Monthly Archives: July 2012
Good Morning, Comrades
Today, I tell you about obviously communist, and subsequently excellent energy drink called M-150. The beverage is of Thai origin, which finally means that the influence of Mother Rus…er…energy has spread throughout the world. The drink is manufactured by Osotspa Co. Ltd, and is top selling energy drink in Thailand. It is stocked in more than 90% of retail markets–but remember, it has nothing to do with evil stock market. Its area of distribution ranges out to Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, The Philippines, Japan, and Cyprus, some of which are my favorite Asian countries because of their MILITANT LOVE OF good food. Right. Good food. Heh.
Anyhow, printed on label of can of beverage is a large red star, clearly a reference to the greatest thing in whole world, the color Red, which is symbolic of love, something very important to me, Arren Kimbel-Sannit, as that is name of me.
Around the star, the words Courage, Devotion, and Sacrifice are printed, the three most important things to any respectable person, unless, of course, you are a MISERABLE, BASTARDIZED, EVIL, SELFISH, and GENERALLY UNPLEASANT PERSON! YOUR MOTHER WAS A HAMSTER AND YOUR FATHER SMELT OF ELDERBERRIES! YOU ARE A MISERABLE WRETCH, AND YOU SHOULD BE THROWN INTO THE GULAGS, YOU BOURGEOIS PIG!
My apologies. Television was turned up too far, and it got into my dictation software. Let me go talk to my friend…er…David…about the television volume.
“Turn it down, Vasily”
“We don’t even have a television, Commissar!”
“Then shut up, dog!”
I’m back now. So, I did eventually consume the beverage, although I knew it would be excellent based on the values displayed on its label. I cannot say that it was very energizing, since I am already perfectly fit for doing excellent things, like invading Georgia. I need not more energy.
However, some people I know, with the help of castor oil and the butt of a rifle, were helped significantly by the energy drink. Despite this, it did work very well to wash down my borscht and vodka protein shake…if I drank borscht and vodka protein shakes, of course, as that would imply that I would be an adult Russian person, which is clearly not true.
The beverage itself is a sickly yellow color, with vaguely sweet flavor. Of course, having normal taste and color would mean that people matter, which of course, they don’t. Only the party matters. Um…the party that I throw every saturday at the incredibly South Korean Karaoke bar I happen to frequent. Go free market!
*Faint Yelling Again*
“Commissar, someone is at the door!”
Damn. Well, I will see you soon. Yay M-150!
“Get the rifles, Vasily, we are leaving! Out the window! Stupid capitalist pigs!”
*Door breaks down*
Jack ‘n Jill is shaping up to be a prolific producer of Filipino snack foods. They might even be the Kraš of the Philippines. In addition to the recently reviewed Piattos Nacho Pizza Potato Chips, they also make Mr. Chips Pinoy Spaghetti Flavored Corn Chips. Notice that they aren’t just spaghetti flavored; they’re Pinoy spaghetti flavored. “Pinoy” is an informal demonym for the Filipino people, so these chips are essentially Filipino spaghetti flavored.
What exactly is Filipino spaghetti? It’s like regular spaghetti, except the sauce is sweeter than usual thanks to the addition of banana ketchup. Hot dogs are also added to the traditional ground beef, and sometimes ham is included as well. It’s a popular dish; popular enough to be transformed into a corn chip flavor.
Beyond the banana-ketchup-infused seasoning, these chips also can claim some other interesting aspects. First of all, Mr. Chips Pinoy Spaghetti Flavored Corn Chips display the Sangkap Pinoy seal from the Philippine Department of Health to prove that they are fortified with vitamin A and iron. (Take that, Piattos Nacho Pizza Potato Chips!) What’s more, they exhibit a most unusual fractal property. Witness the description from the back of the package:
What’s in a Mr. Chips chip?
Triangular shape corn chips loaded with zesty PINOY SPAGHETTI that spell a whole lot of fun and a whole lot of goodness.
Did you catch that? There are corn chips inside the corn chips! Chips on top of chips on top of chips. Eating just one of these corn chips apparently means you’ve actually eaten every corn chip that ever existed and every corn chip that ever will exist. It’s corn chips all the way down, until the very end of time–chipception, if you will.
One could be forgiven for actually believing that, too, since the small bag is actually quite full of corn chips. This stands in stark contrast to most American corn chip bags, which barely meet the minimum legal definition of “corn chips”. That is to say, they usually contain two corn chips, or three if you’re really lucky. The Mr. Chips bag, on the other hand, contains a surprising 3.53 ounces (or 100 grams) of corn chips which pack an equally surprising 560 calories. This is quite a colossal chunk of corn chips, especially in light of the instructions on the package: “You just don’t bite your Mr. Chips chip. You go all out and gobble them all up.”
After consuming the entire bag of chips, it became apparent that this plentiful portion could be a plot to induce corn-chip-related corpulence in the agents of the Federal Bureau of Foreign Culinary Relations. While transforming us into lazy lumps of feckless flab would have been a brilliant plot to slow us down in our pursuit of Wong Lo Kat, further investigation revealed no evidence of Mangoustani malice. Instead, it was determined that the wonders of downsizing simply hadn’t made it into the world of Pinoy Spaghetti Flavored Corn Chips.
I’ve never eaten Pinoy spaghetti myself, so I’ll have to take Mr. Chips at his word when he says the flavor is authentic. At least I know they really were fortified with vitamin A and iron. After all, the Sangkap Pinoy seal never lies.
Everyone knows that pizza is practically a world wide culinary icon, which says a lot about either pizza or globalization. Chips are another global foodstuff. So, it only made sense for certain companies to create pizza flavored chips and other starchy snacks. Here in the US, one food item among the hordes that exist, and one that has popularity rivaling that of pizza, is the humble nacho: cheese melted on a tortilla chip. These ostensibly Mexican hybrid snacks (which are most definitely not Mexican) also have chip incarnations, which is a little strange considering that nachos involve chips by definition. In fact, one of the flagship flavors of one of the most widely consumed brand of chips, Doritos (which sort of means “turned golden” in Spanish) is nacho! Anyhow, it only seems natural that, at some point, someone would have to create something that combined the holy trinity that I just made up, something so artificially Italian, so cheesy-ly not-really-Mexican, and so crunchily chip-like. Something with 70 calories from fat, virtually no protein, and a whopping 230 grams of sodium seemed to be inevitable. Lo and behold, here it is, something to fulfill our longing, the almighty Nacho Pizza Chip, courtesy of…the Philippines?
That’s right, the Philippines; a country that’s only connection to Mexico is that they were both colonized by the Spanish, and only connection to Pizza is that Italian Americans have probably been there at some point, houses Jack n’ Jill, a company that creates chips, and rather strange chips, as you’ll soon find out.
“So, what is a Jack n’ Jill ‘Piattos’ line Nacho Pizza Chip like?” you may well ask.
Is it an enigmatic chip, with subtle flavors reminiscent of homemade nachos and pizza? Not really.
Is it ostentatious, with big bold flavors that don’t leave much to think about? Sort of.
Is it a bizarre mish-mash of strange vaguely pizzoid and nachoid flavors that physically assaults your tastebuds, kicks you in the groin, steals your phone, takes out your SIM card, and then tells you to call the police, not letting you remember exactly what it is you just ate? Pretty much.
See, Nacho Pizza chips are a strange beast indeed, probably containing more things that start with “Hydrox” than cheese. Realistically, one could probably sue Jack n’ Jill for false advertising, considering all of the yummy looking plastic peppers and olives and onions they put on the packaging but are most definitely not in the chips. Unfortunately, I have no idea how the Filippino legal system works, so that probably won’t happen.
In reality, the chips taste like every other pizza chip that exists, except the fact that it is an incredibly weak flavor. It sort of tastes like a pizza chip, but not exactly. It definitely doesn’t taste like actual pizza, and you can’t really taste Nacho flavor. Really, the chips have no reason to exist, unless they’re a product that was created by some sort of Soursopian Mangoustani Communist Filippino affiliate that has the sole purpose of poisoning agents of the FBFCR.
This seems sort of unlikely, since I don’t really feel anyfgffrgtvfdf ghbv \
Some time ago, we brought you the story of Shownice Boiled Salted Duck Eggs. The strange color of these eggs proved overwhelming to onlookers, but the flavor was reasonably respectable. After completing this assignment, it was only natural that we should progress to the next level in peculiar poultry products.
Unlike boiled salted duck eggs, preserved duck eggs aren’t found in the refrigerator section. They sit happily on the store shelves without need of any special treatment. Even the package helpfully reassures that these eggs can and should be kept at room temperature. Also unlike boiled salted duck eggs, preserved duck eggs aren’t cooked. That’s right, these are raw eggs, sitting right next to the cans of creamed corn.
Fear not, however, because these eggs have been around long enough to prove their worth as a fashion and fallow foodstuff. In addition to the rather sterile-sounding moniker we’ve already learned, preserved duck eggs are also known as “century eggs”, “thousand-year-old eggs”, and “millennium eggs”. In Thai, these delicious delicacies are called ไข่เยี่ยวม้า (khai yiao ma).
The traditional method of preserving duck eggs involves quicklime, salt, wood ash, and tea. Modern chemistry has improved the process, which is now performed with sodium carbonate, calcium hydroxide, and salt. Regardless of which method is used, the preserved duck egg undergoes a tremendous transformation. The white of the egg turns to a brown translucent gel, and the yolk becomes a creamy greenish-gray mass with an odor of ammonia. Once the change is complete, these eggs can keep for months with no refrigeration.
Upon removing the shell, one is first greeted with a speckled skin that belies the egg’s true appearance. Underneath this thin layer is the dark-brown (but also disturbingly translucent) “white”. Slicing into the peeled egg reveals the custard-like yolk in all of its olive-gray glory. It is at this point that the aforementioned aroma of ammonia is released.
Preserved duck eggs are certainly an acquired taste, but with a little practice it seems that it could be possible to enjoy these polychromatic poultry products from time to time, regardless of what you might choose to call them. And speaking of names, there is one name we haven’t yet explained. Khai yiao ma is what these eggs are called in Thailand, and it has to do with their forceful fragrance (and fortunately not their preparation procedure). Khai means “egg”; that’s simple enough. Ma means “horse”, which is a bit odd since these are duck eggs. And finally, yiao means…urine. That’s right: “horse urine eggs”.
Somewhere in India, in the state of Gujarat, along Bindu Sarover Road, lies the Sidhpur Sat-Isabgol Factory. Each day, the factory churns out box after box of B.G. Telephone Brand Registered Sat-Isagbol Psyllium Husk! I don’t mean to sound overly enthusiastic there, but that’s what the product is really called. It’s not “Psyllium Husk”, it’s “Psyllium Husk!” with an exclamation mark.
This product was strangely shelved with the strange snacks, but it’s certainly not a tasty treat. The package innocently suggests that 5 to 10 grams can be taken as needed with water, syrup, milk, fruit juice, salted curd, or lassi. It also explains that psyllium husk is alternatively known as sat-isagbol. That’s one mystery out of the way.
The box offers an explanation of how sat-isagbol is produced and gives the scientific name of of the plant from which it is derived. What it doesn’t do is explain exactly why one would want to take 5 to 10 grams of sat-isagbol with water, with salted curd, or even with lassi. Fortunately, we at the Federal Bureau of Foreign Culinary Relations already knew exactly what was going on.
You see, we’ve had the Vast Soursop Conspiracy under surveillance for a long time. Their members can’t go anywhere, do anything, or say anything without the FBFCR being completely aware of it. Even their secret hideout (which is absolutely not anywhere near downtown Cleveland) is thoroughly bugged. So when they decided to position this box of B.G. Telephone Brand Registered Sat-Isagbol Psyllium Husk! on the snack shelf, we were ready. Had we avoided such an interesting item, the Conspiracy would have realized that we had knowledge of their plan. Thus, it was necessary that we feign ignorance and purchase this tempting antique-style box of sat-isagbol.
When it came time to perform our standard tests on this curious commodity (disguised as a strange snack), I filled Agent Kimbel-Sannit in on the details. He had been away on a rare domestic mission involving the Wiz Brothers (Wit and Witout), so he was unaware of the Vast Soursop Conspiracy’s plot. I explained what the Conspiracy was planning, the importance of maintaining our cover, and the general effects of psyllium husk. At that moment, he announced that his report about the Wiz Brothers was overdue and he had to leave immediately. That left me as the only agent who would be required to ingest sat-isagbol.
All agents of the FBFCR understand that they may be called upon to undertake difficult or dangerous missions, so I knew that a day like this would eventually arrive. With as much courage as I could muster, I mixed 10 grams of B.G. Telephone Brand Registered Sat-Isagbol Psyllium Husk! into a large glass of water and swallowed the slimy concoction. The standard serving of sat-isagbol is only 3.5 grams, but I knew that if I didn’t appear enthusiastic, the Vast Soursop Conspiracy could become suspicious.
The good news is that the Vast Soursop Conspiracy appears to have been fooled by this tactic. They have been bolder than ever when it comes to discussing their surreptitious schemes and the FBFCR has gathered much valuable intelligence. The bad news is that sat-isagbol (or psyllium husk!) is a powerful laxative.
I’d love to tell you about the Vast Soursop Conspiracy’s latest plans, but now just isn’t a good time. I have other things that I must attend to…right away.
When setting a goal, it’s important to aim high, but also to be realistic. For example, here at Armenian Fungus Cake we strive to be the world’s best comedy blog. But we also take comfort in knowing that we are already the world’s best comedy blog with a title that references an Eastern European country in combination with a mycological topic.
Parle Hide & Seek Cookies have also managed to achieve one of their goals (and it’s not “most opaque name for a snack food”). The deep purple package proudly proclaims: “World’s Best Moulded Chocolate Chip Cookies”. Rather than pursue the lofty goal of being the world’s best chocolate chip cookie overall, Parle has instead decided to focus exclusively on the mo(u)lded chocolate chip cookie competition. Much like an athlete who only runs in the 100-meter dash, all of Parle’s efforts have gone into making the world’s best moulded chocolate chip cookie. Regular (non-moulded) chocolate chip cookies? No. Moulded oatmeal cookies? Uh uh. Snickerdoodles? Unthinkable!
The result of this effort is a pack of square striated chocolate chip cookies. The distinctive diagonal indentations on top of the cookie are almost certainly the desired result of the the mo(u)lding process. As promised, these cookies contain plenty of chocolate chips; it’s not necessary to play hide-and-seek with these morsels, because they are right out in the open. As far as the taste goes, they are a bit dry, but not bad overall. I can say, without any doubt, that these are the best moulded chocolate chip cookies I’ve ever eaten.
The only mystery remaining to be solved is why they are called “Hide & Seek”. As a test, I set a package of these cookies in the corner, then went and hid underneath an enormous pile of jackfruit. Several hours later, I gave up and emerged from my hiding place. The package of “Hide & Seek” cookies hadn’t even tried to find me, and was instead lounging lazily in the same corner where I left it. Thinking I might have this backwards, I then placed the package of “Hide & Seek” cookies in the center of the room, while I stood in the corner and counted to ten. When I turned around, I found that the cookies were no better at hiding than they were at seeking.
As a final effort to understand this mysterious moniker, I hid a single “Hide & Seek” cookie in an obscure place and then proceeded for forget about it for several days. Did you know that ants are really good at playing hide-and-seek?