Sunday, October 26, 2008

9 Bar

The last of my UK fare is a tasty little bar with wholesome ingredients and edgy packaging designed to appeal to both zen housewives and their rebellious teen progeny. You see, there's a big pot leaf on the front label. This is, of course, there to signify the inclusion of healthy little hemp seeds (only 3% by weight, 20% by label), not at all marketing ploy to attract drug addled teens. But who am I to judge, being a willing victim of the clever packaging myself.

"Whoa maaaaaaaaaaaan," I said to no one, pointing at the little package of wholesomeness and watching, unblinking, the world dissolve around me for five minutes until I was surrounded by three dimensional grids of white hot light.

Not really, I'm just a sucker for healthy little snack bars with "all natural" ingredients, particularly when the label prominently boasts about the protein content.

9 bar

I don't remember how much this thing cost but, because it was in pounds, it can't have been too cheap. I think it was around a pound and it doesn't seem you can find them for sale in the land of dollars. This is good news for my wallet but bad news for my appetite as I could happily tear through a box of these tasty little morsels each and every day. Delicious, really, and it's all down to the fantastic mixture of tasty ingredients, listed as such:

Sunflower seeds, Pumpkin seeds, Carob topping, Honey, Raw cane sugar, All vegetable margarine, Dehulled hemp seeds (3%), Sesame seeds, Poppy seeds.

Fat, sugars, and protein, all blended in such a way to retain the characteristic flavors of the ingredients without being sickly sweet. Infinitely more addicting than the associated drug yet without any negative side effects (well, except obesity).

I doubt these will be making an appearance in the US anytime soon so, if I find myself in the UK before they're banned I'll be sure to start cramming them in my mouth faster than a stoner can say "huh?". What? I like to savor my food sometimes.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Ox Tongue

Tongue has been near the top of my list of meats I'd like to try for quite some time and for a very valid reason. No, this doesn't have anything to do with my obvious mental instability and apparent lack of decency but from my addiction to the act of repeatedly lifting heavy objects and subsequent need for massive amounts of protein.

ox tongue

The tongue is a very strong muscle so I figured it would be pure protein. As it turns out, there's also a lot of fat in tongue (fuel stores for delirious bouts of verbal diarrhea) but that's perfectly acceptable for my purpose of beefing up. It doesn't, however, do much for the texture and taste.

ox tongue

What I tried was essentially deli meat and I'm going to wait until I bite into a full, cooked tongue before passing final judgement. The couple slices of tongue smelled a little more, how shall I say, alive than typical deli meat. There was a definite aroma of beast to the two strange slices of meat. And the taste, the taste... almost like a meat paste; creamy, pungent, and with a texture that leaves an oily residue all over your tongue as one might imagine feeling in the aftermath of a make out session with one of these drooling, lumbering beasts.

Again, I'll suspend judgment until I'm able to bite into a whole, cooked tongue but for now, despite the density of nutrients, ox tongue is a no-go. Now I need to find some heart...

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Banana Bread Beer

A sober, boring bastard, I'd rather drink juice than some concoction designed to hide the alcohol in an "adult" beverage. Even when imbibing the intoxicants I usually stick with one. This strange brew, however, wasn't so much designed to mask the alcoholic bite but to provide a new take on the beer flavor, as in a lambic.

banana bread beer

I must admit I was a little saddened to find banana flavoring listed in the ingredients in addition to actual bananas. Being filthy, cheap, and a lover of bananas, I'm often caught cramming the unsavory brown ones into my gaping maw and have occasionally encountered a slight taste of alcohol. Fruit ferments naturally, of course. It's all a matter of culturing the proper microorganisms and adding bananas to an already well-controlled beer accomplishes just that.

There's a definite mingling of both natural and artificial banana aromas in the mix. The beer itself does not deviate in color much from a typical amber ale. The taste is milder than the aroma, subtle enough to be nice but not naturally situated well enough to make me actively want more. Good and interesting, but not amazing enough to warrant the purchase of future bottles. Just as well, I found it in the UK and haven't seen it around these parts.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Black Pudding

Black pudding... readers here in the US (I have readers?) will probably be envisioning a dark chocolate mousse and how horribly wrong they would be. Also called blood sausage, black pudding is congealed blood mixed with some fillers (which can include meat, fat, suet, bread, sweet potato, barley or oatmeal) that is cooked and made into a sausage. It's a traditional breakfast food item in England, Scotland, and Ireland with many other countries around the world having their own variation on the theme.

black pudding

So, a rather disturbing little dish but I'm a full supporter of the idea that if you're going to slaughter a beast then you should at least give it the honor of using all of its bits for something.

I can't admit to being too disgusted at the thought of eating this little morsel I purchased from the supermarket close to where I was staying in Leeds. I've always been quite fond of picking at the charred blood after cooking a steak and was heartily looking forward to the experience.

black pudding

The texture is a bit pasty, as one might expect from congealed blood, and interspersed with solid bits that looked somewhat like potato but could very well have been chunks of eyeball, either way would suit me. Being high in iron, the taste is slightly metallic and a bit meaty but altogether rather different than a typical sausage. I would liken it to a liver paste. It's often fried up with the traditional English breakfast but I had mine cold and straight from the deli in order to fully appreciate the flavor.

Not nearly enough protein for me to make it a regular meal item but I'd definitely prefer it over traditional American breakfast items.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Oat Milk

Soy milk, rice milk, and now oat milk, the latest (according to my experience of the world) in the line of plant-based milk substitutes. From what I can gather, oat milk has a bit of an edge on the rest.

oat milk

Oats have been long associated with good heart health for their cholesterol lowering properties. They're also a great source of "good" carbohydrates and pack a decent amount of dietary fiber. All of these wonderful properties are inherent in this milky concoction. It's also rather tasty but, then again, I'm a fan of raw oats. Rather then make oatmeal/porridge and turn the little grains into mush, I prefer to just add some milk to raw rolled or steel cut oats and dig in. Occasionally, for a quick snack, I'll forgo the milk and just toss a handful of the oats into my feed bag.

The distinct oat taste was dominant in this drink and the crisp, clean flavor gave it a grassy overtone. The texture was smooth, and slightly creamy with a very subtle silty feel. I enjoyed it so much that I drank the entire contents of my container over the course of an evening leaving only a couple mouthfuls for the next morning. But the relatively low calorie count meant that this exercise in gluttony wasn't as disastrous as it would have been with a liter of real milk.

I haven't yet seen the stuff for sale in my local supermarkets in the US and I found this one on a recent trip to England. Here's hoping it makes its way to the States so I make this a regular part of my daily overindulgence.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Chewable Toothbrush

Breaking form a bit, as this is not technically edible, I'm including this because although there is a notice on the package advising you not to swallow the contents, you'd almost certainly survive the resultant ordeal.

A recent emergency forced me to embark on an overseas trip and anyone familiar with the current state of the aviation industry and travel abroad in general will agree that this is a grueling task indeed. One of the most horrible elements of traveling is the filth your body seems to produce during the endless sitting and waiting. Grease and stenches that ought not be possible from pure sedentary activities.

chewable toothbrush

The mouth is one of the most horrendously effected areas of the body. A vile film covers the insides and the teeth grow a thick pelt of fur. With travel restrictions as they are, you may find yourself without toiletries in such a situation or, not wanting to unpack the entirety of your carry-on luggage in an airport bathroom, they may be effectively inaccessible. But fear not, travelers (to the UK, at least) the Chewable Toothbrush is here to help you.

chewable toothbrush

Depositing a one pound coin gives you two little, translucent-green balls containing an odd looking, plastic venus-fly trap. Directions simply instruct you to open the ball, pop the little plastic jaws in your mouth, chew repeatedly, and spit the contents out when done.

chewable toothbrush

The tiny toothbrush is covered in a refreshing minty baking soda based powder. Funnily enough, it feels as though you're chewing on a little plastic toy you purchased from a gum ball machine. I walked around the airport chewing on this thing until I came dangerously close to drooling on myself and then did the sensible thing: spat it into a nearby garbage receptacle.

So, not really edible (unless you want to brave the sensations of those little jaws scraping through your innards and out the other end) but close enough... and effective too. If you're traveling and in serious need of an oral cleansing, I recommend it if they're available.