Tuesday, June 23, 2009

MTV Dinner

My box of heat-and-eat vegetable curry came with a cd. Yes, my navratan korma came with accompaniment. A quick-cook dinner and music? I have to admit that that’s a selling point, even if we are talking traditional Indian music with wood flutes and hand drums. It’s true that the difecta of music and food, used as it was in this case for consumerism, is one that works on me. In part, it’s the cereal box effect: I will buy that because I will get a prize. But it’s also that I will buy this because I want the twinkling of chimes and reed instruments to make this curry food packet taste better. It’s something Chef Boyardee and Betty Crocker could learn from; after all, I had purchased an Indian equivalent of the boxed meal. In this vein, here’s a list of nonsensical pairings—read, nothing new here—but it is a short list of the more humorous convenience meals and their partner albums.

Salisbury Hamburger Helper and the Decemberists’ The Crane Wife
It seems a stretch I know, but to be fair, this entire post is a stretch. A quick search on the world’s most favored and simultaneously misguided search engine shows that hamburger dishes are popular in Japan. In fact, they date back to the Meiji period, which is a detail that brims with Asian authenticity and wiki-accuracy. And The Crane Wife? The same site explains this more obvious connection to a Japanese folktale.

Tuna Noodle Casserole Tuna Helper and Gregory Alan Isakov’s That Sea, The Gambler
Sing about the sea, eat the chicken of the sea. All is well. What’s more, eating anything with “tuna” and “helper” in the name is going to be a gamble, I don’t care how reassuring that gloved, four-fingered “helping hand” mascot claims to be.

SpaghettiOs and Spoon’s Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga
Both so silly. Both could be better! One comes in a can and one feels quite canned, but both are still so fun! And while I’m not entirely sure where the band’s name comes from, it seems to befit a meal with circular pasta, sodium-y tomato soup, and the occasional sliced frank. Hurray for the “underdog” of the canned meal!

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