[lit-ideas] Re: fill in the blank...CLAWKI

  • From: David Ritchie <ritchierd@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 8 Aug 2008 11:45:19 -0700

On Aug 7, 2008, at 6:25 PM, Ursula Stange wrote:

This is why I stay.
Everyday I'm surprised in some way.
Send me your address, David.
jammin in North Bay

The post has a history. You won't remember but I've written before about a quirk of conversations Stephen Straker and I used to have; we'd divide the world into British Civil Service categories (as we imagined them) on the one hand "sound" and on the other "unsound." I still catch myself doing this from time to time, and it was because Canada is very sound on the subject of jam that I wrote.

How sound? In this benighted country even Trader Joe, who used to be generally sound but is now slipping, has decided to make jam out of high fructose corn syrup. Fruit, sugar, pectin, possibly some lemon juice are the ingredients of sound jam. The British used to know this, but read the ingredients today and you'll find high fructose corn syrup, at least I did when last I looked.

I keep hoping that this ethanol craze will cause jam to go back to normal, simply by making high fructose corn syrup more expensive. Meanwhile I am reduced to smuggling jam across the northern border; when we were in Sydney B.C. recently, I wandered into a supermarket, picked up a jar of E.D. Smith and found that, with the potentially somewhat unsound addition of "locust bean gum and or guar gum," the ingredients were correct.

Guar gum has an interesting write-up on wikipedia.

It was but a short step from this good feeling towards Canada's important place in the preservation of civilized life as we know it (CLAWKI) to the realization that what you may have been offering as a prize was cupboard-aged confiture which, when it is renamed and pronounced with the right accent, could become the next delicacy foodies will discover.

Carry on.

David Ritchie,
Portland, Oregon
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