1. 100-Calorie Packs
I don’t know if you’re one of those people who can daintily eat about three Doritos and then set the bag down with the honorable resolve of a warrior, but I am not one of those people. If I open a pack of Oreos (when I’m by myself, let’s be real, when we’re around other people we can usually feign self-restraint for a little bit) I’m lucky if I don’t manage to ravage both sleeves in their entirety. Thus these 100-Calorie abominations provide just enough gastronomical pleasure to make my stomach grumble, turn over, and say, “Oh, hey, we’re eating now?” They are an appetizer to an appetizer — they are not food. Who could be satisfied with just one of these by themselves as an afternoon snack or, God forbid, an entire breakfast? And while we’re on the subject, it pains me to even think about the incredible bastardization they’ve put their “inspiration-foods” through. Look at their version of Oreos! Look at them! What are those things? If I want an Oreo, I want an Oreo, not a paper-thin piece of slate covered with cocaine sprinkles. Sell those “cookies” if you want, but don’t refer to them as Oreos — call them what they are, “horrendous diet cookies.” Diet food needs to stop messing with my emotions like this.
2. Chicken McNuggets
I know that these things are a monstrosity of modern cuisine. I know they are not fit to be consumed by anything, much less humans capable of higher brain function and reason. I have seen the images of what mechanically-separated-chicken actually looks like. (Yay! Strawberry soft-serve!) I just cannot stop loving these little things like they were my own children. Children that I would eat in their sleep. But I mean, let’s be honest, McDonald’s products are absolutely terrible any time ever except for the first three minutes of their lifespan, and only when you really want McDonald’s (nine out of 10 times, completely wasted). But when you’ve had a few too many drinks, and you happen to get finger-burningly hot fries and chicken nuggets, does life not feel just a little bit better? And with an array of dipping sauces to please any palate, you can’t say the evil corporation isn’t trying its best to take care of your gluttonous, gluttonous needs. I know I shouldn’t, but damn if I can’t stop. Ugh, now I want McDonald’s.
3. Gummi Candies
Whether in worm form, rope form, bear form, peach ring form, or sweet, sweet, Sour Patch Kids, gummies are out to get me. It cannot be just me who is incapable of opening a pack of gummies without finishing it. At least, I hope it’s not. They’re just so delicious, and somehow light enough that you don’t really feel like you’re eating much of anything. There has never been a bag of Haribo gummi bears that I haven’t slain like a fire-breathing dragon. And those peach rings, what kind of dark magic are those things?! Perhaps it’s a metaphor for life, the soft-yet-chewable texture of these candies. They’re just tough enough to require some serious tooth action, but delicate enough to be pleasant. I don’t know, I think my conscious mind just wants a reason to justify tearing through a movie-theater pack of Sour Patch kids before the previews were over. I’ll just stay away from the gummi section of the candy aisle — nothing good awaits me there.
I’m not even going into this, except to say that Nutella has caused so much shame, self-loathing, and tummy aches — it is the punisher of the internet for its sins — but I cannot stop loving it. I would literally fill up a bath tub with Nutella and flop around it like a dying fish, yet I can’t stand to look it in the eye in the grocery store. It is truly the hate sex of snack foods.
5. Starbucks Drinks
The thing about Starbucks is, regardless of how much it puts us into severe credit-card debt or leaves us in a lethargic caffeine crash post-lunch hour, that sh-t is delicious and, frankly, we cannot give it up. But the problem is not just in the rather steep daily price tag, or the undulating waves of sugar and espresso which pass through our bloodstream, it’s also that we’ve managed to convince ourselves it’s not “that bad for you.” I mean, we walk around with one of those insane Rachel Zoe-sized latte cups and we feel cool, and chic, and not as though we’re essentially drinking a bucket of lard covered with whipped cream and drizzled in syrup. Sure, you can change some of the more heavy ingredients out, but then you’re just drinking a gallon of skim and/or soy milk filled with liquid aspartame. No matter how you slice it, it’s just probably not what we should be downing first thing in the morning. But we will continue to go there, and to rationalize the little cakes and scones, and drink the sweet, sweet nectar of the Gods. As soon as someone can make an actual decent breakfast, like a bowl full of bran and some cut up fruit or whatever, taste that magical — we’ll be consuming it in droves. Trust me.
6. Tempura Anything
I think we’ve all been in a Japanese restaurant at some point and ordered a big-ass basket of fried food and somehow thought to ourselves, “Ehh, it’s Japanese, how unhealthy could it possibly be?” as we sucked it down with a giant bowl of white rice drowned in molten sodium, known in some circles as “soy sauce.” We just have this mental image of going to a sushi place as “eating light,” even if we’re literally just eating deep-fried batter dipped in spicy mayonnaise. There exists no basket of veggie tempura too big to be taken down in one sitting, and I feel blessed to be allergic to shrimp, as I will never fall victim to the crunchy ebi roll, also known as the Funyuns of Japanese cuisine. (However, I do frequently partake in the spider roll, made with fried soft shell crab, and it tastes like I imagine Ryan Gosling’s kisses do.) Let’s go get some sushi, you guys!