- Cantaloupes are not the same as muskmelons.
Do you like cantaloupe? HA! I bet you’ve never eaten a real cantaloupe in your life! I don’t care what the grocery store label says; cantaloupes are rare in the US and almost never sold in stores. You’ve been sold and eating muskmelon all your life. Muskmelon sounds like a very gross and stinky part of a warthog or muskox’s anatomy. I know, I know, muskoxen are neither oxen nor musky – but they sound musky, amiright?
Now, normally, you know I’d rant and rave about ‘lying supermarkets’, ‘false advertizing’, etc. Some people claim that true cantaloupes (the European kind) are far superior to the humble muskmelon in both flavor and nutrients. Others claim that while true cantaloupes may have a slightly darker flesh, and therefore lead people to assume they have more nutrients, in actuality the nutrients in muskmelon are more easily digestible by humans, and that the lack of a “cantaloupe’s” hard shell actually allows the muskmelon to be more fragrant, and therefore more flavorful.
I call shenanigans on all of that. I’ve had both kinds, and in my not-really-at-all-humble opinion, they taste the same. Oh, sure, sometimes you’ll get a particular cantaloupe that is mouth-slappingly cantaloupe-y, but not any more frequently than you’ll get a randomly-awesome muskmelon. So, if they have really similar looking flesh and taste the same, why does the confusion bother me so much?
Because they don’t look frickin’ ANYTHING alike on the outside!
DO THEY LOOK THE SAME TO YOU? No? Then don’t insult my intelligence by calling it something it isn’t. I ain’t gonna pay imported-cantaloupe prices for a locally-grown muskmelon, so knock it off already! GADZOOKS!
Proper nomenclature will set you free.
2. Searing a steak does not seal in any juices.
Anyone with an even basic understanding of chemical science, or physics, should be able to acknowledge this in an abstract way. Alton Brown even conducted an awesome experiment debunking it on his episode ‘Myth Smashers’. AB totally gets 18 thumbs up for impersonating my other geek-obsession, Mythbusters; I couldn’t have written a better cross-over fanfic – but I digress.
In my head, if Alton Brown and Jaime Hyneman had a love-child, he'd grow up to look a lot like this...::badly impersonated tiger growl:: Via Fat Girl (Alton Brown portrait via AlejandraOwens.wordpress.com, Jaime Hyneman mustache and beret via TVLoop.com)
Unfortunately, following in the way of somemost dumb things that fly in the face of common sense, this has become a frequent catchphrase in a lot of cookbooks (but not mine). That’s right, all the basis for this old-wives' tale is simply because some guy said ‘thus it is’ a long time ago – nevermind the fact that, when this dude said it, they still thought illness was caused by ‘humors’ (is it just me, or is that a horrible application of the ‘laughter is the best medicine’ principle?) and that cheese ripened as the god Fromage ate what he wanted and left us the rest.
I thought I was totally making that cheese-god thing up, but apparently Apollo’s son Aristaios beat me to it. In his defense, with so many gods around in ancient Greece, by the time he came around the choices were probably down to cheese or flatulence. Via HellenicGods.org
Now, I love searing my steaks, but I don’t harbor any illusions that I’m somehow making them juicier by doing that. Generally a steak is seared on both sides, but I don’t know of anybody who sears every angle of the curve of the 1-2” sides of a steak. Even if I could somehow tastily coat a steak in a water-tight, highly conducive, non-melting polymer of some kind, and get around the whole not-letting-the-internal-pressure-cause-the-thing-to-explode, I wouldn’t because too much juice makes a steak taste less steaky.
Seriously, when you go to a fancy steak house, they flaunt in at least 6 different places on their menu how lovingly and painstakingly they DRY age your steak before serving it to you. Dry age is a fancy way of saying “We slathered the huge roast your steak is cut from in salt, then did our best to turn the whole freakin’ thing into a giant piece of jerky.” Yep, that tender, delicious, succulent steak has undergone 30-45+ days of having its juices removed to intensify the beefy flavor.
So please don’t ever repeat this piece of nonsense where I can hear you.