Besides just out in the community, you
can now see signs of the Latino growth in neighborhood supermarkets. Two
decades ago, to find authentic Mexican and Latin American ingredients
and other food products not made by Taco Bell in Greater Cincinnati, you
had to really search.
I’ve always had some sense of “beef
jerky” over my lifetime. It’s always been in gas stations and convenient
stores. And I’m certain I’ve eaten jerky before. Not en masse, but a
bit. And not on a dare, even.
In the 1880s, George Renninger created one of the most known
pieces of Halloween candy ever invented, one that has endured over a
century — candy corn. Considering it’s also one of the most maligned candy treats
ever invented, how has it remained a fixture of autumn so long?
“Lost in the Supermarket” has been on
hiatus for a few months. For the column,
I mostly play the “food rube,” searching the aisles of average
neighborhood grocery stores for “everyday” items that strike me (and
maybe you) as “weird” or “gross.” I investigate the food item and taste
it so you don’t have to.
On my grocery store excursions to find subject matter for this column, I’ve always had a safety net in the event I’m unable to find something suitably peculiar or gross to taste-test. This month, Plan B was finally enacted, but not out of desperation. At long last, I felt compelled to take on pigs’ feet to support an industry facing a real crisis.
The evolution of flavor represented in Americans’ diet over the course of U.S. history has gone from a timid, “lightly salted” hint to today’s loud barrage of often bewildering tastes. During a recent grocery trip, I was in the snack aisle and was stopped dead in my tracks by an almost psychedelically colorful tower of products. It was the magical land of Pringles, standing out with gaudy insistency.