Tuesday, April 09, 2013

What's insulting?

I got a really unpleasant comment a little while ago. I chose not to publish it (this is my blog - not some random internet space, and I make the rules) but it's been nagging me so I thought I'd write a little rant about  it. (Again - my space, my rules.)

The post that so upset this anonymous commenter was this one, about creamy beef sauce. A delicious dinner, that we've made several times this last month. It isn't gourmet food in any way, but it's a very satisfying and quick weeknight meal, and both kids love it. Anyway.

Here's the comment:

i cant believe you have made this, it's in no way shape or form decent food Anne! infact is very insulting for you to use italian ingredients in this way. please don't do this anymore if you dont understand italian ingredients!
and since I have comment moderation these days (DAMN you spammers!) he apparently wasn't satisfied that it wasn't published immediately, because he posted a second one:
this is in no way shape or form an italian dish. don't you know your supposed to toss the spaghetti in the sauce? please don't use italian ingredients if you are unsure how to use them it is very insulting! 
Wait, what now? First of all, this is most definitely decent food. It's delicious food, and it's made from top quality ingredients, all nice and clean and free of unnecessary additives, and all that stuff. It's GREAT food.

How can food be an insult? How is that even possible? 

And Italian food. Is all pasta Italian food, just because it's a pasta dish? Always? I personally don't really feel that way. Spaghetti - or whatever pasta - with some kind of a minced meat sauce is a staple in  so many cuisines these days, and there are - rightfully - a thousand variations. 

And what the heck are "italian ingredients", anyway? Let's look at the ingredients list: 

-butter (Swedish) 
-minced beef (Swedish) 
-onion (Swedish) 
-water (Swedish) 
-beef stock cube (doesn't specify, but I'm pretty sure it's not Italian) 
-garlic (again, not sure where this one was from, but certainly not Italy)
-crushed tomatoes (these are indeed Italian) 
-tomato paste (this, too, is Italian) 
-sriracha sauce (very much not Italian)
-mustard (Swedish) 
-basil (Swedish) 
-soy sauce (not Italian) 
-pepper (not Italian) 
-mushrooms (I think mine were from Latvia) 
-cream (Swedish) 

So, the tomato products were indeed Italian, and I guess the spaghetti was, too. I'm sorry if they felt insulted by their inclusion in my dinner. However, I doubt it. 

As for the method - tossing pasta in the sauce. Yes, that's one way to do it. Not a great way if you have a discerning toddler who often wants to have just buttered pasta with a little parmesan, but sure, one way. Frankly, I think there's very little benefit to finishing the pasta in the sauce - certainly not something I bother with on a daily basis. (In this case, it'd mean getting out yet another saucepan, since we made much more sauce than we needed for one dinner.) I do it with some sauces, especially egg based like a Carbonara,  but not at all with a meat sauce. 

But I guess the focus point is, why on earth are people so hateful? What brings someone to post comments like that, on a food blog for goodness sake? Chill out. Food is fun. If it tastes good, who cares about authenticity? 


Andrew said...

Sadly some individuals do this JUST to get a reaction. They obviously have little else to do in their lives. One must learn to rise above it or retaliate with humour and a good put down.

Not leaving a name is a sure sign of this type of 'person'.

Unknown said...

PLEASE don't let this stop you posting your great recipes Anne!! I have made so many of them since I've been following your blog and I've discovered many new ideas. Thank you! I'm constantly amazed at the number of bloggers who say they receive nasty comments - if people don't like a particular blog or blogger, why do they bother reading it??

Snowwhite said...

Hi Anne. I bet it was some frustrated and awfully jealous person with no other hobbies than trying to upset other people. So don't take it personally. Your Blog is great!

Tora said...

excuse my language but what a prick this person is! I couldn't agree with you more, Anne.

To prickly person:
Please do not use the comments if you are unsure of how you use them, it's very insulting!

This dish looks delicious. Haters are going to hate. Just keep your chin up, Anne!

Barbara said...

Hi Anne, I totally agree with you and the others who commented with their names and not anonymous. Some people just like to fool around and make other people angry or steal their energy. They feel better if you feel worse. That's stupid, but we won't be able to change those people, they need help from somewhere else.

Foodblogs are for fun and your food is delicious. So go on deleting such comments and enjoy life and the other 99% of human beings who are nicer.

Best regards! :-)

SallyBR said...

Glad you wrote this post... I haven't had nasty comments, but just yesterday a very well composed post came for moderation. I ALMOST approved, then noticed a strange website associated with it. I clicked on it, and you have NO IDEA the number of seriously pornographic images that popped up on my screen.

why would anyone do that to a food blogger, for heaven's sake?

Anyway, don't let this small person ruin your day. Or your minute. Not worth it.

James said...

It's really sad that people believe that it's ok to act in this way, but it seems to be getting more common on the internet these days.
I for one really enjoy your blog and look forward to seeing all sorts of variations on recipes in the future. After all, nearly all of what people cook on a day to day basis has some sort of hybrid quality to it.
The irony is that pasta may not even have originated in Italy...

Anonymous said...

There are, of course, idiots in RL too, but the relative anonymity of the web seems to bring out the worst in some people. I'm sorry you were assaulted in such a way, it's really outrageous when you are kind enough to share your talent, life, and joy with us. I don't know if I've ever commented here (I think not) but be assured your blog is a ray of sunshine to me and to many many others.

nini*lili said...

Some people are just so rude!
Why even leave a reaction,just move along if you don't like the recipe!
And i've learned yesterday that most garlic is imported from China,so there!

Unknown said...

Here, here Anne! You're totally right...food is supposed to be fun! There are some pathetic, sad people out there with nothing else to do. Your recipe sounds delicious, i'll be trying it out very soon!

Valeria Sciarrillo - Translator said...

Anne, Valeria from Italy speaking, we met at Vetekatten in August 2009 when Titus was a tiny baby :)
I couldn't agree more with you. Such frustrated people would have commented with such rudeness on any topic they might have come across - food, or anything else. Just let go...

I am Italian, I have always lived in Italy, my boyfriend is from near Bologna and he would LOVE that sauce! He also loves pizza, his favourite being kebab pizza or french-fries pizza.
Who cares if your sauce looks like ragù but is totally different, who cares if you added it to pasta, and who cares what an unknown coward thinks about it!

Please do not let this spoil the fun you have blogging your recipes.

PS: I never stopped checking your posts several times a week and bookmarking, sharing, and trying your recipes and ingredients. I haven't left a comment for ages though, and I have been feeling a bit guilty about it! I am going to make up for this, we need to reduce the bad comments ratio ;)

Anna said...

I have been following your blog for a few months now but this is the first time I leave a comment. I'm Italian born and bred and LOVE your recipes. I think it's sad that some people can't see beyond what their nonne (grandmas) put on their tables. I love your originality!

Unknown said...

Anne, I totally agree with you -- this person needs to chill out and eat up. Life's too short to be such a dork. This dish looks yummy!

aimee said...

Don't let it get to you Anne. You can't please all the people all the time and some people NO one can please no matter what they post:)
BTW, one time I had a really nasty comment too that upset me quite a lot. When I did a search on the Internet I found that it was a spam comment -- word for word.
I love your blog and have been following you for years now. Keep up the good work!

Kathryn E. said...

Food is for nourishment and enjoyment. If you enjoy your food then you have in no way insulted or misused the ingredients. I'm sorry you had awful comments from this person. The horrible comments are what is insulting, not your cooking or your posts or anything you've done!

Jess said...

What a jerk! There are no rules when it comes to making food (aside from the food safety and healthy eating stuff, of course). Serve the sauce separately. Eat sushi with a fork. Roll your pizza up like a big cigar and pretend to smoke it before digging in (ok, might be best not to teach your kids that one but you know what I mean). The important thing is that your children are learning good eating habits and enjoying their food. Also, you're giving people like me some great ideas for new recipes to try out.

That would-be poster will miss out on some great food by having such strict rules but that's no loss of yours. I know it's hard to forget such nasty comments, but I hope all these nice ones will help.

A-K Roth said...

This person acted very high and mighty. Snobbish. Plus he was wrong. Families with young children have to find food that all can eat. You are cooking for a family, not for shortminded jerks. And you used good ingredients. I'm sure it was tasty.

alissa said...

I have been very busy lately so haven't been on your site in a long while and was just catching up when I saw this.

Honestly, why would someone write such a ridiculous comment? You have a lot of readers who enjoy your tasty food.