As with those creepy dessert shooters, I found some strong feelings emerging about Mason jars. But unlike the icky shooters, most of my Mason jar feelings were positive. I had fun using a Mason jar for a few days to see what observations I could make about this humble object.
Drinking out of a Mason jar is fun because ... it seems slightly forbidden! It's a natural response to conventional wisdom's hoity toity "One does not drink out of a jar!" with a kind of triumphant, in-your-face, oppositional "Why the heck NOT, dude!" attitude. There's a little renegade in all of us, no?
Mason jars evoke, at least for certain people of my generation, security and plenty. We see cellar shelves filled with Mason jars of cherries, tomatoes, relishes, plums, peaches, pears ... as long as you have a tool to open your jars with, you'll have food, even in a national disaster. My great aunt used to send home jars of canned venison for us (I confess to always feeling a bit squeamish about it, though). So just looking at Mason jars, and handling them, brings back all those feelings. When was the last time a mere drinking glass actually evoked something for you?
Clearly, big business has discovered that Mason jars have draw power. I've long noticed that homestyle restaurants serve beverages in them. You can even buy faux Mason jar mugs with handles on them, presumably to fill this blatant need of restaurants and marketers to grab hold of our heartstrings and thus our pocketbooks.
I was stunned to discover a veritable plethora of restaurants in all corners of America calling themselves Mason Jar, even one in (gasp!) Manhattan. Is it just me, or is there something slightly sinister about using such a homey object to lure us in to consume what are no doubt the farthest things (in terms of quality ingredients and affectionate care in preparation) from homestyle dishes imaginable?