The season is about to change, and those of us in the Northern Hemisphere can finally put away our swimsuits and get back to stuffing our faces with abandon. Whether your vice is salty or sweet, I’m sure there is some snack out there that calls to you like a siren. I know, because I have, like, several.
The biggest problem I have is my unhealthy relationship with brownies, and in particular those Little Debbie Fudge Brownies. And I don’t mean “haha, it’s unhealthy because I’m a woman who likes chocolate!” I mean that I have literally HOARDED boxes of them. Squirreled them away in a bookshelf in my room so no one else would find them and GASP! Eat them. I had to have them all to myself.
It started when I was 7 or 8, and my mom would pack one in my lunch for school. There was a careful ritual I’d developed for eating them: First I’d wipe all the nuts off the top into the trash, because fuck that shit. Then I’d sort of peel up the fudgy part and roll it into a ball. I’d eat the cakey brownie layer on its own, then finish it off with that fudge ball. The process was greasy and tedious, but it made the enjoyment of each brownie last.
Somewhere along the line (probably when I stopped taking lunch to school) I stopped eating those Little Debbie wonders. And soon enough I was an adult, who cooked food! With vegetables! And did her own grocery shopping! It was in the supermarket that I started phase two of my love affair with those fudge brownies. I locked eyes with the Little Debbie display, but I wasn’t looking to relive the emotional turmoil of my youth, so I continued to walk on by… and then I stopped in my tracks. Because next to the normal fudge brownies were a new type I’d never seen before. A type with rainbow chocolate chips in place of the nuts on top.
I’m talking about motherfuckin COSMIC BROWNIES.
Look, I was in my mid-twenties. I could make my own choices. And I chose to buy a box, then take it home and hide it in my room like a shameful secret. A secret I could enjoy in increments. In bed. And then I proceeded to buy a box every week for months, despite the fact that they tasted a bit too sugary to my more mature palate.
I’ve since kicked that habit, though it’s always there in the back of my mind. The siren call of Little Debbie trying to reel me back in with promises of cosmic rainbow chocolate magic.
And then there’s pickle chips. I don’t mean pickles cut into round disks rather than spears. I mean potato chips that taste like pickles. I am constantly on the hunt for new brands to taste test, looking for the MOST PICKLE OF CHIP out there. So far, there is one brand that is the hands-down winner in my book: McClure’s. Probably because they primarily make actual goddamn pickles, and the chips thing is a sideline. They only have three flavors: Garlic Dill Pickle, Spicy Pickle, and Bloody Mary (oh, they also make a killer Bloody Mary mix, hence this chip). They aren’t widely available, but I could always find them in Brooklyn. When I was feeling healthy, I’d only buy one bag as a treat. When I was in the mood to go full-on addict, I’d buy a bag of each.
And I could finish a bag in one sitting. Normally I’d stretch it out to two, just to prove I had restraint, but I didn’t have to. “Hungry” or “Full” have no meaning when there is an open bag of McClure’s in my face. There is only “More.” There is only the salty, tart powder on my fingers and the weight of the bag, like a promise in my hand. Which is why it’s a good thing I can’t find them, now that I’ve fucked off out of the city and up a damn mountain.
How about you? What foods turn you into a ravenous beast with no self control? Or… am I alone with this? No, that’s cool, I get it.
I’m gonna go eat my feelings.