Do you remember Food? Part IV: Be forever Food

typed for your pleasure on 29 February 2012, at 4.40 am

Sdtrk: ‘Europa endlos’ by Kraftwerk

The title’s a bit of a giveaway: this would be the final entry in this series, where over the course of three posts, I reviewed the contents of the fantastic birthday prezzie care package that my Twitterfriend Jill Tilley shipped to me, from her palatial estates in Canada. On the whole, it’s been good snackin’! What we’re then left with is the best snackin’.
Please take a moment now to gird your loins, if they haven’t already been girded.

Let’s begin with Good Good Eat, manufactured by the Taiwanese company WeiLih. No, I’m not having a stroke; that’s what the snack’s actually called. In doing research on Good Good Eat (hereafter referred to as GGE), it occurred to me that I know virtually nothing about Taiwan. For starters, would you believe it’s an island? People live there! They don’t speak Taiwanese, they speak Mandarin Chinese! Taiwan was founded by Barbarella back in 1979, and the island is apparently a collection of detritus that floated through space and settled on Earth when Mondas, the tenth planet in our solar system, exploded! These are facts.
The mascot for GGE would be a wee girl with the name of 張君雅小妹妹; SYSTRAN parses that as ‘Zhang Jun elegant youngest sister’. Which is obviously being arch and wry if the translation is anything close to the truth, as she’s a little girl with a big head and a mop of unruly hair. She’s all over the snack’s website; you can’t miss her. Apparently she’s popular enough to warrant models of her, but then they’ll make a model of anything in Asia if there’s a market for it, really.

As you can see in the above photo, GGE bear a passing resemblance to kibble. But holy crap they’re delicious. Despite the fact that they’re touted as ‘wheat crackers’ on the bag, what they actually are are little hockey pucks of dried ramen — personally, I think they’re closer to soba, but I’m probably wrong — with extra nori (seaweed) flavouring. They’re surprisingly spicier than I thought they’d be, especially when you reach the bottom of the bag, but they’re entirely yummy. Once I tried the bag that Jill gave me, I was rationing the contents, as I figured it’d be my first and last bag. To my surprise, however, I discovered there’s an Asian grocery half a mile away from our flat that carries them, so they’ll be seeing a lot more of me in the near-future. I’d even go on record as saying they’re better than the okonomiyaki chips I’d consumed in Part II, and the fact that they’re wheat-based presents the illusion of eating something negligibly healthier than potato chips. Full points for a savoury placebo effect!

Despite my being conditioned by media association, Fry’s, although a British institution, does not actually have anything to do with champion of linguistics and international globetrotter Stephen Fry. You gotta admit, it’d certainly be convenient if it did! Much like Wilson’s, the makers of Kendal Mint Cake from Part II, Fry’s is an English confectionery company, having created one of the first chocolate bars ever back in 1866. Decades of changeovers occurred, as they do, and now Fry’s is part of the Cadbury multinational sweets conglomerate, and from what I’d recently read, as of last year, Cadbury is now part of Kraft Foods. Incidentally, Kraft Foods does not actually have anything to do with Kraftwerk, thereby neatly referencing this post’s soundtrack.
As much as I love chocolate, and as much of an Anglophile as I am, I haven’t really had the opportunity to sample all the famous brands of sweets that the UK has on offer. I’ve had Wispa, and that only cos they sold it in the States for a very brief period back in the late Eighties, but that’s about it. ‘A man truly discovers the width and breadth of a country’s populace through their chocolates’, as Sir Francis Drake famously commented to Twiggy. Once again: facts.

I will share this, though: Fry’s Peppermint Cream manages to delectably combine three of my favourite sweets, which would be dark chocolate, mint, and fondant. It’s like if someone were to crossbreed a York Peppermint Patty with a Cadbury creme egg. The chocolate taste lies somewhere between milk chocolate and dark, and it possesses that crisp rigidity that you get when you keep chocolate in the refrigerator. What, no-one else does that? How do you keep your chocolate from melting?? But take a chocolate bar that isn’t too sweet and isn’t too bitter, hollow it out, and fill it with fondant, which is the hoity-toity name for the ‘creme’ you find in the aforementioned creme eggs. Or as I like to call ‘em, concentrated sugar bombs. With Fry’s, however, the fondant is more semi-solid, so it’s not as if you bite into it and you’ve got fondant streaming all over your chin and shirt front. Again, that might be cos I’d kept it in the fridge.
Although it could be argued that it’s simply a Three Musketeers Mint bar, only with a fondant filling, I might have to award Fry’s Peppermint Cream as probably the best chocolate bar I’ve ever tasted, surpassing the KitKat Chunky, the previously-mentioned Three Musketeers Mint, and the Mint Aero, as it combines so many things I like in a chocolate bar. Were Fry’s/Cadbury/Kraft to send me a number of boxes of their mouthwatering product, I’d be more than willing to publically endorse them! Hint hint!

Overall: the grab-’em-by-the-handful nature of Good Good Eat is practically an excuse to buy several bags, dump them into a bowl, and go completely mental, and as for Fry’s Peppermint Cream… where have you been all my life?? Probably in the candy aisles of markets across the UK; that’d only make sense.

And that’s the lot! Hopefully you’ve enjoyed this voyage through comestibles as much as I have consuming the comestibles. Again, many thanks to the amazing Jill Tilley, for sending me everything in the first place, and to Sidore-chan, for being my always-lovely food model. If there’s a lesson to be learned from this series, it’s this: food is meant to be eaten, so try putting some food in your mouth today™!
Also, store your chocolate in the fridge. Try it, it’ll last longer. Fact

Random similar posts, for more timewasting:

Do you remember Food? Part I on February 8th, 2012

Do you remember Food? Prelude on February 1st, 2012

15 have spoken to “Do you remember Food? Part IV: Be forever Food”

  1. PBShelley writes:

    Food is good. Good food is better! Especially when those risky little packages imported from faraway lands turn out to be so scrumptious. And now I’m hungry for something completely different!

    Inquiring minds want to know: The title is perhaps a little reference to the “Do You Remember Love?” Macross movie? Coincidental, ‘cos I was just going through my figures and came across one of Lynn Minmay, mic in hand. I saw the movie awhile ago, and thought it was good :-)

    Of course if it’s not then nevermind :-P

    You went and mentioned Mr. Stephen Fry; did you know that he’s featured on the title track of My Lady Kate’s “50 Words for Snow”? Truth! Here ’tis; don’t miss the hilarious Fry bit at the end:

    http://youtu.be/gV3zX_KYcB0

    By the way, banberry2112, this video’s creator, made other similarly-themed vids from this impressive album; seek ‘em out if intrigued ;-)

    Chow! Er, ciao tsk xD
    ~PBS et al

  2. jill writes:

    eagle-eyed viewers will notice that the Good Good Eat bag in this show is one of the replacements! The bag I sent was not so conveniently in English :)

    I’m glad you enjoyed everything! I’ve really enjoyed reading your reviews. If you get an itching for more tasty delights, let me know!

  3. jill writes:

    “Good Good Eat bag in this show” er, in this POST. I saw the error and hit “post” anyway. What a maroon.

  4. bbbjjjttt writes:

    I keep chocolate in the refrigerator! Of course, I would almost have to, living in this climate.

    As always, The Missus looks marvelous.

    Good Good Eat looks to me less like kibble than like garlic croutons, so I find them visually tempting. I’m SURE I’d love the Fry’s peppermint Laurie….er, Cream.

    Vermont Country Store catalog sells MANY British confections–check it out some time.

  5. M writes:

    Damnit. Yet again, I have been distracted by your lovely lass more than the food.

  6. Davecat writes:

    P to the B to the S –
    When you get a chance, stop round to your local Asian market. You might find something that strikes your fancy, while simultaneously enraging you cos you know you’re gonna have to spend more money to buy it cos it’s that delicious. It’s happened to me. :-(

    You’re right; I was indeed referencing the Super dimension fortress Macross film ‘Do you remember Love’! Also, for this post, I threw in another reference to the feature film ‘Be forever Yamato’! See if you can spot it. :-)

    And Stephen Fry makes everything better. Fact. *nods approvingly*

    jill –
    You just wanted to post twice, admit it. :-)
    Yeah, after the Mint Aero bars and the Ruffles All-dressed, the GGE weren’t long for this world. Very good pick, mademoiselle! Or should I say… good good pick?? I probably shouldn’t.

    bbbjjjttt –
    Living where you live, I’m surprised you don’t keep the home in the refrigerator! Devil’s Mouth Hell Valley Blazing Dunes, CA.

    Garlic croutons! That’s actually a pretty good comparison! Damn, I could’ve used that in the post… But yeah, GGE is like a not-as-dry, not as jagged version of garlic crouton (pronounced to rhyme with poutin’). Are you like me, where it takes all of your willpower not to buy a box of croutons, and eat ‘em like a snack? And really, I don’t see why we, as a civilised society, wouldn’t be able to do that! They are food, after all! Sure, it’d be slightly above the level of having a bowlful of catsup for dinner, but nevertheless! Now I want some croutons!! *stands up, leaves flat*

    *comes back in, sits back down* Forgot my trousers!

    M –
    Sidore claims that all that blushing from your compliments and B.’s is ruining her naturally pale skin. ;-)

  7. PBShelley writes:

    Japantown (in the heart of S.F. or at least just off the main aorta) is full of mysterious little shops that beg investigating! It’s best to have money when venturing inside though :-P

    I haven’t seen the legendary Yamato yet so missed the reference. Must improve my old-school anime roster!

    I’ve eaten croutons as a snack before, a few of them anyway xD

    And surely you’re kidding about crouton rhyming with poutin’? I’ve always heard it as “croo-tawn”!
    Learning something new every day = good :-)

  8. bbbjjjttt writes:

    As a matter of fact, I DO snack on croutons! Always have!

  9. Vokabre writes:

    Hi Davecat! Thought you might be interested, the first Russian android was recently built by Russia-2045 movement. It’s a robot clone like Ishiguro’s Geminoids. The robot’s name is Dmitry, he’s named after it’s organik source, Dmitry Itskov, the creator of movement. http://5-tv.ru/news/52496/
    They also got plans of making an android copy of Anna Chapman, (Russian spy who worked in the US), plans of bringing androids into market by 2020 and ideas of transferring human mind into robotic bodies by 2050.

  10. Davecat writes:

    PBS –
    You realise when I come round to visit, making a trip through Japantown is a requirement. A requirement.

    To be honest, the most Uchu senkan Yamato I’ve seen is like two episodes of StarBlazers (which both counts and doesn’t count), and the live-action Yamato film which came out a year or so ago. Naturally Yamato’s one of those ‘revered by people into anime that have been into it longer than we have, undoubtedly due to the fact that they probably grew up with it, which more than likely means they’re Japanese’ series. Needless to say, Yamato’s on the List of Shows/Films to Watch! Although apparently 1983′s ‘Final Yamato’ still holds the title of the longest running anime film to date, at a sprawling 175 minutes, if you’re watching the 70mm version.
    So, not high on the list, then.

    And re.crouton = poutin’: I was kidding. :-)

    bbbjjjttt –
    And now I am hungry for dried cubes of bread! If ducks seem to dig it, there’s gotta be something to it, right??

    Vokabre –
    Okay, wow; thanks for that! I’m definitely not only going to have to include your tidbit in the latest ‘Any Synthetiks-related news…?’ post, but I’m going to have to keep an eye on this Russia-2045 group, cos they’re goin’ places. And they’re working on a Gynoid version of Anna Chapman?? You let me know the minute you hear anything about her, sir. I’m counting on you. :-)

    Thanks for posting a comment! I’ve seen your name on a few of the robotics-related sites, such as Future of Sex, and I believe my wife’s favourited a number of your sketches on flickr as well. :-) Nice to hear from you!

  11. Tao writes:

    The translation is a little bit weird. “張君雅” or “Zhang Jun Ya” is the name, where “雅” or “Ya” is literally means “elegant”. “小妹妹” stands for “younger sister”.

  12. Davecat writes:

    Thanks for that, Tao! I’d been studying (in the loosest possible sense) the Japanese language since 1987, and have a bit of a grasp on it, but despite some of the characters being shared between it and Chinese, Chinese seems utterly impenetrable to me. I mean, dang. But I’m sure most people say that about Japanese!…

    What it boils down to is that we should all buy some bags of Good Good Eat right this very minute.

  13. Bronwen writes:

    Have you checked out the chocolates at Cost Plus World Market? They have lots of UK treats (which also happen to be South African treats). I recommend the Flake, Crunchie and Peppermint Crisp if you can find them.

    I am now on a quest for Good Good Eat!

  14. PBShelley writes:

    Hallo DC and the inimitable Sidore-chan (and friends),

    Japantown will be cool, as long as you’re fond of concrete which I think you are. BTW, have you ever been to S.F. before (and I don’t mean Santa Fe but you knew that)? There are Things You Must See. Plan accordingly LOL!

    And somewhat off-topic but not really, there’s a newish Japanese eroge called “LoveGirl” (by Illusion) that’s apparently about Love Dolls (modeled after Candy Girls (?))coming to life and “instructing” their owner (i.e. You) to learn about the wonderful world of sex.

    It was only a matter of time LOL!

    Hope your speech-writing is going well :-)

    PBS, Lily, Eden, and Pennie <3

  15. Davecat writes:

    Bronwen –
    Y’know, we have a Cost Plus World Market like a mile and a half away from Deafening silence Plus, and I never knew they sold food/snacks as well! I went there once ages ago, back when I was in the market for a loveseat, and found their prices to be made by a crazyman. I suppose if they have the work market in their name, they’ll have more than just astronomically overpriced furniture.

    Peppermint Crisp? With a name like that, it sounds delicious beyond imagining. Thanks for the tip, I’ll now have to investigate!

    PBSBP –
    I love concrete! I love its concreteness! It’s a rigid material, and you can rely on it. *nods*
    And after I investigate the Peppermint Crisp, I’ll have to do further research on LoveGirl. Aren’t Illusion the same people behind the ‘Artificial girl’ video ‘game’ series? Perhaps further investi… well, you get the idea.

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