Throughout my life, I’ve been fairly consistent in listing the three things I don’t eat.  They are, in no particular order: popcorn, candied fruit, and Shepherd’s Pie.

In the case of Shepherd’s Pie, it’s a bit bewildering as I do enjoy its ingredients separately – ground beef, mashed potatoes, corn – but there’s something about the sum of its parts that trigger my gag reflex whenever.  Popcorn is just bland – annoyingly so – with those little bits that always get stuck in your teeth.  And then there’s candied fruit.  Do I even need to explain why that’s on the list?

Anyway, these three have made my culinary don’t-go-to list for as long as I’ve been compiling lists and then, last week, the very foundation of my reality was rocked by this –
September 22, 2015: The Devil’s Snack!

“I know you don’t eat popcorn,”said Robert Cooper, “but this stuff is great.  I can’t stop eating it.”

I was, of course, dubious.  Chicago Mix?  A caramel corn and cheddar cheese combination?  Urgh.  It sounded terrible but, just for a lark, I decided to try a couple, popping one of each kernel into my mouth.  My initial reaction: “Weird, but not bad.”  And then: “Actually, kind of interesting.”  And then: “Help me!  I can’t stop!”  Five minutes later, I was shoving fistfuls into my mouth while pleading with Ivon Bartok to hide the bag.

Chicago Mix popcorn is the Devil’s snack!

Joining this list of Foods-I’ll-Just-Keep-Eating-Until-They’re-Finished-Or-Taken-Away:

September 22, 2015: The Devil’s Snack!

An avowed chocolate snob, I love my Amedei Chuaos and Porclenas,  Pralus Papouasies, and Patrick Roger’s pralinés – but nutella always takes me back to my youth.  I can eat it straight out of the jar or, preferably, on a bowl of Haagen-Dazs french vanilla.

September 22, 2015: The Devil’s Snack!

I discovered Hattendo Cream Buns in the Akihabara subway station in Tokyo a couple of years back.  The ultra-soft buns are served chilled and stuffed with a variety of creams – from matcha to chocolate.  I can’t eat just one!  Any doubt to the relative guilt-inducing prospects of this delicious dessert should be dispelled by the following photo of me eating one:

September 22, 2015: The Devil’s Snack!

I bet you couldn’t envision a more guilty-looking eater.

September 22, 2015: The Devil’s Snack!

The last time my sister visited Vancouver, she brought me a tin of kouign-amman from Patisserie au Kouign Amann on Mont Royal East.  I could barely pronounce the name but one bite of the butter and sugar-infused layered puff pastry with its crunchy caramelized crust and top, and I was hooked.  I’ve had other versions but none come close to these.  Thank goodness they’re located on the other side of the country.

September 22, 2015: The Devil’s Snack!

If you’re ever out to dinner with me and see a chocolate chip skillet cookie a la mode on the menu, you can be damn sure I’ll be ordering it – with an extra scoop of vanilla ice cream because the ice cream to cookie ratio is always off.  There was a burger place in Toronto that used to serve them and I used to love the place, suffering through the mediocre burgers just to get to the dessert.

And you?  What’s your culinary Kryptonite?  Your Devil’s snack?

46 thoughts on “September 22, 2015: The Devil’s snack!

  1. All those snacks pictured would probably do it for me. Right now though, I’ve been addicted to dark chocolate covered pretzels. I found a huge bag of them at Costco’s. It’s fortunate that I have a fast metabolism. I’ll swim a few extra laps and no one will be the wiser. 😉

    Having a nice time with your Sis? I hope the visit goes great!

  2. Devil’s snack. hmmmm….

    1) I’ve only had this once, and I just couldn’t quit eating it. Everyone looked at me like I was a freak. It sounds so disgusting but it’s soooo good. Nacho Cheese Doritos with Cheese Whiz on top.

    2) Cookies and Cream Ice Cream Milkshake. Over the years I have perfected this creation so that it is as thick as a blizzard and you can turn it upside down without having it fall out of the glass. It actually involves a microwave…

    3) My wife’s chocolate chip cookies from the oven in our old house. Our new house oven, not so much…

  3. Although it’s probably sacrilege to say so in polite company, I actually find that Nutella gives me the same gag reaction that you mention. I just can’t handle its over-sweetness. I do love some kettle corn though, and that Chicago mix does look really, really good.

    One of my new favourite snacks is Twistos Bites, specifically the Smoked Gouda BBQ flavour. (I don’t think you can get them in the US) – I just love them and have to really try to avoid eating a whole bag at a time. At which I usually fail. Luckily, they’re not all that heavy in calories.

    Also, don’t get me started on a box of Beta5 chocolates!

  4. Salted roasted peanuts in the shell. It doesn’t matter if I take a few and leave the bag in the pantry. I will make enough trips to finish the bag. Temporary solution is to only bring home the little bags from the dollar store and not the party size bag from Costco.

    For sweets, it’s Ben & Jerry’s Chunky Monkey ice cream. Open pint, insert spoon. Repeat.

  5. I’ve never met a food I didn’t like, at least a little, so picking one thing that’s my “culinary Kryptonite” is difficult, if not impossible.

    On the sweet side, a nice slice of devil’s food/dark chocolate cake with chocolate frosting is irresistible to me. Pair it with a tall, cold glass of milk and you’ve got my gold Kryptonite.

    On the savory side, I’d have to pick a Cajun staple: Cracklin with another Cajun favorite, boudin, coming in a close 2nd.

    Calling cracklin (there is no “s”, even when referring to a bag full) “pork rinds” is not only inaccurate, but does a disservice to these heavenly pig nuggets of death. They’re layered pieces containing the skin along with alternating layers of fat and meat. Think of it as a really crunchy and flavorful pork rind fused with bacon, but with a unique taste all its own. They look terrible and taste amazing.

    For a quick anatomy of a cracklin, check out this link. It’ll give you a much better description than what I’ve provided.

    Now please stop making me hungry …

  6. Hi Joe

    Baked potato, with butter and cheese…. always tastes like more.


  7. 1) Cookie Dough Ice cream with hot brownie is my number one Devil’s snack!

    2) I have to second GForce on the Kettle Corn covered in Carmel…

    3) However, my all time snack or party surprise… A Taco Ring that in our house has been re-named as “TACO GATE” =)

    Nice Pizza Stone some crescent rolls and some awesome ingratents adds fun to any Sunday game day!|Spanish|Mexican/Taco+Ring/9963

  8. Though more of a meal than a snack, Kraft Deluxe Macaroni & Cheese. That’s the one with the gooey cheese sauce ready to stir in, no butter or milk required. Grew up with the original with the cheese sauce in a can, but the flavors introduced in past few years are also favorites.

  9. Chips and dip. Any kind, any flavor.

    Chocolate milk. If I pick up a half gallon, I’ll drink it all in no more than 3 days.

    I agree about that popcorn. My favorite variety has a little chocolate, caramel, and white chocolate drizzled all over it. Now that you’ve come over to the popcorn dark side, getcha some of that Joe! 🙂

  10. I have too many to list. A big crumbly chunk of bleu cheese, dark chocolate anything, Fritos dipped in plain Greek yogurt…things that I shouldn’t eat or love, but I do. Lately all have been trumped by Albanese (World’s Best) Gummi Bears. I swear I’ll only eat one, or two…then I find the grapefruit one…my favorite!…but first I have to eat all these red ones because, well, because there are just too many red ones…and then the orange ones, then the green ones…THEN the grapefruit. And by then the bag is empty. 😛


  11. We love that popcorn! Have an open bag in the pantry right now, as a matter of fact! Costco is the only place in NJ I can find it.

  12. I’m almost embarrassed to say it as it’s such a simple item, but, I am addicted to peanut M&M’s.

    There. Now that it’s out in the open, I feel so much better.

    I think I deserve a reward… to get the big Costco bag.

  13. Three of my devil’s snacks that possessed me when I lived in Italy:

    Nutella. I try not to keep any around and if I do buy it I go for the smallest size available because I will eat the entire thing in a day.

    La schiacciata Toscana, a flat oven baked bread. When it’s fresh it’s killer. I could never get home with a whole one. I miss living in Tuscany for any number of reasons but this one is very high on the list.

    Tiramisu. Resistance is indeed futile. This one was forced upon me when I lived in Piemonte. Heaven. With thousands of sinful calories.

    I could give the Chicago Mix a go. It sounds intriguing.

    Now I’m hungry.

  14. Homemade Butter Pecan ice cream atop a plain unsalted matzah cracker. Sounds weird, but I’m a Colorado foothill mtns forest gal. For nearly a decade I lived almost completely off grid and an hours drive to nearest decent market place. Thus – when ya gets da munchies ya tend to eat whatever’s in the house at the time and it actually turned out to be an addictive combo 🙂

    Cream Tart with Oranges, a dab of honey and Toasted-Almond Crust, topped with just a light teaspoon of vanilla ice cream.

    Toasted almond pie from a little italian restaurant in NY called Tosca’s. One slice was never enough. Its a darn good thing I hardly ever spend any time in NY anymore.

    Gellato from Mazzarros in St Pete fl. OMG! talk about Kryptonite!!! If you ever visit Florida, and enjoy gellato – I beg you! For your own good -> STAY AWAY! OR YOU WILL BE HOOKED ON THIS DRUG FOR LIFE!

    Toasted mini bagel with cream cheese, thin slices of buttery soft alaskan king salmon and bits of Mezzetta’s marinated sweet roasted red bell peppers.

    Kataifi. Not the greek version which is basically just baklava with nuts, but the less syrupy, more soid filled, turkish version of it. Albeit, that most of my greek fathers side of the family hailed from Cyprus, (where the greeks and turks have been known to have their share of terratorial & cultural grievances), I do sometimes feel a bit like a guilty traitor to my people when indulging.

    Mini chocolate covered cream puffs imported from Belgium.

    Oh! -> and mushrooms. Seems I cant resist the siren song of any kind of sauteed or stuffed mushroom. Must be because of all those rather peculiar mushrooms mom topped our meatloaf with growing up.

  15. And you? What’s your culinary Kryptonite? Your Devil’s snack?

    nacho cheese doritos, most any kind of cheese flavored snack cracker like cheese-its (not the spicy ones) peanut butter M&Ms and while not really a snack, i love a good piece of bread or roll with butter. especially for dipping in tomato sauce, gravy (& mashed potatoes) or soup.

  16. I was never a big Nutella type, but I made a spread on toast with fresh Raspberries and was converted. I also love girl scout Thin mints. I could eat a hole stack and turn around and say Hey who stole the cookies. Since Thanksgiving is coming soon, I always over do it on stuffing (with gravy, with turkey and cranberries, etc, or just plain). I could also take down a bag of corn chips with good salsa.

  17. The one food I won’t eat….grapefruit. I won’t drink buttermilk but I will use it to make great country biscuits. My food “weakness” is pizza. Can’t resist..any shape or size. Favorite is thin crust with mushrooms, black olives, pepperoni, feta cheese and ham. If I have a calzone add spinach and garlic. Meat lovers, veggie lovers & any gourmet pizza you can think of sans anchovies are not safe if they are within smelling distance.

  18. Dang it! See what ya’ll did! Here it is 12:30 am edt . I’m still working and all this talk about kryptonite foods made me hungry!

    Got a big platter sitting on my lap now. Half of it is filled with a dozen ritz crackers topped with lightly melted mozzarella, black olives & roasted sweet red bell peppers and the other half with a dozen Tostito scoops tortilla chips filled with homemade guacamole.

    And if ya really wanna talk foods ya cant resist or stop your self from over indulging in…. if any of you should ever find yourself at my house for dinner one evening I’ll make ya a big pan of my special pastitsio. Unlike the restaurant version – mine is like a true greek meat cake, with extra thick sauces and cheeses and extremely addictive. I bake it in the oven for an hour then chill it in the frig overnight. The reheated meat cake the next day is hard to resist even if you’ve just finished a full meal.

  19. Not in any order:
    Ben & Jerry Americas Dream cone
    Kettle corn – regular and assorted add ons…
    Pecan Pie…yum.

  20. ROFLMAOPMP…. I am not into popcorn, but I got the Cretors Chicago mix last year in a box of snacks and got addicted. I have them pinned on pinterest even. I also am addicted to Maple Bacon Jerky. My fave is Carnivore Candy, but I’m a bacon jerky junkie and I try any that aren’t hot/spicy. The Cookie Company Snap Back Ginger is another one I can’t have around or I can’t stop eating it.

    The Chicago Mix, btw, was in legal dispute last year because one company claimed rights to the name. I guess they worked it out or lost because Cretors still has them.

  21. Oo tough one there, I guess there’s two for me

    1, Smiths spicy tomato snaps – I have no idea if you can get them anywhere other than here in the UK but if your ever here you must try them there is something about the spiciness of them that makes me unable to stop eating them once I open a bag which is fine when you only buy one bag but now they come in multi bags of eight!!

    And 2 – Dolly mixtures, again I’m not sure if there available outside of the UK but they are basically mixed little bite sized cubes of flavoured candy that are like little pieces of heaven and one bag will never be enough lol

  22. For the past few months my go to snack/dessert has been natural crunchy peanut butter mixed with caramel ice cream sundae syrup and a dash of cinnamon. Sometimes I mix this with vanilla ice cream, but more often I put some into a tea cup and spoon it up as is.

    Recently I finished an 80oz jar of PB in about a month.

  23. G’day

    Agree with popcorn, too bland and those pieces that get stuck in your teeth and throat, urgh.

    I cannot go past a vanilla slice, especially when the pastry is perfect.
    Tim Tams are a regular favourite in the house.

  24. G’day again

    Forgot to add-the only way to eat Nutella is with a spoon straight out if the jar. A friend puts Nutella in her porridge.

  25. In the case of Shepherd’s Pie, it’s a bit bewildering as I do enjoy its ingredients separately – ground beef, mashed potatoes, corn – but there’s something about the sum of its parts that trigger my gag reflex

    You’re doing it wrong! Shepherd’s Pie should be made from ground (minced) lamb. Technically, if it’s made with beef it’s a Cottage Pie. I’ve never had one with corn in it! Finely chopped onion, peas and a healthy dash of Worcestershire Sauce. Top with mashed potatoes and bake until the top is brown and crispy. Mmmmmmmm, I know what I’m having this weekend!

    I’m with you on the popcorn and the candied fruit, though.

    Wait, culinary Kryptonite? Is that something that I hate and fear? There are too many things to list here. Or is it something I crave even though I know it’s bad for me?

    Any form of plain or cheese corn/tortilla chips. I love the texture far more than normal chips. Not such a fan of the spicy varieties, though, even though I like spicy food.

    Anything chocolate. In a restaurant I always choose the chocolatiest dessert.

  26. I’ll keep an eye out for that Chicago Mix popped corn. I’m not a fan of caramel, but cheddar? Oh yeah.

    I have a few culinary Kryptonite:

    Cheese: Any cheese. I’ve never met a cheese I didn’t like. Remember Limburger cheese? I found it once at the grocery store and I had to have it. And I loved it! And I’ll eat cheese on just about anything. Or without anything. I guess it’s OK, because I can’t stand milk. So cheese is just about my only source of calcium.

    Pistachios: I’ll eat an entire 1lb bag in a sitting. In fact, I did on Monday. =)

    Rita’s Mango Water Ice: We have a chain of water ice shops on the east coast called “Rita’s”. Their mango water ice is akin to eating a fresh, albeit frozen, mango. And mango is AWESOME!

    Sundae’s Pistachio Ice Cream: We also have a local ice cream shop in Berlin that makes hands down the richest, creamiest ice cream I’ve ever eaten. And their pistachio ice cream is in a word: incredible. And it’s loaded with pistachios.

    Roland Black Truffle Oil: I gained an appreciation for the truffle in culinary school. But let’s face it, they’re not affordable for the every day schlub. So I settle for Roland Black Truffle Oil. At about $4.00/oz, it’s all the truffle goodness (almost), without having to tell my wife we can’t have cable or mobile phones this month because i bought a truffle. And I put it on anything starchy. Risotto and rice mainly, but also mashed potatoes. Yes. It’s good on mashed potatoes. And the wife doesn’t like it, so it’s all mine!

  27. Sorry I haven’t been around much…. Suffering an upper respiratory, bronchitis, asthma thing for the last 10 days… Coughing all the time. Trying cold/flu tablets to see if I can get sleep.

    Hope you’re well.

    Cheers, Chev

    PS Joe, do writers do their own research for scripts or do you have someone… For example with languages and other cultures.

  28. Oh, that Chicago mix… big bags of it at Costco. Nom nom nom.

    I don’t binge eat, but pita bread and good hummus or muhamarra are yummy, sweet n sour chicken, calamari and coconut shrimp are favorites. Currently on a Papa Murphy’s Thai chile chicken pizza kick. Katsun-don? I’m there. Teriyaki sauce and pineapple on anything? Hell yeah.

    I can pass up a maple bar, chocolate eclair or Napoleon only with great determination. Now and then a select box of See’s candy hits the spot (dark Bordeauxs and Butterscotch Squares, oh my). Chocolate mousse? Yes, please. Lemon squares and lemon meringue pie for tart treats. Churros and malasadas. Those azuki bean cakes shaped like maple leaves in Japan, the ones only available in autumn.

    Oh hell, food.

  29. I’m allergic to chocolate, alcohol and coffee, among other things. My husband is diabetic. I’m fat, but not diabetic. My favorite dessert is carrot cake. On my birthday, I have my husband buy me ONE slice. If he brought a whole cake into the house, it would be gone in two days, and we’d both be sick.

    You never have answered my question about how many miles per day you have to run, or minutes on the elliptical trainer to burn off all those sweet-over-sweet-over-sweet desserts that you seem to consume in mass quantities. Maybe it’s because you eat the really expensive, gourmet restaurant quality desserts made from fresh, real ingredients that it doesn’t make you ill. If you ate all the factory-made crap in the United States, you’d be fat and diabetic – even if you did run 5 miles per day.

  30. BTW – if you ever go to Australia, you’ve got to try Tim Tams. I ate a whole bag it one day. They are awesome. I’ve never been able to eat chocolate again. I was already allergic to chocolate, so I went toxic. Can’t even eat one chocolate chip cookie anymore. 🙁

  31. Well, you’re in good company, Chicago Mix has made it onto Oprah’s Favourite Things list a couple of times, plus David Lebovitz has mentioned it several times on his blog. He even toured the factory.

    My favourite junk food currently is Ruffles Sour Cream and Onion Potato Chips, don’t get fooled by the Sour Cream and Green Onion flavor, not the same thing…
    In second place is Old Dutch Ketchup chips (has to be Old Dutch) which is weird because I won’t eat Ketchup. I haven’t bought a bottle of ketchup in my life.

    Can’t watch a movie without red twizzlers and when I was little I also needed Chicken Bones, but they aren’t made the same anymore.

    I like fruitcake *gasp* but it has to be my Mom’s dark fruit cake, it’s so moist and yummy.

    Desserts – I’m an equal opportunity dessert fanatic but I’m picky about quality. I won’t eat it unless it’s good. So Cheesecake, pie, cake, brownies, crisps w cream, butter tarts, cookies etc. etc.. The types of desserts I don’t like are few and far between, off the top of my head I really can’t think of any. Although you did mention having chocolate pudding with blood in it. I think I would give that one a pass…

  32. Snacks? Did someone mention snacks?!
    Okay, it’s just past lunchtime for me (I already ate one 8 oz. cup of Danon blueberry yogurt followed by a small, ripe banana). I guarantee in an hour I’ll be hitting up my snack bag full of dry Cheerios Multigrain cereal, because by my standards that was an inadequate lunch. Today’s workplace cafeteria menu really sucked. Crappy choices.

    I also love Snyder’s sourdough pretzel nuggets, although I should stay away from excess salt… yeah, right. Salted anything is good with me, (don’t tell my doctor).

    My current favorite ice cream is Turkey Hill’s Pistachio Almond and their original Vanilla (not French Vanilla).

    I just don’t like the look of Nutella, so I never got a jar or tasted it.
    Don’t let me near any size box of Cracker Jack’s (caramel coated popcorn with roasted peanuts) as I will INHALE it. I’ll be looking for the Chicago Mix, sounds intriguing.

    I would also love to try that kouign-amman as anything made of light puff pastry layers of yumminess has to be good.

    Okay, I could go on, but alas, my work beckons…

    2cats =^-^= =^-^=

  33. Chev @bambamfans; Go to pharmacy counter at drug store and ask for Claritan D 24 hr 240 pseudophedrine. It takes about 20 minutes but works like a charm on upper respiratory. You will stop coughing for about 23 hours from the whatever time you take it. Its over the counter but make sure to bring ID with you because they do sometimes ask for it when buying max strength pseudo-phedrine depending on which drug store you go to.

    Hope ya feel better soon 🙂

    Dang it! @Sylvia! Did ya have to go n mention PECAN PIE! Now I’m hungry AGAIN! Craving hot pecan pie with a scoop of French vanilla ice cream atop!. 🙂

    Joe Hope your flight into LA went smoothly and you and Akemi are now enjoying LA.:-)

    ~HAPPY BIRTHDAY!~ @Tim Hendrix !! 🙂 🙂 🙂

  34. I packed a bag of caramel/cheddar Boom Chicka Pop for my afternoon work snack — and I ate it just after 9 am. It went really well with my morning cup of tea but my gripe with Boom Chica Pop is they have wicked sharp bits that wedge and nick. GH Rector sounds tasty, I’ll be on the lookout for it. I’m blaming the cold weather on my current lack of will power.

    At lunch I lingered over a bag of gourmet pomegranate twizzlers for a good 10 minutes. They were 6 bucks a bag and still it took willpower to put them back.

  35. And you?  What’s your culinary Kryptonite?  Your Devil’s snack?

    All the comfort foods of my youth…boiled peanuts, fried and pickled okra, black raspberry preserves, and of course, pecan pie! Cheesecake was a fourth decade addition to the comfort food list.

    Hmmm, pecan cheesecake? I think I may have something new to try for Thanksgiving this year!

  36. I tend to crave salty foods more than sweet so my faves are Cheese Twisties, Red Rock Deli Chips w/ Sea Salt and my favourite dessert is pavlova – I like it even more than chocolate cake

  37. Things I can’t keep in the house because I won’t stop until they’re finished:
    – that Chicago Mix from Costco;
    – Orville Redenbacher’s Sweet & Salty Kettle-corn;
    – Speculoos (straight out of the jar, with a spoon);
    – Tim Tams, eaten the Tim Tam Slam way.

  38. @motwonfilly – that Nutella cheesecake looks amazing. All cheesecakes should be made from Nutella!

  39. My weakness is definitely the Nutella Milkshake w/ toasted marshmallows on top at Flip Burger Boutique in Atlanta. They have also served a KrispyKreme Donut shake and Captain Crunch Shake. All are very tasty. However, if you find yourself in the mood for some Foie Gras, there is a shake for that as well…

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