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Strange Foods

When given a menu in a restaurant recently, my friend and I had to ask the waiter to explain some of the terms to us. He laughed and said "at least you're asking. Some people are very surprised when their meal comes out."

Food has taken on a whole new language and I am having a tough time with all these strange names. Panini (I think these are big sandwiches). If you grill them you should have a panini machine. They say the Foreman Grills aren't wide enough. Are our mouths?

Wraps. This sandwich is rolled in a tortilla. They also have long wraps that are cut in small slices can be used for hors d'oeuvres and are pretty to look at. I like my sandwiches flat and the bread fresh or toasted not damp. I like to be able to lift the top and see what I'm eating.

Quesadilla. They use flat tortillas here too and put the filling on top and then another flat tortilla on top of that. Then they cook them then cut them in wedges. These can be tasty depending on the filling.

"'I'll have the good old-fashioned club on white toast please." That's not so easy to find anymore. Some restaurants make them on buns which can be difficult to eat. Some use, ugh, healthy breads.

A certain big restaurant chain has recently left the area (I don't know if they are still elsewhere). One of the reasons (at least in my opinion) is that they only served grain breads. I refused to go there even though their food was good.

I paid for a lunch not a dietician; White bread should be a staple. Same as rye for corned beef. Certain foods belong together. At least it should be your choice.

We are having calzones tonight. That's a sandwich type in a croissant (rich crescent roll to us traditionalists) or pizza dough. They're really very good with all that melted cheese. We are having it at home so I know what's going in it.

Sushi is cold raw fish that fisherman used to use for bait for other fish. Makes it hard for me to warm up to it, but a lot of people must. Even the grocery stores now have Sushi bars and because it has to be so fresh, a chef is standing there preparing it.

What about all those weirdly named pastas and rices? My family laughs at me because I am so set in my eating habits. Spaghetti has to be the long strands; macaroni has to be elbow and pasta salad required the rotini or stovepipe pasta.

My noodles have to be thin for soup and wide for stroganoff. No I don't eat colored pasta even if they say it's spinach. Do you?

Risotto and couoscous make me suspicious. I really like minute rice and if I want to add flavor I use broth instead of water. Same for potatoes.

I recently called for a pizza delivery ready for the double cheese, sausage, and pepperoni menu. I was overwhelmed with the new varieties.

They now have chicken, seafood, California pizza (avocados and the like) fruit and - get this - chocolate pizza. I thought I died and went to heaven but they wouldn't add caramel sauce and whipped cream. I bet some pizza houses do.

Beware! There is a food (?) called tofu. Be forewarned. It takes on the appearance and taste of what ever else it's mixed with. Shouldn't this be illegal? It gets by doing this because it's healthy or so we're told. Personally I don't trust it.

Be sure to read labels because, for example, right next to the hamburgers packages are tofu burgers. Don't say I didn't warn you.

They even have fake cheese now.

I always made an omelet in the frying pan and covered it because it's too large to turn. They now call it a frittata and it's very trendy.

I like most of my food separated: starch in this corner, vegetables in that and protein on the rest of the plate.

"Good restaurants" love to pile it all up in the center of the plate and stick a piece of parsley or what have you on top. They then drizzle (spill) a little sauce around the edge and charge you more. "I'd really like my sauce on the side please."

I'm really not a fussy eater and maybe that's the problem. I do like a nice attractive presentation but not necessarily a work of art that makes me feel like I'm a demolition crew tearing down the Taj Mahal. Again, don't misunderstand me. An appetizing presentation is important, but really! I want to eat it not take it's picture.

Some foods are meant to be mixed like stews, and casseroles. That's different. They need to mingle the flavors.

Every time I'm in a restaurant (yes every time) and see those big salads going by I wish I had ordered one. Someday I will. I've been told it's the presentation. All the chicken and berries, pea pods and other goodies are only on the top - the bottom is all lettuce. I'm sure it depends on the restaurant and I'm going to try one soon. Really.

I believe Senfield made the "Big Salad" popular. I understand the "Soup Nazi" is starting a chain of soup restaurants. I can't wait!

We used to make navy bean soup with ham. Now we make 10-bean soup. Have to admit it's delicious.

I wish all restaurants would take a tip from Denny's and Big Boy and show pictures. Other people's food always looks so good going by our table but I don't remember seeing it on the menu.

Chicken is chicken but there are hundreds of new ways to make it. My family is fond of mesquite and teriyaki.

My mind is so full as I think of all the different new drinks, foods, spices and yes even new pet foods. I am going to do a series and yes I'm counting on you to furnish some of the material.

Don't worry about the spelling. Even the spell checker on the computer isn't familiar with some of these words. Don't let me down!

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Pat


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