You Call THAT Food?

I know that I am getting old when I am surprised by some of what is available at the store:

Chicken and Waffle-flavored potato chips – people are really upset because they really taste like syrup. When did chicken and waffles become condiments rather than main dishes?

Spray cooking oil that contains flour – are there really that many people out there baking who don’t have enough spare flour on hand to coat the pan?

Pancake batter in a spray can – I guess it goes along with the pre-cooked bacon for those mornings you want a home-cooked breakfast but only have 15 minutes to get out the door.

Instant potatoes in a carton – all you do is add water, shake the carton, and pour the potatoes into the pan. Is that really an improvement over putting the flakes and water into a pan and cooking them? Does your dishwasher care that it has one fewer spoon in it?

Pre-made cheesecake filling – it says just pour it in a crust and you’re done. I’ve never tasted it, but I’m told it tastes fake. What a surprise for something that has virtually no natural ingredients in it.

Pre-cubed and cracker-cut cheese – unless you’re having a major party, it is going to be fresher (and cheaper) if you cut it yourself – but it won’t be as “cute” (just the word I look for in food)

Velveeta has become an industry – At one point in time, it’s claim to fame was that it melted smoother than cheddar. Apparently it didn’t melt fast enough, because they introduced Velveeta shreds. Then pre-melted Velveeta in foil that you just squeeze onto the food. All this for a product that is trying to convince us that it’s “real” cheese.

Imitation process cheese – process cheese is the step-child of cheese which lasts longer and melts more easily – imitation takes it one more step and removes the cheese entirely – really

No-fat, lactose free milk – it begs the question – once you’ve taken out the fat and the lactose is it still milk? Would any self-respecting cow still feed it to her child? There are all sorts of alternatives that are low-fat and lactose-free: soy, almond, coconut. Why not go for something with flavor and that you can’t see though if you hold it up to the light?

Phyllo dough has become filo dough – apparently we’re too dumbed-down to recognize it unless it’s spelled phonetically. Some people stick with “puff pastry”.

Neopolitan oreos – I thought it was wrong when they made mint oreos, but this is too far – there is no need for three types of filling in a cookie that most people could eat in two bites (and according to the commercials, only part of us take off the top to look at the creme anyway). Put it back where it belongs – in ice cream.

Girl-scout cookie flavored coffee creamer (with no cream) – I guess that coffee has gone from being something people wanted to drink because they like the taste to something that needs to be covered in sweetness so we can gag it down for the energy.

Pre-made iced tea – no not the stuff Lipton has been putting out since they figured out preservatives. Now you can get gallons of the stuff. I suppose it’s more important to save five minutes (and avoid digging out the pitcher) than to make than to flavor it to the tastes of the guests.

All of this ranting comes to you courtesy of the two people in one week who asked me to point out the “real” cheddar cheese. I thought they meant non-processed cheese product. No, they didn’t want sharp cheddar, they wanted real cheddar, the mild kind. It’s a good thing they weren’t around a while back, before “real” cheddar was invented.

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