Everyone knows about kosher food and many food companies show respect for the dietary constraints of Judaism by putting kosher food symbols like a circle with a U or K inside on their kosher products. Since the world population of Jews is about the same as the world population of Latter-day Saints, maybe someday we’ll get my proposed LDS equivalent of kosher markings: “Mo-sure” markings (as in Mormons can be sure it’s OK).
I thought of this last night while enjoying dinner at our local Fratello’s restaurant on the Fox River in Appleton. My wife ordered butternut squash ravioli which included an apricot-brandy sauce. I recognize that the tiny amount of alcohol used in cooking such sauces is essentially cooked out (the apricot-brandy mix just had a trace of alcohol added, the waiter told me when I asked). Probably nothing to worry about, but I still have an adverse “TBM reaction” to alcohol being used in preparing my food. So I zealously scanned the menu for items free of alcohol. Ah, the gnocchi! The description was perfectly Word-of-Wisdom safe. It was even better than I expected, with a marvelous rich, fresh, tomato-based sauce that reminded me of what I had from Italian families while on my mission, the kind of sauce that takes hours to make. When the manager came by to check on our meal, I commented on how good the sauce was. “Oh, yes,” he said. “It’s very good. We start with our marinara sauce and add a few things to it, then cook it down a bit – that gets rid of most of the vodka.” My wife tried not to laugh as I politely nodded in approval.
If only the menu had been marked to show which items were truly Mo-Sure.
Here’s my suggestion for those of you who want to be on the cutting edge of food labeling to keep the growing Mormon minority happy. It’s a stylized M inside a circle. Other suggestions? If I don’t see this all over packaged food and restaurant menus next time I come to a heavily LDS area like Utah, California, or Chile, I’ll be sorely disappointed. You don’t want LDS customers worrying that someone has been adding unwanted vodka to their gnocchi now, do you?