Tea Time With Jesse

Six of One, Half Dozen the Other

Artific…. Wha?

Posted by middlerage on October 22, 2012

I’m munchin’ on a bag of Bar-B-Q flavored potato chips. Less prominently, but still quite visible (in a tasteful, yet understated, modern font) is the qualifying phrase, “Artificially Flavored.” Say What?

Okay, I’m down with bananas and strawberries having avatars cooked up in windowless food factories outside of Newark. But a sauce can be considered artificially concocted? Isn’t a sauce already artificial? What next, artificially flavored ketchup? I mean, I guess they need to be honest and admit they didn’t throw a bunch of raw potato slices on the grill and baste them with BBQ sauce while toasting each individual chip. But Geez.

So I’m looking at the ingredients list and there’s not much that offends me in a  My Gawd! It’s unnatural! sort of way. I don’t think I’d see much difference between these ingredients and what’s in a bottle of BBQ sauce. Let’s see… it has tomato paste, dehydrated onion, spices, natural smoke flavor, and of course the extractives of Paprika (was Paprika beamed into a UFO and anally probed for extractives?).

I know, it’s this kind of scintillating, earth shattering, expose type observation that my dear readers come to Tea Time for.

(Interesting side note. Once upon a time the Chef’s America’s Test Kitchen show on PBS did a blind taste test with professional tasters to find the best vanilla extract for cooking. Partly to determine if super expensive Madagascar Vanilla was all that and a bag of chips. The winner? – Vanillan – the artificial flavoring substitute for vanilla. Obviously, Vanillan is not better at tasting like vanilla than true vanilla. It just – apparently – tastes better. And much cheaper.)

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