Consider the Cannoli: Subjective Preferences and Conversations about Geek Media

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
Many traditional recipes for baklava include rosewater, which I also cannot abide. So many find it off-putting that many American producers of the sweet will leave it out.

A friend of mine made a baklava replacing the rosewater with orange blossom water, and the result was amazing.

Orange blossom water sounds good!

I think the issue I have is with "perfume-y" flavors. Whether it's rosewater, lavender, or violet, I get a weird soap-y flavoring.
 

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I have to say, if I want a dessert in an Italian restaurant, then I know I didn't eat at a real Italian restaurant, because at a real Italian restaurant the portions are so big that dessert isn't an option- it's a threat.
Leading up to our wedding, my wife won a trip to stay at a estate outside Firenze that housed a culinary school. The individual plates were not big, but we certainly did not have room for dessert. :-D
We did also have a cooking class in which we did a variant of tiramisu I actually liked, which is remarkable given that I'm not a fan of coffee.
I've had remarkably good luck with variations of berry-flavored tiramisu. Raspberry with mint leaves being a notoriously good seller amongst my friends.
Orange blossom water sounds good!

I think the issue I have is with "perfume-y" flavors. Whether it's rosewater, lavender, or violet, I get a weird soap-y flavoring.
My folks brought home some edible lavender from a trip to Seattle (apparently it is a thing) and we've been trying to find interesting recipes. A lot of my friends have balked at the resultant creations. It is strange how something gets associated with medicine or cleaning products (because it is a go-to scent to add to such things). I know lots of Europeans can't abide wintergreen (and thus root beer) because it is a flavoring/scent for their cough syrups and such. Strangely, I don't know anyone who can't abide mint 'because it tastes like toothpaste' or similar.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Supporter
I've had remarkably good luck with variations of berry-flavored tiramisu. Raspberry with mint leaves being a notoriously good seller amongst my friends.

Replacing the coffee with a raspberry syrup, you mean? Then you're basically making a cake with a raspberry filling, which is known to work, sure.

My folks brought home some edible lavender from a trip to Seattle (apparently it is a thing) and we've been trying to find interesting recipes. A lot of my friends have balked at the resultant creations. It is strange how something gets associated with medicine or cleaning products (because it is a go-to scent to add to such things).

So, with regards to lavender, violet and rose the issue isn't just psychological association with perfumes, but actual similar chemical makeup. These floral herbs, along with cilantro, carry a hefty does of aldehydes that some folks are more sensitive to than others. Aldehydes are also a by-product of making soap (fragmentign fats with lye or other alkaline substance), and are present in soaps even if you don't add perfume.
 

Replacing the coffee with a raspberry syrup, you mean? Then you're basically making a cake with a raspberry filling, which is known to work, sure.
I mean, if you consider tiramisu just a cake with coffee filling, sure. I consider the specific arrangement of Savoiardi/lady fingers, mascarpone, and the layering to be a unique enough experience that you can make 'tiramisu, but with ______' concoctions which wouldn't just thematically default back to being a cake, but I suppose that's entirely subjective.
So, with regards to lavender, violet and rose the issue isn't just psychological association with perfumes, but actual similar chemical makeup. These floral herbs, along with cilantro, carry a hefty does of aldehydes that some folks are more sensitive to than others. Aldehydes are also a by-product of making soap (fragmentign fats with lye or other alkaline substance), and are present in soaps even if you don't add perfume.
Yes, but the individuals in question didn't get the change to smell the isodihydrolavandulal, they balked at the very concept of a lavender scone before I even brought them. I deeply suspect it was a psychological association in this case.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Supporter
Yes, but the individuals in question didn't get the change to smell the isodihydrolavandulal, they balked at the very concept of a lavender scone before I even brought them. I deeply suspect it was a psychological association in this case.

shrug I mean, I'd probably pass on lavender scones, too, based on past experience with lavender. I don't need to taste yours to know I find lavender to be unpleasant.

Not that this holds with your folks, just that a lifetime is usually long enough to have experience with stuff.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
Rosewater is that one of the flavours in Turkish delight? The soapy one.

Love Turkish food but not a massive fan of Turkish Delight. Baklava is ok along with Fry's Turkish delight which isn't very authentic.

Scones gotta be savory. Pass on lavender ones.
 

shrug I mean, I'd probably pass on lavender scones, too, based on past experience with lavender. I don't need to taste yours to know I find lavender to be unpleasant.

Not that this holds with your folks, just that a lifetime is usually long enough to have experience with stuff.
shrug alright.
Rosewater is that one of the flavours in Turkish delight? The soapy one.

Love Turkish food but not a massive fan of Turkish Delight. Baklava is ok along with Fry's Turkish delight which isn't very authentic.

Scones gotta be savory. Pass on lavender ones.
It is. How about the lemon or orange flavored ones?

I consider sweet and savory scones to be almost different beasts. Kinda like sweet and savory filo creations (I'd take Börek over Baklava most days).

The lavender scones were okay -- even among sweet scones I'd probably prefer something like currants, candied peel, or the like.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
shrug alright.

It is. How about the lemon or orange flavored ones?

I consider sweet and savory scones to be almost different beasts. Kinda like sweet and savory filo creations (I'd take Börek over Baklava most days).

The lavender scones were okay -- even among sweet scones I'd probably prefer something like currants, candied peel, or the like.

They're ok but I don't live them. I'll eat them but won't go out of my way to aquire them.

Used to get a few pieces for free when ordering meals.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Supporter
I think that food (like most tastes) has both a subjective and an objective component, but we tend to confuse the two things. For example, a dish can be made well or poorly, the ingredients can be fresh or off, the price is what it is and so on.
In my culinary adventures, I have found that, while I have certain foods/flavors I generally don’t like, I have also discovered that in the hands of a truly skilled cook, even things I don’t like can be palatable…even enjoyable.*

For example, I don’t like arugula. But I’ve had it served to me in 3 different places where I enjoyed it, one of which I’d actually go to SEEKING that dish. (Unfortunately, that place closed decades ago when the owner decided to stop paying his rent.)

Asparagus? One Greek restaurant made me forget my dislike of it. Nobody else.

Pumpkin is something I usually eat once very year or two, usually in pie form. But in January of 2020, I discovered a Burmese restaurant that serves a meat (your choice of pork, chicken or shrimp) & pumpkin stew that I’ve now had 3 times. The same place makes a shrimp & eggplant dish that I don’t even need the shrimp to enjoy. (Eggplant is the veggie that is the defining line between veggies I like and those I dislike.)

Five cooks- three still living- have conquered my general dislike of okra with their gumbos. And one of them recently taught me how to make white beans in a way I like.

So even though I’m well aware of my preferences, I haven’t closed the door on trying things I normally dislike when prepared differently from what I have already experienced.



* not including differences in tastes that are genetically hardwired, like those poor souls for whom cilantro tastes soapy. I have seemingly been blessed with not having any of those (or similar) genes.
 
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Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
In my culinary adventures, I have found that, while I have certain foods/flavors I generally don’t like, I have also discovered that in the hands of a truly skilled cook, even things I don’t like can be enjoyable.*

For example, I don’t like arugula. But I’ve had it served to me in 3 different places where I enjoyed it, one of which I’d actually go to SEEKING that dish. (Unfortunately, that place closed decades ago when the owner decided to stop paying his rent.)

Asparagus? One restaurant made me forget my dislike of it.

Pumpkin is


* not including differences in tastes that are genetically hardwired, like those poor souls for whom cilantro tast soapy.

I generally agree, but also think it can be more complicated.

My rule of thumb is always that people should always try something, but ... well, people are bundles of all sorts of weirdness. Tastes can evolve over time (things you like when you are younger, you might not like now, and vice-versa). Preferences can change as well (I'm really into bitter in a way I wasn't in the past). And how the food is prepared, and in what context, can also matter- there are preparations of okra that are amazing, and some that are just slimy/inedible (to me).

But yeah, the most skilled cooks can do wonders with foods!
 

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