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.

Chicken-Fried Turkey Burgers

I blame this bird-on-bird action on the cats.

Mainly because they have a tendency to zone in on soft, squishy rolls and systematically destroy them. And I couldn’t let this one go to waste, you know? Of course, there are a few factors at hand here that, when you think about it, offer limitless concepts and creatures to blame this godless creation on. You could blame Rachael Ray. After all, it was her recipe that lodged itself in my head, forcing me to make this two days later. You could even go as far as to blame the gym. I don’t buy Ray-ray’s magazine, but you know who does? My utterly sadistic athletic club, that’s who.

I’d even like to take a moment to blame the LSAT. With less than two weeks before my future is defined (no pressure) I bribed myself with homemade French fries while correcting some mistakes on my most recent test. One thing led to another.
As you can see, there are quite a few justifications for a deep-fried turkey burger. I think the strongest evidence in support of this burger’s creation and swift demise is that turkey is too healthy. It needs help. Deep-fried chicken is overdone, deep-fried burgers and steak have come and gone, but turkey is a poultry Pollyanna. It needs to be slutted up a little, and for me, that involves hot oil and pounding. We all have our quirks.

And this, my friend, is a grade-A kinky-assed burger with a T on top.

I’m sure this in no way aids nor behooves you, but these are deceptively easy to make and yield moist, flavorful results. They can be as gussied up or gussied down as you please- for this burger, I went for a distinctly (and indulgently) Southern flavor profile with hot sauce, mayonnaise, and a little citrus barbecue sauce for acidity. If burgers were big cats, these would be tigers because they’re bulky and ferocious. Just try them. And then maybe go to the gym after and pick up US Weekly or Newsweek instead of a food magazine. Woof.

Chicken-Fried Turkey Burgers
Ingredients (makes 4 burgers for four people, or 4 burgers for one person. Pro tip: these refrigerate really well)
4 long soft sub rolls
3 cups of corn oil
1 lb of turkey, divided into 4 1/4 lb pieces
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon of pepper
1 garlic clove
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1/8 cup cornmeal
1 teaspoon of baking powder
2 eggs
A dash of hot sauce
Mayo, hot sauce, lettuce, tomato, and barbecue sauce as toppings

1. Cut your sub rolls in half and start heating the corn oil in a pot, on medium-high heat until bubbling gently. Toss in the garlic clove for flavor. On a plate, mix flour, bread crumbs, cornmeal, salt, and pepper. On another plate, beat egg and add hot sauce.

2. Form turkey into patties and dip in breading and egg. At this point, adding some beer to the batter would be killer. Once the oil is bubbling, gently place the patties in, making sure none are touching and that they are all partially submerged in the oil. Pray. Let them cook on one side for about five minutes. When they are evenly golden brown and crispy, flip to the other side and let them cook another three minutes.

3. When they’re fully cooked, place them on a plate lined with paper towels or a brown grocery bag and let them drain. Place them on your sliced rolls, load with toppings, and inhale. These keep wonderfully (mine stayed crispy after I took a bite and immediately refrigerated it because it was too good to keep eating at 12:17 at night) The verdict? Best 3AM early breakfast I’ve ever had.

My world is straight up, downright gestalt right now. Come on over.

Pig of the Month Key West in a Bottle Citrus Grilling Sauce

People go on quests for the perfect type of food all the time. America’s best burger, the most extravagant red velvet cupcakes Venus has to offer, the types of things that reality television shows and type 2 diabetes are made of. I have some staples that I find always need improvement, but when it comes to barbecue sauce, I’m a closeted settler. I find that in most cases, it’s so slanted toward the mediocre that finding a sauce that doesn’t send me into a Tazmanian devil-esque frenzy makes my pants tent.

I thought it was crazy to want more out of barbecue sauce, and had been perfectly happy with either ignoring it or using it as an industrial-strength paste for my wallpaper, until I found this. Buyer’s Best Friend sent this summery sauce over by Pig of the Month. Initially, I looked at it and could almost taste the sugar and molasses-heavy flavors through the glass, like a useless sixth sense. However, since my father was coming by, we decided to throw caution to the grill and use it as a marinade and glaze for chicken, and boy, are we glad we did that.

Pig of the Month specializes in cutting out the middleman and sending dismembered animal parts right to your door, fresh for consumption and ritual sacrifice over fire pits. In addition to controlling the meat racket, they also sell bottles of their homemade sauces. We tried the Key West Citrus sauce and it was divine. I think I’ve used this on no less than three dishes in the last two days. Dumplings. An omlet sandwich. Grilled chicken. Turkey burgers.

Holy cow. BB-who, now? This sauce is silky. This sauce is sweet, but nowhere near unctuous. It has a spicy, bold pepper kick. Exceptional really isn’t a strong enough word for this sauce. Stupendous? Finger lickin’ good? Doesn’t hold a candle to how it really tastes. Instead, I’ll casually mention that by accident- I cannot stress that enough, a few drops of this made it onto a spoonful of peanut butter I was eating. And I kept eating it. And it was freaking awesome. That good enough for you?

Point is, this has the best balance and fruitiness of any barbecue sauce I’ve had. It eschews the unwritten philosophy that meat needs copious amounts of sugar, salt, and bland spices to handle a six-hour ride in a smoker and instead, soaks a bright, clean set of fruit juices (grapefruit comes out especially well here) and bold cayenne and cumin into the meat. It’s both a wonderful marinade and glaze as well as a drizzled sauce. If you’ve tried any other sauces from Pig of the Month (or any of their delectable porky products) let us know how you like them!