Chalk it up to fall cleaning, but we finally went through stalks of stuff in the office. One magazine hiding in the stacks was an old Look magazine from 1959. Come on, you can’t NOT thumb through it, even in the midst of organizing years worth of stuff… towards the back of the magazine was an ad for Chef Boy-ar-dee (because we couldn’t possible pronounce Boiardi in 1928 the company was founded- it was too exotic!). Ettore Boiardi was an American success story, no doubt about it, but the ad for the complete spaghetti dinner in a box looks so stark today. It even came with dried spaghetti and dried cheese (real Italian!). The ad tells us, “Why buy anything else?” This was the world Julia Child had to compete with, and seeing this ad makes me appreciate her all the more. Now the brand is controlled by ConAgra (I know, chills, right?), and all I can hear is a nutritionist that I used to see say “Stay close to the farm!” This ad couldn’t be further away from the farm! Julia knew. Maybe Ettore Boidardi did, too, once upon a time. Go on, make a sauce from scratch- it’s really not that difficult, and it takes only five minutes. Oh, and grate some fresh cheese! Spaghetti can still be a budget stretcher, and a healthy, delicious one at that, too!
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