Did you miss me? I hope not because my pause in publishing unsnackable was not intentional. If you did, take solace because I still found time between my computer meeting an untimely demise and other various sources of stress in my life to feel guilty about not getting this newsletter into your inbox.
I'm cutting myself a little slack because we're entering a new period of pandemic instability, so I have buried productivity at the bottom of my coping mechanism toolbox. And also because I am dealing with the emotional carnage of a betrayal. Not a small betrayal either, one that has shaken me to my core.
The iterative mechanisms of TikTok take the shape of both the creators and the content they inspire. But I was pleasantly surprised by how the Candytok diaspora brought unexpected energy to content that felt so familiar.
If there is an inverse to banal delights of haul culture where consumption is passive and anonymous, it is small businesses that meticulously package individual orders for customers on TikTok. Poppin Candy pulls inspiration from follower prompts to showcase their infinite pick' n' mix inventory with personalized themed candy mixes. The rainforest assortment starts from the forest floor and features sweet centipedes, boa constrictors, filled licorice vines, mallow treetops, and more falling together in ASMR-tuned harmony. (these are insta links because I cannot get the TikTok embed to work)
It's a millennial rite of passage to detail how Food Network raised you, and I have never had a unique experience. I've spent hours of my life watching sugar take various forms on assembly lines, thick streams of chocolate falling in sheets, glossy caramel pressed and shaped by extruders. Even the most illuminating footage of the process obscures that skilled labor is still necessary. The videos from Aussie candy-makers Sticky Lollies show the entire process from start to end. The star of the account, Anabelle, works alongside her father and a small staff in a small candy shop. The videos are lighthearted, but it is exciting to watch Anabelle hone her skills as a young artisan in a dying culinary art.
This is just a glimpse into the joy Candytok has given me, so it is understandable why I felt betrayed by encountering this terrible non-recipe of an adjacent trend that has arisen in its shadow.
I'm no less than 12% sugar by volume and I am still somewhat repulsed by the thought of eating a mouthful of pure frozen honey (or the much worse alternative of frozen corn syrup). When the actual practice of candy-making is inaccessible to most, since it requires both precise ingredients and technical skills; it isn't surprising that a bastardization would spread so rapidly.
The goo of it all (existence) has Math Blaster Mystery energy.
I have felt a little like an adorable alien forced to solve equations when I'd rather vibe and research rare snacks lately.Snacks like the ones i've compiled to celebrate the long-delayed return of the unsnackables
I cannot claim full "fall bitch" status, because I look incredible regardless of the seasonal availability of pumpkin spice treats, but I am still looking forward to incorporating multiple layers into my outfits and more roasted vegetables into my diet. This frozen treat echoes both, with a shell in the style of toasty sweet potato and a rich filling made of the sticky sweet Kagoshima sweet potato and red bean paste to amplify the flavor. It's the perfect accessory for the first day of fall.
The Halifax Donair is like so many dishes borne from the diaspora, tweaks made with loving appreciation and acknowledgment that the culinary history of communities and their ties to the homeland are not rigid. They differ from family to family, from town to town, reinterpreted by chefs and home cooks seeking to reproduce memories that are recognizable even if they differ from your own. The Donair that inspired these chips is like kebab and gyro in form, but the flavor is unique.
One of the most perfect meme formats of recent times is "if you gave a Victorian child (processed modern food) they would merely implode". It is too simple to fail, despite the factual flimsiness of expecting any modern food to be more harmful than a lack of potable water and medical advice that encouraged consuming mercury to cure common ails. But I think that this basil seed studded drink would at least act as an effective stage prop if I wanted to join a Victorian circus and is a more exciting honey consumption experience than the cursed frozen honey TikTok trend.
How woodruff is treasured because of its sweet smell, medicinal applications, and soft grassy flavor, even though it is a little toxic in large quantities, is incredibly aspirational to me. It probably shouldn't be, but I love a wine-based RTD cocktail with main character energy.
My first radio interview (for NPR!) aired over the weekend on KCRW's Good Food with Evan Kleinman and I missed it because time zones have never made less sense to me than they do at the moment. Give it a listen!
I’m still figuring this out, but hopefully, you enjoyed v.47 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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