Category Archives: 31 Days of Junk

31 Days of Junk: Reese’s Puffs Bats (#1)

Last October (2017), I made it a goal to drink 31 different beers—a new one each day—by the end of the month. Incredibly, I was successful in my attempt, which I dubbed #31FallBeers (look it up on any form of social media!) This year, I wanted to try something similar, but there were two important changes I needed to make. Firstly, I wanted to be able to expound more, so I decided against social media blurbs in favor of long-form posts on my site. Second: it needed to be much, much cheaper than drinking 31 different beers. The result? #31DaysOfJunk. Strap in and hold on tight, and please enjoy this month-long odyssey into the sugary, fatty belly of the autumnal beast.

Sometimes you don’t even have to change the recipe, all you gotta do is change the color, or, in the case of Reese’s Puffs Peanut Butter Bats, change the shape.

Now, if you’ve ever eaten a bowl of Reese’s Puffs, you know what to expect. It’s one of those mouth-destroying cereals that belong in same the category as Cap’n Crunch; one bowl, and the roof of your mouth is shredded—raw and tender to the touch of your tongue. There’s also a weird, oily film which coats the cereal pieces (and in turn, the inside of your mouth). Still, even with all the oral destruction, it’s easy to put away three bowls in one sitting.

The Reese’s Puffs Peanut Butter Bats are no different. Well, they are, shape-wise. But the flavor (even the weird, oily sheen) is still the same.

Still, there’s something to be said about the way the flattened pieces somehow do less damage to the inside of one’s mouth than the standard cubelet-shaped pieces. A true miracle in cereal engineering, the flat bats just crunch easier. A more comfortable chew. It got me to wondering: is there the same amount of “material” in a bat-shaped Reese’s Puff as the cubelet-shaped Reese’s Puff? Does one have more mass than the other? Can that explain why the bat shapes are more mouth-friendly?

Too much science for me. All I know is: these taste the same as the Puffs, but your mouth won’t be hurting by bowl three.

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31 Days of Junk: Charms Spider Web Cotton Candy (#8)

Last October (2017), I made it a goal to drink 31 different beers—a new one each day—by the end of the month. Incredibly, I was successful in my attempt, which I dubbed #31FallBeers (look it up on any form of social media!) This year, I wanted to try something similar, but there were two important changes I needed to make. Firstly, I wanted to be able to expound more, so I decided against social media blurbs in favor of long-form posts on my site. Second: it needed to be much, much cheaper than drinking 31 different beers. The result? #31DaysOfJunk. Strap in and hold on tight, and please enjoy this month-long odyssey into the sugary, fatty belly of the autumnal beast.

I bought this solely for the packaging. Kinda hard to pass up a metallic black bag covered in a web pattern and fun, colorful fonts. It’s not even especially well designed, but it is, for whatever reason, incredibly nice to look at. I can’t explain why things like this work sometimes; it’s art, man.

First smell out of the bag was pure chemical. Almost like a cleaning agent, or hand soap. I assure you, this did not dissuade me from eating it.

While I wouldn’t exactly call it sour, it does have a nice tang when it first hits the tongue. Then a quick flash of a muted apple flavor, like the last sip from a glass of apple juice after all the ice cubes have melted. And then all of that gives way to pure sugary sweetness. Kinda crazy that’s all cotton candy is: flavored sugar. But hey, it’s been working for 120 years.

The dense little pillow form it came in is fun to pull apart into wispy chunks. Yes, the spider web comparison is an obvious first choice, but I bet they could go with something ghost-related if they wanted to switch things up next year.

Fun science fact: I walked away from my plate of cotton candy remnants for a few hours, and when I returned its texture had completely transformed—from soft and malleable to crisp and brittle. I tried picking some up, and it fell apart in my fingers, almost like the way a sand castle falls apart.

Come for the candy; stay for the science.