Monday, June 4, 2007

The fascination of food labels

I have a theory that the labels and packets of household items are some of the most widely read literature in the world. I found myself yesterday with nothing to do while I ate my toast, so I read the label of the Branston pickle jar. Growing up, I remember that my brother used to regularly read the Cornflake packet.

It's amazing what nuggets of information you pick up from a food label. What is Rutabaga, for example? That got you didn't it? After onions and carrots it is the third voluminous ingredient in Branston pickle.

I had to look it up. It turns out that Rutabaga is a type of turnip which is more yellowish than a normal turnip:

The rutabaga is very similar to the turnip except that it generally has yellowish flesh, a more dense root with more side shoots and they are usually harvested at a larger size. Unlike the turnip, the rutabaga has smooth, waxy leaves.

Why don't they just use turnips then? Oh alright then, I will end my curiosity there. If I started to go on about the pickle crisis of 2004, I really would expect the men in white coats to arrive pronto.

1 comment:

  1. It pays to look closely at labels. Tesco, for example, sells a Maditerranean fish meal. In the small print it says that it's made with Icelandic fish. Global warming, maybe?