The Brunching Shuttlecocks Ratings


Sweet is good. Not only is it a good way to manipulate children, without it we'd be forced to sing that our romantic partners are stickier than honey. A compelling image, certainly, and an admirable goal, but not the sort of thing that wins the heart of a coy shepherdess in renaissance poetry. A

Bitter can be tough to defend. After all, restaurants and coffee bars don't keep a jar of baking soda around in case your order isn't quite bitter enough for your tastes. On the other hand, some of the finest ingestibles in the world have flavors that tumble around like those weird-ass electric rolling ferret toys on a foundation of unapologetic bitterness: coffee, beer and semisweet chocolate. Given that most Ratings are written under the influence of at least two of those three items, I can only be so critical. B+

Sour just doesn't live up to the hype. The candy syndicates present it as the meth of the swingset set, a dangerous substance that only those who are brave and willing to have their tongues unroll from their mouths like tickets from a Skee-Ball game should dare to mess with. But really, kids, this is the same flavor being pushed by middle-aged storks on pickle jars. Wise up. C+

I'm not a salt fiend under normal circumstances, unlike, say, the Dutch. They're insane that way. They combine salt and black licorice, and seem to consider the resulting substance edible. Then they go ahead and do it again, this time with double the salt. I had one of the latter monstrosities at a sadistic candy shop once. It came in a glossy little disk of evil and I'm pretty sure that when I put it in my mouth it burrowed into my skull and is gestating there still. It makes me itch sometimes late at night. Um. Anyhow, salt's pretty cool, especially when combined with some variety of grease. B-

This is the "new" flavor. Apparently they've decided that monosodium glutamate has its own special way of spreading happiness, and thus doesn't fall under the normal taste categories emblazoned on tongue charts in biology classes across the nation. I have to admit that my main experience with MSG has been indifferent notice of Chinese restaurant menus assuring me that they don't use it, so I can't tell you whether it's entirely worthwhile, but I will tell you I'm unnerved that they're adding taste categories. I'm just afraid that the big corporations are going to start funding research, and before you know it General Foods will be informing us that they've identified the "Cool Ranch" receptor. D+

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