Is paying service charge bonkers?

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Mr Bean feels utterly annoyed by the mysterious service charges. Image: Johan Farid Khairuddin, Says.com

You have just finished a nice meal in a restaurant, you feel tipsy and joyous, but …there comes the beast – your bill. Hang on a second, why is 12.5% always added to your check? If your eyesight still works decently after these three glasses of Merlot, you may notice “discretionary” next to the word “charge”. Yet, if the service charge is indeed discretionary (=optional), why is it added to the bill by default? Continue reading “Is paying service charge bonkers?”

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3 problems I have with That Sugar film

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I may be late to the party (I know the movie was released in 2014), yet there are still things about it that urge me to type this. Is there something that feels wrong about this film for you, too?

Quick summary

  1. That Sugar film is a documentary of the Australian director-actor Damon Gameau who decided to go on a high-sugar diet for 60 days. He was not eating Victoria Sponges and Snickers, but the products labelled as ‘healthy’ – cereal bars, ready-made smoothies, sugar-ladden sauces etc.
  2. As a result, he gained quite some weight, experienced fatigue and mood swings. As soon as he got back to ‘normal’, his body steadily recovered.

Sounds cool, eh? One man’s crusade against granola. We salute you?

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But wait, there are problems. Continue reading “3 problems I have with That Sugar film”

Doppelgängers: Coca-Cola vs Cappuccino

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Source: http://mentalfloss.com/article/48759/why-do-diet-coke-and-mentos-react

Has it ever occurred to you how much alike these two look? When you pour your Coke straight from the fridge in your glass, the lovely foam appears. 1cm of the perfect mountain top/cloudy bubbles/beaten whites. Is it a coffee or a Coke? Continue reading “Doppelgängers: Coca-Cola vs Cappuccino”

Why do British politicians hate muesli?

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‘Muesli-eating Guardian readers’ – this is how the leader of Liberal Democrats Tim Farron called a certain group of people among British publics. Middle class? Urbanites? Is eating muesli a new social stigma that we all missed learning about?

Put down this spoon and stop pouring milk over your oats and raisins. Let’s investigate.

Continue reading “Why do British politicians hate muesli?”

Melania Trump goes Monica Bellucci, or Potizza vs Pizza

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Who is this black-veiled, er, matriarch? Who is this femme fatale, who looks similar to Monica Belucci in her 2000 hit movie Malena? Wait, it is the housewife and first lady of the United States of America, Melania Trump. Not fearing the ‘trying too hard’ effect, Mrs Trump pulled off a cinematic and a gothically dramatic look – a long black dress with the Lady Macbeth-ian lace veil. Is it how the first lady pictures the Italian church attire?

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Pope Francesco eased up the atmosphere by asking the terrified women on her European trip – what is she feeding her Trump husband. Pottizza (or Potica, the Slovenian pastry – the country where Melania is originally from. See the picture below on the left) or a global favourite, pizza (no introduction needed, the indulgent one on the picture below, on the right)?

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Funnily, this joke – and the food mentioned – serves as the common page for conversation and, hopefully, a point of agreement between tastes and cultures. Get off it, Melania. Get off it, Donald. Be nice to the world. Don’t try too hard to impress.

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Wrong steak for Trump. Macarons for Macron?

Emmanuelle Macron is baking macarons!.. Sorry, not particularly true, but I could not but indulge myself in this glorious pun. However, it is almost reality. The French presidential candidate went to the patisserie school’s class on eclairs and other airy concoctions of the French bakers. The energetic politician did not pretend to excel in baking, but definitely showed a good taste for upscale desserts.

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“LIVE: Our young apprentices have talent! I have less of it, as my first eclair shows”

Wait, who cares for the food visits of a presidential candidate – aren’t they a boring routine of a campaign? Believe me, the right bites matter and can win you the election. Why is it so embedded in the French political tradition that you MUST visit the butchers to impress voters?..

Eat your way to The Élysée Palace

This weekend Emmanuel Macron raised (the nutritional value of) his game and went to the butcher’s pavilion at the Rungis food market in Paris.

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Source: Paris Match


The Guardian
notes that is a typical move for a French politician – reaching out to the butchers, farmers and hardworking market vendors is a must-do of a campaign. Why so? Waking up at the dawn to salute the meat sellers at 6am is a sign of appreciation of good work and tradition.

As Macron was saying, many of these people had been selling meat to the people of France for 20-30 years – and perhaps even generations of their fathers had been doing the same before. A good steak, a bottle of noble wine and a fine eclair at the end of the meal – this is how food preferences of Emmanuel Macron reflect his “centre” position in politics. He is not left enough to praise a plain baguette with vin du table and not too right to cling to the escargot with Pomerol.

Bite the batty!

Do you remember the last time that a wrong meal cost a career to the politician? Exactly, the unfortunate Ed Miliband and his bacon batty malfunction. The UK Labour party member went to the ‘people’s market’ in the wee small hours of the morning on the 21st of May 2014 to sink his teeth into the bacon sandwich, the staple of the working class diet.
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The chewy number, though, resisted the attack – and the newspapers indulged in the embarrassing photos of the Labour leader struggling with the laid back snack. Is it not that the more sophisticated delicacies are easier to eat – it is just the bad coincidence that the bacon sarnie and the Labour politician did not click. The misbalance of a person and food led to the rising number of unconvinced voters.

There will be (no) blood

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There is a gossip that the US president Donald Trump is a big fan of McDonald’s and steakhouses. When he goes to the latest, he orders his steak… well-done, which makes the hearts of the meatlovers sink. As Antoine Bourden mentioned in his memoirs, chefs throw the worst pieces of meat on the grill for those “well-done” ignoranti. The overfrying of a steak kicks out all the juice and flavour – hence, who would trust a nuanced decision to a man who does not know his steak?
As our little foodie political investigation reveals, the food choices mean a lot to the reputation of political leaders. Not only these gentlemen and ladies in power have to eat well – they also need to communicate what and why they eat to us, people. Down to earth, loyal to your plate, true to your country.