Americans are Stupid!
Do you feel stupid? I do not feel stupid, sure I still have a great deal to learn and I am completely ignorant of many subjects, but I really do not think I am stupid. Americans are stupid, at least this is what corporate America has been saying as of late. So while Italian Wine Guy is lost in the Italian Twilight Zone, many of us are looking for ways to win the fight of obesity, take care of our health and find some balance in our life. Italy has become the most visited country in the world because its culture reflects many of the attributes we, and other advanced nations, are looking to re-introduce into our life. As US culture moves more toward a healthy and natural lifestyle, corporate America has jumped on the bandwagon. No, they have not changed the quality of their products or services, simply they are presenting their wares as if they were Italian. Wendy’s has a Frescata sandwich, Jack in the Box has its Ciabatta Burger, Stouffer’s has its Chicken Carbonara and now Applebee’s has hired TV chef and personality Mr. Tyler Florence to promote its wholesome Italian food.
Tyler Florence of Real Kitchen on Food Network:
"I love serving up this classic penne pasta tossed in my own traditional spicy Italian tomato cream sauce mixed with ripe tomatoes and green peas. I top it off with hearty, sweet Italian sausage..."
"My own traditional", this is the perfect example of false advertising; either it is "your own" or it is traditional, since Italy does not have a "traditional" food, instead each region and town will have antique recipes based on local vegetation and game. I understand why Mr. Florence would not talk about his traditional New Jersey style tomato sauce. I could explain why a spicy tomato cream sauce would not be mixed with ripe tomatoes and green peas but I doubt the company would have any idea of what I am talking about.
"This juicy whole chicken breast is crusted with a tasty mix of crisp, flaky Italian seasonings. I serve it beneath a fresh baby arugula salad mixed with grape tomatoes, rich mozzarella..."
Ok, I am really confused now. Italian seasoning? Does that mean something? Out of the 10,000 herbs and spices which one are we talking about? Is he trying to say Sicilian, Neapolitan, Foggiano, Romano, Bolognese, Friulano, Piemontese or Lombarda? Or perhaps he is talking about American-Italian that has little to do with Italy. And please explain to me how a seasoning can be flaky, unless he is saying the seasoning is so old that it has gone bad?
To reinforce that this is a healthy choice, the advertisement shows Mr. Florence shopping at a local vegetable market, carefully choosing the freshest of ingredients. Unfortunately the chefs of Applebee’s, and any other chain restaurant for that matter, have never seen a fresh fruit and vegetable market, at least not while on the clock. The business model of a franchise requires the local establishment to buy its ingredients from the company’s distribution centers. The distribution center buys from some huge auction then treats and stores the fruit or vegetables. In other words these products are not, by definition, neither fresh nor ripe.
Health concerns are serious. Americans are trying to make informed and appropriate choices yet as long as this type of irresponsible action is allowed, we are fighting a losing battle. I am not saying to not eat at Applebee’s, Wendy’s or Jack in the Box or not to buy the myriad of “Italian” industrially prepared foods on the market today just to be aware that these companies think you are stupid and that your health is less important than their profits!
To Mr. Florence, you state that your real kitchen is dedicated to “Culinary Honesty,” I guess we know how much your honor actually means to you.
Download CDC Obesity data in PDF file
Tags: Gourmet Foods Tyler Florence Food Network Obesity False Advertising Stupidity Fast Food Applebees Italian Recipes Food and Wine Travel Italy
Labels: Italian Restaurants