I tend not to buy tinned food any more, despite living on the stuff whilst I was at University. It wasn’t just me, a friend of mine had a close relative who worked at a supermarket who would feed his habit at a massive discount. So, at the start of each term he would arrive with a couple of large boxes of tins which he would diligently stack in the kitchen cupboards. Then, at the first possible opportunity after he had finished unpacking them, we would remove all the labels. Oh how we laughed.

“What’s for dinner? Peach halves on toast?”

To this day I still have a sneaky look in friends cupboards whenever I visit in the faint hope of finding a large selection of tins just to play this brilliant, and massively underutilised practical joke.

Unfortunately, it seems most people have given up tinned food, which is a shame for practical jokers everywhere. I have also always found it amazing how long food lasts when it’s in a tin. If you were to buy fish from a fishmonger, it would start going off within 24 hours. However, if you put that same fish into a tin, then you could put it in the cupboard and make plans to eat it whilst watching the London Olympics (unless someone removed its label and you opened it whilst looking for fruit cocktail).

Does anyone know why does tinned food last so long? Is it magic?

When I die, I would like to be buried in a tin, so that if they find a cure for whatever I died from, they can dig me up and revive me. I hope that day is not too soon in coming though as I have not decided if I would prefer to be buried in oil or brine.


  1. Lin · January 21, 2008

    So when you die of old age, can’t walk, am incontinent, deaf and wearing very thick specs you actually want to come back to that? And maybe hair like Gollom!

  2. Dr J · January 21, 2008

    Go for the Brine. Oil might make you come back with baby soft skin, but everything else will have turned to mush. And let’s hope no smart aleck changes your label….. 😉

  3. Brennig · January 21, 2008

    They have Brine Baths in Droitwich. The folk who use them roll out looking like wrinkled old prunes. Not a great advertisement.

  4. Salvadore Vincent · January 21, 2008

    Did you know that the tin was invented years before the tin opener?

  5. Ellie · January 21, 2008

    did you hear about the man who ate a forty year old chicken? it was given to him on his wedding day and he saved it for his Wedding Anniversary- 40 or actually may even have been 50 years later! and he lived to tell the tale. i think that is quite brilliant really. p.s i would go for the oil- as someone above me said ‘baby soft skin’

  6. Keef · January 21, 2008

    There’s some place in California (where else?) where they freeze stiffs so that they can be thawed out and resurrected at some point in the future. If you can’t afford to have your whole body frozen, they chop the head off and just freeze in the hope that the future can clone you a new body.
    I can just imagine it if the records get mixed up in the meantime.
    Well we’re sorry Mr Smith we know now that your records say you died in Orange County but we read it as you want to be resurrected as an orangutan.
    Ook Ook you say.

  7. GH · January 21, 2008

    Given the average size of a tin of tuna, I think that reviving tinned Angry could be a bit of a problem. You’ve got the whole three dimensional jigsaw puzzle to do first, and what if some student has come along and ate a bit of you in a baked spud in the meantime? You could be missing a vital bit of meat!


  8. Mr Angry · January 21, 2008

    Lin – It is OK, I do not expect to reach 40.

    Dr J – I have no fear on that account, I only know one Alec and he is a borderline simpleton.

    Brennig – What do they go in like? Is it like a reverse Cocoon effect?

    Salvadore – But I’m sure the food was still fresh when they finally opened it?

    Ellie – Did he keep it alive for 40 years?

    Keef – Aha! I have seen Demolition Man, it is much cheaper if you just commit some horrendous crime. Plus they teach you to knit.

    Keef – It would have to be a massive tin, obviously.

  9. rob · January 21, 2008

    Clearly everyone has done the old ‘rip off the labels’ gag to someone.

    I’m sure I read about a couple recently, who discovered a tin of spam or some such other vile-sounding post-war delicacy that was 60 years old in their cupboards.

    They opened it and then had it for tea and proclaimed it ‘lovely’. Some people…!

  10. Eliza · January 21, 2008

    if you did that we could call you Tin Tin!!

  11. Ellie · January 21, 2008

    actually i think it was a roasted chicken in jelly of some description. BBC ran the story on their website

  12. clarissa · January 21, 2008

    I would have taken you for a spring water type of guy.

  13. Gert · January 21, 2008

    Well, you’re not coming round my gaffe. We have loads of tins – baked beans, tomatoes, sweetcorn, mushrooms, tomato soup, tuna, salmon, sardines. And the David Beckham Manchester United spaghetti.

    It’s not like we live off tinned food, but if we want something quick and easy, they’re there. And what can beat Baked Beans. Or Heinz tomato soup?

  14. xl · January 21, 2008

    If you decide to go the tin route, you might want to consider being put away with an opener. Just in case that technology is lost.

  15. Coqui · January 21, 2008

    moisture, oxygen and germs make food go bad. the vacuum sealing applied to tin cans (which are actually steel with a cheap tin coating) keep out all of these elements which in turn make the food last longer. things like sugar and salt are are often added as natural preservatives to canned and bagged foods since they are antimicrobial by killing bacteria or drawing moisture away.

    on a positive note, i found a candy orange slice on top of the fridge that had been there since Thanksgiving…and still very delicious.

  16. rach · January 21, 2008

    Personally I prefer fruit cocktail on toast above the peach slices although I can be persuaded otherwise

  17. Not angry since you replaced the long posts · January 21, 2008

    Brine everytime…