silent lasagna and ice cream mcgriddles

unsnackable vol. 16



Dec 30 2020

6 mins read


It seems my brain put up an out of office message without notice because I am running on fumes. And thinking about Lil Wayne's " real gs move in silence like lasagna" lyric because my brain is not moving silently and efficiently. It is moving mad.

Hence the extra late, extra long, slightly unhinged Tuesday night edition of this newsletter.

It's a shame because 2020 feels like a year deserving of a bit of hindsight. I'm not looking for a neat lesson or trajectory of growth amongst this suffering, but I want to say "damn bitch, you made it" with my chest. That requires at least a few moments of introspection.

Emotional vulnerability is so much easier in a world where you feel seen. I didn't know what I needed was a role model who understands how hard it can be to live in constant pursuit of snacks when you're adorable. And I have found one in this Japanese mascot.


All of my picks this week are Japanese snacks because I thought it would be easier, but I ended up sorting through thousands of products released this year to bring you a few of my favorites. The New Yorker (!!!) might call them "reviews of idiosyncratic snacks", but around here we just call them another round of unsnackables.

the unsnackables


If I brought home a set of miniature desserts from Ginza Cozy Corner, I think it might hurt the feelings of the Shopkins Real Littles I bought during a fit of emotional regression a few weeks ago. But I would work through that, especially for this set made in collaboration with my favorite Japanese magazine, Hanako

I can say with absolute certainty that one of those cursed clickbait top-down forced perspective food videos has suggested making an ice cream sandwich with a pair of itty bitty pancakes. Who was I to turn my back on the ice cream McGriddle? I was a fool.

I've had this melon filled cream puff from Lawson open in a tab for months, allowing my brain to pick it apart and figure out a way to eat it. Does it fall into the category of theoretically simple pastry that could ruin your life ala GBBO? Probably. Did it also make me consider creating a paid tier of this newsletter where I reverse engineer recipes for homemade unsnackables? Maybe.


KFC puts more energy into their stunts ( I still dream about this sweatshirt) than their passable food in the states. In Japan, they look to a spice blend of pepper, black sesame seeds, white sesame seeds, parsley, and yuzu peel on their chicken to cause the fireworks.

I simply did not know that you could fast track the umami of regular ol' cream cheese by aging it in miso and then take it another step further and season the aged cream cheese with garam masala. It’s everything a good cracker deserves.

While these meat pie flavored snacks sound appetizing, i’m quite apologetic to admit that their main appeal is providing a suitable alternative to wondering what dog treats taste like. They look like crispy Beggin Bits for humans.


I'm notoriously slow at eating ice cream. I like to savor it and consider any method of eating ice cream that involves teeth to be wholly distasteful (nothing good can come from letting your teeth do work that should be left to your tongue). For this reason, I have surreptitiously sipped plenty of melted ice cream by the spoonful. It makes me willing to forgive that this beverage is milk-adjacent.

I wonder if apple juice embraces its bad bitch accolades or if it falls back on false humility to make it through a life where orange juice gets the shine. I hope this apple juice and apple juices everywhere know that they are loved. That they are cherished.

I drank a lot of coffee lemonade in early quar but the combo terrifies me slightly. It is so delicious but acidic in a way that makes me fear that it is pickling me from the inside out. Starbucks' combination of cold brew and lemonade slush seems like a gentler way to enjoy the same flavor combination.


I brought an incredible bottle of Hojicha tea gin home with me when I visited Japan last year. It's a fucking paradox in a bottle because it has a spectacular aroma, but that same aroma makes it hard to use in cocktails. The only surefire winner I've ever had was a clarified milk punch. I assume that this hojicha latte liqueur might give me similar results with less work ( I always forget to buy more cheesecloth for clarifying cocktails!)

I don't find the combination of strawberry and kiwi to be as offensive as its 90s counterpart, strawberry banana, but I much prefer kiwi on its own. I love that it's getting its moment in this chuhai. If you're curious about how strawberry-kiwi became such a flavor stalwart- I recommend this piece by Jaya Saxena. Jaya also released a book today that looks incredible.

I take great pleasure in telling you that all the orange soda did Kel Mitchell well because he is still extremely fine. He is also a youth pastor, so I'm not sure if he'd endorse this alcoholic version of Sunkist. But this is not Kel's newsletter, it is mine.


Melonpan is a Konbini standby, and I made a homemade version that mimics dirty matcha (matcha with a shot of espresso). I did not intend to create tiny turtle shells, but I appreciate that the result was cute (and delicious) because the recipe was so finicky and stressful.


I’m still figuring this out, but hopefully, you enjoyed v.16 of unsnackable. This email is how I learned this is a length limit on substack so I promise to keep it short and snappy in the future.

If you didn’t please don’t tell me, tell your friends to subscribe because they hopefully have better taste than you.

Think you’ll miss me before unsnackable v.17 comes to your inbox? Reply to this email or follow me on other parts of the internet and tell me about what you want to see from unsnackable in 2021.

@notfolu on insta

@notfolu on twitter

I’ll try any snack at least once, so don’t be shy if there is something you want to send me to try.

I think there has been a lot more discussion about substack as a platform lately and I’ve considered shifting this newsletter to a paid subscription (because I do spend a lot of time researching snacks!) but I like sending something nice to your inboxes for free every week, so if you’d like to support my snack related endeavors you can find me on venmo at thefolu or on paypal

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