Hershey’s Air Delight Aerated Milk Chocolate

Okay, call my bullshit on this but I personally see aerated chocolate as the snake oil equivalent in the candy variety traveling medicine show. I mean, the very idea is roughly as useful as Scotch-flavored condoms. Hershey’s put out an aerated chocolate bar with an asinine name to follow in the footsteps of their ever-exotic cousin, the Aero bar, and here is the result.

The USA seems to have abandoned the Twilight craze and swept itself up in the aerated chocolate bar fad. Completely untrue, but what Milton Hershey’s non-existent grandkids and CEO’s don’t know is that the Aero bar does serve a functional purpose in the British world. After all, because we all know that British people are bad-toothed and batshit insane (Editor’s note: Redacted the link to Foodette’s ex’s Facebook page. Also, wait. I am the fucking editor. This is awesome.) Aero simply plays on that bad dentistry history from the heyday of the Industrial Revolution by offering a softer, gentle, less snappy version of the chocolate we all knew and loved. It’s a phenomenal way, much like whipped cream cheese and whipped candy bars, to stuff less product into the container and sell the very air you’re whipping into it in the first place and overcharge the customer.
I’m quite sure you don’t need too much of an explanation for this. This is a standard Hershey bar with a severely underdeveloped cocoa flavor. Yes, it’s thicker to hold all the precious air and it has less squares because of that, but it’s still the same crumbly, overly sweet, sugar throat burning creamy flavor that we all know and mildly tolerate. Does the air provide a sensation? Not really. If you chew it quickly, it crumbles off in small pieces that suggest that the bar is of a low quality until you remember that this was intentional. Each square is just a hair too large to comfortably fit in the mouth and suck on (LOL here) and the air isn’t really distinguishable until the square eventually collapses in on itself and melts to regular, boring chocolate. I don’t feel any airy, bubbly textures or specifically unique texture to this bar at all.
As a result of witchcraft, this bar is more expensive and less weighty than a Hershey bar. It’s more of a pointless buy than the $19,000 Hammacher Schlemmer seven-person bike and is just a disappointment for all faux British wannabes and real British ex-pats. Just buy a regular Hershey bar, melt it, and fart in it before it sets. This is the American confectionery equivalent of Engrish. We cannot live up to the hype of the Aero bar. (Note: I love my British readers, by the way. I just hate the Air Delight more.)

Archer Farms Sea Salt Caramel and Almond Indulgent Granola Bites

Sea salted caramel is no longer a real oddity any more. Having broken free from the confines of high-end restaurants and microbistros, it is now popping up in recipes and the freezer section of many grocery stores. I figure it’s only a matter of time before we see a McCaramel McFlurry with McSalt or a Dairy Queen Salted Caramel Blizzard.

I can’t tell you how overjoyed I was to see this in a non-frozen form and from Target’s store brand, Archer Farms, no less. We picked these up as a treat, noting their “indulgent” nature but persevering nonetheless. With 15 80 calorie bars in a box for a mere $2.49, their exoticism, calorie count, and value sure beat out Chewy, no?
No indeed! What we didn’t count on was the weight and size of the bars- a hair thicker than a thumbdrive and possibly (scarily) more bland. When I first bit into one of these, I was taken aback at how chewy it was, almost nearing a stale texture. That’s unfortunately just how it is. The flavor and waxy, overly saccharine mockolate coating was reminiscent of one of those giant, chewy protein bars, but in miniature. It was immensely disappointing. The flavor was sweet with no nuttiness, no salinity, no richness to speak of. Just sweet with a textural crunch from the almonds and a chewiness. And that was all the caramel we got! Strangely enough, all the ingredients are natural, yet are combined in such a way that they are absolutely flavorless.
This was really disappointing and strange to eat. Where did all the calories come from? And why is it so small? Pats of butter don’t have this much caloric damage and this little flavor in their size. Quaker and Kashi have my business back, because this is one area Archer Farms’ risky flavors just don’t cut it in.

Heater Meals Plus Hearty Scrambled Eggs and Bacon

“Son, just give me all of the bacon and eggs you have. Wait, wait, I worry what you just heard was, “Give me a lot of bacon and eggs.” What I said was, “Give me ALL the bacon and eggs you have.” Do you understand?” -Ron Swanson, Parks and Recreation

As soon as I opened this package, I immediately thought of Parks and Rec, our favorite television show, and one of its characters, Ron Swanson, a man whom I’m convinced was created for Swagger. He has a framed poster of bacon and eggs on his wall! I found it duly appropriate to review this while watching the latest episode.
The packaging is pretty badass. Minimal. It knows you want it. It did lack, to my crushing disappointment, the freeze-dried watermelon I salivated over on the package. Another time, Heater Meals. Another time.
The Heater Meals Plus contains all the things you need for camping or alien nuclear war raids, two activities I greatly despise. It has trail mix, an off-brand Lovin’ Spoonful fruit cup, fruit punch, MOAR RAISINS, and the requisite bacon and eggs, one in a soft package, one in powdered form.

GAZE INTO THE GAPING MAW OF SIN, HUMAN.
The weaponry, er, heating device, sometimes sets off carbon monoxide detectors but does not contain carbon monoxide. Whew. It took about twenty minutes to cook the bacon and eggs inside the steaming, quivering container, during which time I witnessed the creation and scent of Hell itself and also could have prepared a dozen eggs and a pound of bacon. Seriously, though, Hell itself. The package, while cooking, releases gritty steam that reeks of sulfur. I may have heard demons laughing inside. But I persevered because I loves me some bacon.

The artillery. It said it would only take ten to fifteen minutes, but it took almost twice that and required a good deal of finagling to make sure the water didn’t spill out of the bag and that the eggs and bacon heated evenly. If I was camping, I’d have just hunted and eaten a bear by now. While I was waiting, I snarfed down the trail mix. It was delicious and salty in all its components. A little raisin heavy, but it gave me the energy to focus on the rest of the meal instead of listlessly wandering off to Burger King in my bathrobe.More evidence of possible Satanic intervention. ZOMG, call Beatrice Sparks!

Unfortunately, not even the black magic of Red Devil hot sauce could save this meal. As you can see, something’s not quite right. That something is the fact that I didn’t adequately mash around the eggs pre-cooking. A justifiable hesitation, as I didn’t want to accidentally risk the bag opening up and barfing liquified eggs all over the kitchen, nor did I care to fondle it for over thirty seconds before it bought me dinner. Er, breakfast. Thusly, the eggs alternated between clumpy and hard pieces and soft, liquidy custard bites. I pretended it was the yolk and cried into my plate softly.

The whole thing was a lukewarm mess, the bacon included. No amount of sauce or salt-free condiments could save those eggs, and the bacon was so far removed from pork it may have well been cat. Transparent, paper-thin slivers of smoke-flavored paper, they were. Jesus Christ. I eventually made it out of the trenches of creepy camping food and made myself a sandwich.

Fine and Raw Mesquite Chocolate Bar

Here’s a little joke for you: what do lesbian pulp fiction novels of the 1960’s and raw chocolate have in common?The obvious answer would be “cowgirls” and gratuitous usage of the phrase “fine and raw,” but we need to go deeper. Deeper, that is, into the problems with raw foods. I’ve never been an advocate of the paleolithic diet or any form of dietary deprivation that limits my intake of meat, cheese, potatoes, bread, cookie dough, alcohol, processed food in a spray can, or cheeseburger sliders. First Tracks picked up this bar at his local specialty food store, knowing my affinity for leggy women and mesquite flavoring, and gave it to me to review. Needless to say, I was expecting titillation on par with most objects that come in plain brown wrappers.According to the no longer unreliable source of Wikipedia, raw food is a “demonly impractical and lame excuse for ordering tepid dishes normally served to infants.” And that’s a fact. But here we had a snack that did not require heating or preparation and it was from Brooklyn. Remember the riddle I asked at the beginning of this post? Here’s the answer. The candy bar, like our classic example, “Depraved Lust Boys,” promised a similar vow with its enticing covered and delivered the same disappointment with its grainy, lackluster innards as DLB did on a long train ride home. The candy bar was strangely gritty, like hard, raisiny brownie batter, with a predominantly chalky texture. The complete lack of sugar created an obvious bitterness with no other ingredients to make up for that dearth. To add insult to injury, there was no mesquite to speak of, none whatsoever, and don’t get me started on the lack of cowgirls.I can’t believe this was so unsuccessful and so far removed from what I know to be chocolate. I could liken it to cracking open a copy of “21 Gay Street” or “All the Gay Girls” or “Art Colony Perverts” expecting Dostoevsky level depth, but you get the point. This was disappointing and has definitely dissuaded me from eating like my monkey ancestors did.

Paldo Aloe Drink: Pomegranate

I used to see Aloe drink all the time when I was a young lad shopping with my parents in the Asian grocery store but was always turned away by its weird texture. Then one day, on my first food based adventure with Foodette we bought a bottle of regular green aloe drink from the local grocery and I’ve been hooked on it since. The taste of regular aloe drink is crisp and refreshing and tastes like really expensive Muscat grapes. The texture however is something that could take getting used to. The texture of aloe drink is mostly liquid I would say but contains little chunks of aloe pulp. The texture of aloe pulp is very much like the texture of grapes. A drink that tastes like Muscat grapes and has a pulp similar to grape pulp, it’s probably the best thing ever. You’ll love regular aloe drink as much as I do if you like grapes as much as I do, which is a lot.


I stumbled on this different flavor of aloe drink the other night after losing a bit of money at the casino. I saw this on the shelf of a local exotic foods market and thought: “I love aloe, and I like pomegranate too, this could be awesome!” At a price of over $2 a bottle, I was expecting the next greatest thing since regular aloe drink. What I actually got was a bottle of disappointment equal the amount of disappointment I would feel if the next Call of Duty game would feature the voice talent of Justin Bieber in collaboration with the whole cast of Glee.

I still haven’t figured out how they people at Paldo could mess up something that is as delicious as aloe drink, but they did. It was like they took the worst parts of pomegranate juice and the worst parts of aloe drink and bottled it. The juice tasted like artificially flavored pomegranate sugars with added bitterness in a futile effort to emulate the taste of natural pomegranate. The aloe did not absorb any of the flavors of the juice at all, thus it tasted like soft tasteless grape pulp.

It was sometime between the artificially bitter-sweet juice and the tasteless pulp to realize that I had been robbed for a second time that night. There was a moment of despair similar to the moment I had lost my final hand of Spanish 21. I had bought an overly expensive drink that was terrible. It wasn’t something that can be attributed to not having an acquired taste. It was because the drink was just terrible. The flavors are completely artificial and the aloe pulp is unflavored. Even if the aloe pulp absorbed the flavor of the juice it would be terrible. I’m going back to the ever refreshing and delicious green aloe drink which I can drink all day every day I don’t give a fuck.


SPICY WEEK PART 2: Regular Hot Sauces

All right. All is back to normal and the photos are here! So without further ado, let me share with you the results of a drunken evening with Swagger, 40 McNuggets, and an asston of hot sauces. Damn, son.We judged the hot sauces out of ten, with points for these categories:
Heat (Out of three. The heat had to be lingering with a good burn, but not painful)
Flavor (Out of three. Savory, peppery, vinegary, with a good balance.)
Appearance (Out of three. Visually appealing? Appetizing? Something you’d serve to guests?)
Label (Out of one. Is it clip-art or Cezanne?)The first sauce tried was the Suck Creek wing sauce. I especially liked it because of its name, but the clip-art minimalist logo, and funky chicken legs sticking out from the name were kind of cheesy. This was a visually appealing sauce, but had lots of vinegar. Possibly a little too much, because that was really all we tasted. It had a slight burn, but didn’t really linger.
Heat- 2
Flavor- 1
Appearance- 3
Label- 0
OVERALL- 6The next sauce was a Caribbean hot sauce, Goldson’s MoreFire. I love fruit and heat so I was expecting a nice mango or papaya flavor in this. It was difficult for Swagger to get this open because it was sealed with a crappy sticker, and combined with the ever-persistent “drunk hands,” we quickly got irritated. The packaging was strange and looked like someone had gone overboard with Photoshop. And after all that work, it wasn’t worth the hassle. It smelled strange, and the main ingredient wasn’t even pepper. It was tomato. It smelled like barbecue and was overly chunky with a weird spice that faded quickly away.
Heat- 0
Flavor- 1
Appearance- 0
Label- 1
OVERALL- 2After that, we had a sauce that I’d had kicking around for a while, the Big Papi Double Hitter. Now, I don’t know about you, but when I see a label advertising “Big Papi’s sauce,” a man whose lips are dangerously close to a smoking, phallic object, and flaming objects all around, I think of one thing. Luckily, Swagger knows a thing or two about baseball and informed me that this was actually the fabulous David Ortiz. And the sauce wasn’t bad. The packaging may have been a little suggestive, but it had a nice blend of peppers and a decent heat with a clean, wasabi-like burn. It was a little salty, but carried a good smoky flavor, too.
Heat- 2
Flavor- 2
Appearance- 1
Label- 1
OVERALL- 6This hot sauce looked a little like the Suck Creek sauce, but with a thicker texture. It was a Southern hot sauce, so I expected a lot from this company. But Lillie’s of Charleston spent more time making sure their labels were Gullah-approved than priming their hot sauces, because this was too sweet with a very slight burn suspected to be from the vinegar that clouded its flavor than peppers.
Heat- 0
Flavor- 1
Appearance- 1
Label- 0
OVERALL- 2After that, we had a sauce by Heartbreaking Dawn’s. They sent over a few unique product that spanned other categories as well, but this classic “gold” sauce made me think of mustard and heat- two of my favorite things. The packaging was funky, but I didn’t really understand what the tiki-like creature on the bottle was. It smelled promising, and wasn’t too sweet, but had an overpowering vinegar aftertaste. It was still pretty tasty with a lingering burn.
Heat- 2
Flavor- 2
Appearance- 1
Label- 1
Overall- 7
Dr. Gonzo’s Uncommon Condiments was a company I’d been chatting with for a while, and their products seemed diverse and interesting, with archaic names that reminded me of an apothecary. The packaging and labeling was clean-cut and monochromatic in an Inception, hipster-like fashion. This particular sauce, the Buffalo Balm, was very watery, but had an exceptionally tasty lime and jalapeno flavor and a really good, lingering prickle. There was no aftertaste, but there was one of the best afterburns of any of the sauces we’d had so far. This was seriously good stuff.
Heat- 3
Flavor- 3
Appearance- 1
Label- 2
Overall- 9The next sauce was weird in all senses of the word. For starters, Trini Mike’s had a creepy anthropomorphic pepper character, and that guy was jacked. So we had this jacked pepper character on a beach, with his sexy pepper wife and adorable pepper infant grilling peppers on the beach, and then the pepper sauce in the bottle. These characters not only condoned cannibalism; they actively participated in it themselves! Who was the pepper in the bottle? A cousin? An ex-lover of Mrs. Pep? When we opened the bottle, the sauce had separated and was thick and gooey on top. This sauce was like napalm. It was painfully hot with no flavor and took about ten minutes for me to get the burn to recede, aided by about a half gallon of milk. I didn’t enjoy this at all and thought it was disgusting.
Heat- 0
Flavor- 0
Appearance- 0
Label- 0
OVERALL- 0
The next sauce was a little misleading. I had been under the impression that this was a unique, fruit-based hot sauce, but it was really more of a fruit spread. It was unique, a sunny peach-tomato “hot sauce” with a really distinctly organic flavor, but it wasn’t hot at all. Strangely enough, this contained habanero peppers, but we didn’t taste them at all.
Heat- 0
Flavor- 1
Appearance- 2
Label- 0
OVERALL- 3We came up with another wing sauce after that one. It lived up to its name- Saucy Mama. It was a bright, bold red with a succinct label and it glistened on our nugget. This really was the perfect wing sauce- even going as far as to rival Frank’s! It was a buttery, tangy wing sauce with a freakishly smooth texture. Really, really smooth, and it even had a decent heat to boot, perfectly balanced between pepper and vinegar. This was a wonderful sauce and Keepitcoming and I even used it in a sandwich for the Puppy Bowl.
Heat- 3
Flavor- 2
Appearance- 2
Label- 1
OVERALL- 8We then came onto the Crooked Condiments hot sauce. It said it was a jalapeno hot sauce, but was mysteriously brown and chunky, with a sour scent wafting from the bottle. It had a very distinct smell, like soy sauce and raw onions. And it was not what we were expecting- there was nothing to distinguish that it was at all jalapeno. It tasted more like a spicy tamarind sauce, with a quick burn and a milky, sour aftertaste.
Heat- 1
Flavor- 0
Appearance- 0
Label- 0
OVERALL- 1Ten sauces in and we were pretty tired and pretty wasted. It was already 1 in the morning and we’d ingested more nuggets than any man ought to. But still, we persevered. The next sauce was from the aptly named sauce line, Pain is Good. And indeed, it is, with a sauce like this. The sauce in question was a jalapeno harissa, a familiar spice flirting with the exotic. This, I liked. The bottle and labeling gave a mixed breed stereotype- maybe your hippie cousin’s grungy girlfriend from Texas. She has dreadlocks. With its lunch bag label and screaming severed heads, along with a flask-shaped bottle, it was pretty snappy and a little sexy. Immediately after opening the bottle, a nice, smoky scent emanated out. It was a really flavorful, smoky sauce, and it wasn’t too spicy, but packed enough heat to make us draw in our breaths. You can really taste the roasting of the peppers and spices in this.
Heat- 1
Flavor- 3
Appearance- 2
Label- 1
OVERALL- 7After that was a South African sauce, Nando’s Hot Peri-Peri sauce. This was another bright, coral-colored sauce with a kick to its flavor- surprisingly, not a spicy kick. The real surprise in this was a bright, fresh burst of lemon about midway the bite. For a sauce with vinegar as the main ingredient, it sure wasn’t as acidic as I’d imagined it to be.
Heat- 2
Flavor- 3
Appearance- 1
Label- 0
OVERALL- 6The last hot sauce of the night (thankfully) was Red Hot Robin’s chipotle mango hot sauce. This was a drippy, almost syrupy in consistency, sauce that was a little heavy handed on the chipotle. The smokiness was almost too cloying for me, but it had a good burn to cut it and a sweet flavor, despite lacking a distinct mango taste. Swagger and I both liked the Ed Hardyesque packaging.
Heat- 3
Flavor- 1
Appearance- 1
Label- 1
OVERALL- 6

TOP THREE
1. Dr. Gonzo’s Buffalo Balm (9)
2. Saucy Mama’s Wing Sauce (8)
3. Pain is Good Jalapeno Harissa Sauce (8)

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s spicy post…Swagger reviews death sauces!

SPICY WEEK PART 1: Weird Ass Stuff/Misc.

Another rearrangement. Spicy Week 2011 isn’t out of order- it’s SPECIAL. And also entirely my fault. But tonight I’m featuring, as Always Sunny in Philadelphia would say, the wild card. Or wild cards, in this case. This selection was a bunch of hot sauces or spreads that were too interesting to lump into one category. I wanted to feature them together instead of just cramming them in somewhere they wouldn’t stand out- it would be like drinking an ’89 Clinet in between two other big players- a Beaucastel or a Certan. That way, I’d be able to enjoy and savor each one.It was indeed, a motley crue of sauces. All different peppers, syrups, sauces, jellies. But quite tasty across the board. We started on a pretty dismal note. The first sauce, from Pain is Good, was a jalapeno wasabi sauce. The packaging was unique. All across the board, PiG has shown us a brown bag, flask-shaped, sort of grungy style that I rather like. It’s the same here. And the sauce looked promising, but turned out to be sour from the start, with a funky mouthfeel and aftertaste. It was probably all the worst of both jalapeno and wasabi, and would doubtedly go well and overpower any food it was paired with. The next sauce was from Nando’s Peri-Peri, their extra mild lemon Peri-Peri sauce. Having enjoyed their hot sauce and cooking sauce in the past, I was prepared to put this on my chips and savor it. Even if you’re from an area with little to no good Mexican, who hasn’t enjoyed the combination of citrus and salt? I love squeezing limes on my nachos. This, however, was pretty disgusting. It was very, very bitter with too much lemon. Ironically, the citrus made the “extra mild” sauce a little bit hot from the acidic burn. It had a soapiness to it and a smell I couldn’t quite distinguish. After passing it to my roommates, we later determined that it smelled exactly like nail polish remover and an asston of garlic. It’s inedible and I wouldn’t put this on anything for fear of being suspected of poisoning. Luckily, it went up from there. After that, I tried Benito’s habanero maple syrup. I was really excited when this came in, as I’d been envisioning a cold winter breakfast of jalapeno cornmeal pancakes with syrup, and this made it sound even more delectable. I figured that at its worst, it could be thick and grainy and overly spicy. But it was perfect. Honestly, one of the tastiest syrups I’ve had, despite being an outlier. The first great thing was that it had a natural maple syrup base and flowed easily and smoothly. I’d have guzzled this plain, but it got even better and it came with a burn! A lingering heat that didn’t overwhelm the sugar, but would wake you up in the morning for sure.Then came the jams. Honestly, I’m dying to use these jams in a jalapeno popper. Or maybe a sweet banana pepper popper. I think they’d go really well with cream cheese. This is the Chili Dawg’s Strawbanero. I think the names are a little contradictory, because I expected something chili-related, but jam is delicious. The strawberry flavor was intense and seedy, with a little gumminess. The heat was present, and definitely in with the jam, but was inevitably not very spicy and died out quickly. Overall, kind of disappointing for a spicy product, but decent as a jam.
This next jam was one of four my father brought me from France, all themed with strange peppers and fruits native to Europe. This is supposedly a coing and Szechuan pepper jam. I had no idea as to what a coing was, but Wikipedia France told me it was an extremely aromatic, large fruit, with an acidic flavor and a pear-like shape. When I tasted it, its softness reminded me of a plum and it had an appley, slightly citrus flavor. I’d definitely be interested in trying a fresh one. The peppers didn’t show through as a spice, but more as an herbal note. An intense herbal note. More like tea than spice, or pumpkin pie spice, but tasted pretty high end.The last sauce I tried was probably the most hot saucey of tonight’s bunch, a jalisco pepper hot blueberry sauce from Buen Apetito. I found that it had a nice heat that really lingered- for over two minutes, but otherwise could have fit in with the regular hot sauces. It didn’t remind me of a blueberry hot sauce aside from a strange pulpiness to the texture. But what I was really looking for, the berries, was lost in the heat.This is another jam that Keepitcoming tried as a gift from Dr. D back in November. It’s a saucy spicy jalapeno pepper jam grown by one of Dr. D’s friends and made into jam by her students. Her company is called We Be Jammin’ and makes excellent jam. This particular pepper was looser than most jams, but was very, very spicy and soaked into the toast and other breads we used, with a sweet brown sugar flavor and a substantial spice.

THE BREAKDOWN
Pain is Good Jalapeno Wasabi: 2
Nando’s Mild Lemon: 0
Benito’s Habanero Syrup: 10
Chili Dawg’s Strawbanero: 7
Carrefour Coings and Pepper: 8
Buen Apetito Blueberry: 5
We Be Jammin’ Hot Pepper Jam: 9

Clearly, Benito’s syrup was the tastiest unique product I tried tonight. I feel like it’s both versatile and exciting and my only qualm is that it comes in a tiny bottle when it seems as though it could be useful for so many foods. This is also the case with We Be Jammin’- another condiment that has that universal usage. Both sauces were well balanced with spice and sweet, and weren’t overwhelming in one way or another. Excellent!

Olive and Sinclair Salt and Pepper Chocolate Bar

I have a genuinely disturbing compulsion to put condiments in places that they don’t belong. It’s a pretty unhealthy relationship. If condiments and I were on the post-season finale of Teen Mom, Dr. Drew would be asking me and my adorable food-based child why we were still with the babydaddy. Sour cream goes on eggs, potatoes, and pancakes. Mayonnaise has become an edible primer for literally any flavor before going on sandwiches, and I need at least three dipping sauces for whatever appetizer we’re eating before I stop hyperventilating over a lack of dipping sauces.

Seeing this chocolate bar and needing it confirmed that I do have a problem and that, further more, I am completely unwilling to do anything about it. Salt and pepper in a chocolate. Both are fantastic on their own in chocolate, but together evoke fantastic images of two of my favorite things, artisan chocolate and cheap fast food, consummating an unrequited love and creating this thing.The resulting chocolate bar was about as successful as all of the participants of Teen Mom. Clearly, these two foods should have never made love. The dark chocolate was average at best, despite having a beautiful engraving of the company logo on it and being studded with the spices, and had very few notes to it. To be frank, it tasted like Hershey’s take on dark chocolate. The spices were obnoxious. The salt was palpably melting on the tongue and the pepper was barely present until, like a persistent sexually transmitted infection, it started burning in the back of my throat. It was annoying, but detracted from the mediocre chocolate, and we didn’t end up finishing the bar. Overall, it seemed as though the additions in the chocolate never really melded with the bar, but rather, sat on top of it and interfered with enjoying it.I was surprised at the positive publicity this got from other chocolate connoisseurs, but to each his own. I’m still going to search for the perfect mustard/sriracha/ketchup/soy sauce/barbecue sauce related chocolate bar. Hopefully it will be more integrated than this.

Brothers All Natural Strawberry and Banana Crisps

Here’s a snack from Brothers All Natural, a mixture of strawberry and banana fruit crisps. At first, I was really excited to eat these, because I saw the words “freeze dried” and that made me think “astronauts and pee bags,” but then I realized that these were not even remotely affiliated with astronauts. I’m all for eating healthy and organic, but to me, these feel like a consolation prize of a snack than an actual treat.

These were interesting. Part of me felt like I was being a good girl and eating something light, and another part of me felt like I was eating baby treats. When I poured them out of the bag, they made a crinkling sound like broken glass on the desk, a slightly disturbing sound for something I would later ingest.


The banana crisps were slightly better than the strawberry crisps, in that they actually tasted like bananas. That was where the similarity ended. They were milky and creamier than real bananas, but not in a good way. More of an, “I think these are overripe” way. On the Official Scale of Banana Hierarchy, (OSOBH) they were one step above plantain chips, two steps above overripe, bruised, mushy nanners, and one step below delicious green bananas.

I have decided not to draw this out for you, by popular request.

The strawberry crisps had a weird tang and crunch, as though they had way too many seeds inside, and left a chewy, sticky film in my mouth. They turned gummy and flavorless as soon as they hit liquid. I tried to resuscitate them with water, but to no avail. They were dead on arrival.


I had a hard time photographing this, because I had so many thoughts about mortality and fruit. I ended up doing a twelve photo composition with simulated fruit husks and a three page dissertation, but it was completely useless and also non-existent, so I’ve just included some photographs. I wish these were tastier.

Jet Puffed Swirl Mallows

There isn’t a whole lot in this world that pleases me more than a good 80’s bully flick. What am I talking about? You know the scene. The same lines, the same facial expressions, the same outdated turns of phrase. And the same punishment. Public humiliation. Food fights. Tripping. And the swirly.

I’ve never experienced a swirly, despite dangling on the edge of high school social circles, veering dangerously towards The Weird, but the phenomenon fascinated me much like waterboarding does. Who did this? When? It tapered out in my day, but even in mentioning, the swirly was an ominous fate for those who did not conform.These marshmallows have little to do with the aforementioned problem, but brought to mind vivid imagery and repressed issues I’ll probably bring up in therapy in twenty years. But they were on clearance for 68 cents, and for that, my mind was settled. I would take these freakish swirly marshmallows home and raise them as my own.This is really the meta-marshmallow to end all marshmallows. Now you can have cocoa in your cocoa while you cocoa with Cocoa. What? But really. There’s a pleasant, hypnotic brown and white swirl and an averagely sized marshmallow. I didn’t really enjoy these, much as I might not have enjoyed their namesake. The flavor, instead of being a combination of vanilla and chocolate, was a queasy berry flavor on top of a yielding fleshiness, a fake fruit from the island of Kraftedonia’s laboratory and scarier than Dr. Moreau’s creations. It completely dominated any hopes of gleaning an authentic marshmallow taste, and left a chalky residue and trail on the inside of my mouth, like a sweet, sugary STD. This was pretty unpleasant. No wonder it was so cheap.