9 bastardized foods and cooking methods

Calling all purists: we’re shedding a light on dishes gone wrong.

Making risotto properly

We live in a world where there is squeezable bacon, and pastry chefs shed a tear every time a macaron is called a macaroon. It’s not OK! Here’s a list of common cooking methods and foods gone wrong (there's definitely a hell of a lot more out there, too!) with helpful hints on how to do them right.


Classic bisques are made from the pureed meat of shellfish like lobster, crab and shrimp (sometimes fowl or vegetable) and cream. Simply put, you can’t just puree a vegetable and call it a bisque. Remember that tomato bisque you made last week that was thickened with a potato? It’s really just a plain old soup, but we’ll give you "A" for effort!


Leave the cream for your coffee and don’t let it anywhere near your pasta carbonara. Traditional carbonaras are made using only eggs, prosciutto or pancetta and freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and Pecorino Romano cheeses.


By definition, confit refers to meat cooked in its own fat. So, technically, you can’t “confit” in olive oil. That’s cheating and we don’t like cheaters. Cook your duck, goose or pork in its own fat and you’ll be rewarded in taste. Trust us.


No, a bottle of Italian dressing does not count. They are an important part of grilling that can enhance flavour and can help to keep meat tender and juicy. Make your own by taking an oil of your choice (olive, vegetable, avocado) and mixing it with equal part acid, like wine, vinegar or lemon juice. Add in whatever seasoning you’d like and you’ve got a homemade marinade!


Stuffed crusts, pizza pretzels and pizza rolls — when will the quest for weird crusts end? Give us a basic crust, a layer of tomato sauce and a few simple ingredients, and our pizza cravings are satisfied. There’s no need to overload or add crazy toppings. Go back to the basics!

FYI: It’s all semantics when it comes to distinguishing between a flatbread and pizza. Flatbreads can be pizzas, but pizzas can’t be flatbreads. Flatbreads are made from unleavened dough and have a variety of sauces toppings depending on the season. Pizza dough is be leavened and there are traditional toppings.


Authentic risotto is made from short- or medium-grain rice like Carnaroli, Vialone Nano, or the common Arborio. The rice is toasted then cooked in a broth until creamy. Nowadays, this dish is made using every grain under the sun, including brown rice, barley, buckwheat and oat. Just say "no" to trying to “health-ified" risotto and bask in its creamy, olive oil and cheese blended goodness. YOLO!


Sushi is everywhere — the menus of chain restaurants, grocery stores and even at your neighbourhood convenience store. Today’s sushi contains ingredients traditionalists would probably frown at (eek!), but are usually delicious. Bastardized sushi can take the form of deep-fried rolls, stuffed with everything from papaya to yam fries. This is one bastardized food we might give a passing grade, unless the maki contains chicken, cream cheese or yam fries (ew).


If you’ve hopped on the tea bandwagon, you should know that all teas (minus herbal and rooibos) come from the same species— camellia sinensis. So, why does your tea taste like cake and have sprinkles in it? The answer is artificial flavourings, and there’s no reason for them to be added. Stick with all-natural tea blends mixed with dried fruits, nuts and spices to taste the difference.

This 'trend' is almost as terrible as the myriad of flavoured vodkas that amassed on liquor store shelves in 2012. When you can buy cotton candy flavoured vodka, you know that something is wrong.


Ah. Our beloved and iconic Canadian dish. When it comes to this rich plate, we're big fans of the KISS (keep it simple, stupid.) approach. Making the perfect poutine is not out of the realm (of skill level) of most home cooks, which is one of the reasons why we love it so much.

What we do not love, however, are drastic "spins" on a poutine that see layers and layers of sometimes incoherent flavours (pulled pork, barbecue sauce, pickled japalenos and sour cream) that make the dish stray so far from the original intent of the dish that leave it barely recognizable.

Our breaking point? Strolling by a well-known poutinerie in a Canadian city and noticing its sidewalk sign that reads, "Today's special: Onion ring poutine with spicy and sweet chili sauce"

No. Just, no.