How are scores calculated?
Each parma is given a score out of ten by each person on four categories - Parma, Chips, Salad and Value. We keep the following rules in mind when scoring each category:
This covers the schnitzel and everything on it. Quality and thickness of the chicken breast, as well as the crumbing, napoli, ham and cheese coverage. Ham is not a necessity but is definitely favoured.
Pretty self explanatory, factors considered are the amount of chips, how well cooked they are, how well seasoned they are and whether they are served under the parma or to the side (separate bowls are a real winner). The inclusion of dipping sauces, be it tomato sauce or aioli, are also reflected in the chip score (again, separate bowl is the way to go). If the parma is served with mashed potato or spaghetti instead of chips, then the 'chips' score becomes 'sides' and is scored in this category.
Garden, coleslaw or both - it falls in the salad category. Freshness, amount of ingredients (by which I mean more than just a pile of lettuce), side bowl and quality of dressing are all considered when giving the salad a score. If a parma is served without salad it falls under the "You don't win friends with salad" rule (see below).
Value is a tricky one as we don't consider a low cost parma to have a high value score if its cheap and nasty. A rule of thumb we use when considering the value score is "Would I be happy to pay what I paid again to eat this parma again". Other factors that can have an effect on the value are those little extras - Bread brought to the table before the meal, price of beer over the bar etc.
All of the scores are then averaged individually among all the people that submitted scores for the meal - this is the category score listed at the end of the review They are then run through a weighted average, that gives the parma itself twice as much weight as the three other categories (as the parma itself is the most important dish on the plate) . Our algorithm then spits out a number out of ten, and that is the pubs final score.
What happens when a parma is served without salad?
If a pub decides to serve up a parma without salad (it happens from time to time) it falls under the "You don't win friends with salad" rule, When we initially started a salad-free parma got a zero across the board in the salad category, however this affected the score far too much. Now a parma without salad is given a score of 5 across the board, so the salad itself does not affect the average. However the lack of a salad will be well and truly considered when considering the value of the dish. All of the parmas scored without salad before this rule came in were retroactively adjusted to fit the new scoring system.
How do you decide which pub you visit each week?
Most weeks we will pick three pubs from our list and run a Poll on the Parma Daze facebook page - The pub that gets the most votes out of the three listed will be our target for the following week. There are special occasions where we have a specific location we want to try, and in those cases no poll will run on the facebook for that week.
I had an amazing parma at *blank*, can you guys check it out?
Sure! We're always keen to hear suggestions of new places to try - Just click on "Suggest a Parma" up the top of the page, and check the list to see if its there (this is the list of pubs that are on our radar) If its not listed then fill out the form and we'll put it up! Simples!
I work for *blank*, can you come and try our parma?
By all means feel free to shoot us an email and let us know about your pub, However we do our best to remain anonymous when we arrive for a review as to ensure we don't get any special treatment (or special parmas, we want what everyone else gets), we will put it on our list and get there as soon as we can, but when we visit we make a point not to let ourselves be known - We will see you, but you won't see us.
You gave us a bad review! I disagree! Our parma is awesome!
I apologise if you get offended by anything we say in our reviews, but we call them like we see them. We're never out to unjustly attack a parma - we're nice people! So take whatever criticisms we give as our way of trying to help you better your dish. We have started doing redo's quite often, So if you feel like our review was unjust shoot us an email, we will put you on the redo list and do our best to visit again (if you promise not to stab us, that is).
Do you guys get paid for this?
Unfortunately not, as much as a career in reviewing schnitzels would be a dream job, everyone involved has a "real" job outside of the site and does this purely for fun. We've never accepted sponsorship from any pub to give their parma a favourable review (even if that "sponsorship" was a free parma). The only time we've gotten a free parma was to pose for a photo in an article in the local paper - and even then we had to share one between four of us... talk about livin' large!
Is it "parma" or "parmy"
I try to stay out of this debate, as I don't really care. People get so worked up over a single letter in an abbreviated word. A rose by any other name would smell as sweet, and a calling it a "parma" or a "parmy" doesn't change a thing. I was brought up calling it a parma, so thats what I'm gonna call it. If you're really worked up about how we say it then maybe pronunciation is the least of your problems.
What is that weird yellow rat thing?
That's Jimmy the Parmadillo! That parma-loving scamp is the mascot of Parma Daze, He'll pop up from time to time!
When will you stop?
This questions comes up a lot - The initial plan was just to find a place to replace the loss of our old favourite parma joint, but like many things in life the journey itself has become much more important than the destination. If we every do find the truly perfect parma it will be a bittersweet moment, and I honestly don't know if we will stop trying to better it. Our current "to try" list is over 100 parmas and is growing every day, so we definitely have enough to keep the Daze going for quite a while to come...
"Big Parma Syndrome"
Big parma Syndrome is a phenomenon encountered on a lot of parmas that advertise themselves as "The biggest parma in Melbourne" - despite being large in size they are completely devoid of flavour, leaving you with a large amount of very bland chicken. Size isn't everything.
A.K.A. Entrée - Occasionally we will order a selection of items from the starters menu to whet our appetites before the parmas arrive. They don't factor into a parmas final score, but will get coverage in the review if they are worth mentioning.
When we go back and try a parma that we've already done before, a little nod to the Apocalypse Now Directors Cut - Wanky, I know, but it's kind've stuck (although most of the time we just call it a Redo). If a pub makes significant effort to improve their parma after we've tried it then we're happy to come and give them another chance - Be warned though, If you get us back and nothing has changed it will be looked upon ... poorly ... and the new review will stick.
Note - If the whole pub changes names and not just a revamp of their old parma then its not considered a Redux, the old review will be listed as "No longer available" and the new place will be given a fresh review.
"Schnitzel nudity" / "Nude Schnitz"
Areas of the parma where the underlying schnitzel is exposed due to lack of toppings (most importantly cheese). Area's of schnitzel covered by napoli/ham and not by cheese are not considered completely nude, but could be referred to as "partially nude".
Slippery cheese occurs when a parmas toppings are layered in such a way that when a parma spends an extended period of time under heat lamps, the cheese will melt and slide off the top of the schnitzel, leaving partial nudity on the shnitz and a pile of melted cheese on the plate
"SHNC" or "SNHC"
The two more accepted ways of layering toppings on a parma. Schnitzel-Ham-Napoli-Cheese or Schnitzel-Napoli-Ham-Cheese. Both methods are completely acceptable, however if done improperly, the SNHC method lends itself to the possibility of Slippery Cheese as the melted cheese will slide off the ham a lot more easily.
An extremely rare method of topping-layering, the napoli sauce being on top of the cheese. Not recommended, it is rarely pulled off properly and is most likely a surefire sign of a crappy parma. Can lead to disaster as the cheese will most likely not melt properly under the layer of napoli.
"You don't win friends with salad rule"
Explained in depth in the above FAQ, This is the ruling that governs how a parma is scored if it is served without a salad.