I like vintage and classic and retro and all that jazz, and yet when it comes to the latest craze to sweep France I cannot but get a little self-righteous and appalled. I write, as some may have already guessed, of Tupperware. Hands up who thought the plastic range of the sixties and seventies had been long consigned to the past and the deepest depths of the cupboard? I can report that, amazingly, it features very much in the present and is doing well, at least in the north of France, where it appears to be re-inventing itself as a must-have life style product if the Boden-like catalogue is anything to go by. Indeed you might even say that "il fait un carton", which means it's doing really well but,confusingly translates as "it's making a cardboard box".
The Tupperware "rep" is now called a Culinary Advisor and as our expert lives next door but one to Max's parents (the Bopes) they became the first ones to organise a Culinary Know-How Workshop, which I managed to avoid as I was away in London. It just didn't seem to be the kind of activity to be indulging in in 2010. Not yet post ironic, too kitch for iconic, there just didn't seem to be any acceptable excuses to be linked in anyway with old plastic. For heaven's sake we've invented Lakeland for all that! The second we felt obliged to attend as it was being held at "les oncles" and we wanted to be there for them and to up their points count so that they could avail themselves of something even more expensive from the formidably priced catalogue.
I can only blame Max for the third as he actually volunteered. Yes, he signed up for his very own Tupperware party. Admittedly our party organiser was laying on the heavy psychology to those who demurred with "so didn't you enjoy yourself this afternoon?" I secretly hurrahed the woman who didn't give in. After much soul searching I offered my support to Max's event, but only as a behind the scenes factotum and as long as I didn't have to sit through a second réunion.
There is nothing intrinsically wrong with Tupperware. It is about as attractive as plastic can be and comes in a range of different colours, indeed it isn't even all plastic. It does what it is supposed to do and looks OK. So where's the rub? In one word: the price. It is extortionately expensive. One example: the mini muffins silicon baking mould cost 29,99€ from Tupperware. Auchan had one on sale for 8€ reduced to 5€ recently and even the top of the range designer branded one in Printemps would have set us back a mere 20€. The latest gadget is designed to steam in your microwave and is priced at 150€.
The plastic takes a back seat during the "party" as the cooking workshop takes top billing. For this is how plastic boxes and kitchen implements are marketed these days: cookery demonstrations using Tupperware products. That's really what I don't get viz the recipes are easy enough to follow, the ingredients easy enough to source, the results tasty enough BUT what has that got to do with Tupperware?