Nowadays,I don't make many choices, life makes them for me. I don't feel beholden to the forces of fate, but there always seems to be one logical path to follow. Why would I choose anything else? Isn't that a choice?
It is incredibly dumb to think back about the last year and realize that one of the few good, active decisions I made was getting change. $100 in quarters, to be exact. On a rainy day in early quar, while I was hauling a multi-pack of toilet paper and produce from a market in Chinatown, I made a teller go into the safe to get my laundry change. It was a luxury to watch the seasons change and still be secure in my ability to wash my laundry.
Something about getting that much change makes me mourn Charles Entertainment Cheese and his entertainment complex. If the stories my mom told me about the movers she hired to pack up my childhood home, there is likely a 4-pound bag of game tokens somewhere in my parent's new home. Maybe that totem is why I still have a lingering curiosity about ordering from Pasqually's Pizza, the ghost kitchen pizzeria operating out of the closed locations of Chuck E. Cheese. My rubric for a good pizza is haunted by the memory of Chuck E. Cheese pizza ( very, very cheesy, slightly chewy, and buttery crust, a hearty serving of toppings). I only crave that or wood-fired artisan creations with mozzarella so fresh I can still hear the buffalo grazing when I take a bite.
Let's move on before I delay this newsletter any further by watching videos of buffalo to figure out what they sound they make (my last brain cell saved me from saying that they moo?). New Year, New Look, New Paige, but also new unsnackables.
There is poetry to the non-English descriptions of the snacks I research for this newsletter. They are so loving and fluid, English feels clunky in comparison. This snack is complicated enough to require a diagram of ingredients, but it sounds so much better to say it is "a surprise that overturns the common sense of cream puffs." It features milk mousse, dice-cut chestnuts, two shiratama (sweet rice flour) dumplings, and whipped cream.
Salted Egg Yolk snacks are omnipresent and inescapable at this point. The market seems to tip towards oversaturation. Do I read enough Asian market CPG and food trade publications for that to be an informed assessment? Possibly. Does this stabilized salted egg yolk sauce still sound incredible because it gives you discretion over how you want to apply that umami-rich flavor? 100% yes.
4BRO ICE TEA BUBBLEGUM (Luxembourg)
Rarely is my curiosity about an unsnackable purely morbid, but this...bubble gum flavored tea from a bro-branded snack company causes exactly that. How do you even get to bubblegum flavored tea for bros? It feels like something cut from an SNL digital short in 2013.
FILLIERS ADVOCAAT (Belgium)
The cross-cultural tradition of alcohol stabilized dairy and egg winter beverages has so many delicious forms, from Venezuelan Ponche Crema to Puerto Rican Coquito to German Eierpunsch. Even if you look to American drinking traditions, it's a helluva shame that Eggnog is the most visible when it falters compared to a Tom & Jerry. Advokaat hails from the Netherlands and boasts a thick pudding-like texture. A dark part of my brain is forced to admit that it might just be a sweet boozy mayonnaise. That realization doesn't make me want to consume it any less.
樂事薯片 (鐵板魷魚味) (China) -I appreciate that the flavor scientists sneaked a bit of a charred flavor alongside the unmistakable squid essence on these chips. They were very good.
Lakerol Cassis (Sweden)- My friend AC sent me a care package of incredible unsnackableIRL fodder. I love that they indulged my cassis obsession. This isn't the first time I've tried this brand, but I didn't know they made snacks that were not licorice-flavored.
I’m still figuring this out, but hopefully, you enjoyed v.17 of unsnackable.
If you didn’t please don’t tell me, tell your friends to subscribe because they hopefully have better taste than you.
Think you’ll miss me before unsnackable v.16 comes to your inbox? follow me on other parts of the internet and tell me about what you’re snacking on or tell me what snacks deserve a bro-tastic brand makeover
I’ll try any snack at least once, so don’t be shy if there is something you want to send me to try.
I think there has been a lot more discussion about substack as a platform lately and I’ve considered shifting this newsletter to a paid subscription (because I do spend a lot of time researching snacks!) but I like sending something nice to your inboxes for free every week, so if you’d like to support my snack related endeavors you can find me on venmo at thefolu or on paypal