Friday, March 07, 2008

Notes From All Over: Culinary Edition

  • Quite a few years ago I was discussing with my friend JM--the only one of my close friends to have a child at 25, as I did--the things our children would eat. She mentioned drinkable yogurt and a third friend piped up, "What's drinkable yogurt?" "It's a new way to make small amounts of yogurt even more expensive," I answered, and JM did a spit take. But it's true. I am convinced that Groupe Danone has a Vice President for Increasing Yogurt Profit Margins. Now we have Activia, which contains probiotic bacteria that promotes digestive regularity. But wait: I thought all yogurt contained probiotic bacteria? Yes, but this is special probiotic bacteria and this yogurt has a special name. Someone took the trouble to sue over this.
  • The boy scouts are currently holding what they call a Holiday Candy Sale. Can someone explain to me why we need to be coy about it? It's Easter candy. In addition to bunnies, chicks, and eggs, one may purchase a large milk chocolate cross. There are no macaroons, no nut tortes or flourless chocolate cakes or mousses made with olive oil instead of cream, no chewy charoset bars. Am I being insensitive? I know one of my readers has opinions in this area; help me out here. And if you say the scouts shouldn't be selling the candy at all, I'm behind you all the way, because I hate the sight of candy these days.
  • Here is a very informative article about MSG. Among other things, it says that MSG is a cheap and easy way to achieve the "new" taste of umami, which no one is able to describe very well. And it says that Maggi, a product I learned about from my German-speaking Czech roommate, who considered it an essential ingredient in sauerbraten, is "extremely popular in regions as far-flung as India, Mexico, the Philippines and the Ivory Coast."

1 comment:

Jay said...

Somehow I have a feeling I'm the reader-with-an-opinion you have in mind. I'm also the one with a kid who is not currently enjoying school because she's the only one not getting an Easter candy overload. So I'd be for banning the whole candy sale entirely.

It sounds as if it is an Easter sale, in which case I'd be happier if they just called it that so I would know to avoid it, rather than telling my daughter we could buy something before I realized it was all Easter stuff. Not that's there's anything actually Christian about sugar-marshmallow bunnies, but still.

Passover candy sales - a ubiquitous synagogue fund-raiser - are called Passover candy sales. If it walks like a duck and flies like a duck, there's no point in calling it a goose.