Yes, it’s that time of year again; when Lay’s hands their development department over to the public and lets us decide what their new flavor will be. Something I noticed the other day while in the chip aisle at the store is that the first two winners of the “Do Us a Flavor” contests were largely cheese based. The 2013 winner was Cheesy Garlic Bread and the 2014 winner was Bacon Mac and Cheese. Not that there’s anything wrong with this, but cheese flavored chips have already been around for awhile; sour cream and cheddar is a potato chip staple. Perhaps just out of chance, or perhaps out of conscious effort to not have another cheese chip win, there are no cheese flavored chips in the finals this year. Something that definitely seems like a conscious decision this year was to add location modifiers to the flavor names. This year’s finalists are: Greektown Gyro, West Coast Truffle Fries, Southern Biscuits and Gravy, and New York Reuben. Whether they did this to try and lend some sort of authenticity, to pit places against each other, or just because they thought it sounded good I am unsure.
Since there are 4 chips to review I decided to break this up into two different posts instead of making it one huge one. This week’s post will review the Greektown Gryo and the Southern Biscuits and Gravy.
Biscuits are a great food. They can enhance your dinner, you can eat them on their own, or you can use them to make sandwiches. If you’re having a meal that has gravy, biscuits are pretty much a must in order to sop up every bit of rich, meaty goodness. One could argue that you could use dinner rolls for this as well, which is true. But the downside to dinner rolls is that they’re made using yeast, which means they need time to rise, and aren’t as easy to make. Biscuits on the other hand, are very easy to make. They use chemical leavening to rise (baking powder/soda) so there’s no downtime like there is for yeast breads. While there’s nothing wrong with using the biscuits from a can (which I admit I frequently do myself), biscuits from scratch don’t even really take that much more time, so it’s worth giving them a shot when you have a little extra time. Everyone will be super impressed with how yummy they are, and that you made them from scratch.
Monkey bread is a wonderful food, with a strange name. No one really seems to know for certain how it got its name, but rest assured – no monkeys are harmed in the making of this delicious treat. And it’s not some weird code disguising something gross, like how “sweetbreads” are actually the thymus and pancreas of cows. Monkey bread is made of biscuit dough cut into small pieces and covered in cinnamon, sugar, and held together with a kind of caramel. Monkey bread made its first appearance in women’s magazines in the 1950s and fits very much with the vogue of using canned or frozen ingredients and spiffing them up in interesting (and occasionally horrifying) ways. The 1950s ideology was all about making the modern housewife’s life easier with push buttons and quickly prepared foodstuffs. I have fond memories of sitting in my grandma’s kitchen and eating monkey bread that she made, which makes sense since she was a young housewife in the 1950s.
I could go on about this stuff forever, since it is part of what I’m studying in school, but I digress. Monkey bread is indeed an easy to make dish that can serve as breakfast, dessert, or just a little snack.