Lewis, Sinclair (Bantam Classics, ISBN 9780553214864)
Hilary and I both held tenure as delivery drivers at a pizza restaurant on Centre Road called, ‘La Casetta‘. I majored in second-hand smoke inhalation while Hilary pioneered a study into the effects of alcohol on Italians.
The cook used a substance called, ‘Beef Booster’. Like Sinclair Lewis’ boosterist, he knew that you had to have pep, by golly. When the pizza needed more pep he would open a bucket of Beef Booster and heap it on.
The stuff came in eighteen-kilogram buckets the size of paint cans. You had to take care opening them. If you pulled the lid off with too much vigour, the bucket would belch out a cloud of pink dust that stung your throat like Tang.
The powder came out of its bucket pale pink. When exposed to the air it clumped into pea-sized granules and began turning white. Older containers of it developed a white crust on top that insulated the rest of the Beef Booster from the air. Restaurant practice became to saw the crust off with kitchen knives and ladle it into the dumpster with spatulas. However, the proprietor, never one to miss an opportunity, often wondered if it might prove possible to re-pulverise the crusts into usable booster.
Customers in New Zealand can order Beef Booster through Goodman Fielder Food Services:
According to their website, Beef Booster possesses a shelf life of 548 days. They recommend that one store it in a “cool, dry place”. One can see how the lifetime might suffer somewhat from storing the product in the sweltering kitchen of a pizzeria.