Sunday, March 5, 2017

Peeps Oreos!

Oreo has released a new limited edition flavor. This time they’ve taken an Easter candy staple and smashed it between a couple of their cookies. Check it out!

The thing about the Peeps Oreo, though, is that if you ignore the radioactive color (I think it’s officially called "Oh God, No! My Eyes! It Burns! It Burns So Bad! Pink") what you’ve basically got here is a regular Golden Oreo. The cookies are exactly the same and the filling is only a splash of vanilla away from being exactly the same as well.

Peep flavored Oreos are tasty enough and kind of fun to try but there’s really no reason to choose them over a regular old bag of the Golden kind unless you feel you have a shortage of Red 3 dye in your diet.

If you do suffer from said shortage, though, these suckers will fix you right up, guaranteed. I ate two cookies about six hours ago and have eaten and drank many things since and my tongue still looks like someone went at it with a pink highlighter. So, thanks to Peeps Oreos, I guess eggs aren’t the only thing I’m coloring this Easter season.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Taco Bell Naked Chicken Chalupa

Ever since KFC introduced the Double Down sandwich I’ve been saying that all bread should be fried chicken. Well, after almost seven whole years, another fast food franchise has finally risen to the Colonel’s challenge. Sadly, though, Taco Bell's new Naked Chicken Chalupa turned out to be kind of a rip off.

It’s not that the thing doesn’t taste okay - the avocado ranch sauce, especially, is actually really good - but when I bit in I realized that something important was missing. Take a look.

That’s lettuce, tomatoes, cheese and sauce inside. Where’s the meat, man? Don’t tell me it’s the thin chicken patty the whole thing is wrapped in. That's clearly the shell. “Qué diablos, Taco Bell”? 

Fillet-o-Fish Tale

I guess people hate fish. They say things like, “How’s the fish? It isn’t fishy, is it?” I can’t imagine anything worse than the name of a thing being its own pejorative. Apparently we even dislike people in the fish business. “Monger” just means a “dealer in a specified commodity” but nowadays it’s only used to denote those in the “war”, “whore”, and “fish” trades. Seriously? We’ve lumped seafood merchants in with that crowd? Not even lawyers get the monger moniker. I can only imagine that the missing Mr. Paul must have taken his own life in shame leaving Mrs. Paul with the fishstick business and that horrible label, “fishwife”.

Likewise, when people give a thing the preface “Mc” you know they’re denigrating it. The practice might have started as simply a way of saying that a thing is basic, convenient, inexpensive and standardized like a McDonald’s restaurant but, for example, calling USA Today a “McNewspaper” is not a compliment.

I was thinking about all of that while I ate the first McFish sandwhich I’ve had in many a moon.  (Yes, I know McDonald’s officially calls it the “Filet-O-Fish” but I refer to it by the name Mickey D’s franchise owner Lou Groen should have used when he invented the thing back in the early sixties to keep people in his predominately Roman Catholic neighborhood coming into his restaurant on Fridays when they didn’t eat meat for religious reasons.)

There’s no more humble a fast food sandwich than the lowly McFish. Just look at it.

Plain bun, mild tartar sauce, a patty that’s barely a glorified fishstick and some cheese. What the hell? Cheese? On fish? I think McDonald’s might be the only place in the world where cheese comes standard on a piece of seafood. 

But the thing is, the McFish is good. It's really good. Somehow the iffy ingredients manage to transmogrify into something greater than the sum of its parts. Ol’ Lou Groen might have just been trying to separate the pious from their hard earned dollar but what he actually created was some kind of neigh-religious miracle. I mean, the McFish ain’t water-into-wine but, given the base ingredients, I’d have to say it’s pretty darned close.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Reese’s Peanut Butter Easter Eggs?

As I’ve pointed out before, I’m not a big fan of rushing the junk food season so you can guess that when I went to the store to stock up on Reese’s Peanut Butter Valentine Hearts this week I was surprised and dismayed to see Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs already on the shelves. What the hell, Mr. Reese? It’s barely the middle of January. Can’t you let Cupid finishing his biz before you unleash the Easter Bunny?  I mean, don’t go pretending it’s spring before the groundhog has a chance to weigh in on when spring is even coming. (I don’t entirely trust rodent-based meteorology, but you get my point.)

But since, with the possible exception of cheeseburgers, Reese’s products are my favorite junk food of all time I choked down my disapproval and grabbed me some of the first eggs of the season. And when I got ‘em home and dug in, I realized that I’d been wrong. Very wrong.

Here’s the deal: I love Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups so much that if they unearthed a package in the ruins of Palenque, assuming the wrapper was intact, I’d probably eat ‘em. (In my fantasy the Mayans were terrible at predicting the end of the world but visionary when it comes to mixing chocolate and peanut butter, I guess.) That being said, fresher is always better. Check out the difference. Here’s a left over X-mas tree.

The oil from the peanut butter has started to permeate the chocolate, sticking the two layers together and blending the flavors. It ain't half bad but it's certainly not as tasty as one of these fresh Reese’s Eggs right here:

Look at the way the chocolate breaks and flakes away from the peanut butter filling. The blending hasn’t set in yet and it tastes way better. Well, there’s nothing fresher than the first Reese’s batch of the year. That’s why I recommend rushing the season, skipping the hearts and going on an early Easter egg hunt. Of course, the Easter Bunny may not have paid your area a visit yet and, if you live near me, chances are I’ve already grabbed ‘em and growled. Clock’s ticking, man!

Monday, December 26, 2016

Bourbon Balls!

When people from elsewhere in the world find out I’m from Kentucky there’s a pretty good chance they’ll mention Kentucky bourbon. There’s also a chance they’ll mention horses, University of Kentucky Basketball, hillbillies, or, if they’re from Japan, Kentucky Fried Chicken. All of those things deserve their own posts – especially the Japanese love of KFC – but today we’re talking about bourbon. And when you talk to me about bourbon, you’re going to hear about it the way I like it. See, I don’t take my bourbon in a glass, friend, I take it the way the Good Lord intended. I take it in a ball; a delicious candy ball!

They’ve been brewing bourbon corn whiskey in my home state since at least the 1800s but it took until 1938 for someone to figure out the best way to serve it. That someone was Ruth Hanley Booe of Rebecca Ruth Candy. She’s the mad genius who first mixed that devil liquor into heavenly chocolate truffle candies with a kick. Seventy-eight years later you can still get bourbon balls straight from the original source. My wife and I ordered up some from Rebecca Ruth via A Taste of Kentucky and they took me right back to Christmas at my grandmamma’s house. 

My grandma is no longer with us, nor is my aunt who often made bourbon balls for the holiday get-togethers, but the box that came in the mail was full of tasty little time machines and I got to kinda-sorta pay them both a visit.

I’m spending the holidays in Los Angeles this year but, thanks to bourbon balls from Rebecca Ruth (and a Bourbon Balls tee shirt from Kentucky For Kentucky) my heart isn’t the only part of me that’s back home.

Monday, November 28, 2016

chuao CHOCOLATIER (Don't blame me. That's how they spell it.)

Chuao calls themselves a “chocolatier” and puts out some highfalutin’ candy bars. Check out this fancy motherf’er right here:

Honeycomb? Are you kidding me? The package claims it’s, “Luscious amber honey, caramelized into crisp bits and enrobed in dark chocolate”.  “Luscious”?  “Amber honey”? “Enrobed in dark chocolate”? Enrobed? Are you freaking kidding me? I know one man’s elegant is another man’s gaudy but by any standard that’s pretty florid talk for something you can buy at a Ralph’s so I tried it with one mocking pinky sticking straight out like an old British lady at a posh tea party. (Or at least that’s kind of how I remember them doing it on that one season of Downton Abby I half watched with my wife.)

Well, the package might have set me off on a rant but the taste shut me up real quick. I hate to admit it but the “chuao honeycomb” (yeah, those pretentious bastards spell it in all lowercase like so much e.e. cummings) was mighty tasty. Turns out dark chocolate mixed with a strong honey flavor is pretty great. I could do without the attitude but, after actually eating one, it’s a price I’m willing to pay.

In fact, I liked it so much I tried their “baconluxious” bar.

“Delicate maple sweetness, a sprinkle of bonfire smoked sea salt and crispy, uncured bacon in milk chocolate”. Give me a break. But, again, the candy turned out to be damned delicious. The salt brings out the chocolate’s sweetness in a very nice way and the hint of bacon flavor is always welcome in my mouth.

“chuao” might be pretentious but I’m giving them a pass. Their stuff is too good not to eat. I am going to wolf it down double-fisted like a cretin, though. Consider it my little protest against candy bar pomposity.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Monster Musings

We’re deeply divided by many issues but I think there’s one thing upon which we can all agree: Igor was a terrible lab assistant. Dr. Frankenstein sent him out to get dead body parts to make his monster and the best head Igor could come up with was one with a flattop skull? (And, by-the-way, how did that guy die? Was he beaten to death with a shovel? Did an Acme safe fall on him? Frankenstein’s monster definitely raises more questions than he answers.)

Also, I’m not surprised that Doctor Frankenstein had to go into mad science. Have you seen the stitchwork on his monster? No respectable hospital would hire that guy.

I think a good defense against Dracula is to carry a red magic marker. That way when he shows up you can put two red dots on your neck. Then you’re pretty safe because, yuck, leftovers.

Speaking of Dracula, I’ll bet when Drac sees modern vampires he just shakes his head and wonders, “When did people stop dressing for dinner?”

Cut witches some slack, man. Think how “wicked” you’d feel if you had to do your morning commute hanging 200 feet in the air with all your bodyweight crushing a broomstick into your crotch.

Everyone who lived in the Black Lagoon resented the fact that it was only known as the hometown of The Creature. “What about the natural beauty of the unspoiled jungle?” they wondered. “What about the new arts center out on Highway 9?” 

These random thoughts about monster have been brought to you by the pile of Halloween candy I just ate. Yeah, let's blame it on the sugar rush.