So apparently food companies are convinced if they sprinkle a little peppermint or gingerbread stuff into absolutely any food whatsoever, we silly holiday idiots will scarf it down like it came straight from the manger.
And they're totally right.
For instance: I recently discovered Target sold something called "Holiday Milk," and this milk came in alarming flavors and colors like "Red Velvet Chocolate," which, according to the packaging, is not only "Limited Holiday Edition" but also "Contains milk." And hoo boy, is it red. Like, slightly brown, scare-the-children red.
I bought it immediately and decided to test the wares out at a fancy dinner party (fancy in that there were several types of forks and everyone kept their shoes on during the meal). Let me say this: If you want to be a star at a get-together, whip out a carton of fancy milk. Though we were giggly and high on creamed collard greens and fully prepared to be horrified, we ended up clutching our fancy little cups like happy children.
It was delicious. Like very thick milk, almost a shake, with a cake-like flavor that resembled red velvet about as much as a glass of milk ever could. Though the color was still off-putting, someone astutely pointed out that we don't really have any problem drinking brown milk, and perhaps in the future people like myself won't hold such prejudices against oddly colored dairy drinks.
So, there you have it. Target, your red velvet milk is pretty darn good.
That being said, just because one weird holiday foodstuff is better than expected doesn't mean we should blithely give a pass to the ridiculous snacks Big Food waves in front of our hungry, hungry faces. That doesn't mean it should be OK for Pringles to release a White Chocolate Peppermint potato chip, knowing full well we will laugh and pooh-pooh, but still stand in the chip aisle at the grocery store, mumbling to ourselves like crazy people when we can't find it.
I couldn't find it, so instead I must defer to Gawker's full review of the holiday-themed potato chips, which are, as far as we know, mostly composed of potato:
"...the chocolate and peppermint flavor lingers long after you finish munching. This is because every bite covers your lips and mouth in a thin layer of oil."
Oh, there are more. The lyrical-on-purpose Pear Tree soda from the mad scientists at Jones. The mental exercise that is "Hot Cocoa Ice Cream." These are what food companies offer as edible interpretations of "holiday cheer" and these are the things we will buy time after time, because we are suckers who love eating things and buying stuff that's weird.
In fact, I am drinking some red velvet milk as I type this. And I am not ashamed.