Join me in saying F YOU to my taste buds...
Steve, Don't Eat It! Vol. 1
Potted Meat Food Product
There aren't too many products that feel the need to reassure you that they are, in fact, "food." Already not a good sign.
The list of ingredients is long and horrifying, coming right out of the gate with "MECHANICALLY SEPARATED CHICKEN." Oddly enough, I'm about to be separated from my lunch, and I haven't even opened the can yet.
Other ingredients include BEEF TRIPE, BEEF HEARTS, AND "PARTIALLY DE-FATTED COOKED PORK FATTY TISSUE" How does one de-fat fat? Bizarre. God knows what else is in here.
Okay, I'm going to go try it now. If i'm not back in ten minutes, call Poison Control...
I'm back. Oofah.
Okay, here we go-- Pulling back the lid (not recommended) lets loose an odor that punches you in the nose like a stinky fist. If you've ever smelled a can of dog food, it's just like that. Only imagine you are opening the can while your head is wedged in a horse's ass.
Inside is a smooth, oddly pink meat paste. So smooth, in fact, I dare call it "creamy." (I actually got a little gaggy just typing that.) Surprisingly, it was a little spicier than I expected. Although, that sensation may have been a by-product of my tastebuds dying.
The can shows a serving suggestion of the Potted Meat being served on squares of toast. I would also suggest squares of toilet paper. Or maybe a nice diaper.
All I can tell you is, I survived the first installment of "Steve, Don't Eat It." And I have to admit it may have even been a little educational. I know I learned at least one thing from "Ralph's Potted Meat"-- Ralph is a fucking dick.
Not surprisingly, I've come up with a little slogan the peeps who handle Potted Meat Marketing can use (no charge, as always): POTTED MEAT FOOD PRODUCT: Made By, For, And With Assholes.
Steve, Don't Eat It! Vol. 2
Pickled Pork Rinds
While perusing the "Good Lord, NOOOO!" aisle of the supermarket, I came across the atrocity known as Dolores Brand Pickled Pork Rinds. These are not the crunchy pork rinds you'll often see over by the chips. These are their grosser, soggier, potentially botulism-ier cousins.
The label says "Ready to Eat." They left off "By Dumb-Asses."
There is also a red starburst proudly proclaiming "Nuevo Envase de Vidrio Reusable". Not knowing much Spanish, I could only assume that meant "Oh Crap -- A Jar of Skin!"
I was wrong. It means: "New Reusable Glass Container" which I think is their subtle way of saying you can also use the jar to puke in.
Okay. I'm going to go consume. If I don't make it back to finish this review, tell my wife I love her. And not to eat the pork rinds.
I'm back. First off, I would like to say to Dolores, I am sorry. I don't know what it is I did to you, but you have gotten me back and we're even.
I knew I was in trouble as soon as I opened the jar, and heard no reassuring vacuum seal. I must admit that made me nervous, but what are the odds of a dusty jar of warm pig skin going bad, right?
Lifting the lid revealed a weird sour smell, something akin to mild vinegar and stale meat. I almost want to say it was like a freshly douched pork chop. But I won't. Why? Because I'm a fucking gentleman.
As I attempted to fish out a "good one," I couldn't help notice the alarming skin texture. For all those times I wondered what it would be like to gnaw on my grandmother's thigh, I was about to find out.
Taking a bite, I quickly realized the swatch of fat wasn't chewy at all. In fact, it was eerily soft, not unlike my own swatches of fat. This was a blessing because less chewing meant less actual contact with my mouth. I think it's fair to say it was everything you'd expect from a sliver of briney fat. It was also the only time in my life my brain formed the sentence: "I have a mouth full of cellulite."
While I cannot endorse the eating of Pickled Pork Rinds, I do endorse playing with it like a puzzle. I did have some fun trying to put the pig back together, but eventually that got boring as I lost the will to live.
I have a feeling Dolores and I are not done. As long as she continues to market such treats as Pickled Pork Lips and the bewildering Chili Brick, I have no doubt she and I will do battle again.
Steve, Don't Eat it! Vol. 3
Beggin' Strips are bacon-shaped, bacon-flavored treats for dogs. In the commercial a dog runs around the house like a maniac shouting BACON, BACON, BACON, BACON, BACON! It's weird, because I do the exact same thing.
Beggin' Strips slogan is "Dogs don't know it's not bacon!" Newsflash: Dogs are retarded. Mine used to eat his own vomit, and wag his tail while he did it. I'll be the one to decide if this stuff tastes like bacon or not.
I know these snacks aren't made for human consumption, but while I was in the store the ingredients list looked pretty tame so I wasn't too concerned. Somehow I had missed one extremely dubious word sitting there all by itself. "MEAT". That's all it says... meat.
Meat is a pretty large umbrella. Beef is meat. Pork is meat. Horses, monkeys, and allegedly Arby's roast beef are meat. Even Rosie O'Donnell's ball sack is meat. Okay, maybe I've gone too far. I have no idea what that is they are serving at Arby's, but you get my point.
Alas, there is no turning back now. Despite the fact that I am a grown man with children, I'm off to go eat dog food. And what better way to have Beggin' Strips than in a Beggin', Lettuce, and Tomato Sammich!
I'm back. And I'm sad to report that I did not run around the house yelling "Bacon!" I did, however, run around the house yelling "Call 911!"
GodDAMN these are foul. Don't try this at home. I'm not sure it's safe, and I am sure your tongue may kill itself.
While they were a little too artificially colored red to pass for real bacon, I was pleased to see they were not all the same shape. Similar to slices of real bacon, they each have their own curvy and shriveled identity. (Just like my aunts and uncles.)
And somehow these Beggin' Strips also managed to smell just like bacon. Oopsie. Typo. I meant to say "the smoky puke of a thousand maniacs."
To put it simply, this is the devil's bacon. Even a healthy dose of bread, mayo, lettuce and tomato couldn't come close to masking the evil. The bitter nastiness literally got worse with every chew, and I was overcome by the urge to go in the backyard and eat grass until it was all out of me.
The following is a message to all dogs who read The Sneeze: First, sit. Sit! Good boy. Now listen to me. Beggin' Strips do NOT, I repeat, DO NOT TASTE LIKE BACON. You are all being played for chumps! Alright, now give me your paw. Okay, roll over! Good boy! Now go take a steamy dump in your master's shoe. Go on! Get!
In closing, the only silver lining to this dark dark cloud is I have figured out why so many dogs lick their own assholes. They are trying to kill the taste of Beggin' Strips. (By the way, it doesn't work.)
(All Steve, Don't Eat It's can be found here.)
Steve, Don't Eat It! -- 1991 Urkel-Os
Years ago, my friend Lisa gave me an autographed box of Urkel-O's cereal. It is signed: "To Steve -- God Bless, Jaleel White." I don't know, but if I were God, I'm not sure I'd listen to Urkel. In fact, I think my Godly response might be something like, "Hey, fuck you, Urkel. Don't tell me who to bless."
Incidentally, I'm not the "Steve" it was signed for. Lisa found the box in a collectibles store, but that's okay. I don't mind being a second-hand Steve.
I had always been a little creeped out that the cereal was still in the box since 1991. But the Urkel-Os are now 14 years old, and I am no longer creeped out. I'm psyched, because I realized what I have in my possession is not just a box of old cereal (and possibly some larvae), but a chance to taste history.
This particular box of Urkel-O's is unique because it's some kind of weird sales sample, and has "marketing features and benefits" on the back. One of the "features" is actually listed as: Fun, circle-shaped product. I had no idea circles were so fun. At least now I know what to get the kids next Christmas. A fucking circle.
I'd also like to point out, that the cereal itself doesn't have a single thing to do with Urkel. It's just strawberry and banana flavored rings. If there was an episode where Urkel lost his virginity to a strawberry flavored ring, I missed it.
You'd think for a celebrity tie-in, they'd at least make half an effort to actually "tie" it in to something. Even if they just connected the loops together, I'd buy that they were supposed to be Urkel's glasses.
In fact, C3PO's cereal would have been a better Urkel-O's -- look at 'em. Come to think of it, what the hell were C3P0's supposed to be anyway? His eyes? That there is some jedi bullshit.
Well, it's cereal time, and I'm gonna go eat me a big ol' bowl of 1991...
I'm a little freaked out. Should I call the Pope? This is a miracle, right? I mean, I used to think the idea of suspended animation and cryogenics was pretty cool, but the hell with that. If I die, don't freeze my brain -- just bury me in a box of Urkel-O's. Apparently it has the ability to stop time.
And what's even more ridiculous is the milk I used was only 2 days past the expiration date, and it tasted funkier than the cereal. (Which, by the way, was only 4,380 days past its expiration date.)
My wife doesn't like it when I eat potentially life-threatening stuff. I don't know what her problem is. Maybe she's just afraid to raise our children alone. What a baby. When I told her that the cereal was still good, she was amazed for a moment and then she said, "Good. Now you can throw it away."
Throw it away?! She's a loon. I told her I'm putting it right back in the box so I can try eating it again in six years when it turns 20.
It looks like this episode of Steve, Don't Eat It has a happy ending. Although, I am glad Urkel signed the box "God Bless." I may need it in heaven tonight, after I die from strawberry-flavored maggots hatching in my rectum.
(All Steve, Don't Eat It's can be found here.)
Steve, Don't Eat It! Vol. 5
Until now, the foods I've sampled for this section have all come from the supermarket. Then one day I realized that a perfectly viable "Steve Don't Eat It" candidate has been sitting right under my nose for months. Right in my very own refrigerator. And it came right out of my wife! No, I'm not talking about that giant cucumber, perv. I'm talking about breast milk.
That's right. And not just a little drop off the odd finger, but a genuine slug of freshly-pumped wife juice. (I'll go ahead and ignore the shiver I just got, and keep typing.)
Thinking about actually drinking breast milk has caused me to ponder the question: Is it not weirder to drink cow's milk which is truly intended for baby cows? The answer: Hell no! The only thing weirder than me drinking breast milk, is the fact that milk is coming out of my wife's chest in the first place. It sure as hell didn't do that when I met her. I'm telling you, the whole thing is lunacy. I love my wife, but does she really have to be such a mammal?
Okay, I have put this off long enough. The time has come. I'm off to The Booby Bar to see what they've got on tap...
Oh, where do I begin?
Well, I did feel the need to find the appropriate glass. Drinking it from a baby bottle seemed too on the nose (not to mention too creepy), and I didn't have enough milk to justify a martini glass. (Although with a splash of Bailey's I suppose you'd have yourself a nice "Nippletini.") Luckily the "Dumbass Website Gods" smiled down upon me. I came across the only shot glass we happened to have in the house, and it was actually from Wisconsin -- The Milk State!
I must admit that my aversion to drinking breast milk is something of a double-standard. Let me try to put this as delicately as I can out of respect to my female readers... but some women have been known to willingly "ingest" a certain dubious "body fluid" made by men, during moments of "intimacy." (These moments are known as "blow jobs." These women are known as "awesome.")
Nevertheless, I couldn't bring myself to just do the whole shot at once, so I started out with a little girly sip. And the truth is it's not that bad at all. It tastes like milk, just slightly more sweet. And mentally, just slightly more making me want to gargle with Clorox and assume the fetal position while I question my life.
Now, while I may have issues with drinking this stuff, I have been a huge fan of its packaging for years. You may be interested to know that breast milk is now available in a variety of convenient sizes:
from the portable, half-pint container...
to the more economical one gallon jugs.
To make things more interesting, and a little bit easier on myself, I decided to break out the Hershey's syrup and whip up some chocolate breast milk.
This time I just knocked the shot right back, and two words immediately came to mind: Yoo Hoo. It tasted just like good ol' Yoo Hoo. I almost want to say that drinking breast milk isn't so bad, except the other two-word phrases that also came to mind were "stomach pump" and "kill me."
I'm officially leaving all future breast milk drinking in the capable hands of my baby boy -- the one guy who now gets to second base with my wife way more than I do. But, I don't mind. I love that little asshole.
(All volumes of Steve, Don't Eat It can be found here.)
Steve, Don't Eat It! Vol. 6
I recently came across a container of fermented soybeans in the supermarket. I don't mean an old container of soybeans some stockboy forgot to toss. These are fermented-on-purpose soybeans from Japan. That's what Natto is.
I remembered hearing about this stuff on Iron Chef one time when it was the secret ingredient. The judges in the show were commenting on what a great job the chefs had done to "supress the smell" of the natto. I'm no Iron Chef, but I've got a clever way to supress the smell. Don't put it in your fucking food. I might not win "Battle Natto," but I promise you my dinner won't smell like stank-ass soybeans.
I found it slightly unsettling that the sealed styrofoam container had creepy little airholes in it. As if what was inside needed to breathe. I dared to lift the lid, which made me regret that I needed to breathe. The natto was coated in some kind of sick slime and had the complex yet playful aroma of a dumpster in July.
Actually, the little pile inside looked kinda like baked beans. It also smelled kinda like baked beans. If they were baked in the filthy heat of Satan's asshole.
This particular batch was made by a company in Japan called Shirakiku. I haven't been able to determine if Shirakiku is a food manufacturer, or just a store that sells gag gifts and practical jokes. It might be both.
Not unlike Michael Jackson, these harmless soybeans had undergone some kind of hideous transformation. They were now a freakish version of their former selves. (Which, coincidentally, should also be kept away from your children.)
The most disturbing aspect of this stuff is it seems to get "activated" when you stir it. What I mean by this is, (and I may actually weep, but...) the slimy coating on the beans develops into stringy, stretchy, marshmallow-like strands that will forever haunt my dreams.
Basically, if you move it back and forth enough, you're left with a gross, sticky mess. (Hey, natto and I have at least one thing in common!) And now that I think about it, that's exactly what it looks like the pranksters back at Shirakiku did into my beans. You guuuys!
I force-fed myself a big ol' spoonful, and found it to be slightly rancid and extremely bitter. Unfortunately, swallowing didn't help dissipate the flavor because the strings of bean jizz melted, coating my mouth and lips with a glistening sheen of sadness.
The entire experience is difficult to describe, but if you can remember back to the very first time you made out with a hobo's ass, it's a lot like that.
What I find most hilarious is that there is an expiration date on the package. What could they possibly expect to happen to the product on this date THAT HAS NOT ALREADY OCCURRED?!!!
Also, nestled in this mound of compost was a li'l packet of mustard. In its place, I would strongly suggest a written apology.
I do have one last theory about the date on the package. It may be an expiration date, but not for the beans. If you finish the container, that's the day you die.
(All episodes of "Steve, Don't Eat It!" can be found here.)
Steve, Don't Eat It! Vol. 7
Cuitlacoche is a black fungus that infects corn fields, making the kernels bulbous and swollen as they fill with spores. It also goes by the name Huitlacoche. If you're having trouble with the pronounciation, it's: Cuitlacoche (kweet-lah-KOH-chay) or Huitlacoche (dat-sfuckin-NAS-tee).
It's safe to say this is the first time I've ever paid for an infection. I am, of course, not counting the one I got from your mother. (YES! You walked right into that.)
I've read that U.S. farmers consider it a disease and destroy it. Farmers in Mexico put it in cans and sell it as a delicacy. I travelled far and wide to find my own precious can of Cuitlacoche. Okay, it was at my supermarket, but I had to drive like two miles to get there and got stuck at a couple of lights.
Enough chit-chat. I'm gonna go dine on a can of disease. But before I do, I really do feel bad about that cheap mother joke. My sincere apologies to you and your lovely mom. (The filthy whore.) Be right back!
Oh, sweet Christ. Visually, I think the bar for Steve, Don't Eat It! is about to be set at a new low. So I'm going to ease you people into this one. Let's begin with a single spore-filled kernel before we examine the entire contents.
The following picture is a swear-to-God-unretouched-side-by-side comparison of a normal kernel of corn and an infected huitlacoche kernel, both from the same can.
These results can also be achieved by bombarding a kernel of corn with gamma rays and then making it angry. (But be warned. You won't like it when it's angry.)
Alright, you've waited long enough.
Presenting the entire can of imported sludge (that I was actually charged money for)...
Don't worry, I checked the ingredients before I tasted it. "Smoker's lung" was not on there.
Before I even got the whole can open, I detected a vague aroma of sweet corn, along with what I can only describe as a deep musky funk. Put 'em together and it smells like corn that forgot to wipe.
In just a single serving, you'll experience a wide array of textures. Without getting too gross, it's because the disease is more advanced in some kernels than others. One bite might be kinda chewy, while the next might burst in your mouth like a black pus-filled blister. (Whoops, forgot about the not-too-gross thing. Oh well. Nuts to you!)
So, how does Huitlacoche taste? Does it matter?? LOOK AT IT!
I guess it would be fair to say it doesn't taste as truly horrible as it looks. The flavor is elusive and difficult to describe, but I'll try: "Kinda yucky." Hey, that wasn't so hard after all. (Sometimes I forget I'm a goddamn wordsmith.)
For any connoisseurs, I'm not sure if this stuff would go better with red wine or white. How about with a bottle of Bactine? I've always found that goes great with infections.
Huitlacoche also goes by some other names. It's frequently called Maize Mushroom, Corn Smut, and Mexican Truffle. I've even heard it referred to as "Devil Poop"-- but that was only after I said it. (For God's sake, it comes with little bits of corn already in it! Talk about a time-saver.)
I thought it was interesting that Monteblanco chose to make their company logo the focal point of the can. I also found a can of huitlacoche from Goya. They, too, have downplayed the visuals by hiding it in a mild-mannered burrito.
I went ahead and made a new can label for the gang back at Cuitlacoche Central. As always, this is a free service.
Well, that brings us to the end of a long overdue Steve, Don't Eat It! And now I have a belly full of diseased corn. Maybe I should go see a doctor about a penicillin shot.
For your mom. (YES! In your face! Oh man...)
All Steve, Don't Eat Its can be found here.
Steve, Don't Eat It! Vol. 8
I'm simply not cut out for jail. Where I really shine is watching Tivo on a couch. As soon as you need me to survive a sharpened-spoon attack, (or even a regular spoon attack)-- I'm just not your guy.
Nevertheless, if I do ever end up in the big house, there's a chance I'll make it out alive as the prison brewmeister. I know this for I have read the 1994 book "You Are Going To Prison" by Jim Hogshire. (Well, I actually only skimmed through the book, so I'll probably be dead in a day and a half.)
The following book excerpt contains the prison wine recipe...
With that, I give you the longest, scrolliest, bandwidth destroyingest Steve, Don't Eat It to date. Phooey on you sobriety! I'm makin' some hooch!
I gave serious thought to whether the straining sock should be clean or not. I came to the conclusion that it shouldn't. In the spirit of Steve, Don't Eat It, I need to take it to the extreme! Plus, I was already wearing dirty socks and my clean ones were in the bedroom, like 20 feet away.
Here are all the ingredients necessary. I thought it would be nice to make both red and white prison wine to match well with whatever dishes the prison chef might prepare. I'm sure Martha Stewart did the same if/when she brewed this stuff in her cell toilet. But she probably used a clean sock, being as she's fancy.
Getting slightly moldy bread proved to be more difficult than I expected. I bought the cheapest white bread I could find and waited for it to go green. I swear to God it stayed good for a month.
Whenever I WANT bread in my house, it's moldy. Now that I actually needed it to happen, it wouldn't. Luckily, I discovered an old green hot dog bun in a bag on top of the fridge and put that in with the bread to teach it the ways of the mold. In this way, the green bun was Yoda. It worked perfectly. And it didn't even sound suspiciously like Grover.
It was finally time to begin the brewing process. I reflected on the artisans around the world who've dedicated their lives to the craft of winemaking, as I lovingly shoved moldy bread in my socks.
I decided to break up the two wine recipes thusly...
The Red Prison Wine (pictured above) would be made with red grape juice, tomatoes, raisins, sugar, the dirty sock filled with moldy bread, and one packet of yeast. (I thought it would be interesting to add yeast to one batch and not the other, and compare the results.)
As stated in the book, yeast is definitely contraband, but for the sake of this culinary experiment we'll just assume I gave the prison baker a hand-job.
But then the guy wouldn't give me the yeast! SO I STABBED HIM WITH A PEN IN THE EYE AND TOOK IT! And I was all, "DON'T FUCK WITH STEVE!"
Yes. This is what we should assume.
As for the White Prison Wine, it would contain: White grape juice and the moldy bread sock. No extra yeast added. For the requisite sugar, I went with some powdered drink mix, a few packets of ketchup and a handful of Tigger fruit snacks.
Hmm... I can't put my finger on why, but I could swear these ingredients almost look at home in this garbage bag. It must be the lighting.
(Incidentally, I realized I forgot to take a picture of this one with the grape juice, but then I remembered that's okay because... in Hell, this is all you get!)
I knotted up the bags, poked a straw in the top as the recipe called for and tucked them away in our bathroom for safe keeping. If you're wondering why I didn't actually make this stuff in my toilet-- give me a break. I'm all too aware of my previous creations in that toilet. Just be glad I'm drinking moldy sock juice at all for you fuckers.
Within a day or two, the bathroom had taken on a strong sour smell. That "bar at 4 AM" smell. Everytime my wife went in there she complained about it. Everytime I went in there I just had the urge to pick up a skank.
7 long days later it was time to crack open the bags and see what we had...
I started with the red, and it somehow smelled amazingly good! Like fresh, sweet grapes. You know, there's an old expression that says In wine, there is truth. In this case, I could also make out some chunks and what appeared to be a severed foot.
Then there was the "white" wine. This one's aroma was slightly more earthy. Do you know that smell of grass right after it's cut? That's nice. I was just making chit-chat, because this smelled like rotten eggs tucked into the anus of a dead cat.
I really don't understand what could have gone wrong! I used moldy bread and socks, EXACTLY LIKE THE RECIPE SAID!
I purchased two large decanters, carefully transferred my fruity after-birth into them, and brought it to my friends Anthony and Steve for a group tasting. I didn't strain the red, just in case anybody wanted Prison Sangria.
First we sampled the red prison wine. It was sour, but certainly not terrible. And the good news was it was definitely wine... like... ish. It was surprisingly dry. All the sugar was gone. Then again, if you were sugar, would you have stayed in that shitty-ass garbage bag?
We were all pleasantly surprised.
It was time for the white. Wine tasters refer to a wine's aroma as its "nose." This wine's nose was a rectum. If this wasn't wine, I had somehow stumbled upon the recipe for Prison Stink Bombs. Forget about drinking it, I was afraid of getting it on me.
Through some miracle, it actually tasted nothing like it smelled. In fact, there was very little flavor other than sour, watery alcohol. It's hard to believe this started out as a bag of fruit snacks and grape juice. Yet somehow these ingredients went from sweet and child-like to harsh and alcoholic quicker than Lindsay Lohan.
Now that I think about it, prison inmates frequently turn to religion. I'm not very religious, but maybe I should be. Sure, Jesus made wine from water, but I did it with a dirty sock and fruit snacks! You tell me what the bigger miracle is. And I'm not even the son of God...or am I?
Out of curiousity, I purchased a device from a brewing supply house that allowed me to measure the wine's alcohol content. The red came in at 10.5% alcohol. The white was a whopping 14% alcohol! All of this led me to a simple conclusion: I miss old Lindsay Lohan, with the big boobies.
WARNING: Don't try this yourself. Brewing alcohol in unsterile conditions is an obvious health risk. Stay safe, and leave the food stupidity to me. Thanks. (That goes for you too, Lohan.)
All episodes of Steve, Don't Eat It! can be found here.
Steve, Don't Eat It! - Silkworm Pupas
Imagine a cute little silkworm all snug in his cocoon. Perhaps his name is Arthur.
He rubs his tiny hands together and thinks, "Finally. Tomorrow I get my wings!" Arthur drifts off to sleep with dreams of floating across a summer breeze... until he's unceremoniously slapped in a can, now destined to float through the intestines of a dumbass named Steve. (Cue: comical trombone.)
And so begins Steve, Don't Eat It - Vol. 9.
Someone recently told me they don't eat peanut butter because the FDA permits it to legally contain a certain amount of insect parts. This person might not want to buy a can of Silkworm Pupas. The amount of bugs in here is downright wacky.
The writing on the can is all in Korean. It just so happens that I have a Korean aunt who was happy to provide a translation.
The big red letters say "Bun Dae Ki" or "Silkworm Snacks." Apparently "Snacks" is a very powerful word. It's all you need to transform any putrid item into a fun new treat. The next time you see some kid go two knuckles deep in his nose and then consume the treasures within, don't be grossed out. He's just enjoying some Booger Snacks!
I won't bore you with every word on the can, but I'll hit the highlights...
Any words in an oval demand attention. The yellow oval on this can says "High Protein - Great side dish when drinking alcohol." I imagine this came from the silkworm marketing team when faced with the nagging question "Who the fuck's gonna eat this?!" The answer: DRUNKS!
On the back of the can is a list of bullet points. One of them is: "Warning! Some people may be allergic to silkworms, and get blotches or break out from eating the contents of this can." Luckily I can't read Korean, so I'm good.
Sadly there is no "Serving Size" listed-- ruining my hopes that the serving size might be zero.
Alright, I've stalled as long as I can. It's time for me to get pupified...
I found it odd that the pull-tab was actually on the bottom of the can, until I realized this is just a time-saver for people who'd rather open it right over the garbage.
Below is a "beauty shot" of just one of the 106 pupae found in the can. Mmmm. Is it me, or does that penny suddenly look delicious?
The silkworm pupas gave off a subtle, nutty aroma. Not strong like my nuts after a weekend with no shower, just more like their usual, end-of-the-day twang.
These little guys only cost me 79 cents. That's a mere 0.7 cents per pupa. Quite the bargain... for a can of dead, turd-like moths... in their own gravy... why God... WHY??
The pile of moist cocoons looked so sad sitting there (like so many piles of moist cocoons will) that I decided to cheer them up. Make 'em feel fancy! One doily, some frilly toothpicks and a few dry heaves later, and I'd say mission accomplished!
With pinky extended, I chose an an extra pupy one and popped it in my mouth. The silkworm pupas didn't have a strong flavor. In fact, they had the somewhat familiar flavor of bad canned peas. With just a hint of mildew. Overall, not terrible.
But what caught me off guard was the crunchy cocoon. Silk my ass. This was like chewing on tiny bones. The good news is I was immediately distracted by the unexpected squirt of briny liquid that shot out into my mouth. A little heads up would have been nice. (Am I right, ladies?)
Having gotten the tasting out of the way, I decided to conduct a miniature pupa autopsy. Armed with an X-acto blade I carefully tried to peel away the cocoon to see what I could find. What I found was, I have the knife skills of an epileptic monkey.
The cocoon just gave way to a mushy pile of moth guts. Or as I like to call them, Moth Gut Snacks!
The best I could hope for was a clean split, right down the middle. Which is ironic, because this type of cut is referred to as a "butterfly." (See, cuz it's a caterpillar... and the cocoon with the... thing... Look I didn't say it was funny, I said it was ironic. Get off my back, alright? What did I do to you?!)
That X-Acto would go so nicely across my wrists just about now.
All of this reminded me of something I had seen in one of my sons' board books. After a bit of searching I found it in the next to last page of "The Very Hungry Caterpillar."
At the end of the story the little guy emerges as a beautiful butterfly and the transformation is complete.
Please note the hole in the page. That was chewed there by my son. I used to think he did it because he was teething. Now I know he was just trying to eat the butterfly, and he takes after his daddy. That's my boy!
Alright, I'm gonna go get loaded. Who am I to disobey an oval?
But before I do, I've been feeling bad about our pal Arthur. Since he gave his life in the name of Steve, Don't Eat It, I thought it would be nice to give him the gift of flight after all.
Go Artie, go! Fly and be free!
(All volumes of Steve, Don't Eat It! can be found here.)
Steve, Don't Eat It! - The Tree Brain
Over the last 4 years we've tracked the annual growth of fungus on the trees in front of my house, but the time for tracking was over. The time for chewing was here.
I was never interested in eating the Tree Brain because wild mushrooms can kill people. So I'm going to start off by saying: DO NOT EAT ANY MUSHROOMS YOU FIND GROWING IN THE WILD. I have no interest in being an accessory to your untimely death. Even if you think you've found a mushroom similar to mine, don't eat it. YOU WILL DIE. You'll be a dick and you'll die. So don't do it.
I'm serious. Pretend this is a PSA with a well-respected celebrity, such as -- I don't know... Jeremy Gelbwaks. And in the PSA he looks to camera and says "Hi, I'm TV's Jeremy Gelbwaks. You may know me better as the kid who was the first Chris Partridge on the Partridge Family. Don't eat mushrooms you find in the wild." And then off-camera we hear: "He's right." And, oh my God, it's BRIAN FORSTER, Chris Partridge #2! The two Chris's laugh, high-five and we're all a little bit safer.
That said, I totally ate the tree brain.
At some point a small residual nubbin finally did grow on the original tree. It seemed a waste to not do SOMETHING with it. And as much as I like writing this site for you guys, hot man on mushroom sex wasn't going to happen.
My wife has been the real force behind me not eating it over the years, but I caught her at just the right time. I reminded her that a professional mycologist had identified it and that I was well-read on all the potential pitfalls. It was still "young," it was not growing on a type of tree that could potentially make me ill (such as eucalyptus) and I was going to cook it thoroughly. I also found it hard to believe it would want to hurt me after all I've done for Tree Brain awareness.
I was 99.7% sure I'd be fine and I even made a deal with her that I'd just chew it and spit it out. Luckily, she was feeling sick and had a headache. I was given some vague "Do whatever you want," approval.
It really is heartwarming to know that my wife is devoted and loves me and doesn't want me to die. Unless her head hurts a little.
I tried to think of some perfect words to say before removing the brain. This was a historic moment and I wanted to come up with something fitting. Then my neighbors across the street drove up. I felt silly and hid behind my car until they went inside. Eventually I cut off the brain and ran back into my house. Historically.
It was weird to see it in my kitchen. I took a few pics like a geeky fanboy...
then unceremoniously hacked it to pieces.
The raw brain didn't smell like much of anything. If I was going to taste this thing, I didn't want to mask the flavor so I just went with a little olive oil.
The hunks got more intensely orange as they cooked down and soon it was go time. As I promised my wife, the plan was to chew it and spit it out. BUT IT WAS SO GODDAMN DELICIOUS IT HAD TO BE SWALLOWED. IT WAS THE BEST MUSHROOM I'VE EVER HAD.
I had read over and over that these Sulfur Shelf mushrooms (sometimes called "Chicken of the Woods") were supposed taste like chicken or even lemony chicken. But it didn't just "kind of" taste like lemony chicken. It was as if Willy Wonka branched out from chocolate to work on a lemony chicken mushroom and when he let you try it you'd be like, "Holy shit, this REALLY tastes like lemony chicken, Bill!" (Although it wouldn't kill you to treat Mr. Wonka with a little more respect.)
I waited awhile to see if I got sick. I didn't, so I went off zombie-style on the remaining brains. Even my wife, who was still feeling like crap, tried it and had to admit to its deliciousness.
Lest you doubt that the tree brain was consumed, I've decided to include an up close and personal picture of my sloppy food hole, chewing it up. I've always felt you didn't need to actually see these types of pix of food literally being mashed up in my mouth, but I figured on such a momentous occasion, it should be documented -- saliva, taste buds, 4 days of stubble and all.
I can't wait until next year. I will eat the shit out of that tree.
I have to say, it's weird to watch something grow for 4 years and then all of a sudden you're eating it. It really made me think... Maybe I should... EAT MY SON.
"Hi, I'm Jeremy Gelbwaks. Remember -- never eat your son."
But think about how tender he'll be, Jeremy Gelbwaks!
"Oh, he'd be tender for sure. But, Jeremy's right."
BRIAN FORSTER?! What are you doing here?!
"I'm here to say eating your kids is not cool."
"But-- I have a website, and-- Fine, whatever. I won't eat my son." Stupid Chris Partridges and their voice of reason.
(All Steve, Don't Eat It! posts can be found here.)
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