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Old 05-28-2009, 08:04 AM
943 posts, read 2,711,833 times
Reputation: 687


When I visited Boston recently I got tired of seafood and decided to have steak on occasion at the various places we ate. At each place I asked for steak sauce and they looked at me like I had two heads. I pushed it and they said that Boston Restaurants do not have steak sauce. If this is true, why?
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Old 05-28-2009, 12:26 PM
Location: Boston
7,377 posts, read 15,350,252 times
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It's Massachusetts Common Law section 301_C (part A) line 42 which provides that:
"No self-respecting beef-product serving establishment shall serve or stock 'flavor tainting' substances of any sort."

I believe it dates back to the Puritan days where salt was the only measure of preserving beef and therefore the only allowed measure of flavoring it (beef was a community commodity and using alternative flavor and not salting wasted a community resource... food was scarce back then). The use of sauces and flavor enhancers were punishable by death until a court ruling in 1846 found that those measures were a bit harsh and changed the maximum penalty for the offense to 25 years imprisonment.

You've heard of the Salem Witch trials, right? Well the strict restrictions on beef flavor were made popular by a slightly lesser-known event called the "Beverly Beef Trials" where 19 accused "flavor mongers" were accused of using a "sauce like substance" to flavor their beef (though the defendants pleaded that it was just "mutton"). They were burned alive (with no sauce for flavor).

In all seriousness, I have NO IDEA why you couldn't find steak sauce. I know plenty of restaurants that have it. Also, if it was at a nicer place, a chef may take offense to someone using steak sauce to mask the flavor of the steak (which is why you may have been looked at funny). I'm assuming you either phrased it wrong (usually we call it "A1") or you ordered it at a place that wouldn't appreciate you using it on your food (i.e. a nicer restaurant). If they told you that Boston restaurants don't have steak sauce, they were messing with you.
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Old 05-28-2009, 05:01 PM
Location: Newton, Mass.
2,954 posts, read 10,814,379 times
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I've never run into this either, and I have no idea why anyone would tell you that. Where did you eat that they told you Boston restaurants don't have steak sauce? My girlfriend has lived her whole life within 20 miles of Boston and couldn't imagine a steak without it. And she loves steak.
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Old 05-28-2009, 09:38 PM
Location: Dallas
4,625 posts, read 8,552,346 times
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I would say the answer is they don't want you to ruin the steak. Really, why pay Todd English $100 to cook you a piece of meat when the only thing you are going to do is bury his recipe in A1?
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Old 05-29-2009, 09:26 PM
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Now I want some steak.
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Old 06-01-2009, 10:44 PM
140 posts, read 281,139 times
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Thank God! A-1 sux!!! Now I'm excited to move there soon!
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Old 06-02-2009, 11:49 AM
2,652 posts, read 7,651,141 times
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Here's a secret steak sauce recipe. It sounds weird, but please try it! Go get some of orange popcorn salt, and mix it with a couple tablespoons of sour cream. Mix it together and BAM... You got yourself the best steak sauce on earth. I promise you'll never use anything else again.
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