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Chinese Food and Liquor Decanters

Discussion in 'Now Playing - TV Show Talk' started by brebeans, Jun 20, 2013.

  1. brebeans

    brebeans Member

    Sep 5, 2003
    This has been a question and, sort of, a pet peeve of mine so I thought I'd post it here.

    In many, many, many movies and TV series, whenever people eat Chinese food, they are eating out of the containers (frequently in bed, but not always!) and usually, with chopsticks. Do people who aren't in movies or TV shows really do this? I mean, I know that I've occasionally had a forkful of lo mein out of the container, but their meals and conversation are all around eating their meal out of the "to go" containers. Anyone?

    Also, this especially happens in soap operas, but also movies and other TV shows or, certainly, Mad Men....So many people just 'casually' have all varieties of liquor in decanters, just on the side table, sofa table, buffet, etc. Again...do "real" aka, non TV/movie people have decanters of liquor around the house or the office ( I know times have changed since Mad Men so they might not be around the office as much) ? Just curious and thought this forum might be a good place to start the discussion and get some answers. And also, what TV shows, movies, etc. do you recall the Chinese food out of container (or NOT?) and decanters of liquors?
  2. Steveknj

    Steveknj Lost in New Joisey

    Mar 10, 2003
    New Jersey
    I don't really drink so I can't speak to the decanters, but for Chinese, we serve it on plates. But, I think if I was single, I might just eat out of the containers. We use forks, not chopsticks.
  3. cheesesteak

    cheesesteak Meh. TCF Club

    Jul 24, 2003
    15 mins...
    I always eat out of the fried rice and lo mein containers. Damn, now I want some.
  4. TAsunder

    TAsunder Debates Ghee vs Gi

    Aug 6, 2003
    Madison, WI
    I would use a decanter if I had one. I know a few people who do.

    As to the Chinese food question... never like they do it on TV. I like how they always have like 6 containers but never open more than 1 or 2.
  5. brebeans

    brebeans Member

    Sep 5, 2003
  6. brebeans

    brebeans Member

    Sep 5, 2003
    Yup....agree. And, when they eat them in bed, usually either "pre or post"....I just want to say.. .."eeeewww, don't get that soy sauce or dumplings on the bed!". I can't recall anything, lately, where I've seen this on TV or movies, well, other than Mad Men, but I do see it often. Seems like either an indulgence, luxury, or "just something that happens 'in the movies'".
  7. kaszeta

    kaszeta Ceci n'est pas une conserve TCF Club

    Jun 11, 2004
    Grantham, NH
    Back when I lived someplace where the Chinese restaurants didn't suck, I'd often eat directly out of the takeout containers with chopsticks if it was a dish that was good cold. If it was something I wanted reheated, I usually dumped it on plate, since it would usually microwave better (I've had some sparking from microwaving the takeout containers with the wire handle).

    Re: Decanters: If I had room for them, I might use them. As it is, I barely have room for my liquor bottles as it is. As I slowly plan what I want in my next house, "room for a small service bar and big liquor cabinet" is on the list. I usually have a bottle of scotch handy (not in the living room, but my house has one of those giant combined Great Rooms with Kitchen, Dining Room, and Living Room all as one combined space).

    I'm still a little annoyed that when my great aunt died, my mom sold her rather cool collection of 1950s decanters for $5 at a yard sale. I would have taken them...
  8. Steveknj

    Steveknj Lost in New Joisey

    Mar 10, 2003
    New Jersey
    I was thinking about the Chinese food a little more, and there's been times when I ordered a lunch special and ate it out of the containers because I simply had no plates.

    I know Mad Men was mentioned with decanters. Remember that series takes place 45-50 years ago, and are showing wealthy men. Perhaps that was the norm in that era. I'm too young to remember, and my parents weren't wealthy. Aren't there some liquors that are supposed to breathe and perhaps do better in a decanter? My inlaws would put the Shabbos wine in a decanter but, that was more ceremonial than anything.
  9. whoknows55

    whoknows55 Well-Known Member

    Jun 17, 2001
    I actually have decanters but I'm afraid to use them for long term liquor holding as they are leaded crystal.
  10. TAsunder

    TAsunder Debates Ghee vs Gi

    Aug 6, 2003
    Madison, WI
    Wine is different. Decanting helps aerate it and also helps prevent sediment from getting into your glass. I don't think there's any real benefit to decanting whiskey or the like beyond aesthetics and perhaps pour-ability.
  11. tiassa

    tiassa Me --Avatar

    Jul 2, 2008
    One reason for decanters is so that the show doesn't have to display "Real" booze labels and therefore be seen as sponsoring that variety of booze, kind of reverse product placement. That's why characters usually ask for "Whiskey" or "Scotch" instead of a specific brand (although in the most recent episode of "Magic City" one of the waiters brought the boss a "Cutty Sark on the rocks"). it goes back to when you couldn't advertise hard liquor on TV.
  12. Honora

    Honora Member

    Oct 16, 2006
    I wonder how many people over the years got some degree of lead poisoning from their lead crystal decanters?
  13. Honora

    Honora Member

    Oct 16, 2006
    When you're alone it's one thing, but when you see a group of people all eating out of containers that means nobody is sharing. "I got the kung pow chicken, and nobody else can have any."
  14. LlamaLarry

    LlamaLarry Active Member

    Apr 30, 2003
    Back in the 60's and 70's I know for sure my parents used decanters because I have them all.

    I have them stored in a 8 feet long teak bar that they had built for them when they lived in Taiwan; has a sweet brass foot rail, padded arm rest along the front and an ass ton of storage in drawers, cabinets and a fold down prep table.

    I kind of wish that the folks I hang out with drank enough to make it a centerpiece of the basement. Right now it is stuck in a corner and I usually set it up when the family plays blackjack as it has room for a 7 spot layout.
  15. Mikeyis4dcats

    Mikeyis4dcats Well-Known Member

    Oct 2, 2003
    as stated the liqour decanters are used to avoid displaying brands.

    chinese food is common movie food for continuity reasons. They don't even have to have food in them, and if there is, you can't see how much has been eaten take to take.
  16. nyny523

    nyny523 Oy

    Oct 31, 2003
    New Yawk
    I think they eat out of the Chinese food cartons on TV and movies because that way they won't have any continuity issues. Since you can't see what is in the container, it isn't a concern. In real life most people would dish it out onto a plate ( unless you are eating alone...then the container is fine!)
  17. nycmiddle

    nycmiddle New Member

    Oct 21, 2010
    I drink straight from the bottle. No middle mad men for me.
  18. aadam101

    aadam101 Tell me a joke

    Jul 14, 2002
    One of my favorites is how people "sign" their text messages. The characters phone will say something like "Call me. Love Mom". Nobody does that in real life.

    I also love how everyone on TV answers unknown phone numbers. I would NEVER.
  19. astrohip

    astrohip Well-Known Member TCF Club

    Jan 6, 2003
    Houston &...
    As someone with a fairly extensive bar, I can tell you I don't use any decanters. We have a couple of really nice crystal ones, but they just sit on display with a couple other pieces of nice crystal.

    Main reason is because I have too many liquors, and it wouldn't make any sense to just put one or two in decanters, when I drink a variety. For example, at any point in time, I might have 10-12 single-malt Scotches I'm working my way thru. Which one gets decantered? I also drink Sherry (thanks to years of hearing Frasier say "Sherry, Niles?"), and usually have 5-6 to choose from. Again, which one do you decanter?

    I suppose the only way it makes sense is if you drink one liquor with great regularity, say Crown Royal all the time. Then you could put it in a decanter, knowing you would be reaching for it every day.

    Just not my style, nor I imagine most people's these days.

    If anyone uses them, I'd like to hear why.
  20. waynomo

    waynomo My One Time TCF Club

    Nov 9, 2002

    Decanters were very stylish in the '60s. My dad was an executive during this error. So much rings true to what I remember. He had decanters and used them. They were nice crystal with sterling silver name plates.

    We currently have a set sitting out on top of our bar with the name plates, but they are empty. I really think it was just a way of showing off back then. They really don't seem practical now.

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