Thursday, March 29, 2007

Last night in Copenhagen: what’s with the gravy?

On our last night in Copenhagen, we had dinner at the home of a TV news anchor from one of the two national stations in Denmark. He invited several of his friends who are also in the news business. They were all incredibly fun, smart and welcoming and provided a perfect end to our visit.

One of them had studied at an Ivy League schools in the U.S. for undergrad and when asked what he remembered most about living in the U.S. compared to Denmark, he said, “The food commercials. In America, commercials never had a simple picture of food, it was always an incredible amount of it.”

I completely agreed. The next time you're watching food commercials, check out the proportion of the screen filled with closeups and oversized portions. They don’t just show a small trickle of gravy; there’s a wave of it washing over mountains of mashed potatoes big enough to ski down.

Saturday Night Live did a great parody of this phenomenon with a skit called "Taco Town", which featured a trio of hungry guys raving about their "awesome" favorite order, which grew more awesome every minute with additional ingredients until it was comprised of:

a crunchy all beef taco smothered in nacho cheese, lettuce, tomato, and special Southwestern sauce; wrapped in a soft flour tortilla with a layer of re-fried beans in between; wrapped in a savory corn tortilla with a middle layer of Monterrey jack cheese; wrapped in a deep fried gordita shell smeared with a layer of special 'guacomolito' sauce; wrapped in a corn husk filled with pico de gallo; wrapped in an authentic Parisian crepe filled with egg, gruyere, sausage and portobello mushrooms; wrapped in a Chicago-style, deep-dish, meat lover's pizza; rolled up in a blueberry pancake; dipped in batter and deep fried until it's golden brown; and served in a commemorative tote bag filled with spicy vegetarian chili.

It was ridiculously hilarious, because we're already subjected to fast food items that are not far off from this fictitious gut buster. Case in point: the KFC Famous Bowl. Ingredients, copied from the KFC website: a generous serving of our creamy mashed potatoes, layered with sweet corn and loaded with bite-sized pieces of crispy chicken. Then we drizzle it all with our signature home-style gravy and top it off with a shredded three-cheese blend.
Mmmm. Pass the defibrillator...

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