Unconsciously I became brand-loyal. Reaching for the same spice or salt, shoes and tires, buying habits formed decades ago influence every day. Particularly loyal to my shaving cream, I’ve found anything else, at twice the price, does not compare with Barbasol.
Who has not heard of Barbasol ? In the 1930s, after the Raytheon Tube put a radio in everyman’s home, America would be familiar with Singin’ Sam the Barbasol Man. “Barbasol, Barbasol … No brush, no lather, no rub-in … Wet your razor, then begin.” Actors, sports figures, even NASCAR has advertised for Barbasol.
Shaving is not rocket science. Lather up, scrape face, rinse, done. But in 1919, the process was forever changed by MIT Professor Frank Shields. In Indianapolis, Indiana, Frank started a company to sell the cream he invented. A scientist who understood the big picture, because I still buy only Barbasol. For the price? Sure. Mostly for the quality, though.
CONTINUITY IS A GOOD thing. Visiting the supermarket, finding the same brands one sees as a kid, ties past with present. Your parents trusted it, you trust it, your kids will (maybe?) trust it. I always reach for the Morton. When it rains, it pours refers to the anti-caking formula Morton uses. Modern climate-controlled homes may have made the motto obsolete. But I always reach for the blue cardboard cylinder when it’s time to fill the shaker or add that all-important ½ teaspoon to the muffin recipe.
In a pinch, when I require salt immediately for ice removal on the front stoop, there is the store brand. Which I’ve used in muffins with no ill-effects. But the blue cardboard container of Morton is always my first choice for chili and muffins. Salt is essential to open up flavors in both savory and sweet dishes. But have Americans been led astray? Taught that excessive salt itself it a good flavor? You can spot these brainwashed Spawn of Advertisements. They salt without first tasting their food. And are usually overweight.
It’s easier than you think to reduce salt. Just cut back. Add other flavors instead. Buy unsalted nuts on your next trip to Trader Joe, pour some in a jar, and add a pinch of salt. After a few tries, you’ll notice a better-tasting snack. And you’ll be on the road to better health.