The Genius of Croutons

It’s stale bread…with garlic on it.  Honestly, there’s a total marketing coup behind those unassuming chunks of wastebread.  I can imagine how this conversation went:

Anonymous Baker:  “So at the end of the day I’ve got all this bread left over, and its going stale.  And it’s not like I can be making more bread when people aren’t buying all of what I am making, so I sit in the shop all day cutting up the stale stuff for fun.”

Advertising Genius:  “I’m sorry, what did you say you do with all this leftover bread?”

Baker: “Well I just bag it and take it out to the trash.  My garbage guy wants to charge extra for it too…”

Genius:  “Tell you what, I’ll take it off your hands for a small fee–less than what your trashdude is asking.”

Feckless Baker: “You’d do that for me?!  You’re a true pal…”

So the genius is making dough on the front end (pun painfully intended), and decides to box the old bread with a picture of some fresh salad greens.  Does he mix the croutons in with real, fresh salad?  No, he’s a total cheapskate, he puts the pretty picture on the front (to distract you from the fact that it’s stale bread!), but he makes you go to the trouble of getting the salad.  Then he gives it a snooty, French name, and makes a killing. 

Thus, the crouton was born, and the thinking that spawned it went on to give us another equally idiotic (yet brilliant) idea: bottled water.   Of course, that brings us to the article’s picture of the day, which will display what was the true inspiration for the crouton.  Without its picture, and judged solely by its name, the “Big Warm Original” might easily be mistaken for a pile of steaming poo, which brings us aptly to manure. 

“Hey, I’ve got a giant pile of shit here, and it looks like your field could use some.  Why don’t I move some of my shit over to your place?  And you can pay me a few bucks too.”

“Really!?  You mean I’ll be able to enjoy the fragrant, earthy smell of last night’s dinner?  Thanks!”

Truly, a sucker is born every minute…



One Response to “The Genius of Croutons”

  1. Stuart Says:

    I think I can add a couple of things to your list. Oxygen bars–the substitute (or life-sustaining supplement) to cigarettes for the Hollywood air diet. “Packaged” and “flavored” air, sold at a premium higher than even today’s gasoline prices. I guess in L.A. they may have a point…

    The other add on? Ethanol. Now that took some marketing. Turning a lose-lose-lose (,2933,351590,00.html) scenario into a public fad and government program. Subsidies to turn the food supply into fuel, fattening your wallets by raising the price of nearly all commodities and foodstuffs everywhere, and making everyone think you’re doing the best thing since sliced bread? That took some diabolical genius.

    Oh, and then we have eco-therapy (,2933,351353,00.html). For when your self-inflicted irrational neuroses just need a little boost, shrinks are lining up to take indulge your yuppy appetite for wasting money. The solution sold for treehugging, by the way, is to go hug a tree–and come back for next week’s $100 advice to go hug another one. Lovely. Maybe I should start the Tree Molestation Legal Defense Fund and make some money off of that.

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