|Anne Bruce: Journalist||
I was delighted to root out Frank Smith's signature at the National Archives while researching the history of Smith's Crisps for a PepsiCo campaign as well as a portrait of the man himself from a museum archive. For someone who grew up on Salt'n'Shake, with the little blue bags of salt inside the packet, this put everything into context.
Why is it that the likes of Premier Inn and Compass have Baristas and Executive Head Chefs coming out of their ears? Is there an inverse ratio of actual quality to exotic job title?
There's a nice little glossary of jive talk vocab on Wikipedia, to delight etymology fans. Some extracts below:
Alligator: A devotee of jazz or swing music. Perhaps alludes to sharp-dressing with alligator leather
Chops Noun. Refers to any musician's level of ability.Originates from the physical changes that occur in a brass player's mouth and
lips. Also a term used for a musician who had significantly improved his/her playing. E.g., "I got my chops up". Chops can also refer to general ability in any skill. E.g., "Yo', I found a lawyer who has the chops to get George Shearing a driver's license!"
G-man Government man. Especially ones who arrest or harass peaceful citizens.
Gate Noun. Any man. usually used as a greeting. "Yo' gate, what's the word from the herd?".
Gatemouth A hornplayer who has a large mouth or a mouth that is habitually open. Playing brass instruments often results in larger cheeks and a calus on the
Hep In the know. Later, hip.
Knowledgeable person. Later, hipster.
Jeff- opposite of hip
Vipers is onomatopoeic from sssssst — the sound made by an inhaling pot-smoker or a snake.
Named in the rhyming way of jive talk: "a Zoot Suit with a reat pleat, with
a drape shape". With a generous cut but tight cuffs, this was popular with
dancers of the swing era.
As Jonathan Saffran Foer argues in the book Eating Animals, from an environmental point of view we should be eating all the millions of dogs which have had to be put down by vets. Judging by the public reaction to the horsemeat scandal, that's not going to happen- well unless it already is and we don't know about it.
Depressing how often you speak to someone in the food industry and they tell you that one of the big things for their company at the moment is "value engineering", dumbing down product specs so that they are cheaper to make. Oh yes reducing the "fruit loading" in jam, using butter flavour instead of butter, reformulations proudly cited as progress by the cost conscious exec. I'd like to taste products from five years ago to see how noticeable it all is. And then say ENOUGH.