Friday, March 27, 2009

Swedes have a love of design.

They are minimalists – beauty is to be found in simple forms: unvarnished oiled wood, primary colors, thin lines. And as far as I can tell, Swedish tastes haven’t changed much in the past 50 years. Including the packaging for milk – simple rectangular boxes the size of a brick with red, green, blue and yellow stripes of varying thickness; the red stripes are the fattest and the yellow stripes the thinnest, designating the fat content of the milk. People actually refer to milk by the color of the stripe – the husband never tells me to buy whole milk, he tells me: “Get red milk.”

But the other day, I was taken aback to find a black box in our refrigerator.

What the hell is this, I wondered.

“Read the back,” the husband said, smiling at me.

I pulled it out. It was milk, but the package was black as a reminder to turn the lights out for Earth Hour, in which the world is being encouraged to turn out the lights at 8:30 p.m. (local time) on March 28.

An admirable idea. But not terribly appealing for a milk carton. Sort of an antidote to Life cereal (do they still make that?): Death Milk.

Milk for existentialists, perhaps?

Or a way to get emo boys and girls to consume their recommended daily allowance of calcium and vitamin D?

The Swedish word for the day is mejeri. It means dairy.

14 comments:

Kimberly said...

can you post a pic? my swedish husband is curious. tack!!

Francis S. said...

Check it out here: http://www.arla.se/Default____23255.aspx

carl pedarl said...

But the yellow one (Minimjölk) has the least fat in it...

Linas said...

Ewww, I haven't seen that yet. I have enough issues dealing with the bf's insistence that expiration dates on milk are absurdly conservative estimates.

Francis S. said...

Trust your bf, Linas. You will know when the milk goes bad, because it tastes bad. If it tastes fine, it is fine! And while you're at, can you convince him to convince my husband?

Francis S. said...

You're correct, Carl - I fixed it (you can see that I've never bought blue or yellow milk before).

Pam Anderson said...

Hmmm. I've been in 3 grocery stores (ICAs mostly) in the past two days and haven't noticed this black milk. Then again, I wasn't shopping for milk (I was just there for entertainment since it beats Publix stores in Miami...)

I am interested to see how many people turn off their lights at 20:30 PM here tomorrow.

Batus said...

If you drink it while looking at the black box, you almost taste licorice. Wish is imagined, of course... or is it?

Lisa B-K said...

Hi Francis,

Lisa B-K from Champaign-Urbana here. I'm still reading! Not as often, but I am!

We made the Swedish "papers", after a fashion:

http://blogg.aftonbladet.se/29116/perma/1167603

You sound happy and well. That's EXCELLENT!

dual monitors said...

mmmmm..sounds good...

Margaret said...

I got the same shock when I opened our fridge and found the black box my husband had just picked up. I was relieved that the box I was really reaching for, my "mellanfil" - was still blue and white!

esotericbehavior said...

oh you point of view in life cracks me up. EMoooooo. . milk. I too would have reservations drinking death milk.

SUPER PC said...

awesome!!!

Ola Berg said...

Minimalist? You definitely wasn't here during the 70s when I had to grow up...

 


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