Category Archives: Junk Food

tripledoubleoreo

Junk Food Review: Triple Double Oreo

During my many proud, sugar-filled years as a junk food reporter, I’ve often written about food companies’ inability to leave well enough alone, and how it almost always leads to failure. As gluttonous consumers of empty calories, we crave what is New and Limited Edition; problem is, our nation’s major lard merchants perfected most of their classic offerings decades ago, and most attempts to make them different and/or exciting again only end up making things worse. (Failure, thy name is Pebbles Boulders.)

All of which sort of sums up my feelings regarding the growing number of Oreo variations churned out by Nabisco over the last few years. Chocolate-covered, mint, peanut butter, “golden,” “Berry Burst Ice Cream” — they’re all just pointless dicking around with a formula that was perfected the first time someone stuck a layer of soft, sugary goop between two chocolate wafers. I realize some people like those other flavors, but as far as I’m concerned, those people are worshiping false idols; the only Oreos that have ever been worth a damn are original and Double Stuf.

Until now, that is.

(Photo disconcertingly close to cookie's actual, diabetes-inducing size)

Gentle readers, I give you the Triple Double Oreo, which is exactly what it looks like — two Oreos jammed together, Human Centipede-style, creating an evolutionary step forward in crunchy sweet things that come in plastic trays. I seriously considered just copying and pasting the lyrics to “God Bless America” for this post, because that’s the music I heard in my brain as it tried to shoot out of my eye sockets and ears so it could gorge directly on a full package of triply doubly goodness.

What did I do next? The only thing I could do — head to the register, package gripped in trembling hands, and buy myself a whole bunch of these things. And now, God bless America, I’m stuffing my stupid face full of these wonderful things, harnessing the magic that only mashing lard and chocolate together can bring. FOR LO, I AM THE SORCERER SUGARHIGH, AND I WILL EAT FOREVER, RIDING MY MAGICAL OREO STEED ACROSS THE PEACEFUL, SUN-DAPPLED VALLEYS OF HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP AND SATURATED FAT.#/$

;lasdf;ejA;LLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLSDFD

[Jeff Giles was found slumped over his keyboard in a puddle of what we hope was drool, one fist clutching an empty package of Triple Double Oreos. He is under strict medical supervision, and is expected to make a full recovery.]

grow

CD Review: Grow, by Andrew Queen

I’m not a huge fan of concept albums because they take themselves way, way too seriously, and because it’s usually the result of pretention and unchecked hubris from a musician who thinks because he can write an expressionistic song he can somehow tell a long narrative through an innately non-narrative form. But maybe concept albums are absolutely perfect for kids. (Or song cycles rather.) As they are supposed to introduce kids to music and teach them something about the world around them, an album of songs on the same subject really hammers a point home, and demonstrates connections between different things that the little one may not have noticed as of yet.

I think of this as I listen to Grow by Canadian singer-songwriter Andrew Queen. It’s a playful, refreshingly non-cloying kiddie record all about food: veggies, spaghetti, strange brews, and cheesy mac. Yes, kids albums often have songs about food because that’s something kids can relate to, but Queen and Karen Stille go to different places with it, and don’t talk down to kids, always a danger in this genre. The songs are an even mix of originals and inventive adaptations of folk songs; “The Pizza Tree” replaces the spaghetti in the “On Top of Old Smokey” kiddie parody “On Top of Spaghetti” with pizza, for example.

The music itself is jaunty and pleasant, rocking a bluegrassy, Union Station-meets-NPR kind of vibe. The musicianship across the board is excellent and confident with standout performances from mandolinist Nicolas Tjelias and Luke Mercier on the banjo, and Queen on the jug, gut bucket, and jaw harp. This is one you won’t mind having on in the car and is a great way to introduce kids to something other than straight-up rock or pop.

Aunt Jemima Confetti Waffles

Junk Food Review: Aunt Jemima Confetti Waffles

Aunt Jemima Confetti Waffles

Confetti: It's What's for Breakfast

I get it. Confetti is colorful, and it makes people think of parties — or, if they’re like my doofus younger brother, they think of Funfetti cake (which I happen to think is a gross Pillsbury prank that an alarming number of my fellow Americans have fallen for, but to each his own).

But still. When our great corporate breakfast makers feel compelled to add colored dots to foods that are traditionally slathered in syrup, I can’t help feeling we’ve wandered into a very dark place — so naturally, when I saw that Aunt Jemima had added Confetti Waffles to her line of poor dietary choices, I couldn’t resist. It’s about time someone livened up the stupid waffle, right? It’s just a cooked batter disk with notches for collecting pure sugar. BORING. Bring on the breakfast party!

So here’s the funny thing: Aunt Jemima Confetti Waffles (which join the much older Confetti Pancakes, which I’ve never eaten, because I refuse to put pancakes in a toaster or microwave, and therefore cannot vouch for) are actually quasi-semi-healthyish, at least in the admittedly desperate context of frozen crap you heat up for the most important meal of the day. As the box proudly proclaims, they’re made with REAL EGGS and MILK, and despite the idiotic confetti gimmick, they don’t pack a lot of sugar (two grams per waffle) or fat (2.25 per). No high fructose corn syrup or artificial colors, either.

In fact, as much as I hate to admit it, these things really aren’t bad. Whatever Aunt Jemima does to make those confetti dots, it works — they’re sweet, but not overpoweringly so. Toast them up and eat them without syrup, and they make a decent breakfast snack. For serious! My four-year-old son, who loves sugar so much that he recently claimed we baked his big sister a birthday cake “to make me happy,” ate his plain. (Of course, he also yelled “THIS TASTES LIKE FOOD COLORING” with an ecstatic grin on his face, but whatever.)

So you win this round, Aunt Jemima — but I draw the line here. When you finally get around to rolling out Confetti Pancakes Wrapped Around Sausage on a Stick, you and I will have words.