|Saturday Night Stromboli
||[Jul. 11th, 2010|03:35 am]
Kelly J. Cooper
Paul F. Tompkins' riff on the ghost stromboli (album: Impersonal) got me thinking about how we used to periodically eat stromboli back at Rutgers at Stuff Yer Face, a neat little restaurant. They opened in 1977. I ate there from 1988-1993, I think. I don't remember eating there before I left town in 1994.
So this week, I dug up some stromboli recipes & we bought ingredients when we went shopping. Tonight, the BF made pizza dough (from scratch, as usual) and I created 2 shrimp stromboli (one with garlic, one without; both with shrimp, baby spinach, grated parmesan, & a little shredded cheddar) and 2 ham stromboli (one with broccoli bits, one without; both with sliced ham, honey-dijon mustard, shredded cheddar, & grated parmesan).
They all blew open in the oven, though none spilled in any sort of horrendous way like calzones sometimes do, which was nice. Next time, we won't roll the dough quite so thin, I think. Other than that, VERY tasty. Lots of dough, which I like.
Random life lesson learned from Stuff Yer Face way back around 1990:
When they first offered their "baby shrimp & broccoli florets stromboli" it actually came with baby shrimp & broccoli florets in a small amount of white sauce. It was stunningly delicious as baby shrimp tend to be sweeter than regular shrimp & florets are just the leafy bits at the top of broccoli, which cook quickly, are very tender, and don't overwhelm the entire stromboli with the taste of broccoli.
Once it got popular and caught on with the regulars, they switched to chopped up regular shrimp and diced broccoli. It wasn't as good. Too much broccoli, especially too much chewy stem pieces; the newer stromboli were too chunky and not as interesting or tasty overall.
And that was how I learned about a weird sort of bait-n-switch that some restaurants & manufacturers do. Nutri-grain did the same thing when they first arrived on the scene. At first, their bars were good-sized and full of fruit. As soon as they caught on, they made the bars smaller, used less fruit (same size wrapper, though) and generally provided an inferior product. BUT PEOPLE KEEP BUYING IT.
The lessons I took from this is that most people either don't notice or don't care about quality differences, especially if they're a bit subtle. And companies don't care about providing quality product once they've got an audience. They will trim and skimp until people complain and figure that's where they gotta stop.
I can't be the only one who notices that kind of shit. But I never see complaints about it, except for "things ain't as good as they used to be" kind of bull, which is more about nostalgia than quality control. It's really irritating.
Er, right. Anyway, YAY STROMBOLI!