Sunday, January 08, 2006

Food! What is it good for?

I think Jelly Belly jelly beans might be a signal that the end of food is approaching. A lot of candies come in different flavors, but I think Jelly Belly's are the only candies that come in different foods. Chocolate pudding, buttered popcorn, A&W Root Beer (ok, drink), watermelon, toasted marshmallow. Yes, toasted marshmallow! How do they do that?! Marshmallow is perfectly understandable right? You just squish a marshmallow and hold it over a funnel over the jelly bean machine I guess, but how do you get that toasted flavor? Or that buttered popcorn flavor? Do they dust the marshmallow with a little ash? Buttered popcorn is kind of pushing it a bit too. If I wanted something that would taste like buttered popcorn in the palm of my hand I would probably make some buttered popcorn. I can't even begin to explain how hurt and confused I am by all of this.

So I'll skip the beginning of the explanation and jump right into the far-reaching implications of these polished little purgatories between food and candy; between the business of nutrition and the free-wheeling fun of a good sugar crash.

Remember the Jetsons? Well, they were fictional. But their show was real. It was a show about the far future that aired in the past, so naturally, it should make a lot of, well, sense. One thing that always stood out to me, other than George's inability to turn that crazy thing off, was the portrayal of food. It came in little capsules. Like cottage cheese capsules or pork loin capsules. I look down in my hand at these capsules of buttered popcorn and cappuccino and wonder: "Just how much longer will it be? Will I be able to order my steak capsule medium rare? Or will they all be the same?" Why must the joyous diversity and free-flowing expression of food be reduced to rigid conformity? Why must I keep asking rhetorical questions about candy?!

I'll be fine for now, but if I ever end up taking a tour of the Jelly Belly factory, I might seriously consider turning that crazy thing off.