Saturday, November 27, 2010
Who Knows What Cans Lurk in the Cabinets of Men
Recently I had occasion (don' ask...) to do a thorough cleansing of my kitchen cabinets. Among the 3 year old open bags of wheat gluten and piles of countless, forlorn looking sachets of oatmeal, I found some gems.
As is the case with most food bloggers, I have accumulated quite an assortment of interesting canned products. It is all stuff people sent me, things I bought to review (but never did and probably never will), as well as a few items that just looked neat to me so I picked them up. I have always had an odd fascination with canned goods and the canning process. Probably no other single food processing technology has meant more to humanity (for better or for worse), and I must have a Warhol streak in me, because I find the look of many canned goods pleasing to the eye.
Take the above can of Red Feather Processed cheese. I keep this out in my kitchen simply because I like the way it looks. The pleasing blue of the background, the deep red of the feather, the whole composition is strangely pleasing. Plus, the product aint bad and the post where I tested it in various applications is one of my most popular of all time.
Next we have these abominations. It is Cambell's tomato soup, the classic soup of American childhood, consumed with untold grilled cheese sammitches on a daily basis. But this isn't normal red tomato soup, it is orange and yellow tomato soup. < sarcasm > Because that sounds good. < /sarcasm > I bought these because the whole concept seemed so strange. Cambell's tomato soup (and the appearance of the can) is such an icon that I don't really see the reason for messing with it. I feel like if I ate one of these, i.e. put a yellow liquid in my mouth, and it tasted like good ol' tomatey soup, this might cause my head to collapse. At a very minimum the universe might collapse into a vortex in my kitchen, and I don't want that on my conscience.
Can you look at this giant yellow and brown beauty and not fall in love? I can't. This is the family sized can of the Grandma Brown's Baked beans which come out of scenic Mexico, New York. These are the baked beans par excellence of Upstate New York, and I guess that is saying something. I have reviewed these in the past, and they really are great. As the weather gets increasingly cold, I think my friends should gird their loins (and prepare their gastrointestinal tracts) for a good old fashioned bean party. Again, something about the design of the Grandma Brown's label makes me happy. It is festively drab in a very Upstate New York kind of way.
If you are going buy your meat in chunks (and in cans) than Grabill Country Meats is easily one of your top 5 choices. Ha ha, but seriously, this is a decent product. They do chicken, pork, turkey, and ground beef (for if you aren't in the mood to take your beef in chunk form) and none of them are completely disgusting. I buy and test out this kind of stuff from time to time due to the paranoid, preparedness freak side of my personality.
Unsurprisingly, I could go on with this topic for quite a while. I can be delightfully tedious if you get me started on a topic like canned food (jealous of Mrs. Dave, ladies?). So I will end with the only can of food that I own that I will probably never actually eat. Here we have a can of Great Value (Walmart's house brand) potted meat, which I believe cost about 32 red pennies. I bought this because the whole deal gave me cause to ponder. Just think of all the effort of humanity that has led to the production of this disgusting little pot of meat sludge. From the metal that was ripped from the earth to the animals that were (probably factory) farmed to the transportation needed to haul the nasty shit to the Walmart. All so someone could have a thoroughly un-satisfying can of 32 cent meat spread. It boggles the mind.
Anyhow, I am sure anyone reading this is mildly upset with me for wasting precious moments of their life with this post. But what can I say, I like cans.