So I went to Burning Man last week. I’ll save the details and such for another post, but suffice to say, it was amazing. Perception-changing, even without the help of hallucinogenic drugs. Just all around, pretty damn awesome. One night during the event, I went exploring alone. As I packed my bag for the wanderings, my Boy Scout training kicked in, and I over-prepared like crazy. Because that’s the motto of the Boy Scouts… “Over-prepare like crazy!”. I should mention at this point I barely remember my time in the Boy Scouts, save for it being hosted in a church basement, and making small wooden cars that coasted down in a hill in a contest of… gravity, I guess. I didn’t win. I’m assuming that at some point I was instructed to over-prepare for everything. At least, that was my take-away.
So being the good Boy Scout I was, I packed the essentials in my shoulder bag; clear goggles in the event of a night dust storm, a baggie of single-ply TP in case I needed to poop, a pocket knife, 3 Coors Lights, an apple, some spare LEDs, and 2 cans of Vienna sausages. I was obviously ready at this point for anything that desert could throw at me in my travels, in my shorts and unbuttoned dress shirt that was caked in more dust than… something dusty. I was going with a “PigPen from Peanuts” visual, but no dice. Oh well.
When we were buying supplies for BM, we’d read plenty that basically “salty processed junk in a can” would be our best bet. The alkaline playa out there is apparently really good at sucking you dry of salts. Essentially, the dirt is a deer, and you’re a salt lick. Best analogy ever.
Anyway, cruising the aisles of the store, I ran across my old, familiar, stocky friend. That friend who’d been with me through so many drunken experiences with my cohorts in my youth. That friend who was always happy to see you, ready at the drop of a hat, and had a pop-top lid that didn’t require any tools. Fortunately, that friend with no sharp edges as well, so when you shoved your hand inside him sloppily in a drunken stupor…
…I should stop using analogies. This is awkward now.
But seriously, so glad I didn’t cut my fingers.
Of course I speak of the one and only Armour Vienna Sausage. I honestly don’t know what culinary purpose they serve, but I’m extremely happy they exist. They’re the platypus of the canned meat world.
I swear I’ll stop.
Anyway, like pretty much everything in life, things in the land of short raw vertical hot dogs in juices have changed as well. Back in my day, you basically had your pick between “Shitty Hot Dog Water” flavor, and “Shitty Chicken Hot Dog Water” flavor. I normally chose the former.
I have no regrets.
But this is the year 2013. We need excitement! We need variety! We demand something different! Something to Tweet about! Something to probably Instagram! Maybe we’ll blog… about… it… Dammit.
Point being, there’s a lot more flavors now. While prepping for the trip, I tossed a Bourbon BBQ and “Syrup Flavored” can into the order, because I couldn’t think of a single thing that fit the “salty processed junk in a can” definition better than my trusty non-cutting friend, Vienna Sausage.
So, back on the playa, I snagged both cans, with the rationale that I might stumble across some very drunk or high person who would think those would possibly be the best things in the world at that moment.
As luck would have it, I didn’t. Both cans stayed in my bag, while I had an exploratory time roaming around a pitch-black desert looking at lit-up art installations and running across awesome DJs on mobile astounding sound systems. Later in the week though, I found myself drunk, and of course, my first instinct was to go into my bag, and grab what seemed to be the safe bet, the BBQ Bourbon flavored can. Indeed it was, and tasted as generically “BBQ Sauce” as humanely possible.
We left Black Rock City on Sunday morning. Now it’s Friday, I found Vodka, and rummaging through my still-dusty bag in the basement, I ran across the 2nd can on VS, the Syrup ones. I figured I was time for a nod at my experience, by popping that bastard open.
Here they are, the new kid on the block. I’m still trying to figure out on what planet someone would eat these for breakfast, but I’m assuming they just needed to fill in the exclamatory banner on the can template with something, and “won’t make you immediately die!” didn’t fit in the allotted space.
Then another shot, in all of their syupy glory, which sounds much worse than it really is.
Note from JK: Yes, I realize I ate most of them before I took the picture. I had a mid-can inspiration for this article.
Then finally, the presentation a la fork, which is French for “on the fork”.
Taste: Amazingly, decent. The syrup has a butter tinge to it, and it’s perfectly mimics pancake time. Of course that means little in the grand scheme of things, because:
Texture: While I went in to the can knowing exactly what to expect, if you took the texture of the Vienna Sausage in its purest form, and made it taste like pancakes, it would be really weird. Guess what? It is. I totally get what they’re doing. They want to invoke that perfect slightly-browned-and-crusted-over maple-drenched pork sausage thing. It doesn’t really work. Unless you like your perfect, slightly-browned-and-crusted-over maple-drenched pork sausage soaked in water for 45 minutes before you eat it. Because that’s really what you’re getting here.
Then again, they’re also fifty cents a can still. So maybe my expectations are out of whack.
JK Score: 5/10 I’m not kidding here, I’d totally just put the sauce from these on pancakes or something in a pinch and be totally and completely happy with how I started my day. I just doesn’t work as a Vienna Sausage flavor. I want to like it, I really do. But it’s weird.