Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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The Gastronome Codex

A Very Weighty Tome Indeed
  (+8, -6)
(+8, -6)
  [vote for,

In many restaurants, particularly Chinese ones, all the dishes and beverages are numbered so that the less linguistically adept among us need suffer no embarrassment when making our order.

My proposal is twofold.

Firstly, that this system be adopted by all purveyors of comestibles. Restaurants, pubs, greengrocers, supermarkets et al.

Secondly, that the numbering system be standardised so that everyone uses the same number for the same product and that a standard reference book, The Gastronome Codex, be created. The Codex could be divided into several sections, perhaps starting with raw ingredients (e.g. menu item 000001, a potato) followed by soups, breads, sauces etc. You get the picture. Clearly there would be a lot of numbers to keep track of but that’s OK because there should be an inspectorate established in order to ensure that everyone is using the correct numbers on their product listing or menu.

You never know, some of the posh restaurants may even do away with menus altogether and take to wheeling up the entire Codex to your table when you’re ready to order, possibly secured with chains and accompanied by an honour guard of cowled monks, singing psalms and swinging incense burners.
DrBob, Dec 14 2001


       Croissant for the monks bit. Would the numbers of the individual ingredients be reflected in combination dishes?
stupop, Dec 14 2001

       Bizarrely, this tends towards having been partly-baked in catering text-books. Each ingredient is listed followed by the things you can do with it, so you might have:
1. Potato
1.1 Boiled [instructions for boiling a potato.]
1.1.1 Mashed - Boil potato as above, then... [etc]
angel, Dec 14 2001

       What happens if you create a new dish? Would you have to apply to a bureau to get a number, like with a bar code or ISBN? This would stamp down on culinary innovation, which might not be a bad thing, judging by all the chefs trying to create duck in chocolate sauce and the rest.
pottedstu, Dec 14 2001

       I don't know if this is a *good* idea, but it's interesting enough to vote for. I think you'd need a "dot" in the number, to account for individual variations on the standards, e.g., number 155402 = coq au vin, 155402.019 = coq au vin chez Jacques.   

       pottedstu, please let's not stamp down on culinary innovation, because sometimes it is a good thing, and after all, isn't it safer to have us halfbakers occupied in the kitchen/bakery than out in the real world?
beauxeault, Dec 14 2001

       As long as we're only feeding ourselves, yes. (Exception made for [UnaBubba], who, by all accounts [all of which are his own admittedly] is a bit of a kitchen wizard.)
He'll have his hands full with strained lamb and vegetables for the next few months, though!
angel, Dec 14 2001

       Interesting angel. Yes that makes sense if the various ways of preparing an ingredient were listed that way. stopup: Sort of. I thought that certain basic preparations like, say, an omelette would have it's own listing but any extras (parsley garnish for example) would each be seperately identified. So, for pottedstu's example we would have...
Number 666.6.6 Duck, Mallard - baked, coated in no.7215 milk chocolate sauce, with a hint of no.80.3 pistachio nuts - ground.

The only reasons to petition for a change in the Codex, 'stu, would be if you discovered a new raw ingredient or if you thought that a particular recipe should get it's own entry as a basic preparation.

Having thought about this idea a bit this afternoon, I'm firmly convinced that I can get this idea baked (the Codex that is, not the duck - heaven forbid!) by submitting it to the EU Food Standards Commissioner.
DrBob, Dec 14 2001

       Perhaps, rather than having ingredients numbered - 00001 = potato, 00002 = lamb, 00003 = creamy sauce, etc. - you could have them signified by bits - 00001 = potato, 00010 = lamb, 00011 = lamb + potato, 00100 = creamy sauce, (and of course, 00101 = lamb + cream, and 00111 = lamb + potatoes + creamy sauce). These would still appear on the Codex in decimal format, but it would mean that a restaurant could increase its range of recipes by adding a new ingredient to the system, and all the potential variations would be automatically generated by the numbering system itself.   

       Bitmasked menus for vegetarians?
Guy Fox, Dec 14 2001

       What Guy Fox said. Numerologists and diet-mongers would come up with arcane explanations fo what to eat what days for what results.   

       But really - 'potato'? We need to distinguish between the waxy and floury ones at least, and really ought to be able to tell a Rose Finn from a Yukon Gold, etc.
hello_c, Dec 14 2001

       Shouldn't this be called the Gastronomicon? Big book with "How to Serve Man" on the cover...
bookworm, Dec 14 2001

       hello_c. Agreed, so number Potato - King Edward - Chips - Slightly soggy.
DrBob, Dec 15 2001

       //something unusual with an aubergine//   

       The mind boggles.
Guy Fox, Dec 15 2001

       UB wrote: «IP addressable food, anyone? I have no thoughts on how to bake it.» With an IP addressable oven, of course.   

       You could take the original idea to an extreme and use a cryptographic hash of the recipe as the numbering system.
cp, Dec 16 2001

       whats wrong with adapting the dewey system?
po, Dec 16 2001

       004505698.040.040 (with extra soy sauce) +
xenzag, Apr 20 2018

       I'm picturing the entire contents of [Ian]'s dwelling spread out across the floor.
pertinax, Apr 20 2018

       [Pert], Ian's things were spread out on the floor, until he purchased, received delivery of, then filed them in, the Filing Filing Filing Cabinet™. When you pull a file drawer out of the FFFiling cabinet, another filing cabinet pops up, out of the drawer.   

       Technically, this does not represent simple boxes inside of boxes, nor things piled on things, as it is an actual filing system.
Sgt Teacup, Apr 20 2018

       //crucially misses out on a c] which is horizontal gene transfer// Actually, that's only a relatively minor glitch, especially once you get above bacteria.   

       The overwhelming problem with the Linnaean system is that it seeks to define an instant at which one species splits into two, or evolves into another species. As you move up the evolutionary "tree", there is a definite point at which one branch splits into two, which is not how nature works at all.   

       It would be more accurate to have a sort of density map. It would end up looking sort of like a tree, but with a sort of thin (and gradually thinning) web between diverging branches.
MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 20 2018

       Simply map the tree into multiple dimensions, and then make parts of it recursive.   

       It won't help with the classification problem, but it will keep lots of biologists and mathematicians off the streets and out of everyone's way for decades.   

       ("It is vital, as the current Patrician has noted, that something like this is found for people with minds like that to do, otherwise they might do anything ... " (Terry Pratchett))
8th of 7, Apr 20 2018

       Wow! 16 years between comments. Is this the slowest conversation ever?
DrBob, Apr 20 2018

       You've never visited the north of England, have you, [Doc]?
MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 20 2018

       Wouldn't dream of it.
DrBob, Apr 20 2018

       Having reached an age where my blood pressure is now very much higher than my IQ, I found myself needing to lose some weight. I consulted an expert (my neice; a mad triathlete health fanatic) & she suggested that I try calorie counting.

So, being of that type of mindset, my first thought was to create a handy reference sheet of what I was eating & what the energy values are &, for good measure, what the neutrient values are.

Of course, so that it wasn't just a big, long, list of random items I needed to categorise everything properly. So I sat down & started to create a spreadsheet. And then, as I was doing so, I suddenly remembered this idea & choked on my coffee (decaf, black). Oh, how the wheel turns!
DrBob, Mar 20 2024

       Hey Doc! Long time no see, have a bun. [+]
doctorremulac3, Mar 21 2024

       This idea is beautiful. [+] and so is the title Gastronomicon.
Voice, Mar 21 2024

       Thanks doctorremulac3! Yum! Yum!
[counts calories]
Looks like boiled rice for dinner again!
DrBob, Mar 21 2024

       Boiled rice is a terrible dinner for a man on limited calories. There are much healthier and more satisfying foods for the same number of calories.
Voice, Mar 21 2024

       There are indeed. But rice is OK, especially if you sprinkle it on food.
DrBob, Mar 22 2024

       The U.S. FDA has a database which makes a passing attempt at this, although it misses some obvious staples, like Kale, or Buckwheat, or maybe it was specific kinds of cheeses.   

       When I got worried about changing to a vegan diet, I joined a few sites which claimed to count the nutrients in your diet, but didn't pursue it.
4and20, Mar 22 2024


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