Monday, May 12, 2008

It Came From Chinatown...

And we're back!

Being in Arlington last week sucked monkey butt, kiddos. For a lot of reasons... the whole death thing, of course (which: lame), the sleeping on a couch for an extended period of time, the constant motion of a family in crisis, and... yes... the not getting to eat weird foods for your various, sick pleasures. It felt odd to let a week go by without cramming something unholy and possibly hazardous into my face... really odd. Like the phantom itch felt by people who have just lost a limb. My hand would raise to my mouth, my throat would clench, my tongue would attempt to exit out my eye socket, but there'd be nothing there... nothing horrible, anyway. Only a can of Dr. Pepper and the sense of living in a world gone mad. Fortunately I had plenty of BBQ to staunch the flow of pain and regret. So much brisket, my sweat was smokey... (sigh)...

But that's in the past. As I said, we are motherfucking back! It's ICFC time again and smiles and tap dancing and rainbow sword fights on a cloud made of little-kid's letters to Santa!!! This weeks grossness du jour... Flavored Tofu Soy Bean Cake:

How we've made it this far into the project without choking on something tofu-based, I'll never know. We were blinded by the vast array of processed fish bits, I guess. But anyway, lets talk Flavored Tofu Soy Bean Cake. Two things, first impressions-wise: When Girlfriend handed me the above package, I was sure she was just kidding... food, as a general rule doesn't weigh as much as a cinder block dipped in iron and stuffed with Rosanne Barr. I hoisted this package, babies... hoisted. There's no other word to describe it. Okay, "heavy," I guess, but that's about it. Also, while glancing at the nutritional information (I'm always on the look out for listed ingredients like strychnine or Ebola), I noticed... and you can see it there... the term, "Thick Soy Sauce." Not sure why, but the thought of a thick soy sauce... all salty and pasty and vile... makes my stomach do a lazy barrel roll like a drunk stunt pilot about to crash into a barn. So glad it's a part of the thing I'm going to eat. So glad.

Here's one piece of the Flavored Tofu Soy Bean Cake, which deceptively looks like a homemade brownie:

Seeing as how it smells like a bag of jockstraps left in the closet of a deserted gymnasium, I'm going to assume that it doesn't taste like a brownie. Unless I've been wildly misinformed about brownies. Okay, let's do this:

Huh. Now it looks like an Eskimo Pie. These are the Transformers of nasty food.

Girlfriend, as you can see, has encouraged me to take a big, honkin' bite... to go for the gusto, and go for it I most certainly did. Which I immediately regretted:

Dry. Not quite like the Mojave Desert, but like you've just licked the seat cover of an old car on a hot day. And it's dense. And... urgh... sweaty. Eating a Flavored Tofu Soy Bean Cake is akin to chewing on a large hunk of foam rubber that's been used as a floor mat for a high school wrestling team from a poor neighborhood somewhere in the deep South. I tried to choke it down. I really, really tried. But it crumbled in my mouth and multiplied like a science-fiction virus and suddenly I couldn't breathe and all was lost and then...
I spit it out:

Other than the hot peppers from a few weeks ago, I've never actually not been able to eat something. But this... I mean, yikes. Look at it. It's like a smashed cake, still chunky and mostly solid, and that's after having chewed it up for a good thirty seconds. Inedible, truly. And it's almost entirely due to the texture. Flavor-wise, it just tastes kind of blandly whatever. Certainly not as bad as it smells. There's maybe a hint of sodium, a note of fishiness, but really there's just not a whole lot going on. That texture, though... people always joke about bad food tasting like construction materials but, perhaps for the first time, that is no longer a joke. This actually has the mouth-feel of the thick insulation you'd use in cold-weather climates to cut down on heating costs. In fact, I'm not entirely convinced that that's not it's intended purpose. Because I can't imagine people chowing down on these for fun. They're not fun. They're unpleasant beyond your wildest dreams. Beyond the stars, even.
So of course, it was decided that I should maybe try one more bite. This time, however, with the aide of a little American ingenuity:

Now, in the past, I've made a big fuss over ketchup and how it's the condiment version of a uni-tasker: "For Fries Only," has been the line I've been selling, and until last night, I was convinced that it was a rock-solid dogma upon which a man could build his life.
Turns out, though, if you squirt enough ketchup on a Flavored Tofu Soy Bean Cake, it provides enough moisture to help you force it down your own throat! Who knew?

So congrats, tomato-based ichor, you've been upgraded! To multi-tasker!!! Though don't get too excited; you're not getting anywhere near my hot dogs and hamburgers.
Anyway, the ketchup helped me at least swallow a bite of the Flavored Tofu Soy Bean Cake, but it didn't magically turn it into a tasty appetizer for the TGI Friday's menu or anything. Mostly, it just made it taste like ketchup, and it lubed it up enough so it'd slide down my gullet without triggering any vomit alarms. Probably not something that the Heinz company is going to want to use for their next press release.
So, final verdict on the Flavored Tofu Soy Bean Cakes? Easy-peasy:
Oh, and sorry I made you all look at my ABC food. But you knew what you were getting into when you started reading ICFC. It was bound to happen sometime.
Be sure to tune in next week, friends and and neighbors, for the ICFC Season Finale!!! I have no idea what it's going to be yet, but we'll try to make it super special. And disgusting.
See y'all then!!!


Blogger Lioux said...


Now I'm craving Brownies.

And Eskimo Pies.

And Ketchup[sp?].

And I even want to watch a few reruns of Roseanne®™©™.

How are you EVER going to top this, Clinton?!?!!!

I mean, it's not even THE ICFC®™©™ Season Finale!!! Yet.

10:27 AM  
Blogger brookLyn gaL said...

I'm just glad we didn't have to look at any ABCTSTVBU food. (can you figure that one out?)

Side note- did you get a haircut? Looking good!

11:00 AM  
Blogger Clinton said...

Lioux... I'm thinking for the finale I'm going to turn the whole ICFC concept on it's ear and, instead of eating weird food, enter a karate tournament. First prize... $10,000 and the heart of the Emperor's daughter. Second prize... a set of steak knives. Third prize... DEATH!!!

Brooklyn... Your acronyming skills have far surpassed mine. Please, do tell. And yes, I did get a haircut... had to be in the wedding photos last week and it was requested that I not look like a hobo. Thanks for noticing!!!

11:58 AM  
Blogger Lioux said...












Ummm. Doye.

1:10 PM  
Anonymous Just Saying said...

My wife calls me monkey butt but I never get sucked anymore. Something to do with the whole marriage ceremony thing.

3:18 PM  
Blogger Clinton said...

Lioux... I don't know if all of that's correct, but I'm pretty sure "Ukrainian" is a part of it.

Just Saying... Ooookay.

3:45 PM  
Blogger brookLyn gaL said...

Already Been Chewed Then Swallowed Then Vomited Back Up.

Although lioux's is better. So maybe just change it to his.

3:52 PM  
Blogger Irish and Jew said...

Love the haircut!! And it's so sad that something that looked alternatively like a brownie and eskimo pie (things that are awesome) turned out to taste like fishy installation (most definitely not awesome)

Looking forward to next week!


4:11 PM  
Anonymous J. said...

As has so often proven the case, the Chinese have once again left it vague how something has been "flavored". The name on the package is 五香豆腐 (wuxiang doufu) meaning "Five Spice Tofu". The five spices in question are traditionally prickly ash, star aniseed, cinnamon, clove, and fennel and you can probably find something similar in the ingredient list on a container of "Chinese Five Spice" at your local grocery store. Of possible interest to tofu haters, it literally means rotten beans.

4:40 PM  
Blogger mmyers said...

I think when the whole ICFC thing is over, you should build something out of the leftovers. Paperweights, maybe?

4:46 PM  
Blogger Clinton said...

Brooklyn... You're makes more sense, though. But his DOES involve vikings. Tough call, that.

Jew... Thanks to you, too. Girlfriend handles all my haircutting needs and could probably beat the shit out Vidal Sasoon if he crossed her.

J... All those ingredients sound like they'd taste really great together. This stuff, however, did not taste really great. I don't get how that happens.

Mmyers... The leftovers are thrown away immediately because they mostly smell awful. No one likes a stinky paperweight. (found *that* out the hard way)

4:58 PM  
Blogger Todd said...

Does poo count as a stinky paperweight?

6:04 PM  
Blogger Ben K. said...

Dude, you're supposed to cook that stuff before eating it. It's not cake in the dessert sense. It's Tempeh basically. Gotta cook it first.

10:38 PM  
Blogger Clinton said...

Todd... Obviously.

Ben... Oh. Yeah, that would make sense. In my defense, it didn't say that on the package. Or if it did, it wasn't in a language with which I'm familiar. Although... probably if I'd put some thought into it, I could have figured that out. Those things did *not* taste right, that's for sure. Anyway, thanks for the heads up!

10:45 PM  
Blogger Bill From Gainesville said...

Clinton, first of all I just want to say WOW, you are a funny funny man. second of all, I dont think its going to be too long before Ketchup finds its way to a Hot dog sliding down your gullet. Weird chineese food with Ketchup, is like the gateway drug of stuff with ketchup on it. Plus I think you will be coming around on Angelina Jolie...

9:21 AM  
Blogger Clinton said...

NEVER!!! This was a no-other-options situation. Like when dudes do it with other dudes in prison.

10:53 AM  
Blogger Bill From Gainesville said...

C-DOG, you know what? you crack me up! I am just going to continue putting ketchup on my dogs, you continue NOT to do that, I will love Angelina Jolie, you go ahead and be your hating self on her. Lets celebrate our differences!

1:32 PM  
Blogger Clinton said...

I'll bring the beer, which something we can BOTH agree on!!!

1:51 PM  
Blogger Bill From Gainesville said...

(Ebony and Ivory playing in the background) --Oh Joy. If I were Israel and you were Palestine there would be no more killing and I am ok with you being Israel and ME being Palestine, either way same metaphor

3:23 PM  
Blogger Clinton said...

Ooooh, not really a fan of international travel. Can we be, like, the Yankees and the Red Sox? Or UT and A&M? Or cats and dogs, maybe? I've already got the costumes for the last one. For reasons that have NOTHING to do with me being a Furry. Because I'm not. At all.

(maybe a little)

4:03 PM  
Blogger Bill From Gainesville said...

C-Dog, I am pretty sure it has to be two warring nations, or at least maybe warring states in a civil war type context. it cant be Yankees and Redsox, because although they are nemesises (sp) and also "agin" each other, they dont actually Kill people. same with dogs and cats. Sure they chase after each other, but cats generally always get away. or if the dog does catch the cat, the cat hisses and stuff and swipes those claws at the dog, and the dog usually whimpers off. Again as with the Yankee Redsox issue, there is no killing involved with dogs and cats either. so although they are foes, for this metaphor to work, there has to be killing and then us, with our different perspectives step into this situation and then there is no longer killing because you accept me for putting ketchup on my dog and I accept you for not doing so, plus you know we are drinking the beer. see the problem with your solution? maybe you should work on your internation travel issues. either that or just put some damn ketchup on your dog like a real american would..... also thanks for adding my link!

11:51 PM  
Blogger Big Daddy said...

You clean up rather well C-dawg.

The hobo look is soooo Fall of '07.

2:44 PM  

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