Thursday, February 19, 2009

Liquid Thanksgiving, anyone?

Yes, there has been that bug in our house lately, but fortunately I'm referring to the Jones Soda Holiday Pack 2006. This was a belated Christmas gift from Dr. Gary Stager, purveyor of insane gifts for friends. As I operate a food blog, this is probably one of the finest things ever sent to me.

As there is safety in numbers, I decided to open it up for a taste test at a work event. Not many people were brave, barely anything had been sampled. I had a short sip of each soda, and here's some initial thoughts (as much as you can get in a sip)

Turkey and Gravy Soda: not a good color, a mystifying taste (as expected)
Pea Soda: Pea green and pasty tasting (should have Linda Blair on the label)
Sweet Potato Soda: bright orange and pretty good as far as food flavored beverages go (mmm)
Dinner Roll Soda: Light Beer colored and a big let down (bland)
Antacid Soda: bright pink and way too sharp a taste (accurately so)

Overall there is this bizarre sweetener in each drink that leaves such an aftertaste it's nearly impossible to separate it from the bouquet of liquid Thanksgiving aromas. In my opinion, my favorite was Sweet Potato Soda, least favorite Pea Soda.

If you google search for Jones Holiday Soda Pack 2006, there are some great entries including a very long video of some guy trying every one of them. If you have a chance to get one of these later this year, give it hell. If you've already sampled this or another holiday pack, please share your experience here!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Snacks for the Drive Home

For many lucky commuters who get to drive more than a half hour at a time to and from work, you've probably experienced some hunger on the road. Since I drive (on average) an hour each way, I have learned to plan my food accordingly.

When packing my food bag for the day, aside from breakfast, lunch, and afternoon healthy snack (yogurt type thing), I usually have a "transportable fruit". This is the quick healthy snack that you can eat with one hand while driving at high speeds. Granted, you are not supposed to eat and drive (and talk on a cell phone, or take a picture of eating and driving like I did here), but for those days when it's past 6pm, you're not eating dinner till after 8p, and when that one eyed raccoon missing his back half on the side of the road is lookin mighty fine then transportable fruit is the answer!

Transportable fruit are things you can eat with one hand, without really looking at it. Perfect examples are apples, plums, or dried fruit - it needs to be a clean and fairly dry experience. Pears, peaches, strawberries, and other drippy fruits are only for the experienced... or great if you have a paper towel to dry your elbow off and someone to hold the wheel while you do it.

Here are a few cautions for those of you in the transportable fruit club...
1) make sure you peel the damn stickers off the fruit before you get in the car. It's fun eating stickers in the dark, fumbling for the interior lights, trying to figure out how much of the sticker you actually ate. Plus, when you toss them to the floor mat, they usually stay there for several years, or stick to passengers' shoes.
2) eyeball the fruit for possible bruises. Nothing is worse than biting into a bruise or a mealy spot at 65 mph and not having enough hands to safely deal with it. Then your trust is broken and you have to eat the remaining part of the fruit with the light on.
3) grapes seem like an awesome idea until you get the nasty grape, or the fuzzy grape, again while driving fast in the dark. It's best to de-bone the grapes and bring just a bag of loose ones that pass the visual test.

What is your favorite transportable fruit?