Saturday, March 08, 2008

In Deep Yogurt

I’m traveling and too much time spent in airports makes the odd profound. With that in mind, I want to know whether anyone but me has noticed that America is being invaded by granola-topped yogurt parfaits. I shudder at the larger implications of this for national security, let alone the health of the average American. First, they are often monstrously large. Second, they are not clearly marked as low fat or unsweetened, so it is likely that they are neither.

I think they are the harbinger of an alien invasion force. Kind of like the flying fried egg that killed Captain Kirk’s brother.

I’m not kidding about this. Walk around an airport and look at the food offerings. Everyone has them. As I type this, I am looking at Cibo Express in LaGuardia—Yogurt Parfaits. The Au Bon Pan has giant cups of plain and berry yogurt paired with little cups of granola—do it yourself parfaits. McDonalds has their own, which is a reasonable size but often half-frozen. Earlier this week, I had one from Cosi (also in LaGuardia). Starbucks has them, without any coffee in them at all. I'm fairly certain I've seen them at Wolfgang Puck, Chili’s, and other airport restaurants that have no obvious connection to yogurt. Every no-name snack bar has them.

I don’t know who decided that America needed to always be within 50 feet of a yogurt parfait. Was this even a food item outside of communes and ashrams two years ago? Did some lucky supplier get a requirements contract for American airports?

In the past, if you were stuck in an airport, you would eat some classic American junk food like a Cinnabon, pizza, or ice cream. The beauty of the airport used to be that you had an excuse to eat junk food, because that is all their was. Now there is hippie food (e.g., dried fruit and trail mix), the occasional fresh fruit (generally too old apples), and the equally ubiquitous boxed chicken Caesar salad. That makes it tough when what I really want is a Mrs. Field’s peanut butter cookie dipped in chocolate or an Aunt Annie’s jalapeno pretzel with cheese sauce.

On Thursday, I did a presentation in Milwaukee. Thanks to everyone at the Milwaukee World Trade Association. The meeting was held in the Tripoli shrine center. What a cool building. Apparently, its design is based on the Taj Mahal with lots of arabesque tile and iron work, a real-live onion shaped dome, and generally not what one would expect to find in Milwaukee. Of course, given that the Shriners built the place, the parking lot is very small.

Tomorrow, I fly again. I’ll be looking for those parfaits, and running the other direction.

1 comment:

Larry said...

Today's version of transport purgatory is the San Diego airport where I am told that my 1:50 flight will be departing at 7:30 PM, putting me in Chicago tomorrow at 2:00 AM. I'm not happy about this or the lack of viable food and beverage options in this terminal. But, I can report that there are two sources of yogurt parfaits.