I think I first learned about ugli from doing crossword puzzles. It is, for those that don’t know, a citrus fruit. Like every citrus fruit aside from pummelos (see February 20, 2014 post), Mandarin oranges, and citrons, it’s a hybrid (see March 30, 2013 post). It’s a cross between grapefruit, tangerines, and oranges. Found growing naturally in
it’s now evidently produced deliberately and artificially, and has become more
popular in the U.S.
and other areas, especially during the months from November through April.
But there’s the name. I was somewhat surprised to find out that it’s not a word in a foreign language (or an approximation of one), or the last name of the first person to discover this fruit. It’s actually an alternate spelling of “ugly.” Once you see one this moniker makes sense. It’s a largish fruit, typically being bigger than a grapefruit, only its coloration is a mix of green and yellow. The skin is similar to other citrus fruits, only it’s a bit rougher, and can be spotty and warty.
But even if the name is arguably fair, it’s still kind of weird that the growers, who want people to pay good money to buy them (yes, the name is trademarked), went with this non-appetizing, insulting title. It put me in mind of the old, 1970’s Saturday Night Live skit where they mocked a then popular jam ad campaign. The ad line was, “With a name like Smuckers, it has to be good.” Obviously, the folks at SNL took their parodies to amusing extremes, like, “With a name like Painful Rectal Itch, it has to be good.”
So today’s tangent will be about other real, funny, product or company names, especially those involving food. And be forewarned, many of these are quite tasteless and low brow. Clearly, some of these are similar spelled words in other languages that mean different things, or are from other English-speaking countries which have different slang terms. (I’m sure this works both ways, so if any bilingual readers have examples of English product names which sound hilarious and/or dirty in another language, feel free to explain these in a comment.) Also, I should reference “National Lampoon Presents True Facts: The Big Book,” which provided some of these.
1) Pee Cola. A soft drink from
2) 666 cold medicine. Probably not a big seller in Christian countries.
3) S & M Amusements. For an amusement park. In a time long before “Shades of Gray.”
4) Cabbages & Condoms. A Thai restaurant.
5) AnalTech. A
business which makes chromatography plates.
An unfortunate combining of “analysis” and “technology.” I would have gone with “Technolysis” myself.
6) Hooker furniture. A
Virginia company, apparently based on the
owner’s last name.
America. A Minnesota
concrete pump manufacturer. They must
have gotten really sick of hearing “ Wayne’s
World” jokes in the late 1980’s/early 1990’s.
Also the owner’s last name.
8) Soup for Sluts.
9) Vergina lager beer. A Greek brew.
10) Urinal. A hot drink. (Ha!)
11) Mortuary Affairs & Food Service. One stop shopping, I suppose.
12) A. Cockburn, M.D. And the good doctor’s specialty was urology.
13) A jam called Tastes Like Grandma.
14) Ass Compact. A German magazine about risk management.
15) Ditcher, Quick, and Hyde, divorce lawyers. Almost too perfect—did they change their names, or only hire Ditcher because of his name?
16) Jack the Stripper. An English wood stripping service.
17) Only Puke. Crackers
18) Wack Off! An Australian insect repellent.
19) A home construction firm named Foster’s. And their ad line was actually, “Put your family in a Foster home. They’ll love it!”
20) Frozen Corpse Ranch.
21) An auto repair shop specializing in transmissions. Called Tranny-Man.
22) Herpes Pizza.
23) The Golden Shower Restaurant.
24) S.T.D. Contracters.
25) Amigone funeral home. I saw this one live, it’s in the
area. Buffalo, NY
26) A diet candy in the early 1980’s called Ayds.
27) Staying with unfortunate, deadly disease coincidences,
had a drink named Sars.
28) Finger Marie.
29) Duke of Cumberlands Head pub. The sign outside read, “Filthy Ale and Disgusting Food.”
Anyway, back to the ugli. Once again, my local Shop Rite supermarket came through. The one I picked out was bigger than a grapefruit, green and yellow, a little oblong and warty, and not the most attractive fruit I’ve ever seen. (A 2 Bagger, or a Coyote Ugli, if you’re a sort of misogynist fruitophile (don’t think this is a real term, but you get my meaning.)) However, maybe the slightly unpleasant rind helped, as removing it from the edible pulp was easier than with oranges, lemons, etc.—it kind of pulled away. The inner pulp sections looked identical to oranges, and were even (boringly) orange in color. The taste was….impressive. Not bitter and nasty like a grapefruit, and better than the decent pummelo. Its flavor was most like a tangerine. Sweet, and very enjoyable. It was a bit pricey—about $3 for a single one—but I do plan on having this again, when it’s available, every so often.
Therefore, to paraphrase a Simpsons line, like Chief Wiggum, the ugli might not look great from the outside, but it, “has so much inner beauty,” where it counts.