Burning Question

Anyway, unless patrons spend some time learning the qualities of each item, none of this matters much. Last year Ascolese bought an expensive chicken from a specialty farm, but no one picked up on the change.

"With Niman Ranch pork, there's a significant difference," Brown concludes. "But you could probably say 'Jack's Backyard pork' and it would mean the same."

Oh, well. To paraphrase a representative American: Is our restaurant patrons learning? Do specialty ingredients really make a difference?

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