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Pak Man

Two Pak

Manufactured by: Not stated on sachet, although presumably a product of PortionPak International, a division of Global Mega Condiments Incorporated
Taste: Somewhat vinegary with underlying hints of wood varnish (gloss finish), crab paste and lichen
A pale pasty wizened yellow, designed to blend in with the standard drab décor of the British public house. Can become almost invisible when smeared onto a nicotine stained wall
Comments: If you're eating this you're most likely in a pub, so just be grateful you're not spooning lukewarm salad cream out of a tiny metal dish with a crappy little spoon still heavily soiled by yesterday's tomato ketchup
Overall: 5 out of 10 - envelopes of shame


Welcome to the 21st Century. Okay, so no-one (of any significance at least) has green or silver hair, ray guns are not yet in mass circulation, hover cars are still some way off and few people, if any, have managed to make the move into the vast underwater cities that cover our sea beds, there to be nourished by a nutritional and extremely tasty diet of algae and seaweed. Whilst all of these major innovations are undoubtedly highly desirable, and without question must take place as soon as is possible, I would propose that the first advancement of this young hopeful century be the complete and total eradication of words like "Pak". Easy enough to accomplish, and yet I am confident that this one simple step will ease the suffering and miseries of all people in the world for all eternity.

But anyway, linguistic progress aside, what of the mayonnaise? Well the pack itself is made of a curious form of paper and features what I can only presume is some kind of proposed serving suggestion, that suggestion appearing to be, "Hey why not get 1 tomatoes, two mushrooms and a clump of freshly mown grass and smother it all in mayonnaise?" Fine sentiments indeed, but as with most of these restaurant friendly sized sachets, you're going to need over seventeen of them squeezed in rapid succession, in order to cover even a reasonable sized mushroom, let alone your choice clumps of freshly prepared grass that you have been so looking forward to.

True BlueBilious Green

Manufactured by: Our good friends Heinz
Taste: Thick and creamy with hints of vanilla, sugar and elderly to middle aged brine shrimp
Colour: A fine and agreeable white, bleached anaemic like the fine pale sand of a lonely Ionian island
Comments: Shiny shiny, shiny packets of sauce. Desirable objects that can fit into a gentleman's watch pocket or a lady's handbag with consummate ease. After you've finished with these little monkeys, give them to your local children's home who will undoubtedly fashion them into some attractive and cost effective Christmas decorations
Overall: 8 out of 10 - it's good, if only in very limited portions


I think that the presence of the salad cream says it all really. Heinz are truly the kings of the condiments world, a harsh but just reign, and mayonnaise is just one of the many weapons in their vast armoury of food flavouring products. Best loved in Britain for their famous tomato ketchup and beans related comestibles, Heinz also remain peculiarly and obstinately devoted to salad cream which is, as any true aficionado of the condiment knows, only a less cosmopolitan form of the one true mayonnaise, designed in haste by an unimaginative committee for the jaded and unsophisticated British palette of the pre-1970's. A recent bid by Heinz to scrap their salad cream resulted in questions being raised in the House of Commons and a campaign being instigated by some highly dubious television personalities, proof were it needed that the British eccentric is alive and flourishing, and still eating rubbish food.

Politics, and the eternal poor vinegary relation that is salad cream aside, Heinz mayonnaise is indeed most agreeable, especially in the sachet format sampled here. Quite possible the best thing about the shiny plastic packet which Heinz use over the paper concoction of PortionPak, is the ease with one can suck out the last remains of mayonnaise after the a pub sausage has been successfully covered (Note the a sausage, Heinz generally have larger servings than PortionPak, easily covering an average sized mushroom). If you're in a pub, this really is the best that you can truly hope for, Hellmann's aside, but please learn the important colour code before engaging sauce with plate. Blue means good, and green means bad. Very bad.

Happy from the front... ...and happy from the back

Manufactured by: Happy Shopper etc.,
Taste: Discrete hints of bat mucus intermingled with an intriguing melange of emulsion paints, combine exquisitely to give Happy Shopper mayonnaise that authentic rural chip shop flavour, beloved of so many drunken hot snack fans everywhere, who roam the post closing time streets in search of that late night mayonnaise hit. Serve them hot, and spread it thick
Colour: UHU glue with the occasional snatched memory of sunlight reflected through a tub of congealed Vaseline
Comments: 440ml of squirty white tomfoolery. An imaginative serving suggestion on the bottle featuring three pert little shrimps, a couple of wedges of lemon plus of course the ubiquitous crisp lettuce leaf, belie the fact that this condiment will only ever be used upon chips, and then only in quantities of a gallon or more by sullen unhygienic people with shell suits and very little concept of taste or decency. Instead of serving with a intricately arranged selection of jolly and contented marine life, the rugged plastic bottle should instead be used as a rudimentary club with which to beat your more irritating enemies slowly to death
Overall: 3 out of 10 - to be kept stored behind glass strictly for the most desperate and drunken of emergencies only


And why is the shopper in question quite so joyous? Well, believe me it's not got anything whatsoever to do with the high quality of the numerous everyday goods that they have just purchased in bulk, from their local post office/ newsagents/ petrol garage/ convenience store. If Happy Shopper had (or could afford) a motto it would be something like "By God this stuff is cheap".

If my memory serves me correctly, Happy Shopper first appeared in the early 1980's, a low point for so many great traditions, along with other classic low cost marques such as KwikSave, LoCost and of course the much lamented "My Mum's...(Insert chosen commodity here) - it tastes just like the real thing!". Just as in the example above of PortionPak, bad spelling you will note is rife and indeed endemic in the competitive world of cut price food, the reasoning being that the crappier the grammar, the cheaper the goods will appear to the consumer. Any firm that can afford a decent £4-99 pocket dictionary cannot be wholly dedicated to the fastidious interests of the committed penny pinching miser.

The niche that these brands so successfully found was that of the undiscerning dole idler, a large percentage of the populace under the reign of the evil Baroness Thatcher, the type of pasty faced time waster who couldn't quite make it all the way to a supermarket or to a reputable grocer's in order to purchase their household essentials, but did not mind shuffling vacantly along the 100 yards to the post office in order to cash their giro every fortnight and purchase a week's supply of toilet paper, cherryade, tinned bolognese, baked beans, dog food and mayonnaise for all just under £1-80.

The mayonnaise offered by Happy Shopper fulfils at least two of the criteria in order to be legitimately called mayonnaise, namely that it is white and comes in a container, but as that qualification could equally apply to frozen donkey's semen or Dulux dove white matt emulsion, let us look then at its other merits. And then ten seconds later when we have stopped trying to find any, let us just say that from now on I shall prefer the aforementioned asinine discharge to flavour my food.

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