The Marketplace: The High Cost of Peeling

They come wrapped in cellophane, frozen or dehydrated, under the generic label of "foods of convenience"—peas without pods, corn without cobs, potatoes without skins. What price convenience? Last week one amateur gourmet, who likes to cook himself, watched a housewife of his acquaintance brooding over the shelves at a Miami supermarket and launched into a Socratic dialogue: "How much do potatoes cost? About a nickel a pound. Right?"

"Right."

"Well, here are these potatoes in a box, see. 'Home fries.' they're called. A convenience food. No peeling. No cutting. O.K., you read the directions. You put 'em in the pan and you...

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