Monthly Archives: August 2012

Paper Watch

Paper Watch

Do you know what time it is? If not, you might need a watch. But watches are expensive with their fancy leather bands and shiny gold clasps. Why spend all that money when all you want to do is keep track of the time? With the new Paper Watch, you can always know what time it is, and still have money left in your wallet!

The Paper Watch features a high-tech digital display with quartz movement for accurate timekeeping. Thirty years ago, those features would have been found in only the most expensive of luxury watches, but these days that high-tech mumbo-jumbo hardly costs anything at all. It’s obviously the band that makes a watch costly, and this watch has the most inexpensive band ever. It’s called paper, but it really seems to be made of polyethylene. It has holes in the band and a plastic snap so that it can be sized to fit just about any wrist. The package encourages the purchaser to draw on it and paint on it. It’s not just a watch; it’s an art project.

The most amazing thing about the Paper Watch is that it can somehow be made, shipped, stocked, and sold for only one dollar. It even includes a battery, but the package advises that it’s non-replaceable. It also contains mercury, but at least the manufacturer is kind enough to mention this fact on the package. I think that’s more than can be said for some of the snacks we’ve reviewed here.

When the battery goes dead (or when the art project goes horribly wrong), don’t throw the Paper Watch away. The label clearly states that it must be recycled or managed as hazardous waste. That’s a comforting thought, isn’t it?

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Melvilles Hand Poured Maple Bacon Savory Lollipop

Melvilles Hand Poured Maple Bacon Savory Lillipop

Bacon on my breakfast plate.
Bacon when I’m up too late.
Bacon on a slice of bread.
Bacon wrapped around my head.
Bacon by the pound or slice.
Bacon, bacon tastes so nice!

Bacon, hash browns, and some eggs.
Bacon, lobster, and crab legs.
Bacon frying in the pan.
Bacon cooking in Spokane.
Bacon here, bacon there.
Bacon, bacon everywhere!

Melville Candy Company produces the Hand Poured Maple Bacon Savory Lollipop. In keeping with recent tradition, it is bacon flavored, since everything seems to be bacon flavored these days. Unlike most bacon snacks, this one is fat-free, cholesterol-free, and sodium-free. This amazing bacon feat is accomplished by using no actual bacon in the production of the lollipop. Those bacony bits in the candy are actually textured soy protein (yum) with smoke flavor.

There’s really not much to say about this faux-bacon confection other than that it tastes vaguely like maple with bits of a bacon-like substance inside. In spite of this, it’s probably very popular. After all, it looks like bacon, and everybody loves bacon.

Categories: Strange Snacks | 1 Comment

Budget Cuts

Good Morning, readers.

Let’s be blunt. Armenian Fungus Cake is going through some rough times. The espionage committed by the Russian spies left our website economically crippled. We knew from the start that we would need to make some sacrifices to keep the website afloat. Originally, we were going to take away funding from the quality department because our iPads are awesome, but our advisors convinced us to do otherwise. So, we sold off our electronic equipment to the local pawnshop, fired the advisors that stopped us from dooming the website (In hindsight, this was a bad move) and we moved out of our office. I now live in a Feng Shui kiosk in my local mall, and hitchhike to the library every day to write an article on an early 2000’s eMac. However, some have been charitable. I was offered a 2000 Dodge Neon with a near-broken timing belt, which I gladly accepted. When pulling out of the parking lot, I felt a loud thunk, got out of the car, and saw that my engine was on the ground.

I started impersonating Jimmy Fallon impersonating Bob Dylan in front of my local coffee shop, and I accumulated enough money to fund some very small purchases. The first step was to replace some of our electrical equipment. David and I started out at a consignment store, and realized that even the electronics there were out of our range. So, we moved on to a 99 cent store. Here, we were fortunate.

Close enough

While looking through the shelves, I spotted something out of the corner of my eye. I pulled it out of a pile of plastic pieces. It was a tablet.

The Mentally Deficient Smart Phone

I felt incredibly lucky. Admittedly, it didn’t have a touchscreen. Or a screen of any sort. Or a keyboard. Also, it was made out of plastic, and was predominantly hollow. However, there was a speaker, and a single button. This button made a variety of sounds, most of which are usually found in a phone, but I didn’t mind.

Meanwhile, David made a discovery as well. However, he found a cell phone. Unfortunately, the cell phone had the same attributes as mine. It was smaller, but it continued with the elegant design of sticker on plastic. It also had one button, which made a host of strange cellular sounds. We figured that it was better that than nothing, so we bought a disposable camera, took some pictures, and hung out by the river leading out of the nearest chemical plant to expose the images. That may have been a bad idea, as I think there’s an eye developing on my left elbow.

Once we had the technological budget figured out, it was time for us to move on to the next item on our agenda: defense. As a part of our monetary hardship, we were forced to sell all of our old FBFCR weapons. After the Russian incident, we knew that we needed more protection. We didn’t have money for any actual weapons, so we scoured strange stores searching for something sufficient. To our surprise, we found what we needed behind the shelf of the clearance section at a foreign import and novelty store. What we found was a boxing glove…of sorts. A normal boxing glove wouldn’t have been terrible, since, at one point in my life, for various complicated

Plus or minus some bang for your buck.

reasons, I was a championship boxer in the Pyongyang circuit. But this wasn’t so much of a boxing glove as it was a jury rigged robot claw with a bulbous red fist at the end. We would be doomed in a fight using that, but I can use my repurposed Red Army fighting moves as a last resort. Besides, we’re on a tight budget.

Well, with any luck, we’ll be able to straighten out the financials before long. Until then–



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Golden Rabbit Creamy Candy

Golden Rabbit Creamy Candy

Golden Rabbit Creamy Candy is a product of the Guan Sheng Yuan Group in Shanghai, China. The package features an anthropomorphic rabbit with bright red eyes carrying a huge mushroom that looks suspiciously similar to amantia muscaria. Any implications there are purely coincidental, I’m sure.

These candies were originally advertised as practically being a health food, with the claim that eating seven of them was equivalent to drinking a glass of milk. They actually do contain real milk, along with liquid maltose, edible glutinous rice paper, and sucrose fatty acid ester. That sure sounds as healthy as a glass of milk to me.

Golden Rabbit Creamy Candy was formerly known as White Rabbit Creamy Candy, but the name was changed in 2009 in an effort to escape the bad reputation of the older White Rabbit name. In addition to the ingredients we already discussed, it turns out that the White Rabbit candies also contained an extra ingredient in 2007: formaldehyde. It was a flavor enhancer, of course, but authorities in the Philippines didn’t appreciate this one bit and ordered a ban on the candies. Then, just when it looked like it was safe to eat White Rabbit candy again, another unexpected surprise was discovered in 2008: melamine. Finally in 2009, the problems were sorted out and the candy returned to the market under the name of Golden Rabbit.

We must have gotten a bad batch of Golden Rabbit Creamy Candy, because it wasn’t creamy at all. In fact, it was hard as a rock and nearly impossible to eat. Considering the previous history of contamination, that may have been a good thing. I’m also happy to report that it didn’t make us larger, nor did it make us small. In fact, it didn’t do anything at all.

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Oh! Ricey Instant Pho

Oh! Ricey Instant Pho

For some reason, this package of instant rice noodles seemed to be beckoning me from the store shelf. It was as if it were calling me by name, commanding me to buy it. Produced by Acecook Vietnam Joint Stock Company, this package of Oh! Ricey Instant Pho proclaims that it is “a Vietnamese famous soup”. Oddly, it also proclaims that this soup is “made with Japanese technology”. I wasn’t aware that very much technology went into producing instant rice noodles, nor did I know that the Japanese were the technical leaders in this field. But apparently, they are known for their amazing rice noodle production equipment which is vastly superior to anything in East Mangoustan.

The package includes a cake of rice noodles that appear vaguely similar to clear strips of plastic, along with packets of oil, soup base, and dried vegetables. It contains something else, too: wheatex. It’s even listed as a potential allergen: “may contain wheatex”. And it certainly does seem to contain a fair amount wheatex, since it’s listed as the third ingredient of the soup base. It also contains butylated hydroxytoluene, but no one is allergic to that, right?

This raises an interesting question: why do they keep misspelling “wheat” in such a strange way? What went wrong in the translation that caused it to turn into “wheatex”? The answer is that nothing went wrong. The ingredient is really called wheatex; it’s a form of textured wheat that’s used to create “meat analogs”, among other things. That sounds delightful. It doesn’t help that the wheatex in this soup comes in the form of small brown pellets that are presumably supposed to look like little bits of beef. In reality, the small brown pellets look a lot more like…well, let’s just say that they look unappetizing, and leave it at that.

In spite of the Japanese technology, the beef-flavored rice noodle soup is only average, and the beef-flavored wheatex nuggets don’t do much to improve the dish. I must give it credit, however, for trying to call me by name (and a nickname, no less). That was a nice touch.

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Tao Kae Noi Tempura Seaweed (Spicy Flavour)

Tao Kae Noi Tempura Seaweed

A few weeks ago, you learned about Tao Kae Noi Crispy Seaweed and the wonders of Taokaenoi Land.  (Apparently it’s three words when it refers to seaweed, but only one word when it refers to a seaweed-related gift shop.)

Tempura seaweed originally appeared to be completely out of reach, short of making a trip to Taokaenoi Land itself, which wouldn’t be possible after recent budget cuts. Fortunately, a serendipitous visit to an import store brought a little piece of Taokaenoi Land right to the Armenian Fungus Cake testing laboratory. The Taokeonoi Man must have been smiling down upon us that day, because in addition to the normal seaweed snack selection, there was a bag of none other than spicy tempura seaweed.

Tao Kae Noi Tempura Seaweed is just like the thin strips of crispy seaweed we sampled before, except it’s coated on one side with a thick layer of fried tempura batter. This particular bag is the “Hi Tempura” variety; I don’t know if there is also a “Lo Tempura” variation, or if it’s simply an informal greeting directed at the crispy batter. Either way, there certainly is plenty of tempura to go along with the thin pieces of crispy seaweed.

Tempura turns out to be a terrific way to transform an otherwise healthy snack into a crunchy fried treat, and it certainly tastes good in the process. This was spicier than the original Spicy Crispy Seaweed and of course a lot crunchier. Like its non-tempura counterpart, it’s also “delicious with good nutrients from the sea”.

Here’s hoping that this positive review will lead the Taokaenoi Man to smile upon us again, perhaps with a bag of Tom Yum Goong Crispy Seaweed.

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