Food for Thought

Typical brands of Potato Chips at a superstore.
Image via Wikipedia
Image via Wikipedia

Ah, the snack food!  Is there anything more wonderful, more indulgent, more gratifying in the moment than our favorite snack foods?

Trying to pin down just one favorite’s really hard for me.  Most of the time, I’m a savory/salty sort of guy, so I love me some salty, crispy snack foods.  Chips, most notably, but there are certain crackers that are amazing too, and hit just the right spot.

Other times, though, I like my snacks sweet.  In those instances, I tend to be more a cakey kind of person.  I love chocolate … well, almost anything, so chocolate cake-type things are ambrosia to me.  For a great change of pace, I love Otis Spunkmeyer (and how disgusting is that name for a product?) chocolate chocolate-chip muffins.  If that’s not a personal-sized cake, what is?  Oh, and I vacillate between Ho-Hos and Suzy-Qs being my favorite of the Hostess snack cakes, although back in the day when they made Devil’s Food Twinkies, that was the SH*T.  And what’s is up with their fruit pies going down the crapper, too?  In my day, those things were frosted on BOTH sides and were STUFFED with filling, AND they were BIGGER.  Hmph.

There’s been a dramatic change in the way snack foods taste to me over the years.  Back when I was a kid, snack foods — and soda pops, for that matter — used actual white sugar as their sweetening agent.  Sometime in the ’70s or ’80s, sugar was dropped in favor of fructose, or high-fructose corn syrup, as the sweetening agent.  The taste changed, but so did things like the texture and consistency of the products.  Twinkies, now, are flat awful.  The cupcakes are waxy and sticky, not crumby and delectable.  I don’t remember exactly when the change happened, but when it did, it was noticeable.  And sad.

I remember being introduced to salt and vinegar flavored chips for the first time back in the ’80s, too.  A girl I was dating took a tour of Europe and the UK after high school.  You know, that whole “backpack-and-hostel” thing.  Anyway, she discovered salt-and-vinegar “crisps” (those crazy Brits!) then, and when they (finally) started showing up on US store shelves, she got a bag and let me try them.  I’ve been an addict ever since, but I have to get them in small doses or my tongue gets all messed up and sore from the powerful chemicals used to flavor them.  Ick.

Snack foods.  Is there anything better?  I mean, besides sex, which is always better.

What’s your favorite?