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Worse Than Cooking Cooked Shrimp

July 17, 2017

Well, that was unexpectedly fun! Thanks to everyone who left a comment on Friday after watching the Amazon ad for the Dash Wand with Alexa. There was clearly a lot of wrong in that video.

There seemed to be a plurality of people who noticed the cooked shrimp being thrown into the dry pan to cook further, and thought that was the worst offender. Great catch, but the abuse of seafood wasn’t what got me all hot and bothered.

Sure, every adult should know how many ounces are in a cup. But even if you don’t, and even if you are using a dry measuring cup to measure Champagne, so long as you have a cup measure and your recipe calls for a cup, what does it matter? Well, I suppose it’s a nifty trick the Alexa stick can do.

Congrats to PrincesMegE who happened to notice that the seven items in the cart equalled a whopping 47 dollars. But to be fair, it’s clear from the get go that this couple has more money than time or taste.

But I still contend there is one thing that is even worse than all of the above.

Obviously, the video is an advertisement. It’s a construction of reality. And hopefully, when actual people are following recipes at home, they will follow the recipes. If this means starting with a bag of frozen shrimp and thawing them in the refrigerator, so be it. But hopefully, the recipe calls for fresh raw shrimp, and specifies whether they should be added peeled or unpeeled.

It makes a difference, just like the type of potato makes a difference in almost any recipe.

As an aside, this is always one of my go to shortcuts when it comes to evaluating the trustworthiness of a new cook book. If there’s a potato recipe and it doesn’t specify the kind or type of potatoes, I’d argue the author is playing it a bit too fast and loose for my taste.

If you are going to follow a recipe, the very first thing you need to do is assemble ingredients.

That’s what is going on in the first part of this advertisement. The recipe for Champagne shrimp and pasta calls for shrimp, mushrooms, plum tomatoes, cream and parmesan cheese.

Farmed, cooked, and bagged shrimp, are still shrimp.
Washed, sliced, and shrink wrapped mushrooms are still mushrooms.
Jarred plum tomatoes are still plum tomatoes.

Do you see where I am going here?

Parmesan cheese is a thing. And that thing doesn’t come in plastic tubes with a green lid. Those cylinders are technically a combination of faux parmesan and cellulose. While it’s true that cellulose mixed with your powdered cheese product won’t kill you, it’s not quite the gourmet product called for in a relatively simple recipe with only five ingredients.

What gets me all riled up is that this advertisement suggests that when parmesan is called for in recipes, that this noble and venerable cheese can be replaced with an industrially produced salty powder.

Actually, for shits and giggles, I looked up the recipe itself. It actually exists on Allrecipes. And even though it calls for freshly grated parmesan, you can clearly see from the pictures of completed dishes that not everybody went along with the recipe.

But that’s a whole different can of worms.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. llcwine permalink
    July 17, 2017 9:40 am

    Seriously? A recipe for Champagne shrimp doesn’t have any champagne in it????

  2. July 17, 2017 12:20 pm

    Well, for once I agree with the internets more than the Profusser. The jar of “parmesan” is egregious as is the RealLime; hopefully these are not indicators of what Bezos has in store for us at Whole Food Markets. And it had not occurred to me that a clueless millennial using a cup measure to pour a cup would probably not be so curious about how many ounces actually make a cup; nice catch.

    But the cooked shrimp in the bare saucepan over high heat is an act of willful food vandalism. No wonder her SO is hitting the bottle.

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