Grisolia: 'Mystique' boosts profit margins, even when marketing meatballs
Though I can't prove it, I suspect that the use of "mystique" – the creation of an air of mystery, not the word itself – originated with Middle Eastern spice and perfume merchants thousands of years ago. There are some who would have you think that "mystique" is a creation of French wine merchants as their way to sell more wine, but the phenomenon seems to predate the French. Regardless, the use of "mystique" has always made it easier to profitably sell a broad range of products – including meatballs.
Yes, meatballs! Those tasty round globes of meat and other ingredients that are traditionally served with pasta. But to appreciate the impact of mystique on the art of selling meatballs, you have to forget about traditional meatballs. Think specialty meatballs. Surprisingly expensive meatballs. Meatballs unaccompanied by pasta.
It's worth noting that meatballs have always come in a variety of sizes, depending on their use and who makes them. Some, when included in a family recipe for lasagna, for example, can be as small as a half inch in diameter. You've seen others, I'm sure, that were two inches in diameter heaped atop a plate of spaghetti. But all that seems to have changed in recent years.
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