Description. Deconstructing the Butterfinger into its component parts: decent idea. Using the actual parts, instead of the ersatz orangey “peanut butter” and cocoa-powdery coating of the Butterfinger: even better idea.
Adding superfluous coconut to an already overloaded flavor profile: confusing, but not the dumbest idea we’ve ever heard.
The result is a honey-roasted-asteroid affair with a vague resemblance to deer pellets.
Description. A cynical and unpleasant mash-up of rum-raisin ice cream, holiday rum balls, and malted-milk balls, Schweddy Balls is touted on the Ben & Jerry’s website as “an ode to a classic ‘Saturday Night Live’ sketch comedy” [sic]. In the sense that the rummy aftertaste, much like the average SNL segment, lingers on too long, this is entirely accurate. The adjective “classic,” however, is not, except in the sense that gagging and dumping most of a pint of ice cream into the trash is a “classic” response to a repellent dessert.
Half the day’s sat-fat allowance is expended on a half-cup serving of the Balls. Not worth it, my friends.
Description. If it is not a truth universally acknowledged that bar food should not be replicated in vacuum-sealed cornmeal form, it should become one, as the B.A.R.F. lab has asserted in the past. Attempts to imitate pub snacks that depend in large part on greasy breading and/or melted cheese to succeed cannot possibly thrive in a chip-aisle environment, and necessarily suffer by comparison.
The Funyun is no exception. “Onion Flavored Rings” fashioned of corn starch, buttermilk powder, and sundry chemical shapers can never approach a genuine onion ring in flavor or texture.
Comparisons to a superior original aside, however, Funyuns do have a certain appeal. While we cannot deem them “good,” exactly, we cannot deny that, when paired with a Coca-Cola, their peppery crunch is at least interesting.
The Foundation greets you from the road for the next couple of weeks, as we collect data and snacks and convene with various colleagues around the country. Today’s snack comes to you from a rest stop in Indiana.
Description. How a snack so inorganic and fundamentally unappealing in shape, taste, and ingredients, a snack that so often tastes like bile and can boast only nominal innovation, has managed to elude a label of “revolting” for as long as Combos have is a mystery. The tubes of cracker or pretzel, marginally clever but probably more effort to achieve than a between-meal repast warrants; the extruded, reconstituted cheese paste; the sodium levels that fairly box the ears would all seem to add up to a surefire repellent.
The community of food chroniclers, like any other community, has its legends and lore, grandfathers and godfathers, Beowulfian fables of ’70s-formula Fresca or melted aspic.
One of the tales most frequently told over beakers of Maker’s Mark is that of the Packaging Standards Commission, a powerful independent panel that protected the American public’s fragile eyes from suggestive representations of food. Squirting milk, puddles of lemonade, the phrase “homemade fudge,” piles of chocolate bars that insinuated a Parisian sidewalk, offensively angled sausage links — all routinely kiboshed by the PSC and its Salingerian chairman, E. Wayne Grossman. Nobody had ever attended a Commission meeting, of course; nobody could describe Dr. Grossman, or produce a ruling on PSC letterhead. Yet, the rumors of its existence and Masonic influence persist to this day.