Today we ate an interesting vegetable for lunch. It was the “Hungry Jack Easy Mash’d Potatoes” with ”garlic ‘n skins”. Don’t ask me why there are missing letters needing apostrophes. I don’t know.
But I got to reading the package and noted there were probably at least 30 ingredients listed. Many of these I’ve never heard of and, for all I know, may even be fictitious. But I do know when ingredients are listed, the thing listed first is the stuff there is the most of and, of course, the ingredient at the end of the list has the smallest amount.
Miraculously, the first listed ingredient was potatoes though even after that there was something in parentheses. It was (DRIED POTATOES; MALTODEXTRIN; SHORTENING POWDER;). Then there were all kinds of mystery ingredients like DISODIUM PHOSPHATE and PYROPHOSPHATE and SODIUM BISULFATE to mention a couple. There were many others.
However, the thing that impressed me most was the last ingredient on the list, which meant it was the smallest amount. It was MALTED BARLEY FLOUR.
Now perhaps that doesn’t sound too odd but in my mind I picture a group of experts taste-testing each batch of this product. Now at some time someone tasted it and said, “I think it needs just a touch of malted barley flour.” So they put in a pinch and, voilà, that was it.
The Old Professor
November 21, 2007