Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Whippet Good

I was just privy to a tri-cubicle debate on the semantics of Reddi-Wip whipped cream. The problem: we can’t actually use the brand name “Reddi-Wip” in the recipe.

It’s not like Reddi-Wip is one of those brand-name-turned-proper-name issues like Kleenex or Xerox. In those cases, any photocopier could be a Xerox or any light paper used for the ejection of nose monkeys could be called a Kleenex. In this case, Reddi-Wip connotes a particular brand. And we can’t have that.

But what do you call it, if it’s not Reddi-Wip? We threw around the words aerosol, pressurized, canned, and my favorite: spray. None of those words, unfortunately for our Copy Editor, were all that appetizing. But come on, what’s so appetizing about heavy cream solidified by liquid nitrogen? Every time I hear that signature shhhhhhluck! sound, all I can think about are the interminable nights behind the counter at Seattle’s Best where we passed the time only by doing whippets (Google it, if you don’t know what whippets are) in the back room. Talk about nostalgia.

The cold, hard reality is that Reddi-Wip is gross. So gross that they couldn't even spell EITHER of the words in the name correctly. But would Reddi-Wip be any better if it were called Ready-Whip? I'm not sure, it would probably still be chemically processed whipping cream set with liquid nitrogen. Do you really want to put that in your body? I really feel that any food sold in an aerosol can, akin to hair spray or wasp repellent, should be obliterated from grocery store shelves, and from diets in general. I'll attach my favorite REAL whipped cream recipe below. Eat real cream. Maybe just a little of it, especially if you're watching your fat, cholesterol, etc. But, please, for the love of all that's holy, don't eat liquid nitrogen.

I think the copy editor finally settled on using “can of pressurized whipped cream, such as Reddi-Wip” in the recipe, which is fine since we’re just suggesting Reddi-Whip and not actually endorsing it.

The food semantics around here are incredible.

Favorite Whipped Cream

1 c heavy whipping cream (the real stuff)
1/2 c powdered sugar, sifted
1/2 t vanilla bean paste (preferably Madagascar paste)
zest of one lemon

In a cold mixing bowl, beat whipping cream on high speed with an electric mixer until soft peaks form slowly add powdered sugar, vanilla, and lemon zest and continue to beat just until stiff peaks. Don't overbeat, or you'll have some really sweet butter.

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