Fifty-Seven

A few weeks ago, I tried to list the thirty-one flavors of Baskin-Robbins ice cream. I failed, but at least I got to invent some new flavors, including (my favorite) General Tso. (Although, I must admit, I just did some googling, and discovered that an ice cream place on the Lower East Side in New York beat me to it by a few years. Might be time for a road trip.)

Anyway, today is not about Baskin-Robbins, but about a Pennsylvania-proud company, Heinz. Heinz of the 57 varieties of course. On every bottle of Heinz ketchup, every jar of relish, every container of whatever they make, you will find a big number 57, proudly boasting of the 57 varieties they make. But varieties of what, you might wonder? Are there really 57 varieties of ketchup? Umm, no. They did make purple ketchup a few years ago, and I think there’s an organic or “simple” version, but nowhere near 57. So it must be all their varieties of everything, right? Nope. Lots more than that, including Spicy Yello Mustard with Jalapeno, Gourmet Tarragon Vinegar, Kansas City Style Baked Beans, Kentucky Style Baked Beans, Memphis Style Baked Beans, and Texas Style Baked Beans. (No Pennsylvania Style? Like with added lard and scrapple?) And of course, the crème de la crème (almost literally — think about it): Mayochup. Or to be more precise, Heinz Mayochup Saucy SauceYes, it’s an unholy blend of Heinz Mayonnaise with Heinz Ketchup.

mayochup.jpg

You know, my original plan with this post was to explain that the 57 in Heinz 57 Varieties was actually just a marketing gimmick that Henry J. Heinz thought up. He just thought the number 57 was lucky. I was going to talk about other things that are arbitrary like that. But now I’m completely derailed. That image above…

…that milky beige substance (how do white + red = beige, not pink?)…

…the thought of such a sugary yet tangy mixture…

…defining the category into which it fits as “saucy sauce”…

…WAIT. HOLD ON A MINUTE.

Isn’t this just Russian dressing?

I thought Russian dressing was mayonnaise plus ketchup? Does this mean Heinz will soon market Thousand Island dressing, but call it MAYOCHUPLISH? (Isn’t Thousand Island just mayo + ketchup + relish?) I like Thousand Island. And I would actually probably buy more of it if it were called MAYOCHUPLISH.

In fact, I think I’m going to name my next pet MAYOCHUPLISH. In all caps.

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