A newsletter on upcoming food and beverage trends that offers a curation of brands and aesthetics written by Andrea Hernández.
🔮 Peek into the future:
On building Snaxshot’s manifesto
Sexy Pantry Items (yeah you right!)
Conservas are back!
Spoonful of news
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Greetings from your snaxboi en-résidence, heads up that this week’s issue differs a lot from the usual. I’ve been delaying writing this for a while but seeing how we are now over 2K snaxers, felt it only appropriate to share what I’m aspiring to build towards as I nurture this community and will proceed to express further sentiments with the aid of one of the most amazing Latin American writers, Jorge Luis Borges.
In “The Library of Babel,” published back in 1941 and in almost a prophetic way, Borges describes a universe manifested as a hexagonal library with infinite galleries bordered by bookshelves that contain every book ever written: past, present, future. (sound familiar?)
Inhabited by “the Librarians” they collectively have gone through various stages: hope, frantic searches for meaning, destruction, and the last one, death, as the Librarians fling themselves off the staircases due to existential despair.
Long before the existence of the internet, Borges wrote about the pervasiveness of access to excess information—how it ultimately is rendered a useless, noisy nightmare and as 30 year old millennial, nothing resonated with me more than the dread and paralysis that stems from this. We are the consuming generation after all.
A generation primed to "over-consume” since inception, aided by the deregulation of children’s advertising that took place in the mid-80s. The creation of the WWW in the early 90s opened the floodgates wider, and as we grew up with the novelty of the internet, indoctrination to consume came along with it, sat with us as we spent hours on Club Penguin, poured our second servings of sugar guised as cereal, hypnotized by Saturday morning cartoons that were essentially place holders for ads, and held our hand as we strolled down stores, encouraging us to nag our way into having “more.” (see: nag factor)
By 2006, TIME magazine asked“Are Kids Too Wired for Their Own Good?”. The response, more than a decade later, came via an infamous Buzzfeed piece, where we were diagnosed as the “burnout generation" —having internalized over-consumption of everything: work, entertainment, food, clothes, etc. And by now, well into adulthood, 90s kids are waking up to the rigged game, a generation that’s faced financial catastrophe at the turn of every decade, yet paradoxically incited to keep on consuming, leading us to a depressing state —finitude projecting itself into infinity.
Back to the concept of “unnecessary noise” —we are overwhelmed with options, things being conceived for the mere purpose of capitalizing on our already constantly decaying state of self, like having a Cheesecake Factory menu in front of us, so unnecessarily exhausting. In “The Library of Babel,” Borges notes:
Something we have all come across whether wading through Twitter, or trying to find something worth purchasing online. We’re inundated with information, and it becomes tiresome to try to keep head above water, and yet we try to score the latest flotation device while we drown in an un-fillable void that is purely a false sense of lack, stemming from growing up in a world that mirrors back to us that we need to over consume to stay alive. Similar to the mirrors in “The Library of Babel,” the “illusory” message is that we are not who but what we consume.
In an infinite universe the concept of originality and individuality at a grander scale is null; in “The Library of Babel,” for every book, exists infinite copies of it, each containing small differences, almost unnoticeable, ad infinitum. You see this manifested in our reality with the blanding that accompanied us in the past decade, that feels like we may be perpetually haunted by it, seems inherent to our system.
Yet I remain hopeful. Consider another famous story by Borges, “The Circular Ruins”: it describes an unknown man that arrives at a burned, circular ruin, tasked with the mission of imagining a man into reality, to be sent upstream into another temple that needs to be saved. After some time he hears stories “about a man who won’t burn” and he becomes afraid his creation will find out they are not “real.” By the end of the story, a fire engulfs the circular ruins, only to reveal the man himself does not burn, proving him to be figment of someone else’s imagination.
Our generation, however tasked with an impossible feat such as saving “this circular temple” has done its part in trying to create some sort of salvation. One of the greatest examples I can think of is Emmett Shine and Nicholas Ling’s Pattern Brands, trying to undo a burnout indoctrination, pushing us towards more mindful consumption and encouraging us to indulge in more of our time, of which we have come to know, time is the greatest luxury. You have people like Helena and Woody Hambrecht, that alongside folks like Mark Byrne, are trying to help us release ourselves from the grips of BigAlcohol and their push for overconsumption—via through Haus or Good Vodka (check out their great collaboration Knowyouralcohol.com), each in their own way creating their own creation to send upstream in hopes of saving the next circular temple.
So here I am, in hopes of being able to create something similar with Snaxshot— a love letter in the form of curation, a much needed pushback, a necessary reset, an exploration of a concept beyond its constructs and an embracing ally to our generation and beyond. A space where we can have honest conversations around what feels predatory and gimmicky, particularly in a space like food and beverage that is a literal pillar in our lives.
Consider this an intermediary of sorts, a leveling ground, and with this hope I send out my own “creation” upstream, with the expectation that if there’s a fire, it will actually burn.
Pantry Items Want To Be Seen
Never thought I would be thirsting over pantry items yet here we are? As I’ve mentioned previously, pantry items have become a signaler, particularly as we continue to spend more time indoors. Below a curation of sexy sauces and condiments for your pleasure.
Musee Du Oil: I’m obsessed with this brand mostly because of their take on classic paintings, it’s insanely well done. Cons, it looks a bit complicated to operate.
Crack Fox: That drip is insane amirite?! But also kind of wouldn’t want to break the seal thus defeating its sole purpose as a…hot sauce.
Terraliva: Yo the Italians know what’s up. Look at those sexy, velvet olive oil bottles that look straight out of a runway in Milan?! Cons, like how does this work? Velvet + oil… it sounds messy,
Salsa Norte: That font + the pastel labels not to mention the product looks insanely good and knowing it’s Mexican, can imagine it packs a literal spice.
Apostle: If you’re looking for your hot sauce to deliver a religious experience, look no further.
Tin Seafood Renaissance
WHAT IS HAPPENING?
Conservas (preserved fish) are having a moment. Here are a few to check out:
Spoonful of News 🥄
Siggi’s is offering a “palette trainer”.
Coca Cola releases its awaited sparkling coffee.
See you again next week, a different future, same place.
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