Monday, December 29, 2008

Niman Ranch St. Louis Style-Pork Ribs

Pre-cooked AND St. Louis-style? This can't be good.

Niman Ranch St. Louis Style-Pork Ribs

These were a Christmas present. Meat as a Christmas present? Yes, my wife is that incredibly awesome. She transcends all ideas of swellness, of amazingingness. She's also a vegetarian.

That latter part is where the problem started. Vegetarians love things marinating in plastic bags at the health food store. My lovely wife went to a Trader Joe's and saw pork ribs marinating in a plastic bag, and thought of me. A great idea. Tofu is good pre-cooked and marinating in a bag, seitan, and every other vegetarian thing is good marinated in bags. Ribs must be good this way too. She brought them home and hid them.

I found them early, there's only so many places you can hide something in a refrigerator and my wife cleverly went for "in plain sight". When I went hunting for food, I would look right past the ribs. They were label down and looked like a pack of flavored tofu, sort of. Anyways, they were out in front of everything else so I couldn't possibly want them. The delectable treats are half-rotted in the back, waiting for my blind hand to come grasping after them, King Kong style. I pull out moldy grapes, they scream just like Fae Ray.

Is that how you spell Fae Ray? My spell check doesn't think so, but my spell check also fails to alert me when I write "fro" instead of "for".

But I found the ribs by chance, my eyeballs racked focus and I noticed them. Hurrah for me, spoiling Xmas.

The original plan had been for me to have them for Xmas dinner, that changed when we picked up two last minute house guests. I bought a big ham instead, and it was incredible. Heavenly. But that's another story. A happy story.

My wife kept pressuring me to make the ribs, both before and after Xmas, emphasizing that my food hoarding is an exceptionally bad idea and that the ribs will spoil on Jan 30th and 12:01 AM. Today, the 28th, she throws them in the oven as I'm on my way home.

She followed my instructions about how to put the ribs on balled up bits of tin foil, so one side didn't turn to meat slush. She followed the cooking directions for the conventional oven, right there on the package. I get home right as the time is up, I take a taste and they are disgusting.

If God had made Eve out of ribs like these,
Adam would've stuck to pornography.

There is a fundamental lie about "St. Louis-style" barbecued meat, and that is that I don't think there really is such a thing. I'm from St. Louis and ate barbecue with voracious abandon, there were a million different kinds of basted and grilled meat in the city. They were all barbecue, there really wasn't a unifying theme. I mean, there was VINEGAR and KETCHUP barbecue places within miles of each other, if that doesn't speak of an unacceptable level of bbq integration in the city, I don't know what is.

So the Niman Ranch ribs came sealed in a bag, soaking in "St. Louis-style" BBQ sauce. This is a disgusting barbecue sauce, thin and weak and not like anything I had ever eaten in St Louis except maybe a McRib. And the embarrassing thing is that I kind of liked McRibs. This was a foul, non-sauce, not worth covering any meat in, and I did not like it one bit.

I had a bite, it was inedible. Almost inedible. I swallowed it. Of course, I've swallowed rocks and plastic, so maybe I CAN call it inedible. It went in me, though I fought it, and it'll come out of me, and I'll probably have to fight it then too. Call that what you wish. Either way, the test bites were awful.

That steer on the label is so delicious someone ate its eye.

It was a bad situation, the ribs had to be salvaged. I had some Bull's Eye Brown Sugar and Hickory barbecue sauce handy, not as good as Olde Cape Cod, but still pretty high on the store bought sauce list. I basted the ribs, flipped them, let 'em cook, flipped and rebasted. Let 'em cook. A test bite (I mistyped "test" as "teste" on my first pass, how awesome is that? A teste bite.) and I could still taste the disgusting sauce that the ribs came in.

Another baste, then a run in the broiler to candify the sauce. It came out delicious, with only a hint of the foulness hidden within. Now I could tuck into the ribs themselves...

...which heightened the disappointment. The few test bites I'd had were a hint of what I got with the proper meal: grey, bland, greasy meat. It was fall-apart in the way a hamburger falls apart, not the way actual intact meat should. It split with any casual poke of the fork, needing little help from the knife, and the splits were any old random way, not along the grain of the meat.


These ribs leaked, too. The grey meat wept a clear, yellowish fluid. It pooled in the pan and filled my bowl as I ate. My suspicion is that the ribs were "injected" with some sort of marinade/saline solution. They were that weird and liquidy. This is only conjecture, nowhere on the label does it say that the ribs were treated in any way except for the BBQ sauce soaking.

The BBQ sauce, by the way, has a name - "Mad Will's BBQ Sauce". "Mad Will's" sounds like a discount, urban oriented lawyer service. It also sounds like a nickname for someone who is crazy and therefore shouldn't be allowed to prepare food. William is mad, therefore we should keep him out of the kitchen. We are probably lucky we got off with the stomach churning we got from his sauce, he could have chosen to poison us. I wonder how he prepares food without access to a knife?

So imagine a McRib taste on a public school cafeteria hamburger and you have Niman Ranch ribs as I had them in my kitchen this day, December 28, 2008. I've cooked a enough ribs in my time that I knew I could salvaged these with a coating of candied barbecue sauce. This particular trick can make anything delicious, up to and including the tinfoil that catches the drippings. My delicious band-aid worked, but there was still a jellied scab underneath, and I couldn't forget that. I could see it in the ugly grey meat and taste it in the ugly grey taste.

In fact, the only reason I trooped on through and ate the ribs was because they were from Trader Joe's and therefore very expensive. And that, my friends is some fucked up reasoning.

Bob: Tim, don't eat that sandwich. It's arsenic flavored with real arsenic.

Tim: You mean it's all natural?

Bob: No, I mean you'll die if you eat it.

Tim: Can I trade it for another sandwich which (Pause for laugh at "sandwich which") won't kill me?

Bob: No, the poison sandwich store is closed till Monday.

Tim: I paid eight dollars for this sandwich. I can't throw it away. Do you want it?

Bob: No.

Tim: Well, I guess I have to eat it then. (Tim dies.)

That's why I need a royal taster. Not to detect poison unknown, but to eat poisoned items that I wouldn't be able to bear to let go to waste.

A telling note though, "Niman Ranch" might not be a ranch at all. The package says "Produced especially for and distributed by: Niman Ranch..." That tells me that Niman Ranch is most likely just a label invented to sound all natural. It might be all natural, but it still smacks of a level of corporate fake that I don't approve of.

This whole thing sucks start to finish. The label on the ribs boasts that Niman Ranch is all about things I approve of: No antibiotics ever, no hormones, all vegetarian feed, humanely raised on environmentally sustainable farms... These are all good things. I approve and I want to eat things with these characteristics, but not if they taste like crap. And especially if they don't HAVE to taste like crap.

C'mon folks, shame on me for having a wife who bought pre-cooked ribs soaked in sauce, shame on you for putting out such a crap product geared toward fooling loving wives.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Old Colony Uva

Lots of enticingly clad girls in roller skates,
and I photograph a stupid soda.

Old Colony UVA

Okay, what the hell is "UVA"? Context makes me guess that it means "grape" or "soda" in Spanish. But if it's Spanish, then why do we have a guy in a tricorn hat on the label? That's old timey English/American colonies crap. I prefer to think of it as an acronym for something science fictiony. The word "Colony" in a sci-fi context always sets my innards to an excited quivering. The worst possible things you can imagine happen on space colonies. The WORST.

Old Colony UVA is not the worst. It's actually pretty good. More popsicle than soda I think, though it is on the foamy end of the carbonation scale. I'd like to know exactly how all these different sorts of carbonation work. You have hard, burning carbonation and foamy, expanding carbonation, and probably a few other kinds but they elude me at the moment. Anyways, this is foamy carbonation, something of which I am normally not a fan.

I don't hold it against O.C.U.V.A., in fact, it helps it out. Somehow makes it sweeter. Refreshing. Nothing nasty about nuthin' in there.

I drank the stuff at a roller derby match. The NYC teams were playing against two visiting teams, one from Canada and the other from I don't know where. I had unknowingly worn the Canadian teams colors, pink and green, and must have seemed a long time fan what with my determined under-dog cheering. One of the Canadians even pointed at me and waved. Anyways, thats why you can see derby stuff in the background, though nothing exciting. (I finally broke down and called my derby pal who told me that the Canadian team was "The New Skids on the Block" from Montreal, a particularly offensive and silly name. They had a lime green and pink flash dance thing, which was sort of funny, though. The Canadians lost after a strong start.)

Drinking something at a derby match doesn't add much to the drink, but it did mean I was with my pal Dino. Dino thought the UVA tasted like Big League Chew, which is not unreasonable. Big League Chew was a favorite gum of mine as a kid, though I preferred the regular pink flavor.

Anyways, the UVA drink isn't as cool as it sounds but it isn't bad at all. Especially for a Dr. Pepper/7up product.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Cool Tommy's Ginger Ale

The arrow to nowhere.

Knowing it's gonna suck makes it easier.

Cool Tommy's makes a fizzy attempt to escape out my nose.

Cool Tommy's Ginger Ale
Light Rock Beverages, Danbury, CT

Cool Tommy's is mostly carbonation with a touch of flavor and a whole lot of numb. Yes, numb. My first big swig and I could hardly feel my mouth. As I was writing this I emitted a low garbled noise, just to make sure I still could make sound.

Think about eating Pixie Sticks or whatever other granulated sugar you ate as a kid, then taking a drink of soda immediately afterwards. You had that expanding gas thing go off in your mouth as the carbonation met with the granular crap and had a foam party. That's what every drink of Cool Tommy's Ginger Ale tastes like, a foamy party in your mouth. But a sort of boring party where you walk in and no one is particularly friendly, and the people you came to see aren't there.

Fuck that, you say, I think I'll leave. But you can't, as you still have a 20 oz of the "Big 24 oz" to finish. Blech. "24 ox of Thirst Quenching Coolness!!" is the second most important thing on the bottle label, right after the "Cool Tommy's" text with the funny bendy Adobe Illustrator arrow behind it. An double-sided arrow which points at nothing on one end and maybe the bar code with the other.

The bar code is probably the highlight of this design package, I think.

As with all cool things marketed at children, "Cool Tommy's Ginger Ale" appears to come in a regular version and a "battle damage" version. If a Tie Fighter is extra cool bearing the scars of conflict, that clearly applies to beverages as well. A handful of white rub marks travel vertically through the label, the edges of which are peeling and torn. A few random sticky spots testify to friends that didn't make it, exploded en route to the store.

I pour some out in memory of all the "homies" that didn't make it. There, now I'm down to 16 oz of Refreshing Coolness.

Easily the best thing about Cool Tommy's is the price. Fifty cents. Yep, that's right. I didn't think anything in NYC cost fifty cents except air for my bike tires. Fifty cents, that's incredible. How can a deli afford to keep something so cheap on the shelves? One would think that the shelf space itself costs more than fifty cents. When the guy told me the two Cool Tommy bottles I bought were a dollar, I thought I misheard him. It would have been an easy mistake, as a crazy guy in a leg cast was sitting inside the door yelling at everyone, it was hard to focus. Anyway, fifty cents. I didn't even get taxed, which means it was actually something like .465 dollars.

Now with that in mind, that this stuff cost half a dollar, I'm going to say that it isn't that bad. It's probably on par with Schweppes ginger ale, the most common stuff out there. It's a hell of a lot of better than some of the fancy schmancy wannabees I've tried. Especially by the smell, it smells great, much better than it tastes.

It also gets points for making me burp up my White Castles from earlier. Good job, Cool Tommy, good job, but points off for that cheap ginger ale heart burn.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Tymbark Apple-Mint Drink

Horror or not horror?

Not horror? Crom be praised.

Tymbark, a surprisingly not disgusting apple-mint drink.

Tymbark Apple-Mint Drink

This tiny bottle contains a surprisingly drinkable pseudo-juice. It's awfully syrupy for an apple juice, but I'm not complaining.

It's a cold and tastes clean, but there is something wrong with it. Something missing. The normal bite of apple juice isn't there, I guess. It's just too watery. The mint is pretty subtle, but so is the apple taste so it all evens out to bland water. Yep, it's just cold water with a little bit of appley-mint.

But that's the trick, it mostly tastes like water but it's still syrupy. Syrupy water, that's a good trick. Nicely done.

Looking at the ingredients list there is nothing to indicate any sort of thickener. The actual list is pretty commendable aside from possible corn syrup:

water, apple juice from concentrate (25%), sugar (D), and or glucose/fructose corn syrup (G), acidity regulator (citric acid), natural mint aroma. D,G - depending on the used ingredients.

So maybe the corn syrup thickens it up. That'd make sense. The "D or G" thing is pretty interesting, it makes reading the ingredients into a choose your own adventure. Choose G, flip to page 34 and get diabetes.

And what is "natural mint aroma"? It sure heck tastes like mint, so it's not just aroma. In fact, it tastes more like mint than it smells. Perhaps the crafty Poles are learning the art of misdirection? "No, no, no. I got it. We tell them it smells like mint when it actually tastes like mint, that'll confuse them, eh?" Without a Polish Pope to keep 'em in line, no telling what hijinks they'll get up to.

Of course, I think a German Pope would be better at keeping them under control. Eh? Get it? Eh?

I've always been a fan of the Polish over-sized juice boxes. This is basically the same thing, just in a tiny bottle with a cool pull off cap and a lot more wateriness in it.

Randomly placed stickers are always welcome.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Tizer and Club Diet

Tizer and Club Diet, a two for one review

Tizer tastes like fermented lime juice. Fermented lime juice which someone thought too weak, so they added beer. That is what Tizer tastes like, and nothing else.

I had this stuff at the Chip Shop, a British style restaurant in Bay Ridge. I'm a big Chip Shop fan, and state with confidence that this is one of the worst things they've ever served me. The Chip Shop menu stated something along the lines of Tizer being a "chemically loaded and flavored soda", yet when the crap arrived at the table the can boasts no artificial "colours", "flavours", or "sweetenours".

Of course, the can also claims "Great taste", so I don't know where to stop believing. If you can't trust socialists, this world has indeed become a dark and awful place.

Now, I've heard some confusing things about Tizer and have trouble confirming or denying what is or isn't truth. I don't, as I've often stated, do any research. This is a little extra confusing, as I don't seem to have a photograph for this Tizer, which I feel was yellowish. (Oh wait, there it is. At the end of the article.) The confusion is that there is something called "Tizer Red" which they no longer make, but I managed to acquire a can of. I think I tried the new Tizer, whatever that may be. Orange. Whatever, it sucked and I'm sure I'll get botulism from the outdated cane of Tizer Red. When I drink it. Which isn't now.

Club Diet, on the other hand, was worse. I thought this was a British made soft drink when I bought it. Instead I learn that the Irish really DO hate the British in ways I can't even begin to imagine.

With my first sip I had to flap my arms like a penguin to shake off the horror. It's terrible, terrible stuff.

I feverishly typed out notes on my stupid iPhone, which claims I wrote down "Need more inbreyigayion." I don't know what that means at all. Information? Carbonation? Or was I temporarily possessed by a Great Race of Yith? I dunno. I do think that this might be the gibberish I would write if I thought my hands were claws.

Club Diet Orange is flat and foul. It has bits of what I presume are orange in it. I mean orange the fruit, not orange the color, though the bits are that too. It also has a lot of "diet" in it, which is always awful.

When I drink a British soft drink, or a soft drink the British have claimed as their own, I expect quality. I expect the sort of drink that King Arthur would give to his trashy wife, or that Robin Hood would give to cottagers. Britain is a land of moustached men smoking in gentleman's clubs, and not the kind of "gentleman's clubs" we have here in the US. It's class all the way. But this crap, is this some sort of World War II hold-out, like that awful yeast paste?

Two dirty "hoes" looking to "party".

Friday, December 12, 2008

Chersi Tarragon Flavored Carbonated Beverage

Possibly distilled in Cherynobl.

Please note that this is Premium Tarragon Flavored Carbonated Beverage.

Everyone was shocked at the color,
they thought the bottle was bright green and had merely created
the illusion of the drink inside being really, really cool looking.

Cole, spit it out in horror? No?
Your nipples tell a different story.

L.J., you're all blurry like you're about to spit it out in horror. No? No?

Well, I guess it's safe...

Chersi Tarragon Flavored Carbonated Beverage

I cracked this open at my last Call of Cthulhu night. Or just before the night began. Everybody laughed at the ridiculous color, comparing it to a cleaning product or mouth wash. Not that mouth wash isn't a cleaning product.

It smelled and tasted like an unsweet cream soda, a watery cream soda with a touch of weeds in it. Beside the highway weeds, I mean. Really watery, really weak. Maybe it's a "trainer" soda that the Russians use to get their kids ready for all that other awful Russian crap.

But mostly it was boring. The tarragon taste wasn't tarragon, just a hint of something chemical/weedish. My gracious host LJ dug out some actual dried tarragon, which didn't taste anything like the Russian soda. Blah. For something that green and that not-American, I was expecting everybody to be rolling on the floor screaming after just one taste. I was expecting fish flavor mixed with urine.

I was disappointed. The hideous kvass I brought to an earlier game set a pretty high bar for foul. Next time, Russia. Next time.

Okay, I cheated:

I looked up the Chersi company to see if they were Russian, Georgian, or what. I didn't want to be fundamentally wrong about where the crap came from. Lo and behold, Chersi is based out of Oceanside, New York. Go figure. It's basically a Russian import company that might import some of the more bizarre flavors and rebrand them. It's unclear. They definitely make some of their more mundane sodas here in the US.

The tarragon in the Tarragon Flavored Carbonated Beverage is listed as coming from "Isreal". That gives conflicting messages. That they made a point of saying the tarragon is from Israel makes me think that this is a Jewish oriented company. But they misspelled Israel, so...

I dunno. All I can say is that I am shocked at the number of American companies that half-masquerade as companies from abroad. Nothing wrong with that, but I'm just sayin'.

These are these crazy Eastern European gelatin things.
They are super sugary, each layer is an obvious flavor
but with a creamy layer dividing it. Weird, weird stuff.

I'd like to dedicate this blog to the memory of Clyde Stennis, without whom I would not be here to write this and most likely you would not be here to read it.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The You're All Great, But Some Are Greater Than Others Awards

So I use a mixture of Google Analytics and Mixmap to track traffic on my blog. Google Analytics is good at not working well, and at telling me what links people clicked to get here. Always fun to know. But Mixmap, Mixmap tells me where you folks live, and that's fun. It resolves down to neighborhoods, not to specific houses, so don't get scared.

It also lets me tag people, lets say I think this IP is my pal Polly because Polly said "I looked at your blog at 5:35 EST, it sucked then and it sucked when I looked at it again at 7:37." I can find the hits that landed at that time which are near where Polly lives and label that IP: "Polly is a jerk." Of course, only I get to see these labels and this information.

But today I'd like to take a moment and acknowledge the most active clickers, the folks who have looked at my website more than anyone else in whatever that default amount of time is that Mixmap keeps track of things (I think it's two weeks). Some of you I know, some of you I don't, so here goes:

7th most active reader: Anonymous from Oakland, CA (is that you bkh and co.?)
6th: Some sucker from Bristol, UK (is this a certain archaeologist I know?)
5th: Paula from St. Peters, Missouri who only discovered my blog about four days ago. That's a lot of clicking there, Paula.
4th: Anonymous from Le Francois, Martinique. Really? Martinique? Don't you have topless beaches to go to?
3rd: Someone from Show Low, Arizona. No doubt plotting my doom.
2nd: D.S. who hates the DS, from Brooklyn, New York.
and the most visitingest guy of all:
1st: K.L. from St. Louis, Missouri. K., I'll buy you a Vitmo next time I see you.

But that's not all. A freakishly busy region gets an honorable mention:

Port Richey, Florida, come on down. I get about a zillion hits from around Port Richey every day, but seldom from the same IP. Is some crazed hobo travelling the library circuit, visiting my blog at each in turn? I'll never know.

Thank you all very much. Tell your friends.

You all get ice cream.

Vanilla Cream Slurpee

You'd think I could've taken
a more interesting photo in an art studio.

Vanilla Cream Slurpee

One of the most basic lessons every American learns is to taste a little bit of the fountain beverage before you commit to it and fill your cup. There are plenty of reasons to do this; the best reason is to avoid filling your cups with a drink whose mix is off, usually with too little syrup. In the Midwest, I would sometimes find a business substituting one cola product for another, the fountain serving King Kola instead of Coke, for instance. Very wicked, and something to be watched out for.

Of course, I say every American learns this, but I really mean they SHOULD learn it. How many times have I watched some asshole fill their cup all the way and then empty it out for no discernible reason and fill it with something else? I confess, my friends, that it isn't even always because the drink was inferior - it was just because they wanted something else. Because their taste changed half way though the filling process.

I hate waste, and I hate when I'm put in a situation where I have to be wasteful. Like today. I stopped in at a 7-11 on the way to my studio, to pick up a drink. I knew I wanted to get something without caffeine, but I also knew I wanted a slurpee. The non-coke slurpees are pretty foul, as a rule, so I fretted about this my entire ride in.

At the 7-11 Slurpee dispenser I spotted a new flavor, Vanilla Cream. Following the common sense actions described above, I tried a little bit in the bottom of my recycled cup. It tasted all right. Full of hope, I fill my cup 4/5s full with vanilla cream and the last bit with Coke Slurpee.

The vanilla cream was the color of old semen, but tasted good nonetheless. At first. By the time I sit down in my studio, I am dancing on the edge of a bellyache. It's awful. The stuff is so sweet and creamy and cloying that I feel as if I might vomit. And it's the only thing I have to drink unless I feel like walking a block to the water tap in the restroom.

Bah. I kid you not that I have to walk a block to the restroom. Hold your arm out at full length, pinch your fingers down to about half an inch apart from one another. Now that's the door you have to walk to in order to use the toilet. Doesn't that suck?

But, seriously, this crap tastes like a vanilla scented candle was used to burn down a Sweettart factory. It's awful. And the taste is so overpowering that I can't just skim the coke off the top, I'll probably have to take my reusable cup out and shoot it.

Those clumpy white bits are the vanilla
showing through the Coke. Yuck.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Blue Sky Black Cherry Cherish

The can looks like it's wrapped in some kind
of pre-EU currency from a European micro-republic.

Notice that my Aryan Nation haircut is finally growing out.

And then, Oh no! Shanked in the belly.

Blue Sky Black Cherry Cherish

This stuff hearkens back to the bad times I had with the "sour cherry" Greek drink and Polish cherry syrup. It's sour, almost bitter, and has an odd chemical taste. It has a bunch of strange flavors hidden inside of it, none of them very good. This foul host is followed by a phalanx of after taste calculated to clean up any survivors. Fear it.

A few drinks in, I figure out what I was tasting: The closest thing I've tasted to this are inflatable vinyl toys. Yep. The kind you have to blow up yourself because you don't have an airhose. I wonder if I drink this for a half an hour if it'll make me woozy, too.

I'll go ahead and confess that the last time I tasted that inflatable vinyl taste was inflating a blow up sex doll for a friends bachelor party. We made him crawl through giant tube full of dead squid, pornography, a spiky durian, and said blow up doll, all the while filling the tube with icy water. It was great. That blow up doll was disturbing, it had these pull-tab "hymen" things blocking all of its orifices. And the face was a photograph of a real person, a porn star I presume. That part was as creepy as fuck.

Anyways, this Blue Sky Black Cherry Cherish crap is vicious. Every sip tastes like something different, and usually something foul. It tastes like a Bosch painting, I think, with something evil and unique at every turn.

Ok, this stuff is pretty awful. I'm going to commit some ice cream to it and try and see if can be made into a float...

Looks innocent enough, but so does an eye dropper full of e. coli.
The actual stuff was more of a brown color,
the photo doesn't do it justice.

My stomach churns just looking at the photo.

First off, the color revolted me when I poured the soda into a glass. The only thing "cherry" that should be that color is my daughters hymen. When she's sick. There comes a time when artificial coloring is a great idea, certain things need it. Cherry soda for certain, margarine being another example. I was reading a book recently about rationing during WWII, they mentioned that certain items became more expensive both cash and ration points-wise after they were aesthetically treated for consumer sale. Margarine was their example, quadrupling in price if you bought it with yellow coloring already added. The savvy shopper bought the yellow coloring and the au naturale margarine separately for big savings.

That margarine has to be colored is pretty gross. I mean, I knew it was artificially colored but I assumed that was part of what made margarine into margarine - just like you can't add granular sugar to Coca Cola. This breaks the whole raw and cooked process.

Anyways, I made the float and my first sip, I shit you not, tasted like the big jar of creamed herring I have the refrigerator. A big jar, by the way, that I have to throw out soon as I suspect it's going bad. Turns out my creamed herring eyes were bigger than my creamed herring stomach, not that I didn't try my hardest. The stuff just keeps puffing up, though, I'd eat a bunch and the next time I opened it the jar was almost full. Magic, like the renewing coin poor whatsisname has at the end of Mazes and Monsters.

That taste went away after that first sip, as did the horror show of morphing flavors I got when drinking it straight. The vanilla ice cream mellowed it out. It's still not good but it is certainly drinkable. The smell has taken an exceedingly interesting turn, smelling like my grandparents old house a few hours after they'd cooked bacon. Imagine that with a hint of sour cherries, and that's the smell.

You know, rereading the above makes me wonder if I had a stroke while drinking this.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Uludag Gazoz

"Uludag Gazoz" sounds like the name of a monster
in the Fiend Folio, a copy of which you can
barely see in the middle left.
Silly Fiend Folio monsters. Only a few were any good,
like the githyanki. The other day I was looking
at a web page for the band "Mindflayer" and they had
something on it about how "githyanki intestines are our costumes".
Ah, the githyanki/mindflayer rivalry, did that make it
into the 3rd and 4th edition?

Uludag Gazoz
MOVE: 3"
% IN LAIR: 90%
SPECIAL ATTACKS: Save vs Poison or nausea for 2d4 rounds
SPECIAL DEFENSES: Save vs Spells or confusion for 1d6 rounds
ALIGNMENT: Neutral Evil
Attack/Defense Modes: Nil


Gack, glub...Oh yeah, that bubblegum/champagne
whatever yuckiness. Wasn't really expecting that.

Uludag Gazoz
Produced by Erbak-Uludag of Bursa-Turkey for Sama Foods of London

Another utterly generic champagne/raspberry/bubble-gum soda. Smells better than the average, tastes a little better too, not that this doesn't mean it tastes like crap. It isn't crazy tasting, not as strong a flavor as these things usually kick out. Ehh... Boring. I guess I'll be able to finish this one, which is a point in its favor. It's not too foul.

The label identifies it as 'Fruits Flavoured "Fizzy" Soft Drink'. I like that it has a mix of English English, "Flavoured", and not-good English, "Fruits". Not much else to like, though.

Boring taste. And has nothing to do with Thanksgiving.

The real treat of this soda is the mystery of how it got here. I mean after the "momma and poppa soda fall in love" part. It was made in Turkey for a company in London. So the stuff goes to London. It hangs out there for a few years, gets tired of the scene and somehow makes its way across the sea to New York. Probably by raft. A short while in NYC finds its dreams shattered, and the can winds up in a Middle-Eastern deli in Bay Ridge.

How awesome is that.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Goya Coconut Soda

That's a disconcerting picture
once you take in the background.

Free yellow jaundice in every bottle.

That's the look when the coyote runs off the cliff
and he looks at the camera,
sharing the realization of his
impending demise with the audience.

Goya Coconut Soda

I didn't really want to write up a new soda tonight, but it was either that or watching "Desperate Housewives" with my wife. She insisted I watch it after I'd subjected her to half of a Futurama movie earlier in the day. The two things aren't exactly equal, when she watches "my" television programs she has her laptop to fiddle with, I do not any such luxurious distraction. I sit and keep my eyes on the screen, not wanting to hurt an actor's feelings by letting my attention wander.

In a moment of inspiration, I gave my wife a choice between my watching her television program or my drinking a soda. Her hatred of my soda shelf far outstrips her desire to spend time with me, so here I am with a Goya Coconut Soda.

It tastes a little like suntan lotion, tasty suntan lotion. When I say "tastes a little bit", the emphasis is on the little. There's hardly any taste here at all, it's all just cold and sweet. A little syrupy, too. Goya Coconut Soda has the consistency and carbonation and faint vanilla tinge of a cream soda, but coconuty. And again, it's very very slight.

The barest trace of taste is not a bad thing, in this case. I'm not a big coconut fan, so much more and it would have registered too strongly. I like that it tastes like I'm drinking 7-Up out of the cooler that held my leaky sunscreen. It's a good thing, tastes like a beach without the dead fish and loud radios.

There's a fizzy end to the taste that kind of feels like drinking a sparkling water, that flat carbonation taste that dries off your tongue after a sip. Goya Coconut Soda has that, but its competing with a bit of waxiness.

What the hell is that waxy feeling that some sodas leave in the mouth? I think I've been encountering it mostly in fruit sodas. Is a coconut a fruit or a nut? Either way, I fear this waxy aftertaste - no good can come of it. Oh wait, it's obvious where that taste comes from: They make this stuff out of wax fruit. Duh.

Here's some more of that crazy Goya dithering.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Boylan's Natural Cane Cola

All brown and boring looking.

Boylan's Natural Cane Cola

After the unpleasantness of Boylan's Ginger Ale, I was braced for the worst and that was for the best. The Cane Cola is pretty unremarkable, but by not being as bad as I'd expected it cleverly creates the illusion of it being better than it is. Again, it's an illusion so "attempt to disbelieve".

The smell is like a clean parody of your average cola, like the cola flavored Bottlecaps candy. The taste is alot like King Cola, a watery King Cola. It's not bad, just not that great. Pretty boring, pretty bland. I wouldn't cross the street to buy a bottle of the stuff, though I might do so to pick a discarded bottle up and recycle it.

Cause that's the kind of guy I am. Classy all the way.

What else... It comes in a glass bottle. Glass is made from sand, or at least it used to be. My glasses get scratched by sand, that's part of the reason I avoid the beach... Maybe instead of padding this with useless words I'll just tighten the margins and increase the font size, that always worked in school.