Can we walk the walk without talking the talk?

As a born and bred Philly girl, I watched in wonder as the world media picked up the story of the South Philadelphia cheese steak landmark with the little tiny sign in its window demanding that all patrons place their orders in English. After all, this is America, right? Not really, it's South Philly where people are earthy, honest and anything goes.

For those of you who don't know, even if you speak English, ordering a cheese steak in Philadelphia can be tough. Just like the Seinfeld Soup Nazi, you better be prepared to order correctly or face ridicule. "Is that wit or witout?" you may hear as you place your order. If you don't know what that means in Philadelphia, you have no business ordering. Don't even try to order a soda at the same window where you order your sandwich. You must order drinks at the next window where you pay and pick up the sandwich.

As a lady with wanderlust, I had to laugh at the South Philly situation. I could never have made it around the world without a few locals taking me under their wings and being very patient as I tried to order food or catch the right train on the right track in so many places where I did not speak the language.

As the immigration capital of the world, I think it's only natural we should open our hearts and hospitality to non-English speakers. Our nation was built on the backs of people from foreign lands. The sad thing is that many Americans do not realize that our nation is still being built that way. As all readers of Food Engineering know, our industry would be in very sad shape without foreign-born plant workers.

Let's show some respect for the immigrants who came before and those who are here now. Some of the immigrants may be illegal, but the food industry and our nation as a whole would be a lesser place without them.

By the way, I take my cheese steak wit. Wit onions, that is.

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to Food Engineering Magazine.

Recent Articles by Joyce Fassl, Editor-in-Chief

You must login or register in order to post a comment.



Image Galleries

Plant of the Year 2015

Mars Chocolate was chosen as Food Engineering’s 2015 Plant of the Year. The first new Mars candy plant in North America in 35 years is not only LEED Gold certified, it’s highly automated as well.


Burns & McDonnell project manager RJ Hope and senior project engineer Justin Hamilton discuss the distinctions between Food Safety and Food Defense as well as the implications for food manufacturers of the Food Safety Modernization Act.
More Podcasts

Food Engineering

Food Engineering April 2015 Cover

2015 April

The April 2014 issue of Food Engineering features the Plant of the Year: Mars Chocolate. The first new Mars chocolate candy plant in North America in 35 years is not only LEED Gold certified, it’s highly automated as well.

Table Of Contents Subscribe

Plant Facility/Site Issues

What issue about your current plant facility/site keeps you up the most at night?
View Results Poll Archive


Food Authentication Using Bioorganic Molecules

This text provides critical tools and data needed to augment routine food analysis and enhance food safety by aiding in the detection of counterfeit, and potentially deleterious, foods.

More Products

Clear Seas Research

Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications,Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.


FE recent tweets

facebook_40.pngtwitter_40px.pngyoutube_40px.png linkedin_40px.pngGoogle +

Food Master

Food Engineering Food Master 2015Food Master 2015 is now available!

Where the buying process begins in the food and beverage manufacturing market. 

Visit to learn more.