Guest post submitted by Americraft owner, Bryan Hurley
I experienced a huge food-related realization when I was in 4th or 5th grade. I can’t recall the exact year, but it was sometime late in elementary school when my parents granted me sleepover privileges. At first, I was only allowed to have friends over to my house. We had all kinds of cool stuff like woods, a tree house, a ridiculous cache of Legos and a pony, so my friends preferred to come to my house anyway. As the first kid in my class to get an Atari, I was crowned “the kid that every other kid wants to sleep over with”!
Something began to puzzle me as I watched my friends’ reaction when we sat down to dinner. My mom would serve vegetables and my friends would suddenly get a look of utter disgust on their faces. They would react as if their best GI Joe action figure had been torn limb from limb by their new puppy and shoved into their sister’s Easy Bake Oven! What was wrong with my friends?
Never in my childhood do I remember having any problem with my mother’s cooking — especially her vegetables. When I saw my friends refusing to even look at them, I didn’t know what to think. At first I thought it was an isolated event, just this one buddy of mine. Maybe he was fed vegetables via slingshot as a baby. After a while it became obvious that this reaction was pretty standard with all of my friends. None of them were immune to what they seemed to view as a plate of kryptonite.
I got over it quick because all I really wanted to do was play in the couch fort! However, the epic battle fought from that fort of sheets, pillows and couch cushions against Skeletor and Cobra would pale in comparison to the ensuing battle between my taste buds and dinner at a friend’s.
The Broccoli Battle
I eventually ended up staying at a friend’s house, and then another, and another. They all had a few things in common — loving mothers, pain-in-the-ass sisters, places to explore, and food that was physically impossible to eat without layers of salt and butter. I remember very well the first time I sat down to dinner at a friend’s house. Talk about your turning points! Looking back, I remember that after the prayer was done and the dishes passed around, the next order of business was to make sure everybody got a good slab of butter and several shakes from the salt shaker. I passed on the GMO churned fat and sodium as it was never used or needed at my momma’s table. Full disclosure, I had no idea what sodium was at the time and probably would have thought “genetically modified” was awesome since it seemed to work for Spiderman!
Then it happened, the first boiled vegetable that had ever been in my presence hit my tongue. I thought to myself, “WHAT IS THIS?!” I was pretty sure it was broccoli, one of my favorites up to that point, but it tasted like what I imagine Hulk Hogan’s socks tasted like after body slamming Mr. T. 20 times! 80’s references and joking aside, it truly was one of the worst tasting things I can remember as a kid. I realized why my friends hated vegetables so much. Their mothers had no idea how to cook them. Thank goodness the Morton Salt Girl and Country Crock came to my rescue, drowning out that horrible mush and allowing me to look my friend’s mom in the eye and say, “Gee Mrs. Cleaver, this food sure is swell.” (I’m not that old but a Beaver Cleaver reference is appropriate as during that timeframe, it was the only re-run television show available on our 2 channels.)
All Cooking Techniques are NOT Created Equal
I was raised eating, and more importantly tasting, vegetables as Mother Nature intended. When you cook using the “waterless” or “vapor” (as we say at 360 Cookware) technique, you actually get to taste the true flavor of food. You aren’t boiling it into submission and killing all of the nutrients that are there for your benefit. When you boil vegetables, you’re left with a mushy mess surrounded by water that is the color the vegetable used to be. You put the mushy mess on little Johnny’s plate and guess what? He doesn’t like flavorless mush. But he has to eat his vegetables so to make it taste better you add salt, butter and even cheese (or a cheese-like substance). Great! Little Johnny ate his broccoli! It took a man-sized helping of artery attackers to get the job done but at least he ate his vegetables!
When describing the privileges of our cookware, I ask everyone the same question. I ask them if they have ever tasted corn-on-the-cob. They usually look at me like I’m crazy and say, “Of course I’ve had corn-on-the-cob. It’s one of my favorites.” Then I ask them if they have ever had corn-on-the-cob without salt and/or butter and they reply with a prompt “no.” At that point I inform them that they have not yet tasted corn-on-the-cob. They have tasted salt and butter spread over a yellowish set of mushy fibrous material on a stick.
Can our cookware boil vegetables until they are pronounced dead? Of course it can. Can you steam vegetables in our cookware? Right again. (Yes, I equate steaming with boiling as it takes boiling water to create steam — 212 degrees is 212 degrees. Make no mistake, steaming is boiling politely and while it may not have the same damaging effects on food, it comes nowhere close to the taste and quality of your food when you cook it with 360.)
Why would you ruin such a gift when you can experience how corn, broccoli, carrots or any vegetable actually tastes? If you haven’t the slightest idea what I’m talking about, then you have never tasted vegetables as they were meant to be and I insist you buy a 1 Quart Saucepan from 360cookware.com, follow the vapor cooking instructions, and taste broccoli, cauliflower, corn, carrots and every other flavor-filled miracle right away. Buy it, try it and find yourself asking, “What is wrong with my friends?!”
As your taste buds adjust to all of the new flavors they’ve been missing, you’ll have an overwhelming desire to share this information with your friends and family. You will preach to some and condemn others for their lack of awareness. Once you’ve reached that point, remember this message, take a deep breath and ask, “Have you ever tasted corn-on-the-cob?”