Okay, here’s my idea: Snack Club.
It’s like a book club, but instead of reading a book with a group of people and discussing it, everyone goes out and gets the same snack from the grocery store, and then eats it and discusses it.
I’d love to start Snack Club with anyone and everyone who subscribes to this newsletter. We'd choose a specific food product that’s decently available at grocery stores or through mailorder, and our discussion group will be in the comments section of the newsletter page.
My father is a food scientist, and though I spent most of my younger life thinking about how different we are, I’ve started recognizing what we have in common more and more. I used to be frustrated by the strange packaged foods he would sometimes come home with from the store. I was a real creature of habit back then, so I’d feel a stab of frustration when I unpacked a grocery bag and saw something I didn’t recognize. Worse yet, it would be a category of food I recognized and loved, but an odd, unknown flavor. It was almost hurtful. “Dad!? Why did you buy this? Don’t know you what my favorite cookie is?! Don’t you know meeeeee?” But my father, when pressed about the decision to buy this brand-new-but-surely-soon-to-be-discontinued food product, would just say, Buddha-like: “Something different.”
These purchases were a professional curiosity for my dad, as well as a form of research. Before he retired from Griffith Foods, he was in product development. And he explained to me that if people only ever bought the same things over and over, there would never be any new food products created. His whole career relied on the idea that people would be interested in something different.
I’ve never been part of a book club, but I think the motivation to be in one is similar: How can I experience something new? How can I open myself up to the unfamiliar? What lesson about the world can I learn from this new idea? The idea here being, say, a dill pickle flavored potato chip.
Nowadays, something different is a guiding philosophy for me, not just in the things I eat, but in everything I seek out. That was actually part of why I started this newsletter. I don’t have much experience writing in a public setting, so it's been a little scary, but I thought it would be a chance to challenge myself in a new way. And as this year begins, I’ve been thinking about this question once more. How will I make 2022 different from 2021, and every other year before it?
So, here’s one way: Snack Club. What do you think? Every month, a different snack to try. I'd love to get snack ideas from others, but for this first one, I'll kick things off. And since this is Accept Cookies, my pick for the first Snack Club item will be: Uncle Eddie’s Vegan Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies.
I proselytize about these cookies regularly. I should probably be on their payroll as a salesperson, but no, I’m just an amateur zealot. If you listened to Home Cooking, you’ve heard me talk about my love of these cookies before. Their vegan-ness is entirely beside the point, (though a wonderful thing for my household), because they are so delicious. The texture is soft, but not chemically soft, like Chips Ahoy Chewy cookies, which taste ever so slightly like a pool liner. The Uncle Eddie cookie’s chocolate is rich, almost gratuitously rich, somewhere in the perfect middle between dark chocolate and semi-sweet chocolate. But the secret ingredient is the 9th one on the list: organic unsweetened coconut. It’s subtle but noticeable, and it manages to make the oatmeal a little oatmealier. Okay, that’s not a real word, and it looks and sounds gross, but I promise I mean it in a good way.
So, if you want to take part in this first installment of Snack Club, all you have to do is try an Uncle Eddie’s Vegan Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies, and then leave a comment on the Bulletin page for this installment of the newsletter with your thoughts (hit the “join the discussion” button at the bottom of this email). I don’t mind if you don’t end up liking it—either way, just let me know! The first rule of Snack Club is: you do talk about Snack Club. You talk about snacks! with the club!
Have a cookie, leave a comment. You have my thanks, in advance, for being open to something different.