The Blogger Games II – Week 1

Paul, over at the Captain’s Speech hosted the first ever blogger games last year during the Summer Olympics. It was a fun time. The competition was fierce and although I made the podium once during the five week games, I didn’t place in the end. Well, the time is nigh for that to change. Peckapalooza from The Confusing Middle, one of my fellow contestants in the first games, has negotiated organizing rights with Paul and is hosting The Blogger Games II just in time to coincide with the winter games. Enough said. Let’s play!

The Blogger Games II – Week 1 (The Confusing Middle)


1. Which of the following foods will Peckapalooza refuse to eat under any circumstances? A) Chocolate B) Spinach C) Broccoli D) Peanut Butter

Answer: B) Spinach. I reject Peckapalooza’s claim to being a grown-up adult.

2. What is most frequently Peckapalooza’s go to bowl of cereal? A) Frosted Flakes B) Cinnamon Toast Crunch C) Rice Krispies D) Honey-Nut Cheerios

Answer: A. Frosted Flakes. It’s a toss-up between Frosted Flakes and Cinnamon Toast Crunch so I went with my gut (and avoiding two B answers in a row). My personal go-to cereal is Cheerios (standard, but China’s variation on the cereal which is much more crunchy and robust. Vastly superior to the US version in my opinion).

3. Peckapalooza [claims] he doesn’t have much of a sweet tooth, but which kind of pie does he consider the best? A) Apple B) Pumpkin C) Key Lime D) Lemon Merengue

Answer: C) Key Lime Pie. After Lemon Merengue, this is one of the worst pies in my opinion. Too sweet. That’s right! I’m throwing down and risking it all by challenging the judge. Just call me reckless. I’m a Pumpkin and Apple pie kinda guy.

4. What is the only drink Peckapalooza will order at Starbucks? A) Pumpkin Spice Latte B) Caramel Apple Spice C) Caramel Macchiato D) White Chocolate Mocha w/ Raspberry

Answer: D) White Chocolate Mocha w/ Raspberry. I’ve never even heard of this one, but it’s the least coffee-like drink on the list (and white chocolate isn’t really chocolate). Also since Peckapalooza is a monster and doesn’t prefer pumpkin or apple pie, that eliminated two of the other options. Oh, and who knew Raspberry had a “p” in it??? I certainly never did. When the red squiggle line came up I was convinced some one messed with the editor’s dictionary.

5. Which condiment would Peckapalooza never put on a hot dog? A) Mayonnaise B) Ketchup C) Mustard D) Chili

Answer: A) Mayonnaise. Because despite my contentious comments earlier I don’t believe Peckapalooza is a monster. Also Chili is a topping not a condiment in my book.

6. As a kid, when enjoying a glass of chocolate milk, what did Peckapalooza use to change the white milk to chocolate? A) Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup B) Ovaltine C) Nestle Quik D) Swiss Miss Cocoa Mix

Answer: C) Nestle Quik. Because Peckapalooza is a child of the 80’s. Would Swiss Miss even work in cold milk?

7. Which fast food chain did Peckapalooza avoid until his early teens because he mistakenly believed that, as a picky eater, he could not specially request what he wanted? A) Burger King B) Taco Bell C) Subway D) Wendy’s

Answer: A) Burger King. Because it’s reasonable as a kid to think you can’t make demands of a king. And while Peckapalooza’s food tastes are a bit unreasonable, he is actually a very reasonable guy.

8: What is Peckapalooza’s favorite flavor of Pop-Tart? A) Apple Cinnamon B) Grape C) Frosted Strawberry D) Unfrosted Strawberry

Answer: D) Unfrosted Strawberry. Because there has to be at least one instance that backs up Peckapalooza’s claim of not being a sweet-tooth.

9. What is Peckapalooza’s preferred salad dressing? A) Thousand Island B) Ranch C) Honey Mustard D) Italian

Answer: A) Thousand Island. Because it is the best at hiding the vegetables (a toss-up with Ranch to be honest).

10) Which of the following topping combinations does Peckapalooza like on his pizza? A) Chicken, Bacon, and Sausage B) Pepperoni and Mushrooms C) Ham and Pineapple D) Peppers, Onions, and Sausage

Answer: B) Pepperoni and Mushroom. A classic. And mushrooms are the least vegetable vegetable there is. Option A, which is all meat, is a red-herring.

Monty’s Turn:

When Peckapalooza asks for a food story, you gotta deliver (in 30 minutes or less):

Ode to Soy

by Monty Vern (originally published in Monty’s Almanac 202x)

“Iron Sponge” – this is what you get when you source your tofu from a co-op’s bulk tofu barrel in Vermont during the 80’s and fry thick slabs of it seasoned only by the cast iron skillet.

“Iron Sponge”

Also known as “Torture by Tofu”, these healthy meals were a scaring introduction into the curdish world of soy. 

“Tofu Patties” – this is what you turn to when you take an ethics class about animal rights during senior year in college and are too lazy to read the counterarguments.

“Tofu Pattie”

If not for the illicit juices infiltrating these babies from the tortured cow patties cooked on the very same cafeteria grill and heavy overdoses of condiments all squeezed between bouncy buns, these might have cured me of senioritis. But to this day I haven’t read the counterarguments…I’ve just “conveniently forgot” the arguments in the first place.

“Silk de le Soy” – this, my friends, is a spiritual awakening in tofu form. A delicate tapestry of flavors and textures that serenade one’s tongue. A gift from the Sun gods to the chosen people.

One shouldn’t  complain or be too envious – they did after all give us  Mario, Luigi, and magic mushrooms. For me, this tofu epiphany came presented in a humble miso soup prepared by the mama-san of the company dormitory. Perfection.


“Dofu Delicacies” – having been enlightened, it was time to move on to the OG of soy (and seemingly all culture as we know it). It doesn’t take long when your living in China to learn that a delicacy is more about delighting the spectators of the poor laowai struggling to keep their stomach from turning upside down than any sort of culinary pleasure. Dofu is no exception. What’s beautiful about the Chinese is that they don’t mess around with euphemisms , with names like “stinky dofu” from Zhejiang to “hairy dofu” from Anhui , you know exactly what you’re getting.

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“Stinky Tofu”

So, there you have it. My life in tofu. Wherever you are in your tofu discovery journey, I raise my glass (or more accurately my bowl) of soymilk to you wishing you health and joy and ever’ soy.

Be well,