Culinary no-no #747

THERE ARE THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS OF FOOD BLOGS, BUT ONLY ONE CULINARY NO-NO!

Regular readers know there’s often a lengthy prelude to the weekly no-no. So some background first. Actually material from a couple previous no-no features before an update.

Let’s begin by going all the way back to one of the first installments in this series.

Culinary no-no #18
By Kevin Fischer
Sunday, Sep 23 2007

I’ve never been a waiter, and judging from the impolite and condescending attitude of many customers, I don’t think I’d ever want to be.

Many diners I’ve observed seem to have never heard of the words, “Please,” or “Thank you.”

Some customers are downright bullies.

I recall seeing a table of patrons at a casual restaurant complain to the owner when the waitress didn’t come to the table quickly enough in their opinion. Their complaint didn’t have merit in my opinion. Even so, the manager fired the waitress on the spot.

On another occasion, I saw a middle-aged woman dining alone, dressed in fur coat and jeans. She apparently picked up a bottle of A-1 sauce and spilled some on her fur that she had not taken off. The woman was furious. She summoned for her waitress and launched into a verbal assault, claiming she should have advised her that the cap on the A-1 bottle was loose, that the restaurant would have to buy her a new coat, and that the waitress should be terminated. Despite the scene the woman created, she didn’t get a new fur coat and the waitress kept her job.

Being a waiter/waitress isn’t easy.

The Consumer Health Interactive reports, “Many people enjoy waiting tables for the good tips and lively human drama. But the job also serves up high stress, exhaustion, and a fat menu of kitchen hazards.”

Page Bierma writes that besides stress, servers face a plateful of problems:

Sexual harassment

Repetitive stress injury including carpal tunnel syndrome

Slippery floors that can lead to accidents

Burns


Varicose veins

Backaches and sore muscle

Secondhand smoke


Noise


Cuts


Heavy lifting

Poor sanitation

You can read Page Bierma’s entire column, “Waiting for a Living.”

So the job is difficult. It’s also thankless. You’ve got complaints about waiters and waitresses? They’re not always thrilled with you.

The late restaurant critic of the Milwaukee Journal/Sentinel, Dennis Getto wrote the following in 1996:

DINING DON’TS
Servers have plenty to beef about
They give customers some tips on boorish behaviors to avoid


DENNIS R. GETTO
Journal Sentinel restaurant critic
Published: February 11, 1996


We’ve given restaurant gripes a lot of coverage over the last month.
It all started Jan. 14, when I wrote a column about practices that aggravated me, such as being ignored or not being served water.

Then readers responded with their complaints: mishandled drinking glasses and coffee cups, and vacuum cleaners running under the table while they were finishing lunch. There’s a third take on the restaurant world, and it comes from the workers who have to deal with the public daily – the waiters, waitresses and managers whose job it is to keep diners satisfied and coming back.
I hadn’t realized how tough the business can be until I heard from workers who read my original gripe column. They weren’t as numerous as the diners who sounded off, but they made some good points.

Doris Janke, who will mark her 20th year as a waitress at what is now Bakers Square in West Allis this November, took me to task for criticizing waiters and waitresses who ask, “Do you need change?” (I took it to mean they were automatically asking for a tip.) Janke set me straight by explaining that the question really means, “What kind of change do you want?”

“People often hand me a $20 bill,” she said. “I can’t guess whether they want singles or $5 bills.” So she asks the customers, and saves herself an extra trip back to the cash register.

Janke said that some servers handle silverware or glasses improperly but countered that with some of the unsanitary actions of customers. “People leave dirty diapers wrapped up in napkins or blow their nose on a napkin and then leave it on the table for the waitress or the busboy to handle.”

At Bakers Square, she said, dispensers in the kitchen hold anti-bacterial hand lotion, and she and the other waitresses use it frequently.

As for water not being served automatically, waitress Skaidrite E. Huttl reminded me that the practice got some of its momentum from Milwaukee’s Cryptosporidium crisis.

When the bacteria hit, she wrote, many folks stopped drinking their water and, subsequently, some places quit serving it. “But anyone who wishes may have a glass of water.”

As a waitress in private clubs, Huttl also reported that she’s surprised how many folks don’t know their etiquette, such as what piece of silverware to use for a given course. It always helps to know that the shorter fork is for salad and the round spoon is for soup.

George K. Jones, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y., has worked in many well-known restaurants in town, including the English Room, Grenadier’s and Mader’s. Now managing a private club, he offered some suggestions for diners who want to ensure good service:

“Please make reservations,” Jones said. “It allows the restaurant to staff properly . . . And if you aren’t coming, please call. And don’t make a reservation for 6 p.m. and then sit at the bar for an hour and ask to be seated at 7 p.m.”

“Tell your servers of any time constraints when you’re seated,” Jones said. Some diners will wait until 20 minutes before curtain time to tell the waiter or waitress that they have to leave for a show.

Pay attention when servers are telling you about the special. In some cases, Jones said, a server will have to repeat the soup of the day to a party eight times.

“If there’s something wrong, let us know right away,” Jones said. That way, the problem can be fixed. Too many people wait a week and then send a letter when they should have brought up the problem right away.

“The thing that restaurants want to do is satisfy their customers,” Jones said. “We can’t do that unless you tell us something is wrong.”

–Dennis Getto, Milwaukee Journal, February 11, 1996

So, for many reasons, do not disrespect your server.

— Sep 23 2007

MORE on the subject from someone who has walked the walk and is talked the talk.

Phoebe Damrosch has written a book about her experience waiting tables at Thomas Keller’s four-star New York City restaurant, Per Se.

The inside cover notes of Damrosch’s book, Service Included say, “After reading this book, diners will never sit down at a restaurant table the same way again.”

Damrosch includes numerous dining tips that fall under the no-no category. Here are a few:

  • Please don’t ask waiters what else they do. That implies they shouldn’t aspire to work in the restaurant industry even if it makes them happy and financially stable. It also implies they have lots of free time because they have such easy jobs and that they are not succeeding in another field.
  • Don’t send something back when you’ve eaten most of it.
  • Don’t make faces or gagging noises when you hear the specials. Someone else at the table might like to order one of them.
  • Don’t bribe the host. If there’s no table, there’s no table.
  • Don’t touch your waiter.
  • Don’t say this to the host or a waiter: “Do you know who I am?”
  • Don’t begin a sentence with, “Give me….”
  • Don’t get angry at your waiter if you don’t like something. Your waiter didn’t make it
  • Don’t steal the waiter’s pens. Usually, they have to provide their own.

I first learned about Damrosch after hearing her appearance on American Public Media’s “Splendid Table.” The program is heard on public radio stations around the country and on Sirius Satellite Radio. Damrosch was a former waiter at Chef Thomas Keller’s acclaimed Per Se in New York City when she wrote Service Included: Four-Star Secrets of an Eavesdropping Waiter, and discussed it on “Splendid Table” on February 16, 2008. To hear it click here and press LISTEN.

The Damrosch interview begins 14:20 into the program.

AND that brings us to this week’s feature which has more than a single no-no.

From Madison.com.

CULINARY NO-NO BONUSES

Preparing Labor Day food can be risky


ICYMI, Culinary no-no #746: Tailgating

Culinary no-no #746

THERE ARE THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS OF FOOD BLOGS, BUT ONLY ONE CULINARY NO-NO!

The NFL 2022 season opens on Thursday, Sept. 8, when the Buffalo Bills visit the Super Bowl Champion Los Angeles Rams. For the Green Bay Packer their home opener is Sunday NIGHT, September 18, when they host their rivals, the Chicago Bears at Lambeau Field.

NFL football means tailgating. But the parking lot ritual must be done properly.

Seriously, there are rules to be followed if you want the best experience.

Tailgate must-haves? Here are a few recommended by Good Housekeeping: Charred Corn with Parmesan-Parsley Butter, Coca Cola Chicken Wings, 7-Layer Salad, Fried Chicken, Chili Dogs, Hearty Bean and Beef Chili, Grilled Chicken with White BBQ Sauce, Sweet ‘N’ Tangy Pasta Salad, Creamy Beer Cheese Dip, St. Louis–Style Ribs.

The worst tailgate foods according to Men’s Journal: Chili with cheese, Spinach dip, Hot wings, BBQ pulled pork sandwiches. Why? The Journal says they’re too fatty.

More on the subject of the worst…

OK, regular readers know that usually there’s a huge build-up to the actual no-no (that you’ve already read if you go this far), and this week’s no-no is one of the most egregious of the more than 700 I’ve posted.

And if you haven’t figured it out, here goes. And more detail here.

CULINARY NO-NO BONUSES

Are You Serious? Never Buy Ice Cream Before Doing This, Or You Could Die?

Spicy Rose

Yankees fan who used hot dog as beer straw is either a genius, sicko, or both

UPDATE: Culinary no-no #737

Previously on This Just In…

The update:

State AGs Sue Biden Administration for Tying School Lunch Funding to LGBT Policies

By Naveen Athrappully, The Epoch Times

July 28, 2022

The attorneys general of 22 states have filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration over a new rule that seeks to block federal funding for meals from schools that don’t follow the administration’s gender-identity policies.

In May, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued a notice that state and local agencies, program operators, and sponsors receiving funding from the agency’s Food and Nutrition Service must update their policies to include new protections related to sexual orientation and gender identity.

“The Department’s Memoranda and Final Rule concern highly controversial and localized issues of enormous importance to the States, their subdivisions, affiliates, and citizens. The Department has no power to settle such issues, let alone by executive fiat without providing any opportunity for public comment,” the lawsuit states (pdf).

Organizations that receive federal meal funding must update their policies and signage prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity and must investigate complaints of discrimination against such groups to the federal government’s satisfaction.

Epoch Times Photo
Masked cafeteria workers serve food during a socially distanced lunch at Medora Elementary School in Louisville, Ky., on March 17, 2021. (Jon Cherry/Getty Images)

The USDA issued a fact sheet with examples of what would be considered discrimination.

Under the new directive, schools that require students to use the bathroom corresponding to their biological sex would be in violation of the policy, as well as schools that prevent biological males from joining girls’ sports teams.

Failing to use a student’s preferred pronouns would also be considered a violation and would warrant an investigation, according to the fact sheet (pdf).

The states participating in the lawsuit are Tennessee, Indiana, Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and West Virginia.

Administration Didn’t Follow Procedures

The attorneys general argued that by issuing regulations without going through the official rulemaking process, the Biden administration violated the Administrative Procedures Act (APA). The APA makes it clear that the public must be given notice and the opportunity to comment when a government agency engages in substantive policymaking or changes to the law.

They also took issue with the USDA’s legal argument.

The USDA invoked the Supreme Court’s 2020 decision in Bostock v. Clayton County to justify the new directive. The court ruled that any person who applies for a job or is working with an employer that employs at least 15 people is protected against discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation.

The lawsuit argues that the Supreme Court’s 2020 decision on employment discrimination doesn’t apply to Title IX, which bans discrimination based on sex in education.

Overarching Leftist Agenda

In a written statement about the lawsuit, Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita slammed the White House for injecting politics into school food programs.

“We all know the Biden administration is dead-set on imposing an extreme left-wing agenda on Americans nationwide,” he said. “But they’ve reached a new level of shamelessness with this ploy of holding up food assistance for low-income kids unless schools do the Left’s bidding.”

The National School Lunch Program provides food to about 30 million school children across the United States every day, many of whom rely on the program for breakfast, lunch, or both.

Rokita and 25 other attorneys general signed a June 14 letter to President Joe Biden expressing concerns about the USDA’s new rule. The letter asks Biden to direct USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack and the department to rescind the guidance (pdf).

The attorneys general said the USDA directive flouts the “rule of law” and relies on “patently incorrect legal analysis” that is presently being scrutinized by federal courts.

USDA officials didn’t respond by press time to a request by The Epoch Times for comment.

Culinary no-no #745

THERE ARE THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS OF FOOD BLOGS, BUT ONLY ONE CULINARY NO-NO!

If you’re like me you’ve seen every episode of M*A*S*H at least a thousand times and love watching them again and again and again.

During the series’ 6th season, the episode “Tea and Empathy” aired on January 17, 1978. Wounded arrive and some of the patients are from a British unit, commanded by Major Ross, played by the wonderful character actor Bernard Fox. Ross insists that the 4077th doctors are “molly-coddling” his men, and that they are ready to return to active duty.

Hawkeye tells Ross to leave. Later, when Ross returns to visit his men Hawkeye sees that Ross is laughing with his men, as they’re all reading letters from home and telling stories. Ross now seems like one of the guys, and his soldiers seem in high spirits.

Ross tells Hawkeye that if he acts like his wounded men are actually fine, they know subconsciously that they’ll be okay, which helps speed their recovery. Ross admits it might seem callous, but as Hawkeye can see, it seems to work.

Hawkeye admits Ross was right, but points out that another British condition – giving wounded soldiers tea – leads to peritonitis. Ross says he’ll mention it to his superiors but regretfully says:

“But if it was anything but tea.”

I’m reminded of that memorable episode after reading  a recent column by Mary Hunt, the founder of EverydayCheapskate.com, a frugal living blog and the author of the book “Debt-Proof Living.”

In her column Hunt writes, “Perhaps you’ve noticed the cost of nearly everything is going up. The Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Price Index, the agency that calculates the U.S. inflation rate, is predicting a very high inflation rate for 2021. Our annual inflation rate at the end of May was running at 5 percent. That is the highest rate since 1981, when the average for that year was 10.3 percent. Here’s the deal: We can either stick our heads in the sand and pretend that nothing has changed, or we can get smart and fight back.”

Some of Hunt’s tactics:

Add a pinch of table salt to a new container of milk when you first open it. Shake well to mix. Because salt retards the growth of bacteria that makes milk turn sour, just a pinch of salt will increase the useful life of milk by days, even weeks.

Always add one can of water more than the instructions state for concentrated fruit juice.

Drink water.

Consider generic brands.

Keep a notebook that lists the prices of regularly purchased items at various stores.

Shop midweek. On Wednesdays, most supermarkets reduce prices on food that is about to expire, according to several studies.

Another Mary Hunt column of late examines cutting your grocery bill…in half.

When the standard 12-week sale rotation happens, you need to buy enough to last your family that long. If you buy only one week’s worth, you will be forced to pay (gasp!) full price the next time you need it because you didn’t buy enough.

Let me make it more clear with an example. Say your family eats two boxes of Honey Bunches of Oats every week. The regular price for Honey Bunches of Oats is $4.19 a box, but when you (pun alert) sail through this week’s flyer, you see it is on sale for only $1.99 a box—more than 50 percent off the regular price! Instead of buying only two boxes like you normally would for one week, you buy 12 boxes—enough to last your family for the next six weeks at less than half the price you would normally pay.

The goal is to build up your own mini grocery store in your pantry, which you can then use to plan your family’s meals.

And now for what many might consider the big no-no.

Eat Less Meat

Going vegetarian just a couple of times a week could save you as much as $1,000 a year—a dollar figure that is going up, up, and up! Meat, fish, and poultry costs usually account for a significant portion of people’s grocery bills, so cutting out even a little will make a big difference in time.

M*A*S*H

Bernard Fox

But if it was anything but meat.

CULINARY NO-NO BONUSES

Homeless Patrons Do Nothing for Starbucks’ Bottom Line

Weird snacks

ICYMI, Culinary no-no #744

Culinary no-no #744

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 opinion, 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.

The checkout at Franklin’s Sendik’s.

For this week’s installment I need and asked for help from my wife Jennifer who does the overwhelming amount of grocery shopping for our family. She responded:

Grocery store self check-outs…  Love ‘em or hate ‘em?  For me, it’s generally 90% hate.  If they are supposed to save time, they rarely do.  Why?  Because the “lady” who guides you through the process of scanning your own items is a pain in the you-know-what. 

At most kiosks you need to place your item in the bag “just so” in order for the sensor to realize it’s there.  Otherwise, it’s “Please wait for assistance.”  If you don’t bag it quickly enough or accidently hit the skip bagging feature on the screen it’s “Please wait for assistance.”  If you’re buying alcohol you are reminded that “A Sendik’s associate with be right with you” and they have to scan their employee badge to prove that yes you ARE the 150 years old that you look and feel today.

The amount of time I have WASTED with these time-saving devices is a joke.  It’s like the sign I saw a few years ago at Pick ‘n Save’s bakery…  I kid you not this is what it said:  “For your convenience, we are a self-serve bakery.”  Can someone please explain to me how that is for MY convenience?

I use them when I’m forced to but I certainly don’t like them.  I’d rather have an apathetic, gum-chewing, airpod-wearing teenager indifferently tell me to have a nice day than an automated voice tell me to please take my receipt and thank me for my business.

Jennifer is not alone. Consumers in no way have a love affair with these gadgets designed primarily to aid employers in not having to hire able-bodied workers. And the machines aren’t going away.

Read many more details from CNN Business.

CULINARY NO-NO BONUSES

The Hidden Fees Making Your Bananas, and Everything Else, Cost More

They degrade the social experience of dining out

Kentucky QB Will Levis Wants to Start a New Coffee Trend: Adding Mayo

ICYMI: Culinary no-no #743 – Why we can’t dine in peace anymore

AND FINALLY, from the WI State Journal….

Culinary no-no #743

THERE ARE THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS OF FOOD BLOGS, BUT ONLY ONE CULINARY NO-NO!

More food politics this week.

This is how ridiculous boorish leftists behave.

This week’s Culinary no-no is a column from well-known commentator Michelle Malkin. Here’s a brief excerpt:

Some of us can’t dine in peace because our simple existence is a threat to the “liberal world order.” If you can’t be controlled, you must be de-personed. “Tolerance” is only for the intolerant. The rules of civility don’t apply to the self-righteous monsters sporting “empathy” bumper stickers on their cars and “love is love” banners in the windows of their homes and businesses that will always be safe from pot-bangers, Molotov cocktail-hurlers and billionaire-funded dissent-crushers.

Read Malikin’s entire column here, and ask yourselves. Would Republicans do this if they didn’t get their way?

MORE from Karol Markowicz in the NY Post.

CULINARY NO-NO BONUSES

Starbucks and chicken sandwiches? Not anymore

ICYMI, Culinary no-no #742: A summer treat prepared outdoors

Culinary no-no #742

THERE ARE THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS OF FOOD BLOGS, BUT ONLY ONE CULINARY NO-NO!

I’ve made this drink for decades. My mother, God bless her soul, did as well for many years.

So simple.

You take your basic glass or plastic jar.

Fill almost to the top with water.

Toss in about a dozen tea bags. For my taste Lipton works just fine.

Put the top on the jar and place outside on a table during a sunny summer day.

Bring inside later after the tea has brewed and Voila! You have sun tea.

My outdoor patio with retention pond in the background…

Add lemon and/or sugar at your discretion.

So good.

But who knew this homemade beverage was poisoning me?

Mary Hunt thinks so. She’s the founder of EverydayCheapskate.com, a frugal living blog, and the author of the book “Debt-Proof Living.” And Hunt actually uses the term “dangerous” to describe my backyard brew.

Let’s examine what Hunt has to say followed by my reactions.

Use regular black tea, never herbal tea. There is some thought that caffeine prohibits the growth of bacteria.

Check.

Use a container that has been washed well in soap and water and then rinsed or dipped into a bleach solution of 1-1/2 teaspoons liquid chlorine bleach per gallon of water.

I’ve never gone to that extreme. I’m still standing.

If your sun tea container has a spigot, take it apart and clean it well with the bleach solution. If you can’t get it apart to clean, find another vessel for your sun tea.

Is she for real? No friggin’ way.

Do not leave the tea to brew in the sun for longer than four hours.

I’ve taken my jar out at 8:00 am and left it out until 7 pm. A couple of times I forgot until the next day. I repeat. I’m still standing.

Prepare only the amount of tea you plan to use in one day.

How do I know how much I’ll consume? I ain’t going through that whole bleach ritual for just two glasses.

Dear Mary Hunt, I’ve devoured a lifetime of cinnamon rolls, frozen custard, and a fair share of raw beef. Did I mention I’m still standing?

With all due respect I will ignore your rules and continue to make sun tea the Fischer way.

ICYMI, last week’s Culinary no-no.

Culinary no-no #741

THERE ARE THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS OF FOOD BLOGS, BUT ONLY ONE CULINARY NO-NO!

A few days early this week because of the Independence Day holiday.

Wasn’t last year’s Independence Day celebration absolutely phenomenal?

In case you forgot, it was nothing short of incredible.

And all the credit goes to that punster of a POTUS, Joe Biden

Click below for the slideshow.

WOW!

A whopping 16 cents!

Oh, thank you, Mr. President!

Thank you so much!

BUT.

If you don’t mind…

VP Harris, do you have anything to say? How about it?

Can American families expect picnic savings this 4th of July?

Jordan Boyd of The Federalist writes:

According to a new report from the American Farm Bureau Federation, the total cost for an Independence Day BBQ is up $10 from 2021. That’s a 17 percent hike in cookout prices thanks to government-induced inflation.

In total, the cost is about $69.68 for a 10-person celebration that includes grilling essentials such as “cheeseburgers, pork chops, chicken breasts, homemade potato salad, strawberries, and ice cream.”

And Lewis Morris writes on The Patriot Post:

A growing consensus in the country is calling for the end of the penny because it is utterly valueless. Each penny costs at least two pennies to make. When labor experts factored in time and effort, they found that it is actually cheaper to leave spare change on the ground than to pick it up and put it in your pocket. And yet the Biden administration was so desperate to manufacture any hint of good economic news that it felt compelled to crow about saving us less than we’d typically find beneath a single couch cushion.

Fast-forward to this year. Those 16 pennies are long gone.

Again, from Jordan Boyd:

Thanks to the Biden administration’s reckless spending, inattention to the financial problems cursing American pocketbooks, and ongoing supply-chain crisis, which has prevented babies from getting the formula they need, I doubt we’ll see a cutesy graphic from the White House about this year’s Independence Day cookout prices.

CULINARY NO-NO BONUS

ICYMI, Culinary no-no #740, ketchup

Culinary no-no #740

THERE ARE THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS OF FOOD BLOGS, BUT ONLY ONE CULINARY NO-NO!

This week we’re talking ketchup.

If I never have it again I’m cool.

Ketchup on fries? Maybe, but I’m fine without.

On a hot dog? What, no other condiments available?

Ketchup to me is useless. A big fat nothing.

The red junk was the subject of the very first Culinary no-no 15 on Father’s Day 15 years ago:


A National Restaurant Association survey shows two out of five people (40%) go out to eat on Mother’s Day. On Father’s Day, it’s one out of four (25%).

Odds are Dad is outside grilling on his day. It is, after all, summer grilling season.

In Wisconsin, that means brats. And everybody has an opinion on how to cook them, and how to eat them.

My wife, for example, likes brats one of three ways:

1) With sauerkraut
2) With sautéed or grilled onions and green peppers
3) With chopped onions, mustard and……………ketchup.

KETCHUP?

She is not alone.

In a Milwaukee Journal/Sentinel article last June, local grillers were surveyed about how to cook and eat a brat. The ketchup as a condiment question was part of the debate.

Michael Zorn, assistant production coordinator of Johnsonville Brats in Sheboygan eats brats the way my wife does: “Personally, for me, the condiments I use are the ketchup, mustard and onion. It can’t be this yellow mustard. It has to be dark mustard.”

The guy works at a place that specializes in brats, and he puts ketchup on his sausages.

Adam Siegel, executive chef at Bacchus and Lake Park Bistro said, when it comes to ketchup, “I’m not against it. I just like a more pungent flavor.”

And finally, Dick Leinenkugel, vice president of marketing for Leinenkugel Brewing Co. said, “I’m so basic. I’m a ketchup guy. People look at me kind of weirdly.”

I’ll bet.

A brat is basically a pork sausage.

We’re talking pork ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls. Pork.

Would you put ketchup on a pork chop?

Would you open up the Heinz and pour it on a nice thick slice of pork tenderloin?

Would you go to Saz’s and tell them you want your ribs slathered with Hunts?

Would you dunk your bacon in the red stuff?

If you said yes to any of the above questions you need psychiatric help and a support group.

In an episode of “Happy Days,” that great philosopher Fonzie was talking about ketchup and ice cream. Keep them apart, and it got a Fonzie, “Ayyyyyyyyyyyyyy!” But put them together, it was thumbs down.

The same is true, I believe, for ketchup on a brat.

Karl Ratzsch’s dinner menu features Wurst Teller:
Bratwurst and Knackwurst served with Sauerkraut, Sautéed Spinach, Whipped Potato, and Swabian Sauce. Their lunch menu has a Usingers Bratwurst, Hungarian or Knackwurst, served on a Hoagie with Sauerkraut.

You see any mention of ketchup?

It is sacrilege to put ketchup on a brat.

Onions, yes.

Sauerkraut, yes.

Mustard, yes.

Ketchup, no.

A big fat no.

I love my wife.

On this one, I’m sorry.

She’s crazy.

— Sunday, Jun 17 2007, 05:55 PM

Fast forward to today. Got another ketchup Culinary no-no, one that sends even my lovely wife gagging.

And if you dared offer it to a kid the next phone call you’d get would be from child protective services.

Try this. A ketchup popsicle.

From the same people that bring you the dreadful yellow mustard… French’s. They teamed up with the Canadian ice pop brand Happy Pops, and put together 100 percent Canadian tomatoes and organic cane sugar.

In an attempt to market this this condiment-turned-popsicle French’s describes it as “savory tomato flavor [that] is perfectly balanced with a hint of salty sweetness.”

French’s has tried and has struck out before with such nonsense: French’s mustard ice creamFrench’s mustard beer, and French’s mustard hot dog buns.

For now this raunchiness is only available in Canada.

Let’s keep it that way.