Irresistables Goat Cheese

 

Irresistables Artestian Goat's Milk Soft Unripened Cheese

Irresistables Artesian Goat's Milk Soft Unripened Cheese

Before the dawn of cows, people ate goat cheese. This cheese has stood the test of time, though has lost its throne as number one cheese source to cow dairy. Nevertheless, there is something still attractive about goat cheese, with its enveloping, tart flavour that lets us experience dairy in a new light. Goat cheese is like the under appreciated, fun uncle-who's-seen-a-lot-more-than-your-dad-and-tells-better-stories of cheeses. Familiar, but different. In a good way.

Back when A&P Grocers were still around in Ontario, the business's “Master Choice” brand was introduced, which featured premium quality food items made in Canada. One such product was their Master Choice Goat Cheese. After A&P morphed into what is now known as Metro, “Master Choice” took on the name “Irresistables,” giving us a new series of, perhaps, overconfident grocery products.

This 59% moisture cheese is grocery-level cheese of course, but it is nevertheless a good purchase, especially if you're only using your cheese as an ingredient in a larger meal. The soft, spongy texture feels rich and appetizing, and goes well on sandwiches and crackers. The mouthfeel is equally rich, but the novelty of the taste wears off quickly. This is a cheese that is best enjoyed in small quantities lest you lost the tang and start to experience the cardboard-like undertones.

Irresistables Artesian Goat Cheese is a good cheese for its value, and you could certainly do worse with a grocery-brand cheese. Go get the goat!

 

Want an introduction to the kaleidoscopic world of cheeses? Check out:
Cheese For Dummies

And for when you're ready to go down the rabbit hole into a whole new world of cheese:
World Cheese Book
 

Candy Happy Candy From Dollarama

Candy Happy Candy from Dollarama

Candy Happy Candies Review

You can't find happiness in a bottle. And even if you could, it definitely wouldn't be coming out of THIS bottle. The tiny, green plastic flask of Candy Happy candies I picked up at the local Dollarama explicitly states that they are NOT for anyone ages 0-3, but I doubt they would be any better for anyone over the age of 3 anyway.

Candy Happy candies (the redundancy is the bottle's – not mine!) must be in demand only because of its social currency – the rainbow array of tiny fruits comes in a Pee-Wee Herman miniature plastic bottle, which I imagine is the prepubescent equivalent of teens sneaking cheap beer to chug by the lake. The candy even comes with a fake bottle cap that must be opened with a (hopelessly flimsy) attached plastic bottle opener. So if one night you want to crack open a cold one and not have your kids feel left out, just bring out the Candy Happy Candies and they can also experience all the clumsiness of attempting to uncap a bottle!

The candies themselves are shaped like different fruits. You have an entire orchard in the bottle, if that orchard happened to be the grocery store: Bananas, Strawberries, Oranges, etc,. One of the candies in the plastic bottle is shaped like a heart, which is not a food item I've ever seen in the fresh produce section, but it's probably the best tasting of all the shapes. The effect is entirely psychological, since each of the candies taste exactly the same – gross. The sugar is so tightly concentrated it's like eating a vitamin, only this vitamin doesn't improve your health, it actively promotes type 2 diabetes with a passion.

The bottle discloses that the candies contain tartrazine, a synthetic dye used in food colouring, usually for the colour yellow. I guess they needed the tartrazine for the bananas. So bad luck for everyone allergic to tartrazine, looks like you'll have to save your money and pass on this inferior product.

I would definitely not recommend Candy Happy candies from Dollarama. I downed a whole bottle of these crayola fruit nuggets, and I definitely am not feeling any better about myself afterwards. I honestly think you would be better off feeding your child actual beer instead of this synthetic garbage. At least that'll give them some real social cred.

Apologies for the lack of photographic evidence - the product dissolved into thin air at camera flash.

I could (un)fortunately not locate a link to Candy Happy Candies online, but this catnip filled banana is probably a way better investment anyway. Start building your own orchard.

Here's Dollarama's website. Follow the link to read all about this essential Canadian icon, provider of plastic bottles of synthetic bananas to kids everywhere.

Fiji Natural Artesian Water

Fiji Natural Artesian Water

 

Fiji Natural Artesian Water Review

A bottle of Fiji is as controversial as it is beautiful. Behind the characteristic square bottle and cool ocean aesthetic, the Fiji corporation is known for its questionable business practices and an arrogant corporate hypocrisy which embodies the idea of marketing over the quality of the product. Fiji water might be a sham, but it's a beautiful sham, which may just make it both the perfect commodity for a social media generation.

Bottled water itself is dubious. Investigations have revealed that most bottled products are not any healthier or pure than what one might extract from the tap. If not for the massive investment currents directed toward the marketing department and those pretty mountain graphics found on the bottles, bottled water would be bust. But the industry is alive and well, with Coca-Cola's Dasani and PepsiCo's Aquafina leading the charge.

Fiji Natural Artesian Water, bottled in Viti Levu by the Lost Angeles-based Fiji company, holds a unique position in the bottled water market. They adopt an environmentally-conscious marketing angle that casts themselves as a hero for the natural ecology of the the islands of Fiji. Fiji water, like Voss, also cranks up the marketing on what is essentially a basic human right in order to elevate it to the level of sophisticated sexiness. Fiji water is “artesian” and is presented in beautiful bottles that wouldn't look out of place in an underwater national geographic issue.

This is classic overcompensation. The product itself is mediocre (blind taste tests have revealed that consumers prefer the taste of tap water), but a pretty packaging makes it instantly desirable. The same pattern exists everywhere in our social media culture where appearances can have more social power than realities – just think of the beautifying snapchat filters or Tai Lopez's rented Lamborghini. Just like how corporations seek to manufacture demand, we seek to manufacture an appearance of success. It's all about seduction, creating a fictional narrative where the creator has full control. In this narrative, Fiji Natural Artesian Water is an attractive, healthy, environmentally friendly drink that can elevate consciousness.

Apparently rats are a significant threat to the bird population in Fiji. One of the cutest birds native to Fiji is the Pink Billed Parrotfinch which looks like a kind of Danish pastry. Unfortunately, this colourful bird is also under threat, since most of the birds in the Polynesian islands evolved without the presence of mammals, and so have no mechanism for protecting their eggs against rats. Similarly, the people of Fiji have no defence mechanism against the major corporate power that is the American Fiji company, which extracts its water from a major aquifer on one of the islands, while much of the rest of the population suffers from improper water treatment and distribution. The Fiji company not only sucks water out of the country, but money out of the economy. And inevitably, the end product of this “environmentally conscious” company is an empty husk of plastic that is tossed aside into a landfill or down-cycled.

Fiji water in all honesty however doesn't taste terrible. Despite claims that tap water is just as good in most municipalities, there is a purity to Fiji water. Fiji water is liquid air – light, buoyant, with icy overtones. Perhaps the bottling and marketing have swayed me, but there is certainly something cool about drinking water that you know comes from all the way out in the South Pacific. Ethically, Fiji water is dubious. But there is definitely a reason why purveyors of style and aesthetic like Yung Lean have, even if only ironically, latched onto the Fiji vibes: Fiji's marketing team has created a beautiful fantasy world where the water is authentically pure, and life is a stream of aesthetic experience, an idyllic dream state that resonates powerfully with the artistic tones of the day. Fiji has, accidentally or not, tapped into something powerful, and it's difficult to blame someone for seizing opportunity.

Nevertheless, there's nothing wrong with just ordinary tap water. In fact, someone should start reviewing tap water in different cities, giving us the whole palate, mouthfeel, and finish of the thing. Fiji water might be good, but I bet there are some delicious tap water experiences just waiting to be had, even here across Canada. Forget the Islands of Fiji, the premier water experiences are waiting just under your nose.

Try the old tap water vs Fiji experiment yourself at home! How's the mouthfeel of Fiji compare to your rusty tap water?

FIJI Natural Artesian Water, 16.9 Ounce Bottle, Pack of 24

Also, heartwarming article from the CBC about how my city's water system contains traces of cocaine. Compete with that, Fiji!

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/study-finds-traces-of-cocaine-other-illegal-drugs-in-ontario-drinking-water-1.3167208

Asiago Cheese

Asiago

Saputo Asiago Cheese, Aged 2 Months

Moisture 40% Milk Fat 30%

$10.33

In Northern Italy, the adorable township of Asiago is know for a few things. Some travel there for skiing in the winter, some for the astronomical observatory. But nothing the township is known for can compare in deliciousness to its principle export, asiago cheese.

I like to imagine wide-eyed, determined astrophysicists locked up in the local Asiago Astrophysical Observatory late at night, looking at stars billions of light years away while snacking on a block of crumbly asiago cheese, and getting the cheese all over their keyboards and control boards because it breaks apart everywhere. Or perhaps in winter, people bring a block of the Italian cheese with them while skiing, and it crumbles everywhere in the snow, leaving a trail of asiago behind them.

But here I am, in Canada, snacking on 2-month aged asiago. It's strong, like a mature, older brother to parmesan. Fuck parmesan, go asiago. I spent $10 on this wedge from a Metro grocery store, and I'm enjoying every bite like they cost 50 cents a piece.

The company name on the label is Saputo, which sounds Japanese and would be rendered as サプト in katakana and would probably be run by a man named Saito-san who is a bit too controlling of his children and enjoys fugu meals to celebrate a good quarterly financial report. However, Saputo is a Montreal-based cheese company that was established in 1954 by an Itallian immigrant named Giuseppe Saputo, which makes sense because Japanese and Italian have similar vowel sounds. The label on this fine hunk of cheese says it was imported from the United States, so unfortunately I don't think I'm eating the genuine Italian original. But asiago is asiago, at least until I can find some legit Italian asiago. Maybe I can make the excuse that I want to go skiing in Italy, but with the ulterior motive of aquiring some Italian asiago and hanging out with my Italian astronomical friends.

The taste of asiago will probably make you burst for joy and want to start learning Italian ASAP. Cheese is probably so popular because it's a magical food, and sometimes works like a magical spell would. So blue cheese makes you want to watch some Godard movies and get existential, while asiago makes you want to explode and learn Italian.

The word “nutty” is thrown around a lot, and probably says a lot about the kind of people who like cheese, but asiago definitely has the nut vibes. Mmm I'm eating it right now and it's totally squirel parmesan. I'm eating it raw, but this stuff would go so well on a pasta. Throw this nutcase on some fettuccine and you'll feel like a hardcore renaissance god, ripped like Michelangelo's Statue of David. Now that is a hardcore cheese.

A must for any cheese lover: The Oxford Companion to Cheese!

The Oxford Companion to Cheese

And for those aspiring to cheese mastery, check out:

Mastering Cheese: Lessons for Connoisseurship from a Maître Fromager