Monthly Archives: August 2013

Avocado Olive & Basil Bar by Crabtree & Evelyn

Sadly inedible

Sadly inedible

Imagine my excitement when I saw this Avocado Olive & Basil Bar. Those are three of the five best food ingredients in the world (the other two being sun-dried tomatoes and sour cream). To finally have this tasty triumvirate in bar form would be the savory answer to the sweet perfection of the Chuao Firecracker Bar. I began to imagine spending the rest of my life eating nothing but Avocado Olive & Basil Bars followed by Chuao Firecracker Bars for dessert. I knew that experience would be tragically cut short by a ruptured stomach, but I tried not to think about that.

I eagerly tore into the packaging and revealed the perfectly formed bar inside. I smelled the avocado, the olive, and the basil. Everything is better with more avocado, and this bar was going to be no exception. Combining avocado and basil was clearly going to be the most brilliant culinary concoction in the history of bar-form foods. Topping it off with delicious olives was a sign of an incredibly creative chef.

I prepared to take the first bite. I slowly moved the Avocado Olive & Basil Bar toward my mouth, and took one final smell to make sure I would enjoy the experience as much as possible. Just when I thought that nothing could spoil this momentous moment, I was jolted back into reality by a rude realization: it’s soap.

It’s soap! Crabtree & Evelyn, how could you do this to me? How could you cruelly raise my hopes by listing such a perfect combination of ingredients, only to destroy my dreams by turning these fragrant foodstuffs into a personal hygiene product? It’s like you made this whole line of products just so that I’d find them one day and then suffer the crushing disappointment of not being able to eat the world’s most perfect food. Rest assured that I have been suitably emotionally damaged by this painful prank.

Oh, they also make Avocado Olive & Basil Shampoo. My hair smells like basil. I’m still disappointed.

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Chuao Firecracker Bar

Chuao Firecracker Bar

Chuao Firecracker Bar

Regular food is boring. That’s why people will happily pay $42 for flash-fried crab nuggets in rice vinegar topped with onions and cilantro. They’ll also pay $17 for two bite-size seafood tacos with wasabi aioli. But what are those people supposed to do when even the strangest snacks aren’t enough to extinguish their ennui?

They must set off for faraway lands, of course, to import the rarest of all cocoa confections: the chipotle chocolate bar that’s filled with popping candy. You read that correctly: this Chuao Firecracker Bar starts off with dark chocolate and sea salt, begins to burn a bit with chipotle pepper, then explodes with a shocking sizzle. It’s not officially Shocking Popping Candy, but it certainly produces a unique chocolate experience that’s sure to jolt even the most jaded snacker back to their senses, or at least make them momentarily forget about that little problem involving Mr. Brown…

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Pei Tien Energy 99 Cake (Egg Yolk Flavor)

Pei Tien Energy 99 Cake

Pei Tien Energy 99 Cake

Do you need more energy? Do you have trouble waking up in the morning? Do you drink two, four, or even eight hundred cups of coffee a day just to keep yourself going? What you need is a delicious, nutritious health food to give you yet another extra energy boost. What you need is Pei Tien Energy 99 Cake!

These tasty cakes come in a variety of flavors (including taro), and they give you a predictable amount of energy: 99, to be exact. Well, it’s not exact, really, since the units of energy aren’t specified. So it could be 99 joules, 99 ergs, 99 foot-pounds, 99 Btu, 99 hartrees, 99 electronvolts, or 99 Gordons. In fact, the failure to specify the units of energy for these cakes ranks up there with the Mars Climate Orbiter in terms of utter unit failure.

The Energy 99 cakes do taste quite a bit like egg yolks, and live up their claims of being delicious and (probably) nutritious. But by specifying their energy as dimensionless quantity of 99, they could result in an interplanetary disaster if they were ever used to fuel a mission to Mars. It’s a good thing we have rocket scientists to make sure something like that could never happen.

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Nong Shim Banana Flavored Snack

Nong Shim Banana Flavored Snack

Nong Shim Banana Flavored Snack

Several months ago, these Nong Shim Banana Flavored Snacks showed up at the Federal Bureau of Foreign Culinary Relations. They were good, but right after we tried them, we had to fend off an unexpected invasion by fire ants, and we forgot about these tasty treats.

Others, however, didn’t forget about our encounter with this strange snack. This morning, the parking lot was packed with protesters. After reading their signs and speaking to their leader, we determined that they represented the International Sweet Puffed Snack Coalition, and they had been watching this site for months to see if we would ever review Nong Shim Banana Flavored Snacks. When we failed to do so, the Coalition decided they’d had enough and organized a demonstration.

Apparently, the proponents of sweet puffed snacks consider themselves to be an oppressed minority, and our unintentional bias toward savory puffed snacks didn’t go unnoticed. How were we supposed to know that such a group even existed? Shouldn’t there be an agency to keep track of such things? Well, I guess that responsibility would technically fall on the FBFCR, but we’ve been much too busy to keep up with our official obligations. Is it too much to ask that we should be able to collect a paycheck without actually having to do anything?

In any case, you can rest assured that we harbor no ill will toward sweet puffed snacks. We believe that all puffed snacks, regardless of flavor (except devil’s dung), are worthy of being consumed. Now if the protesters will please disperse, we have a very important mission to undertake.

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Swiss Chocolate Knife

Problem Solver

Problem Solver

Do you have problems? Of course you do. We all have problems. Whether it’s a loose screw, an overgrown fingernail, utter financial ruin, or complete emotional breakdown, you want to make those problems go away.

The Swiss military invented a tool that solves at least some of those problems. We probably shouldn’t say the name, since it’s heavily trademarked, but it’s a type of knife that’s carried by members of the army. Members of the army in Switzerland, that is. Those people carry this knife.

A plain knife wouldn’t solve many problems, but the Swiss aren’t known for their plain ways. While an ordinary Moldovan soldier might carry a standard pocket knife (unless he or she was an officer, in which case the knife might have two blades), a member of the Swiss army will be equipped with a resplendent red tool that could contain any or all of the following:

  • A flathead screwdriver
  • A Philips screwdriver
  • Not a Robertson screwdriver (do you think we’re in Canada, eh?)
  • A corkscrew
  • Fingernail clippers
  • A fingernail file
  • A complete manicure-pedicure set
  • A toothpick
  • A hair comb
  • Scissors
  • A T-8 Torx driver (Mac users only)
  • A USB flash drive
  • Needlenose pliers
  • A key to activate a legion of angry robots

Think of all the problems you could solve with just a few of those amazing tools. Is it any wonder that our Swiss overlords benevolently rule over the entire planet?

But what if your problem can’t be solved with a simple tool? What if your whole life has come crashing down around you because you owe $75,000 to some guy named Mr. Brown who you’ve never met, and even your dog won’t speak to you any more? Are you trying to tell me that I should put my life back together with a corkscrew and a screwdriver? What am I supposed to do with this stupid screwdriver? Why are you even giving this thing to me?!

Do you really think this is going to make me feel…I mean…Would one of these Swiss military multi-tools really make you feel any better if your whole world were falling apart? Of course it wouldn’t. But that’s why there is the Swiss Chocolate Knife.

The Swiss Chocolate Knife looks like one of those military things that must not be named, but instead of containing a stupid useless corkscrew(!!!!) it’s made of delicious chocolate. Because as any good culinary crusader knows, chocolate fixes everything*. Yes, the sweet, sweet chocolate makes me forget…I mean….the sweet, sweet chocolate will make you forget about all of the gangsters who are going to break your face if you don’t come up with $75,000 by next Thursday.

The Swiss Chocolate Knife isn’t made of pure chocolate, though. If it were, it would only solve your problems, and it would be quite selfish of you to expect everyone to coddle you like that, now wouldn’t it? Do you think you’re the only person with problems?! Because some of us have a lot more problems than you! Like Moldova! The last I heard, it had been completely overrun with hazelnuts. That’s why the Swiss Chocolate knife contains a creamy hazelnut filling. Even in spite of all the hazelnut-based snacks made in Europe, it appears that the hazelnut plants still have the upper hand. No matter how much money you owe to Mr. Brown, at least you aren’t drowning in hazelnuts. So it could be a lot worse! See, didn’t that make you feel better? That’s the power of the Swiss Chocolate Knife.

And if you happen to be Moldovan, I offer my sincerest condolences. I’m sure it was a beautiful country.

*diabetes not included

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Mo’pleez All In One Indian Snacks

Mo'pleez All In One Indian Snacks

Mo’pleez All In One Indian Snacks

Do you ever get tired of having to go to the ends of the earth for fried delicacies? And then just when you get to Grenoble, you realize that you have a craving for some fried food that’s only served in San Salvador? It’s enough to drive a person mad. At least you don’t have to do all that while avoiding agents of the Vast Soursop Conspiracy and the Sovereign Thalassic Hegemony. Do you know what it’s like to have every culinary cartel after you at the same time? It (and indigestion from too many fried foods) is enough to keep you awake at night.

That’s why we were so happy to finally discover Mo’pleez All In One Indian Snacks. (Our team of linguists assures us that the etymology of “mo’pleez” is completely different from that of “fezpleez“, which is at least mildly reassuring as far as dystopian world takeovers go.) With this bag of all-in-one treats we could finally enjoy a mix of all fried Indian delicacies, all in one place. And it certainly is quite a mix: chick peas, rice flakes, mung lentils, red lentils, spinach, green peas, cashews, peanuts, and even raisins. That’s not even including the incredible mix of spices: nutmeg, bay leaves, mango powder, cinnamon, turmeric, and asafoetida.

That last spice required a bit of research. These fried Indian delicacies tasted delicious, but as it is our sworn duty to investigate the details of all foreign foods, we couldn’t simply enjoy this bag of deep-fried delights. Sadly, this mouthwatering melange proved to be harboring a satanic secret: asafoetida is better known as “devil’s dung”. Clearly this crunchy collection was simply a trick by the enemies of the FBFCR to make us eat devil’s dung. Rest assured that this Mephistophelian machination will not go uninvestigated. We are already mobilizing the full resources of the FBFCR to determine who foisted this fetid feast upon us. I mean, devil’s tongue was bad enough, but this was devil’s dung. That’s not to say that it tasted bad, but still. Devil’s dung.

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