♫ I hear somethin' sayin'♪ Yumm, Yumm ♫That's the sound of the men eating in the chain ga-a-ang♪


Does anyone bother to be a chef in some parts of the USA? Last month my wife and I went to visit my son in Florida where he teaches people to become Commercial Airline Pilots. Yup, I know the tallest mountain is Thunder Mountain in Disneyworld and in Daytona Beach where my son is working, there is more culture in a yoghurt but… one night we decided to go out for dinner and tried to find a local restaurant. On one three mile stretch of road we counted 51 different food franchise restaurants and spotted only one real bistro where somebody actually cooked a meal rather than follow the franchise instruction manual. This leads to the ludicrous situation where you ask for the teensiest change in a meal and you are met with a blank look from the waitress; “We cannot possibly hold the tomatoes/not use garlic/add extra turmeric… It would take away from the taste experience we have so carefully crafted.” Translation: “We can’t change anything because none of the people in the kitchen can actually cook anything. We just assemble pre-packed gloop and wouldn’t know turmeric if it came up and bit us in the ass.” The exception of course is anything that can get an allergic reaction (and then a law suit) so nuts are kept in separate radioactive bags only to be added to a dish at the last minute using two-foot-long tongs and industrial grade gloves.

...and another thing

Now apart from an annoying propensity to shove fruit on my bacon and eggs in the morning, certain parts of the US are awash with fantastic eating and watering holes.

However, some states have become a wasteland. I suspect that many of the ‘packagers’ for these franchises are one and the same company which explains why the meat in Mamma Mia Piccola Casa’s lasagna tastes remarkably similar to the beef enchilada’s in Speedy Gonzales Tex Mex Hacienda.

This homogenous taste may explain the incredulity on American tourists’ faces when they come to Italy and have a real Pizza (one that does not have a crust thicker than a Gideons bible… and about as tasty), let alone understand that spaghetti with meatballs is an American concoction that no self-respecting Italian would prepare (unless his kid was watching Disney’s The Lady and the Tramp or a rich American relative was coming to stay).

...and another thing

I will grant at times the few gastronomic tour de force that America has given the culinary world gets murdered abroad, but there’s not that much you can mess up. Nearly any iconic American meat dish consists of dodgy cuts of meet slapped between bread (Hot Dogs, Hamburgers, Philly Steak,Meatloaf) and the fruit pies and cobblers they are so proud of have pastry thick enough to cover a sidewalk and cream that came out of an aerosol, not a cow.

Of other American dishes, delicious though it may be, Mac and Cheese was invented by Thomas Jefferson because he could not get a decent pasta machine in his home at Monticello.

So there we have it. The days of cowboys sitting round a campfire, drinking piss-poor coffee and eating beans liberally sprinkled over a roadkill have receded into America’s past.

However, all that’s really changed is the outdoors has been swapped for some themed prefab nightmare, piss-poor coffee is exchanged for Coke-a-Cola and instead of fresh roadkill, the meat is so processed it comes in a shirt and tie. But bless those beans… they still make you fart!

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  1. CeCelestrialescapes says:

    Well,,,,very informative!

  2. Celestrialescapes0 says:

    Yipes! Hello

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