Food and Related Myths or Highly Questionable Beliefs

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HumbleHomeCook

Embrace your knifesculinity!
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I haven't seen us do this one yet. Hopefully it can remain civil. :)

How about some food and food related myths that have been debunked or even beliefs that are really doubtful?

Like...

1. Letting meat rest on the counter before cooking, evens the cooking.

2. MSG causes headaches.

3. Wooden cutting boards are unsanitary in home kitchens.

What ya got KKF?
 
Letting meat rest on the counter before cooking, evens the cooking.

I object to the wording. Leaving meat out till it’s uniformly room temperature will indeed result in more even cooking.

I assume your point is that it takes a long time to get to room temperature, and most of us aren’t going to set our meat on the counter for hours. Also, the minimal difference isn’t worth the effort.
 
I object to the wording. Leaving meat out till it’s uniformly room temperature will indeed result in more even cooking.

I assume your point is that it takes a long time to get to room temperature, and most of us aren’t going to set our meat on the counter for hours. Also, the minimal difference isn’t worth the effort.

Math brain.

😝
 
Add oil to pasta water to prevent sticking.

Keep the avocado pit in the guac to prevent oxidation.

I was totally guilty of the first one for so long until one day I actually thought about and realized how dumb it was. But boy a lot of the cooking shows sure pushed that.

I recently encountered a scientist co-worker with half an avocado in his lunch with the pit still in it. I'd never seen that before and asked why the hell he didn't pull it before he came to work. He informed me that everyone knows that leaving it prevents the rest of the avocado from turning brown. He's a scientist. It took me like five minutes before he started to see the absurdity of that idea but it was so engrained in him that he struggled to let go of the thought.

Don't wash your mushrooms, it'll make them soggy.

This is another I feel for for a while. The bad part about this one is, even though my own eyes had told me it wasn't true, enough "pro" cooks on the tube said that I bought in. I honestly think it was a Jaque Pepin video wherein he called it nonsense that snapped me out of that one.
 
That sharp knives are safer than dull knives in the kitchen. I get the argument, but in practical experience I’ve gotten way more injuries since I started sharpening than I did cutting with dull knives. Not that I’m complaining, sharp knives are the best.

I've actually railed against this idea on here before.
 
That sharp knives are safer than dull knives in the kitchen. I get the argument, but in practical experience I’ve gotten way more injuries since I started sharpening than I did cutting with dull knives. Not that I’m complaining, sharp knives are the best.
I agree. Since I have really sharp knives, I nick myself a lot more often than I used to. Part of the reason is that, previously, all my knives were Wüsthof with a full bolster. What gets me on my Japanese knives is usually the heel. One careless move to pick up something near the knife is enough. That heel is forever lurking to get me.

Not to mention my poor dish towels.
 
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I was totally guilty of the first one for so long until one day I actually thought about and realized how dumb it was. But boy a lot of the cooking shows sure pushed that.
I grew up with this as the accepted lore. Everyone put oil into their pasta water.

It wasn't until my forties that I realised what a silly idea this is.
 
I recently encountered a scientist co-worker with half an avocado in his lunch with the pit still in it. I'd never seen that before and asked why the hell he didn't pull it before he came to work. He informed me that everyone knows that leaving it prevents the rest of the avocado from turning brown. He's a scientist. It took me like five minutes before he started to see the absurdity of that idea but it was so engrained in him that he struggled to let go of the thought.

I guess in that situation it could make a small difference, because it’s preventing the pit cavity from being exposed to air. That’s why people think it works in guac, cause they see this bright green spot under the pit, when it’s just there because the guac there wasn’t exposed.
 
Sticking a spoon into a half-finished bottle of champagne keeps the bubbles in.

What gets me about this one is how fundamentally ignorant it is. I would have thought that anyone with even the most basic physics knowledge from school would instantly realise that this cannot work. Sadly, not so.

PS: Shall we talk about masks? 😈
 
Stirring cake batter in both directions prevents rising.
Haha :)

But here is one that is actually correct: stirring a ground meat mix in only one direction creates better protein extraction and binding. It's a bit like gluten development in bread dough: the idea is to align the strands parallel to each other.
 
I grew up with this as the accepted lore. Everyone put oil into their pasta water.

It wasn't until my forties that I realised what a silly idea this is.
I just mentioned this to my wife (oil in the water) and she shuffled off mumbling something about I was wrong and it does work.

These long-held beliefs can have deep roots.
 
i've never heard most of these. just lucky i guess?
 
These long-held beliefs can have deep roots.
Well, if I cook pasta with oil in the water, it indeed won't stick, which helps to re-enforce the belief. What people forget is that pasta also won't stick without oil in the water.

Never mind that the sauce won't stick to the pasta as well with oil than without…
 
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