Last night, someone told me a terrible joke:
‘I was walking along today and some bloke came up behind me.
First he slapped me round the back of the head with a pint of milk.
Then he hit me with a lump of cheddar.
I thought: “how dairy!” (‘dare he’ for those who are slow on the uptake)
I’ll be honest – I didn’t want to laugh, but I did. It was one of those embarrassing, half-snorted laughs… oh the shame.
Unfortunately, because of the way my brain is wired, I suddenly got stuck on ‘dairy’ and started thinking about it.
I’ve made the example before, with that coffee that’s cr*pped out by civets (Kopi Luwak), but good marketing can convince us to buy pretty much anything… including a bizarre range of dairy products.
What do I mean? Well, think about it: despite the fact that humans produce their own milk, someone decided to go up to a cow (why a cow and not another mammal, I don’t know), rudely squeeze one of its massive, muddy nipples, and drink what came out of it. Incredibly, they then persuaded the rest of the world to drink it and it’s now one of the most widely drunk liquids on the planet.
However, even stranger are all the offshoots of milk: dairy products.
Sour cream and probiotic yoghurts are just ‘off milk’, yet we love the stuff.
Cottage cheese is the most basic of ‘off milk’. Pour lemon juice into a carton of milk and you get the same stuff (pretty much) as you’d get in a processed tub of cottage cheese… but people smother it all over Ryvita or eat it with salad.
What about blue cheese? Get some milk, let it curdle, put it in a warm dark place for a bit, let it grow mould, and – hey presto! – the same blue fur on food that people ask for refunds for, suddenly becomes ‘tasty’.
Curd cheese – one up from cottage cheese. No-one knows what to do with it other than make cheesecake.
Skimmed milk – nothing more than white water.
I’m sure there are other products I could mention, but it’s Friday and I’ve stopped thinking.
Marketing: the power to make us eat mouldy, solidified milk, from a muddy cow’s nipple … and pay a premium price for it, as a ‘luxury item’.