TMS Banter: the Food Edition

September 11, 2009 | Comments (0) | by Ginger Russ

Over the past week, the Saloon has been a-buzz about food. And why not, we all enjoy eating, right? While I have been absent for most of the conversations, I thought I would weigh-in on my prospective, and give our readers something of a behind the scenes look into the brilliance behind the minds of the Saloon. So I give you the food topics, that TMS may or may not endorse.

Sweet Corn

Oh, how the battle has raged on about sweet corn in the Saloon. You see, Chip Wesley lives in Iowa. He claims that Iowa has the best sweet corn. I counter that Iowa stands for "Idiots Out Walking Around" so his argument has no validity. As most of our readers are presumably from Illinois, I assume that you think you have the best sweet corn, and you would be correct. And then we have Adam Blank, from California, who thinks his sweet corn is the shit. Sorry Adam, just like you think your air is breathable, your governor isn't a pot-smoking, juicer martian, and that only YOU can prevent forest fires, you would be wrong.

I come from DeKalb, IL. If any of our readers have gone to school at NIU, you know about Cornfest. The annual festival that occurs the weekend before school opens features such interesting events such as a 10K run, a dunk tank, washed-up 80s bands, and of course, the Corn Boil. Yep, every year Del Monte donates tens of thousands of ears of corn to be boiled up by an antique steam engine and served for FREE to thousands of customers on Saturday and Sunday morning.

As a kid, Cornfest was the highlight of the year. Of course I had never been to actual festivals like the Sandwich Fair or the Scandinavian Day Festival in Elgin. No we had Cornfest. Until I was 14 and went to Six Flags for the first time, I thought the Gravitron was the biggest ride ever. Of course, I also thought that beer was paid for in tickets and the Jefferson Starship was the greatest touring band of all time. Some highlights we also indulged in was the shish kabobs by the weird Greek stand, the elephant ears (fried dough covered in sugar and cinnamon) by the Jaycee's, buying a new pair of Umbro soccer shorts (to of course cover my neon yellow bike shorts I would wear underneath) at Chiltons, and of course the corn.

Fuck your fancy Mexican grilled corn, covered in cilantro, Cotija cheese and lime. You can go to hell roasted sweet corn with horseradish butter. And screw the South and their fried corn. The best corn in the world is and always will be corn from the DeKalb Cornfest Corn Boil. Pure and simple corn, the way nature intended. Steamed and boiled in a huge vat of sulphuric and lead infused DeKalb water straight from fire hydrant, and then completely immersed in a tub of drawn butter, if you didn't get at least two cobs you would be immediately labeled a heretic and quartered in the town square.

So as they say in DeKalb, "Come for the corn, stay for the...well, you can leave then, because we got nothing else for you."


I missed out on the hilarity of the Goreo thread this week in the TMS Saloon as I was swamped at work covering for my vacationing boss, but apparently Goreos have been named the Official TMS Snack. So what's a Goreo you are probably asking yourself (as was I). The Goreo is the nickname for the Golden Oreo (which is apparently the nickname for something far worse). With Obama in the office, racists are popping out of the woodwork like Hines Ward at Buttery Hand Convention. I like to call them Republicans. With the influx of these Republicans, the makers at Nabisco noticed a drop in the sales of Oreos. Presumably these Republicans don't like anything black. And so was born the Golden Oreo, a vanilla wafer with the traditional white cream filling. Perfect for those who hate Obama and other Oreos.

In August of 2009, Nabisco also introduced the Double Stuffed Golden Oreo. This is made for overstuffed Republicans, mostly who congregate in the Southern regions of the country. And what better spokesmen for the Double Stuffed Goreos than the most recognizable hicks of the nation, the Manning Brothers...and that rich dude with the bad hair. YOU'RE FIRED! Not content with these commercials, I traveled back in time to when I was 14 and made my own Goreo commercial, which can be seen here. Buy 'em, you jack ass!

Cool Ranch Doritos

At Chaim's office (AKA, the Crew Bar and Grill), someone did an event where they had to use a bunch of mini-bags of chips. So for a week they had a shitload of leftover bags of Cheetohs, Doritos, Lays, Fritos and Cool Ranch Doritos. Almost all the chips were eaten, except for basically all of the Cool Ranch Doritos. An informal, and very scientific poll was taken and 63% of TMS bartenders (and interns) still enjoy the taste of Cool Ranch Doritos. Cool Ranch is the second longest running flavor of Doritos, obviously behind the traditional Nacho Cheese. For a short time Frito-Lay jumped on the "X-treme!!!" bandwagon and changed the name to Cooler Ranch, but soon changed it back.

Cool Ranch Doritos are the traditional snack of stoners, which would explain why no one at Chaim's work likes them, I hear their drug of choice is ecstacy and poppers. While I scoured the internet for the ingredients of Cool Ranch Doritos and why they taste so damn good, nothing particular popped out as a key ingredient as to why these chips are any different from the regular Nacho Cheese version. One site guesses that Cool Ranch are basically corn chips covered in Hidden Valley Ranch powder. One ingredient that I did find interesting was "natural flavors". You see, if a company puts a very small percentage of an ingredient, or that ingredient is part of a secret recipe, it can be vague about said ingredients. Upon further investigation, it turns out that Frito-Lay might be trying to trick the Jews and Muslims.

According to Wikipedia:
"Frito-Lay's website states that they use enzymes from pigs (porcine enzymes) in some of their seasoned snack chip products to develop "unique flavors". The presence of pig-derived ingredients makes them non-kosher for Jews and haraam for Muslims to eat."

Not being Jewish or Muslim, I am free to indulge in as many Cool Ranch Doritos as I please, although I prefer a much unhealthier snack, the Death By Processed Cheese (see below).

Cheese Puff, Nacho Cheese and American Cheese Slice, this can't go wrong.

As you can see, with the Cubs out of the playoff hunt and the Bears yet to play a regular season game, the conversation at the Saloon gets pretty interesting. Won't you join us?

Bear Down!