« How to fix any technical problem with the blog | Main | What is it about breakfast foods? »

May 24, 2008

Guess the mystery product (notice I'm not saying food)

Owl Meat (when I look at that name I always wonder if it means owls or mice) has graciously sent me a game to start off the Memorial Day weekend festivities. As faithful readers know, when we play Guess the Mystery Product, THERE IS NO PRIZE. DO NOT GOOGLE THE INGREDIENTS, FOLKS. THAT TAKES THE FUN OUT OF THE GAME.

Owl Meat's comment was "the beef fat is intriguing." You know me. I always think beef fat is intriguing.

Here we go: .. 

Enriched Bleached Wheat Flour [Flour, Reduced Iron, B Vitamins (Niacin, Thiamine Mononitrate (B1), Riboflavin (B2), Folic Acid)], Sugar, Water, Corn Syrup, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Partially Hydrogenated Vegetable and/or Animal Shortening (Contains One or More of: Soybean, Cottonseed or Canola Oil, Beef Fat), Whole Eggs, Dextrose. Contains 2% or Less of: Modified Corn Starch, Glucose, Leavenings (Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Baking Soda, Monocalcium Phosphate), Sweet Dairy Whey, Soy Protein Isolate, Calcium and Sodium Caseinate, Salt, Mono and Diglycerides, Polysorbate 60, Soy Lecithin, Cornstarch, Corn Flour, Corn Dextrin, Cellulose Gum, Sodium Stearyl Lactylate, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Sorbic Acid (to Retain Freshness), FD&C Yellow 5, Red 40.
Posted by Elizabeth Large at 6:02 AM | | Comments (62)


Hamburger buns?


A rather sweet, (probably) baked thing you feel iffy about calling "food". Is it a Twinkie?

I just said that because it had so many artificial ingredients. I actually don't know what it is yet either. EL

I would guess that its some kind of baked treat. And one that a cardiologist wouldn't touch.

A twinkie, yes? Or maybe a Tastykake?

Oh but there are plenty of people in this world that consider Twinkies food! What's even more disgusting is that some people eat it deep-fried. As if in it's plain form it isn't disgusting enough...
For Christmas, as a joke, my hubby and I got a "Twinkies scented" bath scent for my 20 y/o daughter. It is obviously meant for an 8 y/o. Well, it smells horrible, but I guess a kid who likes Twinkies would like it.
On another note, I am going away for 10 days to rural Louisiana, where the internet is hard to find. I am going to have a serious D@L withdrawal. I don't know how I am going to survive :-(

Come back soon. And remember, there's always the public library. EL

Becasue it lacks any mention of a fruit like filling, its probably not a Pop Tart. But, remember fellow Sandboxers that a primary component does not always have to be listed. Remember the time we played and the turkey was not listed in what was a turkey breast (or something, I don't remember now exactly). This game has a certain unfair quality to it.

Having said all of that, Twinkies seem a good guess, although I would hate it if we have gotten so good at this game that the second guess got it.

Owl Meat (when I look at that name I always wonder if it means owls or mice) In defense of our Resident Visiting Lecturer in Ancient Runes and Sustenance Economics, I would like to think him not a rodent. Otherwise all talk of swooshing leads to a picture of him with a towel tied round his neck and in underroos with hairy legs. And that is not a pretty picture, even on an empty stomach.

Yuk! I don't want to know.

Having read TWINKIE,DECONSTRUCTED by Steve Ettlinger, I can say with some certainty if this is NOT a Twinkie, they are composed of the same "nutrients". Read the book and you will understand. It makes Fast Food Nation appear organic.

Holy carrion RtSO! What brought that on? And it's a cape not a towel anymore.

It's a Twinkie. I think you cheated.

I thought that would be harder. Here's another one to get you through the weekend. No beef fat this time, but you can really taste the acesulfame potassium. Name it:

Water, Glycerine, Maltodextrin (Adds a Trivial Amount of Sugar), Citric Acid, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Guar Gum, Locust Bean Gum, Aspartame, Acesulfame Potassium, Ascorbic Acid, Red 40, Yellow 6, Blue 1.

Sounds like a commercial pink lemonade.

Sorry, OMG, I pictured a beach towel that clashed with the underoos. Of course everything clashes with the hairy legs. (I know I have way too much time on my hands and a fantasy life just short of requiring instutionalisation.)

Not pink lemonade. What color do you get when you mix blue, yellow and red dyes? Beats me.

Is the mystery product Owl Meat Helper?

Ooooooh! So close, Owl Meat Helper has tamarind in it. Try again.

Egg McMuffin? Or is it still being made with UNenriched bleached wheat flour?


Crystal Light or some kind of sugar-free Kool-Aid?

You are clearly plumbing your brains for every toxic thing we had as kids, but not twizzlers, Kool Aid or Crystal meth. This one is tricky. And I wasn't aware that glycerine was a food. Hint, kids love this sort of thing.

Bubble gum?

Hint: it's not a liquid.

Are you sure this is a food? It looks more like a soap or shampoo. Maybe one of those fancy decorative scented soaps that people put in their guest bathrooms. I know I've seen sweeteners in shampoo, but aspartame? Glycerine isn't a food is it? You make anti-freeze from it and Neutrogena soap. Oh Mr. Owl want have you done?

From Wiki:
"Glycerol is a component of glycerol soap, which is made from denatured alcohol, glycerol, sodium castorate (from castor), sodium cocoate, sodium tallowate, sucrose, water, and parfum (fragrance). "

So it's lo-cal soap for kids? Something Flintstonian or Sponge Bob-ish? Edible massage lubricant? Ugh! This can't be for human consumption.

Also from Wiki:
"Glycerol is used in medical and pharmaceutical and personal care preparations, mainly as a means of improving smoothness, providing lubrication and as a humectant. It is found in cough syrups, elixirs and expectorants, toothpaste, mouthwashes, skin care products, shaving cream, hair care products, and soaps."

I don't see ANY food applications there. J'accuse! You are misleading the flock!

It's sold as a food and targeted to children, although serving it to a child is probably a form of abuse. J'accuse right back at you. It's a summery kind of thing.

Sponge Bob Nasty Pants edible lubricant? Scooby Doo anti-freeze? SunnyD Robot Splash breakfast drink? Hello Kitty suppositories?

I'm a big label reader, but I don't think that many people are or do not have the skill and knowledge to decipher these horrors. Isn't glycerin used as a laxative suppository? Some people have been brainwashed into low fat or low carb without knowing what they are actually ingesting.

Artificial sweeteners are the biggest con job ever. Aside from all the possible long term problems, they are fundamentally worthless. A recent study showed that because they trick the brain into thinking they are sugar, the brain maintains an abnormal desire for sugar. Although people were ingesting huge quantities of artificial sweeteners, they were also eating a lot of sugar too. How could people not know that? Because your brain will trick you into getting what it wants. Meanwhile when people switched from sugared drinks to water or unsweetened tea, their brain's desire for sugar decreased gradually and so did their consumption. They used a lot of cool brain scans, so it was not just a nutrition/behavioral study, but involved objective brains scans. Interesting stuff.

Their is a classic study in tobacco research that is similar. The ultra low nicotine cigarettes are so because there are tiny vents in the filters that cause air to be sucked in and mixed with the tobacco smoke, diluting it. So the tobacco isn't that different, just the delivery system. The problem is that real live smokers were found to have equal nicotine levels in their blood whether they smoked the cigarettes that were vented or the normal ones. Even though they did not know about the vents, they subconsciously learned to move their fingers to a position that consistently blocked the vents to give them a better buzz. The brain is a tricky bastard.

I guess that's the long way of saying I have no idea what that crap is, unless it is some kind of children's laxative.

Now go outside and play. And don't slam the screen door!

perhaps its those fruit roll-up things?

If its not a fruit rollup thing, what could it be?
Since its a summertime kids "treat", maybe like a popsicle or something?

Rob in PCP FL, you are flailing but thanks for playing. There's no fruit in that.

IU find that this industrial lubricant/enema is indeed a popsicle. And it's filed under the category of "Better for You" onthis web site
Who knew that Popsicle™ was a registered trademark and frozen child abuse?

Popsicle™ Orange Cherry Grape Pop Bars Sugar Free

Okay that was fun and it was really hard because you didn't think that something whose first ingredient was water would be FROZEN! But more importantly, who would guess that the second ingredient in a children's treat would be a non-food -- glycerine? Not me.

Okay, it's a long weekend and I have one more and this one is a doozy.

Defatted Soy Flour, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Water, Salt, Sugar, Artificial and Natural Flavor, Red 40 and other Color Added, Soy Sauce (Water, Wheat, Soybeans, Salt), Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein (Corn, Soy, Wheat)

The winner gets to slow dance with my grandmother. Hey, she's nice and she really likes "Color My World" and the first part of "Stairway to Heaven" but she gets disoriented when they break out the jam. Who doesn't?

Dog food for bad dogs?

People food for people. I have eaten this. Mmmm .....

bacon bits?

this is fun...

Is this those fake bacon bites you find on salad bars?

Not bacon bits!

Betty Crocker® Bacos Bacon Bits™ Salad Topping

Baco Bits.

Arrrrrgh! I thought would be really hard. Was it the soy sauce that gave it away?

Okay, I have one more.

Congratulations Rob in PCP Florida you win. As it happens, my grandmother lives close to you in Del Bocca Vista. She will be expecting you at the next Senior Fling dance. A nice gift would be some new tennis balls for her walker.

I think I will have to come up with a new game. You guys are getting too good at this. The popsicle is scary though. It's HEALTHY!

ROUND 4 of Guess the Mystery Product:

Water, Corn Syrup, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil (Coconut and Palm Kernel Oils), Less Than Two Percent of Sodium Caseinate (From Milk), Natural and Artificial Flavor, Modified Food Starch, Xanthan and Guar Gums, Polysorbate 60, Sorbitan Monostearate, Sodium Polyphosphates, Beta Carotene (Color).

The prize this time is a free closet arranging consultation by my half-brother Chino Alvarez of Closets by Chino. Good luck.


No peeps.

Yes, the soy sauce and the defatted soy flour, I recognized it. You know how I knew that? I was about to use some of it in scrambled eggs when your question arose.
Luckily, I have no idea where Del Boca Vista is. Must be all that PCP we have here. Perhaps I could send her some tennis balls.

round 4's ingredients sound pretty nasty...

oh gee, I hope I win. my closets are a mess....give me a little while to think.

I considered making a guess, but Owl Man's prizes are just too scary.

Cool whip?

Well done Rosebud, it is indeed the health food known as Cool Whip.

"Because non-dairy Cool Whip has a lot less calories than whipped cream you have to make ..."

Thank you everyone for playing. Rosebud, Chino will be breaking into your house any day soon and rearranging your closets and medicine cabinet. Congrats.

Thanks, OMG, I think. You'd best better let Chino know that we have two very large dogs, so he'll know to bring dog treats.

I actually knew this one immediately since I had had a discussion just Sunday with my mother-in-law about the virtures of cool whip vs real whipped cream and I read the ingredients aloud to prove my point.

My stand, as you all (or y'all) might guess, is that a small spoon of the real thing is so much better than a large spoonful of that artificial stuff. I also do my best to stay clear of corn syrup and, especially, high fructose corn syrup. But most important, it tastes terrible - GAK!!!!

And I also was forced to remember that commerical since they always say do you want a little pie (or whatever we're having) with that cool whip.

Cool Whip - the healthier food of today is the garbage of tomorrow. I've got a few more of those in reserve. Thanks to that entry I still have the Cool Whip song in my head along with the pernicious new addition
♫ La la la la ... French Vanilla
♫ Cooo-ooool Whiiiiip

Assuming that nobody cheated, I am impressed by the label readers out there. I probably wouldn't do as well, since I don't read carefully the labels of stuff I already consider junk. Perhaps there will be more Mystery Product posts in the future .............

Rosebud, do not worry my fine lady. I am a gental man of peace and fastidioso who but merely desires to make your vestiments and boots to be in an amiable manner for your most convenience. ¡OLÉ !

In Catalonia they call me el hombre que susurra a los perros or The Man Who Whispers to the Dogs to Subdue Them for Money. ¡Olé! Do you know then of the Wild Dogs of Barcelona? No. I think not. And now you know of why.

But do not make heavy your heart Rosebug, mi hermanastro is not understanding of the complexiness of his Castilian hermanstro. For I am may steal into your corazón, but in the other wise I am a loyal follower of the laws of our Land ... and The Code of Honor.


Well well well, I think we just witnessed the birth of a new person(a) here. Well Chino, I'm glad to know that you are a gentleman. Perhaps you can have a calming effect on Owl Meat. I sense that there is much (self-created?) disorder in his world. Bienvenido, Chino. Why Chino?

OMG is back with more personalities than ever ... Which one will show up at the Owl Bar? Or should I say "Whoooo?"

I will acknowledge my acquaintance with Chino, but will admit that I do not know him very well yet. We are brothers of other mothers. I have no control over him. As for the rest ... puh ... imposters, stalkers, and raptor wannabes. And one co-worker.

I like the mystery product posts, and reading Owl Meat's posts are a hoot.

Hal, the prizes are purely voluntary, please join in. Although Chino is like a zephyr.

Did you hear the story on NPR's Science Friday last week about the woman who needed a kidney transplant? Her husband and sons were tested to see who would be a good donor, and the hospital reported back that the father was indeed the father of the two boys, but the woman was not the mother. Interesting story-and there is a logical explanation. Anyone?

Oh, Dahlink, you get the swerve of the week award, and on a Tuesday, too.

Maybe the woman is the boy's stepmom?

Tetragametic chimerism

I'm beginning to wonder whether Chino Alvarez and Sam Sessa's Pierre were separated at birth (and let's not even try to factor OMG and voodoopork into that bio-evolutionary equation)....

Woo hoo--I won "swerve of the week" award!!! (Justified exclamation points.)

And voodoopork is right--the mother was a chimera--that is, she was twins in one body, with one absorbed very early in gestation. They initially did blood tests on the whole family. When they did tissue samples, they found that she was in fact the mother. The other twin had taken over the bloodstream. If things had proceeded a little differently she would have been conjoined twins.

Now if science can only explain OMG, voodoopork and Chino, that will be very exciting!

Pierre is as far as I know not affiliated with any of the Animal Collective. I believe it is just Sessa fluffing himself.

Owl Meat is an irrational logician. I know some actual science. And since we saw Chino's birth, we know one part of the puzzledom. Chimera! Yeah! (Saw it on an episode of House)

Animal Collective? Does that mean I'm not part of it? Sly boots, you know Animal Collective is a band. Where is Panda Bear?

Now if science can only explain OMG, voodoopork and Chino, that will be very exciting! Science can put moveable object on Mars and we can see the landing (or parts of it) from earth. To explain the Animal Collective, see to-day's Shallow Thought: paranormal.

Post a comment

Verification (needed to reduce spam):

About this blog
Richard Gorelick was appointed The Baltimore Sun's restaurant critic in September 2010. Before joining the paper staff fulltime, he contributed freelance criticism and features articles about food to area and regional publications. Along the way, he dispatched for short-distance trucking companies, shilled for cultural non-profits, and assisted in cognitive neurology research – never the subject, always the control.

He takes restaurants seriously but not himself, and his favorite restaurant is the one you love, too.

Top Ten Tuesdays
Most Recent Comments
Baltimore Sun coverage
Restaurant news and reviews Recently reviewed
Browse photos and information of restaurants recently reviewed by The Baltimore Sun

Sign up for FREE text alerts
Get free Sun alerts sent to your mobile phone.*
Get free Baltimore Sun mobile alerts
Sign up for dining text alerts

Returning user? Update preferences.
Sign up for more Sun text alerts
*Standard message and data rates apply. Click here for Frequently Asked Questions.
  • Food & Drink newsletter
Need ideas for dinner tonight? A recommendation for the perfect red wine?'s Food & Drink newsletter is there to help.
See a sample | Sign up

Stay connected