McSweeney's Reviews of New Food is hi-larious and beautiful and oddly satiating. The brilliant have written in to give their what-for concerning various food products. Go, read, and lighten life's load.
100% Vegetarish Wiener Schnitzel
Vegetarian Wiener Schnitzel, despite its alluring alliteration, feels like an oxymoron, even to a lifelong vegetarian. Arguably the most iconic meat dish in a national cuisine that worships meat, I can visualize the original, flesh-based version coming to life and expressing fury at the idea of a vegetarian joining in the cultural fun (in its plated form—not the original animal, for obvious reasons).
Nissin Top Ramen, Chicken Flavor
I listen when my mother, a longlived WASP from a long line of longlived WASPS, lectures me about what a high sodium diet will do to my blood pressure. I understand that there are no ingredients in Nissin Top Ramen, Chicken Flavor that have potential to impart health benefits with the dubious exceptions of chicken powder, celery powder, and dehydrated leek. I recognize that chicken powder is an unsavory enterprise, which should disturb the thinking consumer.
Yet I slurp on.
Ham Flavored Ruffles
During my brief stint living in Pamplona, a city known mostly for its Hemingway-lauded Mardi-Gras-for-20somethings-with-a-deathwish festival, I often found myself wondering how a population who enjoyed so much animal fat, nicotine, and bull-goading had—at least, according to our guides—some of the longest life spans in the world. And each month, down to my last few Euros before paying rent, I'd be faced with the proverbial two roads: buy the more substantive baguette or the bag of Ham-Flavored Ruffles.
Laughing Cow Light Cheese Wedges
If P.E. was the Crimean War of my middle-school life, then cheese was my Florence Nightingale. Every day after school, I sought refuge in Kids in the Hall reruns and a thick block of lactose-filled comfort. Crackers? Not necessary. Just a sturdy slice off the Costco block of cheese − usually cheddar or gouda − that perpetually haunted the refrigerator shelves. Cream, cottage, curd, wheel, baby loaf: these were the materials from which happiness was fashioned.