Doc Rampage
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
  pretzels, fries, and cinnamon buns
This foody post by Marcel made me think, "Why are Obama and Romney giving out rice-and-bean recipes?" There is probably some subtle subtext to the post, but it is beyond me.

More importantly, Firefox mentioned pretzels and that naturally made me think about chili-cheese fries. Seriously. I'm talking about food here, not making culinary metaphors. The reason I tie these two things together (pretzels and chili-cheese Fries, not food and metaphors) is because they are the two snack foods that I never tried for a long time.

When bacon cheeseburgers came out (yes, I have changed the subject again, please try to keep up and I will tie it all together at the end), I was among the first the try them. This was fairly easy since I was eating fast food for 10 or 12 meals per day anyway. They were woefully disappointing. I mean, I love bacon, and I love cheeseburgers, but the best way to eat a bacon cheeseburger is to take out the bacon and eat it, then eat the cheeseburger. Bacon just doesn't add anything to cheeseburgers.

It was with this history of crushing disappointment that I first became aware of these new-fangled chili-cheese fries. Sure, I love chili, I love cheese, and I love fries, but putting the three together didn't sound all that promising, especially given how much I love just plain fries with copious amounts of ketchup and/or tabasco sauce. Mmm.

Where was I? Oh, yes. So although I am a man of adventurous nature, looking ever to the next frontier, scorning the settled life and striving ever after the next range of unknown mountains, the next untamed sea, yet even for me, I thought the chili-cheese fries might be a bridge too far. The problem is not that I feared to taste them, it was the opportunity cost. If I ordered chili-cheese fries then I could not order regular fries, and given that don't allow myself to eat fries that often, this is a severe negative cost. So for years --decades even-- I labored on in ignorance of the taste of chili-cheese fries.

One day that all changed. For no reason, I decided to take my meal in my hands, brave the specter of crushing disappointment, and order chili-cheese fries. I won't keep you in suspense; I'll tell you right now how I felt about them. Not for me the cheap writer's trick of building up to a climax and then stretching it out, annoying the reader with pointless filler. You, dear reader, wish to know how I felt about these chili-cheese fries and I shall tell you: they were amazing. More than amazing, they were stunning. More than stunning, they were fried-potato nachos. Have I mentioned that I love nachos? Well, consider it mentioned.

I had been thinking of these chili-cheese fries all wrong. They weren't some bizarre combination of chili, cheese, and french fries, they were nachos, substituting french fries for corn chips. Looked at like that, how could you go wrong? Not that chili-cheese fries will steal my heart away from fries-with-ketchup or from traditional nachos, for that matter, but they have earned a place in my heart like the bacon cheeseburger could never do --a place warm and spicy and salty, with onions and jalapenos. And to be eaten with a fork, because fries are too narrow to scoop up the chili on their own.

And this inevitably brings us back to pretzels. Like chili-cheese fries, pretzels have long been on my radar as a potential snack adventure. I'm talking about those humongous twisted pretzels with topping on them, not the little pretzels you buy by the bag when you don't feel you deserve the true joy of potato chips. Like chili-cheese fries were, pretzels are an adventure that I have yet to taste because they are fraught with opportunity costs. Near every pretzel stand is a Cold Stone Creamery or a Cinnabun or some other snack-food place with known sugary goodness. Buying a pretzel would foreclose the opportunity to have a snack that I already know that I love.

Is it worth the risk? I know not. The struggle continues with every visit to the mall. One day, perhaps. Yes. One day, perhaps.
 
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