The New Versions of Food

There are some classic manufactured and processed foods that have been around forever.  Oreos.  Cheerios.  Chips Ahoy.  Wheat Thins.  You know.  The standard classics.  I’m not sure if these items are just so good that they have stood the test of consumer time, or if they have just been around so long that we can’t imagine life without them, but for whatever reason these brands have endured.  There is something in them that makes them eternally appealing to consumers.  So naturally the manufacturers are always trying to change them.

I have to say, I am a sucker for the new versions of old food.  I always try them.  And let me tell you, they are never good.  Some of them are outright horrible, and some of them are okay, but none of them are ever as good as the original versions.  So why do I keep trying them?  Am I just a sucker for slick advertising and a shiny new package?  Do I have a hair too much idealist optimism floating around inside of me?  Because these things always sound good to me, and yet past experience should tell me that they are not.  No matter what they do to a Snickers bar, it will never be quite as good as a Snickers bar.  And yet I hope and pray and think, “Maybe this time… this will be the one that is great!”

I have eaten Apple Cinnamon Cheerios, Peanut Butter Cup Chips Ahoys, Milky Way bars with extra caramel, Ice Cream Sandwich Pop Tarts, Dill Pickle Lays Potato Chips, Candy Corn Oreos, Code Red Mountain Dew, and Zesty Salsa Wheat Thins.  All terrible.  Or at least not as good as the originals.  This week in the Tenor Dad household we are trying out the Birthday Cake Oreos.  Ruby is turning six on Friday, so it seemed appropriate.  And…..they’re fine.  I mean, they do taste like birthday cake frosting a bit, and they have sprinkles.  Sprinkles!  And yet, in a side by side comparison with regular Oreos, the old fashioned sugar and lard flavored ones are just…better.

Now I will concede that there are exceptions.  Double Stuf Oreos, aside from being poorly spelled, are way better than regular Oreos, because obviously the filling is the best part, so giving me more of it is only going to be delicious.  But how many Candy Cane Oreos, or Ice Cream Oreos, do we all have to eat before they stumble upon that magical tweak that actually works?

But I suppose this is what gives me hope.  For every thousand terrible new flavors they dream up, there may be that one that is a success.  And isn’t that just like the rest of life?  I think of music in particular.  How many other composers must have been writing music alongside Mozart and are now unheard of, because they just weren’t quite as good?  And yet without that musical culture, without all of those near misses and almost weres, would Mozart have been able to flourish?  Nothing happens in a vacuum, and so, like Mozart (the Oreo of composers), our beloved processed foods need an environment in which it is okay to experiment.  The Beethoven of cookies is out there, we just need to give it a chance to break through.

But seriously, all that stuff is horrible for you.  Don’t eat any of it.

Posted in Food, Mozart, Music, Oreos.

One Comment

  1. There is a snickers bar that has 20 grams of protein in it. They gave me one after my half marathon and it was the most delicious snickers ever. I can’t tell if this is because I was completely in need of sustenance or if you were allowed to eat a snickers bar because it had a protein bar dress on. Now you have made me google it. I must have another.

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