On the culinary awareness scale I would like to divide the western population into three groups: the culinary aware, does who are culinary oblivious and does who don’t care. In my opinion the first and the last group are minorities.
In this post I would like to address the middle majority group, creating the good food disaster. It is a well know mechanism which works as follows:
The culinary oblivious think the food they get is good, although this might not be case.
Especially in tourist areas “smart” entrepreneurs take this as an opportunity to sell badly prepared, bad tasting, stale food displaying not even one shred of creativity, to the tourist hordes for ridiculously high prices.
This leaves the western dinning population ripped off and on top of that the culinary aware with tears in their eyes when contemplating their hellish culinary experience.
The experienced culinary aware diner of course tries all possible measures to avoid being a part of this disaster. Before they travel to any new place, they search the Internet for local restaurant reviews; they try to assess a restaurant by studying its menu and peek inside the establishment to find out if it is popular with the “locals”. Further, the culinary aware even flee into the countryside, where they are usually safe from devilish restaurant entrepreneurs; the turnovers are too low at the coutryside.
This all happens because the culinary oblivion of the masses!
So here is my attempt to improve the culinary dining lives of the culinary aware and the culinary oblivious (and maybe the rest will even start to care?).
When going out for dinner, please consider the following:
A) Don’t think your food is good, most likely it’s not!
Some first hints for good food could be:
Are all the produces used in your dish fresh?
Do the vegetables still have a bite?
Are fresh herbs used in the dishes you eat?
Is your dish simple, does it contain only a few food “elements”?
Do the food elements form a synergy: does one element improve or complement the taste of another element?
Is the usage of the different food elements well balanced?
Looking at your dish: did the kitchen pay attention to details?
B) Expensive is not necessarily better! An expensive menu doesn’t guarantee good food; you might be paying for the “good service”. Good food and good service do not always correlate!
C) Study the menu. Hints indicating good food could be:
Does the menu show that efforts have been put in defining the dishes on the menu?
Is the number of the dishes low? (low = good)
Does the menu change often? (change often = good)
D) Don’t accept bad food! This is the hard part. We all should try to tell what we honestly think of the food. We should protest if it’s really bad!
Sorry for making this post way too long. In any case, I hope you find it useful in improving your future culinary experiences, but most importantly :
help fight the Good Food Oblivion Disaster!
Some good-food blogs that caught my interest:
Can Cook Must Cook
An obsession with food (and wine)