Save the Children: The Lunchables Taste Test

The other week, I created a pizza Frankenstein known as the Pizza-Flavored Pizza, where I created a pizza that was topped only with pizza-flavored ingredients. It was wonderful and stupid, just like me.

But that day, I rediscovered Kraft Lunchables. My parents never bought me Lunchables when I was a kid, and I would always be jealous of the other children who brought them for school lunch. Back then, it was just the lunch meat, cheese, and cracker variety, which was pretty simple. There’s something fun about assembling your own food when you are a kid. Piecing together a nice dish is the grownup version of Lunchables, when you think about it. Really, deep inside, we are all still children. In fact, I’m half-man and all child.

School is starting now, and many kids will be sent to school with Lunchables. In our modern times, Lunchables have been taken to a whole new horrifying level. By my estimation, there’s at least 20 varieties, and they are starting to get insane.

“Dannis Ree,” I said to myself, “It’s time to eat.”

Lunchables All

For this taste test, I purchased as many different varieties of Lunchables as I could. My trip took me to three stores. This is how dedicated I am to destroying my body. I am the culinary version of a savior.

I decided that I would only eat the lunch varieties of Lunchables without the snacks (many of the bigger packages come with chips or extra crackers) or the sugary drinks like Capri Sun or Kool-Aid. I did buy a few breakfast items, but I’ll save those for a time where I actually hit rock bottom (tomorrow).

Lunchables Regular

My first foray into disappointment was the regular version of Lunchables. 

I started with the Turkey and Cheddar, along with the Ham and American packaged lunchboxes. Harvey and Mr. Bee were optimistic at this point. So was I.

Lunchables Regular Prepared

This shit drove over a cliff real quick. 

First of all, see that photo? Those are two different meats, yet they are almost the same shade of pink-gray. The one on the left is turkey, the one on the right is ham. The turkey has a strange spongy texture and an insanely powerful hit of fake smoke. And it doesn’t taste like meat. It’s honestly one of the strangest things I’ve eaten in a while, which is saying a lot since my diet basically consists of food you find in a dumpster.

The ham doesn’t have much flavor either. And the cheese looks like regular slices of cheese, but again, neither of them have much flavor. I like cheddar cheese, and I like American cheese, but somehow Kraft managed to take all the flavor out of both.

Also, the ham had a piece of bone in it. Kraft clearly hates children. And you.

Lunchables Burger Box

Next were the Mini Burgers. Lunchables now have a miniature burger variety that can be eaten at a lukewarm temperature. Think about that for a minute, and weep. Tears are gluten-free, so have as many of those as you want.

Harvey and Mr. Bee hugged each other for dear life. Even though they tell me they hate me sometimes, I think they were secretly worried for me.

Lunchables Burger

Look at them. Just…look at them. They looked like my testicles after that one time I ran an iron over them to see if I could get the wrinkles out.

Those are the grayest pieces of meat product I think I’ve ever seen, swiped with charcoal crayons on top. They are the size of White Castle sliders, and they come with a pair of stale buns, along with ketchup and mustard. The ketchup packet states “With Starch Added,” like that’s a good thing.

The meat has the texture of breakfast sausages and a hint of fake smoke, accompanied with the taste of absolutely nothing. How is this beef? How is this possible?

Lunchables Cricket

I gave a burger patty to Cricket to see if she would eat it.

She ran away. Then I ran away, flailing my arms.

Lunchables Kabobbles

Once I recovered, I ventured to the chicken Lunchables, including the 6-Piece Chicken Dunks (I can’t believe I just typed that) and the Chicken Popper Kabobbles (fuck, I just typed that too).

Kabobbles. I fuckin’ just said Kabobbles. Kabobbles. That’s what your mother calls my balls. Whoever thought of that name must be insanely proud of themselves. And why are these Lunchables called “Uploaded?” More like about-to-be-downloaded. Downloaded into my pants.

Lunchables Kabobbles Prepared

The Kabobbles are meant to be assembled in a strange kabob-style bite, but instead of a wooden skewer, you use a stick-shaped pretzel to spear the cheese and the miniature chicken nugget together, whereas the Chicken Dunker is just meant to go right in your hole of choice after it is dipped in sauce.

Kabobbles may be one of the stupidest things I have ever assembled and eaten. None of it makes sense. The pretzel barely holds up when you’re spearing the chicken, and the cheese doesn’t come pre-sliced. It comes in one giant block that children are apparently supposed to break apart with their filthy booger-covered fingers. It’s also very hard to eat. The assembled pretzel kabob is a choking hazard. Former President George W. Bush choked on a pretzel once, and even fainted. If he can’t eat pretzels, what’ll happen to a kid? Dead.

The Chicken Dunker is the same pre-chewed processed meat product as the tiny cute ones, just bigger. The chicken itself doesn’t taste like anything — again, I’m both impressed and confused at how Kraft managed to suck all the flavor out of meat. Now, I realize that children are picky eaters; if they are inundated with too much flavor, they’d rather starve to death (I was a kid once, I understand), but this is out of control. The barbecue sauce is a glorious corn syrup-based concoction, nothing you haven’t had before, but it thankfully has a lot of flavor. The ranch dressing, on the other hand, is bizarre – it looks like ranch, but has a strange gelatinous texture due to stabilizers and preservatives, and I can only describe it as tasting funny.

No.

Lunchables Sandwich

At this point, I was starting to feel sick. But I bravely slogged on.

Oh good, a sandwich. I like sandwiches. A ham, turkey, and cheese sandwich. I can do sandwiches.

Lunchables Sandwich Ingredients

So far, so good, except maybe for the fat-free mayo.

Lunchables Sandwich Prepared

I tried to draw a penis with the fat-free mayo, but it was difficult. I like to think of myself as a penis expert, but the fat-free mayo proved to be a difficult medium for my creepy little hands. Children should not be drawing penises on their food anyway. Same with 34-year old adults.

There was no flavor to this food either. It looks like food, and feels like food, but it tastes like nothing. I might as well have crammed the whole thing up my ass. Impressive. Kraft ruined children’s sandwiches too.

Lunchables Pizza Boxes

I’ve seen Lunchables pizza before, but never ULTIMATE DEEP DISH PIZZA.

At this point I wanted to “upload” this food into the toilet.

Lunchables Pizzas

One of the ULTIMATE DEEP DISH PIZZAS had bacon, and the other one had pepperoni. Harvey and Mr. Bee were impressed at how well I put them together, considering that the ingredients practically flew all over the place when I was artistically assembling the food.

I suppose if you squint your eyes and drink a lot of alcohol they look like miniature deep dish pizzas. They’re kind of adorable. But they don’t taste like pizza — the only thing you can taste is pizza sauce that’s loaded with sugar. If you took a tablespoon of ketchup and a tablespoon of sugar, then you have a close approximation of how sweet this sauce is.

What’s also strange is that the bacon doesn’t have much flavor to it either; the pepperoni tastes like cheap pepperoni, finally something that has flavor, but it’s eclipsed by the sauce. The crust is a little oily and gummy, so naturally I wanted to throw it like a frisbee into traffic. That’s my favorite way to get arrested.

Lunchables Nachos

At this point, I’d tried eight different varieties of Lunchables and now I was filled with preservatives. If I died right then, my body wouldn’t decompose, much like a saint’s body doesn’t decompose after they die (supposedly). I’m a goddamn saint.

My mom told me she heard a news story on the radio once about how people are eating too many preservatives in their food, and their poo isn’t breaking down in the sewers as quickly. So tomorrow, a small brown piece of me will also probably live forever, and my poo will have achieved sainthood as well.

Anyway, nachos.

Lunchables Nachos Prepared

These are fairly straightforward. Crispy tortilla chips, processed cheese, and jarred-style salsa.

Guess what? This stuff actually has flavor! The thick cheese dip tastes like cheddar dosed heavily with MSG and it’s even mildly spicy. So we’ve gone from no flavor at all to almost too much flavor. The salsa is extra sweet and it has that overly stewed tomato flavor that only jarred salsa can provide, but I wasn’t expecting much more than that. Why are we feeding children so much sugar? Diabetes, people. At this rate, children won’t be the future for long.

Lunchables Walking Taco

I don’t have to keep repeating how sick I felt at this point, but, you know. I just have to end with a bang, which sounds more like the strained watery fart of diarrhea.

Check these things out. These are Walking Taco kits. If you’ve never had Walking Tacos, they’re pretty fun to eat. Sometimes you can see them at state fairs. They start with a bag of corn chips, they’re topped with a ladleful of seasoned ground beef, along with cheese and sometimes sour cream and onions. Chicago even has a restaurant dedicated to Walking Tacos! It’s called Taco in a Bag.

Your mother tastes like a taco in a bag. She may actually be a taco in a bag.

Lunchables Walking Taco Ingredients

In case you have the eyesight of a legally blind person, the people at Kraft have decided to write the names of each packet in giant letters. I was delighted.

I especially like the fact that there’s an order you’re supposed to go in when you put these together. My favorite one is the MEAT, with the instruction, DUMP INTO CHIPS. I took a dump into some chips just last week and had that for dinner.

You know who else serves meat from a bag? Taco Bell. And as you all know, I’d have sex with Taco Bell.

Lunchables Walking Taco Prepared

Once you dump (the ingredients) into the bag, you’re supposed to microwave it for 15 measly seconds. I thought that wouldn’t be enough time, but it was plenty, because everything came out piping hot. If I didn’t already feel like a mummy due to all the preservatives I had consumed, these would have been just fine.

The meat is actually a lot like the bag meat from Taco Bell, the chili sauce is tart and tangy but not spicy, the cheese melts into a stringy mess, and the portion size isn’t terribly huge, which is a good thing. If you add a bit of sour cream, this is passable drunken orgy food. Children shouldn’t be having drunken orgies probably.

Parents, no matter how much your children wheedle and plead to you, don’t buy them Lunchables. They aren’t good for human beings, they’re filled with bullshit, and most of them just don’t taste all that great. This is coming from a guy who eats garbage every week. Make them a reasonable sandwich or send them with some decent crackers, meat, cheese, and fruit in a cool lunchbox, if they behave. Damn. I sound like the Food Babe, who might be the worst food person on earth.

If Kraft isn’t for the children, at least Wu-Tang is for the children. Rest in peace, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, aka Roll Fizzlebeef, aka Dirt McGirt, aka Big Baby Jesus, aka The Man of All Rainbows, aka Joe Bananas, aka Peanut the Kidnapper, aka Big Box O’Chili.

Kabobbles.

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  13 comments for “Save the Children: The Lunchables Taste Test

  1. Yvo
    August 25, 2015 at 10:45 AM

    What’s it say about me that reading this made me excited for some of the varieties I just ignore and now want to go buy?

    • Dennis Lee
      August 25, 2015 at 12:13 PM

      I’m trying to save you the trouble and disappointment, but sometimes, you just need to experience things for yourself.

  2. August 25, 2015 at 12:02 PM

    Corbin Whitehouse ate a pizza lunchables yesterday…..I asked how old she was.

    • Dennis Lee
      August 25, 2015 at 12:13 PM

      No.

  3. Shaffy
    August 25, 2015 at 3:05 PM

    So did you get the free plush platypus? That seems to be the only potential redeeming value in these.

    • Dennis Lee
      August 25, 2015 at 4:27 PM

      Hello this is Robot Dannis, beep beep boop boop. I did not get the platypus because I am stupid and threw away the boxes. Goddammit.

  4. Sara (@keepdancing)
    August 25, 2015 at 10:35 PM

    Oh, Dannis Ree, your creepy little hands continue to type out shit that pleases me so. So friggen funny. I was always jealous of the lunchable kids as a child. But now, thanks to you, I realize my parents just loved me more.

    • Dennis Lee
      August 25, 2015 at 11:22 PM

      Yes. They love you more than children love Lunchables.

  5. August 25, 2015 at 10:53 PM

    Are walking tacos Frito pie? We need this on the west coast!

    • Dennis Lee
      August 25, 2015 at 11:23 PM

      Actually I believe they are also called Frito Pie! Good call. So it’s nothing you haven’t seen yet! But you know, Lunchables.

      • Neurozach
        December 27, 2015 at 4:28 PM

        They definitely sound like a bastardization of what my Texas-born self grew up eating, which is Frito pie. Walking Tacos conjures terrifying, Harryhausenesque visions of stop-motion nachos chasing scantily-clad vixens from Mars, with spice-and-preservative-laden cheese sauce dripping from their salty, jagged tortilla chip mouths. In addition, it makes me think there should be a Chris Hardwick-hosted show talking about them.

        Mr. Ree, ever since your AVC adventure, I have been wending my way through your site. The only possible determination is that you’re a mad genius, which is really the only type to be. Bravo, sir! You have reduced me to a puddle of laughter-induced tears on several occasions now. I’m looking forward to further working my way back to the beginning of your adventures.

        • Dennis Lee
          December 27, 2015 at 11:38 PM

          You will see a spiral towards total self immolation. But until then, it will be hilarious! And by hilarious I mean the saddest thing in the world.

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