I have many food things that I carry a healthy disdain for. Kraft Singles, for one. Applebees for another. Now I have another item to the list.
Green Food Coloring.
I know, I know. I’ve talked about this already in the past week. But as of last week, it was annoyance. Today, it’s disdain.
Here are my three reasons to put this in the “Enough Already” category. First is the previously mentioned abuses when it comes to all things mint. This is not a natural color. Neither is this. Nor this.
I’m willing to concede that green may be a visual clue to some. But there are two points in relation to that. First, artificial colorings affect flavor, even if only slightly. Sometimes the mint can cover this up, sometimes, not so much. It has been my experience that the more ridiculous the green coloring, the more the coloring affects flavor.
Second, some colors are simply too unnatural to defend.
But this isn’t the only sin that green food coloring commits. If it were, I’d let it go.
As UptakeInOh pointed out in the comments, green food coloring commits a major insult to Key Lime Pie. Luckily, most chefs and cooks realize this, and a quick image search of Key Lime Pies show that most everyone gets that Key Lime juice results in yellow, not green. Mass producers of industrial foods have yet to catch on.
Do you want more proof? Food coloring is Obvious with capital O in Jello’s Pistachio Pudding.
Finally, there is the travesty that is green beer on St. Patrick’s day. True, this isn’t the default color for beer. But it is blasphemous to some.
Individually, I could take all of these as simple quirks of the culinary world, sometimes kitschy, sometimes ingrained in our collective conscious. But together? Well, if I had more of a conspiratorial mindset, I’d think there was something “going on”.
The reality is more innocuous. We’ve become accustomed to the industrial colorings of Yellow and Blue mixed together. We do get a visual clue that this color of green means mint, and that one means pistachio. Perhaps this is okay to most people.
But at some point, we have to recognize that these colors are artificial, a substitution for the real thing. And moore often than not, the real thing tastes far superior to the pseudo.