Culinary no-no began on Father’s Day 2007, a beautiful summer day, when I wrote about grilling brats. And eating brats. And topping those brats. I was inspired by my wife, Jennifer who, in my admittedly unscientific opinions, ruins brats by squirting ketchup on them. Other dining taboos quickly came to mind. The original idea was to take this concept only a few months, till the end of summer and then pull the plug. Then the unexpected happened. People started reading Culinary no-no. Lots of folks. So we keep doing the no-no.
Today marks the 10th anniversary of my Culinary no-no blog that began on the old FranklinNOW.com website. I mention the inspiration in the above paragraph.
Originally the thought was to write about a few blatant examples of food gone wrong during the summer months, and then bag the idea. And then came a real head scratcher. Readers liked it. They waited for it. They expected it.
Could a weekly feature even be feasible? Food writers, unless they’re restaurant critics, universally focus on the delicious. I was taking on the exact opposite.
You’d be amazed at how less than daunting a task it turned out after but a few weeks. I began keeping a list of potential topics that just grew and grew.
Granted, I’m no gourmet chef. And I’m not an elitist snob. A foodie to a certain extent? You bet. But who doesn’t like to eat? So I’m eminently qualified to pen this point of view.
There’s no science behind the no-no, although the bulk of items I normally blog can generally be lumped into three categories:
Men wearing hats.
Disrespecting wait staff.
Feet up on chairs, booths.
Cellphone use, ignoring others at table.
The perfect this/that
No such thing. There’s usually a flaw or more.
Terrible combinations/no-nos that are completely obvious
They’re more prevalent than you think.
The very early installments were often short, simple, and sweet. The blog then evolved into longer segments with lots of photos, food porn when applicable, and the actual no-no buried, not revealed until late in the piece.
I appreciate the support this feature has achieved. How long can we keep going? Who knows? I thought it wouldn’t last 10 weeks.
As part of this anniversary blog here are the first 100 topic we explored. No, the links don’t work anymore, but I thought it would be fun to take a long look back to the blog’s beginning.
1) Ketchup on a brat
2) Green peppers on pizza
3) The dirty martini
4) Fruity brats
5) A Bloody Mary after dinner
6) Women “manning” the grill
7) Eating pizza at Festa Italiana, brats at German Fest, or tacos at Fiesta Mexicana. (Be adventurous. You can have those items anytime)
8) Eating a cream puff as though it was a hamburger
9) Taking your own bottle of sauce when invited to a barbecue
10) Touching the grill if you’re a guest at an outdoor barbecue
11) Coaching the host on how to grill
12) Some regional flavored ice cream…..like black licorice
13) Taking the husks off before you grill corn on the cob
14) Being afraid to chill red wine
15) Pizza on the grill
16) When serving exotic or strange dishes to guests, do not tell them exactly what it is. Instead, use a more inviting term (caviar) rather than being blunt (fish eggs)
17) In late summer and early fall, this time of year, don’t buy zucchini. Somehow, someway, you will find zucchini or zucchini will find you.
18) Showing disrespect to your restaurant server
19) Eating out on a Monday night
20) Pumpkin beer
21) Mail-order turkey
22) Grilled cheese is just for kids
23) Dining in the dark
24) Ketchup on spaghetti
25) Sneaking healthy foods into treats to get your kids to eat it
26) Do not throw away culinary gifts received in the mail because you don’t like them
27) Do not feel guilty about eating Oreos. (Oreos are not to blame for out of control obesity).
28) Doing something so totally ridiculous that you are desperately forced to call the Butterball Turkey Hot-Line for assistance
29) Don’t forget the sweet potato January-October
30) Using resource guides from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s on gracious living to plan holiday parties
31) Eating cranberries, the best of the super-foods, only during the holidays
32) Egg nog that isn’t spiked
33) Putting hot spices and other weird stuff in chocolate bars and hot cocoa
34) Don’t disregard fruitcake
35) Sparkling wine on New Year’s Eve ain’t champagne
36) Ordering a Coors Light or any facsimile when at an outdoor open-air bar on a tropical beach
37) Smoking bans in restaurants and bars in Wisconsin
38) Goat burgers and healthy items at tailgate parties
39) The restaurant of the future, with all kinds of cameras trained on you for….research
40) The Budweiser Chelada
42) Sour cream on potato pancakes, as opposed to applesauce
43) Meatless Monday’s
44) Digital dining
45) Tips on what not to do to your waiter
46) If you want a traditional St. Patty’s dinner, as good as it is, corned beef and cabbage ain’t it
47) Doing everything to PEEPS except eating them
48) Foodie bloggers and writers eating dangerously
49) The $81 Kobe beef burger
50) Slobs in fancy restaurants
51) Stealing a co-worker’s lunch
52) The impact of biofuels on the global food crisis
53) The worm at the bottom of the bottle
54) NY restaurants must post calorie counts
55) The Brits and Oreos
57) What not to put on a Philly Chessesteak
58) Eating insects
59) The Serb Hall ($14.95) fish fry
60) The cost of the ingredients those celebrity chefs use
61) Hats in restaurants
63) “The burger that will change your life”
64) Fast food and obesity
65) The vanishing pineapple
66) Dining at the Olympics
67) Ethanol quotas and mandates
68) Real expensive pizza
69) The Elvis sandwich
70,71,72,73) Assorted no-no’s
74) Restaurants and calorie counts
75) America’s BEST pizza
76) A cool lounge in Vegas
77) Tomato Romp
78) If you can eat it, it’s free
79) The Skinny Dip at Starbucks
80) The replacement for Pieces of Eight
81) Unusual waiters
83) Health conscious trick or treat treats
84) The Hopper (as in grass) pizza
85) The Polish taco
86) Grilling when it’s not summer
87) Shopping carts
88) Vegetarians and Thanksgiving
89) Soldiers in Iraq are reportedly eating too much, too well
90) When is it appropriate to not leave a tip?
91) Airport restaurants
92) Trends we’ll see less of in 2009
94) Don’t eat at Ruby Tuesday…at least, not just yet.
95) Topless coffee shop in Vassalboro
96) Health inspection reports for top restaurants
97) Super Bowl party health scares
98) If restaurants don’t do this during rough economy, they’re in big trouble.
99) Restaurants cutting back on busboys
100) Should gender matter when it comes to restaurant service?