Freindship is Magic October 18, 2013 3:19 PM   Subscribe

Can we take the derail about whether its okay to say Americans or Danes have a collective identity out of the fun horsey thread and thrash it out here? Cheers.
posted by Artw to Etiquette/Policy at 3:19 PM (116 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

I'm happy with that.

Sys Rq's attempt to imply racism on the individual in the video is unfounded, and then to further imply it to the whole country of Denmark is disgusting. Shame on him. What a pathetic way to engage with a harmless and fun film.
posted by Thing at 3:22 PM on October 18, 2013 [3 favorites]


It's one of those things that healthy people just don't need to get stuck on.
posted by planetesimal at 3:48 PM on October 18, 2013


I'm happy with that.

Oh good, no long face. Now we can all enjoy being neigh-bors.

Sorry, I'm not stable today.

I seem to have fallen and I can't giddyup.
posted by SpacemanStix at 3:52 PM on October 18, 2013 [45 favorites]


so happy this isn't a callout about me having confused Dutch and Danish
posted by davejay at 3:54 PM on October 18, 2013 [35 favorites]


"It's one of those things that healthy people just don't need to get stuck on."

I think it's one of those things where reasonable people can have very different opinions, so we avoid the issue to prevent arguments. That didn't work as well as it usually does in the Pony-Thief thread.
posted by Kevin Street at 4:13 PM on October 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm sorry to have caused a derail. It was a fun video. One bit rankled me, which RolandOfEld cleared up, and I conceded the point. Then I mentioned the cartoon thing to clarify why I would jump to the conclusion.

Sys Rq's attempt to imply racism on the individual in the video is unfounded, and then to further imply it to the whole country of Denmark is disgusting. Shame on him. What a pathetic way to engage with a harmless and fun film.

The "Egyptian name" thing rubbed me the wrong way. Denmark has a well-publicised history of Islamophobia. Denmark is small. Denmark is not the Netherlands.

These are the only things I said, or implied, in that thread. I am not the least bit ashamed to have said them, and I don't think I should be.

This is a low and disgusting insult on a country. You should be ashamed to sink to such a depth. Maybe Canada is "that genocide against Native Americans place"? Pathetic.


Canada is exactly that, and I've said as much myself on many, many occasions. If you're trying to cancel out one truth by mentioning another, I'm sorry to tell you it doesn't work that way.
posted by Sys Rq at 6:10 PM on October 18, 2013 [5 favorites]


Denmark has a shade over five and a half million people living in it. I bet they don't all share the same opinion about everything. Ascribing anything to "Danes" as if it applied to the entire nation is a ridiculous stereotype which doesn't even pass the most cursory sniff-test, and frankly smacks of a real lack of maturity.
posted by Scientist at 6:12 PM on October 18, 2013 [6 favorites]


I agree, Scientist. That's why I didn't do that. Plenty of people calling Danes civilised and polite, though.
posted by Sys Rq at 6:13 PM on October 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


Dane Cook is no such thing!
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 6:31 PM on October 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


Plenty of people calling Danes civilised and polite
In their dreams I bet they are all Vikings.
posted by adamvasco at 7:20 PM on October 18, 2013


What's with that davejay character confusing Dutch and Danish? He needs to be run out of town. Where are the pitchforks?
posted by medusa at 7:21 PM on October 18, 2013 [4 favorites]


Something is rotten in that thread.
posted by homunculus at 8:06 PM on October 18, 2013 [14 favorites]


Yeah it worked great, now how do I get rid of all these Norwegians?
posted by Divine_Wino at 8:23 PM on October 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


You look at their shoes!

Wait, no, shit....
posted by Now there are two. There are two _______. at 8:43 PM on October 18, 2013


I have heard that the Danes have the largest testicles?
posted by Meatbomb at 8:47 PM on October 18, 2013


Only you would be sure if you heard it, though.
posted by planetesimal at 8:53 PM on October 18, 2013



In their dreams I bet they are all Vikings.


Well, sleep is where everyone is a Viking.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 9:05 PM on October 18, 2013 [5 favorites]


A metaphorical Viking or a literal Viking?
posted by Justinian at 9:06 PM on October 18, 2013


Littoral vikings do it shallow.
posted by planetesimal at 9:50 PM on October 18, 2013 [19 favorites]


I keep confusing danish and popovers myself.
posted by yohko at 11:47 PM on October 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


Hi. I don't have a horse in this race. So I'm just gonna Skagen this thread.
posted by hal_c_on at 11:47 PM on October 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


I keep confusing danish and popovers myself.

Well, as John F. Kennedy once never said, I am a buttercream wienerbrød!
posted by y2karl at 12:18 AM on October 19, 2013 [6 favorites]


The "Egyptian name" thing rubbed me the wrong way. Denmark has a well-publicised history of Islamophobia. Denmark is small. Denmark is not the Netherlands.

That represents something of a cultural misunderstanding, really - as mumimor pointed out in the original thread, it's not at all common to show the kind of knowledge and awareness of other culture's names that identifying it as being from a particular country, rather than the racial slur "perker" or a generalism like "araber" or even "invandrer" (immigrant). Different cultures have different ways that identities are constituted and performed, and in Denmark, that kind of specificity generally marks you out as not exactly someone who votes Dansk Folkeparti (Danish People's Party - a political party with a long history of racism). Cultural context is important!
posted by Dysk at 12:22 AM on October 19, 2013 [11 favorites]


Hmmm, debate theory of Danes or spend a couple hours reading Scandinavia and the World. Hmmmm.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 3:24 AM on October 19, 2013 [5 favorites]


Speaking of Danish, there is this brilliant viennoiserie place nearby hmm...
posted by ersatz at 3:36 AM on October 19, 2013


so happy this isn't a callout about me having confused Dutch and Danish

Ehh. They're both North European countries with a long history of tolerance and relaxed attitude to sex and drugs and you're American; easy enough to confuse them.
posted by MartinWisse at 5:06 AM on October 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


MartinWisse, let me guess, you're Dutch? It's easier to take a "pshaw, doesn't matter!" attitude when you're the dominant party in the confusion. I am constantly having to explain to people that I am not from the Netherlands, because they heard I was Danish or from Denmark - my Dutch friends don't get called Danish or from Denmark nearly so often (and when the confusion does arise the other way, it's usually because people are using Danish/Denmark to refer to the Netherlands, not the other way around).
posted by Dysk at 5:10 AM on October 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


i.e. that's easy for you to say when people realise your country exists!
posted by Dysk at 5:11 AM on October 19, 2013 [5 favorites]


Pretty sure mass media in the US puts out material more casually Islamaphibic than Jyllands Posten did in 2005 every single day.
posted by Artw at 5:25 AM on October 19, 2013 [9 favorites]


Only you guys can take a sweet, lighthearted video showing the best side of humans and turn it into a debate about racism and cultural identity. I have no bloody idea at all if that's a good or bad thing.

I think it might be a bad thing. Dudes - it was a clip about a giant pink pony, for the love of Twilight Sparkle.
posted by billiebee at 5:31 AM on October 19, 2013 [21 favorites]


Something is rotten in that thread.

When are we getting that "Favourite so hard" pony?
posted by Catch at 5:33 AM on October 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


The "Egyptian name" thing rubbed me the wrong way. Denmark has a well-publicised history of Islamophobia.

You know, if we did this in proportion to the amount of cuntish behaviour in the world, Metafilter would just be a continuous stream of people complaining about America.

Probably best to avoid it where possible -- especially when it's a derail like it was here.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 6:16 AM on October 19, 2013 [7 favorites]


Well that's where the whole "America can't be judged as a whole! But everywhere else can!" dodge comes in. Self serving ostrich headed bullshit, I'm afraid.
posted by Artw at 6:20 AM on October 19, 2013 [9 favorites]


> I keep confusing danish and popovers myself.

I'll just have a French. Fried.
posted by jfuller at 6:30 AM on October 19, 2013


i.e. that's easy for you to say when people realise your country exists!

Yeah, but then they go on to say "Oh, so do you live in Copenhagen? I visited there once it was lovely".

Anyway, just be glad you're not living in Austria and get all those tourists disappointed about the lack of kangaroos...
posted by MartinWisse at 6:52 AM on October 19, 2013 [5 favorites]


/visited Billund, but not the Lego land.
posted by Artw at 6:58 AM on October 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


I have a Swiss friend who, while living in the US, was constantly asked if she spoke Swedish, so I guess I am not surprised at the Dutch/Danish thing. Of course, she was also asked more than once if her country had electricity, so I guess nothing really surprises me about that.
posted by GenjiandProust at 8:08 AM on October 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


The "Does your country have electricity?" is a bit of stupid awfulness that gets asked of all kinds of international folks who come to the US.

I have a Macedonian friend who I once saw troll someone marvelously on this.

Dumb American: Do y'all have electricity over there?
Awesome Macedonian (with perfect stone face): No. It's really primitive there. It's so hard for us.
Dumb American: Wow. That's terrible. Do y'all have TV?
Awesome Macedonian: Yeah. But we don't have electricity, so we have to watch by candlelight.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:44 AM on October 19, 2013 [48 favorites]


I made a comment in the other thread about why using the cartoons controversy to illustrate anything about Danes as a whole was problematic but it seems to have been deleted. Suffice to say that even among the published cartoons there were some that criticised the whole idea of drawing Muhammed.
posted by knapah at 8:44 AM on October 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


The cartoon thing is so not Denmark-as-a-whole (the pony thing seems to be much more like it).
posted by Namlit at 9:15 AM on October 19, 2013


I'll just have a French. Fried.

I think you mean Freedom. Fried.

Personally I like to have my Freedom with a side of NSA.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 9:48 AM on October 19, 2013


When I was teenager and told a Danish friend that I was moving from Denmark to Jamaica, she asked if there were houses there. Danes! They're as good or as bad as everyone else! But actually probably a little bit better in many ways.
posted by The corpse in the library at 9:51 AM on October 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


Can we fix the typo in the title of the thread?
posted by Jahaza at 9:55 AM on October 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Unless it's some kind of Danish joke I don't get.
posted by Jahaza at 9:56 AM on October 19, 2013


I made a comment in the other thread about why using the cartoons controversy to illustrate anything about Danes as a whole was problematic but it seems to have been deleted. Suffice to say that even among the published cartoons there were some that criticised the whole idea of drawing Muhammed.

And it isn't like the whole debacle wasn't controversial in Denmark, either. Some pretty horrid stuff got said and published as part of that, but that happened everywhere else it was reported on and debated, too.
posted by Dysk at 10:00 AM on October 19, 2013


I'm from Montana--Europeans have often been crushed to learn that we have indoor toilets and don't ride to town in buckboards. ( We do ride pones, though.)
posted by Ideefixe at 10:36 AM on October 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


I get that this MeTa is useful in that it moved the tempest to a more appropriate teapot, but I don't think we need to beat up Sys Rq over it. I think he explained himself adequately and besides, mefites do this kind of generalizing all the time when it comes to Texas, Alabama, Georgia, the South in general, etc., without this kind of backlash.
posted by rocket88 at 10:39 AM on October 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


We do ride pones, though.

That seems unsanitary.

Non-Americans should be aware that in the rest of the US, and especially in the south, pones are rarely ridden but commonly eaten.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:46 AM on October 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


ROU_Xenophone should be aware that by-and-large, outside the American South, Americans* don't know WTF a pone is except sometimes it's heard as part of a self-deprecating expression** ("corn pone") to indicate one's authentic rural roots.


----------------
*Well, this American, anyway.
**Often uttered by politicos and other shifty sales types wishing to disarm the mark.
posted by notyou at 11:25 AM on October 19, 2013


I know what a pone is. I play plenty of cribbage.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 12:45 PM on October 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


A pone was my favourite Aliens character.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 1:12 PM on October 19, 2013 [5 favorites]


ROU_Xenophone should be aware that by-and-large, outside the American South, Americans* don't know WTF a pone is except sometimes it's heard as part of a self-deprecating expression** ("corn pone") to indicate one's authentic rural roots.

Corn pone is just corn bread. Pone basically = baked quick bread (as opposed to a pancake-style quick bread).
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 1:38 PM on October 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


I love cornbread and beans. My aunt in Tennessee makes it for me when I visit.
posted by double block and bleed at 1:50 PM on October 19, 2013


That reminds me of one of my Dad's favorite corny jokes:

I don't trust the New Math because they say that pi r squared. Pie are not square. Cornbread are square. Pie are round!
posted by double block and bleed at 1:54 PM on October 19, 2013 [8 favorites]


Proper cornbread, made in a cast iron skillet, is most definitely not square. Ahem.

(The only extent to which my Tennessee ancestry manifests itself in me is that I have Opinions about cornbread.)
posted by Lexica at 2:50 PM on October 19, 2013 [6 favorites]


Some MeFites are rumored to be pone-petters.
posted by homunculus at 5:00 PM on October 19, 2013


This European has never heard the word buckboard before.
posted by biffa at 5:10 PM on October 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


Proper cornbread, made in a cast iron skillet, is most definitely not square.

What if you have a square skillet?
posted by yoink at 5:10 PM on October 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Too many danishes.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 5:19 PM on October 19, 2013


Could I just point out that what Americans call cornbread, we call Madeira cake. So when I visited Florida and got a side of CAKE with my salad it was the happiest I've ever been. Don't go changing.
posted by billiebee at 6:11 PM on October 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


Plenty of people calling Danes civilised and polite, though.

Probably because they are the Canadians of Europe.
posted by Tanizaki at 7:54 PM on October 19, 2013


Could I just point out that what Americans call cornbread, we call Madeira cake.

It's not the same thing, but wow did you just stumble headlong into a longstanding and very heated US regional culinary argument just then, and motherfucker, you came down on the side of the angels.

Some people are going to come in here to tell you that you did not have real cornbread, that cornbread should not be sweet.

I want you to listen very closely.

These people are not, strictly speaking, human. I know it does not seem possible, but I need you to put on these sunglasses, and then you will understand.
posted by middleclasstool at 8:19 PM on October 19, 2013 [17 favorites]


You can eat the red donut or you can eat the blue donut. It's your choice.
posted by y2karl at 10:06 PM on October 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


...we call Madeira cake...

Known in Madeira as 'English Cake'.
posted by Segundus at 11:43 PM on October 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


In McKinleyville California, we preferred our cornbread sweet. As a data point.

Angels, I guess. Yes, many angels up north.
posted by notyou at 12:23 AM on October 20, 2013


The Danes invaded and brutalised my country.

I admit it was a long time ago. This video made me consider forgiving them.
posted by Decani at 12:33 AM on October 20, 2013


Nah, we invaded here and eventually settled and integrated peacefully.

I'm continuing a long-standing tradition.
posted by Dysk at 1:01 AM on October 20, 2013


I had this conversation with a Dane late one evening ('Hah, you English think you conquer a lot of people but we came and took your land and your women...')

I had to point out that objectively I was the descendant of the fighty grabby Danes, while he was the descendant of the quieter folk who stayed at home to look after the pigs. And good for them, of course.
posted by Segundus at 1:14 AM on October 20, 2013 [4 favorites]


You're overlooking the conquered people blood in you, there.
posted by Dysk at 2:15 AM on October 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


The "Egyptian name" thing rubbed me the wrong way.

Some people have mentioned this. Why exactly did it rub you the wrong way? In context it was someone trying to figure in which apartment a danish guy is living in and two of the names are women and one is Egyptian. Now names, particularly names on apartments, aren't exactly 100% certain identifiers. Those people with female names could be men or living with men or that guy with an Egyptian name might be from Sjaelland. But it's a clue and it's relevant. I honestly do not understand why it rubs people the wrong way.
posted by Authorized User at 5:54 AM on October 20, 2013 [5 favorites]


Some people are going to come in here to tell you that you did not have real cornbread, that cornbread should not be sweet.

I want you to listen very closely.

These people are not, strictly speaking, human. I know it does not seem possible, but I need you to put on these sunglasses, and then you will understand.


Oh my god burn the heretic.
posted by winna at 6:25 AM on October 20, 2013 [4 favorites]


Sweet cornbread? I read a lot of shit on this here website about acceptance and tolerance but if we're accepting sweet cornbread I will be the first to pick up my rifle for the forces of conservatism.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 9:38 AM on October 20, 2013 [6 favorites]


The difference between sweet cornbread and cake is that you don't put butter on cake.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 9:42 AM on October 20, 2013 [10 favorites]


i.e. that's easy for you to say when people realise your country exists!
posted by Dysk

Oh those crafty celts
posted by clavdivs at 10:30 AM on October 20, 2013



We used to put the cornbread in a mug, then fill the mug with sweetmilk, and eat it with a spoon. Mmmmmm. Far better than cornflakes, just about as good as pancakes.

Or else, it's eaten with a big pot of beans cooked with a hock...the marrow gives it flavor. You cook cornbread in a large cast-iron skillet. Period. That's the only way it's done. The best pieces are the ones from around the rim...the rest are square and don't have a proper crust on one side.

I dunno about sweet. That sounds sort of yankee-ish to me. Don't get me started on them goddam yankees. I'll just say that it takes a yankee to put ice cream on his pie, and let it go at that.
posted by mule98J at 11:00 AM on October 20, 2013


I'll just say that it takes a yankee to put ice cream on his pie, and let it go at that.

Please don't let it go at that because I have no idea what that means!

(I'm still reeling from the notion that some of you are allowed to have cake for dinner and CHOOSE NOT TO. After being served the sweet version I swear I considered emigrating.)
posted by billiebee at 11:09 AM on October 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


when I visited Florida and got a side of CAKE with my salad

Gee, it really is a mystery where this obesity epidemic is coming from.
posted by MartinWisse at 11:47 AM on October 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


> the rest are square and don't have a proper crust on one side.

Cut it in wedges. Each wedge has its fair share of sublime crunchy edge. Also, if there's any left over (I know, not bloody likely) and you split the leftover pieces and toast them with butter, a surprisingly large percentage of each piece turns into something almost as sublimely crunchy as fresh edge.


> Gee, it really is a mystery where this obesity epidemic is coming from.

Heh. Not Obese. If anything, slightly underweight. Privilege! (Not about to give that one up either.)
posted by jfuller at 12:14 PM on October 20, 2013


The difference between sweet cornbread and cake is that you don't put butter on cake.

Pfft, speak for yourself.
posted by Chutzler at 12:40 PM on October 20, 2013


Yankees put cheddar cheese on our apple pie.

Ice cream on blueberry pie is pretty great.
posted by rtha at 12:49 PM on October 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


Ah - so ice cream on pie isn't a thing generally? It's like topsy-turvy land over there!
posted by billiebee at 1:18 PM on October 20, 2013


Yeah, but then they go on to say "Oh, so do you live in Copenhagen? I visited there once it was lovely".

"Oh you're Canadian? Do you know Bob Mctavish?"
posted by edgeways at 1:49 PM on October 20, 2013


Ice cream dulls the taste buds and makes a piece of pie seem less flavorful.
posted by Specklet at 1:49 PM on October 20, 2013


I have come to believe that acceptance of cheddar with apple pie is a sign of true New England-dom. Or at least that you have been acquainted with a New Englander who has shown you that it is not as weird as you thought it would be.
posted by maryr at 1:50 PM on October 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


I have heard that the Danes have the largest testicles?

You are thinking of Great Danes.
posted by maryr at 1:50 PM on October 20, 2013 [4 favorites]


Since moving to the North Carolina the south and I have found plenty to disagree on, but if there's one thing that stokes the fires of my ancient southern rage it's you goddam yankees and your sweet cornbread.

The fact that the default here is equal parts tea and sugar, however, makes me want to march to the sea.
posted by villanelles at dawn at 1:58 PM on October 20, 2013


Cheese with apple pie is a bit of a thing in some parts of northern England. Possibly an import from there to New England (along with the pie itself of course).
posted by biffa at 2:18 PM on October 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


jfuller: "Also, if there's any left over (I know, not bloody likely) and you split the leftover pieces and toast them with butter, a surprisingly large percentage of each piece turns into something almost as sublimely crunchy as fresh edge."

This is another reason why non-sweet cornbread is the One True Cornbread: a slightly-stale slice split in half the next morning and toasted golden brown, then spread with butter* and drizzled with honey*… the contrast of the unsweetened corn-ness of the cornbread with the floral sweetness of the honey is heaven.

*Or vegan alternative of your preference.
posted by Lexica at 3:26 PM on October 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


> > I have heard that the Danes have the largest testicles?

> You are thinking of Great Danes.


I mean, yeah, I guess that's one measure of greatness...
posted by Now there are two. There are two _______. at 3:36 PM on October 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


something something "thrust upon 'em"
posted by Now there are two. There are two _______. at 3:44 PM on October 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


something something neuticles
posted by maryr at 4:23 PM on October 20, 2013


Wait wait wait...

I mean, yeah, I guess that's one measure of greatness...
posted by Now there are two. There are two _______.


Eponysterical.
posted by maryr at 4:24 PM on October 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


The thing about cornbread is that it's already sweet. You've got corn and butter already! Why add sweetness to something already sweet!

It's like those freaks who put sugar in their tomato-based pasta sauce.
posted by winna at 5:41 PM on October 20, 2013


Yes - corn is crazy sweet. Just try to have pity on people who can't taste sugars unless it's refined white sugar crunching between their toofs.

Also - no such thing as savory outmeal. It's too sweet.

And don't get me started on carrots!
posted by Lesser Shrew at 5:58 PM on October 20, 2013


Sugar is worse than Heisenberg Blue, yo.
posted by planetesimal at 6:04 PM on October 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


"People have tried and they have tried, but sex is not better than sweet corn."
posted by villanelles at dawn at 6:24 PM on October 20, 2013


Is that a quote from someone who has no genitalia?
posted by planetesimal at 7:23 PM on October 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


What's wrong with you people? Sweet, not sweet, it's fucking cornbread, which means it's always awesome.

In the immortal words of Chris Rock: "Cornbread. Ain't nothing wrong with that."
posted by nooneyouknow at 7:47 PM on October 20, 2013 [4 favorites]


One bit rankled me, which RolandOfEld cleared up

A positive mini call out?!?! Where do I get my cookie? ... or danish?
posted by RolandOfEld at 7:42 AM on October 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Based on my recent watchings, I'm confidant in saying all Danes are suave, cannibalistic serial killers with a flashy dress sense.
posted by The Whelk at 9:40 AM on October 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Let me step down from my One True Cornbread soapbox long enough to point to Crescent Dragonwagon's book The Cornbread Gospels, which includes "over 200 irresistible recipes for cornbreads, muffins, fritters, pancakes, and go-withs". She also has videos up for a couple of them: Skillet-Sizzled Cornbread, Vermont Maple-Sweetened Cornbread, and Truman Capote's Family's Cornbread.
posted by Lexica at 9:44 AM on October 21, 2013


The difference between sweet cornbread and cake is that you don't put butter on cake.

Sugar goes in tea, not cornbread. It is known.
posted by corb at 9:59 AM on October 21, 2013


This makes me wonder if the regional difference comes from a difference in the kind of corn that was being used. The sweetcorn we eat today is a modern hybrid; the older strains have sugars that break down much faster - so in the old days, you had to pick it and cook it quick for the sugars to remain. I imagine the south can grow the sweeter varieties through a longer season... so did the northern cook just have less-sweet corn available to start with, and thus added some sugar to bring it up to the same level of sweetness? And then the recipe difference carried down the years and was applied to the newer much-sweeter corn varieties?
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 1:38 PM on October 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm pretty sure that one of the many times that my Dad regretted raising me as a yankee was the day that I told him that I preferred sweet* cornbread. He didn't argue with me. He just sort of slumped his shoulders and sighed in acceptance of yet another of life's little defeats.

* - Unsweet cornbread is, of course, required to properly appreciate beans and cornbread. You get more than enough sugar from the sweet tea that you use to wash it down.
posted by double block and bleed at 1:52 PM on October 21, 2013


I wonder what role Indian Pudding played in Northern cornbread-type-things to be sweet(er).
posted by rtha at 1:56 PM on October 21, 2013


Ok research time. First useful link, this Indiana history blog which has recipes for several corn-based baked goods and says -
Note that there is no sugar in this recipe. Although Mrs. Bryan suggested cooking the muffins in fancy “scalloped” pans the recipe itself is already generations old. Sugar was expensive and difficult to obtain during the early years of settlement and was seldom used and then only for special desserts or food preservation. The addition of sugar to cornbread comes later in the century and interestingly mostly in recipes originating in the South. New Englanders continued to eat their cornbread “sugarless.”

For most of the 19th Century, the most plentiful crop in Indiana was corn. [...] food made from corn was a staple of the average diet in 1836.

However, eating ‘corn on the cob’ like we do today would not have been a common thing in 1836. Many folks would have harvested some corn while it was still soft – in the ‘green’ or ‘milk’ stages, as they would call it – and cut the corn off the cob to make pudding and other dishes. But the average Indiana settler’s teeth were far too weak and rotten to be able to comfortably eat the corn right off the cob. Instead, most corn was let to dry in the fields and then ground into meal and used for baking.
So two interesting notes there - one is the sugared recipes coming (to Indiana anyway) from the south, the other is that (duh) most of the corn was not used fresh but dried, ground, and stored so my previous hypothesis is totally wrong.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 1:59 PM on October 21, 2013 [4 favorites]


LobsterMitten: "But the average Indiana settler’s teeth were far too weak and rotten to be able to comfortably eat the corn right off the cob. "

Let me hasten to say that we eat corn on the cob quite frequently in Indiana in this day and age without worrying about our teeth falling apart.
posted by double block and bleed at 2:07 PM on October 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


The thing is, modern American sweet corn has kernels that are much smaller and more tender than corn historically had.

Other varieties have kernels that are seriously chewy, with a lot more starch to them. If you want to eat them fresh and not dried, you need to cook them for a good long time first, or else, yeah, have really strong teeth.

In Guatemala, where they still grow that stuff for human consumption, the main thing they do with it when it's still fresh is make a hot drink out of it. If you boil it for a long-ass time, it stops being so damn chewy and finally falls apart altogether and you end up with this lovely sweet thick intensely corn-flavored drink, best with a sprinkling of cinnamon on top. Basically a hot mug of potable Indian pudding. (There's also a version made from straight-up cornstarch rather than fresh corn, but it's way less good. Sadly, the cornstarch-based one is all I've been able to find in the US.)
posted by Now there are two. There are two _______. at 2:49 PM on October 21, 2013


I wonder what role Indian Pudding played in Northern cornbread-type-things to be sweet(er).

Oh thank god this thread is here. restless_nomad was visiting and we took her out to a place where she could get lobster (and I could get a linguica quesadilla) and they had Indian Pudding on the menu but we were too full to get any. So my sister who is a kitchen magician, decided to make some for dessert. We made this recipe and made some basic dinner to eat with it (chicken, squash) and it was to die for, very very satisfying and very very sweet. I'm always a bit freaked out when cornbread is sweet (though I like it both ways and I often sneak some cheddar into it). Now I'm just wondering if Indian Pudding has some other name that's a bit more politic but I think the answer is no.

Also I put (brown) sugar in tomato based sauces, often, to cut the acidic edge a bit. So, my opinions may be suspect.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:03 PM on October 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


Linguica...how could I have almost forgotten you! Tragically, I can't eat lobster anymore but when I'm in Boston in a couple weeks (IRL TK), I'm gonna eat steak tips and things made with linguica and also Indian pudding, none of which are common here on this other coast.
posted by rtha at 6:16 PM on October 21, 2013


I wonder what role Indian Pudding played in Northern cornbread-type-things to be sweet(er).

Indian Pudding is a different thing than cornbread. It's also on the old-fashioned side - I grew up knowing what it was and all, but it's not like it ever made the school lunch menu. I think the only time we saw it was on the menu at the NH resort (in a sort of Poconos model) we went to on family vacation. It may even be more coastal New England - my mom's very very Franklin County, Vermont family never made it, but my Masshole dad adores it.
posted by maryr at 7:44 PM on October 21, 2013


Meanwhile, our cornbread was mostly influenced by Jiffy Mix. I don't think they have ever redesigned their packaging.
posted by maryr at 7:45 PM on October 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


Wait, there aren't steak tips on the west coast? That settles it, I'm never leaving New England again.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 3:29 AM on October 22, 2013


Not that I've seen. We've got tri-tip, though (California; can't speak for OR or WA), which is pretty great. But it's not steak tips.
posted by rtha at 5:37 AM on October 22, 2013


Chicha or Chicha
posted by adamvasco at 4:22 PM on October 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Sorry to come late to the party. But "collective identity"? Yuck.

Back to the recipe thread already in progress.
posted by Splunge at 7:51 PM on October 23, 2013


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