I Love Junk

Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

On my way into Walmart today to get groceries, I noticed some adorable Star Trek dolls in the claw machine. I really wanted Spock, but predictably he was on the bottom and Kirk was on top. I take no responsibility for where that sentence takes your mind. There was a Sulu within reach, but Sulu isn’t really worth blowing 10 bucks in quarters on, and I didn’t want Kirk, because fuck Kirk. I still haven’t forgiven William Shatner for all my childhood phobias involving carbon monoxide and escalators. When other kids were scared of the dark or the boogeyman, I was lying awake convinced that somewhere in my house there was colorless, odorless poison gas seeping out, waiting to kill me while I slept.

So anyway, I decided to skip the claw machine. I suck at them anyway. But I did still manage to come away with something stupid and Star Trek-related:

The quality of these images suck because my camera was being a whore, but you see that? AN ACTUAL TOY IN A CEREAL BOX. Not something to send away for, not a stupid pedometer or some other lame health thing. An actual prize right there in the actual box. I didn’t notice this right away, because 85% of my brain was devoted to going “lol, frosted butts” and the other 15% was preoccupied with the fact that I really needed to pee. But eventually the words “beam up” finally penetrated into the geek lobe of my brain and I examined the box a little closer.

The dorkiness of the words “beam up badge” already had me convinced this thing sucked before I even opened the box. I was correct. The back of the box shows the five different badges you can get. Obviously the most badass ones to have would be either the Command or the Klingon one, but that was not my destiny. Instead I got a lousy redshirt badge, confirming something I’ve long suspected: Kelloggs wants me to die.

The quality of the badge is even less than what you’d expect from a cereal prize. It lights up as promised, but there’s no way to clip it on, and you have to hold the button down to keep it lit up, making it absolutely useless as anything other than a tool to annoy your parents and/or cats. Still, this is the first time in years I’ve seen a toy prize in a cereal box, let alone one that was relevant to my interests at the time, so I’m pretty happy. Especially since I have plenty of cats to annoy.

While making the usual mid-week trip to buy milk and other crap we never buy enough of on grocery day, I spied something glorious in the soda cabinet by the checkout line. Something gloriously… blue. Mysterious comb liquid blue.

Could it be? Surely, it couldn’t be. They hadn’t… brought back Pepsi Blue?! My heart leapt at the prospect of a delicious Pepsi Blue float, which was the only reason I really miss the stuff much.

Sadly, it was not to be. What I did find, though, was almost as intriguing. And much weirder.

Not being one to pass up a weird soda flavor, and because they were marked down to 79 cents each, I grabbed all three. Apparently Mountain Dew is running a contest between these three flavors, all of which are user-created. If I was a better journalist I’d investigate the website further, but instead I’ll just tell you that you can vote for your favorite flavor here and skip right along to the fun part: Taste-testing!

Now, before I comment on the flavors, I should make my position on Mountain Dew clear. Original Mountain Dew, to my tongue, is like some combination of urine and stomach acid. It’s nasty, it burns, and it reminds me never to punish myself this way again because no human deserves that. Code Red and LiveWire, on the other hand, I’m okay with. I won’t reach for them first, but when presented with a soda machine that doesn’t have Dr. Pepper, they’re a good second choice. And I loved Pitch Black so much that I would probably lick some off the floor of a movie theater just to taste it again. With that in mind, I begin.

Round One: Mountain Dew Voltage

This is the flavor I had initially mistaken for Pepsi Blue. The description on the bottle says “Dew charged with raspberry citrus flavor and ginseng”. Adding ginseng to soda sounds completely fucking weird to me, and it should to you too. This flavor is actually somewhat reminiscent of Pepsi Blue, enough that if you’re one of the many people who thought PB resembled toilet cleaner in taste as well as color, you’ll want to avoid this. If, on the other hand, you likened Pepsi Blue to the sweet vaginal fluids of Aphrodite, this *might* be a decent replacement. Maybe. The ginseng gives it a weird, almost green tea-like aftertaste, but it’s definitely the closest you’ll get to Pepsi Blue without creating an elaborate basement soda lab.

Score: B-
I’d drink this again, but I ain’t gonna cry if it goes away forever. It would’ve been a C+, but it gets an extra point for coming *this close* to reviving the Crystal Pepsi of the 00’s.

Round Two: Mountain Dew Supernova

This one gets two immediate brownie points from me without even being opened yet. One for reminding me of DDR, and one for being an eerie pinkish-purple color, which my camera didn’t properly capture, that reminds me of what alien slime would look like if it was created by little girls. Description: “Dew with a blast of strawberry melon flavor and ginseng”. Oh okay, I get the gimmick now, they all have ginseng. I should really read before writing. Anyway, this stuff is pretty excellent. It tastes pretty much like your standard strawberry soda, but with a little less bite. Which I’m quite happy about, because I usually think strawberry soda has WAY too much bite.

Score: A-

Still not gonna win any awards, since it’s not terribly unique, but I will definitely be buying more of this stuff.

Round Three: Mountain Dew Revolution

The color of this one is… weird. It looks too watery to be soda, which is misleading since it’s not any healthier than the other two. Remember that “cornflower” crayon everyone hated because no child on Earth knows what the hell a cornflower looks like? And it was this weird off-shade of blue that didn’t remind you of corn *or* flowers? That’s what this reminds me of. The bottle blurb calls it “Dew infused with wild berry fruit flavor and ginseng”. The flavor is something I’m having trouble putting my finger on. It definitely also has a Pepsi Blue-ish flavor, but not as much as the Voltage. Actually, on second thought it tastes more like carbonated Vitamin Water. That makes the color make more sense, but carbonated Vitamin Water is not something I want in my life. Not at all. It’s not a terrible flavor, per se, but I want my junk food to be honest about its identity. If you’re going to be soda, be neon-colored and bad for me. Don’t pretend to be a health food. Mountain Dew Revolution needs to come out of the closet.

Score: C

Not impressed. I’ll finish the bottle I bought, but I’m going to scowl.

So there you have it. My pick of the three, obviously, is Supernova, but since my tastes are wildly unrelatable to anyone else’s, I’d definitely encourage you to try these for yourself, especially if you’re a connoisseur of peculiar sodas. Only one flavor will win, but I personally don’t think any of them are good enough to last. So try them soon or they will die alone.

September 2022