Thursday, 23 April 2009

The Paninis Look Gorgeous!

More news just in on the panini front (did you miss the first searing excoriation?)

An anonymous correspondent – fearing to be named, lest she be outed amongst her gustatorily disadvantaged acquaintances – relates a sobering anecdote. Chilled to the marrow, the Intellectual Hooligan reproduces her words, verbatim:

'I was really shocked yesterday when I was out for lunch/brunch in D----- that one of our party seemed to be impressed, in exactly the way you described, by the fact that there were paninis on the menu.
I despair.
She was all "oooh, the paninis look gorgeous" (this was at reading the menu, not seeing an actual panini).'

See? Panini-doubters, you are not alone. Rise up together and challenge this fearful status quo.

(See what I just did there?)


David said...

Paninis are tasty. The fact that some paninis are less equal than others doesn't mean that you can't get a delicious panini in this country.

David said...

Or, I suppose, 'panini are tasty' and 'doesn't mean you can't get a delicious panino'. Depending on what side of the linguistic divide you prefer.

Tom said...

David, David, David ... A couple of rejoinders:

1. Many things are tasty. Just as many things are smelly.

2. I don't think you read closely enough. Neither I nor my anonymous correspondent were claiming that ne'er might a delicious panino be found. Rather, we were similarly preoccupied with the extent to which the very fact of offering panini is touted as some kind of selling point or badge of quality. When it is clearly nothing of the sort.

I maintain that -- whilst every so often a 'tasty' panino may also prove a delicious panino -- one nevertheless improves one's odds of gustatory satisfaction by avoiding overtly panini-touting emporia.

David said...

If I were to answer 1. as a literal point, I would say that the tastiness of many things does not diminish the tastiness of a single thing.

I did read closely enough, but I suppose you and I approach the world in different ways. I chose to imagine that the description in the menu (personally, I envisaged something along the lines of: 'Panini: Porcini, Pesto, Rocket and Grilled Chicken, with Gruyère') created a positive reaction in anticipation of a delicious sandwich. But, I suppose, you could equally assume that it didn't, and that therefore the simple word 'panini' should not create such hope.

But personally, I'll have a half-full glass of something tasty. To go along with my panini.

Billicatons said...

What are dictionary definitions to me? Who defers to *dictionaries* these days? How *delightfully* recherche ... But onward to your points:

If I were to answer your subjunctively-couched answer to 1., I suppose I might contest that, actually, yes, the tastiness of many things *does* diminish the tastiness of a single thing. I'm relativist like that, y'see.

As for our differences in interpretation ... Well, personally, I forbore from envisaging; I merely took the words of my correspondent at face value, and trusted her to make whatsoever distinctions she saw fit. Having been there, I supposed her to have the upper hand in such suppositions. For she is a lady of some experience when it comes to the panini.

Anyhow, David, you are more than welcome to your drink & panini.

Don't burn your tongue, though. Those cheese slices can get devilishly hot.

David said...

Well, I take your several points.

Too true about the hot cheese. I want a blog post warning about that! Although, of course, it's rather after the fact to say that now.

Well, I had assumed that the friend in question said the panini 'looked' good on the basis of the description in the menu, and not merely the fact of their panininess. -- BUT, I must admit that in making said assumption, I have somewhat betrayed my own hatred of advertising and marketing in all forms. Why, after all, should the description be trusted? It probably should not.

But, for relativism: I would define relativism (though of course there are many types) broadly as, one man's opinion/sensation/experience being unto himself/itself, and not necessarily obliging itself to fit into broader schemes.

In that sense, I would suggest that if a single panino can be the apex of tastiness, rather than being obliged to fit into the description, '85% tasty when compared to panini worldwide', that is a more relative experience - an experience relative to the taster and the panini - than the absolute one where all are obligated to conform to, and accept their place in, larger, 'absolute' schemes. I have also been partial to relativism, and so it worries me that we might have diametrically opposed definitions!

Anonymous said...

where I come from, paninis are unheard of, and therefore have achieved a status of 'worthy of excitement'. I didn't know what one was until I went to University. They larned me a thing or two, they did. Mind you, where I come from a sandwich, as opposed to a 'butty' is considered posh.
Oh shit, was it me that got excited by paninis on a menu? I seem to remember doing so once or twice.

Anonymous Rib

FieldVole said...

But Rebecca, didn't you go to university in 2000?

Look! Paninis in Caffe Nero Stoke-on-Trent - i knew it!

Tom said...

Fieldvole, you are bang on the money. Choice excerpt from the customer reviews:


Absolutely what we're up against, here.

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