The majority of snacks I've reviewed over the past couple of years for Snacktaku have been happy accidents. I wasn't planning on putting them in my mouth and writing about them—it just happened. This year I am changing things up. This year I have an eating agenda—there are five foods that shall not escape my mouth in 2013.
Now some of these items are quite easy to procure. We live in the internet age, where everything imaginable is sitting in a warehouse somewhere, just waiting to be stuffed in a package and tossed in the general direction of your front door. In fact, I could purchase three out of five of these right now.
But where's the fun in that? I might be laser-focused, but the hand holding the laser is pretty shaky. I'd rather stumble upon someone giving out turducken samples than purchase my own in a shop. Sure I'm a cheap bastard, but it goes beyond that—food tastes better when you aren't expecting it.
Let's see if you expected the five items on my list.
Edible Hamburger Wrappers
The burger chain Bob's in Brazil caused a stir late last year when it released an advertising campaign centered on hamburgers you didn't need to unwrap to consume—the paper surrounding the sandwiches is completely edible.
Edible paper-like substances aren't a new thing. Banh trang wrappers, made from rice or tapioca starch, are extensively used in Vietnamese cuisine and readily available wherever Vietnamese food products are sold. I could, technically, make my own edible sandwich wrapper, but a) it wouldn't be quite the same and b) snacking is about eating, not crafting.
So I'll just have to hop on down to Brazil to eat at Bob's. I'm sure I can find some room in the Snacktaku budget (it's nothing but room—there's just an empty space where money might go).
Some have criticized the invention as one that would make a lazy world even lazier. I say it's not about saving steps. How many times have you picked up a big, sloppy cheeseburger, taken a bite and had its innards explosively transform into outtards (still not a word)? A good burger could really use a skin to hold things in, and until they approve human stem cells for burger wrappers, this is as close as we'll get.
They're here, they're here; they're finally here! Cracker Jacks are a national institution, like baseball and apple pie. This year Frito Lay throws the institution's doors wide and lets the inmates run free with Cracker Jack'd—snacks with impact.
Snacks with impact that took a little flack last year for its Cocoa Java Bites variety, which adds everybody's favorite stay-awake molecule to the mix. Cracker Jacks with caffeine? That's crazy. So crazy that many overlooked the fact that there are also Cracker Jacks with cheddar BBQ flavor, salted caramel and peanut-butter and chocolate.
These started going wide earlier this month, so I fully expect to remedy this craving shortly.
As you can see in this lovely image from My Lost in Translation, Japan's idea of what makes a Kit-Kat differs greatly from America's idea. We like to play it safe—chocolate, white chocolate, dark chocolate. If we're feeling racy we turn to hazelnut. Hazelnut is our outrageous.
In Japan they let the Kit-Kat's freak flag fly. Green tea. Strawberry. Apple. Wasabi—motherf***ing wasabi Kit-Kats.
It's easy enough for me to get my hands on these. I could import them from any number of places. I've been waiting for our resident Japanese transplant, Brian Ashcraft, to bring some with him on a trip to the states, but he insists on making me sad. Guess where he is right now? Guess what I do not have in my mouth?
On second thought, don't guess the mouth thing.
One would think a food-eater like myself would have gotten around to eating a turkey stuffed with a chicken stuffed with a duck by now. Had I come up with the brilliant name The Food in My Beard, where this particular specimen was discovered, I would be rolling in turducken right now. Sounds greasy.
There is nothing keeping me from eating this. I know a place that sells them. The price is reasonable. The idea, at one point quite disgusting to me, I've come to accept. There is no reason I should not be eating turducken right now.
So why aren't I? What invisible force keeps me from eating all the birds at once? I shall explore this mystery in 2013, and I shall conquer it.
Hot Dog Stuffed Crust Pizza
Launched in the UK and briefly available in Canada, Pizza Hut's hot dog stuffed crust pizza is a legend in my stomach, spoken of in hushed, reverent tones. I've seen the other crazy Pizza Hut international creations—hamburger crush, chicken sandwich crust, etc.—but none have captured my imagination as much as this has. The only way I could imagine improving upon this is to make the crust pretzel bread.
If it's not available in my area by October, I'm booking a flight to wherever it is. I will have honey mustard dipping sauce. I will have doughy pizza-crust hot dog buns. I will put this in my mouth, and never let it go (biology can't make me).
Considering I eat almost every day of the year (sick, I know), I'm sure there will be much more going in my mouth than these five things in 2013—there just get priority access and preferred seating.
What's on your mouth's 2013 VIP list?