Should restaurants that use shortcuts in their cooking have to fess up?

A new logo that is supposed to ensure a Paris restaurant’s food is homemade (fait maison in French) is already stirring up controversy. AFP/Getty Images

“If you go to France this summer, you might notice a new logo in restaurant windows or on menus. It’s a simple graphic of a rooftop covering a saucepan, and it’s supposed to designate fait maison, or homemade. It’s designed to highlight places that make their own dishes rather than bringing in frozen or sous vide — prepared meals cooked in a water bath, sealed in airtight plastic bags and designed to be heated up later,” reports Elanor Beardsley for NPR.

I know, you’re thinking, French restaurants don’t cook their own food? As we reported last July, some 31 percent of restaurants in France use at least some prepared foods, although some restaurant experts suggest the number is much higher.

Regardless, now the establishments that use shortcuts will have to own up to it.

Today’s Question: Should restaurants that use shortcuts in their cooking have to fess up?

  • Joe

    What might that “fessing up” entail? What defines “homemade”? Are they slaughtering cows on-site? “Shortcuts” are made at almost every restaurant in order to meet the demands of the customers including timeliness and price, and other “shortcuts” are farcical thawing of ready made ingredients for corporate standardization purposes. It seems like it would be almost impossible to draw a line. I’m fine with keeping America’s “buyer beware” culture, if you go to chain restaurants you should know and expect what you’re going to get in the first place, really, it’s not like the cooks are clones that can perfectly follow the same recipes. I don’t think we can necessarily compare American restaurants to French restaurants in that context, either.

  • Mike

    I use shortcuts all the time when I cook at home . . .

  • PaulJ

    How about let the restaurants advertise what they do, if they want, and have someone monitoring “truth in advertising”?

  • Gary F

    With planes being shot down in the Ukraine, the fighting in Gaza, Christians being slaughtered in Iraq, militia fighting in Libya, Assad in Syria killing thousands, Somalia having no real government, Venezuela in chaos, Lois Lerner, Snowden, Holder, oh the lists goes on.

    Someday Putin my just own France and we’ll wonder how it happened. Or we’ll wonder why there are no Jews left in France.

    The “Bi-Weekly” question of the week is getting lame.

    • Loquacious Scribbles

      Ah. I forgot my daily dose of fear-mongering. Thanks, Gary!

      What have you done to stop Putin today?

      • Gary F

        Today nothing. Over the last three months, helped finance some friends of mine adopting two teenagers out of the Ukraine.

    • JQP

      its funny because I thought the whole purpose of the internet was that the user was free to go search out anything they wanted… and now it seems I was wrong.. the purpose is to brow beat media outlets until they deliver only the information that “me-listener” wants to hear.

    • Joe

      Those surrender-monkeys! Just look at the state of their restaurants! Must be Putin.

  • bob hicks

    What Gary f said. Is this really where we’ve come to, that we’re gonna go ballistic if the sauce on our meal was not handcrafted in an adjacent room in real time. I mean, wtf?

    • Joe

      Seriously, why isn’t the media making me afraid and talking about how Putin is negotiating for yellowcake in scary places like AFRICA!? I demand a return to the War on Terr!

  • Gary F

    Or another nanny state government law from the social engineering class who knows what’s best for us?

    Or is this just an idea for the rich people to boast how great they are because their Uptown or Grand Avenue pizza restaurant makes their own tomato paste and sources “free range” fennel seeds?

    How about discussing Rep Ellison’s call for us to house the illegal immigrants on our southern border? Or Governor Dayton decision to now show the increases MnSure costs before the election? Or St Paul having a 9.6 million dollar deficit and still wanting to go ahead with street car research? Or ask why the Lake Street protesters are so Pro-Hammas? Or how you can sue someone’s estate for slander without the person to represent himself? Or asking Hannah Nicollet who claims to be a libertarian why she is looking for a government subsidy for her campaign?

    So much in the news, but we are worried what the French are doing? How about the rich French folks leaving because of the high taxes?

    • Joe

      I’m with the pro-hummus folks on Lake Street, you can get some great authentic spreads from restaurants that specialize in Middle Eastern cuisine.

  • darklake

    I don’t want to eat food that has been heated in a plastic, and I would appreciate such a sign in MN.

  • JQP

    its a case of knowledge…
    most chain restaurants make their food in corporate kitchens and ship it to their “Stores”. the Store staff heats and mixes it. This is mostly done to assure corporate consistency .. of a mud like substance.
    there now you know…
    As for broiled, grilled meats.. most are done by your neighbors kid with about 14 hours of training in how to tell if the machine thinks its been on the heat source long enough.

  • Rich in Duluth

    Doesn’t matter. If we enjoy the food, we’ll be back, otherwise we won’t.

  • Jim G

    Hunts or Heinz… that’s all I want know.

  • Lisa W

    MPR is getting lame. Really? See below comments for the many other topics we need to be discussing. I find myself listening to MPR less & less because of stuff like this. Now my question for MPR, “Where’s the meat?” Get it?

    • Joe

      Creepin’ Sharia law?

  • bob hicks

    Please don’t call it Today’s Question unless it gets updated every day. I would think MPR would be embarrassed by having a Today’s Question that is almost a week old…

    • JQP

      You must never have had a three year old.
      It was the same question for days on end… but it was asked every day.

    • Joe

      To be fair it isn’t titled “Daily Question,” no promises broken!