If nothing else, I can say that 2017 has thus far been a year for changes. Most of those have been cosmetic mind you, new carpet, slightly altered work schedules, while others are major shifts like a niece moving away. There's been just enough goings on to make it hard to stay on top of everything and that level of activity requires fuel, so praise be that my sister was kind enough to bring back some snacks from a day trip to the great white north.
Honestly, saying “some snacks” is more than a little deceptive as she brought home a massive haul of goodies for gorging. So much so that even a couple weeks later, I still haven't tried everything. So without further ado, let's dive into part one of the great Canadian junk food sampler.
Doritos Ketchup, Intense Pickle, and Zesty Cheese.
Above all else, I informed my sister that she could gain proper sibling of the year cred if she brought back the three main Canadian varieties of Doritos chips. Given my usual luck I assumed one flavor would go missing in the shuffle, but for once in life I got to have it all, and am largely pleased with the results.
Ketchup chips, despite being a mainstay of Canadian foodstuffs, can still be a bit of a tough sell in the U.S. I've always found them to be delightful but as many like to remind me, my tastes are somewhat abnormal. While a good ketchup potato chip is always a fine snack, these Doritos provide an extra kick. There's so much ketchup flavor at work here, it absolutely coats your mouth, nearly eliminating any moisture within. Suffice to say I was in love from bite one. Sadly these are a limited time item which means it may be quite some time before I can recapture the joy of this little baggie.
Intense Pickle somehow worked it's way into being a full time flavor while failing somewhat to live up to it's name. Oh it's intense, that can't be denied, but not so much with pickle flavor as with vinegar. I can eat a few at a time but these aren't something I'm eager to revisit.
Then there's Zesty Cheese which has the side-effect of reminding me of Trailer Park Boys as the bag really does look like Zesty Mordant (that's Zesty Zesty if you wanna know). After getting over the giggles I dug in to find one of the best Doritos varieties of all time. The flavor here is meant to evoke cheeses like parmesan or romano, and my god are they ever delicious. What's more the flavor only seemed to improve in the following days. It's as if the rode to staleness actually ripens these babies. From now on, any trip up north necessitates a few bags of these little wonders.
A frequently touted heavyweight of the northern snack scene, Hickory Stick are seasoned Julianne style potato crisps. If I recall correctly, attempts were made to bring these stateside though I can't imagine how they would have failed. While these seem more greasy than regular potato chips, the seasoning gives em a wealth of flavor, bordering on barbecue with hints of herbs. More than that, the shape demands more attention so one doesn't accidentally shove potato up a nostril. No mindless snacking here. This is a potato snack of sophistication. Very recommended
While studying for my shopping list, I found Hawkins Cheezies to be spoken as something akin to a religious experience. These were touted as more than a simple cheese snack, but a way of life. As a man well versed in cheesy goodies I was more than a little skeptical. After all, there's a large quality gap between some run of the mill cheese puff compared with a Better Made Cheese Ball. With Hawkins however, I found something wholly separate from the usual suspects. Upon opening the bag I was assaulted by a dank, foot-like smell, as if someone had hidden a nice chunk of legit cheese in the bag. The flavor followed suit. Indeed, Hawkins taste nothing like the usual Cheeto, Herr's, or whatever brand you call friend. No, these taste like real deal cheese. I'm marking these as a rite of passage for any snack maniac out there.
Crush Cream Soda
Going by the name alone you might not think much of this item, but think about it, have you ever seen Crush Cream Soda? Chances are slim as the company for one reason or another only produces this variety for Canada. Perhaps there's some sort of trade-off however as my sister said she saw no evidence of Strawberry Crush up there. If that is indeed the case then I'd say we got the better end of the deal. Don't get me wrong, this is a pretty solid soda. With it's bright pink coloration and cotton candy leaning flavor, I'd place it above several other mass produced cream drinks. At the same time, even a passable Strawberry sodas are too few and far between to pass up for an OK cream. Let us hope then that her observation was merely a stroke of bad luck.
Firework Oreo (Christie)
Before anybody starts stomping and raving that Firework Oreo are readily available in the U.S. Take note that in Canada, everyone's favorite cookie is produced by a company called Christie, utilizing a slightly different recipe. Having had both versions of this special Oreo I'm not sure I can claim a hands down winner. On one hand I preferred the Christie take on the actual cookie, while I'm fairly sure I prefer the Nabisco take on the cream. Perhaps a team up is in order to produce the perfect take on this classic treat.
As for the actual firework portion of these cookies, it's an alright gimmick, albeit one that doesn't really add much. The taste is pretty much the same, and if you eat too fast, then your saliva won't even break through the cream to activate the popping candy. This is one area where the Canadian version has the upper hand as their cookies allow for better milk absorption, which in turn equals more popping,
That's all the snacks I can report on for now. Gotta get some sleep before work after all. Look for more on my snacking smorgasbord soon, and something else most likely by this weekend. Stay cool.