Lazy Luddite Log


Products Past

I reckon that most of the posts on this blog have a positive tone in that I am discussing things I value and enjoy. Some posts depart from this positivity in that they examine problems that I feel are significant ones - political issues and the occasional life drama. Something I rarely do is address trivial problems - things that annoy me but that I can get over. Indeed I think that paying scant energy and attention to these problems helps me got over them sooner. However this does put me out-of-step with much of my world. Today I will make an exception and have a good old whine about something.

I have particular consumer product preferences that have changed over time. In some cases my tastes change and that is okay. What bothers me however is that I sometimes become attached to a particular product that then gets discontinued! Here I will describe five such products that have been taken away from me and diminished my life as a result. Woe!

Helgolander Dark Rye

My family have always purchased rye-and-wheat breads by Atlantic Bakery. They have a distinct grubby shape and a springy texture. In the 90s as a young adult I got very into their Helgolander dark rye (named for an island off the coast of Germany). It was so dark that if you toasted it and added Vegemite it would still be as dark as it was to start with! It tasted fantastic but then it left the supermarket shelves. I wrote to the company and they told me that it was to be replaced by a new sour-dough bread. But it was lacking in something and was just another grey-brown rye. Why did they have to do that to me!

Some Crazy Cereal

I cannot remember its name but it came from New Zealand and this breakfast cereal was crazy I tell you! It was like having puffed grains drenched (and therefore both coloured and flavoured) with berry purée that had later dried. It was like pink pop-corn in a bowl! What a way to start the day! Then it went away. I was bitter at losing that sweet dish you could say.

Pasta Sauce With A Twist

Some products are designed to make you pretend you are participating in the home cooking process more than you truly are. This pasta sauce was one such item. The jar was shaped so that it had two distinct spaces. The largest and lowest part held the tomato-based pasta sauce. The nifty bit however was that the top few inches held this mix of finely chopped mushrooms in aromatic oils. One would spoon this concoction into a heated pan and sauté and it would smell amazing. One would add the sauce later but the experience came from that sizzling smelling sensation. Why did it go away? Surely others also enjoyed the experience of seeming to put together a dinner bit-by-bit and smell that awesomeness? Sometimes I think I'm alone in my culinary preferences.

Cassava Crackers

I only ever found these at the Asian grocer at Monash Uni in Clayton. They were huge and puffy and savoury and oily and kind of like vegetarian prawn crackers. They were made of cassava, tapioca and tastiness. I would buy a packet and share with fellow choristers over dinner before weekly rehearsal. This happened till recently. The shop in question never seems to stock them any more. They only ever got them intermittently but now they seem to have removed them altogether. I could always ask what happened and it may even get results. One small shop I can talk to in person is better than writing a letter to a distant manufacturer.

GV Fruit And Vegetable Juice

I have always found that a lot of vegetables have an off-putting dirty taste. However I try to find ways of getting more into me and one way is with juices. In the past mixed fruit and vegetable juices have been gross but more recently they have started to improve the mixes and proportions. There has to be a base of tangy fruit juice like pineapple for it to work. The addition of a small quantity of some other very intense fruit juice like lemon also helps. I particularly liked a brand that (if I remember correctly) was made by Goulburn Valley. It tasted nice and was cheaper than those fancy-pants fruit and vegetable juices they now shelve among the whole fruit and vegetables (wankers). It formed a part of my lunches during my stint with the Bureau of Statistics along with a roast vegetable wrap. I think that good things should also be fun things but sometimes the world makes it difficult to realise that and this is yet another instance of a product departing from my life.

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All these products had in common the fact of tastiness and goodness (to varying degrees). And it just struck me that this is still a positive post because I am focusing on things I enjoyed and then missed. Sorry Internet but I just cannot meet your standards of negativity. Luckily there are still plenty of super tasty things for me to have.

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