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.)

Thursday, October 10, 2013

.It is your choice, chews wisely. FOOrD BLOrG.

They are going to say something. They are and they always will. Just know that if you let that stop you, that your will, will become your won't. (I don't write pretty or often make sense but to me I make perfect nonsense.) A few years ago I did a year of yes. For one year I said yes to everything. Especially things that I didn't or wouldn't normally do. See, I was building a tight comfy little world to retire to all too often. I needed to push myself back out. Not even in a big way like back onto a stage or out in front of people. Like just back outside. Like just around other humans. So I did. It wasn't easy but it really wasn't that hard either. When I allowed myself no grey decision area everything slowly became easier. I didn't have time to waffle on whether or not to do something. I just had to and learn to cope. Learn to cope with groups of people. Learn to cope with people who I didn't see eye to eye with. Learn to cope with peoples' decisions that I might not agree with. The next year I decided to carry it on. One more year of yes. I can now proudly tell you that those years have passed and I don't even notice the difference. The yes has become a part of me. It is in me. It is kind of like the first time you exercise and it sucks. The next time it still sucks but it is a little easier. Then over time your muscles tone and you feel changes in your body order and after awhile you might not even notice that. You just function differently. I learned that change is nice. I learned that change is hard. I learned that I will always be learning. I learned that it all starts with a choice. Choose wisely.

Today we will be trying some chewy snacks. Also our 1-5 scale is brought to you by choices I have made with varying results that didn't kill me.

Alright, first we have Cherry Vanilla Gumdrops from a store called QUIN here in Portland, Or. Sarah told me awhile ago that the woman behind all of the baked goods at Saint Cupcake (also here in PDX) was adding candy to her already expansive list of treats. (We have since gone to SC a number of times and fallen in love with their cookies, brownies, and even ice cream treats.) So Sarah took me around to find some candies made by the mastermind Jami Curl. I bought a few here and there. Then Sarah told me that a whole candy store of these treats was opening and I couldn't wait. I mean I had to but it wasn't too long before QUIN opened and we descended upon it for their hand made treats and curated chocolate bars etc...

I realize this picture isn't the prettiest but you get the point. Look at what is in the gumdrop. Notice what isn't. This is a choice. Now if you do anything creative there will be people who don't like what you do. There will be people who don't even do what you do but will think they know more than you and that you are wrong. You just have to know to choose not to be a party to that. I think part of that is to do what you want and not to listen to them ever. Take even the compliments with a grain of salt as to not become an asshole. Ultimately though I think you have to make a product that you stand by. Something that you believe in. Where you believe in what you put into it. That is what I see here. Ingredients sure. However the flavor and function of what is on this label (hand written exp. date *love it.) all belongs and has purpose.

Ok. Now look at this thing. The two tone cylinder dusted in sweet sweet crystals. It is beautiful. It doesn't feel hard or dense to the touch either. Upon opening the bag I get a definite aroma of cherry.  A pleasant aroma that is both fruity and familiar. Lets try it:

S-This really reminds me of being a kid. I like the consistency and how it isn't sticking to my teeth. There is something about this that recalls cherry cough syrup I had as a child. I know how that sounds. I mean it in a familiar and good way. Maybe it is just the gelatin and the cherry together and maybe it just feels like it is making something inside you better. It feels like somebody is caring for you. I also like that it says it has vanilla and cherry in the title and in the ingredients. I give it a 5 out of 5. Plus one friend point. Plus one ingredient point. (Side note: She just created those two bonus categories. Debut!)

d-I love the texture of this. It has a soft chew. You can really tell that this has been freshly made. It hasn't been sitting around in a warehouse. I like the cherry flavor. It isn't super fake or syrupy. I think the vanilla is in the finish. Like if the cherry was an elderly person and the vanilla was helping it gracefully to sit in a chair. Oh and your tongue is the chair. I give this gumdrop a 5- When getting lines shaved in you hair was cool (6th grade) I drew what I thought was a cool arrow design that stepped down to the back and wrapped around to an arrow on the other side. I didn't realize until the other middle schoolers helped me see that I had a barber shave not one but two penises on the side of my head. Middle school. Double penis hair design. I chose that. I lived.-out of 5.

Moving right along we have Energy Gummy Bears. I got this for Christmas. I asked for these and I think they came from Thinkgeek. The whole appeal is that each package has the chemical equivalent of an energy drink but now you can chew it in bear form. You know for all those times that you have taken a drink of an energy drink and thought "Wow. This tastes SO good. I wish this would linger on my palette for longer!" My favorite thing about this is the health benefits listed at the top of the bag. Clearly if you are eating energy gummy bears you are eating properly and watching your vitamin intake. "Hey Skip, did you drink kale smoothie today?" "No need brother bear. I ate this metallic satchel of all chemical candies. Now lets hula hoop in park in protest of the establishment!" (I also like that someone drew that psychotic bear and someone along the line thought it didn't really communicate the mission statement. Put a frickin thunderbolt on it's face. BOOM. Poetry.)

Well we showed what QUIN put into their candy so lets look Are those even things? This is an intentionally awful photo. I wanted you to see what reading after eating these, feels like. What the eff is all that? Is this the recipe for meth? Are these Breaking Bad Bears? (Expect those at your local market soon.)

It smells like a bad decision.

S-Ah. Oh. No No NO. Ugh. It tastes bitter. This is the perfect example of bad cough syrup. This is the polar opposite of the first candy. It sticks to your teeth and lingers in your mouth when you REALLY don't want it to. Horrible.  It is called "Citrus Blast" and there isn't even any citrus in it. How can it be called that? On a scale of 1-5 I give it a negative million.  Plus it is brown. Nobody wants to eat a brown gummy. Gross.

d- Oh it is bitter and is getting more bitter. This tastes like chemicals. Like if my methy neighbor decided to make candy. Maybe these are meth vitamins. They need to be chewy on the account of your brittle soft meth teeth and gum sores. You get your vitamins (somehow) and can pretend that you are eating citrus blast gasoline. Seriously, I once got face wash in my mouth that was far more pleasant and seemed closer to something you should ingest. 0-I decided in college to get back on the stage (a great way to push yourself out of your comfort zone.) into 2 one act plays. The first time my future wife would see me on stage. In one play I was a transgender psychotic nurse and in the other I was in full drag with heels...I don't remember why. She brought her little brother. Not only did she not bat an eye during all this but she coached me on how to walk in heels each night. I never really got good at it. I appreciate what people go thru for fashionable footwear though and supportive friends and family. No matter how strange the choice may seem.-out of 5.

Candy Sunshine! This snack sounds even more like acid than the last one which really seemed like it was at least created on acid or for people on acid. acid.  This snack also came from a snack website. I forget which one. You can clearly see that it is inspired by the original. What is the original? Well just google it. Trust me. It is quite a website. Not going to? Ok I will tell you. The original was candy raisins. Yeah. What? I am not going to tell you the story because their beautiful website does all that. I just want to get this sweet awesome packaging open and let the sunshine loose!

Oh. What the eff? This is just an ordinary sack of pencil erasers. Not the cool kind that are scented either. You know, the ones that you tried when nobody was looking. I mean, we all did it. They smelled delicious like strawberries and grapes. This does not.  Look at it. We had to eat that. Look at it again. It looks like ear wax or ear plugs or ears plugged with wax. Actually, I swear I have seen a suppository that looks like this. That makes sense. It is probably more enjoyable to put this where the sun don't shine. (See what I did there? The Original Where The Sun Don't Shine)

S-Um. I just had to swallow it. This has never happened before but I just had to get it out of my mouth. This candy tastes like someone else's sour breath. If that doesn't make sense to you, think about it. Someone else's sour breath. Do you have it? That is this. Was this the original color? Fix it. Make it taste good. Do something. I don't like this at all. 1-for the weird shape-out of 5.

d- Nope. What? Who missed this? Who was like "Oh man, have you ever had wax, dust, whatever is in erasers, and sadness? It is delicious. I can't find the original but I am feeling inspired!" There is almost a sour bile kind of faintness to it. Like stomach bile fruit leather. I give this snack a 1-One time my friend Aaron and i were playing in this desolate field where there was a slide. We were kids. It had rained. I chose to climb up the wet slide in muddy shoes with no traction. I slipped and as I slid down toward the huge puddle waiting for me at the bottom I shouted "I CAN'T STOP! I CAN'T STOP!" until I crash landed butt first into the puddle. We still laugh about this 20 plus years later. Even bad choices can make the best stories-out of 5.

Lastly we have a gummy from the mighty meiji company. I ordered this from Japan as I love almost every gummy I have ever had from there. This one is Guava flavored.

So here we can see all of the ingredients. I have no idea what any of this says but I do know that this gummy uses 100% fruit juice and each pouch has 2,600 mg of collagen. This isn't the first collagen gummy i have had. This can creep some people out. Supposedly by eating the collagen your skin will look younger. I don't know if that is true. It makes me think I am eating ear lobes. Like in a positive and proactive way. That is normal right?

Ok. The smell is of fruit. I am not super well versed in guava but I am pretty sure this is it. Nearly every gummy I have had from Japan has had this awesome aroma when the bag is opened. You just want to eat it. So we did:

S- Alright. This IS good. This is a good gummy. This is like a beauty treatment and a sweet snack all in one. I get it. This is good. I am going to eat another one. 5 out of 5!!!!

d- Great! Not fake sweet. This is a naturally fruity kinda deal. (well put) This is like a more elastic fruit snack. These are really fragrant. I am going to probably finish these now. I give this a 5-In college I wanted to be involved with the WRC (women's resource center) which did all sorts of incredible work and was run by some really amazing women. The problem was 'What could I offer?" Well, I volunteered to run STITCH AND BITCH. That is right, every week I hosted Stitch and Bitch. Me and around 5 ladies would gather and chat while knitting. Only I had a dirty little secret. You see, I didn't know how to knit. I had learned just how to cast on. So all I did was cast on over and over and over. People enjoyed my bitching so much that they didn't care about my stitching.-out of 5.

So there we go. Another instalment draws to a close.  I encourage you to choose new things to try. Choose things you are pretty sure you won't like. Choose to be kind to strangers. Choose to be helpful. Choose things for other people's benefit. Whatever you do don't choose things that will insulate you in outcomes you already know. At least choose to look at the options and of course, thanks for choosing to read this.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

.What is happening with you? You seem "different." FOOrD BLOrG.


I know I have said 1000 times that I am not a big chocolate fan. However, even if you are a chocolate fan, you aren't going to like every single thing that chocolate has going on. This is pretty much true with anything. You could be the biggest corduroy vest fan but that doesn't mean you want corduroy ass less chaps. (or maybe it does. They would look good with the vest.) You might love German techno but that doesn't mean you'll love a German techno remix of Fallout Boy. (Unless it is instrumental.) You might love cats but that certainly doesn't mean you'll enjoy Cats The Musical. I am not sure if I am communicating this clearly so lets bring Punky Brewster into the situation. (Always a good idea.) 

So Punky Brewster was a sitcom that was on in the mid 1980s. It was about a quirky little girl who is being raised by an old fuddy duddy foster parent with a heart of gold. The story lines follow Punky as she struggles with things like mild sadness, stress, and friendships. It did OK for a year and so someone decided "We need more Punky!" So suddenly there was a cartoon called "It's Punky Brewster." Basically, the same right? I mean, give the people what they want! Punky Brewster? Check. Magic Gopher-who grants wishes? Check. Wait. What? This isn't the same. If Punky had a magic gopher that grants wishes, she probably wouldn't be a foster kid living with a weird old man with a bleeding ulcer. (I am not admitting that I have thought about this before or argued this point at a party after a few too many slippery nipples.) A version of something can only be just that. Different. Trust me, as someone who has had that word applied to them their whole life, different is an acquired taste.

Today we will be trying some different chocolate friends.

First up today is Choco Baby. S found this for me at a market. I think what catches the eye first here is the exploitation style-possibly racist name. Now a lot of candy that I find or that is found for me at Asian groceries or ordered from over seas, will have cartoon characters on them. I am so very glad that this one does not. I searched for commercials with fear in my heart of what I would find. Luckily there were none. So what is a Choco Baby? Well, you know how chocolate can be so DIFFICULT to lug around? Oh man, it is just so HEAVY and cumbersome!!! Am I right? Well luckily meiji has you in mind and created a snack that is a tiny piece of chocolate something. Yeah and packaged it in a tube that is roughly the same size as the average chocolate bar. (huh..) Hey, look on the bright side though, it has a flip top lid so once you try this candy, you can re gift it to someone who you don't really care about. The plastic wrapper even comes off when you open it so they won't know that the candy is racist or an allusion to feces. (I mean everyone has a gross uncle who while leaving a restroom has claimed that they just birthed a chocobaby, right? No. Just me. Thanks Uncle Glen. Thanks a bunch.)

Lets try it!!!

Side note: Upon opening, it smells like a Dollar Store candle that is supposed to smell like a chocolate scented Dollar Store candle. Yeah. Not even a chocolate scented candle. Try once removed from that.

S- Ugh. Oh no. This is like bad Easter candy. If this is chocolate it has to be the cheapest of any chocolate ever. I am bummed that this is the blog post that you are returning with. I give it a 1 out of 5. No style points. I bet the whole wrapper comes off when you open it, to give you a chance to call it non-racist things.

d- Ack. I have literally tasted wax that was better than this. The mouth feel is both regret and crumbling wax. It is something like a fake Tootsie roll in every worse sense of this sentence. Perhaps this is the flavor equivalent to being racist. Eat this snack to feel what a racist mouth feels like after being racist. This is the "scared straight" equivalent of snacks. You eat this and then your mouth will want to repent and eat better chocolate. I give this snack a 1- Hyper color shorts. Yeah, sure the shirt will show off your teenage armpit heat and or breasts but as a teenager I had the shorts too. No teenage boy needs heat sensitive shorts. Stick with the shirts Hyper color!-out of 5.

OK so moving on. Here we have another entry from a fancy chocolate bar. There are millions of these things on the market and I have had maybe two that were worth buying a second time. For all I know maybe that is the $8 chocolate bar business model. Get everyone once. That is all you need. Anyway, I digress, S found this for me. I believe at a local market. (Isn't that helpful?) Look. It is Edamame and sea salt. A chocolate bar with those two things. This is like a low calorie snack meets an actually enjoyable snack. (Just kidding. Love me some edamame. Isn't this helpful as well?) All I know is that I don't see salted milk chocolate often. Bitter or dark chocolate sure. Those are complex and assertive chocolates. Salty milk? Yeah, I will pass on that. That sounds gross.

So as is the case ever so often with this style of upscale grocery chocolate (is that a term or classification?) the back of the packaging pleads their case. It is a bad picture here because I don't really care. Look, be proud of what you make. Sure. Just get off you chocolate high horse. Locally source? OK. Good ingredients? Yeah, well nobody admits otherwise. Fast food doesn't say "some of the meat in here was maybe almost not just chemicals once.?" They say "Only the best..." If I buy a snack, I want a snack not a one sheet advertising your mission statement. Your mission statement is the same as every other snack. Get my money and get in my mouth. (That is also probably a rap lyric.) So then I opened the packaging....

What? Now it is crazy sexy time party? There is a manage a trios of chocolate ladies (That sounded worse than intended.) in here. Also there are not one but two more paragraphs. Here is the interesting part. So inside it says that every time you buy their chocolate that they give food to someone who wouldn't have food. (Yeah, like that shoe company.) It sounds to me like they could just not put edamame in their chocolate and those hungry people would have a meal and I could eat the chocolate. Win win. Whatever, lets keep unwrapping this completely not wasteful amount of wrapping on this chocolate.

Whoa there. Easy on the edamame! Don't you know there are starving people waiting for me to buy a chocolate bar so that you can then feed them hopefully anything but this? (OK. This sounds harsh and I want to apologize to blah blah blah for all the stuff. We good?)

S- I really don't get the edamame. I get the texture. It is chewy. I really don't care for this. 1 out of 5. They get one style point for the inside packaging.

d- I knew it. Salty milk chocolate. This is disgusting. Let the record show (of this fake food blog) that we both love salt but this is a misuse altogether. The edamame is like something fell into the chocolate machine. Like an old worm or something dried up and unpleasant. (Not a pleasant worm, like the one in the movie Labyrinth.) I give this a 1-pizza bun burger -out of 5. (What is a pizza bun burger? it is a burger with pieces of pizza as the bun. Duh. It is also a bad idea. Some of you know what I am talking about.)

Next is another treat from the fine people at sugarfina. Here we have some dark chocolate covered goji berries. You can look up what a goji berry is on your own time. I am not a research assistant. I eat stuff and babble. (I am a novice mess at both of those things.) Now here is the problem. Just because you may enjoy a company doesn't mean that everything they make will be your favorite. Sure, it might be but there is always the danger that it won't be for you. That is OK. Everyone can like different things. Hey, I like so many things that you probably don't. Things you might even hate. That is cool. Eat a goji berry and chill. (In your research, did you see they are good for chilling? I know they have alleged health benefits. It isn't for erectile dysfunction is it? You know what? Don't tell me. It isn't important.)

Side note: No real aroma when opening the container. This snack sort of feels like a chocolate covered raisin.

S- Nope. There is something weird about it. This reminds me of a chocolate covered raisin that has been badly burned first. Ugh. I give this negative points. Less than nothing.

d- The "dark chocolate" shell first gracefully shatters revealing an emaciated fragment of a mere cat's toenail. (possibly) Do you remember wax lips? this is like eating the part of those that had a sore on it. (Too much?) Well, it isn't great. Nobody should eat these. I just want to move on. I give this a 0-New Kids On the Block reunion-out of 5. (Come on. You had your run. Donnie, you are going to throw your hip out dry humping that amplifier.)

Alright. This is the end. We end it with this. The Idaho Spud. This is an old candy. Like 1918 old. The candy bar reads "The candy bar that makes Idaho famous." Which just goes to show you that once, a long time ago, "famous" meant something entirely different. Also a long time ago, i guess you could put sugar on anything and call it "candy." Case in point: see below.

What the eff??? It is like they aren't even trying. Oh so this is what a potato looks like? They must have been so confused at all of the potatoes that their cat had laid in the litter box. Now, I had hopes that S would really like this one as it involves some sort of coconut but upon seeing it she demanded to see the ingredients. Trust me, they are atrocious. Weird oils and all. What you can't see here is that beneath the attractive exterior is a very creative interpretation of a marshmallow. This isn't right. Somebody check the Idaho water supply. Something has gone horribly awry and not only is nobody fixing it. They are claiming it. If I made this, I'd blame everyone else. However, the rule is that we have to try it.....

S- No way. This is some REAL weird stuff. Here, let me see what is in it. Ugh. I hate this. I hate this the most. This is inedible. Worse than negative points. No style points for things that look like poop.

d- You know how a really horrid version of magic shell tastes when it is covered in dead skin? NO? Well, I do and it is what makes Idaho famous! The gritty exterior is a marvelous precursor to the grainy texture of the chemical marshmallow that lie in wait beneath it. (Chemical Marshmallow is my favorite early 90s rock band BTW.) I give this a 0-Lip Smackers. Alright, cool it. People like mint and berry lip gloss. Nobody who is 8 needs to know what a pina colada tastes like much less lips that taste like a pina colada. No teenager needs root beer lip gloss. "Hey Glen, what was your first kiss like?" Eh, root beer. "You ain't never kissed anyone Glen. That is why you make gross jokes when you leave restrooms. Weirdo."-out of 5.

It is good to be back. I will try to post every week on mouth watering Wednesday. (That is what everyone calls it right?) I have a wonderful assortment of snacks so far that have been gifted to me or that I have sought out. Thanks for taking the time to read this drivel. As always, don't take my word for it. Go try these snacks and all of the others "reviewed" and form your own opinions from experiences. Blah blah blah and stuff,


Alright, I am done. Normally there is at least a positive snack in the bunch but these are all terrible. albeit terrible in their own special different ways. Like us all.