July 20, 2004 - Souper Marathon
It was one of those things that maybe has never been done before. Do you think prior to yesterday that anyone in the history of the world has ever gone to 14 grocery stores within a two-hour period and purchased exactly one (no less and no more) can of Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom soup at each store?
Has it ever been done with tomato soup?
Even Andy Warhol, whose path to fame and glory was paved with Campbell’s soup, probably only bought one can at one store. But the dedicated staff of edhat.com, boldly going where no dedicated staff has gone before, did such a thing. We hopped from one store to the next, going from soup aisle to express lane, and walking out each time with a bag, a receipt, and a can.
At 2:41, we purchased our first can at the new downtown Ralph’s.
In case you didn’t hear, the 4-and-a-half star hotel being built across the intersection was recently renamed the Andalucia Hotel after its architectural style. Last March we had joked about how the Ralph’s intersection would soon be called “little Andalucia”. I guess someone read our story.
Here was our trip itinerary. The times in parentheses are the ones shown on our receipts. From Ralph’s, it was up Chapala to Vons (2:46). Then, down Arrellaga to Cantwell’s (3:00) and up State to Longs (3:00), Gelson’s (3:10), 7-Eleven (3:11), and Albertson’s (3:21). From there it was on to the freeway to Mission. A left and a right on San Andres drove us to Foodland (3:32) and up to Carrillo where we went right to Lazy Acres (3:37). We went up Cliff Dr. past SBCC to Santa Cruz Market (3:59) and over to Scolari’s on Milpas (4:04). From there we took a circuitous route to the Italian Market (4:05), Victoria Market (4:13), and finally ended up at the Presidio Market (3:54) on Santa Barbara Street.
We were a little bummed that we could not document the time of our very last purchase because of badly set cash register clock. We would estimate that the final time was about 4:20, yielding an estimated travel time of one-and-a-half hours.
It was interesting to find that Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom soup can be purchased both at Lazy Acres and 7-Eleven. It’s nice to know there is some common ground today.
At the Italian Market, we purchased our oldest can. Assuming we decoded the date on the bottom correctly, it was made in April 2003.
That was back in the good old days when opening a can of soup required an opener. By the time the next oldest can was made (October 2003), the top had been replaced by the new fangled pull-off top. At that time a recipe for “Souper Chicken Tetrazzini” (tetra because the serving size is 4?) and the lengthy URL www.campbellskitchen.com was added to the label.
Same day, same soup, same city, but the prices were different - varying from 99 cents (Foodland and Longs) to $1.69 (Cantwell’s, Victoria Market, and Presidio Market). The difference in prices means that if you shop around, $10 worth of soup gets you 16 extra servings of Souper Chicken Tetrazzini!
See all soup prices
GCHeadly is the winner of the daily contest with an mmm, mmm good guess for lowest and highest of $1.09 / $1.69. GC wins a Santa Barbara Axxess Card that can get him/her discounts at restaurants all over town that serve soup.
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