Tuesday, July 28, 2015

On the Sanctity of Fruit: From Farm to Fable

Top: Delia's
Skirt: Modcloth
Shoes: Ami Clubwear
Bag: H&M
Belt: Izod, Marshalls
Sunglasses: J. C. Penney's

 Simply Strawberry Brooch

Dress: Modcloth
Shoes: Dolce by Mojo Moxy
Bag: Katie & Kelly, DSW
Belt: Apt. 9, Kohl's
Sunglasses: Kohl's

 Simply Citrus Brooch

Dress: Modcloth
Shoes: Ami Clubwear
Bag: Modcloth
Belt: Marshalls
Sunglasses: J. C. Penney's

Top: So, Kohl's
Skirt: ELLE, Kohl's
Shoes: Qupid, Alloy
Bag: Call it Spring, J. C. Penney's
Belt: Candie's, Kohl's
Sunglasses: Cloud Nine, Ocean City boardwalk

I've always loved fruit.  The kind you can eat is delicious and nutritious, and the kind you can't brightens up a dull day.  The latter has two basic style personas: realistic and cartoonish.  Realistic fruit looks like the stuff at your local farm stand; cartoonish fruit looks like it's about to get up and dance.  But they're both appealing (and I don't just mean the bananas), forming a tapestry rich in lifelike and surreal motifs.  Also, antioxidants.

So you can imagine how perturbed I was to find that certain cereal bars and cookies (which shall remain nameless, lest I receive crates of rotting fruit from the snack company bigwigs), have been passing off cranberries as strawberries.  It's a clever if exasperating ruse, and for a while it works.  That is, until you're chomping on one of these carb clusters and think, "Hey, I know that's a strawberry on the box, but this wrinkled red thing kind of looks like a cranberry.  And it kind of tastes like a cranberry too!"  So you read the ingredients on the side of the box and confirm your suspicions; there are no strawberries in this thing at all!  Why would they do that?  Because nobody likes cranberries, despite Thanksgiving's campaign to convince us otherwise.

That's why this week's pieces pay homage to that master of masqueraders: extract.  Flavorings frank about their fakeness, these enticing elixirs keep things real by having the integrity to pretend to be the fruits displayed with such lifelike detail on their iconic McCormick boxes.  Naturally, this makes me think of the always wry, sometimes ribald comedy Extract, specifically that part toward the end in which Jason Bateman's Joel explains why he loves running a small extract factory.  Even after all the trouble caused by his affair-that-wasn't with line worker Cindy (Mila Kunis), he gets sentimental about the vanilla, almond, and root beer flavors that his plant churns out year after year.  Why?  Because they make people happy.  In other words, it's the seemingly small, extraneous things in life that give it its sweetness and -- ahem -- flavor.  That's why Joel did what he did, and that's why I do what I do, too.  It's probably also why the bogus cereal bar and cookie people pull their strawberry scam.

Next week I'll attempt to apply the same logic to Fruit Loops.

1 comment:

Michelle said...

Hahaha, love the narrative, but I am in love with that green Modcloth dress!! Fab pieces as always!