All right. Time to stop fucking around.
This time out we here at Oh Dear God Why Laboratories are proud to take you on a gastronomic fuck fest through four exciting (and marginally terrifying) selections from everyone’s favorite farmer’s market out on winchester.
Rambutan (In A Can). Not to be confused with Prince Albert In A Can. Or a Prince Albert Anywhere Else, for that matter. Eeeugh.
Salted Softshell Snack Crabs (In A Jar). Snack Crabs. Who knew?
Lotte Sun Ultra Red Ginseng Energy Drink. Also in a can, but, you know, duh. It’d be weird if it wasn’t. If you just paid for it and they dumped a bunch into your outstretched hands. Or what if you had to drink it like a body shot off some old sweaty Asian man’s back? Okay, time to move on. This is giving me ideas.
Durian (Shudder) Ice Pops. Let’s not worry about that JUST yet, shall we?
Our more perceptive readers may notice some degree of trepidation or outright disgust creeping into the Tasting Engineer’s face during the final two introductory pictures. This indicates at least a passing familiarity with some of these items. Some of you may remember our initial run in with The Devil Fruit many moons hence, and we’d just be outright lying to you if we said we hadn’t had at least a couple cans of the unutterable foulness known as Lotte Sun Ultra Red Ginseng Energy Drink before, but we strongly feel that combining all these elements – some already somewhat familiar, some not – into an entire “meal” will provide an exciting new context in which to examine their foulness. Perhaps it’s time we put that assertion to the test.
We hacked into the Can of Rambutan with great gusto, hoping to find the bright spiny outer shell that gives this relatively tame-tasting (or so we were led to understand) fruit its fearsome demeanor but alas and fuck, what should we find?
THIS steaming pile of horse nonsense! Granted, it was our fault for getting our expectations up after seeing all variety of borderline pornographic websites depicting the appropriate methods for stripping and consuming the damn thing, but even so, it’d be an outright fib to say this was anything other than a total and complete soul-crushing disappointment. Alas, we press on.
LESSON ONE: BUY FRESH RAMBUTAN
Of course if I had followed that advice in the first place the rambutan I bought would have gone foul and stale months and months ago, since I’ve been sitting on it since last year, but let’s not dwell on that, shall we? How does it taste, I hear you distantly wondering, since that was supposed to be the point of this whole thing in the first place? Well, the smell is instantly reminiscent of pears, with perhaps a slight trace of raspberry, but that might have more to do with the syrup it’s packed in than the actual fruit itself. Why don’t we pop one of these disconcertingly testicle-shaped treats into our mouths and find out?
WELL! That was not at ALL what I expected. Where to begin. To actually pick one of these things up and touch it with the fingers of your hand is enough cognitive dissonance right off the bat, because although it LOOKS like a cross between a pear and a grape, it really has the texture of like a rubbery piece of raw fish, which is just… odd. And upon first taste, there’s a strong wash of just pure sugary sweetness that I strongly believe comes entirely from the syrup it’s packed in (the ingredients on the side of the can were “water, rambutan, syrup”) because after the wash comes this powerful under-note of like a savory, almost, I don’t know, fishy kind of flavor? I mean it’s still unmistakably fruit, but there’s some kind of… murkiness to it that just keeps it from being sweet and nothing else.
And that’s to say nothing of the texture when you’re actually chewing the damn thing. Honestly, if you were bereft of a sense of taste (which some people have accused me of before) and you were just munching on one of these things, just going on texture alone, you would be convinced you were eating a piece of raw fish. Like an… eel. Or a mackerel. Or something. Scallop? Conch? I don’t know. There’s a chewiness, yes, but also an odd kind of muscularity to them that I would have to say is reminiscent of nothing else so much as (DUNT DUNT DUNNNN) the damn durian. That, thankfully though, is where the comparisons end.
All in all, quite an interesting snack, and I bet you could make some righteously strange dishes using these things (rambutan cobbler, anyone?) but without the fun of actually getting to strip them of their spiny outer flesh and navigate the seeds and really WORK to earn the bizarre combination of flavors and textures that constitutes your average rambutan, I have to conclude there really is something lacking. Oh well, I still ate like five.
What is there to say as a preamble to salted crabs in a jar?
All I can say is I have every confidence that the Bangkok Dehydrated Marine Product Co, Ltd will not let me down. With a name like that, you expect quality. Ingredients? Crab (thank god they listed crab first), Salt, Garlic, Sugar, Chili. Appearance?
Oh lord. I think I fought one of these things at the end of Contra. Is this a food? And the aroma, well… if you could turn an entire outdoor fish market into a powder, and then inhale a giant line of that powder while STANDING in an outdoor fish market, and then distill that experience down into a very potent liquid essence and inject it directly into the parietal lobe of your brain with a large hypodermic needle… you get my drift. It woke my dog up from a dead sleep, on the other side of the apartment.
I’ll be honest, I’m not entirely sure how to even go about eating this damn thing. I thought, “hey, soft shell crab, they’re tiny and in a jar, I can just pop em in my mouth and crunch away, right?” but after getting a look at the size of these little bastards I’m not so sure that’s advisable. I think we’ll go the time honored “sucking the meat out” route. Am I skeered, you wonder? Well fuck no.
HOLY MOTHER OF BASTARD JUICE ARRRRRGH that is some strong medicine right there. I’m rewriting the ingredients on the side of the jar right now to read “SALT, SALT, a little crab, SALT SALT SALT SALT crab.” That was like getting mouth-raped by a tide pool. The texture (once you peel off the outer carapace of course) was kind of fun and wacky and crunchy but after about a bite all this insane salt and brine just starts to flood your mouth and any sense of taste or wonder or happiness that you’ve ever experienced is washed away in a giant tsunami of crab infused salt lick. If it weren’t for my trusty comically oversized bottle of beer that I keep on hand for all of the more outrageous taste tests, I’d be hopelessly lost.
The “Nutrition Facts” on the side of the jar are especially hilarious. Serving size? 1 crab. Makes sense. Servings per jar? About 4. Ok. Sodium content per serving? 1060mg, or 44 FUCKING PERCENT OF YOUR DAILY ALLOTMENT, per crab. All right, time for the pause that refreshes… OR DOES IT?!?!?!?!
Ok, so just because something says “Ginseng” on the side of it does NOT mean that it is automatically okay to drink. Case in point:
Protip: Ginseng grows in dirt. Which means… drumroll… if you make a drink out of ginseng (and very little else), it will taste like dirt. Which this does. It tastes like a dirt clod marinated in honey. I will say it’s the closest thing that passes for “healthy” in the international market’s energy drink selection, since it basically just contains ginseng and honey and a little sugar and that’s about all. But lord, is drinking this kind of tongue punishment really worth your health?
Okay, no sense in dragging our feet here. Time to move on to dessert.
(Sorry about all the pictures. Next time I’ll just shoot a fucking video.)
What is there left to say about the durian at this point? Better, more capable, more well paid people than I have attempted to wrest the true nature of its complexities from the multiple layers of unutterably foul anguish that surround it on all sides, and by and large all have failed. Instead, I’ve chosen to compose a short poem. An “ode,” if you will, if odes could be constructed out of pure white hot hatred. Herein:
Fie, fie upon you, nature’s foulest fuck
I taste you still, and the memory of your putrescent odor
Haunts now my dreams, and my living room
Gone you are, but not forgotten
Ill-remembered, ill-flavored, ill-conceived
Be you popsicle, cake topping, or just a pile of placenta looking goo in a spoon
You belong to no one and in no place
Now go to your room and think about what you have done
I will call you when it is time for supper
Oh wait, no I won’t
So what have we learned here today? Well, as far as the durian popsicles are concerned… you can put a pig in a dress, but that doesn’t mean they’re going to let it into the prom with you. As for the rest of it? There’s something to be said for gradually escalating nastiness because honestly after that last all out assault on the senses, none of the other stuff I had seems all that bad, really. I will say I managed to drop at least a small piece of everything I tasted (ginseng drink notwithstanding) onto my laptop’s keyboard so if my computer shits the bed in a day or two I know who to blame. Oh well. A small sacrifice to make. All in the name of…
Until next time… watch what you put in your mouth
Your Friends At O.D.G.W. Laboratories