It’s been four months since the last edition of Junk Food of the Gods, which means that I’ve missed the chance to immortalize so many limited edition snacks. I’m genuinely angry about this. I want to scream.
All I can do is pick up where I left off. Down below: More junk food.
Extra Toasty Cheez-Its!
Kellogg’s claims that this was their #1 most requested Cheez-It flavor, and I believe them. Count me among the apparent millions of Cheez-It fans who get irrationally excited about the burnt ones, which belie the fact that they’re rejects by tasting so much better than the Joe Normals.
Extra Toasty Cheez-Its aren’t nearly as overcooked as many would prefer, but they’re still way browner than normal Cheez-Its, with an added flavor that really does taste like burnt cheese crackers. Not Tabasco, not liquid smoke, but actual, honest-to-goodness burnt cheese crackers. And I think to myself, what a wonderful world.
So long as these exist, I’ll only buy regular Cheez-Its under protest.
7-Eleven’s Shark Week Donut!
7-Eleven and Shark Week are totally in love this month, with the convenience store chain carrying all sorts of exclusive Shark Week snacks, from Slurpees to Slurpee-flavored donuts.
Though foods with the word “Slurpee” in their names tend to get more press, the most striking inclusion is this “simpler” jelly donut — which of course isn’t very simple at all, because it’s topped with A GREAT WHITE GUMMY SHARK PADDLING AROUND AN OCEAN OF FROSTING. Caps Lock because… well, you read it. You know why.
They’re crazy beautiful. They look like toys. I bought two so I could save one forever. Ask me about it in five years.
I’m not sure if the icing is supposed to have any special “blue raspberry” flavoring or not. To me it just tasted like vanilla cupcake frosting, but with a mild mindfuck aftertaste because vanilla is so rarely colored like Orn Free Taa. And yeah, I realize that I’m playing to 1% of the audience with an Orn Free Taa reference, but that 1% knows it was worth it.
(The gummy candy itself is nothing worth crowing over. It’s that big, fat, mostly-flavorless type of gummy — the kind that shares more characteristics with marshmallows than Swedish Fish. Of course, since it’s basically a Jaws figure, it’s not like I want to eat it.)
TMNT Booyakasha Berry Jell-O!
It’s been around for decades, but I still find blue Jell-O exotic. I might prefer the taste of red Jell-O, but the blue stuff just looks so much like melted sapphires. I’m more interested in ogling it than eating it.
I guess I should thank you for being my unending confessional. I just can’t talk about this shit in the real world.
There are no solid explanations for pairing the Ninja Turtles with Jell-O, but I’m not complaining. There’s always room for Leo. “Booyakasha Berry” seems to just mean “blue raspberry,” and it’s decidedly more sweet than tart. Not bad, but if it wasn’t blue, I might be iffy.
The extra cool thing about this (aside from the excuse to say “Booyakasha” with some regularity) is that it encourages kids to pick boxed Jell-O over the prepared cups. I get that the cups are more convenient, but there’s such a warm, wholesome, Jiffy Pop-esque quality to the homemade kind. Jell-O just isn’t the same if you’re not eating it from a bowl that once held chicken.
Frosted Pink Lemonade Pop-Tarts!
I’m so torn on these. I’d love to recommend them, because they look like a party and I feel like I’m betraying everything I stand for by not recommending them. After all, they’re only calling them Pink Lemonade Pop-Tarts because someone way up on the corporate floor got nervous about the word “tiki.”
For me, the problem is that they just taste like lemon Pop-Tarts. Not lemonade, and definitely not pink lemonade. It’s the sort of spicy, citrusy, lemon peely flavor that I’d never even consider eating if it wasn’t so damn pink.
Real lemons are fine and lemon candy is also fine, but anything that could best be described as a lemon jelly or a lemon spread makes me want to uproot this tree and hurl it at uninvolved people who are completely and totally innocent. I dunno… your mileage may vary.
In any event, they are seriously good looking Pop-Tarts.
Smorz Cereal is back, allegedly due to popular demand. I’ll be honest: I certainly remember S’mores Crunch from the ‘80s, but I’ve lost track of its many predecessors. I can’t tell you if this is an accurate recreation of whatever version was most recently discontinued, but I can tell you that it’s VERY good.
If you’re one of those people who hates the fact that breakfast cereals have largely traded their old school candy quality for improved nutritional profiles, this one’s for you. It’s rich, it’s chocolatey, and it’s the kind of cereal that makes you want to build a blanket fort and hide in it until you’ve emptied the box.
It’s not a throwback because I can remember a cereal that tasted exactly like it, but because I can remember when there were so many cereals somewhat like it. Does that make sense? Good. Then I’m done.