Mors “Wonder Berry” Original Russian Soft Drink from Berries
Submitted by Jennifer Amey
I live in the weird end of town, so it’s not surprising that near me there is a weird grocery store. It is called “Grocery Clearance Open to the Public!” and features things beyond describing. Cans of tender sliced cactus. Cashew juice. Flat round cans of what appears to be some sort of jellied sweet-potato-and-chocolate dessert from Brazil. You get the idea.
Every time I go there, I try something new. Today, it is something relatively innocuous: a Russian drink-in-box, for sixty-nine Canadian cents. I selected Red Whortleberry flavour. What are whortleberries? A quick trip to the Mors website, www.wbd.ru, reveals that I don’t remember any Russian from that first-year class I dropped after a month. Pouring the red juice into a glass, one can’t help but be disturbed by the cloudiness and brownish tinge.
Okay, here goes.
Disappointing. It’s a sort of blander-but-sweeter version of the classic generic “red” flavour that taints so many children’s drinks and snacks. Minutes after abandoning it, I notice a strange feeling — puffiness? fluffiness? numbness? — in my lips. Holding the glass up to the light reveals a texture and movement to the brownish-cloudiness that makes the blandness seem somehow menacing. Is it moving of its own volition? Maybe they should have added preservatives after all.
Mors “Wonder Berry” Original Russian Soft Drink from Berries is produced by “Fructola Co., Ltd”, 6/10 1st Warshavsky proyezd, Moscow 115201.
Chocolate-Covered Sunflower Seeds
Submitted by P. Lisa R. H. Mayor
I was dubious at first, but they won me over in their bright and cheery multitudes. “But they’re so tiny!” you might think. Where is the room for the seed, or the chocolate? Even with a candy coating on top! Friends, there is room for all of it, in perfect proportions.
The Seeds: mellow, unsalted, characteristically nutty and smooth. Shell? None! The Chocolate: thinly layered, not too sweet, gives a distinct impression without overpowering the seed.
The Candy Coating: paper-thin, delightfully colorful, makes a delicate crackle upon pressure, forms points where points should be, otherwise smooth and infallibly shiny. Yellow, Green, Maroon, Orange, Black — a decorator’s sense of color.
Subtle and different, without being snooty. Inexpensive. Perfect for: a casual date, when you want to impress your partner with your resourceful uniqueness and open-mindedness without being intimidating. Tell him the story of how it was a beautiful day and you happened upon a candy shop you’d never seen before, and how the owner offered to give you origami lessons. You also bought a teapot.
Submitted by Adam Scally
Wild. I have been Hiking. I have neglected leftovers. I have dug at the unfortunate corners of my toenails. Point is, I am familiar with many of the “wild” environs in which fungus bares it opportunistic head; none of them strike me as appetizing. The idea of eating a wild duck or a wild bass is very appealing; someone caught it, someone trapped it, someone more wily than it brought it to my plate. When coupled with game, “wild” tends to connote a sense of struggle and valor. The same cannot be said for it’s coupling with “mushroom.” If what I am eating was truly the outgrowth of some fetid Bavarian topsoil and was brought to the top of my pizza thanks to the olfactory prowess of a truffle hog, perhaps we should leave off the word “wild,” if for no other reason than my personal sense of adventure and good taste. Don’t fart above your ass when it comes to epicurean nomenclature.
That being said, my pizza was delicious. The mushrooms were a bit sparse, but that didn’t bother me. I was looking for simplicity today. “Wild” seemed to mean “not domestic.” That’s all. Crimini, shitake, possibly baby bellas, nothing as crazy as the title implied.
Limited Edition White Chocolate Kit Kat
Submitted by Wendy Molyneux
Sure, the Milk Chocolate Kit Kat is the brunette that you can bring home to mother, but the White Chocolate Kit Kat is the naughty blonde you meet at the Ritz and wind up making a drunken suicide pact with when her husband Chaz finds out about your affair. And then the next thing you know you’re high-tailing it out of town with a bunch of his goons chasing you. You change your appearance, hop a boxcar and head out west. And sure, you’re not the same man you once were. You’re broken. You’ve taken to the drink. But every time you see a gibbous moon hanging up there in the inky black night, you think of her and you wish that you could have her just one more time. But you can’t. She was a Limited Edition. And the goddamn H.B. Reese Candy Company wanted her back.
Submitted by Joan Wilking
My oldest daughter’s baby is starting to eat with his fingers. She sends him to me with plastic Ziploc bags filled with things that look like big fat Cheerios pumped up with extra iron and minerals. “Just the right size and shape for little hands and mouths,” their website says. Another brand looks like giant Fruit Loops, and yet another like green and yellow wagon wheels. They all crumble and turn to mush in my grandson’s hands. The wagon wheels smells like fish food. I like the Nutrios best. I picture them orbiting around my grandson’s head. After all, he is the center of his own little universe and they are, according to the manufacturer, jam-packed with all the good stuff he’ll need someday to propel himself into outer space.
Submitted by Oge Bozyigit
It has come to the point where us Turks pay for our comforting gestures to America with subtle torture inflicted upon us by the European Union, acts that closely resemble sadistic motherly punishment. I am talking about the requirement that all countries outlaw the selling, and consequently the eating, of tripe. Tripe is the intestines of a lamb, the organ that plays the sound of adieu, otherwise affectionately called the Tunnel of Shit. It is actually the lining of the stomach, but who cares? Tripe soup is made by boiling pieces of this meat in various sizes, and how big you want those pieces to be has to do with what the soup is called. When the pieces are big they are almost impossible to grind through, and end up resembling chewing gum that tastes like rotting uncooked meat. Because of its foul nature, the amount of ground-up garlic and vinegar that is usually poured into it after it is served is not to be understated. In fact, it is the suspicion of this writer that tripe soup is made for the sole purpose of being able to consume large quantities of this optional add-on, since ingesting a bowl of ground-up garlic filled to the brim with vinegar would no doubt seem idiotic. More evidence to support the writer’s suspicions has to with the fact that tripe soup is considered “the Turkish hangover cure,” and the writer does not believe it is because of the magical ingredients of stomach lining. What makes tripe soup especially potent is that the whole soup-aspect of boiling it vaporizes the foulness and spreads it throughout the establishment, making the local’s mouth water and the foreigner’s stomach lunge for an escape. But the writer will attest to its use, as it has been a savior on many drunken days. Of many places to eat this dish is the neighborhood of Balat in Istanbul. There is a restaurant specializing in all the edible parts of a lamb. This would be the whole lamb as is, from the balls to the tongue. “Nothing is wasted,” a conscientious meat-eater would tell a vegetarian. Of course there is something else besides, and it is elsewhere. The restaurant is across a vegetable and fruit stand. At night, the poor of Balat come out and sit on the curbs outside their doors. And the childrenŠ there are so many of them, they come out and hide, and later they seek, onwards towards midnight and behind the closed doors of Armenian churches and old synagogues. When I eat this soup, as they say, I eat to the children of Balat.
Mashed Potatoes with Celeriac (a.k.a. Celery Root)
Submitted by Mark Walters
Want to ruin a perfectly good batch of mashed potatoes? Try celeriac! I can’t even pronounce the name of the stuff and it still ruined my dinner! Sort of shaped like a giant, Rastafarian turnip, celeriac, once it is sliced away from the green dreadlocked top, resembles the inside of an eggplant. But oh, the taste is like…um, liquid celery? Yum! You’ll be walking around the house for the rest of the evening, chasing the cat around, trying to get this out of your head: the taste of those creamy yummy buttery Yukon Gold mashed potatoes (lookin’ so good you wanted to stick your whole face into them) washed away, ruined, mere seconds later by the damp, rancid, taste of celeriac! Celeriac: the vegetable that tastes like mildew! Try some today!
Kashi TLC (Tasty Little Crackers)
Submitted by Mark Antonation
I am a giraffe and my home is a large earthen depression surrounded by concrete. My head protrudes above a wrought-iron fence at just about the same level as the outstretched hand of an infant human. I see his mother feed coins into a food dispenser and then cup in her hands a small mound of what from this distance appears to be sawdust, but which I know from experience to be my favorite food— giraffe crackers. She hands the small crackers to her child one by one, who one by one blesses my wet blue tongue with the morsels. I curl my tongue around them, crunch, and swallow hard. Gritty goodness, slightly sweet, vaguely grainy, and entirely reminiscent of my early days wandering the veldt.
My reverie over for now, I glance back down at the mother of the human child. Her eyes are filled with what I can only describe as envy. She runs her hands along her outsized hips and postnatal belly and I’m sure I can sense a desire for my crackers. Oh, to be long and lean like the neck of that giraffe, her eyes seem to call out to me, and so my eyes reply; take these giraffe crackers and eat of them, for they are nutritious and slimming, if bland. But do not dip them, or anoint them with oils, or pile them high with cheeses and meats. Eat them plain and reflect on the nature of survival, of life and sustenance, and of the love that brought your child and these crackers into the world.
Someone, I have learned, has taken giraffe crackers and packaged them for consumption by humans, but named them instead Tasty Little Crackers, which conjures in my mind the image of a Godzilla-sized black man on a foraging rampage through lower Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Deep Fried Twinkie on a Stick
Submitted by Evan Forman
Every summer, I go to Minneapolis for the epic Minnesota State Fair. Butter sculptures, seed art, and giant pig testicles are all part of the fun. But the bestest part of all is the new food. Each year, the powers that be add a new snack item to the roster of Midwestern delicacies, and this year’s addition, the Deep-Fried Twinkie on a Stick, does not disappoint.
While the stick is a bit superfluous, it is a welcome nod to the tradition of be-handled fair fare. And the fact that the deep-frying process somehow reintegrates the cream back into the cake (resulting in a homogeneous creamy cakey goo—but a delicious goo, rest assured) underscores that old suburban myth that Twinkies are not baked but extruded. But add your choice of toppings (I went with the seemingly unpopular raspberry sauce) and forget about your troubles for at least long enough to make it over to the poultry barn.
McDonald’s McGriddle (with “sausage”)
Submitted by Brian Telpner
Oh how I wanted to hate this smug little breakfast sandwich.
Cobbled together from assorted bits of traditional breakfast fare—egg, cheese, and sausage (or bacon, if that’s your thing), stacked between two syrup-infused pancake patties serving as the bun—I was prepared to renounce the McGriddle’s dangerously totalitarian leanings, because I for one cherish the freedom to drench my pancakes in as much syrup as my heart desires and my pancreas can handle. Worse, the engineered-pancake gimmick was nothing more than a prefabricated gastronomic abomination, a culinary Frankenstein’s monster that would wreak gassy and insufficiently-syruped havoc as it lurched angrily through the digestive system to a speedy and unpleasant end.
Boy was I wrong. The McGriddle is delicate in its greasiness, powerful in its sickly sweetness, and above all, profound in its yumminess. Leaving in its wake an aromatic protective film that lingers for many hours and survives multiple mouthwash garglings, it imparts a calmative effect upon the system that will smooth the rough edges off the heartiest of hangovers. Add hash browns and OJ, and you’ve loaded up on enough carbs and saturated fat and other dietary nastiness to induce a food stupor strong enough to floor a rhino. Such potency demands our respect. Mrs. Butterworth, I fear thy days are numbered.
Smucker’s Twix Flavored Magic Shell
Submitted by Matt Weir
So it’s a solid Twix candy bar that they’ve turned into a chocolately syrupy liquid that turns into a hard, “shell-like” solid when you put it on ice cream? What-EVER. I mean, seriously, would it kill a company to finally make a food that turns into a gas? That’s all I ask for, a little almond-flavored or gooey caramel gas. I just want a little something to spray on my bunt cake. I need that extra edge, you know, over my grandmother’s recipe. She’s a dirty old hag who takes gross animal pleasure in running over my losing bunt cakes with her pink steamroller (the steamroller she won in the Ohio State-Wide Bunt Cake Competition). And Magic Shell seems to think that turning into a solid twice is going to make up for the lack of gas. Well, the answer is: not in my pot! I’m saving this pot for gas!
Quorn Sausage-Style Links
Submitted by Gavin J. Grant
Sausages shouldn’t have an ingredients list — they’re about the taste and how well they go with eggs and hot sauce. No one besides the FDA needs to know what percentage strange body parts and sawdust the amazing breakfast bread-tube comprises. Vegetarians and breakfast fans across the country are getting up early and singing odd and annoying hymns of joy: another fake-meat sausage link has joined the already crowded freezer compartment. Sing the Hydrated Wheat Gluten chorus. Praise the Partially Rehydrated Egg White. Wonder at the 11% Mycoprotein content. Pass the hot sauce.
Chex Mix Trail Mix
Submitted by Amy Burger
As if Chex Mix wasn’t addictive enough, in this new variation, they have created the perfect balance of salty and sweet, then threw in a bunch of mini M&Ms for good measure. You must be prepared to eat the entire bag because you cannot possibly stop once you have started. For those “health nut” types, do not let the name “Trail Mix” fool you. This is not akin to the traditional nuts and berries, no salt, healthy snack designed to provide fuel for hiking or mountain climbing. The only “trail” you’ll be hitting with this stuff is the trail from your kitchen to your couch. But it’s a delightful hike. Enjoy!
Banquet Homestyle Bakes: Creamy Chicken and Biscuits
Submitted by Jackson West
I’ve found that Marx’s theory of working class alienation manifests itself foremost at dinnertime. With the industrialization of food and the growing time pressure on working families, the home-cooked meal is going the way of the subsistence farmer and the skilled craftsman — a nostalgic diversion for the semi-retired set. ConAgra Foods, Inc. is generating a healthy profit for their shareholders through their Homestyle Bakes line of shelf-stable meal simulacrums. An hour of minimum-wage labor affords you a box containing two one-pound cans of chicken stew and a cup of dry biscuit dough — just add water and heat. I found that getting the dish to look like it does on the box is nearly as difficult as preparing a real meal from scratch; the taste and texture are akin to bland vomit, it’s incredibly high in sodium, fat, and carbohydrates while being low in fiber, protein and vitamins; and frankly, it gave me the trots. So unless you have an unshakeable faith in the beneficence of corporations, I would give ConAgra the left-fisted salute and march off to the nearest collective for some fresh vegetables.
Lay’s Guacamole Potato Chips
Submitted by Elizabeth Coen
Once again, Lay’s has proven it can take any food substance and reduce it to a fine, fluorescent powder that will adhere to a potato chip. In this case, the food substance is guacamole, normally a thick, wet substance made from various fruit and vegetable products. A commendable transformation! Consumers should, however, be warned of the side effects of eating this product. Numerous television commercials clearly show people’s inability to stop themselves from making a futile dipping motion with the chips before putting them in their mouths. These people apparently reside under the delusion that they are dipping plain chips into guacamole. The commercial gives no indication of how they rationalize the texture discrepancy, but clearly we are looking at heightened cases of delusional behavior caused by these chips. I believe it would be time and research well spent to investigate a link between these chips and Kellogg’s Raisin Bran Crunch, which similarly reduces unwitting consumers to an embarrassing charade of cutting up fake bananas and sprinkling fake sugar atop their cereal.
Quaker Oatmeal On-the-Go Bars
Submitted by K. McCann
The newest diamond in the sparkling tiara of what should be healthy but really isn’t. The advertisements boast of a whole bowl of oatmeal contained within (and a man in a funny squared human waste-looking sort of suit following another man around). Yes, all of that is fine and good, but not that good for you. Lots of sugar and chemicals and guar gum extracts; these treats are tasty, if not dry, and much like an extremely chewy candy bar your grandmother might serve you after school, accompanied by a warm jelly jar glass of near flat RC Cola.
The New and “Improved” Lucky Charms
Submitted by Nav Purewal
Everyone loves Lucky Charms. How can one dispute the greatness of a cereal that has perfected the balance between marshmallow and grain? One cannot. The new extra-marshmallow Lucky Charms, however, throw this blessed equilibrium into utter chaos. The scales have been tipped, and the marshmallows have come out on top. While this new development may please those philistines who pick the marshmallows out of the box, reducing this once-great cereal to little more than a poor man’s Cheerios, the true connoisseur will be devastated. The General Mills Company never fully recovered from the controversial launch of the green clover marshmallow back in ’98, and this new development is nothing less than a harbinger of doom. Not since the great potato famine has an Irish food source been so fiercely endangered. First the demise of Fruity Pebbles, now this. Truly, it has been a dark year for breakfast everywhere.
Submitted by Claire Zulkey
The cherimoya is a Latin American piece of fruit that resembles a less-armored artichoke. If you ask the produce guy at Fox & Obel whether it is good, he will respond, half lasciviously, half wistfully, “Oh, it is so sweet.” Its flavor is described as a combination of papaya, pineapple and banana. While it is indeed sweet, it’s much subtler in taste than you’d think, sort of like an apple-pear. Peel off the thin skin, and the texture is nearly fish-like, as the flesh comes off in clearly defined sections. Its seeds are plentiful, black, about the size and shape of very large, black lima beans. They’re good for spitting across the sidewalk as you eat the cherimoya.
Submitted by Jackson West
A bottle of Jim Beam, three grams of cocaine and after fifteen hours of sleep you wake up next to a guy named Mark. Three days have gone by, you’re desperately hungry, your serotonin and dopamine interferons are nearly non-existent, and you just want to feel human again. It’s time for chilaquiles, the best thing that ever happened to stale tortillas. Eggs, cheese, chorizo, chilies, salsa, usually with a side of rice and beans — everything you’d ever want thrown together on a hot plate. And unlike some breakfast dishes, this one’s available all day so it doesn’t matter when you roll out of bed with your hangover. Even Mark will exclaim, “çMuy sabroso!”
Mother’s Iced Chocolate Cookies
Submitted by Ryan Miller
These cookies make you feel like you’re getting away with something sneaky. It’s like they frosted some frosting to make it a more viable stand-alone food. I picture the product development team realizing one night over an after-work cocktail that they were in the fucking COOKIE business for gosh sake, and what were they doing fuddling around with ingredients like oatmeal and nuts? A cookie is so not about the pretense of healthfulness, and so about getting as much sugar and flavor into your mouth as possible. Bravo, Mothers. Plato would call this cookie the “essential cookie.” He would take a package of them back into his cubicle late at night after even the cleaners go home and eat the whole thing, washing it down with warm Coors like I do, he would.
Wrigley’s Extra Sugarfree Gum: Wildberry Frost
Submitted by Albert Louie
Whether gum technically qualifies as food is perhaps a matter to be debated elsewhere; however kudos must be extended to the Wrigley Corporation: with a rich tradition extending back over 100 years, it would have been easy to rest on their laurels and keep churning out gum products from their existing catalog of fabulous flavors such as Spearmint, Winterfresh, Cinnamon, Polar Ice, and even Classic Bubblegum. But instead, their corporate geniuses broke the mold and took a huge risk with the introduction of Wildberry Frost to their Extra line of sugarfree gum. I chose the 15-stick value pack for evaluation purposes, although it is also available in smaller 5-stick packs for those not ready to make the investment. Regardless of the pack size, each individual stick is meticulously wrapped in not one, but two layers: a paper outer wrap surrounding an inner monogrammed foil wrap. Upon removing the wraps and enjoying the heady aroma of fresh wildberries wafting through my cube, I noted that the gum had been gently scored so as to promote maximum flexibility without compromising taste. Never before has a stick of gum so perfectly balanced form and function. Clearly, no expense was spared in the quality assurance department. And the taste of this new flavor? Transcendent, sublime, and breathtaking are just some of the wholly inadequate words that come to mind. I was immediately transported from my dreary cubicle to a tropical wildberry grove where the trees, with their ripe wildberries just right for picking, swayed gently in an ocean breeze. When the taste finally subsided, several hours had passed and it was time to go home. For the full taste sensation, I suggest chewing two or more sticks simultaneously; however, amateurs may wish to slowly build up a tolerance for the extreme flavor rush. Highly recommended. Extra points for being sugarfree, especially if you’re a diabetic like me.
Burger King’s Chicken Caesar Club Sandwich
Submitted by Jackson West
Want to order a salad for lunch but don’t want to look like a pantywaist? Then the new Burger King Chicken Caesar Club is for you! A traditional Caesar is romaine hearts, grated parmesan, and croutons dressed with a remoulade of garlic and anchovy. Burger King’s version removes the garlic and anchovy (leaving the mayonnaise), substitutes iceberg for romaine, and adds tomato and bacon. So actually the only thing it has in common with a real Caeser salad is fried bread and parmesan cheese. A visit to burgerking.com failed to reveal nutritional information for this item, but people are always telling me to eat more chicken and salad, so this must be a healthy compromise. Kudos to Burger King for their fight against obesity!
Parkay Fun Squeeze
Submitted by A. E. Sousa
Every parent knows that getting your kids to consume a high cholesterol butter-flavored product is like getting them to eat plain potato chips or regular stuffed Oreo’s. “No can do, Mom and Dad!” “Why?” “Because it’s BOR-RING!!!” Enter Parkay Fun Squeeze
Despite what we were led to believe, butter is not a gender-neutral product, as Fun Squeeze demonstrates with its hot pink and electric blue varieties. Boys can make their toast roar with pictures of (blue) lions and rockets (also blue). Girls can make pink flowers on mashed potato gardens. However, this truly innovative product sells to adults as well as children. Try color coordinating your butter to match the napkins at your next dinner party. And for those of you who are kinky, try licking this calorie rich product off your lover’s thunder thighs.
Nestle Tollhouse Chocolate-Chip Cookie Ice Cream Sandwich
Submitted by Seth Endo
I have fallen in love and you will too. Because the Nestle Tollhouse Chocolate-Chip Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches are good. Really good. They remind me of my favorite ex-girlfriends: delicious, sweet, sometimes cold, coveted by many, an interesting blend of natural and artificial ingredients, soft in all the right places, and absolutely terrible for you. Seriously, the combination of self-indulgence and self-destruction is impossible to resist.
However, with the ice cream sandwiches, as with ex-girlfriends, my personal experience suggests you should avoid developing the same relationship with its close relatives. In February, Nestle introduced a version that incorporated chocolate chocolate-chip cookies. Despite Jeffrey Steingarten’s claims to the contrary, there is such a thing as too much chocolate. And, despite this sentence, the small and brittle Good Humor and Klondike ice cream sandwiches don’t even deserve a fucking mention.
Submitted by Christopher Carbone
Calling naan “pita bread” while at the Indian restaurant will only demonstrate what a culturally insensitive boob you are, and will embarrass you in the eyes of your date. As you run out of naan because you are using it to scoop up mouthfuls of the mysterious dishes placed before you while carefully avoiding the gaze of the swarthy brown men sitting in the corner using forks, you must call out loudly for “more naan, please” to the waitress. When the waitress frowns at you in confusion, you must repeat “Naan! Naan!” in an increasingly higher pitch until she shakes her head sadly and wanders off to sit in another corner and stare at you. This will be a pity because you could sure use another glass of water as well, but at least you’ve maintained your international credentials. I haven’t mentioned anything about how it tastes, but then it’s just pita bread; what else am I supposed to say?
Submitted by Kristen Taylor
Heirloom tomatoes don’t sound like they’re new. They also don’t sound like food. A food name shouldn’t connote durable valuables that festered in granny’s attic until her recent, unfortunate demise. The organic farmers must think that they’ve tapped into the nostalgia/anything old is good/Antiques Roadshow market with this one. But I think that a better name would be “non-bioengineered tomatoes.” That wouldn’t make me feel so much like a snobby, prissy sucker when I invite my friends over and we eat tomatoes and everyone asks me what kind they are.
Submitted by Kim Bosch
The platinum of nuts. These babies are best salted down and are not to be mixed with other nuts. They have a distinct pop-crunch chewing combination that makes each nut seem like its own entity. In contrast to cashews (the golden nut), which are somewhat chewy and buttery on the teeth and tongue, macadamia nuts leave the inside of your mouth feeling squeaky but not as bitter clean as pine nuts or walnuts can. Plus, they do not require the work of shelled peanuts or pistachio nuts (or the dyed fingertips from the red-shelled pistachio nuts). Recommended in cookies with white-chocolate chunks. Not recommended as something to snack on during long or particularly bathroom-sparse road trips.
Kettle Chips, Yogurt & Green Onion Flavor
Submitted by Arne Christensen
Our dear friend the potato chip is still here; trailing behind him is a strange new flavor: yogurt and green onion? Doesn’t that belong in sour cream? Let me taste and see: tiny lactic gurgle upon swallowing, licking green bits off my lips — that’s not too bad. And all of it without artificial flavor? That is nice. But oh, my breath. Oh, oh my.
Fritos Flavor Twists
Submitted by Noah Gelb
The folks at Frito-Lay have done it again. What do you get when you combine two crazy, off-the-wall flavors in one rotini-shaped corn chip? A Flavor Twist. I know it’s hard, but imagine flavors like ranch and cheddar co-existing in your mouth. Or jalepeño and… cheddar. Or even BBQ and… you guessed it, cheddar! It’s like there’s a party in your mouth, where your mouth is a fraternity at Dartmouth and the Mexican exchange students accidentally walked in. Watch your purses ladies!
Strawberry Shortcake Newtons
Submitted by Madhu Krishnan
Strawberry Shortcake Newtons are both a delicious answer to the age-old conundrum of how to eat strawberry shortcake while driving a car and a refreshing departure from the ubiquitous fig for the Newton corporation. However, we wish people would stop referring to them as Strawberry Fig Newtons.
Limited-Edition Banana Nut Honey Butter
Submitted by Jason Roeder
Available at locations such as Rustlin’ Rob’s Texas Trail Supplies and a Mohegan Sun casino gift shop called The Old Farmer’s Almanac General Store, this product’s excess of extract is like a banana going supernova in your mouth. But the crunchy pecan paste is the heroic textural foil, dampening the headstrong fruitiness just enough to keep your tongue from wanting to detach itself. The teddy bear on the label looks a little punch-drunk, but the jar, with a star-shaped perforation pattern in the lid, can be washed out and reintroduced as a salt or pepper shaker.
Jeno’s Taco Pizza Rolls
Submitted by G. Piffner
It’s hard to find many foods that combine three sure-fire winners right in the title; in this case “taco,” “pizza,” and “rolls.” In fact, any of those three terms could be used to complete the following sentence: “_____ is (are) kind of like sex, even when it’s (they’re) bad, it’s (they’re) still pretty good.” (Actually, you should pluralize ‘taco’ to make the sentence work, otherwise people will think you’re talking about the ‘80s guy who sang "Puttin’ On The Ritz.") Anyway, Jeno’s Taco Pizza Rolls are exactly what you think — the food you love at four in the morning and hate around ten. But if you want to experience the ecstasy of Mexi-Italian cuisine, sometimes you have to pay the price.
Starbucks Twelve-Grain Bran Muffin
Submitted by Terra Morais
This muffin is like the ancient Fertile Crescent: abundant, exotic, mysterious, and moist. Personally, I cannot even think of the names of twelve grains. Twelve! Is there rice in this muffin? Quinoa? There are pumpkin seeds, usually three, on top. Surely it’s cheating to call a pumpkin seed a grain. Still, the pumpkin seeds are the fascinating aspect of this tasty muffin. On the one hand, only a power as great as Starbucks could put three pumpkin seeds atop every bran muffin, in the middle of summer. On the other hand, even Starbucks does not have unlimited access to pumpkin seeds out of season, and grants each muffin only three. I look forward to consuming this muffin in the late autumn, when there may be more pumpkin seeds on top.
The Puffball Mushroom
Submitted by Casimir Nozkowski
The Puffball Mushroom will intimidate you. A globular mass, with a white, compact fluffiness at its apex, the puffball is often harvested for its thick, sauté-able “steaks.” The puffball is both fungi (plants lacking chlorophyll) and saprophyte (breaks down decaying plant-life). This rotund, above-average size mushroom cap (weighing as much as four lbs.) is a tremendous taste chameleon. Able to absorb and demonstrate the best qualities of any spice, sauce or marinade, the puffball is at its most celebrated simply drowning in melted butter and seared to a light-brown, crispy texture. Pepper sliced steaks of puffball generously and serve in a manner stimulating conversation, i.e.:
“What is this we’re eating?”
“An alien brain I stumbled across in our communal cornfields.”
“My God, does this mean… invasion?”
“Too early to tell… (Pause) Too tasty to resist! (Bite)”
Also, if the insides of your puffball explode in a fine, yellow spore-cloud, you have missed your window for optimum savoring.
Propel Fitness Water
Submitted by Amy Burger
From the makers of Gatorade, it’s basically flavored water with all kinds of vitamins and electrolytes and crap thrown in for that “fitness edge.” Personal favorite flavors: orange, peach, and black cherry. The best part is the unique mouthpiece on the bottle, which, unlike most water bottles, is actually the size and shape of a human mouth, not a small round thing you have to purse your lips all around. Although, while drinking it, I have had some people comment on the bottle’s phallic shape, so be warned.
Hearts of Palm
Submitted by Laura Samuel
Hearts of palm are, coincidentally, palm-length, yellowish white members of the vegetable family, ranging in diameter from as large as a banana to as small as a chopstick. Smooth in texture, hearts of palm appear quite durable, even strong, but when subjected to mastication, they quickly turn slimy and release an overwhelming salty taste. I had the unfortunate encounter of eating these in a salad, which I am told is one of the main uses for hearts of palm along with soup and deep frying. They originate from the core of the palmetto tree, and were first popularized during the Great Depression when desperation apparently led people to eat things that no sane person would ever try. Avoid.
Chocolate Silk Soymilk
Submitted by B.R. Cohen
It’s been a short while since the soymilks made their entrance onto the world stage. But now, strutting and fretting, comes Chocolate Soymilk. This is crowded with flavor, dissolved cocoa particulates, and organic soybeans. Now what’s so special about the organic? Well, for one, it leaves the inorganics (like Boron, Rhodium, and Praseodymium — elements common to processed snack items) right out and focuses on Silk’s core corporate market, carbon-based food. What’s most spectacular about the new ChocoSilk? It’s all liquid, and that ain’t bad.
Submitted by Haley Ball
These babies are not so new, so if you haven’t tried them yet you might be imprisoned underground. If such is the case, I encourage you to bargain with your captors for an Almond Snickers. Even if you don’t like regular Snickers, still give the almond version a try — they have fluffier nougat and the almonds give them a lighter, more refined flavor. I have a feeling that this food spin-off will become a legitimate, long-lived member its candy family, never to suffer the fate of freakish bastard children like pink M&Ms.
Submitted by Melissa Bell
Plain over ice and I’m thinking… not bad, Bacardi people. Not bad at all. Nice coconut flavor without making me think I’ve just been licking the tanning oil from the body of a blond surfgod, because I’m so tired of that scene, you know?
Submitted by Josh Michtom
It should be pointed out that raisins are far less attractive than the plump, round fruit from which they are derived (grapes). Offered in only two drab colors (brown and yellow), raisins are wrinkled and irregular, two disadvantages to people or food. Because of this, they do not lend themselves well to high-concept aesthetic presentation and have limited applications in entertaining and fine dining. Also, raisins tend to clump together in their packaging, requiring the consumer’s focused attention for proper extraction and consumption. On the whole, though, raisins are a fine addition to the world of food, with the proviso that they are best limited to casual, snacking, and lunch use.
Submitted by Gavin McNett
Lucuma is a light-green, spherical fruit, about the size of a handball. It’s basically a plum with pasty, starchy, beige starch-paste inside, and if I had been blindfolded and fed lucuma without knowing it came from a green plum the size of a handball, I would not be writing this today, because I would not have been totally certain it was food.
Jell-O Pudding Bites
Submitted by Elizabeth Ellen
Truth is, Jell-O Pudding Bites don’t taste like much of anything. They are chewy and eating them we are reminded of the skin on the top of the old-fashioned pudding cooked on the stove that we used to pick off and feed to our dog. My advice to the good people at Jell-O is to forget Pudding Bites and bring back the beloved Pudding Pops. When and why did they stop making those? Those were damn good.
Submitted by Ed Page
Unwrap several packages of regular Spree candy (not the chewy kind) and place the candies on a hard surface. Take a hammer and pound the candies into a fine powder. Pour the powder into a glass of regular Sprite and stir. Now take a drink. This is Sprite ReMix.
DiGiorno Deep Dish Pizza — Supreme Flavor
Frozen pizza trendsetters DiGiorno like to boast that you can’t tell the difference between “DeLivery and DiGiorno.” Unfortunately, their new Deep Dish variety is more DiSgusting than DeLightful. Full props for their now taken-for-granted Rising Crust line, which liberated freezer case aficionados from the tyranny of cardboardy crusts, but their latest effort is completely DiSappointing. I’m from Chicago, I would know.
Nestle Crunch with Caramel
Submitted by Adam Voith
What once was crowned the unofficial “Best Candy Sequel” (the Crunchy M&M, found in the blue bag) has been de-throned, and we have a new treat kicking ass in 7-11s and AMPMs across this great nation! Nestle Crunch with Caramel will reignite your love for simple American chocolate and rice, and deliver an extra surprise as the soft and creamy caramel squishes out from every square of this new bar. At first glance, the new Caramel Crunch seems suspicious, much smaller than its parent bar, but believe me, this little fucker packs quite a punch, and the extra caramel sauce adds enough sweet to make anyone forget about the missing ounces.
Mountain Dew, type 3: Live-Wire Orange
This is a delicious drink that gives you pep. It is perhaps the Mountain Dew makers’ best product yet, narrowly beating out Code Red, another exceptional version of the classic runny-puke-colored soda. Our one problem with Live-Wire, of course, is that they keep ramming it down our throats that it’s only available this summer. We are ignorant people, so we don’t understand why anyone, like fast-food restaurants for example, would bother to create a new product only to yank it away from us a few months after we have grown fond of it. If anyone knows why Mountain Dew would do this, please write to our letters section. Otherwise we’re gonna crack some skulls.
The result of a production line mix-up at food giant Nabisco, this delightful little snack turns the traditional Oreo paradigm on its ear by sandwiching chocolate cream between two vanilla cookies, providing the U.S. consumer the most beneficial (and delicious) mistake since penicillin. High in fat, eaten in large quantities, they tend to leave a filmy residue on the roof of the mouth, so they’re best enjoyed with a tall glass of la leche. Bonus points for Nabisco having the courage to admit to making a mistake, a rarity these days in this era of corporate irresponsibility.
An exciting innovative fruit hits the scene! Perfectly palm-sized and an inviting deep purple in color, biting into a plum offers a tart surprise these tastebuds weren’t prepared for. Marked down for its somewhat chewy skin, and what’s up with the size of that pit! Plum shows a lot of promise and we look forward to seeing some improvements in Plum Mark II.