Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Gaines Burgers

..Continuing with my series on food-like products.  Remember Gaines burgers?

I just loved the Gaines burgers commercial when I was a kid.  The burger-shaped product, and like most food-like products, suitable only for dogs, came in an individually-wrapped package, just like today's cheese-products in our kids lunchbox.

Even though I was young, I thought it would be really fun to open one up and crumble it up, just like playing with jello or tapioca pudding.  It was always opened up by a housewife with an immaculate manicure that surely she kept that way by not opening up all those stinkin' cans of regular dog food.

When the crumbled burger went into the bowl, the dog, starved for days, wolfed it down.  

I wanted to buy these, crumble them, and feed the dog.  Unfortunately, we didn't have a dog.  Maybe we could get one.  The neighbors had dogs, but nobody had enough money for these burgers.  They were in another class, along with those packets of laundry detergent you just toss in, central air conditioning, and sugar-sweetened cereal all-you-can-eat every every morning.

What I never got is how they stayed so fresh in the cupboard and why they went to the trouble of creating a burger and then always served it crumbled.  When I got older, I realized that unlike Denise Minger, these burgers were not made of meat.  I also found out that dogs would eat anything.  I also found out that there is no end to the creativity of the food technologists, giving us novel, dopamine-increasing fun stuff like pop rocks, chicken nuggets, Happy Meals and Cracker Jacks prizes.  Unfortunately, I also learned that when you start by making mud pies and then graduate to modeling clay, baking bread and making your own pasta isn't far behind.

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