December 13, 2012

Goldfish Grahams S'mores are good to the gills

S'mores-inspired Goldfish are pretty sweet.
Let me guess: You've been camped out in front of your computers since last week, waiting for a new food critique. That last post I wrote didn't have any spork ratings or original pictures, and now you're feeling deprived.

On the one hand, you should thank me. I spared you the agony of viewing my food photography which, despite all these years of practice, would probably be better off shuttered away somewhere. On the other hand, I understand where you're coming from. I've been itching to break out the plastic utensils myself.

Fortunately I'm not floundering for critique ideas. This week I have just the thing for those of you staking out the Internet and fishing for food insight. That thing comes from the grocery store. It lives in the snack aisle. It has chocolate, graham crackers, and marshmallows.

It is, of course, a form of Pepperidge Farm Goldfish. More specifically, it's the form known as "Grahams S'mores."

Before we go any further, I have to admit a slight bias against the generic Pepperidge Farm Goldfish. Well, "bias" might not be the right word, but the fact is I don't like them very much. The baked cheese flavor does the same thing to me as Cheez-Its, which is to say leaves me thirsty and unsatisfied. The only reason I can find to eat them is the nostalgia of being a kid, and that's not very compelling. If it was, we'd all pop open jars of mashed carrots once or twice a year as a form of foodie fetal positioning.

(If you do take comfort in baby food, do yourself a favor. Buy a big tub of ice cream and eat the whole thing next time you need a hug. I absolve you of caloric responsibility so that you can gobble cookies and cream guilt free. It'll be more dignified than chugging a jug of Gerber.)

Now that I've provided full disclosure on my feelings toward run-of-the-mill Goldfish, it's time to flip through the Grahams S'mores version. Dive right in and you'll find three types of fish swimming around in the foil packaging: graham cracker, chocolate cracker, and marshmallow.

We could bait the comments section and debate which of the three fish tastes best (hint: it's the graham cracker). I don't think that's fully understanding the the way these are meant to be consumed, though. The crackers aren't to be eaten in a small-scale, one-at-a-time manner. They're supposed to be strung one after another down the gullet, as if there's a line between the bag and your mouth.

Eating that way causes the flavors to run together, resulting in a surprisingly good approximation of s'mores. The gooey texture and sticky fingers aren't there, of course. But that's not such a bad thing. You could eat these in front of the computer without having to worry about gumming up your keyboard for all eternity, for instance.

There is one shortcoming I feel compelled to note, however. The size of the marshmallow fish is simply too small. If the graham crackers and chocolate crackers are goldfish, the marshmallows are sardines. This seems to be nothing more than cost-cutting gone wild, and it bothers me a bit.

Still, the flavor impact is minimal, thanks mostly to the fact that marshmallows are overpoweringly sweet. So Pepperidge Farm is off the hook for that particular infraction. I'm going to have to give Grahams S'mores Goldfish four-and-a-half sporks out of five. They'd make excellent provisions for any camping trip.

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