I Say Tomato, You Say Sauce

Chili. I had been craving it all day. Spiced-up chili loaded with chunks of tomatoes and onions. I came home from the store so happy that I had only spent $8 and will have dinner for three days. I put the ground beef in the skillet, chopped some onions, and searched for the can opener. Found it! Ok, open the can of kidney beans, check. Open the can of tomato sauce, check. Open the can of diced tomatoes…WTF?! That’s not tomatoes…it’s tomato sauce. Double check the label. It clearly says “Diced Tomatoes with Chili Seasoning.” There’s a picture of diced tomatoes plain as day on the label. Why are there no diced tomatoes in the can?

Well, I was not about to walk all the way back up to Food4Less, so I went to the corner store owned by the Asian couple. I really didn’t want to go there because they charge twice as much for everything. And, of course, they didn’t even have any canned tomatoes. They had five hundred cans of tomato sauce, but no tomatoes.

What the hell is going on here? Is there a tomato shortage or something? If so, what are they making all the fucking tomato sauce with? I paced up and down the aisle, scanning the shelves for anything remotely resembling diced tomatoes and then, “low and behold!” a can of salsa!

I took the tiny can up to the counter and the Asian woman smiled and said hi. I said, “I was looking for canned tomatoes, but you don’t have any.” She said, “Oh, no, we have tomato sauce.” I said, “Yeah, I know, but I need tomatoes.” I put the can of salsa on the counter and she said, “That’s salsa.” Does she think I can’t read?  “I know it’s salsa. Salsa is made with tomatoes and I need tomatoes.” She nodded, “Ah.”

So I paid $1.19 for the tiny little $.29 can of salsa and returned home to continue making my chili. The overpriced salsa turned out to be miniscule bits of tomato slivers swimming in watery tomato sauce with equally miniscule slivers of onion and green chilies.

It was overwhelmingly sad. I was so disappointed. I swear, this world is just FUBAR. You can’t count on anything anymore. I have never in my life bought a can of tomatoes and opened it to find anything other than…uh…tomatoes.

I’ll take the can of sauce back to Food4Less tomorrow. I’m sure they won’t be surprised. The reason the non-tomatoes were on sale is probably because they knew what was in those cans. Push it off on the loyal, unsuspecting customers.

And what about the manufacturer (Kroger)? Did they knowingly box and ship the mislabeled product to their customers? And where was the plant supervisor when the employees were putting the wrong labels on cans? Is there no integrity in this world anymore?

Oh, well, I’ll return the can tomorrow and get my $.79 back.  Tonight, I’m gonna eat this lame-ass chili and be thankful I’m not a hungry migrant worker standing in the hot sun somewhere picking tomatoes.