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Thankgiving Dinner, part 1

Hello and welcome to the Thanksgiving weekend episode of Adventures in eating!

What makes this one different from the others? Nothing really, except it happened to be near Thanksgiving, and I couldn’t think of any other underlying connection between these strange foods. I have a lot of interesting things to try this time around, so I’m splitting it up into two parts.

Here comes part 1:

Appetizer Course:

I saw this at my old stand by for disturbing foods, the Gross-Out.

Jack Link’s Buffalo Chicken Style Big Dippers. They look like disgusting nuggets of dried flesh and it comes with two sauces! Count me in.

If these chicken jerky pieces are aiming for longest ingredients list, they’re up there among the best. It’s nice to see that there’s almost 4 servings in here, too. Enough to share with friends.

As the package opens, I can begin the journey. Here comes the smell. Imagine living down the block from a good BBQ restaurant , while you jam fistfuls of Slim Jims into your face, and you’ll have pin-pointed the smell.

It’s very acidic, and smells more like pastrami than anything related to chicken.

Check out those mummified carrot sticks. Oh wait, that’s meat?

They’re moulded, which I don’t expect to see in a meat. Sliced, sure; grilled, sure; but moulded… No.  I should try out the “chicken” before I get to dipping.

I pick up a piece and find that it’s heavier than I expected. It’s also very hard. Think “Thinly sliced flip-flops.”

The first bite is all about texture. It comes apart in semi-moist splinters like a well chewed toothpick. It tastes like a Slim Jim made of particle board, and there is no flavor other than the spices they’ve added. Fake smoke, fake vinegar… The whole experience is like eating a slow-smoked cowboy hat.

The ranch sauce smells violently of ranch.

It makes the stick taste like a ranch-dipped smoked cowboy hat.

The buffalo sauce smells like red clay. It reminds me of a pitching mound.

It tastes like they were desperately trying to cover up a flavor with anything, anything at all. These are the tastes I experience (in order) for the first couple of seconds each time I try it: cinnamon, cilantro, pool toy, clove, soap, blueberry, ketchup, oranges… then cayenne pepper.

… and finally smoked particle board. Darn. They almost manged to mask it.

Cocktails Course:

I’m not sure what the name of this drink is.

C Lemona-D? Maybe… Anyway, it comes in a tiny, cute bottle, so I had to try it.

This may be a problem…

Oh no! I tore it off! I tried to be careful, but it’s designed to tear. Oh, well.

It smells like pineapple and coconut. Sweet and creamy. Not citrusy.

Tastes like a melted orange Otter Pop cut with pineapple juice. It’s delightful. It ends a little bitter, but it’s not bad. Like a grapefruit.

Good job, C Lemona-D. I have enjoyed yellow life!

Alright. Those ingredients are a little scary.

Next up on the cocktails menu:

Korean Ginseng Drink Withhoney. It also came in a tiny bottle, right next to the non-lemon lemonade.

“Good for adults to drink. 1-2 bottle daily.” Hey, I’m an adult!

There also appears to be a root in the bottle. A large root. This is worrisome.

The smell is not so good. It’s unsettling, but I have trouble determining why. I initially think it smells like a ginger-spiced swimming pool.

The root sticks out of the top and touches my nose, which makes me think it’s sentient and trying to kill me.

Getting back to the odor, I take several deep smells. The scent I identified as ginger earlier is an elusive smell. I think it’s some slight hint of a volatile compound, similar to a cup of lighter fluid in a bathtub full of water. It doesn’t really have a smell, and I can barely notice it, but it makes my nose itch.

By the way, this cap came off in the same, sharp metal hazard way. What’s going on with these caps?

Time to figure out what this is all about.

Dirty celery. Like licking the outside of a freshly dug up radish… but if that flavor was a drink. It’s sharp and almost electric, and it lightly burns my throat and nasal passages as it goes down.

After the electricity fades, the base flavor is very bitter, watery, and at last fruity.

My recommendation for simulating the flavor at home would be as follows:

  • 1 part apple juice
  • 3 parts water
  • a handful of peppercorns
  • some wood pulp
  • soak a carrot in it overnight

So… No thank you.

Soup Course:

I know this is labeled a drink, but I’m trying to stick to this Thanksgiving theme, and I need another course, so now it’s a soup.

Bird’s Nest brand Nice Look Drink.

I originally picked it up because it’s called “Nice Look,” and I thought that was too good to pass up, but then I saw that it contains bird’s nest. I’ve long been curious about this strange ingredient, so now I have to try it.

For those who don’t know, bird’s nest refers to the nest of a cave swift. They make their nests on the walls of caves out of their own dried saliva. So, the ingredient could be more accurately called “dried bird spit.”

I open the can and smell. Whoa.

That is not what I expected. I was expecting savory, salty, sharp. This is anything but that.

I smell a warming pleasant odor that reminds me of Christmas. Roasted peanuts, honey, vanilla. It’s almost chocolatey.

I double check the ingredients. There’s sugar and vanilla sure, but fungus and bird’s nest? This has to be savory, right?

Into the science glass for observation, it’s slightly syrupy in consistency. Plenty of floaty shavings, and some small specks that look like seeds.

It looks like an egg-drop soup.

It still smells delicious, so I decide to try it out. Previously I was very nervous, but the smell has eased my fear.

Mild. A little thick, a little squishy. The texture isn’t off-putting. This is alright.

Vanilla, creamy, nutty. Caramel and very sweet. The flavor is somewhere reminiscent of eggnog, and somewhere between Rice Krispie treats, and bread pudding.

I am impressed. This is nothing like I was expecting. Apparently white fungus is delicious, whatever it is.

And I was in such a good mood,  figured out what to do with the chicken jerky…

Lincoln Logs! They work very well.

And when it’s all done, I’ll have a nice little home for the terrifying ginseng monster.

See you next time for the continuation of Thanksgiving Dinner!


Check out more “Adventures in eating.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Emily permalink
    December 15, 2012 8:41 pm

    The Lemona thing is a laxative, so, did that work out for you?

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