Recently I made some disparaging remarks
about a new food item-concept in a post about the taco truck
lamenting that the crispycone was all we had to look forward to in a
world without our Mexican mobile eats. Mind you, that may still be true
but then I thought, have I become such an old man that I’m
things before I try them? Maybe the lack of street food is better for
our collective health. Maybe modern technology has come to a
point where they can invent quality sustenance for the masses, in a
tasty portable design. And why not have the marketplace dictate what we
eat, let the "natural" laws of supply and demand sort out what we
need: have they ever been wrong before? So in the effort to
horizons” I said, por que no, let’s have a go at the
Crispycone! Read on for the delicious conclusion!
Let me refresh your memory, I'm referring to the Crispycone
brand new flagship outlet that just opened at the Santa Anita
. It's a
food item that will sweep the nation, why they've even been on
Good Mourning America! And on the cover of magazines! My stars!
And if you read their website, they're all about being "environmentally
cuz cones need no utensils - Fucking Awesome!
Okay, what shall we have? I'm a crispy-virgin but choices were limited
by my boring lack of eating meat, darn! The guy at the counter said
he really liked the "Porcone", which is a carnitas cone. Get it,
Pork-cone? They sure are clever. They do have many options...
...there's scoops and scoops of them! Oh look, they have Huevos
Rancheros under the breakfast menu, which they serve all day, Orale!
I'm a fan of the HR's, might as well try the Crispycone version, maybe
the portability will
free my eating habits from the chain of the plate. And since they plan
to eventually make the cones available at the grocery store
acquainted with my new favorite frozen food. One Huevos Rancheros cone
"Would you like to make it a Conebo?"
The Guacamole cone would have been the first choice but it was nowhere
to be seen,
the picture has also mysteriously fallen off the website, probably due
to some careless
I would have taken pictures of the preparation process if it weren't
rude, but it is, so I didn't. So here goes my description:
They take a cone from the stack, not unlike an ice cream shop, the
server checks it for holes,
gets a disposable green knife and smears cold beans on the inside part
of the cone. WTF, I thought cones saved on utensils? I'm not going to
mention that it looks kinda gross when someone is spreading your beans
around a cone, no, i'm not going to mention it. Next they squirt out
just the perfect amount of "liquid egg" from some ketchup-type plastic
(the white ones in the pic) into a measuring cup, pour that
into the cone, scoop a dollop of some salsa looking tomatoey thing
into it, stir it around with another disposible green utensil,
this time a spoon, and pop it into the oven. They beep, beep the
microwave for 3 minutes and it's off and cooking! After the machine
bleeps that it's perfectly done, the cone gets a little dousing of
flakes, which melt ever so gently on the nuked egg liquid.
Considering I was only 1 of 2 people ordering, it took surprisingly
long to get my microwaved cone of goodness, fast food it ain't. But
portable it was, mine came in a nice cozy cardboard box holder, inside
a paper bag, with a heat protecting band across the cone. Hmm, sure
seems like alot of packaging for an item marketing it's "environmental"
aspects. And the box holder seems to mock the notion of portability,
this edible item has to face up lest the ingredients ooze out, unlike a
paper wrapped burrito that can flop about any which
way it likes. Oh-oh, the concept is showing cracks. Here's a free
tip: make a foil cap for the cone. You're welcome.
But let's move on, shall we?
Behold, the wave of the mobile-and-edible future! This is street food
made by committee, by designers and venture capitalists: it's
gonna be good! Nevermind that a hotpocket has them beat on all sides,
nevermind the excess packaging, for you are now in the presence of
technology, that unstoppable force that moves us ever closer to a
better world and away from our backward tendencies.
No, these ain't your papi's tacos! With the New Way, you can get
portable pizza if you choose, or maybe some Teriyaki
Chicken, even Pesto: what can your ancient tacos do, old man? Can they
turn into Huevos
Rancheros? I didn't think so!
Time to make peace with the competition, all you traditional foods have
suddenly become dated. Let's give this kickass mofo a
Oh. Not that crispy, tastes kinda like a cracker, but less tasty and
more chemically. How about another mouth-watering sample?
Hmm. The cone is just the delivery system, right? Cuz them eggs taste
funky, almost as if they'd been liquid eggs. I hope liquid eggs
microwaved for 3 minutes are not prone to Salmonella. Maybe I'm not
taking big enough bites. Let's get it on with a third bite!
Ahem, oh dear, we do seem to have a problem, all the tastebuds are
fomenting a revolt, or foaming from revulsion: something displeasurable
has come their way! Why do I want to drink water? Am I eating the
paper? Are these beans fit for human consumption? Strange, this doesn't
taste like Huevos Rancheros, maybe they gave me the wrong cone. But
when the eating gets tough, the tough get eating, chew on!
Okay, I'm making an attempt, con ganas, to eat my meal, but suddenly
the $2.50 I spent seems negligible, even after my upbringing of
te-lo-comes-todo I'm thinking this is a food habit that needs to end
before it starts. 3 other people tasted the cone, none liked it.
I tried to finish it, as I was hungry, but nothing doing; this shit is
gross, period. Seems they put all their attention on the concept,
design, branding, and packaging but overlooked that little matter of
taste. People eat things that taste good. Wacky food ideas are fun to
try but not for regular consumption. Don't they teach that in Business
It was suggested by a reasonable person that maybe I chose the worst
example to try, that maybe the pizza option would have been a better
candidate. That's a good observation but if I wanted pizza there's a Sbarro's
next door, so what's the point?
I have to sadly report that I do not recommend eating a crispycone. The
crispycone is reprehensible on many levels but mostly for the fact that
it turns food, that one human necessity we cannot forego, into a
concept divorced from any culture or practice, it becomes merely a
package of calories to keep us alive. Though it's really no different
than what Taco Bell has done with the idea of Mexican food, at least
Taco Bell tries to emulate Mexican food, even if it's an impossible
stretch. But the Crispycone people do not even have that in mind, they
want to make food, first and foremost, something that fits into a tiny
portable package, and then maybe they'll try to make it taste like
something you'd eat. They believe in the concept proposed by the movie
Soylent Green, that food is just a calorie stick, that as long as you
get your ration, and that it sorta resembles real food, all is well
Though we often eat just to sustain ourselves we are still a ways
removed from the drudgery of just eating to survive, most of us are
still choosing food by taste rather than some formula for life; lets
leave that miserable existence to the hippy vegans! :) Pizza
implies messy, stringy cheese and the challenge of getting it all into
your mouth, hopefully without too many clothing stains. Huevos
Rancheros are all about the crisp, fried tortilla under a perfect fried
egg topped with a delicious sauce: the pleasure is in the form, the
mess, the process, and the taste.
Since the cone seems to lack any qualities that might make it
worthwhile, I decided it needs to take its place in another cone, that
cone of forgetting: the dustbin of history. Bye, bye, conesy!
Food, like all other things in our Capitalist world, has become just
another commodity, a mere number in the accountants tally. The
representation of food, the untouchable notion of said item, is
becoming stronger than the actual, physical specimen. When the concept
is stronger than the real, we've moved into a dangerous territory, one
from which we will not escape unharmed.