After the high-wire fight for survival that was the last act of this gruesome little play we like to call a taste test blog, we here at Oh Dear God Why Laboratories will confess to feeling somewhat unsure about what direction to take this psychotic voyage in next. And as always, when hard up for ideas, there’s only one place to go:
Your friendly neighborhood asian market! Off we went to Viet Hoa on Cleveland, in search of divine inspiration. Instead we found “JELL YFISH PIECE” and “PRESERVED SALT MUSTARD.” While we were unsure exactly what a “YFISH” is, let alone how you “JELL” a “PIECE” of it, we were intrigued, and overlooked the mysterious “PRESERVED SALT MUSTARD” (what in god’s name is that, even) to examine further. Also of note:
We learned our lesson about these fucking things a long time ago.
Sac Sac! That’s a Lotte Sac, that’s a Lotte Sac Sac. Sac Sac!
This, is porridge in a can. More on that later, but also I’d like to point out the brand name at the top of the can. Redolent. The dictionary says –
Strongly reminiscent or suggestive of (something): “names redolent of history and tradition”.
Strongly smelling of something: “the church was old, dark, and redolent of incense”.
I don’t know about you, but whenever I hear the word “redolent” used in a sentence (not often, granted), I don’t exactly have the most positive of associations. You say “redolent,” I think “the homeless drifter was redolent of filth.” Maybe that’s just me. I also had to look up Myotonin, but was deeply confused by what I found.
Also stumbled across these AMAZING “Santisima Muerte” candles. I had no idea what they were but they looked amazingly cool so I grabbed a few, and I was really pleased to read the wiki and discover my instincts were right. A short excerpt (although I strongly recommend you read the whole thing):
“The cult of Santa Muerte attracts those who are not inclined to seek the traditional Catholic Church for spiritual solace, as it is part of the “legitimate” sector of society. Most followers of Santa Muerte live on the margin of the law or outside it entirely. Many drug traffickers, mobile vendors, taxi drivers, vendors of pirated merchandise, street people, prostitutes, pickpockets and gang members are not very religious, but neither are they atheists. In essence, they have created their own religion that reflects their realities, identity and practices, especially since it reflects the violence and struggles for life that many of these people face.”
HOW COOL IS THAT. Also, the candles look amazingly spooky when lit up in a darkened bedroom.
Todas las alabanzas a la Santísima Muerte.
OK. Thanks for sticking around for that tangent. It’s time for the Tasting Engineer to suit up and examine this entry’s specimens. What hath we wrought this time out?
A package of “Aromatic Pungent Taste” Instant Jellyfish Head. Instant Jellyfish Head. I think I saw them open for the Flaming Lips once
The aforementioned Redolent Porridge in a Can
And to wash it down, a can of “Mangosteen Juice Drink.” I guess we’ll see what that’s all about. I honestly thought the Mangosteen was a made up fruit for many years, and am still not entirely convinced of its actual existence. They might as well call it “Potential Hallucination in a Can Juice Drink”
Ok. On to our first item. When you open the package of Aromatic Pungent Taste Instant Jellyfish Head, this is what you find:
The actual head itself (which appears to be a sealed container of some type of brain-or-spongelike material), along with not one, not two, but THREE seasoning packets, which leads the Tasting Engineer to conclude that it must be on the bland side. On the very very bland side. The preparation instructions are as follows:
“Open and pour the jelly fish into a dish. Drain it and stir with flavor well and then serve.”
Our intention is to follow these directions as closely as possible, but we would also be remiss if we didn’t sample a piece of the material unadulterated. Because who wouldn’t want to know what it’s like to just pick up a jellyfish and start gnawing on its head?
Ok, I’ve strained the stuff. My dog is now very interested. That is never a good sign. Let’s see what we’re dealing with.
Oh god. Oh ugh aagh. Oh man. Oh mother. Oh human existence, why must you torture us so. Much as I predicted, the flavor is basically nonexistent, but the texture… the texture is just a problem. It’s just problematic. It’s somewhere in between boiled gristle and chicken fat. I will confess to having a fairly sensitive gag reflex, but I defy anyone to masticate and swallow a piece of this horse nonsense without having to fight off their body’s natural “SPIT IT OUT SPIT IT OUT RIGHT NOW” reaction. Getting it down was a struggle. Will the massive amounts of included seasoning do much to ameliorate that? Remains to be seen.
Ok so it TASTES better. That’s indisputable. The combination of the different seasoning packets gives it a sweet, spicy, salty flavor that I’m assuming is the source of the “Aromatic Pungent Taste” advertised on the front of the package. Problem is, it doesn’t address the texture, at ALL, which remains as much of a problem as it was in the first attempt. I will say, having successfully ingested that bite, that the lingering flavor in my mouth is rather nice (again, only as a byproduct of the seasoning packets, which could presumably be applied to anything with similar results) but the prospect of plowing through the entire bowl full of this ridiculousness from the sea is completely out of the question. Texturally speaking, you’d be better off eating your own boogers. Not that I’d know what that’s like. One final note before moving on, the company that imports this specious food product into the US goes by “S&M ENTERPRISE CORP.” That should tell you everything you need to know. Moving on
This is Porridge in a Can. This is what it looks like, and this is the adorable folding spoon they give you in the top of the package. I will confess to never having had porridge before, so this is completely uncharted territory to me (I deliberately did no research on the subject, because even I like to be surprised sometimes). All I know about porridge is limited to Goldilocks and some half-remembered childhood rhyme about “Peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, etc etc…” But just looking at it and smelling it I kind of imagine it will taste something like peanuts or wheat or milk or sugar or cardboard. Or some combination thereof. How accurate is my guess? Let’s find out!
AGAIN A TEXTURAL PROBLEM. Mother of cack. How do people eat that? I was pretty on par with my estimation of the potential taste, but the consistency is like… ok it’s basically a can of peanuts, beans, and some type of grain (rice? corn? fucking soy? who can tell?) all floating in a substance that more or less has the consistency of boiled snot.
I mean here’s the spoon, basically suspended upright in the viscous… matter… that constitutes most of the can. Again, tastes basically okay, but just so texturally problematic as to be borderline inedible. Wow, we seem to have established a theme for this particular entry, ne? That was totally on purpose, we assure you. MANGOSTEEN JUICE HELP US PLEASE!
Hot damn that was delicious!
Until next time