Agencies: Our food writer Priya Krishna wrote about the containers we use over and over, like Cool Whip tubs and Taster’s Choice jars, and how they can evoke stronger feelings than the food that came in them.
It was a tweet heard round the internet. Two images, side by side: two regal blue Royal Dansk tins, filled with sugar-studded butter cookies slotted in white wrappers, next to an identical tin with a much less enticing assortment of buttons and thread. Written beneath the first image: “My fall plans.” Under the second: “The Delta variant.”
The tweet hit on a seemingly universal experience: the repurposing of a Royal Dansk tin as a sewing kit, and the dismay of all of the children who’ve opened one.
“This thing that I thought was a very niche and specific to being Latin and being Mexican turned out to be a global phenomenon,” said the film critic Carlos Aguilar, who wrote the tweet. He grew up in Mexico City and lives in Los Angeles.
Food can inspire strong emotions. And sometimes the container it came in can evoke an even stronger response. Royal Dansk tins, Cool Whip tubs, Dannon yogurt containers and Bonne Maman jam jars all belong to an unofficial hall of fame of receptacles that have been redeployed for myriad uses, giving them countless afterlives and often imbuing them with special meaning.