A rant about soup

Right now I need to bitch about soup.  Well…stew.  When I was but a wee child, I used to think Dinty Moore brand beef stew was one of the best things to come in a can.  There were big chunks of potatoes and giant yet quite tender chunks of meat swimming in a succulent brown gravy.  I haven’t been able to find any Dinty Moore brand beef stew in San Diego until recently, but I do assure you that I would lie awake many nights longing for what I considered to be the perfect stew.

So when I found a can of Dinty Moore brand beef stew in the short but sweet grocery isle of the neighborhood drugstore a few days ago, I was sure I had found a feast worthy of being my Christmas dinner.  I took my treasured can home and left it under the Christmas tree until it was time for my holiday feast.

I cranked off the lid to find not a can swimming with luxurious gravy, but a similarly colored yet not entirely appetizing brown gel.  I was still greeted with the same carrots and smaller yet appropriately textured potatoes, but no visible meat.  Worrying now about the quality of my dinner to be, I dug out a familiar brown chunk and tested it.  While not particularly bad flavored, the meat reminded me more of a wad of wet sawdust that someone had briefly explained the role of stew meat to, but had not experienced it first hand.

What real Dinty Moore brand beef stew should look like.

This last atrocity being too much for me to bear, I put the opened can on the floor for the cats and ate a bowl of cereal.

I wish I didn’t have to admit it, but this is not the first time such events have taken place.  I used to LOVE macaroni and cheese, but boxes I’ve bought over the past 9 years just don’t have the cheesy tanginess that I’m used to (which has caused more than one poor box of macaroni to be hurled across my kitchen in frustration).  I’ve been similarly disappointed with Healthy Choice dinners.  I used to think that was pretty damn quality food (for a tv dinner), and now I won’t even buy them on clearance.

Has packaged food quality really taken such a drastic turn for the worse, or am I so acclimated to the typical California Organic Everything ™ movement that now I see these foods for what they really are?  This starving hippy geek would love to know.

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