Taste Test: Mystery Substance

Due to popular demand and the fact that we love
trying weird foods and candies, The A.V. Club will now regularly feature "
." Feel free to suggest disgusting and/or delicious new edibles for future
installments: E-mail us at


Mysterious green jerky-like substance

You've been asking for Chang, and I've been
looking for something to do with this mysterious vacuum-sealed food-like
product that's been in my office for the last couple of months. Tasha suggested
a mystery Taste Test, and dammit, that's a brilliant idea. This will be a short
one, because there isn't much backstory, and very little we can tell you about
the product beyond its taste.

As regular readers will surely remember, Emily
Withrow, David Wolinsky, and I attended
the National Association Of Convenience Stores convention this year
I'm still in the process of working through the giant bag of snacks I brought
home, and I'm getting toward the bottom. Staring up at me are a couple of
things that might be too boring to taste test—limon Corn Nuts, all-red
Starburst, something called ZizZaz—and this mysterious green bar.


All I remember about obtaining the bar at the
convention is that the booth that was handing them out had lots of alligator
memorabilia—an alligator dressed in a suit, I think, and some other
stuff. But I don't remember if this is supposed to be alligator jerky, or a
fruit snack, or what. All I know is that it's green and mysterious. And
hopefully edible. (There's an expiration date, and we're well into the safe
period: It isn't poisonous until "20 Oct 09.")

Chang said he would eat it before I even finished
telling him what it was. (And he's got a 12-hour flight tomorrow—that is
a brave man, even if he refuses to eat Pork Brains in Milk Gravy.) So we
gathered a crew in the kitchen to watch him open and consume a product that
gave no indication of its contents—and looked horrendous. (By the way, I
Googled "alligator energy bar" and other word-combinations in search of the
product, but to no avail. I believe Emily and David might know what it is, but
they're off at lunch.)

The taste: Let's let Chang's video speak to the
consistency first:

Somewhat disappointingly, this mystery bar was not
terrible. Chang liked it just fine, while some people had seriously adverse
reactions, like accounts dude Andrew Deckard. Here's the two of them enjoying a
snack together:


But mostly it was just okay. To me, it tasted like
apples with just a hint of coconut. It was chewy in a slightly unpleasant way,
but if I were starving, I would eat this before I would eat my neighbor.

David Wolinsky, upon his return from lunch (and
after the bar had been fully consumed) swore that it's alligator meat. I would
do more investigating, but it's probably better that this taste test is a
mystery. You know what the man said: "When the legend becomes fact, print the
legend." And the legend of Chang lives on.

Office reactions:

— "Not bad at all. Just tastes like a Power

— [From an e-mail titled "Nasty Green Turd."]
"I spit it out. It tastes like applesauce and cardboard blended together. Sweet
chunks of green cardboard."

— "It is as if this started as an apple, then it
became apple sauce, but then they condensed it into bar form. Oh, and it's neon green."

— "There's just a hint of coconut."

Where to get it: Josh's desk, apparently.
He's fresh out, though.