Would a rice by any other name smell as sweet?
As my regular readers know, I like to shop at international grocery stores and the brand names are always a little confusing. Instead of going with something obviously appetizing like Star-Kist that clearly describes the container’s contents, it seems that everything in the Asian food section is happy or joy or lucky or golden.
That’s right. The packages are trying to tell us that the food will taste good.
It’s a foreign concept around here, literally. People from those East Asian cultures make the mistake of assuming that their cultural preferences translate over to the American scene. And they are mistaken. They ought to do as every other great culture has done and pander to the lowest racist denominator. We have:
Mahatma: based on an Indian name everyone recognizes
Uncle Ben’s: with the picture of a black guy on the box (Is this for white people who remember that “Uncle” was a term that effectively denigrated slaves and their descendants or for black people who don’t remember the history?)
Rice-A-Roni: noticeably Italian brand with ethnically Italian-American founders who decided to corner the market on customers who think Italian food is too exotic. That’s why they went the ultratraditionalist route and decided to highlight their San Francisco roots. (This must be the only time since at least 1968 that invoking San Francisco would appeal to the most conservative crowd out there.)
And so I congratulate the folks at Golden Smell for not trying to focus their brand on an ethnic identity. Unfortunately, the attempt didn’t succeed because the brand’s geographic origin is immediately recognizable.
And that’s kind of sad. My pee has a golden smell. That’s how the name translates in my world.