Selling the sizzle - do menu descriptions matter?
Avid Bitterwallet reader James and his chums went along to their local Harvester in Thanet. Several ordered sundaes from the dessert menu, the cheeky porkers:
"Devonshire toffee sauces." Mmmm. Sadly, the menu description and reality parted company at that point; there were so many people in James' party, the waitress bought the ice cream sauces to the table so they could choose their own:
Not quite as ambrosial as the description made them sound, but James was hardly expecting hand maidens to pour the nectar from bowls weaved of gold. He was, however, expecting the sauces had at least been manufactured in the South West:
Toffee sauce from a celery factory in Aylesbury doesn't sound quite as seductive as Devon. It no doubt sells far better and the average punter paying £2.49 for a dessert wouldn't have a clue in a blind taste test, so is there any harm in marketing a product to mislead the consumer?
Of course, the ice cream may never have seen Cornwall and the chocolate probably wasn't made in Belgium - the terms are too generic to receive Protected Geographical Status within the EU to prevent any Tom, Dick and Harry knocking out similar products and slapping an irrelevant title all over them. The real question is - does it matter? If you were in James' position, would you expect to have paid for a generic bottle of E numbers or a more traditional topping as described?