I love newspaper food pages, what with their Bolognese sauce recipes and reviews of locavore bistros. They tell us how to eat well, and that’s something of real value. Putting thought into what we put in our bodies is never a bad thing.
That said, sometimes I just wanna grab some garbage food and shove greedy handfuls of it into my dumb face. There’s not much coverage of junk food in the food pages, and this feature seeks to remedy that.
In every biweekly edition of Pat Eats Garbage Food, I’ll review a different fast food item or convenience store snack and let you know what works and what doesn’t. (You’ll note I didn’t say what’s good and what’s bad; it’s all bad. That’s the point.)
■ The food: This being Halloween, it had to be candy. And me being an irredeemable glutton, it had to be the Take 5 bar. This is an absurd and perfect candy — a candy upon a candy, upon a candy, upon a candy, upon a ... pretzel? It’s a gilded lily’s gilded lily, an Augustus Gloop fever-dream, a confection so brazen in its over-the-top construction that you wouldn’t think it would even taste good. (There’s too much. Too many different flavors and textures. I mean, why not throw some peppermints in there while you’re at it? Or some gummy bears?) It’s insane. But it’s also just right.
■ The damage: $3.99 for a bag of 15 snack-size bars, which were sold as Halloween candy but which will be eaten solely by me. Alone in my house. Late at night. Because I’m a healthy and well-adjusted adult human.
■ The other damage: 100 calories, 5 grams fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 150 mg sodium, 13 grams carbs, 9 grams sugars, 2 grams protein, per snack-size bar. That’s not terrible. Eating the whole 15-bar bag in one sitting would be only slightly less healthy than some of the fast-food items I’ve written up in this space.
■ Official description: Hershey’s, which introduced Take 5 in 2004, earlier this year rebranded the bar as part of the company’s Reese’s lineup. Whatever. No big deal. But now the official promo copy at www.hersheys.com (quoted below) reads as though it’s a straight-up Reese’s spinoff and a new one at that. I cannot pinpoint why this irks me so much. But it does.
“Reese’s peanut butter. We started with what we know best, and that’s smooth delicious Reese’s peanut butter. Peanuts. Because the peanut butter wasn’t enough, we added crunchy pieces of peanut, too. Pretzels. And then we asked, ‘How can we make it even crunchier?’ Adding pretzels. That’s how. Caramel. Step 1: Make a great candy bar. Step 2: Add caramel and make it even better. Chocolate. And since pairing peanut butter and chocolate is kind of our thing, we covered it all in chocolate candy.”
■ My description: The things I drew most as a little kid were race cars, fighter jets and sharks. When I couldn’t decide which of the three I wanted to draw that day, I’d sometimes combine them. So I’d end up drawing, like, a race-car-fighter-jet-shark. This is the race-car-fighter-jet-shark of candy bars.
■ How does it feel? You eat one or two of these. You get the sugar rush, then you get that little bit of a protein boost, then you get the sugar crash, then you feel logy and bloated. Then you eat, like, four more.
■ Will I eat it again? God willing.
■ Overall rating: 10 out of 10. I mean, it’s a race car, and it’s a fighter jet, and it’s a shark.