If we had known how 2017 was going to turn out, there would have only been one article this year -- Our Emotions: The Snacktaku Review. It would have saved us a whole lot of typing, video editing and Tums. But snacking isn't about why we eat -- it's about what we eat. Here's what we ate in 2017.
Parts Of This Complete Breakfast
Breakfast is the most important meal. Eating in the morning gets your metabolism going, gives you energy and generally sets the tone for the entire day. So you probably shouldn't eat any of this.
Pop-Tarts are already as close as you can get to eating candy for breakfast without actually eating candy. Making Pop-Tarts that taste like candy seems like overkill. They taste like overkill as well.
One of this year's triumphs, the Girl Scouts' efforts to expand on the popularity of their semi-annual cookie sales really paid off in Caramel Crunch and Thin Mints cereal. Plus they are slightly healthier than the real thing!
Back in the '80s, Nintendo put out Mario-themed cereal that was, if not good, at least creative. Nowadays they team up with Kellogg's to give us knock-0ff Lucky Charms with an Amiibo-enabled box gimmick.
Fast Food -- In And Out (Of Your Digestive Tract) In 30 Minutes
We all wish we had the time, cooking skill and money to prepare healthy meals in the comfort of our own homes seven days a week. But often, in this busy, hectic world, we find ourselves eating questionable things in our messy cars. Things like...
Technically a chalupa made of fried chicken, Taco Bell kicked off a year of weird drive-through dining with the Naked Chicken Chalupa. It was pretty damn tasty. So much so that the "Mexican" food outlet dropped it into a time machine and created...
Taco Bell continued to prove that chickens are tasty at any age with the Naked Egg Taco, a breakfast taco consisting of a slippery fried egg filled with breakfast meats, cheeses and potatoes.
While Taco Bell stuck to chicken, Arby's took drive-through meat in several different directions this year.
Sweet, hog-munching Christ, have you eaten pork belly? It's something I avoided for the longest time, because bellies are things for rubs and snuggles. As it turns out, they are super-delicious as well, or at least the pig ones. Melt-in-your-mouth fat is not good for you, but it's "good" for you.
When I stick my leg out the window while driving, I get pulled over and fined. When Arby's stuck its turkey legs out the window in an odd tie-in for this year's Game of Thrones finale, they gave me a new appreciation for the common Renaissance Fair treat.
This year Arby's took their venison sandwich nationwide, flying in deer meat from farms in New Zealand to help sate America's craving for the delicious taste of Bambi. I actually went to Arby's HQ in Atlanta for this one, because they respect me as a food blogger and I live five minutes away.
We Get It, Oreo, You've Got All The Flavours
Nabisco ramped up its flavour-aping game in 2017, releasing a poorly-estimated 4,000 special flavours of its iconic sandwich cookie. I only officially reviewed five, because it was getting stupid. Here are the highlights.
Some food colouring combinations pass harmlessly through your system, neutralized by the digestive process. The food colouring used in Peeps Oreos stained lips, tongues, and survived passage through throat, stomach and intestines, resulting in very colourful trips to the bathroom.
Pop Rock Oreoes, But Not Officially
By folding popping candy (not specifically Pop Rocks, but pretty much Pop Rocks) into the normal Oreo creme, Nabisco created a festive treat for kids who ike to open their mouths near your ear while chewing.
I am so, so sorry for doing this. One of the lasting horrors of the Splato0n 2 condiment wars.
Not a lot of Oreo overall this year, but that's just fine. After all...
Oreo might have the variety, but classic Hydrox brings the flavour.
An Abundance Of Potato Chips
While our Japanese neighbours across the Pacific struggled with a potato shortage that saw bootleg chips being peddled by shady street vendors, here in the U.S. Lay's continued its annual tradition of mass-producing consumer-created flavours that the general public might not even like.
Instead of shipping its chips off to Japan so the Japanese wouldn't have to resort to eating healthy things like fish and rice, Lay's annual Do-Us-A-Flavour competition proceeded as normal in 2017. Three finalists had their chip flavours paraded in front of the public mouth -- Fried Green Tomato, Everything Bagel and Crispy Taco. I won't spoil which flavour won. Let's just say it was a very good year for fake Mexican food.
Not such a great year for fake Japanese food, though.
The ultimate insult to the potato-starved nation of Japan would have been Nissin's Top Ramen Pringles, if not for two things. First, Pringles are only mostly potato. Second, these were not very good.
At least Pringles made up for its ramen gaffe towards the end of the year, with...
Pringles did a fairly awesome job replicating the tastes of eight holiday favourites in its incredibly-limited Thanksgiving Dinner box. The stuffing was sublime, the pumpkin pie divine, and the creamed corn made me gag, just like real creamed corn.
This was a really bad idea.
This is just a small smattering of everything Snacktaku ate this year. Along with all of this, we went to school for Thanksgiving, ate the amazing-looking Halal snack pack in Australia, discussed Big Mac sizes and talked about how to get the best discount post-holiday candy. And let's not forget the tireless work of Snacktaku Japan, showing us mounds of food, weird eating habits and edible heroes.
If you want the full picture, go ahead and scroll through our Snacktaku tag. Bring a big appetite, and be sure to leave room for 2018 -- we hear there'll be snack there too.