Thursday, 16 April 2009

I'm Lovin' It!

I spent a lot of the last week, whilst away on holiday with Mrs Goy's family, talking about food. Perhaps this shouldn't completely surprise - I did spend a lot of time stuffing my face with variants of barbecued dead cow, after all. (I think family barbecues are such a civilised thing, don't you?)

My sister in law is secular, but for traditional reasons keeps a house free of leavened products during the Pesach. Mainly for the kids, she says. Jewish identity and stuff like that. Fair enough. As long as no one touches my Whiskey...

Anyway, we got to talking about the dietary restrictions during Passover - I've mentioned them before, here - and she mentioned how excited she was when McD's finally opened in Israel, sometime in the 80s.

"They sold Cheeseburgers!" she enthused.


Cheeseburgers aren't Kosher, apparently. It makes sense when you think about it - milk and meat and all that - but it hadn't occurred to me until that moment. Fair enough.

(To put her excitement in context: McDonald's have an almost immoral hold over the impressionable minds of young children. I really don't know how they do it. Must be something about the colour scheme, that and Ronald McDonald. Also, back in the day, the delightful folks at the Rabbanut had a much more effective hold on the whole eating out industry. Far fewer places then that didn't maintain a Kosher kitchen. So, of course, McD's were seen as the [unlikely] agent of rebellion, of social change, of all things good to impressionable teenagers. Of course, one then becomes old enough to work for them...)

Nonetheless, McD's made sure to do their bit w/r/t the leavened products business during Pesach, by serving the unleavened bread! The mind boggles. (Actually, it does make sense in a twisted, illogical sort of way...)


McDonald's, generally, have something of an image problem. Not that this surprises me, personally - I had the misfortune to work with them once, many years ago, when I was young and impecunious and desperate for cash. Boy, was that an education...

(If you're interested in knowing more, I recommend the documentary McLibel. This was some time before Morgan Spurlock and SuperSize Me. Also has interesting things to say about the British judicial system, specifically in connection with the absurd libel laws within that jurisdiction.)

Anyway, understandably, they've spent absolutely oodles of money trying to overcome this, with concerted ad campaigns trying to prove that they are as wholesome as the next fella. Which cues a number of amusing tv spots. Here's one I saw the other night:

(The bit in Hebrew is the cab driver asking a colleague, "57, How do you say 'McDonalds' in English?")

They claim - and there is no reason not to believe them - that the salads are chopped only after the order has been received. Good for them. I still can't get over the fact that every evening, all leftover food is wrapped up, counted, carefully categorised and then thrown away*. It was almost enough to turn me into a Socialist. Almost.

*I'm not sure if this is the case in Israel, but it happened, and still happens, in the United Kingdom.


thebookmistress said...

I think one can make a solid case for not counting McD's "cheese product" as dairy.

Goy said...

Good point :-)