Nothing puts things in perspective to me like the incident I had with accidentally causing a patron to have an allergic reaction. Had something seriously wrong occurred, the patron could have gotten really ill or perhaps even died. I can’t imagine having a career start off with a fatality going very far. It did force me to think about allergies and the workplace. It seems more and more people are showing signs of lactose intolerance and are avoiding dairy in their eating habits.
I’m Torn Between The Two
Lactose intolerance comes from the body’s inability to splice lactose into sugar. This is common for anyone after the age of 20 since they no longer absorb it into their bodies like they would as children. People then avoid dairy products as a means to reduce stomach pains, which in my world is a no go. Most chef’s would balk at the idea of using Silk instead of heavy cream in a cream based sauce. Peanuts however, add a new twist to the kitchen.
A Bit Nutty
I’ve talked about peanut allergies before, and how it really is amazing that the cases in child nut allergies have bloomed in just ten short years. What have we done to our diets that we can’t even enjoy dairy and nut products? With the holidays coming up, I think of baking and the smell of my mother’s walnut cookies. I couldn’t imagine not being able to dunk a fresh cookie into a glass of ice cold milk.
One thing any chef should keep in mind is warning of allergens on menus. Customers are ignorant of what actually is in most recipes, frightfully so. No chef will tell you that they didn’t lie a little bit about what they call certain dishes. How many times do you think your eating Chilean Sea Bass and in reality its grouper or the famous bread trick? I know a delicious seafood bisque that our restaurant makes (not me) that uses frozen baby scallops and imitation crab. Its not lying but its not completely true either. Can that soup easily cross into other food? You bet it can.