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Monday, December 8, 2014

What is it with Americans and Liquid Nourishment

Who doesn't automatically think of Creme Brulee
every time you get Hawaiian BBQ Brisket?
This blog was inspired when I drove by an Arby's advertising a creme brulee milkshake.  What?  What?

I'm not saying it would taste bad, I'm sure it could be very tasty, but the whole point of a creme brulee is cracking your spoon through the sugar crust before the first bite.  After that, at least 60% of the pleasure is over.  Creme brulee is the bubble-wrap of desserts.  If you don't understand what I meant by that, I'm afraid I can't explain it to you.

This is only the latest episode of America's fascination with liquefied nourishment.  My own dear Nancy will go through phases when she decides to throw all our fruit into a blender and drink the result.  Nancy does not care to eat an apple, but she'll drink one.  To me, this does not make sense.  I love eating apples primarily for their crunch.  Take away the crunch, and what have you got?  Apple juice.

Meh.

I drink smoothies myself: chocolate-flavored whey protein blended up with almond milk.  If hauled into court by the Anti-Smoothie Police, I would point out that this is the only way to consume this particular food unless I was willing to eat clumps of dry whey powder straight from the bag.  Others would have no such defense.  My daughter, Spencer, for example, puts a lump of peanut butter into her smoothies.  Why would you do such a thing?  Merely to demonstrate that even peanut butter can be so atomized that it dissolves thoroughly into a shake?  What's the fun of peanut butter without the cloying bolus in your mouth at once flavorful and mildly suffocating?

When I was a child, if served spinach and strawberries on one plate, the mere thought of the liquids from one contaminating the other was a horror unspeakable.  The strawberries had to be gobbled first, in a hurry, before the pale green spinach-water, ineluctably spreading over the plate, could touch them.  Now I could name any number of otherwise sensible people who throw spinach and strawberries into a blender deliberately and puree them until they have a sea-water concoction they aver is delicious.  It tastes just like strawberries, they say.  Strawberries also taste just like strawberries, I would point out, and are a good deal less trouble.  It seems more practical to enjoy the strawberries by themselves, while the spinach can be stored in a separate container so it can be thrown away later.

Imagine if Jesus had fed the multitude by throwing a couple of loaves and fishes into a blender and giving everyone a cupful to drink.  No one would have asked for seconds, I imagine, but the world would be much different today.

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