paindecampagne

thoughts on food, culture, and community

Friday Photo: Toothpaste Mustard

Let’s assume that you don’t speak German, or at the very least, speak it fluently.  Then you would be as surprised as I was last week whenever I saw two brightly-colored tubes on my kitchen table and was told that they were not filled with toothpaste.  The mind spins:

“Süßer senf”: a phrase intended to help clear the nose of blockage during a cold?  “Mittelscharfer senf”: a relation to John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt?

No matter — a Google translator tells me one of these is a Bavarian sweet mustard; the other “medium-hot mustard.”

Just squeeze from the bottom up and don’t mistake your toothbrush for a hot dog.  What genius!

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7 thoughts on “Friday Photo: Toothpaste Mustard

  1. Did you see mayonnaise packaged this way in France? Or tomato paste? I’ve always found it a bit off-putting.

    • paindecampagne on said:

      Haha, no! High-grade tomato paste in the US, yes, but I think what was ultra-confusing was that in French or in English, I would have been able to read the packaging….lessoning the confusion. I’m glad you’re behind me on this. There’s not a lot of edible substances in tubes here, I suppose — it seems far more common to have a tube with toothpaste inside. I wonder what the reasoning is?

  2. But we do have more and more food in plastic squeeze bottles, which I also object to. I mean, jam (jelly) in a squeeze bottle? Beurk. Same goes for mustard, ketchup (which I don’t like no matter what). etc. It’s all more appetizing in a jar and spread with a knife.

    • paindecampagne on said:

      Hmm, so the efficiency of squeeze bottles is at the expense of aesthetics… and the experience of it all. I’ve often wondered if aesthetics and efficiency are at odds (like, high heels will never be efficient, and sneakers will never have the same aesthetic value of high heels). A squeeze bottle removes the mess, like squeeze tubes of yogurt (Yoplait’s GoGurt!) removes the spoon. I guess we’d never consider putting toothpaste into mayonnaise jars, so where is the line drawn with jar vs. tube? Frequency of use? Do you think America uses more tubes or less than elsewhere?

  3. Efficiency and aesthetics? Man, you should study Le Corbusier! But despite the modernist mantra, “form follows function,” I think he would have paled at the sight of squeeze-tube yogurt.

    In all cases, I am probably thinking less about compromises in aesthetics than compromises in flavor and worries about what they do or add to make these foods permanently runny and absolutely smooth. For me, the biggest problem with squeeze-bottle delivery is that it pretty much requires turning food into “food.” But, yes, the aesthetics definitely play a role, too.

    In the case of French mayonnaise-in-a-tube, I always imagined that the idea originally grew out of a shortage of refrigeration or refrigerator space, though I’m not sure about that. In any case, while I’ve eaten tubular (haha) mayonnaise chez des amis, I’ve never been able to cross that line and purchase it myself.

  4. Pingback: Friday Photo: French Fries in Belgium « paindecampagne

  5. Pingback: Friday Photo: Bruges and the Belgian Friterie « paindecampagne

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