I don’t believe in guilty pleasures. Not when it comes to food, anyway. I say this as an out-and-honest-if-not-proud emotional eater: There are certain foods that, no matter how bad for you or gross, or weird, will always be able to pull that magical lever in your brain and elicit the feeling you want to feel -- or forget.
I’m not saying that’s a smart thing to do, but I’m saying I know it happens. Pop a slice of Ellio’s pizza in the oven and I’m 14, hiding a detention slip from my parents and wondering if someone will ever kiss me in a way that isn’t like licking a stale salami. Maybe that’s just me.
I think we’ve all got smells and objects and foods that poke at particular strong memories and times and places in our lives. At least I hope so, or I am just a freak. Let’s take that risk. I’m bringing you five such foods of mine. We all already know that I’ve got a problem when it comes to Lemonheads. Since I’ve been diagnosed with the ulcer (off the acidic candy for a bit) and am doing my damnedest to heal it, I’ve been fantasizing about a lot of other nasty crap I have loved to eat.
By all rights, Fluff should be disgusting. Luckily, the world is vast and strange. One of its greatest mysteries: Why The Hell Is Fluff So Delicious? Sure, this is coming from someone who has had a fluffernutter for lunch every day for nearly two weeks (the bread is homemade, so I figure they cancel each other out and it's like I’ve actually eaten nothing). The rich, sweet, sticky, light, white spread is a dream. I’m not into food play when it comes to doing the nasty, but I would reevaluate that choice if my lovah whipped out a can of fluff. Let’s get sticky and let’s get freaky.
2. Microwave Popcorn
I should be skeeved beyond measure by anything that is cooked in a microwave. Plus, make-your-own popcorn has always terrified me. I used to hide behind the couch when my mom made Jiffy Pop. My upper thigh was once terribly burned by an errant kernel flung free and scalding from the air popper. I find popcorn kernels to be very nasty little entities. I know logically that it is not pure rage that powers them to open into divine little snacks. Still, I sense about them a great anger.
This doesn’t stop me from eating microwave popcorn by the boatload. I also stand too close to the microwave and have probably damaged my uterus. As a youth, I used to rip apart the popcorn bag and lick the sides. That was my favorite part. Frankly, it’s a wonder I’ve survived so long.
3. Caramel Sauce
I’ve always loved caramel because I am a human being with a pulse. Frankly, upon first trying caramel sauce as a youth I am surprised I did not immediately stop what I was doing and pour it straight onto my vagina. In hindsight, I am glad I was not swayed by enthusiasm, because that at the worst would have burned something fierce, and at best, been socially awkward and quite a mess in terms of cleanup.
The first time I made my own caramel sauce, the mystery of how it could possibly be so delicious was solved: butter plus sugar plus oh my god all the cream that you have. I keep it in the fridge. Just to have. I use it way more often than I should. Toothpaste should taste this good. Thankfully it does not or all of the children would be dead from eating novelty-flavored toothpastes. #stoptryingtokillallthechildrenguys
4. I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter
I have never really been into Fabio. Except for that time a goose bloodied his face on a roller coaster. But I’ve long admired this pure, chemical manna. I was reared on this stuff. I slathered it on rolls, rice cakes, and was known to take spoonfuls of it and put it right in my mouth. The fact that Fabio endorsed it back in the day only makes me feel better about my choices.
Also I’m pretty sure Lisa Vanderpump and her posse of man-hunks schill it now? If someone told me that if I ate a whole tub of I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter and I’d get to have champagne cocktails with Lisa Vanderpump? I’d do it. Hell, I’ll do it right now on the off-chance that she’s at home reading xoJane, going, “Challenge accepted, Stokes, challenge accepted.”
Also acceptable: Maybe just a date with me and Giggy.
5. Jordan Almonds
I had this friend named Felice when I was in seventh grade, only she wasn’t really my friend, because, you know, seventh grade. Her family was really wealthy. They had gates onto their property with their family’s last name on it in these insane curlicues. They reminded me of Graceland’s gates because I was super into Elvis at the time.
Her mom had this small business where she made and sold gift baskets. We spent one day after school there and got to make our own baskets. Jordan Almonds were everywhere. I nervously chomped at them when no one was looking. Her mom definitely knew something was up when I opted out of dinner.
To this day, Jordan Almonds fill me with the same sense of comfort and dread. They will crack your teeth to a million pieces, but verily, they will provide you with the kind of comfort and fill your belly with a sickly sweet and full feeling like no other. True story: I cracked my tooth on one last year and actually said aloud to no one, “I had that coming,” -- because if I can take responsibility for something, I will.
What nasty foods do you love?