Friday, February 05, 2010

vintage new yorker ad of the day

Vintage Ad #921: A well seasoned traveler's guide to Tabasco

Before making too much fun of today's ad, keep in mind that this style of Eastern cuisine was in vogue in the 1950s and that the wide variety of Asian chili sauces you can snap up at many supermarkets and specialty stores today weren't available. Tabasco would have been a respectable substitute for fiery chilies and a big bottle of sriracha sauce.

One shuddery aspect: it's hard not to imagine the chef speaking or gesturing in a stereotypical manner ("Gracious sir" is the tip-off), unless tourists were treated this way in Hong Kong.

The only vaguely eastern hint in the Foo Yoong Shea Daahn is the curry powder—otherwise I suspect you could go into any American diner, ask for the house/farmers/special omelette, ask the tough-yet-tender-hearted chef if they have any shrimp in the freezer, and add a dash of Tabasco from the bottle on the table. Hearty and tasty as such an omelette would be, it's not a dish that conjures up the wonders of China.

Source: The New Yorker, June 14, 1958 - JB

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