The Food That Built America

Discussion in 'Now Playing - TV Show Talk' started by shelly40, Aug 13, 2019.

  1. Steveknj

    Steveknj Lost in New Joisey TCF Club

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    I was a latch key kid growing up, so TV dinners were easy to pop in a toaster oven and cook for a 12 year old. Never ate them for dinner too much, mostly for lunch.
     
  2. kaszeta

    kaszeta $nullstring TCF Club

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    Yeah, I almost never had those for lunch. During my latch key kid days, instant soup seemed to be the standard easy option, and making BLT sandwiches (microwaving the bacon) the involved option.
     
  3. Steveknj

    Steveknj Lost in New Joisey TCF Club

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    We did TV dinners, canned ravioli, soup, PB&J, and well, a walk to the local pizzeria for a slice :)
     
  4. Tony_T

    Tony_T Well-Known Member

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  5. Wil

    Wil Unknown Member

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    Pepe's and Sally's date back to the 1920s, Modern to the 1930s. Not part of the narrative thrust of the show being discussed, which is that "American" pizza (as opposed to local implementations of Italian originals) did not exist before the Hut.
     
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  6. MScottC

    MScottC Well-Known Member

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    LOL... the two pizza chains they covered are, to me, about the worst pizza you can find in the USA. Totally sad. I get that's what introduced most Americans to pizza, but that doesn't make it good.
     
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  7. Wil

    Wil Unknown Member

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    They have varied over the years from inedible to "you get back to your hotel room at 1 am, room service is closed, and that's all the desk can get you to eat" - almost edible. I've mentioned small town Pennsylvania and there were (probably still are) local pizza joints there and elsewhere even worse.
     
  8. justen_m

    justen_m Cheesehead TCF Club

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    When was the last time you tried either? Over 30 years for me. Their current offerings look better than what I remember. Still haven't tried 'em. Heck, I live one mile from a Domino's. The $7.99 3-topping carryout deal has tempted me.
     
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  9. cheesesteak

    cheesesteak Meh. TCF Club

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    I'd assume that any area that had a large Italian immigrant population would have mom and pop pizza joints all over the place. I grew up in Philadelphia and live in it's suburbs. There are still tons of local pizzerias around here. The big chains are here but there are some much smaller, local chains too.
     
  10. Donbadabon

    Donbadabon Bored TCF Club

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    That corn bread was the best. Slightly sweet, and would cook to a great golden brown.
     
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  11. Steveknj

    Steveknj Lost in New Joisey TCF Club

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    On TV they look great, in reality, blecch. I used to actually like Pizza Hut's deep dish, but hadn't eaten it for a few years and went back to have some, and it was horrible (that was like a couple of years ago). Dominos is edible if you just feel like quick cheap pizza that tastes reasonable cold. I used to get it for my kids when mom and dad went out. But when there are so many better options, why eat there?
     
  12. kaszeta

    kaszeta $nullstring TCF Club

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    Yeah, my early childhood pizza experiences were a mix of Wilmington, DE (where the "Italian Sub" was king, but there were also no end of pizza places, and a reasonably good local chain called Pappy's) and visiting family in New Haven (my grandfather knew several members of the Consiglio, Pepe, and Bimonte families, and could generally line skip. I didn't inherit the privilege, although my late cousin Andy had some sway). Pizza opinions run really hot in that side of the family.

    Mostly due to Pizza Cognition Theory, most of my likes and dislikes with pizza derive from those childhood experiences, and if I had to list my all-time favorite pizza places, most of them either tie pretty directly to some sort of Pepe's lineage, or back to Naples. And most of the places I don't particularly care for have either Midwest[1] or California[2] heritages. And just about every little Northern New England town has some sort of Greek-owned "Village Pizza" or "Pizza Chef" place, and I find them pretty much universally mediocre, but locals swear by them.

    I haven't had a Pizza Hut pizza in a long time (all the ones around here closed). Carol worked many years at a Pizza Hut as teen, however, and somehow despite that has sometimes-fond recollections. I've never quite gotten the love, but they aren't the bottom of the barrel for me. They definitely expanded the market for pizza, however.

    But, like a lot of food items (like burgers), treating "pizza", or even "American-style generic pizza" as a monolith is really lumping a bunch of related styles all together. New Haven style pizza is great, but so are most random "New York Slices" from random neighborhood joints, and to a certain extent, they're different food stuffs (like comparing fast food burgers to steakhouse burgers...) and not always exchangeable.

    [1] I know people that adore Midwest thin cracker crust pizzas cut in squares, but that's a solid 'meh' from me. A 'meh' bordering on 'bleh' if that pizza has provel on it.
    [2] A good example of mediocre pizza that had wide appeal when I was a kid in Arizona was Chuck E Cheese's. Bleh.
     
  13. Steveknj

    Steveknj Lost in New Joisey TCF Club

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    Calling Chuck E Cheese pizza mediocre it giving it too much credit! That pizza makes Pizza Hut taste like gourmet. I've had store brand frozen pizza that tastes better than C.E.C.
     
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  14. efilippi

    efilippi Well-Known Member TCF Club

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    I've never gone to a Chuck E. Cheese since I've always considered them a place for kids parties, kids who will happily eat anything. The low price pizza that was pretty big around here was Little Ceasars (Pizza! Pizza!). I had to take turns buying food for the high school tennis team and all parents seemed to agree around Subway or Little Ceasars. The kids never seemed to mind...
     
  15. MScottC

    MScottC Well-Known Member

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    I don't remember when, but yes I've had Domino's a few decades ago.
     
  16. Worf

    Worf Well-Known Member

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    Well, I know coming home from school, or on the days I was off, my parents would basically get a bunch of packaged stuff for me and it was up to me to cook them. So TV dinners were a staple, but also canned soup, Chef Boy-are-dee, KD (in Canada, KD is actually an adult meal and thus actually tastes quite a bit different from American KD) and frozen pizza. This continued into my teens.

    If nothing else, I have enough basic cooking skills to be dangerous. I've seen people who literally cannot boil water in any form - either a pot on a stove, or using a kettle (electric or stove). I can follow a recipe and have decent results, as well as know enough on how to doctor things up to make it my own

    And yes, I had some money so I could splurge on delivery once in a while. The encouragement was what I didn't spend I'd keep, so...

    Though to be honest, as a family we'd rarely eat at the dining room table (probably never). Usually the kitchen table, but in front of the TV was a common place as well - put the food on the kitchen table, fill your plate, and mosey on over to a spot in front of the TV.
     
  17. MScottC

    MScottC Well-Known Member

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    Frozen dinners were a rarity in our house. Both of my parents were excellent cooks, and all of the kids were taught to cook very early on. Dinner was pretty much mandatory for all of us at 6PM, all 6 of us around the dinner table with a full complete dinner. Typically only extraordinary school or work obligations were a good enough reason to not be at that dinner table. Often one of us kids would cook that meal, including some protein, vegetable (cooked or salad) and a rice/potato/pasta.

    One thing my parents never made was fried chicken. So the occasional Swanson fried chicken TV dinner was a treat, but not something we'd have at our regular dinner time.

    And the Stouffers Macaroni and Cheese was a winter lunch item that we loved. We never had that Kraft "junk." Ironically I have the Kraft mac and cheese as that "**** honey, I'm busy and lazy" dinner in my cupboard now.
     
  18. Steveknj

    Steveknj Lost in New Joisey TCF Club

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    KD = Kraft Dinner? (Kraft Mac and cheese in the US)
     
  19. kaszeta

    kaszeta $nullstring TCF Club

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    To me, this is splitting hairs. A few years ago at work we did a side-by-side, double-blinded tasting, and while everyone could agree that "Kraft Dinner" and "Kraft Macaroni and Cheese" had a subtly differently texture and flavor, people had a really had a hard time identifying which was which. I'm not sure most people would notice a substitution if they weren't told about it.
     
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  20. mattack

    mattack Well-Known Member

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    That's funny, because I don't think I've mentioned it, but that's one of the things I REALLY REALLY like about this show.

    It's such a silly little gimmick, and I guess it's "obvious", but I still thought "oh that's really cool" the first time I saw it. It's really cool to show the city of each company in the brand name style of the company they're talking about.
     
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