Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Has the World Gone Mad? Kashi Brand "Mayan Harvest Bake"
Mayan Harvest Bake? You know that I had to pick this up based solely on the weirdness of the concept. This is perhaps the most convoluted assortment of flavors and ingredients ever to be slopped in black plastic, shrinkwrapped, and thrown in a deep freeze. Description on the box reads, "Plaintains, Black Beans, Sweet Potato, and Kale. Kashi 7 Whole Grain Pilaf, Amaranth, and Polenta. Spicy Ancho Sauce." Is that all? Anything else you want to throw in there Kashi? Maybe 7 or 8 different starches in one meal is not enough, throw some hominy in there or something. Here it is un-boxed-
I was not surprised by this but, not much resemblance to the photo on the cover of the box. This point has been belabored, but come on Kashi. They actually depict fresh, leafy kale in the picture. As if kale could be frozen and microwaved and come out looking garden fresh. The dish needs to be microwaved on half power, then high power, then left to sit, blah, blah, blah,... I am annoyed by any directions other than push start after entering a certain time, but that is just me. Here is the Mayan delight warmed-
This looked like Star Trek food, an unpronounceable Vulcan delicacy perhaps. Now, I don't think I have to go dig up a Mayan to tell me that this is about as Mayan as Spam and eggs. But I get it, the amaranth and the plantains give a vaguely "Mayan" theme to the "Harvest Bake."
I tried to keep an open mind as I dug in. Let me start by saying, much to my surprise, this did not taste as awful as I expected. It was just such a weird assortment of textures and flavors. You get a black bean, a sweet potato, a pumpkin seed, and what tasted to me like grits, all on one fork full. But hey, I love plantains and the spicy "ancho" sauce was pretty good in a mildly spicy kind of way. Looking at the nutrition facts, the meal is actually pretty good for you to boot.
While eating I recalled this shtick I heard some stand-up comedian doing about chain restaurant appetizers. He was going on about all the weird "South Western" and "Extreme" dishes that were becoming popular at places like TGIFriday's and Chili's saying (paraphrasing here), "What's next? A deep fried pumpkin, stuffed with jalapeno poppers and fried dough, covered with cheese?" This particular offering by Kashi is just too many ingredients for me to wrap my mind around.