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Snacks/Chips

Um… Snacks. And chips.

Syrup Flavored Armour Vienna Sausage

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.

Doritos 3rd Degree Burn Scorchin’ Habanero

Anyone that knows me, knows 3 things about me:

1) I’m not proud of my third nipple, but I’m not ashamed of it, either.
2) I served two tours in ‘Nam.
3) I like spicy crap.

Seriously. Give me a nuclear Bloody Mary with Dave’s Insanity Sauce after a heavy night of drinking, and I’m one happy camper. Really, I’m like George…

I’m generally pretty bummed out when I find something labeled “Hot” in the grocery store or in a fast food setting. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in this life, it’s that people are hot wusses.

So when I saw these pretties sitting on the shelf at my local 7-11, I grabbed them.

Whoomp.  There it is.  Or they are.  I guess it depends if we're referring to the bag, singular, or chips, plural.  Either way, whoomp.

Whoomp. There it is. Or they are. I guess it depends if we're referring to the bag, singular, or chips, plural. Either way, whoomp.

… Because I needed a reason to post a new entry. Sue me.

Upon removal from the bag, and pointless macro photography, you see they are basically Doritos, only redder than red. Even more red than the Diablo Enchilada chips, if that’s even possible.

Red, red, holy crap red.  Or as they say in Spanish, "rojo, rojo, holy crap rojo."  I think.  I suck at Spanish.

And then since Mr. Doritos bag was promising the 3rd Degree Burn, I decided to give the bag the 3rd degree…

Does Marsallus Wallace look like a bitch?

Does Marsallus Wallace look like a bitch?

There was a good 20 minutes of thorough interrogation. It ended up with me getting all sorts of great information, including the knowledge that these are, in fact, a bag of Doritos, and Doritos, by design, don’t respond well to any sort of questioning. Because they’re chips. And not people.

Oh well.

Texture: I’m not sure why I even bother. They’re fucking Doritos. They feel very Dorito-y in your mouth.

Taste: A little nacho-y, only sweeter, is the best I can describe. You stop caring once the burn hits. Nice delay behind it, but once it it hits, it hits hard. These chips, my friends, are hot. Eat a lot in succession, and you’ll be sweating, and have your sinuses cleared. Yes. They’re hot. They nailed it. Finally.

JK Score: 9/10 I killed the entire (99 cent) bag in one sitting, fairly quickly. They made me sweat and my nose run. It was awesome. I’m deducting a point for them making me look like a wuss.

Bissli Falafel Flavored Wheat Party Snacks

You know what I freakin’ love?

Wheat party snacks from Israel that are flavored like fried chickpeas… AND ARE FUCKING VAMPIRES.

Seriously. So good.

Oh. AND VAMPIRE-ISH. Like, you know, as in the blood-sucking dudes who get killed by Blade? (Or Buffy, pick your poison). I’m talking real, hardcore, honest to jeebus vampiric Tel Aviv-sourced party snacks here, people. None of this Twilight crap. REAL. VAMPIRE. WHEAT. SNACKS.

Oh, and they’re cholesterol free too. Which is always nice, because the last thing you want when you’re dying by the hands of a Falafel-flavored Nosferatu is high cholesterol. No one wants that combo.

Oh, the photographical tour of bla bla bla whatever is in order, I reckon.

Peep this. It’s a bag of the crap I’m fixin’ to eat.

Bag O' Falafel... thingers.  AND DEATH.

Bag O' Falafel... thingers. AND DEATH.

The individual harbringers of doom and blood-suckiness are individually pretty small. Sorta like FUCKING VAMPIRE BATS. DON’T THINK IT’S A COINCIDENCE.

Aw, so cute and innocent and blood-sucky.

Aw, so cute and innocent and blood-sucky.

Oh, I know what you’re thinking now. I’ll even put it in presumptuous quotes. Check it.

“Oh, but JK, why ever do you declare these seemingly normal and delicious-looking snacks to be of the blood-sucking variety, by chance?”

Simple, my fair… uh, I guess southern-belle-talking-person in my head..

Peep it.

A WITCH!  er... A VAMPIRE!  BURN IT!

A WITCH! er... A VAMPIRE! BURN IT!

There you have it. Indisputable evidence that these snacks are undead and “vant your blaaad.”

Or, alternatively, I’m an idiot and was reaching desperately for some hook/premise after looking at these damn things in my pantry for a couple months trying to figure out some angle to work.

Take your pick.

Texture: Definitely on the crunchy side, and kinda dense. But to be fair, these came from flippin’ Israel, sat on a store shelf for who-knows-how-the-hell long, and then in my pantry for another 6 months. So they’re probably just stale. Lucky for me, they don’t believe in expiration dates in Israel. So we’ll never know.

Taste: It took me a while to figure this one out. Starts off as a very, very bland Funyun , and kinda lingers and hangs out for a bit, then tastes like a bit like Falafel at the very end.

JK Score: 7/10 I’m basing this on the fact that I like Funyuns and Flalfel, your mileage may vary. I’ll disregard the vampire aspect for the sake of keeping scores fair across the board. I’d eat these again.

Doritos Flavor Shots

Editor’s note: Seriously, this is my last Doritos entry for a while. I can’t help it if they keep raising the awesome/stupid bar, though.


You know what I love? Jeff Goldblum in “The Fly“. Willem Defoe, no matter how creepy he is normally, in “Spiderman 2”, and kinda 3. Kevin Bacon in “Hollow Man“. Kevin Bacon in “Flatliners“. Whoever played the green guy in those shitty Incredible Hulk movies.

And you know why?

Power-drunk insanity makes me hot. And I love Kevin Bacon apparently.

All these dudes take something potentially awesome, go power-crazy, overdose, and fuck it all up for your entertainment.

Ugh. I already hate the premise I picked, because I know what’s coming up.

Alright. I have no clue if these are new or not, but I’ve never seen them before this morning:

20090612-doritos

So, they’re Doritos, right? And there’s a flavor packet inside. Think about that for a minute, while we do the photo tour.

Take a peek inside the bag there. We’ve got some Doritos… And wait, what’s that? Is that a prize?

20090612-inside

Booya.

20090612-packet

and inside this packet of love…

20090612-flava

And the chips, for whatever reason are standard-issue Nacho Cheese Doritos.

20090612-chip
Ok, tour’s over. Have you considered what we have on our hands here?

DIY Mother-Effing Doritos. We’ve reached a new level as a civilization today, people. This is the single most empowering invention in the history of man.

Every man, woman, and child can decide EXACTLY how much flavor they want on their Doritos. (Except for the pre-defined amount of Nacho for whatever reason)

This could be the answer to world peace.

….

….

I should probably, you know, put all the flavor one one chip. It would be flavor of the purest form. Flavor nirvana. Flavor Flav. I can handle it. I’ve been doing like, research and stuff. CSI dramatic science music music played the entire time, so I know it was legit.

To be completely honest with you, there’s absolutely zero indication on the bag explaining how the innocuous flavor packet is actually supposed to be used. Maybe dump it in the bag and toss it like a salad? I dunno.

Since I’m an idiot…

20090612-loaded

Just to test the waters, I pinched a little of the love powder off and put it on a single chip. It was actually hot for a Dorito seasoning. I also apparently got some in my nose because I sneezed like crazy. I also figured out that consuming the entire packet in one shot would probably make me puke my ass off. So I decided to baby step bite through it.

Bite one…

HOLY.. GRAPACHAKJSF. Very powdery, very buffalo-y. My mouth went instantly dry. I cried.

Bite two…

I decided to just man up and finish the fool off. On video because I care.

About 10 minutes later, I have heart burn. I never get heart burn. This sucks.

To top it all off, I didn’t get any kick-ass super powers or go completely insane. 🙁 (even though it looks like I may have started to in the video)

Texture: (with a little bit) It’s a flippin’ Dorito. With extra powder on it.

Texture: (with the rest on it) It’s a flippin Dorito. With ungodly amounts of hell on it. That sucks your soul and all the liquid from your body instantly. And you’re left chewing on powder. And DEATH.

Taste: (with a little on it) Basically a Nacho Cheese Dorito… With a small kick to it. Pretty nice, actually.

Taste: (with the rest on it) Basically a Nacho Cheese Dorito… WITH THE FIRES FROM HELL UPON IT. Seriously, it was hot. And I like hot shit. And there was more cheese flavor in there for some forsaken reason.

JK Score: (averaged): !DIVIDE BY ZERO I suck at math. It’s an 8 with normal-people amounts, and -489 with the rest of the packet on there. Whatever that works out to. =

Doritos Diablo Enchilado

Ole!

Check it out. I’m keeping things semi-seasonal-related still. Cinco De Mayo is just around the corner, and I happened upon some awesome-looking Doritos at my local store, so I was all “hell yah”.
20090421-IMG_0903

Seriously. Hell yah. There’s a DEVIL on the bag. And he’s ON FIRE. Because he’s a BADASS. Oh, and he looks happy too, for some reason.
20090421-IMG_0904

And can you blame him? I mean, if I were Beelzebub (not to be confused with BeetleJuice from the Stern Show), I imagine I’d be pretty sick of the standard wheelin’ dealin’ for souls, keeping house in Hell, and making sure Ashton Kutcher somehow stayed relevant.

I’d be ready for a freaking Doritos bag spot.

Obviously much more coveted than the front of a Wheaties box, how many people get to be on the front of a Doritos bag?

I’ll tell you how many.

NONE, BITCH.

Unless, of course, you’re willing to get your nuts crushed and are Japanese. Then they make exceptions, apparently:
20090421-doritosnuts

But let’s remove them from the stats. Because really, who wants to be spun around by their legs with a foot firmly planted on the family jewels just to make the cover of a bag of Doritos?

Not Satan, I’ll tell ya that. He’s got a good agent. No need for such tomfoolerly. Make Doritos work on your terms, that’s hardcore, and I respect it fully.

Let’s see how I respect the chips.

According to my 4 years of high school español (Thanks, Bonita!), I’m looking at some “Devil Enchilada” Doritos.

Well, that explains the devil on the bag at least.

Upon cracking open the bag, you get Doritos. Duh.

THE REDDEST DORITOS ON THE FACE OF THE EARTH!

20090421-IMG_0907

Seriously. So red. Or, should I say… “rojo”? Que lastima!

Texture: Seriously? It’s a Dorito.

Taste: Oddly enough, pretty much like an enchilada. Dorito’s mad scientists have perfected the art of making things taste like things for the most part. As far as Diablo goes… It’s pretty hit or miss. For the most part, there’s not much heat at all to them, but once in a while, you get one that’s a scorcher.

That’s most likely Old Scratch screwing with ya.

JK Score: 7/10 Honestly, not too shabby. I couldn’t rip through a mass of these like I could some Cool Ranch, but they’re pretty tasty. If I run across them again, I’d be apt to pick em up.

Wasabi Green Peas

Forgive me father, it has been… *checks* Crap. Almost two months since my last entry.

Stupid life, always getting in the way. Also, bears on tricycles. They get in the way too. I never really understood why, either. They just seem to have this uncanny ability to always be directly in front of where I’m trying to go:

Trying to go to work? Freaking’ bear-on-a-tricycle parade crossing the street.
Tried going to Taco Bell a few weeks ago. Place was closed because a drunk bear on a tricycle drove through the front window. Thought the brake was the gas or something.
On my way to the bathroom? Freakin’ bear on a tricycle. I’m not even sure how it got in the house, but there it was. I still have to pee.

Pee.

Oh! Yah. Food.

I grabbed some sushi for lunch at the store, so I figured I’d complete my Japanese bi-fecta(?) with a side treat of these bad boys. Fairly non-descript packaging, just says what’s up on the front, and then a bunch of Japanese, which I know nothing of, which either probably says “Roasted Wasabi Green Peas” or “Here’s some Crap, Eat it”. Hoping it’s the former.

20081021-img028 (Custom)

Opening up the bag and taking whiff, there’s a very familiar smell, but I can’t place it. Kinda dirty, kinda fishy for some reason. A peek at the back of the bag reveals Shrimp Powder as an ingredient. Dammit. Now that’s all I smell, and am reminded of my last foray into Asian snack food

Here’s the little guys, loose in the wild:

20081021-img030 (Custom)

And I think this is the part where I eat em. It’s been a while.

Texture: Very crunchy. Probably because they’re roasted. It actually reminds me of ants. Not sure why. Once you get past the crunchy pea-shell (not sure if that’s even a thing), things get a little mushy, but… they’re peas. Weird.

Taste: WASABI. Shocker, I know, but there’s hella wasabi going down here. Myself, I love the crap, and anything else derived from horseradish, so I’m all over these. In small amounts. They’re super-loaded. It’s neat. Then, there’s a bit of a residual pea flavor. But I think the peas are mostly just a carrier for the wasabi, kinda how we use celery as a Ranch Dressing shovel on this side of the ocean. And, of course, the ever-present slight hint of shrimp. Which I only noticed after reading the ingredient list, so that may be mostly in my head.

JK Score: 6/10 If I wasn’t such a fiend for having my sinsues cleared out during a snack, I’d rate these much lower, but I think that kind of thing is neat. Yay, snot!

Pringles Baked Wheat Stix – Pizza

Freaking sellouts.

I hate it when bands who’ve built their success on kicking ass have a lull, and then pander to mass marketing techniques to get their name back out there in the public eye.

With such great hits like “Lady”, “Mr. Roboto”, “Blue Collar Man”, and “Come Sail Away”, it’s a shame to see such an amazing band with a vast history resort to a pairing with a potato-chip-in-a-tube maker, and do some screwball pizza flavored wheat snack… Thing.

20080825-img008 (Custom)

Oh, wait. Stix. Shit.

Nevermind.

Um…. So… Pringles has these Stix things. I guess. Something.

I’m sure Dennis DeYoung would eat them… If the price was right.

On the back of the box, it says the following, which totally and completely clarifies, well, everything. Ever. It’s typed really small. I’m pretty sure there’s a few lines that say something about the Kennedy assassination, but they were cut out of every box. The part that babbles about the Stix says the following:

“PRINGLES STIX have it all.

Wrapped up in every baked stick is a snacking experience that is truly more than words – it’s a totally different kind of Pringle!”

20080825-img009 (Custom)

… Which is fine and all, but a Pringle is a damn chip. And not a wheat stick. So, by being… You know, a wheat stick, it suddenly ceases to be a Pringle… Which is a potato chip. You get where I’m going with this. So I’m angry now. Very angry.

So angry, I could eat wheat sticks!

Texture: Decidedly non-Pringle, it’s a freaking wheat stick. Whatever that is. It’s crunchy, and kinda dry. And gets stuck in your teeth like crazy.

Taste: They’re only 100 calories per pack, so they cram them chock-full of imitation pizza flavor to cover up the fact that they’re all 100-calorie crappy and stuff. It’s pretty severe, and very heavy on the oregano.

JK Score: 4/10 I’d eat them if they were the only thing in the house… Or in this case, the only thing in my hotel room, but I wouldn’t go seek them out again probably. Unless they put Mr. Roboto on the box. Shooting lasers.

Doritos “The Quest” Chips

(An open letter to Doritos, by JK)

Dear Doritos,

You suck. You’re mean. Who do you think you are? Here you are, one of the last bastions of good old American fat-assery, forcing your loyal customers to go out and actually do things? Not even that, you’re DEMANDING they figure out what the hell it is they’re actually eating, and then go to some web site and do puzzles or something?

the demands

the demands

I suppose some people will commend your latest move. “They” will say things like, “oh, Doritos is really challenging the public, making them use their minds and improve themselves”.

I’ve got news for you, Doritos. “They” are idiots. And assholes. Seriously. I really freaking hate “They”.

I’m old-school. I want a bag to tell me what the bloody hell I’m supposedly tasting. Let me in on the secret. Say, “hey JK, we made these chips, we put a whole lot of work into them to make them super-special for you, and they taste like… I dunno, how about Burger King fries with ketchup on them?

That’s all I want. Tell me what the hell you think things are supposed to taste like, just so I have an idea of what direction to go with things.

And you know what else, Doritos? You know what else? I don’t think you even told us what the last “flavor guessing venture” wound up being? I obviously could be very wrong here, but I’m really too lazy to look it up, and I don’t remember CBS breaking into How I Met Your Mother to announce it, so it never happened in my world. Great show, by the way.

So, in summation, you’re assholes. Or an asshole. I’m not sure if Doritos is plural or some guys last name. I guess I should look that up too. But I hate research.

Um… Oh. Also, screw you for demanding that I not only tell you what your chips taste like, but then be all like “hey fat ass, go solve a puzzle since you ate all your chips…. fatty”. You don’t even have to say it, I can tell you’re thinking it. You’ve always been judgemental like that, Doritos.

Also, if I didn’t bother googling to see what the flavor of the last Mystery Dorito is, what makes you think I’m going to go solve some puzzles and/or take control of… something at some web site?

I’m not. But it’s only to show you Who’s the Boss, not because I’m lazy. Dammit. It’s time I took charge in this relationship.

Love,
JK

Oh, I totally ate these chips too.

Here’s the bag. I’ve only seen them in the smaller .99 size, not in the ‘regular bag’ size:

20080610-questbag

And, for whatever reason, the actual chip.

20080610-questchip

Texture: It’s… A… Dorito.

Taste: Um… It’s lime-y. My friend Chris thinks Margarita, which I could see, since it’s lime-y, and really sweet, like a sweet n’ sour mix. Definitely no tequila though. Honestly, they don’t really taste like much. Imagine taking one of those Hint of Lime Tostitos , and loading a buttload of that flavor onto the chips, and making it a tad bit sweeter. Really, as far as mystery-flavors-that-chip-makers-are-too-damn-lazy-to-name-and-turn-it-into-a-veiled-contest-of-some-sort, these are kind of a letdown. I was hoping for at least something interesting, like Kangaroo and Chives or Farts and Bleu Cheese. Something.

JK Score: 4.5/10 If you take these for what they are, they’re just lime Doritos. Which on their own, aren’t anything amazing. Stick with more awesome flavors, like Fiery Habañero and the like.

Update: I’m a hypocrite, and did a little digging. I now know what the flavor is SUPPOSED to be, but I completely disagree. A lot. They’re still super-lime and kinda sweet.

Special K Snack Bites

Calorie Wars
Episode I: The Snack Bags

It is a period of snack war. Food
companies, striking from hidden
corporate headquarters have won their first victory
against the evil Diet Empire
During the battle, food companies managed
to steal secret plans to the Diet Empire’s
ultimate weapon, the DON’T EAT SO MANY CALORIES….

You’ll just have to picture that scrolling by on a dark background very slowly. It worked a lot better in my mind before I started typing it all out.

Anyway, I’m semi-officially back on the diet wagon again, thanks to my wife losing a metric crap-tonne of weight and making me look bad. My biggest issue is that I have a desk job, and I’m constantly snacking at my desk it seems. So, in an attempt to ween myself off of that, I turned to the 100-calorie packs of, well, everything. I’m pretty sure I could find a 100-calorie pack of lard if I tried hard enough.

In my quests for a 100-calorie pack of something crunchy today, I ran across what’s going to amount to the beginning of the end: the next evolution of xxx calorie packs. Yep, we’re down to 90. TAKE THAT, YOU FATASS 100 CALORIE-EATING BASTARDS!

I dunno. Clearly, it’s all downhill from here. Eventually, we’ll be buying 0-calorie packs of all of our favorite “bad” foods, which will consist of a bag that smells like cookies or whatever. It’s gonna be great. I can’t wait.

Actually, what I really can’t wait for is the inevitable coming of negative calorie packs. Like, you’ll have to run around the block before you can open an empty bag that says Chips Ahoy on it. And there’s nothing in there, just mockery. And maybe sweat. Or maybe the soul of Richard Simmons.

Because by that point in the future, I’m sure that Richard Simmons will be dead, and they will have figured out a way to mass produce Richard Simmons Soul, package it, and distribute it. In Chips Ahoy bags. Really, the only technological hurdle will be controlling it. You can’t have Richard Simmons Souls all out there running amok and motivating people. The net result would be some sort of headband-wearing jumping-jack annoyingly-upbeat zombie army. With whitefros. Granted, it would be a potentially unstoppable force, and some clever dude could probably find a good use for it, and possibly dominate a small area of land (not the world, of course). But, really, for the general populous, it would just be annoying, and create a sweatband-shortage epidemic not seen since the release of Flashdance.

Which, I guess could be pretty bad as well. We all remember having to queue up in the mid-eighties for our sweatband rations. No one wants to go through that again.

Oh, I totally bought some food.

Special K Snack Bites. I grabbed strawberry, because really, as any person who grew up on Frankenberry can tell you, it’s the best of all artificial flavors.

20080407-ksnackbitesbag (Custom)

Then, once you get in you’re greeted with what is actually a decent amount of snacking-ready food product. I have absolutely no idea how these are constructed, nor do I want to, but there’s some sort of VERY pink base with a smattering of crunchy on it.
20080407-ksnackbitespiece (Custom)

They’re pretty thin, kinda like chips.

Texture: Crunchy. Duh. Whatever that base is, it’s like a crisp cereal thing goin on, then you got your pseudo-granola granules (Band Name) that add some crunchy-ocity, and get stuck in your teeth.

Taste: Crunch Berries. Easy. Maybe just a tad less sweet and more tart. With some granola after-taste. It’s weird. Lucky for me, I freaking love Crunch Berries, so I’m all over this garbage.

JK Score: 9/10 Only rated so high because of my love of Crunch Berries. Seriously. If you’re not down with the CB, you’ll hate these. They had other flavors, but in my experience, the Chocolate from Special K is kinda wonky. Stick with what works.

Of course, my biggest issue now is not eating multiple packets. Dammit.

Calbee Shrimp Flavored Chips / Saki Ika Prepared Squid HOT

Get ready for some hard hitting journalism from the road, Jack Kerouac style. I’m in the Bay Area for a little vacation. Our trip took us into Chinatown, where I figured I was sure to find something… interesting to take a look at. In the basement of some shop, I ran across a mini-grocery, and found these gems. Since I’m really tired and recovering from a nice massive New Years hangover (Happy New Year, btw), I’m offering a 2008 seafood-related 2-for-1 review special.

First up: Calbee Shrimp Flavored Chips

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Upon seeing these, I thought to myself, “Self, these are going to suck. But you owe it to your readers to try this.” Of course, I did.

The product description on the bag quite innocently stated: “A toasted light snack, with a touch of shrimp.”

Awesome. I’m all for light snacks, and I like shrimp. Granted, I generally like my shrimp in, well… shrimp form. I’ve never in my life considered using shrimp as a flavoring. Obviously, this is why I don’t create awesome Chinese snacks.

Opening the bag, I took a wiff, as I usually do when encountering something as potentially screwed up as shrimp-flavored-anything. I was greeted with the wonderful odors of ass, butt, and hiney. Actually, it instantly reminded me of my aquarium-keeping days, when I used to get my fish dried krill as a treat. Just a very strong, very nasty old fishy smell.

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The “Chips” themselves were obviously more fry-like, with a nice little spiral pattern to them.

Texture: Not bad, pretty standard puffed potato-type snack. Light, and crunchy.

Flavor: One of those things that are just completely impossible to describe. Horrible. Immediately nasty. I don’t even see how this could be an acquired taste. It tasted exactly like it smelled, and since I can’t completely describe the smell, it’s pretty hard to describe the taste with today’s technology. Seriously, just take my word for it, they be nasty.

JK Score: 0/10 Yeah, they’re flipping bad. They make me want to re-scale my whole scoring system, because I need to figure out a way to effectively convey that I’d rather eat Dwight Yokam’s Chicken Lickin’s Chicken Rings Afire for every meal than ever put these in my mouth again.


Next!! Saki Ika Prepared Squid: HOT

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These bad boys were on the rack right next to the Shrimp Chips. Figured it’d make for a nice themed entry. This is a little bit more out there and straightforward with what you’re getting. It’s squid, it’s prepared, and it’s hot. Hell, there’s even a picture of a creepy, happy squid on the bag, and a see-through portion so you can revel in the quality of your snack.

Speaking of the bag, there’s a great little blurb on the back:

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“Enjoy Wel-Pac Prepared Squid at anytime and any place. Just open the bag and serve at parties. Make sure you have enough! It’s also a convenient snack to take on picnics.”

Oh hell yes. It’s the great portable party snack, Prepared Squid! And, apparently, it’s good for picnics. And parties. That’s it, though. Don’t even think about serving Wel-Pac Prepared Squid at your next business meeting. So, my final conclusion is that China rocks because it’s always a squid party/picnic.

Ain’t no party like a prepped-squid party, cuz a prepped-squid party won’t stop…

…stop vomiting, that is. Somehow, pulling the bag open and sticking my nose in yielded the exact same smell as the Shrimp Chips. And that scares me. It was seriously exactly the same.

Dumping out a bit, and you’ll see… well… prepared squid. Not a lot to look at. Looks and feels a bit like stringy beef jerky.

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Texture: Starts off with a weird beef jerky-like texture that dissolves into a almost-familiar calamari chewiness as you get into it.

Flavor: Same as the shrimp chips. Again, I don’t know how two things are this nasty in the same store, much less the same country. Combine that with the fact that despite being based on two different animals, they taste exactly the same… And, yah. Holycrap. Oh, there’s no hotness to speak of, either. Just a lot of salt.

JK Score 0/10: See above. Seriously. It’s just the chewy-nasty-non-chip version of the Shrimp Chips. Either that, or the Shrimp Chips are the airy, crunchy version of the Prepared Squid. It should be worth noting that about 2 hours later I still have the taste of both of these evil snacks in my mouth. I’ll probably have nightmares about John Tesh tonight too. Not because of the squid, but just because John Tesh scares me.

Of course, this leads to the obvious question:
Which came first, the Prepared Squid or the Shrimp Chip?