Monday, February 6, 2012

Mystery Ingredients

            Why do you eat mystery food?  What the hell is the matter with you?  I like to check out my food.  I occasionally enjoy eating a bowl of alphabet soup and trying to see whether the entire alphabet is in there.  I just heard a radio commercial for a 15-bean soup and will try that to see if there are indeed 15 beans in the soup and then trying to identify them.  I enjoy checking out my food which leads me to wonder why so many consumers and diners are so accepting of “secret ingredients.” The 15-bean soup I mentioned is supposed to contain “secret spices” some of which date back to Marco Polo.  But what are they? Oh, those are trade secrets.  Too bad.
 I’ve blogged that I’m a fan of cable TV’s Food Network and The Travel Channel which feature chefs and cooks from around the World.  BBQ is big on many of the programs aired and whether it’s ribs, brisket, chicken, pulled pork, whatever, the food is coated before cooking with “secret rubs,” “magic cooking dust,” and other proprietary secret savory spices the exact definition of which are secret.  These days we seek, we demand more nutritional and caloric information on packages and cans and restaurant menus. We want to know if chickens and beef steers are grass fed, free range, if fish are wild or farm raised and are from sustainable stocks and so forth.  Why then do we allow ourselves to be kept in the dark about mystery ingredients?  Why do we just take the chef/cook’s word that these ingredients are special though they can’t be revealed?
            I’ve had it.  Enough is enough.  If I can’t learn what goes into making the dish I’m considering ordering then I’m not ordering it. If I want mystery I’ll read Agatha Christie not a menu.


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