Monday, November 28, 2011

.FOOrD BLOOrG. Chomp Chompin' Chipies!!!!

The shape and the order of the thing is in constant shift within the world of food. Here is a scenario: "Hey people, do you like pumpkin pie?" People answer in crotchety old man voice "Yes, but I am soooo tired of having to chew it and I always want ice cream too but my freezer is filled with sea bass!" Our solution: "Well why not drink pie? Here is a pumpkin shake!" Then all those people (with weird old man voices) rejoice "Y-A-Y!" And scene.

Here is another scenario: "I like eating fresh fruit but it is SOOOO hard to keep buying it at the store and then it just gets bruised and yucky." (Actual testimony by Tyler Wauldrup the first 2 year old stock broker.)
"Well Tyler, how about fruit that is ground up and then coated in sugar and squished into a bar form?" His response "Y-a-y! I go boom boom!" (We should have edited that last part. I am sorry.)

Now in both those scenarios one could argue that by changing the shape and order of the item it becomes more easily transportable. That is true. But it also changes it into something else. Somebody had to do tricky things to those initial ingredients and take things away and add things to them. You aren't really drinking just pie and ice cream or eating "real" fruit, in most cases. So I bought some chips also known as chippy chorps, chip chips, or eat crunch crunch flats and here are the results.

First up we have this product which I have no idea what it is called. I bought it at Fubon on a recent trip with my amazing wife. This picture isn't great I know but it shows the only english on the front.  Sarah found these and I thought "What a good idea. I will eat healthier at lunch time if I have dried fruit." Then I thought "Was Howard the Duck really too groovy for gravy and too precious for pate?" When I returned from deep thought, we had bought the chips.

Ooooh! Those look healthy and delicious! Don't they? Well it is a good thing that they didn't pluralize the fruits on the front because there was one strawberry chip. Yeah. One. There was like 59 banana chips and a bunch of either jackfruit or apple. I have no idea what jackfruit looks or tastes like and I ate it. I think. Look right there in the front. I am pretty sure that isn't apple. The problem here is that everything kind of tasted like apple or banana or both. Then there is the issue of texture, which here, everything had the crunch of astronaut ice cream. Which made me think perhaps this isn't fruit anymore. Sure I have had dried fruit in cereals and things but this stuff was really dry and had a strange powdery outside. Like maybe a chemical had dried it. Now I am not putting this snack down. I am just saying, I have some questions. (Other than the one about Howard the Duck.) I give this snack a 3-cookie dough squeeze tube called "cookie squirts" Now you can have cookies in a tube. when a friend says"oh man i got cookie crumbs all over my clothes. You can say, "Not me, I have cookie squirts."-out of 5.

Next we have Cassava chips. Now if you aren't familiar with Cassava, you might be more familiar with yuca. Which is what it is. Huh. Same thing. It is a starchy thing that is the third largest source of carbs in the tropics. So with that in mind, what a great thing to turn into a chippy chorp. But wait, if this is just another carb then why not just eat a potato chip? Well, it is all natural. Wait, isn't a potato all natural? Um, yes. But this has only 140 calories (per small amount that nobody actually stops eating chips at.)
So it has the same amount as the average "healthy" chip or "baked" chip. Lets take a look.

Well they are quite pretty. They have little aroma. Perhaps a touch of sweet notes rather than the salt I can usually detect from a bag of chips that are said to be "salty". The crunch is satisfying but the flavor is kinda mundane. I mean, look, you want to eat better? Take an actual vegetable in your lunch. A carrot has a great crunch and if you dip it in then it will have awesome flavor. But if you are going to eat chips and think healthy...that is a different thing. Lets face it, in the end you ate 3-500 calories of something that you didn't enjoy as much as the real thing. So are these crunch crunch flats bad? Not at all. They taste like a yam with some cayenne on it that was maybe lightly fried or maybe baked. I give it a 3-A new snack sponsered by hip hop artists. It is nuts ground into a powder that is then sprinkled on shredded jerky. You eat it like people use chew. Just tuck it into your lip and let it slowly give you sustenance for up to an hour. When your co-workers say "man, I am dragging. Must be low blood sugar." You can reply "Not me, I have Yo-Nuts in my mouth."-out of 5.

Lastly we have this. I have no idea what this is called. I had to by it because it had a chicken screaming, it looks like the chip is shaped like a chicken leg, and there is a chef and a safari hunter double high fiving while they cry. (The latter being something I have always wanted to see. My bucket list just got shorter.) If you can believe it, this only cost 2 dollars. Yeah, I kinda want to frame it. But wait, it gets better.

Oh what? There is a cartoon inside the box?!? Of my favorite scene where the safari hunter (ok, he has to be the worst safari hunter if he is after a chicken. A chicken.) has a stick with a hand on it and he goes to a gun store guy that totally wants a chicken. The gun store guy is like "hey how about you try a gun?" and the safari dude is like "I don't know. This stick with a hand on it has been working pretty nicely."and the gun store guy is like "Oh yeah? what have you killed?" and the safari dude is like "Um, if by killed you mean slapped the hell out of with a stick with a hand on it...... 2 kittens and a diabetic gorilla..... but the last one may have been a dream."

That it what I imagine is happening anyway.

Yes!!! The chips are shaped like chicken legs!!!! (There were more than three in the bag.) So I can pretend I am eating fried chicken with my sandwich at lunch?!? Awesome. Kind of. The only problem I have with this snack is that fried chicken is too hard to approximate the taste of. That being said, I have no idea if that is the idea behind this snack. So we have a corn puff shaped like a chicken leg with a slight chicken in a biscuit taste (but far less creepy tasting) with a touch of cayenne for heat. Obviously this is intended for kids so the heat scale won't be super hot. I sometimes forget that when I am looking at these snacks. That whole intended audience thing. If I was a kid (kinda am) I'd want this. I'd buy it for a kid just to watch them wtf their way thru it. I give this snack a 4.5-Do you like gravy but can't find the time to make it? Well how about gravy pouch? Simply fill the insulated pouch with your choice of stock and add one teaspoon of thickener and seal it up and drop it in your pocket. Then go on your usual one mile jog and when you are done, so is the gravy! The next time a family member says "Gladis, this gravy is to die for. Is it store bought?" You can proudly exclaim "No, I made my own gravy. In my pants."-out of 5.

*All grading scale ideas are of my own mind and trademarked accordingly. Any intent on stealing these gems will result in a ton of voodoo rituals and general bad mouthing.

P.s. Don't buy stocks from Tyler. So far I am in 500 dollars to something called momma and dadda.

Monday, November 21, 2011

.FOOrD BLOrG. Bevies for a Barfly.

A friend of mine was recently telling me that he has an immense fear of metamorphosis. Yeah, you read that right. Like human into werewolf or Wilford Brimley into The Thing or caterpillar into butterfly. (Maybe not the last one so much.) In particular, the scene in 'An American Werewolf in London' really messed him up. The idea of bones stretching and bodies rearranging their order terrifies him. When he told me of this I was stunned. I had never thought of those types of transformations as scary in a real sense. Perhaps the idea of all the changes happening fast is where part of his fear lies. I am not sure. What I do know is that I also share this fear. Only the metamorphosis that I fear is a long drawn out process simply referred to as 'growing up'.

Don't worry, I am not freaked out or anything because there is a very good chance that at my age now I would have grown up some. I think it is safe to say that a candy loving, cartoon drawing, funny face making, silly dancing, strange voice talking, toy playing individual such as myself, might be impervious to such afflictions of the mind. Only time will tell. My words to you, dear friends, is fight it! Fight back with all your might! Build a fort in your living room. Fill out some Mad Libs. Wear your halloween costume anytime you want. Tell someone every single detail of something that they don't care about. (Pokemon) Tell anyone to watch you do something. (Jump off a chair or click your heels together or both) Ask your co-worker "how tall is your dad?"...then reply "Mine is taller." Eat too much candy. (Yeah, like that is possible.) You can do it! Remember your youth and pay it the respect it deserves. There are too many adults stressed out in the world already. But hey, since you are an adult, there is one popular way to relieve those stresses. Hiking. Oh, wait I meant drinking.
So first we have a chocolate pumpkin stout with cocoa nibs, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. This beverage came from The Belmont Station in PDX. There were a few different pumpkin beers to choose from and this one was the most expensive. At least that is how I remember it. It cost around 9.50 or so. I thought that it seemed like a special bevvy worthy of a post and I waited for the next time Dave came over. It is fall and they did take the time to metamorphosize a pumpkin into a beer. Luckily my wife (Sarah) was having a birthday gathering that weekend so I knew Dave (and any of our friends who are really awesome) would be coming over soon.

This son of a gun was dark and powerful. A little goes a long way for someone like myself. I mean, I will usually have one full flavor beer and then transition into lighter beer. (metamorphosis of beverage intake) So about four or six ounces of this was all I needed. Flavor wise it was full and deep with some spice notes but nothing like the label says. (Again, it could be my ignorant tongue. It is just so very stupid.) Dave also said that he didn't taste some of the spices. Maybe that is the point. A smooth blend without stand out prominence of spice. But I kind of doubt it. My guess is that the brew out weights the bouquet. . . brewquet. (see what I did there?) I would say, if you are interested in any aspect of this label or just dark beer then you should try it. Just find a buddy or two and make a memory. I give this beverage a 3-draw a picture of your house and who lives there in crayons-out of 5.

Up next we have cyder. But not any cider. This one is an Asian Pear cyder. (Huh, those three short sentences were meant to be epic. I don't think that worked out for me. I should probably erase them or at least stop narrating to you about them.) We were recently over at Sarah and Dave's elders home and Emm had this hard cyder which he busted out for us to try. I like his style. Always have.  Share your treats peeps. Share your treats. (Unless your treat is a Peep. Those things are grotesque. Grotesque is an adult way of saying 'I'd rather eat poo farts.)

Where was I? Oh yes, so Emm opened his cyder and we all had a taste. Frankly, it tasted like apple cyder. Sarah thought so and I agree. We didn't taste much pear at all. However, Dave and Emm totally did. Which is something I often find. What one person enjoys, another detests. It is like a natural balance in the world. I mean if everyone liked Sweetarts then the world would run out and I would have to be quite perturbed. (Perturbed is adult speak for throwing yourself onto the ground and flailing your limbs and screaming words that nobody can make out until you accidentally hit your heel on something and then you are really crying and can only feel foolish because you secretly knew this whole tantrum wasn't going to result in you getting what you want in the first place.) 

Was this a bad cyder? Nope. Yet, it wasn't mind blowing either. I don't drink a ton of cyders. In fact I had a cyder a week ago and it was the first one I have had in a decade or so. I will say this though, the one I had a week ago was syrupy and coated my mouth with not greatness. This did not. It was light and fruity and not overly sweet. I give this beverage a 3.5- jump on your bed and sing into a hair brush-out of  5. 

Holy smokes. (Where did that saying come from? Did jesus have his own tobacco line at some time?) Well, we have come full circle with this whole metamorphosis post. We end with a beer called "MORPHO'  which is brewed with yerba mate, hibiscus flowers and bay leaves. I came across this beer when Sarah and I were on that same trip to Belmont Station. Pretty much anytime I see a beer brewed with herbs I have to get it. So I did and then, once again, when Dave and our good pal Caleb were over I opened it up and we gave it a taste.

Weird. Is a simple way to wrap it up. The beer is a light amber color and smooth at first. Then the mate and herbs come to the party. The herbs are the last to leave the party which isn't terrible but it is thought provoking. I found myself contemplating each drink. Just sitting and thinking about what was happening on my taste buds. That is when Caleb dropped some "real" on me. He said "Oh man, this would be great with lemonade." I had never even thought of it as an ingredient but he was totally right. Buy this beer and share it with friends. It is well made and quite interesting. (I couldn't drink more than a glass.) Then mix it in a glass 70% Morpho and 30% lemonade (I like my lemonade like I like to dress- as fresh as possible). The result is a refreshing, herbaceous, tart beverage. Yum. Who doesn't love lemon and herbs right? (A kid would tell you that 'buttfaces don't.')....(and he'd be right.) I give this meta-MORPHO-sis a 4-get up on a chair and tell everyone around you that the floor is lava-out of 5.

It looks more red because of the red bottom on the glass. Oops.

Monday, November 14, 2011

.FOOrD BLOrG. Ordinary Coffee Blog Post.

"Harry, I am going to let you in on a little secret. Everyday, once a day, give yourself a present. Don't plan it. Don't wait for it. Just let it happen. It could be a new shirt at the men's store, a cat nap in your office chair or two cups of hot black coffee. Like this."- Dale Cooper

Truer words have rarely been spoken. Not only am I a huge fan of treating ones self but I am an immense fan of coffee. In fact, our home has not one but many ways of creating coffee. Ranging from the espresso machine, cold extract, or the french press. To the old fashioned coffee pot or percolator. While I may like to make coffee in many ways I take it only one way.
"I like my coffee black just like my metal."-J. Urine

This is my most expensive post ever!!!!!! (In theory)

Technically speaking the second half was a gift but we will get to that.

First we need to discuss this-

Incase you didn't know, David Lynch has a coffee that you can buy online. Luckily I have an awesome wife, who with the help of some wine, bought this coffee even though the shipping was more than the coffee. I don't care about that. Treat yourself, right?

This could be tricky, I mean what if it isn't even coffee. What if you get it and a one eyed dove hobbles out of the box and bums a cigarette from you. You couldn't really return it because in some transcendental way that "is" David Lynch coffee. We don't know. I mean the dude paints with rotting meat. (By the way, he just released a full album and it is really a doozy. Check it out!) My point is that between Sarah and I we have many of his various ventures and the collection wouldn't be complete with out the cup of joe. We have had many late night conversations with friends about his films and symbolism and what not. So one would expect that his coffee would be a bit different. And that one would be right.

How does it taste?

"I've had I don't know how many cups of coffee in my life, but this is one of the best." -Dale Cooper

That is a quote about another coffee. This coffee was not the best. Nor did it taste like there was a fish in the percolator. Oddly enough, get this, it tasted like an espresso roast IF it was diner coffee. Right??? What??? So close your eyes a moment and think back to how true diner coffee tastes. Ponder it. Now transcend that with a touch of dark espresso lurking in the back of your mouth like Bob was lurking behind the bed. Seriously, that is what it tastes like. If you want, come on over and we will brew some and watch Mulholland Drive. Then we can discuss the significance of lamps and how to catch ideas like fish.

I give this beverage a 3.5 "I do not introduce the log." -Log Lady- out of 5.
What is that you say? Well let me start at the beginning: I grew up in a small town. I never had a billion friends. I wasn't the popular kid. I was (and am) a small little guy who liked candy, toys, and movies. I met my life friend Aaron at a very early age. We had similar interests and height and soon were best of pals. For a few years it was just us against the far larger world. We scurried about talking of ninjas and monsters until we met Devin, Ryan, and Clovis. We became the crew. You know how in Stand By Me, how the whole thing is this flash back to his pals when they were little? When I do that, those are this kids I see. So now we are all grown up and doing our own things. But from time to time we reconnect and that is always great. Now I didn't see Clovis. But Aaron did. He went on a fishing trip and Clovis is a guide down in Eugene. Well Aaron mentioned that I have this little food blorg and soon I received this mysterious package.
Within it was this-
Oh coffee. That is cool. I wonder why there is a cat monkey on the bag.... Oh what!!!! Yep. My childhood pal Clovis mailed us Kopi Lewak. Which is the most expensive coffee on the planet!!!!
Yeah! Another interesting thing about this coffee is that a tree dwelling cat-like creature (like me) in Southeast Asia eats the ripest red coffee beans and then poops out the seeds which are then collected and processed and sold as Kopi Lewak. Yup.

(Don't look up pictures of palm civits. They are not cute.)
So the beans just look like plain old coffee beans and once ground it just smelled like plain old coffee.
Now to the taste. Well. Luckily, for my wallet, I wouldn't say it is incredible. We both (S and I) took a sip and sat puzzled for a bit. The funny thing about this point is that what were we doing was most likely taking all that we knew about the process and the oddness and incorporate that into what we were tasting. It was earthy smelling and earthy tasting but the taste was missing something. Was that because it was tree cat poop coffee? No, that isn't it. What had me perplexed was that it was a light roast. (who does a light roast on cat poop coffee? I know.) We both usually drink dark roasts. With that in mind we sipped again. It was pleasant, light, and earthy. You should most likely take my word for it because Sarah said that there are restaurants that sell it for 50 dollars a cup. Yeah, I started my Saturday off with 100 dollars worth of coffee. Did you? Well, go back and read that quote at the top of this post because you know what? You deserve it. Yes my friend, you deserve to drink a beverage brewed in a cats intestine. Pat your self on the back. I give this treat experience a 4- "styrofoam never dies as long as you live"- Andy-out of 5.

*Lastly a final thanks to my wonderful wife and my dear friends. Thank you for being part of my life and weird interests. You make my life far more richer and sometimes stranger in all of the bestest of ways.

Now if you will excuse me, Leo needs a new pair of shoes.....

Monday, November 7, 2011

.FOOrD BLOrG. Got(h) Milk?

Ok, once again I am apologizing for my extended absence. It was my intention to post every week in the last month but with the art show on the 15th I was really busy and then since then I was waiting on a special piece of equipment for my most expensive blog ever. Yes, I need a special machine for that post and I thought I'd have it by now. I don't so this isn't that most expensive post. Don't fret however, it is on its way. So are we okay? There has been some distance between us but lets move forward. Deal?

So today we are going to look at some products that involve milk. First things first, I think milk is creepy. I don't like to drink it. I don't like to cook with it. I don't put it on cereal. I mean if somebody said to you "Good Morning, would you like a glass of fluid that has been squeezed from another species nipples?" I would hope you'd say no. I think everyone HAS to drink milk as a kid. Parents or grandparents make you. As an adult you can choose and I say no. Yes, I like cheese but that is different. It has mold as well....Hey, quit trying to ruin cheese for me. Let's just keep this moving. Today our 1-5 will be in honor of the things parents make kids do.

Well, what a cool tin! Scho-ka-kola? That sounds fun! Like when an adult talks to a kid like they are completely stupid. "Wood yew lyke sum scho-ka-kola????" I found this when Sarah and I went to Edelweiss here in PDX. They have baked goods, meats, candies etc... Anything you need to feed your Scandanavian mouth. I picked this up and saw that it was nearly 8 dollars and set it down. Later after walking the entire store twice I picked it up again. There was a mystery here that I couldn't leave alone. I asked the lady who was stocking the shelves and she said it was chocolate and caffeine. That was enough for me and I bought it.
As you can see in the picture, the chocolates are in little pie pieces. Well, Dave and Nate came by on Sun. and that seemed like a good time to ambush my pals with some snacks. (snack attack, I know but it seemed too obvious.) So we cracked the tin and dug in.

Oh man. This has to be one of the worst nearly 8 dollars I have spent. Honestly it is weird. At first it tastes almost like chocolate and then right about when you think it is going to be a nice full chocolate flavor it turns into a mouthful of soil. Yep. soil. Nate at first said it was "earthy" but he was being kind. It was straight up a mouthful of dirt. The whole experience was like a rollercoaster of disappointment built on my tastebuds. Even better it lingered for like five minutes. That was when I realized we needed a pallete cleanser. I give this snack a 1-wear clothes you hate for picture day-out of 5.
Ok, before you say anything. I know that is a terrible picture. There are clearer pictures of sasquatch. I am sorry. I don't know what happened. I don't know what to tell you, I will try harder? I will. Sarah and I found this when Dave and Mark went with us to the pumpkin patch. It is a New Zealand company that makes licorice treats of various types. This one is strawberry licorice with a center of white chocolate. You know I don't really care for chocolate but I really don't care for white chocolate. It is creepy. I realize that is the goth calling the chocolate white.... That is a saying right? Or was it something about pot. Nevermind, it isn't important.
See, that picture almost makes it look edible... Anyway, back to sunday. So we had just ingested expensive dirt chocolate and so I tore this open and cut a few pieces off. I figured "How bad could it be?" Now lets just pause for a second and look at what this is. It is licorice that is flavored. Basically a cavity bomb. Then it is stuffed with white chocolate which is also a cavity bomb. I wasn't thinking. (Yes, I have to admit that all the time.) So we all popped them into our mouths and ugh. It really was like a massive sugar explosion. Nate said "he could feel the cavities..." I think he could. Either that or it was the Scho-ka-kola talking. Dave wasn't a big fan but he does follow the L.N.T.B. or Leave No Treats Behind act. So he ate the last piece. I have no recollection of how it tasted. It was a wall of sugar in my mouth. Not good. So Dave and I had a shot of espresso. Seemed like the thing to do. I give this snack a 1-if you don't eat it for dinner you can eat it for breakfast-out of 5.
Lastly we have this. Just look at the packaging. Even though I don't like milk I had to try this. I couldn't pass it up. Plus, I think strawberry milk is even creepier than regular milk. I don't know why. I thought it was rad when I was a kid. Mostly likely because it was different but I also thought the amount of paste, Joey (in elementary school) could eat was impressive. Now in hindsight, not so impressive. Mediocre at best there Joey. Don't quit your day job. (He didn't have a day job, he was 9. Also how am I talking to him in the past? Since when did I get a worm hole? Ewe. I just realized how gross that sounds. It also sounds like a FU from a guy in Jersey. "Hey pal, stuff it in your wormhole!")

So lets take a look at this marvel of technology.
(Ok sasquatch took that picture. It isn't his fault that it is hard to use an iphone with his big stinky sasquatch hands.) So it seems easy enough, just put the straw in the milk and sip. I can do that. With instructions that short I didn't even space off and miss part of the instruction. (Take note of that, rest of my life.)...(hold on I see something shiny)
Wait a second, somebody just melted this straw. I paid 2 dollars and something for 6 melted straws with crumby strawberry things in them? Yep. But how did it taste??? Well, I tried it with soy milk. When we were at an Oriental grocery on 82nd they gave us a free little carton of soy milk. I saved it since I then didn't have to buy milk. So first I had to try soy milk. Then I had to try soy milk with a strawberry straw.

Soy milk- ugh. No thank you. I'd like to stop the experiment please.

Soy milk with strawberry straw- This isn't any better. Also some a-hole melted this straw and put crap in it.

It didn't really taste like strawberry. This was no magic straw. So I thought well it most likely only works with 100% moo juice. I didn't have any. So I thought, maybe the soy milk is getting in the way with all of it's awesome soy milk flavor. (I didn't think that at all.) So I grabbed my glass of sparkling water and another straw. (At this point I was thinking that this was not my best idea.) Then I took a huge swig. . . . . . . .

Actually not that bad. It really did taste like strawberry. I mean, fake strawberry. Kinda like a poorman's italian soda. I guess not so poor if he had to buy a sodastream and expensive melted straws but whatever. (I think I will try gin next.) I give this item a 2-do your chores so you can get an idea of how much having a job is going to suck when you get older-out of 5.

(Note: I am not saying that my parents did or didn't do any of these things. I said "parents" in general.)