Monthly Archives: June 2012
I hope you’ve enjoyed our recent articles. Also, welcome, if you’re one of the many people who have joined us over the past day or so.
Anyhow, I’d like to make a recommendation. I was browsing the internet, doing some research on Tarragon soda, when I came across a website that goes by the name of Weird Soda Review (link here, and in the newly created blogroll), which specializes in comedic reviews of all manners of bizarre and beautiful carbonated beverages. All two of the folks here at Armenian Fungus Cake highly suggest that you give the site a look, and become a fan of theirs as well. The articles there are funny and informative, and a perfect partner to the ones here at AFC.
Everyone loves their coffee, right? That’s why there’s a Starbucks on every corner and inside every grocery store. Pretty soon there will probably be a Starbucks inside of a Starbucks. Until a couple of hours ago, I was probably the last person on Earth over the age of 10 who hadn’t had coffee from Starbucks. That changed when a colleague announced that he was going to Starbucks and asked if I wanted anything. I had heard that Starbucks was known for deliciously decadent coffee creations, so I suggested that he could get me something good involving coffee.
Now I should mention that I’m not a coffee drinker. What this means is that I’ve had a couple of sips of plain black coffee in my entire life. Thus, I had nothing to prepare me for what I was about to experience.
When the colleague returned from Starbucks, he handed me a cup of brown liquid containing brown chunks and topped with brown whipped cream. Written in black marker on the side was the mysterious designation “MCCF”. I looked this up and determined that I was about to experience a Mocha Cookie Crumble Frappuccino. It all sounded so innocent at the time. I mean, it had cookie crumbles in it. What could possibly go wrong?
I took a sip, and then another, and I found that this coffee creation lived up to all promises of delicious decadence. In fact, by the time I was halfway through I was already planning my next trip to partake of more seductively sweet Starbucks stuff. Then, strange things started to happen. My thoughts started to move faster and faster. I found my eyes darting from one thing to another, and I was unable to concentrate on anything. I felt an odd sensation of energy throughout my body, but not the type of energy that would lead to useful work. More like the type of energy that would make me want to run around in circles and shout random nonsense. Then my hands began to shake. As slowly as I could (which is to say, extremely rapidly), I walked over to my colleague’s office and mentioned to him that the coffee drink had been quite potent. I found myself talking very quickly and almost continuously, and I was powerless to slow down my ever-accelerating speech. My mind was going in 500 directions at once, and I realized that the “acting” part of my brain was getting ahead of the “thinking” part of my brain for the first time that I could remember.
Suddenly, everything that had mystified me about life made sense. I understood why drivers raged at each other on the road. I understood why people got into fights over the slightest bump. I understood why co-workers could never seem to concentrate on anything for more than a few moments at a time, and why it was so hard for them to speak slowly when they were giving a presentation. I was having an existential epiphany while tripping on a glorified milkshake.
Obviously, no one else in the world has such a low tolerance for caffeine, so they can’t expect to have a vision quest from drinking a venti. But now that I’m starting to recover from this astounding analeptic, I realize that I learned many valuable lessons from this energizing experience.
Also, I’m giving up all caffeine effective immediately. That’s some nasty stuff.
If there’s one, long lasting piece of information I’ve learned from my experiences here at Armenian Fungus Cake, it’s that the foreign beverage world is in the midst of constant competition.
Originally, they fought over who could mislead their customers to the highest degree, with disgusting names like Wax Gourd Drink and Grass Jelly drink, which both ended up tasting relatively pleasant. Then, Foco decided to throw a monkey wrench into the situation by creating Chrysanthemum drink, a disgusting beverage with a pleasant sounding name. Thus, the Great and Terrible Space Time Continuum Beverage Competition Paradigm Shift occurred. At this point, misnomers stopped occurring, and it seemed that various beverage companies were done one-upping each other. At the time, little did we know that the competitive spirit was far from gone, as various liquid consumables began defeating each other in terms of color. Greens, browns, blacks, and everything in between began appearing in various alien drinks.
Recently, the chromatic competition has been continued, this time by a Russian company, with their radiant bright green Tarragon carbonated drink. This green is unrivaled by any other. It was so green that, upon complete consumption of this beverage, the once-clear bottle seemed to carry with it a residue of piercing green. The green was so bright that it completely jumpstarted the foreign fluids race. So bright that I feel inspired to compose a short poem:
An Ode to Napitki iz Chernogolovki Tarkhun Soda
Oh, Tarkhun Soda
You are incredibly green
Your intense glow is very intense
No seriously, you are very green
Really, quite disturbingly so
So green that you main ingredient is,
More or less,
a second cousin of the main ingredient of
Did I mention how green you are?
The Tarragon soda was green enough to catch my eye while I was making my rounds in my local Eastern European food stuffs market. It was in the non alcoholic refrigerated section, which contained other Chernogolovki products, as well as beer and malt beverages. Apparently, the definition of alcoholic is subjective. I grabbed two of the Chernogolovki drinks, a rather mundane pear soda, and the Tarragon drink. I felt sort of self conscious about my choice, as various pieces of propaganda supplied by the disgruntled right-wing Russian store clerks stared me down. On one hand, authentic banners from Lenin’s reign faced me. On the other, pictures of Reagan and Palin, and posters declaring, “Comrade Obama is watching you!” dotted the wall. I decided that the glory from consuming the odd beverage was worth taking the risk of proceeding to the check out counter.
When I arrived at my house, I opened the tarragon soda with trepidation. Much like David was afraid of jack-booted Mangoustani thugs busting down his door, I was 95% positive that the Russian mafia was going to do the same to me. I put it to my nose. It smelled of licorice and…green-ness. I put it to my mouth with uncertainty, and drank. The green colored liquid flew into my oral cavity, stimulating my taste buds with hints of, as I expected, licorice. Then, it gave way to cinnamon. Finally, an old friend came back to greet me.
“No, it can’t be,” I said. “I thought you had died off with Wax Gourd Drink!” I continued.
It was back. The chocolate taste was back. Admittedly, it’s lifelong companion, weak coffee, was gone, but the unmistakable taste of weak chocolate was still there. The taste was all in all pleasant, but I knew that the Federal Bureau of Foreign Culinary Foods Relations had to be involved. Tastes simply could not be allowed to switch products.
Prepare yourself for the newest spectacular Bollywood sensation: Sunfeast Snacky Salted Biscuits starring Chilli Flakes! It’s an all-singing, all-dancing story of real tomatoes, mock lettuce (a favorite of mock turtles), and computer-generated cream cheese, with the dance stylings of none other than Mr. Chilli Flakes himself. Of course, this is supposed to be nothing more than a package of crackers, but I think there’s more going on here than meets the eye.
The Sunfeast Snacky package shows an illustration of “suggested toppings”, including real tomatoes and real cucumbers. Albeit, this cucumber is being held by the sun, so the accuracy is still questionable. What’s more bizarre is the appearance of a leaf of lettuce that has obviously never existed anywhere outside of a computer. Someone probably spent a lot of time drawing that bit of lettuce, and it seems like it would have been easier to simply take a picture of real lettuce. The C in Snacky is made of cream cheese, or at least an artist’s impression of cream cheese.
Furthermore, the package also includes a picture of a man who looks like he could be a Bollywood dancer. The all-caps billing for “CHILLI FLAKES” leads me to believe that this enigmatic fellow must be the star of the whole show here, and Chilli Flakes does sound like a perfectly good Bollywood name to me.
These crackers seem unassuming at first glance: they taste like dry Ritz crackers with a bit of hot pepper flavor. But I know there has to be more to it. The singing and dancing should start any minute. Everything with Chilli Flakes includes singing and dancing, right? That’s what makes it paisa vasool, after all.
On a related note, the Federal Bureau of Foreign Culinary Relations is currently investigating Mr. Chilli Flakes to determine if he is part of the Vast Soursop Conspiracy.
Some of you may have seen this on my personal facebook page or on the site’s facebook page. If so, you can skip this post entirely.
I have several brief announcements.
First, for those who have been following www.armenianfunguscake.com, thank you. Keep reading and keep telling and sharing. Second, we created a facebook page for the site: Armenian Fungus Cake. If you’re a fan, like the page and tell others to do the same. Also, you know have the option to share the blog and individual articles by more outlets than facebook. You can also subscribe to the blog by email. Third, we are planning on making t-shirts. We’ve already made a few tests, simply with the Armenian Fungus Cake banner on them and a bullet point description with the URL. We are going to make more with catch phrases and images drawn from some of your favorite articles. We would sell these from 10-12 dollars, depending on how expensive they are to make.
I know that it’s challenging, folks. I know that, sometimes, the urge is terrible. You sit with your canned beverage in hand, knowing that it’s missing…something. You just want to undo your tie, untuck your shirt, and run outside, drink in hand. I promise, I understand that you just want to pick the grass from the ground, and grind it up in your palm, and simply sprinkle it into your liquid snack.
You’ve tried to reduce the urge, I can tell. The stress and pain has weighed down on you severely. You’re constantly tired, there are bags underneath your eyes, and your hair is turning grey. All you want is to consume some grass, by whatever means. But you can’t. There is too much social stigma against consuming grass and leaves that you just can’t bring yourself to do it. You don’t want to face the ridicule of a modern, anti-grass digestion world.
Now, fret no longer, for I come to you with a solution. Made with technology from the East, courtesy of Hong Van (which looks disturbingly like Hang Man from a distance), your urges will not be eliminated, but satisfied.
“How?” you may ask. To answer your questions in advance, not as a patch, not as a supplement, not as a pill or shot, but as gelatinous grass cubes set into a drink–Grass Jelly Drink.
You may well cringe at the curious name of this beverage. I promise you, that’s just the haters getting inside of your head. Grass Jelly Drink is the premier way to get in your grassy needs without facing the judgmental public. See, with breathtaking new technology, the scientists of Hong Van realized that the best way to please the grass-loving masses is to take the dried leaves and stalks of a certain kind of mint, boil them with potassium and starch, and then cool the ingredients into jelly, before slicing them up into tiny little cubes and putting them in a beverage with a similar flavor. That is the magic of science!
With a can of Grass Jelly drink, you can regain your happiness and vigor. Spend time with your family and friends! Work harder and be smarter! You no longer have to worry about carrying through your life unsatisfied.
If you don’t believe me, regard some of my completely non-paid, non-actor, and non-kidnapped by the Hong Van company customer testimonials!
Cletus, from North Carolina, says: “Reminds me of the old days, when we could just eat handfuls o’ grass without no one caring. That was before those Northern city boys came in and…*mumble*mumble*sympathized*mumble*mumble*Confederates.”
Excellent. Thank you Cletus. Now, we’ll hear from Jane, of Rhode Island, who says: “I used to love eating grass as a child, but never really grew out of it. My boss never let me go out on grass eating breaks, so I was incredibly happy when I was introduced to Grass Jelly Drink. It’s changed my life! Once you get over the oil-spill green, the floating slimy grass jelly pieces, and the incredibly sweet taste, the experience is wonderful. I would even recommend it to non grass eaters! It tastes like a candied forrest in your mouth!”
Well, you’ve heard it from those who’ve tried it. Even I have, and I couldn’t agree with our happy customers more. I was never a grass eater, but I was introduced to Grass Jelly Drink and I loved it. I would certainly have it again, even with the odd floaty bits and the off-putting sweetness and green color.
So, if you suffer from not being able to eat the grass you love, or if you’re an adventurous eater who wants a tasty drink, Hong Van’s Grass Jelly Drink is the best choice for you!