I had many ideas for alternative titles for this post, including:
– Grocery Stores > Museums For Cultural Learning and Goggling
– All The Vegan (and not quite vegan) Things!
– That Time The Whole Foods Checkout Lady Stared At Me Funny
– Why Yes, Sometimes I Do Wake Up Feeling Nauseous, Thank You For Asking
But you’re not really here to debate words and language with me. You’re here because some small part of you is (perhaps) interested in the dazzling yet ridiculous array of snacks and treats that America is constantly foisting on consumers* with the help of slogans, marketing hype and, more often than not, a lot of sugar.
* Guilty as charged.
Let’s start with Peanut Butter and Chocolate Puffins. According to the O Wise and Helpful Box Blurb, these bites of sweetness are “naturally flavoured”, have 3 grams of fibre, and something something cute bird something something levitating cereal. In addition, Puffins (the levitating cereal, not the birds) are vegan. Wapow! This is clearly better for you than spinach! than beans! than broccoli!
Particularly when eaten with unsweetened vanilla hemp milk and a touch of both mesquite and maca powder. Because I’m a ridiculous mid-20s female like that sometimes.
When I was in Austin, I didn’t just eat vegan soft serve and raw vegan carob mousse pie. I also ate Quite Cheezy Kale Chips (whilst watching The Lady and The Tramp as the rain drummed against my window nice-and-cozy, thank you very much), crunchy Biscoff Cookie Spread (which pixies must’ve eaten in the night because there could be no other explanation for the suddenly empty jar), amusing chocolate (reviews to come), and vegan jerky Primal Strips that were unlike anything I’d ever tasted before.
Hey, remember that time I misread a price tag and accidentally spent $12 on fancy kimchi that turned out to have no discernible flavour and was nothing but big fat sadness? And then my soul cried quietly? Yeah, that was fun.
In contrast to said kimchi, there was this. THIS. Calling PB Crave’s chocolate chip cookie dough peanut butter “Cookie Nookie” was like begging me to take it to an Elvis-themed Vegas chapel. I resisted, but only barely. I ate it instead.
I thought I would like Bragg’s Apple Cinnamon Apple Cider Vinegar All Natural Drink. Turns out I didn’t, and not only because there were far too many syllables involved. It just tasted… wrong. Too sweet.
I’ll take my apple cider vinegar straight up, thanks all the same.
Rhythm Superfood’s raw Hickory BBQ Sweet Potato Chips were likewise a disappointment (and an expensive disappointment at that). Will you laugh if I admit they tasted, well, raw and floury to me?
Happily, the above three products didn’t make me regret parting with the monies. I remember falling in love with Twin Oaks tofu when I was on student exchange at UVA (it’s local to the Virginia area), and this Spicy Thai flavour was pleasant. Annie’s Whole Wheat Bunnies proved just the salty crispy goodness that I needed after too much nookie (the peanut butter, people; I’m talking about the peanut butter), and the So Delicious Turtle Trails (fellow non-Americans, this means “caramel sauce and chocolate-coated praline pecans in vanilla coconut milk non-dairy frozen dessert”) ice cream was the best frozen dessert I’ve had since, well, Florence.
Which is probably as good a note as any to end this snack review post on.