Published on: October 10, 2013
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Hi, I'm Kevin Coupe and this is FaceTime with the Content Guy. So a couple of things happened to me this week that I thought were worth mentioning...
To begin with, let's take the subject of Brussels sprouts. As I've said on more than one occasion here, I hate them. The number of foods that I feel this way about isn't very big. It includes beets, mostly, I think, because my mother served canned beets a lot when I was a kid and I can't even hear the word without feeling some level of disgust. I have had them from time to time, and actually liked some white beets that I was served not so long ago. But I'm never going to buy them at the supermarket, never going to make them, and certainly am not going to go out of my way to order them in a restaurant.
My dislike for liver and egg salad is even more intense. Never liked the smell of liverwurst when I was growing up, and for some reason - I'd probably need years of therapy to figure out why - the smell of egg salad makes me physically ill. Again, this may have more to do with mother issues than anything...
My mom also served us a lot of tuna salad when I was growing up, but for some reason I don't have the same reaction to it. Don't eat it much, but I don't have anything like the visceral dislike for it that I do for beets, egg salad and liver.
And then, there's Brussels sprouts. Again, I'm not sure why I hate them so much, but I do. Except that this week, I was at a business dinner at a wonderful Italian restaurant in New York City called Il Buco, and one of the items on the menu was risotto with shaved Brussels sprouts. As much as I hate the sprouts, I love risotto. And I figured that they'd never be any better than they'd be at Il Buco ... so I ordered the dish.
Gotta tell you ... it was fabulous. As one of the guys I was with said, "You're mixing them with onions, butter, wine and arborio rice...how could they not be great?" And he was right. Brussels sprouts may not make my top-10 food list, and they're certainly not anywhere near my "what would you have for the last meal on earth" list. But they were really good .... and it was instructive about the power of great cooking and the importance of being willing to step outside one's comfort zone every once in a while.
Besides, I figure it means that even at my age, I have the capacity for personal growth.
Another thing I wanted to mention to you ....
I was wandering through Eataly this week - you know, the New York City shrine to all thinks culinary and Italian. and I found something called "The Little Book of Pasta Tips." I thought it was pretty clever, and good to have around the kitchen, so I decided to get it ... because once again, it is always nice to learn something new, and I'm a sucker for an educational experience. I also thought it was a pretty smart impulse item ... you know, instead of some of the crap that food retailers sell from their wire at the front end. I'd love to see more of this sort of thing, and less of the magazines that seem to have as their core mission chronicling all things Kardashian...
But one other quick point ... Out of curiosity, I checked to see if it was available on Amazon.com - not because, at $4.95, it was expensive, but just because I was curious. Guess what? It wasn't available.
Another great business lesson: Whenever possible, when going up against a bigger competitor, one of the best ways to do it is to actually carry stuff that they can't carry, or just don't.
Sometimes that can be a big thing. And sometimes, a small thing. But having that "thing" - a unique product or service that is uniquely, indisputably you - is absolutely critical.
That's what is on my mind this Thursday morning. As always, I want to hear what is on your mind.
- KC's View: