When the Emperor has finished parading naked through the streets listening to folk exclaiming about the outstanding elegance and style of his non-existent finery, and returns to the palace for dinner, might I respectfully suggest he gets Chef to include some Tesco Chantanay carrots on his plate?

I couldn’t help noticing on today’s supermarket trip that they are €5 per kilo, approximately three times the price of yer common or garden carrots, but worth every cent I’m sure because according to their packaging it’s not just their "unique size" that is significant but their "traditional carrot flavour".

And there I was, worrying someone might mistake them for broccoli.

I’m not denying that it’s possible to get food of differing quality or taste intensity – and that usually there’s a price differential – but I am just not convinced that in a blind tasting, I’d know my Chantanays from my Imperators.

Interesting too to read this week that we might be wasting our money on organic chicken which has been found to be inferior to regular chicken in taste and nutrition even though it costs about three times as much.  That’s if anyone’s still eating chicken…

But buying Chantanay carrots is not likely to be really about them tasting significantly better, is it?  I imagine people buy them because they buy the story.  Chantanays are a bit posh and in Ireland we’re all aspiring to keep up with the Murphys, the Kellys and the O’Briens who, God love them, are struggling to manage the mortgage payments and find wallets large enough for their maxed-out credit cards.

Having said all this, I defend to the death, people’s right to buy feel-good carrots, just as we want to pay premium prices for our perfume and champagne because we’re buying a feel-good experience.  It just made me chuckle to think those Chantanays were being sold to us deluded shoppers on the basis that they were carrot-flavoured!

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