During the fall season, the most non pumpkin-flavored thing on the planet is, oddly enough, pumpkin itself. Seriously, have you ever tried eating pure, unseasoned pumpkin straight out of the gourd or can? It’s awful. No wonder they drown the stuff in cinnamon and nutmeg and then mix it with your entire local supermarket.
But regardless of how malleable and hateful the original ingredient is, pumpkin-flavored anything is the talk of any town from October through whenever stores run out. Other parts of Thanksgiving however, not so much. For some reason, the rest of your Turkey Day feast does not translate well at all to different forms of food. Probably because truckloads of nutmeg complement so few of them.
But that doesn’t mean people haven’t tried! After all, if some marketer thinks for even one second that they can make even one dollar off something, they will try it. You have to admire their moxie at least, though not their ability to do their jobs well. If they did THAT, then they never would have bothered subjecting us to …
Few things bring out the taste of Thanksgiving like mint and Retsyn. At least, that’s the theory behind McPhee’s flavoring their gumballs like turkey, cranberries, and pumpkin. The latter two initially don’t sound so bad (yet one more pumpkin-flavored product, and cranberries mixed with stuff is a year-round thing,) but in gum form? That’s like substituting gravy for toothpaste. Just because Big Gum assimilates 90% of our food into their twisted creations, doesn’t mean the other 10% work.
“Man Bob, I’m stuffed from all that turkey, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie! And now my breath smells rank, which I’m sure all of you care very much about. Got any gum?”
“Why sure Frank, I have gum, right here.” Bob winks at invisible camera as the Lions fumble and the other team scores, again.
Frank chews gumball, discovers it’s flavored like turkey. “Oh Bob! You got me again, you rascal!”
The room laughs. Every Lion tears his ACL.
It certainly seems like a gag gift, especially the part on the website that says, “enthusiastically approved by pilgrims.” Obviously, that’s horsecrap; if this were truly kid-tested, pilgrim-approved, the gum would taste like venison. But it’s also crap because the second you charge money for something, it ceases to become a “joke,” and more of an “actual investment that helped line the pockets of old white men much richer than you.” And depending on how quickly you want your gumballs, this could end up quite the investment; regular shipping is $4.95 (more than the $3.50 you pay for the product), while overnight can run you up to $29. So who’s the joke really on?
We’re guessing if you want to recreate this at home without spending money, simply cut up strips of turkey, crush up some Altoids, sprinkle the dust over the slices of bird, and stick them in a tin. Same joke, same disgusting flavor, more money for pumpkin-flavored beer.
Or, if pumpkin beer sounds too wonderful, you could always try …
Sweet Potato Beer
Over the past couple of years, the public has decided they like sweet potatoes, despite them being objectively awful. There’s a reason we eat them with a ton and a half of marshmallows, after all. They’re easily the crappiest of all members of the potato family. And yet, whether it’s pure irony or just the public’s latest Wile E. Coyote-style attempt to eat healthy, sweet potatoes are more popular than ever.
So naturally, companies are capitalizing by mixing sweet potatoes in with their otherwise not-sweet products–in this case beer. And it’s not just one company: several breweries are exploiting our latest flavor of the month. In some cases, the beer is offered year-round, which means we live on a planet where sweet potato beer is available whenever you like it, but you only have 8-10 weeks to replace your blood with egg nog before stores cruelly yank it away with only “Christmas just happened” as a warning. The next giant asteroid can’t crash into us soon enough.
Kidding mostly aside, this product almost makes sense – ALMOST. The more sweet potato beer you drink, the more likely you are to taste nothing but alcohol, making it very easy to forget that you just consumed sweet potatoes. Of course, you have to power past the part where you’re sober and aware of your consumption of the black sheep of the spud family. There’s always a catch.
Maybe you can get sloshed on real beer first, and THEN down this crap? That could work.
Jones Soda is a “wacky” soda company, which is to say they make the most disgusting-sounding drinks imaginable, charge you money for it, and expect you to laugh because they’re so damn silly. Even their normal flavors have “wacky” names to help differentiate themselves from squares like Coke and Pepsi. For example, at one time they offered “Your Momegranate” instead of pomegranate, because nothing brings out the true goodness of superfruits like worn-out jokes from the ‘80s.
Once November rolls around, Jones gets into the Thanksgiving spirit by releasing sodas flavored like anything and everything we eat on the Big Thursday. Turkey, gravy, peas, green beans, stuffing, brussels sprout, and even antacids because GEDDIT?? Sadly, they didn’t think to combine these horrific ideas with their other favorite pastime, puns. Of course, they’d have to base the puns around typical Thanksgiving sights and scenes. We would force somebody else to drink Creepy Alcoholic Uncole Slaw without a moment’s hesitation.
Shockingly (or perhaps not, depending on how cynically you view the general population,) these sodas sell out pretty much every time the company releases one, with single bottles fetching close to $20 on eBay, even though they’re almost certainly flat by this point. But it’s worth it so you can bring a date home, point to the bottle on your shelf and exclaim, “see? I’m wacky and irreverent and don’t care about money! Now drop them panties!”
Ice Cream With Real Bits Of Turkey And Onion Mixed Inside
Hey, do you love ice cream? Not anymore you don’t! Because now you’re aware that a company mixes turkey and onions together and calls it ice cream. Enjoy puking!
An Oregon company called Salt and Straw decided that, instead of forcing families to choke down one of the 17 million legitimate ice cream flavors they can buy at a store, order at a creamery, or even create themselves, they should go to their stores and buy ice cream made up of the crap they just finished swallowing. So if you’re sick of chocolate, and prefer your dessert taste like apple cranberry stuffing, sweet potato, candied pecans, pumpkin custard, or mincemeat, then this here’s the company for you!
You might recognize several of these offering as being stand-alone desserts, such as pumpkin custard and mincemeat. Hel, even candied pecans sound dessert-ish. So why even bother making another dessert out of them? Unless your goal is to force us into making a lame Dessertception joke, even though Inception jokes died the second people finally agreed to disagree on the ending. In which case, mission accomplished. Also, BRAAAHHMM.
But it’s the Salted Caramel Thanksgiving Turkey flavor where Salt and Straw truly shine. All the other ice cream is simply flavored like mincemeat and stuffing. But the SCTT has real turkey skin, real turkey juice, and real caramelized onions, built right in. This is not a joke, this is not a drill. They make actual ice cream, and then mix in bits of turkey and onion because people have proven they’ll buy anything. It’s like when an infant mixes everything in front of them into a disgusting (and easily throwable) mash, only now it’s OK because some company added milk to the mix.
Thank God they remembered to caramelize the onions though. Regular onions inside ice cream? That’s just sick.
Jason Iannone is a Cracked columnist and freelance editor, who almost put Thanksgiving Cake on this list until he realized that actually looks awesome and tasty. Let him know how insane he is at Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Google+
Jason knows all about disgusting food, or at last disgusting amounts of food, thanks to his one-day career as an Eating Challenge enthusiast. He previously tore apart another product made of two things that should never be combined in Cheesy Romance + Card Games For One = Heartwild Solitaire