Branding my childhood

Everyone has a Campbell’s soup story. I think that brand single-handedly saved moms from thinking they were giving their kids crap for after school snacks. Their tomato soup is probably the most famous and also the chicken noodle, but in our house it was Scotch Broth. It had meat and veggies and barley and my mom decided it was good for us. I mean it says “a hearty soup” right on the label! We’d come home after school take out the can opener, pour the condensed contents into a pot, add another can of hot water and heat up the hearty goodness. Add a toasted Thomas’ English muffin half and we 20131203_120458were in fake British snack heaven.

I was at the MOMA (Museum of Modern Art – if you’re from far away) and this was hung. My childhood flashed before my eyes. I may have been the only one in the museum that had actually eaten this flavor of canned soup and in any case, I felt like it was painted just for me. Thanks Andy, (Warhol if you are from another planet) I love remembering those chilly afternoons.

I left the museum and walked the New York streets, my favorite way to re-acquaint myself with my home town. Tons of Starbucks everywhere but I wasn’t buying. I know it’s America but Manhattan is my food mecca and when I’m there, I feel like I would in Paris. I go for original, artistic consumption. Nothing warehoused. I loved remembering the Campbell’s soup but I didn’t want to eat it. Most childhood food memories are a disappointment as an adult anyway… 20131203_100019

Then I saw this, this truck with my father’s only coffee brand he allowed into our home. Chock full of Nuts. The same exact vintage logo that is forever tattooed on my heart. Perked on the stove every morning, for 9 minutes. Less and it was too weak and more and it was burnt. There was drip coffee and coffee machines but not for him. Perked made the just right grow-hair-on-your-chest brew. I know this sounds weird but I was too scared to try it. I didn’t want my pure memory of my Pa drinking his cup ‘o’ joe, regular (milk, 2 sugars) to be tainted. Heavenly.

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