A Bitingly Weird V-Day Gift Round-up

When searching for any Valentine gift, weird or otherwise, it’s hard to avoid the culinary component. We’ve already established that there’s a chocolate representation to be found out there for just about anything, and a Valentine representation for all sorts of foods: pickles, jerky, and ketchup among them.

But the annual Weird Valentines Gifts post has never been fully food-themed, so here we are — with two items inspired by snacking, one designed to help get the nosh on, and a fourth that spotlights a new entree to the global dining table.

I Love Cheesy Poofs, You Love Cheesy Poofs

Who wouldn’t love this multi-purpose plushy? It’s a pillow. It’s a toy. It’s a village of adorable Cheesy Poof People. You can’t go wrong, and could pair the puffs with an equally cute plushy boba tea for double the awwww.

Spotted at: Angleliu

Loafing Around

These bread slippers come in baguette, butter, and “bread b,” which looks like challah to me, so missed bread-branding opportunity there.

The perfect gift to keep toes toasty on a February night, loaf pillows and tortilla blankets are also options for the carb-obsessed couch potato in your life.

Spotted at: The October Elf

A Whirlwind of Emotion…

A clear mug with hot chocolate in it and a black and white cow spotted sleeve is over half of it - a black lid is next to it

This self-mixing, portable mug swirls your chocolate milk for you, which is adorable and unnecessary—just like any self-respecting Valentine gift should be.

Perfectly paired with a hand-made Nesquick tumbler.

Spotted at: The Science Toy Store

…and Edible Manchurian Scorpions.

Since the world is slowly ending and we’re moving toward eating bugs anyway, why not make it fancy? The Entomarket — just one leg of Entosense LLC in Lewiston, Maine — is a clearinghouse of culinary-grade creepy crawlies that extends far beyond your standard chocolate-covered grasshopper.

In addition to the Manchurian morsels, which incidentally glow naturally under a black-light, the Entomarket also offers Cotton Candy Crickets, Pizza-flavored Superworms from Thailand, and the very impressive-sounding Chapulines Sazonados from Mexico (grasshoppers with lemon, salt, garlic, and chile flavors).

Spotted at: Edible Insects

2021 Weird V-Day Round-up

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2014

October Food Trends: FrankenSnacks

Flavor fusions that start in the boardroom have varying results, but the releases of these alien appetizers are always fun, and 2021 has plenty to offer.

Indeed, like mad scientists with unending supplies of lab specimens, brands of all types are banding up, testing new waters, and crossing over, creating monster mash-ups of flavors as well as weird preparations like freeze-dried cheese and whipped coffee.

Smartfood and Krispy Kreme, for two, are leading the charge with their limited-time flavor partnership.

Pepsi x Peeps promises a marshmallow flavored soda array in Peep-centric packaging in time for Easter (gross), and three of Jelly Belly’s Fabulous Five flavors represent brand partnerships with Sunkist, Coldstone Creamery, and whatever soda conglomerate currently operates A&W, Dr. Pepper, Crush, and … 7Up? Is 7Up back?

Falling into the category of a more full transformation, the beautiful bean footage at Bush’s Best now includes a highlight reel of bean-based chips and dips, Wendy’s Frostys are now a cereal, and Heinz has entered a new dimension with their sauce blends; especially with Tarchup and Hanch.

What monstrous mixology have you see lately? Leave your discoveries in the comments.

October Food Trends: Baby, I Can See Your Food Glow

Following in the damp footsteps of 2021’s first weird food trend of blood-bag cocktails comes that of glow-in-the-dark food — an oddity that’s been picking up steam since this summer.

Unsurprisingly, the trend comes in tandem with glow parties, but since most of these fetes have been of the at-home, small-crowd variety in recent years the food and drinks have moved to center stage, as opposed to things like glow raves, luminescent treasure hunts, and neon body-painting.

The good news about glowing food is that it need not contain frankengredients to achieve the desired effect. Adding tonic water to gelatin creates glowing frosting for cupcakes, cookies, and other treats when paired with a black light, for instance (it’s the quinine). The same goes for open-faced sliders slathered with a little mustard or a glow-in-the-dark salad with eggs (which cast a yellow glow under black light), lettuce (red), and olive oil (orange). So-called Kryptonite Candy is a little more complicated, but follows the same premise, and could serve as the piece de resistance at any kick-back.

Foods that glow without UV light are harder to find, but do exist; Indian food manufacturer Rexofa has developed lollipops and ice cream that glows when licked, thanks to bioluminescence technology.

And for the time-pressed, there are countless glow-on-the-go options: dozens of brands have jumped on the glow-wagon through their packaging, including Hershey’s, Pringles, Dogfish Head, and Yoplait — I spotted “GloGurt” at Stop & Shop earlier this month.

Share your glowed-up goodies in the comments!

Call for Blogtoberfest Entries!

I always welcome guest posts at The Jump, but I take the collection thereof more seriously from October 1 to All Hallows Eve. The results have been varied and awesome, ranging in topic from witches to zombies to Neil Diamond.

Over the years, Blogtoberfest Guest Post submissions evolved into a full-on contest, with winners, prizes, and the bestowing of appropriate amounts of online glory.

Winners will be decided by readers via an online poll at the end of the month. There’s no length requirement or limit, and posts need not be spooky. October is also the month of harvest, baseball, and Breast Cancer Awareness. It may be that you or your organization has an annual event this month that deserves a little publicity. Whatever the topic – if it says October to you is fair game!

Prizes will be announced soon, and posts are accepted throughout the month, so get writing and send your entries to writerjax -at- gmail.com!