Girls are known for their food cravings and their thing for chocolate. Girls tend to pick certain edibles to be their “comfort food” to turn to when they are in certain emotional states. Some choose good ol’ chocolate, some choose oatmeal, some choose exotic food like sushi or tacos or durum or Thai food.. It’s all a matter of taste.
There are quite a few treats that I have noticed my girl friends turn to when we have slumber parties, or when they go through stuff like breakups. While some go anorexic, like me, on the other hand, most go on food binges. Though neither extreme is healthy, it’s really strange why most girls, and even a number of boys, turn to metabolic processes to take out their emotions.
Well, back to comfort food. I noticed that my elementary-through-high school classmate always keeps a stash of bread, chocolate wafers, and Nutella or Crumpy in her stockpile of food. She is like a squirrel that way: keeping a stash of food to eat in the middle of the night or when she’s going through something. She taught me something really precious: there is bliss in Ferrero Rocher slathered in Nutella. Or if the Ferrero tithe from her boyfriend has been missed or consumed, chocolate wafers slathered in Nutella are as bliss-inducing.
It was through her that I learned to look for Nutella when I wanted to pamper myself. The other week, I was searching for Nutella on the shelves of the nearby super-grocery when I panicked: no Nutella! So I grabbed the closest thing to Nutella: “Nusica”!
Honestly, I no longer remember the taste of Nutella vividly enough to be able to compare the two. But when I let Porky taste Nusica, he told me that this is oilier than the better-known hazelnut spread.
Speaking of hazelnut, there used to be a wafer bar here that had hazelnut cream for filling. It was pretty cheap, at Php 8 or at the current exchange rate, $0.17. Where else could you find hazelnut cream wafers at that price?
Other “guilty edible pleasures” taught to me by others would count the warm milk-flavored oatmeal with cheese bits introduced to me by Porky. Just right after you cook the oatmeal, and you’ve put in milk and sugar to taste, add the cheese bits while it’s still warm to hot. Better if it’s still hot. Cheddar cheese tastes great, but it would be much better if you used the quick-melt kind.
I also discovered the Pillsbury oven toaster chocolate chip cookies. These are the kind where you just stir in two tablespoons of water in their ready mix, pop the cookie dough blobs in an oven or an oven toaster (on a metal pan of course), wait a few minutes while they bake, and voila! You have cookies!
These are good for young adults like me who live an it-really-doesn’t-matter-if-we-don’t-eat-or-sleep lifestyle. The steps are just: tear open pack, drizzle in water, mix, pop in oven, pop cookie in mouth. My only complaint is that these things just won’t bake without sticking to the pan! So since the pack gives an option to cook the cookies in a skillet, I choose that option more often. I think I’m cursed when it comes to baking: everything I pop into the oven that I intended to turn into cookies turns out to become either cake-like things or burnt heaps of dough.
I have only one complaint: the Pillsbury cookies are a little too sweet. But hey, at the rate I’m living, I haven’t had the time to experiment with mixing choco chip cookies on my own!
Other guilty pleasures, especially of students in these parts, include instant “soupy” noodles, instant “dry” noodles (they’re known as stir-fried noodles, in their non-instant versions), and the ubiquitous unhealthy drink: soda. Though I am not a fan of commercial soda drinks, I am a big fan of the instant stir-fried noodles. In fact, in these parts, they have set a new standard in the instant food industry: where else can you find instant spaghetti and even instant carbonara?
Other “comfort foods” in my list include green pea snacks in all forms, and instant mushroom soup. When I go on “anorexic mode”, I eat nothing but instant mushroom soup, for days on end. These are not the Campbell’s kind. These are the powdered thingies you mix into hot water. Totally unhealthy.
Of late, I turn to sandwiches for my midnight menu. I have created my own Wasabi sandwiches from a product from a newly-introduced line of dips and dressings by a local spreads and spaghetti sauce manufacturer. Their line of dips and dressings include the staples: Caesar, Ranch, Thousand Island, and they also have other products worth trying, like the Wasabi spread/dressing, the Asian dressing, and one other that I really didn’t pay attention to, Honey Mustard, I think.
Their dressings are so good, I was overdosing on Wasabi sandwiches last week. What I would do is that I would place cheese on a piece of bread, and slather Wasabi dressing all around it. I also tried pressing these sandwiches with an iron, and they are just divine! I have tried the Ranch smooshed on lettuce and cheese then pressed to crunchy toastedness before. When I let my dorm mates try these sandwiches, they were raving on how great these tasted. I would like to try lettuce and cheese with Wasabi dressing sometime.
Just the other night, I bought the dressing/sauce/spread company’s Asian dressing and a pack of Super Loaf bread. I didn’t even bother to buy cheese. To my horror, by the time I came up for air, I already consumed 1/3 of the bread.
The taste of their Asian dressing is reminiscent of Szechuan sauce. As for their other sauces, their Caesar tastes a little more defined than the usual Caesar dressing, in that it’s more tart, and the overall taste is sharper. This experience with their Caesar dressing was what made me fall in love all the more with the dressing/sauce/spread company. I was already enamored with their spaghetti sauce, and with this new line, I have fallen deeper in adoration of how good their cooks or food technologists are. Their Ranch dressing is also great; tastes like yogurt. I just don’t have a point of comparison, as I haven’t tasted Ranch dressing before theirs.
Suffice to say that I am in deep love with this company by now. If you would lock me in a room for two months with nothing but a computer, broadband connection, water, and ten packs of super loaf plus around 30 packs each of their Wasabi and Asian dressings, I would live through the ordeal.
Whew. After realizing what I’ve just raved about, I am hankering for… Cherry/menthol hard candy. No, not a guilty pleasure anymore: it’s already an addiction. Excuse me while try to rummage around here to see if I have a piece more that I failed to eat.