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Sep 3, 2008 03:07 PM

Truth in Menus

If you read "Maryland Crab Cakes", would you expect Maryland crab or Maryland style (if there is such a thing)? Who enforces truth in menus? If the menu reads Maryland Crab Cakes, I believe I should be paying for Maryland crab not South America Crab...

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  1. well French Onion Soup is clearly not French unless you are in France!! And an English tea is only English in England. Lancashire Hot Pot, Cornish Pasties, Tex-Mex, Dundee Cake, etc etc. I think it is meant to be style.

    9 Replies
    1. re: smartie

      French Onion Soup derived its name because the French created in the 17th century and it is part of French cooking technique (name earned). English tea is actually named for the popular ritual of English High Tea (name earned). But as far as I know Maryland did not create crab cakes nor does it have a style of cuisine all of its own.

      1. re: CIAinDC

        Actually, "high tea" is an English working-man's supper consisting of sausage, pie etc served at around 5 pm. When Americans say "High Tea" and mean some high-falutin' pretentious ritual of fancy finger sandwiches and silver service, that is actually called "Low Tea". Because it's served at a lower hour such as at 2 pm.

        To me, "Maryland Crabcakes" to me means in the style that is commonly made in the mid-Atlantic region. If I see a sign that says "Kosher Deli" I'd never assume they strictly follow Kosher laws; rather I'd take it to mean they serve things loosely based on that style and tradition.

        But if a place says "organic" or "local" when it's not or calls it snapper when it's rockfish, that to me is fraud. Such places should be exposed to the public and fined. It's fraud.

        1. re: Leonardo

          I live in NY and actually, I think if it says "Kosher Deli" it really is Kosher. At least around me that's true. Maybe elsewhere in the country...

          1. re: DGresh

            hmm i made much the same comment and it got removed.. i have no clue why.. in it i mentioned why despite my jewish raising i am not kosher - how can anyone find a truthful anecdote about myself as offensive?

            anyhow w/out going back into anything as offensive as my own life
            i cannot agree about kosher. to people who are kosher, or halal, or anything of that sort, it is very important, so if you call your place kosher it had better be. if you are not call yourself a jewish deli, or a NY deli, or even (though i find it a very odd phrase) kosher style

            1. re: thew

              Oh yes it's important! The bakery I run is certified Kosher with rabbinical supervision, but we bake on Saturdays. One of the local rabbi's gives us a hard time about this issue, so we have removed our Kosher Certificate and now tell customers that while we use all Kosher ingredients, we are a "Jewish-Style" bakery. Whatever that means, as you said.

              1. re: Catskillgirl

                i don't think baking on saturday "dekoshers" your food. one of the nice things about judaism is the ability to compartmentalize your beliefs and actions w/out excommunication.

                1. re: thew

                  There are many degrees of Kosher-ness (hey, if you can say "dekosher" I can say "kosher-ness"). I am careful to let people know that if it is an issue for them, they would be better served at another bakery. Lots of our customers like the idea of the products being kosher, but it doesn't bother them that we have cheese products for sale along with the parve stuff. Around the holidays (Rosh Hoshanna is HUGE here) it does become sticky - I would never mislead someone to whom being kosher or not really matters.

              2. re: thew

                On the other hand, if a place says "Kosher Deli" and doesn't have a certificate displayed saying who the oversight is from, do you really expect that place to be kosher?

                1. re: tmso

                  no, but it's moronic to say "kosher deli" and then serve a reuben with swiss and corned beef. just call it as thew mentioned.

      2. The only one that bothers jfood is "homemade".

        The rest are just adjectives to give a description, not a geographic location of the kitchen or the ingredients

        1. I may be inclined to think the crab is from Maryland as well. I mean-why mention Maryland at all unless the crab is from there? Isn't that region known for crab that is sweet, superior and wonderful in a cake form? They need to just call them crab cakes. Then again I'm thinking I'm not so highly refined (or crab cake experienced) that I would detect the differences between the two. But I would know what I liked and if I liked the non-Maryland Maryland Crab Cakes, I would be ok with that. Though I am fairly certain the other night that I ordered sole and was given salmon (over pasta). Pink but not oily. Blah. I just re-read what I typed and I SWEAR I've only had 1 glass of wine.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Boccone Dolce

            To me, it's like ordering Kobe beef but getting Grade A. Or ordering organic whatever and not getting it. Although I would eat (let's say) chicken if it weren't organic, if the menu said it was I would understand why I was paying extra. Now if I am paying extra and I don't get organic, then I think I've been cheated.

          2. I get the French onion comparison, but I don't think it applies in this case as i'm not sure that Maryland Crab Cakes differ from Crab Cakes other than the crab used. French onion soup means you'll be getting a big glob of cheese and bread on top of the onion soup, so calling it onion soup wouldn't do it justice.

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