Though I enjoy occasionally indulging in a scoop of Beluga piled atop a crisp blin as much as the next fellow, I nonetheless remain skeptical of much of the hype surrounding high-priced “premium” food brands. Whenever someone gushes about how Brand A tastes “soooo much better” than anything else, my first reaction is always to want to stage a blind taste test and see just how precise Erin Exageroo’s palette really is. I’ve been this way ever since I read a Reader’s Digest article as a young lad which described some research done by a marketing firm. In one experiment, test subjects were given a number of different sticks of deodorant and asked to give an evaluation of each stick. Unbeknownst to the test subjects, however, each stick was made from the same formula–the only difference was in how each stick was packaged. Despite this fact, test subjects were quick to claim a certain brand as having a more pleasant fragrance than others, or maintain that while Brand E may have worked just fine, Brand C irritated their skin. Needless to say, I’ve had a healthy respect for the power of suggestion ever since.
Because of this, I’ve found myself in a pickle these past few days–well, actually, it’s more of a carrot.
A few days ago I was at a small get-together, and at one point in the evening the hostess brought out a bowl of baby carrots as an appetizer. As I was reaching to snatch one up, the hostess mentioned that they were the organic, more expensive type of baby carrots.
“I’ll bet they are, Erin Exageroo,” I couldn’t help muttering under my breath.
But then I took a bite, and reader, believe me when I tell you that I have never tasted such a delicious carrot, whether it be in its suckling infancy or fully matured and ready to head off to carrot college. Each bite was more pleasurable than the next, negating all I had learned in college about diminishing marginal utility. Unable to control my carrot-lust, I filled myself to engorgement, completely disregarding all that Emily Post had ever taught me in the way of proper dinner party conduct. The remainder of the night was spent intermittently vomiting up substances that looked as if they’d come from a clown and restlessly composing the most passionate carrot poetry man has ever known.
But as I sit here now I’m unconvinced. So many things could have tainted my perception–were the carrots delicious only because they were organic, or were there environmental factors at play as well, such as ambient lighting or the color of the bowl? Might the carrots have merely played well off of the rosé I had been sipping? These questions haunt me like a jarringly bad simile.
I have but one solution. Soon, I will buy a selection of different brands of baby carrots and, eliciting the help of a volunteer, submit myself to a blindfolded baby carrot taste test–WITHOUT THE AID OF A NET!