Stupid Tuesday questions, lactobacillus edition

Russell Saunders

Russell Saunders is the ridiculously flimsy pseudonym of a pediatrician in New England. He has a husband, three sons, daughter, cat and dog, though not in that order. He enjoys reading, running and cooking. He can be contacted at blindeddoc using his Gmail account. Twitter types can follow him @russellsaunder1.

Related Post Roulette

110 Responses

  1. Glyph says:

    That Big Greek Wedding just ruined it for everybody.Report

  2. zic says:

    Dairy fats get a bum rap. Milk from cows that eat what cows would naturally eat is high in Omega-3 fatty acids, it’s delicious, and wonderful.

    There are problems with industrial milk that disturb me, but I’m of the opinion that it’s not just what you eat that matters, it’s what you eat ate, be it the foods supplied by the happy farmer, the fertilizers on the field, or the microbes both good and bad in the system.Report

  3. Tod Kelly says:

    Letterman’s show.

    I was in college when it first came on, and it was pretty far off the mainstream radar. No one really stated up that late to watch TV. Back then Letterman couldn’t get big stars, and more often than not couldn’t get enough minor ones to pad an entire show. So it was almost a parody of a talk show, where they’d bring in guests like NY cab drivers or shoe shine men, or that guy from some crappy lounge that billed himself as The Peruvian Elvis, could barely speak English, and looked and sounded about as unlike Elvis as you could get. Most of the bands that played were indies that had yet to break through, but who a show producer had seen at a club the previous weekend and really liked.

    Then after about two years, America discovered Dave and he became a ratings hit. Suddenly all the stars wanted to be on the show, and in a short time it became The Tonight Show 2 with better occasional gags and a Top 10 list.

    Since then, all of the other “edgy” talk shows have tried in one way or another to be different versions of The Tonight Show just like Letterman became. I wish someone would come along and try to recreate something like the original Letterman.Report

    • greginak in reply to Tod Kelly says:

      Yeah Letterman was great in the 80’s. His show was like the slightly naughty clubhouse for college kids. That really was his special niche; odd comedy bits, weird real life type people and subtle mocking the talk show format.Report

    • You didn’t think “Stupid Tuesday questions” came about without inspiration, did you?Report

    • Snarky McSnarkSnark in reply to Tod Kelly says:

      What made the show feel even more subversive in the 80s was Letterman’s own midwestern modesty. He often had sexologist “Doctor Ruth” on his show, but couldn’t bring himself to discuss sexual topics without extreme (and endearing embarassment).

      Beyond his engaging neuroticism, I have always been fond of Letterman’s innate decency. His talk shows (Late Night, and his even earlier morning talk show on NBC) were deconstructions of the increasing vapidity of popular entertainment and emerging celebrity culture. By creating a fanciful and almost surreal version of the existing talk shows, he was actually making biting–and morally incisive–commentary on the rest of media (much as the Daily Show does today).

      I was in college in 1981-82, when Late Night first hit the air (and what an improvement on Tom Snyder that was!). And it was like an extended inside joke that only a few got. It was worth staying up for (a sidenote to those younger OrdinaryTimers: you used to have to watch television when it was broadast!!!).Report

  4. Burt Likko says:

    Seeking to avoid my deep fondness for the robust flavors from Italian cuisine, I’ll answer instead: ramen. Had some at the local Japanese restaurant one night I didn’t feel like sushi, and I’ve loved it ever since.

    For most Americans, “ramen” conjures up images of low-quality instant noodles, cooked quickly in boiling water, with incredible amounts of salt and bizarrely sweet bits of dried vegetable. It’s what college students sustain their existence upon because each meal costs fifteen cents.

    Not so the good stuff. Tender fresh noodles and large hunks of thin-sliced meat in a pork or fish broth are a marvelous meal.Report

    • You have seen “Tampopo,” yes?Report

    • LeeEsq in reply to Burt Likko says:

      Ramen is great but real ramen in the States cost thrice what it does in Japan. You can get a good bowl of ramen for around 500 yen in Japan. That’s about five books. In America, it’s like 14 or 17.Report

      • Burt Likko in reply to LeeEsq says:

        Cheaper at my corner sushi place; I can get a big bowl of it for seven bucks.

        All the same, I’d pay the higher price especially in a big city; it’s a fine meal.Report

      • Kim in reply to LeeEsq says:

        Here it’s $10

        I went to San Francisco. Nearly every meal was Ramen.Report

      • Kazzy in reply to LeeEsq says:


        If you like ramen, have you had pho?Report

      • Burt Likko in reply to LeeEsq says:

        I sure have, @kazzy and it’s a favored lunch when I’m down in the O.C. by Little Saigon.Report

      • Kazzy in reply to LeeEsq says:

        A lack of access to even low quality pho is one of my chief complaints about my current local area. The fact that locals look at me as if they’re waiting for me to finish the sentence when I say, “Do you want to get pho?” is just the shit cherry on top of the whole shebang.

        Side story: When I visited Houston for work two years ago, I was disappointed to learn that the city was not a barbecue city like many other Texas areas. I was craving heaps of smoked meat. Thankfully, it has a booming Vietnamese population and I was able to enjoy one of the best meals of said cuisine ever. Top notch pho, spring rolls, and a blindly-ordered appetizer almost made the whole trip worth it.Report

      • dragonfrog in reply to LeeEsq says:

        True story – there’s a place near me called “Pho King”. I still giggle when I say it.Report

      • Mike Schilling in reply to LeeEsq says:

        There’s a Chinese place near me called “Hunan First”. The people who run it speak pretty poor English, so I can’t imagine that was deliberate.Report

      • Nob Akimoto in reply to LeeEsq says:

        That’s not really true anymore. Ever since the Ramen boom of the 2000s, a typical bowl is up to around 890 -1200 yen, especially for varieties of tsukemen and higher quality stuff. But it’s also fantastically good.

        Here in Austin we have at least 3 (soon to be 4) specialty ramen shops run by Japanese head chefs. The price is pretty nice, too, on the whole.Report

      • Burt Likko in reply to LeeEsq says:


        A Chinese (I think) restaurant near where I used to live when I went to law school wanted to sell the simple lunch bowls — bed of rice, vegetable and meat on top — as their niche. And of course the word “King” is just all kinds of marketing good in pretty much any language. But tragic misspellings in the complexity of English came in to play and soon enough there was a big sign advertising “King Bowel.”

        I learned of the restaurant when it was published as having failed its health inspection.Report

  5. dexter says:

    I don’t know if this comes under the heading of “trends that ruined something you like’, but a few ago I needed a new pair of glasses and all I could find were those tiny little rectangular ones that would not work for me. I wear bifocals with the bottom lens set for arms distance and that made them so small that I could not see out of them. Plus, I thought the style itself had all the appeal of a green persimmon.
    If you are wondering why I have the bottoms set for arms length, think computer screens and reading tape measures. When I read books I take my glasses off and if I am work and need to see something up close I look over the top of my glasses.
    I have never tried Greek yogurt, but I have been eating plain yogurt with honey for years and love, love, love it.Report

  6. bluefoot says:

    One of my biggest pet peeves is the tendency toward “natural” additives in everything, especially cleaning and hygiene products. I’m allergic to a lot of fragrances and worse, I am allergic to aloe. It is ridiculously difficult to buy soap, lotion, dish soap, etc without aloe or some other bullsh*t natural oil that I’m allergic to. Not to mention things like kleenex (I suppose more correctly, facial tissue) with lotion and/or aloe.
    Then companies screw around with the formula of their product, and previously safe products for me become oh-yes-anaphylaxis-is-fun experiences. I have since learned to read ingredients *every* time I buy something, since formula can change without the front labelling changing (i.e. “now with aloe!” or whatever on the front).Report

  7. Kazzy says:

    At this point, I don’t notice a difference between most commercially available Greek yogurt and the regular stuff. That is likely the result of the fat-free-ification, a connection I didn’t make until reading this piece.

    Generally speaking, I’m oblivious to trends. Not above trends or beyond trends or ahead of the trend… just oblivious. I am not immune from the impact of trends — I just tend not to consciously make decisions with regards to them, either in favor or in opposition.

    For instance, I got into hummus about 8 years ago. This came about from working with a crunchy vegan who regularly brought it into the classroom. I greatly enjoyed it and would pick it up for myself from time to time. Living in Manhattan, it was readily available. However, it was also becoming more and more popular. This means when I moved to the suburbs of DC, it was still readily available. The trend had hit and I consumed more hummus than I might have had it not. Not because I was riding the trend; but because the trend allowed me to follow in it’s wake. So that is an instance of a trend benefitting me.

    I can’t really think of a trend that killed something I loved. I remember PBR being our cheap beer of choice in college for a while. It was tastier than the more ubiquitous Busch Light and didn’t make you hate yourself like Beast Ice. Once it became the hipster beer du jour, it ceased to be cheap. But I never really loved PBR. It just filled a need.

    I do have some real issues with the trend toward increasingly skinny leg pants for men — a real issue for someone with a narrow waist/hip area but meaty thighs — but I wouldn’t call pants something I love; I merely tolerate them.Report

    • Kim in reply to Kazzy says:


    • dragonfrog in reply to Kazzy says:

      They’re nice for cycling – you don’t have to remember to tuck your pants into your sock. With the general trend toward narrower ankles, you can be wearing pants of an appropriate style for whatever you’re doing at your destination, rather than looking like that weirdo at the opera in a cycling costume.Report

      • Kazzy in reply to dragonfrog says:

        Allow me to clarify. I don’t object to a tailored fit or to others wearing skinny jeans. To each their own. And I think dressier (even casual dressy) slacks look better with a bit more tailoring. But when I walk into JCrew and see “Slim”, “Urban Slim”, “Vintage Slim”, and “Slimmer Still!” but can’t find “Regular”, “Straight”, or “Relaxed”, I grow frustrated. I’m not a huge guy. I range between a 32-inch and 34-inch waist. But because I have thicker thighs (the product of years of working out to rid myself of my chicken legs), lots of these new-fangled pants look like spandex on me.

        No one owes me pants that fit better and I can certainly find them elsewhere. It’s just harder at the stores I tend to shop at nowadays because they’re catering to a different body type than I possess.Report

      • dragonfrog in reply to dragonfrog says:

        I totally get that – popular culture hasn’t wrecked pants, just the kind you like. Totally legit. In a few years, I’m sure I will be the one complaining that I can’t find pants I like.

        I have a different problem – I don’t think of my self as all that skinny, but most clothing stores don’t have pants slim enough for me. Generally the racks go from a 30 to a 40-something waist. In most brands, I fit a 28. In shirts, for whatever reason, I’m not even at the far end of the rack – there’s a whole section of shirts that would be much too small.Report

  8. Mad Rocket Scientist says:

    Enough Americans seem allergic to butter, onion, & garlic that I find most American-sourced Italian food to be quite bland. Sure, one can overdo it with those 3, but most places aren’t even trying.

    Lately, in my parents group, a lot of our pediatricians are recommending that the kids start switching to 2% milk instead of whole milk. None of the kids are overweight or even in significant danger of becoming so, yet doctors are pushing for this. I don’t get it. Dairy fat contributes to feeling satisfied. The less fat you have in a dairy product, the more you have to consume to feel satisfied. Bug is still on whole milk and he only goes on milk drinking binges when he’s having a growth spurt. Otherwise it’s maybe a glass a day. Plus whole fat yogurt (Stoneyfield Vanilla is his favorite).

    Fat is good, or at least, it isn’t bad.Report

    • The whole fat yogurt “for kids” is delicious.

      For kids who have normal weight, if they’re still drinking whole milk I tell the parents there’s no need to change. And I focus much more on sugar and the degree to which their foods are processed than I do on fat.Report

      • Kazzy in reply to Russell Saunders says:


        What do you make of the recent research indicating that high fat dairy products lead to less weight gain/more weight loss? From what I’ve seen, they haven’t quite figured out the what and how of the relationship, but the correlation seems to be real.

        Generally speaking, I don’t consume a ton of dairy. So when I do — particularly in the form of cheese or desserts — I make no bones about getting the real deal. A pizza made with part-skim mozzarella just doesn’t work the same way. Likewise any ice cream that isn’t full fat. Just have one scoop, people, and you’ll be fine.Report

      • Kim in reply to Russell Saunders says:

        Full fat ice cream is not made with pure whipped cream.
        Ice milk is actually a decent product — I like it.Report

      • I have always been skeptical of the low-fat diet. I think a balanced diet that includes a limited amount of full-fat dairy, in balance with a lot of fruits and vegetables and good protein sources, is just fine.

        And I think the weight effect is largely related to satiety.Report

      • Kazzy in reply to Russell Saunders says:

        But ice milk is something else entirely.Report

      • Kazzy in reply to Russell Saunders says:

        It is always affirming when my natural-ish* intuitions about eating, diet, and food align with yours. Though it does make me wonder exactly what it is you do in med school. :-p

        My general approach is based on moderation and eating real food. I don’t get caught up in organic or GMO but do try to eat as “naturally” as possible. I think grilled chicken breasts with the skin on and veggies sauteed in olive oil and garlic are a healthier meal than a Lean Pocket fortified with nutrients! Even if the nutrition label might indicate otherwise if you simply line up the fat and the calories.

        * I say natural-ish because I do read here and there about food and diet related things, so it is not pure intuition.Report

      • Kazzy in reply to Russell Saunders says:


        What I mean is that if someone says, “Hey, would you like some ice milk?” I know what I’m getting into.

        If someone says, “Hey, would you like some ice cream?” and hands me something that is closer to ice milk than ice cream, I’m going to punch them in their evil rotten face.Report

      • @kazzy “Though it does make me wonder exactly what it is you do in med school.”

        Mainly killed brain cells.

        And as I said elsewhere, my food philosophy aligns a lot with Michael Pollan’s. I think his writing doesn’t always acknowledge the privilege that undergirds it (not everyone has access to lovingly-baked artisan bread made with the ineffable charms of the local yeast), and when he waxes polemical about the evils of infant formula it makes me roll my eyes, but generally I see eye to eye with him on what and how people should eat.Report

      • Mad Rocket Scientist in reply to Russell Saunders says:


        Thank you! My kid is all lean muscle & piss & vinegar. He can have all the full fat dairy he wants (& since my wife & I grew up in WI, we always have a supply).Report

      • Kazzy in reply to Russell Saunders says:

        A little Google indicates Pollan penned the piece that largely undergirds my approach. No wonder we are simpatico!

        And great point on the privilege issue. Yes, it would be lovely if we all grew everything we ate in our backyard from heirloom seeds untouched by human hands. But alas…Report

    • dragonfrog in reply to Mad Rocket Scientist says:

      You can overdo garlic? That’s news to me.Report

    • I love garlic. And fortunately, my wife does, too. So we eat a lot of it.Report

  9. Jaybird says:

    Bottlecap wine.

    I’m told that bottlecaps are perfectly appropriate for wines that are intended to be drunk within a few days or weeks of the time of purchase and they’re really only inappropriate for wines that are purchased with the intention of aging them for more than 10 years.

    I still feel like a hobo.Report

    • Burt Likko in reply to Jaybird says:

      That’s all correct, though. You wouldn’t believe the amount of effort and technology that’s been put in to screw caps for wine bottles. For an everyday white that you’re going to refrigerate and drink next week, no problem at all.Report

      • Kazzy in reply to Burt Likko says:

        So let me ask… if I buy a bottle of naturally corked wine… does that have a more-or-less infinite shelf life if it is stored properly (on it’s side in a wide fridge with a translucent window)? Or does it depend on the wine itself? The logic goes that wine gets better with age, but I’ve certainly opened bottles that have taken a turn for vinegar.Report

      • Jaybird in reply to Burt Likko says:

        If I may speak out of my butt for a moment, I’d guess that most wine that I buy is intended to be imbibed within a month or so of purchase… cork or bottlecap or synthetic cork or whatever.

        This is because most of the wine that I buy is somewhere between $8 and $18.

        I imagine that the wines that cost “Really? That much?” are the ones who would be best kept in a warm, dry place and turned a quarter turn every six months.Report

      • Boegiboe in reply to Burt Likko says:

        Most corked red wines will last 4-5 years before starting to sour; whites 2-3 years. A lot of bottles will last longer, but those numbers I find are generally safe. Really expensive or very old wines I know little to nothing about.Report

      • I rarely spend more than $25 on a bottle of wine, at least when I’m buying it for the house. Unless it’s a fancy German dessert wine, the subtleties of pricey vino are lost on me.Report

      • It depends on the wine, and it’s not true that wine always gets better with age ad infinitum – in fact, the majority of wines are best to drink young. Even in the relatively rare instance where you’ve got a bottle worth aging, there’s a point at which further aging doesn’t do much of anything beyond creating the novelty of drinking something that was produced ages ago.

        Regardless of whether and how long it’s worth aging, though, if it’s properly corked and properly stored, it shouldn’t ever turn to vinegar.Report

      • Kazzy in reply to Burt Likko says:

        Thanks, @boegiboe . The particular bottle I’m thinking of was a white that was at least five years old and had to survive two separate moves. It makes sense if its best days were behind it. My wife received it as a gift from a patient she treated and wanted to save it. We finally cracked it open and were disappointed. We’ve opted to save the bottle as a memento but not before an icy stare I sent her way to communicate that her sentimentality doomed us yet again!Report

    • Kim in reply to Jaybird says:

      Boxed wine is probably better if you’re going to keep it for a month or two.
      A lot of europeans drink it — because they’re used to alcohol being a beverage that’s “everyday”.Report

    • greginak in reply to Jaybird says:

      A couple years ago a bike trip in the Czech Republic we stopped at a small winery that was very popular with the locals. They didn’t put any sort of preservatives in the wine, it was all meant to be consumed within weeks of being sold, so it was dispensed into generic, screw top plastic bottles. The bottle only really matters if the wine is going to be kept for a long time.Report

    • dragonfrog in reply to Jaybird says:

      Corks have a quite high failure rate – something in the 1-5% range. Those are the bottles where the cork just doesn’t seal properly, and the wine ends up all musty.

      Screwcaps have a failure rate of practically zero.Report

  10. Roger says:

    Light yogurt is quite possibly the greatest health advance of our generation, at least for some of us. The yogurt cultures make a significant difference in my digestion. I try to never miss having yogurt for breakfast or lunch. The benefits are dramatic.

    The fact that it tastes great and is low in calories is frickin awesome. I should have bought stock in Yoplait (and for an occasional treat I eat Liberte brand, especially the coconut flavored, which is almost as good as the stuff sold in France.)Report

  11. Kim says:

    comment in mod. halp!Report

  12. Patrick says:

    What trends in this country have ruined something you like?

    Inner Jimmy comes roaring out big time: “All of them have ruined everything!”Report

  13. Boegiboe says:

    Sugared gum, for Chrissake! The only decent gum I can find without artificial sweeteners is when a store hasn’t eliminated all their Chiclets packets yet. Yes, you can sometimes find sickly-sweet Hubba-Bubba or the like, but why can’t I have regular, sugared Juicy Fruit and Big Red just like I grew up with?Report

  14. Damon says:

    Car engines.
    With the recent CAFE increases, 6 cylinder engines and greater are rarely available, and if so, are usualy put in very expensive cars.

    After driving a 4 cylinder car and a 6, I’ll opt for the better torque and accelleration any time. In my six, it still have legs cruising at highway speed should I punch it. With my old 4, I’d have to drop it down two gears to get any torque.

    And back up cameras.Report

    • Mad Rocket Scientist in reply to Damon says:

      I suspect we’ll see more cars offered with the idle pistons* in the future, same with idle engine shutoff**.

      *When half the cylinders stop fueling & firing during cruise

      **When the engine shuts off when the car comes to a stop for more than a few seconds, then restarts when you hit the gas.Report

      • Damon in reply to Mad Rocket Scientist says:

        Yes, and the unintended consequences for that is likely higher maint costs on the starter moter, battery, etc. I should have mentioned this in my rant ๐Ÿ™‚Report

      • Mad Rocket Scientist in reply to Mad Rocket Scientist says:

        Actually, the maintenance costs are minimal. The technologies are close to fully mature.Report

      • Damon in reply to Mad Rocket Scientist says:

        Well since they are now becoming available, I don’t see how you have years of real world data available to make that claim.Report

      • Mad Rocket Scientist in reply to Mad Rocket Scientist says:

        Variable Displacement engines have been around since the early 80s, & Start-Stop systems since the early 70’s. It has only been since the early 2000’s, when consumer demand (thanks to rising fuel prices) combined with the decline in the cost of the associated technology to make such features marketable to the consumer automotive market.

        I think technology that is 30-40 years old can be considered almost mature.Report

      • Damon in reply to Mad Rocket Scientist says:

        Well the electric car has been around for one hundred years but still isn’t economically feasible for most activities, so I’m not convinced. Has this technology been INSTALLED on vehicles for all this time? Has it been working on long haul trucks?

        Here’s what I mean. BMW has replaced a lot of their 6 cylinder engines with 4 cylinder twin turbo engines. Turbos and 4 cylinders have been around for a long time. This doesn’t mean that this particular combo or installation is going to be less expensive to maintain that the conventional inline 6. The reason for the twin turbo/4 cylinder, which includes auto shutoff as well, is the CAFE standards. Since the design is to meet that goal, it doesn’t follow automatically that the car engine will be less expensive to maintain.Report

      • Mad Rocket Scientist in reply to Mad Rocket Scientist says:


        First, both options I mentioned are just that, options. Neither has been mandated specifically. They are, as you said, a way to meet CAFE standards while not having to fit each car with a 3-Cylinder Atkinson cycle engine. To be honest, such things would happen anyway as the cost of fuel goes up (TWSBDA). Remember that a good chunk of the world does not keep fuel prices artificially low like the US does.

        Second, both options have been in the fleets in some capacity for ten years now.

        Finally, a good measure of a systems reliability is warranty coverage. Both Chysler & GM cover the complete powertrain for 5 years / 100K Miles, and I didn’t see anything excluding Variable Displacement or Start-Stop, so they are at least confident that such systems will not significantly add to the maintenance costs of the vehicle in the first 5 years of ownership.

        I mean, if we just look at raw numbers from one year to the next, the cost of ownership of cars is always on the rise, but I haven’t seen anything to suggest that either system is significantly increasing that cost, & even if they do cost more to maintain, that cost has to be weighed against fuel savings.Report

  15. Saul DeGraw says:

    Sometimes you just want a nice and juciy medium rare hamburger with fries and kethcup or BBQ sauce and not something super-artisnal with an aioli.Report

    • Kim in reply to Saul DeGraw says:

      I’ll take the reduced fat hamburger, thanks.
      I’d rather taste the protein than the fat.Report

    • Mad Rocket Scientist in reply to Saul DeGraw says:

      Ah, yes, hipster food. Everyone wants to be unique & artisnal.

      I just order the self-aware irony burger without the awareness, and hold the irony.Report

    • Kazzy in reply to Saul DeGraw says:

      People who gush over aioli but turn their nose up at mayonnaise deserve an ice pick through the temple.

      This might be a uniquely NY thing, but this argument comes up with pizza all the time. I love many varieties of gourmet pizza. Top notch brick oven pizza can be amazing. An artisan margarita pie can be a thing of beauty. But so too can a $2.25 piece of slice pizza. They each have their niche. And when you’re craving that slice, crisped up from a second go-around in the oven to reheat it, neither of the other two will suffice. Yet it is so often overlooked when people make their “Top Pizzas” list because, well, it’s $2.25 a pop.Report

      • Kim in reply to Kazzy says:

        I hate the taste of mayo (haven’t ever made it at home).
        Just not my taste.
        Aioli I can take or leave, but at least that’s generally flavored.Report

  16. Damon says:

    High Fructose Corn Syrup rather than sugar.Report

  17. Five Guys. I think I’ve mentioned this before, but I used to live around the corner from the original Five Guys, back when they just had two or three restaurants in NoVa and were under the original ownership. When they sold to the current owners and started expanding throughout the DC Metro Area, they got crazy popular crazy fast, but for the first couple of years it was all just as good as the original joints.

    But at some point it got too popular and quality had to suffer a little. It’s still better than most burger joints, but it’s not quite the same experience. The first thing to go was Stewart’s Root Beer. Washing a greasy burger and fries down with a Stewart’s is one of the great pleasures in life, and almost no one has Stewart’s from the fountain – Five Guys was the exception, but no longer.

    Also, nowadays, when you order a small fry, they don’t overload the cup nearly as much as they used to, so if you’re expecting that someone’s going to ask you to share, there’s actually a reason to order the large fry. And the burgers themselves, while still never worse than perfectly acceptable, are far less consistent from visit to visit and store to store.Report

    • Kolohe in reply to Mark Thompson says:

      Cosign with this. BTW, both of the earliest two locations (the one at Columbia Pike/Glebe, and the one at Walter Reed Dr/Beauregard//Leesburg Pike/King) are now closed.

      I’m lamenting that Ben’s Chili Bowl seems to be going to same route, now expanding into (the super trendy yuppie part of) NoVa.

      (there’s still the Weenie Beanie, though)Report

      • Mark Thompson in reply to Kolohe says:

        BTW, both of the earliest two locations (the one at Columbia Pike/Glebe, and the one at Walter Reed Dr/Beauregard//Leesburg Pike/King) are now closed.

        This makes me incredibly sad. I used to hit up the latter location about once a week.Report

      • Glyph in reply to Kolohe says:

        The one downtown by the park where I live closed recently ๐Ÿ™ There are other locations, but that one was my jam.Report

  18. Maribou says:

    1) Right there with you on the greek yogurt.
    2) Greek Gods Athena, while STILL NOT FATTY ENOUGH, is both fattier than most everything else (2 percent i think) and easy enough to doctor with your own stuff… plus not too sweet to start with, so it works better with the honey or whatever else you want to throw in there. i used to eat it every day. (then i found noosa, which is australian culture yogurt made in colorado. five percent fat or so. YES I SAID FIVE PERCENT. willing to give up the greek cultures for that.)Report

  19. dragonfrog says:

    I don’t really pay attention to whether the yogourt I’m buying is “Greek” “Balkan Style” or just “Plain” – I just get whatever has the most fat. 11% is the most I can generally find in the grocery stores in my range.

    When visiting a friend’s place in Montreal, I wandered into a Persian grocery store, and got an absolutely heavenly yogourt there. It wasn’t pre-packaged, just in a big tray in the chilled display case. It was almost as thick as a cream cheese. If I lived there, I would eat an awful lot of the stuff…Report

    • Kim in reply to dragonfrog says:

      At that point, why not just use sour cream?Report

      • dragonfrog in reply to Kim says:

        It’s really not the same thing. Good rich yogourt with fruit and muesli is one of my favourite breakfasts. I really don’t think that would work with sour cream.

        I do use rich yogourt in place of sour cream because I prefer the taste.Report

      • dragonfrog in reply to Kim says:

        Sour cream, at least as available where I live, tends to have acids and thickeners added as a shortcut to time-consuming bacterial souring. Good quality yogourt without that sort of gunk added is easier for me to find than good quality sour cream.

        Also the bacteria are different (mostly streptococcus strains for sour cream vs. mostly lactobacillus for yogourt) so I would imagine even proper good quality sour cream would be taste quite different.Report

      • Kim in reply to Kim says:

        If you get a chance to get some good Breakstone’s sour cream, pick it up!
        They’re about the only folks that actually set out to make sour cream… the rest are “manufacturing” it as an industrial byproduct.Report

      • Brandon Berg in reply to Kim says:

        I don’t know how widely it’s sold, but Nancy’s sour cream is made properly as well. Whole Foods will likely carry your region’s equivalent.Report

  20. Brandon Berg says:

    Sweet Thai curry.

    I think you must be overlooking something with the Greek yogurt, because I know I’ve seen the full-fat kind. Plain, full-fat yogurt is rarely sold in individual packs, but rather in pint or quart packages. I forget the brand name, but it has a pseudo-Greek font.

    Have you tried regular full-fat yogurt? I prefer it to Greek yogurt, which I find too thick due to the straining.Report

  21. Nob Akimoto says:

    Sushi and really any “Japanese” cuisine, when 9/10ths of the places making them are Koreans.Report

    • Brandon Berg in reply to Nob Akimoto says:

      I used to go to a Korean-run Japanese restaurant where they had “sushi” with plain rice. The other food was pretty good, though.

      What’s the deal with that, anyway? Why are so many Japanese restaurants run by Koreans?Report

      • LeeEsq in reply to Brandon Berg says:

        Most are actually run by Chinese. The reason why few are run by Japanese is that you don’t really have that many new Japanese immigrants to the United States. The Japanese-American community is established enough and old enough that most of them are out of the ethnic restaurant business, which tends to be dominated by recent immigrants. Its the same reason why authentic Jewish delis are also rare these days. On the West Coast, you get more than a few Japanese restaurants run by Japanese people because of a higher concention of Japanese people.Report

      • Kim in reply to Brandon Berg says:

        Just wanted to say:
        anyone bitching about someone’s food, simply because of their ethnicity, is being racist.
        If you’re getting the food wrong because you aren’t black/Korean/Jewish, that’s a different story.Report

      • Murali in reply to Brandon Berg says:


        So, saying things like “I don’t like Chinese vegetarian food because a lot of the time, it is just rice with 3 different varieties of boiled cabbage” is racist even if it is factually true? That is to say if most of the affordable Chinese veg food is unpalatable to me, actually saying so is racist?Report

  22. Bert The Turtle says:

    I started making my own yogurt a few years back as an experiment after reading this article in Slate and the corresponding NYT article they link to. It’s surprisingly easy to make a half gallon of it at a time and the quality improvement is immense compared to store bought. I can drain the yogurt in a coffee filter to whatever consistency I want (from runny to greek to cream cheese). Granted, it’s never going to be as convenient as buying it at the store, but it might be worth a try if you’re having trouble finding the good stuff.Report

    • Murali in reply to Bert The Turtle says:

      We make yoghurt at home by the gallon everyday. If you’ve gotten proficient with yoghurt making, you could make the low fat stuff by starting with low fat milk. But you probably need to wrap a towel around so that it keeps temperature better.Report