1. Delightfully Anachronistic Package Design! The Update YOU Demanded!

    FROM ALL THE CARDS AND LETTERS we’ve been inundated with here since we ran that piece on beef stew some time ago, Thursday I think it was, it’s clear that many of you felt we gave the beef stew short shrift.

    A pal from Rochester Hills, Michigan writes, “Ted! How about a recipe for that beef stew you featured on your blog recently?”

    What are you, an idiot? It was beef stew in a can.  Open the can.  There’s your recipe.

    Still others wanted to know more about the story behind the beef stew, as well as the story behind it.

    A new reader, Best-Penis@MaxGentlemen.com, chimes in with, “Click here for the only Male enlargement supplement that has been PROVEN in clinical trials to enlarge your penis – safely, quickly, and importantly – PERMANENTLY.”

    Okay, okay – we get the picture! You want to know more about the beef stew!

    …Well, you’re out of luck, because we’re moving forward, not stumbling backward. But that doesn’t mean we won’t be covering other products in delightful anachronistic package design.

    In fact, here comes one right now – it’s a picture of a can of chili from the same company that made the beef stew! And it looks old too! But isn’t!

    This can of Southgate Chili With Beans! looks like it’s from…the early 1970s.
    Proof of Its Modernity: “Contains: Soy.”
    Where You’d Expect to See It: Stockpiled in the cupboards of the camper for a series of quick, inexpensive dinners on our infamous family trip to Florida in 1973 that were never touched because there was no way in hell that Mom was going to be eating anything out of a can sitting at that uncomfortable, tiny table in the back of that “goddamn cramped, flimsy deathtrap on wheels” after careening down I-95 in it all day long.
    Buy It Because: Brings back fond memories of our family trip to Florida in 1973.

    They sell these at both the 99¢ Only store as well as its arch enemy, Dollar Tree. I saw them at Dollar Tree first, and they only had the beef stew, and now, a few months later, there’s a whole slew of Southgate canned foods.

    I probably sound like some asshole loser hipster who posts embarrassingly fawning comments on “photo streams” of vintage grocery items on Flickr, but by Godfrey, I love the color scheme of this thing – the bright red below a band of rustic wood planks, and then over that, there’s “Southgate” in a slightly old Western-style typeface.

    Actually, forget what I said earlier! Let’s stumble backwards momentarily and revisit the beef stew here, huh? That can looked delightfully more anachronistic because of the big thick letters spelling out beef stew that were slightly askew and toggled.  Can we get an image of the label…?

    I’m telling you, you can’t go wrong when you set your letters askew and slightly toggle them!

    …Back to the chili! With Beans!

    Speaking of which, if there’s one word that doesn’t need an exclamation point after it on a product label, it’s “Beans!” but damn it, they’ve gone and put one there and I – and now you – love them for it. Maybe it’s a sort of subtle punctuational hint at the uncontrollable gas you’ll be experiencing later. Marvelous! Marvelous!

    Though credited on the can as manufactured by “SouthGate Foods,” it seems the true makers behind this delightfully anachronistically packaged repast is a company called Vietti Foods that have been making delicious things for you, and now me, to eat since 1898.

    I really have no one to blame but myself for this blog’s lack of readers.

    Posted by on October 29, 2011, 9:00 AM.

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