Category Archives: Food & Drink

Reviews of various food and drink.

To Improve a Cookie

Dear Girl Scouts:

You make these great cookies. They’re called Samoas. They have one deadly flaw, though – they have coconut on them. I’m convinced you’d double your output of Samoa sales if they lacked this polarizing ingredient. Nearly every poll of internet cookie aficionados declares that, if it weren’t for the coconut, Samoas would surpass Thin Mints in popularity.

I beg of you – save us from our national nightmare, and remove the coconut from Samoas! You know you can do it!

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It’s Easter time… in February.

Yep, with Valentine’s come and gone, the next “seasonal” shelf item at the supermarket is Easter candy. Easter is coming late this year, on April 24. So we’re going to have a nearly solid two months worth of Easter stuff on the shelves. Spring hasn’t even sprung here, no matter how many times I have hummed “Winter Wrap-Up.” If people think having Christmas stuff on the shelves right after Halloween is creepy, this is probably just as bad.

However, it does mean one important fact, and that’s the glory of jellybeans. Yes, the variety of jellybeans has exploded over the past few years, and we now have a new flavor of Starburst ones. They’re basically two flavors in one bean – the shell is one flavor, and the interior is another. Kind of like those crazy core Skittles, except… jellybeans.

The verdict, of course, is that they’re awesome, because Starburst jellybeans are awesome. They’ve somehow made peach candy palatable, and for that, they deserve my utmost praise.

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The best chips?

You know how you wander into a random new place, thinking about “Well, it can’t be all bad, eh?” and you realize that it’s actually pretty awesome? That’s the Cape Ann Brewing Co. in Gloucester. I ambled in with a compatriot, looking for lunch. I figured, being Gloucester, I’d get some fish and chips. Alas, there was no fish to be had. Irony? Perhaps. So I got a hamburger instead, which was delicious, but was amazingly not as impressive as the potato chips that came with it. They were freshly fried there at the brewery, with a delicious crunch and flavor that I hadn’t experienced in store chips. Thick, wavy, crunchy, and an excellent potato flavor.

They were, perhaps, better than the hamburger.

Oh, and they’ve got beer too, I suppose. I hear that’s good.

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The Return of the Return of the Return of the Throwback

How many times is this now? Hopefully this time will be the final time – at least, I thought it would be the last time I read about the return of the return of the return of the Throwback. But now Pepsi is backpedaling on whether or not this return is permanent, to which I say “Boo-urns.” People will willingly give you their money. If you jerk them around enough, they’ll stop buying your stuff.

Fortunately, the twelve-pack I acquired last Sunday did not have any limited time only text on it. Hopefully this is the sign that it will stay for good. With Sierra Mist making the total changeover and not going back any time soon, this bodes well for Pepsi and Dew.

Now if only we could get Sierra Mist cranberry splash all year round…

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The Worst Cheez-It

Believe it or not, there is a flavor variant of Cheez-It that I do not like. It’s the low-fat Cheez-It. There’s something about it that just… isn’t right. They must have reduced the fat content by using less cheese, because it just doesn’t taste right. There’s something… off about it. Like the soul had been sucked from the Cheez-It.

I do love Cheez-It Party Mix, but it has one flaw – it’s full of pretzels. The ratio of Cheez-it to other stuff is not good. Plus, why do they always put in these ridiculously hard to crunch rye chips? These things wind up in tons of snack mixes and I can’t recall anyone in my group of friends who ever eat them whenever I put out a bowl of snack mix. They’re the black sheep of the snack bowl.

Also, I love Hot and Spicy cheez-its, but either I’ve developed a super tolerance (which is entirely possible) or they’re nowhere near hot and spicy anymore. I’m banking on the latter… or that they never really were to begin with. If only we could have truly hot and spicy Cheez-Its, like if you got the guys who made Flamin’ Hot Cheetos and let them loose on Cheez-Its…

Damnit, now I want Cheez-Its.

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Jello Mousse Cups

You know what’s pretty tasty? These new Jello chocolate mousse cups. They’re basically just fluffier Jello pudding, but they have a mint chocolate flavor that is very delicious. I wasn’t much of a fan of the ordinary Jello pudding in a cup, but the mousse stuff seems to be a good changeup.

I’ve been powering ahead on NaNo, and I look to be on schedule to finish things up on time, assuming I don’t get hit by a bus or bitten by the slacking bug. I don’t think the story is particularly good in retrospect. It needs a lot of editing. Maybe they should call December “National Novel Editing Month.”

Also, Snoopy Come Home is a very melancholy, depressing movie.

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Hot Dog Joints

Something we don’t really have around Boston that we have out here in Pittsfield are hot dog joints. Basically, a bar with a few booths whose primary fare are baby hot dogs. For the cool cost of eight bucks, you could have four dogs, some fries and a beer. Maybe people in Boston are too high brow for baby hot dogs, I don’t know. But there’s something quite delicious about having some little dogs with meat sauce while watching the Patriots or Red Sox on a big screen.

Maybe it’s analogous to the roast beef joint, which doesn’t really exist outside of route 128. Even then, it’s probably not about the hot dogs. It’s more about having that little dive you can go to and find a familiar face. Where people come to complain about their councilman in one sentence and toast him in another.

Eh. Give me the hot dogs any day.

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