Monthly Archives: April 2010

Marmite Linguistics

Marmite, the brewing by-product turned British toast-topper, has turned up in a couple of interesting contexts lately due to its “Love it or hate it” ad campaign. Although the tagline was first used in 1996 (replacing “My Mate, Marmite”), it has recently achieved recognition as a snowclone. IMAGE: Last year,  Claire Allen claimed to find […]

Multifunctional Desserts

In a 1976 episode of Saturday Night Live, Dan Ackroyd, Chevy Chase, and Gilda Radner starred in a short ad for New Shimmer: a miraculous new product that was “both floor wax and a dessert topping!” IMAGE: “New Shimmer” on Saturday Night Live, “for the greatest shine you ever tasted!” While a close look at […]

Cow Tunnels

In her study of beef and its role in American culture, Raising Steaks, historian Betty Fussell describes the impact of the train on New York City’s meat-processing infrastructure:

As the railroads massively increased cattle traffic to Manhattan, the Pennsylvania Railroad built holding pens in New Jersey, whence barges would ferry cattle across the Hudson to slaughterhouses along Twelfth Avenue and Thirty-fourth Street. Traffic was so heavy in the 1870s that a “Cow Tunnel” was built beneath Twelfth Avenue to serve as an underground passage, and it’s rumored to be there still, awaiting designation as a landmark site.

The Towns That Chocolate Built

IMAGE: Cadbury’s Dairy Milk chocolate bar vs. Hershey’s Milk Chocolate bar. When iconic American chocolate-makers Hershey announced an (ultimately unsuccessful) bid to take over the equally iconic British confectionery company, Cadbury, most discussion revolved around one of two things: business reporters focused on the stock price implications of any deal, while the food media conducted […]

Bodega Cartographics

Jeff Sisson of I Like Nice Things has a new project called The Bodega List. His goal is simple: to create a homepage for every single bodega in New York City, most of which currently exist only in the physical world. IMAGE: Bodega in Sunset Park, by Flickr user gkjarvis. His methodology relies on using […]