Thursday, April 05, 2007

Big Apples

I bought a bag of tiny apples -- shown at right with another unchanging food item for scale. As I enjoyed these little apples, I started thinking about some food-size oddities I've noticed lately:

  • I wonder why soup cans are so stable in size. I guess people eat the whole thing and maybe used to share.
  • Tiny apples are in my view the right size for eating. I think that recently apples on average have supersized. I wonder how this happened.
  • Ice cream sandwiches, drum sticks, and stick-mounted ice cream bars are the same size as they were as long as I remember. Since so many other sweets (candy bars, scooped ice cream cones, chocolate chip cookies, cheesecake portions, to name a few) have supersized, I gave this some thought. Maybe the speed with which you can eat a Creamsicle, say, just hasn't increased enough so you could eat a supersize Creamsicle without melting and dripping?

From the popsicle website, the news that maybe the size has been close to constant for 100 years. I love this story for its myth-like quality:

"The Popsicle® ice pop was accidentally invented in 1905 by 11-year-old Frank Epperson. Epperson left a mixture of powdered soda and water and a stirring stick in a cup on his porch. That night San Francisco experienced record low temperatures, and Epperson awoke the next morning to find a frozen pop that would eventually become a favorite American treat."

So these have been with us a long time, an island of size consistency in an ocean of giants. Only one difference -- they all also offer a sugar-free version, symptom of national diet mania.

See Popsicle® Frozen Novelties - Popsicle®, Creamsicle®, Fudgsicle ...

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