Mar 242015
 

pain1I picked this up at our local beef jerky/spicy food shop. I’d tried a Most Wanted Pain Is Good sauce or two before, but not the jalapeno. Let’s see what’s going on with it.

The sauce is a pleasant green, tilting toward olive but still in tolerance for a jalapeno sauce, with small pepper and onion bits evident. It’s rather thin. To use it reliably as a dip, look for concavity in the vehicle. (A Tostitos Scoop is good, obviously.) The nose is of mostly peppers and garlic, but vinegar isn’t far behind. What do we have here?

Ingredients: Jalapeno Peppers (Jalapeno Peppers, Water, Vinegar, Salt), Vinegar, Water, Roasted Green Chiles (Green Chiles, Salt, Citric Acid), Onions, Garlic, Lime Juice Concentrate, Natural Thickener (Xanthan Gum, Guar Gum, Sodium Alginate), Spice, Salt, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Natural Flavor.

Uh-oh. That’s trouble. The first ingredient is clearly canned jalapenos, not fresh. Vinegar and water immediately following aren’t promising developments either.

pain2

And indeed, it’s underwhelming. Straight or on a chip, it starts with a pleasant botanical note, but vinegar quickly overwhelms any subtleties. It doesn’t degrade the snack completely, but the experience is decidedly pedestrian.

It did a little better on a grilled chicken quesadilla. The chicken was marinated in Goya Mojo Criollo, which gave a little sophistication back to the gustatory equation.

pain3

The bottle says it’s medium, at a stated “1,000 to 1,400 Scovilles” [sic]. The heat is right in line with any processed jalapeno product. There’s a little bite that might bug someone who “doesn’t like spicy food.” Chileheads won’t need a drink.

I paid $7.99 for this, which was high. You should be able to find it for $5.50 or so without much problem.

Unfortunately, that’s still too much. This sauce might be marginally defensible priced in line with mass-market offerings. However, it’s a slight but unambiguous failure trying to be a boutique product.

4/10

 Posted by at 10:59 pm
Mar 172015
 

Beyond the making a living part, I am not in charge of procuring clothing for the boys. In fact, I may have less to do with this particular aspect of parenthood than any other. Lea does a marvelous job.

I do wonder whether some fashion pressures have relaxed since I was in the seventh grade. I remember a good deal of stress surrounding shoes. Your daily wear needed to be athletic shoes of an acceptable brand. Nike, Reebok, and Adidas were all reliably safe, followed by a close second tier of Converse, Puma, Asahi, and probably one or two I’m forgetting.

South of there, it was mean streets. The worst were the ones that looked sort of like the acceptable names, but weren’t. Trax? Cuga? Remember those? They reliably drew derision. (There was also always the poor kid whose mother sent him to school in casual brown or black shoes that should have been reserved for church.)

Our boys’ daily wear may or may not be on the “acceptable” brand list of my childhood. They’ve also not necessarily been athletic shoes. “Outdoors” and even walking shoes have made appearances. And Lea spends, dollar for dollar, about what my mother did for mine more than 30 years ago, which of course means they’re considerably less expensive today. Yet I never hear a peep that indicates they’re getting picked on, or a report of such from their mother.

So are kids nicer today than they were in my childhood? Or was I in elementary or middle school with unusually mean kids? Or are kids every bit as mean as they were back then, only about different things today? Or something else?

 Posted by at 10:38 am
Mar 132015
 

I’ve had some long days this week trying to compensate for winter weather absences, so I’m particularly happy to have The Martian as the only item on my to-do list for the next 14 or so hours. Finish a riveting book, and then sleep in? I’ll take it. Awesome. Listen to our broadcast Sunday night. […]

 Posted by at 8:17 pm

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