Every night we watch the Food Network lineup while we eat dinner, because it gets us in the mood and really enhances our dining experience. Also, it compels J to say things like, “You know, Emeril is the Dr. Phil of cooking.” So first we watch Good Eats with Alton Brown, followed by Unwrapped, with host Marc Summers. Who is definitely a robot. I need no more convincing. And am I the only person who finds the Unwrapped set diner just a little bit creepy?
What I love best about Unwrapped is the way they label food industry spokespeople as they explain everything you never wanted to know about Fritos. So they’ll have this talking head on the screen expounding on the history and nuances of toaster waffles or baked beans or whatever, and this is what you’ll see on the bottom of your screen:
Eggs Benedict Historian ... Gingerbread Specialist ... Peanut Brittle Expert ... Food Packaging Authority ... Macaroni Maven
For some reason this always makes me laugh. But I tell you what. The day I see a vacancy posted for a Scone Scholar, I’m submitting my resume, stat.
Anyway. Back to cheerless factory food production. Half the time I don’t want to eat my favorite foods ever again after I see how they’re made. I for one prefer to imagine my bagels lovingly hand-formed by a rotund, smiling, elderly baker (who’s wearing gloves, of course). Not expelled from some high-speed mechanical chute like bolts from the colon of a laxative-addled C3PO.
But as one who toiled for three weeks in the bowels of a cheese factory, let me tell you about a little secret I learned on the job. Some foods are so arcane and singular? That they use different labels on the same product. We slapped a Kraft label, Sysco label, and a local semi-generic label on the same 4 oz package of blue cheese crumbles. The store slaps the different price tag on it. (And no, I meant absolutely nothing by pairing the word “bowels” with “cheese factory.” It was just a coincidence.)
That eye-opening revelation in the blue cheese pit caused me to seriously re-evaluate everything in my life. Every guy I’d dated thus far? They were the same guy, but with different hairdos! Actually, scratch that. They all had longish skater hair and a tendency to get high and forget to call me back.
In a completely unrelated story halfway around the world, my best friend departed early this morning for Thailand. She will be volunteering for one solid month at this orphanage. Unfortunately, she didn’t have time to be fitted for her Mother Theresa uniform before leaving, so she’s stuck with polyester blend gaucho pants and t-shirts. Safe travels, C! And if you want, feel free to smuggle one of those lil’ cuties home for me. I need someone to run my errands and scrub my floors.
(I kid! I would never make orphans run errands for me. They don’t even have their drivers’ licenses yet. Sheesh!)