An Indecent Proposal

Remind me never to go to World Market during my lunch break, on an empty stomach. I end up walking out with things like Snack Salad-brand SnapeaCrisps (Original Flavor), a "delicate and tasty" baked snack distributed by Calbee America, Inc., of Torrance, California.

I was drawn to the lush illustration of snow pea pods on the front of the package. They appeared to be dehydrated, but they were so pretty and green (and baked, not fried!) that I figured it was a wholesome lunchtime alternative to a cart-ful of Ritter Sport bars and tiny bottles of champagne.

Wholesome, that is, until I read the back of the package when I got back to work.

The pea has played an important role in dietary life and culture since the dawn of recorded history, and because of its nutritional value it has great potential for our dietary lives in the future. We are expecting to see the continuing development of "Snapea Crisps" as a delicate and tasty product which has taken advantage of the pea's original goodness, and we propose this product as a new type of snack.

Never before has a description of a product by its own manufacturer made me feel simultaneously so grandiose (for playing such a great role in history), so bewildered (by the syntax of their logical proposition), and so dirty (for taking advantage of once-innocent peas).

But wait - there's more!

In searching for an image of the package, I visited the manufacturer's web site, where I was treated to some more musings about the wonders of this product.

SnapeaCrisps originate from high quality sun-dried peas. Using new and unique technology, we created the world's first easily graspable, snow pea-shaped crisp! [Ed. Note: I did not realize the world already offered snow pea-shaped crisps that were difficult to grasp, but I appreciate the refinement.]

We have come up with a product that is pleasing to the eye as well. In fact, although SnapeaCrisps are themselves peas [Ed. Note: They're peas. Check.], the product is innovative because it retains all the unique characteristics of the peas [Ed. Note: They're peas and they have the characteristics of peas. Check.] and, at the same time, removes the pet peeves traditionally associated with them. [Ed. Note: Pea-related pet peeves? Do tell!]

This product contains 17% vegetable protein and 8% fiber that comes mostly from the skin of the peas. What's more, SnapeaCrisps contain an abundance of vitamins, iron, and calcium. SnapeaCrisps deliver the pea's natural nutrients in their entirety. [Ed. Note: Is that one of the pet peeves?]

There are two types of flavors that can be chosen according to one's taste or the occasion. [Ed. Note: A girl loves her choices.] There is the Original, which has basic flavoring, and the Caesar that tastes like the popular salad. [Ed. Note: Not like the popular Roman leader.] Along with carrots and celery sticks, the Original will not only go great with your favorite dip, but the dip will actually enhance the flavor of the crisps. Please give it a try. [Ed. Note: Wait a second...the peas taste good with dip, and the dip tastes good with the peas? This is fascinating! But this only applies to Original flavor. I guess the editorial board axed the logical extension of that last part: "But Caesar tastes like ass with dip. Please avoid it."]

Peas have been an important part of the human diet for approximately 8,000 years. In fact, remains of snow peas dating back to the New Stone Age (or around 4500 B.C.) have been found around a lake in Switzerland...in an Egyptian grave around the time of the pharaohs...and even in the ancient ruins of Troy. Peas have also been widely cultivated along the Mediterranean coast as well as in the area of Mesopotamia, and they continue to be an important agricultural crop influencing different cultures and their eating habits. [Ed. Note: This last paragraph isn't nearly as funny, although I do wonder how the conversation went among the archaeologists when excavating the Egyptian grave-site. "Get a load of this golden sarcophagus..." "Watch it, you buffoon! You almost stepped on the remains of the peas!"]

Snacktime will never be the same again.


Jean said...

But did you even open them? How do they TASTE? I wanna know!

tilney said...

Oh, yeah - the taste! They were pretty good. A nice savory snack.