For approximately the millionth time this year alone, a Luxembourg restaurant has served bread without a side of butter.
Gizela Masla, who ate with friends at a Place d’Armes restaurant on Thursday, is just the latest victim of what many call a violation of the fundamental right to an enjoyable bread-eating experience.
“Our waiter brought the customary basket of tasteless, dry bread, so I took a piece and reflexively looked for one of those individually wrapped servings of butter, but it wasn’t there,” Masla said. “It’s never there.”
Masla says that sometimes she is so desperate to make her bread more palatable that she discreetly dips it in her drink, whether it is sparkling water or a vodka tonic, a practice she believes has cost her friends and the respect of her colleagues.
Jokum Berthelsen, a condiments rights activist, says that restaurants have an obligation to provide spreadable animal-based fat if they choose to serve bread.
“Sure, they act as if that bottle of chili-infused olive oil, which in any case is probably 65 percent canola oil, is good enough,” he said. “It’s not. We want moist, creamy butter presented in an adorable little dish, and we want it now.”
However, not everyone agrees.
“Bread is obviously not meant to be eaten as an appetizer,” said Amos Tcheff, who has worked in food service for 30 years and has grown to hate everything about customers. “It’s an accompaniment to be dipped in delicious sauces and consumed alongside the main dish.”
“You can also use little morsels of bread to clean your plate if you so choose, but be careful because at a certain point such behavior just becomes annoying and you look like an old person born in the 1930s who’s scared to let a little blob of cream go to waste,” he added.
Butter rights activists, however, say they do not buy such arguments, pointing out that bread is always served long before the main dish. Tcheff and defenders of the status quo describe this as “a question of convenience,” pointing out that diners are also given silverware and ketchup long before they need them.
Some activists have softened their stance in the face of this seemingly bulletproof logic, but most refuse to back down.
“Servers know very well that the second the bread is delivered, at least one person at the table, whether out of hunger, habit, or boredom, is going to nibble on it,” Berthelsen said.
“These victims soon find themselves in a dark world of serious discomfort, a quiet, lonely place as the dry bread sucks all the moisture from their mouths and the mass turns into a solid and nearly unswallowable ball of tasteless flour-flavored goo,” he said. “Butter is the only solution.”
Originally published by RTL Today on May 12, 2022