Friday, August 12, 2011

Stuff I Miss


About once a week I have a hearty breakfast: sausage, perogies, eggs, toast. I peruse the paper at leisure, soak in the weekend's activities listings, reviews, etc. Part of the ritual of this breakfast is HP Sauce - a first cousin to YR Sauce (anyone remember that?)

This morning, I was holding the bottle of HP Sauce in my hand and felt saddened that something so redolent of my childhood could be so substantially changed, and by a plastic squeeze bottle. It was sacrilegious, this squirting onto my plate rather than feeling the heft of the glass bottle in my hand and thumping its bottom, always in such a way that the amount seemed to be just the right size when it finally plopped onto the plate.

It tasted differently then too, better, sharper. Glass is obviously more hospitable than plastic. The same applies to pop/soda/minerals. Glass all the way. The cans and the plastic alter the taste. I recently had a bottle, a real glass bottle, of Coke. And I was startled when it put me in mind of the Coke bottling plant in Cork where on race days (there was nearly always a race on the Straight Road in Cork) we would get a bottle (or maybe 2?) of Coke for a shilling directly from vendors outside the plant. And here it was - the taste was exactly the same, over 50 years later.

Something has been lost (or gained) in packing foodstuffs in plastic and tin, losing flavour and gaining an overriding plastication in all our basic condiments.

And I haven't even talked about Hellmann's Mayo, have I?

Don't get me started.

And totally symptomatic of our sad old world isn't it?

14 comments:

  1. I remember YR Sauce. Didn't they do two versions, thick and thin?

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  2. I've come to the same conclusion about plastic containers, WWW. Heinz Salad Creme tastes much different when in plastic bottles - nobody has ever agreed with me before this - so thank you! Now I know I'm not imagining it.
    ;-)

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  3. GM:
    Indeed they did. I loved the thick and the skinny bottle with the white top....
    T:
    Ah yes, Salad Creme has never been the same and that sandwich filling creme also. Stopped buying them. Huge taste differemce. Really came home to me with the small bottle of coke.
    XO
    WWW

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  4. How right you are WWW. Heinz Catsup doesn't taste the same as it did in the glass bottle.

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  5. I can't say I've noticed any big variation in taste between different types of container. I always assume that if something doesn't taste the way I expect, that's more because of the particular recipe or ingredients than the package.

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  6. It is also why not to wrap cheese in plastic wrap for any length of time. For mayonnaise, I've switched to the Ojai Cook mayonnaises, which still come in glass jars. I was making it for a while, but this got old.

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  7. I much prefer glass containers and hope more products will gravitate toward using them and away from plastics.

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  8. yes!!! i was thinking this the other day (though not nearly so eloquently) when i was *squirting* mayonnaise out of a plastic squirt bottle instead of twirling a knife around the bottom of a glass Miracle Whip jar, getting my knuckles all covered in mayo....

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  9. GFB:
    I'm convinced the plastic cuts some of the sharpness of taste. The tomato "edge" if you will :)
    XO
    WWW

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  10. Nick:
    Maybe I'll have you tasting stuff with a fresh insight?
    XO
    WWW

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  11. Pro:
    Over the past year I have treated myself to various sizes of glass containers as they came on sale. I transfer everything into them and I'm delighted with the improvement. I always take cheese out of its plastic raincoat and let it breathe and then put it away in glass.
    XO
    WWW

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  12. Joared:
    Me too! Even the peanut butter I buy has to be in glass, so much flavour difference and for some reason CLEANER.
    XO
    WWW

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  13. Laurie:
    Something about licking those knuckles, isn't there? Though I have some very long spoons for getting to the bottom of glass jars and getting every bit!!
    XO
    WWW

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