Food & Drink

Is all this cauliflower stuff really necessary?

  • Last Updated:
  • Feb 11th, 2021 8:52 am
[OP]
Deal Fanatic
Nov 15, 2008
9242 posts
3580 upvotes

Is all this cauliflower stuff really necessary?

1n 2015 a recipe for pan-roasted cauliflower became massive because the stuff will caramelize candy-sweet in the oven at high heat, but it is still low calorie. Then there was a drought in California where a lot of the stuff is grown and the result was $8 a head cauliflower around the holidays 2015. People still paid the money because the recipe was so hot. Then came riced cauliflower in the place of real rice (or mashed potatoes).

Now there is a ton of cauliflower-based processed food like Dr. Oetker Yes It's Pizza cauliflower-crust pizza, Caulipower cauliflower plain pizza crust, Wholly Veggie buffalo cauliflower wings, PC breaded cauliflower bites, Green Giant cauliflower veggie tots, Green Giant cauliflower riced veggies, & Green Giant cheddar & bacon mashed cauliflower.

Colour me skeptical, but did any of this need to be invented? At least it is all < $8 so the food industry seems to have recovered from the Great Cauliflower Drought of 2015 with the Great Cauliflower Downpour of 2021. Has anybody tried any of it? And if you are going to go hard on the fats, what is wrong with a good old mound of aloo gobi?
32 replies
[OP]
Deal Fanatic
Nov 15, 2008
9242 posts
3580 upvotes
Kiraly wrote: I like it. Is it necessary...? Is anything?
What's good?
Deal Guru
User avatar
Jan 9, 2011
10117 posts
12093 upvotes
Vancouver
lecale wrote: What's good?
It makes cauliflower palatable. I grew up eating it steamed, seasoned with nothing more than salt and pepper, or maybe cheese sauce. Gross. Until recently I’d only put it in soup or make alu gobi with it. Now there are all these new and interesting ways to eat it that actually taste good. What’s not to like?
[OP]
Deal Fanatic
Nov 15, 2008
9242 posts
3580 upvotes
UrbanPoet wrote: Yeah!
Youre on a role. First sardines now clauliflower.

Now do offal! Why is oxtail more expensive then a ribeye steak!?
People only want to cook with trimmed premium cuts. Think chicken, there is a market for breasts & wings in the US & Canada but all the dark meat went to Mexico & now Russia because people will not eat it here. Also oxtail was one of the cuts that could carry Mad Cow prions & mainstream retailers backed off further after the 2003 scare. I think this part of the world is ready to accept lab-grown meat because people have become so selective about the cuts they will eat that they only want breast & ribeye. Does anyone eat real food anymore? That is how I got to the cauliflower/sardines rants. In 2050 I will go to the store, there will be none of either, but plenty of nice square cubes of lab-grown chicken breast in tubs of brine like tofu, 100%.
[OP]
Deal Fanatic
Nov 15, 2008
9242 posts
3580 upvotes
Kiraly wrote: It makes cauliflower palatable. I grew up eating it steamed, seasoned with nothing more than salt and pepper, or maybe cheese sauce. Gross. Until recently I’d only put it in soup or make alu gobi with it. Now there are all these new and interesting ways to eat it that actually taste good. What’s not to like?
I worry about the day that all the cauliflower is diverted to the processed food industry & you are lucky to get one for $8 in today's dollars. It will be too expensive to make it if you buy all the ingredients to make a meal full retail, the way baking a lot of things (short of basic bread & the simplest things like banana loaf) has already become. Probably in the next generation we will no longer cook at home, just heat & eat. People do not have the skills or time. So much will become automated that we will need fewer work hours out of people so at the same time, people will have all kinds of time on their hands to cook, just no access to ingredients (at least for a price comparable to heat & eat). Good or bad? I am really not sure.
Deal Fanatic
Jul 7, 2017
5665 posts
2498 upvotes
SW corner of the cou…
Fads and trends. Some leave lasting fossil records because of the serving dishes. Go to a thrift shop and you'll find lots of serving dishes and utensils for escargots (I'd have them if they were a bit less scarce than hen's teeth, or save it for eastern France, fondue pots and forks (I'd eat it if the appropriate cheeses weren't so expensive or scarce, or wait until I go to alpine France or Switzerland), french onion soup bowls, devilled egg serving platters, and probably a few I haven't realised what they're for.

The cauliflower thing was/still is low carb/Atkins/keto driven, I think. My wife buys the wrappers (used sparingly). Using a cookbook that had cauliflower "rice" that's at least 15 year old.

As for the off-cuts, I think they are/must be exported or saved for restaurants, as is skirt steak. The little bit we get here are priced for scarcity. Oxtails were already scarce in the very early '00s. Some of the Chinese supermarkets had lots of them. The one near me has lots of tripe. We don't get much whole lamb carcasses here so shanks are at a premium )( I remember buying them for $1.50/lb). The meat packers have probably optimised butchering so everything fetches a good price.
Cream rises to the top. So does scum.
[OP]
Deal Fanatic
Nov 15, 2008
9242 posts
3580 upvotes
thriftshopper wrote: Fads and trends. Some leave lasting fossil records because of the serving dishes. Go to a thrift shop and you'll find lots of serving dishes and utensils for escargots (I'd have them if they were a bit less scarce than hen's teeth, or save it for eastern France, fondue pots and forks (I'd eat it if the appropriate cheeses weren't so expensive or scarce, or wait until I go to alpine France or Switzerland), french onion soup bowls, devilled egg serving platters, and probably a few I haven't realised what they're for.
Raclette pans for melting cheese are trendy now. Value Village 2022, no doubt.

When I used to go out to forage for mushrooms regularly I would run into people foraging for brown or white-lipped snails http://toronto-wildlife.com/Gastropods/gastropods.html There were tons of them when I lived in Guelph coming up from the river each night, so many that you could not walk without crunching. The birds would come get the casualties in the morning. (I do not know if I would be brave enough to eat city snails because they sure do like to feast on a dog pile.)
thriftshopper wrote: The cauliflower thing was/still is low carb/Atkins/keto driven, I think. My wife buys the wrappers (used sparingly). Using a cookbook that had cauliflower "rice" that's at least 15 year old.
Deeper roots than I thought.
thriftshopper wrote: As for the off-cuts, I think they are/must be exported or saved for restaurants, as is skirt steak. The little bit we get here are priced for scarcity. Oxtails were already scarce in the very early '00s. Some of the Chinese supermarkets had lots of them. The one near me has lots of tripe. We don't get much whole lamb carcasses here so shanks are at a premium )( I remember buying them for $1.50/lb). The meat packers have probably optimised butchering so everything fetches a good price.
I think COVID is going to continue to push everything but a few cuts out of the mainstream grocers so that you can only buy this stuff at wholesalers & ethnic markets. We have wartime-like conditions demanding innovation. Massive food waste, challenges feeding everyone. Wars killed the bespoke fashion industry because we had to come up with a way to clothe hundreds of thousands or millions in the same garb & you cannot do that by tailors addressing people's needs 1X1. Wars also brought us the 1st canned processed cheeses & meats & later, MREs (Meals, ready-to-eat). All that stuff stuck.

I really have to wonder about life after COVID as I see all the changes brewing now. In 1918 the Titanic had the finest new sausage, bologna, on the menu for the 1st class passengers & about the same time, Coco Chanel was showing flowy "beach pajamas" & jersey knits in revolutionary upscale fashion collections. 100 years later, the poorest among us are wearing knit sweats & eating bologna sandwiches. Millionaire lifestyle, ha ha. This time everything seems to be going in reverse, where only the millionaires will have the produce & offal.
Deal Fanatic
Jul 7, 2017
5665 posts
2498 upvotes
SW corner of the cou…
lecale wrote: Raclette pans for melting cheese are trendy now. Value Village 2022, no doubt.
Been around already then. TefAl ones have been available for some time, though usually just the melting trays. The electrical units themselves must just have stopped working. I guess it might be stuff from an earlier cycle which I must have missed.
I think COVID is going to continue to push everything but a few cuts out of the mainstream grocers so that you can only buy this stuff at wholesalers & ethnic markets. We have wartime-like conditions demanding innovation. Massive food waste, challenges feeding everyone. \\
No, it is profit incentive. I am sure the meat packers/slaughterhouses/abattoirs have figured out how to extract maximum profit from every single part of every single animal that is processed. Blood and bones to the fertilizer industry if not alimentary. That's why we have a Brazilian outfit running one of the 2 or 3 beef plants in western Canada. They probably have a scads of management scientist devising algorithms to figure out where to ship what cuts of meat to which markets when, with all sorts of pricing predictors for local markets.
Wars also brought us the 1st canned processed cheeses & meats & later, MREs (Meals, ready-to-eat). All that stuff stuck.
Canning was for preservation and a lot of innovations were driven by military needs, not necessarily wars. Pre-WW I, huge amounts of dairy was canned, which was where evaporated and condensed milk come from. Not sure about cheese and meats. The meat impetus was cheap beef from Argentina to feed the British masses (corned beef). At one time, leather as the commodity there so a hungry vagrant could be forgiven if they killed a cow for the meat but left the hide.

MRE is relatively new, and done in peacetime. I think the "innovation" was flexible packaging (so no can opener required) and for some, self-heating (so no heaters required). Cheap canning was at least driven by the need to feed soldiers at the front line. Th British and U.S. armies had canned rations into the '70s and 80s, replaced by MRE.
Cream rises to the top. So does scum.
Deal Fanatic
Oct 7, 2007
8072 posts
4055 upvotes
Not into any of the food fads but it is worthwhile to note that cauliflower is one of the healthiest vegetables as it comes from the broccoli family and contains lots of chemicals that fight off disease.
Deal Expert
User avatar
Jan 27, 2004
44613 posts
7691 upvotes
T.O. Lotto Captain
lecale wrote: People only want to cook with trimmed premium cuts. Think chicken, there is a market for breasts & wings in the US & Canada but all the dark meat went to Mexico & now Russia because people will not eat it here. Also oxtail was one of the cuts that could carry Mad Cow prions & mainstream retailers backed off further after the 2003 scare. I think this part of the world is ready to accept lab-grown meat because people have become so selective about the cuts they will eat that they only want breast & ribeye. Does anyone eat real food anymore? That is how I got to the cauliflower/sardines rants. In 2050 I will go to the store, there will be none of either, but plenty of nice square cubes of lab-grown chicken breast in tubs of brine like tofu, 100%.
Thats messed up.
I just want to make a really rich pho.
Or west indies style oxtail with peas n rice.

Now its only when it goes in sale & for special occasions -_-
[OP]
Deal Fanatic
Nov 15, 2008
9242 posts
3580 upvotes
UrbanPoet wrote: Thats messed up.
I just want to make a really rich pho.
Or west indies style oxtail with peas n rice.

Now its only when it goes in sale & for special occasions -_-
I know how you feel. I do not want to pack up & go out for a meal and pay $$$ for something I enjoy making at home. I am sad that cooking these things at home is becoming just as expensive, but even more difficult because of the trouble involved in finding ingredients, let alone at a good price.

I have a "leftovers buddy" that I hand off everything that is going to stick around by day 3. It works out better for everybody because I get rid of excess before we are sick of it, & buddy does not cook himself so he really enjoys getting things he can just pop in the microwave. If more people got in the habit of food sharing it would support a demand for these cuts & everyone would eat better. I know you are a beyond amazing cook, chef quality. All the non-professionals are getting choked out of the ingredients market, even in the big cities.
Deal Expert
User avatar
Jan 27, 2004
44613 posts
7691 upvotes
T.O. Lotto Captain
lecale wrote: I know how you feel. I do not want to pack up & go out for a meal and pay $$$ for something I enjoy making at home. I am sad that cooking these things at home is becoming just as expensive, but even more difficult because of the trouble involved in finding ingredients, let alone at a good price.

I have a "leftovers buddy" that I hand off everything that is going to stick around by day 3. It works out better for everybody because I get rid of excess before we are sick of it, & buddy does not cook himself so he really enjoys getting things he can just pop in the microwave. If more people got in the habit of food sharing it would support a demand for these cuts & everyone would eat better. I know you are a beyond amazing cook, chef quality. All the non-professionals are getting choked out of the ingredients market, even in the big cities.
Even “gross” cuts like beef tongue is $7.99/lb...
Thats the price of prime rib roast when it goes on sale @ metro!!
[OP]
Deal Fanatic
Nov 15, 2008
9242 posts
3580 upvotes
UrbanPoet wrote: Even “gross” cuts like beef tongue is $7.99/lb...
Thats the price of prime rib roast when it goes on sale @ metro!!
I like heart which is chewy too, but at least I can get cheap chicken hearts at Food Basics if I have a craving. (I remember doing chores at a German woman's house & 2 other kids were there too. She made us chicken hearts for lunch. She had a stream-fed bass pond & the other 2 kids tossed theirs to the fish. Only me & the fish enjoyed lunch that day.)
Deal Expert
User avatar
Jan 27, 2004
44613 posts
7691 upvotes
T.O. Lotto Captain
lecale wrote: I like heart which is chewy too, but at least I can get cheap chicken hearts at Food Basics if I have a craving. (I remember doing chores at a German woman's house & 2 other kids were there too. She made us chicken hearts for lunch. She had a stream-fed bass pond & the other 2 kids tossed theirs to the fish. Only me & the fish enjoyed lunch that day.)
when sliced up... and stir fried with garlic, ginger, chives, chili... it makes for a great dish. you can't even tell its chicken heart. It just looks like a spicy stir fry.
chicken heart is still cheap. I see it $1.79/lb @ the Chinese grocery sometimes.
[OP]
Deal Fanatic
Nov 15, 2008
9242 posts
3580 upvotes
UrbanPoet wrote: when sliced up... and stir fried with garlic, ginger, chives, chili... it makes for a great dish. you can't even tell its chicken heart. It just looks like a spicy stir fry.
chicken heart is still cheap. I see it $1.79/lb @ the Chinese grocery sometimes.
I usually do them with salt, pepper, onion & garlic powder, paprika, allspice & a shot of cheapass nutty sherry. The LCBO used to carry a bunch of brands that my buddy described as "packed in plastic so you don't hurt yourself when you fall down drunk" like Emu from Australia that were great for cooking & winos but they do not carry them anymore. I will just add that to my list of grievances of things that are hard to find for from-scratch cooking. Cooking wine or sherry from the grocery store is not the same & the flavour degrades far before I ever get to the bottom of the bottle. Now I have to find something else & I am not sure what to do about that.
Deal Fanatic
Jul 7, 2017
5665 posts
2498 upvotes
SW corner of the cou…
UrbanPoet wrote: Even “gross” cuts like beef tongue is $7.99/lb...
!
lecale wrote: I like heart which is chewy too, but at least I can get cheap chicken hearts at Food Basics if I have a craving.
Hearts and tongue, like intestines and poultry gizzards are muscle tissue. Just takes getting your head around that fact. Some see that stuff as a treat. Duck gizzards in France for one.
Cream rises to the top. So does scum.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Dec 3, 2009
5775 posts
1092 upvotes
Toronto
With food, the trend is what's cheap becomes expensive.
Remember to be an RFD-er and NOT a degenerate.

Top