Question: If a particular vegetable turns you off, why would you eat it if it were processed into a generically tasty, crunchy foodstuff of indeterminate origin, then shaped to resemble a cave etching of its former self? Behold the Snapea Crisp—the snack of choice for people who want to consume something green and pea-shaped, but would prefer it tasted like that old bus-station vending-machine staple Andy Capp's Pub Fries.
A somewhat puzzled appreciation follows after the jump.
The SnackSalad site makes the case for devegetized vegetables, leading with its chin:
[F]or those of us that are accustomed to eating animal protein, [the pea's] distinctive flavor is somewhat difficult to consume. In fact, all of us can remember being scolded by our mother or grandmother to eat our peas.
True, to an extent. My brother used to hide his (along with portions of liver) behind the framed portrait of pears that hung over my parents' kitchen table. (They didn't get wise until about 10 years later, when a sudden fit of spring cleaning dislodged a decade of mummified scraps.) Then again, my kids like peas. They look like little cannonballs. They roll. They can be used as eyes in a mashed-potato snowman.
Nevertheless, SnackSalad spies a looming crisis, just like Billy Bob Thornton in Armageddon. And just like Billy Bob, they've devised a solution that is no less compelling for being borderline screwy:
At SnackSalad, we have managed to leverage the innate goodness of peas in a delicious way. We have been successful in leaving the goodness of the ingredient intact, while taking out the pea's unpalatable flavor.
Evidently "innate goodness" and "flavor" aren't the synonyms you might have thought. So a translation is needed. Hey guys! Nobody likes to eat brussels sprouts, but they're good for you. So we're going to run brussels sprouts through a combination woodchipper/molecular scrambler/Brundlepod and fool you into eating them.
That much I get. What I don't get is why the product is then reshaped to resemble...a brussels sprout. For peas pass through the Snapea magic mangler and emerge as—presto change-o!—a little green canoe-shaped object that's like the international distress symbol for peas. If you already avoid the things like a biblical plague, why would you want to be reminded that's what you're eating?
Mind you, I love peas. Weirdly enough, though, I also love Snapea Crisps—mostly because they seem like a guiltless version of Andy Capp's Pub Fries, with all the crunch and some vestiges of nutrition and fiber. But they don't exactly match up in my mind, any more than I connect a cod flapping in the briny Atlantic with some frozen Mrs. Paul's thingy shaped like the Jesus symbol on a Hummer.
Nevertheless, I may have answered my own question. Maybe the pea shape is a wink to the diet-conscious consumer—as if to say, "Heh heh, you and I both know this is really deep-cover health food." Or maybe it's a pea with the training wheels on. Some deluded snacker will accidentally pop a legume in his mouth someday because it's shaped like a Snapea Crisp, and it'll be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
Are they health food disguised as junk, or junk food disguised as health? They're vegetative double agents. So veggie haters, beware. Trojan peas are coming, and it's your mouth they mean to conquer.