Monday, February 23, 2015

Week of 02/23/2015

Enough With The Food Pimping!
Okay, I have a beef with the food pimps.
Oh you know who I’m talking about, don’t you?  I’m talking about the people that make it their mission in life to drop in all sorts of “special” foods into our heads.
Remember the diner scene in “When Harry Met Sally” when Meg Ryan’s character would come up with a really specific order for her food?  Now imagine if she specified which kinds of ingredients would be in her chef’s salad, and how that pie should be, and what specific brand of apples should be in the pie.  And now imagine if that were on the menu instead of her specifying it.
That is “food pimping”.
Fast Food giant Wendy’s is probably the most notorious of these food pimps, since they seem to love new “special” food.  Subway does it too sometimes.  Your franchise restaurants are guilty of it as well.  They decide that you “need” to consume what special food is “hip” and “happening”.
I’m not talking about what Taco Bell did when they teamed up with Frito Lay’s Doritos to come up with the Doritos Locos Tacos.  It’s a creative idea, but it’s really just limited to that one menu item.   Now if Taco Bell and Frito Lay put Doritos in pretty much every menu item, and other eateries followed suit, then that would be food pimping.
Food pimping pretty much started with Angus beef.  You see, it wasn’t enough to have just a regular hamburger or a regular steak.  No, you had to have an Angus burger and Angus steak and anything that came from Angus cows.  No other beef would do in the minds of these food pimps.
Then it was chipotle.  Everything had to have chipotle in it.  Every meal needed to be chipotle. Do you know what “chipotle” is?  It’s smoked and dried jalapeno pepper.  It’s a seasoning.  That’s it.  It’s like garlic, only garlic didn’t have food pimps shoving it down our throats like they did with chipotle.
Then it was Applewood bacon.  Not just bacon, which is already an internet sensation.  No, it has to specifically be “Applewood” bacon.  Bacon smoked by fire using wood from apple trees.  Not maple-smoked.  Not hickory-smoked. “Applewood”-smoked bacon!
And then you had to have a pretzel bun or a pretzel crust.  In other words, you had to cover the top of dough with an egg-wash and cook it until there was a hardened brown crust.  And if you were lucky, they took the additional step of adding salt to the egg wash before cooking it.  This was something the local Wendy’s forgot to do with their pretzel buns during one of my rare visits.  But if you don’t add the salt, then it really isn’t a pretzel.  It’s just browned egg-wash.
Then it was Asiago cheese.  Wendy’s got on a kick about Asiago cheese, or cheese that comes from Italian cows.
And then there’s Sriracha.  Subway started adding Sriracha to their sandwiches.  Do you know what Sriracha is?  It’s hot sauce.  That’s all that it is.  It is the name of a brand of hot sauce.
Oh, and let’s not forget Avocados.  Because avocado growers and Subway think you haven’t had enough avocados in your life.  And portabella mushrooms!  Have to have portabella mushrooms!  We need a fungus among us, don’t we?
Enough!  Enough of it all!
Let’s get brutally honest here… these food pimps need to go, and take their specialty foods with them.
None of these pimped foods are guaranteed to make your life better in any conceivable way.  They certainly won’t freshen your breath or lengthen your life.  They won’t make you any smarter, because if you were then you would know better than to waste your money on them.  They absolutely won’t make you wealthier… unless you’re a food pimp, of course.  All these things do is justify paying more for food that you could otherwise get at a local grocery store and cook up yourself without the hype.
You know what would be better?  If fast food places like Wendy’s got rid of the food pimping and concentrate on the things that bring people into the stores to begin with.  Like good food served hot and relatively fast at a good price and with generous portions.  We don’t care how the bacon is smoked or what kinds of cows provide the milk and the beef.  Make it hot – and I don’t mean through peppers – make it good, and make it relatively fast.  And make it look like the food we see on the menu; not something that was sloppily put together by someone trying to race a stopwatch.
Oh hell, all of this talk about food is making me hungry.  I think I’ll just make myself a peanut-butter sandwich on plain white bread using generic store-bought peanut butter and pour myself a glass of plain water to wash it down.

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