Will Dylan Eat It: Dollar Tree Candy, Part 3

This is part three of a three-part series. Part one is available here, while part two is here.

I’m just going to go on record right now and say that I have absolutely no interest in finishing this article. We did this taste-test three weeks ago, and none of the things we tried turned out to be all that gross. They were unpleasant, yes, but not the kind of world-shattering horror you would expect from cheap shitty candy from Dollar Tree. When something’s labeled “Gummy Pizza” and it contains stale rubbery bits and a packet of mysterious liquid candy goop, you expect it to taste like the inside of Alf’s ass after a three-week Planet Melmac-wide bender. You don’t expect it to just taste mildly unpleasant and sour. I demand more from the shit we sample for “Will Dylan Eat It”, and so should you. From now on, hell hath no fury like a bizarre food scorned.

Gummy Pizza

Gummy Pizza.
If Domino’s sold this, they’d be accused of war crimes.

This stale gummy horror was first sampled by the boys at the now-defunct Don’t Eat This.net, which was one of the inspirations for this series. On that mourned site, a couple of guys wearing funny hats, in true Mythbusters style, sampled a variety of questionable cuisine from around the world and dollar stores. One of the first treats they sampled was this, the less-than-famed Gummy Pizza. Even they had a hard time getting through this shit, which considering that they also tried Hormel Pork Brains in Milk Gravy, makes this kind of disappointing. It’s bad, but it’s not awful enough to provoke that kind of reaction from hardened culinary criminals.

To start off, looking at the packaging, this doesn’t seem all that unappealing (at least, if the concept of gummy replicas of real food hasn’t turned you off already). It’s brightly-colored, with the assorted components nicely laid out, each with callouts. The packaging says “Make Your Own”, which reminds me of hippies “rolling their own”, probably because to willingly eat this, you’d have to be stoned and have a serious case of the munchies. Sadly, we didn’t have the benefit of marijuana to make this appetizing.

As you probably figured out, this is one of those candies that’s also sold as a sort of activity, the kind that is supposed to keep your kids busy on a rainy day. If you can pull them away from the Playstation, that is, since this isn’t that much fun. You take the “crust” (which is a sort of vaguely stale-feeling gummy thing), add “sauce” (which is similar to the sour stuff that came with the Mallow Fries, but with a flavor like lemon-scented floor cleaner), “toppings” (more gummy bits), and “cheese” (a yellow powder that resembles a really cheap grade of cocaine). As you can see in the picture at the top, the end result actually looks kind of neat, if not appetizing.

It tastes like ass.

The taste, however, wasn’t. The “sauce” (I hesitate to use that word) smelled like lemon-scented floor cleaner, and tasted just like you’d imagine. The gummy “crust” was stale and slightly crackly. Fortunately, the fake cheese and gummy toppings had very little flavor to drown out the nastiness of the “sauce”. Maybe they thought they really couldn’t compete.

The Maitre d’s reaction wasn’t as strong than everyone else’s:

Compared to some of the other selections, this wasn’t totally horrible. The tart citrus-flavored powder covered over the seriously,-WTF-is-this-flavor? taste of the gummi. I like sour stuff so this was fine with me… but honestly, there’s a lot better sour candy out there.

Gummy Cookies

Gummy Cookies.
Definitely not home-baked.

Like the so-called pizza, these gummy “cookies” have an assortment of toppings you’re supposed to put on the gummy base to “Make Your Own” (as the packaging exhorts you to do…not that it makes me very enthusiastic about the process). Like the Gummy Pizza, this is very attractively packaged, with the kind of background you’d expect for a bag of cookies claiming to be home-baked.

The cookies themselves weren’t attractive at all. Flat pieces of the same kind of gummy stuff as the pseudo-pizza, they had the texture of really old breakfast cereal. On top of it went the “icing” and sprinkle-bits.

Gummy Cookies.
Sticky and gross.

The “icing” that comes with these fake cookies is some of the stickiest junk on Earth. Stickier than Marmite, it refused to even come out of the little plastic pouch. It wasn’t even clear like so-called “liquid” candy usually is, either. Instead, it was a cloudy, milky color that made it look like…well, okay, so this isn’t exactly a family site, but even I hesitate to mention the possibility that we were consuming concentrated jizmoglobin.

The topping bits came in two varieties. The first was the traditional candy sprinkles, with no difference I could tell from the kind you put on cupcakes. The second…the second were disgusting, vaguely gummy chocolate bits that look like Nerds. Well, okay, more like Nerd turds. They had a strange, chocolaty and chewy texture that made us gag.

It was with the gummy cookies that we finally hit paydirt with the Maitre d’s reaction:

Dylan will not eat it.

No, no, no, no no no NO NO NO. Gummy texture and chocolate flavor do not mix, yet these cookies flagrantly combine the two.

Actually, it’s worse than that. You take a sugar-encrusted vanilla or chocolate gummi cookie. Then you spread some icing on it, which I think they make by combining one jar of paste with one cup of sugar. Then you put sprinkles on it. Sprinkles. On a freaking gummi cookie. NO.

And finally, you top it off with pseudo-chocolate-candy pieces. Again, ignoring the abominable combination of gummi and chocolate that this creates, this isn’t even real chocolate. I’m not sure what it is, but it’s gross.

The gummy cookies were the only candy I didn’t finish. I spit it out. It wasn’t that I actually gagged, but it was heading that way and I didn’t feel like throwing up.

There. It’s fucking done. Don’t expect me to be so merciful next time. Next time, we’re visiting the Asian market and finding the most disgusting cat-food-smelling snacks they have.

About The Chef

The Chef was born 856 years ago on a small planet orbiting a star in the Argolis cluster. It was prophesied that the arrival of a child with a birthmark shaped like a tentacle would herald the planet's destruction. When the future Chef was born with just such a birthmark, panic ensued (this would not be the last time the Chef inspired such emotion). The child, tentacle and all, was loaded into a rocket-powered garbage scow and launched into space. Unfortunately, the rocket's exhaust ignited one of the spectators' flatulence, resulting in a massive explosion that detonated the planet's core, destroying the world and killing everyone on it.

The Chef.
Your host, hero to millions, the Chef.
Oblivious, the dumpster containing the infant Chef sped on. It crashed on a small blue world due to a freakish loophole in the laws of nature that virtually guarantees any object shot randomly into space will always land on Earth. The garbage scow remained buried in the icy wastes of the frozen north until the Chef awoke in 1901. Unfortunately, a passing Norwegian sailor accidentally drove a boat through his head, causing him to go back to sleep for another 23 years.

When the would-be Chef awoke from his torpor, he looked around at the new world he found himself on. His first words were, “Hey, this place sucks." Disguising himself as one of the planet's dominant species of semi-domesticated ape, the being who would become known as the Chef wandered the Earth until he ended up in its most disreputable slum - Paris, France.

Taking a job as a can-can dancer, the young Chef made a living that way until one day one of the cooks at a local bistro fell ill with food poisoning (oh, bitter irony). In a desperate move, the bistro's owner rushed into one of the local dance halls, searching for a replacement. He grabbed the ugliest can-can dancer he could find, and found himself instead with an enterprising (if strange) young man who now decided, based on this random encounter, to only answer to the name “Chef".

His success as a French chef was immediate (but considering that this is a country where frogs and snails are considered delicacies, this may or may not be a significant achievement). Not only was the Chef's food delicious, it also kept down the local homeless population. He rose to the heights of stardom in French cuisine, and started a holy war against the United Kingdom to end the reign of terror British food had inflicted on its citizens.

When the Crimean War broke out around France, the Chef assisted Nikola Tesla and Galileo in perfecting the scanning electron microscope, which was crucial in driving back the oncoming Communist hordes. It would later be said that without the Chef, the war would have been lost. He was personally awarded a Purple Heart by the King of France.

After that, the Chef traveled to America, home of such dubious culinary delights as McDonald's Quarter Pounder With Cheese. He immediately adopted the Third World nation as his new home, seeing it as his job to protect and enlighten it. When the Vietnam War began, he immediately volunteered and served in the Army of the Potomac under Robert E. Lee and General Patton. During the war, the Chef killed dozens of Nazis, most of them with his bare hands.

Marching home from war across the floor of the Atlantic Ocean, stark-naked and freezing, the Chef wound up on the shores of Mexico. He spent several years there, drinking tequila with Pancho Villa and James Dean. He put his culinary skills to the test when he invented the 5,000-calorie Breakfast Chili Burrito With Orange Sauce (which is today still a favorite in some parts of Sonora).

Eventually, the Chef returned to his adopted home of America, where he met a slimy, well-coiffed weasel who was starting up a new kind of buffet - one dedicated to providing the highest-quality unmentionable appetizers to the online community. The Chef dedicated himself to spreading the word of his famous Lard Sandwich (two large patties of fried lard, in between two slices of toasted buttered lard, with bacon and cheese), as well as occasionally writing about his opinions on less-important topics than food.

Every word of this is true, if only in the sense that every word of this exists in the English language.