Sunday, November 9, 2008

just say no: hershey's chocolate syrup

Maybe you remember this post, in which I declared that we food snobs should, perhaps, collectively stop judging the cart contents of grocery shopping brethren? Well that doesn't count for restaurants. Sorry, but I am going to judge.

Yesterday evening, NH and I had dinner at relaxed, suburban red-sauce-Italian kind of joint on Staten Island. The dinner was decent and quick, though as many mediocre meals out do it reminded me that I can do better at home in less time. I guess I need to do more emulating of the excellent bloggers behind Not Eating Out in New York. At any rate, NH and I allowed ourselves to be talked into a truly lackluster "chocolate souffle" for dessert, which was really just a second-rate chocolate lava cake. And by "second-rate" I mean the interior was barely warm. True to form, the restaurant festooned this prosaic dessert with ruffles of ReddiWip and the dreaded drizzles of Hershey's Chocolate Syrup.

This stuff. Don't click unless you want to see the frightening number of disgusting-sounding varieties available for purchase at a store near you.

I don't blame this place, after all, NH and I knew exactly what we were getting into and we really didn't mind, though we couldn't help comparing it with some of our recent, finer Italian dining experiences. It bothers me though, that classy-with-a-k suburban casual dining holes aren't the only places where this questionable condiment finds full time employment. Hershey's Chocolate Syrup makes its way onto the fine china of a number of much nicer restaurants regularly. A few of these establishments allow it to touch the food.

Perhaps you're wondering why I'm so harsh on the brown stuff. Here's the thing: it's not good. Doubt it? Go buy a bottle and eat a spoonful of it. Doesn't live up to those childhood memories, does it? Now I won't lie, I still believe there's a special time and place for a glass of cold milk with a few hearty tablespoons of the brown stuff swirled in, but it's the same time and place for grilled cheese sandwiches on squishy white bread and that little square of microwaved dessert in a Kid Cuisine frozen meal (when, by the way, did Kid Cuisine start billing itself as a "real meal"?). That time and place is not in a nice restaurant, making a minefield of my otherwise delicious dessert. I don't need a kind of chocolate-y product drizzled over my delicious fudgy microwaved brownie, or even over my vaguely tasty not-quite-souffle-or-lava-cake dessert product thing. Whatever happened to the joys of minimalist plating? Certainly the restaurant can save $10 on a mammoth can of the syrup and use it to, I don't know, buy more things restaurants need, like salt and pepper shakers to replace all the stolen ones.

At this point in time, there is very little that I can do personally in the war against Hershey's Chocolate Syrup, which is ever so slightly better when warm, but only, only slightly. NH and I have decided to take one course of action though: we're going to make sure we order desserts sans Hershey's Chocolate Syrup. Will you join us in this mission?

general housewifery is participating in National Blog Post Month (NaBloPoMo).

1 comment:

Brita said...

Hi Anastasia, Great site! I am a publicist for cookbooks, food products and food personalities and thought you might like to be on the list when we are sending out samples and event invites. If so, shoot me an email at: brita@ycmedia.com. All the best, Brita