Food for Thought

I wonder if the editors at Mental_Floss magazine were pissed when Schott’s Original Miscellany came along a few years ago and got all kinds of attention. Offering a similarly brilliant scattershot selection of weird trivial bits, Mental_Floss should, by all rights, be as well known as Schott’s. Particularly by food enthusiasts, for no übereater could resist features like “Spoon Candy,” a quiz on cereal that will tax even the most ardent box-reader. Did you know Cap’n Crunch had a first name (Horatio)? That Tony the Tiger’s head was once shaped like a football? Yeah! Neither did I!

Then we have here the blog post “Frankenfoods: Six Snacks Prepared in the Lab,” which plumbs the mysteries of carbonated yogurt, caffeinated doughnuts, and something called P.J. Squares, which look horribly like slices of American cheese:

Sliced jelly is for those days when you really don’t have the energy to open up a jar and get out a knife to make your PBJ. John M. Codilis is president and CEO of P.J. Squares LLC, a company that makes sandwich slices with strawberry or grape jelly on one side and peanut butter on the other. Hungry consumers just have to unwrap a slice, throw it on some bread and enjoy. ... Codilis says about 40 percent of P.J. Squares buyers unwrap the slices and eat them solo, no bread required.

And finally, the Halloween-themed series of posts titled “Sweet Talk,” which peer at the candies you find in your trick-or-treat bucket. For instance, we learn that “Tootsie Rolls were included in soldier rations during World War II because they could withstand any weather condition.” Why doesn’t that surprise me? The venerable candy confection can also be used to create the most hideous-looking cake I have ever seen. It is even scarier than this one.

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