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Bedford Ramblings
Steve Mills

Lagniappe, the practice of giving something more.

Posted Tuesday, September 22, 2015, at 8:00 AM
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  • As I was thinking of where I first came across the words lagniappe, I thought of the different connotation it had for me back then.

    I was in Louisiana and lagniappe to me was the customer always wanting something extra (I sold electronic wire and cable). After negotiating, they would often rub their thumb and forefinger together and smile. They wanted something more.

    To me, that is NOT the positive side of lagniappe.

    Lest you think this is a Louisiana thing, it is not by any means but it does seem to penetrate a culture. When in China, my interpreter did some shopping for me on the local market.

    She was not a business person, but she was ruthless. I eventually had to pull her back and ask her to stop. The price was already reasonable in my mind, but she got him down another 75%.

    She had done very well, but even as we checked out, she had to get some more lagniappe. She saw some mouse pads on the back wall. Two more had to me thrown in or she was walking. She got it!:-)

    -- Posted by stevemills on Tue, Sep 22, 2015, at 8:00 AM
  • Lagniappe is a delightful word I came across in 1984 when I purchased Chef Paul Prudhomme's " Louisiana Kitchen ". At the end of many of the recipes in the book he would add " a little something extra " or " Lagniappe " to help navigate the world of his cuisine. His book is one of the most well used and treasured cookbooks in my library. Unfortunately Chef Paul passed away very young from comsuming too, too many of his own delicious lagniappes...............

    -- Posted by Palindrome on Tue, Sep 22, 2015, at 1:59 PM
  • Oops......

    Error.....

    Chef Paul did not pass away he just lost weight....

    I bought his later book " A Fork In The Road " about his redesigning overindulgent recipes for the thinner, healthier, modern world and somehow got that confused with his disappearing. Well, he did disappear....At least half of him did........

    -- Posted by Palindrome on Tue, Sep 22, 2015, at 2:41 PM
  • LOL. I still need about 30 lbs of me to disappear too! I was doing good but then started sampling more of Chef Grape's creations.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Tue, Sep 22, 2015, at 3:02 PM
  • ChefGrape's middle name is lagniappe in a way....I did a plethora of catering while in Florida. When placing a bid for that catering I always informed the customer that a gratuity would totally be left to their discretion. If they enjoyed the services feel free to tip us was always the case. I can't remember when a gratuity was not given and usually more then the norm.

    I do recall once that the tip was more then I charged for the regular event, however I did a lot above and beyond as a lagniappe on a free regular basis for that particular client.

    It always surprised me the kindness and generosity of people when a tip was not demanded for count, especially in a seated restaurant....I always hated seeing "A gratuity will be added to a party of 8 or more" written on a menu...It's a rude comment in my book and starts a bad taste before I ever eat!

    I ate at a restaurant once that automatically added a tip on our party of 3 bill once...I told them I would not be back and that it was not right to do that to folks...I left without adding it to the bill and the exact cost was left on the table that day!

    -- Posted by chefgrape on Wed, Sep 23, 2015, at 9:24 AM
  • Penzey's Spices, a wonderful online source for all sorts of spices and spice blends, is very good about occasionally throwing in an extra little jar of something with your order, both as a "thank you" and as a way of getting you to try some of their spice blends or more exotic spices.

    -- Posted by jcarney on Wed, Sep 23, 2015, at 12:21 PM
  • Great way to say thanks and sample. Winner for all.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Wed, Sep 23, 2015, at 1:00 PM
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