30 July 2014

Melona Ice Bar (Mango Flavour)

Several readers will likely remember a recent Dear Food Thoughtz post in which a young woman had come under the sway of these mysterious Korean popsicles and feared they were ruining her life. In order to provide the quality of service that Food Thoughtz has built its reputation on, I tried to track down these ice bars myself before writing a response--but to no avail. I have recently uncovered a cache of Melona bars in a nearby Korean grocery story (you may remember this grocery store from my Japanese chocolate biscuit craze-daze), and yesterday I bought one and ate it.

 And ... it was just okay. I have had better and I have had worse, but I don't imagine I will ever become addicted to these. I recently had an orange creamsicle and was amazed by how delicious it was. I love creamsicles, and these Melonas just don't cut it. There are so many quality icepops out there, and it's not enough anymore to have a fairly rich, creamy, fruity flavour. I'm slightly curious to try the other flavours, but honestly, I just don't think these things are going to win me over.

I actually don't really like creamy popsicles. Creamsicles are almost an exception, but not really, because it's only the ice cream centre that is creamy (and tastes like those delicious Screamerz at Shell that were so expensive I could never afford to buy one) and the shell is just like a generic popsicle. I just don't really find popsicles that are really creamy or taste too much like real fruit to be refreshing on a hot summer's day.

Here's a series of pictures of me looking terrible while eating a Melona bar. But does anyone want to talk about how
Baskin Robins is still in business? I had no idea it was until I moved to Toronto. At least there is still one in business.

So, I don't know. I don't know what else to say about these. I was really disappointed, but I didn't hate it either. One day I might try the honeydew flavour, just to test it out, but I'm in no big rush to get another. One good thing about them, I guess, is that they're pretty cheap. I think this cost 70¢ in the store, which is a pretty decent price. 

In closing, I would just like to point out that Binggrae, the company that produces Melona, also produces a red bean popsicle, and even the idea of it is nauseating. It is, according to the Binggrae website, the "No.1 red bean ice bar in Korea since 1970's." How many red bean ice bars does Korea even have?! Is this even an accomplishment? Would it be possible for me to make a red bean ice bar at home and market it as the "No. 1 red bean ice bar in Canada since just now because this isn't even  a thing and also it's disgusting but still No. 1"? You should all take this invitation to read through the Binggrae product list on their website because some of the descriptions are really great, and I'm kind of interested in that Melona waffle...  Oh. Nevermind. I just read the description. It's full of red bean paste and shaped like a fish. There were a lot of other interesting looking ice creams at the P.A.T. though, some of which might of been Japanese, which based on their chocolate-filled biscuits, seems a lot more promising.

Here's the P.A.T.'s selection of Melonas, plus this disgusting looking
"B-B-Big" red bean bar.

I'm only human and got swept up in the craze
Of these South Korean ice pops, hoping they would amaze.
But they didn't, not really, they were only okay.

24 July 2014

"Dear Food Thoughtz:" Oily Italian Bodies

Dear Food Thoughtz,
I understand that the Romans used to use olive oil in lieu of soap because they had not yet discovered the latter. Thinking of this does not give me a very good feeling. How does it make you feel? Thanks in advance.



Dear Not-Feeling-So-Clean,

Oh boy. I bet you now regret not writing “…because they had not yet discovered the lather” – am I right!?

Anyway, thank you for your interesting albeit somewhat irrelevant query. The Romans did in fact wash themselves with olive oil. At first I thought this was disgusting because I am opposed to any type of edible object coming into contact with any part of the human body that isn’t the mouth. And then I thought that it was ridiculous the Romans were advanced in so many ways (especially in the areas of day beds and gruesome entertainment, and likely a combination of the two) but didn’t have access to soap and instead had to rely on olive oil. And then I wondered why they didn’t have access to soap because they were all over the place, so why didn’t they just pillage it from some Celts (or Babylonians?)? And then I lost all sympathy for the Romans because of course that Empire failed—who could ever afford to bathe exclusively in olive oil? It is so expensive? I can’t imagine being in charge of the Roman budget; it must have been so stressful.

But then I actually bothered myself to find out a) what soap is and b) how the Romans actually washed themselves with olive oil, and now I’m kind of on board with it. First of all, soap is just animal fat mixed with burnt things or something. And secondly, they weren’t just, like, rolling around in a pit of oil and hoping it would clean them. They would lather it on their bodies and then a slave, presumably, would scrape it off of them. Which kind of sounds great—especially the part about the slave. But, right? Don’t you think it would be nice to scrape oil off of your body? Don’t you think that sounds like a great way to clean yourself? So now I’m confused about how I feel about it. I guess I think it’s fine. I’m not sure if I will try it any time soon, but if you were looking for my blessing to pour extra virgin all over yourself and scrape it off, you had it like five years ago. I know you’re somewhere in China right now, but there have been a lot of good olive oil sales here the past few weeks.

But since we’re on the topic of Romans: I have long been fascinated by the concept of lounging on a day bed while someone drapes a clump of grapes into my mouth. Have you ever tried this? It’s not actually very relaxing, it’s certainly not convenient, and frankly, I think it might be a choking hazard. Not recommended.

The Romans also had a reusable communal poo-sponge, so make of that what you will.

22 July 2014


Like any other reasonable person, I really like honey. But a lot of people will probably disagree with me when I say that there are only two applications for honey: one is to spread it on English muffins so that it sinks into the little holes and the second is to add it to Earl Grey tea with milk when you’re feeling a bit sick or want a delicious evening treat. I really can’t think of anything else I would do with honey

But what I can think of is an atrocious article that appeared in the Gazette several years ago that was meant to highlight Grand Forks’ most prolific bee keepers, interchangeably referred to in the article as both the Huxters and the Huxleys. The article focused on the Huxterly’s breading of bees. Presumably the author—who, by the way, once wrote an entire article using only baseball metaphors—meant breeding, but the term “breading” was used throughout the article, leading any seasoned English major to assume that the article was actually about two rival bee keeper camps in Grand Forks who sabotaged the other’s stock by breading their bees. Like a chicken breast. That article was truly terrible, like most other pieces in the Gazette, but what isn’t terrible is Huxterly honey, which as far as I can recall, is the only honey I have ever had in my life. I store it in a blue cheese dressing jar (disgusting) because it comes to us in unmanageable plastic buckets.

 I don’t have much else to say about the topic. I guess I could add that I think vegans who don’t eat honey are ridiculous and that we used to have bee hives on our property and one time the bees swarmed in a massive clump and sat on a tree for several days until they were moved because bees do that. I might also add that while Lil Kim has consistently used the moniker “Queen Bee,” I don’t think she has adequately made use of honey references, which I think would fit nicely with her sex-heavy lyrics. 

None is less tolerable than the self-righteous vegan
Who considers consuming animal products a social disease.
But honey is nature’s greatest gift to all man,
And by not supporting the keepers, they’re really only hurting the bees.
As they wax-poetic about all the wrongs and the rights,
They might as well be infesting these gentle insects with a plague of mites.

20 July 2014

Food Thoughtz Review: This All-Meat, No-Cheese, Corpse-Pizza

Look. No one is more understanding and respectful of picky eaters than I am, but even I must draw the line somewhere. And that line is drawn at no-cheese pizza. If you don’t like cheese, that’s fine: we all have our burdens to bear. But don’t burden me with the knowledge that there is a cheeseless pizza in our midst, slathered with various meat toppings. Cheese is an essential quality of pizza and you can't get rid of it just because you're afraid of being kidnapped by a Mexican quesadilla cartel.

Do you know that this pizza looks like? Like that disgusting, rare, corpse-flower, rafflesia arnoldii. I hate that flower. It smells like a corpse because it needs to attract beetles and flies in order to pollinate because it is the worst. Why can’t it just attract bees instead with a sweet, flowery smell like every other flower does? No wonder it's so rare. It’s also enormous. It’s the largest flower on earth. It can be 1 metre across and weigh 11kg, so approximately the same size as a pizza.


18 July 2014

"Dear Food Thoughtz:" Melona Madness

Dear Food Thoughtz,

Have you ever tried these delicious ice cream pops called Melona bars? They come in Melon, Mango, Banana, and Strawberry flavours. They can be found in most grocery stores, but I buy mine in a discount store called No Frills, and can sometimes get them for as cheap as $3.50 a box (they are about twice as much in other grocery stores). This is where my problem comes in. Because there are 8 bars in a pack, I see it as such an extremely good deal, and I feel like such a clever shopper I end up buying multiple boxes at a time, thinking that I will share them with my roommate and my bf, and that I will eat them casually over the course of the summer. This never seems to happen since I end up stuffing my face with them because I find them so absolutely pleasing.
I want to know if you have tried this treat in any of the different flavours, or if you will consider trying them?
If you are not into them, please tell me why so that I can hopefully learn how to see things your way and stop. I also really want to know what advice you could give to someone who just cannot behave around their favorite food....It is so very shame-making.

Thank-you very much,

Yours gratefully,
Melona Maniac

Please note: In the picture the box is quite torn. That is because I could not control myself from tearing it open in anticipation. You can see the problem is quite serious.

 Dear Melona Maniac,

Thank you for such an interesting query. I apologize for the lateness of my reply, but I have a good excuse: yesterday after work I went out to Dufferin Mall where I know there to be a No Frills grocery story. There is also a Gap Factory Outlet Store, but there were no good deals there yesterday. I searched high and low for these Melona ice cream pops in both No Frills and then in WalMart, but to no avail. The packaging does not look familiar to me at all, so I suspect that, like most good things, they are not available in Ontario. I was hoping to try several boxes myself to write a more informed response to your question, but unfortunately I will just have to make a bunch of unfounded assumptions. 

To quickly answer your questions (which should have already been answered by that introductory paragraph): no I have not tried them, but yes I would consider trying them—although not the banana or melon flavours because I think that’s disgusting. I like bananas, but I hate when anything is flavoured like a banana because … obviously. It’s a terrible artificial flavour. And, honestly, the natural flavour of a banana isn’t actually good enough to try and replicate artificially. I would never try the melon flavour because I hate melons and think they’re repulsive. Although I must say that I find it surprising that the Melona melon flavour, based on your attached photo, appears to be honeydew, which is strange because I always assume a company would go for watermelon flavour if they’re going to feature any melon flavour at all. Or a melon blend. The honeydew flavour doesn’t appeal to me any more than a watermelon—quite a bit less, actually—but still, just an interesting detail to note. I would like to try the strawberry and mango flavours, but again, to be honest, these aren’t really my favourite flavours for an ice treat. If anything is going to be berry-flavoured, I typically prefer for it to be a berry-burstmashup featuring the four most prominent berries (strawberry, raspberry, blueberry, and blackberry, obviously). As I mentioned in my first-ever Food Thoughtz post, while I don’t like mangoes as fruits, I really do like mango flavouring, which in and of itself is enough to justify the existence of mangoes.

I’m not sure I will be able to offer you any practical advice on how to stop gorging yourself on Melonas, although from the sounds of it you have taken matters into your own hands and tried to substitute them with a ridiculous apple cream pie or something. Without the cream part, this would be a great solution. Apple pies are delicious. Anyway. Whenever I have faced a similar problem and just can’t stop eating something—even after I promise myself that I will ration it like a reasonable human being—it usually just goes away after a fairly short period of time. Earlier this year I went through a phase where I couldn’t stop eating Lucky Charms cereal. I had just discovered that they’re even better with milk, and I was going through a box every day or two. It was horrific. And then I just stopped. And now I don’t let myself buy Lucky Charms anymore. 

I know this isn’t helpful advice, but I think you’ve already taken a very important firs t step by writing in: admitting you have a problem is the best thing you can do. You have also already admitted to yourself that you don’t buy these ice cream pops in bulk with the actual intention of sharing them with friends or ingesting them slowly over the summer, which is something you need to keep in mind the next time you’re tempted to buy these. It seems to me you have three options: you could go the AA route and try to cut this cancer out of your life all together; you could go the Dutch route and try to re-program yourself to consume responsibly; or you could do what I would do, which is to stop buying them regularly, but allow yourself one day a month when you can buy a box and eat them in one sitting. Eight popsicles per months is probably fairly normal, and I can see no reason why you shouldn’t eat all eight of them in the space of 20minutes rather than dragging it out over the course of an entire month.

I’ll be honest: it’s not going to be easy. But if you are serious about getting a grip and taking control of your life, then you don’t have much of a choice. Or you could just move to Ontario where there are exactly zero good things to tempt you because this province is the absolute worst.

15 July 2014

Food Thoughtz Review: This New Oh Henry! Big Crunch Cookie Bar That I Got For Free On The Street

I got this new Oh Henry! Big Crunch Cookie Bar for free on the street on Saturday. I almost never accept free things because I am always afraid that a) it will be about Jesus or b) it won't actually be free. I've missed out on free Tide Pods and a Venus razor as a result. The two times previous to this that I thought I would just go for it and get something for free ended up a) being about Jesus and b) followed by a request for a donation. But this time I was pretty certain there were no strings attached because I had actually watched these people unload their wares from the back of a white minivan and they were wearing Oh Henry! clothing and didn't appear to be affiliate either with Jesus or children's summer camps.

So I got this free Oh Henry! Big Crunch Cookie Bar. It is already in stores if anyone is interested. Afterwards I spent some time wandering around assuming that there would be another person on another corner and that I would get another chocolate bar, but I had no such luck.

I didn't eat it right away because I had just bought two medium McDonald's iced coffees, and forgive me, but I just have to mention again how much I love McDonald's: I love it a lot. I love their summer drink specials. I can't believe their medium iced coffees are only $1! This is the season to sell iced coffees! I know that it probably costs McDonald's about 2¢ (and now that we don't have the penny anymore it's probably just 0) to make these, and even at $1 per drink they're still making a tonne off of this, but I don't know. I guess maybe people end up buying more burgers or whatever as a result, but they also have a burger special on during the summer. A McDouble is something like $1.40. It's insanity. Anyway, the point is that I had two iced coffees with me (both of them for myself), and so I immediately forgot about this Oh Henry! until three days later.

And now it's three days later and I just ate it. It looked like this:

It was totally fine. In a way I'm glad I didn't spend any money on this, but it's also something that I can see myself spending money on. I probably wouldn't buy this chocolate bar if there was something better on offer, like a Crunchie or a cheap Milka, but there have been a lot of times when I've wanted a chocolate bar, but the selection is so poor that the only thing that appeals to me is the Twix, and this new Oh Henry! is actually a lot like a combination of an old Oh Henry! and a Twix bar. 

It's actually even kind of like a Twix in that it comes in two pieces. Part of me suspects that this is Oh Henry's appeal to our health. Like that by splitting up the chocolate bar they're making it more obvious that this is not meant to be consumed all at once or perhaps we should consider sharing it with a friend or significant other. Obviously I ate both pieces at once. As you can see in the picture above, they're not as nice looking as a Twix bar.

In summation, as far as generic chocolate bars go, this one was pretty good but not the best. If you see someone handing them out for free on the street, you should definitely try to get one. Even if you just see one in a convenience store and you really want a chocolate bar, but none of them are really jumping out at you, you might want to try this one. Nothing about it will surprise you, but you probably will not be disappointed with your decision. I definitely wasn't disappointed with my decision to get this free Oh Henry! chocolate bar and then forget about it for three days and then eat it.

Also, Oh Henry! chocolate bars have something to do with O. Henry ... right?

13 July 2014

"Dear Food Thoughtz:" Urgent Query

Dear Food Thoughtz,

Attached is a picture of a leechee nut. I think it looks like a testicle. My g-friend thinks it looks like a fetus. It is delicious. 

Obviously we have a dilemma: should we eat this? 

Bewildered in the backyard

Dear BiB,
No, you shouldn't eat it. For a lot of reasons. But for the sake of brevity, here's a scene from We Need to Talk About Kevin, which follows immediately afterwards the psychopathic son Kevin burns out his own sister's eye using household cleaners:

Whether it more closely resembles an eye, a peeled testicle, or a fetus, it definitely resembles something extracted from a human body and should be avoided at all costs. I'm also pretty sure it's spelled lychee.

Midge's Addendum:"Obviously they should eat it. They are not different from grapes. I mean, in terms of looking like a body part. A grape could be a human egg or something. Just because you are more used to grapes -- this is a cultural bias, or whatever. Colonizing the lychees. Especially because they can't even spell the name correctly, just like English people can't spell foreign peoples' names."