Tag Archives: kitsch

Grocery Games: The Original Soupman Review

What’s the deal with grocery stores?

Yes, I did say that in my best Jerry Seinfeld voice. (Admittedly, my best Jerry Seinfeld sounds more like Kermit than Jerry Seinfeld.) 

Grocery stores are weird places. They’re like the airports of everyday life. Nobody really wants to be there. Everybody is a little bit too loud. Almost no etiquette exists.

If you really try, though, you can make your own fun at these often hellish places.

For instance, try to find the saddest tagline in the grocery store.

WAIT, I FOUND IT!

Celeste

I was able to get a list of the rejected taglines that the Celeste pizza company didn’t go with and guys, some of them are grim. 

  • Celeste Pizza. Pizza for just you because you’re so very, very alone.
  • Celeste Pizza. Might as well buy some cats.
  • Celeste Pizza. Kill yourself after.

Then there are the weird products you see. For instance, I saw Peeps flavored milk and eggnog. 

HT_peeps_milk_01_jef_150305_4x3_608.jpg

Peeps are probably the most divisive candy out there. (Only slightly more disgusting than Cadbury creme eggs.) So, why would we ruin delicious milk with with the horror of a Peep? The people who make Celeste pizzas should sell them together.

  • Celeste Pizzas, now with Dessert Peeps. A cry for help!

And then, there’s this. 

Remember the Soup Nazi from Seinfeld? Apparently he has a line of soups that are sold in grocery stores.

If you don’t remember the episode (which is now 20 years old), it’s actually based on a real guy, Al Yegeneh. He was widely considered to make the best soup in Manhattan, but was also widely considered the meanest guy in the entire world.

It seems he has a bit of an empire now–lots of locations for soup, a soup line sold nationwide in gro stos, a soup line that is hawked by Shaq. Cause nothing says soup like Shaq.

Seriously, this is from the press release about their company, The Original Soupman:

Shaquille O’Neal serves as an advisor to and equity partner in the Company, as does Mr. October, Reggie Jackson and Emmy® and Golden Globe® nominated and Tony Award® winning actor Jason Alexander.

What must those board meetings be like?

Naturally, I bought two boxes. Peeps milk I will never try. But kitschy sitcom soup from Shaq and Mr. October?? Sure. Why not? 

 

First of all, this is the busiest packaging ever.

If you look at it, it’s got heating instructions! Details about Al and Seinfeld! Information about New Yorkers and their queueing habits! Potential soup side effects! They forgot one: eye rolls.

Do you see the bottom there? Al signed his name under the phrase “Love Life, Love Soup.” Do you think that Al Yegeneh ACTUALLY says “Love Life, Love Soup”? Like that’s how he signs his holiday cards or business emails or the Tetra Paks of soup that he signs at all the Soup Trade Shows? 

I tried two of the soups: crab and corn chowder and the lobster bisque. Neither of them look particularly appetizing here.

FullSizeRender (1)

Actually, they look pretty gross. Neither were anything to write home about. (Apparently, they were interesting enough to blog about, though.) I’d say that the lobster bisque was probably the best packaged soup I’ve ever had. I could actually taste sherry, so it had that going for it. I did go back for seconds with my tiny bowl.

Maybe there are more surprises to be found at the grocery store. Maybe there’s a line of Kimmy Gibbler rainbow macarons. Or Steve Urkel sliced deli cheese.

Maybe the grocery store isn’t so weird after all. Maybe, just maybe, it’s a little bit magical.

 

Love Life, Love Soup.

Bethany

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Podcast Roundup: Gringo Bandito Hot Sauce

If I had to break down the percentage of topics of my non-work conversation, it would probably go something like this:

  • 70%: Food
  • 15%: Podcasts
  • 5%: Netflix
  • 5%: Naps
  • 5%: Other, including but not limited to Jon Hamm, the john, ham, Jon Hamm’s John Hamm, etc.

Food is a given, as are Jon Hamm and naps, but I’ve become a huge fan of podcasts. They’re a wonderful way to pass the time when you need a little entertainment. Out on a walk? Throw on a podcast! Driving to a place? Throw on a podcast! Prepping your meez? You see the pattern here, people.

There are all sorts of podcasts for your listening pleasure, but here are my go-tos.

  • The Nerdist Podcast: Chris Hardwick (stand up comedian and former Singled Out Host) and his besties/fellow comedians, Jonah Ray and Matt Mira, co-host. They have wonderfully weird and funny conversations with celebrities and each other. Kyle Clarke, Katie Levine and Scout the dog join in and hilarity ensues.
  • Wits: Have you guys ever listened to Prairie Home Companion? Wits is like Prairie Home Companion if Prairie Home Companion had better writing, funnier guests and cooler musical artists. I don’t hate Prairie Home Companion or anything. I just adore Wits. John Moe hosts this delightfully oddball variety show.
  • WTF with Marc Maron: I resisted this one for awhile, but a friend recommended and I fell for it. Marc Maron is a comic who takes long form conversations to a new level. His honesty is charming and disarming and it allows his guests to really share with him. It feels like you’re listening in on someone’s therapy. Notable episodes are: Terry GrossHenry WinklerRemembering Harris Wittels
  • The Thrilling Adventure Hour: Fans of old time-y radio and kitschy things will love this silly, delightful show. It’s a serialized radio show that follows among others a a society couple that seed ghosts and the marshall on Mars. All the comedians ever are on this thing. Notable episodes are: all of them. The new episodes end in August, but there are 250 episodes to go back to and enjoy.

Now you’re probably wondering: what the actual fuck does this have to do with food?

Well, I LISTEN to them during cooking. Which how I sometimes fuck up cooking. Look at how I messed up my buns.

Not MY buns. These hamburger buns. My buns are great. WINK.

To a crisp.

To a crisp.

The cool part about a podcast is that you never know what you’ll learn. Even if you have preconceived notions about the guest, you might learn something really cool. For example: a recent Nerdist episode featured Dexter Holland. You might not know his name, but you probably know his work. He’s the lead singer of the bang The Offspring. They’re still touring (who knew?) but he’s also getting his PHD in molecular biology studying HIV (wait, WHAT?!) This conversation was fascinating. The most interesting thing is that this guy is curious about so many things. He didn’t know how to play music when he started his first band. He loves science so he started pursuing science. And he wanted to play music and continue studying science, so he did both.

And this is how he made a hot sauce. He’s passionate about hot sauce. So he decided to make one. You know, as you do.

Yeah. That's him on the bottle.

Yeah. That’s him on the bottle.

It’s a nice hot sauce for casual hot sauce consumption. It’s say it has a similar heat level to a Tabasco. Unlike a Tabasco, it’s much more of pepper-forward vs. vinegar-forward. It was a nice kick of heat, but it didn’t blow out my palate.

So, I salute you, Dexter Holland. Your hot sauce is solid. Your scientific research is baller. And your music is a major earworm.

That’s pretty fly for a white guy.

OH, YOU SAW IT COMING.

Gringo Bandito Hot Sauce is available at most grocery stores and online. Try it on tacos, eggs, and all the things. Eat it while listening to The Nerdist podcast and enjoy your burrito, folks.

P.S. There are some food podcasts that I’ve started exploring. More on that to come.

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