It’s a debate that’s not likely to be settled soon. Some prefer the crunchy bread, warmed deli cuts and melted cheese that only a toasted sub can offer. Others prefer their sandwich bread soft and sandwich ingredients chilled.
ThisWeek staffers answer the question: Do subs taste better toasted?
Andrew King: Not as a rule. I think there's a definite place for the traditional cold cut sandwich, especially when you slather it in oil and mayo like some of my favorite spots.
Scott Hummel: Not only do they taste better, but the texture also is far superior when the bun is toasted.
Lee Cochran: Depends on the sub, but, yes, in most cases a toasted sub is preferred.
Dennis Laycock: Absolutely. Especially when the edges of the lunch meat get a little crispy.
Abby Armbruster: My one drawback with Jimmy John's is their lack of toasted bread. I know Quizno's isn't as popular as they used to be, but that's where they thrived.
Sarah Sole: Most of the time, depending on the ingredients.
Nate Ellis: Not necessarily. But subs typically taste better when you are toasted.
Neil Thompson: Yes. It's science.
Lisa Proctor: Yes. It makes the bread better, melts the cheese. It's way more satisfying.
====May 10, 2019: How does creamy eel soup sound?
Although it's not as popular in the United States, eel is a diet staple for many cultures across the world. Known for its light taste and firm-yet-yielding texture, it is known to adapt well with many sauces and soups.
ThisWeek staffers answer the question: How does creamy eel soup sound?
Andrew King: It sounds really weird, but I'd definitely try it.
Scott Hummel: I think it could be electrifyingly good.
Lee Cochran: Not very good.
Dennis Laycock: Nauseating. "Creamy" and "eel" are two words that should never appear together.
Abby Armbruster: Any type of eel soup should stay far away from me.
Sarah Sole: It sounds pretty gross.
Nate Ellis: It sounds creamy, slimy, slithery and soupy.
Neil Thompson: Shocking.
Lisa Proctor: Eel-y bad.
====May 3, 2019: Is there ever a bad time to put chili on top of grilled bologna?
The full flavor of beef bologna usually needs just a few garnishes: banana peppers, cheese and some mustard. But those who are more daring might pick chili to really give the sandwich some girth.
ThisWeek staffers answer the question: Is there ever a bad time to put chili on top of grilled bologna?
Andrew King: Is there ever a good time to eat bologna?
Scott Hummel: In full disclosure, I rarely eat bologna anyway. Just give me the chili; hold the bologna.
Lee Cochran: I don't think I've ever done that before, and it's been quite some time since I've eaten bologna. But I've put chili on a lot of things, all kinds of potatoes, eggs, omelets, so I'd probably give it a try.
Dennis Laycock: Weird flex. I think I'd eat them separately.
Abby Armbruster: Has this combo ever been attempted? I am not a meat-eater, so maybe I missed the trend on this one.
Sarah Sole: One doesn't come to mind.
Nate Ellis: Yes. But only when you think it's a good time to have grilled bologna.
Neil Thompson: I don't think there's a good time to put chili on top of grilled bologna.
Lisa Proctor: Chili is way too messy. Leave it off any sandwich.
====April 26: Is stadium mustard better than regular yellow mustard?
When it comes to a baseball game or backyard barbecue, a hot dog – or even a pretzel – just isn't complete without a certain type of condiment.
ThisWeek staffers answer the question: Is stadium mustard better than regular yellow mustard?
Andrew King: Unquestionably, though I'm not a mustard fan in general.
Scott Hummel: I think it is. I love pretzels dipped in stadium mustard. Yellow mustard is just -- meh.
Lee Cochran: Stadium mustard ... hands down.
Dennis Laycock: No. Nothing beats good old Plochman's.
Abby Armbruster: Depends on the usage. If it's on a hot dog, yes. But if you're looking for mustard to pair with an apple-and-Brie sandwich, then no.
Sarah Sole: Uh. This girl hasn't been at a stadium for a bit.
Nate Ellis: Yes, in every single way. From color to texture, to taste -- and versatility.
Neil Thompson: Yes, especially if it's spicy brown mustard.
Lisa Proctor: I don't know about better, but I always go for the stadium mustard at OSU games.
====April 15, 2019: Will apple fritters ever make a comeback?
Apple fritters are deep-fried clusters of batter with pieces of apple strewn throughout and coated with a glaze or rolled in cinnamon sugar.
But are they as popular as they once were?
ThisWeek staffers answer the question: Will apple fritters ever make a comeback?
Sarah Sole: I Googled, and they don't look that great. I'll just stick with apple pie, I think.
Scott Hummel: They'll be like anything else. They'll come and go. I just think they're boring.
Andrew King: I’d look forward to someone making apple fritters sexy and popular somehow.
Nate Ellis: If someone opens a slick-looking, trendy bakery that serves them and has a top-notch marketing team, I'm sure it could happen. If someone posts a picture of one on social media, particular a trending celebrity, and it gets like 1 million likes, I'm sure everyone will lose their minds and start eating them at parties and such.
Lee Cochran: As far as treats go, my go-to list is minimal and this isn't on it. Food items tend ebb and flow in popularity so why not, I guess?
Neil Thompson: Don't call it a comeback. They've been here for years. But they will take a backseat to their more popular peers, apple pie and apple crisp, no matter how they're sliced and diced.
Abby Armbruster: Apple fritters never went away in my heart.
Lisa Proctor: Probably not, due to the deep frying.
Dennis Laycock: I feel like that's always the thing that's left in the box of office doughnuts at 4:30 p.m.
====April 5, 2019: Are pickled bamboo shoots unappreciated?
Pickled bamboo shoots are a common addition to Chinese food. Often cut into a flat and rectangular shape, they have a firm, crunchy texture and tangy flavor.
ThisWeek staffers answer the question: Are pickled bamboo shoots unappreciated?
Sarah Sole: I've never had one, so probably.
Scott Hummel: I don't have any appreciation for them.
Andrew King: They seem appropriately appreciated to me.
Nate Ellis: No. They're overappreciated.
Lee Cochran: Not a fan of bamboo shoots, no matter how presented.
Neil Thompson: Since I don't appreciate pickled bamboo shoots – and I never have thought about them until I was posed this question – my answer is yes.
Abby Armbruster: Where can you find pickled bamboo shoots in Columbus? I would probably try them if I could, but I bet I wouldn't become obsessed with them.
Lisa Proctor: I'm leaving the bamboo for the pandas.
Dennis Laycock: They are, actually. Bamboo is one of the best parts of any Chinese dish, in my opinion.
====March 29: How do you feel about bacon-wrapped shrimp?
Many chefs view pork and seafood as a natural match, so it's no surprise to see a shrimp tightly wound by a strip of bacon.
ThisWeek staffers answer the question: How do you feel about bacon-wrapped shrimp?
Sarah Sole: Eh, shrimp grosses me out for some irrational reason. I don't think bacon would help me overcome that.
Scott Hummel: As someone who eats as much as 3 pounds of shrimp per week -- no exaggeration -- I will eat it just about any way you can prepare it. With that said, if bacon drowns the shrimp flavor, it's gone.
Andrew King: Like most things wrapped in bacon, bacon-wrapped shrimp is great.
Nate Ellis: Opulent, but got no real quarrel with it.
Lee Cochran: Bacon good; shrimp good. So combined that would seem to be great, especially if cooked on the grill. Now I'm hungry.
Neil Thompson: I am all for it. I am all for most bacon-wrapped foodstuffs.
Abby Armbruster: I understand the combo, but it isn't for me.
Lisa Proctor: I think the taste of shrimp is something that should be enjoyed on its own.
Dennis Laycock: It’s a little much. Serve the bacon on the side and I'll be happier.
====March 22: When's the last time you had smoked trout?
To many, smoked trout is a delicacy, the mild and flaky fish enjoyable on its own or served in a dip
ThisWeek staffers answer the question: When’s the last time you had smoked trout?
Sarah Sole: I have never had this. I wonder if I'd like it as much as I like smoked salmon.
Scott Hummel: It's been a few years. Bring me some.
Andrew King: I'm not sure I've ever eaten trout.
Nate Ellis: July 17, 2014. I remember it well.
Lee Cochran: It's been a while, probably when my wife was traveling for her job. That's about the only time I could break the "no seafood smell in the house" rule.
Neil Thompson: I'm not sure, but smoked fish is underrated.
Abby Armbruster: I probably had it when I was a child, but haven't since then. Lake Erie Perch is higher on my list.
Lisa Proctor: I can't say I've had trout recently, smoked or otherwise.
Dennis Laycock: Never. It rarely seems to be on the table for office potlucks.
====March 15: Would you dip a chicken wing in hummus?
In theory, a crunchy chicken wing would pair well with lemony hummus. In practical terms, combining the two might not have the greatest outcome.
ThisWeek staffers answer the question: Would you dip a chicken wing in hummus?
Sarah Sole: I mean I would, but hummus hurts my stomach, so I'd probably avoid it for that reason, unless I felt particularly motivated and took a preemptive gas-ex pill. I love hummus, but hummus hates me, a story of love and loss by Sarah Sole.
Scott Hummel: I don't like anything on my wings.
Andrew King: Hummus is a little heavy to be dipping wings into.
Nate Ellis: On a whim or simple to try, but not by practice.
Lee Cochran: I've never understood the reason to dip wings in anything. I tried to dip wings into ranch dressing once and all I tasted was ranch, not the flavor of the wings.
Neil Thompson: No. What's wrong with you? Disclaimer: I despise hummus.
Abby Armbruster: I don't eat chicken anymore, but my hummus is best with tortilla chips or pita bread.
Lisa Proctor: If you're eating a chicken wing, healthy has gone out the window. Go ahead with the ranch dip or spicy barbecue.
Dennis Laycock: If I did, it would be about the 20th different food I've dipped in hummus.
====March 8: Should celery be used to scoop peanut butter and dressings?
Celery is one of the world's most versatile foods. It's often a staple in soups, salads and served with chicken wings.
ThisWeek staffers answer the question: Should celery be used to scoop peanut butter and dressings?
Sara Sole: Heck yes. I love peanut butter, and I feel super healthy eating it with celery as opposed to saltine crackers. I'm being completely serious.
Neil Thompson: No, I generally avoid celery.
Scott Hummel: Yes, but only if it's good celery. It has to be fresh and crunchy. Bendable chewy celery is more like dental floss. Oh, and no double dipping allowed.
Andrew King: That's celery's best usage.
Nate Ellis: Dressing is fine, but you really should use a butter knife of other utensil to spread peanut butter on them. Just seems proper and more efficient.
Lee Cochran: Celery is the devil's food. I tried it once and my knees buckled. I will never, ever try it again. Never. Ever. Do with it what you want as long as you keep your distance from me when you do it.
Abby Amrbruster: If you're not turning celery into "ants on a log," I don't know what to do with you.
Lisa Proctor: I enjoy celery just by itself, but I won't say that's the only way.
Dennis Laycock: Well, I'm certainly not going to eat celery plain.
====March 3: Is Columbus ready for native Icelandic cuisine?
Because they are surrounded by water, Icelanders are known for their love of seafood, whether fresh, dried, pickled or fermented. Other popular dishes include smoked lamb and skyr, a type of yogurt.
ThisWeek staffers answer the question: Is Columbus ready for native Icelandic cuisine?
Sarah Sole: Yeah let’s do it. I’m not a vegetarian anymore so I’m down. I need to expand my seafood comfort zone anyway.
Scott Hummel: Columbus is ready for any fare from anywhere.
Andrew King: Definitely. Give us some more credit.
Nate Ellis: Why not?
Lee Cochran: It would seem to be a natural addition.
Neil Thompson: I don’t know about Columbus, but I am ready for Icelandic cuisine to make an appearance. I generally support the introduction of more fish-based dishes in central Ohio, and I’d be happy to incorporate plokkfiskur and humar into my diet.
Abby Armbruster: With the newer cheap flights from Ohio to Iceland, I would rather go try the authentic stuff myself!
Lisa Proctor: Although there are a lot of things we Columbus residents are trying, I don’t think we’re ready. Reindeer? No.
Dennis Laycock: If it includes that rotten shark meat that made even Andrew Zimmern gag, no, probably not.
====Feb. 24: Should lettuce be substituted for tortillas in tacos?
In the age of low-carb diets, even the tortilla is occasionally being pushed aside. Some are substituting the wrap or corn shell with lettuce leaves.
ThisWeek staffers answer the question: Should lettuce be substituted for tortillas in tacos?
Sarah Sole: What? Like a lettuce shell filled with stuff? That should never happen. Sounds like the wedge salad, another thing I detest.
Scott Hummel: I’m so over food fads and so-called health trends. I watch my carb intake enough. When I want a taco, I want a taco – not some lettuce-wrapped, faux-meat-filled, gluten-free, silken-tofu-for-cheese garbage. People, stop pretending you like that stuff. You don’t like it.
Andrew King: If that’s your thing, cool. But I’ll stick with tortillas.
Lee Cochran: Interesting. I don’t think I’d use a leaf of lettuce to replace the tortilla. While I am a fan of a good taco salad, there are times I want a good, old-fashioned taco. There’s a definite separation in my mind so I’m probably not going to walk around with lettuce taco.
Neil Thompson: It most certainly should not. In addition to compromising the sanctity of taco tradition, lettuce doesn’t have the structural integrity to support the contents of most tacos. Also, you didn’t ask, but a taco using a warm soft corn tortilla is perfect.
Abby Armbruster: I’ve done that before for barbecue tuna tacos – don’t knock it till you try it – but never for actual tacos with beans, rice, cheese, salsa, guac and the like. I would say I prefer the tortilla over lettuce any day.
Lisa Proctor: Substituted? No, I want it all.
Dennis Laycock: I doubt a leaf of lettuce could contain the gallons of hot sauce I like to pour onto my tacos.
Nate Ellis: Sure.
====Feb. 18: Do you ever cleanse your palate with lemon sorbet?
Some people prefer the taste of sorbet over ice cream. Particularly tart and refreshing, lemon sorbet has been known to have been served at upscale restaurants between courses so people can cleanse their palates.
ThisWeek staffers answer the question: Do you ever cleanse your palate with lemon sorbet?
Andrew King: Do people actually do this?
Scott Hummel: Nope. Wait ... Nope.
Sarah Sole: I don’t, but I don’t really have any lemon sorbet on hand during my meals.
Nate Ellis: I’ve never specifically sought to cleanse my palate with it but sounds good.
Dennis Laycock: I don’t keep sorbet around the house to cleanse my palate between my salami-sandwich course and Ruffles course, no, but I’ve cleansed a couple of times at nice restaurants.
Abby Armbruster: Only if it’s part of a prix-fixe menu.
Lisa Proctor: This is not a thing for me.
Neil Thompson: If I’m offered it at a restaurant, absolutely. But I don’t go out of my way to get it.
Lee Cochran: One time, while on a trip in Napa Valley. One of the best meals I’ve had.
====Feb. 11: Would you try pomegranate gelee?
As its name suggests, gelee is a type of edible jelly, commonly containing fruit. It’s served chilled and intended to highlight the food with which it is served.
ThisWeek staffers answer the question: Would you try pomegranate gelee?
Andrew King: Sure, why not?
Scott Hummel: I’d try it. I doubt I’d like it, but I’d try it.
Sarah Sole: That sounds tasty.
Nate Ellis: Eh, sure. Pomegranate holds up.
Dennis Laycock: Sure, bring it on.
Abby Armbruster: Do restaurants still serve gelees? That was cool about 10 years ago. But either way, I would try it.
Lisa Proctor: I think I would.
Neil Thompson: I will try anything once, and this sounds delightful.
Lee Cochran: I’d give it a try.
====Feb. 4: When's the last time you had turnips?
Turnips are root vegetables with a taste similar to a carrot but somewhat tangy. When cooked they're known to offer a bitter taste, so many people mix them with potatoes and serve them rich, fatty foods.
ThisWeek staff members answer the question: When's the last time you had turnips?
Andrew King: I think they found their way into a salad I had recently. I'm extremely apathetic about them.
Scott Hummel: I'd guess right after I got my hide tanned for refusing to eat them. My mom tried to disguise them by serving them with whole potatoes. Nice try, but no thanks.
Sarah Sole: I can't remember. If they're in something, I'm not opposed to them.
Nate Ellis: Too recently to bring up. I’m trying to put that behind me.
Dennis Laycock: I eat the greens fairly regularly. The vegetable part, never.
Abby Armbruster: I had roasted turnips at a restaurant in September. The vegetable was in season and it was delicious.
Lisa Proctor: Whenever my mother last made a boiled dinner with cabbage, ham and potatoes and I was around.
Neil Thompson: I have no idea. I can't even remember what turnips taste like.
Lee Cochran: It would have to be before any recollection of me never having eaten them.
====Jan. 28: Would you try kippers?
Kippers, a common breakfast food in England, are whole herring filets that are salted, pickled and smoked. They frequently are served with eggs and mashed potatoes.
ThisWeek staffers answer the question: Would you try kippers?
Andrew King: I had to Google this, but I generally prefer my fish fresh, so I’m going to pass on this one.
Scott Hummel: In can form, it’s a great survival food, like sardines. I like kippers. I don’t think I’ve ever had ithem outside the canned-fish variety, though.
Sarah Sole: Eh, I don’t think. It sounds kinda gross.
Nate Ellis: Yep.
Dennis Laycock: Is it St. Swithin’s Day already?
Abby Armbruster: Only in a foreign country, although I’d probably still pass on that.
Lisa Proctor: Let me get back to you on that one.
Neil Thompson: I already have tried kippers. When my wife and I visited Scotland in 2017, we ate local loch kippers for breakfast on a few occasions. One of our innkeepers, David from the Fern Villa Guest House in Ballachulish, Glencoe, in the Scottish Highlands, proclaimed smoked herring the most flavorful natural food – only a single ingredient: fish – one can eat. He was right: They are oily, salty and delicious.
Lee Cochran: Pretty sure I have when we were guests at a party hosted by a family from Russia.
====Jan. 22: Does tofu belong in salad?
Tofu is considered one of the most versatile ingredients in the food word. With a neutral flavor, the bean curd is both healthy and adapts to many flavors.
ThisWeek staffers respond to the question: Does tofu belong in salad?
Andrew King: Tofu needs to be partnered with something more flavorful than lettuce in order to make it good.
Scott Hummel: I like tofu in soups and in Asian cuisines. I don’t think I want it in salad.
Sarah Sole: Sure thing. It belongs in a plethora of places.
Nate Ellis: I suppose you can put about anything in salad.
Dennis Laycock: Tofu belongs in very little, but definitely not a salad.
Abby Ambruster: Hmm ... I like tofu, but I like it better in a bowl than on top of a salad.
Lisa Proctor: I want tofu to belong, but I’m not sure it plays well with others.
Neil Thompson: My opinion is that it doesn’t belong anywhere.
Lee Cochran: Not mine.
====Jan. 14: What’s the best use of American cheese?
American cheese has been long slammed by critics for its texture, composition and what they see as its lack of flavor. Still others value it for its creaminess, consistency and adaptability.
ThisWeek staffers answer the question: What’s the best use of American cheese?
Andrew King: My favorite way to enjoy American cheese is by throwing it into the trash can.
Scott Hummel: Are we talking true American cheese or cheese product? If the former, grilled cheese is the best. If the latter, I have no use for it.
Sarah Sole: On grilled cheese sandwiches. Haters will hate, but it has its place.
Nate Ellis: When there’s nothing else to make at home and you’ve decided not to order out it’s good for grilled cheese sandwiches. Or if you wake up in the middle of the night and decide to sit down and eat 64 individually wrapped slices.
Dennis Laycock: Grilled cheese is just about the only thing I would ever make with American cheese.
Abby Armbruster: Grilled cheese, specifically between two basic slices of white bread.
Lisa Proctor: Grilled cheese sandwiches.
Neil Thompson: On cheeseburgers. It’s a classic combination.
Lee Cochran: Giving my dogs their medicine.
====Jan. 7: What do you think of putting arugula on pizza?
Arugula is a leafy green vegetable with a sharp peppery flavor that makes it a welcome addition to a salad, soup, sandwich and other dishes.
ThisWeek staffers answer the question: What do you think of putting arugula on pizza?
Andrew King: I think arugula is a better addition to pizzas with olive oil or pesto than red sauce, but I’m generally for it. Arugula is good.
Scott Hummel: Why not? We put spinach and other leafy veggies on pizza. Why not arugula?
Sarah Sole: Sounds good to me.
Nate Ellis: I think it’s OK, but it’s gonna be well down on the list of selections I’d choose. It’d probably have to be some jazzy pizza with bacon and fancy cheese or a veggie pie for it to even occur to me to try it.
Dennis Laycock: Just no. Arugula is for salad.
Abby Armbruster: I’ve had it before, and I think it works well with the right sauce and crust.
Lisa Proctor: Anything remotely leafy will not be on my pizza.
Neil Thompson: If it’s used, it should be in moderation. Pizza is a more appropriate vehicle for pepperoni, mushrooms and jalapeno peppers.
Lee Cochran: I rarely stray too far on my pizza. A couple of meats and some peppers are fine for me.