The eight worst convenience foods
And I thought nothing could top Hormel’s pickled eggs …
8. Meeter’s Kraut Juice (Stokely USA): Yes, that’s sauerkraut juice, which is even worse than it sounds. The taste and smell can be a bit, well, harsh, but KJ is reputed by its fans to have medicinal benefits (as a source of vitamin C, cure for intestinal bugs, etc.), which adds up to a classic case of the cure being worse than the disease.
7. Guycan Corned Mutton with Juices Added (Bedessee Imports): The best thing about this Uruguayan canned good is the very pouty-looking sheep on the package label — he seems to be saying, “Go on, eat me already.” The second-best thing is the presence of both “cooked mutton” and “mutton” in the ingredients listing, which would seem to have all the mutton bases covered.
6. Armour Pork Brains in Milk Gravy (Dial Corp.): If you’re really looking to clog up those arteries in a hurry, you’ll be pleased to learn that a single serving of pork brains has 1,170 percent of our recommended daily cholesterol intake. All the more ingenious, then, that the label on this product helpfully features a recipe for brains and scrambled eggs.
5. Sweet Sue Canned Whole Chicken (Sweet Sue Kitchens, Inc.): From its size (think growth-impaired Cornish hen) to its overall appearance (it’s stewed in a quivering mass of aspic goop), this product may change forever your idea of what constitutes a chicken. Gives new meaning to the old line about meat “falling off the bone.”
4. Musk Life Savers (Nestle Confectionery): You may think musk is a scent, but over in Australia, they think it’s a candy flavor. A candy flavor that tastes disturbingly like raw meat, to be precise. But what did you expect from a country where everyone happily consumes Vegemite?
3. Blind Robins Smoked Ocean Herring (recently discontinued by Bar Food Products): Possibly the world’s most bizarre prepackaged tavern snack. Interestingly, the product’s titular robin isn’t actually blind, he’s blindfolded — the better, presumably, to avoid looking at these heavily salted herring strips, which look like giant slugs.
2. Kylmaenen Reindeer Pate` (Kylmaenen Oy): This Finnish canned good may not be particulary tasty, but at least it answers the age-old question of why Rudolph was so eager for that safe, steady job on Santa’s sleigh team — he didn’t want to end up as a cracker spread.
1. Tengu Clam Jerky (Tengu Co.): Nothing you’ve ever consumed can prepare you for the horror that is clam jerky. Still, this product does score a sort of conceptual coup: If you’re the sort who’s always found raw clams too slimy and gelatinous for your taste, these dried, shriveled mollusks will help you dislike clams on a whole new level.