Description. People love chee”se” doodles; people love barbecue chips; surely people will love a puffed-corn snack that combines the two snaxperiences. …Or so the conversation in the Wise Corporation’s product-development department must have gone.
Elsewhere in the culture, another conversation occurred in which the venerable Dr. Egon Spengler warned, “Don’t cross the streams. It would be bad.” This latter exchange: ignored.
It is with some relief, then, that we report the failure of the expected perversion of food science to materialize. The “Honey BBQ & Cheese Flavored baked corn snack” is faintly unpleasant visually; the obligatory neon orange of the average cheesy puff is muted, as well as augmented with dark flea-like flecks of unknown origin. Optimists may identify them as bits of the paprika extract or tomato powder promised by the ingredients; realists, on the other hand, having never seen thiamin hydrochloride or disodium guanylate in their native forms, could conclude that they resemble bedbug powder. Neither party will sleep any better knowing that a food additive called “butter oil” exists.
Packaging/Branding. The hip-hop bee mascot is simply unacceptable. First of all, in the shameful Mr. Peanut tradition of talking-object/animal mascots since time immemorial, it has no trousers on. Second of all, it is a hip-hop bee.
Said bee is also the inspiration for a string of regrettable puns, as follows: “What’s the buzz about? Back at the hive, everybody’s buzzin’ about the sweet, melt-in-your-mouth taste of Honey BBQ flavored Cheez Doodles®. Sweet honey and tangy BBQ combined with the classic cheese taste of Cheeze Doodles® is one un-BEE-lievable snack! Get the latest buzz @ www.CheezDoodles.com”
Flavor Profile. The bouquet upon opening the 25-cent bag is not entirely suitable for a food item, and yet it is not completely disagreeable. Associations include the $1 box outside a vintage clothing store; the ancient insulation in the attic of a grandparent; a sunny hayloft.
The taste does not accord with these recollections of staleness and age; an initial, semi-sour honey flavor gives way after a moment to the notes of cheese. The flavors do not exactly harmonize together, but nor do they conflict, and in fact, what dominates the palate is the taste of corn. The tortilla finish is unusual for a doodle, and therefore disorienting, but the assigned technician’s assessment of “actually maybe kind of not completely horrendous” appears accurate. Consumption is, while not recommended, understandable in the absence of more traditional doodles, chips, etc.
Habitat. The chip aisle; parts of the country in which calling a product like this “BBQ” will not prompt a special session of the state legislature; hours of the early morning in which it is the least repellent option.
Field Notes. Mixing Honey BBQ Cheez Doodles® with coffee regular will cause moderate, but lasting, oral discomfort. Do not attempt.
Revulsion Scale: 7
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