January 13, 2006

Vintage Advertising DVD

Surrounded by shelves and shelves of vintage advertising cookbooks that have been saved, loved and passed on by various folks since the late 1800s, I have to wonder what the food companies might be thinking when they offer recipes for their products on electronic storage media instead of paper. They're not considering packrats or nostalgia, that's for sure.

Surely they intend for their product to be around awhile. And if the product does have a long, successful run, judging from the volume of requests the food companies receive for old recipes, they should know that there will most likely be interest in the future. So what's up?

Sargento Foods currently has a promotional offer on their website for a DVD called Entertaining at Home with Michael Chiarello. He's the TV chef and author of the full-length cookbook At Home With Michael Chiarello: Easy Entertaining, Recipes, Ideas, Inspiration.

In the promotional DVD, Chiarello uses Sargento Bistro Blends Cheeses in the recipes plus provides you with lots of entertaining tips.

The DVD is free with an original UPC bar code from any Sargento Bistro Blends Shredded Cheese and $1.95 S/H. You can go to the Sargento website to print out the order form that's needed. While you're there, you might find it more useful to send away for the 2006 12-month 32 page calendar instead ($1.95 S/H). It has coupons and recipes and will still be readable in a few years.

It's great that the food companies are using modern technology to keep their customers informed through websites, electronic newsletters and such. But how long before the media that these promotional recipes are on is obsolete?

In 1993 the Thomas J. Lipton Co. issued a promotional 3.5-inch floppy disk called Building a Better Salad: Good News at the Top, which was promoting Wish-Bone salad dressings.

As this was something I acquired secondhand and at least ten years after the fact, I have never been willing to put it in my computer, even though I do have a floppy drive. Most new computers these days don't even have that option anymore. It needs to be installed and I'm not installing anything that I don't know about. I have no idea what information the diskette contains. So, as far as I'm concerned, it's kind of useless.

Had Building a Better Salad been a printed paper recipe booklet, I would still have it on the shelf, but I might be actually using the recipes instead of keeping the thing as merely a curiosity.

Everybody has their stash of favorite old cookbooks and recipe booklets that they use over and over again or that they inherited from their mom. Even in these times of simplifying and streamlining lifestyles and homes, some things are staying put.

Somehow I don't see future generations cozying up to a pile of old recipe DVDs. Even though I love computers and modern technology, I'm hoping this is a trend that doesn't catch on.


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