Let me state for the record that I love Funyuns.
Oh, not for their taste. Because in relation to other snacks they rate somewhere between Frito’s and Beggin’ Strips.
No, I love Funyuns because they are the best example of American processed and marketed food that I could find in the grocery store. Here’s a snack that works so hard to be seen as onion rings. They’re shaped like onion rings. They’re given onion flavoring. Hell, even their name rhymes with “onions” – a portmanteau of “fun” and “onion” (Itself a clear sign that the copywriter who came up with the name doesn’t know the real meaning of “fun”).
And yet the Funyun is very much a corn product. five out of the first six ingredients are corn based (Corn meal, corn oil, maltodextrin, corn starch, corn flour). Part of me wonders if Frito-Lay is ashamed of Funyun’s corn heritage. Would sales be that adversely affected if they decided to call them onion flavored corn rings?
This particular bag of Funyuns is a nice twofer in the Supermarket Finds category, as these have been given a “Wasabi” flavor. Here’s a quick fact about Wasabi – even if you’ve been to a Sushi restaurant here in the States, you’ve probably haven’t had a taste of the stuff. That green stuff you find next to the pickled ginger and soy sauce most likely contains no true wasabi at all. Most are simply a powdered imitation made from horseradish, mustard seed, and green food coloring.
Which means that the artificial onion rings have been given an artificial flavor based off an artificial taste that most people have never had. Wasabi Funyuns are the perfect Post Modern treat!