I'm trying to keep my business, my triplets, and my waistline under control. I excel at one of those, fail at another one of those, and one is a work in progress. Which is which is day dependant.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Tiny Rant: Pepper Grinders

Number 6 trillion 100 hundred million four hundred thousand and eighty one on the list of things I don't understand: those enormous pepper grinders which restaurants offer you within three seconds of putting your plate down in front of you.

Firstly, and kinda unrelated to why I hate them, why on earth are they so large? Is this some sort of penis thing? As in, the owner feels the need to brag about their size by having the biggest pepper grinder on the block? Personally I do not love having this enormous phallic thing shoved in my face at the best of times, and certainly not when I'm about to tuck into a gorgeous meal. Any woman will tell you that of all the sexy appendages men have (and oh yes, there are many!) a penis is not one of them. They're plain ol' ugly. Fun to play with, but ugly as sin. And a penis which shoots black dust out of it...well, let me assure you, sooo not sexy.

So. Nevermind that I find the actual device itself somewhat offensive, I also don't quite get why that practise exists in the first place.

Let me let you in on a little secret. It's the chef's JOB to season your food properly. What does this mean, "to season"..:? It means to add enough salt and pepper so that it tastes at least a thousand times better than it would if you made that same dish at home. Definition of "to season", the truth version, is : Add WAY MORE salt and pepper than you would at home, AND to every component to the dish, which is why you can't replicate it at home even if you really want to, because home cooks are WUSSES when it comes to seasoning. This is why chefs get paid the crappy salaries. To season stuff better than you can. So if you sit down at a restaurant and they shove a pepper grinder in your face, it's like the restaurant saying, "Not sure where we got this crappy inexperienced 11 year old chef from, but he doesn't know how to season things, so we're doing it for you. Right here. Right now." In other words, just by offering to grind some dust on your plate, they're saying we have no faith that our chef did his job properly.

Which makes you wonder why they hired him in the first place.


I'm willing to believe you are one of those people whose taste buds are totally out of whack. You're one of those people who thinks tomato sauce on everything is a good idea, who thinks meat should always be cooked to within an inch of it's life (and therefore it loses all flavour entirely), who thinks cheap vanilla ice cream is some sort of treat, who thinks sandwiches need butter AND mayonnaise, who has smoked a shit load in their misspent youth. Suppose you're one of those people. I don't like you, but I understand you exist and so I tolerate you. You too lack faith in this chef and it's entirely possible that you WANT more pepper on your dish. Okay. Fair enough. The customer IS always right after all.

Here's what I want to know - in addition to crap taste buds, do you also have food ESP? As in, you know before you taste something that it's going to be under-seasoned? Because those jerks with the white apron and the huge phallic grinder are offering you their wares BEFORE you've even taken a bite, and you, dear eater, accept their ridiculous request.  By accepting their offer, you too are saying, I have no faith that your chef did his job properly. Or, I have no tastebuds left (all that smoking you know) and therefore I need shit loads of pepper just to remind myself there is actual food on my plate. 

Of course, should you taste your food and determine that in fact the chef was no good at their job (entirely possible, there are plenty of crappy chefs out there) - then by all means, self-season your food. That's why there is salt and pepper on the table in the first place (well, that and just because they look kinda cute.)

But please, please, don't shove a penis pepper grinder in my face seconds after you've placed the meal down in front of me. At least give the chef the benefit of the doubt.

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