Apocalypse Yum is a new review column from San Francisco artist and contributing author Bryson DeJong. Feel free to leave any questions or suggestions in the comments below!
Tamale and Corn Explosion!
Seneca Whole Kernel Sweet Corn:
Smell: Smells like canned corn, that is to say it smells like water-logged roasted corn on the cob. I ate a lot of this growing up. I can’t rightly say why, because it’s sort of nasty. But the smell brings back memories of simpler times.
Taste: Nothing really stands out here. Canned corn doesn’t taste exactly like corn, but it doesn’t exactly taste like anything else either. This dish is missing out on the classic “tastes like the can” flavor you get from a lot of other products in this category. They say that canned veggies might be just as good as fresh sometimes because they are packed at the peak of freshness instead of lingering forever on your grocers’ shelf. I would surmise this is the case here. This is a good corn. In Japan canned corn is served as a dessert in some places because of its overwhelming sweetness. This can would fit nicely in the stores of any Nipponese confectionery.
Hormel Tamales – Beef in Chili Sauce:
The picture on the can shows a cylinder full of little tamales in a rich red sauce. Upon opening the can you are greeted with the promised tamales wrapped in little papers that have to be removed before you can eat them. #gross
Smell: I am truly amazed that these smell like beef out of the can, we’ve had a lot of disappointing reveals here at Apocalypse Yum recently and this is a pleasant surprise. Now, I’m not saying it smells like a broiled steak or anything, but it does smell more like boiled meat than it tastes like, say… the can or chili sauce.
Taste: My first impression was of lower quality frozen tamales you get at the store. I LOVE tamales and it is really nice to know that, come the end of the world, I will not have to get all crazy domestic to satiate my desire. But, after the first two (they are small) I began to slow down and it became apparent that these were in the same caliber as so many other low quality canned food products. The masa is pasty and clingy, the meat is overcooked and greasy, the sauce tastes like SpaghettiOs. No joke, I was hungry when I started eating these and by the end I was much less so.
Overall impression: When I set out on this review I was thinking everything was going to be festive and south of the border. What I got was palatable, but lacked a sense of place. Maybe if I had spiced things up with a little hot sauce it would have improved matters. I know I’ve got some of those MRE Tabascos hiding around here someplace!
In Closing: Good enough, cheap enough and worth fighting over in a pinch.