Breakfast on a stick

5 08 2011

Well, this is awkward. I really have no idea how to start this, because I feel like “Oh, hello” or “I’m back” would be cliched and also a little obvious. I guess the best thing to do would be to apologize for that little (or not-so-little) unannounced hiatus. Work and classes have entirely devoured my life and probably will continue to do so, but I promise I’ll keep this blog going. It just may not be as often as I’d like.

Today’s featured delicacy is something I’ve had my eye on for at least the past few weeks when I’ve been doing my grocery shopping at Fry’s. You know how you go to the mall and you see that puppy in the pet-store window and you want it so badly it’s all you can do not to think about it and you have dreams at night of playing with the puppy and it drives you crazy until you finally break down and go buy the puppy?

Yeah, this was nothing like that.

Every time I saw Jimmy Dean Pancakes & Sausage on a Stick (artificial-blueberry flavored, no less — note the “artificial”), I wanted to cry or gag or maybe both. How can such an atrocity make it onto the grocery-store shelf? And how on earth can the store keep selling it unless people are actually buying it? What a gruesome mystery.

The other day, it occurred to me that maybe instead of being revolted every time I passed these things, it was time to buy a box of them and try one for myself. And then blog about the experience, because this poor blog desperately needs some sort of jolt to bring it back to life.

So I burned over 7 bucks on a box of frozen treats from hell. I hope you’re happy (all five of you who read this).

I admit I had a slightly (OK, very) negative mindset before trying one of these would-be blueberry corndogs. I’m sorry, but I just don’t understand the concept. I know a lot of people who like to mix their breakfast food. I see family, friends and random people in restaurants (whom I watch eat, yes) do it all the time: They cut up their sausage and mix it into their scrambled eggs, with maybe a bit of maple syrup thrown in for good measure. I call these people Breakfast Multitaskers because the impression I get is that they’re in such a hurry that they can’t enjoy their breakfast foods individually but have to mash them all together.

Of all the things I’ve seen people mix, however, I’ve never, ever seen blueberry pancakes with sausage. I mean, isn’t it just common sense to keep those two things far away from each other?

When I was a kid, I was of the devout belief that food was meant to be eaten separately. My ham could not touch my potatoes or neither was edible anymore — and leave the cheese off my macaroni, please and thank you. As I grew up, I realized some food actually does taste better if you mix it together. But there’s a limit. Sausage wrapped in blueberry pancakes crosses way over that line.

Before I took a bite into the piping-hot corndog-esque breakfast food (the frozen ‘dog has to be heated up for precisely 50 to 55 seconds, by the way), I tried to clear my mind. (I call this breakfast yoga.) No bias, no revulsion (I mostly managed to quell my gag reflex) … just open-mindedness. Maybe it wouldn’t be that bad.

It was that bad.

I took a generous chomp into it and got a mouthful of rubbery blueberry pancake (which I could smell from across the room when it was in the microwave, by the way), and then the sausage made its way to my taste buds and all I could think was, “Why, God, why?” Over and over. “Why, God, why?”

Some things were never, ever meant to be mixed. I stand by that. Colorful packaging and almost-appetizing blueberry smells are not enough to convince me otherwise. Sweet blueberries, rubbery pancake coating, salty, chunky sausage … just no. Something is very wrong with that.

This is another one of those foods where I go, “Who eats this? Someone must, because the store’s still selling it.” I don’t understand. Maybe it’s the perfect to-go snack for Breakfast Multitaskers with dulled taste buds (or wide-open minds). But it’s just not for me.

I love blueberry pancakes. I like sausage if I eat it with (certain) other things. But I will continue to keep my blueberry pancakes far away from my breakfast sausage. And I think I’ll stick with eating them off a plate.

(P.S. I now have a box in my freezer full of 11 pancake-covered sausages on a stick. Any takers?)

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Ingredients:
Pancake batter: Enriched wheat flour, water, sugar, artificial flavored blueberry bits (invert sugar, sugar, water, wheat flour, algin, potassium sorbate, artificial flavor, FD&C red dye No. 3 and blue dye No. 1); contains 2% or less of: soybean oil, artificial flavor, salt, dextrose, leavening, dried egg yolk soy lecithin, nonfat dry milk, cooked in vegetable oil. Fully cooked maple sausage link made with pork & turkey, BHG & citric acid added to help protect flavor: pork, mechanically separated turkey, water, sugar; contains 2% or less of: soy protein concentrate, sodium lactate, salt, dextrose, sodium phosphates, spices, natural and artificial maple flavor, monosodium glutamate, sodium diacetate, natural flavorings, BHT, citric acid. Contians egg, milk, soy and wheat.
Price: $7.41 at Fry’s.
Pros:
You know, it didn’t smell half bad when it was cooking in the microwave. You could probably use these as makeshift air fresheners. Or you could just bake blueberry muffins, because those have the same effect and they actually taste good.
Cons:
Three main points come to mind. One, it’s a crumbly sausage on a stick wrapped in a spongy blueberry pancake. Two, the ingredients list. ‘Nuff said. Three, the package says the sausage is “made with pork and turkey.” Parts is parts, I guess.








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