It didn’t take long to fall in love when I first moved to
Naïve and blinded while taken under the wings of a few professionals, I was taught tricks that I never thought I would use in real life. Hell, this was fantasy to me, but soon the tricks became part of everyday life. It soon became a life of substitution and deception.
Yes, back then that was the life of a bartender in
I learned how to hash booze- Hartley Parker for Johnny Red, Rot Gut for Stoli, and how about Gilbey’s for
I am sure Hashing- the term used for libation substitution in the world of mixology- is practiced less frequently today compared to the earlier days of my love affair. And, I can honestly say that I never hashed in my own houses. Yet, there are those who have taken hashing to a completely different level. The attack has permeated the world of mustard and ketchup.
One of the first NYC lessons professional hashers learns is you never hash the mustard or the ketchup. From miles away a condiment connoisseur who has developed the buds to taste the difference knows the texture, sweetness, tanginess and pucker power of Heinz Ketchup or Beaverton Mustard. To play with the contents of these bottles is a sacrilege in the business of food.
Yet, it is apparent, that this happens frequently. Who in the world is buying those large containers of off brand mustard and ketchup a Costco? Do you really believe there is any room in the refrigerator for one of those mammoth undertakings? Of course not. Those are marketed to condiment hashers across the country.
Yet a more tell tale sign of a hashmeister is the dirty label. Apparent on Stoli bottles, Johnny walker red and Beefeater Gin, a soiled label is a sure sign shouting “Drinker Beware”. And, it is equally apparent on ketchup and mustard containers. Construction worker size bottles with the darkened fingerprints of an Asphalt spreader shouts Fake Mustard. Add this to the crusted, dried top and what do you get: fake mustard in a restaurant where staff aren’t completing their side work.
So in the future, if you are going to go down that path of deceit and culinary deception, learn to cover your tracks. Clean the bottles, soak the tops, an make sure that the ketchup and mustards are given a good shake before you open- the cheap stuff separates under heated conditions.
The other alternative of course is to just buy the real stuff. That’s true love.