Tuesday, June 18, 2019

The Great "Big Red Cake" Taste Test - Part 1

So, we moved to Arizona in 2002.  And in 2003 I went to cook up some barbecue, and as part of that equation, I headed to the soda aisle.  It's a bit old school, but it's kind of a Texas tradition to drink Big Red Soda with your BBQ.  To my shock, they didn't have it.  That would be grounds for dismissal in Texas - we always have Big Red in any soda selection of quality.

I started looking around at convenience stores and other groceries, then finally asked my co-workers, and none of them knew what I was talking about.  Apparently Big Red is pretty regional.

So:  Big Red is a "red cream soda".  You can shorten that to "cream soda" and assume it's been colored red.  It has nothing to do with Big Red the cinammon-flavored chewing gum, so get that our of your head right now.  If you've had A&W Cream Soda or Dr. Brown's... something like that.  Only... redder.

I don't really drink sugar soda or any soda other than soda water these days (love me some Topo Chico), but every once in a while I still sneak a Big Red.  You don't need much... it's pure sugar.

HEB is a Texas-based grocery chain, and every once in a while they like to just mess with people and their weird Texas obsessiveness.  And that's how, I think, we ended up with a Big Red Soda Cake.

I've always heard about soda cakes, but never had one.  Fortunately, as you can see, after Jamie spotted it at the store and some frantic messaging, she brought it home.

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We have cake.  We have soda.  We are not @#$%ing around.

we unsheath the cake.

Evidence.  This is happening.

we waft the scent of the cake towards us.  It is a sweet, cakey smell.  Yeah, I can smell the distinctive notes of Big Red Cream Soda.

The odor in our nostrils, we consider the journey ahead

man, that really smells like Big Red

that's a feature, not a big

we prepare to cut into this wonderful beast

oh, yeah.  This is what it looks like from above, btw

behold, the first slice

the first taste, cake on my finger

okay, okay... promising.  Very sweet, but it IS cake and Big Red

Let's not forget where we came from.  

stupid... lid

built in bottle opener

checking for similarities, make sure I wasn't fooled

that there is the quality bouquet of a fine Texas Big Red

Jamie said I should drink from the bottle, but we are a civilized people at The Signal Watch

one more sniff

okay, okay, no more stalling.  It smells like Big Red.

so...  okay...

hey, that's... a hell of a lot of sugar.  I mean, I can taste the Big Red, but that is a bomb of sugar.  Which is not bad.

gotta make sure I'm right

yeah, that's definitely sugar with a hint of Big Red

I mean, you could do worse...  

but what sort of monster turns down more sugar?  And with Big Red?

cleanse the 'ol palette

We come to our conclusion

This is A LOT OF SUGAR.  I've really been eating less sugar the past couple of years, and this is not that.  This is all the sugar.

I like cake, and it is that, so points for that.  It is also definitely a grocery store cake, and thus has that certain Office Cake je ne sais quoi.  Points deducted.

Honestly, I hoped for more Cream Soda flavor, but it IS a cake, so it's in there in butter, sugar and fat.  In my opinion, it's better than you'd expect, less like Big Red aside from the odor, but a good novelty to drop at a summer party.  Kids would go bananas for it.

NEXT UP:  Jamie taste tests the cake.


Paul Toohey said...


J.S. said...

I think you need to post a disclaimer at the beginning of these taste tests letting everyone know that the tester was the single most enthusiastic endorser of the McRib of all time.

The League said...

You've clearly forgotten my Blaze of Glory conclusion to my McRib eating which happened in your living room years ago. It was The Night Ryan Ate 3 McRibs at Once and Hated Himself For It.

Paul Toohey said...

I ate two McRibs once and it was horrible...I can't imagine how much worse three would have been.

The League said...

Honestly, I knew it was a bad idea before I unwrapped the third one, but I felt I'd committed to the idea.

horus kemwer said...

This is poetry, sir.

The League said...

it is my pleasure to share this knowledge with the world, sir