Summit Up 4-13-11: Where Hot Pockets invade our dreams and lower GI tract
Good morning and welcome to Summit Up, the world’s only daily column that welcomes you to free pie day (at Village Inn) with a hearty blast of the whipped-cream can, a wiggle of the pie server and a tip of the fork in your direction. Hey, it’s just about mud season, you may as well go have some pie, right? With ski season winding down (except at the Basin!) and mountain bike season a little ways away, it’s OK to pack on a few pounds and lie about the shanty sipping cheap boxed wine and supping on despicable foodstuffs like Hot Pockets, 7-Eleven burritos and one of those gas-station hot dogs that’s been perspiring on a hot roller since the Eisenhower administration.
Speaking of Hot Pockets, we were chastising someone recently for eating these things, and we made a completely unsubstantiated claim to make our case: “Did you know …” (we said, waving our tabbouleh-encrusted fork) “… that Hot Pockets symbolize and embody everything that’s wrong with our over-processed industrial food supply? A single Hot Pocket …” (we went on to say, whilst quaffing spring water and spinach greens sustainably harvested from our living room botanical garden-cum-aquifer) “… can take 18 days off your life?”
This uninformed rant inspired us to do a little more research on the lowly Hot Pocket. First, we checked the official Hot Pockets.com website, which immediately regaled us with the melodious “Hot Pockets!” jingle and where we learned that this is a product made by Nestle. We also found out that there are a lot of different kinds of Hot Pockets – including Lean Pockets, Snackers (featuring “Loaded Potato Skin Bites,” “Fiesta Nacho Bites” and “Wolverine Spleen Nibblers,” which we may have made up), Sideshots and the much beloved “Drunk’n Stoned Micro-Hunger Blasters with Cheesy Goo Substances” – “For the inebriate too baked and crocked to crawl, much less drive, to Taco Bell.”
That’s some slogan! But when we clicked on the “Nutrition” tab, all’s it told us was that some varieties of Hot Pockets have 0 grams of fat, while “a number” contain real cheese.
Then we checked a fun website at
http://www.cockeyed.com, which detailed two faux-scientist guys who dissected a Hot Pocket in attempt to determine if it was more than the sum of its parts. Their conclusion:
“Results: A Hot Pocket is a small rectangle of bread crust containing a tomato-based pizza sauce. We found the following solids:
“14 pieces of cheese; 2 pieces of pepperoni, totaling less than one slice; 6 pieces of sausage; 15 pieces of onion; 9 pieces of bell pepper; 2 tiny slivers of mushroom.
“In conclusion, the Hot Pocket remains much of a mystery. Although we found a good variety of contents, we are baffled as to how all the parts work together. Further study is needed on its brain-function, respiration and reproduction.”
Then we found there’s a comedian named Jim Gaffigan, who has a routine about Hot Pockets that’s pretty funny. His opinion of this particular comestible is pretty low, and we had to conclude that Hot Pockets are pretty much the whipping boy of the food world after Spam.
Anyway, if you want to eat healthy, we suggest avoiding such processed, frozen food nodules and nuggets and stick to things like Whoppers, fried and dipped in a Cheese-Whiz bath. It’s bound to be healthier.
(For the record, we still flatly reject the decision by Kraft to rename Cheez Whiz “Easy Cheese.” Although we must also add that, in researching this online just now, we find there is still a Cheez Whiz product, but it appears to be sold in jars, not aerosol cans. We are now hopelessly confused. But we will say this: If you’re going to go down the Hot Pockets road, you may as well dip the damn thing in Cheez Whiz while you’re at it. Serve it up in a dirty ashtray and smoke a Salem 120 while you’re eating it. Just go for it! And keep the defibrillator handy.)
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