Author Archive for Pinko Punko

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Dark Chocolate Fudge Clodhoppers-Mend. D Guest Post

A true shocker from Mendacious D. UC might need his fainting couch when he reads this:

You probably know Clodhoppers from this bag which you can’t stop eating out of once it’s been opened:

[image linked here because Gmail is a bag of choads. Non-chocolate covered clusters of choads that don’t let me display images]
[PP adds, tis true, they are. but me fixey]

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They are delicious clusters of concentrated yumminess. If they could be wrapped in bacon and deep-fried (I’m looking at you, Indiana State Fair) I would find myself in epicurean heaven, and probably on the receiving end of a pair of defibrillator paddles. Clear? More like clogged!

So, when in my local Shoppers’ Drug Mart I espied a curious variation: Dark Chocolate Clodhoppers. “Well,” I thought, “they’re on sale, and regular Clodhoppers are, in my estimation, the shizzle. Perhaps even the shizizzle when it comes to dessert-like snacks.” [PP adds: we’re you thinking this in 2005?] So I bought them. A steal at $2.79. A snip. Such a small price to pay for sampling the newest innovation from Chris and Larry, may Chocolate Buddha bless their every step.

So the next day at work I ripped open the plastic packaging and peeked in. The customary pre-scuffed (they just are. Don’t ask) chocolate clusters were there, albeit of a darker hue than their milk-chocolate-drenched cousins. Hands shaking (it may have been the caffeine), I extracted one and popped it into my mouth, expecting the palate-melting sensation of Clodhoppers, but perhaps not as sweet.

Sadly, it was not to be.

The ingredients, on paper, are beyond reproach: graham cracker, marshmallow, chocolate, and manna from heaven (FDA approval pending). Dark chocolate would be the not-so-sugary icing on the cluster, making even more of those delicious little balls.

Instead, there was… nothing. Somehow, through some marvel of culinary and manufacturing science, most of the flavour had been removed, with almost surgical precision. The graham wafer tasted like unsweetened rice puffs, the marshmallow was indistinguishable from the coating itself, and the chocolate was apparently mostly sugar and very little cocoa.

I was, to say the least, disappointed. It took me three full days to consume them throughout my various coffee/blogging breaks at the office. I couldn’t even bring myself to share them with my coworkers, lest I be shamed by their utter lack of taste, substance, or enjoyability and be forced to endure the iniquity of not being trusted with supplying snacks anymore. Truly an error from a company which has done so much for my waistline.

Now, if they made white chocolate Clodhoppers, I’d be all over that. If they didn’t mess it up like this.

Strawberry Milkshake Whoppers

Listen, after Durian fruit (unspeakable) and Chocoloate Mix Skittles debacles, we went in the other direction. You might think that the only successful spin-off Whoppers could come up with would be some sort of “Just The Insides!™” malt-balls, without the disgusting ultra-wax coating. Never mind that, we still like Whoppers, even though they lack any visible wick and therefore are poor candles.

Well, malted milk and fake strawberry seem like they should go well together while improving on the Whoppers experience by not trying to fake chocolate. The end result being Whopper chocolate>waxy wax waxy wax wax>Whopper fake strawberry. Kind of good.

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Cheesy Enchilada Cheetos

PP: “Hmm, I don’t know Chris, you are such a total cobag.”

Chris Matthews: “I know, it’s a steep price. Here, try this Crunchy “Cheesy Enchilada” Cheeto.”

PP: *Crunch* “Fine, I’ll appear on your stupid show. I can has more Cheesy Enchilada Cheetos?????”

THESE. ARE. SO. GOOD.

Skittles Chocolate Mix

Fish sends us a vending machine adventure. I encourage him to bring these to his next lab meeting for the punishment of Dr. Yin and Dr. Yang.

Fish writes:

New! Skittles Chocolate Mix:

[PP adds: I have obtained these as well, and shall follow along]

There is a vending machine outside my office. I love
that vending machine. Recently the machine contained
something strange and new. It contained these:

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Confused by the apparent paradox that these little
candies represented (chocolate candies are a
non-overlapping set with jelly beany candies), I had
to try them. How bad could they be.

Right?

So there are 5 flavors included in the bag. I will
discuss them individually.

1) Vanilla: You might ask why a bag of candy labeled
“Chocolate Mix” would have vanilla as one of the
flavors. Vanilla is, after all, not chocolate. In
fact, it could be considered not-chocolate, the very
essence of anti-chocolate. Just one more koan
represented by this product. The candies were white,
and when I ate them, it was if I was eating a crunchy,
chewy, nothing. They were completely neutral in
flavor. No hint of any commitment to flavor at all. It
was like you were chewing Switzerland, without the
great skiing.

[PP adds: more disgusting than nothing, but I can somehow see myself forgetting and eating another one]

2) S’mores: It is difficult to wrap your head around
the concept of graham cracker, marshmallow and
chocolate flavors all swirled into a chewy candy. It
is also difficult for the army of chemists at Mars
Snack Foods Inc., for none of those particular flavors
are present in this light-brown colored candy. Its
flavor compares favorably to licking someone’s butt,
but doesn’t fare quite so well in comparisons to say,
food.

[PP adds: Agreed. I’m beginning to regret this “eat along with Fish” exercise]

3) Chocolate Caramel: These were the best tasting
candies in the bag. This is much like saying Jonah
Goldberg is the smartest writer at NRO.

[PP adds: Agreed, OK yet somehow plasticky in a way you never notice with ultra-fake fruity flavors]

4) Chocolate Pudding: I can’t believe I put those in
my mouth. As a side note, I can say with a high degree
of certainty that I have said that sentence way
too many times in my life.

[PP adds: these might be good, or maybe the plasticky poison nanobots have reached my brain]

5) Brownie Batter: If you see me eating any of these,
shoot me, because I have rabies.

[PP adds: I’m going to murder Fish. The problem is not the taste of the flavoring, which you can isolate in the aftertaste (good job, food scientists), it is the burnt plastic taste of the actual Skittle portion. I will somehow finish the entire bag. And I will buy some for UC!!]

Cloverhill Big Texas Cinnamon Bun-Kathleen Guest Post

Kathleen writes to us:

“I have a minor obsession with vending machines [PP adds- oh me too]. I love to inspect their wares, and find the funny/crazy/unusual items being vended. Often I am disappointed, but sometimes I can have an afternoon’s enjoyment laughing over a well-placed pickle-in-a-bag, or a five-types-of-flavor frito.

Recently I passed by our office’s vending machine to find this option:

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Taste verdict: meh. dry. cinnamon-y. sugary top. about what you would expect from a pastry in a vending machine.

However, Hilarity Verdict: WINNER!

It caught my eye because (1) it’s a pastry in a vending machine (2) I don’t normally associate the state of Texas with cinnamon rolls and (3) it had a gold star award. Peering closer, this lucky pastry was Pastry of the Year! (I would give you the opportunity to peer closer, but my close-up picture sucked and didn’t focus properly.) And not only for 2007, but 2005 and 2006! Who gave out this prestigious award? Why Automatic Merchandiser “Providing the vending and OCS industry with valuable information for over 50 years.”

Who knew? I love random trade publications. And I love the internet. A decade ago I couldn’t have spent my work hours verifying product packaging claims! And sure enough, in the hotly contested world of Pastry, “Cloverhill Big Texas Cinnamon Bun was the only other return winner this year, grabbing top honors in the pastry category for the third straight year. The runner up in this category once again was Mrs. Freshley’s Jumbo Honey Bun.” [PP Adds- I’ve visited Mrs. Freshleys boarding house of horrors-Disgusting]

OMG, where can I find Mrs. Freshley’s Jumbo Honey Bun? And are they the same people responsible for Big Ben’s XL Beef Jerky.

But, it’s not only an Automatic Merchandiser award, it’s a Reader’s Choice award!! I ask you, is there anything more awesome than that? I do wonder why Peanut M&Ms don’t display their award on their wrapper? Well, some mysteries can never be unraveled.

But one thing is for sure. I will not rest until I can bring you the verdict, Delicious or Disgusting, on
White Castle Cheeseburger “reclaimed top honors in the food segment, marking the third time it has achieved this distinction. White Castle Cheeseburger also won the category’s top spot in 1997 and in 2000.”

That’s right people. Vended cheeseburgers.”

Two Great Tastes That Taste Great Together???

A picture play!

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Mon dieu! C’est Canadian Recevez Cinq!

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Sacre bleu!

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Oh noes! They be charging 150 bucks for this at Alinea!

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Verdict: Surprisngly or unsurprisingly not disgusting!

Tangy Roasted Corn Fritos

Imagine a flavor called “We decided to use some Chili Cheese™ flavor we had on hand and mix it with some old components of Wild and Mild Ranch™ Fritos (RIP) and some lime from our Mexican Limon™ flavor and abbreviate it as some weird non-sensical ‘Tangy Roasted Corn’ tag.” If you like fritos, this flavor is ungodly delicious in its otherworldliness of overkill, and most likely MSG or something. You can’t stop eating them and very soon you are full frito. I would like the Skimmer to eat a bag of these and then plant a gross one on BG before breakfast, then she will experience Full Frito!!!!!!

Verdict: Delicious, then Disgusting!

Ben and Jerry’s “Fossil Fuel”

COBAGS! HOW COULD THEY?? I CAN BARELY RESIST “DUBLIN MUDSLIDE”!!!!!!!! HOW DO YOU MAKE A “CRISPY FUDGE SWIRL”??? WHAT THE EFF IS THAT????

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UPDATE

The truncated category should be: “So Delicious if you scoop it out too hard and it goes flying onto the floor and gets a Smokey hair in it, it is still Delicious.”

Ssamjang

This Korean condiment, featuring hot chili fermented soybean paste and regular fermented soybean paste and other seasonings like some sugar and some rice wine is NOT like CIA-funded taste bud illicit drugs sold to funnel money to terrorists so they can conquer your addicted mouth in the name of freedom. It is not LIKE that, because it IS that. I have had this with Korean BBQ before, but couldn’t find it at the store. Little did I know that it comes in TUBS in its own AISLE. It even has a warning label on the back:

“Do not feed to Res Publica, he will be unable to stop, and his head will pop off from mouthly ecstacy.”

UC, LOOK FOR IT IN TUBS LIKE THIS!!!!

Korean Fried Chicken

Long story short, chicken is fried to order (takes about 15-20 minutes) and the pieces are exclusively drumsticks and wings. A New York Times article describes how these pieces cook perfectly so the fat is entirely rendered and the meat very juicy. Korean fried chicken is served relatively unseasoned in the plain style, but then there are sauced varieties which are more similar to American buffalo wings dressed with a variety of sauces.

Now for the chicken- it was exactly as described in the article. We happily discovered a combination option for trying all the styles of chicken with the different sauces- this option is listed on the menu as something like (“Modeum chicken- 3 plain, 3 spicy, 2 sauce, 2 sweet”). We found out what those descriptions mean:

“3 pieces plain”: fried chicken, relatively unseasoned. However, each table was furnished with a shaker of seasoning mix that seemed like salt and pepper, but actually tasted like salt/pepper/msg. No bother for us, a light sprinkling of this mix on the plain chicken really accented the chicken, the main attributes of which were crispiness and juiciness. The peppery/savory seasoning was perfect.

“3 spicy”- 3 pieces liberally slathered in a spicy, savory, touch of sweetness, garlicky, red colored sauce. The way the chicken is sauced directly before serving means that there is still some crispness to the skin even though the chicken is covered by the sauce. This form of chicken is most similar to eating buffalo wings with a slightly different sauce and quite similar to a number of wing places [Spicy Pteradactyl in everything but color -Ed.] I have eaten that offer many types of sauce. The sauce is advertised as homemade and was a nice touch, but be warned this chicken is quite saucy, so be prepared to be licking fingers.

“2 sauce”- Same sauce as above but not spicy, still quite good, but I would skip this and get either more spicy or more plain.

“2 sweet”- the sweet sauce is more of a syrup or a glaze- a clear, sticky glaze lightly covering the plain fried chicken. I personally love honey on american style fried chicken, and this was close to that, although the glaze had no honey in it. For the “sweet” chicken to really shine, it needs either seasoning in the coating or some at-the-table sprinkling of the magic mix (and happily that was provided).

The chicken is also served with some pickled daikon radish that is sweet/tart and totally addictive. The Times article described that this food is kind of bar/drinking food in Korea and the savory/saucy chicken and pickled radish would be perfect for having with beer or a cocktail. The owner also brought some slightly sweetened bagged Korean popcorn over and this was a great snack too. Especially with some salt/pepper/Msg sprinkled on it. Read it and weep, UC. Next time you go to NYC you have to get this stuff.

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