Chives or Green Onions?

The other day I was having dinner with a colleague. When his steak and baked potato arrived he was asked if he wanted sour cream, chives and bacon bits on top. When he answered "yes please" the server loaded up the potato with sour cream, chopped green onions and imitation bacon bits. Did the server not know how to tell the difference between chives and green onions?

When did we start accepting smoke flavoured hydrolysed soy protein as a replacement for real bacon bits?

We should call food-like products what what they actually are:

Sugar water with food colouring. Plastic-like bread-size slabs coloured to vaguely resemble cheese. White powder from the inside of genetically modified, non-destructible grass seeds. Dried cereal mush with loads of sugar and teeny-tiny bits of dried fruit.

Many years ago I had a friend who wrote restaurant reviews for the local paper. It was always a treat to go out for dinner with him as he got the best seat and the best service ... that is if the server recognized who he was.

One afternoon we were having a relaxing lunch on a patio at a local pub. He ordered the crab croissant and boy did he get cranky after that first bite. Seems that the 'crab' meat was actually crab-flavoured pollock, aka imitation crab.

When he questioned the young server, she was completely perplexed ... she didn't know the difference ... and we were in a coastal community where real crab was abundant. My friend raised such a fuss that the manager came to our table and agreed to change the menu listing to disclose that the dish contained imitation crab meat.

That was a big lesson for me and I hope that restaurant reviewer is still out there keeping restaurants honest. We could use someone like him in the grocery stores too.

Jeananne Laing