I am launching a campaign to eradicate the raisin from the face of the planet.
Think about it. In the Gallery of Foods That Serve No Discernible Purpose On This Earth, the raisin carries the dubious distinction of not only being the world's most useless food, it is also The Food Most Likely To Deter One From Eating Other Foods. In fact, it is so deficient in the key attributes of what makes a food a food, I hesitate to call it a food at all.
Food should be appealing. It should make you want to eat it the moment you set eyes on it. Raisins are not appealing. Dark, wizened, and sinister-looking, they would never inspire me to casually scoop up a handful and stuff them in my mouth the way a more festive-looking food—the peanut M&M, for example—might. Face it. Raisins look like rat droppings, and I see enough of those in my back alley every day. I certainly don't need them popping up in my breakfast cereal.
Failing the attractiveness test, a food should at least be tasty, and of a pleasant texture. That way, even if it's an ugly food you can still close your eyes and enjoy it just the same. What's enjoyable about eating a raisin? It's a squishy lump of bitterness that offends the taste buds and assaults the tongue—to say nothing of what the foul, sticky residue does to your teeth. And even if you do manage to actually swallow one, what's the point? It's not like it's going to fill you up or anything. You'd have to gag down an entire box of the suckers, an experience so disgusting in and of itself you'd probably end up throwing them all up again anyway.
Not only are they offensive in their own right, raisins drag down other food with them, showing up uninvited to the party just like that obnoxious co-worker you so pointedly tried to exclude from your holiday get-together. And, like the rodents whose excrement they so closely resemble, raisins are ubiquitous. They've weaseled their way into everything—cakes, pies, bagels, even ice cream! Just try to buy a simple sweet roll anywhere in this country. I defy you to show me one that's not riddled with dark clumps of gooey, mushy raisin. Not to mention how thoroughly they have corrupted cinnamon—a wholesome, delicious spice that sweetened many a baked good in my younger days. There are few snacks more pleasurable on a cold winter morning than a thick, lightly toasted piece of buttered bread with a nice swirl of cinnamon running through the center. But—wait! What's that? Oh, shit! IT'S A FUCKING RAISIN! How the hell did THAT get in there?
If raisins stopped at that, I might be tempted to let them go with a warning. But last Saturday was the final straw. Craving a jolt of sugar after a long workout, I stopped in at my favorite café to pick up a quick treat. After scrutinizing a cellophane-wrapped package of freshly baked oatmeal cookies for those telltale lumpy black flecks and, happily, finding none, I carried my purchase to a table, unwrapped a cookie, and bit down.
And so it was, in a small café in downtown Boston, that I discovered the horror that is the white raisin.
This was just too much. At least with ordinary raisins I had a fighting chance of keeping them at bay through close visual inspection of everything I ate. Now they want to make them invisible? What's next? The Stealth Prune? The Transparent Fig? Where will the madness end?
Given that I obviously cannot go through the rest of my life sampling and spitting out every morsel of food into which an unwelcome raisin might have inserted itself, I see no other option than to just ban the things entirely. Grapes can stay, solely due to their real purpose, which is to produce overpriced wine for greedy yuppies, but the moment they shrink to less than a quarter of their original size, they must be destroyed. Actually, make that half their size. Otherwise, some of those duplicitous "California jumbo raisins" might try to wriggle through.
I don't expect this to be easy. Liberating bran flakes alone could take a year or more. But I've thought long and hard about this mission and I'm convinced that anything less than total annihilation will only embolden the enemy and hurt the cause of food freedom everywhere.
It's time to take a stand.
So…who's with me?