Italian Chefs watch in horror as YouTube ruins Spaghetti Carbonara

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Really? You view all your groceries with horror until they’re sanitized to restaurant standards?

I knew a man once who wouldn’t open a tin can until he had scrubbed the top with bleach. I am not that man. He would be shocked to learn I am still alive, a couple of decades later.


A pound of butter and bacon bacon bacon can cure a lot of sins.


From the video I learned a bunch of ways not to make proper Carbonara. I didn’t learn why they were wrong, though.

The first pinned comment is a video of those three chefs preparing their versions of Carbonara. That video was instructional. Well, the last third could be left off as it refutes most of the complaints the chefs made in the first video.

I’ll include it here to save people clicking. The OP would have been much better is it just posted this in the first place: The right way(s) to make Carbonara.


One thing I can say based on an “on budget” type cookbook… Bacon is an acceptable substitute for pancetta or proscuitto. However milk is not fucking acceptable to take the place of cream/heavy cream.

Edit for clarity as I clearly was typing before the coffee was working. Does that parse better @hecep


(cue HMS Pinafore musical number here)


One thing i can say from an on a budget type cookbook… Bacon is an acceptable substitute for pancetta or proscuitto. [Julia Childs]

However milk is not fucking acceptable to take the place of cream/heavy cream. [Howard Stern]



This page includes some discussion of the variations in the recipe from region to region in Italy, but emphasizes that the original traditional shepherd’s dish was only spagetti, eggs, preserved pork, sheep’s milk cheese, and pepper - no cream, no vegetables, no wine, no garlic.


There once was a man from Nantucket…

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I always forget to at least wipe the top of the tin as a precaution before opening, and i remember the moment i’m already halfway through with the can opener. But in all honesty it doesn’t bother me, i’m not a germaphobe.


Fixed that for you


The chefs should be happy about these videos teaching shitty carbonara recipes. The more shitty carbonara there is in the world, the more valuable their haute cuisine carbonara becomes.


I think anything that encourages people to cook at home is great, who cares if its made to perfection? And as you said, their restaurant dishes in comparison would taste better and if someone at home gets comfortable enough to want to make a more authentic dish they can always find better recipes.


haute cuisine carbonara

The entire point of carbonara is that it is not haute cuisine. It is simple peasant food, rich with flavor and fat. If you’re doing haute cuisine carbonara, you aren’t doing carbonara.

//They’d probably be annoyed, but I always like to add anchovy to my carbonara.


Carbonara doesn’t involve cream.


Yes I see that from above, but I have always used the carbonara from Umberto Menghi which says cream. It is damn tasty and I do on occasion throw in peas just to pretend it is healthier that way. I also double the amount of proscuitto or pancetta because well why the hell would you not?


Good parse. Excellent parse. Prince Parse. (PS: For me, when it comes to food, Jekyll and Hyde rules: Try your favorite vanilla ice cream but topped with jalapeno-raspberry sauce. Mmmm!



Optionally, you could end up in the situation the Thailand cooks are where most people are now familair with the non-traditional version of the dish and prefer it over the original. Now, people try the original and don’t like it causing the chefs to lose out.

So, there’s something to be said for defending the ‘right way’ to make something. You may want it not to be as good, but you don’t want it [the copy] too far off that it replaces your dish.

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I thought about this, and it’s an entirely possible situation with the carbonara. I wonder if there is some optimization that can be found, such that there’s enough of the low-quality food out there to maximize the value of the good stuff, but not enough to change consumers’ judgements of what is high quality and what isn’t.