Friday, April 16, 2010

Crummy Food names

Over breakfast this morning I was inexplicably pondering the origins of Grape Nuts and other foods with really really bad names. In the case of Grape Nuts, beyond its unique moniker and visions of Eunuchs dancing in my head, it has the whole texture and rugged 'coal miner' looks thing working against it. Why didn’t I think of selling a box of little rocks and marketing it as a healthy food for people on diets?

What about “cottage cheese”? Only Sweeny Todd would possess a brave enough soul to dig into the left over chunks of a bowl of warm clabbered milk and think “Mmmm, that clotted mass looks good enough to eat”? This stuff in its birth stages is what liposuction Docs suck out of your gut and fill in the hollows of your face when you get old. Yogurt and tapioca too are in this same class of badly named and warmed over dairy products. I personally enjoy all of these foods, but if travelling the world, by name alone, I would probably be wary.

Lots of spices and baking basics have lousy names. Flax seed and Cumin sound more like something you cough up than season your food. And come on, MACE or cream of tartar – I thought this is stuff that you don’t want near your face much less on your teeth? Oregano you say? Well, Oregon is a pretty state, but have you been to the BAD parts of Portland – I HAVE? Rosemary Leaves; haven’t you seen the movie “Rosemary’s Baby”? I don’t know about you but whatever Rosemary's leaving - I want nothing to do with it!

Ketchup has its own crummy name problems. To help the consumer, most bottles are marketed as “Tomato” followed by the rest of the name. Does that mean there are other fruits, veggies, or THINGS that can become ground up into a “ketchup” slurry? Suddenly it gives you a whole new frightening perspective on the label “CATsup” doesn’t it? Honestly if this were true, I would feel a little better to know that the rest of the grapes were not wasted after they have been violated for my nutty breakfast cereal. Suddenly I'm not hungry anymore - I guess this 'Crummy' diet works!


  1. I like tapioca but some people don't like the "globules" or "little rubbery eyeballs" in the pudding. A website I found explains:

    {Tapioca flour is a starch extracted from the root of the tropical cassava plant (also called manihot or manioc or yucca) in both the East and the West.) Some more ugly names for your blog.
    It also adds that the ingredients need to be
    processed to remove "toxic elements."
    Yep, I'd also heard some of it was poison, But
    that's an even UGLIER word!

  2. Very funny post! I've never given much thought to the names of foods, with the exception of kumquats. Now I will, though!

    Have a great weekend!