Mystery Meal: Which food origins restaurant operators didn't know

As a restaurant professional, your guests expect you to be the expert in all things food and beverage. While the word trivia is ripped from the word trivial, a solid knowledge of food is anything but trivial. Last week’s food origins quiz results prove you know where foods are commonly known to be from, but not the origins of those foods

The three most notable examples were led by the question that asked where the croissant and danish hale from. France was the most common response, but Austria is the actual answer. More than 70% didn’t know where these breakfast staples got their start.

The same was true of the vindaloo. Originally this was a stew favored by Portuguese sailors before it evolved into the curried dish we all know to be a fixture on Indian menus. It was only after visiting ports in India that the exchange was made. The recipe was left in Bombay and the fabulous curry spices were exported all over the world.

Lastly was a trick question that stumped 85% of you. The legend of the Earl of Sandwich using bread to surround his mutton has pervaded for years. However, the truth reveals it was first seen in ancient Judeah and not 18th Century England.

Not all the results from this quiz were negative. In fact a couple of question demonstrated a fairly strong knowledge of the origins of our more locally designed foods. The Caesar salad was a concoction invented at a Mexican resort and almost half of you knew it. Also, the fajita is a uniquely American dish and 60% of you told us so.

We realize that being a “know it all” can come off poorly, but when it comes to food, your guests expect it from you. It’s all part of being a professional and proving to your community that you are an expert. Show them they can count on you to teach, inform and entertain them with a little bit of trivia about the products you serve. Make yourself an indispensable consultant that delivers value with every visit your restaurant.