Elixia Chocolat Limonade Artisanale

This week on the Fabulous Misadventures of Foodette in Europe, watch Foodette get locked out, and then reacquainted with her apartment, enjoy the trials and tribulations of the French home repair system, get entertained by Dillinger in fine style at a hotel, and cry while eating peanut M&M’s in one hand and swig Beaujolais Nouveau with the other. Hashtag classy, my friends. Hashtag classy. Yes, getting locked out of my apartment justifies being one week late. However, now that we’re back to our regularly scheduled programming, we can celebrate my return by talking about something as awesome and as magical as a unicorn on fire. The opposite of Chevy Chase. The finesse of skinny jeans and cowboy boots. Chocolate lemonade- sorry, chocolat limonade, from a company bold enough to call itself Elixia. This shit is real.

I all but screamed like a toddler when I saw this at the Chocolate Salon, an event that sounds exciting but in reality, was a giant shopping mall full of chocolate and full of people whose average height put me somewhere around ass level. Nevertheless, I escaped with two treats, one of which was this artisanal carbonated beverage. Surprisingly, their booth was sparsely populated, presumably due to peoples’ fear of life-changingly wondrous drinks.

However alluring the tantric combination of chocolate and citrus fruit may sounds, though, it is regrettably a pairing best left to the recesses of the mind, much like Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy fanfiction. To put it simply, Elixia Chocolat is the “Two Princes” of lemonade. It’s clever, it’s catchy, it’s ground-breaking in its enthusiasm, and it even has an element of class. However, its kitschy undertones forever relegate it to the bottom shelf of sodas, and consequently, early 90’s jams. There simply isn’t any substance to it. Hardcore critics call it abrasively unappealing, for me, it performs as a novelty and then quietly dies.

Elixia tastes kind of like a Tootsie Roll, and kind of like Perrier, and kind of like Sprite, but nothing like any of the three in particular. It’s bitter, tangy, and a little depressing. I wanted to like it as much as I wanted to put effort into the post I’m writing about it, and we can all see how well both of those turned out. Ultimately, both the sexy frothy brown lemonade and sexy writing block were poured down the sink. Hey, is Girls on Netflix?

28-Year Old Corn Pops

I am not a hoarder. I repeat- I am not a hoarder. I had a normal day, did normal grocery shopping, had a normal session with my regular dominatrix, and finished off my night with a box of Corn Pops. From 1984. But that doesn’t make me a hoarder, I swear! I feel like the Tran Pak of food blogging- “oh my god, it was one time!” In fact, in 1984 I was a mere regret in my father’s eye and a ticking time-bomb in my mother’s womb. So, I digress. Not a hoarder. However, that does make the person I bought them from a hoarder. How does it feel, teenybeanybabysluvrrrr1962!?

1984 was an illustrious year for cereal, especially Corn Pops, a coveted item after the Additional Sweetener Ban of 1982 (SGR 1213). Folks were using all kinds of sweeteners in their cereal to spice up the flavors, not limited to the molasses and coconut oil found in these Corn Pops, soon to be replaced by corn syrup. Rated a prestigious grade of 9.5 Cheerios out of 10 by prestigious Pulitzer-prize winning cereal aficionado Tony Panthera (d. 2005, diabetes), these had an impressive breakfast window from 8AM to 10PM, and were described as “nearly effervescent, with a complex, lingering sweetness on the tongue.” They flew off the shelves and were never seen again. Until now.

When the opportunity came to review these and ruin my credit, all I had to do was make a few phone calls to Discover, put my apartment on the market and bam, I was the proud owner of a single-serving box of 1984 Corn Pops and not one, but ten high-interest private loans! I’m also now homeless.
Looking at the pristine box art, I was a little disturbed to see that some of the golden, sweet cereal pieces falling into the bowl of milk were discolored and bore a strong resemblance to rat turds, as though foreshadowing the box’s present contents. Nevertheless, I forged on, ready to meet my maker in the most hyperspecific way I knew: accidental vintage overdose.

These Corn Pops are fortified with essential vitamins, 15% of your daily recommended intake of B12, that patented “ready-sweetened” touch, and they taste like canned ass. They have a meaty texture with a distinct outer and inner layer, the crusty outer shell revealing a pasty, bubblegum chewy core. Despite the ominous grey spots on the outside of some of the puffs, they were thankfully flavorless when dry, but when doused with milk, tasted like they’d spent the last two decades crammed in the moth-ball stuffed pocket of someone who also had a habit of carrying cat litter around. “I taste no molasses, I taste no coconut. Only the lingering aftertaste of shame.” That’s a little Sartre for you. I want to stare into the hateful, pixelated contours of the logo and ask it why, why has this unworthy example survived the test of time when God has killed legends like Kurt Cobain and Mister Rogers? And why is it violating my taste buds?

Just for fun, and by fun, I mean self-loathing, I let these infuse their flavor into an innocent cup of milk to see what would happen. Three hours later, the puffs are still chewy and foamy and the milk is somehow thicker. And brown, presumably due to being infused with mold and K-Mart sweater essence. So, yes, these are truly putrid and bring back no nostalgic feelings other than the nostalgia for taste and dignity. This is my Midnight in Paris, except instead of Owen Wilson ennui-induced escapism I have Corn Pops from 1984, and instead of Zelda Fitzgerald I have…Corn Pops from 1984.

Whatever, in comparison, I still feel like I’ve come out on top. 

Hunt’s Snack Packs Bakery Shop Frosted Sugar Cookie Pudding

Any product with the tagline “pack in the fun” is good enough for me. Or so I thought. Incidentally, that’s my proposed porn star motto if the lucrative world of food blogging somehow doesn’t pan out. Recently, I had the opportunity of a lifetime. The fates aligned to allow me two hours in a Walmart Supercenter with Miss Love in Westerly, Rhode Island, and I took it upon myself to scrutinize the grocery shelves and revel in the bevy of all that the Walton monarchy has to offer for limited-edition, Supercenter-exclusive foods. One of those foods was this bizarre pudding, proclaiming “NEW!” but sitting, all canisters dented, on the clearance shelf. Hunt’s Snack Packs Bakery Shop Frosted Sugar Cookie Pudding, fear not. There’s a home for you here.

You’re probably asking yourself two things right now: Jess, why did you just slap a bunch of unrelated, meaningless, individually capitalized words up there and why does the Hunt’s website look like it was designed by a C++ student in community college with Dreamweaver circa 2002? I can answer them both with a single response: No. Just…no. I can best attribute all of this to keyword spamming. The pudding somewhat resembles a run-of-the-mill frosted grocery store sugar cookie, provided that said cookie had been partially digested and left out in the sun for a few days. It’s liquidish, I guess. I’m also extremely disappointed that the box portrays sprinkles but leaves them out of the actual product.

Hunt’s pudding snacks have always struck me as a little less creamy and a little denser than other commercial pudding snacks, not quite living up to the luxuriously fatty Kozy Shack and subpar to sugar-free Jell-O with more sugar. Approximately 52 calories’ worth of sugar, in fact. Each 100-calorie cup has 13 grams of sugar, making the “sugar” in frosted sugar cookie pudding aptly named. There are supposedly two layers to this but they meld together too easily and come out pallid and bland-looking on the spoon. Even regular vanilla pudding often looks pleasantly off-white and, if you’re lucky, has vanilla bean specks. This is sunblock in color and in scent with a blobby, plasticky consistency. I’m guessing that the top layer was originally whipped or frothed to appear more frosting-like, but it was fragile and had reduced to a sad, filmy ooze on top of the cookie-flavored pudding bottom. It tasted greasy and flavorless, like Pond’s cold cream topped with sugar.

The bottom layer kind of tastes like a sugar cookie, but more like the individual components before they’re mixed than the end product. There’s a cornstarch-heavy wet texture and a floury aftertaste, and the pervasive, omnipresent sugar at every turn. With the viscous frosting, it’s appalling. Our gluttonous cat wouldn’t touch it, and this is an animal who regularly drinks out of the toilet bowl and tries to see what curtains taste like. Don’t bother trying this.


How do I go about explaining the NeuroPassion? Let me think. Because I’ve never had the gleeful humiliation of walking into a convenience store and paying for a Hustler, it might be a little difficult to compare. At least it’s easier than checking out at the supermarket with nothing but a carrot and Vaseline.

 NeuroPassion bombs the consumer with keywords and strategic bolding. It “helps you push yourself to the limit” because “passion is powerful” and “it’s what gets you up.” Would it help me spell things out more clearly if I told you the original name of this, uhhhh, supplement was NeuroGasm?

Shaped like a Freudian rocket dick in manly Harvard crimson, it’s the potable equivalent of a Porsche or Maserati. Flashy outside, full to the brim with pomp, circumstance, and bullshit. Performance. Passion. Drive. Function. Stamina. Carbonation. When I typed those, did you instantly feel any more driven, passionate, or carbonated? Of course you didn’t, but that’s exactly what NeuroPassion tries and fails to do. This is the liquid version of anyone you’ve ever wanted to punch in the teeth, although better revenge would be giving a bottle of this to one of those people, watching them palm the yielding, yet firm texture and raise it to their lips. Take photos. Ask questions. It’s glaringly awful in design and makes cigars look innocuous in comparison. Inside, the drink is the same color as the outer labels, with a tinny, vitamin-enhanced scent. The nose is blatant prison wine a la Flintstones daily vitamins. And lucky you, you get to drink it. Or just keep it at the back of your nightstand drawer. Your call.

It’s vaguely tropical, vaguely sweet, and tastes like sugar, water, and endless nights alone. Dizzy with misery, you’ll be asking yourself, “Why does this taste like a rejected Cosmopolitan at a sorority bartending class?” And then you’ll realize, glancing at the label and phallic bottle, that you’ve answered your own question. Because it does. This was clearly marketed for people who have an extra $3.39 burning a hole in their pocket and a thirst that lowly pedestrian Vitamin Water simply can’t quench. They want exclusivity and choose to take a break from their organic, raw, cruelty-free coconut Civet-cat water to try this and pay dearly.

 NeuroPassion preys on the weak and feasts on the morons who buy into this. It’s less stamina in a bottle and more therapy in a bottle, but unfortunately, all you get is the placebo effect. 

Crazy Apples Bubblegum Flavored Apple

As a food writer whose primary purpose is to highlight and comment on the insults of the food world, there are certain protocols to what makes and does not make sense to review. Limited edition products, new fast food items, and strange foreign products are all fair game. Things like Oreos and Cool Ranch Doritos are as much a part of any child’s body now as their pinkie fingers and appendices are. Nobody needs me shouting out into the internet about cream viscosity or flavor powder. Likewise, it’s silly to select things in the produce section. Like I’m really going to derail the kale industry by claiming that it tastes like grassy vomit. At least in the case of the new products, sometimes the commentary can be used as useful feedback or at the very least, quote fodder for later ad spots. Hint, hint.

Sometimes, though, there’s an anomaly in the sections I’ve vowed to not pick from. In today’s case, it’s Crazy Apples. There are products that define me as a food writer. This terrible, Dr. Moreau-inspired abomination is one of them. This is what separates the beasts from the bloggers, folks. An apple that science and God deigned to taste like Bazooka effing Joe. Why do they always take the healthy ones? Why, baby Jesus, why?!
Okay. So, following the success-ish of the Grapple comes Crazy Apples in three quease-inspired flavors, pomegranate grape, tropical fruit, and bubble gum. Being the masochists we are, bubble gum it was. Let’s start by getting the elephant out of the room, or in this case, the bubble gum out of the apple. This thing stinks to high hell. It smells like junior high school and organic co-ops. It’s housed in a manically advertisement-forward bag, quotes, trademarks and registered symbols slung all over the place.

Outside of the bag, the apple is ominously normal. It even has a Fuji sticker on it to assure you of its legitimacy. A likely story. This exterior appearance and promise of inner flavor brings to mind the classic suburban legend of strangers tampering with candy by injecting them with poison. But there’s no need to worry here. This time, a corporation is injecting them with love, so it’s all good. In actuality, Crazy Apples denies any injecting or prodding of any sort. We’re convinced they gas and/or soak them in bubble gum solution. Your guess is as good as any.
Sliced open, they still smell cloyingly sweet. Close your eyes and you’ll swear you’re in an old-timey candy store or drowning in a real-timey gum factory, dealer’s choice. Sliced open they look like all other apples but somehow appear as though they’ve absorbed just a little more water than your average fruit. A quick bite confirms that. They have a slightly, yet noticeably looser texture than other apples. The flavor isn’t too syrupy or sweet but it’s astringent from the thick, bitter skin of the Fuji apple. A middle piece yields the powdery-sweet flavor of bubble gum. Slightly grapey, mainly mild, but distinctly not apple.

I think the creepiest thing about these is that they masquerade as normal apples but taste somewhat tainted when taken out of context. At least when you’re eating a Mrs. Prindable’s you’re obviously comfortable and well aware of your ranking status as a certified hambeast. With these, you don’t know what you’re doing or when you’ll be kidney-free in an ice-filled bathtub. It’s not worth the price.

Rhythm Superfoods Texas BBQ Kale Chips

Wanna know the worst person at a party? It’s not your drunk uncle Manny, hitting on your teenaged cousin. It’s not your parents, renegotiating their restraining orders and custody over dill potato salad. It isn’t even that one doppelganger of a cousin you have, who somehow grew up with the same people you loathe yet is far more successful, interesting, and skilled with the ladies. 

No, it’s that one guy who may have wandered in from a homeless commune- ah, no, he’s somebody’s boyfriend, the one who goes over the edible offerings at any barbecue or gathering like he’s Larry the effing Health Inspector. You’ll find him loudly braying about raw food and omega-3 viruses and chlorine in chicken breasts to anyone who can stomach it while pigging out on potato chips and beer, both of which are most definitely cruelty-free and organic. The irony continues when you notice that he’s strapped an infant to his midsection for the past three hours- nope, that’s just his beer gut. He’s hypocritically fastidious about what he eats and he’s a colossal fatass. Thankfully, the best way to get someone like that out of the way is to occupy them with these chips.

Appropriately sourced from a discount, free-range, local grocery store, Rhythm Superfoods Texas BBQ Kale Chips are about as Texan as his ‘n’ his bedazzled bridal Stetsons. (But seriously, Rick Perry, those would be awesome.) The kale tastes like an absorbent sponge of oil, organic fertilizer and salt. Holy crap, are these terrible. If this was an Elementary Agromarijuana exam question, the answer would be “flesh-eating microvirus”. Gross. The basics of food reviewing 1.0: if it’s good, say it’s good; if it’s bad, say why. But where the hell do I start? These are bad because they have the texture of particle board and the flavor of body odor. They are thick, brittle hunks of UFOs- Unidentified Food-like Objects, choked with coconut oil and inexplicably, tahini. They are flaky, shedding copious amounts of barbecue-flavored food dandruff all over the place, and come three to a bag, a bag originally priced at $6.59 marked down to the low, low price of $3.00 for what amounts to a fistful of kale and broken dreams.

I guess that would be the only offensive thing about them if they were healthy and good for you and provided an alternative, albeit, terrible niche market for people who have moral or ethical concerns about eating barbecue potato chips. Logically speaking, a customer who purchases something proudly advertised as air-popped, organic, and raw is likely doing so because they are looking for a healthier alternative to snacks that are not air-popped, organic, and raw. So how do you explain why a 2 ounce bag of these have more calories, fat, and carbohydrates than a McDouble from McDonald’s?

It’s also worth noting that McDonald’s, for all the criticism it receives, has been fairly reliable about accurately reporting nutrition facts and has never gone on the record indirectly implying that eating its food can cause weight loss. Rhythm Superfoods’ website and bag have different caloric values and they have no problem convincing you that eating raw lets you “pig out” and potentially lose weight at the same time.

At least I can shoulder the realization that regardless of caloric value, these will still taste like crispy disappointment every time. Unlike a McDouble.

Vitamin Water Attention

Geez, with the debut of Vitamin Water Attention and the surge of energy drink popularity on the market, it must be awfully difficult for every college town’s local Ritalin dealer to keep his business going. I’m not sure if Vee Dubs has just been tailoring their marketing to the sheltered 14-year old mall rat set, but their latest slew of flavors seem to cater to the needs of teens with the attention spans of…So I’m watching Annie Hall noting the fact that I, too, have bought red light-bulbs in fits of sexual passion and I fall asleep halfway through and wake up after one such recurring nightmare where my father accidentally pays tuition to send a case of ’47 Cheval Blanc to Harvard Law instead of me and taking great pleasure from such a fact, you know? I’m confused and appalled because I did better than the Cheval on my LSATs, too. And then I took a sip of Vitamin Water Attention.
Oh yeah, that’s right, I was writing about that. Vitamin Water Attention, while compelling as a concept, obviously does nothing to staunch the onslaught of bleary late-night film rants I’m often wont to type out a la stream of consciousness late in the evening, hold the humor. Its pinkish-blood tinge and hideous side blurb about texting implies a warning that this may or may not be non-potable to species incapable of ingesting schmaltz. Unfortunately, its discordant selection of flavors- a sugary tart watermelon profile roughly as scientifically accurate as wall caulk is to whipped cream and a weak, dirt-based apple flavor nearly impossible to choke down unless you’re following it with a chaser of actual attention-boosting pills. Its sickeningly sweet Fuji apple and watermelon hybrid reminds me less of a refreshing beverage and more of the time that, as a soda-deprived child, I stuck a handful of mixed Jolly Ranchers and Skittles into a bottle of plain seltzer water in the hopes of creating something school lunch-worthy. It has a sticky texture that leaves one of the most persistent, lingering aftertastes of any of the Vitamin Water varieties I’ve had the displeasure to try, like reverse-effect mouthwash from hell.
However, I found it necessary to bring in outside sources to ensure that I didn’t open a bad bottle and see that my palate was unrefined. Luckily, the most scrutinous of websites, Celebrity Parents Magazine, as any good non-celebrity, non-parent, and non-fan of celebrity parents should definitely pick up when they have the chance, informs the reader that the latest brood from the renowed Glaceau family is the perfect way to pay attention to your spouse’s boring story or prop your child up during your fifth staging of the Academy Awards, reimagined to award your Starbucks-birthed screenplay Best Picture, Best Director, and strangely enough, Best Costume Design. Phew, I’m so glad I consulted some real critics first.

While buying this nearly requires a licensed prescription, twelve-month subscription, and personalized waiver, its caffeine levels pale in comparison to my personal favorite attention-based beverage of choice, coffee and a shot of Maker’s Mark alongside my copy of Family Fun. 145 grams per 8 ounces versus 87 mg of caffeine per 20 ounces in a bottle of Attention don’t mean jack to me, and the recently less sketchy relabeling of the bottles to reflect one full serving per bottle shows me that it’s not even worth the 32 grams of sugar to do so. On a scale of 1 to extremely alert, Vitamin Water Attention ranks just below Jimi Hendrix CD’s and microfiber throws.

Gross Food Week #7: Walden Farms Calorie Free Marshmallow Dip

Ah, yes, Walden Farms. We used to go there on field trips when I was a waifish little girl. Take a stroll past the emaciated cows, lowing for calorie-free feed and water as the calorie-free breeze blew gently on your face. Old Farmer Walden would strap up ol’ Treadmill, the starving mare, and we’d take a ride around the field, its crops skinny and sexy as always, the abundant corn and wheat sheaves nearly translucent after shedding all those calories.
Those were the good old days, and no trip would be complete without a taste of Mrs. Farmer Walden’s special calorie-free marshmallow dip. Of course, this was before WalCorp bought out the farm, but it was just as heavenly as it could be- just like the real, horrifically fatty obese child snack, only…more wholesome. Ha ha, no it wasn’t. I’m just screwing with you. In fact, this has the air of a product made prior to a big corporate buy-out. With its incredibly precious label and short ingredient list, it almost does look like something that an ingenious housewife would whip up in her kitchen, until you open the jar. Shit is downright chemical.
For a brief, miserable summer, my dad decided to teach me some of the basic intricacies of home repair. One of the only things I retained from that summer was how to properly wield an axe to chop firewood, how to perfect my summer burn while lounging outside watching actual home improvement workers do their jobs, and how to use caulk in a small imperfection in an area. Lest you underestimate my mettle, know that this is typical behavior. Because this post isn’t about calorie-free axe murder or harassing working people, let’s see if you can figure out where this is heading. Caulk is not edible, but appears to be. But if you’re a closeted pica sufferer, I’ve got great news: Walden Farms Calorie Free Marshmallow Spread is as close as you can get to legally ingesting caulk, and it’s sort of, kind of, real food.
Let’s get the legal mess out of the way: according to the FDA guidance, compliance, and regulatory information, chapter 9, appendix A, the definitions of nutrition claims, a product is able to state that it is “calorie-free” if it has 5 or less calories per serving. You will receive no legal compensation for ingesting eighty jars of this and getting fat. But it’s not even worth your zero to five calories per serving. With a perpetually cold, thick texture, like cold cream without the lingering scent of baby powder, and a pure white color that absorbs all darkness and shadows, it’s definitely providing all of the defensive indicators to alert you not to consume it. But we forge on, as always. It has a congealed, wet smell like molding wood, with a harsh sugary edge behind it, like the sweet powdered sugar and corn starch scent on marshmallows. It’s not quite a solid and yet too gelatinous to be a liquid, and falls off both spoons, knifes, and fingers, leaving a watery, chalky smear of a trail in its wake. Think saturated marshmallows that have taken a trip down the river, capisce?
The flavor is downright abrasive, with a hideous gloppiness, like poorly cooked pudding, that doesn’t disappear once placed on the tongue. It’s similar to taking an injection of Splenda right into the vein. Any trace of vanilla that was once in this, or at least near this, was absorbed by the great white mass and spat out into the ether, never to be seen again. The flavor is part synthetic and part Elmer’s glue, with an emphasis on the latter. It’s heinous. There’s no better way to tell you. It’s nothing like marshmallows, dip, or marshmallow fluff, which I took out to remind myself what real fake marshmallow spread is like. Phew. This product isn’t worth saving its exaggerated, implausible claim of 330 calories a day. You’re better off eating actual caulk and sealing your own mouth shut. I’m just thankful I didn’t spring for the zero calorie peanut butter and make myself a FlufferHater sandwich.

Gross Food Week #6: Nexcite

I suppose I’ve developed a little reputation for myself. The Huffington Post described us as “no holds barred,” while my own family took the more direct approach and wondered if we weren’t “pushing the line.” Frankly, I just like to think of myself as the girl who tried all of the carbonated sexual aphrodisiacs the world has to offer. Simple pleasures, that’s what defines me.
This particular beverage came to the United States by way of hatred and copyright infringement in equal doses. Nexcite, a whimsical Swedish penis pumper, is a soda designed to provide a proprietary formula of herbal extracts and caffeine with which will fuel your manbits like no other. Like no other, I say! And because it was fifty cents on clearance and had a rabbit on the label, I tried it for you today. The soda is Viagra blue and smells like an energy drink, if an energy drink was consumed by a toddler and vacated with 50% more melted blue Jolly Ranchers than it originally contained.
It just leads me to wonder, why oh, why would the manufacturers of this drink make it bright blue and candy-scented? With its cute bunny logo, it’s just asking to be guzzled by a small child. Or worse yet, it’s all getting clearer to me now. With its emasculating smell and antifreeze pallor, it’s the perfect way to get a little kink into the bedroom by tricking your man into thinking he’s about to down a shot of Prestone. The five supplements, not to be confused with the fifty ways to leave your lover, which yours will undoubtedly do after watching you wince this down, are as follows: Yerba mate, an herb traditionally used in hot tea, which everyone knows makes you look brooding and sensitive, damiana, nature’s off-brand Viagra, illegal in Louisiana, ginseng and guarana, everyone’s favorite acid-flavored energy drink supplement, and last but not least, schizandra. This is not a Mary Sue-esque Final Fantasy character as I initially thought. It’s a Chinese berry that aids in soothing the symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome. How sexy is that?
Nexcite tastes like the darker side of liquified cotton candy and green tea mixed together at a frat party. It’s both bitter and overly sweetened and as a flavor best described as being throat-punched by a lime, with a potently sour aftertaste like a Warhead. Extremely sugary, in a weird way that sticks to your gums and works its way into the crannies of your mouth, like sexual harassment for your teeth. It numbed my taste buds for a good ten seconds after each sip, which I suppose aids in diffusing some sexual tension if you’re not sure of, how shall we put it, the provenance of some particular after-dinner treats you may partake in. This’ll fix you good. In regards to the state of my sexual performance prior to and after consuming this drink, I can’t tell you if it helped. I was too busy looking slack-jawed at the recommendation on the side of the bottle: “As a supplement, drink 1-8 bottles a day.” Holy crap, Nexcite, I’m a woman, not a machine. Here’s to drinks directly fueling the sex working industry, one male gigolo at a time.

Gross Food Week #1: The Original Hooters Medium Wing Sauce


Sorry, I just had to get that out of my system. With that exuberant commencement speech, let us begin Gross Week 2012. Today’s selection embodies all of the principles that I consider to be important for this theme week, namely, that it is a proudly licensed product aggressively marketed by its source and even touted as “secret”, that it is a disturbing shade of nuclear hazard orange, and that it was 99 cents at a grocery clearance store. The fact that it is not, like so many products at this store, past its sell date should give you a taste of its quality already.
Where to begin? There’s just so much to cover on the label alone. Let’s start with the lusty endorsement from the Hooters owl himself, “A thrill on the grill BBQ!” It doesn’t take a professor with a Ph.D in Lolology to figure out how Engrishy that is. Despite my suspicions that this was some sort of perverted and failed test item, it turns out that Hooters still makes this sauce, selling it for a mere $7 on the interwebz, and still employs this awful catch phrase. Reading further, I caught the official Hooters logo emblazoned no less than four times on the jar. Either they’re trying really, really hard to prevent copyright theft or they’re actually proud of this product.
The directions on the side (whose inaccuracies I’ll later explain) also provide a list of recommendations of foods with which you can drown in this sauce. Surprisingly, slathering the sauce on the breasts of an after-hours Hooters waitress is not one of them. There goes my bucket list. The cooking process sounded easy enough- fry up some wings, toss them in the sauce, enjoy with a side of classified ads to wipe away the tears and excess dribblings. Not so terrible, right?

Oh my god, it’s like the bastard child of napalm and nacho cheese. My hatred for Robin Williams and Spy Kids has nothing on this one. I think you get the picture. Yep, nasty surprise number two- the sauce had the texture of cold margarine and the smell of gasoline, Tabasco, and melting plastic. This in no way felt like something I should have put near my face, much less ingest. And I haven’t a clue why the instructions said to shake the jar first- it’s about as productive as shaking a jar of peanut butter. But readers, like a dutiful serf, what I do, I do for you. And so I began the process of cooking my wings.
I decided to try this on both breaded and non-breaded wings to get an idea as to how it adhered to the chicken. Huge mistake on my part. On both applications, the sauce had the softness of warm yogurt and melted like butter on toast. On the pieces of unbreaded chicken, it left no more than a slick trail on the skin and clumped at the bottom of the plate, and on the breaded pieces, it melted into the nooks and crannies and separated almost immediately after sticking on. It felt like the sauce was too runny to handle any temperature above lukewarm, yet was so congealed in its original form that it was also unable to function as a dipping sauce.
Once the wings were no longer molten and ready to eat, the sauce returned to its original liquid consistency, that of a melted almond bark coating, and shellacked the wings to the plate, rendering them mere components in a disgusting and inedible art project and requiring the force of a fork and knife to remove them from their glued-on state. Taking this photo was easy as they remained preserved in their original positions on the plate, held upside down, for over two minutes.
It tasted rancid. This is exactly the kind of product that aspires to be a hot mess and fails miserably. There was literally no element of this that made it appear edible, much less palatable. The heat is warm, but no warmer than a hamburger sitting next to a bottle of mediocre hot sauce and certainly not at the level of any Buffalo wing you’ll find at a sports bar. It has an oily, thick consistency not unlike facial cream, were said facial cream purchased at a dollar store and had a slight numbing effect on the lips. It tastes predominantly of vinegar and Crisco with an aggressively salty bite and leaves a buttery slick all the way down the throat. The sauce had the unique ability to permeate through even the thickest flour breading on a wing, saturating the meat so with its liquid ass flavor and rendering every single wing I made inedible. Lest you worry that I went hungry, I thankfully deployed my backup wing supply with a hot honey and red pepper flake sauce and ate them with gusto.
Congratulations, Hooters. In the world of successful marketing vehicles, this sauce is the abandoned flaming Pinto on cinder blocks with a tarp and headless doll in the trunk.