Monday, 18 June 2012

Mayonnaise Label Collection: Greek Appel (Gr1)

So there we have it. The same old mafia that ran Greece grossly into the ground will stay on in power to return the nation to its rightful status of Third World country on European soil. 

I guess it is all for the best. Had the Greeks shown the audacity to vote with their heart rather than on their knees, Brussels and its Troika hangmen would have sunk her like a stone, ‘pour encourager les autres.’ So much for the vaunted ‘family of European nations’ that march forward on the road to Prosperity and Democracy like a single loving body. You either obey or you go under. 

A sovereign nation, dear reader, has been shown its place. It’s an example to us all. It is what awaits the rest of us. How sad that Northern Europeans do not see through this charade, and blame Mediterranean laziness for their plight (click here to see the ever sharp-tongued Professor Krugman on that little trick). Just as the Southern Europeans blame heartless German egoism. Ah yes, Hetzes work wonderfully, especially when backed up by tons of ready cash, a rubber stamp parliament full of well-paid Europutados, and a supra-national anthem which mockingly proclaims that ‘Alle Menschen werden BrĂ¼der.

Anyway, we are all tired of the matter. So I shall let it rest for a while, until the next unforeseen, unexpected, a-typical and completely inconceivable catastrophe comes knocking on the door (by the end of the week I guess (1)) and a new cohort of the poor may be brought to the chopping block of Criminal Austerity.

Yesterday I received some grumblings from a regular reader, who complained about the lack of a coockbook (sic) post last Friday (2), and for some weird reason demanded a recipe involving apples (was he thinking perhaps of the sour apple that all of us Europeans must bite through to obey the Brussels serpent that seduces us?) Concurrently, this is a day to remember Greece in more pleasant fashion. Ecco: to show you what true old-fashioned Anglo-French efficiency in the Mittington mode looks like, I will put a culinary post together with a Greek memorial and a much belated Mayonnaise Label Collection entry, and offer you here today my take on

Gr1. Appel Delikatess. Athens, August 1987. 
Drachmas [unknown] for 240 grams

Well, Greece may be the cradle of refined perspective Art as it is the cradle of Democracy, but that does not imply that refined perspective art goes into every design it creates. Take this awful Mayonnaise label from 25 years ago. A veritable eyesore. Yes, there is a faint attempt at including a classic Greek arch, and I guess that the combination of red, green and gold is also a wink at certain post-Minoan colour schemes. But the result belongs rather more to the realm of the Amusing than to the dominion of the Muses.

Might it be that Appel Delikatess has not changed the design of its label since 1879, the year of its company’s founding? If so, that was one big mistake, for the customer and the aficionado of the Golden Sauce have progressed, my dear dunderheads. And they no longer understand with their esthetical sense what their eyes behold with a fearful shudder. What, for instance, is that funny oval shape on the lower left supposed to be? A spotted pear on three leaves of lettuce? Or perhaps the X-ray of an olive on its branch? Or might it be the portrait of the egg-head in charge of the company marketing, painted by the incomparable Karel Appel of Cobra fame? A mystery if ever I saw one.

Now, some bottled brands of Mayo that come clad in cheap or badly drafted labels get fully redeemed by the splendid flavour of the sauce itself. Sadly, this was not the case of Appel Delikatess. Taste-wise, it turned out to be straig­ht, Mediterranean, weak and bland. The kind of pap one gets served in the tilting cafeteria of the steamer from Brindisi to Patras on top of an olive-shaped egg or an egg-shaped olive. In short: in Greece do as the Greek do, and eat Tarama or Tzatziki instead of this worthless, useless variety of sauce.

(1) POSTSCRIPT Monday morning 11.00 am. A digital newspaper just tells me that the interest rate on Spanish and Italian bonds, which came down jollily in the wake of the Greek relief, is already on the rise again… The Spanish interest rate stands at 7.11 %. A neat little figure (most economists agree that 6 % is untenable). How long before we will need a bail-out of the Spanish government on top of the bail-out of the Spanish banks…?

(2) I’m sorry about that, dear reader, but I had to teach a class in Egyptology at a local college, and my thorough preparations left me no time to write down a dignified recipe.

1 comment:

  1. Ah, we shall lament the lack of a Mayonnaise recipe haha! Oh is there no end to this European crisis? I guess people would care less if it didn't have such a huge impact on us all (particularly South Africa because of foreign trade). Is there even an ultimate solution?