biscuit exceptionalism and daddy hats

unsnackable vol. 18



Jan 11 2021

5 mins read


Congratulations! You've made it through the first year of 2021. It may have only technically been seven days, but linear time is a fallacy that capitalism forces us to indulge. Between posting yourself out of a dream job because of beans , context-free "watch whiteness work" masquerading as analysis, "enough Gayle", and the 24-hour news cycle, my brain has mainlined so many forms of terrible in such a short period. When B*rstool disowns you, maybe it’s time to try a different media strategy.


But this week, like so many over the last few years, I spent time half-heartedly attempting to disengage from the myths of exceptionalism wrapped around the first-gen identity. I say half-heartedly because the line between the forces that shaped me, the millennial impulse of building a personal brand, and the stolen valor that so many of us wear as adornment gets blurrier every single time I look closer.

I feel the weight of everything sacrificed to give me a "better life" in this terrible place, but I wasn't the one making those sacrifices. It's too easy to build your life around that burden and to look for a shallow sense of community with others who have done the same without taking the time to understand your material needs and differences.

Marie Biscuits might be the exact opposite of an unsnackable and always had a place in our pantry when I was young ( I imagine that our immigrant home wasn't alone in that). The original iteration of the lightly sweetened but unremarkable biscuit (until it is dipped in tea) was created in 1874 to honor the marriage of a Russian Grand Duchess to a British Duke. Imperialism, wheat surpluses, and a need to fuel a growing workforce helped spread the biscuit around the world in the subsequent centuries. The widespread availability of the snack says little about shared identity and more about mass manufacturing.

No lessons here, just sadness that Goya fumbled the business of multiple diasporas by backing a failed regime so I cannot mourn the short-lived Maria Biscuit cookie butter they released (and discontinued) a few years ago.


It's nice to be grounded in that feeling of longing as we dive into this week's unsnackables.

the unsnackables


Our capitalist hellscape has a few perks, and among them is that holidays have been commercialized enough for many of them to have unique candy personalities. They all have something special to offer, but Easter is the only one I wouldn't send back to the NEXT bus. It is a holiday of fruit-flavored candy, with a few exceptions led by the standout British import of Cadbury Creme Eggs. These snack cakes would be the first thing I'd buy on the Monday after Easter.


There is an occasion for every type of mayo and mayo for every occasion (except for pizza, I'll allow it, but I won't endorse it). Kewpie Mayo stands tall among strong contenders like Duke's but this new smoked mayo might reign supreme. The kewpie baby, usually coy and silent, asks "Do you want this smoke"? I am not too shy to say that I do.


I'm dizzy thinking about the fuzzy lightness of ginger ale paired with the earthy sweetness of malt soda combined in a single pineapple beverage. That can must feel a lot of pressure to contain that greatness. I wish it knew that I would happily consume this beverage and relieve it of that burden.


Doubling down on the floral quality of lychee by pairing it with rose is a gamble, but brandy works hard enough to ground each of the flavors. I'm usually skeptical about "light" canned cocktails, but I also love to make an exception when there's a good reason.


GUSTAF’S HOT PEPPER LICORICE (Netherlands)- Salty, sweet, spicy, and licorice is just....a bit too much for me. I do not have the range ( Another gift from AC)

森永嗨啾汽水軟糖(Taiwan) I need to take a moment to acknowledge that apple, grape, and cola are an incredibly cohesive mixture of flavors in this soda themed bag of candy. I wouldn't jump to it, but I'd allow apple to take orange's place in the soda flavor pantheon.

I’m still figuring this out, but hopefully, you enjoyed v.18 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.19 comes to your inbox? follow me on other parts of the internet and tell me about what you’re snacking on or tell me which holiday you think has the best candy

@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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