scrub cakes and seasonal beverage denial

unsnackable vol. 59



Apr 22 2022

5 mins read


Last week, as the clock inched towards 1 AM on Monday night I found myself at my desk in the dark, hunched over the glowing screen of my laptop. There were just a few minutes left in the abomination that Sephora calls a seasonal sale, but I had spent days adding and subtracting items from my cart without pressing "buy." 

I'm not above it, despite desperately wishing to be. The Julia Fox of it all. Striving so hard for a ~big look~ that you're forced to discard refinement. Perfection is boring, but there's always time for a q-tip dipped in micellar water (or my favorite, Son & Park Beauty Water). That's why it's been an active process, disengaging from the swatch-driven beautytok dopamine loop. 

It's in my nature to be amused. Finding novelty, categorizing it until I find the moment when it'll bring me the most joy. I'm happier to wait for what I want instead of settling for what is available. There's no better reminder than finally getting a chance to try the Smoked Kewpie Mayo that had me ready to fight the imaginary baby on the packaging 13 months ago. 


I'm a proud acolyte of the anti-ketchup movement, so it was a good excuse to top some fries with furikake, bacon, green onions, sichimi, and the smoked kewpie. I drew inspiration from one of my favorite insta accounts to make a sky blue ramune flavored cream soda with a cloud of french vanilla ice cream on top.

The flavor is assertive but begs to be respected, with a smokiness that lingers just long enough to transform each bite. It won't replace the original Kewpie or Duke's, but it helped refine my mayo heuristic. I aim for that restraint in all of my various luxurious pursuits. To find fewer justifications to buy and more joy when I do.

We can't always get what we want, but I think wanting is the point. And there is nothing I want more than for you to join me in some light yearning for some stunning unsnackables

‎th‎e unsnackables


쿠캣 쑥설기떡 (Korea)

Last year was my first April Fool's day immersed in the global snack-o-sphere, and my gullibility has only faded slightly. There is no way to turn off the part of my brain that got excited about Mcdonald's Lebanon offering a "McKnefeh." The same synapses fired when I learned about this spongy Korean snack. Instead of leaning on the gag, this softly steamed cake brings together herbal mugwort and vegetal gardenia. They are a spiritual companion to the edible DIY tide pods I have thought about weekly since 2018.



It's easier for me to find inspiration from popcorn than to eat it, but the texture always works as an anchor for mixing and matching flavors. Here coconut milk, lemongrass, and turmeric curry are amplified by pillowy, umami-laden beef floss. If I ever make good on my promises to drag my ass back into a movie theater (I miss movies so much), I will likely be buzzing with residual pandemic panic and keep my mask on...but I will be thinking about snacking on this. 



This beverage's inclusion is notable not because of its rarity but because of the improbability of how rarely I've consumed it, despite its status as a Nigerian party staple. I was always too distracted by the rare access to unlimited Malta when I was young to drink the homemade version of this sparkling punch with a bitter edge more than a few times. As an adult, I've found fewer occasions to remix and reinterpret the flavors than with similarly-hued Zobo. Either way, I would like a can of this to appear next time I make a triple order of goat pepper soup to stock my freezer. 



I know, theoretically, spring is here. But my broad assortment of winter coats is still perched precariously on my door for easy access lest I pack them up and get hit with one more seasonal aberration of a snowstorm. That means there's still time to indulge in cold-weather staples like roasted root vegetables, and verdant citrus, to lean heavily on hot beverages instead of adding another ice cube tray to my freezer. Richly spiced glögg makes more sense at Christmas but this non-alcoholic version inspired by the Swedish pick & mix staple BUBS is interesting enough to bridge the seasons.


In case you missed my other appearances on the worldwide web

An interview on Milk Street Radio about what I'd stock in the magical vending machine of my dreams

My Bon Appetit debut, writing about a shapeshifting soda that reminds me of a sensation sorely missing from my adult life. 

I’m still figuring this out, but hopefully, you enjoyed v.59 of unsnackable.

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

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

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