They say the secret to the success of any project, product or endeavor is good marketing. With a good presentation and enough exposure, you may not be able to make a silk purse from a sow's ear, but you can make people believe that you can.
It was just such grand advertising campaigns that somehow convinced the American public to turn from the muscle cars of the ’60s to the microcars of the ’70s and ’80s.
And, another time, it was minivans followed by full-scale Tahoes and Suburbans. Today, the soccer moms all drive 4x4 SUVs with names like Yukon, Everest, Equinox, Escape, Outback and Patrol for use in places with no snow and a grocery on every corner. Now that's some kind of convincing.
Some years past, in one of our winter sojourns to the Gulf Coast, Ol’ Dutch was talking to a man who owned a big fish market right on the coast.
I loved going there and seeing all the different fish brought to land for sale to the public. I related to the owner of that shop that I was not a fan of eating Redfish, a southern staple, as it was just a freshwater drum in a cheap disguise.
And he told me that some time back in the not-to-distant past, fishermen on the coast threw the redfish back as “trash fish.” No one would eat them.
But some smarter-than-Ol’-Dutch-marketeers began to tout the wonderful qualities of the poor old red drum and soon people everywhere were ordering them off the menus of every fish chop shop there was.
Now the redfish are caught and eaten all over the south and you would think from all the hubbub they have made a silk purse. But no matter how you wrap it Ol’ Dutch thinks it tastes more like a sow's ear.
That is just one example of what you can do with enough ads run and enough money spent on them. And there are probably thousands of just such examples out there but one, in particular, came to mind last week when we were at a store and they had brisket sandwiches for sale.
Now I don't know if you know it or not but the lowly (literally low on the cow) brisket was one of those cuts of meat that was less than desirable for many years as it is full of fat and greasy. People had ground it up for cheap hamburgers ever since Cain killed the animal-loving Abel, but now it holds a place of dubious honor as some specialty meat extraordinaire.
Gone are the days when that fatty old hangy-down part of the cow was tossed aside and now it's smoked, cured, salted, jerked, boiled and barbecued at every turn.
Men stand on street corners all over the nation now hawking greasy, fatty smoked sections of this cut of meat and, due to advertising, you may have to auction off your first born child to afford a sizable chunk of it.
Not only can you get great tasting slices of this cut on wheat, sourdough, and rye but someone found out that with enough cooking, you can pull it apart and sell that too.
No more are the fatty portions sliced off and discarded as they can simply mix that into the now popular pulled beef, slather on some cheap BBQ sauce and no one is the wiser.
The same has been done with all the cheaper cuts of pork and just last week Miss Trixie scored some good buys in that department for us.
So, we had some scrumptious pulled pork which then led to pulled something in about everything you can imagine for Ol’ Dutch, short of an egg sandwich.
And she led off each meal describing it in French, German and Italian languages and even a forgotten Fiji dialect which made Ol’ Dutch all the more eager to try it.
It was just pulled pork no matter how she sliced it but say what you will about Miss Trixie, she is great with advertising.