Have you noticed how we are drawn in by descriptions? Think about food for a minute. Years ago we ate macaroni and cheese, right? Then someone added lobster and took a picture of it. Suddenly, you had something craveable.
Well, that wasn’t enough. Now we need to describe the picture.
It’s not enough to call it Lobster Mac & Cheese. No, now, with apologies (or credit) to the brand names, it has to be Freshly Caught Maine Lobster drenched in Tillamook® Cheese folded into handmade bowtie pasta, baked until bubbly with a saltine crunch on the top. Or something like that.
Go Big Or Go Home
What sent me down this road was an email from someone named Hannah at Sutherland Gold. She asked quite nicely if we were working on any “fun summer snack roundups,” then described Big Daddy like this:
“A handmade graham cracker crust, a layer of buttery vanilla infused caramel and a fluffy marshmallow cloud on top, then enrobed in dark chocolate, and decorated with an alderwood smoked milk chocolate flourish…”
OK, fine, send me your luscious-sounding s’more already.
It’s happening on menus, on packaging, in advertising, and in social media. We are not content to call a spade a spade anymore. We romanticise it into hand-curated, forged from steel from Mount Olympus with a handle from the Redwood Forest.
Going Beyond Ordinary
And what is this doing to expectations? When you give in and order that menu item that sounds so enticing? Are we saying, “Sure, I’ll have the caramelized chocolate drenched in farmers market berries and topped with a martini cherry,”? Or, in other words, “I’ll have the chocolate sundae.”
We’re in an era where we use both our words and our images to describe an experience. The descriptions can be fun to read and, even, turn something ordinary into something tempting. As long as we don’t set ourselves up for disappointment. After all, Lobster Mac & Cheese, s’mores, and a chocolate sundae are still the kind of food of which dreams are made.