#10: Chorizo-Infused Gin

Let me tell you about my friend Richie.

Every great once in a while in life you encounter a kindred spirit, someone whose own personal interests and passions and eccentricities not only dovetail with yours, but drive the both of you to even further depths and distances within yourselves than you may have ever found on your own. Every once in a while you find an ally, a person who seems to be looking in the same direction you are, who seems to be walking the same path. Another solider in an army you never realized you’d enlisted in. Another passenger on a train you never realized you’d boarded.

And then sometimes someone you work with puts the juice from mexican sausage into gin and you drink it out of a tiny lightbulb.

Notice me keeping my distance.

I won’t even attempt to explain the long, complex string of missteps that led to where I’m sitting right now, staring into the face of one of the most foul things that has ever (and hopefully WILL ever) cross my lips. Suffices to say that I love a bad idea and as soon as I heard that someone that I knew personally had decided to infuse a pint of Beefeater with a link of spicy Mexican sausage, I was there. And as soon as I recovered from the experience of actually tasting the stuff (which took several minutes, to be sure), I knew I had to share it with the world. My friend Richie’s dark genius must be made known to you all. I am but the humble messenger. If you ever end up actually trying this stuff, please don’t shoot me. Remember: I Warned You.

So. Where to begin with this nightmare brew. “How is it made,” some of you will probably be wondering by this point. The actual process as it was explained to me isn’t that dissimilar from the popular bacon-infused vodka that some people will make at home if they don’t feel like paying good money for it. What makes this exceptional is the stroke of mad inspiration to combine the salty, zesty, spiciness of chorizo (which is only vaguely palatable on an average day) with the dry, occasionally herbaceous, biting tart berry flavor of gin.

“ENOUGH WITH THE DRY ANALYSIS WE WANT TO SEE YOU VOMIT” okay okay, let’s get down to business.

THE SMELL:

Pungent, to be sure, but not overwhelming. It’s funny, the small amounts that had spilled out on my hands and my shirt in my effort to transport this stuff home from work (a tiny glass lightbulb not exactly being the IDEAL container) actually grossed me out more than smelling it up close did. Maybe that’s a commentary on the vessel or the method of ingestion more than the actual beverage itself, I don’t really know. Maybe I’ve gotten used to it already.

Nah.

THE TASTE:

Here we go.

You know… I would compare the experience of tasting this stuff to riding a roller coaster. The anticipation builds as you approach the initial drop, then it’s followed by a blur of sensations that pass too quickly for you to register much of anything but excitement and terror, and there’s a long, slow, confusing comedown that only makes you want to get in line to take another spin.

Don’t get me wrong, this is not for beginners by any means. Your average palate might find chorizo to be somewhat offputting to begin with, and I know from experience that gin is certainly not for everyone, but if you’re comfortable with both tastes individually, I would say why not roll the dice and see how you like them together.

This, then, I suppose, is my point – it takes a special kind of person to imagine a concoction like this. While several people that I described it to suggested that perhaps tequila would have been a more obvious candidate for infusion with the juices from mexican sausage than gin, that’s not the direction my friend chose to take. And that’s what makes this remarkable. It’s counterintuitive. Does it work on every level? Could I drink it every day? Lord, no. But if you don’t at least keep one eye open for off the wall, fringe combinations and possibilities like this, in whatever venue you prefer (it doesn’t have to be homemade infused liquors, although I personally recommend it) then I can honestly tell you that you’re missing out.

“BUT WAIT YOU DIDN’T FINISH IT” alright already, for fuck’s sake.

Happy now?

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#9: Asian Bonanza

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.

OUR APPETIZER:

Rambutan (In A Can). Not to be confused with Prince Albert In A Can. Or a Prince Albert Anywhere Else, for that matter. Eeeugh.

OUR ENTREE:

Salted Softshell Snack Crabs (In A Jar). Snack Crabs. Who knew?

OUR BEVERAGE:

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.

OUR DESSERT:

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.

FIRST COURSE

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.

SECOND COURSE

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?!?!?!?!

THIRD COURSE

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.

FINAL COURSE

Fight!

(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…

SCIENCE!

Until next time… watch what you put in your mouth

Your Friends At O.D.G.W. Laboratories

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#8: Fernet Branca

I do a fair amount of dumb shit for your amusement, dear readers, but we’re about to venture off into another category of nastiness entirely: the demon liquor that is known as “Fernet Branca.”

For a little background information, here’s the wikipedia entry, but this excerpt will tell you pretty much everything you need to know:

“Because of its list of ingredients, a number of home remedies call for Fernet-Branca, including for the treatment of menstrual and gastrointestinal discomfort, hangovers, baby colic, and (formerly) cholera.”

…what?

As I’ve mentioned before, I traditionally avoid alcohol based taste tests, partially because it seems like taking advantage of my line of work, and also there are professional people out there with properly developed palates who could offer more useful, trenchant insights that I can manage. But this bottle of Fernet Branca basically fell in my lap recently, based around a set of rather unusual circumstances:

1. Customer at my place of employment purchases bottle of Fernet Branca.
2. Apparently clueless as to how it would actually taste, customer at my place of employment attempts to return bottle of Fernet Branca after bringing it home and actually tasting it.
3. Although nothing is actually wrong with bottle of Fernet Branca, one of my coworkers accepts the return, based solely on how nasty and disgusting and awful it smells.
4. We, unable to send it back to the distribution company we bought it from, are left with a barely touched bottle of Fernet Branca, with noplace to call home.

Enter, yours truly. Most of my coworkers are a hearty sort, and usually game to try just about anything, but the smell emanating from this stuff alone was enough to make most of them quail. We all tried it, and the general consensus was “pour it down the drain… QUICKLY” but all that made me do was love it all the more. I knew I had to give this demon liquor a home. And so, without further ado… here is a vague idea of what Fernet Branca looks, smells, tastes, and feels like.

THE LOOK:

Dark. Jet black, almost, in the bottle, although it has a vaguely golden, almost motor oil-y tint to it when you attempt to pour it in a glass like a normal, civilized beverage.

THE SMELL (never smell it first!):

Invigorating, to say the least. It smells somewhere in between Listerine and Pine-Sol, with a really heavy, rich, dark, bitter under-and-overtone. Very strongly herbal, very mediciney. Jesus, people don’t really drink this recreationally, do they? I guess it’s time to find out.

THE TASTE:

URRRRRRRRRRGH. WOW. Full disclosure: I’ve tasted this prior to the test, at work and then a couple times after I brought it home, but good god, you never get used to it. The initial blast is again, like I described the smell, somewhere between mouthwash and Pine-Sol, and apparently frighteningly close to the initial formula for Listerine, although I don’t think I ever tried it, but that’s what people have reported to me.

The most notable thing is the length of the finish, the way the flavor lingers in your mouth for minutes… several minutes… what feels like an eternity… after you finish it.

Fernet Branca (and Branca Menta, and all its jacked up permutations and distant relatives) is basically regarded as a “Digestif,” or what I like to call a “Bracer,” in the same category as Aquavit, or things like that. It’s something you drink to put hair on your chest, to brace you to go out and deal with a frequently harsh and unrelenting outside world, something to test your mettle. And a test it is.

If you’re still not quite clear, imagine a piece of spearmint gum, melted down in a bath of pine needle solvent, stirred in with roofing tar (for color, and consistency). That’s about what you get with a shot of Fernet Branca. There are cocktail recipes (good god, really?) and further mixing and chasing suggestions at the wikipedia entry linked above, but really, honestly…

Handle at your own risk. This is not the kind of thing you get used to. It’s fun, and weird, and different, and as far as “bracers” go, it’s certainly bracing, but it’s not the kind of thing you want to wander into without knowing what you’re signing up for. Otherwise you run the risk of being the poor sap who has to try to return a barely opened bottle to the store they brought it from, with a flimsy pretense to cover the fact that you can’t handle what you bought. And you’d be lucky to find a store that would accept the bottle of Fernet Branca that you bought, no questions asked. Someone obviously got lucky with us, but I wouldn’t test it if I were you.

Viva Italia!

Catch you next time.

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#7: Doubling Up on the Double Downs

Sometimes, it takes a very good friend to talk you into a very bad idea.

The setting:

An idyllic Tuesday afternoon in beautiful sunny Memphis Tennessee. Your fearless narrator:

Prepares to meet up with one of his nearest and dearest friends:

In a potentially doomed effort to face off against this stupid prick:

And his most heinous creation:

(Note: bacon. Will reference later. Also, “There’s no room for the bun”? More like, “There’s no room for your dignity”)

That’s right. We had chosen (or rather, Zach had suggested, and really, did anyone think I was going to refuse?) to mount a full frontal assault (only narrowly avoiding full frontal nudity, I promise you) at perhaps the most preposterous fast food creation to emerge since, oh, the “Failure Pile In A Sadness Bowl” which if I’m not mistaken The Colonel was responsible for as well! Wow, who would have imagined that? I’d love to see what they come up with next BUT… I’m getting ahead of myself. For this experiment/adventure/HEROICALLY bad idea, we met for lunch at the KFC around the corner from my apartment. After a brief mutual pep talk, we boldly strode into said fast-chicken establishment and each ordered up a “Double Down Meal” which constituted:

1 Nightmare sandwich
1 Order of potato wedges which also taste like chicken because they fry them in the same oil they cook the chicken in
1 Drink

To the tune of 8 bucks. That’s a little insane, if you ask me, and I don’t feel like a crusty old codger complaining about the price of this gastrointestinal assault only because we paused to compare it to, say the price of a:

BBQ Chef Salad from Central BBQ, just on the other side of the neighborhood
Massive take-out container full of Lemongrass Tofu from Pho Binh, basically right around the corner
“Live” Vegan Burger from Sean’s Cafe, literally spitting distance from where we sat

All of which were the same price or cheaper than the shitstorm we were about to endure. But again, I digress. Only because I want to postpone reliving the memories of this anguish for as long as I can. Alas, I fear the time has come. As it was too late for us to turn back by that point, so is it too late for me to turn back now. So we ordered our “meals,” and filled up our drinks, and headed for our tiny table. I opted for a Dr. Pepsi (Pepsi and Dr. Pepper – what, don’t tell you me DON’T mix up your own custom drinks at the soda fountain. What are you, dead?) while Zach boldly chose something called Maranda Strawberry Soda, which I noted was the same color as the trays our food was served on.

Never a good sign.

Anyway, after a few minutes of trepidation and fear, our orders arrived. Here is the Double Down in its natural environs, hiding out in its little cardboard cave (which, I firmly believe, left to sit for long enough, its grease would devour entirely and incorporate into the mass of the actual sandwich) like some kind of insidious sea eel that hides inside a rock and waits for some harmless unwitting sunfish to lazily swim by before it STRIKES WITH VICIOUS ACCURACY AND PRECISION LIKE THE UNDERWATER PRICK IT IS except in this case the sea eel is a chicken chicken sandwich and the sunfish is my taste buds and my intestines.

Except for one thing: I brought science.

Here’s the thing: for most people who are used to just eating like normal food that tastes good and doesn’t make you pray for death after you finish it, trying to ingest two fried chicken breasts covering up cheese and sauce for lunch on an average Tuesday would probably be asking far far too much of themselves, and rightfully so. But my friend Zach and I are not most people who are used to just eating like normal food that tastes good and doesn’t make you pray for death after you finish it. Zach’s the only person I know who’s ever prepared and served an entire turducken by hand (with help, granted), and by this point I’d hope my credentials speak for themselves. So in this particular instance, instead of being afraid of the double downs, maybe the double downs should have been afraid of us.

Oh, wait, what? Why isn’t the cheese melted? And why does it look like someone blew their nose on the inside of my chicken chicken sandwich? Holy shit, okay I take back everything I just said, this is impossible. No way am I eating this shit. Bite me.

I think that one was Zach’s, and this one was mine, although honestly I can’t remember by this point. I try to think back on the actual experience of masticating this thing and my mind kind of drifts away to a happier place, which would more or less be anywhere other than sitting there staring this abomination in the face. It looked like two alien fetuses sandwiched around some white plastic, with carnival cheese inserted in the middle as some kind of lubricant. As a matter of fact, that’s exactly what it tasted like, I think.

I didn’t get a plate (I think They Hate Me at KFC, they probably sensed what I was up to the minute I walked in, or least when I put on the lab coat) but this is what Zach’s “Meal” (and yes I will continue to use that word in quotes for the rest of this report) looked like, all splayed out. This is what 8 hard earned dollars will buy you in our Brave New World, America. Choke it down.

This is an illustrative photograph depicting the physical remnants that the Double Down leaves behind when you remove it from its housing. I don’t know if the clarity of the pictures does it justice but there was a thin, mostly clear liquid that emanated from the thing and pooled in the bottom of the container that resembled lymph fluid more than it did chicken grease and threatened to eat through the paper, the container, and possibly the sandwich itself (?) if it wasn’t dispersed or somehow contained. Let me tell you something, I grew up a couple of towns down the highway from where the god damn Buffalo Wing was invented, and I’ve proudly lived in the home of The Single Greatest Fried Chicken Restuarant In The World, Ever for a couple years now, so I’d like to think I know a thing or two about what happens to chicken when you fry it, and I can promise you this much – it doesn’t continue to leak thin yellowish runny fluid for several minutes after you take it out of the fryer. Real chicken grease will congeal as the meat cools, and make a delicious (and horribly bad for you, but who cares) kind of middle layer between the skin and the meat (and if you’re eating wings, the meat and the bone) that no one wants to tell you about but is the secretly best part of eating really good fried chicken of any variety. That is not at all what was happening here. This “sandwich” was crying. That’s all it was doing, crying thin runny yellow tears of pain and existential anguish at its meager comprehension of what an utterly unspeakable abomination it was. All there was left to do was put it out of my misery.

So that’s what I did.

REQUISITE NASTY FACE PICTURE

And in case you doubted my partner in crime’s commitment, here he is chowing down on his opponent as well, with admirable gusto, and not only that, but…

Here he is shoving a bite into his mouth that was seriously, hand to god, nothing but cheese and sauce. His “sandwich” was particularly lopsided, and there was a giant chunk of sauce-covered-cheese hanging off the side, which he decided to eliminate early on in the bout (a strategy I wish I’d chosen to employ) to make way for slightly more palatable bites later. Smart cookie, that one.

OH SHIT BACON what are you doing in there? Oh, right, you were on the marquee, what are you doing hiding somewhere in the interminable middle of the vaguely-food-flavored-sandwich item? Don’t you know you’re never going to make an impression in here? Seriously, even your own widely revered taste couldn’t possibly hope to hold up against the onslaught of grease and salt and spice and filth that is this… this… okay, I’ve run out of adjectives and synonyms to use to reference this shit. Let’s just call it the “bad thing” from here on out and be done with the verbal gymnastics. Anyway, bacon, why did you sign up for this glory-less tour of duty in the bad thing? Was there a giant stack of you about to go bad at the central warehouse where they process all this insanity, and the creators of the bad thing said “oh crap we are about to have to throw away all this miniature bacon oh noes” and so they decided to throw you into the middle of the nightmare shitstorm punishment that I’m now consuming? You deserve better than this, bacon. I love you, and I don’t want to see you this way. Let’s just pretend this never happened, okay? I’ll see you next time I go out for pancakes, and things’ll be cool, right? Right on, bacon. You the man.

Oh jeez I guess I should talk about what it tasted like huh – well okay, imagine nasty greasy fried chicken, cheese that should be melted but isn’t, some kind of half-assed flavored mayonnaise, and yeah I guess bacon was in there somewhere too but who could tell. That’s it, that’s what it tasted like. Somehow LESS than the sum of its parts. Because, don’t get me wrong people, I love fried chicken. And I sure love cheese. And spicy mayo, okay, maybe not ALWAYS, but sometimes it’s good. And clearly bacon and me are tight bros from way back when. So how do you combine a bunch of things that I love to create something that… jesus, “hate” doesn’t even begin to cover it. The best way I can think of to say it is… I am philosophically opposed to this sandwich. Here’s why:

1. Cheese should be melted in something that’s served hot. Why did that not happen.
2. Meat is not a bun. Sorry. Just isn’t.
3. It was so salty that my taste buds actually became numb after about two bites. Perhaps this was intentional.
4. Don’t disrespect bacon by relegating it to what, basically a garnish? Up yours. Bacon owns you, Colonel, clearly you’re afraid of it.
5. Eight dollars? Sorry, are you one of the most profitable fast-food franchises in human history or are you not? The fact that you have the gall to even open up one of your bullshit franchises in the same town as Gus’s is insulting enough to begin with, and to top it off you charge as much for this nonsense meal as it would cost to get enough Gus’s to feed you for the entire god damn day, which I cannot abide.

But, abide it or not, for completion’s sake I did eventually finish off this malevolent pile of insanity, bite by treacherous bite, although it took the better part of a half hour. Funny moment – there was a lady sitting a couple tables down from us who walked in after we’d already gotten our food and started the long, arduous process of working our way through this culinary punishment, and she ordered and consumed an entire double down meal and got up and left in probably half the time it took me and my friend Zach (two grown hungry adult men) to finish ours. Add to that, the fact (which didn’t dawn on me until about halfway through) that we were sitting about two tables away LOUDLY ridiculing the meal she had unironically chosen to pay for and consume as her lunch for that day – it actually started to make me feel guilty and awful on a dozen other levels, in addition to the physical and mental anguish that came along with eating the thing in the first place. Jesus christ, KFC Double Down, is there any part of my life that you’re NOT going to ruin?

Here’s Zach, attempting to document his end of the horror. If some of these pictures seem a little extra up close and personal, it’s because the tables at KFC were noticeably smaller than the already small tables at most other fast food establishments, and if we weren’t on such good terms with each other, it would have been much more difficult to suffer through this “food” with a partner.

And here’s my application for the clean plate club. That’s right, kids, I ate all of it. All the chicken flavored potato wedges, two chicken breasts, two pieces of unidentifiable “cheese,” whatever kind of sauce it was they chose to put in the middle of the of thing, and… uhhh… no bacon whatsoever. Bacon was never there. That never happened.

From Zach’s Twitter:

“There is a warmth and tightness spreading across my chest. This would be the Double Down messing w/ my blood pressure.”

And, my final thoughts.

Basically, this thing sucks and tastes like shit and is completely overpriced and the only reason you should ever eat it is morbid (and I emphasize morbid, because this will assuredly kill you, over time) curiosity about what it’s like. That being said, I would have to say it’s kind of emblematic of the whole “we seriously don’t care” attitude that most popular American food consumption kind of embodies (I mean we invented fake butter on movie theater popcorn, didn’t we – the Double Down was really only a few steps away) that makes a lot of people all over the world sick. We idolize people like Anthony Bourdain and Andrew Zimmern for traveling all over the planet and drinking and eating things that freak us out (and rightly we should – those men are heroes) but you know what? On an average day in a Taiwanese street market, they’re eating better food than I did on this random stupid Tuesday afternoon, made with fresher ingredients, for substantially less money, and feeling 100x better afterwards.

What are we doing wrong?

Many thanks to Zach for another awesome bad idea, and thanks to the lady whose lunch we were mocking so openly for not calling us out as the condescending hipster pricks that we very possibly are, and thank you to my gastrointestinal system for not kicking this bullshit back out wholesale, and thank you all for reading. Stay tuned.

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…You gonna finish that?

Hi there, welcome to Oh Dear God Why Laboratories, where our motto is “Just Don’t Smell It First.”

Simple project: we eat (and drink) things for fun (and SCIENCE!). And, more often than we’d care to admit, to satisfy our morbid curiosity about what they might taste like. There are links above to things we’ve consumed in the past, and a page to suggest things we might try in the future, if you’re so inclined, as well as a page of other various and sundry places on the web that might make your palates tingle (or tremble in fear). Peruse them all at your leisure.

Postings will hopefully be weekly at the very least, but in the early going there will be technical, nuts and bolts issues that may throw the pacing off a bit. Follow along via RSS (highly recommended) or another blog aggregator of your choosing, or just stop back in every week or so and see what we’ve been up to. Your choice.

Happy eating. And remember, if your gag reflex starts to kick in, just think of these words:

“Greasy pork sandwich, dipped in hot whiskey.”

Always does the trick for us.

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