A few weeks ago, Twitter was plastered with one of those call-and-response format tweets that range from an exercise in terrible opsec(no one other than identity thieves laughs at the first street you lived on) to an excuse to post a hot selfie. This time it was high school starter packs, four items that captured your adolescent personality.
Mine was simple: my two high school sports (volleyball and rugby), a relic from my short-lived disdain for apple products (yes, I had a Creative Zen Micro, not an iPod, yes this newsletter is written on a MacBook), and a screenshot of one of the last online communities that had a purely positive impact on my life (the TeenVogue forums).
This was the pre-tinypic internet, so the outfit threads felt like diary entries. Each post consisted of a synopsis of your day and your teenage grievances (pop quizzes, crushes, blood feuds with siblings) and descriptions of outfits that replaced pictures. Brands were mentioned only when relevant, but colors, textures, and cuts mattered more. It was visual without pictures.
Sometimes this newsletter reminds me of logging onto those message boards, telling a story about something the reader would never experience. It is my favorite thing about writing about unsnackables.
One last thing, I would be remiss to not take a moment to welcome the new subscribers that found their way here after my feature (!!) in the New York Times. I would say I hope I live up to the hype, but I am Nigerian, and only find validity in my self-regard! I am still happy that you are here.
Roses are red, violets aren't blue, Happy Valentine's Day from a new assortment of unsnackables
I can look back at my adolescence with hazy, positive feelings, but sometimes I try to conjure an exact memory and wonder if I'm thinking about a scene from a book or a movie. I was forced into that situation when this Estonian ice cream made me wonder if I've ever been to a Renaissance Faire. It is a collaboration with Olde Hansa, a famous medieval-themed restaurant in Tallinn. I'm sure the spiced almond flavor would pair well with mead.
My faith in the pure serendipity of weird things on the internet died when @horse_ebooks was revealed to be performance art and self-promotion, so I knew not to be drawn into the trap of the Weetabix and beans tweet. But that cynicism did not stop me from feeling both shock and disgust when one of my favorite snackstagram follows posted a homemade Weetabix and beans... spread? I'd much rather put this spicy special special edition flavor of Marmite on toast (or Weetabix) instead.
I try pretty hard to fight the "main character syndrome" of being an American, but I still assumed that "creaming soda" was a mistake and not a distinct beverage from the brown/clear beverage. Turns out that Australia has that vanilla-flavored variety, along with CreamING soda with a fruity or berry flavor. This one gets its flavor and color from red grapes.
Before quarantine, we traveled to CDMX and stayed in one of the most beautiful hotels I have ever set foot in. The interiors were stark with a warmth we appreciated after long days of walking 10+ miles. It was also within walking distance of Churrería El Moro. That was a blessing because those churros are delicious and the lines are very long. I wonder if this churros-flavored collaboration with Bailey's can distill that same experience into a bottle.
－196℃ ストロングゼロ〈ガツーンとサイダーサワー (Japan)- My Valentine hit it out of the park and secured the most unsnackable of unsnackables. This citrus cider flavored chuhai was so delicious that it made me emotional. A deep google revealed that the name roughly translates to the onomatopoeia of bonking someone on the head?
Demi Otsuka Apple (Korea) - A very good apple soda! Somewhere between Sidral Mundet and Martinelli's.
Nissin Potato Chips Cup Noodles Black Pepper Crab (Japan) - These are among the best chips I have ever eaten. There is a slow-building warmth from the black pepper and a savoriness from the crab ramen flavor that reminds me of good stock or broth. Plus, they have the texture of ridged Lays (one of the best textured chips in the game).
(I’m still posting snacks from YamiBuy because we keep ordering from there! The prices and selection are so good. Use my referral code if you make an order of your own and we’ll both get a discount )
The Limits of the Lunchbox Moment- I have written a bit in this newsletter about the flattening of the immigrant and first/second gen experience, but I love this piece about one of the most pervasive tropes- the lunchbox moment. The closest I ever got to that moment was when I brought a Malta India to school in 5th grade, but only because my classmates and administrators thought I had brought beer to school. The expectation that everyone felt shame about the same facets of their identity takes up room in the discourse for celebration or even conversation about other complicated feelings.
I’m still figuring this out, but hopefully, you enjoyed v.23 of unsnackable.
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.24 comes to your inbox? follow me on other parts of the internet and tell me about what you’re snacking on or tell me what snack you wish you received in a heart shaped box today.
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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