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?