Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Certain Processed Foods Are Not To Be Trifled With...

There are people out there who would argue that one should avoid processed foods altogether, claiming that you should always know where your dinner comes from. They say that you should strictly eat foods with ingredients that occur in nature, and are “organic,” and prefer to make everything they eat from scratch.

Unfortunately for them, certain joys just cannot and should not be attempted to be made at home or even in a restaurant kitchen. One could spend their whole life “chasing the dragon” with these items, at some point possibly producing a replica that is passable at best.

Some things, like Kraft Blue Box Mac N’ Cheese for instance, that are delicious and comforting, but better Mac & Cheese can be created from scratch. What follows are the processed foods that are perfect the way they are, and, in my opinion, should under no circumstances be fucked with.

We shall begin with the gold standard:

Heinz Ketchup

Ketchup, the original “Sauce American,” is one of my favorite condiments, therefore I insist on Heinz. It is perfectly balanced in flavor and texture, with an intensely satisfying combination of tangy and sweet. People who use Hunt’s brand can often be found drowning in a sea of mediocrity, badly in need of a life preserver but having no idea how to use it were you to throw them one.

Users of Annie’s Naturals Organic are comforted by overpaying for inferior products, where as fans of generic crap like President’s Choice are just too stingy to purchase ketchup that they don’t deserve anyway.

Lastly, those who attempt “house-made” or “farmhouse” ketchups seem to exist solely to both ruin the French fries that they’ve worked so hard to perfect, and to get me all bent out of shape. You simply can’t achieve the velvety delightfulness of Heinz’s vastly superior product.

Hidden Valley Ranch

Hidden Valley claims that their Ranch dressing is the “only way to get kids to eat their vegetables.” While this is a valid point, these kids also end up looking much like I do–pretty fucking overweight.

Though clearly not the healthiest choice of dressing, it is the best Ranch ever, and one should never cheat themselves by purchasing the “lite” or “non-fat versions.” These are still terrible for you but have the extra added bonus of tasting just like shit.

I will also add that when it comes to salads, putting ranch on anything but iceberg lettuce is completely ludicrous, as a dressing devoid of nutritional value needs a lettuce that is equally so. While your at it, don’t hold back with the Chatham House butter and garlic croutons, Kraft singles, and Baco’s.

Nabisco Ritz Crackers

I’ll say it once and I’ll say it again– I’m not happy until the spoon stands straight up in my soup. “Ritz Porridge,” canned Progresso or Campbell’s soup piled up with so many crushed Ritz crackers that it no longer resembles a soup, or even a thick chowder, is like a ghetto-fied polenta of sorts, and I don’t care what you think– it tastes delightful.

Even Betty fucking Crocker herself, with help from Little Debbie, Mrs. Field’s, and Mrs. Dash, could never reproduce these ethereal buttery delights out of a non-factory kitchen. So don’t try, just give in to the red and yellow box at the end of the cracker isle.

You can be comforted with the knowledge that you never had a choice.

General Mills Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cereal

These three chaotic evil magnificent bastard chefs have committed themselves to an eternity of enslaving children like myself with tiny wafers of real cinnamon and sugar, an important part of any balanced breakfast. Day in and day out they practice their dark magic, levitating boxes and luring children in with their siren’s song.

Personally, I gave up this breakfast kryptonite a long time ago. I came to the realization that, with no adult supervision to tell me when to stop, the entire box of CTC didn’t stand a chance. Those first few minutes while the cereal is crunchy and reminiscent of real cinnamon toast give way to the pillowy comforts of stage 2, when it softens up and starts to work it’s magic on the milk.

Truly the "King of Kid's Cereals," with Honey Combs being a distant second place. Attempt to bake your own and you will be visited in your sleep by the chaotic evil magnificent bastard chefs, who will proceed feed you to Cerberus, the three headed hellhound who has been re-assiogned to guard their bakery.

Pilsbury Crescent Rolls

In the film Indiana Jones and Last Crusade, the Holy Grail is said to be found in the Canyon of the Crescent Moon. I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that theses flaky, buttery little trollops also claimed origin from that very canyon. Impregnate them with Hillshire Farm’s Lil’ Smokies, and, as the elderly knight would say, “You have chosen...wisely.”

The undisputed, heavyweight champion of the dinner roll basket, they need no butter to shine but that certainly shouldn’t stop you from slathering an extra 300 calories onto each one. They also make a fine, though blasphemous, wrapper for Peking Duck.

Nestle Drumsticks

When I’ve got a mind-numbing, soul crushing hangover, there’s nothing nearly as delightful as sitting very still and slowly eating a drumstick. My patience is rewarded each time as I get to the chocolatey, chewy and coney bottom, prompting me to tell anyone within earshot about how these little bastards are a fucking godsend.

Though they come in several flavors, I prefer the classic vanilla. There are many who would argue that the Chocotaco, actually the best part of the drumstick through and through, is better. Personally, I enjoy working for that last, perfect bite.

Ferrero Nutella

All hail the legendary hazelnut spread that, much like Sriracha, goes well on damn near everything and even makes this moronic child seem mildly amusing.

Sure, you could make your own, but why? They’ve already done it for you! It’s perfect! Foregoing massive time-wasters like making homemade Nutella allows for more time to watch pornography (preferably with a mouthful of Nutella), season your wok, Zoomba (with a mouthful of Nutella), play Laser Tag, obsess over what a failure you’ve become, challenge friends to a Hypnotiq drinking contest, and maybe get around to directing that snuff film you’ve always wanted to do.

I like Nutella. I like it maybe more than a friend.

Frito Lay French Onion Sun Chips

Until they introduced their “100% Compostable Bag” they were simply my favorite chips, hands down. Nothing pairs up better with a large pizza and an outrageously expensive bottle of Champagne.

Now, avec new bag, they have also become the absolute fucking LOUDEST bag of chips in existence. Every deafening crunch of the packaging prompts yet another person in the room to ask “Is it just me, or is that the loudest fucking bag of chips ever?”

I just can’t be sure of the origins of the “once you pop, you can’t stop – bleeding out of your ears” technology developed by the French Onion Sunchip Research Team, but I may venture to say that it’s causing me to lean more and more towards the Cooler (and quieter) Ranch Doritos camp each day...

R.I.P. Special Tribute Selection:
Nabisco Crown Pilot Crackers

The problem with “Nabisco’s Oldest Product” was that it’s fan base generally fell under the umbrella of “New England’s Oldest People.” Sure, there were a few of us who recognized it as what it was , the ultimate chowder cracker, but in the end the ignorance of the rest of the nation left Nabisco with no choice but to stop production on the Crown Pilot cracker..

It was like a perfect cross between a Saltine and an Oyster Cracker, and I feel genuinely sorry for the new generation that will never know how much better their bowl of chowder could have been..

In Conclusion:

I have chosen to express my views on a topic that i'm confident every single person In the world has an opinion about. Yes, I left out Goldfish, Milano Cookies, Goya Mexican Rice, Near East Rice Pilaf, Oreo Cookies, Twinkies, Cheez-Its, Flintstones Push-Up Pops, Flintstones Vitamins, Cookie Crisp, Little Debbie Oatmeal Cream Pies, Snickers Bars, Take 5 Bars, Peach Flavored Snapple Iced Tea, and Dr. Pepper - but honestly I didn't have all night... and these Colt 45 pounder cans are making me a little woozy..


  1. Hellman's Mayonnaise and Heinz Ketchup. I will stock my pantry full of every organic, local, sustainable, powergrain, superfood, compassionately harvested and fair traded item that I can. But I will not give up these two items. I will not waiver.

  2. Yeah, I have to say that Kewpie Mayo has replaced Hellman's in my life... It's just so ridiculously good.. I didn't include a mayo because, in the proper hands, homemade can be vastly superior.

  3. You know what you often get when you make your own ketchup? A rumny tomato sauce. Heinz ketchup is one of the those things that we have been so programmed with, that our brains can't really think of anything else as "ketchup." It's not just homemade; if someone swaps in some Hunt's on you, your brain will misfire.

    I respectfully disagree that iceberg lettuce is the only vehicle for Hidden Valley Ranch. If you've never put it on a frozen burrito that you didn't pay more than two quarters for, you're missing out.

  4. Ritz crackers slightly soggy from sitting in hot soup, covering the top layer of the bowl completely...YES. I miss that.

  5. Oops - Sorry Malcolm - I was talking about salads.. I went back in and edited a little. Of course Hidden Valley is delicious on other things!

  6. Really? call yourself a 'foodie'? Where is the cheese whiz? Wow! Were you really at a loss for Anything" to write about?

  7. No, I have never referred to myself as a "foodie." I fucking hate that term almost as much as the word "gastropub."

    I was never a fan of Cheez Whiz but I can certainly appreciate it for what it is..

  8. Oh, guys, wait, have you tried Hunt's recently? I used to think it was the RC Cola of the Coke vs Pepsi debate, but after trying a spoonful of it over the winter, it was clear that Hunt's is in fact the equivalent of Mexican Coke. It's what Heinz *wants* to taste like.

    Caligula, I hate "gastropub" too, but the only one I can think of in the area, The Frog & Turtle, *is* pretty badass.

  9. True enough about the Kewpie Mayo and, in the proper hands, a nice homemade one can surpass the Hellman's.
    Ritz crackers make for a great topping on a lobster pie(or at least it made for a great one @ the Lobster Pot in P-town). I use to eat mine as an after school snack with Philly Cream Cheese.
    And, what about Cool Whip? Pure oil(at least it was until they added some skim and heavy cream) yes--but soooo good spooned out, straight from the tub when you're ridiculously stoned.

  10. My offerings -

    DQ Dilly Bar, Snickers - Almond (like health food cuz of the Almonds), Large Square Cheeze Its (though most unpleasant on the return trip), and Chef Boyardee Ravioli!

  11. Love your blog.

    Heinz ketchup has gone the way of Coke Cola; that is, it tastes better in countries outside of the USA. Heinz and Coke never used High Fructose Corn Syrup until "recently". Mexican bottle of Coke or a Nigerian bottle of Heinz ketchup are made with sugar and taste like they should. American Coke and ketchup tastes like shit in comparison. It's a sad state of affairs.

  12. I'll trade you a nice bottle of wine for some Nigerian Heinz!

  13. Heinz's organic ketchup is still made with sugar, so it's basically old-school Heinz.

  14. God, I Love You.

  15. Have you tried Newman's Own ranch dressing? It is really, really good. (Of course I am in the camp that prefers Hunt's ketchup...)

    In college, I had way too many beers and then proceeded to nosh on like half a box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch upon returning to the dorm. I haven't been able to enjoy that cereal since.