I’m not sure if junk food has ever been as interesting as it is at this very moment. Everywhere I turn, I’m deluged by multicolored artificial things that work in sickly sweet pseudo-sugars the way Sirens work in song. It’s great!
Below are five new or newish junk foods that struck me as being just interesting enough to buy, eat, photograph and write about on a 450 degree Tuesday afternoon. Enjoy, however vicariously.
Cotton Candy Oreo Cookies!
I think we’re past the point of thinking that every wacky new Oreo flavor is a major event.
Okay, I’m lying. Of course Cotton Candy Oreos are a major event. Jesus, this is huge!
What I love most is how Nabisco perfectly encapsulated “summer” without ever using the word. I look at these, and all I can think about are swimming pools and ice cream trucks and Roman candles. The sun shines brighter, or maybe that’s just the blazing yellow cookie bag.
The two-tone icing looks like the background in half of my grade school photos, too. Another plus.
I don’t know how Nabisco pulled it off, but the cookies really do share a smell and flavor with cotton candy. It’s a dead-on match. Even has that lingering cotton candy aftertaste. (You know, the kind that’s still in your mouth five hours later, when you’re eating chicken and potatoes? That uh… that might not be a plus.)
Recommended? Yes. Cotton candy is already kinda space food, but if it wasn’t, this would be cotton candy space food.
Sharkleberry Fin Kool-Aid Jammers!
I’m so proud of Sharkleberry Fin! Longtime readers know that it’s my favorite variety of Kool-Aid, not so much for its flavor, but for the idea that it’s fronted by a hip ass shark.
Sharkleberry Fin is also the only one of the revived Kool-Aid mascots that seems to have become truly evergreen, and the proof is in the pouch: I’m not seeing any Kool-Aid Jammers for Great Bluedini or Purplesaurus Rex!
(Not that I would complain if I did, mind you.)
To be honest, the flavor doesn’t translate that well in Jammers form. It’s a bit too muted. I’m willing to forgive that, because nothing else I drink comes out of foil pouches with Sharkleberry Fin on them. Put stagnant water in there, for all I care.
Recommended? Yes. Sharkleberry Fin Jammers make you feel like a five-year-old, so this is in essence the fountain of youth you drink instead of bathe in.
Pepperidge Farm Cheeseburger Goldfish!
If I can quote Dr. Brackish Okun and hope y’all know who I’m talking about: “This is really exciting.”
Unquestionably Pepperidge Farm’s most ambitious Goldfish to date, each bag includes three distinct types of crackers, which combine into something approximating the taste of a cheeseburger.
There are red “ketchup” Goldfish, orange “cheddar” Goldfish, and — brace yourselves — brown “burger” Goldfish.
Yep. BROWN. BURGER. GOLDFISH.
Whenever a junk food company aims to mimic cheeseburgers, what they really mean is that they want to mimic McDonald’s cheeseburgers. These smell just like those, and on a stretch, they even taste like them.
Even so, none of the flavors are so “wicked” that you could only eat these as some screwy form of group entertainment. I know you hear “brown burger Goldfish” and think terrible things, but at worst we’re talking about a little beef bouillon.
Recommended? Yes. They deliver on their promise while still being simplistically munchable. (Says the guy who treats Clam V8 like soda. Never listen to me.)
Mountain Dew Sangrita Blast!
The less famous of Taco Bell’s two (formerly) exclusive Mountain Dew flavors, Sangrita Blast mixes regular Mountain Dew with a splash (or “blast”) of citrus punch.
I wasn’t a big fan after my first try, but the second one hit me just right. So did the third and fourth tries. Mountain Dew couldn’t come out and say that they were trying to make a perfect mixer, but that’s exactly what this is.
Recommended? Yes. Mainly because it shares a color with Cobra’s Crimson Guard. That’s how you turn Bs into As.
S’mores Oreo Cookies!
Okay, let’s first address the big negative. As I mentioned on Twitter a while back, it’s preposterous that Nabisco didn’t call these “S’MOREO.” I understand the need to maintain your brand’s identity, but surely this warranted ignoring the style guide. Can they really not be kicking themselves over this?
Name thing aside, these cookies are good. Really good. The scent is very s’moresish, while the flavor — at least to me — is like what would happen if regular Oreos started boinking E.L. Fudge and the two made packages of happy cookie children.
Recommended? Yes. With these, your couch becomes summer camp.
Thank you for reading about 14,000 calories.