07 April 2012

Tell Us, O Master, What Is Perfection?

"The perfect blend of spices, cheese and bread crumbs for you to make something wonderful..."

...Or some such drivel as I was about to push the 'Off' button. The tag line caught my attention. I was momentarily transfixed by what I was hearing and seeing on the tube. So now a Very Large Company has rolled out a new product to further relieve a long-suffering public from the burden of actually thinking about what they may want on their food. This company has combined spices (their choices), cheeses (their choices) and bread crumbs (simplicity itself to make).

Spices. Cheeses. Bread crumbs. All in one convenient (petrochemical-based plastic) package.

I watched the happy family gathered around the (perfectly) golden brown and delicious Spice/Cheese/BreadCrumb encrusted chicken breasts, and wondered if it is truly possible to know perfection if you refuse to try and define it yourself.

Because the contents of that bag were defined by market research and focus groups, and 'cheese' as generic monikers, combined with the seemingly insatiable appetite for convenience. Letting a faceless group constantly define the edges of taste and experience means giving up discrimination and control; it means giving up the ability to self-generate one's true likes and desires. If you give up that ability, then you will probably never know perfection. The hollow feeling in your stomach that you believe to be hunger is really the maw of an appetite that will never be fulfilled.

Turning off the television, I resolved again to seek my own perfection, away from the false promises of a Very Large Company. The search will be more work, but the result will be my own.


  1. I saw that commercial myself just the other day and had to laugh.

    I have a wonderful recipe that I've used for years that is exactly that: chicken breasts, spices, cheese and bread crumbs. It takes about as much time to prepare as ripping open a package of pre-mixed synthetic stuff. My version however is natural, healthy and yummy.

    And cutting into that chicken, taking the first delicious bite? Perfection.

  2. I triple-puffy-pink-glitter-heart you, you know. At the beginning of the film "Fresh" someone - I forget who - recalled that his European college roommate observed the one things Americans truly despise is inconvenience.

    At any rate, you were far more restrained than I; instead of turning off the television during such drivel, I tend to yell obscenities and there is much gnashing of teeth. My family is very patient with this behavior (although I'm sure the committal papers are somewhere easily accessible, just in case).

    And on that note, I have just finished my very first batch of lacto-fermented kimchi; it is sitting on the counter, hopefully being colonized by all sorts of friendly little buggers. I can't wait till it's ready; if successful, sauerkraut with apples is next.

  3. @terlee: The best stuff is usually the stuff we make for ourselves, yes?


"Let your laws come undone
Don't suffer your crimes
Let the love in your heart take control..."

-'The Hair Song', by Black Mountain

Tell me what is in your heart...