Food Legend

Food reviews and tales from one man's food adventures
MCDONALD’S CHICKEN NUGGET/ONION RING SHAREBOXHave you heard about the new law that just came in? Bloody awful isn’t it! Don’t know how that David Cameraman gets away with it! Do you know what I’d do if I saw him down the boozer? I’d glass him. And I’m not like that, you know me. But this law that’s just come in, that could be it, you know? What they call it…the straw that broke the camel’s back? Yeah, that’s the one. This new law could be the one that broke the camel’s back.  What law? You know whenever you wipe something? You know; you might be wiping a plate, you might be wiping a table, you might be wiping a tear from your eye? Well, the new law states that any time you are wiping something you are now OFFICIALLY wiping its arse. You’re wiping your plate’s arse, you’re wiping your table’s arse, you’re wiping a tear from your eye’s arse. Absolutely disgusting, makes me want to move country! TAXI! Anyway, I wiped a 20 chicken nugget / onion ring ShareBox’s arse the other day. Oh it was biblical mate, you should have seen me. You know that song by Air ‘Surfing on a Rocket’? Well it was like that but more like ‘Surfing on a Nugget’. You know that Nuggets psychedelic 60s compilation record? Well it wasn’t like that but it was getting a bit psychedelic by the time I was choking down the final few nuggies. You know that Onion Ring northwest restaurant review website? It was well like that. Did any fat couple who liked onion rings so much ever get married with onion rings instead of wedding rings hahahaha. You know that bit on the news about saffron being worth more than gold in terms of weight? Well what if it came out that chicken nuggets were worth more than gold nuggets and it turned out that McDonalds were practically giving away the things all these years. What if you then started to see chicken nugget shops popping up like all those ‘we buy gold’ shops? That would be mint! I love onion rings. If it was ok to have onion rings with every meal then I probably definitely would, mate! However, I found with this ShareBox that having onion rings as a main, as it were, was a bit much. It’s like garlic bread. You think yeah, I love garlic bread. Just the cheap garlic baguettes you buy. Think how many slices you chalk off when you’re loving it alongside pasta. I could eat a garlic baguette on its own you say. Well I’ve done it. I’ve lived that dream and it wasn’t all it cracked up to be. Almost immediately it feels not right. You persist and keep pulling off the rounds in the hope that you’ll “get into it” but you never find your rhythm and you are destined to feel like a fat, yet unfulfilled, human pie. Your mouth will never feel as coated.  Onion rings are great as an aside to something, i.e. burger, steak etc. But they are not a leading role! They’re not even a joint leading role with co-star Cheeky Nuggs. I hesitate to even say that chicken nuggets alone could carry the show – I certainly tired of them after about the first four. I tired of their almost identical form, each looking like a country that I didn’t know. I tired of their identical taste, their identical texture. I tired of how McDonald’s only gave me one dipping sauce and I tired of how it was the same BBQ sauce they give to you anyway. Where’s the chicken select-esque special sauce limited edition options? Surely if you’re going to have a box of 20 pieces then you’re gonna wanna have a spread of at least two different dip stations? You need additional flavour nodes to escape, or at least prolong, the inevitable jade from batter overdose. At first all you wanted was crispy and crunchy but midway through all you can think about is penning a thousand love letters to all the other textures you once took for granted. Another thing about these onion rings; you take a chomp and your teeth drag out the inner tube of the onion ring. It’s an onion ring where the interior is a single band of onion, if you know what I mean, a natural formation – not like a minced up onion amalgamation. We applaud the support of the onion’s natural beauty but it’s a bind when you drag it all out on first bite. I guess the onion is too tough to bite through or something, not sure what can really be done about it. It studs pleasure with pain.  I should note that the ShareBox is presumably intended for sharing. I should also note that I didn’t share. I should note that I was alone and at a low ebb. Lady Legend was missing. I stapled lost posters to lamp posts but to no avail. I left the back door open and she returned a couple of days later. I searched for ShareBoxes on twitter and sure enough the results spoke almost exclusively of non-sharing. I was buoyed by the existence of fellow food legends that had trodden the same boggy path. I’d never had a share box before. Recent McDonald’s have left me fatigued by the menu and with this ShareBox purchase I finally feel spent. I’ve even flirted with the deli sandwich options. Originally I hailed them as the new burger, they’re basically the same but longer I told myself. By my third instalment I was tired of them too, they aren’t the new burger, I don’t know what they are but they are almost entirely disappointing. I sat motionless at my kitchen table, occasionally my mechanical arm would squeak and grind into action aided by pulleys and descend towards the ShareBox, the claw would open and clasp at a ring or a nugget and bring it back to my mouth. It was the opposite of theatre. My final act lasted 45 minutes but it may as well have lasted 45 days. I finally left my station gasping for breath and headed for the sofa, my lungs thick with batter, my skin translucent and brittle like heavily weathered baking paper. The ShareBox stayed in the kitchen with two chicken nuggets and one onion ring remaining. I crawled back in to finish the job hours later. The rest of the day, needless to say, was a write off. My local McDo’s have since stopped the onion ring/nugget share box. I asked for it some time later and they said no. They only do the 20 nugget share box now. I would like to say I haven’t tried it but I have. This time I did share as Lady Legend was present and keen on the concept. 20 chicken nuggets is more of a slog given that there’s no onion ring intermissions or change in pace. It’s just identikit after identikat. Like a really poor episode of Man vs Food. It’s an endurance test as to who can gets bored first. What’s the opposite of recommended? I am looking for some time off McDonald’s now. I’ve lived it, maybe I’ve loved it. More is more seemed like the way to go for oh so long. If you see another McDonald’s review on here in the coming month (at least) then please do punch me in the face. I’m off to pastures new, even if the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree – you might find me in Burger King, you might find me in KFC, but hey that’s ok…baby steps in the right direction. I can’t say I’ll ever truly be rid. McDonald’s is only ever one new burger away from luring me in but I must stay strong and build upon past failures. I could share less box.

MCDONALD’S CHICKEN NUGGET/ONION RING SHAREBOX

Have you heard about the new law that just came in? Bloody awful isn’t it! Don’t know how that David Cameraman gets away with it! Do you know what I’d do if I saw him down the boozer? I’d glass him. And I’m not like that, you know me. But this law that’s just come in, that could be it, you know? What they call it…the straw that broke the camel’s back? Yeah, that’s the one. This new law could be the one that broke the camel’s back.

What law?

You know whenever you wipe something? You know; you might be wiping a plate, you might be wiping a table, you might be wiping a tear from your eye? Well, the new law states that any time you are wiping something you are now OFFICIALLY wiping its arse. You’re wiping your plate’s arse, you’re wiping your table’s arse, you’re wiping a tear from your eye’s arse. Absolutely disgusting, makes me want to move country! TAXI!

Anyway, I wiped a 20 chicken nugget / onion ring ShareBox’s arse the other day. Oh it was biblical mate, you should have seen me. You know that song by Air ‘Surfing on a Rocket’? Well it was like that but more like ‘Surfing on a Nugget’. You know that Nuggets psychedelic 60s compilation record? Well it wasn’t like that but it was getting a bit psychedelic by the time I was choking down the final few nuggies. You know that Onion Ring northwest restaurant review website? It was well like that. Did any fat couple who liked onion rings so much ever get married with onion rings instead of wedding rings hahahaha. You know that bit on the news about saffron being worth more than gold in terms of weight? Well what if it came out that chicken nuggets were worth more than gold nuggets and it turned out that McDonalds were practically giving away the things all these years. What if you then started to see chicken nugget shops popping up like all those ‘we buy gold’ shops? That would be mint!

I love onion rings. If it was ok to have onion rings with every meal then I probably definitely would, mate! However, I found with this ShareBox that having onion rings as a main, as it were, was a bit much. It’s like garlic bread. You think yeah, I love garlic bread. Just the cheap garlic baguettes you buy. Think how many slices you chalk off when you’re loving it alongside pasta. I could eat a garlic baguette on its own you say. Well I’ve done it. I’ve lived that dream and it wasn’t all it cracked up to be. Almost immediately it feels not right. You persist and keep pulling off the rounds in the hope that you’ll “get into it” but you never find your rhythm and you are destined to feel like a fat, yet unfulfilled, human pie. Your mouth will never feel as coated.

Onion rings are great as an aside to something, i.e. burger, steak etc. But they are not a leading role! They’re not even a joint leading role with co-star Cheeky Nuggs. I hesitate to even say that chicken nuggets alone could carry the show – I certainly tired of them after about the first four. I tired of their almost identical form, each looking like a country that I didn’t know. I tired of their identical taste, their identical texture. I tired of how McDonald’s only gave me one dipping sauce and I tired of how it was the same BBQ sauce they give to you anyway. Where’s the chicken select-esque special sauce limited edition options? Surely if you’re going to have a box of 20 pieces then you’re gonna wanna have a spread of at least two different dip stations? You need additional flavour nodes to escape, or at least prolong, the inevitable jade from batter overdose. At first all you wanted was crispy and crunchy but midway through all you can think about is penning a thousand love letters to all the other textures you once took for granted.

Another thing about these onion rings; you take a chomp and your teeth drag out the inner tube of the onion ring. It’s an onion ring where the interior is a single band of onion, if you know what I mean, a natural formation – not like a minced up onion amalgamation. We applaud the support of the onion’s natural beauty but it’s a bind when you drag it all out on first bite. I guess the onion is too tough to bite through or something, not sure what can really be done about it. It studs pleasure with pain.

I should note that the ShareBox is presumably intended for sharing. I should also note that I didn’t share. I should note that I was alone and at a low ebb. Lady Legend was missing. I stapled lost posters to lamp posts but to no avail. I left the back door open and she returned a couple of days later. I searched for ShareBoxes on twitter and sure enough the results spoke almost exclusively of non-sharing. I was buoyed by the existence of fellow food legends that had trodden the same boggy path. I’d never had a share box before. Recent McDonald’s have left me fatigued by the menu and with this ShareBox purchase I finally feel spent. I’ve even flirted with the deli sandwich options. Originally I hailed them as the new burger, they’re basically the same but longer I told myself. By my third instalment I was tired of them too, they aren’t the new burger, I don’t know what they are but they are almost entirely disappointing.

I sat motionless at my kitchen table, occasionally my mechanical arm would squeak and grind into action aided by pulleys and descend towards the ShareBox, the claw would open and clasp at a ring or a nugget and bring it back to my mouth. It was the opposite of theatre. My final act lasted 45 minutes but it may as well have lasted 45 days. I finally left my station gasping for breath and headed for the sofa, my lungs thick with batter, my skin translucent and brittle like heavily weathered baking paper. The ShareBox stayed in the kitchen with two chicken nuggets and one onion ring remaining. I crawled back in to finish the job hours later. The rest of the day, needless to say, was a write off.

My local McDo’s have since stopped the onion ring/nugget share box. I asked for it some time later and they said no. They only do the 20 nugget share box now. I would like to say I haven’t tried it but I have. This time I did share as Lady Legend was present and keen on the concept. 20 chicken nuggets is more of a slog given that there’s no onion ring intermissions or change in pace. It’s just identikit after identikat. Like a really poor episode of Man vs Food. It’s an endurance test as to who can gets bored first. What’s the opposite of recommended?

I am looking for some time off McDonald’s now. I’ve lived it, maybe I’ve loved it. More is more seemed like the way to go for oh so long. If you see another McDonald’s review on here in the coming month (at least) then please do punch me in the face. I’m off to pastures new, even if the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree – you might find me in Burger King, you might find me in KFC, but hey that’s ok…baby steps in the right direction. I can’t say I’ll ever truly be rid. McDonald’s is only ever one new burger away from luring me in but I must stay strong and build upon past failures.

I could share less box.

GOAT CHEESE BABYBEL

Babybel, what’s it all about? Thick coin, nay discus, of wax clad cheese. Bound by sack, nay net, of man made constrict. Destined, nay godsent,  for child’s lunchbox. Is it the ultimate savoury “nom nom”? Say if there was a kid but he was out of control, nay possessed, in a burning building, nay church, and there was no way of getting through to the kid - and I mean NO WAY, like you’d wheeled through his favourite toy and it yielded nay results, he just glared at it and it burst into flames. Would the next logical step not be to curl in a single Babybel? Kids. Go. Cray. Children find God in babel’s embrace. 

Has there ever been more perfect packaging? The raised tint, nay toggle, of the wax package is near enough impossible to fudge. Has a sausage fingers ever botched the splitting of the guard? I hardly think so. And then there’s the cheese sphere inside, oh boysie. Seems a sin to spoil that vulcanised rubber. Who are we to smite our newest sun? Surely now is the time for worship. Don’t eat the prophet! Or do? Do whatever dude, there’s five more in the net. Or four. Who’s counting! Sometimes I buy a net just to grip it and rip it when I’m out and about. Remember littering? Great wasn’t it! God I used to love lobbing a scrunched can over some old giffer’s hedge. Lush! Pegging babybels at folk’s windows is the organic modern day equivalent of can tanning. I like to bowl one down the drain. I like to skim one off the roof of a car. I like to bounce one off the bonce of a bus. Cheb one off a cyclist’s conch? Now you’re talking my language!

So we are agreed that the form lends itself to equal parts hero worship and mischief/scant regard (for life). Wonderful. But what of the taste? You’re biting against a certain flex, the make-up is stocky yet bouncy. It’s more rubbery than your trad yellow stuff. One can’t help but wonder what kind of silicone is injected into each bel. The famous one is the red one. We now find that you can get blue ones and green ones too, also another colour but I forget what. There’s cheddar, gouda and goat’s cheese, maybe more. Confusing because I thought original red Babybel was either cheddar or gouda. Oops. I guess it’s more of an Edam isn’t it. Edam is flexicore too. Is Edam a brand though or a type of cheese? 

The boy done gouda a while back, found it not entirely dissimilar to the original red Babybel. Gouda isn’t exactly the most x-rated taste sensation. Cba with cheddar, that’s what I thought the original red was anyway, I can well imagine it, I’ve practically lived it even if it was a lie. I opted for green jacketed goats cheese bels. Goats cheese is famously squidgier of foundation than cheds and similar, I wondered whether it would have the same bizzounce of the original red or whether we were facing the dawn of a wetter, more malleable future. 

Well whatever they pipe into original Babybels at the bouncy lab, they’ve done the same again here. Bouncy flexi goats cheese, now I’ve seen it all. Goats cheese is kind of a harsh flavour too but they’ve wrapped a couple of silk scarves around it here in the form of a presumed milk dilute. So far, so sexy. It’s a goat cheese gateway! Start on the easy stuff and ramp it up up up. Go goat! Go! 

Entry level goat fun. Goat on my son!

GOAT CHEESE BABYBEL

Babybel, what’s it all about? Thick coin, nay discus, of wax clad cheese. Bound by sack, nay net, of man made constrict. Destined, nay godsent, for child’s lunchbox. Is it the ultimate savoury “nom nom”? Say if there was a kid but he was out of control, nay possessed, in a burning building, nay church, and there was no way of getting through to the kid - and I mean NO WAY, like you’d wheeled through his favourite toy and it yielded nay results, he just glared at it and it burst into flames. Would the next logical step not be to curl in a single Babybel? Kids. Go. Cray. Children find God in babel’s embrace.

Has there ever been more perfect packaging? The raised tint, nay toggle, of the wax package is near enough impossible to fudge. Has a sausage fingers ever botched the splitting of the guard? I hardly think so. And then there’s the cheese sphere inside, oh boysie. Seems a sin to spoil that vulcanised rubber. Who are we to smite our newest sun? Surely now is the time for worship. Don’t eat the prophet! Or do? Do whatever dude, there’s five more in the net. Or four. Who’s counting! Sometimes I buy a net just to grip it and rip it when I’m out and about. Remember littering? Great wasn’t it! God I used to love lobbing a scrunched can over some old giffer’s hedge. Lush! Pegging babybels at folk’s windows is the organic modern day equivalent of can tanning. I like to bowl one down the drain. I like to skim one off the roof of a car. I like to bounce one off the bonce of a bus. Cheb one off a cyclist’s conch? Now you’re talking my language!

So we are agreed that the form lends itself to equal parts hero worship and mischief/scant regard (for life). Wonderful. But what of the taste? You’re biting against a certain flex, the make-up is stocky yet bouncy. It’s more rubbery than your trad yellow stuff. One can’t help but wonder what kind of silicone is injected into each bel. The famous one is the red one. We now find that you can get blue ones and green ones too, also another colour but I forget what. There’s cheddar, gouda and goat’s cheese, maybe more. Confusing because I thought original red Babybel was either cheddar or gouda. Oops. I guess it’s more of an Edam isn’t it. Edam is flexicore too. Is Edam a brand though or a type of cheese?

The boy done gouda a while back, found it not entirely dissimilar to the original red Babybel. Gouda isn’t exactly the most x-rated taste sensation. Cba with cheddar, that’s what I thought the original red was anyway, I can well imagine it, I’ve practically lived it even if it was a lie. I opted for green jacketed goats cheese bels. Goats cheese is famously squidgier of foundation than cheds and similar, I wondered whether it would have the same bizzounce of the original red or whether we were facing the dawn of a wetter, more malleable future.

Well whatever they pipe into original Babybels at the bouncy lab, they’ve done the same again here. Bouncy flexi goats cheese, now I’ve seen it all. Goats cheese is kind of a harsh flavour too but they’ve wrapped a couple of silk scarves around it here in the form of a presumed milk dilute. So far, so sexy. It’s a goat cheese gateway! Start on the easy stuff and ramp it up up up. Go goat! Go!

Entry level goat fun. Goat on my son!

GOODFELLA’S THE SMILER PIZZA I’ve been eating takeaways for 62 consecutive days. I can’t remember the last thing I cooked. I haven’t done any washing up in 3 years. I’m pretty sure I’m ageing faster than I was before. I’ve only shampooed my hair twice in 2014. I didn’t think I’d be the proud owner of a single giant dreadlock by the age of 48 but look at me now, Ma! I’ve got more bits in my teeth than I have pounds in the bank. When I blow against the mirror, as I often do, condensation does not form. I sold my soul for 8 onion rings. I just received a letter from Just-Eat to wish me a happy 100th Birthday. My hands were so feeble and jittery that I had to smoosh the envelope in an indoor puddle until it wept open. All of my friends have died or stepped slowly away. Even Lady Legend has deserted me; she’s gone on a sabbatical to York. There are fewer takeaways in York than there is in Manchester, I said. She said she wanted a break from it all. You’re better than this, she said. “I’ll come back when you’re better”. That was 12 years ago this week.
I’ve seen takeaways come and go. I’ve never stepped inside one, of course, but I’ve greeted thousands of their delivery drones. I say greeted, there was no exchange other than the ritualistic handing over of plastic bag to plastic man. Did I mention that my skin has turned to plastic? It’s great! The hot water cut off to our flat about 36 months ago, I pan bathed it for a while but the hours-long process infringed awkwardly with my tight eating schedule. I’ve not washed since and my skin has grown thicker and now repels any moisture. I’m made up! I’m as matt as the casing of a babybel! I might actually be a waxwork of my former self. I’m afraid I might be achieving perfection. The doctor just rang and said I would surely die if I visited the Just-Eat website again this week. B-but doc…it’s my favourite website! Can I not even go on just to read the customer reviews? “Especially not to read the customer reviews!” he said “You’re wasting time at a rate of knots. Your diet is the worst I’ve ever seen. You’re retracting like a mechanical pencil. You barely resemble a human anymore!” Oh. Well, it has been 16 years since I even looked at a raw vegetable. I mean, I did leave the house once. I didn’t like it though. I prefer my websites. I’m a websites kind of guy! It’s 2036 for fun’s sake! Why can a guy not just be a websites guy! Why does he STILL have to prove himself in the world? Is this not the MODERN world? Every time my phone rings I want to throw it against the wall. I don’t own  a phone for taking calls, are you crazy!? Email me people! EMAIL! Last time I left the house in 1952 I remember there was this really happening shop called Tesco Extra. It was hep man, it was severely heppening! All the hep cats went there. The cats on the tills? All beat poets. I’d get my jive turkey from there every Christmas! Whatever happened to that place, man? You know what the world needs now? Tesco Extra, baby. It’s the new religion, brother, you dig? Shiiiit if there was a Tesco Extra I’d never even need to go on the Just-Eat website ever again! What’s that? Tesco Extra is back? They rebooted that shit!? Oh snap. TAXI! If I was to truly kick the takeaway trend and get my feet back under the chopping board, then I’d need to start off slow. I’d need to trick my stomach’s brain into thinking it was still Mardi Gras every day. There’s this great new aisle that I’d heard about in the modern day Tesco Extra. It was called “the frozen pizza aisle” and as soon as I heard about it I knew, I just knew. I saddled up in my mobility scooter and my eyes glazed over from the almost illegal display of frozen pizzas before me. They had 3 for £6! They had 2 for £4! They had buy one get one! All the makes and flavours. I’d never seen anything like it. Deep pan, thin pan, no pan, stuffed crust, bust crust, trust fund, bus musk. Where does one start? Where does one begin? I clocked a fellow human, nay three humans, out of the periphery of my telescope. I hung back and observed the collective, they’d been here before. Two of the humans were 1/3 scale and were tugging anxiously at the coat-tails of the full-size human. Fascinating. They peeled back the freezer door; an atmospheric puff of dry ice clouded their selection momentarily, and then…the reveal. Tesco Value cheese and tomato pizza x4. What. Are you kidding me? You had all this choice and you went for plain? I’ve not been here in 78 years and even I know you’ve gotta go for the one with the biggest chutzpah! The flashiest flash bulbs! The zootiest! Rootin! Tootinest! Tesco Value cheese and tomato? I doubt that even has a GCSE in personality. You might as well go home and gorge on my teetering plinth of grease stained pizza boxes. I’m going all out! Out of my way you philistines! I’ve seen enough! I picked Goodfella’s limited edition “The Smiler Pizza”. I’ll be honest, I picked it because it had such a weird name. I barely clocked what was actually on it. The Smiler? Why the hell is it called that? Have they gone mad? I saw it had a “three chilli” HOT rating on the box and the Smiler graphic suggested  a crazed individual with swirling bottomless pools of hell for eyes. Does hot make you mad? Yes, sort of. Does hot make you a smiler? Umm, no? Maybe a grimace, a gritting of teeth but I wouldn’t say it makes you a smiler? What is a smiler?? WHYYYYYYYY. The smiler riddle was bouncing around my head the entire way home. It was only when I reached base and looked at the box again that it became apparent that The Smiler was probably a new ride at Alton Towers judging from the heavy Alton Towers endorsements peppered all over the box. I refuse to look it up to find out if I’m right. I’m disappointed as it is that “The Smiler” has some rooting in a tangible “thing”. I hactually wouldn’t have bought it if I’d known of the association. Boo. Anyway. The description reads “Deep pan baked pizza with spicy sausage, pan fried onions and jalapenos”. Sounds alright dunnit. Not really a deep pan guys these days though to be honoured. I prefer a thin and crispy ristorante pizza.  Still, I heard Jamie Oliver sessin that deep pan was making a comeback a few months ago so ever since I’ve been open to getting on the bandwagon. Cooking time was a whopping 25 minutes from frozen. What the. I’ll be dead by then. Have pizza express pizzas ruined our concentration spans with their positively rapid 8-10 minute cooking times? 25 minutes is like the lifespan of a small insignificant insect or animal. 25 minutes is at least a couple of dog years. Still, it gave me time to iron the tablecloth and light a mood setting candle…for one. Pizza popped out looking cooked but not great. It was certainly not three chillis hot. It wasn’t even one chilli hot. This is a bind of mine at the moment following Dorito’s Jalapeno Fire review. All these products coming out saying they’re going to blow your socks off and they barely even lift your wig, let alone flip it. Surely the microwave mouths of this great nation can handle a bit of pep? Must we be baby fed spice from our ready meal and snack overlords? I’m starting to think that the technology isn’t out there to insert heat into our pre-packaged foodstuffs. I don’t mean to be cynical but sometimes I despair.  The base was like a scorched mattress of cardboard boxes, a real bread fest. The toppings were barely there at all. The jalapenos had been drained of their life force somehow, the spicy sausage was under-seasoned and tasted of wet pig arse, and the pan fried onions were meh incarcerated. The back of the box states, “T4I5 P1ZZA W1LL M4RMAL1SE YOUR BODY” It certainly did not. If anything it m4rmal1sed my hopes and dreams for any pre-prepared foodstuffs not appearing from a plastic bag from a stranger. The back of the box goes on to suggest that following the taste/emotional rollercoaster that the eater will “BELONG TO THE SMILER”. Initially I was open to belonging to The Smiler when I didn’t know what it was or what was going on. My hopes were high going in; if only for the packaging, which on closer inspection caused irreversible dream dashing.  It didn’t need to be great but it did need to break my takeaway cycle, I suppose, which it did! So that’s great and I feel great. I’m getting colour back in my cheeks and dew is returning to the brow of my head, arms and legs. I might go for a run! Off a short pier! I haven’t spoken today. Am I dead? If I’m dead it feels great! And even if I’m not dead, life is great!

GOODFELLA’S THE SMILER PIZZA

I’ve been eating takeaways for 62 consecutive days. I can’t remember the last thing I cooked. I haven’t done any washing up in 3 years. I’m pretty sure I’m ageing faster than I was before. I’ve only shampooed my hair twice in 2014. I didn’t think I’d be the proud owner of a single giant dreadlock by the age of 48 but look at me now, Ma! I’ve got more bits in my teeth than I have pounds in the bank. When I blow against the mirror, as I often do, condensation does not form. I sold my soul for 8 onion rings. I just received a letter from Just-Eat to wish me a happy 100th Birthday. My hands were so feeble and jittery that I had to smoosh the envelope in an indoor puddle until it wept open. All of my friends have died or stepped slowly away. Even Lady Legend has deserted me; she’s gone on a sabbatical to York. There are fewer takeaways in York than there is in Manchester, I said. She said she wanted a break from it all. You’re better than this, she said. “I’ll come back when you’re better”. That was 12 years ago this week.

I’ve seen takeaways come and go. I’ve never stepped inside one, of course, but I’ve greeted thousands of their delivery drones. I say greeted, there was no exchange other than the ritualistic handing over of plastic bag to plastic man. Did I mention that my skin has turned to plastic? It’s great! The hot water cut off to our flat about 36 months ago, I pan bathed it for a while but the hours-long process infringed awkwardly with my tight eating schedule. I’ve not washed since and my skin has grown thicker and now repels any moisture. I’m made up! I’m as matt as the casing of a babybel! I might actually be a waxwork of my former self. I’m afraid I might be achieving perfection.

The doctor just rang and said I would surely die if I visited the Just-Eat website again this week. B-but doc…it’s my favourite website! Can I not even go on just to read the customer reviews? “Especially not to read the customer reviews!” he said “You’re wasting time at a rate of knots. Your diet is the worst I’ve ever seen. You’re retracting like a mechanical pencil. You barely resemble a human anymore!”

Oh.

Well, it has been 16 years since I even looked at a raw vegetable. I mean, I did leave the house once. I didn’t like it though. I prefer my websites. I’m a websites kind of guy! It’s 2036 for fun’s sake! Why can a guy not just be a websites guy! Why does he STILL have to prove himself in the world? Is this not the MODERN world? Every time my phone rings I want to throw it against the wall. I don’t own  a phone for taking calls, are you crazy!? Email me people! EMAIL!

Last time I left the house in 1952 I remember there was this really happening shop called Tesco Extra. It was hep man, it was severely heppening! All the hep cats went there. The cats on the tills? All beat poets. I’d get my jive turkey from there every Christmas! Whatever happened to that place, man? You know what the world needs now? Tesco Extra, baby. It’s the new religion, brother, you dig? Shiiiit if there was a Tesco Extra I’d never even need to go on the Just-Eat website ever again!

What’s that?

Tesco Extra is back?

They rebooted that shit!?

Oh snap. TAXI!

If I was to truly kick the takeaway trend and get my feet back under the chopping board, then I’d need to start off slow. I’d need to trick my stomach’s brain into thinking it was still Mardi Gras every day. There’s this great new aisle that I’d heard about in the modern day Tesco Extra. It was called “the frozen pizza aisle” and as soon as I heard about it I knew, I just knew.

I saddled up in my mobility scooter and my eyes glazed over from the almost illegal display of frozen pizzas before me. They had 3 for £6! They had 2 for £4! They had buy one get one! All the makes and flavours. I’d never seen anything like it. Deep pan, thin pan, no pan, stuffed crust, bust crust, trust fund, bus musk. Where does one start? Where does one begin? I clocked a fellow human, nay three humans, out of the periphery of my telescope. I hung back and observed the collective, they’d been here before. Two of the humans were 1/3 scale and were tugging anxiously at the coat-tails of the full-size human. Fascinating. They peeled back the freezer door; an atmospheric puff of dry ice clouded their selection momentarily, and then…the reveal. Tesco Value cheese and tomato pizza x4. What. Are you kidding me? You had all this choice and you went for plain? I’ve not been here in 78 years and even I know you’ve gotta go for the one with the biggest chutzpah! The flashiest flash bulbs! The zootiest! Rootin! Tootinest! Tesco Value cheese and tomato? I doubt that even has a GCSE in personality. You might as well go home and gorge on my teetering plinth of grease stained pizza boxes. I’m going all out! Out of my way you philistines! I’ve seen enough!

I picked Goodfella’s limited edition “The Smiler Pizza”. I’ll be honest, I picked it because it had such a weird name. I barely clocked what was actually on it. The Smiler? Why the hell is it called that? Have they gone mad? I saw it had a “three chilli” HOT rating on the box and the Smiler graphic suggested  a crazed individual with swirling bottomless pools of hell for eyes. Does hot make you mad? Yes, sort of. Does hot make you a smiler? Umm, no? Maybe a grimace, a gritting of teeth but I wouldn’t say it makes you a smiler? What is a smiler?? WHYYYYYYYY. The smiler riddle was bouncing around my head the entire way home. It was only when I reached base and looked at the box again that it became apparent that The Smiler was probably a new ride at Alton Towers judging from the heavy Alton Towers endorsements peppered all over the box. I refuse to look it up to find out if I’m right. I’m disappointed as it is that “The Smiler” has some rooting in a tangible “thing”. I hactually wouldn’t have bought it if I’d known of the association. Boo.

Anyway.

The description reads “Deep pan baked pizza with spicy sausage, pan fried onions and jalapenos”. Sounds alright dunnit. Not really a deep pan guys these days though to be honoured. I prefer a thin and crispy ristorante pizza.  Still, I heard Jamie Oliver sessin that deep pan was making a comeback a few months ago so ever since I’ve been open to getting on the bandwagon. Cooking time was a whopping 25 minutes from frozen. What the. I’ll be dead by then. Have pizza express pizzas ruined our concentration spans with their positively rapid 8-10 minute cooking times? 25 minutes is like the lifespan of a small insignificant insect or animal. 25 minutes is at least a couple of dog years. Still, it gave me time to iron the tablecloth and light a mood setting candle…for one.

Pizza popped out looking cooked but not great. It was certainly not three chillis hot. It wasn’t even one chilli hot. This is a bind of mine at the moment following Dorito’s Jalapeno Fire review. All these products coming out saying they’re going to blow your socks off and they barely even lift your wig, let alone flip it. Surely the microwave mouths of this great nation can handle a bit of pep? Must we be baby fed spice from our ready meal and snack overlords? I’m starting to think that the technology isn’t out there to insert heat into our pre-packaged foodstuffs. I don’t mean to be cynical but sometimes I despair.

The base was like a scorched mattress of cardboard boxes, a real bread fest. The toppings were barely there at all. The jalapenos had been drained of their life force somehow, the spicy sausage was under-seasoned and tasted of wet pig arse, and the pan fried onions were meh incarcerated.

The back of the box states,

“T4I5 P1ZZA W1LL M4RMAL1SE YOUR BODY”

It certainly did not. If anything it m4rmal1sed my hopes and dreams for any pre-prepared foodstuffs not appearing from a plastic bag from a stranger. The back of the box goes on to suggest that following the taste/emotional rollercoaster that the eater will “BELONG TO THE SMILER”. Initially I was open to belonging to The Smiler when I didn’t know what it was or what was going on. My hopes were high going in; if only for the packaging, which on closer inspection caused irreversible dream dashing.

It didn’t need to be great but it did need to break my takeaway cycle, I suppose, which it did! So that’s great and I feel great. I’m getting colour back in my cheeks and dew is returning to the brow of my head, arms and legs. I might go for a run! Off a short pier! I haven’t spoken today. Am I dead? If I’m dead it feels great! And even if I’m not dead, life is great!

BANANA

Slow energy release? More like LOW energy release!

Amirite!
BANANA

Slow energy release? More like LOW energy release!

Amirite!

CHAMPAGNE SILVER MAGNUM

I’d like to thank my mummy and my dad-dad. Without you guys I wouldn’t even be here. Where are you guys? Fucking love you so much. And oh my gosh, Rafe where are you?? There you are, you’re my boy Rafe! I went to school with this cat, he’s like a brother to me. You’re x-core mate. Chillest cat I know! Loughborough uni squash team!Where’s Izzy at?? Put your hand up, girl, don’t be shy. Izzy got me my first mini milk back when I was in short trousers. It was an inspiration for me. Shit, 25 years. Can’t believe I’ve made it this far. Haters said I was a flash in the pan. Haters said a premium ice cream lolly would never work. Where the fuck are you now? You’re the ones that melted. You’re the ones that have slid off the stick. Magnum always been here, Magnum always been strong. 25 years long, bitch. Who da fuck are you?? Let’s make this ice coldest bad arse birthday party of all times! Drop the needle, homie!

*Rock DJ by Robbie Williams plays*

Magnum isn’t 25, they lying. Let’s see some ID, bro!

Where’s the guy who had a magnum 25 years ago. Why is that guy not on the news? Who queued up for a midnight opening at woolworths on release day?

Do you remember how shit magnums were when they first came out ha ha. They were all stapled together and made out of wood ha ha. Do you remember the blatant product placement in Absolutely Fabulous. Patsy used to dip hers in cocaine, Bubble used to keep hers in the filing cabinet ha ha. And ooh weren’t they expensive. I remember getting a fake one for Christmas when I was 7. Kids at school ripped me savagely for that. I hate you Mum and Dad!! 

Ooh ooh can I have a Magnum, Mum. Mum Mum give me that Magnum. 

That was the chant at the time. Walk down any street in Britain and you could hear the murmur slowly rising to a thick gurgle. Ice cream vans used to get turned over, literally! It was an epidemic. Kids rocking Ice Cream vans side to side til they flipped and all the Magnums spilled across the street. It were like Mardi Gras. Ice Cream vans had to resort to using silent ringtones (well, whatever it’s called - the music they play when they’re driving around…) that only dogs could hear. Humans evolved, or devolved depending on your standpoint, to the point where they could hear and run like dogs on all fours. Packs of feral children hunted Ice Cream vans preying on milk of Magnumseum. You have to remember this was 25 years ago, before the advent of Ice Cream Mars. Even though Magnums seem a bit grown up for kids, at the time they were aspirational - they wanted a status piece that was on a higher rung than own brand choc ices. 

Of course Magnums weren’t always available in white, milk and dark variants. Milk was always there, of course. But who remembers the less successful Barbeque and Chickpea Curry flavours that fell early by the wayside?

Fast forward 25 years and let us talk about the NOW. 

I’m thick. Remember Magnum Infinity that came out recently? It had an advert that claimed that the chocolate outer grew back when chipped away. I believed it. I thought this technology was possible. Likewise, on writing this I only just got the connection of having a champagne Magnum…as in a magnum of champagne, duh.

This Magnum is silver. It’s matt silver and the effect is near startling. I’d like to see it outdoors with the sun bouncing off it, that would look cool. It looks pretty cool under indoor mood lighting, I can vouch for that! Just dawned on me that it’s silver because of 25 year silver wedding anniversary too, duh. 

I like to approach a Magnum by removing the chocolate cladding with my teeth. It’s a delicate precision-heavy operation and occasionally you bite off a bigger slat than you can handle. I’m then left with a pure ice cream inner that I bite from top to bottom daintily. How soft is Magnum ice cream by the way. It’s like puréed angel brains, in a good way! I like to eat mine while pretending I’m an extra in Pride and Prejudice maintaining perfect posture. Some may frown on the fact that I take the elements (outer and inner) separately and not together as the producers may intend. I like my method tho so stick it up your arses. 

Not traditionally a fan of liqueur tainted confectionary, not mad large on rum and raisin ice cream even. At the outset I was more taken by the promise of a silver magnum than I was by the champagne factor. I like champagne of course, who doesn’t! This is cool though. Fabulous even. There’s a syrup, or yellow snow, that threads through the body of ice cream. The ice cream is champagne flavoured too. It tastes like champers but the levels are just right, it’s not knock out strong. Coinkidinkally there is so some alc content to this, 0.5%, kids will likely get juiced off it. The cladding is chocolate, it’s verging on the dark side of milk on the reverse of the silver surface. The silver is but a millimetre of silver leaf, if that’s even a thing. 

Mums will go nuts for this but so will Dads. Flamboyant Uncles will knock each other over attempting to hold aloft their silver long sword the highest, the straightest, the truest. 

I cobbed off with a 3-pack for an introductory £1.50 (usually £2.99) from Tesco Express. Smart guys don’t buy their premium ice creams by the singular, you shall pay a premium if you do. 

This is a premi-yum ice cream hee hee sexy silver satin sheets 25 years of pleasure mmmmm the naughtiest magnum EVER!!!!11111

CHAMPAGNE SILVER MAGNUM

I’d like to thank my mummy and my dad-dad. Without you guys I wouldn’t even be here. Where are you guys? Fucking love you so much. And oh my gosh, Rafe where are you?? There you are, you’re my boy Rafe! I went to school with this cat, he’s like a brother to me. You’re x-core mate. Chillest cat I know! Loughborough uni squash team!Where’s Izzy at?? Put your hand up, girl, don’t be shy. Izzy got me my first mini milk back when I was in short trousers. It was an inspiration for me. Shit, 25 years. Can’t believe I’ve made it this far. Haters said I was a flash in the pan. Haters said a premium ice cream lolly would never work. Where the fuck are you now? You’re the ones that melted. You’re the ones that have slid off the stick. Magnum always been here, Magnum always been strong. 25 years long, bitch. Who da fuck are you?? Let’s make this ice coldest bad arse birthday party of all times! Drop the needle, homie!

*Rock DJ by Robbie Williams plays*

Magnum isn’t 25, they lying. Let’s see some ID, bro!

Where’s the guy who had a magnum 25 years ago. Why is that guy not on the news? Who queued up for a midnight opening at woolworths on release day?

Do you remember how shit magnums were when they first came out ha ha. They were all stapled together and made out of wood ha ha. Do you remember the blatant product placement in Absolutely Fabulous. Patsy used to dip hers in cocaine, Bubble used to keep hers in the filing cabinet ha ha. And ooh weren’t they expensive. I remember getting a fake one for Christmas when I was 7. Kids at school ripped me savagely for that. I hate you Mum and Dad!!

Ooh ooh can I have a Magnum, Mum. Mum Mum give me that Magnum.

That was the chant at the time. Walk down any street in Britain and you could hear the murmur slowly rising to a thick gurgle. Ice cream vans used to get turned over, literally! It was an epidemic. Kids rocking Ice Cream vans side to side til they flipped and all the Magnums spilled across the street. It were like Mardi Gras. Ice Cream vans had to resort to using silent ringtones (well, whatever it’s called - the music they play when they’re driving around…) that only dogs could hear. Humans evolved, or devolved depending on your standpoint, to the point where they could hear and run like dogs on all fours. Packs of feral children hunted Ice Cream vans preying on milk of Magnumseum. You have to remember this was 25 years ago, before the advent of Ice Cream Mars. Even though Magnums seem a bit grown up for kids, at the time they were aspirational - they wanted a status piece that was on a higher rung than own brand choc ices.

Of course Magnums weren’t always available in white, milk and dark variants. Milk was always there, of course. But who remembers the less successful Barbeque and Chickpea Curry flavours that fell early by the wayside?

Fast forward 25 years and let us talk about the NOW.

I’m thick. Remember Magnum Infinity that came out recently? It had an advert that claimed that the chocolate outer grew back when chipped away. I believed it. I thought this technology was possible. Likewise, on writing this I only just got the connection of having a champagne Magnum…as in a magnum of champagne, duh.

This Magnum is silver. It’s matt silver and the effect is near startling. I’d like to see it outdoors with the sun bouncing off it, that would look cool. It looks pretty cool under indoor mood lighting, I can vouch for that! Just dawned on me that it’s silver because of 25 year silver wedding anniversary too, duh.

I like to approach a Magnum by removing the chocolate cladding with my teeth. It’s a delicate precision-heavy operation and occasionally you bite off a bigger slat than you can handle. I’m then left with a pure ice cream inner that I bite from top to bottom daintily. How soft is Magnum ice cream by the way. It’s like puréed angel brains, in a good way! I like to eat mine while pretending I’m an extra in Pride and Prejudice maintaining perfect posture. Some may frown on the fact that I take the elements (outer and inner) separately and not together as the producers may intend. I like my method tho so stick it up your arses.

Not traditionally a fan of liqueur tainted confectionary, not mad large on rum and raisin ice cream even. At the outset I was more taken by the promise of a silver magnum than I was by the champagne factor. I like champagne of course, who doesn’t! This is cool though. Fabulous even. There’s a syrup, or yellow snow, that threads through the body of ice cream. The ice cream is champagne flavoured too. It tastes like champers but the levels are just right, it’s not knock out strong. Coinkidinkally there is so some alc content to this, 0.5%, kids will likely get juiced off it. The cladding is chocolate, it’s verging on the dark side of milk on the reverse of the silver surface. The silver is but a millimetre of silver leaf, if that’s even a thing.

Mums will go nuts for this but so will Dads. Flamboyant Uncles will knock each other over attempting to hold aloft their silver long sword the highest, the straightest, the truest.

I cobbed off with a 3-pack for an introductory £1.50 (usually £2.99) from Tesco Express. Smart guys don’t buy their premium ice creams by the singular, you shall pay a premium if you do.

This is a premi-yum ice cream hee hee sexy silver satin sheets 25 years of pleasure mmmmm the naughtiest magnum EVER!!!!11111

CHEESE AND ONION / SALT AND VINEGAR WEIRDOUGHS

Tesco…mate. Seriously, MATE. Are you alright, mate? You haven’t been yourself lately have you my little mate. You’re getting a bit old for this type of behaviour aren’t you? What are you trying to prove? Is somebody picking on you? It’s a girl isn’t it, who are you trying to impress? Look mate, you’re out of your element. You’re not really making sense. Let me get you a glass of water. Somebody get Tesco a pint of water. How many did you have last night, mate? You can’t keep burning it at both ends like you are, mate. We’re worried about you, Tesco. Come on, drink your water kid. You’ve got to be on your feet and open in five minutes. You’re getting it all down your bib, mate! Come on, keep it together kid. Be a big boy for me. Be a big strong boy for me. It’s nice to be a big strong boy. That’s it, a smile! That’s the Tesco I know! Come on big boy, finish off that water now - big gulps! Ooh that’s a big clever nice big boy isn’t it. Big big big boy. Aw, bless. You’re back on your feet, boy. Come on Tesco, give your old dad a hug. You’re wet but your old dad doesn’t mind!

*Tesco’s Dad’s hand glides inadvertently/innocently towards the seat of Tesco’s damp nappy*

Hang on.

What’s this back here?

What’s this hanging out the back of your bloody nappy, my boy.

Oh, ha ha. It’s a doughnut. Aw, bless. 

Mind if your old Dad has a nibble?

*Tesco’s Dad’s hand ruffles his son’s hair as he takes a bite of the doughnut*

*The ruffling tightens and turns to hair pulling*

You’re no son of mine.

*BLEURRRGGGHHH!!!*

Why would you do this to me?

Cheese and Onion doughnut, Tesco. Cheese and fucking Onion doughnut. You’re not right in the head my boy. You’re not fit for public consumption. 

Wait ‘til your Mother hears about this.

*fade to black*

*Grange Hill theme tune plays*

Tesco’s has lost it. You heard it here first. Savoury doughnuts. Cheese and stinking Onion and Salt and chuffing Vinegar! They come in bags of ten mini ring doughnuts for £1 a set and they smell every bit as damp and haunted as you might hope. I felt cray weight of obligation to pick these up, my heart sank when I saw them wallowing inconspicuously on the bottom shelf of the bakery aisle.

Why you do this to me. 

I tucked into a Salt and Vinegar Weirdough (great name btw) when I got home. The Cheese and Onion bag went unopened for three days. I was scared of unlocking its potential. I feared its wrath. The smell of each is perhaps worse than the reality. They smell like a bag of crisps (or shit) that has been sodden by the rain (or piss). The smell, if possible, casts a darker shadow than the concept. Or, vomcept. 

The worst thing about these is they appeal at no time of the day. A regular doughnut could slot in at any point : breakfast, luncheon, pud pud, night night nom nom. These stink sirens just lie dormant and your mind plays tricks…ah yes! A doughnut! I could eat a doughnut! But no, it’s a savoury damp stink doughnut.

The taste is more subtle than you’d expect. That nose sets the tone for the rest of proceedings tho and it’s hard to come back from such beefy beginnings. They’re not deeply savoury, there’s a sweetness that is the killer. It’s not spit out bad but it is hold it in your mouth and look a bit sad bad. 

Who are these for?

Memember when Saddam Hussein got unearthed from his hidey hole (naww bless) and the Feds unearthed fun-size mars bars of mass destruction (so cuuute)? Well, I loathe to play the Savile card but let us play devil’s avocado and say Jimmy Savile had taken refuge in an underground layer (not a grave, coward!) well, if he had, one hundo percent his bunker would have been crawling with Cheese and Onion doughnuts. Amirite??

I managed about 5 of 20 weirdoughs. I convinced myself they were the worst thing to happen to me in modern times. Then my friend, let’s call him Chedwin, came round and I showed him the weirdoughs. He quite…liked them? He sat and chained forth. Weirdough after Weirdough. Not even thinking about it like, just throwing the little buoys to sea. Am I wrong? Is Chedwin right? 

Weirdoughs tag line reads “what do you get if you cross a crisp with a doughnut…” or something. Again, respect. Along with the name, I’m having it. Crisps don’t need to shake in their duds just yet, mind. I’m not dead set against savoury donuts but these initial forays are a tad caveman, I’d like to chance a gourmet or ‘extra special’ before I nail my mast to the flag (is that what you say?). I’d like to see some form of realism in the doughnut’s coating…not just a sticky hint of transparent something. Definitely stuff the sweetness sweatness up the arse too. 

One area Weirdoughs could really come into their own is in the jape arena. Imagine an unmarked platter of these at a children’s party or a buffet at a wake. Nestled among the sweet items, waiting to go off…big time. That would be serious bad arse material. Top off your tan with Dom Joly in a snail costume crossing the room and your guests/children would be dying if not dead already. 

Boy.

CHEESE AND ONION / SALT AND VINEGAR WEIRDOUGHS

Tesco…mate. Seriously, MATE. Are you alright, mate? You haven’t been yourself lately have you my little mate. You’re getting a bit old for this type of behaviour aren’t you? What are you trying to prove? Is somebody picking on you? It’s a girl isn’t it, who are you trying to impress? Look mate, you’re out of your element. You’re not really making sense. Let me get you a glass of water. Somebody get Tesco a pint of water. How many did you have last night, mate? You can’t keep burning it at both ends like you are, mate. We’re worried about you, Tesco. Come on, drink your water kid. You’ve got to be on your feet and open in five minutes. You’re getting it all down your bib, mate! Come on, keep it together kid. Be a big boy for me. Be a big strong boy for me. It’s nice to be a big strong boy. That’s it, a smile! That’s the Tesco I know! Come on big boy, finish off that water now - big gulps! Ooh that’s a big clever nice big boy isn’t it. Big big big boy. Aw, bless. You’re back on your feet, boy. Come on Tesco, give your old dad a hug. You’re wet but your old dad doesn’t mind!

*Tesco’s Dad’s hand glides inadvertently/innocently towards the seat of Tesco’s damp nappy*

Hang on.

What’s this back here?

What’s this hanging out the back of your bloody nappy, my boy.

Oh, ha ha. It’s a doughnut. Aw, bless.

Mind if your old Dad has a nibble?

*Tesco’s Dad’s hand ruffles his son’s hair as he takes a bite of the doughnut*

*The ruffling tightens and turns to hair pulling*

You’re no son of mine.

*BLEURRRGGGHHH!!!*

Why would you do this to me?

Cheese and Onion doughnut, Tesco. Cheese and fucking Onion doughnut. You’re not right in the head my boy. You’re not fit for public consumption.

Wait ‘til your Mother hears about this.

*fade to black*

*Grange Hill theme tune plays*

Tesco’s has lost it. You heard it here first. Savoury doughnuts. Cheese and stinking Onion and Salt and chuffing Vinegar! They come in bags of ten mini ring doughnuts for £1 a set and they smell every bit as damp and haunted as you might hope. I felt cray weight of obligation to pick these up, my heart sank when I saw them wallowing inconspicuously on the bottom shelf of the bakery aisle.

Why you do this to me.

I tucked into a Salt and Vinegar Weirdough (great name btw) when I got home. The Cheese and Onion bag went unopened for three days. I was scared of unlocking its potential. I feared its wrath. The smell of each is perhaps worse than the reality. They smell like a bag of crisps (or shit) that has been sodden by the rain (or piss). The smell, if possible, casts a darker shadow than the concept. Or, vomcept.

The worst thing about these is they appeal at no time of the day. A regular doughnut could slot in at any point : breakfast, luncheon, pud pud, night night nom nom. These stink sirens just lie dormant and your mind plays tricks…ah yes! A doughnut! I could eat a doughnut! But no, it’s a savoury damp stink doughnut.

The taste is more subtle than you’d expect. That nose sets the tone for the rest of proceedings tho and it’s hard to come back from such beefy beginnings. They’re not deeply savoury, there’s a sweetness that is the killer. It’s not spit out bad but it is hold it in your mouth and look a bit sad bad.

Who are these for?

Memember when Saddam Hussein got unearthed from his hidey hole (naww bless) and the Feds unearthed fun-size mars bars of mass destruction (so cuuute)? Well, I loathe to play the Savile card but let us play devil’s avocado and say Jimmy Savile had taken refuge in an underground layer (not a grave, coward!) well, if he had, one hundo percent his bunker would have been crawling with Cheese and Onion doughnuts. Amirite??

I managed about 5 of 20 weirdoughs. I convinced myself they were the worst thing to happen to me in modern times. Then my friend, let’s call him Chedwin, came round and I showed him the weirdoughs. He quite…liked them? He sat and chained forth. Weirdough after Weirdough. Not even thinking about it like, just throwing the little buoys to sea. Am I wrong? Is Chedwin right?

Weirdoughs tag line reads “what do you get if you cross a crisp with a doughnut…” or something. Again, respect. Along with the name, I’m having it. Crisps don’t need to shake in their duds just yet, mind. I’m not dead set against savoury donuts but these initial forays are a tad caveman, I’d like to chance a gourmet or ‘extra special’ before I nail my mast to the flag (is that what you say?). I’d like to see some form of realism in the doughnut’s coating…not just a sticky hint of transparent something. Definitely stuff the sweetness sweatness up the arse too.

One area Weirdoughs could really come into their own is in the jape arena. Imagine an unmarked platter of these at a children’s party or a buffet at a wake. Nestled among the sweet items, waiting to go off…big time. That would be serious bad arse material. Top off your tan with Dom Joly in a snail costume crossing the room and your guests/children would be dying if not dead already.

Boy.

JALEPENO FIRE DORITOS Do you think the Doritos factory workers’ hands are stained orange? Do you think the Doritos factory workers wear little masks to protect their lungs from all the cheese dust knocking about? Do you think the Doritos factory workers have triangle heads? Do you think the Doritos factory workers wear little Egyptian style loincloths and wield stone mallets and move in a mechanical manner whilst this song is piped continuously into the workhouse? Do you think the Pringles moustache man drives a train past the window sometimes and looks in?  Do you think the Pringles man sometimes flies a plane past? Do you think the doorbell at the factory rings and it’s the postman but the postman is the Pringles man? Do you think you get introduced to the boss’ daughter when you’re working at the Doritos factory and the boss’ daughter is the Pringles man with pigtails? Do you feel obliged to take her to dinner?  Do you like that she’s mute?  Do you like that she has a moustache? Do you like that you’re paying? Do you like that she didn’t say thank you? Do you like that she didn’t touch her food? Do you like that she’s dead? Just kidding. Do you like that you close your eyes and open them again and you’re in her apartment? Do you like that she’s taking her top off? Do you like Sour Cream and Onion Pringles? Do you like a musk so thick that you could grout your entire village with it? Do you like that there’s a knock at the door and it’s your landlord, I mean her landlord, and she’s all mad with curlers in and a dressing gown and she’s giving it all that but you only hear white noise because her face too is that of the Pringles man? Do you like that the last face you saw before you passed out was the same moustached face on two different women? Do you like that it feels like a second passed but it’s tomorrow and you’re back at the Doritos factory on your triangle machine? Do you like the new promotional posters in the canteen for the new flavour? Do you think that “Jalapeno Fire” Doritos really bring the fire? No. They’re ok. But they don’t bring much of anything. Don’t get me wrong, I love them. I mean, they’re shit. But. Well, you know. I saw that flame-licked cool packaging and I thought yeah. That’s a bit like me that is.  Loved the fonts. Loved the way the lightning shard burns through (with entry and exit points) the lower portion of the second ‘o’ in Doritos but then seemingly passes UNDER the higher arch of the second ‘o’ but still leaves an exit wound?  Loved how you had to be there. Loved how the packet would make a pretty cool t-shirt.Loved my tattoo when I first got it but now I’m regretting it. Loved how they promised to be really spicy and firey but then they weren’t at all much. YOU SAID YOU BE BRINGIN FIYAH DORICHOS! WHERE MY FIYAH!8/10

JALEPENO FIRE DORITOS

Do you think the Doritos factory workers’ hands are stained orange?

Do you think the Doritos factory workers wear little masks to protect their lungs from all the cheese dust knocking about?

Do you think the Doritos factory workers have triangle heads?

Do you think the Doritos factory workers wear little Egyptian style loincloths and wield stone mallets and move in a mechanical manner whilst this song is piped continuously into the workhouse?

Do you think the Pringles moustache man drives a train past the window sometimes and looks in?

Do you think the Pringles man sometimes flies a plane past?

Do you think the doorbell at the factory rings and it’s the postman but the postman is the Pringles man?

Do you think you get introduced to the boss’ daughter when you’re working at the Doritos factory and the boss’ daughter is the Pringles man with pigtails?

Do you feel obliged to take her to dinner?

Do you like that she’s mute?

Do you like that she has a moustache?

Do you like that you’re paying?

Do you like that she didn’t say thank you?

Do you like that she didn’t touch her food?

Do you like that she’s dead?

Just kidding.

Do you like that you close your eyes and open them again and you’re in her apartment?

Do you like that she’s taking her top off?

Do you like Sour Cream and Onion Pringles?

Do you like a musk so thick that you could grout your entire village with it?

Do you like that there’s a knock at the door and it’s your landlord, I mean her landlord, and she’s all mad with curlers in and a dressing gown and she’s giving it all that but you only hear white noise because her face too is that of the Pringles man?

Do you like that the last face you saw before you passed out was the same moustached face on two different women?

Do you like that it feels like a second passed but it’s tomorrow and you’re back at the Doritos factory on your triangle machine?

Do you like the new promotional posters in the canteen for the new flavour?

Do you think that “Jalapeno Fire” Doritos really bring the fire?

No.

They’re ok.

But they don’t bring much of anything.

Don’t get me wrong, I love them.

I mean, they’re shit.

But.

Well, you know.

I saw that flame-licked cool packaging and I thought yeah.

That’s a bit like me that is.

Loved the fonts.

Loved the way the lightning shard burns through (with entry and exit points) the lower portion of the second ‘o’ in Doritos but then seemingly passes UNDER the higher arch of the second ‘o’ but still leaves an exit wound?

Loved how you had to be there.

Loved how the packet would make a pretty cool t-shirt.

Loved my tattoo when I first got it but now I’m regretting it.

Loved how they promised to be really spicy and firey but then they weren’t at all much.

YOU SAID YOU BE BRINGIN FIYAH DORICHOS! WHERE MY FIYAH!

8/10

CHOCOLATE ORANGE - CLASSICS EDITIONWilkommen to the all-new Food Legend Classics range. In this new spin-off we aim to address old favourites, to shine a light upon forgotten gems and just say hey shexy. First up is the world beating most-respectful, Chocolate Orange. Now, I’ve heard the Chocolate Orange referred to as a Chocolate Egg. What is wrong with you people? Get your house in order. It has segments like an orange, it tastes like orange, it says orange on the packaging. Oooh you know what I like, that Chocolate Egg. No. Forget the Jif lemon, Chocolate Orange is a design classic. That leatherette wax stamp sealed cloak that it comes wrapped in? Fuggedaboutit. I find it hard to believe that the iconic wrapper hasn’t been turned into handbags and made into suitcases, y’know, like Louis Vuitton or something. I want to see streets lined with vendors peddling bootleg versions of the Chocolate Orange leatherette. I want a t-shirt with full pattern print, I want an ipad case flecked with it, I want a fucking oil painting of a tiger with the stippled markings of the Orange’s blouse.  It starts off classic and continues in the same vein. The Chocolate Orange comes housed in a cardboard box, complete with window. A globe within a cube, how perfect is that? That’s like some Chanel no.5 shit. So the leatherette towel it comes blessed in is totes bloody parallel universe Burberry re-imagined and the outer/inner form relationship is high-end charcuterie too?? The price point on this god-send must be sky rockets at night, right? Think again! It’s the greatest bargain of our times! They’ve made the inaccessible accessible to all! The price makes you think it must be a bootleg but it snodally snisn’t! Well, to be honoured, I’ve never bought a Chocolate Orange at full RRP…don’t even know what it sells at, £3-something? They’re eternally on offer, Tesco is shoving them down all y’all faces at £1.75-ish at the minute.  Ok, beyond the packaging things continue on a meteoric. I’ve touched upon the Chocolate Orange before in a prior ‘best of’ round-up. I mentioned how one of the key joys of the Chocolate Orange experience is the unlocking of the segments. I mentioned how one likes to prank the room by ‘accidentally’ tripping with the Orange, throwing it to floor/wall to part the segments. It’s still as timeless a jape as it ever was. There haven’t been many new developments since but amping up of the act is encouraged. If you’re presenting the Orange to a group then fall and throw as hard as you can. Go down like a house of bricks, smite the Orange as if attempting to shatter the earth’s core. I feel like as I get older I’m increasingly becoming a fan of the upward trajectory followed by the downward spiral. I’m a fan of watching the audience’s eyes, like focusing on the spectator rather than the tennis game, working out the ball’s path from the flicker of the whites, deepest joy.  I envisage an old butler-type suited and booted, carrying the Chocolate Orange upon silver platter to an expectant dinner party. The guests applauding and looking at each other triumphantly, hard-ons implied but never shown. The Butler skids upon a puddle of jus and the trajectory of flaying Orange is shot in slow motion and we switch to the dinner party’s open mouths and following eyes as one by one they dive over each other attempting to catch the airborne Choc. All comers fail and the Orange explodes after connecting with the skirting board, the slow motion shows the shudder of the sphere but of course the Orange’s sequined wax-stamped jacket keeps the segments in formation. Entry has been forged and everyone knows it. The dinner party is split 50/50 between laughter and tears, while the butler scuttles away to darn his spoiled trousers. Clear your desk, Jeeves. Don’t know how many segments a Chocolate Orange has in relation to an actual orange. I’d say more, they’re thinner and more slatted (slatey). I’ve never counted either. I’m going to guess that a Chocolate Orange has 36…or 24. I don’t care how many an actual orange has…4 or whatever? Point is, they might as well retire the old-fashioned orange because that shit is played out. Respect due to the Grandfather, respect your elders and all that, but your pith and pip game is musty as old typewriters and moth balls. The wax stamp on the leatherette reads “Made with real orange oil”. Most of us call it orange juice, the wet derived from an actual orange. If it isn’t a typo then one can only presume that an oil from an orange must involve machines and various clamps and flasks, think how little juice an orange actually yields for the drink ‘Orange Juice’, oil must be super refined – by its very nature, yo. Anyway, long story short, who cares. Chocolate Orange segments are crazy juicy. They’re milk chocolate solids alright but each slat is a journey across land and sea. They’re just beautiful. FML, I want to die on these rocks, my clothes tattered and a Chocolate Orange in my mouth. Sex games of the rich and the famous, always complaining, always complaining. The segments are a trip. They’re so moreish and utterly joyful throughout their 20+ chapters, it doesn’t get old, the connection just gets deeper and more tribal. Chocolate Orange is the original boxset. Forget your DVDs and your Blu-Rays, your Wire and your Everybody Loves Raymonds. Snuggle down in your jim-jams on the sofa couch and whack out your Chocolate Orange boxset. Devour all 20+ seasons before nightfall. Go on love, treat yourself. Impossible to talk about the Orange and to herald it as the best thing since sliced ham without mentioning the infrastructure that keeps it all together…the spindle. Whooping and hollering from the top tier, a single pair of underpants land upon the stage. The spindle, or core, is the apple-like spine that keeps the Orange’s segments, or soldiers, together. I’ve talked in prior episodes about how I think a collection of the spindles threaded onto a necklace would make a bitching fashion accessory. The spine of the Orange is well sought after. I heard a beautiful story recently that one of my friends saved the spindle of the Orange for his beau, not in the moment of eating the Orange but in the hours/day long aftermath. Respect due infinitude. That’s a gift. The core is such a rare treat because its genetic make-up is different from the rest of the segment slats. By its very nature it’s more spindly and less solid, and of course a variation in shape and form always excites. Chocolate Orange is famous, deal with it.

CHOCOLATE ORANGE - CLASSICS EDITION

Wilkommen to the all-new Food Legend Classics range. In this new spin-off we aim to address old favourites, to shine a light upon forgotten gems and just say hey shexy. First up is the world beating most-respectful, Chocolate Orange.

Now, I’ve heard the Chocolate Orange referred to as a Chocolate Egg. What is wrong with you people? Get your house in order. It has segments like an orange, it tastes like orange, it says orange on the packaging. Oooh you know what I like, that Chocolate Egg. No.

Forget the Jif lemon, Chocolate Orange is a design classic. That leatherette wax stamp sealed cloak that it comes wrapped in? Fuggedaboutit. I find it hard to believe that the iconic wrapper hasn’t been turned into handbags and made into suitcases, y’know, like Louis Vuitton or something. I want to see streets lined with vendors peddling bootleg versions of the Chocolate Orange leatherette. I want a t-shirt with full pattern print, I want an ipad case flecked with it, I want a fucking oil painting of a tiger with the stippled markings of the Orange’s blouse.

It starts off classic and continues in the same vein. The Chocolate Orange comes housed in a cardboard box, complete with window. A globe within a cube, how perfect is that? That’s like some Chanel no.5 shit. So the leatherette towel it comes blessed in is totes bloody parallel universe Burberry re-imagined and the outer/inner form relationship is high-end charcuterie too?? The price point on this god-send must be sky rockets at night, right? Think again! It’s the greatest bargain of our times! They’ve made the inaccessible accessible to all! The price makes you think it must be a bootleg but it snodally snisn’t! Well, to be honoured, I’ve never bought a Chocolate Orange at full RRP…don’t even know what it sells at, £3-something? They’re eternally on offer, Tesco is shoving them down all y’all faces at £1.75-ish at the minute.

Ok, beyond the packaging things continue on a meteoric. I’ve touched upon the Chocolate Orange before in a prior ‘best of’ round-up. I mentioned how one of the key joys of the Chocolate Orange experience is the unlocking of the segments. I mentioned how one likes to prank the room by ‘accidentally’ tripping with the Orange, throwing it to floor/wall to part the segments. It’s still as timeless a jape as it ever was. There haven’t been many new developments since but amping up of the act is encouraged. If you’re presenting the Orange to a group then fall and throw as hard as you can. Go down like a house of bricks, smite the Orange as if attempting to shatter the earth’s core. I feel like as I get older I’m increasingly becoming a fan of the upward trajectory followed by the downward spiral. I’m a fan of watching the audience’s eyes, like focusing on the spectator rather than the tennis game, working out the ball’s path from the flicker of the whites, deepest joy.

I envisage an old butler-type suited and booted, carrying the Chocolate Orange upon silver platter to an expectant dinner party. The guests applauding and looking at each other triumphantly, hard-ons implied but never shown. The Butler skids upon a puddle of jus and the trajectory of flaying Orange is shot in slow motion and we switch to the dinner party’s open mouths and following eyes as one by one they dive over each other attempting to catch the airborne Choc. All comers fail and the Orange explodes after connecting with the skirting board, the slow motion shows the shudder of the sphere but of course the Orange’s sequined wax-stamped jacket keeps the segments in formation. Entry has been forged and everyone knows it. The dinner party is split 50/50 between laughter and tears, while the butler scuttles away to darn his spoiled trousers. Clear your desk, Jeeves.

Don’t know how many segments a Chocolate Orange has in relation to an actual orange. I’d say more, they’re thinner and more slatted (slatey). I’ve never counted either. I’m going to guess that a Chocolate Orange has 36…or 24. I don’t care how many an actual orange has…4 or whatever? Point is, they might as well retire the old-fashioned orange because that shit is played out. Respect due to the Grandfather, respect your elders and all that, but your pith and pip game is musty as old typewriters and moth balls.

The wax stamp on the leatherette reads “Made with real orange oil”. Most of us call it orange juice, the wet derived from an actual orange. If it isn’t a typo then one can only presume that an oil from an orange must involve machines and various clamps and flasks, think how little juice an orange actually yields for the drink ‘Orange Juice’, oil must be super refined – by its very nature, yo. Anyway, long story short, who cares. Chocolate Orange segments are crazy juicy. They’re milk chocolate solids alright but each slat is a journey across land and sea. They’re just beautiful. FML, I want to die on these rocks, my clothes tattered and a Chocolate Orange in my mouth. Sex games of the rich and the famous, always complaining, always complaining.

The segments are a trip. They’re so moreish and utterly joyful throughout their 20+ chapters, it doesn’t get old, the connection just gets deeper and more tribal. Chocolate Orange is the original boxset. Forget your DVDs and your Blu-Rays, your Wire and your Everybody Loves Raymonds. Snuggle down in your jim-jams on the sofa couch and whack out your Chocolate Orange boxset. Devour all 20+ seasons before nightfall. Go on love, treat yourself.

Impossible to talk about the Orange and to herald it as the best thing since sliced ham without mentioning the infrastructure that keeps it all together…the spindle. Whooping and hollering from the top tier, a single pair of underpants land upon the stage. The spindle, or core, is the apple-like spine that keeps the Orange’s segments, or soldiers, together. I’ve talked in prior episodes about how I think a collection of the spindles threaded onto a necklace would make a bitching fashion accessory. The spine of the Orange is well sought after. I heard a beautiful story recently that one of my friends saved the spindle of the Orange for his beau, not in the moment of eating the Orange but in the hours/day long aftermath. Respect due infinitude. That’s a gift. The core is such a rare treat because its genetic make-up is different from the rest of the segment slats. By its very nature it’s more spindly and less solid, and of course a variation in shape and form always excites.

Chocolate Orange is famous, deal with it.

FISH ‘N’ CHIPS SALT & VINEGAR FLAVOUR BAKED SNACK BISCUITS 2014 whassup, girl! Wow, what a crazy year so far, am I right? What’s your top 20 crazy things about 2014 so far? January was FUBAR. If you blinked, you missed it. Februhaha has come out of the traps like shomebody shtop me! My wife! The nation’s shortest month may also prove, at this rate, to be the nation’s craziest month. If January was the dry month for many then February is going to be the retox, I’m renaming February “Febpriory” because peoples is gonna be begging for rehab come March of the penguins. That’s right, y’all be looking like penguins; straight up dead-eyed monotone drones in tuxedos come March. April is gonna be rebranded as “A-pill” because after the sober March of the Penguins, everybody gon’ be relapsing and reaching for they alka-seltzer. Come what May, June Sarpong, July surprise, Smaugustboard, Methtember, Rocktober, Snowvember and Dicktober. Remember where you heard it first, 2014 is a straight up ghost. Wait a monument, Fish ‘n’ Chip flavour savoury biscuit things…haven’t we seen this before? Why yes we have. It was the Eighties, or the Nineties – snacktacular decades I’m sure you’ll agree. I’d not heard any Wispa-style bring back the retro snack whack attack about these though. Probably because the name isn’t catchy enough to hold up on a stick during Rizzle Kicks at Glastonbury. Bring back those fish & chip biscuit crisp shaped not crisps things! Yeah, do one mate. I was told about the remake by good old people power, get down to Tesco they said. Didn’t pick this bag up at Tesco though did I? You’ll never guess where. Oh go on then, it was STAPLES. Stationary giant of boredom fame, Staples. The very same! Multipack of Uniballs, Staples! Reams of 70gm economic printer paper, Staples! They had a display stand and everything. How queer, I’d heard about them the day before and here they were, right here right then. The price point was a sexually charged 69p. My colleague, Jon, was quick to point out that they would have retailed at about 10p when they surfaced decades ago. We had a good laugh from the counter to the car while Jon shuffled his 10 individual sheets of thicker than average printer paper. I almost crashed my car all the way home thinking about what Jon said. He was bloody right, that was the truth core that made the joke hit home hard. He was right, I’d been ripped off. What else was I to do though, drive my car back to 1990 and get down the newsagent? Maybe I was best to not buy them in the first place and just enjoy the memory. 10p would represent unrealistic value in today’s market, 40p would be a rare bargain given the size of the bag and 50p would be a totally acceptable deposit. 69p is around the racy limit I would and did pay. Funny how life works out sometimes. Is it me or did our wagon wheels used to be bigger or is it just our hands have got smaller ha ha? Credit to the Fish ‘n’ Chips biscuits team, the packaging is absolutely grade-A stunner. They’ve achieved a fantastiche pastiche with fantache panache with their tabloidtastic red top packet. I almost had a little laugh in my head when I saw it,  “bastards” I thought,  “you bloody bastards have nailed it”  Those unfamiliar with the history of actual fish & chips might not know that the nation’s favourite used to come wrapped in actual bona fide what’s the story morning glory newspaper! That was until it was leaked to the press that the ink leaked off the newspapers and gave everyone black chips, Black Chip Friday RIP. Never forget. The packet even has fake headlines and stories with puns that would make your Nan blush. Absolutely fantastic behaviour.  The packet is such a delight that I almost don’t want to throw it away. If they made crisp packet frames like they make record cover frames, you know that this Fish ‘n’ Chip would be featuring on a fair few many walls across this fair land. You might achieve the nadir of retro cool if you did the old shrinky packet oven act on this packet and fashioned it into a key fob, wouldn’t that be smart! You’d be rocking the snazziest, uber chintz keyset in all of fobdom!  Awesome packaging aside, let me address the question on everybody’s lips… is this Fish ‘n’ Chip taste like fish & chip?  Bit of a noodle masher this. Despite the name, it isn’t trying to taste like fish & chip. They’re salt & vinegar flavour, see.  It merely looks like fish & chip. More like, the chip looks like chip but the fish does not look like a fish from a fish & chip shop. It looks like a fish from a cartoon. The manufacturers (Burton’s?) have bottled it on that front. Come on guys, show some respect for yourselves and the consumer. You don’t need to put a crude cave painting fish in there…why harpoon the art of fish ‘n’ chip so succinctly with the cover art and then plonk a fish-by-numbers in the packet? That aside, the appearance of the Fish ‘n’ Chip fools one into thinking that you are eating a snack that is beyond regular salt & vinegar. You can almost fool yourself into thinking that you are eating a Scampi Fry. Fool though the mind might, Fish ‘n’ Chips do not have the chalky bitter dry pillow depth of the pungent Scampi Fry. A much closer reference point for Fish ‘n’ Chips would be the ubiquitous Mini Cheddar. Unfashionable though it is to admit it, we’ve all had periods of Mini Cheddar reliance in the past. You’d be hard pushed to think of a more forerunning baked savoury biscuit. Fish ‘n’ Chips are better; they don’t have the mouth caking capabilities of the one-note Mini Cheddar. The vinegar keeps things spicy and the salt is a seasoned tastemaker. The shape of Fish ‘n’ Chips makes this snack more interesting and vital than it ever should and this is surely the must-have snack of early-2014 to be seen at the bus stop with.

FISH ‘N’ CHIPS SALT & VINEGAR FLAVOUR BAKED SNACK BISCUITS

2014 whassup, girl! Wow, what a crazy year so far, am I right? What’s your top 20 crazy things about 2014 so far? January was FUBAR. If you blinked, you missed it. Februhaha has come out of the traps like shomebody shtop me! My wife! The nation’s shortest month may also prove, at this rate, to be the nation’s craziest month. If January was the dry month for many then February is going to be the retox, I’m renaming February “Febpriory” because peoples is gonna be begging for rehab come March of the penguins. That’s right, y’all be looking like penguins; straight up dead-eyed monotone drones in tuxedos come March. April is gonna be rebranded as “A-pill” because after the sober March of the Penguins, everybody gon’ be relapsing and reaching for they alka-seltzer. Come what May, June Sarpong, July surprise, Smaugustboard, Methtember, Rocktober, Snowvember and Dicktober. Remember where you heard it first, 2014 is a straight up ghost.

Wait a monument, Fish ‘n’ Chip flavour savoury biscuit things…haven’t we seen this before? Why yes we have. It was the Eighties, or the Nineties – snacktacular decades I’m sure you’ll agree. I’d not heard any Wispa-style bring back the retro snack whack attack about these though. Probably because the name isn’t catchy enough to hold up on a stick during Rizzle Kicks at Glastonbury. Bring back those fish & chip biscuit crisp shaped not crisps things! Yeah, do one mate.

I was told about the remake by good old people power, get down to Tesco they said. Didn’t pick this bag up at Tesco though did I? You’ll never guess where. Oh go on then, it was STAPLES. Stationary giant of boredom fame, Staples. The very same! Multipack of Uniballs, Staples! Reams of 70gm economic printer paper, Staples! They had a display stand and everything. How queer, I’d heard about them the day before and here they were, right here right then.

The price point was a sexually charged 69p. My colleague, Jon, was quick to point out that they would have retailed at about 10p when they surfaced decades ago. We had a good laugh from the counter to the car while Jon shuffled his 10 individual sheets of thicker than average printer paper. I almost crashed my car all the way home thinking about what Jon said. He was bloody right, that was the truth core that made the joke hit home hard. He was right, I’d been ripped off. What else was I to do though, drive my car back to 1990 and get down the newsagent? Maybe I was best to not buy them in the first place and just enjoy the memory. 10p would represent unrealistic value in today’s market, 40p would be a rare bargain given the size of the bag and 50p would be a totally acceptable deposit. 69p is around the racy limit I would and did pay. Funny how life works out sometimes.

Is it me or did our wagon wheels used to be bigger or is it just our hands have got smaller ha ha?

Credit to the Fish ‘n’ Chips biscuits team, the packaging is absolutely grade-A stunner. They’ve achieved a fantastiche pastiche with fantache panache with their tabloidtastic red top packet. I almost had a little laugh in my head when I saw it,

“bastards” I thought,

 “you bloody bastards have nailed it”

Those unfamiliar with the history of actual fish & chips might not know that the nation’s favourite used to come wrapped in actual bona fide what’s the story morning glory newspaper! That was until it was leaked to the press that the ink leaked off the newspapers and gave everyone black chips, Black Chip Friday RIP. Never forget.

The packet even has fake headlines and stories with puns that would make your Nan blush. Absolutely fantastic behaviour.  The packet is such a delight that I almost don’t want to throw it away. If they made crisp packet frames like they make record cover frames, you know that this Fish ‘n’ Chip would be featuring on a fair few many walls across this fair land. You might achieve the nadir of retro cool if you did the old shrinky packet oven act on this packet and fashioned it into a key fob, wouldn’t that be smart! You’d be rocking the snazziest, uber chintz keyset in all of fobdom!

Awesome packaging aside, let me address the question on everybody’s lips… is this Fish ‘n’ Chip taste like fish & chip?

Bit of a noodle masher this. Despite the name, it isn’t trying to taste like fish & chip. They’re salt & vinegar flavour, see.  It merely looks like fish & chip. More like, the chip looks like chip but the fish does not look like a fish from a fish & chip shop. It looks like a fish from a cartoon. The manufacturers (Burton’s?) have bottled it on that front. Come on guys, show some respect for yourselves and the consumer. You don’t need to put a crude cave painting fish in there…why harpoon the art of fish ‘n’ chip so succinctly with the cover art and then plonk a fish-by-numbers in the packet? That aside, the appearance of the Fish ‘n’ Chip fools one into thinking that you are eating a snack that is beyond regular salt & vinegar. You can almost fool yourself into thinking that you are eating a Scampi Fry. Fool though the mind might, Fish ‘n’ Chips do not have the chalky bitter dry pillow depth of the pungent Scampi Fry. A much closer reference point for Fish ‘n’ Chips would be the ubiquitous Mini Cheddar. Unfashionable though it is to admit it, we’ve all had periods of Mini Cheddar reliance in the past. You’d be hard pushed to think of a more forerunning baked savoury biscuit. Fish ‘n’ Chips are better; they don’t have the mouth caking capabilities of the one-note Mini Cheddar. The vinegar keeps things spicy and the salt is a seasoned tastemaker.

The shape of Fish ‘n’ Chips makes this snack more interesting and vital than it ever should and this is surely the must-have snack of early-2014 to be seen at the bus stop with.

MINT CHOC PRINGLES Christmas bells! It’s an excuse to get messy isn’t it? The week prior there are no rules. You can turn in drunk, you can run someone over, you can make off with your wife’s boss. Carte blanche, mate.  Get your chipolata out and whack it on your accountant’s desk. He/she will be loving it! Bloody make your own gunpowder crackers that take your opponent’s arms off.  Effing peg a satsuma up your neighbour’s exhaust pipe. Chebbing lob a frozen turkey through some old get’s window. Doesn’t matter, even if your “mark” isn’t up for shits nor giggs, it’s their loss and sadness – it’s Christmas, you pog! Get with the tinsel times, Scrooge! Look at this pig in blanket giving it all Mr Christmas though! Up in my ivory tower eating my prawn sandwich, I haven’t had a bleeding smartprice mince pie yet! I’ve not even seen that stank ass advert for John Smith’s with the rabbit and the bear “going at it”, even. Cost 7 million pints don’t you know, bloody disgusting! Christmas isn’t Christmas until you see that Coke advert with that fat beard bender in the car is it. Well, I’ve not seen it. I’ve not even had a Christmas sandwich from any of our nation’s leading supermarkets. I’ve hardly even taken advantage of the supermarket Christmas booze deal inferno. Woe is mine, anyone would think that I wasn’t up for it – but I am! I’ve been banging on Morrison’s front door recently and this is where I picked up my first explicitly Christmas “treat” of the season. Mint Choc Pringles! Of course, they’re the number one item on everyone’s Amazon wishlist.  No, not chocolate clad crisps like those chocolate clad stacked crisps that I can’t even remember the name of because they sucked so much. Actually mint chocolate favoured crisps! Nan on a flan! Literally no-one ever asked for this. As far as I am aware it is part of a two-pringled prong attack from Pringles for the festival season, the other flavour being “Cinnamon”. Cinnamon sounded too yawn by half in comparison.   Let us start with the smell. It would be a shame to fart into this Pringles tube after use because the aroma of these crisps is so sublime. It smells roughly like a chocolate potato, or more a potato wearing chocolate scented perfume. Or more like a potato wearing chocolate scented Lynx. It spikes your nose a bit and I guess that’s the mint, I can’t pick that out at the fore but I think that’s because my nose only has two channels; nostril one and nostril two. I can only smell chocolate and potato normally anyway so I drew the good straw on these. The appearance is that of a regular Pringle. Not unlike a parmesan shaving of the Moon’s surface or a skin shed dead from an elephant’s hide. Having said this, I was just resting one of the Pringles on my coat (I’m horizontal, and cold) and it has left a glittering star studded residue, I’ve not matched traditional flavours on my clothes but this would suggest that the coating/flavour dust is amped up for extra coaty Christmas fun. The glitter suggest sugar too, obvs. The taste is fucked. Sorry guys, but it is. They make your mouth go cold almost instantly. I think they’ve definitely been sprayed with deodorant. The mint effect is powerful and verging on realism. It shoots up like a big-budget firework and then cascades to reveal a dancing sickly chocolate bar coughing and spluttering with a spinning cane. All this is happening upon a village fete style float but the van is a giant Pringle on wheels and Danny De Vito’s Penguin off Batman is lurking ready to turn onlooking children’s laughter to screams with his modified mint choc Pringle gun. I’m almost entirely sure that these are gross. Pringles prides itself on the tagline “Once you pop you can’t stop” but you bloody can stop with these mutants. I’ve stopped more than I’ve started. If you chained a tube of these you would certainly vom…and not in a good way. They’re more sweet than savoury which is pretty shocking considering that these are crisps. You’re not supposed to be able to make a crisp sweet! I tote bags could have jonesed for these, I love eating actual real-life chocolate with crisps together in the same mouth. This 100% ain’t that. I don’t know what this is. Did I say it makes your mouth go cold? Freaky deaky. My mouth feels punished and perfumed in the afterglow. Filthy gorgeous? It tastes like I’ve been nibbling on pot pourri. It feels like I won gold medal at the fart championships and my prize was a lifetime’s supply of Febreze sprayed into my mouth all in one go.
Some credit must go to Pringles for blowing the lid off the crisp game; I can scarcely believe that one of the big brands has actually got its bollocks out for once. When I thought about Pringles bollocks I didn’t think they’d be perfect glass baubles that on closer inspection would reveal your ultimate nightmares in their reflection.  It’s always the quite ones, innit.

MINT CHOC PRINGLES

Christmas bells! It’s an excuse to get messy isn’t it? The week prior there are no rules. You can turn in drunk, you can run someone over, you can make off with your wife’s boss. Carte blanche, mate.  Get your chipolata out and whack it on your accountant’s desk. He/she will be loving it! Bloody make your own gunpowder crackers that take your opponent’s arms off.  Effing peg a satsuma up your neighbour’s exhaust pipe. Chebbing lob a frozen turkey through some old get’s window. Doesn’t matter, even if your “mark” isn’t up for shits nor giggs, it’s their loss and sadness – it’s Christmas, you pog! Get with the tinsel times, Scrooge!

Look at this pig in blanket giving it all Mr Christmas though! Up in my ivory tower eating my prawn sandwich, I haven’t had a bleeding smartprice mince pie yet! I’ve not even seen that stank ass advert for John Smith’s with the rabbit and the bear “going at it”, even. Cost 7 million pints don’t you know, bloody disgusting! Christmas isn’t Christmas until you see that Coke advert with that fat beard bender in the car is it. Well, I’ve not seen it. I’ve not even had a Christmas sandwich from any of our nation’s leading supermarkets. I’ve hardly even taken advantage of the supermarket Christmas booze deal inferno. Woe is mine, anyone would think that I wasn’t up for it – but I am!

I’ve been banging on Morrison’s front door recently and this is where I picked up my first explicitly Christmas “treat” of the season. Mint Choc Pringles! Of course, they’re the number one item on everyone’s Amazon wishlist.  No, not chocolate clad crisps like those chocolate clad stacked crisps that I can’t even remember the name of because they sucked so much. Actually mint chocolate favoured crisps! Nan on a flan! Literally no-one ever asked for this. As far as I am aware it is part of a two-pringled prong attack from Pringles for the festival season, the other flavour being “Cinnamon”. Cinnamon sounded too yawn by half in comparison.  

Let us start with the smell. It would be a shame to fart into this Pringles tube after use because the aroma of these crisps is so sublime. It smells roughly like a chocolate potato, or more a potato wearing chocolate scented perfume. Or more like a potato wearing chocolate scented Lynx. It spikes your nose a bit and I guess that’s the mint, I can’t pick that out at the fore but I think that’s because my nose only has two channels; nostril one and nostril two. I can only smell chocolate and potato normally anyway so I drew the good straw on these.

The appearance is that of a regular Pringle. Not unlike a parmesan shaving of the Moon’s surface or a skin shed dead from an elephant’s hide. Having said this, I was just resting one of the Pringles on my coat (I’m horizontal, and cold) and it has left a glittering star studded residue, I’ve not matched traditional flavours on my clothes but this would suggest that the coating/flavour dust is amped up for extra coaty Christmas fun. The glitter suggest sugar too, obvs.

The taste is fucked. Sorry guys, but it is. They make your mouth go cold almost instantly. I think they’ve definitely been sprayed with deodorant. The mint effect is powerful and verging on realism. It shoots up like a big-budget firework and then cascades to reveal a dancing sickly chocolate bar coughing and spluttering with a spinning cane. All this is happening upon a village fete style float but the van is a giant Pringle on wheels and Danny De Vito’s Penguin off Batman is lurking ready to turn onlooking children’s laughter to screams with his modified mint choc Pringle gun. I’m almost entirely sure that these are gross. Pringles prides itself on the tagline “Once you pop you can’t stop” but you bloody can stop with these mutants. I’ve stopped more than I’ve started. If you chained a tube of these you would certainly vom…and not in a good way. They’re more sweet than savoury which is pretty shocking considering that these are crisps. You’re not supposed to be able to make a crisp sweet! I tote bags could have jonesed for these, I love eating actual real-life chocolate with crisps together in the same mouth. This 100% ain’t that. I don’t know what this is. Did I say it makes your mouth go cold? Freaky deaky.

My mouth feels punished and perfumed in the afterglow. Filthy gorgeous? It tastes like I’ve been nibbling on pot pourri. It feels like I won gold medal at the fart championships and my prize was a lifetime’s supply of Febreze sprayed into my mouth all in one go.

Some credit must go to Pringles for blowing the lid off the crisp game; I can scarcely believe that one of the big brands has actually got its bollocks out for once. When I thought about Pringles bollocks I didn’t think they’d be perfect glass baubles that on closer inspection would reveal your ultimate nightmares in their reflection.  It’s always the quite ones, innit.