Wednesday, April 29, 2009
TBG Ranks: Top Five Favorite Salty Snack Treats
Current Weight: 168.2 lbs.
+35% of African-Americans have hypertension, which accounts for 20% of the African-American deaths in the United States - twice the percentage of deaths among whites from hypertension.
+Compared with whites, hypertension develops earlier in life and average blood pressures are much higher in African-Americans.
+African-Americans with high blood pressure have an 80% higher chance of dying from a stroke than in the general population.
I included the above facts out of respect for my wife. She's been on high blood pressure medication for over two years and fights a constant struggle with irresponsible cravings.
Meanwhile, I've turned my colon over to this lightly-read blog – eating pretty much anything and everything I want, without the concept of moderation – and my blood pressure is the same now as when I was 16. Eat it, Mrs. Bootleg! Oh, wait…you can't!
Next to the American majesty of fast food, my greatest greasy vice are chips. Be they potato, tortilla, Sun or pita…hell, I've even shredded my esophagus with an occasional bag of Baked Lay's. Yes, yes…I know they're gross and I don't care!
In September 2006, I crowned a new salty snack champion during my family's Vancouver vacation. Oh, Ketchup Lay's…your tomato tanginess accentuated by that perfect Lay's texture. I assumed your reign at the top would last the rest of my lifetime.
Ah, but, uneasy lies the head that wears a crown. Shout out to Shakespeare!
After 2 ½ years, Canada's ketchup ecstasy has been bounced from my top spot. In fact, 2009 has – so far – been quite the year of change…within this hastily-constructed list of my top five favorite salty snacks:
5 – Jumpin' Jack Cheese Doritos: I cannot possibly convey how glorious these Doritos were. Lightly-dusted with a spice blend that – at the time – was an exciting new development for snack foods, these chips gained most of their infamy from an ad campaign starring this guy. These were only around for a few years in the early 1990s, but were so far removed from that ubiquitous Doritos flavor that it's no surprise the public's bland palettes rejected the Jack.
4 – Frito-Lay Brand Sunflower Seeds: I'm a purist, people. (1) I don't do "flavored" seeds. (2) I don't do David Brand sunflower seeds. (3) I don't do seeds that aren't in the shell. For starters, I refuse to believe that Jesus and Mother Nature intended for this most natural of earth's hors d'oeuvres to be coated in artificial flavoring. God's children only need a sweet, sweet brine of heavily salted water to soak the raw seeds in. Just not too salty. Those David seeds are saltier than b-sweat. Finally, cracking seeds open is the closest society will ever get to "acceptable spitting". And, you haven't lived until you've seen the look on your wife/girlfriend's face after she finds your "shell spittin' cup" for the first time. HA~!
3 – Emerald Sea Salt & Pepper Cashews: Costco sells these in drums that are the size of my head. These nuts are so overloaded with S&P that the only thing remaining in the jug when you're done is a three-inch deep residue of surplus seasoning. Hard to believe that something so polluted and full of children's pee – like the sea – could produce such wonderful sodium. Truly a testament to the underrated awesome that is the cashew.
2 – Ketchup Lay's: I had a co-worker of mine – through relatives – coordinate the exporting of six bags out of Canada and into my hands last year. Prior to that, I stashed $20 worth in my carry-on luggage back in '06. Since then, I've had several Canadian readers shrug their shoulders, effectively saying the same thing: "Meh, they're OK, I guess." OK? Just OK?! I daresay it's this kind of countrywide indifference that cost Canada the Winnipeg Jets, Quebec Nordiques, Eric Lindros and The Fabulous Rougeau Brothers.
1 – Earthquake Chips: Close your eyes and imagine a potato chip that blends the tartness of salt n' vinegar with the sweet smokiness of barbecue, the spice of jalapeño and some cool sour cream. These chips – from a company called "California Chips" – recently had their wares placed within the confines of the vending machines at the Unnamed Defense Contractor. One of my partners-in-gross-contract-mischarging and I soon cleaned out every vending machine across the half-dozen or so buildings on campus.
Honorable Mentions: Salt n' Vinegar Lay's, Snyder's of Hanover Honey Mustard Pretzel Nibblers and Buffalo Flavored Pretzel Nibblers, Flamin' Hot Cheetos, Munchos