Friday, July 17, 2015

A good thing Heinz gets back into mustard – would we want company known for catsup in top hot dog town?

When I read reports about how Kraft Heinz has plans to move one of its corporate offices into Chicago proper, I couldn’t help but think about the company’s efforts to bolster the amount of yellow mustard it manufactures.

Will she be favorite hot dog condiment?
Would we really want to be the home base of a company known for catsup – in light of the fact that many of us Chicagoans find that condiment so repulsive on our take on hot dogs?

FOR THE RECORD, Heinz has long manufactured mustard. But they focused their efforts on making the condiment for sale to food service buyers. You could put Heinz mustard on your food at the local diner or at the ballpark.

But try going to the grocery store, and you’d find shelves filled with French’s mustard; along with various brands of gourmet mustard for those who look down on anything colored yellow.

That is until this year, when Kraft Heinz decided to start selling its mustard products for retail. I’m sure many of us have seen the television commercials where Heinz catsup brings along Heinz mustard, making the previously-available brand all jealous to the point where she blows her stack (and yellow goop gets squirted all over the place).

Now, the Chicago Tribune reports that Kraft Heinz will move one of its corporate headquarters from the suburb of Northfield to Chicago proper – specifically at the Aon Center, 200 E. Randolph St.

CORPORATE EMPLOYEES WILL have a wonderful view of the Millennium Park that I’m sure will make the Chicago office the desirable place of employment (who in their right mind would rather work in an office in Pittsburgh?) within the corporate structure.

As far as Chicago’s public persona is concerned, this is a good thing.

Because while I don’t deny that Chicagoans consume catsup (way too much, I personally find that condiment repulsive and don’t put it on anything I eat), I wouldn’t want it to become one of those products that Rahm Emanuel sees the need to include whenever he makes a bet with another mayor whenever one of our professional sports franchises plays against another for some sort of championship.

Now if we can claim in those bets that we’re putting up Chicago-style hot dogs coated in part with Heinz mustard, that would make it all the more appropriate.

A personal favorite
AND IF IT adds to the corporate image that Chicago likes to offer (being able to attract top companies from around the globe, as opposed to rinky-dink companies that move to places like Indiana), then the city benefits in more ways than one.

It’s just a shame that the city’s leadership can’t be as concerned with bolstering the neighborhood public image as it is that of downtown. But that’s a problem that goes back generations before Emanuel came to office.

So back to mustard, since there will now be a major brand that will have a Chicago association, just as we now claim that the only legitimate hot dog is one of the Vienna Beef brand (although personally, I prefer the hot dogs made by the Bobak Sausage Co. on Archer Avenue).

Although I’m not a total snob on the hot dog question.

FOR AS OFTEN as I have a hot dog minus catsup that contains all the ingredients that turn two wieners into a meal, there also are times when I’m just as likely to give a hot dog some onions (usually raw) and a squirt of mustard.

For those nights when a hot dog just won't cut it
Now, by using the Heinz brand, I can claim to have a truly Chicago “experience” even when I’m doing nothing more than munching on something to tide my appetite when I don’t have time for a full meal.

Like a Chicago-style pan pizza (which I actually had for dinner Wednesday night). As for whether the thin-crust pizza is a more legitimate culinary experience, that is a debate for a future commentary.


No comments: