Wednesday, June 01, 2005

NegativeMode: Now Better Tasting!

While grocery shopping recently I noticed a somewhat disturbing trend. What trend? The shocking number of vittles/foodstuffs labeled as "Now Better Tasting", "Now With More Flavor", "Zestier", and on ad infiniutm. What do these things even mean, and why do we need more of them? I can understand why you'd want something to be better tasting, but more flavor or zest? Was the product bland before? Did the company rush the product to market without adding the appropriate amount of zest? Was there a shortage of paprika and rosemary?

The one that I really don't understand is Doritos. Doritos have been a huge selling product for years and years, yet they've just recently made them better tasting. I tried some. They taste the same to me. Who decided that they are better tasting? Do they have a panel of tasters? Did someone at the factory add more artificial cheese and decrease the yellow #5? More salt? I can't figure it out.

You'd think that at some point, a product would reach the pinnacle of flavor, or at least the upper limits of human tolerances for zest. I'd imagine that this has already happened. Kraft manufactures Zesty Italian Dressing, "Now Zestier!", and some poor older woman in Topeka dies of over-zest. Sales plumment and Kraft is forced to reduce their amount of zest. Sales then increase. You would think at this point the product would be marketed as "Now with less Zest!" or "Less Flavorful", but the food producers are too vein to do this. Just once I'd like a food manufacturer to realize that they've made something too flavorful and embrace that mistake. I swear, if Doritos ever admits that they've gone overboard and added too much cilantro, my respect for them will increase far more than if they cram more zest onto a 2 inch triangle. . . .

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am the zest king! Every food item I have prepared in my short existence on this planet has resulted in pleasureful sounds and comments from those lucky enough to indulge. Hence, I am not the least bit worried by this trend in zest, as my skillz are uncomparable. If anyone would like to test my culinary aptitude it could certainly be arranged through rosey. Sincerely, Tubby McCheferstein.

dj skuggs said...

i would think zest is a good thing, so it would be impossible to have too much zest. just as it would be impossible for negativemode to have too much fascinating content.

NegativeMode said...

I strongly disagree with the conclusion that there is no such thing as too much zest. The closest example I can come up with is a lemonhead. Those are extremely sour -- in fact, some would say too sour. I think that zest would work in the same way. You could totally over zest something which would be akin to too much sour. It would overwhelm the tastebuds and cause something similar to "bitter beer face".

I am in no way saying however, that zest itself is a bad thing. As Tubby McCheferstein said, he uses the perfect amount of zest in his culinary delights. Zest is something to be taken seriously, that's all....

NegativeMode said...

It WOULD be impossible for NegativeMode to have too much fascinating comment. That's fo shizzle!

circe said...

Lemon drops are much better than Lemon heads...