Archives for the month of: November, 2011

Speaks for itself

And sometimes we find the art not on the box, but on the individually wrapped product itself.  I kept repeating the phrase to myself over and over again, winking and giving the thumbs up to no one.  Sometimes I do that when I find myself alone in the kitchen, which doesn’t happen very often (though I liken it to a peaceful, snowy night, when the sounds of the environment around me are muffled, and I feel like if I just sit still, it’s like I’m the only person left in the world.  Although not quite, because I am still at work.)  I am one of those people that occasionally talks to myself.

I suppose you could also substitute the phrase as a catchphrase for any kind of zany, Kramer-like character on a sitcom.  You know, the moment when they break the fourth wall and look at the camera to acknowledge the viewer, and then they drop their patented schtick.  The lettering also kind of resembles something from out of the seventies as well, like this gem from popular folklore.

Anyways, this is as close as I could get to something Turkey related, (this image is for a chicken, by the by) as of tomorrow evening I’ll be on vacation, and not able to post until Sunday.

Have a great Turkey day!

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Something tells me these aren't "free range."

I love the full picture displays.  Someone actually spent some time on this image, although I’m wondering if that is indeed the actual house that the original plantation had, or merely a generic representation.  I have not had the pleasure of spending any time on a plantation, or hardly any time in the South at all, so I can only rely on my stereotypical imaginations I’ve gleaned from the movies I’ve seen dealing with the South.  But this seems to sum up the picture in my head just right: White house, white fence, some sort of trees all around, though they didn’t show any of the fields, which I’m assuming exist.

Also of note, no artistic renditions of the product itself.  Which makes me wonder if they reuse this painting and merely replace the product name.  This is the plantation brand, and I’m assuming they carry more than one kind of produce.   Given most of the yam advertising, most yam producers tend to show some sort of representation of their product, some successful, some not so much.

Things have been rather busy in the kitchen during the last week, and this week coming up looks to be more so.  Although I have to remember I have a short week, because I decided to put in some time off for the up coming holiday (partly the reason for the busy business).  Four day weekend, coming up!

Finally, the onion in its natural habitat.

Hmmm.  Something suspicious here.  I’m going to have to wait until work tomorrow to investigate this further, namely that label on the right that due to my awesome photography skills is somewhat unreadable.  But I do believe that looks like the state of Idaho on the label.

Though I could be wrong.  Geography is not my strong suit.  I still cannot locate Potatoes city anywhere (see previous post).

Perhaps though, this blog is finally beginning to uncover something here.  Though I happen to reside somewhere in the Midwest, I would like to point out that certain states are known for intense rivalries.  Growing up in the state of Chicago, I have vague memories of people blatantly hating on Wisconsin.  Particularly in the form of those who drive automobiles, disliking those that drive automobiles from other states.  Then again, that could just stem from my father, who explained everyone else’s bad driving habits by the state license plate on the other person’s car (“oh, they’re from _______, that explains it.”)  Insert any state name there, nobody knows how to drive, according to my Dad (who got a ‘C’ in driver’s ed; we know because we found his old report card.  And he’s a lousy driver.)

Another culprit in the state bashing other states category is the great sport of hand egg, otherwise known as Football.  For instance, the Bears vs. Green Bay, or on the college level, Michigan vs. Ohio St.  People almost shed blood over this sort of thing, and I’m really wondering what was the original cause of all of these rivalries.  Is this some sort of natural human phenomenon, that we’re programmed to have a distrust of our neighbors?  Did one team severely beat the other team, and its been head to head ever since?  Did some Model T driver from one state cut off another Model T from a different state, and thus condemn us all to follow in the footsteps of these ancient prejudices?  Does every state just kind of collectively hate Ohio?  Seems that way.

But I digress.  West coasters, you’ll have to inform me.  Does Oregon consider Idaho to be Eastern Oregon?  Are there state rivalries on your side of the America?  And are these onions being used as a low blow in some classic state vs. state brouhaha?

And I’m finally glad to see some onions presented in their natural habitat, with some tools of the trade thrown in for good measure.  Though the matching blue of what I think is a river, and of the shovel and pick there, kind of makes me cautious.  Shovels aren’t made of rivers!  Again, I’m guessing that’s actually just saving on the ink cost.  And I’m not going to mention any sort of hidden communist agenda, because I really didn’t think that the pick and the shovel resemble the hammer and sickle at all.  They’re blue, anyways.  Sheesh.  That would be Unamerican.

(And I hope my blatant sarcasms and critiques aren’t coming off as condescending, or being ill-natured.  I truly do appreciate all of the artwork I come across in my daily workings.  And yes, I know Chicago isn’t a state.)

 

Ah. So that's where that is.

This is probably one of my favorite artistic renditions of all time.  To quote my old friend, Hank Thoreau, “Our life is frittered away by detail.” (and further on) “Simplify, simplify.”

As much as I enjoy some of the brand name art that goes to great lengths to create an identity and purpose for the product, something about this one cuts through all the nonsense, the literary references and the anthropomorphising of vegetables.  Here it is.  Plain and simple.  The town of Potatoes welcomes you.  You see, it’s right there on the map.  You can’t miss it.  Considering that according to this map, there is only one town in the state of Washington.  And can you guess what is grown there?

I would probably live in a town named Potatoes.  I’d shop at the Potatoes General Store.  And I’d be the proud parent of a Potatoes middle school honor student.  Yes, I would lead a good life in Potatoes, WA.

Except that I can’t find it on any map.  Google maps did not produce any results.  Feeling a little let down at the moment.  Have I been lied to?  Deep in my heart I know it exists.  Good thing I have some mashed potatoes in the fridge.  That will cheer me up.

Is that the best you got?

A serene mountain landscape.  Looks natural enough.  And if there’s one thing I do love, it’s nature.  Especially natural landscapes.  I simply can’t get enough of them in my daily intake of cardboard box art.

But upon closer inspection, there really isn’t a whole lot there as depicted above.  I’m guessing the green shaded bits represent grass, which pretty much grows in most places.  Then there’s some more shading on what I interpret to be the mountain.  But that valley is looking somewhat sparse, as far as the plant life goes.

Mountains are easy to depict.  Large mound of earth, off in the distance.  Check.  People like looking at mountains, because they’re there.  They’re huge and loom over us reminding us how insignificant humans can be.  But valleys are somewhat harder to depict, because they are anti-mountains, the space in between the hills.  It’s harder to focus on the negative space, and even harder still when the valley just doesn’t appear to contain all that much growing in it.

I just want more from this valley, especially when we’re throwing around the superlatives.  Is this the finest this valley can produce?  According to  the picture, I think not.  Maybe throw a river in there, show some foliage, shrubs, or bushes.  Something.  Draw in a tree or two on the mountain.  That wouldn’t hurt either.

Maybe the valley was left open on purpose, as I’m guessing the Valley brand probably grows more than one type of produce.  Don’t want to be pinned down, I understand playa’!  Diversify.  Not to mention that would lead me to believe all of their produce comes from valleys, when in reality most of the food is probably grown on farms.  Now, I’m not saying the farms aren’t located in valleys, but still.

I do like to imagine a giant, awesome valley, filled with tons of plants, located in some remote mountain range, like Machu Picchu.  But the transportation costs, plus refrigeration, labor, etc, damn, that would equal some expensive ass produce.  Still, I can dream.

Phew.  All this valley talk has got me worked up.  Good thing there’s this.  Now that is some hot, valley action.  And so informative!  I had no idea there were so many.

Luck be a lady tonight.

Boy, did I get lucky with this post.  I’ve been on a dry spell with a series of mundane produce packages that I could barely ante up the will to photograph, and then bamn!  the Hi Roller walks in the door like he owns the place, and suddenly everything is coming up aces.  And I thought my luck had run out; I came this close to calling out the new line cook as a cooler, but that was just a bluff (she’s got a mean poker face, that one).  Sometimes all it takes is just one more roll of the dice, and you’re looking at sevens.  No matter how you cut the deck, this brand delivers.  Double down on that bet, folks.

I cannot stress enough just how awesome the art of onion packaging is.  This makes me wonder just how fierce and competitive the onion industry is.  Has the competitive market on onion production forced such creative designs as a means to sell their product?  Onions are pretty much a staple in any kitchen, so no matter what, somebody’s going to need them.  Do these designs actually give the company an edge?  Honestly onion brands tend to rotate every other week or so.  Or do they just hire awesome marketers?  The answers, I do not have.  But I do always look forward to the next bag, hoping for some grand design.  Thanks onion people.  You do all right by me.

On this glorious election day (I hope you got out to vote.  Really, it is kind of important), my campaign promise is this: “No onion left behind.”  Not even the one that sometimes slips out of the bag and rolls under the table, sometimes left there for days if someone doesn’t sweep up right at night.

 

This chemical eats through bricks, and causes lightning to shoot from hands.

Warning signs.  Always good fun.  No matter how clear one expects a picture representation to be, there’s always some way to interpret it differently than intended.  This comes from a particular cleaning agent, though I’m not quite sure which.

Short entry tonight, due to the fact I’m still recovering from a minor touch of the plague.  We should be back in good spirits by Tuesday, although I hear this cold going around has an unexpected  comeback period just when you think it’s over.

 

 

My English Major sense is tingling.

Fantastic.  I knew immediately I had to snap this one up today.  My four and half years of college, and degree of choice finally paid off.  Destiny shined on me today, in the form of this box, an ode to a character in a Shakespeare play.  Also chosen mascot to a vegetable I actually do enjoy eating: brussels sprouts.

Except I have to admit I never read the Merry Wives of Windsor, nor Henry IV, parts one or two.  I suppose I’ll get around to it one day.  Only so much time in a day.  I mistakenly thought this character came from The Tempest, a play I haven’t actually read either, though I did peruse Neil Gaiman’s ode to it ala the Sandman Comics several times… Um, maybe I shouldn’t play up the English Major bit so much (or downplay it, as self deprecating as I sometimes get.)

But at least I knew it was Shakespearean.    I consider that a point in my favor.

But why this character?  According to the cliff notes wiki, I gleaned Falstaff as being the Chris Farley of Shakespearean times.  Overweight, funny, loveable, yet carrying an underlying sadness.

Are brussels sprouts the Chris Farley of the vegetable world?  As adults, we are doomed to despise them (according to popular folklore).  Especially our children, and even our pet dogs begging for table scraps won’t touch them (again, popular folklore).  And many people agree they tend to give people gas.  I mean, Chris Farley was a funny, tragically funny, guy.  People of all ages find farts funny.  We recognize the humor of the brussels sprout.  (But sadly not my spell checker.  Still keep getting the wavy red line under the word ‘brussels’)

What is the underlying sadness of the Brussels Sprout?  So unwanted, so unloved.  Sort of round and portly (mostly dense).  Not even the dog will touch them.  A theme we see time and time again in popular folklore.

Kudos to you, oh wizards of advertising.  Well done on this one.  You have successfully used a literary reference, and used it well to represent your product.

This blog on the other hand, perhaps not so well.

And did you know Falstaff has also been used as a vaguely, unpopular meme:

Recheck that wiki page

"An Atlas body in 7 days!"

While particular brand names and their appearance certainly bring me great joy throughout the work day, sometimes you find hidden gems on the bottom of cardboard boxes that are usually non-food related.  This particular image comes from a company that deals us our chicken, and while it may seem odd to include a nifty little cartoon about how to safely lift a box, bear in mind that many boxes, when full, weigh up to forty to fifty pounds.  These boxes may be stored on shelves at your knees, mid section, or even up high, though most raw meat products are kept low, due to possible spillage or leaks, which could taint other unsuspecting food stuffs.  (I’m actually rather glad we have health codes and strict food regulation.  Safety is no accident!)  Depending on your work load for the day, or whether or not you’re the one to put stuff away in the walk-in refrigerators, moving these boxes around can be quite an effective work out.  Not to mention the older you get, the more chances you have to seriously throw out your back.  Hence most service jobs have a clause on the job posting, “must be able to lift up to fifty pounds.”

And for no good reason, random prose I came up with today, while discussing the personalities of two coworkers that clash all the time, despite those two being incredibly similar:

“For two people who are so similar to one another, they just can’t see or speak to each other about the common ground they share.”

Sorry, just needed to write that down.

Lift professionally.  I take that as a challenge.  Although I just don’t think I have what it takes to be a body builder.  I think it’s safe to say that career choice sailed on long ago.

But I did find this image:

From Tshirtgroove.com

I would totally wear this shirt, probably in that annoying, ironic way.  And for future reference, any references to me working out, or my awesome masculinity should be taken entirely as self-deprecating satire.

And then there’s the fact the figures in the image are both male.  Because, you know, only men work out.  Only men are professionals.  And only men lift heavy stuff.  So fella’s, be careful!  (note, this is also satire).

Now if you’ll excuse me, I gotta go wail on my pecs.