Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Connoisseur’s Experience

Talking of choccy, back here Gadjo noted that the descriptions in selection boxes have become considerably poncier in recent years – “a fantasy of ganache enrobed in sumptuous cacao-essence and ennobled with hazelnuts” etc.

Choc-scoffing has thus become yet another area of British life where the Connoisseur’s Experience has seeped into the mainstream; it is no longer possible just to pick up a box of choccies; you have to make a lifestyle decision when purchasing, and talk about it while consuming.

Whether the cause is increasing sophistication, cynical marketing or sheer middle-class boredom I’m not sure, but the CE has long since spread from its natural habitats of wine, whisky and cheese into such everyday commodities as beer, coffee, ready-made sandwiches, pizzas, sausages, water, bread (malted wholemeal batch loaves etc), olives, olive oil, pickled onions, tonic water, cider (!), eggs, beef (matured), chutney, pies, citrus fruit, chicken (corn-fed), microwave curries, pasta, chillies, garlic, tomatoes (on the vine), pasta sauce, hot chocolate, butter, cordial, squash, hamburgers, ginger beer, fruit juice, ice cream, fruit tea, soup, yoghurt, crumpets, mousse-like puddings, breakfast cereals, crisps, nuts, tinned fish, jam, marmalade, apples, biscuits, cookies, honey (Sainsbury’s sell a jar which costs eleven quid!), mushrooms and baby food, amongst others.

How did this come about so quickly? I reckon that the only safe, statement-free grocery purchases we can now make are Marmite and Heinz Cream of Tomato Soup.

21 comments:

Uncle Dick Madeley said...

I think it needs more creative swearing. 'Crappy chocolate surrounding a bloody big nut'.

worm said...

a guy I know (not a friend, more a mortal enemy) actually has 2 monogrammed his'n'hers solid silver lids on the two marmite pots in his cupboard. As Im not allowed to make a swear, I shall refer to him as a spleeny elf-skinned flap-dragon

malty said...

I await with baited breath the first connoisseur's choice toilet roll 'for those discerning derrières' for which second best will not do.

malty said...

I would have said bated breath but wasn't sure whether or not it may have been a tad profane.

Brit said...

"Andrex® Aloe Vera is the only toilet tissue that is truly lotioned, enriched with Aloe Vera."

malty said...

No doubt seen in every bog with a self opening toilet seat.

worm said...

In germany, you can insult somebody's manhood by calling them a

Hacklefeuchtbenutzer

literally translated this is a 'user of moistened toilet wipes'

Brit said...

I wonder what it says about you if your shopping consists of ten Fruit Salads?

worm said...

...that you have blackened stumps for teeth?

Gaw said...

The chocolate aspects of this debate touch on some important issues which I feel require
further exploration.

Peter Burnet said...

Brit, you can run, but you can't hide: A creamy experience.

Sean said...

I tell you what that posh pants Andrex Aloe Vera bog roll is top dollar, And as a Sunsweet prune juice customer (Keeps you smiling on the inside), *know my Bog rolls.

The Andrex is so good even the dogs dont mind it on their pampered backsides after a healthy evacuation.

*I note the discounters and quid shops are selling them cheap at the moment, so maybe the Middle Classes have run out of cash in the recession and have resorted to using old newspapers out of the paper bin?

Brit said...

Peter you elf-skinned flap-dragon, another one ruined!

And Sean - you're not exactly helping your tough guy image here...

martpol said...

You're right on tinned fish, astonishingly. My missus was planning to make a tuna pasta bake the other day (student classic, that), so I picked up a half-price packet of four cans of John West. She was downcast, having hoped to go to Waitrose and find something posh.

"There's no such thing as posh tinned tuna," I said.

I was wrong. But "hand-prepared albacore tuna fillets in spring water" were deemed too expensive, so John West it was.

Sean said...

Tough guy image? I did not know I had one, maybe I need a tag line to exploit it and spread the word?

Correction, sunsweet have changed theirs recently, now its "the natural way to go" which going by the results is just not true.

Brit said...

Well Sean I had you down as Scourge of the Islamicists and Uncompromising Hammer of the Nice Middle-Class Homeowners, but the moist bogroll, musical theatre and Fruit Salads have cast you in a whole new light.

malty said...

When conducting bogroll / netty paper or as the posh folk call it loo paper consumer tests do we think they use a simulator?

Or as Geordies call it the Sun

Sean said...

Well Brit I once was having a nice cup of tea in an office block in Riyadh on a Friday morning, when all of a sudden across the street they lopped off a guys head after prayers, in broad daylight with a large crowd looking on.

It was a very strange and surreal experience, this gleaming modern city with all that you want or could dream you might want, chopping of peoples heads in the middle of a busy street...it sort of starts you thinking, theres something very wrong here. So yes I plead guilty to the first charge.

The second charge I am a bit bewildered by, class and race are things you should not divide people by and I do try to do that at all times, but to be fair to the working class, it was not them who screwed up the finances of the nation, idiots as many of them are,and it was not them who created an underclass that plagues them more than the middle class.

Middle class aspiration have a lot to answer for at the moment.

btw, to add to your delight, I can also play the Violin (taught by my polish grandfather before I would write) so can my daughter who is also a very accomplished ballet dancer.

Music is math and the math is in the genes :0)

Brit said...

Multitudes, Sean, we all contain them. Even Muslims, I understand.

Gadjo Dilo said...

Blurgh. I am utterly sickened by the take-over of Cadbury's, but not half as sickened as I'll be when I taste the new chocolates that'll now be manufactured under that brand name. You're right, Marmite will soon be all that is left to us normal, right-thinking folk.

ghostofelberry said...

RAF rations sometimes include a rather bland chocolate in a Yorkie wrapper. They put them in Yorkie wrappers so the men see something familiar, reassuring - then they eat it and it certainly isn't Yorkie. Personally i find it disconcerting but who am i to judge?