Thursday, April 12, 2007

A Layman’s Guide to Chunk Drinking

Part of the joy of drinking drinks with chunks is that you're never quite sure what you are going to get. The majority of them are of Asian origin and as my language stills don’t stretch outside of Europe it means I can base my purchase decisions only on odd bits of English that may accidentally make their way onto the packaging or visual clues in the graphic design. ("Is that a serving suggestion or is that stuff really in it?")

This danger factor is part of the attraction, and we at Drinks with Chunks are not the first thirst quenching adrenalin junkies to be drawn by it. The flashy looking but rarely updated Crazy Asian Drinks has been documenting the same car crash love of these unusual foreign refreshments since 2000, and together we hope to keep your rubber necking love of extreme soft drinks at bay.

If, however, you are thinking of stepping over into the dangerous and exciting world of chunky drink drinking, then let me offer this handy guide.

Step One: Identify a possible chunk retailer. Your best bet is a Chinese supermarket but any Far-Eastern food wholesaler is good, and Indian and Caribbean shops are also worth a try. Go in and head straight for the fridge. This was found in a Chinese supermarket in Spain. Drinks with Chunks are no respecters of geographical or language barriers.

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Step Two: You need to identify possible chunk containing drinks. Some, in glass bottles, are easy to spot, and following that those that show very obvious chunks on the packaging. Also, the occasional English words that creep onto the packaging can give clues. Look out in particular for ‘jelly,’ ‘pearl barley,’ or ‘kernels.’ The can above was picked from a selection that included some coconut based drinks much like those reviewed previously. I hoped that the large round green thing pictured may contain chunkage but couldn’t be sure.

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Step Three: If in doubt, shake it. In this case it didn't help but it can make you look funky in the shop.

Step Four: Buy the drinks (I like to buy in bulk so I've always got a selection in the fridge for chunk craving emergencies) and take them to a safe place.

Step Five: To fully appreciate the glutinous drinking pleasure of a good chunky drink you will need a clear work surface, a glass, and occasionally small hand tools for chunk extraction. As far as possible remove any extraneous distractions. You will also need a camera to properly document the experience.

Step Six: Shake, open, and pour. It's worth perfecting a technique of doing this with one hand whilst holding the camera in the other, just in case of a sudden slopping sludge moment, that makes a great capture. Good chunk p()rn also shows the remaining slops you couldn't quite squeeze out of the container, bukkaka settling action in the glass, and the string of pearls around the rim.

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As you can see, the example can has turned out to be another sticky watery disappointment and at this point it is customary to weep.

Step Seven: Drink up. Enjoy the chunks. Roll it around your mouth. Get a feel for it. Taste it on different parts of your palette. Is it like anything else? How does it smell? What does the texture remind you of? Is it a true "meal in a glass?"

This was fairly sweet and sticky but lacked any distinct fruit flavour. Maybe just very slightly peachy. Nothing interesting to report in any other respect.

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Step Eight: Scoring. Simple marks out of ten in five categories, see below. The only thing left then is to get the photos in the flickr group and write up the blog post. Easy as that.

If you think you'd like to get your lips around some chunky goodness and you're enough of an exhibitionist to want to share that with the world please get in touch as more contributors are always welcome. [gussetatgmaildotcom]


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