Review: Popeye’s Cheddar Biscuit Shrimp With Ghost Pepper Jam

Marco Brambilla’s Demolition Man movie depicts the far future of 2032 where violence and sex are a thing of the past, everyone is PC and weak, and the only surviving music are tv ad jingles. While most people assume that this movie was a fictional story, the Shameless Consumer can confirm that these are actual events that will occur in our future. I should know, I came with Brambilla in the time machine. He wanted to warn everyone about the impending dystopian future, I just wanted to get my hands on some French Toast Crunch. They discontinue it in 2020 and it never gets picked up again. Ask Marco yourself, he’ll deny knowing me just as violently as my family does.

But apart from the three seashells in the bathroom (which I will be reviewing in approximately ten years), the thing most people remember about the movie are the franchise wars. All that Marco tells the audience is that Taco Bell won the franchise wars, and thus every restaurant is Taco Bell. In reality, Taco Bell didn’t win the franchise wars, Marco and I went to Taco Bell after coming back to the far past (the more recent past for you folks) and got some Taco Bell, and the guy put sour cream in his nacho supreme even though he asked for no sour cream, and Marco got pissed and decided to slander them and make them pay for product placement.

What you didn’t see was the scene after Sylvester Stallone eats at the fancy Taco Bell restaurant where Marco shot a very long, graphic, and detailed scene of Stallone’s mud butt. The scene was cut to avoid an NC-17 rating. In all honesty, Little Caesar’s wins the franchise wars because all of their restaurants were secretly built to withstand improvised explosives. Test it out for yourself! Nobody eats pizza in the future.

But enough about history, or more specifically your future and my history, let’s talk about Popeye’s.

Popeye’s is the distinctly not-KFC chicken brand that people love to eat, and like its eventual Kentucky Fried Arsonist (check back in 2022 for more information), Popeye’s pretty regularly comes out with new ways to batter its food. The latest is cheddar biscuit butterfly shrimp, shrimp coated in none other than cheddar biscuit breading.

Who doesn’t like cheddar biscuits, apart from the unborn or Nazis, and who doesn’t like Popeye’s apart from the arsonists hired by KFC five years from now? Nobody, that’s who.

If Red Lobster ever commissioned Lush to develop a cheddar biscuit bath bomb, it probably wouldn’t be as powerful as the smell coming out of this box. It’s like my nose is an unsupervised Vietnamese child navigating hundreds of miles of cheddar biscuit landmines left over from the franchise wars. I’d like to stick two of these pieces of shrimp up my nose and leave them there, ensuring that the delicious smell of cheddar and biscuits never leaves me.

In case my analogy was too offensive, what I’m trying to say is that the Shameless Consumer can’t get enough of the cheddar biscuit smell. If God sent his only child down to modern day America to act as a sacrifice, as he does in 2027 to end the franchise wars, he would probably show up in the form of a living cheddar biscuit. But enough educating for today, I’m just waxing poetic on my past.

What you get is a thickly breaded shrimp that oozes biscuity goodness. The cheddar takes a back end to the biscuit flavor, the two parts melding into a delicious concoction. For comparison, imagine taking the top part of a Red Lobster biscuit, the crispy yet slightly chewy, buttery, cheddary biscuit, and wrapping it around a shrimp. That is the Popeye’s Cheddar Biscuit Shrimp.

And I’m surprised to say that the pepper jelly was quite tasty despite being called “ghost pepper” and not being even slightly spicy. It is quite sweet and peppery, and goes well with the shrimp.

Ultimately, I have to give this a two thumbs up, for $5 with a side and biscuit, it’s not a bad deal.

Verdict; 4.5/5 – The sauce could be spicier. I am about to be sued by KFC, Popeye’s, Lush, Marco Brambilla, and very likely the FBI anti-terrorism unit. They are all wrong.

It Came From Blue Apron: Roasted Beef & Farro Salad

Here at Shameless Consumer Industries, we like to follow the KISS rule, which stands for Kevin (Bacon) Isn’t Sheriff, Stupid. What that means is while food should look good, it should emphasize satisfaction and filling. Don’t serve me pretty air. Like when you hear about those five thousand dollar platters at three star Michelin restaurants on TV only to see the waiter bring out the tray and the whole meal is smaller than what you’d serve an infant.

Like Nature Box, Blue Apron was an idea that the Shameless Consumer had because he heard it on the radio show. Which show? All of them. These days you can’t listen to the radio, a podcast, hear voices in the fillings in your teeth, or intercept private Russian communications without someone being sponsored by Blue Apron. In fact, scientific studies show that Shameless Consumer is the only entity left on earth not sponsored by Blue Apron. Even you are, check your big toe for your branding.

Let’s talk about cost. Blue Apron costs $60 per week for three, two serving meals. If you’re single and hate shopping for dinner ingredients and don’t mind paying a premium, it’s great. Otherwise, I dare any one of you to find me a universe where a standard meal is more than $10 per serving. Go ahead, I’ll wait.

Blue Apron is also great for simple meals that are pretty elegant, not simple like instant mashed potatoes but not difficult like Beef Wellington. My cousin died from Beef Wellington disease, a story I’m sticking to even though the coroner has sued to keep me silent. They keep telling me he’s alive and well in Birmingham, and even went as far as to set up a double who still visits on Christmas. I suppose we all go through the stages of grief in different ways.

This is probably the point where you expect me to talk about the history of roast beef, to which some book nerd is thinking that it is Swedish for beef that is roasted, when any educated person is aware of its origins as a racist slur against Ottomans living in Greece in the late 1400’s. Plus, we don’t have time for history, we have beef to cook.

Where’s the beef? I know where…

Anyway, the roast beef needs to hit room temperature before we can do anything with it, and that’s going to take some time. Come back in like, fifteen or twenty minutes. So how is everyone’s summer going? See any good movies? Did you know that it’s been like five weeks since the last Shameless Consumer review? Who is the lazy moron that runs that webs-oh hey the beef is set.

We place our immaculately seasoned beef into a pan of heated olive oil and flip occasionally. Now the Shameless Consumer likes his meat like he likes his food poisoning: Rare and from meat, so we’re going to take the lower end of the cooking times. If you want to go for more well done, unfortunately nobody can help you.

Now that the beef has been pan fried, we eat. I’m just kidding, but look at that beef. We’ll need to transfer the beef to our oven and cook for 8-10 minutes. I’m going for 8, at a lower temperature. While the beef roasts, we’ll be cooking the Farro for 16-18 minutes. Gee, woulda been good to start with that, right Blue Apron? You kinda have to read ahead, because the next step usually starts as the previous step is still going. It’s like a crappy choose your own adventure novel.

Anyway, bippity boppity boo, and dinner’s done for two. I’m going to skip the rest of the steps since I’m sure you’re aware of how to put vegetables on a pan until they’re cooked, and Shameless Consumer Industries will probably be relieved that I’m not spending a review making comparisons to the Nazi movement. It’s a pretty simple method of cooking the food until it’s cooked, mostly by pan cooking or roasting in the oven. This is what I like about Blue Apron, it has simple recipes that even lazy food bloggers like yours truly can cook to not write about.

The ultimate meal turned out to be sort of a hodgepodge of stuff, with the farro acting as the emotional support, telling the olives that existence is an illusion and that we will all die one day. I’m hesitant to talk about the specific ingredients because this recipe isn’t exact and can change pretty heavily based on your cooking ability.

Regardless, the whole meal was pretty tasty and easy to cook. I have to hand it to Blue Apron, I expected the service to be sub par and overpriced, but found the food to be quite tasty albeit overpriced. I could always buy my own ingredients, but who wants to go to grocery stores? Amazon sells everything I need!

If you’re a cook and don’t care about buying the ingredients yourself, I recommend checking out Blue Apron’s website. You can actually see their recipes and try it out for yourself without having a subscription.

Verdict: 4/5 – I underestimated just how much farro this meal came with, wound up with enough for two gigantic servings. The roast beef was a good cut, and the ingredients were fresh and tasty. My presentation wasn’t great, but then again I’m just shoveling this into my mouth hole so who cares.

Review: Marshmallow Peeps Trio (Easter Edition)

Fun story: So the Shameless Consumer was sitting at his desk eating his usual lunch of Rolos and plain, unsweetened green tea, when the folks over in research and development come over and threw this down on the desk. Cherry Limeade Peeps. Assuming that I was in the midst of a stroke, I reasonably asked one of the two men to use the golf club taped underneath my desk to quickly put me out of my misery. They simply walked away laughing.

Undeterred, I strolled right into the office of the VP of Shameless Consumer Industries and submitted my resignation. He didn’t even read the not-so-subtle comments about his mother’s taste for disgusting perversions like Domino’s Pizza before slapping the page with a giant “rejected” stamp (I have no idea where he got the stamp). So I, kindly, and in between lobbing a barrage of vulgar and in hindsight possibly racist obscenities at him, requested to be fired again. That was denied. I ran over the VP’s dog, he promoted me to the nonexistent title of “Foreman of Peeps.” I shot the VP, he somehow managed to pile my desk with even more Peeps to review by the time I got back.

In order to better explain the craze for Marshmallow Peeps, I’d like to bring to my audience’s attention the concept of Freeganism, where Brooklyn hipsters save hundreds of dollars a month by dumpster diving and eat otherwise fresh, still packaged food that’s been thrown out because companies like Trader Joe’s weren’t able to sell it. Imagine if these people didn’t care about the quality of food going into their bodies, and you have those who enjoy Peeps.

If that analogy didn’t work for your, imagine Marshmallow Peeps as the modern Neo-Nazi movement. You rarely see someone eating a Peep in close proximity, but you hear about areas where it’s gotten really popular and you see people talking about their love of it online all the time. Bring it up in conversation however and everyone in the room will quickly disavow any knowledge or association with peep lovers.

1. Cherry Limeade Peeps

This product is described as:

“Cherry Limeade! Sour cherry dipped in lime fudge and graciously sprinkled with regret and the unfulfilled wishes of puppies recently turned roadkill.”

I may be editorializing a bit on that, but it doesn’t matter. One must wonder who in this world has been buying Peeps to the level that the company continues to pump out increasingly disgusting flavor combinations dipped in what I can only assume to be a combination of stomach acid and Chlorox Bleach.

And since Peeps brand isn’t merely content with bastardizing the term “marshmallow,” they’ve gone and taken a hatchet to the term “fudge,” using it to describe whatever they’re dipping the Peeps in. I don’t know what Limeade fudge is, I even went through the trouble of sending an email to Gordon Ramsay’s PR people who responded and told me to never contact them again.

One aspect I’m having trouble wrapping my head around is why the Peeps taste like soap. Imagine if Dial for some reason decided to make a cherry slush flavored soap, let’s say the CEO decides he’s going to poison a bunch of children in a way that has plausible deniability, this Peep is very close to what that product might taste like.

The limeade fudge is an oddity, because I still have no idea what it is, Gordon Ramsay isn’t answering my 911 calls, and I have an interesting theory as to where the flavor comes from. Otherwise, it has that distinct, acidy, candy lime flavor. In effect, the Peeps company took cherry peeps and dipped them in melted Lime Runts, which explains what Nestle did with the leftover flavoring after they discontinued Lime Runts in the late 90’s.

Verdict: 1/5 – Tastes like battery acid dipped in lime candy.

2. Raspberry Peeps

I have to give Peeps credit where credit is due, this is easily the best of the trio. Going back to my previous comment, this peep did not immediately smell of stomach acid and bleach, the scent was a highly muted raspberry. Peeps also deserves points for making a genuine raspberry candy, ie: not going the route of blue raspberry which tends to be more acidic and tart.

The fudge is, thankfully, just a neutral creme flavor and is not, as the purple color may imply, raspberry fudge. The pairing is decent, a fruity creamy mixture. It’s tame enough to be inoffensive to anyone who eats it.

I don’t have much to say about this product, so I’ll skip to some Peeps trivia. Have you ever wondered what those eyes are made out of? It turns out, Peep eyes are made out of Carnauba Wax, which is an edible, nontoxic, and it’s also used in wax products so it’s great for uneducated suburban moms to wax poetic about how inherently dangerous it must be on their blogs.

Another thing Peeps have going for them is sugar. It’s not great, but 10g of sugar per Peep is a lot less than I expected for a product that appears to basically be whipped sugar dipped in sugar.

Verdict: 3/5 – After eating two of the three, I decided that it would be better without the creme fudge. 

3. Vanilla Caramel Brownie

These aren’t half bad, but they’re not very good either. The vanilla brownie Peeps are filled with caramel, but it’s fake caramel, and the marshmallow itself is vanilla, but it’s fake vanilla (synthetic vanillin). The caramel is low quality, but I do like the fact that it is pumped throughout the Peep.

The best way I’ve found to describe the caramel is to take the stuff you find in a Milky Way and imagine that that is 5 star chef made caramel in comparison to this. It mimics the caramel like Ditto mimics another Pokemon, if you see it out of the corner of your eye, in passing, and you happen to be blind then you might be convinced you’re looking at a real Pikachu. Otherwise on Easter you’re probably better off eating the actual candy you received.

Again, I have to give Peeps an A for effort, but the presentation is like a good looking gingerbread house but all of the pieces are put together with glue, so you’d probably not want to eat the final product even if it is technically non-toxic.

Verdict: 2/5 – As far as Peeps go, this is more edible than the usual variety. 

Bonus: Confetti Peep Egg

No. Absolutely not. This egg smells like diabetes and the first and only bite I took of it has all the taste and texture of a mildly strawberry flavored packing material.

Verdict: N/A – Not my horse, not my barn.

Review: Lays Wavy Chocolate Covered Potato Chips

(Editor’s Note: This article was initially written on a piece of paper on October 4th, wrapped around a brick, and thrown through the window at Shameless Consumer Industries. It took us a couple of months to track down Sha’Meless Consuman to his safe house in Sheboygan Wisconsin where he had shacked up with a life-size cardboard cutout of Ron Lipski. Some of the comments may be out of date, but he insisted we publish this unaltered.)

If there’s one thing the Shameless Consumer loves, it is the manager’s discount section at my local Tops Markets where all the damaged boxes go. If I had to guess, and this is just speculation, I assume they hire mostly arthritic ferrets to open boxes and feed them nothing but bath salts because they manage to damage enough Instant Oatmeal and cereal boxes that I was able to bribe several officials in the Breakfast Illuminati to rig the election in favor of Donald Trump. I don’t know if I’m allowed to post this because the election is still a month away, please advise.

I don’t particularly like the guy, but he was one of the first supporters of the 1986 Supreme Court Ruling in the case of Stanley Garczynski V the State of Florida in which the court ruled 8 to 1, majority opinion read by Justice Burger, that the presence of pizza on a bagel set the legal precedent that pizza could be eaten at anytime. It seems like a minor ruling, but it led to future rulings on the legality of pancakes for dinner.img_20170110_222435

Lays Chocolate Covered Wavy Chips are one of those things that sounds crazy, but is actually pretty simple on paper. It’s like brain surgery, any schmuck can figure it out but you have to get your mind into the right starting point to know that the goal is actually to keep the patient alive. This is a very simple combination of salty and sweet, a flavor shock that sends your brain swirling like a kick in the mouth by a boot covered in sidewalk salt after you slipped and accidentally keyed the dude’s car.

Most people who saw this in stores were probably hit with sticker shock, or my stun gun which tends to go off because I like to pretend that I’m Magnum PI while I’m rummaging through the candy jar for the freshest burnt French nuts. Don’t make this dirty. This product is five ounces of chips and chocolate, and initially it cost somewhere around the realm of $5. It was basically self-defeating, as the price kicks out any rational thought of how much chocolate actually weighs. The consumer just processes that they’re paying $5 for a bag of chips with relatively few chips.

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So this product was on Target’s clearance shelf, next to the catnip for white teenage girls also known as pumpkin spice as well as the pumpkin pie filling, the pumpkin coffee, the pumpkin marshmallows, and for some reason a hell of a lot of protein bars. There was also the Batman V Superman cereal, which we’ll talk about another day.

My recommendation on these chips is to eat them chip side down. Since only one side is actually covered in chocolate, the other side is pretty barren, leaving enough room to get that salty goodness all over the inside of your mouth cave before the chocolate shows up with dynamite and blows it all up. Eat it upside down and the chocolate will flood your taste buds and leave the salt out to dry. Isn’t salt normally dry? It comes from the sea so that can’t be right.

I can’t believe I’m saying this but this product would do well with less chocolate. Tone it down a bit, maybe you can fit more chips at the same weight then. There’s more chocolate than potato chip and you have two strong flavors knocking each other around with the chip basically being the Ronda Rousey of this fight. I understand when people say that the chocolate ruined the product for them You know the situation is pretty bad when ol’ Sha’Meless is giving instructions on how to eat a product the right way, but here we are.

The plus side is that the chocolate is very good. It delivers the whole “melts in your mouth, not in your hand,” a rather cunning concoction that mixed with the wavy chip means that there wasn’t much of a mess on my hands and the chip was crispy, not a soggy one in the bunch. It’s odd to consider this as a food that must be eaten properly, but stick the chip side down and you’ve got a party in your mouth where someone just smashed a champagne bottle on the counter.

Ultimately I have to give this one a positive review. If you see it on clearance, grab a bag or two. One for a friend, and one for you. See what chocolate in chips together can do. I just noticed that this paragraph is rhyming so I’m just going stop typing. Happy Halloween.

Verdict: 4/5 – A deliciously simple blend of salty and sweet that doesn’t advertise well consider its cost. Could use less chocolate on the chips. Now you know the breakfast Illuminati exists, they don’t care if I tell you because you can’t stop them.

Review: KFC Nashville Hot Chicken Strips

You might be thinking that Nashville Chicken comes from Nashville Tennessee, and frankly I can’t see your logic. Luckily you have historian Shameless Consumer to show you the error of your thinking. Nashville hot is actually the product of Johnny Nashville, chicken farmer and proprietor of Nashville’s very first chicken-themed government protest. Look up “Coop D’etat” in your history books if you don’t believe me.

But enough history, let’s talk chicken.

Nashville Hot is a method of cooking chicken marinated in seasonings, fried, then spiced with cayenne and paprika. It is often served with pickles and a form of bread, since the chicken is greasier than our good friends the Saltinis.

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Let’s be clear on one thing: When it comes to fast food chicken, KFC basically has the game down. The three chicken strips I ordered were crispy on the outside, moist and tender on the inside. The cayenne and paprika that make up the “secret sauce” provide a heat that starts out at a low hum and gradually increases its presence as the meal goes on.

KFC’s Nashville Hot is described as:

The Colonel’s latest creation was inspired by one of Nashville’s most famous dishes. Featuring a perfect blend of spicy cayenne and smoked paprika, it’s available in tenders, Chicken Littles™, and Extra Crispy™ Chicken.

Like a perfectly mixed concoction, it gets hot without ever leaving you gasping for a drink of cole slaw or a spoonful of root beer. Imagine lighting your pants on fire because the electric company shut the power off, and having it burn just enough to keep you warm but without singing the hairs off of your thighs. Actually that’s a poor example, imagine being on the receiving end of an ass whooping that you find yourself strangely enjoying.

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The KFC Nashville Hot is served in a plastic container with pickles and a biscuit, which will come in handy and I will now discuss further. You see, the plastic container means that there is nowhere for the many oils of the chicken to go but down, leaving what can only be described as an oily soup at the bottom of your container. If you can wait long enough, save the biscuit for last because by the time you finish the chicken, the biscuit will have soaked up many of those oils and spices.

And if you do need solace from the heat, that’s what the cole slaw is for. There are also a few pickles in the mix that help cleanse the palette, and presumably the abundance of oil is what allows the spices, and thus the heat, to stick to your tongue and keep its slow burn.

Ultimately KFC’s Nashville Hot is one of those things that is just straightforward tasty and doesn’t provide whole lot of the funny. If you like your chicken with just enough heat, but not too much heat, this is the meal for your.

Verdict – 5/5: KFC Nashville Hot is a delicious blend of chicken, chicken skin, and spices.

Review: Moon Pie Sea Salt Caramel

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We’ve talked quite a bit here at Shameless Consumer about the origins of flavor combinations, and now it’s time you learned about sea salt and caramel. You see, unlike the Arnold Palmer, which was the loving result of marriage and childbirth, sea salt caramel has its basis in bitter, bitter rivalry with a bit of sea salt sprinkled on top.

In order to fully get the story, we have to go back to 1800 Bologna Italy, home town of the renowned yet unaccredited Saltini family. The Saltinis became rich during the occupation by Napoleon’s forces in 1796, striking a deal with Napoleon himself to retain ownership of local sea salt mining operations on the grounds that the family refuse any deal that would see their salt used to flavor the Roman church’s papal crackers. When Bologna traded hands in 1815, the Saltini family was forced to emigrate out of fear of retribution by Pope Pius VII, making an agreement that allowed the family to continue their control of said mine.

So the family hopped into their 1810 Lamborghini Alfredo and booked it with the intention of heading toward what they thought was Novigrad Croatia. However, since Croatia had suffered numerous changes of hands over the years, confusion, lack of road signs, and a general disinterest by head of house Giovanni Saltini to ask for directions led the family astray and the next thing they knew, their car had run out of gas outside of immigration services in downtown New York City. With their reserves of pasta and olive oil depleted, not to mention Grandma Saltini working her way through the thousandth rendition of E Il Sol Dell’anima, the family set up shop.

Over the next few years, Giovanni Saltini would purchase the land and expand his newly international sea salt empire, promising a fortune for any worker willing to put in a day’s effort and coining the term “worth your salt,” in the process. In 1815, however, the Saltini family goes head first into a property dispute with the owners of a nearby mining operation, a  family of Portugese immigrants who had taken advantage of cheap land prices and abundant natural resources. The disputing family, also known as the Caramelos, owned land right next to the Saltinis and set up shop mining its natural caramel caves. According to a lawsuit filed by the Caramelos in 1816, runoff from the Saltini sea salt mine was contaminating their caramel, resulting in the family having to recall all product.

To their surprise, 98% of customers refuse to acknowledge the recall or return the product, they loved it. It seemed as though the families had inadvertently struck gold, creating the next big sensation. People fell in love with the unconventional matching of sweet and salty. The Caramelo family drops their lawsuit and, in December of 1816, family head Leche Caramelo agrees to meet Giovanni Saltini on the sidewalk outside of the Teamonte Cafe. Unknown to Caramelo, Saltini has no plans on forming a business relationship and upon their meeting, he shoots Caramelo point blank in the chest with a shotgun specially modified to fire pellets of sea salt.

Due to the pellets dissolving in Caramelo’s blood, the police are unable to produce sufficient evidence to prosecute Giovanni Saltini, however the NYPD is forced to acknowledge via a later lawsuit that the mixture of blood and salt had melted the icy sidewalk, thus creating a safe environment for responding officers and offering Giovanni a solid character witness, and in 1818 the city compensated the Saltini family by handing over the deed to the caramel mines plus thirty six cents for a day’s lost wages.

Giovanni, sadly, would not survive to see the fruits of his labor. In 1822, the head of the Saltini family perished in a carriage accident. In respect of their father’s pride, the horses involved in Saltini’s trampling were butchered and served at the wake. Daughter Elsa Saltini took this opportunity to field test the first run of the family’s new product: Salted caramels. The new dessert was a hit, transforming the wake from an event of silence and honor to something more closely resembling a birthday party.

The family business would expand over the next hundred years until great grandson Adolfo Saltini in 1917 witnessed a shooting star and decided to leave town to pursue it. He followed the extraterrestrial object across the country, all the way to its crash site in Chattanooga Tennessee where he found that farmers had mined it clean and used its innards to create what we now know as the Moon Pie. Adolfo approached the head miner and made a business offer and the rest, as they say, was history.

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But that’s enough learning for today, we’re here to talk about food.

The salted caramel Moon Pie is an alternate take on a beautiful American classic, the lesser known flag sewn by Betsy Ross’ equally sexy sister, the pair of teeth that George Washington only used in formal occasions, the Vice President of flavor, the deciding vote when the Senate Foreign Culinary Committee comes to a 50/50 opposition and the guy who will probably grab your ass at a formal dinner party and leave a caramel hand print.

At the very least, it will leave a caramel hand print on your face as you open the packaging. The caramel aroma, much like the freedom that the Moon Pie is based off of, does not like being contained, and will burst out as soon as the plastic opens.

It’s important to remember that this is first and foremost a Moon Pie, secondarily a salted caramel treat. The caramel coating, as you would expect, is very thinly layered on top, so thin that you might not even notice it if you wolf down the pie in one mouthful. In this respect, the salted caramel outside is the soft bass carrying the melodic tone of the Moon Pie’s fifth overture, delicately enveloping you in its arms as the soft graham cracker and marshmallow bedding whisk you to a dreamland of serenity, beauty, and presumably an endless stack of Moon Pies.

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There are only two times when it is appropriate for a grown man to cry, and one of those times is when you look upon your Moon Pie with the realization that there is only so much time before both the plastic wrap and your fingers have been sufficiently licked clean of leftover residue. Now that we’ve finished the Moon Pie, I think now it’s been long enough that we can reminisce about it.

The sea salt caramel Moon Pie is soft, gooey, and tastes of deliciously sweet (and salty) caramel. It has exactly the right amount of salt, caramel, graham cracker, and marshmallow. Truly this is culinary inventiveness at its finest.

Verdict – 6/5: The salted caramel Moon Pie isn’t the greatest achievement of man to date, but the first half of this sentence is wrong.

Review: Dark Chocolate & Vanilla Sea Salt Fortune Cookie

It’s collaboration week here on The Shameless Consumer.

Emily’s Dark Chocolate & Vanilla Sea Salt Fortune Cookie fulfills the Shameless Consumer’s two necessary food groups: Food and chocolate coating. It’s a quintessentially American design, taking an existing food product and drowning it in chocolate, then sprinkling it with something else. Take some twenty first century ingenuity and you make the chocolate dark and throw on some sea salt. Voila, it’s healthy, just don’t eat the plastic wrapping.

You see, like many American products, the idea was mostly a spinoff of an existing design. The actual concept of drowning food in chocolate comes from one Howard T. Fondue, a man whose secondary accomplishment was coining the phrase “how do you do?” The origins of fondue are less circulated and a little darker, having begun as a punishment technique for wayward children at Mr. Fondue’s orphanage. Now it’s not what you’re thinking, they’d only dip the kid in up to his neck and let the chocolate harden as something of a twisted, sweet prison. Then the other kids would eat them free.

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As you probably figured out, Mr. Fondue was not a very effective disciplinarian, hence why he eventually transitioned to the confectionery industry.

Now I know what you’re all asking: does the cookie come with an actual fortune, and if so what did ol’ Sha’Meless Consuman’s fortune say?

The Shameless Consumer doesn’t need a fortune cookie to tell his future, one that in the short term contains a forest fire partially started by two sticks of decade old Wrigley’s chewing gum and further out charges for violating the Geneva Convention’s rules pertaining to Olive Garden’s endless bread sticks. What is important about this product is how well said cookie tastes when doused in chocolate and a little bit of sea salt. If I wanted to write about books, I’d have learned how to sign my name to take the job at our competition Literate Consumer Industries, but we all have skeletons in our trunk, and bodies in our fondue pots.

But what the hell, let’s take a look at what my fortune is.

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Charming personality, huh? Well, I guess the cookie has a point. It was my charming personality that got me this job in the first place, perhaps secondary to the fact that I was the only applicant willing to agree to a spinal fluid test as part of the background check process. I think the test was fake, it was conducted at a Popeye’s Chicken. I also managed to avoid that nasty legal process in Alabama by greeting the motorcycle cop with “nice day for a Moon Pie, officer.”

But I’m getting off topic, let’s talk about this cookie.

Fortune cookies are one of those things that you never eat in tandem with something else, it’s like an after dinner mint but without the mint because the Chinese made it, so you have no expectation on how powerful the flavor is when put up against some potentially domineering flavors. We have a pretty good idea how oatmeal merges with various sweeteners and fruits, dark chocolate and sea salt is already a known entity, and I’ve mixed enough bowls of unmarked M&M’s and Skittles as a party gag to be well acquainted being shanked at a Chuck E Cheese Quinceañera party.

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The idea of a dark chocolate sea salt fortune cookie is about as risky as it gets, not considering the possibility of the chocolate making the fortune cookie soggy. Luckily Emily read her Fondue book, and coated the cookie with a thick layer of chocolate that both binds to the cookie and lovingly embraces it.

There is just enough chocolate and fortune cookie to balance out and ensure that neither flavor conquers the other, not unlike an unstoppable force making contact with an unmovable colon. I like the fact that there is an actual fortune in each cookie, its predetermined placement and personalized fortune a grim reminder that free choice is an illusion and the decision of me to buy the cookie was already made long before I finished being sick from that Pork protein bar. On the other hand, that means this review has already written itself and I can go have a slice of pizza.

Don’t mind me, folks.

So it turns out that fate didn’t want me having that pizza, as there was a disgusting animal in my kitchen eating the last slice. My misfortune for having left the door open coming home from golfing, but my luck that my clubs were within arm’s reach. I’ll have to call my neighbor to come pick him up, maybe explain that he should be kept on a leash until he graduates elementary school.

Anyway, Emily’s dark chocolate sea salt fortune cookie is a surprisingly satisfying blend of three flavors that really can’t be improved upon in any way. They cost $1 each, each cookie only has like 7g of sugar, and to top it off you get a nice message. I can also appreciate the fact that the salt is sprinkled on top rather than just mixed into the chocolate.

It’s a small, cheap touch, but one that a lot of crappy chocolate companies still miss. It’s like being proud of yourself for calling your mother on her birthday rather than the day after, even though you didn’t send her anything.

Verdict – 5/5: I predicted this cookie would receive a 5/5, but I already scored it. I am a fortune teller of the past.

Review: Chobani Flip Pure Pear & Honey Yogurt

It’s your old pal the original Shameless Consumer here with yet another review. I have a few notes from management before we begin. First, a correction: I did not strangle the nimrod that took my job. As it turns out, in the state of Washington it isn’t legally considered a strangling if you stuff a man’s mouth full of Olive Garden breadsticks until he chokes. It’s considered a death by food poisoning, and I’ve just spoiled the second announcement.

Now you intrepid young busy bodies know that the Shameless Consumer is not afraid to admit when he is ignorant, so when the folks in the Non-Dairy Whole Milk Consortium kick flipped today’s review onto my desk, I had just one question: Someone stole my catch phrase.

You see, the Shameless Consumer hasn’t always made a living off of telling you what to eat. Before I came to SCI, I had a job working as a meatloaf delivery man, and every Tuesday I would pass by Ol’ Gurt and his chocolate shop. I’d say ‘yo Gurt” and he’d tell me a story about the war before going back to his ridiculous chocolate experiments. He’s the first man to successfully replace all of the blood in a child’s body with chocolate milk and have the subject live. It was adapted for television in that flick with the fat kid and the chocolate lake, I believe it’s called Dawson’s Creek.

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I’ve assumed for all these years that Gurt just knew a lot of people. I’d be in Costco and hear the depressed, under-paid teenager come on the intercom to announce a sale on ‘yo Gurt’ and wonder how old Gurt got so popular that he charged by the six pack just to give a friendly hello. I never thought much into it, and I never go into the dairy aisle on account of the restraining order. But I digress.

Yogurt is actually made by bacterial fermentation of lactose found in milk, an idea that would sound more disgusting were it not spoken to a mean that eats picked…everything. It satisfies my two main food ingredients: bacterial and fermented. Chobani is a company that makes Greek yogurt, a version that is typically thicker and bankrupt.

So let’s give this product a taste. While we wait for the meal to cool, let’s take a look at the ingredients and health rating. Chobani uses only natural, non-gmo ingredients like evaporated cane sugar, pears, and honey. The cows are not treated with rBST, a factor that the packaging notes is completely irrelevant in the same sentence.

But how does it taste? The pear honey combination tastes like pie filler, flavorful and sweet with a nice crunch. Mixed with the yogurt, you get a creamy treat that can be slowly eaten while relaxing on a sidewalk bench watching through the window as an old man falls into his chocolate machine. Oh Gurt, you’d be first in line to marry my sister if it wasn’t for that whole ‘chocolate reich’ business.

The great thing about yogurt, as I have found out, is that the savings flow like yogurt. This stuff is constantly on sale at 10 for $10 at my local grocery store and there is somewhere in the realm of twenty million flavors. All these savings, you’d think Greece was having a going out of business sale and yogurt was their main crop. But anyway.

Chobani Pure Pear and Honey yogurt feels like a handy complement for your lunch, paired with a sandwich made from the rotisserie chicken you’ve been slowly picking at on the counter for the past few days as well as an RC Cola, some chips, and of course a Moon Pie for dessert. It’s sweet without being too sugary, bitter without being disgusting, and even though it doesn’t have any meat in it, the vegan in my office left in disgust after I started motor-boating the cup and proclaiming my newfound love of yogurt.

I just have one question for Chobani: Can I use yogurt as an essential ingredient in my pork ribs? I can? I need to get off to the store.

Verdict: 5/5 – Can hardly say anything wrong about this product. Great price, perfectly crunchy fruit, and flavorful. Probably healthy to some extent. 

Review: Moon Pie Bites

How is everyone doing? It’s your favorite Shameless Consumer here with another review. No, not that cheap imposter that took my job, I am the one and only Sha’Meless Consuman; infiltrating your web space like an out of control gorilla in a China shop that sells unsupervised toddlers. You can read my golden words by looking down at the page marked “archive.” I have no idea what language that is, but I’m pretty sure it translates to ‘better than what the drivel we currently publish.’

So the knuckleheads down at Shameless Consumer Industries never revoked my email account, so I’ve been sitting back and listening in on the products being pitched for review. When the news broke that Moon Pie had created a bite sized movie theater version of their world famous (the part of the world that matters anyhow) snack/cushion, I knew it was my time to act.

I got in my car, grabbed a Moon Pie and an RC Cola for the road, and blasted off toward destiny. Cunningly using my not-yet-revoked ID card, I strangled the current Shameless Consumer with the lanyard in the parking lot and stole his deets. Don’t worry, I’m pretty sure he survived the fall. Protip: don’t fight a fat man after you’ve stolen his food job.

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As I said in my previous review, the Moon Pie is as American as marshmallow sandwiched between graham crackers and drizzled in chocolate, not to mention just as tasty. The Moon Pie Bites take that all-American, god given patriotism and infuse it with another national tradition: sneaking food into the movie theater.

A word of warning. Like freedom itself, the effect of Moon Pie Bites is not diluted just because it is in your pocket. Steer clear of any, shall we call them, unpatriotic entities otherwise you’ll be seeing the rockets red glare if you know what I mean. I passed by a theater playing a subtitled movie and let’s just say fireworks smell horrible when they inflame the unbathed and communist leaning.

Moon Pie Bites are described as:

MoonPie iconic brand is now available in a confection. MoonPie Bites are unique and delicious. Same great MoonPie S’More taste!… no campfire necessary. Be the first to try MoonPie Bites!

Boy they are. The campfire might be unnecessary, but I’m a man of conviction and the theaters are overly air conditioned anyway.

One important thing to note, the Moon Pie Bites don’t contain any actual marshmallow. Instead, they use artificial marshmallow flavoring, allowing for the product to be certified kosher and vegetarian.

The Shameless Consumer can sympathize with the kosher crowd, being kosher himself (just don’t read my prior reviews). But to make this all-American product vegetarian? Unfathomable. Hit me up in the comments to let me know if you’re a vegetarian, although I’m sure I don’t have to ask. I’ll remind you before you comment that I am indeed vegetarian as well. I love a plate of cheesy potatoes or broccoli to complement a rack of ribs.

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The Moon Pie Bites smell heavily of graham cracker, but the taste isn’t there. If a ghost farted after eating nothing but graham crackers for days and the fart solidified, I’m sure this is what it’d smell and taste like. I imagine the problem with Moon Pie Bites is that they are too small to encapsulate the Moon Pie experience. Moon Pies are soft and chewy, thick and creamy. These are chalky, crunchy, and closer to malted milk balls.

Regardless, the Moon Pie Bite is the Terry Bolea to Moon Pie’s Hulk Hogan: The underlying reality that is probably capable of suing us into bankruptcy if I take this analogy down an inappropriate road, not that I care because I don’t work here. This product is just unpatriotic at its core. What self-serving American takes a product and makes it smaller? Here’s how you spin off Moon Pies: Double stuffed chocolate marshmallow with sprinkles, and a coupon for a free box of M&Ms. You know, for dessert.

If you’re going to the movies, you’re better of just sneaking an actual Moon Pie in with you. It’s more filling, it’s probably cheaper than the bites, and if the usher catches you with a couple Moon Pies in your pocket, it’s not like he’s going to throw you out. You’re probably more likely to get a high five and an RC Cola. I’m pretty sure it’s in the constitution.

Ultimately, I have to give these a pass. They are the unnecessary, lower quality version of a product that was already portable, and they take away more than they add as an alternative. Useful if you can’t handle the piledriver of freedom delivered by the people’s Moon Pie elbow and need to build up an immunity before going for the full product.

Speaking of Moon Pie’s, it’s about ten thirty. Time for a Moon Pie break. This is your original Shameless Consumer signing out for now, unless my former employer wises up or my successor (if you can call him that) fails to return to work. By which I mean he dies.

Verdict: 2/5 – A low quality replacement to a product that was already portable. As unAmerican as Tofurkey, miniaturizing products, and those unfrosted cupcakes. 

Review: Burger King Mac N Cheetos

The Burger King Mac n Cheetos conjures some horrifying imagery, depending on how active your imagination is. The first thought is one of a hollowed out Cheetos puff, filled with macaroni and cheese. A disgusting, yet kind of tantalizing thought, but luckily one that doesn’t translate to the real product.

Burger King Mac n Cheetos is the latest product in the line of crossovers that we’ve come to know as the Fast Food Cinematic Universe, a mixture of two of America’s favorite foods: fried and branded. In essence, the product sounds more complicated than it is, a mozzarella stick with macaroni and cheddar instead of mozzarella.

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After lovingly licking the outside of the Cheeto as though it were my baby lion cub, I must admit I’m disappointed. One review perused by the Shameless Consumer prior to purchasing this referenced the product as “coated in Cheetos cheese dust.” Utter falsehood, and understandable if you didn’t actually eat the product but based your review on the website’s description:

Mac n’ Cheetos™ are a hand-held new take on classic mac n’ cheese, perfect for snacking on the go. Mac n’ Cheetos™ are creamy mac n’ cheese covered with crispy Cheetos flavor and served warm.

In hindsight, the logistics behind creating essentially a puffed Cheetos filled with macaroni and cheese is laughably impossible, disregarding the part of pre-cooking (to some extent) and packing them in big boxes destined for Burger Kings across the land. The idea that these are coated in anything is totally false, anyone who says that they have Cheetos dust has not eaten the product or has not sense of taste left.

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Instead, what you get is essentially a mozarella stick filled with macaroni and cheese, which isn’t a bad thing. Would this have been better if the outside had a cheesy flavor to it? Absolutely. Or if they rolled it in cheese post-cooking so each bite left a bit of cheese dust on your hands? Of course. Come on, Chester! Sucking the cheese off of your fingers is the icing on the cake for Cheetos, not to mention functioning as quite the mood builder for you couples having a hot date at Burger King.

The Mac n Cheetos apparently comes with ranch dressing, which I would have refused had they actually offered it in the three times I’ve ordered them: first, because the combination sounds disgusting, and second because Shameless Consumer has a ban on pre-packaged ranch dipping sauce. The guys down in legal told me it had to do with the previous Shameless Consumer and Jack Link’s, and a desire to avoid another food poisoning and lengthy lawsuit. I don’t ask questions.

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Burger King’s Macaroni n Cheetos are something you buy once and reminisce on how it was pretty tasty, but you’re probably not going to miss once the limited time offer runs out. Alternately, I get the feeling that this would go great as an additional topping to a burger, similar to the Mac and Cheeseburger sold at Friendly’s a few years back.

This isn’t a bad product, by any means. If you’re going to buy a pack, sold in sets of 5, I recommend avoiding the ranch.

Protip: This product does not age well and is best eaten before it cools down. Do not, under any circumstances, reheat. Especially in the microwave. If you’re going to order them, don’t do it if you’re in a rush, they generally are not ready at the time of purchase since they take up space in the fryer.

Verdict: 4/5 – Cheese could be cheesier, Burger King gave me eight for a five piece order, otherwise nothing I can explicitly say is wrong. Would go great on a burger. It works perfectly as a limited time offer and not a permanent addition to the menu.