How is it Still a (Midd) Thing?

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By Charlie Ascher

Dear Ross,

You are not a five star restaurant. It’s okay; we know and love you just the way you are. You don’t need to disguise the real you. Be free. There’s no need to hide behind fancy names or complicated ingredient lists.

Let the real Ross shine: fry all the things, make pizzas best described as cheese or meat, serve vegetables with a description that stops at the vegetable’s name, have breakfast for dinner every week, and keep playing those 1970’s Ross jams (“Pour Some Sugar On Me” by Def Leppard at breakfast? Why the hell not?). If you feel like the social pressure is just too much, and you need to continue putting random adjectives in front of food names and throwing wild card ingredients into one dish a day, that’s okay. I get it. Just please stop calling the smoothie served at dinner “chilled strawberry soup.” Don’t do it for me, do it for you. You’re better than that silly name, Ross.

Sincerely,

Concerned Ross Diner

Seriously, chilled strawberry soup, how is it still a thing? Every once in a while you’ll be checking out the soup selection at Ross and you’ll think to yourself, “geez, that tomato soup looks awfully pink.” You investigate the sign and realize that this mystery pink liquid in a bucket is not tomato soup made with elusive pink heirloom tomatoes, nor is it that industrial sized vat of Pepto Bismol you always wished Ross had on fish fry night. Nope. It’s supposedly “chilled strawberry soup.” Ross is lying to you; this is a strawberry smoothie. I’m on to you, Ross!

Here’s the thing: marketing a smoothie this way seems pretty counterproductive. I think I’ve seen one person actually pour this “soup” into a bowl … it must have been a mistake. If you’ve ever actually had it as a soup, I would love to hear your thoughts on the subtle taste differences of eating a smoothie with a spoon rather than drinking it. It seems a little wasteful to me because the smoothies in the morning always seem to be popular. I know, I know, smoothies aren’t supposed to be a dinner thing. But why not? Take that big vat of smoothie soup and stick it where the smoothies usually are. Get rid of the “oup” in the name and replace it with “moothie.” Stick some cups next to it, and watch it go.

Let’s start a smoothie revolution or some ridiculous marketing term like that. An independent and totally legitimate research team hired by me has revealed that changing the name of chilled strawberry soup to chilled strawberry smoothie would cause a 237% increase in consumption with only a 29% increase in letters used. The research team also discovered that changing the location of the smoothie would cause an additional 14% increase in consumption. You can’t argue with those statistics, people.

In closing, I ask: chilled strawberry soup, how is it still a thing?