Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Pure Joy Products

A friend of mine wrote a private response to my Banana Bread entry. It seems he's gone vegan and sent me what looks to be an excellent vegan banana bread recipe, with soy milk and some other vegan thing substituted for eggs and butter. Now in my book all food is good if prepared with attention, good products, and a dollop of love and joy. But his recipe reminded me of a story. I hope he doesn't mind that after I wrote him back I copied what I wrote and put it here. Here goes:

Vegan's good. And I will make this recipe at some point. I'm not a big fan of soy milk, though, but I'll do it anyway. If they just wouldn't call it milk my tastebuds wouldn't object so much. Soy juice would be better.
I remember when I lived in LA for a while in 1980-81, I went to this pizza parlor and grabbed Clare and I a pie. It was and still is pretty rare for me to eat something like pizza but neither of us felt like cooking.
So I got it home, and we dug in: it not only wasn't very good, it was truly bad that I brought it back and got another.
That one was equally bad and I called the joint asking them how on earth they could muck up something as clearcut as pizza?
The manager on the phone was at a loss. "Everybody loves our pizza. I don't know why you don't..."
"Because even the tomato sauce doesn't taste like it has any tomatoes in it!"
"Well, of course it doesn't."
"What are you talking about? What do you mean it doesn't have tomatoes?"
"Because we're a soy based restaurant."
"A what?"
"All of our ingredients are made from soy: The crust is made from soy, the tomato sauce is soy, the cheese is soy, the oregano is soy....You didn't know that?"
"Of course not! The restaurant calls itself a Pizza Parlor!"
"We are a pizza parlor. Just very strictly vegan without vegetables. It says so right on our sign: Pure soy products!"
Well, that's what happened there. Why on earth anyone would try to live on a diet of pure soy--which I guarantee we will one day discover will kill you faster than raw red meat--is still beyond me. And the pizza was so bad I still remember it. And of course I still laugh at myself when I think of looking at that neon sign in the window that read "Pizza Parlor. Pure Soy Products," and remember reading it as "Pure Joy Products."

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