Venison is everywhere on almost every menu here....getting kinda tiresome.

 

 


Edited by gypsy2727 - 10/30/10 at 6:49am
My feet are firmly planted in mid air
Reply
My feet are firmly planted in mid air
Reply
post #18 of 67

Chapulinas -- grasshoppers in English -- are definitely underrated. 

IMG00097.jpg

They're great eaten out of hand as "cocktail" food when drinking Mezcal or Tequila.  Also good sprinkled on clayudas as a bit of extra garnish.  There's more to the texture than just crunch, and the flavor is very mild.  These mostly tasted of lime.  I've heard complaints about the legs and/or feelers getting stuck between some people's teeth, but think it's probably more imagination than reality.  At leat, it's never been an issue with me. 

 

Gusanos (agave worms) are good too, and I mean by the (small) plateful not just the one at the bottom of the bottle.  Speaking of which... Nothing from the bottom of the bottle counts. 

 

BDL

What were we talking about?
 
http://www.cookfoodgood.com
Reply
What were we talking about?
 
http://www.cookfoodgood.com
Reply
post #19 of 67

por que no?...el pobre gusano solo...

 by the time you get to the bottom of the bottle, everyone's happy...you, the worm, the night!....its the prize in the crackerjack box, although at this hour, neither the worm nor the mezcal sounds so bueno!  however, 'patron' tequila cafe(think tia maria) is 'over the moon' incredible....especially in morning coffee

joey

food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

Reply

food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

Reply
post #20 of 67

Insects on the bottom of the bottle don't count any more than a "last call" romance.  The last bottle I killed (same place as the chapulinas) had a scorpion in it:

reposado.jpg

Life isn't all Midori.  Tempus fugit and so do inhibitions.

 

BDL

What were we talking about?
 
http://www.cookfoodgood.com
Reply
What were we talking about?
 
http://www.cookfoodgood.com
Reply
post #21 of 67

The last time I ate grasshoppers I remember them tasting like chewing tobacco.  But at that time in my life I always had a pouch of Beech Nut at hand.

 

I happen to like turkey.  Real turkey, that is, properly cooked.  If you blindfolded me and gave me a taste of turkey ham, turkey bacon and turkey pastrami I doubt I could tell you which was which.  I imagine the aversion some people have to turkey is they've only been exposed to overcooked, dried out white meat.  When it isn't cooked to death turkey is nice.  I love a pile of it next to a pile of stuffing, all smothered with a good turkey gravy.

 

I've only smoked turkey a couple of times, I thought it was good, my wife thought it a bit too strongly smoked for her tastes.  I'm going to try and lobby the family to have a rib roast and yorkshire pudding served alongside the Christmas turkey.  We'll see how well that concept goes over.

 

mjb.

 

Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
Reply
Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
Reply
post #22 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by boar_d_laze View Post

Insects on the bottom of the bottle don't count any more than a "last call" romance.  The last bottle I killed (same place as the chapulinas) had a scorpion in it:

reposado.jpg

Life isn't all Midori.  Tempus fugit and so do inhibitions.

 

BDL

so we should follow you off that bridge because why?

joey
 

food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

Reply

food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

Reply
post #23 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by phatch View Post

Over-rated: chicken breast

 

Under rated: legumes


I agree Phatch.  Why do so many people prefer breast to thigh?  beats me.  I think they probably never tasted the thigh! 

 

and i notice vegetable and milk proteins are not only underrated in this thread, they;re unmentioned. Pasta e ceci, lentils on bruschetta, falafel, hummus, etc, and i guess, since it's not been mentioned by anyone i think, milk and all its derivatives. 

"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
Reply
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
Reply
post #24 of 67
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dorine View Post

Most overrated: turkey in any form,  

 

 

I take it you've never had wild turkey. If you had, you would be saying the opposite. The difference between wild and domesticated turkey is probably greater than with any other wild/domesticated animal. Also, deep fried turkey is underrated, regardless if it's wild or domesticated.

"We make our food; thereafter, our food makes us." - Winston Churchill (with a slight modification)
Reply
"We make our food; thereafter, our food makes us." - Winston Churchill (with a slight modification)
Reply
post #25 of 67



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by siduri View Post




I agree Phatch.  Why do so many people prefer breast to thigh?  beats me.  I think they probably never tasted the thigh! 

 

and i notice vegetable and milk proteins are not only underrated in this thread, they;re unmentioned. Pasta e ceci, lentils on bruschetta, falafel, hummus, etc, and i guess, since it's not been mentioned by anyone i think, milk and all its derivatives. 



Yes....we have an abundance of non-meat products filled with protein that are underrated , but not in my family!  My mom stayed over last night and I made her favorite Lentil Soup (green lentil) We had Hummus and gluten free pita as a snack when she got here. Today we had Quinoa Tabbouleh  (full of protein) for lunch. I have not eaten any meat in three days and am full of energy!

      I am defiantly not vegetarian , but like to give my body a break from animal protein a couple days a week.

             

My feet are firmly planted in mid air
Reply
My feet are firmly planted in mid air
Reply
post #26 of 67

Has anyone seen the Mitch Hedberg comedy routine where he insults turkey for trying to be everything but what it is? Turkey pastrami, pepperoni, bologna, etc. That's what makes me not like turkey. But New York City makes me spoiled with alternative proteins. I've bought rabbit at the farmer's market, and there's a stand with fresh ostrich every week, I have several options to buy offal meat in my neighborhood, and last week I saw live bullfrogs, freshwater shrimp, and slipper lobsters all dancing about in Chinatown. My problem is knowing what to do with stuff. I can find multiple frog leg recipes online, but not how to butcher it. Will they do it for me at the market? And while slipper lobsters are beautiful, can I clean it just like a shrimp? More education resources, people!

 

As for bluefish, I love it, but I grew up in New England and really know the difference between fresh bluefish and one in the fridge for two days. And it is bad. And after the Dirty Jobs episode at the fish farm, I'll never eat tilapia again, despite how bad it tastes. But can I eat the periwinkles on the beach in front of my mom's house?

 

PS: if the option is to buy the whole rabbit head on (cheaper) or off (costlier), buy it head off. It lookat at me while I butchered the rest of it.

post #27 of 67

As for bluefish, I love it, but I grew up in New England.....

 

Probably an unfair generalization, because even in New England there are regional preferences. In Mass., for instance, bluefish are greatly desired. In Maine they don't consider them  food.

 

As to frogs, Vohrtex, the best tool for that job is a pair of kitchen shears. If you really want details, PM me and I'll walk you through the process.


Edited by KYHeirloomer - 10/31/10 at 5:51am
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
Reply
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
Reply
post #28 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by DC Sunshine View Post

Hmm I would disagree about flake (aka shark) being over-rated. No bones to muck about with, for one,  But beer battered and deep fried then with crispy chips and tartare sauce and squish of lemon - luverly

 

I certainly agree that offal is highly under-rated.  My favourite being lamb kidneys followed closely by liver.  Can't comment on tripe or brains -just have never tried them and not sure I want to.  No reason, just puts me off in my mind.

 

Chicken breast - yes - over-rated, but if done well, as in really well prepared and properly cooked, can be good.  Just gotta practice and get it juicy enough.  I prefer thighs every time.

Fillet steak - give it a miss.  Little flavour, very costly.  Tender, yes, but scotch fillet or rib-eye beat it hands down.  I think with fillet it is more of a snob factor *because it costs so much.

 

Mutton is highly under-rated and further to that, harder and harder to get.  So many people want the little baby lambs.  So the market caters for that.  They've had no time to run around and work their muscles to get real flavour into their meat.  Sure, mutton requires slow cooking, the longer the better.  The end result - so tasty and tender.

 

 

 



That's why God created braising.  To take a well exercised, really tastey piece of meat, and make it butter tender.  ;-)

"J'aime cuisiner avec du vin, j'ai parfois même mettre dans les aliments je suis cuisson. ""Mi piace cucinare con il vino, talvolta ho persino messa nel cibo sto cottura. ""I enjoy cooking with wine, sometimes I even put it in the food I'm cooking." - Julia Child 
Reply
"J'aime cuisiner avec du vin, j'ai parfois même mettre dans les aliments je suis cuisson. ""Mi piace cucinare con il vino, talvolta ho persino messa nel cibo sto cottura. ""I enjoy cooking with wine, sometimes I even put it in the food I'm cooking." - Julia Child 
Reply
post #29 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by tylerm713 View Post

 

 

 

I take it you've never had wild turkey. If you had, you would be saying the opposite. The difference between wild and domesticated turkey is probably greater than with any other wild/domesticated animal. Also, deep fried turkey is underrated, regardless if it's wild or domesticated.



The turkey that you and I know of is so far and away removed from the wild kind. Domestic turkey is grown for that beautiful (?) breast. So much so that the females can not stand up on their own and must be artificially inseminated. No wonder Dorin said what she said.

 

Also.......her comments lead me to believe she is an enlightened consumer. Not many people know where their food comes from, let alone know about items such as was mentioned.

post #30 of 67
Thread Starter 



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chefross View Post

The turkey that you and I know of is so far and away removed from the wild kind.  

 

Agreed. The plumage of a turkey isn't supposed to be solid white. I've been to a plant in NW Arkansas where they process "Super Toms", which weigh in excess of 40 pounds. This is where the turkey legs you get at a fair come from. Needless to say, there is almost nothing in common (at least in taste) between this artificial bohemoth and a wild turkey.

"We make our food; thereafter, our food makes us." - Winston Churchill (with a slight modification)
Reply
"We make our food; thereafter, our food makes us." - Winston Churchill (with a slight modification)
Reply
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Food & Cooking
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Cooking Discussions › Food & Cooking › Most overrated and underrated proteins