it's a great life, if you don't weaken (matociquala) wrote,
it's a great life, if you don't weaken

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Ours goes to eleven.

I have a Pippinesque relationship with Altoids lately. For many, many years (I was addicted to the damn things as far back as high school, along with Flavigny violet pastilles (which I have again, finally, found a source for) and Callard & Bowser's toffees) they were comforting and predictable in their searing pepperminthood. I used to combine them with blue Teeni Hugs and Lay's or Cape Cod Salt-N-Vinegar potato chips on gaming nights (and yes, if that combination sounds familiar to you from an anonymous internet humor file, it's because my gaming group wrote the damned thing some time before I posted it to alt.misc.gaming.frpg back in the early '90's. Remember Usenet? I know you do. There's something a little surreal in seeing your own words come back to you as Internet humor spam.) Then came the advertising campaigns. Then came Wintergreen Altoids, which are pretty damned spiffy. And Cinnamon Altoids, which are not as good as Cinnamon Penguin Mints. (Cinnamon Hoof Mints are the best, though. I am a breathmint connoisseur.)

Within the last month, I've found myself twice going, "They come in OTHER FLAVOURS?!" twice. I found Ginger Altoids at the World Market in mid-January. Today, at the Albertson's of all places, I discovered Spearmint Altoids.

The ginger ones are delicious. The spearmint ones, I'm sorry to say, taste nastily artificial, which is impressive as they list only natural flavours.

And Flavigny violet pastilles are still marvelous. In a they-taste-like-perfume-with-a-fennel-seed-in-the-middle sort of way. The rose and anise pastilles are not as much to my taste.

Five flavors of Altoid. Three flavors of Penguin Mint (Caffeinated!). Three flavors of Hoof Mints. Seven kinds of perfume-flavoured Flavigny pastille. I can get some of the world's best rose congou and Russian caravan tea, along with any other kind of tea I could ever possibly imagine, from the Upton Tea Company, along with teapots, infusing equipment, scores of herbal infusions. Munson's chocolates by mail order. Bird peppers and other rare and wonderful spices of the Orient. Ethiopian takeout in Toronto. Pad Thai in Las Vegas. Molé in Hartford. Kentucky Fried Chicken in Bombay. Jerk Chicken in San Diego. Lychee jellies and wasabi peas in Winston-Salem. Dolmas in Bridgeport. Sushi on the moon.

All the comforts of home. No matter what continent your home may be on. Or all of them simultaneously. Now this is decadence.

What a wonderful era we live in. Did any science fiction writer ever predict what a culinary adventure the future turned out to be?

Diaspora rocks.

Now if I can just find a way to get some decent marzipan in Las Vegas.
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