Enemies of Quality?

Just a little bored snippet and probably grumbling about annoyances.

If anyone is aware of this phrase, I think the origin comes from Dave Arnold and his Cooking Issues podcast (and blog). Some of their perceived enemies of quality include putting tomatoes into the fridge, placing bread in the fridge (encourages staling at a faster rate), etc.

Something that I would consider a detriment to quality is simply not eating a food item at its designated temp. e.g. letting a freshly made pizza putter out to lukewarm temp, having a cold scoop of ice cream become soup. In some cases this might be for etiquette purposes, and I will argue it is more offensive for the food to become stagnant and cold at the detriment of having everyone eating at once.

Anywho, any thoughts? Your own enemy of quality?

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I’ll take issue with a well prepared cheeseboard or more elaborate plate being manhandled by guests who wont use toothpicks, tiny plates or utensils provided. The stand and graze approach kinda irks me. The provision goes to shit and I wont keep the leftovers.

and classic, leaving the last bit of milk in the frig rather than using it up and tossing the carton. That last bit will sit sour for days.


Not necessarily my own enemy but I think this fits the bill:

Using produce before they are ripe. Cut into an unripe avocado and you’re stuck. You can’t undo it.

Pears have declined in popularity because people were eating them before ripe. The pear council had to start a new campaign in an attempt to raise their popularity. “Check the neck”

“A little known fact about the pear is that it is one of the few fruits that does not ripen on the tree. The pear is harvested when it is mature, but not yet ripe, and, if left at room temperature, it slowly reaches a sweet and succulent maturity as it ripens from the inside out.”


The under ripe avocado thing happened today and I was so annoyed at myself. The pear neck a grocer mentioned to me. such a helpful tip.

I agree that temperature can be critical- for example french fries, they go from fantastic to downright bad quickly.

Otherwise i think an enemy of quality is the knowledge and talent of whomever is cooking- there’s a certain technique and intuition that significantly impacts the end result



Taking out the cheese too late from the fridge before serving. (Charcuterie too)

Never really do this: letting meat rests before (better if it is of room temperature) and after cooking.

Eating fruits that was unripe or too ripe (forgot them in the fridge).

Many things I know Ishould have done in certain way to improve the quality, but at times I am a bit lazy or not too organised. Character flaw?! LOL


I totally agree with this, isn’t it the essential about good cooking?

I’m with naf on the cheese issue.

It happens too often with restaurants and I simply won’t order cheese unless I believe they know how to serve it properly (which means me eating cheese in a restaurant is quite a rarity).

Well, this is a breakfast thing and maybe it qualifies. Serving beautiful, delicious hot pancakes and providing syrup straight out of the fridge. Why would I want cold syrup on my pancakes? I always specify warm syrup now. The same goes for butter. Serve it room temp, not hard as a rock.


Agreed. Even the best of ingredients cannot shine if the person cooking is indifferent to what they’re putting on the plate. Or in a restaurant, when quality suffers because the kitchen is so slammed that the cooks have no hope of getting out of the weeds.

In contrast, there’s a gem of a little breakfast and lunch cafe in our town where the owner cares about every bite that goes into a dish. Example: the small side of fruit salad that’s perfectly composed with maybe four or five different types of fruit. Or a bite-sized orange and rosemary shortbread cookie surprise tucked in with a sandwich order. The ingredients may be standard stuff, but her senses of proportion and playfulness (bonus points!) sends the food to a happy place.


Balderdash! First they say pears don’t ripen after picking, then turn around, in the same sentence, and say they get succulent and sweeter as they sit on your counter. That’s what’s called ripening, dear!

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This “slowly” nonsense doesnt hold water. Pears sit in the bowl rock hard until they’ve turned into an unpleasant mush. My experience of the hard to mush is about 24 hours. They are the most awkward fruit!


Though I enjoy the fragrance of the barlett pear, I’m just never too fond of their texture. I tend to like snow pears (which I’m not exactly certain of their ripening) because they have a great crunch.

Well there are things that you do that probably take 4x as long for maybe a 10% increase in quality lol. I spent like 3 hours clarifying watermelon and blackberry juice and going might’ve been more well spent just eating them in their non-juice form. Alas…

Never thought about the whole syrup idea. I just have a question regarding butter on say a waffle or pancake. Wouldn’t it be better if it was on the colder side so I don’t have a giant butter puddle on those items. I’m also probably the worst person to have a discussion on waffles and pancakes… I tend to find most of those breakfast items to be pretty similar and don’t go out of my way to eat them.

If they give you soft butter you can spread it all over, this, no puddles.

That’s exactly what i mean!
I was thinking about some of the most simple dishes there are- something like sushi rice in the hands of a master is a revelation, whereas when i make it it’s intensely disappointing! :laughing:

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LOL, I have zero game as far as preparing rice goes. Not awful or anything. Just not the potential that the given type of rice could yield for a more skilled practitioner.

Except risotto—I am happy with what I can do there with whatever Arborio I have. Go figure.

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Condensation. Groceries from cool store to hot car, or airconditoned car to a home without AC. Sets up the berries to mold, ditto the bagged bread, sometimes. Or, droplets on fruit taken from the fridge on a hot day. I should set a timer. I aim to leave the bowl of cherries on the counter until they are dry, and invariably forget until they are TOO warm. If I’m organizd, I set a fan to dry wet produce before refrigerating. Even then, I put a paper towel over it before lidding the container, and later dry off the inside of the lid, if it’s wet. This lets me keep berries well for over a week.

Martha Stewart taught me to leave the wrapping on frozen baked goods while they thaw, so condensation keeps to the outside of the plastic rather than on the bread or dessert itself.


They say pears don’t ripen on the tree so they are picked when mature but not yet ripe. I like soft juicy pears but they do suffer from mushy brown spots often.

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I wish I could hit the knife and fork button 50 times for this one. Thank you.


I make it a point to ask for warmed syrup now.