Friday, 16 January 2009

Contains nuts

Cadbury's are having to put the warnings "contains milk" and "contains milk & nuts" on their Dairy Milk and Fruit & Nut chocolate bars in the latest move in the food labelling gone totally bonkers saga.
Ironically, this reminds me of an amusing incident that happened at the breakfast table while we were in the UK last week. My son is at the age where he reads everything and asked me, after long and thorough contemplation of the Sainsbury's plastic milk bottle: "where does it actually say milk"? He had a point. Amid all the reassurance that the white liquid inside was OK for people with coeliac disease, was produced by British Farmers and so on and so forth, the fact that the white liquid was, in fact milk, was banished to the back label in very small print. The front label merely stated that it was "semi skimmed".
Now, the use of adjectives and verbs as nouns in the field of food and drink is another thing that's going totally bonkers in the English language. It was just about acceptable when it was restricted to a "roast" or a bit of "mash" now and then but we now seem to be overwhelmed with stir-frys and melts and bakes and wraps and all the rest of it. Thankfully, I haven't seen a "boil" on a menu yet but I'm sure that can't be far off in these days of healthy eating.
When we got back to Germany, I checked the milk carton in the fridge and was reassured to see a comforting Nomen on the front, in legible-size letters: "Milch". At least the world is still in Ordnung here.

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