Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely baby daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.
THERE ARE THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS OF
FOOD BLOGS, BUT ONLY ONE CULINARY NO-
"Clean your plate. There are starving children in China!"
Many a parent has resorted to that tactic over the years. As kids get older, the parental urging becomes just a memory.
In this age of Tupperware and the ubiquitous doggy bag, scraps are often left for another day. Case in point: On Valentine’s Day my two lovely ladies and I had reservations at the Packing House near the airport.
A menu for yours truly was unnecessary. The Packing House offers what I consider the best prime rib around.
Our waitress asked what size of slab I wanted. This, too, was unnecessary.
I opted for the king cut knowing full well I would not and could not finish it all. Another fabulous meal, possibly two awaited.
Understandable given the Fred Flintstone selection plus the sides. However, I find myself getting meals to go more often than not, no matter the size. Recently at Melrose near 27th and Rawson, I requested a container for my gyro meat, scrambled eggs, and hash browns. I wanted the rest for the following morning's breakfast. Besides, does anybody walk out of a Greek restaurant without a box?
In obese America, the size of an entree matters. Diners want value. If the plate spilleth over, the diners see value. To simplify, the diner wants a lot. Even if it's bland as hell, if the serving is substantial, requiring a forklift to jam into a leftover box, the diner is apt to be satisfied. He just got two helpings for his $15.
While it's true that 96% of America's chain restaurant entrees fall outside the range of the USDA's recommendations for fat, saturated fat and sodium per meal, when dining out, consumers want big, bigger, biggest. Anything less and there's a sense of rip-off.
Odds are that the next 10 times I go out to eat I'm bringing home leftovers 90% of the time. That would be a no-no here....
Sapporo is the fifth largest city in Japan. Like Milwaukee, it is best known for its beer.
There's a restaurnt in Sapporo called Hachikyo.
Hachikyo serves a signature dish, "the "tsukko meshi" bowl of rice topped with all-you-can-eat salmon roe.
The above costs about $20 American. A writer at the website RocketNews24 went through this experience:
"The young waiter explained to me that they could only serve the tsukko meshi to customers willing to agree to their rules. According to the explanation in the menu, the working conditions for fishermen are harsh and so dangerous that it’s not unknown for lives to be lost. To show our gratitude and appreciation for the food they provide, it is forbidden to leave even one grain of rice in your bowl. Customers who do not finish their tsukko meshi must give a donation."
Because being a fisherman is dangerous?
How about the truck drivers that deliver food to restaurants? Couldn’t it be argued they take their lives into their hands every time they get behind the wheel?
Can you imagine if an American restaurateur imposed a punitive fee every time a customer didn’t clean up? My guess is he’d be out of business soon.
Many websites I’ve read sympathize with Hachikyo and feel that if you don’t like their policy, tough beans.
While it’s admirable to attract awareness to food waste, Hachikyo should go the route of the good ol’ USA and box up that leftover tsukko meshi.
That’s Japan. If you agree with the main theme of this blog, that in American restaurants size matters, then you won’t be happy about this.
CULINARY NO-NO BONUSES
Miss Manners and napkins.
This one has to just frost the lefties.