By Simon Li, Eric Yang, and Jonah Ruddock
The school store is an integral part of East’s culture, and although many students purchase food and drinks from it daily, no one has ever before conducted an objective and thorough analysis of the store’s bountiful fare. On December 1st, we purchased one of every snack and beverage available and ranked them according to value and quality. It was an experience that has left us fundamentally altered, both physically and spiritually. We have braved unspeakable things for the sake of science. We faced these eldritch horrors in order to bring truth to the common man at East.
Our panelists are the renowned food scholar and massive internet sensation Eric Yang (creator of Gumpshroom Gambling), major school store benefactor Simon “4” Li, and jonah ruddock.
Value has been calculated by rating over cost (from one to ten) to calculate how many value points you get for each cent you spend. (For example, a score of .01 on a 1 dollar item would mean you got .01 points for each cent, adding up to a rating of 1 overall). For the purposes of this article, all value scores will be rounded to three decimal places. To counteract skew in the data, we have taken the median of the values, as the median is immune to skewed distributions.
The classic flaming hot snacks–what could go wrong with them? Well, as it turns out, a lot. The appealing packaging gave way for disappointment after disappointment, with the general consensus that the numerous varieties were trying too hard. To start, the lime flavored Cheetos and the Flamin’ Hot Doritos proved that sometimes keeping it simple is the best course of action. The flavors did not lend to each other well, leading to clashes and discord. In the case of the Flamin’ Hot Funyuns, Eric described it as “sour… why is it sour???”
The one exception to the rule were the classic Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, with one of the lowest value scores of the entire inventory, an impressive average value of .093 points per cent. The original Flamin’ Hot was able to deliver by sticking to its roots and not overcomplicating its delicate yet simple formula. Several members of the council also noted that the Flamin’ Hot Crunchy Cheetos had a satisfying texture. In the words of Simon: “Solid crunchy Cheetos.”
It is important to note that however badly the Flamin’ Hot snacks did, on average, they did impressively better than the rest of the snacks. Take our opinions with a tiny grain of salt (or a pebble).
After Simon shared a traumatic childhood incident in which he almost choked to death on a Frito, Jonah gleefully rated them a 10/10, showing the truly sadistic side of our panelist. In addition, the devil himself added, “Fritos are like the chips you get at Chinese restaurants, but worse.” Clearly, Jonah has only rated this vulgar snack as highly as he has to put off our valued colleague Simon.
Sadly, we could only get our hands on one flavor of Ruffles: Sour Cream Cheddar. With the only dissenting vote coming from Bozo-Beta Bimon Li (he couldn’t stand the flavor combination), the crinkly potatoes earned a solid .093 overall score. Eric had an extremely insightful, helpful, intelligent, great, enlightening, superb, amazing, insightful, and all around beneficial comment to add, noting that “it’s hard to start eating them, but once you eat them, you like them.”
The Sun Chips came in three flavors: Harvest Cheddar, French Onion, and Garden Salsa. They ranked very well, thanks to their excellent flavor and texture. They were some of the most enjoyable chips in the category. We would like to thank the CEO of Frito Lay, parent company of Sun Chips, Steven Williams, for granting us this brief reprieve from the otherwise rocky chips section.
The Veggie Straws Ranch and Sea Salt performed consistently well amongst us (!), with an overall rating of .067 for both. They had a crunch to die for. With a light and airy inside and a brittle outside, they resembled the bones of a bird. However, the entire council agreed that the green straws were objectively the worst out of the bunch–like Simon in our council, a rotten apple that shows up in every bushel, or the bugs that fall in your soup (they taste very bad).
Overall, the chips section did better than projected, considering the basicicity (n. the state of being basic) of the foods.
Unfortunately, due to the sheer length of this article and the current paper shortage, we have made the executive decision to split up the review into three parts, so stay tuned for the next issue of the East Side News.
Lastly, we would like to thank our crew members: Daren Liu, Ben Keim, Aditya Gupta, Pen Fang, Sophie Zhu, Thomas Jordanov, Mathew Li, Mr. Huber (who had the misfortune of witnessing Jonah drink a combination of five different drinks through a green sea salt veggie straw), and the poor soul working at the school store between 12 to 3 pm on December 1st, 2021.