Starting a small Tavern in rural Northern California. Barley and Hops Tavern catalogs the trials and tribulations of the restaurant biz, and teaching wine country to love beer.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Grapples are what's wrong with the world.

I know what you're thinking. You're thinking that the handfull of blueberries you're eating would be much better if they tasted like cantaloupe. Or that bananas should really taste like a grapefruit. Enter the Grapple (you say it gray-pull). We were at the 24 hour megamart, minding our own business, looking for a fruit to eat. Mmmm, apple season. How 'bout some apples. Everyone likes apples; after all, they're appley. Crunchy, and they taste appely. Yup, that's what they taste like alright. Apple-tastic! Except when they are injected with artificial (AND natural) grape flavoring. Fuji Grapples.

Unlike the minimal, and by minimal, I mean complete lack of, packaging which accompanies most of your fruits, Grapples come packaged the same way batteries, or pre-paid wireless cards, or pug-themed party favors, or burnt-umber doilies come packaged; 4 to a blister-pack. Removing the device from the packaging fills a 25 cubic foot area with the exact scent of a grape jolly rancher. It looks and feels like an apple, and it's crunchy, but it tastes EXACTLY like an apple that's been injected with artificial grape flavoring. Sorta like dipping apples in melted grape ribbon candy.

This sort of food and beverage technology is yet another solution looking for a problem, like the Jimmy Dean chocolate-chip pancake covered sausage on a stick (really), and the aluminum can that some crappy mega-brewery uses which changes color when it's cold. Because you're WAY too stupid to know that the snarking thing is cold on your own. Which might actually be true if you actually pay to drink what comes in those high-tech beverage containment devices.

It's yet another illustration of craft versus mass-produced. The craft business may be small, or it may be large; it's not a question of size, but of method, of philosophy. The mass-produced corporate food concerns itself primarily with advertising, packaging, and product-line expansion based solely on gimicks. A great beer in a brown bottle is better any day than a branded half-time show, talking frogs, color-changing cans, buzz-words (budweizer is really going with "drinkability"... really?) and other hollow non-beer-related marketing fluff. I'd rather taste an interesting apple, newly imported from somewhere overseas, or a great craft beer made with an interesting grain; real craftsmanship does evolve and press boundaries, but Grapples ain't it.

1 comment:

Terrell said...

mmmm, can you fry the jimmy dean's??????