You know what these are. You might deny it, but, come on. You can tell.
Even with the sleek packaging and the cool name promising an “Epic” experience, (though it delivers), you know.
It’s clear even though each parcel is veiled with the requisite hipster labels: “100% natural,” “X g. Protein,” the predictable “Sriracha” and the inevitable, “Gluten Free.”
There’s chicken, because that’s what’s for dinner anymore. And it’s NOT beef. It’s bison, the cow’s sophisticated cousin from the range.
You knew what these REALLY were from the moment you flipped the pretty package over and saw the enticing block of melded meat parts, albeit including cranberries, the tight-fitting plastic wrap clutching the treat within.
These are the next generation of on-the-go meat snacks. But you won’t find them sold at a service station. They rest in woven baskets at gourmet, high-end and unique food stores. They sit waiting for the lucky consumer in bins at the exclusive corner market in Brooklyn, and yes, at our favorite grocery mecca, Trader Joe’s.
Come on. You knew it: Beneath the slick wrapper and trendy words, these are your old friend Slim Jim with an advanced degree in delicious. “Stout James,” you might say.
What the new set of duds and fancy stores really do are take away our Slim Jim guilt. “Look at all these great qualities,” we say, trying to fool ourselves that Epic treats are more energy bar than meaty meat bomb.
We’re wrong, of course. But it’s a nervous, naughty, joyful wrong. When Epic slips out of his pop packaging, this bad boy’s all Jimbo. Healthier, classier, but still. Wink.
And while we’re devouring every speck, we choose to ignore the truth for a giddy glimpse of gas station bliss.