Welcome to unsnackable. This free newsletter is a small tantrum about international snacks, beverages and fast food that I want but cannot have with occasional diatribes about other snacks that I can’t get off my mind.
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For someone who doesn't care for puzzles, I have spent a lot of time thinking about puzzle tables lately. They are a practical manifestation of my favorite mode of existence- luxuriating in the process of understanding, unraveling, and solving a problem without worrying about a deadline or a pace. You can walk away while your brain works; even in the worst times, it will continue. What a treasure to cultivate that type of space.
An assemblage of inspirations, screenshots, flavors, and experiences stored in the recesses of my mind (and my notes app) act like a puzzle table for my baking. The messiest corner of the table is devoted to how flavors carried by liquids can be worthless in pastry. I often find myself uietly pleading to reductions, infusions, and 1:1 replacements for more than a whisper of impact. Finding a shortcut that can set you on the right path makes it exhilarating.
Without a plan, I bought the powdered concentrate of Pocari Sweat, a Japanese hydration drink. Perched in my overstuffed pantry, I would catch a glimpse while grabbing accouterments for my morning oats or searching for an orphaned bag of mint tea after a stressful day. With time, it all came together for one of my favorite cakes I have ever created. Sake kasu cake with Pocari Sweat swiss meringue buttercream frosting, raspberry lychee jam filling, and a white pepper mascarpone pastry cream filling.
I am no stranger to indecision but I find no value in snap judgments when searching for joy. My technical skills could have solved the problem on a stricter deadline, but time allowed creativity to inhabit every crumb of the result. Including the way I repurposed the leftover cake fillings.
So let's take a moment and luxuriate in a long-delayed (but hopefully still appreciated) set of unsnackables
I barely find cheese ice cream to be novel at this point. Still, fanaticism on social media and the vivid "kraft" orange color of this frozen novelty created a bit of an unsettling "ring bell, start salivating" vibe that I cannot ignore.
As an American, I will never understand the British relationship with beans. As someone who has recently begun to enjoy tomatoes enough to enjoy a Full English, I know I trust it. And I trust these would bang as hard as Jamie Oliver's nemesis (rip) after a long day of revising.
I saw a few ripples of mourning in the German snackosphere because this line of beverages will soon be discontinued, so I went digging. Everything I learned makes me wonder if this is the German equivalent of Tampico. You cannot make a pink(?) banana flavor without it resulting in a drink thick enough to chew.
Along with the holidays and the general malleability of time, the biggest cause of this newsletter's hiatus is that I finished 2022 by spending a few weeks in Japan. My phone yells at me every time I turn it on because it is filled with things I cannot wait to share, but the breakneck pace of our days and packed luggage didn't leave room to bring back much regret. The only thing that made me LIVID with disappointment was seeing that UHA-Mikakuto released these lemon sour-flavored alcoholic candy chews. Then they were quickly discontinued, eliminating the chance they'll find their way into the USA supply chain. The finality felt shocking after a period of abundance and access.
I’m still figuring this out, but hopefully, you enjoyed v.64 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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