A true abomination. Texture nightmare only begins to describe the horror. And the trying-way-too-hard-to-be-hip packaging didn’t help one bit.
Okay, so I cheated and got chocolate. Tasted just like chocolate milk. Who knew? Then I thought maybe I’d get really crazy and try some in my coffee. (I’m a strictly strong black coffee woman.) That didn’t work out so well. It was adequate. But nothing beats a jarring cup of straight-up joe.
When my oldest daughter was just a wee thing, I toted around at least one of these in every bag I had. The perfect snack for a mama on the run: prepackaged with pictures of fruit right on the label, plus the reassuring “nutri” in the title. Alex ate them like candy. (With all that corn syrup, they probably should be classified as candy.) But in all those years of never leaving home without a bar, it hadn’t crossed my mind to ingest one. Not with all that super-sweetened fruit puree lurking in the center. Breaks my “no cooked fruit” rule, which is elastic enough to include any sort of smooshed up fruit-like mixtures.
Last shopping trip, I saw a box of these and smiled. I remembered how they looked painted on Alex’s little toddler face, how they smelled like industrialized berries, how they got super smashed and sticky in the bottom of my purse. And I thought maybe I’d try one. So I took a bar to work today. Stared at it until I got good and hungry (this happens about every two hours) then dove in. As I was eating, I couldn’t believe I was doing it. Sure, I didn’t love the thing. But I had voluntarily eaten a banned substance. Without much complaining.
I thought I was trying gelato for the first time tonight. My daughter Alex picked out a coconut gelato in the grocery store, but I rejected it. Don’t like coconut. So I grabbed the raspberry next door. (This was before I banned raspberry desserts.) But when I pulled it from my freezer I realized it said Sorbetto instead of gelato. I’ve had sorbet, but not raspberry … so I guess it counts. Doesn’t mean I liked it, though. A raspberry explosion on my poor unsuspecting tongue.
Since I gave regular Greek yogurt a thumbs up (Day 159) it was time to try the frozen kind. I didn’t like it. But I’m not going to blame the Greeks. They’re having a hell of a time as it is, without me adding my two cents to the pile. The real problem with this was the raspberry flavor (the fudge chunks were just fine). I guess there’s something about raspberry-laced desserts that puts me off. Which is a problem, since the gelato that I picked up to try is raspberry. Heavy sigh.
After I drew this I realized it looked like a hot dog roll filled with red pubic hair. Or something even less appropriate. But I just didn’t have the energy to redraw it. I’ve been cleaning all day for my oldest daughter’s ginormous sleepover tomorrow. Although, why bother? I’m sure the giggle circus will destroy the joint about 10 minutes after rolling into town. On top of that our guinea pig had to be rushed to the vet’s today after a two-day hunger strike that left him looking like he’d decided that living in a cage with screechy girls yammering at him just wasn’t worth the trouble anymore. After an infusion of fluids he’s starting to come back around to his old piggy self. Although syringing guava juice into an extra large rodent’s fanged mouth isn’t an activity I ever thought I’d participate in.
Anyway, about that food. That’s a rather long story in itself. You see, we have a regional delicacy called the “michigan.” And, no, I don’t live anywhere near that fine state. I’m in northern-northern New York. Just a boat ride from Vermont and an exchange of documents away from Canada. But let’s put aside the issue of the misleading name. A michigan is a hot dog with a spicy hamburger-based sauce on top. You might think what I’m describing is a chili dog. You would be wrong. Never any beans or cheese. And, really, a taste all its own.
I’ve spent about a month researching the michigan for an article in Adirondack Life, the regional magazine I work for. (Yes, I’ve questioned the point of my existence while writing such groundbreaking stories.) I wish I could say you could read it online, as that would make this post much simpler. But you can’t. Won’t even hit newsstands for another few weeks. So here’s the short version: our beloved michigan sauce — and I’ll forgive you if you’re not shocked — sprang from Michigan. More specifically, it was descended from the Greek immigrants who went to the Midwest bearing the gift of chili-slathered dogs.
Since our michigan is a kissing cousin to versions in the Midwest, I decided to try some of those. Work-buddy Kelly — a Buckeye by birth — insisted that Cincinnati chili should be in the mix. And after taste-testing, I think it could be a distant relation. But it really celebrates its Greek heritage (it’s doused in allspice and cinnamon) while the michigan quietly pays homage to its roots with just a dash of cumin. Do I like the Ohio version? Not really. I’ve decided I have a real problem with allspice. My apologies to the Greeks.
This puffed rice/ground flaxseed combo is another entry in the “Why Bother?” file. What little taste it has is a bit off-putting. The Mayo Clinic tells me it’s good for my digestion … but beer keeps me pretty regular anyway. So I gave the box away to work-buddy Annie. She’ll eat anything—as long as it has never oinked, mooed or clucked.
Continuing with the breakfast theme … I could have sworn this would be a loser. Picked it up because I was in a rush and grabbed. Ingredients listed pear juice and guava “puree.” Not promising. But it was good. Not just “that was okay” good, but “maybe I’ll drink the rest of the box” good. And I think it will pair well with a splash of vodka. But not for breakfast.