I’m pretty sure it’s not safe to trust someone who can’t make a proper pastrami sandwich. There I said it. I can’t be the first one who’s thought it. I just said it out loud. Pastrami isn’t made on sourdough. No. It certainly doesn’t have mayonnaise on it. Never. It has mustard, maybe some Swiss cheese, maybe not. The mustard options are narrow. Deli, coarse ground, yellow; that’s it. Not Dijon. Not honey mustard. Not chipotle flavored. No fancy stuff. No goin' California.
More options with the bread. Rye, corn rye, marble rye, Pumpernickel. No Dutch Crunch, no whole wheat. My god. Whole wheat? And I suppose you make your baklava with peanuts? Get your Parmesan from a green foil, cardboard container? Adulterate your cheesecake with canned cherry glop? If you can’t trust the food, you can’t trust the place. You can't trust the server. Beware.
Be suspicious when someone wants to smear a succulent, spring leg of lamb with mint jelly. That's a no. Absolutely not. What about salad dressing from a bottle? Ummm, no. Guar gum? I don’t think so. Maybe it’s good on a hot house ripened, middle of winter, not nearly red, can’t smell or taste it tomato. I wouldn’t know. And key lime pie with a graham cracker crust, worse yet no-bake? These are offenses. Know them for what they are.
There are principles at work here. Patience and quality. Tradition, purity. If someone's buyin' precooked polenta in a tube, and you can’t trust 'em to stir the real deal till it’s smooth, how they gonna hang with you? If they’re zapping oatmeal in a microwave instead of slow cooking, how do ya trust they got the patience to listen? If they won’t make the effort to wait till broth is all soaked into risotto so it can release its creamy goodness, then what else aren’t they gonna wait for?
Stay on alert for mayonnaise in guacamole. If it's in there, you been hoodwinked. Adding fat to make it creamy. Nope. A good avocado is plenty creamy. A squeeze o’ lime, some salt. South of the border they’ve been makin’ it forever. Messin' with the guac and callin' it creative? No. People playing fast and loose with the rules. Creative, all right. Better watch your step.
This may seem a little crazy. But you gotta stand up for real. Log Cabin? No maple syrup in it. It’s corn syrup with artificial maple flavoring. I don’t know, maybe it was invented to go with the artificial blueberries in the boxed up pancake mix. Artificial stacked on artificial, drizzled with artificial. We got a problem. What do you really look like under all that stuff?
C’mon—you actually gonna trust someone whose topping is Cool Whip? It’s not meant to eat. It comes from petroleum. You eat Vasoline, too? Reddi Whip is propelled from the can by nitrous oxide—the stuff the dentist gives you. Land sakes alive, it makes you dizzy. Heavy cream. You want heavy cream, from a carton. Whip it up. Know it’s real. Perfect for real peaches that take all summer to ripen and drip with juicy goodness. Berries from the vine, sweet till the middle with a little tart bite. God's way. If the food is pretend, who is the person that eats it? Cooks it? Serves it? See. Makes ya think, right?
That’s it. Nothing left to say. Never fails. You wanna know if you can trust someone’s character, look in their fridge, look at their plate. The food will tell the tale. And by the way, it’s not really a deli if they wanna put pesto on your pastrami. Run. Fast. Better to have PB&J on Wonder Bread. At least you got yourself some history and plain ol' crushed peanuts. (Not Skippy or Jif, and be careful about the jam.)