August 2011

Giant Spirals: A Cheeto Too Far?

Have you ever wanted to eat a snack food the size and shape of one of those curly-q compact fluorescent lightbulbs? Then this is your lucky day!
Look, I get it. Manufacturers have a vested interest in making as many different variations of their core product as they can. First of all, it keeps the customers' interest piqued, the same reason why a woman who's been married for ten years might splurge on a new bra-and-panties set from Victoria's Secret. Second of all, it claims even more shelf space for the brand, because stores have to stock the original AND the new variety. And third, I imagine, because they have a whole entire R&D lab dedicated to developing new Cheetos, and obviously those people want to earn their pay.

Wasabi Peas: The Perfect Snack Food

The Japanese have been enjoying wasabi peas for ages. But here in America, wasabi peas have only come into the national consciousness in the last few decades. They have quickly become popular enough that even Trader Joe's carries their own brand of wasabi peas, which is surely the imprimatur of national acceptance!
My first experience with wasabi peas was in my first few weeks of college. My roommate was an Asian-American woman from Hawaii, and her parents sent her a care package containing all sorts of crazy-looking food. I didn't know what half of it was. (In fact, I skipped past a bag of nori puffed snack cracker treats because I thought they were a bag of replacement coat buttons.)

Road Food Rules

Eating on the road can be a pretty dicey prospect. A lot of food is too messy, complicated or easy to spoil to really fit in the confines of a car or truck. While everybody has their favorite road food, it’s more important to follow certain guidelines than to stick to specific kinds of provisions. Here are the rules of road food.

The Orange Juice Is A Lie

According to a new report in The Consumerist, it turns out that all orange juice you buy at the grocery store has been denatured, reprocessed, and pumped full of orange juice-tasting chemicals to such an extent that it barely resembles the original. All courtesy of a new book called "Squeezed: What You Don't Know About Orange Juice," which promises to do for the orange juice industry what "Fast Food Nation" did for the beef industry.
When orange juice says "not from concentrate," it's true that it hasn't been concentrated. But what has happened is that it has been stored in giant tanks with the air removed, to keep it "fresh" year round. Then, in order to repair the damage done to the flavor during this process, the orange juice manufacturers add what they call "flavor packs." These are chemical cocktails which have been carefully engineered to provide the right flavor profile.