vicarious finger fear
June 7, 2018 1:21 PM   Subscribe

You know how to shuck corn and slice apples. You probably know how to slice avocados and separate eggs. Maybe you know how to open coconuts or sharpen knives. But one thing's for certain: if you ask enough people to demonstrate these skills you will find some who have no idea what they're doing. Epicurious asked 50 people to do some basic kitchen prep work and filmed the mayhem.
posted by edeezy (160 comments total) 40 users marked this as a favorite
 
Seriously, people go through life not knowing how to do these things? This is what happens when we stop teaching Home Ec in schools.
posted by ga$money at 1:41 PM on June 7, 2018 [7 favorites]


I am amazed at how many people use knives that are too small for the task. And concerned.


(also in the coconut cracking segment, i agree with the guy who said you shouldn't have to make a home depot run)
posted by lineofsight at 1:42 PM on June 7, 2018 [3 favorites]


I will just say here that I have scrambled eggs down to an absolute science. I may not be much of a cook, but I can scramble you some perfect eggs in a trice.

Also, all those people using metal forks in a nonstick pan... it hurts my soul. I cringe.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 1:48 PM on June 7, 2018 [15 favorites]


On the corn shucking though, why would you ever cut the kernels off? If I'm buying whole ears of corn, I'm eating whole ears of corn, either boiled or—ideally—grilled.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 1:53 PM on June 7, 2018 [15 favorites]


The correct method for opening a coconut is to smash it on a sharp rock.
posted by tobascodagama at 1:54 PM on June 7, 2018 [9 favorites]


THE CHEF DID IT WRONG ON THE JALAPEÑO!

You just need a spoon. Cut off the stem-end. Slice the jalapeño in half. Then just use a spoon to easily scrape out the seeds and the ribs.

All that cutting is so finicky.
posted by oddman at 1:57 PM on June 7, 2018 [12 favorites]


I forgot all about twisting an apple stem to the ABCs to find out who you'll marry, or whatever. Too funny.

How do people not know how to peel an apple?
posted by haunted by Leonard Cohen at 1:58 PM on June 7, 2018


the avocado one was legitimately distressing
posted by logicpunk at 1:58 PM on June 7, 2018 [16 favorites]


Also, spoon related food hacks-- use a spoon to peel ginger, your life will be instantly changed for the better.
posted by Static Vagabond at 1:59 PM on June 7, 2018 [15 favorites]


I don't understand how so many people don't know how to slice an avocado.

Or how so many people still have fingers after "slicing" their onions.
posted by rtha at 2:03 PM on June 7, 2018 [6 favorites]


I have a nice scar on my left index finger from learning this kitchen tip: do not open beer cans for shotgunning with a bayonet. Worked fine for the first three beers, beer four was harder to hit. Also, maybe don’t stab beers. Or join the Army to help stop your drinking. Just...just don’t be like me as a teenager.
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 2:06 PM on June 7, 2018 [20 favorites]


I am amazed at how many people use knives that are too small for the task. And concerned.

People who are afraid of their kitchen knives tend to instinctively go for the smallest, dullest knife they have around in the belief that it is the safest one. Contrarily, sharper knives (and ones that are sized properly to the task!) are far safer.
posted by backseatpilot at 2:06 PM on June 7, 2018 [15 favorites]


I need to figure the hell out of how to sharpen my knives. It seems to be so arcane and I have all the tools but when I tried it last I didn't seem to be doing anything. But my knives are so dull now, and I know it's not safe.
posted by PussKillian at 2:08 PM on June 7, 2018 [3 favorites]


I am amazed at how many people use knives that are too small for the task. And concerned.
I use the smallest knife possible (usually no larger than a steak knife even though our kitchen knife collection stops just short of a machete) because dishwashing to me is as important as fast cutting. Big knives are dangerous to wash, and I say that as a former professional dishwasher.
posted by The_Vegetables at 2:11 PM on June 7, 2018 [1 favorite]


THE CHEF DID IT WRONG ON THE JALAPEÑO!

The chef did it the way a culinary school trained chef would do it, not the way a home cook would. His technique requires only one tool and can be applied to any type of pepper. If you cook at home, do it your way, but I promise his way is faster if you work in a restaurant where a menu item requires you to de-seed and dice 200 peppers in the limited time you have before service begins.
posted by peeedro at 2:11 PM on June 7, 2018 [23 favorites]


Also, all those people using metal forks in a nonstick pan... it hurts my soul. I cringe.

One of the many, many incompatibilities that led to me divorcing my ex was her indiscriminate habit of stirring a pot of soup with a fish spatula. I am re-maddened about it every time I see the circular scratches in the bottom of my 6-quart stockpot.
posted by mudpuppie at 2:12 PM on June 7, 2018 [11 favorites]


I hand-wash all my big knives-- the quickest way to dull them is to run them through a dishwasher where they will bang against all sorts of things and get soaked in detergent and water (which is super bad for handles!!!). Just drizzle soap, scrub both sides of the blade and then rinse.

(knife sharpening is such a pain even though it's relatively easy)
posted by lineofsight at 2:14 PM on June 7, 2018 [5 favorites]


I have seen a video of JACQUES FUCKING PEPIN using a fork to scramble eggs in a teflon pan. I'm still shaken..
posted by supermedusa at 2:18 PM on June 7, 2018


You just need a spoon

Even better, use a grapefruit spoon
posted by not_the_water at 2:20 PM on June 7, 2018 [3 favorites]


Are there injuries in the video? Because I don't want to be exposed to people cutting themselves.

So not long after somehow biscotti married me, I had decided to make goulash. And to make goulash using a hitherto-unused mandoline, and to start preparations while she was showering. Long story short, it turns out that the part of the instructions where they tell you to use the protective dingus are actually pretty important and I took about a millimeter off the end of one finger and a decent chunk out of its neighbor.

So she gets out of the shower and I inform her that I have injured myself and show her my wounds and she gives me a look that informs me that she knows exactly what has happened, which is that I have dumbfucked. And she uses her medical training to agree that it's probably time for a stitch, so we go to the ER while I'm applying pressure to the really pretty trivial but annoying wounds.

Mistake: we get to the ER and walk in, me still clutching my poor widdle hand. What a clever person would do is get out of the car, deliberately cease applying pressure, and walk into the ER holding an obviously bloody hand. LOOKIT IT, TRIAGE NURSE! Instead we sat there for three hours, like ya do, and sure nuff I got my third or fifth stitch in my life and we went home and had some other sort of non-goulash meal that, frankly, probably could be beat.

biscotti is a Canadian person (she is also too and as well American now and has the giant foam CITIZEN hat to prove it), so this was her introduction to American health care. We finish up and are walking out of the ER section and she just keeps on walking until I remind her that we need to pay and I swear you could see a little part of her soul die.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 2:23 PM on June 7, 2018 [47 favorites]


They looked like pretty lousy knives to begin with, which helped, but even so, I could not get through the honing video.

Ugh. Argh. Stay away from my kitchen please.
posted by aubilenon at 2:23 PM on June 7, 2018 [1 favorite]


I can open walnuts with my hand. I think it's the rock climbing.

Can someone explain to me how to peel and seed tomatoes? I use tomatoes a lot but if I try fresh tomatoes it's just a mess. I've never been able to do it.
posted by adept256 at 2:25 PM on June 7, 2018


If your knives are super dull, sharpening them will be a huge pain in the butt. It's much easier to keep a knife sharp than to make a knife sharp that hasn't been sharpened in forever. Possibly you need coarser stones. Or a bench grinder.

Or, honestly, if you don't want to learn knife sharpening (because it's a skill and takes practice, and nobody has time to learn every skill) just get yourself a knife sharpening do-dad and use that. No, they're not as good as doing it "properly" with a nice set of stones. They're a hell of a lot better than nothing though. They're what my parents use, or anyway what my parents keep in their cutlery drawer and I use because my parents don't believe in sharpening kitchen knives. Gets the job done.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 2:27 PM on June 7, 2018 [6 favorites]


Why would you need to peel and seed tomatoes?
posted by elsietheeel at 2:27 PM on June 7, 2018 [1 favorite]


Can someone explain to me how to peel and seed tomatoes?

1. Put a pot of water on to boil.
2. Nick a little x in the skin on the bottom of the tomato.
3. Place tomato in boiling water.
4. When the skin you sliced starts to curl away from the tomato flesh, remove the tomato from the boiling water and place in an ice bath.
5. The skin will come off easily now.
6. Cut the core away from the top of the tomato.
7. Slice the tomato in half around its equator.
8. Gently squeeze out the seeds and pulp, removing any remaining seeds with your finger.
9. Your tomato is now peeled and seeded.
posted by mudpuppie at 2:28 PM on June 7, 2018 [22 favorites]


I am amazed at how many people use knives that are too small for the task. And concerned.


I used to have a nice set of knives, but I switched to using a big ass cleaver. I've never had so much speed and cutting control.
posted by Bucket o' Heads at 2:28 PM on June 7, 2018 [4 favorites]


To peel tomatoes, you blanch them first: drop them in boiling water for a minute then put them in an ice bath. They then become peel-able because the skin pulls away from the flesh.

Or you can do what I always do: buy a good brand of canned whole tomatoes and save the fresh tomatoes for eating raw.
posted by tavella at 2:28 PM on June 7, 2018 [11 favorites]


(Okay fine, that was a rhetorical question. If you must, to peel tomatoes easily you blanch them in boiling water and they pop out of their skins. Then cut them in half and squeeze the seeds out.)
posted by elsietheeel at 2:28 PM on June 7, 2018


Shucking is just removing the husk of the corn... the whole cutting the kernels off is something else entirely. That's not shucking.
posted by GuyZero at 2:30 PM on June 7, 2018 [2 favorites]


Why would you need to peel and seed tomatoes?

Bolognese and chilli I guess.
posted by adept256 at 2:30 PM on June 7, 2018 [1 favorite]


Are there injuries in the video? Because I don't want to be exposed to people cutting themselves.

Somewhat miraculously, it seems that everyone got through this video series unscathed.
posted by tobascodagama at 2:31 PM on June 7, 2018 [1 favorite]


I don't understand how so many people don't know how to slice an avocado.

At least one of the people in the video said he'd never seen the inside of an avocado. The first time I had avocado I was around 19. In some regions/countries it's not super common (or wasn't, at least, I don't know now and I've been living in California where it is ubiquitous for most of the past 20 years).
posted by thefoxgod at 2:34 PM on June 7, 2018


My sister recently had to go to the hospital to get a few stitches for an avocado-slicing injury. The triage nurse asked, "Did you try to stab the pit?"

She tried to stab the pit.

Don't stab the pit. Whack it instead.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 2:35 PM on June 7, 2018 [10 favorites]


I have prepped all the corn in my life that I'm ever going to prep mothershuckers.

I have no idea what the proper way of cracking a coconut is, but using the spine instead of the edge of my chef's knife has worked for me; I'm probably going to die of arterial cuts from shrapnel some day.
posted by BrotherCaine at 2:36 PM on June 7, 2018 [1 favorite]


I am so happy they had a demonstration of the "right" way at the end!
posted by the man of twists and turns at 2:36 PM on June 7, 2018


Why would you need to peel and seed tomatoes?

Because of the goo. Like with Pico de Gallo, I always rinse the tomatoes.

Beyond that, don't these people have the internet where they live? Epicurious could have been so good, once upon a time.

We used a hammer on coconuts. My parents lived in Hawai'i for a time and my dad was an engineer, so...good enuf.
posted by rhizome at 2:36 PM on June 7, 2018


The correct method for opening a coconut is to smash it on a sharp rock

The sharp corners on concrete steps work perfectly.
posted by Dip Flash at 2:43 PM on June 7, 2018 [2 favorites]


I need to figure the hell out of how to sharpen my knives.

Our local farmers market has a knife sharpening vendor there just about every week. Look around - maybe you do too.
posted by COD at 2:44 PM on June 7, 2018 [1 favorite]


You just need a spoon

Even better, use a grapefruit spoon


Or, use a vegetable peeler (the swiveling kind with the narrow head, like this) - nice in a pinch!
posted by Anita Bath at 2:46 PM on June 7, 2018


I wonder if this is a random sample or people who self-report being bad at cooking? Because if it's the former I'm feeling pretty happy with myself right now.
posted by adept256 at 2:47 PM on June 7, 2018 [6 favorites]


I think it's a random sample, since some of them actually seem to know what they're doing.
posted by aubilenon at 2:48 PM on June 7, 2018


I think they probably randomly sampled 50 people and then picked about 10 of them to actually show.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 2:48 PM on June 7, 2018 [1 favorite]


We used a hammer on coconuts. My parents lived in Hawai'i for a time and my dad was an engineer, so...good enuf.

What kind of engineer? My dad was an electrical engineer and he used a power drill. Keeps the milk on the inside. When you're done with that, just caveman it with whatever.
posted by adept256 at 2:51 PM on June 7, 2018


I don't understand how so many people don't know how to slice an avocado.

Well they.....grew up in a home where they did not learn this?
posted by thelonius at 2:53 PM on June 7, 2018 [3 favorites]


If you peel the avocado pit you get a weird little wrinkly ivory-looking thing, and if you scratch it with your fingernail or the tip of a knife, blood-red lines will appear. Try it sometime! I like to draw little faces on them.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 3:00 PM on June 7, 2018 [17 favorites]


I've met people who are oddly proud at their kitchen ineptitude. Maybe as a class thing, or a misogyny thing. They're real missing out. Humans cook, it's what we do. We're the only primate that can't digest raw meat. We lost that when we discovered fire. They're missing out on part of being human.
posted by adept256 at 3:01 PM on June 7, 2018 [9 favorites]


Mango protip: if you hold the core in place with a meat-carving fork instead of your hand, you can get a bit more of the flesh off.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 3:03 PM on June 7, 2018 [3 favorites]


We used a hammer on coconuts.

I still remember the coconut I begged my parents to buy. They told me to use a hammer to open it, which I did. They neglected to tell me that all the coconut milk would spill out when I did that.

Reader, I'm sad about it to this day.
posted by Tiny Bungalow at 3:03 PM on June 7, 2018 [2 favorites]


What? We can totally digest raw meat. Most primates don't eat very much if any meat anyway, but humans can totally digest raw meat.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 3:03 PM on June 7, 2018 [15 favorites]


I am so relieved. Maybe I’m not as bad at adulting as I thought.
posted by schadenfrau at 3:05 PM on June 7, 2018


I mean, I’m still not good. But maybe...I’m average.

Laydeez.
posted by schadenfrau at 3:07 PM on June 7, 2018 [3 favorites]


This does not bode well for the human race.
posted by so fucking future at 3:08 PM on June 7, 2018


For how many millenials there are on this, you'd think they'd be better at avocados.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 3:13 PM on June 7, 2018 [8 favorites]


The mango one has some fantastically cringe-worthy shots of folks trying to do it avocado-style (slice down the middle, and twist).

(It also has some redemption for the dude who kept pulling out the meat tenderizer in some of the other videos.)
posted by damayanti at 3:20 PM on June 7, 2018


I came in here to tell GCU's finger goulash story...

Instead I will point out that one of the many awesome things about the world in which we currently live is YouTube (never read the comments), where you can learn how to handle knives and properly slice and prep all manner of things. I have decent knife skills because grew up watching cooking shows, especially Graham Kerr, but now you don't even need to watch that, you just google "how to slice an avocado" and shazam (....you get 100 idiots arguing about the One True Way....actually, never mind).
posted by biscotti at 3:22 PM on June 7, 2018 [3 favorites]


If you watch the pomegranate one, the chef's method leaves an awful lot of seeds behind. I'm sure it's more efficient in a commercial kitchen to just throw those out and move on to the next pomegranate, but at home there's no way I'm not pulling that bad boy apart and picking out every last perfect little delicious ruby.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 3:23 PM on June 7, 2018 [9 favorites]


They should make one of these where it's just an entire dead moose beside the cutting board
posted by oulipian at 3:24 PM on June 7, 2018 [13 favorites]


Yeah, where's the part where the person pulls out their phone and googles "how to separate an egg?" Because that's Step One in any new-to-me cooking task.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 3:26 PM on June 7, 2018


I don't understand how so many people don't know how to slice an avocado.

I'm not sure that I'd even seen a whole avocado before last year.

How do people not know how to peel an apple?

Why would anyone do that?
posted by rodlymight at 3:26 PM on June 7, 2018 [4 favorites]


To get the skin off.
posted by adept256 at 3:27 PM on June 7, 2018 [17 favorites]


Having watched more of the videos a bunch of these are actually medium-to-advanced kitchen tasks that take some experience to get right. No one should really feel bad if you can't do them. The pineapple one is weird to me as the average pineapple comes with a little tag on it telling you how to cut it up that doesn't produce rings at all as rings aren't a very efficient way to cut up a pineapple.

Anyway I guess it's amusing top watch people do stuff badly, but meh, most of these things are not obvious. You might as well as random people to make profiteroles and criticize their pâte à choux technique.
posted by GuyZero at 3:27 PM on June 7, 2018 [2 favorites]


The chef in video 1 had me until "slightly runny eggs mixed in." Ew, no. No to runny eggs. They're gross.

That onions video. Wow. So many of those people are going to slice their own fingers one day.
posted by zarq at 3:29 PM on June 7, 2018


Seriously, people go through life not knowing how to do these things? This is what happens when we stop teaching Home Ec in schools.

De-seeding pomegranates, tomatoes and jalepeños isn't exactly high on my "must learn" list, tbh.
posted by zarq at 3:33 PM on June 7, 2018


I note that a bunch of the PoC who were pretty incompetent at every other task were nevertheless old hands at sorting out a mango.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 3:34 PM on June 7, 2018 [4 favorites]


criticize their pâte à choux technique

Pfffth. Mine's perfect.

I watched a lot of cooking shows on PBS when I was young...
posted by elsietheeel at 3:36 PM on June 7, 2018 [1 favorite]


I normally consider myself pretty culinarily inept but after watching a bunch of these I feel like I'm jacques fucking pepin myself. I can do like half of those things, just fine.

also, I cannot believe no digits were lost with all that terrifyingly clumsy knifework!
posted by supermedusa at 3:36 PM on June 7, 2018 [1 favorite]


You're not trying to deseed the pomegranate, you're trying to depomegranate the seeds.
posted by aubilenon at 3:38 PM on June 7, 2018 [44 favorites]


Seriously, people go through life not knowing how to do these things? This is what happens when we stop teaching Home Ec in schools.

I, a man, took multiple years of home ec. I even sewed a small stuffed animal that I had until at least a few years ago, I haven't seen the poor little guy in a while and he might have got cleaned out.

Anyway, we learned how to make biscuits from what I can recall. And that was two years of home ec.

At no point did we deseed tomatoes and jalepeños and mangoes were not eaten in 1980's Canada. Home ec was certainly useful, but having done it, it was less useful than you seem to think it was.
posted by GuyZero at 3:44 PM on June 7, 2018 [6 favorites]


A few years ago I stopped a coworker in our kitchen because she had half an avocado in the palm of one hand and with the other was attempting to stab the pit with a dull chef’s knife roughly the length of her forearm. I showed her how to remove the pit safely and she just eyed me skeptically and the next day was back to stabbing the pit with the tip of a 10 inch blade. I gave up.

In unrelated avocado news, but I am traumatized so I have to share - I just walked by a dude in downtown Seattle who was eating an unpeeled avocado like an apple.
posted by skycrashesdown at 3:44 PM on June 7, 2018 [28 favorites]


When the Lamb broke the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, “Come.” I looked, and behold, an ashen horse; and he who sat on it had the name Death; and Hades was following with him. He held in his hand an unpeeled avocado, which he ate like an apple.

— Revelation 6:7-8


Just saying.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 3:49 PM on June 7, 2018 [40 favorites]


Over here in Queensland, Australia we grow mangoes. Everyone knows what to do with a mango. I get that if you haven't done it before and without tips, it's gonna be a mess. And hey, as Jake the dog says 'sucking at something is the first step toward being sorta good at something'.

What disappointed me was the quality of the mangoes. We have these rose gold mangoes the size of footballs that look like the platonic ideal of mangoness. You know that thing the Japanese do, when the tuna boats come in they auction the best tuna for a bonkers price? We do that with mangoes. So a tray of a dozen mangoes can go for $20000. And they each look like Eden's mangoes, god's divine creation and her gift to us.

Sad to see such poor quality mangoes. Spring for the good stuff if you're putting it on tape ya bums.
posted by adept256 at 3:49 PM on June 7, 2018 [7 favorites]


I just eat kiwis whole. Crunch up the little woody stem bit and everything. Just AHMNOMNOM, two
bites.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 3:50 PM on June 7, 2018 [4 favorites]


American mangoes are normally pretty mediocre, to be honest. We don't grow a lot of them, and the places that do have to ship them to us long before they're actually ripe or else they won't survive the journey. They'll ripen up a bit if you leave them on the counter for a few days, but it's still a pretty sad state of affairs.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 3:53 PM on June 7, 2018 [2 favorites]


I just eat kiwis whole.

Beak and all.
posted by aubilenon at 3:54 PM on June 7, 2018 [28 favorites]


Even people that eat tarantulas burn the hairs off. The hair on a kiwi is sorta the same of those hairs, they evolved to be irritating. Invest in a spoon.
posted by adept256 at 3:54 PM on June 7, 2018 [4 favorites]


If certain recipes require just the flesh part of a tomato, I guess that's that, but for normal eating raw, man, the "goo" is the most delicious part. I personally would be more interested in a method for determining the location of a tomato's partitions while it's still whole, so that you can bite or cut in the correct spot and preserve a whole, perfect clump of seeds shining in tart natural jelly.

Pomegranatewise, I have to agree with Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival. In fact seeing all those poor defenseless pomegranates getting sliced down the middle was giving me the heebie jeebies -- all those middle seeds cruelly cut in half! No, if I am having a pomegranate at home as a private individual, I am scoring the top just enough that I can crack the shell open, and then I am gently picking out the seeds so that none of them are broken in the process.

Also those pomegranates looked kind of underripe.
posted by inconstant at 3:55 PM on June 7, 2018 [3 favorites]


American mangoes are normally pretty mediocre, to be honest.

The exception being a couple of states like Florida and Hawaii, where every other yard has a mango tree that produces amazing mangoes with no cultivation required. My grandpa had one such tree, and a net on the end of a long pole with which to fetch them down.

Hawaii seems to be the only state that gets even half-decent papayas, though, to my endless disappointment whenever I break down and pick one up at the grocery store up here in the northeast.
posted by tobascodagama at 3:57 PM on June 7, 2018 [4 favorites]


man, no, I do not scramble in a bowl, and what the hell is that about a sizzle being bad? The sizzle is the shiz because the whole reason you're scrambling is to dispense with steps so you can eat as immediately as humanly possible.

This is how to scramble eggs:
slap the pan on the flame turn it up as high as it will go put in a huge wad of butter wait 'til it froths throw the eggs in there one two three scramble in the pan salt pepper eat

here's how to make an omelet:
slap the pan on the flame turn it up as high as it will go put in a huge wad of butter. While you wait 'til it froths, throw the eggs in a bowl one two three and stir with a fork with something fatty and wet like cream or greek yogurt or with a tiny splash of water, pour in the pan and scrape the solid parts at the edge toward the middle from 12:00 to the middle, then 6:00 to the middle, then 3:00 then 9:00 repeat over and over 'til you have a not-too-wet fluffy disk. Throw on salt pepper and filling if you've got it in a thin line across the middle. Tip the pan over a plate 'til just the edge of the omelet slides onto the plate, then fold the rest on top and put the rest of the filling if you have it along the edge as if it spilled out but if you don't have filling it's okay because eggs + butter + salt and pepper is great. Eat.

Agree times a million on Miami mangos being fantastic, and that all mainland papayas truly suck. Hawaiian are ambrosial.
posted by Don Pepino at 4:00 PM on June 7, 2018 [4 favorites]


If you've got a Korean supermarket in reach, it might have a better selection of tropical fruits. I can't fathom it -- a Lotte in Some City, USA and a Giant in the same town are equally far from whatever mango- or papaya-growing orchards there are, but almost invariably the Giant(/etc.) selection is smaller and exponentially worse-quality than the Lotte(/etc.) selection. Okay, smaller selection I can maybe get, they're targeting white people, but you'd think they'd be able to quality-control better with the smaller quantity....
posted by inconstant at 4:02 PM on June 7, 2018



What? We can totally digest raw meat. Most primates don't eat very much if any meat anyway, but humans can totally digest raw meat.


Not only that, carpaccio is fucking delicious.
posted by thivaia at 4:02 PM on June 7, 2018 [6 favorites]


You're not trying to deseed the pomegranate, you're trying to depomegranate the seeds.

That sounds like a lot of work.
posted by zarq at 4:04 PM on June 7, 2018 [1 favorite]


How do people not know how to peel an apple?

I know how, but why would I bother? I love apple peel.
posted by chavenet at 4:06 PM on June 7, 2018 [2 favorites]


I'm with the people who just cut the jalapeño in half and then zip out the core with the tip of a knife. The chef's method seems needlessly labor intensive and also leaves some of the green parts behind. Of course, if I didn't want the heat of a jalapeño's seeds, I'd just have bought a milder pepper in the first place.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 4:08 PM on June 7, 2018 [3 favorites]


The hair on a kiwi is sorta the same of those hairs, they evolved to be irritating.

I apparently evolved indepekiwindently of you. I also eat kiwis whole and have never found the hair irritating. The skin texture is part of what I like about them.

humans can totally digest raw meat

Yeah, there are so many raw meat and raw seafood dishes in the world.

There's very little meat that I've had cooked but not also raw (deer and pigeon and rabbit are the ones that come to mind, most "common" meats/fish I've definitely eaten raw).
posted by thefoxgod at 4:13 PM on June 7, 2018 [1 favorite]


If you watch the pomegranate one, the chef's method leaves an awful lot of seeds behind.
Not only that, but he seems to have missed one of the main benefits of opening pomegranates in a bowl of water: you can tear the hell out of them without splashing yourself with red juice and covering your table with sticky white bits. That only works if you submerge the thing before you rip into it.
posted by eotvos at 4:14 PM on June 7, 2018 [1 favorite]


Well, you could shuck and jive...
posted by oneswellfoop at 4:16 PM on June 7, 2018


This makes me feel so much better about myself, though. I've been feeling down about myself lately, but dammit I can slice an apple. And I know it's called cornsilk and not "hairs ". WTF.
posted by Green Eyed Monster at 4:19 PM on June 7, 2018 [5 favorites]


They should make one of these where it's just an entire dead moose beside the cutting board

This made me flash back to the Dogs in Elk story.
posted by BrotherCaine at 4:19 PM on June 7, 2018 [7 favorites]


What kind of engineer? My dad was an electrical engineer and he used a power drill. Keeps the milk on the inside. When you're done with that, just caveman it with whatever.

Also an EE, and you're right to prick my memory: a drill to put a straw in and get the milk, the hammer for afterwards.
posted by rhizome at 4:25 PM on June 7, 2018 [2 favorites]


If certain recipes require just the flesh part of a tomato, I guess that's that

Yeah, I mean, the implication wasn't that you always need to be peeling and seeding your tomatoes. It's that sometimes it behooves you to do so. When you're making a fresh sauce, for example, because the texture of cooked-down tomato seeds can be unpleasant, and they can also turn bitter. Also, when you're canning, particularly salsa.

I'm ready to throw down about tomatoes, to be honest. I've had a grumpy day, and I have fifteen tomato plants in my backyard, and my tomato expertise is currently the only thing making me feel good about myself.

Also, tomatoes you get in restaurants are an abomination and they're not even red and I feel like it should be illegal to even call them tomatoes, much less serve them.

I feel strongly about tomatoes.

BRING IT.
posted by mudpuppie at 4:26 PM on June 7, 2018 [15 favorites]


OK… even if you've never seen a whole carrot before, you know what carrot sticks should look like. Just make it look like that! You literally just peel it and cut it up. Some of this is performative incompetence.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 4:28 PM on June 7, 2018 [1 favorite]


The sizzle is the shiz because the whole reason you're scrambling is to dispense with steps so you can eat as immediately as humanly possible.

I put the eggs and a big pat of butter in a cold pan and then put it on the heat, stir continuously, and occasionally remove it from the heat to keep it from getting done too quickly. It takes a couple minutes and I end up with nice custardy eggs, which I prefer.

There are probably as many ways to scramble eggs as there are eggs.
posted by edeezy at 4:29 PM on June 7, 2018 [1 favorite]


Put the 8" cast-iron pan which has a permanent home on the stove on low. Add a small pat of butter. While it melts, crack two eggs into a bowl (add a splash of milk or water if that's your thing) and whisk 'em up with a fork. Move the butter around so that it coats the pan; it should be just starting to get bubbly by now. Pour your eggs in. Wait a minute or so, and give things a stir with a wooden spoon. Ten or fifteen seconds later, stir them again. Repeat until they are almost but not quite done, then turn off the heat and serve. The residual heat will finish cooking them.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 4:36 PM on June 7, 2018 [2 favorites]


I know there exceptions to the raw meat thing, but before anyone goes off and eats raw chicken, just, don't do that. It's not safe. I'd hate for anyone to get the wrong impression.
posted by adept256 at 4:44 PM on June 7, 2018


I've started laughing so hard in the apple one that a co-worker came in to see what was so funny. These are wonderful, thank you so much!
posted by Athanassiel at 4:47 PM on June 7, 2018


the whole reason you're scrambling is to dispense with steps so you can eat as immediately as humanly possible
Egg, milk, small dot of butter, salt and pepper in a coffee mug. Beat with a fork. Put mug in microwave and watch through the door, you'll see it rise over the rim (about 45 seconds). Stir and serve.
posted by unliteral at 4:50 PM on June 7, 2018 [1 favorite]


before anyone goes off and eats raw chicken, just, don't do that

It's actually pretty good though (torisashi). I mean, I wouldn't eat it just anywhere, it's fairly well regulated in Japan (not perfectly safe, but neither is sushi). Depends on the sourcing of the chicken, etc.

(My wife was surprised by how (to her anyway) paranoid people in the US are about raw chicken)
posted by thefoxgod at 4:52 PM on June 7, 2018 [3 favorites]


Probably because of how they're raised, and the frequent presence of salmonella in the raw meat.
posted by Greg_Ace at 4:53 PM on June 7, 2018 [3 favorites]


I want to see 50 people try to boil a live lobster.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 4:54 PM on June 7, 2018 [1 favorite]


Also E. coli and campylobacter
posted by Greg_Ace at 4:54 PM on June 7, 2018 [2 favorites]


I'm interested in the whole egg thing because I have two types of 'scrambled' eggs I make. The first type are soft and fluffy for serving over toast--and that's done very slowly, even taking the pan off if it gets too hot. I've done it that way since I was fourteen, and discovered it through my own incompetence and the realities of how slowly a cast iron pan heats up.

The other type I make is for pad thai, and that type I drop into a puddle of very hot oil and it spreads, puffs up, and gets flipped onto a plate in less than thirty seconds total. Both types are really pretty and yellow but really different experiences.

The science is proteins seizing up, or not, I guess, like flour/bread etc.

Science aside, there's a whole thing to 'how you like your eggs' that is just about scrambled eggs and has to do with geography, class, and age. I think my mother finds the way I make eggs pretty gross though she doesn't say, and when I am at their house, the pencil eraser curds of scrambled eggs give me the heebie jeebies, which can be drowned in butter. I would also guess that dry, unyielding scrambled eggs are the choice of schools, prisons, and institutions everywhere.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 4:54 PM on June 7, 2018 [4 favorites]


The idea of custardy scrambled eggs makes me queasy. I cook mine a lot harder than that.

I have done most of the kitchen tasks they have videos for (not had much to do with pineapples for whatever reason) and I'm okay at prep work, but never could get the hang of making a mango come out looking nice. It's just a mango slaughter no matter how many videos I watch beforehand.
posted by Squeak Attack at 4:55 PM on June 7, 2018 [1 favorite]


Probably because of how they're raised, and the frequent presence of salmonella in the raw meat

Right, I wouldn't eat raw chicken in the US, or even random raw chicken in Japan. The restaurants that serve torisashi get shut down pretty fast if they have problems, so they're mostly good about sourcing.

But all that is true of beef, fish, or other things people in the US eat raw.
posted by thefoxgod at 4:57 PM on June 7, 2018


I think institutional scrambled eggs just come in huge cartons of vaguely egg-like liquid and get poured straight into the pan. They are such garbage, though. Summer camp scrambled eggs were always terrible.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 4:57 PM on June 7, 2018


I had a housemate once that deliberately cooked fried eggs to the point you could smell that unpleasant eggs-about-to-scorch aroma wafting out of the kitchen. Guh.
posted by Greg_Ace at 4:58 PM on June 7, 2018


> Well they.....grew up in a home where they did not learn this?

I didn't grow up in a home where avocado-slicing was a thing but like lots of people, learning how to do things did not stop when I was a kid. And despite growing up in Hawaii I never learned to split a coconut because someone else was always around to do it.
posted by rtha at 5:00 PM on June 7, 2018


I think institutional scrambled eggs just come in huge cartons of vaguely egg-like liquid and get poured straight into the pan.

That makes more sense than whatever scenario I'd half-imagined.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 5:00 PM on June 7, 2018


Low heat is also the key to perfect sunny-side-up fried eggs, by the way. The whites will set while the yolk is still almost entirely liquid, though you have to pay some attention if you want to catch them right at that perfect moment.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 5:04 PM on June 7, 2018 [1 favorite]


In all fairness, I didn't learn the proper technique for slicing an avocado till about 10 years ago. They were not very common where I grew up, and we sure didn't learn about them in home ec. I never encountered mangoes until I came to Australia, where of course I was shown the proper way to deal with it.

I have issues with the chef's technique for the apple. He left some core in and also sliced it way too thick. But I am a bit particular about apple pie.
posted by Athanassiel at 5:19 PM on June 7, 2018


The hacking method to get the avocado pit out looks cool, but has always struck me as an accident waiting to happen. I just cut the half with the pit in it again the same way. Twist that and the pit falls out easily without risking bodily harm. (Note: I am not cool.)
posted by pangolin party at 5:33 PM on June 7, 2018 [1 favorite]


I've seen the tips on how to remove the pit from an avocado before, and I am always confused. I just cut the avocado in half (going around the pit) then gouge out the pit with a finger? This seems to work? Why would a knife be involved.
posted by aws17576 at 5:34 PM on June 7, 2018


How to slice Spam:

Open tin. Shake it a bit so that the Spam pokes out. Slice off the pokey-out part, using the tin as your cutting guide. Repeat until no more Spam.

If you're the type to take Spam on a camping trip for frying up on the fire, this technique is the only sensible way to go. Definitely do not just claw chunks of meat product out of the tin with your man-hands, the way a certain friend of mine did that one time.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 5:36 PM on June 7, 2018 [5 favorites]


I cringed through most of these videos. I'm surprised nobody lost a finger. I'm not a great cook, but some of those people shouldn't ever be allowed near sharp objects. And I'm saying this as someone who nearly sliced through their thumb while chopping pumpkin once (hooray for thumb nails). Also, who doesn't know how to peel an apple?
posted by Kris10_b at 5:39 PM on June 7, 2018


You're not trying to deseed the pomegranate, you're trying to depomegranate the seeds.

When you're done depomegranating them they're no longer pomegranate seeds at all, they're just fruit seeds. Plant them and you get fruit — fruit in the perfectly general sense, with no characteristics whatsoever. Just sweet little soft flavorless beige spheres.
posted by nebulawindphone at 5:45 PM on June 7, 2018 [7 favorites]


I just walked by a dude in downtown Seattle who was eating an unpeeled avocado like an apple.

There's a new variety of avocado showing up in the markets where the skin is supposed to be edible. But in searching for the details I found a lot of articles extolling the benefits of avocado skins.

Hmm... no thanks.
posted by sjswitzer at 5:46 PM on June 7, 2018


Top coconut tip: instead of hammering something into the eyes, use a winged corkscrew. It will go in easily and will remove a nice plug of flesh when withdrawn. This stops the flesh from falling into the nut, and leaves a wide opening to drain the water out. (Make sure you do a 2nd eye for air intake).
posted by archy at 5:48 PM on June 7, 2018 [4 favorites]


The first time I tried to open a coconut, I didn't get the machete in far enough to actually crack it, but I did get it in far enough to get it stuck and then try ineffectually to use the machete as a handle and whack the coconut against the side of the stairs. Fortunately, a friend with actual machete and coconut-opening skills rescued me/it, but I've never felt quite so foolish.

(most primates don't eat non-insect meat at all, raw or otherwise. I don't think we know much about how non-chimpanzee and non-human primates digest animal proteins, beyond some aspectsof the evolution of chitinase and other enzymes for digesting insect bits)
posted by ChuraChura at 5:49 PM on June 7, 2018 [5 favorites]


I have two questions:

First, what the hell is that strange yellow-topped utensil that shows up at 0:45 and 1:05 in the avocado video, 0:59 in the red pepper video (bottle-cap opener is my best guess?)

Secondly, even without any culinary experience whatsoever, what perverse line of reasoning lead those people to decide "This is clearly the tool I need to solve this problem."?
posted by kmkrebs at 6:14 PM on June 7, 2018 [1 favorite]


I loved all of these videos and I am so glad I took a year of cooking in school to learn some basic knife skills. (I definitely missed out on the meat tenderizer lessons according to this lot, though...)

Thanks for sharing!
posted by invokeuse at 6:16 PM on June 7, 2018


If you peel the avocado pit you get a weird little wrinkly ivory-looking thing, and if you scratch it with your fingernail or the tip of a knife, blood-red lines will appear. Try it sometime! I like to draw little faces on them.

Option 1: Put toothpicks in the avocado pit and put it in/on some water and at least try to let the avocado grow, though of course it will not and then it will die.

Option 2: Admit you are history's greatest monster.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 6:24 PM on June 7, 2018 [3 favorites]


I can't even bring myself to watch any part of this — I'm already anxious just from reading reactions.
posted by DoctorFedora at 6:49 PM on June 7, 2018 [1 favorite]


We already have several baby avocado trees going in pots around here, if we grew every one we'd have an avocado forest!
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 6:55 PM on June 7, 2018


They should make one of these where it's just an entire dead moose beside the cutting board

I mean, I've butchered whole animals - I think I could take a moose. Maybe start with hand-to-hand combat, winner butchers the loser.
posted by backseatpilot at 7:09 PM on June 7, 2018 [3 favorites]


I guess I shouldn't be amazed at how often the default approach was "pound it with a hammer".
posted by Greg_Ace at 7:37 PM on June 7, 2018


Well, that's just not fair. Moose don't have hands.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 7:38 PM on June 7, 2018 [1 favorite]


First, what the hell is that strange yellow-topped utensil that shows up at 0:45 and 1:05 in the avocado video
It's an Avocado Splitter, Pitter and Cutter.
posted by unliteral at 7:44 PM on June 7, 2018 [1 favorite]


I spent a couple of months on a tiny island in the Pacific doing fieldwork. I never did get the hang of cracking coconuts, even though I was eating and drinking them multiple times a day.

After a couple of days of laughing at my ineptitude, the locals just assigned me a five-year-old kid to do it for me. With her own machete. They never did trust me enough to let me use a machete.
posted by lollusc at 8:22 PM on June 7, 2018 [13 favorites]


It's an Avocado Splitter, Pitter and Cutter.

There was a thing I'd never seen before they were using in the pineapple video that the pro at the end showed was a pineapple corer. Seems like the crew told them or maybe just the people having trouble if there was a specialized tool for the job but didn't show them how to use it.
posted by edeezy at 8:30 PM on June 7, 2018


Here's my dad's workshop coconut technique: he'd drill two holes in it (a rotary hand drill, if that's what you call it. This was around 1960). One to let the juice out, one to let the air in so the coconut water would pour out. (Fifty years later, this stuff became the shiznit to drink.) Then he'd put it in his workshop bench vise and squeeze it until it broke in half then we'd go at it, eating the chunks. I might have missed a few steps, but it was hella fun a few times a year.
posted by kozad at 8:56 PM on June 7, 2018 [1 favorite]


Do not only optimize the cooking, optimize the clean up too.

- Turn on the heat under the pan that lives on the stove. Low heat.
- Grab half unwrapped bar of butter from fridge and apply to pan like deodorant.
- Crack eggs straight into pan. Add splash of milk, salt and pepper.
- OPTIONAL: Use big pieces of eggshell to fish out the small pieces from the pan.
- Scramble with fork.
- Turn off heat when halfway done.
- As soon as it gets custardy start eating with the fork. If heat turned off at the right time the last mouthfuls are not overcooked.
- Use paper napkin to clean face.
- Use same napkin to wipe the pan clean.
- Lick fork clean and put back in fork holster. If holster lost, just keep fork in back pocket.

In a more serious note, look up fruit testing knives, about $10. I have a few, and always carry a serrated one with a fork.

Prickly pear season is about to start, when I lived in San Francisco there were 2 houses between work and home with giant nopales full of fruit that no one ate. I would stop next to them and without even dismounting the bike would pluck, peel, and eat a couple. With the fruit testing knife it took under a minute, without getting pricked fingers or sticky hands.
posted by Index Librorum Prohibitorum at 8:58 PM on June 7, 2018 [2 favorites]


I'm I don't understand how so many people don't know how to slice an avocado.

I live in Maine. I've never had a whole avocado in my house, and frankly I don't think I could even judge the quality of the ones at the stores.

However I can peel an apple and make the skin one long spiral and also boil a lobster.

Regional food is a thing.
posted by anastasiav at 8:58 PM on June 7, 2018 [4 favorites]


The trick with avocados is, you want to find the firmest, greenest ones you can. A lot of the time, supermarkets are careless and let them go bad on the shelves, and they turn all black and squishy. Avoid those at all costs.
posted by DoctorFedora at 9:06 PM on June 7, 2018 [1 favorite]


It's an Avocado Splitter, Pitter and Cutter.
Damn, I had no idea. Unexpected plot twist: that woman is smarter than I am.
posted by kmkrebs at 9:47 PM on June 7, 2018


Also, I've found that hefting each avocado and going for the heavier ones gives me the best chance of finding the freshest ones.
posted by Greg_Ace at 9:50 PM on June 7, 2018 [3 favorites]


(that also works for garlic, onions, etc. etc.)
posted by Greg_Ace at 9:51 PM on June 7, 2018 [1 favorite]


I am a slightly klutzy right-hander who grew up with a dextrous (har har) left-handed mother, who basically refused to teach me any tasks involving fine motor skills because between my klutziness and my wrong-handedness, she couldn't take it. She'd set everything up to teach me to chop, or iron, and quit two minutes in and forbid me from the tools for the rest of my life. I didn't cut with a sharp knife until I was in grad school, I shit you not.

I'm a pretty good cook these days, but I watch a lot of YouTube to learn how to cut things, and in an earlier era I'd only be able to eat soup because I'd have no video tutorials.

Also my kids have suuuuuuuuuuuuper strict instructions not to distract mommy when she's cutting, as mommy has no idea what she's doing and needs to concentrate really hard to do it right.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:53 PM on June 7, 2018 [3 favorites]


In late here, but to seed and peel tomatoes the easy way (this is if you want pulp, not chunks), slice them in half on the equator. Gouge the seeds out of each watery segment with a finger if you like. Press the sliced face against a box grater and grate until all that's left is the skin. Then you can freeze the pulp for fresh sauce in the dark months.
posted by Mei's lost sandal at 10:59 PM on June 7, 2018 [1 favorite]


I hope they had the chef teach those 50 people at the end of the day.
posted by Harald74 at 11:50 PM on June 7, 2018


I didn't make it a minute into the avocado video.

My father in law slices onions with a small serrated knife and he uses a plate instead of a cutting board. I can't even be in the room when he's doing it.

People I met in Iran would cut pomegranates in quarters and then bite the seeds straight out of the cut sides. It works if all you want is a delicious pomegranate snack.

And if you're prepping chillis and you just need the flesh and aren't fussed about the shape/texture, keep them in the freezer and use a fine grater. The flesh will go through and the seeds won't.
posted by the duck by the oboe at 11:59 PM on June 7, 2018


Egg, milk, small dot of butter, salt and pepper in a coffee mug. Beat with a fork. Put mug in microwave and watch through the door, you'll see it rise over the rim (about 45 seconds). Stir and serve.

Microwaving makes surprisingly good eggs fast. They're really fluffy, because they're basically steamed. For most mugs, the eggs will simply fall out with no mess left behind. It's also the only method I know where you can make eggs without butter or oil if you want with still no mess.

My method is microwave for twenty seconds, stir, microwave for 20 seconds. Time varies depending on your microwave, but once you get it down for yours it works perfectly every time.

The opposite of this is Bitman's Best Scrambled Eggs, which you cook over low heat in a pan slowly stirring for a good 20 minutes or more. This is actually worth trying. The eggs come out really creamy. They're downright decadent.

And since I'm posting about eggs, one of my favorite snacks is spaghetti with a soft boiled or over-easy fried egg stirred in with the cooked pasta. It's a fast, delicious, and filling snack.
posted by xammerboy at 1:57 AM on June 8, 2018 [1 favorite]


I'm trying to think if I know a good food prep trick. One might be sprinkling some salt on a cutting board and then scraping a garlic bud over it with a knife. The friction between the bud and the salt effortlessly turns it into a paste. That's one I use all the time.

To dice like a pro simply keep one edge of the knife against your knuckles. At no time should the rest of your fingers be near the knife's edge.

When I shop for avocados I press my thumb into them. If it has give it's reasonably ripe. If it's mushy it's overly ripe. If it's hard, it will likely take a few days on the counter to become ripe.

You can peel apples and / or potatoes, but you're throwing away most of the nutritional value. I've never seen a dish be lesser with them included. I wouldn't even bother for gnocchi.
posted by xammerboy at 2:36 AM on June 8, 2018 [1 favorite]


How do y'all microwave eggs without them turning rubbery? In my experience, microwaved eggs become chewy and disgusting.
posted by zarq at 3:18 AM on June 8, 2018 [1 favorite]


The chef at the end really drove home for me how essential speed is in professional kitchens - the food waste was incredible for the fruits and vegetables.
posted by congen at 3:32 AM on June 8, 2018


We have avocados in the kitchen at work and it's very common to cut one in half and leave half for someone else to use. Despite the many half-avocado examples around, one day someone left half an avocado cut horizontally (as in, not symmetrically)
posted by the agents of KAOS at 4:40 AM on June 8, 2018


I switched to using a big ass cleaver

So... if I have any big asses I need to cleave, I know where to come.

Early in our married life, when we were learning to cook, we had a running joke about the pastry chisel (on my part) and the bread hacksaw (on hers). Things have improved since then, but we did recently need a small axe to break into a salt dough crust on a baked chicken...
posted by 43rdAnd9th at 5:52 AM on June 8, 2018


Just fyi, the link for "sharpen knives." They are trying to hone a knife. Honing ≠ sharpening.
posted by jayb3369 at 6:38 AM on June 8, 2018 [2 favorites]


It's even more obnoxious because they were clearly told to hone to knife, judging by all of the "what the fuck is honing?" reactions in the first part of the video.
posted by tobascodagama at 6:45 AM on June 8, 2018


Despite the many half-avocado examples around, one day someone left half an avocado cut horizontally (as in, not symmetrically)

Monsters.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 7:33 AM on June 8, 2018


The chef does make the point that honing and sharpening are different things, although he then goes on to demonstrate both. I think it was just an editing error.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 7:34 AM on June 8, 2018 [1 favorite]


The hair on a kiwi is sorta the same of those hairs, they evolved to be irritating

Golden kiwis are less hairy/prickly. And they just all around taste better to the point where I think green kiwis are just fit for juicing or put into a fruit salad.
posted by FJT at 8:42 AM on June 8, 2018


I love spicy food, but I always de-seed peppers because getting crunchy pepper seeds stuck in my teeth disgusts me. (You de-seed bell peppers; why would you not de-seed other peppers? Gross!) Always, always in latex gloves, because I wear contact lenses and enjoy having eyeballs which are not on fire. I like to keep the seeds and plant them; capsicum is a very forgiving plant which is hard to kill.

I don't eat avocado (except concealed in sushi), but whenever an avocado has been consumed in my house I have put the pit in a glass of water to root and then planted it. I actually have one surviving potted avocado plant! (Now that I've jinxed it, its days are probably numbered.)

On a related note, you can plant pineapple tops and have cute little succulents that stab you with their razor-sharp serrated leaves.
posted by confluency at 9:33 AM on June 8, 2018


On the corn shucking though, why would you ever cut the kernels off? If I'm buying whole ears of corn, I'm eating whole ears of corn, either boiled or—ideally—grilled.

It’s nice in a salad! Especially if it’s been grilled. Fresh local tomatoes and corn together with basil and olive oil? It tastes like summer.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 10:04 AM on June 8, 2018 [3 favorites]


To dice like a pro simply keep one edge of the knife against your knuckles.

I really hope you meant the side of the blade...
posted by Greg_Ace at 11:46 AM on June 8, 2018 [2 favorites]


We're the only primate that can't digest raw meat.

Um what? Sushi. Poke. Ceviche. Carpaccio. Steak tartare. I've eaten raw meat twice this week.

Since I was reminded that ground beef is lower-quality meat and since I learned that hearts and tongues are now OK in ground beef, I order all my hamburgers medium instead of medium rare like I used to.
posted by bendy at 4:41 PM on June 8, 2018


Unless cow hearts are particularly unsanitary compared to the rest of the cow, I would say that this is a matter of culturally learned preferences rather than quality.
posted by inconstant at 4:53 PM on June 8, 2018 [2 favorites]


If I remember correctly (a big "if") from my human evolution course, it's not that humans can't digest raw meat, but that cooking meat makes it much easier/more efficient for our bodies to extract calories from it, which is important if you have an oversized, energy-guzzling brain. Plus, higher digestive efficiency also allowed for a decrease in intestinal size, which was important because... something.

Also, why on earth are they testing coconut-opening skills alongside things like dicing an onion or making scrambled eggs? That's like making a series on whether people can do grade-school math and then throwing a triple integral in there.
posted by Meow Face at 6:30 PM on June 8, 2018 [2 favorites]


They're actually clicks-onuts
posted by Greg_Ace at 7:09 PM on June 8, 2018



If I remember correctly (a big "if") from my human evolution course, it's not that humans can't digest raw meat, but that cooking meat makes it much easier/more efficient for our bodies to extract calories from it, which is important if you have an oversized, energy-guzzling brain.


I've never taken human evolution, but people have traditionally cooked meat because it's stores much much longer compared to the time it takes to catch and is safer and more consistent for our guts. I'd guess that any efficiency effects are just side-effects of that.
posted by The_Vegetables at 2:50 AM on June 10, 2018


I took electrical engineering but the reason I don't eat raw beef and pork is mostly the intestinal parasites, which have been around for a while afaik.
posted by GuyZero at 4:31 PM on June 10, 2018


Perfect pomegranate sectioning in 30 seconds. (Starts at the 1-minute mark) All seed, no pith. Sectioned like an apple.
posted by tzikeh at 5:08 PM on June 29, 2018 [5 favorites]


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