Damn The Jelly

Happy New Year, y’all.  I hope everyone was more successful at getting to sleep than I was last night – somehow, all the late-night gaming and card playing seemed to trick my hypothalamus into the clearly insane (or, possibly, insanely brilliant!) belief that 2009 was the year where sleep would be rendered unnecessary, perhaps to be replaced by some sort of chemical enhancement.

Speaking of which, thank goodness for generic NyQuil tablets, two of which wrapped my hypothalamus in a burlap bag, beat it into submission with forest green-colored liquigel crowbars, then, for good measure, threw it into a deep lake like so many unwanted kittens.  Figuratively speaking, anyhow.

But I digress.  I am not normally the type for New Year’s Resolutions, but somehow, it seemed like the right thing to do this year.  I’ll be sharing some, although not all, of them with you, Faithful Readers, in the upcoming days and weeks.

One of them is to eat less meat in ’09.  This is for many reasons, related both to personal health and to environmental concerns.  The downsides of the meat-heavy American diet are well enough known, although I am a firm believer that reasonable quantities of meat, even red meat, has a suitable place in a healthy diet.  It’s obviously less energy-efficient to eat meat, since you have to grow the animal’s feed, and it puts a lot of the feed’s energy into making bones, fur, and all sorts of things that aren’t yummy, yummy beef.  All that wasted energy means more energy spent, which probably means more petroleum burned, and more carbon pumped into the atmosphere.

So, anyway, less meat.  Inspired by my favorite man-hunk blogger Ezra Klein, I checked out the website of the PB&J Campaign, and decided that I would resolve to eat at least one PB&J lunch per week in 2009.  So, after I mostly recovered from the chemically-induced coma around 11 this morning, I decided to kick off ’09 by hitting one of my resolutions, fixing myself a PB&J.  So I grabbed a jar of Smuckers Concord Grape Jam from the fridge, only to find out when I went to make the sandwich that it was actually grape jelly, which I replaced with some homemade peach preserves.

Now, I get that there are plenty of types of food that aren’t my preference, but I know why people like them.  And, there are plenty of “foods” which seem to exist mostly for the uniqueness factor – most of which have now been described in The Onion AV Club’s Taste Test feature (see, for instance, the horrible case of the cheeseburger in a can.)  The most notable is undoubtedly Jones Soda, who offers a Thanksgiving Pack which includes a Turkey-and-Gravy flavored bottle of soda.

But, really, jelly is simply a food product whose raison d’etre completely escapes me.  I love jam.  I love preserves.  They are, in their best incarnations, slightly sweetened, spreadable version of the original fruit.  But what the hell is jelly?  It tastes pretty much like jam or preserves, although it seems to be sweeter, as a rule.  So it doesn’t have a real taste advanage over the superior products.  But the texture, oh dear lord, the texture.  It’s grotesque!  It can’t be spread easily, it’s sticky and gummy in the sandwich, it’s just…bad.  Bad.

Maybe there are legitimate historical reasons why jelly became a popular product – maybe it lasts better in canning, or something of the sort.  But I refuse to accept that there’s any good reason why this abomination is still foisted on us in the grocery store.  So, a new resolution for 2009 – No More Jelly!

It was a good sandwich, though.

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One Response to Damn The Jelly

  1. LT says:

    Poor jelly getting the bum rap. The real question though is smooth or chunky?

    Long live PB&J!

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