Friday, October 31, 2014

Finally, a practical review

So, here we are.

It's Friday.

It is Halloween.

Here, at last, is a truly useful review for all of us:

Equate Antacid Tablets

You can pick one of these bad boys up for less that 4 bucks at your local Wally World
As you can see, they fill the hand nicely.  The package feels heavy for its size.  This is not surprising since the contents are more or less powdered rocks, but still reassuring.

The texture is, in a word, chalky.  They chew rather easily and it is very easy to imagine yourself as the rock-eater from Neverending Story.  The flavor is strong without being overpowering.  It definitely leaves a fresh minty feeling in the mouth.  I quick inhale over teeth and tongue after swallowing will give you a great freeze-rush in the mouth.

These are not the full size tablets you may be accustomed to in a TUMS 1000 or similar.  But I find that this smaller and thinner tablet makes it easier to dose when you don't need 2 or 3 of the big guys.  They're also much larger than the pocket rolls of Rolaids.  These are the nickels to those quarters and dimes.

But do they work?  Absolutely!  I find I am getting almost instantaneous relief as soon as I swallow.  I will say that there is some chemical reactions at work here once it reaches your stomach.  Gas is the first thing I usually notice (have you ever put baking soda and vinegar together?).  Furthermore, don't chase these with a slurp of Coke.  You may find that you lose esophageal integrity and get some backflow into your head.

Rating: 500mg out of 5.00

Monday, October 27, 2014

I Hate Myself and Want to Die. . .

Today I will be reviewing the Doritos brand DINAMITA Fiery Habanero because I am an idiot.
I find the purple accents quite appealing. 
As some of you who have read previous posts will know, for some reason I am a sucker for the tightly rolled corn-chip snack phenomena.  I think this stems from my noticing them everywhere.  It is now far easier to find one of these spice rolled chip snacks than traditional corn-chips.  Even Frito's are hard to find in their pure form, being composed now mostly of twists and scoops.  A quick mental count of the corn-chips available at this stuffer shack today showed 7 varieties of DINAMITA and TAKIS and only 3 Frito's.  Since the last two reviews were less than spectacular I felt compelled to continue sampling until I figured out why this style of snack was growing in popularity.

So, let's open a bag.  The aroma is subtle at first, I have to put my nose right up to the bag before I can smell the corn-chippy smell and a twang of spice before, I. . . *ACHOO!!!*  Okay, that was unexpected.
Like a orange-tinted log-jam spilling out of the mouth of hell.
The bag is 4oz, which seems pretty standard for a corn-chip snack (notably more than most potato chips at 2.25oz). The bag is also slightly smaller than some others, making it seem fuller.  The very first thing that I notice is that these are not completely caked in Red Nuke-Powder as the last two varieties were (and the FunYuns).  They're still pretty bright orange from that red dust over yellow corn-chip, but not the deep red that leads to permanent lip and finger staining.

It is by the Red Nuke Powder
that lips acquire stains
the stains become a warning
it is by will alone I set my mind in motion...
Okay, let's actually eat one.
The flavor is the standard corn-chip meal.  Very crunchy, mostly dry, really sets the saliva rolling.  The spice is nice, very hot sauce + Dorito.  There is actually some heat here!  It creeps up on you at first, and you can feel it working down the back of your throat.  Very nice, these are actually the best rolled corn-chip snack I've had yet.  They're ver- AHHHhhh!!! WTF?!?  Wooooooo!!!!  *COUGH*  What The HELL, Give Me Something to Drink!!!

*Ahem* as I said, it creeps up on you.  This is especially the case if you start munching through the bag.  (Also, don't inhale while chewing...)  When you eat a single *ACHOO* chili you only get the capsaicin in that chili and then the effect wears off.  However when you eat a product like this which is dusted *slurps soda* with Habanero Red Nuke Powder, the effect is cumulatory.  At some point you'll get 1/2 way through the bag and the mouth heat reaches a crescendo of pain, and you- GRAAAANNGGGHHHH!


I͜͞ ̀҉C͏̷̧O͢Ḿ̸E ̷̡̕F̕ROM͢ A̶̵͞N͢ ̸͢A̶̵͘N̡̢͝C̸Ì̴E̷̸͟N̵T̀ ̵̢͜Ļ̸A̷̧N̢̛͘D̛͠͝ ̵̧T̵̵O҉ Ẁ̨͜R͡E͟͜C̀͢Ķ ̶HÁV̶̢̛ǪC̢͢ ́͞U҉P̷̡͠O͢N ͢͞T̢͘H̢E͟͡ ̧W͏O̷̧͘R͠L̵̕D̶͏.̡̛
̛͟͟SÈ͘E̸̵̡K ̴SH͝E̛͘͏L̸T́E͏͢͞R̴̵̡ M̢̀O͡R͝T̀A̡̡̨L̸̛ ̸͞FOR̀ ҉̸͜I̕ ̢̕A҉̸͟M̵̷͠ ҉H̵E̸ W͞H͏̨̡O͡ RĘ̵̀Ń̶DS͘ ̴̸̧S̷͝Ǫ̀UL̵S̵͜͡ ̢Į̕Ǹ̴̸T̷͞O̧ A͘͟͞ ̴̧N̢̕I҉͢C͞E̵̕͢ ̧̡̧C̷Á͏K̀E ̵̛͡B҉̧Ą҉͟T̸͜ŢE҉̴R ̛̛̕F̢̢́O̷̢R̴ ͟D҉̸ES̕S̶͝E̸̵͘R̸͡T̷
͡T̷̡HE ͠F̸̴͢I̡͜RE̡S̷͞ ҉̛O̵̕͞F̴̀ ̵̛H͏̶E̷L͜L̶̨ ͜͢S̵H̡A̕LL̕͜ ̛́B̡͝A͠K͏̧E ̸҉T̛H̴̨̛E̴E ̸͞A͘T̷͞ ̕͜3͝͏50 ̨̛͝F̧̛ÓR͞ ́A͘҉B̵̀OUT̴̡͟ A̶͡Ņ ̨͟͜H̴O̵̢̨Ù̡͢R̴͜
̴͟L̕͟É͘T҉̛ ̷COO̶͢͞L̶̢̛ AND͏̨̢ ͘F̧̛R͏̡OS҉̵͠T̛ ̀͟Ẁ̵I̢T͜͝H͘͞͝ ̶͟͢TH̕E͞ T͟E̶͡A̸Ŗ̵̛S͞ ̶̀O͡͡F͝ T͘H͜͢E͡ ́͢͢Í͢͢ŅN̶̷̨O̧C̴̢EN͡T͘
̵͠S̸͠E̴R̶͡VE͝R̴ ͏́͏C̡̀Ơ͢L̢D̀,̶͞ ̷͘W̢̕Į̵T̕Ḩ ̡͢R͏͠E̛̛̕V̧E͞ŃG̛̕É̢͡!҉̷!̢͜!̡͏͜

RATING: Fahrenheit 4.51/5.00

Friday, October 24, 2014

Fun + Onions = Funyuns?

Before we even start here, why the hell does every "hot" chip/snack now have to be completely covered in hyper-red finger and pants-staining flavor nuke powder?  It's like all chips/cheesepuffs/snacks need to come with a pair of disposable chopsticks for me to maintain my not red-handed dignity.  But I digress...

Flamin' Hot Funyuns!  
Hank Green is not impressed...
I honestly can't remember the last time I had regular Funyuns, so when I saw these I immediately thought, "New Blog Post!"  Actually, I think that a lot lately.  I hope this doesn't degenerate into LA Beast territory...

So, when I saw these sitting on the rack at the stuffer shack I knew I wasn't getting out of buying some.  As with many non-chip-shaped snacks lately, they are in an air-filled bag and tend to settle to the bottom.  The over-inflated bag is actually a safety feature which keeps the individual rings/sticks/orbs from being crushed to a powder from rough handling by being its own airbag.  That being said, there was a disappointingly meager volume of actual snack laying at the bottom of the bag.

Forced perspective makes my hand look even bigger than it normally is.
The whole bag weighed out at 2 3/8th oz or, at $1.49 a bag, just over $10 per pound.  I think to put snacks in perspective we should all think price per pound; I bet we would buy less or at the very least pay less than we do.  The snack itself tasted okay I guess.  They really phoned this one in.  It was literally just regular Funyuns coated with that slightly sour, ever so slightly bitter, but chemically hot, red spice-powder.  I think it's supposed to imitated a halfway point between buffalo sauce and Frank's Red Hot, maybe.
Please enjoy our hard-fried spicy prolapse rings...
One could say that they phoned it in so hard, that I am phoning in this review just for eating it.  I am torn between putting in a moratorium on reviewing any snack with the red spice powder of death on it, and not having anything new to review.  Since it seems that every new and "extreme" chip is absolutely covered with the stuff.

Maybe I'll just switch to doing reviews on yogurt or salad....

Rating: Meh, out of Ehh  (2.25/5)

Monday, October 20, 2014

Am I running out of snacks that I am willing to eat for a review...?

Today we have yet another "chips" review.  I have to put chips in quotation marks because we've moved beyond potatoes and even on to popcorn products.  I figure they all hang together on the shelf in bags, they're all fair game.

TAKIS - Salsa Brava flavor Hot Sauce Corn Snack by Barcel
(a company of Grupo Bimbo <--awesome name)
Net Wt 4oz
4 servings at 160 calories each (640 for the bag)

This bag is weird.  When unopened the air pressure inside made it difficult to determine what was actually in the bag.  Once opened everything settled to the bottom which appears to be some sort of space-time distortion, as it seemed I needed to put my hand all the way in to the elbow to come in contact with the snack.  Furthermore, the net wt of the snack is 4oz on the bag, but it feels deceptively hefty like it weighs a pound.

Once you get by the TARDIS effects of the snack in its bag, you are rewarded with a crunchy rolled corn-chip with a powdering of tomatoey-salsa flavoring... and salt.  I was immediately reminded of the Doritos DINAMITA review I put on Facebook back in August.*  Except this snack appears to have been created by a sane person.  The corn chip base is okay, not quite Frito's standard, but with a good crunch.  The flavor powder is only on the outside of the chip, applied post-roll.  The flavor powder itself is not overpowering, and has much less of the Alum-like pucker of the Doritos snack. I'm not sure of the chronology of these snacks, but since the bag is a TARDIS, I'll just say that I perceive Takis as coming first in the timeline, which makes the Doritos product the insane knockoff.

The rolled up chips are dusted lightly enough in places that the flavor is almost subtle (at least in comparison to the Doritos).  I also noticed that my fingers are not permanently stained, nor have I altered the hue of my pants.  I find that the ability to easily taste anything else after eating several of these make me like them more for what they aren't than what they are.  That being said, they are not spectacular in a way that makes me want to eat more of them, or suggest them to others.  Though, I think paired with a good guacamole or creamy/cheesy sauce these would be fantastic.  I have read elsewhere that I got the wussiest flavor of the grouping and there are more crazy flavors involving not only lime, but also jalapeno or even habanero that are supposed to be rather feisty.  Mayhaps those flavors are the ones that DINAMITA are copying.

Keeping all this in mind and the fact that I already had the Doritos and gave it a 3.14 for being crazy, I must give this a higher rating because it is a better snack.  I would still force the DINAMITA on people before these, but in rank of quality it beats out craziness.

Rating: 3.5/5.0

*BONUS - I have included the original short review I originally posted on facebook, August 28, 2014 about the Doritos DINAMITA Chili Limon flavored rolled corn chip snack:

"Please excuse me, as it would appear that my face has unexpectedly exploded...

These are ridiculously crunchy in a hard way from being tightly rolled tortilla chips. The flavor is, in a word, intense. YOU WILL TAKE A LOAD OF OUR INTENSE FLAVOR RIGHT IN YOUR MOUTH! It is a spicy-hot almost offensively south of the border cliche combo with a slightly chemical-tasting lime flavoring that is more like a powdered vinegar derivative than actual citrus juice. YOU'RE GOING TO CRUNCH AND PUCKER, FUCKER, AND YOU'RE GOING TO COME BACK FOR MORE PUNISHMENT FROM OUR HATE TUBE! Overall I am not repelled by this possible social experiment in food acceptance, but I am glad I have a coke to counter the "rolled to explode with flavor" sensation with every crunch... on a side note, I'm sure my fingertips are now permanently stained a deep red. 3.14/5.0")"

Friday, October 17, 2014

I am Erik's fictional childhood nostalgia. . .

Remember the good old days?  Those days way back when, before the Internet; things were simpler.  A day that will live on in your mind forever.  That day when your father picked you up from school on a late summer day in September at noon with a surprise.
"Hey, Slugger!" He said, "What say you and I take the day to go see a ball game?"
So you went down to the local field and watch your heroes stride across the grass.  Your Dad drank a half dozen beers from frosted plastic cups and he bought you a bag of caramel covered popcorn, but only if you yelled at Tommy Lasorda that he was a "Fat Fuck!  Eat a Dick!"

Yeah, I don't remember that either.  Also, this is Nebraska, WTF is professional baseball?  Is that what they're playing on WGN all the time?  At least my imaginary popcorn snack was great...

It doesn't come in a box anymore, which is too bad.  I seem to remember them making for great foil-lined coffins for a variety of action figures.  Though this classic snack now comes in a bag that hangs with all the dead potatoes at your local quickie-shop, it at least still comes with a prize.  It says so, right on the bag, "FUN PRIZE inside".  In hindsight, perhaps the word fun isn't an adjective which describes what you will have when you get the prize, but that it is "fun" to get a prize regardless of what that may be.

I made quick work of the thermo-sealed top of the bag and was soon rewarded with that sugary crypt smell of industrial caramel product over popcorn. I can also actually smell the salt, but not so much the actual popcorn. Assailed with these olfactory conundrums I decide to dive in, lest I lose my edge and leave this bag by the wayside.  My first bite reminds me instantly why I haven't eaten Cracker Jack in, like, 10 or 15 years.  The popcorn is stale, the "caramel" sticks to your teeth and the overall texture is that of regret.  The combo of the amber sugar coating and the popcorn hulls creates a mouth sensation not unlike epoxy-bonding beetle carapaces to your dentition like a sick facsimile of armor.

Working my way maybe a handful through the bag has taken the nostalgic wind out of my sails.  Each mastication of my overworked jaws rendering these starchy sugar-coated packing peanuts into a swallowable paste...
"But wait!" I say out loud in front of a confused coworker, "There is always a prize!  I bet I'll get a cool metal airplane trinket or an awesome tiger tattoo for my face!"
So I go digging, and digging, and digging.  During my excavations I come across one, single, peanut, which is also coated in the caramel flavored epoxy.  What the hell?  If the package says "Caramel Coated Popcorn & Peanuts", does that not suggest that the quantity and/or volume of the ingredients should be nearly equal?  I need more than one miserable peanut to make this work.  Oh, never mind, now I'm distracted:

YES!  Prize!  It is definitely tattoo shaped!  Time to see the glory of my new face adornment!

A sticker. . . of a shitty, uh. . . sports team?
I suppose it is ironic that I started this post with a fictional visit to a ball game and I am presented with the sticker for a baseball team (seriously, I thought it was hockey or something until I looked it up). I was going to defend my slightly dinged up man-card by saying this must be one of those new bullshit teams they started, but then I saw it was founded the year I was born. . .   But, like I said, Nebraska = WTF professional Baseball?

I am not going to finish this bag.  I just can't.  It doesn't live up to my memory of the product, it isn't good as a snack, it hurts my mouth to eat it, and quite frankly I don't know what I was expecting but this wasn't it.  As I type this fully 2/3rds of it is in the garbage

I give it: 1.0 out of 5

Other people are also disappointed in Cracker Jack.  People I can relate to.  If you go to the Whole Foods for normal people known as Trader Joe's, you will find a product called Grand Slam.  Whoever invented the Grand Slam for TJ's obviously wanted it to taste like their memory of the Cracker Jack of their youth.
The popcorn is huge, not stale, and covered in a crunchy caramel coating.  It has peanuts!  But it also has almonds and cashews and pecans.  They're rare in the bag, but only rare enough to make their discovery a tasty surprise, not wondering if you've just found the last white rhino. Every time I go to get more sparkling lime water I end up with chocolate and a bag of this, which I immediately open and eat in the car.
(by comparison to CJ, Grand Slam gets 4.0 out of 5 for caramel popcorn snacks)

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Down the 700 steps to deeper slumber…

I don’t know what city I was in when the dream started.  It looked like southern Florida, except the weather was drier.  I was being held captive in a medium rise, semi-luxury hotel, with a view of a sea of trees from the 14th floor. 

The green was a rich deciduousness of a river hollow in mid-July slowly undulating in the wind.  From that height it seemed that broccoli waves slowly crashed into the base of the building as the breeze blew through. Nearly all of the antagonists looked like a cross between Mike from Breaking Bad and Ed Harris.  They had guns, lots of guns, and while cordial they were very clear we were not allowed to leave.

I actually thought to myself in the dream that it was really dumb to let us keep our phones and allow us access to wireless internet as everybody seemed to have a laptop.  In hindsight (as dreams often replay scenes over and over) I believe there was a Stockholm Device activated in the room, as nobody mentioned the hostage situation in all their phone calls to loved ones or updates to social media. "Oh, hi, Mom. . . No, we're just hanging out at this hotel", "Do not order room-service in this hotel. #HelpYelp!".

I never knew why we were being detained, none of us were anything but what we were in the waking world.  Friends, acquaintances, family, and so on were all spread across several rooms in a blocked off floor of the hotel.  The leader of the group was the most embarrassing cliche' of a terrorist with long robes, crazy eyes, unkempt beard and quite literally a lit black spherical bomb under his turban.  This cartoonish madman had somehow obtained a nuclear weapon and was intent on detonating it in downtown Dreamtown, USA.

Now is when things get disjointed and weird.  Crazy McTerropants leaves with his cartoon bomb and we are left to our own devices.  There is a scuffle, a firefight and I'm pretty sure I gunned down actor Burt Young who was a thug but father to one of the other prisoners. . . but I digress

I had a superpower.  Or at least a nearly supernatural talent of transportation.  I could instantly know the best route to get someplace, what plane to catch, what bus to hop and even which taxi to skip to avoid a future collision.  I then spent the rest of the dream logged into Travelocity, arranging flights out of the city for all my friends and relatives before the bomb went off.

You will note that nobody, not even me, ever mentioned to the authorities that there was a terrorist plot (because, dream logic).  After giving specific directions to everybody as to how to most quickly leave the city and reach safe distance from the oncoming fallout the dream came to a close.  The final scene before I awoke was myself and my mate clinking champagne flutes on a comped first class flight to Hawaii while a mushroom cloud rises out the window in the background.

The End

(What the Actual Fuck?)