Obedient Ingredients

A place to put cooking ideas to the test.


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2016 Snack Bracket: Round 2

The second round of the Third Annual Snack Bracket is here.

Oh Snacket. The emotions it stirs.

“I will personally end the tyranny of Samoas. Give me Tagalongs or give me death.”

Thank you for participating in and spreading the first round of this year’s Snacket. I’m glad some of you liked it. I enjoyed this comment:

“The 2016 Snacket is wonderfully-organized thus far, and I appreciate the layout. This really ought to go out to the masses, and by “masses,” I don’t mean those friends/acquaintances reached by grassroots, word-of-mouth, send-to-everyone-in-your-social-circle means. No. I mean every U.S. citizen. Get me a presidential nominee who will make the Snacket a mandatory annual test. It would be like the Census, except much more fun. (…At least until the sweet 16 and beyond, when things get wonderfully anarchic.)”

For the first Round, we didn’t have any big upsets. That usually points to some good ranking by the Snack Bracket committee (which convenes in Geneva a month before the Snack Bracket is created).
In Sweet-Small, #10 Dark Chocolate Covered Almonds narrowly beat out #7 Junior Mints, 55% to 45%. Junior Mints were ranked #5 two years ago and #4 last year, but they can never catch a break.
In Sweet-Large, #14 Nutella was winning for several days, but #3 TJ’s Brownies with Sea Salt barely won 53% to 47%. No upsets in that region.
Salty-Small showed us 7 seeds are not safe. #10 Salt and Pepper Kettle Chips barely beat #7 Lightly Salted Nuts. Any nut you wanted!! The power of pepper, I guess.
Salty-Large is where things got messy. THREE UPSETS!
  • #9 Ruffled Chips w/ French Onion dip trounced #8 Buffalo Chicken Dip, 58% to 41%
  • Two new-comers #11 Soft Pretzel beat out #6 String Cheese, 59% to 40%
  • And #10 Pizza Bagel Bites beat out #7 Chex Mix, with a rousing 64% to 36%.

 

Overall, though, you were all pleased with how things were seeded. Look at the comments!

“Seriously issues with the underrating of delicious salty snacks. That low for a soft pretzel!? This is the season for upsets.”

“For a full year, I had forgotten how painful these choices were… until now. It’s only the first round, and you’re making me choose between buffalo chicken dip and ruffles and onion dip!? And Cheese Puffs as a 16 seed!? It already hurts.”

“I can’t believe veggies and hummus are a #2 seed. If only they’d been up against something less gross than jalapeño poppers…”

Nutella is a 14 seed? Who made this bracket!?”

“I feel like the committee needs to take a hard look at seeding. Some products were grossly overseeded/underseeded.”

As for the match ups themselves? Well, that was science that brought them together. You can’t argue with science, though some of you did:

“How dare you make me choose between chips and guacamole and spinach artichoke dip. HOW DARE YOU.”

 

“I am disgusted that you would put Trader Joe’s bite-sized brownies with sea salt against Nutella. Have you no mercy?”

“Having to eliminate veggie straws or movie theater popcorn in the first round?! Brutal. That’s a choice you can’t feel okay about making until the sweet 16.”

“Also, fig Newtons are so good, but putting them next to Samoas never gave them a leg to stand on!”

“Reading that I had to choose between Chips and salsa vs tater tots made my heart stop. “Crappers, how will I choose!?” I thought. I really didn’t like that feeling of my heart stopping, and maybe tater tots are more likely to lead to that? Hmmm is the universe telling me to go with the chips?”

 Next year I think I’ll put it to a vote which snacks sound be included.

“The Snacket Selection Committee will rue the day that they somehow decided E.L. Fudge cookies were not worthy of a tournament bid. FOR SHAME. SHAME. Sleep with one eye open, committee, for I am hiding in your closet and am ready to pounce. Meowwwww”

“Also, where the hell are combos!?!? Those bitches are snackable as hell.”

“not enough reese style candy. seriously, there are dozens of other reese type candies that would win the whole bracket. nutrageous? fast break? puffs (the cereal)? dark chocolate? big cups? sticks? xmas tree shaped? pumpkin shaped? even sugar free reese’s would win”

 
Also, over 135 people votes in Round 1!! Keep spreading the word!
Last word: this whole thing is a ruse to expose those individuals who voted for Altoids. What’s wrong with you?? I have your names, emails and social security numbers and Obama will read them out loud at his next State of the Union address. 
 
Good luck in Round 2!
 


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Sea Salt in Coffee?

Coffee can be a sacred thing.

No matter how you treat your coffee –  whether you treat this universally-loved drink as a necessity to function as a productive or even awake human being, or whether you ritualize the meticulous step-by-step process with your freshly roasted beans to appease the coffee gods – coffee is important to many people.

Some get by fine with their same Folgers or Starbucks blends, and could care less about things such as “freshly roasted”, “perfect water temperature”, “whole beans vs. ground.”

Some people care (read:obsess) over the different brewing methods: there is drip, but then we get into more fancy territory with devices such as the French Press, Aeropress, cold brewing, Chemex, Siphon, and pour over … and this is just normal coffee. I’m not even talking about espressos.

This post will focus on my preferred method of brewing – the French Press – and look into an interesting trick given to us by none other than Alton Brown:

Putting salt into the coffee.

Is there a difference in one’s coffee when sea salt is added to the brewing process?

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