Monday, August 4, 2014

Presentation Matters

How much does presentation matter to you? I'm not talking about PowerPoint. Do you favor style over substance? I think about this sometimes. I think about it when I consider if I should buy new wheels (style) or a new throttle body (substance) for my Mustang. I think about it when I consider if I should spend my time building a better user interface or adding more features.

I also think about this: years ago, and I can't find the source anymore, I read an interesting article about the qualities different socioeconomic classes in America look for in food. There are apparently big differences.

According to my long-forgotten source, the primary concern among the lower class is the quantity of food. They want to make sure that there is enough. Enough for themselves and enough to feed their family. If you go to their house for dinner, they'll ask you if you got enough to eat. I suppose this makes sense.

The middle class will be concerned with how the food tastes. They probably feel secure that they'll have enough to eat, so they want it to taste good. If they make dinner for you, they'll probably ask you how you like the taste. Flavor is important. Sure, I get that. I like my food to taste good. Who doesn't?

Bica do Sapato, Lisbon
Now, the upper class. As this theory goes, they are most concerned with how the food is presented. If you are upper class, maybe you understand this. If you are a simple country boy from the hills of Appalachia like I am, you probably don't get it. I've been to some fancy restaurants (see below), where I think upper class people must like to eat because the food is very nicely displayed on the plate. I almost feel bad eating it sometimes because I think somebody in the kitchen must have put a lot of work into making the dish look so nice. The portion size is small (only lower class people care about portion size) and the flavor is just alright (only middle class people care about taste) but the presentation is excellent. And it costs a lot.

Now you'll think about this sometimes, too. Like the next time you order a pizza.

Some Fancy Restaurants at which I have Dined

  • I proposed to my wife at the Valley Green Inn in Philadelphia. Excellent presentation. Try the duck.
  • Morton's The Steakhouse in San Francisco. It's a chain, I guess. But a very classy chain. I was under-dressed.
  • The Monet Room at the William Penn Inn in Gwynedd was very nice. I was not under-dressed.
  • We ate at the California Grill at Disney World once. We did it just to get the good view for the Magic Kingdom fireworks, but they have a Warm Octopus Salad. How fancy is that? comic for August 4, 2014

Food Image Credits:

"Bica do Sapato, Lisbon (5834390296)" by Ewan Munro from London, UK - Bica do Sapato, Lisbon. Uploaded by tm. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.