Dumbest. Packaged. Food. Ever.


You know we’re not big fans of Sandra Lee-style cheating here at ES, but I gotta be honest about something: I have a weakness for those tiny little packages of onion dip mix. Sure, it’s a long way from actual cooking, but I’ll be damned if it isn’t a great way to make sour cream hella tasty in about 15 seconds. My aunt used to serve this dip with chips every Christmas Eve and me and my brother would sit there and literally devour the entire bowl in — well, about another 15 seconds.

Yeah, I’m not ashamed to admit it — I actually get a little excited about pre-made dip mixes. So I was interested when my mom recently brought me some leftover items from one of those over-the-top gift baskets her office gets for random occasions and it included a package of roasted red bell pepper and goat cheese dip mix. ‘Yum,’ I thought. Looks like instant dips are getting a gourmet upgrade. I’m in for an even fancier 15-second dip-making experience. Then I read the fine print at the bottom of the package:

***Just add 2 red peppers and 4 oz. goat cheese.

Um, what? How can you market something as a red pepper-goat cheese dip mix when you have to go out and buy both goat cheese and red peppers to add to it?? I’m perfectly fine with anyone’s decision to either make their own dip at home or go buy something pre-made, but what’s the point of buying a pre-made mix that requires you to also buy all the main ingredients? I feel like if you’re gonna cheat, it should be easy. But I’m not gonna go to the trouble of roasting peppers and then mix them with some corn syrup crap. Enough half-measures! Either cheat or don’t cheat, right? The package even helpfully mentions that you can roast, peel, seed and clean the peppers yourself or just buy them already done in a 12-oz. jar.  So if I’m buying the peppers and goat cheese to add in, what exactly is in this package anyway?

Corn Syrup Solids, Dextrose, Garlic, Salt, Spices, Natural Flavors, Paprika Extract.

I mean, really? Was it worth someone’s time to put this together?

I’ve also got a package of artichoke and parmesan dip mix, but I refuse to go out and buy the artichoke, parmesan and sour cream needed to make it. Or am I wrong? Are these going to make the absolutely most amazing dips I’ve ever tasted? Should I go ahead and try them? Or how could I re-purpose them? Sprinkled on popcorn, maybe?

What are the most inane pre-packaged foods you’ve ever come across?

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  • ML October 19, 2009  

    Uncle Ben’s microwavable rice in a bag. WTF is that shit?

  • PlethoraOfPinatas October 19, 2009  

    The other day I saw single bell peppers shrink-wrapped on a styrofoam tray. Not the “traffic-light” trio, but a single green bell pepper! What’s next? Pre-chopped? Or how about a choice of sliced, chopped, minced, or julienned?

  • Summer October 19, 2009  

    I still think the Smuckers Uncrustables pre-made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are inane. Who can’t make a PB&J sandwich? My son could make them for himself when he was FIVE.

    But then again, at least Uncrustables actually CONTAIN peanut butter and jelly. It’s not as if they’ve marked a gourmet peanut butter and jelly sandwich-making kit, and inside the box is nothing but a butter knife!

  • Nicholas October 19, 2009  

    Not so much stupid as questionable, but almost everything in Asia with an English translation gives me that ‘Who would ever buy something called this?’ feeling.

    Case in point: ‘thousand year black beat oat fiber digestion biscuits.’ Don’t get me wrong, they taste amazing, but the packaging ruins it.

  • JoeHoya October 19, 2009  

    The saddest part of this is that it takes something that was all-natural and adds corn syrup solids, dextrose and paprika extract.

    Thankfully, Hamilton House products are made exclusively for Wine Country Gift Baskets, so there probably aren’t a lot of people out there spending their own hard-earned money on this. Even so – I suspect you can doctor your own goat cheese and red pepper dip for the same amount of money and effort that go into this.

  • Summerfields Foods October 19, 2009  

    🙂 It looks like the package contains “Roasted Red Goat, Bell Pepper Cheese”. You probably have to supply your own roasted red goat too.

  • wibia October 19, 2009  

    ha ha, love this.

  • wibia October 20, 2009  

    ha ha, love this.
    P.S. – Sorry, forgot to tell you great post!

  • BS's Mom October 20, 2009  

    Now you know why I gave those two dips to you.

  • FS October 22, 2009  

    that dip was sooo good it made us eat the carrots and broccli when we ran out of chips!

  • Rivrdog May 25, 2013  

    Then, there’s the engineering FUBAR: A large dollop of glue was used to make sure the little package of Hamilton’s Horse didn’t fall out of the gift basket. Upon unwrapping the gift basket and tugging on the little package, the directions for re-constitution of the dip tore off. That was really a good thing, though, since I had to Google Hamilton House, and found all these rants to tell me that the next basket to host this dreadful drek would be my wastebasket.

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