Culinary no-no #524

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.


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That’s my dear friend, Obie Yadgar.

In my life I’ve been blessed to know a countless number of marvelous folks. Obie just might be the nicest gentleman I’ve ever met.

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Had to share that photo of Obie, beautiful wife and daughter who I also knew well decades ago. Like me, Obie had more hair back then, and his daughter was younger than my Kyla.

Obie is best known for being a classical music announcer on Milwaukee radio. Although if you asked Obie what he does for a living, even dating back then, he’d tell you without hesitation, “I’m a writer.”

In the 1980’s when I was hosting the morning drive all-news magazine at WUWM, Obie would follow me at 9:00 and we’d segue into his program with what we called our “chat.” It was an attempt to remain seamless and keep listeners listening by teasing them as Obie and I promoted his show.

That’s the way the management drew it up.

UH, WHAT’S THIS GOT TO DO WITH FOOD?

I’M GETTIN’ TO IT. I’M GETTIN’ TO IT.

Fine, Obie and I said to that directive. No problem.

However…

Before we started this programming twist I went to Obie and said something to the effect that he would come in and tell me all about the music he was going to play between 9:00 and 1:00.

Simple, right?

Not so simple.

Obie would pick his opening selection and then go from there, spontaneously choosing each piece as the show progressed.  Thus, it didn’t take long for Obie to respond to my question, “What are you going to start with this morning?”

We basically had about two and a half minutes to fill. So we’d chat. Sometimes about the NPR arts/entertainment segment that aired just before what we called our “shtick.” But usually the topic was whatever we happened to come up with, always unscripted, unrehearsed, never planned ahead of time.

I recall when we talked about the movie “Amadeus” and the film’s ending where Mozart’s body in a bag was unceremoniously dumped from a casket into an open grave filled with others on a gloomy, rainy day.

You can see the scene in this clip at about 2:30 in.

I’ll never forget Obie was audibly and visually upset at how one of his favorite composers was depicted.

“That’s Mozart!” Obie said sorrowfully on air.

Where is this headed? A McDonald’s in Glasgow.

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This location opens from 5am to 3am from Sunday to Thursday and until 4am on Fridays and Saturdays.

When late night arrives at the Golden Arches here, loud, drunk, sometimes violent crowds gather for greasy burgers and fries. Out of control goons got into fights, barged past the counter, helped themselves to food and vandalized.  The local police received 200 calls in just 14 months.

At another McDonald’s in Newcastle even four security guards were unable to handle the chaos.

Solution?

In 1697, William Congreve wrote in “The Mourning Bride,” that “Musick has charms to sooth a savage breast.”

The quote has been altered for centuries to, “Music hath charms to soothe the savage beast.”

Researchers at the University of Helsinki in a 2015 study implementing Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 3 in G major found that people who listened to the  20-minute-long piece actually felt its effects in their genes. Brain scans revealed that listening to this music not only triggered the secretion of dopamine but also activated the genes connected to synaptic neuro-transmission activity, which affects learning and memory. These feel-good results were particularly pronounced among study participants who had previous experience listening to classical music.

Translation: Mozart’s and other classical music calms the brain.

So the Glasgow McDonald’s began playing Mozart late in the evening. Now other franchises in the UK have followed suit. Mozart with fries is not a global McDonald’s policy. Individual franchises, for now, set their own guidelines.

One would assume those crowds aren’t too civilized to begin with, so Mozart might actually coax them to exit quickly.

Studies indicate slow music could make customers linger. If that’s the case maybe McDonald’s managers need to pick up the tempo.


CULINARY NO-NO BONUSES

CNN was asking for trouble

In today’s paper

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