“Run run run as fast as you can, you can’t catch me because you really don’t care too much, I mean really, I’m not that tasty, compared to other sweets.”
~The Honest Gingerbread Man
We hate to be the bearer of bad news, but summer is over, fall is here, and winter is just around the corner. We know, we know, it’s a bitter pill to swallow. But, let’s all take a step back, and think about all the good times, foods, and occasions that fall and winter will afford you. No, we’re being serious, take a moment and pick your favorite thing about autumn or winter.
Oh, the holiday season, that’s a good one, you over there.
Hmm, bourbon and dark beers, that’s a very solid point, intern whispering in our ear right now. Now go back to the supply closest and keep on spamming PETA with hate-emails.
Oh, what’s that, distant quiet voice in the back? Gingerbread gets to come back? Ugh, fine. Whatever. Yes, gingerbread houses and all that shit will be easier to find. That’s a lame thing to suggest, but not lame enough for us to openly mock you for suggesting it.
Let’s face it, gingerbread is just alright, probably because America didn’t invent it and the most fun you can have with it is putting it into shapes you don’t get to eat until they’ve long since gone stale. Which is fine—a gingerbread house is a lot of fun, and many precious memories have been made around it, but if we were being honest, a gingerbread house is a great way to have your children or man-child husbands pick at the icing and gumdrops, thinking incorrectly that they’re being sneaky, for a few months until the whole thing turns rock solid and you put it outside for squirrels to eat the shit out of. That’s pretty much gingerbread’s biggest purpose for American society—it tricks squirrels into thinking we don’t eat anything that tastes better than stale gingerbread, so they by-and-large leave us the hell alone.
Unfortunately, because it’s considered a “seasonal” treat, every goddamn company imaginable decides to release a “limited edition” gingerbread flavored version of their product this time of the year. Most of them, like gingerbread, are, eh, fine. But some of them.
Oh, mother of God, some of them. Are awful. Terrible. Sins.
We’re going to tell you about some of them.
The Worst Gingerbread Flavored Products in America
Gingerbread has been around ever since it was brought to Europe in 992 by an Armenian monk who taught a bunch of French people how to make it in Bondaroy for about seven years, which gives us plenty of reasons to hate it. It’s a fairly basic concept—instead of making sweet bread with sugar, you add ginger, honey, or molasses which, you know, is fine. Gingerbread is fine. It comes in many forms, from soft loaf cakes to biscuits, though we most often encounter it in gingerbread man and gingerbread house form, both of which are more fun to actually shape than they are to eat (with the possible exception of gingerbread men, because about 75% of children growing up took a frankly unsettling pleasure in biting apart their gingerbread man, limb-by-limb, often while saying things like, “Noo, please, don’t eat me, oh nooo” to the concern of their school psychiatrists).
To say that the flavor of gingerbread is the reason why it is so universally popular would be unfair. While some people crave it, and really do enjoy the taste, we find that the majority of people enjoy the taste the same way they enjoy The Tonight Show. When someone sends them a clip, they find it amusing and enjoyable, but not a lot of us are going out of our way to get it from the source. The same goes for gingerbread, which most of us will eat when offered, but never find themselves putting forth any effort to procure it for themselves.
That said, gingerbread, much like vanilla ice cream, is a relatively dull flavor that can taste good. A gingerbread latte from Starbucks is a delicious warm seasonal treat (this sentence was sponsored by Starbucks, fuck your local coffee shop, they’re sooo far away, wouldn’t you rather just get coffee from the place a block from your office? Starbucks!). But is gingerbread a universal flavor that tastes good as anything? Hell no! Case and point, the following food mistakes.
“J-E-L-L-O, Oh-God-Whyyy-ayy-ayyy.” Hey Jell-O, we just wrote your theme song for your gingerbread instant Jell-O, so, you know, get in touch with our legal department, we’ll work out a royalties system. Now, when we saw that Jell-O makes a Gingerbread flavor, we admittedly initially thought it was supposed to be the jiggling, sweet, “there’s always room” actual gelatin, as opposed to an “instant pudding & pie filling,” which, yes, is the lesser of two evils, but keep in mind that, “The lesser of two evils” is what Freemason conspiracy theorists say about elected officials while being asked why they don’t vote. This was a limited edition snack option, along with the equally reprehensible “Candy Cane” flavor, which just, eww, gross.
We understand why Jell-O would bring this out as a limited edition seasonal item. There are maybe five people in America who think, “oh, Gingerbread Jell-O pudding, that’ll go perfect with my Candy Cane Jell-O pudding, what a delight!” and there are probably a few hundred people with personal food blogs that think to themselves, “Oh, I can post a taste-test review of this limited edition Jell-O, the internet must know how it tastes!” And of course, there are thousands of people who will buy stupid and weird limited-time-only foods because, hey, it’s cheap, and maybe it’s alright, and even if it’s bad, it’s something new, so why not give it a shot. This is the exact logic that was in play when “Cherry Chocolate Diet Dr. Pepper” briefly became a thing you could purchase and drink, as opposed a handful of words haphazardly strung together by a recent stroke patient.
Either way, people purchased Gingerbread Jell-O. That’s a true statement, and those people can never take back what they did. They have to live with the fact that they put powder into water to make a mushy pudding that tastes like gingerbread which, we might point out, is something that doesn’t quite entice the taste buds when it’s damp and soaked in water. So yeah, wet gingerbread pudding. Good job, Jell-O.
There is a website devoted to selling Gingerbread M&Ms, which is no longer available in stores, straight to your door. Twelve nine ounce bags cost you one hundred dollars. They’re “freshest” before September of this year, so some of you might say, “Oh darn, I missed out, I wish I had known” to which we would reply, “Get the fuck off of our website, you damn fool.” The website in question also tries to sell you a whole bunch of M&M flavors that have appeared on this website before in a rather unflattering light. That should be your warning.
“These yummy M&Ms are a great treat!” says the website we linked to at the beginning of this section in an attempt to sell you this seasonal candy. “There are more one star reviews for this craptastic flavor than any other rating” Amazon.com’s users responded. There’s a reason why you pick the M&Ms off the gingerbread house instead of eating them by the handful along with hunks of gingerbread, and the visceral hatred of these M&Ms by people tricked into spending money on them helps remind you that. “Yuck…Never again!” says Kyle of Henderson, Nevada. “I gave them to my neighbor who didn’t like them and said she’d give them to her husband and if he didn’t like them they would make nice dog treats” says Southern Vet from Southaven, Mississippi who should really tell his neighbor that chocolate can poison dogs. “I love gingerbread I really do. I do not love these gingerbread M&M’s; they taste like poo,” adds WriteStuff76 who actually stuck with the limerick-poem approach for their entire review.
M&Ms are not a thing that tastes good in gingerbread form. These are bad, and gross, and wrong. If you believe otherwise, you can leave a comment below defending your bad tastes in candy, but no one in our staff will be able to read it, on account of our eyes rolling hard enough to temporarily blind us.
Whenever we need to find a soda that tastes like something that would taste gross in soda form, we know we can always count on Jones Soda Company. And sure enough, Jones delivered, having released the Jones Soda Ginger Bread Soda on at least two occasions in their holiday pack that only exists as a gag gift that your asshole Secret Santa bought you, cackling maniacally as you look at the flavors and exclaim, “Green Bean Casserole? What the actual fuck, you guys?”
Granted, as far as novelty sodas go, gingerbread at least deigns to be sweet. “Sure, we can put some honey or molasses in this, if you insist,” gingerbread drolls, probably in a British accent. Gingerbread is kind of smarmy. But we digress. Despite the fact that a gingerbread soda is probably a better soda idea than, say, goddamn turkey, that still doesn’t make it the ideal sugary beverage delivery vessel. As a general rule, if you’re going to try to sell us ginger bread in liquid form, we’re going to rebel against it. And God help you if you use gingerbread to ruin alcohol for us.
Southern Comfort Gingerbread Spice
You goddamn assholes. You motherless sons of Medea. Listen, we’re not going to be losing over sleep at the ruination of Southern Comfort. That’s not the issue here. Does a gingerbread flavored version of Southern Comfort taste like something we would want to sit down and drink? No, it probably tastes like a whiskey soaked piece of cardboard sprinkled with brown sugar. But, is Southern Comfort something we actively seek out to drink? No, we’d wager that the slight majority of Americans have only bought a bottle of the stuff without using a fake ID. Southern Comfort is only good in the sense that it’ll get you drunk and that we don’t feel guilty downing it as a chilled shot with lime juice.
But the bastards couldn’t even let us have that. Because in making their gingerbread spice Southern Comfort, they lowered the alcohol content to 15%, which is basically an uncarbonated gingerbread-flavored Four Loko as far as we’re concerned. Fuck gingerbread spice Four Loko Southern Comfort so hard.
Gingerbread Keurig K-Cup Coffee
People like Keurig coffee because it’s an astonishingly easy way to prepare a single cup of coffee, and it’s the only instant coffee maker that doesn’t taste like someone took a cup of hot water with some black food coloring and whispered, “you should try to taste like coffee” into it before handing it your way. That is to say, it’s fine, in the sense that you’d rather have it available in your office, but you’re not going to reach for it if you really want a good cup of Joe. Hey, we get it, convenience is important, and brewing a pot of coffee is a lot harder than putting a little cup in a machine that pees out morning wake up juice for you.
But the problem with K-cups is that, especially when you want to get other flavors in the mix, you’re more often than not going to end up with something a little more watered-down than you’d truly like. Sure, your dark roasts will be robust enough to get past that, but we’re going to hesitantly raise our hand to point out that, no matter what your intentions are, if you make a gingerbread coffee K-cup, you are guaranteeing that your coffee with taste distinctly of “watered-down gingerbread, with a smack of coffee.” So if a watery coffee with a gingerbread aftertaste is your idea of a fun time, we don’t have to finish that sentence because it is explicitly no one’s idea of a good time. The only nice thing we can say about this is that, if they’re going to use gingerbread to ruin coffee, it’s pretty bad, but unlike Southern Comfort, it at least doesn’t ruin booze as well…
SON OF A BITCH. This limited-edition holiday offering was released in 2012, possibly in a failed bid to coax the purported Mayan 2012 apocalypse out from its slumber in a rage. They even suggested a martini recipe for it—the Kalúa Cookie Martini, which takes ½ part Kalúa, 1 and ½ parts Absolut Vodka, and two hours of you slamming your head onto a wooden table saying, “Why do I hurt myself so? Why do I hurt myself so?” Make no mistakes, this is an awful idea that the more paranoid among our staff are convinced was intentionally created just to piss us off. The only way they could be more insulting to the general tenants of this website would be to dip an American Flag in this shit, set the whole thing ablaze, and then tell us that meat is murder.
This isn’t what the holidays are about, folks. Winter and fall should be about warm fires, and watching large men hurl themselves at other large men for the sole purpose of giving you a socially acceptable excuse to day drink every Sunday. It shouldn’t be about taking a “meh at best” dessert(ish) item and making good things worse by adding that flavor to it. If you take Kalúa and mix it with milk and vodka, you get a White Russian, which is delicious, and you probably get a very strong desire to see The Big Lebowski, which is a classic film. If you take Kalúa and put artificial gingerbread flavor in it, you get a family that doesn’t talk to you anymore. Don’t drink gingerbread Kalúa. Stop trying to make everything gingerbread. You’ll be much happier if you stick with peppermint as your seasonal flavor, and leave it at that.
This has been a public service announcement. Keep gingerbread in cookies and houses. Sponsored by the Starbucks Gingerbread Latte, just 320 calories per 16 ounce serving, feel the warmth of the season.