Lox, bagel and cream cheese

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FinnGuyHelsinki
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Re: Lox, bagel and cream cheese

Post by FinnGuyHelsinki » Thu Dec 23, 2010 7:40 pm

jmakinen wrote:So if this says anything about 'preferences,' Durum is the hit - quite a change from '70's when Durum was absolutely verboten. I think rather it is a question of knowledge and politics.
My bet would be that durum is the cheapest alternative, hence the wide use in pasta (for which it's clearly well-suited), including the cheapest Finnish brands. There are differences in gluten content and grind, which can make a difference when making pasta by hand, but taste probably is not a factor in commercial use at all.



Re: Lox, bagel and cream cheese

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jmakinen
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Re: Lox, bagel and cream cheese

Post by jmakinen » Thu Dec 23, 2010 7:59 pm

My bet would be that durum is the cheapest alternative, hence the wide use in pasta (for which it's clearly well-suited), including the cheapest Finnish brands.
Not really. Durum is a more expensive product almost anywhere. And also this was the cover for the Licence Office when they told me it was too expensive to permit into Finland and a waste of 'resources' since we had wheat.

Here is a good article on the history of pasta - btw it tells that durum is more difficult to knead thus not used for home pasta machines.

http://www.thenibble.com/reviews/main/p ... -pasta.asp


jmakinen
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Re: Lox, bagel and cream cheese

Post by jmakinen » Thu Dec 23, 2010 8:01 pm

Dunno how hit it is as everyone seems to overdo the cooking. Maybe durum is better so when the macaroni is overdone it don't end up in mush.
Yes - it's difficult to get al dente - but soft wheat is a disaster from minute one. So durum at least gives half a chance.


Rosamunda
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Re: Lox, bagel and cream cheese

Post by Rosamunda » Thu Dec 23, 2010 11:18 pm

I always use 100% durum flour (available in any supermarket) when I make pasta. I don't usually bother to make spaghetti but home-made lasagne sheets are unbeatable.

The type of water used is important too. I use filtered tap water (from a Brita filter jug) but not mineral water.


FinnGuyHelsinki
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Re: Lox, bagel and cream cheese

Post by FinnGuyHelsinki » Fri Dec 24, 2010 12:40 am

jmakinen wrote: Not really. Durum is a more expensive product almost anywhere. And also this was the cover for the Licence Office when they told me it was too expensive to permit into Finland and a waste of 'resources' since we had wheat.
Let's see... the most cheap-ass dry pasta in Finland is made of.... ? Quite possibly it is due to the price, don't you agree? If not the price, then what?


jmakinen
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Re: Lox, bagel and cream cheese

Post by jmakinen » Fri Dec 24, 2010 1:07 am

Let's see... the most cheap-ass dry pasta in Finland is made of.... ? Quite possibly it is due to the price, don't you agree? If not the price, then what?
Doubt if it is all about price. The best flour type for pasta is Durum - and you can get decent 500g packages of 100% durum from Lidl for approx 1€ - maybe less - not much more. There are minimal differences among 100% durum products - some might think diCecco a bit better or Barilla - but if all cooked al dente - the results of the meal will be 95% dependent on sauce and stuff with the pasta.

The present pasta eaters of Finland should just be thankful the days of Vaasa 'spaghetti' are over.


FinnGuyHelsinki
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Re: Lox, bagel and cream cheese

Post by FinnGuyHelsinki » Fri Dec 24, 2010 1:32 am

jmakinen wrote:Doubt if it is all about price. The best flour type for pasta is Durum - and you can get decent 500g packages of 100% durum from Lidl for approx 1€ - maybe less - not much more. There are minimal differences among 100% durum products - some might think diCecco a bit better or Barilla - but if all cooked al dente - the results of the meal will be 95% dependent on sauce and stuff with the pasta.

The present pasta eaters of Finland should just be thankful the days of Vaasa 'spaghetti' are over.
I'm sure you understand, the main driver for the lowest priced products definitely is not the taste. I don't know what the market price of durum vs. some other kind of wheat (or pasta made of those) is when bought by the ton, but I'm 100% confident that the price ultimately is the deciding factor.


jmakinen
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Re: Lox, bagel and cream cheese

Post by jmakinen » Fri Dec 24, 2010 8:33 am

I'm sure you understand, the main driver for the lowest priced products definitely is not the taste. I don't know what the market price of durum vs. some other kind of wheat (or pasta made of those) is when bought by the ton, but I'm 100% confident that the price ultimately is the deciding factor.
Please realize that durum is the wheat for pasta for getting the 'preferred' consistency - and that preference seems to be universal.* Read the History of Pasta** linked above. Also look thru some of the price charts (Futures markets etc.) for the various types of wheat. Durum is among the most expensive if not the most expensive. Myllyn Paras uses soft wheat along with durum in their cheapest macaroni.

* from Ask Dr. Sears: Most pasta is made with durum wheat, a hard wheat high in protein and gluten, which makes a dough that sticks together well and holds its shape, a feature so important to pasta makers.

** Although hundreds of small pasta factories opened in America’s Little Italys, Italians preferred to buy imported pasta, however expensive, because it was made from durum wheat. (American farmers did not grow durum until the 20th century.) The article otherwise quite informative and interesting.
Last edited by jmakinen on Fri Dec 24, 2010 8:51 am, edited 1 time in total.


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Cory
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Re: Lox, bagel and cream cheese

Post by Cory » Fri Dec 24, 2010 8:47 am

jmakinen wrote: Please realize that durum is the wheat for pasta for getting the 'preferred' consistency
Durum is not only the superior choice for home-made pasta it's also, IMO, the only choice for making stone baked pizza crusts. Nothing comes close to the real thing with a stone, durum and lots of olive oil!! Guess what's on the menu for our meal this evening?? :)
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jmakinen
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Re: Lox, bagel and cream cheese

Post by jmakinen » Fri Dec 24, 2010 10:07 am

Code: Select all

lots of olive oil!!
Where do you use the lots of olive oil? In crust? Supposedly oil in dough makes doughs tender - not always wanting - like taste of olive oil very much but have been always careful in adding as want bread and crusts with some 'chew' - just wondering. (eg I called some Ciabatta baker in NJ and he was against oil in Ciabatta as lose texture)

Or do you mean lot in the sauce? Good deal for taste. The greasy kebab pizzas don't use olive oil in sauce so one just gets oil with no benefit from more taste.


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Cory
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Re: Lox, bagel and cream cheese

Post by Cory » Fri Dec 24, 2010 11:35 am

jmakinen wrote:

Code: Select all

lots of olive oil!!
Where do you use the lots of olive oil? In crust? Supposedly oil in dough makes doughs tender - not always wanting - like taste of olive oil very much but have been always careful in adding as want bread and crusts with some 'chew' - just wondering. (eg I called some Ciabatta baker in NJ and he was against oil in Ciabatta as lose texture)

Or do you mean lot in the sauce? Good deal for taste. The greasy kebab pizzas don't use olive oil in sauce so one just gets oil with no benefit from more taste.
I put a bit of it in with the water and then after baking I brush it around on the topping! While in Tuscany a few years back, we stayed in a private flat whose owner was an old lady with an outdoor oven. She sprinkled some in with the flour and then smathered it on the topping once it was cooked. Notice that I mentioned a stone for baking and I use it in our wood fired oven so the temp is about 270c or a bit higher. The crust is quite crispy and chewy just the way I like it. Don't know what it would do to the texture if it was baked on oven paper and at a lower temperature as some people do.
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FinnGuyHelsinki
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Re: Lox, bagel and cream cheese

Post by FinnGuyHelsinki » Fri Dec 24, 2010 11:36 am

jmakinen wrote: Please realize that durum is the wheat for pasta for getting the 'preferred' consistency - and that preference seems to be universal.* Read the History of Pasta** linked above. Also look thru some of the price charts (Futures markets etc.) for the various types of wheat. Durum is among the most expensive if not the most expensive. Myllyn Paras uses soft wheat along with durum in their cheapest macaroni.
Something doesn't add up. Based on what you've said; it is possible to make commercial pasts out of other wheat than durum (as it was done back in who-knows-when). Durum wheat is more expensive than 'other type' of wheat (of which the pasta was made earlier). Nowadays almost all pasta, including the most cheapest ones is made of durum. So are you saying that companies are doing that out of generosity or charity? To make a better product for customers even if their most cheapest brands will cost more due to it?

I have made pasta by hand and know about the qualities of durum wheat, but your logic regarding its usage in the cheapest commercial pasta is lacking. Just a reminder, we're still talking about Finland and the cheapest of alternatives, so it's all about the price/profit. If it was possible to make pasta out of water and still legally sell it as pasta, water would be the main ingredient at least in the cheapest versions, and that is a fact.


jmakinen
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Re: Lox, bagel and cream cheese

Post by jmakinen » Fri Dec 24, 2010 12:19 pm

Something doesn't add up. Based on what you've said; it is possible to make commercial pasts out of other wheat than durum (as it was done back in who-knows-when). Durum wheat is more expensive than 'other type' of wheat (of which the pasta was made earlier).
Have a look at the history of wheat growing and you will see Durum was developed maybe even 1000 yrs ago in Mediterranean and Middle East. Its gluten content was noted as being good for a pasta-type product - including couscous. The product held shapes - maintained chewing consistency, etc.

Nowadays almost all pasta, including the most cheapest ones is made of durum. So are you saying that companies are doing that out of generosity or charity? To make a better product for customers even if their most cheapest brands will cost more due to it?
It's really a question of using accepted right ingredients to make a product. I doubt Alko would sell any Koskenkorva without using C2H5OH. Finland had kept proper pasta out of Finland via a dictatorial License Office assisted by a 'dictatorial' government. But when Finns started traveling en masse in the 70's - especially to Spain and Italy - they found what pasta was supposed to be. Then with the advent of EFTA and later the EU - and the abolition of licenses - the reading of foreign cookbooks etc. - it was a natural consequence that Finnish sellers of pasta included the proper durum content. You can't make marzipan using peanuts - even if they are cheaper.
I have made pasta by hand and know about the qualities of durum wheat, but your logic regarding its usage in the cheapest commercial pasta is lacking. Just a reminder, we're still talking about Finland and the cheapest of alternatives, so it's all about the price/profit. If it was possible to make pasta out of water and still legally sell it as pasta, water would be the main ingredient at least in the cheapest versions, and that is a fact.
No argument - there is always someone trying to low ball. But there are also companies that want to build their future on making quality products and then try to do their economics revolving on a basic quality reference point. I'm not backing Lidl as any shining light overall - but have a look at their olive oil - It's about 4+ Euros a liter - and they constantly win taste tests versus products 2x or more more expensive. Their yoghurt is cheap and excellent - and there are other companies doing similar things - decide on a quality product and then get it out as good a price as keeps it profitable.


Willie
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Re: Lox, bagel and cream cheese

Post by Willie » Sun Dec 26, 2010 1:41 am

tuulen wrote:Finland has lox (salmon) (lohi), and Finland has cream cheese (kermajuusto), but why does Finland not have good, boiled bagels?

Boiled bagels are easy to make, and lox, bagel and cream cheese is a very tasty combination, good to eat.

Mazel tov!
Just to save anybody out there any sort of confusion, cream cheese like you might schmeer on a bagel is not kermajuusto. Tuorejuusto is. Can't believe I've even read this bagel thread, I make my own. If I wanted to eat bagels every day I'd live in Manhattan.


tuulen
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Re: Lox, bagel and cream cheese

Post by tuulen » Sun Dec 26, 2010 8:42 am

Willie wrote:...If I wanted to eat bagels every day I'd live in Manhattan.
Not necessarily eaten every day, but a good bagel is a tasty treat.

And, lox on a good bagel along with cream cheese is like taking a trip to Manhattan!


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