Archive for the 'Vending Machine Confidential' Category

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:


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.


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,

[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:


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.”