I know I’m a snob. It’s hard to deny it. I have a natural disinclination to all things franchised. The reasons?
- The bottom line.
- In order to draw crowds to a restaurant, a franchised restaurant discourages innovation.
- The food you get in Washington DC has to be the same as the food one gets in Seattle.
- There are no chefs in these places, only cooks.
- Dishes are developed for profit potential which often means less quality ingredients
- Dishes are developed for profit potential which often means dumbing down a menu so as not to offend those who may not be wordly enough to understand that Spaghetti and Meatballs is not an Italian dish
So, is it wrong of me to cry softly when a food blogger comments about the great meal they had a Bucco di Beppo? Is it wrong of me to put these folks in the same category of people who think we should teach creationism in school? Is it wrong of me to want to shout “I DON’T CARE THAT OLIVE GARDEN HAS WONDERFUL BREADSTICKS!”? Is it wrong to want to punish these people by eating a freshly made plate of Saltimbocca alla sorrentina in front of them without giving them any?
Or is the fact that they find these restaurants wonderful a punishment in of itself?
I think it’s the corporate ideal of Italian food that bothers me. If a local restaurant had the same set up as Olive Garden or Bucco di Beppo, I may be less critical, but probably would still knock them for claiming to be Italian. Italian -American cuisine, maybe, but not Italian.
*sigh* I should be getting my “Cultural Elite Membership Pack” in the mail any day now.