color theory and charlie puth's tethered
unsnackable vol. 33
When I spin the proverbial color wheel of artificial flavors, it's easy to choose my favorites. I rebuff the racialized assumptions tied to my love of the purple flavor because I know it has never failed me. Orange and Yellow are rarely treasured, but citrus flavors can't help but bring me joy. Modernism is said to be a force for good in this world, but how can that be true when it also changed the most common pairing for green flavor from lime to green apple. A fallen apple may have helped Sir Isaac Newton refine the concept of gravity, but dropping a green apple skittle into that red bag has sown seeds of distrust that will haunt me till the end of my days. Red errs towards cloying and opts for recognizable instead of leaving room for surprise. Pink leaves room for a floral softness that elevates its brash sweetness.
But one color has a power that reaches beyond the rest. A purely conceptual flavor tied to a color that doesn't exist in nature. Blue is just as easily an amalgamation of berries, a drive-in's vision of a seaside refreshment through coconut and lime or even orange laced with bitterness, rendered in its inverted state. Years ago I was led by the promise of that neon glow to plug my address into the website for a presumably immoral "youth marketing company" hoping to try a new blue flavor of Pepsi. I expected a coupon, and they sent a case of 16 in a cardboard box. My father found the box much faster than I could find a suitable lie about how it ended up on our doorstep. Pepsi Blue is slowly showing up in stores again after a 16-year hiatus and I'm looking forward to drinking it without having to sneak into the garage and refill each half-empty bottle with water and food coloring (I was meticulous).
I wouldn't have to answer to anyone if these snacks showed up on my doorstep today, but I'll still settle for writing about these miraculous unsnackables
He may deny it, but Charlie Puth cannot ignore the cultural impact of "hungies", it was the first thing that came to mind when I looked into why Dawid Kwiatkowski, a Polish singer who can only be described as his tethered, has a popsicle collaboration with Kaktus. The watermelon-apple flavor with sparkling candy-coating sounds just as enjoyable as Dawid's music that I was radicalized into liking by the youtube algorithm. I think I might be a stan?
SENYORITA WINDOWS CHILI LEMON (Egypt)
These might seem like they are just a corn snack, but they must pack a punch because this is the gig that the Windows logo got after taking Clippy out the game.
KINLEY ANANÁSZ ÉS BAZSALIKOM (Hungary)
I don't think I resent the years I spent afraid of the beach, of swimsuits, and pools, mostly because camera phone technology wasn't at the point where my selfies could have made an adequate impact. But last summer when I sat inside, I missed more than just the selfies. I missed sun-drenched naps and beach reads and tinny soundtracks from portable speakers and circling for parking. I missed staying up too late to pack snacks like thick slices of pineapple with basil-infused sugar and a hearty pour of vodka. This fizzy drink takes that basil pineapple flavor combination and makes it a little less messy. Hopefully, I'll make it to the beach this summer even if I can't bring it along.
AGUARDIENTE COCUY SUNRISE LEAL (Venezuela)
I think one of the sense memories that will linger from this past year when the edges of the cruelty and loss blur will be the smell of the knockoff hand sanitizers. Astringent and offputtingly tropical, seeping into cracked overwashed hands. I wonder if Venezuelans have that same association with the high-proof Cocuy liqueur that is the base of the RTD cocktail. Maybe the citrus and grenadine flavors can make it a little less sharp.
I’m still figuring this out, but hopefully, you enjoyed v.33 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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(To be transparent, I feel very bad about this newsletter still being on substack but I am still working on finding it a new home and I do truly believe that if I take a break from sending this out every week, it will become exponentially harder to pick up where I left off)