Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Dark chocolate and chocolate milk--put your hands together!

Dark chocolate milk. The words just kinda roll off the tongue, don't they? Like a tasty Jeopardy! Before and After answer. Err, question. The words seem familiar, yet unfamiliar, in a "hasn't this always been around?" way. From what I've gathered, dark chocolate milk has been on the scene, at least in a small market capacity in the U.S., for a couple of years. But it's brand new to me. I just discovered it this past weekend--at a freakin' Wal-Mart of all places--and oh man, what a discovery!

In my bizarre, world view estimation, chocolate milk has always existed as an outsider, because in the world of dairy products it has always been the black (or chocolatey-brown) sheep of the family, brazenly taking something that's considered (for the most part) a healthy drink, and attempting to make a sugary, candy-like spectacle of it. It's like the mutton-chop-sporting late 1960s/early 1970s Joe Namath of the milk beverage universe. And in the world of milk-based confections like decadent, fat-riddled ice cream bars and "double dog dare ya" milkshakes, chocolate milk is a wimpy also-ran.

And no amount of positive marketing has helped make it the awesome, fun, kick-ass drink that the dairy marketers (let's call them the Milk Mafia) desperately want it to be, even though the basketball-playing, chocolate-milk-guzzling protagonist of that one commercial makes all those other non-chocolate-milk-guzzling dudes look like complete fools, even chucking the ball at them for their efforts. And the Milk Mafia has really stepped up their game, going the sport drink route for promotion, inundating us with a confusing mixture of science and hot, sweaty, muscular people while regaling us with important nutritional chocolate milk facts and sexy pictures of the stuff cascading into a glass.

But if you have even a mild interest in chocolate milk as a diversion from your usual drink, and/or you're a fan of all things chocolate, I believe this will interest you. Poured into a glass, this Natrel Dark Chocolate Milk is a lot darker than the usual chocolate milk. And the taste? Holy crap. It tastes like they heated up some chocolate milk, melted a bar of Lindt 70% dark chocolate in it, and let it cool down, while sprinkling it with awesome dust. It's thick and rich, and it goes down so smoothly.

It lands pretty low on the Food Sin-O-Meter, too, clocking in at a mere 190 calories and 2.5g of fat per 250 mL. If you're just in it for the antioxidants, you'll be sad to hear that the potency of the antioxidants is reduced by the milk. But then, is that really the point?

So, if you're at all intrigued by the thought of dark chocolate milk, I suggest you go out and pick up a carton. Just don't chuck your basketball at anyone.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Movie Snack Quotes!

Even Hollywood is obsessed with snacks. As proof, here are 10 of my favourite snack-related movie quotes. What are your favourites?

“My momma always said, ‘Life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get.’”

—Tom Hanks, Forrest Gump

“You know, junk food doesn't deserve the bad rap that it gets. Take these pork rinds for example. This particular brand contains two percent of the R.D.A.—that's Recommended Daily Allowance—of riboflavin.”

—John Cusack, The Sure Thing

“I drink your milkshake!”

—Daniel Day-Lewis, There Will Be Blood

“It's a television commercial. With this cartoon leprechaun, and all of these children are trying to chase him, "Hey, leprechaun, leprechaun man, we want to get your lucky charms." Oh! And there are these little tiny pieces of mashmallow just stuck right in the cereal. So when the kids eat them they think, "Oooh this is candy! I'm having fun!"

Mindy Sterling, Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery

“Our love is God; let's go get a Slushie.”

—Christian Slater, Heathers

“If I could only have one food for the rest of my life? That's easy—Pez. Cherry-flavored Pez. No question about it.”

—Jerry O’Connell, Stand By Me

“We elves try to stick to the four main food groups: candy, candy canes, candy corns, and syrup.”

—Will Ferrell, Elf

“Hey Mr. Donut Man, who's trying to kill ya? I don't know but they better not!”

—Dana Carvey, Wayne’s World

“There's a box of Twinkies in that grocery store. Not just any box of Twinkies, the last box of Twinkies that anyone will enjoy in the whole universe. Believe it or not, Twinkies have an expiration date. Some day very soon, life's little Twinkie gauge is gonna go... empty.”

—Woody Harrelson, Zombieland

“Candy doesn't have to have a point. That's why it's candy.”

Freddie Highmore, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Bizarre Potato Chip Flavour of the Day

The Flavour: Thick Cut Pizza 

President’s Choice is on a quest--a “World of Flavours” quest, if you will--with a chip that is supposed to summon forth fond memories of that magical summer where you wandered the cafés and restaurants of Rome, sampling all of the culinary wonders that came in pie form (or, at least remind you of all the hyperactive Chuck E. Cheese birthday parties you’ve attended over the years. Or, are you old like me and remembering birthday parties at Mother’s Pizza? Oh, how I miss Mother’s Pizza. <sigh> Apparently, though, Mother's Pizza is returning! Seriously!!) But I digress… The name of these chips seems a bit ambiguous to me. Are these chips supposed to taste like pizza that is cut thick, or are they thick cut chips that taste like pizza? (I think it’s the latter, since they come in super-fun ripple form!)

The Verdict: Okay, I have to hand it to President’s Choice—these are pretty close to tasting like the real thing. You can taste all the elements—the cheese, the sauce, the spices. It’s not like the surreal moment where you first tried a buttered popcorn-flavoured Jelly Belly and your mind started to cave in because you couldn’t process the fact that a sugary piece of candy tasted exactly like buttered popcorn, but it’s still impressive nonetheless. If it helps, they taste a lot like the frozen mini pizzas you get in boxes of 20 from M&M.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

"All glory comes from daring to begin." — Eugene F. Ware

This blog was conceived from the notion that I might actually have something interesting to say about food. While I've been intrigued by the idea of writing a blog for some time, the sense that I should actually do it came from other people. During the unpleasantly hazy summer of 2010, my cousin Laura, obviously aware of my penchant for snack foods, brought me some potato chips from England that came in an unusual assortment of flavours. These flavours were so unusual, in fact, that I thought “This is too strange to keep to myself! I have to tell people about these!” And so “Bizarre Potato Chip Flavour of the Day” was born on Facebook. To be honest, I had no idea how people would respond to these status updates about weird British potato chips that tasted like everything from spaghetti Bolognese to roast beef and Yorkshire pudding. The response was overwhelming! Aside from the occasional words of concern for my health, people seemed to really enjoy these updates. And a handful of people intimated that I should start a blog. And so, as I put on my proverbial wax wings, I thank those of you who suggested it. I appreciate the encouragement. And I hold you completely responsible if this doesn’t work out.  :o)
I’m a fan of snacks. Although some people (who are clearly in denial) will tell you that snacks are a bridge between meals, or a quick energy boost, I submit that snacks are simply something fun for us to eat. To me, trying to suggest otherwise is like trying to suggest that rollercoasters are a great means of transportation. In fact, snacks and rollercoasters are a lot alike — neither does anything truly constructive to or for you, but both leave you feeling giddy and energetic. Unless you’ve had too much, in which case you could wind up feeling rather nauseated and dizzy. But hey — all things in moderation, right?
So my purpose here is to talk about snacks — well-known and not so well-known, in solid form, liquid form, and all creamy and gelatinous points in between.  There will even be occasional suggestions about how to snack sensibly, but the majority of the things I talk about will be mostly bad for you. I may, on occasion, digress to comments about real food if I feel strongly enough about something. I don’t claim to be an expert of any kind — I just know what I like, and I have definite opinions about things. My hope is for these entries to inspire dialogue — and maybe even debate! — about the topic at hand, or simply share information about some interesting snacks that you were hesitant about trying, or never knew existed in the first place. So, please, by all means — share your thoughts and speak your mind!