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Old 06-10-2006, 08:29 AM   #1
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Fake Flavors In Restaurants

What do you think about this?

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Old 06-10-2006, 08:55 AM   #2
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I think it's _ _ _ (a three letter word that rhymes with "play", often said by Eric Cartman and Stan Marsh), but ultimately it's the guest who will dictate whether or not it stays. I mean over the past 10 years, N'Sync and The Spice Girls sold more albums than mostly any other artist so that basically says that the average consumer prefers style over substance.
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Old 06-10-2006, 09:01 AM   #3
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I am willing to bet that most consumers do not even realize this is going on. If it were advertised on the menu (which of course they would never do) then I think people would be up in arms over it, but most people will never realize this is happening.
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Old 06-10-2006, 09:12 AM   #4
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And that's why I say that it will ultimately depend on the guests. If and when most of the public is informed, the actions thereafter will determine whether or not the trend stays or goes. A big factor now will be how much press this gets in the French media, and whether or not the stories are slanted in a positive or negative light.

If more guests are willing to compromise authenticity for price, the practice will probably continue because it will be much more cost effective for the restaurants to serve dishes flavored with truffles, morrels, foie gras, etc. if they don't have to use the actual ingredient. If the guests are willing to lower their standards and compromise in order to save money, the trend probably stays and it can be expected to multiply in even more restaurants.

However, if the majority of guests are outraged and stop frequenting known restaurants that use this practice, the trend will probably fade away.
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Old 06-10-2006, 09:29 AM   #5
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Another thought: If it ever does get out of control in France, they could designate a type of appellation system similar to their wines which will designate which restaurants use authentic ingredients and which ones don't.

I would think however that with such rich culinary and gastronomic traditions, and all of the pride that they uphold in that, they would try extremely hard to keep their culinary creations as true as possible.
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Old 06-10-2006, 09:41 AM   #6
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and who would have ever thought to ask "BTW, do you use real truffle oil, etc, or the fake stuff?" I bet they don't drop the price a bit, either.
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Old 06-10-2006, 01:21 PM   #7
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Ok then. I guess the best French restaurants may just be outside of France.
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Old 06-10-2006, 04:48 PM   #8
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Went to the website chefsimon.com. It is in French but could make out enough to see they are just little bottles of, can't use the term essence, of artificial flavor.

I kinda hate to say this, but where can we, just home cooks here, get this stuff?

We have purchased truffles, but don't think we got the best at all. And they only last so long.

But to be able to sprinkle a bit of truffle flavor on our eggs once in a while might be nice.

Seems to me the market should not be fine dining establishments, but folks like us who might not have access, or the finances, to purchase the tastiest truffles.

Chefsimon seems to carry caviar, truffle, prawn, crab, shallot and cep drops.

Wow, could we use those to spike up some every day dishes, I would think.

Yes I know this is about fine restaurants using the stuff, and personally I am against it.

I don't believe a chemist can put the subtle flavors of any food into a bottle.

And I was a chemist.

And we have reservations at two Michelin one star restaurants this fall during our vacation, and hope they are not using the stuff.

But places like that we can only get to every year or two, or so, at best.

It would be fun to play with the bottle flavors at home.

Just our opinion here, take care.
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