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Old 05-19-2020, 02:39 PM
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Things there isn't really a fancy version of


Cars are the kind of thing where there is a big difference in what is owned by an average vs. a rich person. Your average person might have a 7 year old Nissan Altima worth $4,000, and a rich person might have a $90,000 new Lexus SUV.

But I'm thinking of items where there isn't really a luxury version. Toilet paper springs to mind. Once you've upgraded from Walmart brand to Cottonelle, is there anywhere else to go? I mean, I'm sure somebody somewhere is selling mink TP, but it's not what most wealthy people use. Or toothpaste? If I sneak into Bill Gate's bathroom, would I find something other than Colgate?

What else is there not really a fancy version of?
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Old 05-19-2020, 02:45 PM
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Straight peanut butter. Nothing added to make it "gourmet".
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Old 05-19-2020, 03:29 PM
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Tacos

How about smartphones? Unless you put diamonds all over them, I expect Bill Gates and I have pretty much the same phone.
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Old 05-19-2020, 03:31 PM
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Cars are the kind of thing where there is a big difference in what is owned by an average vs. a rich person. Your average person might have a 7 year old Nissan Altima worth $4,000, and a rich person might have a $90,000 new Lexus SUV.
$90k Lexus?

When I travelled to Palo Alto for work, there was a McLaren dealership near the hotel. Dozens of $200k+ cars just sitting around the lot like they were Volvos or Fords.




Quote:
Originally Posted by Palo Verde View Post
But I'm thinking of items where there isn't really a luxury version. Toilet paper springs to mind. Once you've upgraded from Walmart brand to Cottonelle, is there anywhere else to go? I mean, I'm sure somebody somewhere is selling mink TP, but it's not what most wealthy people use. Or toothpaste? If I sneak into Bill Gate's bathroom, would I find something other than Colgate?
Theodent 300 toothpaste
https://luxuryes.com/2014/01/most-ex...-theodent-300/
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Old 05-19-2020, 04:21 PM
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Lexus is more a mid range luxury car.

The truly rich have cars that cost six figures. Lexus maxes out at high five figures.

I'd say electric fans. I don't think there's a rich people version of one.

Electronics too. Yeah you can get a bigger TV but what can you do to upgrade a gaming console, DVD player, phone etc? Cover it in gold and diamonds? There isn't some super fast PS4 out there you can buy for five figures.

My impression is some 'rich people stuff' is just the regular product with bling on it.

Some foods, but not others. There is rich people beef, seafood and alcohol. Not so much chicken, pork and soft drinks.
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Old 05-19-2020, 04:26 PM
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Old 05-19-2020, 04:46 PM
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Some foods, but not others. There is rich people beef, seafood and alcohol. Not so much chicken, pork and soft drinks.
Andy Warhol (in discussing his interest in mass-produced product labels like Campbell's soup) pointed out that such products have a fascinatingly democratic quality to them. A billionaire, king, or president drinks the same quality of Coca-Cola as a hobo. This was less common before mass production came along.
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Old 05-19-2020, 04:54 PM
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When I travelled to Palo Alto for work, there was a McLaren dealership near the hotel. Dozens of $200k+ cars just sitting around the lot like they were Volvos or Fords.
If you want to see luxury car showrooms, go to Monaco. $200k is cheap there.
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Old 05-19-2020, 05:09 PM
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.

I'd say electric fans. I don't think there's a rich people version of one.

.
Ha. My wife managed to find some very expensive fans. Dyson I think.
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Old 05-19-2020, 05:11 PM
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Straight peanut butter. Nothing added to make it "gourmet".
They are trying. There's the "all natural/no added sugar/no added salt/no added anything" brands. Also cashew butter, pecan butter, almond butter, pistachio butter, sunflower seed butter, etc.
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Old 05-19-2020, 05:18 PM
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any expensive matches? I know there are fancy lighters.
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Old 05-19-2020, 05:21 PM
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They are trying. There's the "all natural/no added sugar/no added salt/no added anything" brands. Also cashew butter, pecan butter, almond butter, pistachio butter, sunflower seed butter, etc.
"All natural/no added sugar/no added salt/no added anything" shouldn't drive up the price due to quality or scarcity.

There's no super rare and expensive peanut to make PB from
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Old 05-19-2020, 05:24 PM
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Ha. My wife managed to find some very expensive fans. Dyson I think.
If you're really rich, though, you get your servants to wave palm fronds at you.
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Old 05-19-2020, 05:28 PM
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If you're really rich, though, you get your servants to wave palm fronds at you.
Or richer yet, then your slaves.
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Old 05-19-2020, 05:35 PM
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Old 05-19-2020, 05:44 PM
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Biscuits and gravy. You might get fancy with artisan buttermilk biscuits and high-end sausage gravy, but the basic combo doesn't need improvement. (except for maybe adding ground pepper and some Tabasco sauce)

Last edited by blondebear; 05-19-2020 at 05:45 PM.
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Old 05-19-2020, 05:46 PM
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Straight peanut butter. Nothing added to make it "gourmet".


I can find 16 oz jars of “natural” peanut-only peanut butter for $2.99 sharing a shelf with
16oz (or less) jars of “natural” peanut-only peanut butter for $10+. Somebody buys the expensive stuff and probably with a belief that it (and perhaps they) are superior.


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Old 05-19-2020, 06:22 PM
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I was going to say salt, but there are people with extra-disposable income buying expensive Pink Crystal Non-GMO Himalayan Salt.

From an ad for one such product:

"Himalayan salt is hand-harvested from the Khewra Salt Mine in the Himalayan Mountains of Pakistan using time-honored methods, and is unrefined, unprocessed, and does not contain any additives...Because the salt was left untouched for years under the immense pressure of the mountain ranges, Himalayan salt remains one of the purest salts available. It is nutrient dense and contains 84 natural trace elements and minerals, including iron, magnesium, potassium, and calcium, which is where it gets its range of pink color from."

See, it's ultra-pure because of all those impurities! (hilariously, this product also carries a California Prop. 65 warning, apparently due to the lead content)

I don't think there's a Rich Person ground horseradish, but I could be wrong.
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Old 05-19-2020, 06:31 PM
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Biscuits and gravy. You might get fancy with artisan buttermilk biscuits and high-end sausage gravy, but the basic combo doesn't need improvement. (except for maybe adding ground pepper and some Tabasco sauce)
Lots of Southern dishes would come under that heading as well: chicken-fried steak, for example. You can make it poorly, you can make it well, but what you can't do is use expensive meat. The fancy stuff can't take the processing without falling apart.

Greens is greens. Serving them with Modeno balsamic vinegar will just make them taste bad.

Trying to fancy-up blondebear's Biscuits & Gravy just yields a mess. The proper biscuit has to be just right, with enough heft to handle the gravy load. Get too "light and fluffy" with them and they collapse under the sausage-y flood. Like using brioche buns for a burger - just an excuse to charge more, because it certainly doesn't work as a burger.
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Old 05-19-2020, 07:00 PM
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Andy Warhol (in discussing his interest in mass-produced product labels like Campbell's soup) pointed out that such products have a fascinatingly democratic quality to them. A billionaire, king, or president drinks the same quality of Coca-Cola as a hobo. This was less common before mass production came along.
Soda was the first thing that spring to my mind. If there are luxury colas or cola snobs who prefer them, I've never encountered any. The most common, ubiquitous brands, like Coke and Pepsi, are the ones most people seem to prefer.
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Old 05-19-2020, 07:32 PM
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Yeah you can get a bigger TV but what can you do to upgrade a gaming console, DVD player, phone etc? Cover it in gold and diamonds?
Yes. (Bought by the same kind of idiots who buy 6- and 7-figure wristwatches.)
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Old 05-19-2020, 07:56 PM
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Regarding the simple addition of bling:

Musical instruments usually have a very strong correlation between tangible quality and price. Most accomplished professionals play pretty high-quality stuff.

But some instruments (like guitars) sell in very large numbers to casual amateurs who, if they have tons of money and want to go all out, can find manufacturers who will be happy to add some ridiculously expensive, useless options.

A friend of mine used to go to guitar company websites which have online tools for the customer to specify options, and see how expensive a guitar he could design by adding high-end baubles (wood that violates international laws, gold-plated pickguard, acres of mother-of-pearl, etc.) Because the results looked like a guitar a dictator would own, he gave them names like Martin Strongman, Taylor Despot, etc.
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Old 05-19-2020, 07:59 PM
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I was going to say salt, but there are people with extra-disposable income buying expensive Pink Crystal Non-GMO Himalayan Salt.

From an ad for one such product:

"Himalayan salt is hand-harvested from the Khewra Salt Mine in the Himalayan Mountains of Pakistan using time-honored methods, and is unrefined, unprocessed, and does not contain any additives...Because the salt was left untouched for years under the immense pressure of the mountain ranges, Himalayan salt remains one of the purest salts available. It is nutrient dense and contains 84 natural trace elements and minerals, including iron, magnesium, potassium, and calcium, which is where it gets its range of pink color from."

See, it's ultra-pure because of all those impurities! (hilariously, this product also carries a California Prop. 65 warning, apparently due to the lead content)
The other hilarious thing is that you can get a big bag of the exact same stuff for pennies on the haute cuisine dollar if you go to an Indian (or Nepali, Pakistani, etc.) grocery store.
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Old 05-19-2020, 08:19 PM
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Old 05-20-2020, 02:28 AM
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Also cashew butter, pecan butter, almond butter, pistachio butter, sunflower seed butter, etc.
Try dry-roasted macadamia nut butter, preferably with only a little salt added.

A lot more expensive than peanut butter, but a lot nicer.
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Old 05-20-2020, 04:25 AM
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I was going to say salt, but there are people with extra-disposable income buying expensive Pink Crystal Non-GMO Himalayan Salt.

From an ad for one such product:

"Himalayan salt is hand-harvested from the Khewra Salt Mine in the Himalayan Mountains of Pakistan using time-honored methods, and is unrefined, unprocessed, and does not contain any additives...Because the salt was left untouched for years under the immense pressure of the mountain ranges, Himalayan salt remains one of the purest salts available. It is nutrient dense and contains 84 natural trace elements and minerals, including iron, magnesium, potassium, and calcium, which is where it gets its range of pink color from."

See, it's ultra-pure because of all those impurities! (hilariously, this product also carries a California Prop. 65 warning, apparently due to the lead content)
Yeah, I once had a customer ask me if the Pink Himalayan Salt was pure salt. No, pure salt is white. It's the impurities that make this stuff pink

Great, 84 trace elements - that's what, 90% of the naturally occurring on Earth periodic table? Funny how they list the impurities that might have some use to you and ignore all the toxic and/or radioactive ones. Granted, the beryllium, arsenic, cadmium, antimony, mercury, polonium, radium, thorium, uranium, and plutonium are in vanishingly small amounts but I find it hilarious that people who are so concerned about "organic" produce, food purity, anti-GMO, and terrified of toxins are willingly consuming pink salt.
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Old 05-20-2020, 04:39 AM
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Spatulas! Why, I bet the most expensive spatula in Spatula City only costs a few bucks.
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Old 05-20-2020, 06:49 AM
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Spatulas! Why, I bet the most expensive spatula in Spatula City only costs a few bucks.
You mean they don't have titanium and platinum spatulas with gold-inlaid handles? What a useless place! 
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Old 05-20-2020, 07:48 AM
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McDonalds.

Rich kids, poor kids. They all want to go to it.

I've seen kids birthday parties where they rent limos to take the kids to - a McDonalds.



Also kids toys in general. From Hot Wheels to Barbie to Fisher Price playsets to board games to backyard trampolines to Xbox most kids pretty much want the same stuff. This is coming from someone who does kids birthday parties. Most kids want pretty much the same stuff.

Except American Girls dolls. Those are crazy expensive.
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Old 05-20-2020, 07:54 AM
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McDonalds.
Five Guys, Shake Shack, In-N-Out, Smashburger, Whataburger
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Old 05-20-2020, 08:43 AM
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Old 05-20-2020, 08:51 AM
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Ketchup. There are a million varieties of fancy mustard, but not really ketchup. According to a fairly well-known Malcolm Gladwell article, it's because the sweet, salty and acidic flavors of ordinary ketchup are already in perfect balance, crating a whole more than the sum of its parts, and can't really be improved upon. Or something like that, don't feel like re-reading the article but here it is:
https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2...chup-conundrum

Last edited by solost; 05-20-2020 at 08:51 AM.
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Old 05-20-2020, 09:31 AM
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Ketchup. There are a million varieties of fancy mustard, but not really ketchup. According to a fairly well-known Malcolm Gladwell article, it's because the sweet, salty and acidic flavors of ordinary ketchup are already in perfect balance, crating a whole more than the sum of its parts, and can't really be improved upon. Or something like that, don't feel like re-reading the article but here it is:
https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2...chup-conundrum
I've been to restaurants with "fancier" ketchup and they were always objectively worse than good old Heinz.
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Old 05-20-2020, 09:33 AM
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Tacos
There are plenty of upscale tacos out there, including this silly $25,000 one.
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Old 05-20-2020, 09:39 AM
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Spatulas! Why, I bet the most expensive spatula in Spatula City only costs a few bucks.
Spatulas may be cheap, but my private chef is not.
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Old 05-20-2020, 09:41 AM
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Old 05-20-2020, 09:42 AM
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Electronics too. Yeah you can get a bigger TV but what can you do to upgrade a gaming console, DVD player, phone etc?
Want a fancy phone? Try these guys.
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Old 05-20-2020, 09:44 AM
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There are plenty of upscale tacos out there,
Fixed link.
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Old 05-20-2020, 10:30 AM
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...
I'd say electric fans. I don't think there's a rich people version of one.
...
There is!

Though I'd argue there are 3 tiers of stuff:
1) Regular-people stuff.
2) Fancier stuff that may offer some value but also may just be nifty and/or pandering to the label-conscious - for those who have a bit more than middle-class income but would not qualify as "rich"
3) Rich people stuff

Dyson fans, and Lexus cars, would fall into category 2. A 20 dollar box fan or 30 dollar oscillating fan would do the job, as would a Ford compact car. Things in the second category may offer some bells and whistles above the first but aren't really game-changers in terms of function.
Category 3, though, is for people who have either "more dollars than sense (cents)", or have very specific performance requirements.
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Old 05-20-2020, 10:35 AM
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As for fancy TV sets, I just checked Best Buy's website; the biggest (98") 8K TVs were tens of thousands of dollars (I think $60,000). And at that level, you don't just buy the TV and put it on the end table; you're setting up a whole system, with speakers, AV receiver and so forth and probably in a room furnished as a home theater. Such things can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

And no, there's no such thing as a rich person version of an electric fan, because they don't buy them. They use airconditioning instead.
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Old 05-20-2020, 10:49 AM
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Not so much chicken, pork and soft drinks.
There are, but they're more along the lines of small-time "artisanal" producers of chicken and pork, who often have heirloom breeds, etc...

I mean, you don't hear about Mangalitsa pigs unless you're looking at the higher-end pork. But then again, rich people don't generally pay for high end raw materials like pork, chicken, beef, etc... they pay a chef to make them delicious food, who sources that stuff because *they* think it tastes better, etc...

Soft drink wise, there are higher end brands, but they're not *that* high end. I mean, you can go buy Fever Tree, Fentimans or any number of super-local sodas made by bearded hipsters, but they're not (at least to me), markedly superior to the mass-market stuff, especially when talking about commonplace flavors.

That's the catch- in lots of stuff, there are higher end options, but they're not *that* much higher end. For my vote on the OP's question, I'm going to nominate laundry detergent and dishwasher detergents. Somehow I doubt that the super-rich (or their servants) are using some sort of laundry detergent made from organic coconuts, or that they have some kind of special dishwasher detergent. Their undies are getting washed in Tide or Gain just like everyone else.

Last edited by bump; 05-20-2020 at 10:51 AM.
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Old 05-20-2020, 01:26 PM
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Breakfast cereal. I collect breakfast cereal, and even the most expensive, organic, ancient grains fancy stuff doesn't cost much more than the average box. The only time you will pay more for breakfast cereal is if it's a discontinued variety that is no longer available in stores.
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Old 05-20-2020, 02:13 PM
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You'd think you can't really improve on or mark up a 5-gallon plastic bucket but you'd be wrong (it's another $30 for a lid).

SpoilerVirgin I want to know more about your breakfast cereal collection. Do you do a blog or have a site?
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Old 05-20-2020, 02:38 PM
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I don't think there's a Rich Person ground horseradish, but I could be wrong.
Wasabi?
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Old 05-20-2020, 02:45 PM
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I've been to restaurants with "fancier" ketchup and they were always objectively worse than good old Heinz.
I would have agreed with you if I hadn't had the restaurant-made ketchup at Crazy Burger. Though Crazy Burger is a little pricey, to my NYC eyes, it's not outrageous.

Last edited by Scribble; 05-20-2020 at 02:47 PM.
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Old 05-20-2020, 02:49 PM
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Old 05-20-2020, 03:43 PM
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Lots of Southern dishes would come under that heading as well: chicken-fried steak, for example. You can make it poorly, you can make it well, but what you can't do is use expensive meat. The fancy stuff can't take the processing without falling apart.
It occurs to me that many dishes like that originated specifically as a way of taking poor quality cuts of meat and making something good out of them. Barbecue would be another example, hell probably the classic example. The whole purpose of barbecue was to take the cheap, tough cuts of meat and make them tender by cooking them for a long time. There's a saying that you can tell if a barbecue place is good by the fact that there are both pickup trucks and Cadillacs in the parking lot. There's no such thing as fancy barbecue. If a place is good people of all economic classes will eat there.
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Old 05-20-2020, 03:45 PM
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Nepalese food. Possibly the most horrific cuisine in the world. Basically just a bunch of stewy glop dumped on some rice that you're expected to eat with your hand.
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Old 05-20-2020, 04:44 PM
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Ah, but Nepalese spices make the glop wonderful. And then they put the glop in nice little buns...

But I dropped in to mention that my poker gang is full of gourrrrmands, who HAVE to tell you the brand name and price of everything they bring to a potluck. The wine from the south slope of the Tuscan monastery where you have to stay for a week before they'll sell you only three bottles. The cheesy poofs from under the counter of a convenience store in Kuala Lumpur, but "I'm the only gaijin allowed to taste them because I might have killed the man who left the proprietor's daughter at the altar..."

So, you bet there's rich people meat:

"Now, this is a beef you've never had, it's like waygu but it's hard to find. Literally. I have to get off the bullet train between Tokyo and Kyoto at an unmarked station and walk over a mountain. I could tell you where, but you are never going to find this little farm, no one knows it's there. Anyhow, this guy has a select number of cows that he keeps indoors, and personally filets the best one for me while I'm standing there. The guy's amazing, he uses a tiny samurai blade from the Wang Dynasty, and the cut is like a filet mignon but from a specific area of the cow just behind that.

"Now, I'm going to just sear the outside until the Maillard reaction kicks in, but the inside's going to be almost raw, just take a small bite and roll it around in you mouth... oh, why did you take a sip of wine? Now you'll have to wait fifteen minutes until you get your bite."
  #50  
Old 05-20-2020, 06:02 PM
Darren Garrison's Avatar
Darren Garrison is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by digs View Post
The guy's amazing, he uses a tiny samurai blade from the Wang Dynasty
I'm a dilettante-- I'd be happy with just these.
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