Thursday, March 12, 2015

Culinary Inspiration

One of the culinary trends I enjoy most is affixing uplifting sayings or Bible verses to the packaging calorically-dense desserts. My first exposure to the trend began with the Edwards brand of pre-packaged frozen pies. During the manufacturing process, a bible verse would be stamped onto the bottom of the metal pie pan so that once you had finished consuming their product you were treated to an excerpt of scripture.

I am sure these were strategically chosen (as none of them concerned gluttony) but my parents always found it a delightful bonus to an already delicious dessert. The Edwards brand was acquired by Schwan Food Company in 2001 and sometime thereafter they phased out the practice. There is a modest social media campaign to re-instate the Bible verses, but as of this writing it has yet to gain much traction. Personally, I suspect that their lack of support is simply because it is difficult to goad people into action after they have eaten an entire pie.

More recently, the practice has shown up in locally-owned bakeries. My wife and I often purchase cupcakes from a business down the road from us; and they always hand-write inspirational messages on the underside of the pastry box. I suspect that the purpose of this is twofold:

1.      It reminds the customer that the items they are consuming were indeed crafted by hand, thereby distinguishing these treats from the mass-produced offerings at their local grocery chain.
2.      It temporarily distracts me from the inevitable onset of type 2 diabetes directly resulting from my dietary choices.

Depending on who is penning the quotes, they can run the gamut from a reassuring “there is no greater way to thaw the soul than by exposing it to the warmth of friendship” to the completely circular “he who seeks warmth need merely to be warmed by what he seeks.”I always wonder if there was ever a situation where one of these bakery employees became disgruntled and sabotaged the motivational messages. How many customers would open their box of cinnamon rolls and find themselves faced with "Ask Us About Our Failed Health Inspections" or "Kill Whitey!"

Anyway, I began to feel that other culinary products could benefit from this personalized packaging. In that spirit, I have come up with the following:

  • Ramen Noodles – For the Love of God Stop Changing Your Major
  • Canned Chili – You Are Out of Toilet Paper
  • Name Brand TV Dinners – Don’t Worry. She’ll Cool Off…
  • Fruity Pebbles Cereal – Prepare to Poop the Rainbow!
  • TV Dinners that Refer to Their Main Course as “Wyngzs” – Was This Your First Time Eating Lemur Meat?
  • Cage-Free Farm Fresh All-Natural USDA Organic Eggs – The Outer Packaging Was a Misprint, These Hens Were Water-Boarded With Antibiotics & Forced to Smoke Menthols at Gunpoint.
  • Velveeta – Yes, It Is Unnatural That I Don’t Require Refrigeration

  • Hillshire Farms Deli Meat – We Both Know You Are Just Using Me for the Free Tupperware
  • Store Brand TV Dinners – Are We Still Pretending This Separation is Temporary?
  • Tyson Chicken Breasts – Of Course We Gave Them Growth Hormones, That Last Cut of Meat was the Size of a Miniature Harp
  • Hot Dogs – Processed in a Facility that also Processes Tree Nuts & Schnauzer

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