Off Topic: Surprises In Snacks
This week has brought some interesting surprises. A couple days ago, Tina bit into a bright green, unblemished tomato that we got from the harvest festival and discovered that all the seeds inside the tomato had sprouted! She cut open each side of the tomato to discover that indeed all the seeds had sprouted and there were little tomato plants growing inside her otherwise perfect tomato.
A day later, I was eating a bag of Doritos brand nacho cheese flavored tortilla chips at work when I looked in the bag to discover a fairly large lump of orange material. I assumed it was the "cheese" and spices clumped together in a solid mass. Talk about a couple of unexpected surprises in mundane snacks.
Here's a picture of Tina's tomato with two of the sides removed. You can see the sprouts clearly growing out. Gross and fascinating at the same time.
Here it is with more sides removed.
A close up of the other side of the tomato.
After much discussion, we've decided that we don't have the space to grow tomatoes in our small condo and this variety probably isn't a variety that we're that interested in growing anyway (especially if the offspring start sprouting prematurely). We haven't thrown it away, though. The tomato is sitting on a plate on our dining table where it continues to grow.
After finishing my bag of Doritos, I took the extra lump home and weighed it. This chunk of seasoning was 14 g (with the net contents of the bag marked as 49.6 g). That means I consumed 28% less chips than I expected to (probably better for me). Still, a call to Doritos was in order.
I dialed 1-800-352-4477 and spoke to a man named Quincy. I described what I had found to him and he said that it sounded like it was an accidental inclusion of the accumulation of seasoning. Occasionally, these seasoning accumulations make it through cooking and find their ways into bags. The oil used to cook the chips probably causes the clumping and the cooking keeps the lump from separating. Frito-Lay (the company that owns Doritos) considers this to be a foreign object and compensates consumers who discover foreign objects in their products. The compensation for the bag of chips? Quincy said he's mailing me a packet of Frito-Lays coupons including three free product coupons, each worth over $3. Not bad considering I didn't have to eat the seasoning lump to claim my prize.