Author Topic: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange  (Read 264214 times)

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Ereine

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Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
« Reply #150 on: November 19, 2010, 05:20:24 AM »
Are lingonberries and cloudberries the same thing and what do they taste like?

Lingonberries and Cloudberries are from the same family and are typically served in Sweden and Norway.  Lingonberries are slightly bitter and tend to be served as a condiment with savoury dishes.  The most typical is meatballs with lingonberry although they're good with venison and gamey meat.  Cloudberries are much sweeter and are usually served as a dessert, sometimes as a mousse or a parfait.  There are also some wonderful chocolates with cloudberry liqueur filling available in Norway and it goes very well in jam.  

They're eaten in Finland as well.

They don't seem to be very close relatives. Lingonberries are related to cranberries (and bilberries, which are a bit like blueberries), though they're smaller and taste a bit different, though they are about as unsweet as cranberries. They're juicier, I think. Cloudberries are related to raspberries and look like yellow raspberries, their taste is very different though and I don't really know anything else that tastes like that. Very nice but as they only grow in certain places they are very expensive.

Lingonberries grow in most places here, like in the woods near where I live (in Finland you can pick berries and mushrooms everywhere, provided that you aren't too close to a house), though picking them is so dull that I buy them from market, 10 litres is about 20 to 30 euros. In contrast a small container of cloudberries is something like 6 or 7 euros. I have a huge glass jar of crushed lingonberries in my fridge, they contain some preservative that makes them last long, you can eat last autumn's lingonberries in March and they'll be fine, spending the winter under snow just makes them better. I eat them like I eat all my berries (I buy strawberries and pick bilberries and wild raspberries), at breakfast with plain yoghurt and some banana (that is not a traditional use). Other people may use them with meat dishes and when I was a child I used to eat them with blood pancakes (which I wouldn't eat these days).

My stepmother is from Lapland, where cloudberries (and cranberries) are more common, the best places are well kept secrets and part of her inheritance is a hillasuo, a marsh with cloudberries.

Sankta Lucia is a big part of Finnish Swedish speaking culture as well and even in my primary school without any Swedish speakers we still celebrated it with a parade, I was once one of Lucia's attendants (because I was a tall child). These days the crowns tend to have electric candles, I think.

I have a few questions:

I've done some baking from American recipes and I've noticed that the results seem to be less sweet than what we would make here. Is that true or is it just the result of substituting American ingredients badly?

Do towns have markets squares? I think that they're probably common throughout Europe, though some places seem to have set market days. Here in some places the market is important part of shopping, in my town they start in maybe April and continue until it's too cold, they're still selling vegetables and fish and candy and things like that in November. And I think that every town here has a market place, even though sometimes they aren't very lively (it's one reason I like my current town so much).

WolfWay

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Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
« Reply #151 on: November 19, 2010, 05:30:43 AM »
does any other country have something similar to Yorkshire puddings with a roast dinner?
I think most places you have large numbers of ex-British colonies will have Yorkshire pud. I've had it in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Botswana, all in areas where the decendants of British settlers (myself included) live/congregate.
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StarDrifter

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Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
« Reply #152 on: November 19, 2010, 05:51:02 AM »
""I've done some baking from American recipes and I've noticed that the results seem to be less sweet than what we would make here. Is that true or is it just the result of substituting American ingredients badly?""

Australian here.

I've found, using US and UK cook/baking books that UK biscuits and cookies tend to be a lot sweeter (calling for more sugar and higher-sugar ingredients) than any of the US recipes... except brownies.

As an Aussie - tipping makes almost no sense to me. It seems that you have to tip people even if they just do their job - a waitress gets tipped for bringing you your meal and your drinks in a timely fashion, which is what her employer is paying her for.

In AUS we only tip people who do an exceptional job - like a waitress who is actually engaged and brings the second round of drinks without having to be asked.

Is it true that jobs like waitressing (service-type jobs) pay so little that most people employed in those industries rely on their tips to survive?
... it might frighten them.
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veryfluffy

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Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
« Reply #153 on: November 19, 2010, 06:06:08 AM »
does any other country have something similar to Yorkshire puddings with a roast dinner?

They are somewhat similar to the "popovers" we used (when I was in Canada) to make from the Good Housekeeping cookbook, but not meant to rise so far.

For tasty Yorkshire puds, use the freshest, best (free range) eggs you can, which is the basis of the taste and texture. It also really helps to bake them in the beef fat that's come off your roast during cooking. Keeping your bacon fat and using that can work too.

   

Spoder

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Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
« Reply #154 on: November 19, 2010, 06:25:34 AM »
As an Aussie - tipping makes almost no sense to me. It seems that you have to tip people even if they just do their job - a waitress gets tipped for bringing you your meal and your drinks in a timely fashion, which is what her employer is paying her for.

In AUS we only tip people who do an exceptional job - like a waitress who is actually engaged and brings the second round of drinks without having to be asked.

Is it true that jobs like waitressing (service-type jobs) pay so little that most people employed in those industries rely on their tips to survive?

In Australia, the employer has to pay waitstaff minimum wage, by law. In the U.S., it seems that the employer only pays them a pittance, which is made up for by tips. From the waitperson's point of view, the upside is that they can actually make a *good* wage in the U.S. if they're good at their job/work in the right place. The downside is that being paid in tips is unpredictable. From the customer's POV, in Australia we don't have to think about tips, and just pay the total on the bill. The downside is that there is not much incentive for waitstaff to give great service, plus not many of them hang around long enough to get good at what they do (because the pay is low and there's no way to bump it up).

(Disclaimer: Aussie, visited Canada/States a few times, have only ever worked as a server for 6 months part-time. Sucked at it, big-time, and relieved all concerned when I asked to go back to being a kitchen-hand.  :-[. So, no judgment on what servers do, or how they do it is intended.)

Spoder

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Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
« Reply #155 on: November 19, 2010, 06:27:37 AM »
^^Should've added - I'm relying on an American to step in and correct me if any of the above is wrong - I'm still figuring it all out myself!  :P

iridaceae

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Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
« Reply #156 on: November 19, 2010, 06:33:01 AM »
Do towns have markets squares? I think that they're probably common throughout Europe, though some places seem to have set market days. Here in some places the market is important part of shopping, in my town they start in maybe April and continue until it's too cold, they're still selling vegetables and fish and candy and things like that in November. And I think that every town here has a market place, even though sometimes they aren't very lively (it's one reason I like my current town so much).

Some places have what are called Farmers Markets on certain days. I am familiar with the one held in Madison, Wisconsin every Saturday morning (I forget the time it stops) from April to November. There every stall has to contain food grown or made (pastries, sausages, cheese etc.) in Wisconsin. In the spring there has been a plant seller or two as well. They are strict about that as they want it to be local, and it is a large market- over a hundred stalls, at least.  Oh, and you have to grow/make it yourself.  

They are not, as a whole, particularily common across the US in my experience.

camlan

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Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
« Reply #157 on: November 19, 2010, 08:02:23 AM »
As an Aussie - tipping makes almost no sense to me. It seems that you have to tip people even if they just do their job - a waitress gets tipped for bringing you your meal and your drinks in a timely fashion, which is what her employer is paying her for.

In AUS we only tip people who do an exceptional job - like a waitress who is actually engaged and brings the second round of drinks without having to be asked.

Is it true that jobs like waitressing (service-type jobs) pay so little that most people employed in those industries rely on their tips to survive?

In Australia, the employer has to pay waitstaff minimum wage, by law. In the U.S., it seems that the employer only pays them a pittance, which is made up for by tips. From the waitperson's point of view, the upside is that they can actually make a *good* wage in the U.S. if they're good at their job/work in the right place. The downside is that being paid in tips is unpredictable. From the customer's POV, in Australia we don't have to think about tips, and just pay the total on the bill. The downside is that there is not much incentive for waitstaff to give great service, plus not many of them hang around long enough to get good at what they do (because the pay is low and there's no way to bump it up).

(Disclaimer: Aussie, visited Canada/States a few times, have only ever worked as a server for 6 months part-time. Sucked at it, big-time, and relieved all concerned when I asked to go back to being a kitchen-hand.  :-[. So, no judgment on what servers do, or how they do it is intended.)

Yes, wait staff get paid less than minimum wage. Currently, minimum wage is $8.25/hour. Servers get $5.69/hour. The reason tipping is so necessary is that the federal government assumes that tips will bring that hourly wage up to the standard minimum, $8.25, and the server is taxed as though he/she were making $8.25/hour. Now, some servers make more because of good tips (in which case they have to pay tax on all that they make), but some servers, either through bad service or stingy customers, might make less--but they will still have to pay income tax as though they were making the standard $8.25.

So if someone receives decent service but does not tip at all, they have effectively cause the server to lose money by waiting on their table--the lost tip, plus the taxes that will have to be paid on the money they didn't get.

I would vastly prefer that servers get paid minimum wage and that tipping was really and truly for good service, but the financial reality of the situation means that I tip 15% pretty much as a standard no matter what the service was like, and 20% whenever the server does anything beyond the very basics of serving. Service would have to be truly horrendous for me not to tip, as the consequences for the server are pretty harsh.
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Spoder

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Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
« Reply #158 on: November 19, 2010, 08:13:20 AM »
^^ On one hand, it does seem kind of ridiculous: why doesn't the restaurant just charge the customer what it needs to and then pay its staff properly itself? Seems simpler.

On the other hand, food service in the U.S./Canada is significantly better than in Australia (and yes, this is a massive generalization, but one that I stand by). Plus, your servers can actually make a decent wage, making it a feasible long-term job, which it is not so much, here. So...hmm. :-\

Cellardoor14

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Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
« Reply #159 on: November 19, 2010, 08:15:44 AM »
does any other country have something similar to Yorkshire puddings with a roast dinner?

A chain restaurant in Canada (which occasionally appears in the U.S.) serves Yorkshire pudding with their prime rib. It's very bland, though.

They can be, which is why they are often smothered in a brown gravy.

There is no definite recipe for Chicken Tikki Masala, so it could be tomatoey or creamy.  I just had a Weight Watchers ready meal (frozen meal) Chicken Tikki for lunch today, which had a strong tomato base.   I think you could travel the UK and sample dozens of different versions of that meal.  :)

Treacle is a syrup made from sugar.  Similar to golden syrup, though I still prefer maple syrup to anything.
Oh- and we do Tabasco here in the UK! I've got both regular and mild green currently in my fridge.

The school system is very different here to what I experienced growing up in Texas.  Other posters have gone into the difference between public/state and private schools.

Other differences are that children start their official school careers in a reception class at age 4, the school terms are based around a year round schedule, and there is an option to leave school at 16- otherwise students can stay on studying certain subjects on which they will be tested on in a series of exams called O and A levels.  Students need to have a certain amount of high-scoring marks in these exams to qualify for a place at a university.




Twik

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Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
« Reply #160 on: November 19, 2010, 08:40:46 AM »
^^ On one hand, it does seem kind of ridiculous: why doesn't the restaurant just charge the customer what it needs to and then pay its staff properly itself? Seems simpler.

On the other hand, food service in the U.S./Canada is significantly better than in Australia (and yes, this is a massive generalization, but one that I stand by). Plus, your servers can actually make a decent wage, making it a feasible long-term job, which it is not so much, here. So...hmm. :-\

Yes, one may argue about the actual effects, but the theory is that by making one's remuneration as a waitperson at least partially dependent on how well one pleases one's customers, it encourages good service, by rewarding it more (sometimes substantially more) than poor service. Otherwise, you could (theoretically) end up with waitstaff being simply people on minimum wage slapping down plates and wandering off to where customers cannot find them, and only showing up two hours later to toss a cheque on the table. Because there's no reason to try any harder than that.

I know there are many people who take pride in their work without any extra incentive, and wouldn't do that even if there were no tips. But those people should, I think, be rewarded in part because of that attitude. Those who consistently get worse tips than the norm might realize that they're not cut out to wait on tables.
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Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
« Reply #161 on: November 19, 2010, 09:05:43 AM »
The school system is very different here to what I experienced growing up in Texas.  Other posters have gone into the difference between public/state and private schools.

Other differences are that children start their official school careers in a reception class at age 4, the school terms are based around a year round schedule, and there is an option to leave school at 16- otherwise students can stay on studying certain subjects on which they will be tested on in a series of exams called O and A levels.  Students need to have a certain amount of high-scoring marks in these exams to qualify for a place at a university.

GCSEs and A-levels/AS-levels now. :)

There are also grammar schools, which are (either mostly or completely) academically selective (admissions based on entrance examinations, etc.), and can be private or state. Compulsory school uniform is also very common, for both private and state schools - I went to a state comprehensive school in the 1990s, and we had the full blazer-and-tie job. Lately, I've noticed a lot of schools moving towards uniforms of trousers/skirt and a jumper/sweatshirt/polo shirt, which I think are far more practical. :)

Yes, one may argue about the actual effects, but the theory is that by making one's remuneration as a waitperson at least partially dependent on how well one pleases one's customers, it encourages good service, by rewarding it more (sometimes substantially more) than poor service. Otherwise, you could (theoretically) end up with waitstaff being simply people on minimum wage slapping down plates and wandering off to where customers cannot find them, and only showing up two hours later to toss a cheque on the table. Because there's no reason to try any harder than that.

By that rationale, shouldn't employees in every industry where they come in contact with the public be dependent on customers' tips?

^^ On one hand, it does seem kind of ridiculous: why doesn't the restaurant just charge the customer what it needs to and then pay its staff properly itself? Seems simpler.

I agree with this. The current system still stiffs perfectly decent waitstaff unfairly, if they work hard but have the misfortune to encounter awkward or non-tipping customers. I feel very strongly that people shouldn't have to be dependent on the caprices of potentially unreasonable customers simply in order to make up a basic wage level. Minimum wage is hardly a great deal of money in itself, either.

MrsO

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Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
« Reply #162 on: November 19, 2010, 09:11:06 AM »
Otherwise, you could (theoretically) end up with waitstaff being simply people on minimum wage slapping down plates and wandering off to where customers cannot find them, and only showing up two hours later to toss a cheque on the table. Because there's no reason to try any harder than that.

Well, maybe so they don't get fired? Im in the UK, where tipping isn't required (as servers always make atleast min. wage), although I do always tip anyway. I've been lucky in that I don't think I've ever recieved bad service in a restaurant. Waiters/waitresses have always been attentive and helpful. :)

sweetgirl

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Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
« Reply #163 on: November 19, 2010, 09:16:31 AM »
Also just to explain the Australian school system here, it goes like this.

kindy to year 6,in what we would could a primary school.

Highschools can go from yr 7 to yr 12. We do not use the terms freshman,sophmore,junior or senior here.

College is what we call university.

Our school terms start in January or february. The students get school break for 2 weeks after every term and get a six week holiday at xmas time.

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Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
« Reply #164 on: November 19, 2010, 09:17:57 AM »
Otherwise, you could (theoretically) end up with waitstaff being simply people on minimum wage slapping down plates and wandering off to where customers cannot find them, and only showing up two hours later to toss a cheque on the table. Because there's no reason to try any harder than that.

Well, maybe so they don't get fired? Im in the UK, where tipping isn't required (as servers always make atleast min. wage), although I do always tip anyway. I've been lucky in that I don't think I've ever recieved bad service in a restaurant. Waiters/waitresses have always been attentive and helpful. :)

Well, the issue I have with the whole "just pay them minimum wage" thing is that most restaurants are barely getting by as it is right now. In order to pay their waitstaff minimum wage, they would have to downsize significantly. I'd rather people be employed and have the chance at making a living wage than unemployed and with less opportunity of employment.
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