Monday, September 12, 2016

Stamping my Passport to Flavor!

Today we'll be reviewing the Lay's "Passport to Flavor" Brazilian Picanha chips (subtitle Steak & Chimichurri sauce).  ((wtf is chimichurri?))

Initial impressions, there are some tasty-looking street food skewers of probably beef on the front.  I'd certainly try one of those if I saw it at a cart somewhere, because beef.  MAYBE these chips will be reminiscent of meaty flavors and whatnot?  I mean, the pork rinds were great, who doesn't like meat? (vegans don't count)

Fallout of your fears about these chips...
So, yeah, chips...  I gotta be honest, I ate these a week ago and I'm trying to remember what I had.  I recall something savory....?  Let's go to the pictures, perhaps that will tickle some neurons.  Typical bag of air, but this method of packing has resulted in a bag of mostly whole chips.  I am still want to reduce the rating for this method of packaging, but I can't for the life of me come up with a better packing method for chips that would result in unbroken product.  Maybe I just want more chips?  These are only 2.75 oz of chips.  Can't I at least get 3 oz?  What about a full quarter pound?  I bet they'd fit in the same bag of air...

I'll never get used to how empty a bag of chips looks when I open them.
Okay, time to take a look at these chips.  Funky, supposedly intense flavors; what are they going to be covered with?  What's this?  A good sign?  YES!!! NO RNP!!!  Looks like flecks of actual herbage on these chips, and some light dusting of darker spices.  There's a subtlety to the flavors here.  Nothing jumps up and pops you in the schnozz.  These are edible, don't kill you over a serving, and repeatable!

I get why these are called Crisps in Yee Olde England
The individual chips were large and fresh and crisp.  I enjoyed eating these.  Not in the usual OMG EPIC FLAVORE sense that I usually like (because it makes good reviews) but in a more subdued randomly eating chips while I do something kinda way.  They don't belt you upside the head, but they don't fade completely into the background.  I could certainly see myself eating these while watching a movie or having a conversation or something.  They're reminiscent of the spices and the savory nature of steak. Considering there are steak skewers on the bag, I guess this is a success.  All that said, I'm a bit disappointed.  There wasn't anything horrible about these chips, they weren't so boring I'll forget them, and they were of a flavor that I found at least marginally pleasurable.  So, basically, this chip was a near perfect storm to not only make writing a review boring as ever loving fuck, but also make me instinctually reach for them if I see them in the store again.  I mean, when I did the pork rinds they got a ridonkulous rating because they were awesome and they were great to review.  These are a 7.  Nothing to write home about, but you're happy you're not stuck with another 3.

Lay's Brazilian Picanha - Rating: buy more yes / 5

Now let's talk for a moment about the "Passport to Flavor" that's going on.  First, I'm just seeing these lately.. So I either missed the "do me a flavor" this summer, or there wasn't one.  At the same time, these creeping up in August/September means this isn't a replacement schtick, but is probably a limited release anyway.  Second, there are 3 more to pick up and I purposely chose this one to be the first of 4 because it looked boring/safe (I was right).  I'm a sucker for kettle-cooked and that's up next. Stay tuned!



Trader Joe's Somewhat Spicy Dill flavored Kettle Cooked potato chips.

Go buy these.


Not later, not next week.  Get your ass off that chair and get moving...

They're really crunchy, mildly spicy, and not nearly as dilly as you'd think given the label, but there is a LOT of Salt and Vinegar action going on here.  You'll drink a lot of beer with these.

Rating: The Vlasic Stork just shot a hot, chlamydia-filled stream of pickle juice onto your tonsils...

Monday, August 29, 2016

A return to normalcy...


Mr. Lester's Bacon Cotton Candy.........
Yeah, this exists...

I don't know if I can do this.
I mean, seriously, who the hell thought this would be a good idea?  What monster sits in a room and thinks, "Hey, that sickly sweet sugar fluff we somehow figured out how to bag and preserve on the shelf indefinitely, what if we added a salty savory pork flavor to that?"  Good god, this is what will really be left on the shelf after the fallout...

I don't trust you Lester.
Let's get started with the "name brand" here, this is Lester.  Lester is not photogenic.  It is obvious to me that this whole company is some sort of weird ego-boost for Lester, because otherwise... why would you intentionally associate yourself with this?  If I met Lester at a road-side stand selling regular bacon I'd be wary; knowing that he's trying to hock Bacon-Flavored Cotton Candy?  No way in hell.  Seriously, Lester, the hills have eyes and I'm getting the fuck out of here.

Yes, please do
But, hey, maybe the key here is that this is intentionally a novelty product.  They know you'll only ever buy it once, and likely you will share the bag so you all don't have to buy your own.  That's what happened to this bag.  This was obtained by an associate at our local Rocket Fizz, a store for weird candy, snacks, and sodas.  We consumed it at a friendly get together where we intentionally watch bad movies.  Let's just say the cinema in play at the time I was excited to distract myself with this.  (that excitement was very, very short-lived)  Seriously, it looks like it should come free in your order from Archie McPhee,  So maybe Lester on the front is a good call?  Definitely tickles the horrible part of my brain that thinks banjos are funny/scary...  Anyway, let us actually try to eat some of this.

Obviously can't suffer too much from empty bag syndrome
This is it, this lump of lumps, this vaguely off-flesh-toned mass, like some sort of airy tumor.  It is more dense than I expected, but then again I am not very familiar with the wide world of prepackaged cotton candy.  I will say that it does not, in reality, look at all appetizing.  It is. . . well, actually, this weekend I spent an hour brushing cats excessively.  After the brushing I had a pile of removed fur that could be wadded into a relatively dense orange and grey mass the size of a tennis ball.  This felt like that.  Teasing apart a piece to eat was not unlike trying to pull out just one small bit of fur.  Almost identical tactile feedback.

I'm going to eat this?
"But how does it taste?" I can hear you asking...  At this point in the blog is when I usually go off the rails about RNP, the horror of the flavors in my face, or the off chance that I actually liked it.  The worst thing that could happen is if it were just, "meh".  So, of course, it's just "meh".  It's so "meh" I'm just "meh" trying to "meh" my "Meh" to the "MEH".  meh

It's very sweet.  Obviously, as it's just spun sugar.  But the flavor is specifically NOT BACON!!!  It's vaguely savory(?) and a bit salty.  The best way I could describe would be to imagine you had real cotton candy that you forgot in your car after the fair/circus/sporting event.  Now, imagine this lump that has allowed to settle overnight in a stale car has been very lightly sprinkled with the powder from really cheap "pork" flavor ramen noodles, and a touch of smoked sea salt.  It's not horrible, but it is also so benign that I'm having a hard time trying to describe it.  I will be clear, it is not good by any description.  Seriously, don't buy this, it's an awful concept that is poorly executed.  It only through the the application of horrible movies and hard alcohol that I was able to move passed this as a low point in my week.

Rating: 1 sad sugary slice / full 5 rashers

Thanks to Mary for providing the fodder for this review.  I promise these will get better.  I saw there wasn't a "Do me a Flavor" this summer, but the local Stuffer Shack had Four, count 'em FOUR new flavors of new chips in their Lay's Passport to Flavor promotion.  We shall see, Lay's, I am about to mushroom stamp every page of that passport...

Sunday, August 21, 2016

I have a computer again; a desktop to type on.  Based on my back-ups and whatnot I've been without for about 5 months now.  A hard five months where not much has happened too me, but I've had a lot of time to myself to think about the things that have happened around me.

Basically, I've got a lot of crap rolling around in my head lately, it's time I let some of it out.

It sounds like the most cheezy cliche thing to say this, but putting my thoughts into text is a form of therapy.  Some things I've written lately publicly and privately have really helped me rationalize and process some of my emotions.

So, don't be surprised if you see more here in the near future.

Besides, there's always more snack-foods to review!

I"ll try to be up front about how shitty the posts are going to be so you can skip ahead to me being foul mouthed about potato chips and whatnot.


Sunday, February 14, 2016

Catching up on a fucked up 5 months...

Let's be upfront.  I'm not going to review any snack food in this post.  It's kind of a downer.

So, I'm living by myself now.

I'm living by myself in an apartment in Lincoln, NE with two cats. (So not really "alone")

I moved here on Halloween weekend.

I'm drinking rum (Kraken) mixed with Mt. Dew.  Don't ask me how that happened.  Probably because I had Kraken and Mt. Dew...  This is not a mixed drink for the weak of spirit.

Things have been weird.

Like, really weird, life changing weird, probably (hopefully) won't happen again weird.

I went to therapy for a while early last year, that actually went rather well.  I'm not going to therapy anymore.  Most of my "WTF is wrong with you?" is self-induced and, using learned techniques, is also now self-analyzed and thwarted.  That's probably not the best idea, but I find that I'm generally more stable now so I'm okay with it.  At least it saves me the $35 copay...

Tomorrow my parents are going to show up at my door and they want to take me to "the boats".  I want to spend time with my parents, but realistically I would probably get about the same amount of pleasure from wadding up 20 or 40 bucks and throwing it in a flaming waste-paper basket.

I don't get gambling, and yet I buy powerball tickets.  I am an enigma.  I am a mystery.

I apparently am good at typing out stream of consciousness random bullshit.

I have my thermostat set to 73 degrees.  Due to the ridiculously low cost of gas heat in this apartment complex, it is actually nearly 80 degrees in here.  I guess my neighbors are more interested in tropical heat than I am, and I have tropical plants...

I got a new couch.  It is a fucking awesome couch.  This fucker spreads most of the way across two walls of my apartment.  It naps well.  Like, really well.  I had vastly undervalued the ability to lay out at full length on a piece of furniture and lose consciousness.  Right now Clive and Schrodinger are playing "broke cat mountain" on it.  I'm. . . I'm okay with that.  I can't really judge two animals without testicles for having certain urges.  Also, at least they're not doing it at my feet under the computer desk like they usually do.  So, good on ya, boys!  Hope you get some satisfaction out of that.

Did I mention I'm drinking rum again?  That's probably a bad idea in the long run.  Empty calories, no real benefit, reduction in inhibitions, etc.  That being said, I'm losing weight.  (other than rum) I've been eliminating calorie groups from my diet.  No more soda (except this that I'm drinking because I was baby-sitting my sister's kids this weekend.  I'm Using It Up!), no sweet snacks, no candy, etc.  It's really working.  The plan is "20 by my 20", being pounds by my 20 year reunion on May.  The sit-ups suck, but hey, at least I feel weirdly invincible for an hour or two afterwards.  Now if I could only get my brain to remember how awesome you feel after you work out instead of how it focuses on how much it actually sucks to actually work out...  But I digress.

How many of you are actually still reading this shit?

I don't have to commute to work anymore.  This gives me approximately 8 hours more per week to do something, but I'm not sure what.  According to my queue in iTunes, that time is not being spent on listening to podcasts.  I have a ridiculous backlog right now.  I'm kinda weird in that I can't bring myself to listen to Welcome to Night Vale because I have the book and I know the next episode is after the book.  Continuity is a bitch.  At least I still have The Dollop, and there was a rare but welcome live Walking The Room.  I've also been slowly catching up on the Bleep Podcast.

I got some wicked awesome new in-ear headphones.  They have multiple drivers per ear, they sound amazing.  I've fallen asleep listening to ambient music 2 out of the last 3 nights...  Reminds me of when I was a kid and I listened to NPR while everybody else was in bed.  I would fall asleep to the sound of that weird guy who played rare classical music at 2 in the morning.  ...mourning.

My daughter is dead.

I have been running away from things too long.  I've been hiding and distracting myself from things.  I've been intentionally not applying my self-therapeutic methods the last 3 months.  I've been trying to fill this apartment with furniture and bookshelves and whatnot.  The excuse was that this was a project that needed my attention.  I needed seating so I could entertain guests.  Now I have a huge sectional couch.  I needed to clean up the apartment and get all the books off the floor.  Now I have bookshelves and everything is neat and shelved.  I need a coat-rack to hang coats.... got that.  I just keep making excuses to keep people from coming over as much as possible, but now I realize that the excuses are weak and I'm not really worried about the people coming over.  I'm avoiding letting people in.  I know I'll never have kids, and at this point I can't honestly say I'll ever get married or be anything other than alone.  I left I woman I loved because we couldn't be together.  I've been with nobody but her for the last 8 years and loved her more than I've ever loved anybody.  Yet, I know we're both better off for the choice to part.  At the same time I know we're both hurting.  Her youngest daughter died.  She fought the good fight, but she's still gone.  There is a hole in me.  Both from being alone, and from knowing that the closest thing I'm likely to have to a child of my own has passed.  I wish I had been there for her and her mother and her sister and her fiance; I am glad I wasn't there when it happened.  With very few exceptions, everybody I've ever known who gets cancer has died from that cancer.  Grandparents, other relatives, they all succumb.  I feel like such a heartless robotic motherfucker sometimes.  Every time I learn that a loved one has cancer it is like they are already dead.  I value the time they're still around, but it's like they're a ghost already or something.

If someone comes back from the brink, it's like they're back from the dead.  They lived and I celebrate their achievement by wiping the slate clean and revelling in their new existence.  But those people are few.  Mostly, I am mourning them while they are still alive, which is fucked.  Because when they do die, it's like all the processing in my brain is already done.  The last puzzle piece is in place, the flow-chart is at its terminal end.  I move on.  I watch others suffer.  I feel for them, I wish I could help them or somehow make them feel better.  But I don't let myself feel shitty.  I don't let myself feel what I know I should feel.

I just buy furniture....drink rum.