Junk Food Taste Test

Aug 7, 2020

Sasheer Zamata and Nicole Byer try to identify junk foods from the descriptions Ophira and Jonathan give while snacking on them.

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JONATHAN COULTON, BYLINE: This is ASK ME ANOTHER, NPR's hour of puzzles, word games and putting on sunscreen to sit in front of the window. I'm Jonathan Coulton. Here's your host, Ophira Eisenberg.


Thanks, Jonathan. We're playing games with comedians Nicole Byer and Sasheer Zamata. OK. Are you ready for another one?


NICOLE BYER: Hell yeah.

EISENBERG: OK. I'm very excited about this. OK. Sasheer, you created an improv comedy group called Amuse Bouche.

ZAMATA: Amuse Bouche.

EISENBERG: Like a little taste before dinner.




EISENBERG: Very fancy food word. Nicole, you obviously host the baking competition show "Nailed It!" - where you judge bad cakes. So we have combined these concepts in your next game. Jonathan and I are going to turn off our cameras. We will both eat the same item of junk food. And you have to guess what we're eating. And you'll be competing in this one. So we'll go back and forth, starting with Nicole. OK. So I'm going to turn off my video and take the first one.

COULTON: OK. Me, too.

BYER: OK. Perfect.

COULTON: This is one of my favorites, Ophira.

EISENBERG: Oh, yeah. I know. You talk about this all the time.


COULTON: This is a brand that has mastered the technology of flavor powders.

BYER: Doritos.

COULTON: (Laughter). Yeah. That's right.


COULTON: Doritos.

EISENBERG: And I will say that...


EISENBERG: I will say, with this particular flavor...

BYER: Cool Ranch.



EISENBERG: Perfect on a summer's day.


COULTON: I'm impressed.

BYER: I'm not fat by accident. I put in the work.


COULTON: Yeah. That's a good chip.

BYER: I'm jealous that you're eating Doritos. I love Doritos.


BYER: I miss Doritos 3D because you would - I would...

ZAMATA: Oh, yeah.

COULTON: Oh, yeah. Those little, like, pillow-shaped ones.

BYER: ...Poke a hole inside and put them on my fingers...



BYER: ...And pretend I had nails...

ZAMATA: Oh, my gosh.

BYER: ...And then be like, I eat my nails.

COULTON: Should we go to the next one?

EISENBERG: This is for Sasheer.

ZAMATA: I'm ready.

COULTON: OK. I've never actually tried one of these before. OK - chewy. Like, I can't...

EISENBERG: Very chewy.

COULTON: Like, I can't help comparing it to its arch-nemesis, which I grew up with. It's red. It actually has more of a cherry flavor...


COULTON: ...Than I am used to with the opposing product.

EISENBERG: So I think it's got a strawberry taste to it, if I had to...

COULTON: It is a strawberry. Yeah.

EISENBERG: Yeah. You're right. So how it differs, I think, to the one that most - I think it's like an East Coast thing, but maybe it's just a countrywide dispute - which one's better? - is that I would say it's chewier. I would say it's sweeter. I would actually say this in its favor - it's got a more artificial taste to it, I would say. I like that.

ZAMATA: Red Vines?

COULTON: Yeah, Red Vines. Yeah.


ZAMATA: Oh, wow.

EISENBERG: Do you have an opinion on which one you like better?

BYER: Twizzlers.

EISENBERG: Twizzlers or Red Vines?

ZAMATA: I don't even know if I've had Red Vines.

BYER: They're disgusting.

COULTON: (Laughter) I could not...

BYER: Disgusting.

COULTON: I could not find Red Vines. I think they are a West Coast thing.

BYER: They are.


COULTON: So I had to get them from Ophira.

BYER: People on the West Coast are like, Red Vines are so good. And I'm like, that's because you have no taste buds.


COULTON: Woah. Wow.

EISENBERG: But I like that you could, like...

BYER: Disgusting.

EISENBERG: ...You could drink a soda through them like a straw.

BYER: You don't need that. You have a straw.


BYER: Straws exist.

COULTON: (Laughter) All right. Should we do the next one?

EISENBERG: Yeah. We'll try this next one. OK, here we go.

COULTON: This is for Nicole.



EISENBERG: OK. Excuse me. I love the texture. It's really crunchy on the top and bottom.

BYER: Top and bottom.

EISENBERG: And it's very sweet in the middle. I kind of want more in the middle.

BYER: Oreos.

EISENBERG: Yeah. Oh, my goodness.

COULTON: That is correct.

BYER: Yeah. In your face, Sasheer.

ZAMATA: (Laughter) OK.

COULTON: I got to say, that's a good cookie. I always forget how good an Oreo is.

BYER: They're great.

ZAMATA: They're very good. Yeah.

EISENBERG: Do have one more? Do we try...

COULTON: Last one, yeah.


COULTON: This is for Sasheer - individually wrapped here.

EISENBERG: Yeah, I got to get this out of its thing. All right. You know, it's - already I'm just going to say, I don't like the presentation of having to rip this thing off. Sort of square - oh, very chewy. Wow.

COULTON: It's a nice soft - it's a nice soft chew, though. It's a great, pleasant...

EISENBERG: It is soft.

COULTON: It's a fruity flavor.

ZAMATA: Oh, a fruity flavor.

EISENBERG: I mean, it's like eating - like - it's like eating melted plastic. But...

COULTON: (Laughter) What color are you having right now?


COULTON: You're having a pink...


COULTON: ...Because I have...

ZAMATA: Oh, is it Laffy Taffy?

COULTON: I'm also having a pink, but I also have here - there's orange, yellow and a dark red.

ZAMATA: (Laughter) Is it a gum? Is it...

EISENBERG: I love - Nicole is doing full-on charades.

COULTON: Yeah, Nicole totally knows it.

ZAMATA: Starburst?


ZAMATA: Well, now it makes sense. Yeah, they're individually wrapped. It's fruity. It literally is a square.

COULTON: Mmm hmm.

EISENBERG: Mmm hmm. Yeah.

BYER: But you didn't say that they're stacked on top of each other and people only like the pink ones.

ZAMATA: Yeah. You should have said yellow was trash.

COULTON: Yeah. The yellow one is trash. That is true. The yellow one is terrible.

EISENBERG: All right. Well, that was great. I think we know how that went.

ZAMATA: I know Muppets, and Nicole knows food.

BYER: Hell yeah, dude. I love food.

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