Dips: A Pictorial
It is impossible to be depressed or angry or sexually frustrated or in pain or ANYTHING BAD while eating guacamole. It's true! Well, probably. Look, I haven't done a lot of field-testing on this, but I'd be willing to bet that if you gave a bowl of freshly prepared guacamole to a guy who just got dumped by his girlfriend, or to a guy who was mad because his girlfriend set their cat on fire, or to a guy who's girlfriend won't sleep with him because his penis is covered in sores and glitter, or to a guy who just got shot in the stomach by his girlfriend because she thought he was a yeti... I bet if any of those dudes started eating the guacamole, they'd be all, "Hey man, it's all good. Life is a carnival candy dreamsicle of laughter and heart-lights! Let's form a conga line TO THE MOON!!!" I guess what I'm trying to say is this: Guacamole is delicious and at night, when I'm sure no one is around, I smear it all over my body and lie down in a bathtub full of Tostitos and then I am the dip and the dip is me. It's a frightening scene, man, but nonetheless... I do so dearly love guacamole.
Salsa is just fine, as far as dips go, but I have masculinity issues when it comes to eating it and that's kind of a bummer. See, usually salsa is just a tasty blend of tomatoes and onions and peppers and garlic and other crap and I can eat it non-stop, enjoying the flavors and perhaps wearing a novelty sombrero. This is all well and good. However... sometimes salsa is TOO HOT. Even for me, a guy who enjoys the spicier side of life. Sometimes, a demented chef or a crazed mad-scientist dip manufacturer will put out a product that's basically just red-tinted habanero pulp soaked in Satan's post-workout sweat sock squeezings. One bite makes my eyes melt out of my head like Cadbury Eggs in the microwave, my brain begins to sizzle like fatty bacon on the hood of a cherry red Camero in Flagstaff, Arizona in July, my tongue tries to exit my body out my ass... the fire spreads and burns and destroys until the pain is all I know. But what sucks is that I have to keep eating the damn stuff because I don't want people to think I'm a pussy. Situations like this can really ruin parties or dip conventions or funerals of acquaintances for me and, for that reason, salsa will never be my first, my last, my everything.
I'm not a fool. I recognize that spinach dip is inherently tasty... it's mostly sour cream and garlic and that can't be a bad thing... but, still, I find myself shying away from it, like it's a dog that once bit through a neighbor's Achilles tendon and you're not sure it isn't looking at you with murder on it's mind. It's just so... girly, I guess? Feminine? Like the dip version of a mammogram and trip to the mall to buy shoes and talk about periods? I know it's wrong to feel that way, I do, but at the same time... when I think of a large, fresh-from-the-fridge bowl of spinach dip... I think of baby showers and Lifetime original movies and the snack table in the green room of The View. This is, I'm sure, completely off base. I'm sure lots of truckers and salty longshoremen and men who work on oil derricks all enjoy hearty portions of spinach dip after a hard day of doing manly work at rough jobs where they encourage farting and everyone swears a whole lot. I'm sure that totally happens. And I'm sure they look lovely in their prom dresses and elaborate eye make-up. HA!!! Take that, imaginary spinich dip-eating guys who could still probably beat me up even though they're imaginary!
Bean Dip (can)
A can of bean dip... pure sorrow bought at a gas station and usually enjoyed (if that's the word for it) alone in a dark room watching a regional baseball game between two teams long out of playoff contention. Corn chips or Fritos are used to scoop up the sickly, brown mush at first, but by the eighth inning... as the home team allows another inside-the-park home run due to poor mechanics and an outfield comprised mainly of busted-shoulder rejects from around the league... you begin to just run your fingers around the inside of the can, slurping the gnarly ichor off your digits while crying and not caring and in the morning, you will be dead.
Okay, this is maybe a bit of an exaggeration, bit I think you catch my meaning. Bean dip in a can is the last stop on the road of dips before you run off a cliff. Sure, it's tasty enough... not denying that... but bean dip is also mostly cold pig fat and industrial spices mixed in with a few pinto beans for color, processed cheap, and sold to the masses for a few quarters and their dignity.
I mean, personally I love it. But still. Woe be unto you should you purchase it.
Thus, muhammara. It's some sort of Middle Eastern dip made of walnuts and red peppers and olive oil and garlic and some other crap like that. It's good! Strange, perhaps, but tasty. Oddly enough, it tastes exactly like all of those things mashed up... you can definitely taste the walnuts, there's some kick from the peppers, the oil makes it oily, the garlic makes it garlicky, and the other crap is noticeable in as much as there are flavors there you don't know, but assume they must be some other crap they threw into the dip to make it interesting.