A thing you have to admire about margarine is that it is like Jews themselves: great at assimilation. It can hide in plain sight, with only a vague Uncanny Valley aura about it that something’s off—not as creamy, not as sumptuous-smelling, not as delicious. But it does what it needs to do, which is restore dignity to both the kosher-keeping or lactose-intolerant masses among us.* The only problem is, aside from the several I have already listed in just three lines of prose, the more you know about it, the grosser it becomes, its double carbons flipped in the service of its lies, allowing something that should just be oil to hold a fork in a death grip. If that’s what it does to a fork, then it’s not a terrible leap to wonder how that substance behaves in your aorta. But what are you going to do? Serve fruit? Not when there’s margarine you’re not. So stop thinking so much and just empty a vat into your next cake. Life will be shorter, but it will be sweeter. Or something.
*Note: If you are neither, stop reading and go buy yourself some butter; you’re doing everything wrong.
Taffy Brodesser-Akner is a features writer for The New York Times’ Culture desk and Magazine sections. She is the author of a novel, forthcoming in 2019 from Random House.