Friday, November 2, 2018

What's the Difference Between the Melancholy Dane and a Stale Danish?

What is the difference between Hamlet and his culinary equivalent, the melancholy Danish? The chief one is that Hamlet is a character in a play and being a pastry, the Danish, despite its filling, will not possess the same rich inner life. On the other hand when considering both Hamlet and a melancholy Danish, great similarities may be found in the way the character and the food in question comport themselves. “Let them eat brioche” is the famed expression attributed to Marie-Antoinette. But let’s go to your average diner counter where a cheese Danish is likely to be sitting all by itself on a raised platter with a glass top. There’s always something sullen and dejected about such a Danish and the solitude may recall Shakespeare’s character to the customer who’s contemplating getting something to go with the coffee he's taking back to the office. In the old days when there were jukeboxes, you might hungrily stare at the Danish and slip a few quarters in to hear “Mr. Pitiful,” for the l00th time while deciding whether you were going for it. Ultimately, you weren’t going to waste your calories on an item that’s neither fish nor fowl. And therein lies a similarity in the existential predicament of the Danish and Hamlet who famously asks “Whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to suffer The  slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, Or to take arms gains a sea of troubles. And by opposing end them?” Though he might be plagued by doubts, Hamlet does possess agency which is what in the end will separate him perhaps not from his fellow Danes, but certainly from the average Danish. The Danish exudes a sadness due to the fact that it's caught between a rock and a hard place, being the kind of item that's chronically ignored and finally left to get stale. Hamlet’s famed words “Weary, stale, flat and unprofitable,” are a good way to describe the plight of the melancholy Danish.

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