From now on it's going to be called Sandwich Cream
And not for the first time. Sickened that we aren't putting it on salads - we aren't - they've decided to rename it. From now on it's going to be called Sandwich Cream.
Appalling news and unkind to those of us old enough to have been around in the 1950s with memories of mothers forcing us to eat salad in the days when salad was really sad.
This horrible name change is a recipe for grief and confusion. Modern life and modern supermarkets were complicated enough and now they are far worse.
When we reach the relevant shelf (after many minutes of helpless wandering) perplexity will reign. We are looking for sandwich spread - for what was a sandwich without sandwich spread? And sandwich spread is hard enough to find nowadays.
I happened to mention the name to a friend and their eyes glazed over: "Sandwich spread, sandwich spread," they repeated dreamily.
"If you come across some, buy me a couple of jars."
Now sandwich spread will be sitting next to Sandwich Cream. Which is which? What's what? Oh hell, life used to be so simple.
Why are they doing this to us? Two reasons - we're not buying enough of the stuff, so it is a punishment - and when we do buy it we're not putting it on salads. We're putting it on baked potatoes, fish fingers, pizzas and - oh yes - sandwiches.
1957 British advertisement for Heinz Salad Cream
Apparently only 14 per cent of us are putting it on salads. But why do they have to change the name? I use face cream on my hands and hand cream on my face, it seems to work
Apparently only 14 per cent of us are putting it on salads. But why do they have to change the name? I use face cream on my hands and hand cream on my face, it seems to work.
ISAY "us" but I very much doubt if it is "us" who are smearing Salad Cream where it should not go. I think it's them - "the young", who have no idea what British eating used to be like in the old days, the days when Salad Cream was a necessity - for salads.
Sure they flock to see films like Darkest Hour and Dunkirk, sitting there eating their way through nation-sized piles of nachos as they watch Churchill.
Well, I'm thinking back to a time when Winston was still alive and nachos, let alone avocados, were foreign words we'd never heard spoken, when corned beef was the staff of life and Spam came in a tin not an email.
Do these young people have any idea what it was like? Do they have the first idea what a British salad used to be? Do they know how it felt to be forced to eat floppy lettuce before you were allowed the luxury of chocolate blancmange let alone tinned peaches with evaporated milk? Evaporated milk was la crème de la crème; Heinz Salad Cream was la cream de la cream.
They would have to be in one of those time-shift TV reality shows to experience and understand what passed for a salad in the old days - the pampered young with their many varieties of lettuce ready-washed and ready-torn in their overpriced little bags, their multicoloured tomatoes, their Caesar salads and Nicoises and ready-made dressings in all varieties.
What do they know of our far-off salad days when the lettuce was always limp and discoloured by slices of boiled beetroot, which turned the hardboiled egg purple, and the only real flavour was a spring onion and cucumber was obligatory?
The posh and dead sophisticated probably made their own mayonnaise even then but for most of us olive oil was something you bought from a chemist strictly for medicinal purposes.
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It was Heinz Salad Cream that saved us - smooth, yellowish, a bit vinegary but how we lapped it up! Remember the times when salmon came out of a tin - red salmon if you were lucky, pink salmon (tasteless) if you weren't. This pampered generation - Salad Cream abusers - probably smear the sainted cream on hamburgers.
THEY haven't been through the mincing machine like us, or Sunday's leftover roast of yesteryear. They have never heard of rissoles. Were things better then, as so many in the BBC's recent poll about the English seem to feel?
Well, the food certainly wasn't but they were simpler days. And healthier.
When did British modern times begin? Maybe in 1961 when Hellmann's Mayonnaise was launched in Britain. Creamy, sophisticated, exciting, it was the smart thing to have with your salad - if you didn't make your own mayonnaise and who did in those days?
When did British modern times begin? Maybe in 1961 when Hellmann's Mayonnaise was launched
Probably about as many as made their own custard with eggs and all that. For the majority that was for the Bird's - Bird's Custard, yellow powder in a tin. Now it's ready-made custard in a nonbiodegradable plastic pot.
Can this be healthy? No it cannot. Mayonnaise may be preferred but it is no health food. It is unhealth food. Heinz Salad Cream with its extra vinegar and less fat is a godsend by comparison.
On salad it is really quite good for you. On sandwiches far less good - sandwiches are the devil's food.
So this move from "Salad" to "Sandwich" is a step in the wrong direction, a nod to obesity. Who is Heinz to tell us we can't put it on our salads any more? We will if we want and we should because we are lucky to have it any form and under any name.
In 1999 Heinz threatened to withdraw it from production. It announced its imminent demise. It nearly didn't see the new millennium let alone the millennials who misuse it.
Was Heinz being mean? Was it a ruse to publicise and motivate a careless nation? When its death was announced there was an outpouring of anger and grief - Save Our Salad Cream. And it was saved, at least until now.
We forsake our past at our peril. We may have lost the taste for Bovril, no longer be Ovalteenies nor look to Horlicks to prevent night starvation but those things served us very well.
The modern obsession with food and foodiness, with overeating and undereating, is a curse that afflicts us now.
The Heinz Salad-to-Sandwich spokesman said Salad Cream "no longer represents the product's ingredients or usage occasions" - "usage occasions" is an abuse of the English language that suggests the company is not to be trusted with names or words.
But we are guilty too: Heinz Salad Cream, we have done you wrong. You don't know what you've got till it's gone.