Sunday, December 8, 2013

.FOOrD BLOrG. Stick with it! (or don't... maybe stick with not sticking with it.)

I am not a big quote person. Like, I am not too into quoting other people. It just seems weird to me that people fuel their lives & ambitions with the words of others. Perhaps though, that is because I often don't quite get what the point is. For instance; "When the going gets tough, the tough get going." To me that sounds like "When things get difficult, you should leave. Look, it is either stick around and get sweaty and uncomfortable or go do something less challenging." My interpretation makes sense to me but it is hardly the point of the initial quote. 

Thanks to the Internet I have to read quotes from people all the time. Which I do not understand. Its like saying "Here is something I wish I had said." Or "I found a sentence that says something but then I thought about it and it meant something more." Either way, I don't think those people are smart for reading a sentence or short paragraph and copying it for everyone to see. Look, I am not saying people shouldn't stick up for what they believe in I just think it would mean more if you used your own words. 

I know. I know. You might be thinking "Geez who rained on your parade?" To which I will say two things: 1. Don't make slight of me owning a parade. You don't know what I aspire to. I don't say "Who rained on your Person Who Has A Hiney For A Head Convention (that you are presently king of.) Maybe I had a package of tostada shells fall on my head today. Yeah, and maybe it happened twice. Double yeah, and maybe my head broke all the shells. Yes, I am having that kind of day. However I am trying to move past it. You know "Cuz whatever doesn't kill you....should literally kill you for using this stupid expression." (That sounded right.) 

So today we are talking about sticks. Snacks on sticks. Also today we are talking about "Sticking with it." (Sigh) I don't know, lets just get to the first snack.

Well would you look at that grin! Here is a little guy that can't help but to make you smile. S got me this little treat from Fubon on 82nd here in Portland, OR. It looks like he is having a hell of a party there. Yep. Everyone seems to have shown up. There is Cup Dude, Chocolate Pie Head, Purple Alien Bee, Red Monkey Devil, Capt. Onion Noggin, and Wind Chill Faced Pete! (I don't actually know any of these characters. Prior to S giving me this I had no idea it existed. Clearly it is from something though. Maybe a TV show or a comic book. Something fun for sure.)

Uh huh. Here we can see a small boy telling secrets to severed heads. Ah to be young again. (*Side note: Is that boy nude cuz it looks like his winkie is danglin' there.)

Hot Damn! That is cute. Isn't it? Isn't that just the bees knees? (By that I of course mean, it doesn't exist. Yeah, the saying implies that it is great or ideal but in truth, bees don't have knees. The world you are living in is a lie.) This sucker though, is darling. Lets see how it tastes:

S- This tastes like Quik. Like that instant chocolate milk. Nesquik, yeah. Well, the pink part tastes like strawberry as well. It seems like a lot of money for a little amount of chocolate. I think they were really banking on the cute points here. I give it a 3 out of 5.

d- Well, I like that it is fudgy and not chalky. You are right, it does taste like Quik. 3.5- Foreign Languages. Look, I studied French for 4 years. I went to France. I spoke less than 4 words. (*I'd like to pause this post to share with you my french expertise: Je pense le thon est comme ci comme ca. = I think the tuna is neither here nor there. Je mange la saucisson. = I eat the sausage. Ou est tu biftek gar? = Where is your beef station. I am not sure if that is the proper conjugation for beef station. You learn that in the 5th year.) Seriously. You don't need it. Don't stick to learning that stuff. Learn something universally bad ass like nun chucks.-out of 5.

Alright, next we have this lollipop. This is a sriracha flavored lollipop. It was a gift from my parents. I don't know where it came from. However any simple search will result in lots of people offering this candy now. Since everything has gone sriracha. Mayo, chips, ketchup, donuts, candy,  you name it and someone is putting this sauce into it. Don't get me wrong. It is fine. (Full of weird stuff, but fine.)

S- This isn't spicy at all. It is supposed to taste like sriracha? It just tastes like dust. I do not like this. 1 out of 5.

d- Peanut? Dusty peanut. Why do I get a nut flavor? There is a touch of heat in the throat of the finish. Barely any heat. This tastes like an old candy shell that was once on a nut. This is like old plastic and dusty corn syrup. You know what? This tastes exactly like this time my father brought home a candy machine and we had it in our garage. (Yeah, mad cool dad points right there.) One side had peanut M&Ms and the other had some kind of red candy shell nut situation going on. This tastes like the cheap shell on those nuts. Clearly this was an attempt to cash in on a trend. This happens all too often. Oh a basil jalapeno lollipop? Then you get it and it barely tastes like anything. Or worse it just tastes like one thing. Then you can call it a "one trick pony." (Which I must say that whomever coined that term was really ungrateful to have a pony at all. Most people would be fine with a no trick pony. Like it just does average pony things. Let alone one that can pull a nickel out of your ear. Do you know how hard it is for a pony to get even one nickel? Plus once the pony finds these nickles where is a pony going to keep a nickle? Yeah, so don't count your blessings until they are...chickens. Which of a feather, will flock together...) Typical. I give this snack a 1-Karate! Don't stick with karate or any type of fighting. Just try to avoid every scenario where that would be needed. Ninja parties. Ninja garage sales. Ninja knitting circles. Ninja pilates. Hot Yoga for Ninjas. Any type of Ninja fight club, which can be a challenge because nobody is talking about it being a Ninja fight club. To avoid that last one just always talk about ninja fight club. If you are somewhere and people aren't into talking about ninja fight club, you are in a ninja fight club.  Pretty much steer clear of any and all ninja functions. Even with your beacoup nun chuck training it won't go the way you think. Just do some squat thrusts and meditate-out of 5.

Oh man, if there is one place that pretty much never fails to let me down in the snack dept. (esp. candy) it is Mexico. Here we have the Rockaleta. It is a sucker with not one but four layers of chili powder and four flavors before you reach the gum center. That might sound like a real deal of a treat to you. That is, if you have never eaten the atrocities that are candies from Mexico.

"A better way to rock?" I can think of a better way to rock. Actual rocks. Yes. I would rather eat an actual rock than this sucker. Look at how disturbing that sucker is. It is a hard candy with teeth. That is so very creepy. That is like a tooth with teeth in it. (Your nightmares will thank me for that.) Now about the sunglasses. WTF? If a living sucker needed any type of protective eye wear...sunglasses? How about goggles? Yeah, think about it! If a giant tongue is going to erode your face, the first thing to go will be your supple orbs of vision. (Your nightmares will thank me for that as well.)

Oh no. It looks even grosser than I thought. If you don't see the evil there it is because you can't tell or don't know that each layer of chili has salt as well. Yes. It is like someone who has never had candy designed this candy. "Hey Alonzo, do you like candy?" "Do I like what? I have literally never heard of or had whatever you are talking about. Is it like butts and trash?" "Um, close enough. You are hired to create Rockaletta!" (Pretty sure that is how it went down.)

Here is how it went down for us:

S-Ugh. It is salty!!! It is salty and leathery! (I should note that at this point she made a seriously grossed out face!) I can't eat this anymore. It is like somebody sweated on my candy. It is seriously disgusting. I don't even need to know what the other layers taste like. I give it a 0 and feel bad for the zero for being in relation to this. It is one of the worst.

d- Ok. It smells like if evil had breath. The stagnant breath of evil is probably their tag line for this. Ugh. It tastes salty. Not the kind of salt that you'd attribute to food either. This tastes "of a body." (Your nightmares are going to need to write me a Thank You card.) So far this sucker smells of leathery earth and tastes like the salt from a body. Mmmmm. At this point even being disgusted had lost all sense of fun. My eyes began to tear up a bit and not because of the chili. The chili isn't hot. I really don't know what is in here. It just tastes gritty and powdery with a hint of tang. The bad kind of tang. So I walked into the kitchen so that if I vomited I would be close to the sink or toilet and began biting at the horrid curse of a confection. Small shards of salty garbage began breaking off and sticking to my teeth. Sticking! Here I was battling it out with the Rockaleta and I was losing. My mouth started to do that salivating thing. You know the one that happens when you start really doing some serious self talk "It's OK. Keep it down. Don't think about it. Certainly don't think of the term "of a body." However I had to press onward. This was all for a very serious and well read blog after all. (Hi mom. Hello wife. They are separate people.) Then suddenly it gave way and I bit thru to the center. Did it look like the packaging? No.  Not at all. It looked like the inside of a really cheap candy. The colors were all muddled and dingy looking. It looked like it regretted looking like that almost as much as I regretted looking. You know that moment in horror films where the monster realizes it is the monster and that it is unnatural and must go? That is how the Rockaleta looked. So I threw it in the trash. Not the compost. The trash. I would have burned it if I could or shot it out into deep space like in Aliens. I don't even know if there were four different tastes of evil in this candy or just 4 different stages of regret for your tongue to wade through. I give this snack a 0- TV Series. Anytime someone says that a show isn't great but stick with it and it gets..... No. How about I just watch something interesting. You can tell me about your show but I am not going to spend hours getting to know characters and waiting for some kind of tension or messed up decision. God forbid it be set in the current times as well. I am not interested in castles, princes, maidens, townsfolk, kings etc... I doth not care!!!-out of 5.

Next we have cotton candy from a store here in N. Portland called Candy Babel. The owner makes the cotton candy (which I hear is tricky due to moisture and well  the fact that this is Oregon.) She also makes it without some kind of caking chemical that is in most cotton candy. This flavor is Black Currant.

S-I like it. The flavor is great. I don't know if I really know what black currant tastes like but this is good. The flavor is really interesting and the texture is quite cottony. I mean this is great cotton candy. 5 out of 5.

d- Wow. You said it so perfectly that I'd like to quote you. "I like it. The flavor is great. I don't know if I really know what black currant tastes like but this is good. The flavor is really interesting and the texture is quite cottony. I mean this is great cotton candy." -S

I give this snack a 5-Working Out. You really don't need to always be "taking it to the max." Sometimes just take it half ways to the max. Lets be honest, people who workout a ton also look like they stare at themselves nude a lot. (and they are into it.) I am all for taking care of yourself. Sure. Not every man needs to drink beer until he is shaped like a lumberjack Alfred Hitchcock at 30. I am just saying it is weird if the person who you are intimate with is more into their own body than yours. While we are being honest, anytime I see someone who is too fit I mentally tell them to "Eat a sandwich." It is OK. Be a person. Oh and maybe just tell your coach at the gym or whatever about how many miles you run every hour and how many squat thrusts you do in your sleep. You don't see me publicly talking about all the candy I eat.-out of 5.

Lastly today we have a real treat. One that will really blow your mind! It comes from Japan. I ordered it and I will order more. Like a box of them. I know I should leave this for the end but I can't talk about this candy without glowing.  So you can see on the front that it is 1-3 something or 13 something. There is also a cute little face! We can also see a lemon and something green. Not sure maybe a lime or apple and on the other side we see grapes. Ok. Grape flavor and Japan? You know this is going to be amazing.

Here you have your typical story. A man with a nice haircut tied a bow on a horse made of fish that he bought from a cheeky panda who was constipated. Then he blacked out until he was awoken by a dog stealing his bone. 20+ times. Pretty sure that is what it means.

Really quickly I wanted to show you the close up of this little one. What does that say? Probably "Look at how freaking adorable this is! (While I am feeling particularly bitter. What is with people who say "adoughable" for adorable? It is horrible. If somebody says that just slap them with the kitten they are looking at. Ok, I am kidding unless it is a picture of a kitten or a "Hang in there!" poster. Slap with that for days.) I mean, all of this package is giving away the secrets that lurk within but I don't know what it says so lets look closer!

Ah! It is even cuter in real life!!! Awe. It seems embarrassed. I really think it is blushing. Judging by the color of the candy I am going to guess that this is grape. Lets see the back of it.

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! Are you kidding me right now? This side is in LOVE! Well, so am I little sucker. Wait a minute. What do you think that is? Candy? A toy? The cutest choking hazard of all time?

WHAT!?! That is correct. This sucker has two sides. Two different flavors. Also the center is candy as well. (Spoiler alert: These flavors go together like poor hygiene and skateboarders.) Wow. It would appear that this candy was designed with every care taken into account. Well, except for the stick. Or...

THERE IS GUM HIDDEN IN THE STICK OF THE LOLLIPOP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Yeah, that's it. All other lollipop companies take note. You just lost. Unless this treat tastes like Alonzo made it. Lets see:

S- Ok. One side is grape. I think the other side is apple. Both flavors are great separately but somehow they work well together too. It isn't too sweet. I don't know which I like better. Maybe the apple side since I have such a high expectation now for Japanese grape candy. This is really fun to eat. I have to give it a 5.

d- It should be no surprise that this treat gets a 6. Yeah, I know that there has never been a 6 before but they nailed every aspect of this candy! OK. Grape? Yes. It isn't syrupy. It is a classic Japanese grape candy flavor. Light and pleasant. Apple? Yes. The apple is cider like and brings some fresh tartness to the party. Fantastic separate but when enjoyed together, AWESOME. Now for the center. It is a disc of fizzy radness. Yea, so halfway into your lollipop enjoyment suddenly is goes from a juice drink lollipop to a soda pop lollipop.  The center tablet is ramune flavored. What? Yeah. Insane. Oh and the stick that is hiding the gum surprise? Cola flavored gum. I KNOW. This is like a kid designed it. Like me when I was a kid. It is all of these things and it only cost a dollar. One dollar. I ordered this from Tokyo. I feel like this candy broke all the rules and for that it gets a 6- Healthifying recipes! Not everything can be made skinny and lite. Figure out a balance people because at some point the dish isn't the same thing anymore. Quit always eating things that require you to imagine that they are something else. (Use your imagination for fun not to pretend you aren't miserable.) Cut corners somewhere else and allow yourself to enjoy a taco pizza or a Louisiana Gravy Barge (the food not the sex move.) Whatever you are into. Don't work hard all day and your reward be a version of something that isn't even remotely like your favorite spaghetti bake.  A Bulgar burger is not a burger. It's a grain wad. I am not saying don't eat healthy. I just think that while you are eating mostly healthy also remember to treat yourself. If you want pie then eat pie. Don't eat a piece of an apple and an oat while thinking "mmmm pie." That's not pie. No matter how you slice it, you are being a stupid pie.-out of 5.

Well, I feel better. How are you all? I hope you enjoyed this post and can free yourself from sticking to somethings that maybe are taking too much energy from you. Me? Oh I am definitely going to stick to not judging people and only worrying about myself. I think it is going well. Till next time,

“People are just as happy as they make up their minds to be.” ― Abraham Lincoln.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

.FOOrD BLOrG. Tea'd Off.

"I pitty the fool with a rude unbrewed attitude."
~Mr. Tea

Ugh. Stress, am I right? I mean who needs it? (A lot of people actually, but I hate it.) For the most part I live a pretty laid back life. I mean I do things and get things done, but I am not about the drama and I don't really see a need in getting all bent out of shape over things that will turn out one way or another. Look, you have a deadline, you have a lot of work to do to meet it. Why not try to have as much fun as possible while you do so? Why be all negative and stressed the whole time? Although even with all that being said, stress will still worm its way into us. When it does, we all have different ways to cope. 

Some people turn to the bottle. The old booze. The genie in a bottle (nobody says that). Some people work out (those people stress me out.) Some people knit (I am guessing). Some people read equestrian spy novels (I am really guessing). Some people take baths and some people smoke weed (The weed people probably also invented the equestrian spy novel genre). My point is that we all need a way to soothe ourselves when the going gets rough and today our snacks are focused on one of those ways. 

A nice cup of tea.

So take a seat and cozy up to the screen and lets get this par-tea started! (If you already groaned at that, you'd be best off not finishing reading this.) Oh I almost forgot, today's 1-5 scale is brought to you by methods to calm ones self or to find tranquili-TEA!!!! (I warned you.) In case you didn't know I am pretty much a guru of stress reduction. So you will no doubt marvel at my vast knowledge in the field. I know, lucky you! I mean all of this helpful information is free even! Please, enjoy.


Our first snack comes from the fine folks at Sugarfina. They are a company where you can order a variety of candies and treats. Most of them are packaged in cute little boxes, and when I ordered they included little packets of some other snacks to try. This is one of those snacks. Matcha Green Tea Caramels. I know. Sounds cray cray! (Is anyone still saying that? Yes. Oh good. Wait, is anyone cool still saying it? No? They never were? Oh man. Can't we all just get oolong?)

I know that photo is a bit blurry but compare the two pics. They are of the same candy but why is one yellow and one green? How weird is that? (Probably some sort of scientific explanation steeped in mystery....Steeped. Get it? Ok. Moving on.)

S- Well, it tastes like old tea. Oh man. It tastes like cheap-old green tea. Like dollar store tea. This is too bad bc I like the company and I give them a style point for the packaging but ultimately I give this a 1 out of 5.

d- It smells like maple syrup. No, it smells like a scratch n sniff sticker that was scented to smell like maple syrup a long time ago. Now that it is in my mouth it is somehow both gritty and waxy. The caramel seems cheap as well.  Perhaps I am not familiar with green tea. Is it normally like sand in maple syrup? (Like cheap sand. Not the good kind of sand. You know, like dollar store sand.) I am completely serious when I tell you that this tastes nas-TEA! (Are you really still reading this?) I give this snack a 1- Deep breathing. If you want to make it sound tougher (or nerdier) you can call it "dragon breaths." When the stress hits the fan just take some slow deep breaths in thru your nose and out thru your mouth. Try not to randomly pee yourself as having pee pants will likely stress you out further. Also focus on anything except the sheer amount of germs and ghost poots that you are probably huffing at that moment because it can be distracting and counter productive. I also once heard of a person who's guts just fell out from being too relaxed...So don't do that. -out of 5.

Second we have a Smith Tea Smoked Chai Caramel. I know. Way more cray....z. (Crazy) than the last caramel! This treat comes from Quin here in Portland. Quin offers a variety of hand made candies and can be found online at or in fine shops abound. There isn't much in the way of elaborate packaging here. Which is nice because I don't have to worry about a smoke screen to distract me from what the confection is. Simplicity often puts me at ease. Nothing sends up more snack red flags than packaging boasting all kinds of things and making all sorts of promises. Think of those old time snake oil salesmen. Big banners everywhere trying to convince you to buy their product. I find most often that the best treats just say what they are and that is all they need. Now let's try it.

S- I love that this is actual tea. All to often things have a fake tea flavor. I also really like the texture of Quin's caramels. I have had many of their flavors and the quality of the caramel is always satisfying. I give this a 4 out of 5.

d- The first thing that strikes me is the rich flavor of the caramel. Second I notice that it has a very luxurious mouth feel. (Like I would imagine eating an angel's perm would feel.) None of the candy is sticking to my teeth at all. The tea component comes on almost as a second stage of deliciousness and even then it isn't super assertive. The tea element lingers on the palette not unlike after you take a drink of real tea and the aromatic elements ghost ride your tongue a bit.  Quite nice. I give it a 4- Pressure points. My friend Daniel once showed me a spot that you could pinch in your hand that would make your headache go away. I know. Cra...Insane. Turns out there is like a ton of these spots all over your body. One of them, you put one hand on your third eye (that is between your other two eyes.) (*The real ones.) and the other on your collar bone and take deep breaths (Remember my previous warnings about the breaths though...) There is also a point on your hand that you can pinch but it is really close to the anti-constipation pressure point called "opening the river" or something to that effect. So maybe watch out there. -out of 5.

This is an interesting one. It was a gift from our dear friend JC. (Not to be confused with often bearded JC. Our friend JC doesn't have a beard but still often preforms miracles. Delicious miracles.) We have four flavors of this so you will probably see the others later on. This treat hails from yume Asian confections. It is called Sea Glass Jelly Candy. (Yeah, I don't know either. I had no idea this existed until she gave it to us. That is like just finding out that a unicorn is real and then being offered unicorn sashimi.) (*Side note: Pretty sure unicorn sashimi has the same texture as permed angel hair as well.) The flavor is Burgamot. Now I know that Burgamot is an orange type fruit but our frame of reference for burgamot is most often in tea. So that is why it is in our tea pot. Post, I meant post.

Here we can see the ingredients: (you can't really but I will list them for you.) water, sugar, agar, and essential oils. Simple enough. The really interesting part here is that it also  has a "Consume or freeze by" on the label band. I mean it looks like your average rock candy so what could go bad? Lets further investigate.

I do have to say that this is one of the most beautiful confections that I have had the pleasure of reviewing. I mean it looks like broken glass.

S- Well, first of all it has a really cool texture. It is also really interesting, fun, and pretty. The flavor is great. It is crunchy on the outside and soft inside. I give this a 5 out of 5.

d- Either it smells like plastic or I am imagining that based on the appearance or from the packaging. The mouth feel is as I expected. It is like a hard candy or a sugar crystal. Oh wait! It just broke. It has like a light shell on the outside! Then inside it is a light jelly. I have never had anything like this. Wow was I wrong about this. I have to try another piece because I was so distracted by the shape and density that I missed the flavor. I have to say that the flavor is a tad tea like. Not overtly citrusy. This is amazing stuff. I give it a 5- Be positive! When you encounter a person who is frustrating you and in doing so is causing you stress just say this to yourself "They are doing the best that they can." The fact is, most people aren't out to get you. People aren't making mistakes to mess with you on purpose. In reali-TEA they are doing the very best that they can but to error is human and most humans are positively stupid.  -out of 5.

Our final tea snack is from Klein's. Here we have a Sugar Free Earl Grey hard candy. Think tiny lozenges. Yeah, you got it.

Upon opening the box there is a scent not unlike opening a jar of Lipton's Iced Tea mix. This is a nostalgic smell for me as my mother always had that around the house when I was a wee tot. Lets see how it tastes:

S- I like the beginning. However after awhile it tastes like when you leave your tea bag in your cup and it gets bitter. I give it a 2 out of 5.

d- Oh snap. This has a REALLY strong tea flavor. ( "Hello! Is it TEA you're looking for? -Lionel RichTEA). The candy is about the size of a cherry Runts. (I wish it was a cherry Runts.) It is surprisingly not sweet which is nice. Except the candy is so concentrated that it transitions from tea to soapy tea really quickly. It is like if you were a kid and drinking tea and said "F*CK THIS TEA IS STRONG!" and your guardian promptly washed your mouth out with soap. I give it a 2- The Badger of Sereni-TEA. Imagine the cute tiny hands of the Badger of Serenity are cradling your heart. Its claws are not slashing your innards to ribbons (as they could so easily do) but are instead ever so gently warming your heart. The Badger of Serenity's fang filled mouth is gracefully nestled at your throat. Its jaws are not crushing your larynx though, as would be a non-Badger of Serenity's nature. Instead the Badger of Serenity is purring. A soothing purr sound not to be confused with the aggressive coarse sound the average badger would make as it sloppily guzzled your blood that would spill forth from your viciously severed arteries as the average badger made what can only be described as a breeding den of your eviscerated lung cavity. No. The Badger of Serenity means you no harm. As long as no ordinary badgers have followed the Badger of Serenity here, you will be fine. -out of 5.

Hopefully you enjoyed our little chat, I know I did. I would like to think we all learned a little about ourselves. I learned that I am possibly the worst stress reduction guru. (OR THE BEST!) See you next time.

Tea-U l8tr!

P.S. You might notice that I took the high road here and did not make one tea bag joke. Yeah, some of us are really growing up. I decided not to get too dir-TEA! Awe yea! One more!!! (#SorryNotSorry)

Thursday, November 7, 2013

.FOOrD BLOrG. Grape Expectations.

Ah, expectations. We all have them. It is like when Ernest was in those commercials in the 80s and then somebody decided to make a full length Ernest movie. We all expected it would be SO good. You didn't? Well, my friend Aaron and I did. We went the first week, if not opening day. We loved it. However, we also each had a tiny squirt gun and spent most of the movie scampering about the theater while the only other person (a full grown man of weight) chortled from the darkness. I bet you didn't expect that I would be telling you about Ernest Goes To Camp in a snack blog. Yet here we are. 

Our favorite part of that cinematic tour DE force was when the turtles parachute and one says "I am scared Sarge!" and another turtle replies "We are all scared son!" That scene is about as long as a commercial. Aaron and I filled the downtime of the movie by amusing ourselves. Somehow all of these elements of the environment, the weird guy who didn't have any kids but was at a kids movie (red flag),  and the film itself, all became one thing. One thing that we thought was great. We got what we expected, for brief moments, like the commercials that the movie was based on. Our expectations were satiated. It was a great time to be a kid. Know what I mean?

Today we are talking about one flavor. Yes, for the first time in this odd little blogs history, we aren't talking about a type of snack but a single flavor. Grape. Now these snacks were not pretested or compiled. They were merely part of the treasure chest of acquired snacks and S said "These are all grape flavored. Why not do a grape post?" Brilliant. 

Today's 1-5 scale is brought to you by childhood expectations of the future.

Alright. So this snack is not a rare one. Hi-Chew is easy to find these days. Even some 7-11's carry  Hi-Chew flavors. However, it is a good place to start when talking about grape flavored candy. I have yet to have a Hi-Chew that I didn't like. Do you remember Bonkers? They had a commercial where a lady would eat a candy and a giant fruit would crash through the ceiling and land on her. No? Well they looked just like Hi-Chew. One color on the outside and another on the inside. I am not sure what purpose this serves. I suppose it is purely aesthetic. Like tribal tattoos on dudes or tramp stamps on....women of the night. (I always thought that the best tramp stamp would be a belly button. People would be so confused.)

Upon opening the outer wrapper you can really smell a pungent aroma of grape. Do you remember grape Hubba Bubba? It is like that. If you don't remember Hubba Bubba then try remembering grape Bubble Tape. No? Do you recall commercials telling you the dangers of inhalants because that stuff can severely mess up your brain and memory. (hint hint)

S- This is really grape. I like the two colors. This is fun. I don't care for the waxy white paper though. I give it a 4 out of 5.

d- Yep. I like Hi-Chew. They always have good flavor. This has a nice chew not unlike a taffy. It's great. I give it a 4.5- flying cars. People always expect that the future will bring flying cars. Sorry people but flying cars aren't going to Why? Think about it. What killed the electric car? Gas companies. (I am pretty sure. I never saw the documentary. I think we already know what types of movies I have been watching and they are not in the same wheelhouse as environmental documentaries. Unless there is one called Earnest Saves The Electric Car.) So with the flying car you have to think about those huge tire companies. Flying cars don't use tires. Everyone knows that they hover and then fly around. Tire companies control more than what you know, man. What is the number one cereal? Cheerios. What are Cheerios shaped like? Tires. What is the most common shape for a child to learn first? Circle. What is a circle? A tire.  Most clocks are round. What else is round? Tires. Most clocks are tires. You get it. (After I post this blog, should I go

When creating a brand it is important to clearly communicate what your product is to the consumers. So here we have Grape Candy which is a grape....candy. Huh. Well done. We can also see that it is "A fresh and tasty grape." Not to be confused with a similar product that was aiming for "an old and nasty grape." Those are just raisins. (Raisins are not that grape. See what I did there?) What you can't quite make out from the photo is that it says "Grape in love. Have a sweet flavor."

Now either something is lost in translation here or this is the best way to start and end every conversation.

There is also an odd drawing on the bottom of the bag that says "Save the Children." Next to that there is an illustration of one kid doing a handstand and another drinking.  I am not sure how much sweet flavor these children are having but they are clearly too grape in love and need to be saved. I can't read any of the details so all I know is that there are children somewhere and they need assistance. Lets look on the back of the bag.

Well this isn't any help. Unless the bag is telling me that these expired a year ago. Is that what it says in the far right corner? No, my right. Yeah, there. I don't know either. Lets just open it up.

Well the candy just looks like a hard candy. There are like 40 candies in here which isn't usually the best sign. Lets see how it tastes.

S- Hmmm. Well, I wouldn't say this is anything special. There is a mild grape flavor. Not really anything to talk about here. I guess it gets a 3 out of 5. It is what it says, just a "grape candy."

d- This is just an average grape candy. Usually I love anything grape but this is less interesting than a Jolly Rancher. There needs to be some acidity or something and the longer I eat it the more chemical the taste becomes. I don't really care for this. I mean it isn't the worst. (Bacon Tabs were the worst. Go read that post. Trust me.) I give this snack a 2- Mohawks and shoulder pads. One of my favorite film genres (I like to call ) Future-past movies. These films (made in the late 1960s-80s) usually take place after a nuclear situation has ruined civilization and they are set in the future. Like the year 1999!!! There is always a dude (or twenty) with intricate hair like a Mohawk that is one side neon pink and the other jet black, and no shirt. In place of a shirt, football shoulder pads. You know, because if you are going to ride through the dessert (oh, the whole world is a dessert by the way) on a motorcycle made mostly of chainsaws with a ridiculous weapon like a wrist crossbow (Why would you need a good weapon? Did you forget about your chainsaw motorcycle?) you only need to protect your shoulders. I mean you wouldn't want to mess up your mohawk. (Notice only one mode of transportation exists in this future. Tires.)-out of 5.

Alright, so next we have E-ma. This is our third grape snack and it also hails from Japan. I will get to what this is all about but first look at that guy. What is his deal? You know what is weird is that his head looks like how I remember that guy in the audience when Aaron and I saw Ernest Goes To Camp. That is good news, he got healthy and learned a second language. I didn't expect that to happen.

So this snack is made of layers of real fruit juice and it has a layer of xylitol gum and the center is vitamin C. Whoa.

Ok. The smell here is super grapey.

S-Wow. It is making me salivate! Was I supposed to chew it? This is really interesting.

d- After a second it has a great acidic sour grape flavor. Then moments later that fades and then a different almost deeper flavor happens. I chewed it. I am confused.

S-(second tasting) I get a lot of grape flavor and then my mouth tingles. Then I get sour notes. There are waves of different experiences. The Japanese really know what they are doing. I love this. 5 out of 5.

d-(second tasting) I agree.

I give this snack a 5-Pills. The futuristic expectation that we won't need to eat anything anymore. That all of our nutrients will come in the form of a pill. Remember The Jetsons? They ate pills all the time. Sadly this isn't true still. Why you ask? Where does food come from? A farm. What is on a farm? A tractor. What is on a tractor? Tires. Yeah. This runs deep. Tires, bro. Tires.-out of 5.

Next up is Candemina! This snack also comes from Japan which begs the question:

What is this guy doing here? I mean I can see that he is vigorously playing the maracas but why? This gummy isn't trying to be a traditional Hispanic candy. (If you read this blog then you know how I feel about most of those. El sad face.) The name certainly doesn't translate into "maraca man." Maybe the candy looks like maracas.

Nope. It sure looks delicious though. (At this point you may have noticed that the photos lately look so much better. Well, S has taken over in the picture dept. and now everything looks rad. Thanks S.) Again the aroma when opening the bag (which is resealable) it says "Hey, maybe savor this. Don't be such a pig. I mean you can but now you have the option.") is really pungently grape.

S- This smells awesome. It has a lot of texture as you chew it. This candy also has a very fun shape. This might be the best grape flavor yet. 5 out of 5 even though the Spanish looking Asian man is quite confusing.

d-I had to chew it 8 times before my teeth pierced it. This has awesome flavor and a great chew. One of the top gummy candies I have ever eaten. (Not quite as high as the Pure gummy candies but close.) I give this snack a 5- Hairstyle. As a kid I always assumed that as an adult I would have the coolest hair though as of late it has become quite boring. Looking over pics of me in the last 15 years one might assume that I was either heavily into anime or a lady heavily into ladies. I am neither but that is the tricky thing about expectations. You should never build expectations off how something looks or you could be mislead by a faux hawk or a possibly Asian and or Hispanic maraca playing man.-out of 5.

This is not a sex toy.

Please look at that diagram and let me say again, this is not a sex toy.

Our last snack is the Pucho variety gummy snack. This comes in a three pack. (So you will see this in the future in a different flavor. Unless I just eat them because it is delicious.) This flavor is grape and yogurt. I am pretty sure. Not 100 percent sure, but pretty sure. Now I have no idea why this candy is shaped in this rigged tube or what that diagram is supposed to mean. I thought maybe it was saying you could invert the lid and it would pop up. You know, like those toy discs? However, it has been 4 minutes and it is just sitting there upside down. I feel bad because look at that cute little face. I just messed that dude up. (I am pretty tough.)

When I opened the tube I can smell grape-like aromas but there is also something else. Possibly the yogurt flavor.

S-Um. I don't know. This is difficult to say. I guess that the purple one might be grape. It kinda tastes like grape. I think the clear one tastes like vitamin C. I am not impressed and it isn't grape enough. I give it a 2-out of 5. In part due to the fact that you called it a butt plug.

d- I did say that. The purple is chewy and about as grape as a generic fruit snack. The clear one is not yogurt unless you tell somebody that they are eating a yogurt flavored candy while they eat it. Even then it isn't very convincing. I give it a 2- Careers. As a child I expected that by the time I reached my 30's, that despite having no musical talent or a singing voice, I would be a famous musician. Which would mean that people I don't know would look at me. That is a total nightmare and the opposite of what would make me happy. Instead I am eating candy and making jokes on the Internet in hopes it makes you smile. At least a little bit.-out of 5.

So far the future might not be what you expected but it is pretty grape in love.

Have a sweet flavor.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

.FOOrD BLOrG. Gum, a novel idea.


Novelty is a weird word. You can use it to describe the "newness" of something. "We will see how much the baby enjoys that real ninja star once the novelty has worn off." (*Did I mention I am about to become a parent? No worries. I got this.) You can also use novelty to describe a trinket. "It was so small that I accidentally swallowed the novelty teapot. Before I swallowed it, it was quite hilarious. Since then I have grown rather worrisome." (Typical scenarios.) This is strange to me. Perhaps it is the way in which I feel novelty is used to weigh entertainment. It is like you could also say "Eventually the baby won't be entertained by my penny collection." Or "I am no longer entertained by this thumbnail-sized panini press. I long for an actual panini press. These sandwiches are far too fluffy to eat unpressed." (More boring typical scenarios.) I think my problem with the word novelty is that I weigh entertainment and enjoyment far beyond most other things in life. I mean, I am aging pretty gracefully with the exception of smile lines. I just love laughter and being able to share that with the people I care about. That is how my brain has always worked. Case in point: Me, an elementary school boy. I overhear a ditty that another student has made up about 2 other children who may fancy each other. It goes "Whistle while you work. Betsy is a jerk. Shane Metheney broke his weenie. Now it doesn't work." I will never forget it. The novelty of that novelty song has never worn off. However, I spent weeks in high school studying the table of elements and all I could tell you is that if you want to make Poison, you need to combine the elements "Bel," "Biv," & "Divoe." Now you know.

So today we are looking at gum. Gum is something that you should want to linger. You want to enjoy it as long as possible. Otherwise you'd just eat candy, right? Also today's 1-5 scale is brought to you by personal moments of novelty. However, to prove that my blog is not a novelty, I plan on being completely serious for the rest of this post.

Alright, so first off we have a very serious gum. This is Camel Balls. In case you aren't quite sure what they are alluding to, Chicle has given you an artistic rendering of rotund camel testicles. Technically speaking though, that is an illustration of a camel scrotum. I can't help but imagine that there was a test group who after a long deliberation decided that children would rather have camel balls in their mouth and that a child asking their parents for a camel scrotum would be in poor taste. (That probably happened.)

We found this gum in a village in the south of France. We were at a farmers market and there was a small candy kiosk. There amongst the various confections like hand pulled taffy, various licorices, and pastilles were Camel Balls. They only had the one flavor. So I am assuming that Camel Balls only come "Extra Sour." The outer wrapper was not cooperating in the photo but you can sort of see that on the left it says "liquid filled." Now in case you have never known how a camel ball should be. It should be extra sour and liquid filled. Lets move on past its gorgeous exterior and see the actual delicacy.

Oh bother. It would appear some misfortune has befallen my camel ball which has caused it to rupture. It would also appear that I have only one ball. I have one camel ball. One must inquire as to why this is called "Camel Balls" but inside there is a lone ball. They should either change the name of this fine dessert or put a second ball in there. I mean, it is a no brainer. Lets be honest about how many balls we are giving people.

The ball smells somewhere between Pixie Stix and a Tart N Tiny (before they candy coated them.) The  ball (since it had leaked) has a texture that is somehow both slimy and gritty (slitty?) Eventually the gum has an elastic and soft chew. The type of chew that you might have encountered with a very cheap  and sugary gum. The flavor is equal parts blue raspberry and fruit punch. I find myself somewhat forlorn that I didn't get the full experience of the camel ball bursting in my mouth. However, it is my duty to carry on and not hold that against the gum. The flavor dissipates rather quickly and the once slitty gum starts to seize once you have swallowed the load of flavor that the ball once contained. In under a minute I found the experience had lost its luster. I give this snack a 2- Long ago my friend Aaron and I would DJ around town under the name DJ Sharon Needles. One of the things we would do to alleviate the pretentiousness of the dance scene was at one point in the evening we would give out glow sticks and fake mustaches. Suddenly people were transformed from a party where people might think twice about dancing to a care-free fun time.-out of 5.

Our second gum today was found at Tenzing Momo. Tenzing Momo is a herbs, vitamins, incense, etc... kind of shop located in Pikes Place Market in Seattle. I always knew of it as "The Witch Store."  It feels a bit like a witch's store. The overall layout is kinda chaotic and the people who work there run the gambit from elder librarian of occult books to a crusty punk wiccan. Even when I lived in Seattle I always enjoyed a pop into Tenzing Momo if not to purchase something, to listen to a customer rant on to the employee who simply wants them to take their bag of crazy and move on.  "Yes. Here is your wolves blood tea and your chants to bring about the moon child which shall in turn enslave all of man. Thank you for shopping at Tenzing Momo."

What we have here, in a nondescript drug bag, is gum. Now this was an impulse buy. It was at the register and I wanted it for this post. What kind is it? What is it made of? What flavor is it supposed to be? Who made this? These are all questions that are usually applied to things that are found in these tiny bags. The truth is: I don't know.

S- It smells like beeswax. Hmm. It is minty at first. I get a touch of honey. I like that it isn't sticking to my teeth. I think that this is a pretty good gum. The flavor lasts a good amount of time and I enjoy the light minty flavor. I give it a 4 out of 5.

d-There isn't crunch at first. Like most gums this shape that usually have that crisp outer layer. This breaks down a bit more like wax. A good wax. Like this is more natural in its essence. This reminds me of a chiclet. I actually enjoy the mint flavor. It has a good chew. Not too hard. I give it a 4-Mix tapes or Cd's. I love making mixes. I enjoy making them for specific people. I like to find out what types of music they listen to and find elements of that in other bands or styles that might not be familiar with. Is a mix a novelty? Perhaps but the feeling of receiving something that someone has put so much thought into is nothing to laugh at. -out of 5.

Our third gum comes to us from Accouterments. They also made the popcorn and cola gumballs from another post. (S's mother found this for me. I am thankful for kindness like this.) Here we have not one but 3 different flavors of gum to try.  Cranberry, pumpkin pie, and turkey. I know what you are thinking "Finally a meat gumball!" I bet the Camel Balls people are rolling in their graves (they have passed in this scenario) wishing they had just made camel flavor gum. (mmmmm) I mean, don't over think it right?

So we open the tin and we can see the 3 different colors. Red is clearly the cranberry, orange is the pumpkin pie, and yellow must be turkey.


S- This tastes like a cheap gumball. I don't taste cranberry. eh. Not impressed.

d- I agree. The shell on the outside kinda breaks off and it just tastes like a gumball you'd get out of a machine for a nickle. The kind who's flavor you'd describe as "red." Like it isn't even a discernible fruit.

Pumpkin Pie

S- Alright. This tastes like a cheap Big Red. Not too bad. Mostly an artificial cinnamon flavor.

d- I get a cheap cinnamon. The flavors of these aren't great or lasting very long.


S-This tastes like gravy. This really tastes like a gravy gumball. It is pretty close to mayo gum. Is there mayonnaise gum? If not, someone should make it. People would love that. I give these a 3 because they nailed the gravy flavor and it is gross-out of 5.

d- This is definitely more gravy than turkey. A very gravy gumball indeed. Well it finally sort of delivers what it is saying it would.

Overall, I get that this has to be meant as a novelty. There can't be an honest market for meat gum. Right? I mean the cranberry and pie flavors aren't even close. It is almost like they weren't even trying because the crazy turkey gumball is what people are going to buy this for. Even the ratio seems poorly conceived. 4 cranberry to 9 turkey? Well, I suppose turkey is the main course. I give this snack a 2-Makeover Party. This is something we have done. First you compile a box of costumes and novelty items (novelty like silly glasses etc... not novelty like penis pasta.) Next you invite your friends over and pair people off in 2s. Each person in the pair will choose the outfit for the other person for the duration of the party. This is a great time for photos.-out of 5.

Our last gum comes to us from Japan. This is Watering Kissmint Flavor Change. A subtle yet beautiful name for a gum. Who doesn't want to think of mouths watering while they kiss. Just saliva streams a flowing. Watering those kisses. It is just poetry, people. We can also see from the name that this gum changes flavors. Magical! So really what we have here is a gum that is designed to change from pineapple to mint and it has a chemical to make your mouth water. Seriously. I am being serious. Look!

You can clearly see that there are lines on the gum stick that... You know, do the changing and watering in your mouth. We have finally reached that point in food. Feel free to ask your next server at a restaurant "Excuse me, I'd like the tuna niciose but do you know if it has something to make the watering happen in my mouth?" I can guarentee that either it will or the server might even share their own mouth waterings with your tuna for asking! We really are alive at a magical time.

Yep. See. Right there. Those lines are going to do things in your mouth. Magical things.

S- I wouldn't say it is a flavor change as much as flavorful. This is kind of a visceral experience. I also would say that this is more menthol than mint. I get citrus more than any other fruit. There is also a cough drop quality here. I give this gum a 5-out of 5. It is a fun experience and rather inventive.

d- I like this. The flavor lasts longer than any of the other gums that we have tried today. The texture is nice and not slitty at all. I don't get pineapple as much as a citrus. I really like the menthol. Mint can often be too one note but the citrus and menthol play well together. This is like if Fruit Stripe gum and Vicks got together. I remember as a kid that there was Aspergum. It was a delicious blend of aspirin and gum for children. (What could go wrong?) I give this snack a 4.5- One time at a party I found some string and I put it on my top lip, like a mustache. I was quite enjoying myself until someone said "What are you like 5?" At the time I replied "Mostly." but I thought about it after. The conclusion I came to is that to some adults the novelty of youth has worn off. To me it never will. It is magical. It is transformational. It is so unpretentious and fun. Adults are often trying to seem smarter and more important than they are. (Adults can suck Camel Balls.) Me? I am the kid with the greying hair and the paper mustache who is sitting in the corner drawing a hot dog dance party.

Chew on that.

(*Also I'd like to thank S for helping me by taking photos. This blog looks a lot better because of her efforts.)

Sunday, October 20, 2013

.FOOrD BLOrG. (Me)at.

Hey there meat bag! Oh, don't take offense. I mean, we are all just walking bags of meat. The only differences are in our perspectives and intentions. (Some people are real d-bags of meat for sure.) Look, all I am saying is that minus our acquired items, clothing choices, jewelry, and hairstyles: we are all the same. Strip it all away and we are just a bunch of meat monkeys placing meaning and importance in all kinds of random stuff. None of it matters. We are all the same. 

There is a reason that there are so many superhero/fantasy movies and every time they reboot one, they start at the origin story. In every origin story there is that moment when the person discovers that they have some inert power that makes them special (different). Some situation where a lady with a baby is about to be crushed by a car and the "special" person stops it with their hand or something and the film allows a pause so we (the enviable audience) can relish in this moment of a person realizing that they are unique. The rest of the film, who cares? A bunch of computer generated shiny crap breaks and blah blah blah. People watch for that moment and the rise of a hero/special/unique person. 

I find superhero movies, by and large, boring and formulaic. If you want an origin story with moments of discovery try watching a baby. They are literally experiencing that superpower moment constantly. You just put a toy in their hand and their fingers grasp it and they are like  "Holy sh*t! The tiny things at the end of one of my top-arms just wrapped around this thing! Did you guys know I could do this? When were you going to tell me?" Then in the blink of an eye their arm spasms and the toy cascades to the floor. "Double holy sh*t guys! That thing just flew away. Look at it over there. Well, it is dead to me now. What am I going to do? I can't even do that weird sh*t you are doing where you move around on your butt-arms. What? They are called "legs?' Now YOU are the crazy one and this is coming from a tiny person who has your wife's boobs on his breath." I mean, I am not a father quite yet but I imagine that is a pretty accurate peek into the mind of a baby.

My point is that children have those moments because they are experiencing new things all of the time. Discovery is a superpower. You can experience those moments of wonder too. There are things you haven't tried. Some of you could even try not being such a d-bag. (That means you Leslie. You too, every Seth on the planet.) Do you know what is the greatest superpower? Better than being so strong that you could beat up anyone? More special than everyone knowing your name and treating you like you are royalty? 

Do you? Well, I'll tell you:

You could be kind. Ask for nothing in return. You could just be kind.

(Today we are talking about meat and the 1-5 scale is brought to you by perspectives and intentions.)

One of the real bonuses to having a blog about snacks/candy/drinks etc... Is that when people find things that are interesting they will buy them and gift them to you. Lets see, what is that called? Oh yes. Kindness. Well, this first snack was purchased for this blog by S's mother. She found it on a trip to New Orleans.  Our first of the four snacks today is Gator Jerky. As we can see here, nothing too fancy. We have meat in a bag. The tiny sticker on it here also has a picture of a gator. So there is no confusion as to what type of "gator" we are about to eat. I am sure gator is a popular nickname in some areas. Lord knows I thought it would be a great name for my future daughter. (Just kidding. Gator is a terrible nickname for a girl named Anustasia. Pretty sure I spelled that right. I am not too versed in Disney Princesses.) So what we can tell by the wrapping is that they are not going for pretentious. They aren't trying to win you over with a story. They just want you to buy and enjoy their wares. Meat bag to meat bag.

Alright. Well, it smells like a smoked meat. I guess more accurately it smells like liquid smoke. It looks like the type of jerky that you can get for 88 cents. I don't mean that in a derogatory way. I mean it in a specific way. A specific texture and waxy fold style.

Lets see how it tastes:

S- Well. It tastes muddy. As I'd expect from something that lives in the mud. It just smells of liquid smoke. I guess that is pretty normal. Oh no. If you take a big bite it dissolves in your mouth leaving a muddy swamp mouth behind. (*She didn't mean swamp mouth behind. I think I should have put a comma there like "muddy swamp mouth, behind." Never mind. Lets just move on.) This is not good. I give this a 3 out of 5. For originality and it definitely is gator. So there is that.

d- I agree. Although I don't get the muddiness right away. Oh no wait. There it is in the finish. Is that the appeal to eating gator? Couldn't you soak it in something? The meat breaks down in your mouth in a way like it is giving up. It is claiming your mouth as its grave. I have a gator grave for a mouth. I give this snack a 2- I have this thing where if I see something shiny I will touch it. Not like a conscious thing. Like I see it and my finger pokes at the shiny object. Way before my brain even comes to the party all like "Oh hey eyes, I noticed that you see something shiny and that finger has expressed some interest in getting involved but before that happens lets maybe weigh out the pros and cons of the situation." None of that take place. It just goes "Shiny. Poke. And then usually regret." More often than not the shiny thing in question is just something wet or greasy on a table. Now what we have here is a moment of discovery. My intention was to....well, I am not sure exactly but there are two ways to perceive the outcome. 1) My finger may have been dry before this and now there is a slim chance that I just touched some lotion. 2) You can really never wash your hands enough. I choose the latter option-out of 5.

Alright, we can already see that this is a different beast all together. This Chili Lime Jerky bag is bright and modern looking. However, they included a meat window there so we can still see that this is jerky. The neon green is a definite middle finger toward the traditional muddy brown color palette of most smoke meat products. Not a bad choice I suppose. The message is clear. They are listing healthy advantages and that there isn't weird stuff in there. Just the meat in the bag.

I know. I know. Could I put less effort into the photos? Not really. There is a paragraph about whatever and then a spicy sliding scale. What I would like you to look at is the paragraph above the scale. "Tease your taste buds with tender..." Ugh. Gross. Who wrote this? Hannibal Lector? "Hello. Clarice. This meat is "marvelously moist." WTF. Hey creep show. We took "moist" off the table for everything. Find a less disgusting word. (Sorry if that sounded critical.. Lets just move on.) There is also this extensive list of ingredients. Now for something that doesn't have weird stuff in it this sure is a long list of weird stuff. Shouldn't it just read "beef, chili, lime?" Hmmm.

Um. This bag just has 3 meat leaves in it. Wait a minute. Meat doesn't grow on trees? This is supposed to be beef but we both agree that this looks like some turkey jerky.

S- This feels like turkey jerky. Ugh. The lime tastes fake. Everything says minimally processed on the bag and as if this is good for you but the ingredients don't seems so great for you. I give this a 2. I just feel like it is really trying to be something that it isn't. (I think she meant "good.")

d-I don't like the stringy texture and it really has an artificial lime taste that is off putting. I get a little chili in the finish. I am curious what type of beef this is exactly. I don't know about this. I just get an overall weird feeling. Like someone is trying to trick me. I give it a 1- One time I wanted to make my wife the BEST bean dip on the planet. So I went out and bought the best things I could imagine going into a bean dip and I prepped all these ingredients and really put a silly amount of effort into something that is honestly not even her favorite thing. Anyway, after all of that I wanted it to have a specific texture so I put it in the blender and tried to blend it. The problem was that only the bottom was getting whipped. So I tried to roll the blender around and in doing so it ever so slightly came off the base. It spun out of my hand and slammed into the counter top shattering glass and bean dip all over. Now I had a situation. I could be mad (at anything but myself) but I chose to perceive this as yet another challenge and I concocted a plan to strain the glass out of the expensive bean dip. This was awhile ago. Many years to be exact. While we don't know if I realized on my own how incredibly unsafe broken glass bean dip was or if I talked to my wife and she let me know maybe that wasn't the best idea. The point is dip happens or sometimes doesn't happen and you break the blender. Sometimes it is best to cut your losses. The kindness still counts even if you don't get to eat the dip or the cookies you burnt or whatever. Learn to laugh and move on -out of 5.

Next up we have a Ghost Chili Jerky that S's mom bought for me at a beer and wine festival in Portland. I guess that it looks somewhere between the first two options today. We have the old school meat bag but with a glossy label. A glossy label with a picture of their jerky that is then covered by possibly the worst ghost drawing I have ever seen. (First of all the ghost looks live a larva or a lumpy marshmallow. Next the ghost is sad. Probably because it has fingernails. What would a ghost do with fingernails? Oh fingernails make the transition from living matter to the dead netherworld yet not our butt-arms? That seems odd to me. Anybody else?) So we have bad business decisions happening here. Pay someone to photograph your meat (I am sure they aren't the only person haunted by making that mistake.) Then pay someone to draw a ghost to cover your meat. (I am guessing they paid someone for such an awesome artistic rendition.)

So upon opening this meat bag I get a real beef and spice aroma. I really can tell that we are going to be experiencing some chilis in this meat bag. This is how I would like something to be if it is a meat snack. It looks like meat. Not a form of meat or vaguely familiar to something. This looks like beef minus some meat moisture. (This beef isn't moist as some would say.) You can also see a fair amount of chili seed on the outside.

S-This is hot. This is definitely beef. I get the flavor of the ghost chili. The ghost chili has a nice citrus note and it comes through here. It is hot and the meat is good. The ingredients are good ingredients. I like it. I give it a 5 out of 5. It is exactly what it says it is.

d- The hard thing about making a ghost chili jerky is that I wish I could taste the beef first and the heat second but since the spice is so powerful and on the outside there is no chance that will happen. I agree with everything S said. I really like the spice level here and the texture. I mean this is hot. One dime size piece and my face is sweating. Yet it doesn't feel like they were trying to push the spices so that this was inedible. I also give this snack a 5- One time while S was making dinner something went wrong and she dropped the dish of pasta on the floor. Our one meal dinner was there on the floor of the kitchen. She looked mortified. Tears began. I remember being confused. Here I see somebody with the kindest of intentions, have an accident and then blame herself. I didn't get it. I said that it was ok but it wasn't until she looked down and saw me say "Look, it is fine." And I ate some floor pasta. I really think that image was either so silly or she just realized that I didn't care. I wasn't mad or blaming her. Suddenly we were laughing. The tears were over. To this day, if life serves us floor pasta, I will gladly eat it -out of 5.

Alright. now this is a meat post (poor choice of words) and yet here we have chocolate. This isn't the first time we have had the two together. We have had chocolate covered bacon and even a beef and cheese truffle. This is, however, the first upscale chocolate bar with meat that we have had.

Well, what do you know? A paragraph on the back of the upscale chocolate bar? I am shocked. Oh it is a stirring origin story. I am sorry. I have said it before and apparently I am not finished saying it yet. Hey artisan chocolate people, if we needed a paragraph to win us over to buy your chocolate then maybe it isn't very great. I didn't buy your intentions. I bought your confections. Either it will deliver or it won't. I am not going to eat something sh*ty and then read the back and go "Oh, well instead of selling lemonade at a garage sale, she made this... I guess it is better than boring lemonade." What? No. Just no. Also "peace" really? You are going to peace out after your riveting story? Ugh. Lastly "a tasting tip?' I am so enraged by this nonsense I am struggling to not use expletives. Just read that for yourself. NO. No. NO.

I am not trying to be dramatic or hurt any one's feelings here but this snack straight up smells like dog food. Not is a quirky fun way either. Not a playful wink towards dog food. This is like a full on glare at awful horrid dog food. I am so excited to move on from the wrapping to this aroma. What a lovely greeting. One might even say it is like being greeted by a dog. A wet dog that has just eaten dog food. Dog food that (oh I don't know) another dog just threw up. (One could say that. Sadly. I can say that.)

S-This is dog food. This is the worst. This might be the worst thing you have made me try. This is really REALLY gross! This is probably only good as dog killer. You know, since dogs can't have chocolate but they would want to eat it since it smells like their food. This company made dog poison. A huge 0- out of 5.

d-It tastes worst than it smells. How is that possible? This is disgusting. This makes me want to wash my hands and bleach my tongue. I don't even want to type this review because it requires me to recall what this experience was like. You know that scene in movies where the person has been exposed to such life changing evil and feels so unclean in the shower that they are rubbing their skin raw? My mouth is that shower after a parade of atrocities. This is not better than boring lemonade. I'd rather drink the lemonade from that limerick "Milk milk lemonade..." Yeah, that one. I will take that over this any day. I give this a 0- One time after a long night at the bar with friends drinking pints and Jager-bombs we went home and continued to party. At one point a few friends and I were in the basement party den and the perception that the disco ball looked a lot like a punching bag came into my mind. Look, I know that this seems like a bad idea. However, remember what I said about shiny things earlier? Couple that with the Jager part I more recently spoke of. Ok. Got it? I am not a violent person. This was a specific combination of two objects: disco ball + punching bag. So I punched the disco ball. What happened? It smashed against a window shattering it. Yeah. It. Was. Pretty. Cool. However, I also had a rather bloody hand now. So my friends and I concocted an elaborate story about what happened to cause my hand to be injured. The story was somewhere around ten minutes long. Which is really long when you are so hyped up on red bull Jager and adrenaline. So I ascended the stairs to tell my wife this amazing tale so that I wouldn't get in trouble. The second that our eyes met though I said "I punched the disco ball and broke a window." She smiled and bandaged my hand. That was it. I couldn't lie to her. That isn't how we work. We are ourselves with no apologies. Maybe that is our superpower. That many people can't be just themselves around anyone and we have each other. I can be the mess that can be myself and that is not just ok. It is appreciated -out of 5.

So where were we? Oh yea, the meat of this post is human kindness. Try some. It's super.

(*Worst post ending? Perhaps. However my wife is in the other room and I think I see something shiny on the table so I gotta go. Take care and thanks for your time.)