Photo by Salt Water New England

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

The New Yorker: How Carob Traumatized a Generation



A familiar thought to some begins The New Yorker article, How Carob Traumatized a Generation:
A wry disgruntlement will forever unite those of us who were children during the height of the nineteen-seventies natural-foods movement. It was a time that we recall not for its principles—yes to organics, no to preservatives—but for its endless assaults on our tender young palates. There was brown rice that scoured our molars as we chewed, shedding gritty flecks of bran. There was watery homemade yogurt that resisted all attempts to mitigate its tartness. And, at the pinnacle of our dietary suffering, worse even than sprout sandwiches or fruit leather or whole-wheat scones, there was carob, the chocolate substitute that never could.  <Link>



26 comments:

  1. A time best forgot!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oy. I had forgotten about carob until now. I remember Hal Linden (Barney Miller) doing PSAs encouraging us all to eat carob.

    ReplyDelete
  3. When growing up in the 60s and 70s I never heard of people with food allergies! Maybe a occasional self fish allergy. I blame Monsanto and all the processed food that is around today. I a big farm to table person!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Food allergies are,to a great extent,status signalling. The princess and the pea sort of thing. In my youth,early fifties,a penicillin allergy was the thing to have.notice how little we hear about peanut allergies,which were all the rage a few years ago. Of course,some people really are allergic to things but I think that most of it is stuff and nonsense.

      Delete
    2. I'm sure the next parent trying to get their child to breathe on the way to the hospital after the unexpected ingestion of a food to which the child is badly allergic will be relieved to hear that Anonymous 7:05 p.m. of the Internet considers it "stuff and nonsense."

      Delete
    3. When growing up in the 60s and 70s I never heard of people being traumatized by a food they didn't like. Notice how little we hear about people simply shrugging off dislikes.

      Delete
  4. Ugh. Oily chalk. So nasty.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Ironically, dark chocolate (not overly sweetened) turns out to be relatively healthy in moderate quantities.

    we do have an older generation to thank for Fritos. blech.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome! And for Bugles and Munchos, too. Yum.

      Delete
    2. I'll fight you for the bag of Fritos. And for a can of Pringles!

      For me, there's no chocolate but milk chocolate, not that dark, bitter stuff that reminds me too much of carob. (Which, I'll confess, I tasted only once and spat out immediately.)

      Delete
    3. Anybody remember Beer Chasers?

      Delete
  6. Miss Patsy, will see your Bugles and Munchos and raise you…
    Funyuns doused some sort of whizzy cheese in a can, a mouth of Space Dust (Pop Rocks) and to wash it all down…Tab, no…Fanta.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Carob almost cost me my marriage. Tried using them for chocolate chip cookies. Not a success. 41 years later he still laughs about it.
    MaryAnne

    ReplyDelete
  8. Fun article, thanks for posting it! I hated the stuff, my kids hated it, and my friends who claimed to like it were faking it. But we all survived...!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Ah, yes. The carob days. I remember them well. My roommate at the time decided we should go on a macrobiotic diet. Remember that? Basically a plate of brown rice and blanched vegetables, with a little boiled seaweed for flavor. It had to be the blandest, most unappealing food I've ever encountered. And, yes, she used carob quite a lot, "It's chocolate," she explained. It only made matters worse.

    I tried to tell her her cooking was truly repugnant, but I just didn't have the heart. And, of course, she was relentless: every night a terribly unappetizing dinner sat on my plate, just daring me to eat it. I wound up going to McDonalds on the way home from work each night. If it weren't for Big Macs & fries, I would have starved.

    Aiken

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A distressing tale. Too bad you didn’t live in the New Haven area. Instead of going to McDonalds you could’ve picked up a decent pie on the way home.

      Delete
    2. I lived in Wooster Square, two blocks from Pepe's, Sally's, and The Spot. I started with pizza, but it was too complicated. I left work at various times and the Wooster Street pizza places get crowed (or at least used to fill up) early. It was just easier to get a Big Mac, fries, and a vanilla milkshake.

      In any event, you can imagine I was quickly getting fat with all those calories. After not too long, it was either get a new wardrobe or get a new girl friend. Well, you know how we are about our clothes, so that was a pretty easy decision.

      Aiken

      Delete
    3. Well... don’t know when you were living in the Elm City. But Wooster Square has always been the tourist destination. The quality of the pies in the ‘60’s and ‘70’s, for example, at places like Venice (especially) on Dixwell Avenue, the old Sorrentos in North Haven, and Rose Garden on State Street in Hamden stood right up to, and looked square in the eye the “holy trinity” of Pepe’s, Sally’s and Modern. Today Olde World on Whitney Avenue, among others, attracts locals who want the quality without the crowds. Try the plain; with eggplant, or anchovies.

      Delete
    4. I lived in Wooster Square for over a decade. It isn't a tourist destination, and never has been. It's a neighborhood, and a fine one at that. Wooster Square is distinct from Wooster Street (where the pizzerias are located, which is where the tourists head). It was the first urban renewal project in New Haven, and was highly successful, unlike some of the other projects undertaken in other neighborhoods.

      There are lovely townhouses that front the Square or small green and brownstone row houses along Court and Chapel streets. Maybe Muffy has some photos of the Wooster Square area she might post sometime? Her dad was an avid photographer of New Haven and shot some of the downtown renewal project. I'd love to see anything she or her dad might have shot.

      Pizzerias besides Wooster Street? There are plenty of great pizza places in the area: Modern Apizza on State St, Grand Apizza in Fair Haven, Toli's and de Palma's in East Haven.

      Grand Apizza was one of my favorites when living in New Haven. In August for about two weeks, the family would make fresh tomato sauce. I don't know if they still do it, but that was divine.

      Ahbeets!
      Aiken

      Delete
    5. You are right. Wooster Street, not Wooster Square is where the tourists congregate. Boston Globe says Pepe’s, The Spot, Sally’s “are worth the 2.5 hour drive.” And, yes, it would be great to see old photos of the neighborhood, particularly when the trees bloom in spring. Would also be great to see old photos of York Street and Broadway area. The retailers in that area defined New Haven as the center of men’s fashion; J Press, Rosenbergs, Barrie’s among others. Don’t forget Yankee Doodle!... And for what it’s worth, New Haven garnering attention recently as “the pizza capital of the world” on a well known “bro” website. Millions of primarily young males now are aware of “ahbeets!”

      Delete
  10. My generation was traumatized by the Great Depression. Little did we know how much harder things would be for those who came after us.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, for heaven's sake. Lighten up. It's a humorous piece. Remember having a sense of humour?

      Delete
    2. Carl's comment was actually humorous.

      Delete
    3. Good one Carl,
      many thanks for the smile, it is appreciated.
      PS)Anonymous November 20, 2019 at 10:15 AM- you missed it.

      Delete
    4. Who could have foreseen it?! (That's hilarious.)

      Delete
  11. We had a home cooked meal every night as kids. Not all of it was great, but low and behold we survived. Thanks , Mom!

    ReplyDelete