Newsflash: Margarine is Not Butter
Another night away, another search for a meal that won't actually kill me while I'm eating it. Something passably good will do. I don't need 21 or Ambrosia. Tasty will do. I know it's all from the back of the same truck. Just, please, let it be tasty.
In an online search for a local restaurant, Urban Spoon comes up first. I read the three top-rated restaurants and choose the BBQ. The sauces are usually too sweet, but it sounds good and I'm starving. It's also just 2 miles away. I'm in.
You order at the counter like all great BBQs and a cute young woman greets me. I'm looking at the menu and considering the smoked and loaded potato when, uh oh, I spy a tub of Blue Bonnet on the counter behind her. Wary, I ask the fateful question:
Me: "Do you have butter?"
Me: "I see the Blue Bonnet. But do you have real butter?"
Her, looking at the Blue Bonnet: "Oh that's for the Texas toast. [I hope Texans are rolling their eyes indignantly.] We use packets of butter for the potatoes."
Me: "Is it real butter, though?"
Her: "Oh, yeah. I can go get you one if you like?"
Me: "No, as long as it's butter."
She assures me that it is and I believe her. I find a table and wait with my Candy Crush and unsweetened tea. Which is not sour (which means it's freshly made) and quite tasty. I mean, it's Luzianne tea and I'm in Louisiana so it oughta be good, right?
She brings my ginormous potato. Sure enough there are two upside down butter packets and a tube of sour cream. A TUBE of sour cream... sigh.
I turn the butter tubs over and--shocker--they are not butter. It's Golden Harvest Whipped Spread. The word "butter" does not appear anywhere on the packet.
Get a load of those ingredients though, eh? (Click on the photo so it opens up bigger in a new window.) Yum.
My waitress has disappeared. Probably ran... I take the packets back to the counter. Fortunately, I'm an earlybird and pretty much the only customer in the place.
Me: "This is not butter."
Her: "Oh. [She looks a little confused.] That's all we have."
Me: [Long pause while I try to think of something appropriate to say... I can't. I turn and walk back to my table, rolling my eyes in utter disbelief.]
I'm now thinking I should have gone to the top-rated although further away and much more expensive sushi restaurant. Sushi does not require butter.
A few seconds later, she comes to my table and makes a peace offering:
Her: "Would you like me to bring you some Blue Bonnet?" [Ok, that is funny now.]
Me: [Staring at her in utter amazement.] "I want butter."
Her: [She is seriously confused. She looks at the GHWS packets on my plate, then looks back at me... She wants me to be happy but she is bewildered.] "I'm sorry, I don't know the difference."
Defeated, she goes back to the counter. I almost feel sorry for her except that she's one of tomorrow's leaders. This woman might one day produce offspring, then raise them. She's in her early 20s and doesn't know the difference between butter and GHWS?
I eat the meat off the baked potato which is perfectly tasteless even with BBQ sauce and a tiny packet of salt. There is literally no flavor. Amazing. As I quietly make my exit, I have to weave through the crowd literally filling the place.
This tasteless food has a following. This restaurant is one of the top-rated restaurants in this little college town. Wow again.
I'm so grateful to know what real food is, to know that margarine is not butter, to not be blindly eating whatever industrial food corporations put in front of me. Goodness knows, I did that for long enough.
On the other hand, I'm hungry and now concerned for the future of the world. If only I liked tasteless GMO faux food, I could be full and happy right now, not caring in the least that margarine is not butter because I wouldn't even know it.
I wonder if the cute young woman will ever give the margarine vs. butter question another thought. I surely hope so. I hope one day soon she gets a hot piece of real cornbread slathered in real butter. It will change her life. What do you think? Is there hope for her?