May 1, 2013
It's not at the top of my life list, but the Museum of Failed Products is a place I wouldn't mind seeing before the crematorium. In the meantime, I seem to be getting more and more opportunities to gauge locally what just will not sell. The Food City near us is the latest food emporium to hang up the plastic bags, apparently for rent reasons, and I found it fascinating to keep stopping in as prices dropped to see what moved out of the store and what simply moved toward the front as the clerks shifted all stock onto fewer and fewer shelves. On Sunday, I'd say about four short half-aisles had products lined up, single-row, and I could have spent half an hour making notes and taking photos if A) my consort had not balked and B) my camera battery had not died. Suffice it to say the photo above was the most museum-quality exhibition of Fail. There were single bottles of bad sauces and single boxes of scary cookies and a few clusters of products overpriced even at 50 percent off. But this was the fullest array of doomed food, and I thought it illustrated something positively kitchen-affirming. Americans don't need "recipe starters." In real life, that usually means olive oil and garlic.
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