A MUST TO AVOID: 360S
My friend and colleague Noel Murray's recent blog post dislodged a traumatic food experience worth sharing, if only so no one else out there makes the same mistake I did this Tuesday. Hungry for a snack, I hit our vending machine and picked up a bag of something called 360s after a cursory glance at packaging promising cheese and pretzels. Thinking it was a rip-off of Combos, a snack favorite since their introduction in the '80s, I opened the package to be greeted by orange pellets that practically glowed. These weren't pieces of cheese surrounded by pretzels; these were pretzels surrounded by cheese. The packaging promised "real cheese" but the "cheddar" looked instead like pieces of clay covered in glaze.
They tasted much the same. I downed three pellets and shared one with a co-worker before trashing them. I'm no stranger to junk food, but this looked like some human equivalent of dry dog food.
The weird thing is you shouldn't have any trouble avoiding them. When I Googled them I found only sites that sold food in bulk to fundraising groups. One contained this note: "Due to the nature of this item, we do not accept returns for this product." I can only imagine some poor Boy Scout in Duluth who has to live with a closet of these once word-of-mouth got out. So how did they end up in an office in Chicago? The mystery deepens.