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It's What You Call It

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Something popped into my head recently, while preparing an 18th century dish. Nothing earth shattering, but of interest nonetheless. Things aren't what they are, but what you choose to call them.

 

F'rinstance, there's a recipe To Roast A Leg of Pork in an 18th century cookbook. Essentially, it's pulled pork. The major difference being that instead of using a tomato-based mopping sauce, as we're likely to do, the meat is basted with wine, which is also used to create a sauce at the end.

 

Occurs to me that if I slapped that dish on a menu, I could call it "Fire Roasted Shoulder of Pork in a Cabernet/Anchovy Butter Sauce," and charge 30 bucks for it. But you know what? It's still just pulled pork.

 

What do you all think? Are things what they are? Or are they what we call them?

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #2 of 9

You've often said there's no new dishes out there--short of molecular cuisines I suppose.

 

What you call something reflects the time you're in and how you're presenting yourself.  Lots of people do pulled pork in the slow cooker with commercial barbecue sauce. But there's a lot of difference between that and what you describe in the dish from the past. At least there is to me where pulled pork better be cooked with real smoke and fire along the way.

 

 

Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #3 of 9

Pork, cooked to the pulling stage, and braised in or basted with wine is not uncommon on the modern, European or American plate.  I seldom use tomato based sauces even for pulled pork; preferring vinegar or -- yes -- wine.

 

In a barbecue (smoking) forum in which I used to participate, I suggested a wine based inject which was working very well for me and the Southerners went ballistic while the Californians were intrigued.  Go figure. 

 

BDL

post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 

You've often said there's no new dishes out there

 

Not me, Phil. Several other blokes here at Cheftalk.

 

While I understand their point, I don't fully subscribe to it.

 

 I agree that we pay for the time it takes someone to create them.

 

Well, yes and no. If you buy a barbecue sandwich from a truck, or from a cue shack, are you really paying for the 12+ hours that the pitmaster put into it? I think not.

 

If we buy the same sandwich from an upscale restaurant, are we paying for the time invested? Or for the ambience?

 

My point, however, is that if you call it pulled pork it's worth a couple of bucks a plate. If you put a fancy name to it, however, you can charge an incredible amount. And likely get away with it. But it's still just pulled pork.

 

 

 

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #5 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by KYHeirloomer View Post

My point, however, is that if you call it pulled pork it's worth a couple of bucks a plate. If you put a fancy name to it, however, you can charge an incredible amount. And likely get away with it. But it's still just pulled pork.

 

 

 



You see it with seafood, how many new fish names have been assigned to what were otherwise just regular fish so that they could be marketed better?

post #6 of 9

What do you all think? Are things what they are? Or are they what we call them? 

 

I think it's both.

For me it comes down to discription and perception.

I think right side brain thinkers will fully understand/relate to a pulled pork sand. for 3.95

left side brain thinkers will fully understand/relate to Fire Roasted Shoulder of Pork in a Cabernet/Anchovy Butter Sauce, forfor 23.95

Like Phil said, it's how it's presented. Marketing

Things are what they are unless we perceive it's not from the discription or value added..

Oh well, I know what I mean in my head.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
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FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
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post #7 of 9

Food is framed in a context that goes well beyond the ingredient and preparation. Pulled pork basted with wine, presented with thoughtful plating, in am ambient setting that is extraordinary means that the pulled pork has been elevated somewhat and that usually incurs a cost. That same pulled pork served out of a food truck, with the only plating being a kaiser roll and cardboard box means that it is ordinary which usually equates to less cost.

 

In both cases the quality of the pulled pork, its preparation, etc. doesn't have to change, yet most would agree the end product which includes the experience is different. I think what you see in marketing food with names that appear more posh is an effort to make the product extraordinary. Whether the whole endeavor is worth it is really up to the consumer. I'd like to think that food purists focus on the quality of the ingredients and preparation alone and understand that sometimes the best meals come from cramped back-ally family owned establishments. Even still, sometimes you want something to be extraordinary and in those times I would think it is worth paying extra.

post #8 of 9

Hear, hear Eastshores!  Well put.

 

BDL

post #9 of 9

In "Romeo and Juliet," Shakespeare writes: "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet." I'm not so sure! Would a rose called "garbage" smell as sweet? And would you pay the same price for it as you would for, say, an American Beauty rose?

 

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