Dairy Junket - So, uuh, "dairy Junket"?

Current middle-American culture probably has more in common with Russian culture right now than it does with, say, British culture of 1947. If you were to pop open a copy of Pravda and look at the ads, you could probably make sense of them... barring the language barrier. Okay, so if you had a Russian friend translate them to you, you'd probably get it.

Not so with this ad for Dairy Junket, found in a 1947 copy of Picture Post (It was like LIFE Magazine, but from England). See for yourself.

Yeah, there's a lot to unpack in there. Just reading through it, you can feel your brain tripping over strange ideas that the ad obviously assumes are familiar touchstones to the intended reader, who is obviously not us: people sixty years in the future. There are layers upon layers of alien-to-us experience that push this ad well outside of our arena of familiarity.

Thing 1 - Double-you tee eff is "dairy junket"? My only known definition of "junket" has to do with political campaigns. Help me out here, The Ultranet.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Junket_(dessert)  "Junket is a milk-based dessert, made with sweetened milk and rennet, the digestive enzyme which curdles milk."

Okay, that sounds horrible, until you consider that rennet is a key ingredient in cheese production and that curdled milk has a couple things in common with cheese and yogurt. Ever had kefir? Try some. It's like a fruity yogurt shake. Delicious.

Dairy junket. Image found here.
"Junket" is a strange word to us (probably), but that's only because the anglicized version of the original French word "jonches" sounds gutteral by comparison. I'd happily dive into a bowl of something called "jonches". This from the same Wikipedia entry:

Elizabeth David, in an article in Nova, dated October 1965, asserts that the word "junket" derives from the French jonches, a name for freshly made milk cheese drained in a rush basket." The article can be found in the collection An Omelette and a Glass of Wine originally published in London by R. Hale Ltd, 1984. See the chapter titled "Pleasing Cheeses," Page 206.
Look up "rennet" for yourself. Although cheese is great, the idea of rennet, a key ingredient of most cheeses, is just repulsive. I can't help you there. Knowing where rennet originally came from, it's a mystery to me how anybody ever invented cheese. Must have been a really slow afternoon on the farm that day. If it had been down to me to discover cheese by experimenting with the contents of calf stomachs, we'd be living in a pizzaless society. Love cheese, but eff rennet, man.

Thing 2 - "Priority pint". Believe it or not, the Interwebs seems to know nothing about the phrase "priority pint". How bout that? We found a hole in the internet! Taking into consideration the context of the ad, which is postwar England, most important foods were still being rationed as late as 1954. So, the English were still struggling to get enough decent food on the table in '47, the year this ad ran. We can surmise that "priority pint" was some kind of catch phrase reminding people to try and have a glass of milk per day.

This is a very different experience from today in the U.S., when we suffer from an abundance of empty calories, and obesity is a major health risk for something like 66% of Americans. At the same time, "fat shaming" is a phrase we use to scare away people who are aware of this problem.

CRITICAL NEWSBLAST UPDATE!!!! Alert Reader "unknown" has looked further down the "priority pint" search results than the Phil Are GO! Researcg and Googling Team themselves did! Behold! Also "aha!!!"

Priority allowances of milk and eggs were given to those most in need, including children and expectant mothers.

Thing 3 - "Invalids". The ad cheerfully points out that "children and invalids also love it". "Invalids", once a descriptive term for sick or injured people, is now kind of a... what's the word?... pejorative term that implies a certain amount of laziness, even though the denoted definition just means "sick or injured". Regardless, to use the noun "invalid" in an ad today would be unthinkable. It's not nice sounding. Of course, we must remember that in 1947, London was still rebuilding most of their city, having been recently bombed to rubble by the Nazis. They had better things to worry about than mincing words. They had a few invalids to look after.

Thing 4 - "Points free". This one's easy. Rationing of nearly everything people needed in England was a big deal in 1947. There was a points system in place to make sure the necessities were distributed fairly. If you want more detail than that, you can read this BBC article about exactly how the points system worked. So, when a tube of goo that you can use to make a vaguely nourishing dessert could be had without costing you a food ration, that was something to celebrate.

Thing 5 - "Manufactured by Fullwood and Bland Ltd." Here in The Future, our society is way more marketing-centric (so, you know... dumber). No matter what one of the founders surname is, you can't have the word "bland" in the company name. Doesn't matter what you make, but especially if you make food.

Imagine buying food products from these other unfortunately-named companies...

-Smallwood and Vomette

-Crotchworthy and Groine

-Spunkforce and Hurle

-Groane and Spiew, Co.

-Foodpoisoning and Projectile Diarrhea, Inc. (A Taco Bell subsidiary)

-Barfjet Kitchens, Ltd.

-Aunt Streptococcus Bakeries

-Buttforth Breweries

-Grandma Cockocockus' Breakfast Nook, Inc.


Unknown said...

Googling "priority pint UK rationing" lead me to here: http://www.iwm.org.uk/history/what-you-need-to-know-about-rationing-in-the-second-world-war

... fourth graf down states " Priority allowances of milk and eggs were given to those most in need, including children and expectant mothers."

I'm guessing "priority pint" was just a catchy way for this copywriter to point out that hey you have access to this stuff and here's a fun way to consume it?

Anyway the point is I would definitely buy dairy products from Spunkforce and Hurle.

MrsBug said...

This sounds similar to panna cotta, except panna cotta uses gelatin. Bonus link: delicious strawberry panna cotta recipe here.

T. W. Shesaid said...

"Junket? But I just met it!"

PhilAreGo@gmail.com said...

Woooooooo! Sick burn!


Post a Comment