Alright, it’s time for me to take a controversial stance. I’ve had this blog for a long time now and I’ve always put out my feelings and thoughts, but now it’s time for a line in the god damn sand. I’m fired up, as one should be about arbitrary subjects such as this, but just you wait, I’ll ramble on for at least a thousand words, guaranteed. I’m fired up.
There are foods that exist in this world, for me and others, as nothing more than dipping sauce delivery systems. These foods are sub-par by definition but fall into many categories, such as Dip Shovels, Ketchup Lovers, Spread Dread and the (ever classy) Soup Standard. As we move through the list you’ll see that none of the foods are ever anything to write home about, though they could be. In their natural state, they are nothing more than sad excuses for edible sauce-shovels, for chewable spread-shelves and worst of all, they’re imposters.
Let’s begin, but let’s be clear first: if you’re offended by anything here, it’s probably because you were raised wrong; your issue is not with me—take it elsewhere. Mwah.
1. Chicken Fingers/Tenders/Nuggets
The ultimate sauce delivery system. Whether you be gettin’ fancy with the honey mustard, or keeping it real with plum, no one pretends that chicken fingers and fries is about anything other than the delicious sauces. Grown men and women eat them, children love them. The love for dipping is fostered from a young age with chicken fingers, because it gives us a productive (and delicious) way to play with our food. If you eat your chicken fingers/tenders/nuggets dry, there is a ninety-nine percent chance that you are a serial killer. You either know this to be true in your heart, or in practice.
2. French Fries
Yeah, sure. People love their French fries, but who among us doesn’t use them as an excuse to eat ketchup, vinegar, salt or whatever sauce came with your nuggets like you have a small shovel? I hear people say all the time, “oh, their fries are to die for,” and really, some fries very good, but I’m not about to eat them without ketchup—and I’ve seen very few people who like them without something. God damn, it could be as wide spread as gravy or ice cream, but people be dippin’ them fries. Fries get a special shout out because they could easily fit into our next category…
3. Scrambled Eggs (I’m talking plain, scrambled eggs)
I’m a firm believer that eggs are the best food on the planet and the only real thing that should be called a “super food.” What else do you know that can be prepared that many ways, and always taste good? Devil them, fry them, poach them, boil ‘em or just crack ‘em into a hot bowl of rice like the Japanese do and you’re golden. The real reason I love eggs though is because in 10 minutes in the morning, I can cook three scrambled, squirt ketchup all over them, inhale them, and be carried until mid-day by the sheer protein contained in those little bastards. It’s like I’m not even eating, the ketchup is the only part I actually like. It is worth noting though, that I only mean this as a work day thing—there’s nothing I love more than cooking and seasoning an egg so I don’t need ketchup, but the minute I overcook it, as I do most mornings during my stretches, I drown those suckers.
4. Corn Dogs
I was torn putting this one into the ketchup lovers’ category, purely on the fact that I know so many people who prefer mustard with their dogs—but in the grand picnic of life, is mustard not just yellow ketchup? Either way, corn dogs are much like chicken tenders in the sense that you’re a stone-cold murderer-in-wait if you eat them without condiments. Whether it be a pogo, a gas station rotisserie special, or a carnival quality dog, you gotta smother that thing so you don’t taste the money you just threw into the trash. Anything less is the mark of the beast.
The Soup Standard
5. Grilled Cheese
Like French fries, grilled cheese could have been a dual-category entry, because if you don’t have soup—you best have some ketchup. Grilled cheese is one of my favorite “get food in me” meals because it’s hella cheap and hella quick. I remember on one occasion, when I was living in Edmonton, I had come home from work and needed something before I fainted, and the dog ate my face. Grilled cheese to the rescue, right? Wrong. This was the day that I discovered that for some reason (a special, first world, spoiled reason), no amount of hunger could force fried bread and melted cheese down my throat without that special chicken noodle lubrication. I had no ketchup either. It was like taking a poorly made grilled cheese pill that day. Just taking bites, chewing really fast and swallowing with a mouthful of water. To me, grilled cheese is best with chicken noodle, but if you have the ketchup bug, you go with the second classic: tomato soup. Without something, grilled cheese just isn’t… what it needs to be.
6. Any Sandwich Made on Bread More Than a Half-Inch Thick
What is wrong with these monsters, sending these brick-like sandwiches into the world without any sort of lubrication? Porn stars, mechanics, door-hinge repair persons—they all know when to use lube, and I like to think that even those most artisanal sandwich artist is just as much as a professional as any one of those types of people, so god damn it—for the love of all that is holy, give me at least an au jus!
Now, while I don’t believe you’re a serial killer if you eat just plain, buttered toast, I do, however, believe that the bread is not your main focus at that particular moment. Bread was invented just shortly after they realized how to make butter, purely because they thought eating butter with a spoon was a little gauche for even the dark ages (I can only assume).
8. Baked Potatoes
While you don’t technically spread it, you more glob it—a baked potato without its sour cream is like Garfunkel without the Simon. Are you going to buy a ticket to see Art Garfunkel? Didn’t think so. A baked potato truly lives vicariously through its stuffin’. A potato is a potato, they keep people alive—big fuckin’ deal. What you want is that sour cream, that cheese, those chives, oh? And what’s this? Our old friend Butter!? What a coincidence… we can’t keep meeting like this… You’re destroying me, Butter! I’m sorry I raised my voice, I can’t quit you, baby—I can’t be mad…
Uh, well. That got weird.
Wings are the Wu-Tang clan of chicken-based sauce delivery systems: legendary and numerous. They each have their own individual flavour, and some have passed on to be sorely missed in our memories, but one thing is for certain; you get all those mother fuckers together again and it’s going to be one hell of a night. Wu-Tang is for the children, chicken wings are for everyone.
So, yeah. These are my hard opinions on food. I guess I really needed something to do with my night, because this has turned into one of the more effort-filled posts I’ve made in a while. It’s been fun, let’s do it again sometime.
See you tomorrow.
Writer, performer, producer and musician from Alberta.