Foods/Recipes

Pudgy guy gets Promise

... Of course, you've heard about the new S.P.U.F.F.N.M. ...

Poet, writer, motorycle racer Don Norris

I really question if breakfast is the most important meal of the day. When I wake up in the morning, I am still full from last evening's late meal, and the thought of ham and eggs, toast and all that heavy stuff turns me off. Until 10 a.m.

But here's the point: My breakfast consists of orange juice, not only because it's nutritious, but it tastes really good. It also washes down the handful of pills on the daily regimen.

But with that OJ I allow myself a rather large, fat slice of 12-grain bread -- it tastes okay, it has stuff in it that you can crunch on (rather than standard aerated white bread), and there's a lot of it. One slice does it all.

But you can't eat just plain 12-grain bread. Americans must put something on their bread -- butter, oleo, lard, jelly, peanut butter, cinnamon and sugar -- but the sweet things affect the taste of the super OJ, and the butter has all sorts of saturated fat and cholesterol. Bad for you.

It looked like butter ...

A year ago I found some squeezable butter substitute that had nothing in it. Except yellow coloring. But no fat, no cholesterol, and no taste. Nothing! Best you can say for it was that it was moist.

But then American industry looked into the future and saw the way the herd was heading, and decided to compromise. "Let's add some flavor to this goop," they said, and so they added essence of butter -- and a whole bunch of cholesterol and bad LDL. It tasted better, but not really like whole butter. I do believe it has now been withdrawn for lack of sales.

The next step was for the Big Companies to purchase those start-ups that had produced the original absolute-nothingness product whose primary ingredient was coloring. They then went to work to come up with a no-butter-like-spread that had at least a modicum of taste.

It was upside-down ...

And the people at Promise did. By the time they got done with their new product, it was packaged in an upside-down wide-mouth butter-colored appealing plastic container. Endorsed by the American Heart Association, it contained (in red letters) "0 GRAMS TRANS FATTY ACIDS PER SERVING," and listed zero percent of the following: "Total fat, Sat. Fat, Polyunsat. Fat, Monounsat. Fat and Cholest." Must be good stuff.

I have tried and discarded several other squeezables -- mostly for total lack of taste, or their taste was so different that one wondered if it got spoiled along the way. But at last Promise company came out with a new one called "Squeezable Promise Ultra Fat Free Nonfat Margarine." Seven words is an advertising industry record for any product.

Not only did Promise get all the healthy numbers right, the stuff actually reminds me of butter. It is the right color, an acceptible consistency, and has a modicum of butter-like flavor. And at $1.39 for a squeezable upside-down plastic jug, it's a bargain. That's it. I am now on the third jug.

I gather from the label that the primary product in S.P.U.F.F.N.M. is nothing more than another modern American miracle, soy beans. Now ain't American ingenuity wonderful! And right at the bottom of the back label is the identity of the maker, Lipton, along with an 800 number to register your potential complaints -- or encouragement.

April 28, 1998


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