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Five Great Food Stories

Who doesn’t love a great story?  Even before written language, humans shared stories to remember their great moments.  When we are children, our parents read us stories and as adults we read them to our children.  When we are with the people we have known the longest we tell stories of our past and work to create stories for the future.  It is fundamental to human nature to enjoy a good story.

The best stories are those we can pass along.  Over the years I have collected a great number of stories from guests and fellow servers.  They are referred to as stories rather than fact, because they are often oversimplified to the point of being inaccurate.  A great story must be both easy to understand and easy enough for you guest to tell their friends next time they eat out.  Getting too bogged down in details will lose the guest’s attention rather than making them feel smarter.  If your story makes them instantly think, “I can’t wait to tell that story,” you have a great story.

Here a five great stories to try on your guests.

Why we drink red wine with steak:

In the process of making red wine the skin is left on the grape.  This skin creates a substance in big-bodied red wines like Cabernets called “tannins.”  These tannins will actually break up the fat on your palette from the steak.  This means that every bite will strike you with just as much flavor as the first bite.

Why we touch glasses to toast wine:

The great thing about wine is how many senses it stimulates.  If we rush right through it, all we notice is the taste.  When we savor it we notice the subtle aromas, the color it casts as the light shines through, and the warmth we feel as it reaches out chest.  Alone we can only appreciate it with four senses.  When we are with great friends though we lift a glass and tap it to awaken our final sense with sound.  The wine serves to remind us that it, like most things in life, can only fully be enjoyed in great company.

The history of Alfredo sauce:

Alfredo sauce is in nearly every restaurant these days.  The combination of butter and cheese on pasta had been around for hundreds of years, but is unsalted butter healthier? It wasn’t until a chef named Alfredo Di Lelio tripled the amount of butter he normally used that he created the creamy sauce.  Like most great inventions it was discovered by accident.  He wasn’t trying to create a revolutionary new dish.  He was just trying to make something his wife could keep down during morning sickness.

The funny thing about Lobsters:

Lobsters have decades been one of the most valuable catches for fisherman, but it is hardly a fair fight.  A lobster’s brain is roughly the size of a grasshopper’s.  They do have some abilities that make up for it though.  Lobsters never age.  If not for predators and diseases, lobsters could live indefinitely because their organs don’t slow down with age.  If captured by a leg or claw, they can simply make it fall off and grow another.  On it’s way to the plate a lobster has gone from the bottom of the ocean, was flown at altitude, and can survive out of water without food for several days,

What happens when fish gets an agent:

So much of what we eat is determined by how it is presented.  Nowhere is this more true than fish.  Some of the most sought after fish in the world go by names that not even experts would recognize a decade ago.  Orange Roughy is almost a household name, but no one was eating it 60 years ago when it went by it’s true name, “slimehead fish.”  The same is true for Chilean Seabass (which is neither from Chile nor a bass) it’s real name is Patagonian Toothfish.  A good public relations campaign can go a long way.

Five great stories you can share with your guests.  Visit again next Friday for more great foodie knowledge.  In the mean time why not share yours in the comment section or at our facebook group.  While you are at it, pass this site along to a few friends or become a fan.  You can also subscribe on the right hand side of the page to sign up for email updates whenever a new blog is posted.


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About David Hayden

David Hayden is the creator of The Hospitality Formula Network, a series of websites dedicated to all aspects of the restaurant industry. He is also the author of the book Tips2: Tips For Improving Your Tips and Building Your Brand With Facebook.

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3 comments on “Five Great Food Stories

  1. yellowcat on said:

    I always heard that tapping glasses during a toast was an act of good faith back in the days when everyone was poisoning everyone else. If you were willing to tap the glasses and let the wine co-mingle, you were saying, “Hey, I’m not trying to kill you.”

    Your story is less psychotic than mine.

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