Farrow's Canned Produce - Buy our fruit and veg. Bibbity bobbity boo.

This ad for Farrow's canned produce comes to us by way of England's Picture Post magazine, circa 1949. The gorgeous painting does all the work of selling. The only copy in the ad is a poem. How absurdly gentle of them!
Of course, this is England so maybe they're just a little more civilized than us (soccer/football fans notwithstanding). It's just kind of jarring (no pun) to see an ad that's just a picture and a poem. This is what they call "the soft sell".

Canning keeps food "fresh" for a several years. I used the quotes because all the produce I ever saw come out of a can was decidedly more brown than I remember seeing in their natural state. The convenience of canned fruits and veg may have been partially to blame for my early-life categorical loathing of vegetables. After discovering frozen vegetables, the clouds opened wide. After seeing the comparative price of frozen veg, the same clouds closed up again, just a little bit. Still, if I'm making stir-fry, frozen pea pods, broccoli and water chestnuts are the only way to go.

Dad served in the army, so he could eat almost anything that didn't operate a machine gun nest. I recall him popping open a can of peaches while watching M.A.S.H. or something, and noting the odd color of the fruit as it made the 14-inch journey from can to dad. He would also eat a can of lima beans as a TV time snack, finishing off by drinking the juice. Yikes. War really is hell.You might as well can those lima beans. Peas too. Frozen or fresh, they're tiny bags of mush waiting to spew their little entrails all over the inside of your mouth when you bite down. Canning them won't make them any worse. Also, peas smell like underpants.

Anyway. Purdy picture!

I do feel obligated to point out that the English were training for fruit defense as recently as 1969. This may explain their compulsion to cram all produce into cans. For safety perhaps.


Bathshieba said...

Sweetie Darling,

So beautiful! I've sent the girl out to look for quinces. Mightn't it be that post-WW2 confiscatory taxation and continued rationing Hell made plums look plummier?

The one tipped-over mushroom is distressing, however. Maybe it's a special variety; perhaps the excellent artist used them for enhanced colortastic pleasure. The Musiphonic radio helped, pas de doubte.



Craig F. said...

My mom -- bless her heart -- could ruin any vegetable known to man, fresh, frozen or canned.

I always hated broccoli as a kid because my mom would by the frozen stuff, put it in a pan with nine gallons of water and boil the shit out of it to the point that all the clorophyll in the vegetable would leach into the water, turning it green. The resulting broccoli would be gray and lifeless, the consistency of wet paper.

I don't know why she was so angry with vegetables.

Phil Are Go! said...

It's no error that the mushroom may look a little distressing. The English were being trained to defend themselves against produce as recently as 1969. In fact, I think I should update the post with this information.

Thanks for mentioning quinces, and thereby giving me the idea.

Thanks for reading, Bathshieba!

Phil Are Go! said...

Re: Craigf's veg story...

Tell me about it. I can almost understand the drive to cook the hell out of meat. No mother wants to give her children trichinosis. However, vegetables don't pose any such threat.

Yes, many vegetables are simply more appetizing in their raw state, like carrots, IMO. However, the idea that they are somehow "more healthy", it turns out isn't exactly true. Bark-chewing raw foodists won't be moved by this data any more than any other actual science, choosing instead to just listen to whatever raw food guru is trying to sell them a book.


Thanks Craigf!

Hepsibah said...

So plummy.


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