Thursday, December 13, 2012

Where Did the 57 Go?

When I was a kid growing up in Brooklyn the only ketchup we'd consider using on our fries was Heinz.  Any other brand, especially if it was called "catsup," was something that, we smug New York kids figured, only clueless Middle Americans consumed, akin to choosing Miracle Whip over Hellman's mayo.  Heinz advertised itself a "the slow ketchup," and indeed it was, and still is.  It can be a daunting task to get some ketchup out of the bottle, especially one that's full or nearly full.  But there was a trick that pretty much everybody knew about (even if Heinz claims that only 11% of people know the trick):  if you hit the 57 embossed on the bottle, a bit above the label, that would start the flow, or at least the trickle.  A recent discovery at MIT may obviate the 57 trick, but for now the 57 remains the ketchup eater's friend.

Today I was having lunch at a little French cafe near work.  I ordered a merguez sandwich with Provencal fries, and they brought me a bottle of Heinz.  It was full.  I went looking for the 57.  I couldn't find it.  I took my glasses off and brought the bottle right up to my nose.  I didn't see any 57.  I ran my fingers all around the bottle above the label.  I didn't feel any 57.  What happened to the 57?  Have they redesigned the bottle, or did I perhaps get an improperly manufactured one, an anomaly, a rogue ketchup bottle? 

It must have been a mistake.


Please tell me it was a mistake.

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Where Has Word of Mouth Been?

After six years of fairly faithful food and travel blogging, I felt it was time for a break.  Meanwhile, I've been working on getting my latest collection of short fiction ready for publication.  Lift Your Right Arm will be published in March by Pelekinesis.

I've set up a blog for the book.

And I now have a Facebook author page too.

Please stop by one or the other.  Or both.