Five years ago, I entered college just shy of six feet tall and weighing less than 140lbs. Fast forward to the present day and I’m nearing a 190lbs. Some of this is simply, as my Gran would call it, “filling out.” I’m no longer quite the twig boy that I was during high school. Another part of my weight gain however comes from a combination of bad snacking habits combined with regular and lengthy gaming sessions. I’ve recently started changing up my diet to combat my growing gamer weight, but before I head down health food lane, I’d like to take a moment to recognize those most loved snacks that accompanied me through my younger gaming adventures. Here are my top five gaming snack foods.
5. Cinnamon Toast
Granted, my obsessions with cinnamon toast was a bit short lived, but during my first play through of Final Fantasy VIII it was a constant companion. There were about two or three months where I was going through several loaves of bread every week. I’d come home, finish up the scant bits of my remaining homework pop a few slices of bread in the toaster. Not for too long though; I was too impatient to thoroughly toast the bread and I’ve always preferred it more warm than burnt. I’d then slap on some butter, douse it in cinnamon and load up my game. Pure, simple deliciousness.
4. Chunky’s Chicken Corn Chowder
Another teenage obsession, I was at one point consuming five or six cans of this a week. This stuff was just freaking incredible. As the commercials used to claim, it was in fact a really filling meal loaded to the brim with all sorts of veggies and of course big, juicy chunks of chicken. God, I want to run to the grocery store just thinking about it. Buttermilk creaminess aside, the key to corn chowder perfection is proper heating. Piping hot is fine, but I always preferred mine a bit lukewarm. Again, it played into my impatient side and somehow the corn and chicken just seemed to taste better when it was a bit on the cooler side.
3. Oreo’s and Milk
A more recent snack, I began eating Oreo’s extensively around the time that Metal Gear Solid 4 came out. You can blame it on the lengthy cutscenes. I have a hard time just sitting watching something and while playing I rediscovered my love of Oreo’s. I would just sit there listening to Kojima’s script wax philosophic about war shoveling Oreo after Oreo in my face. I was never really hungry, Oreo’s are just so damn eatable, especially with milk. I have sensitive teeth so crunchy stuff is often a no-no, but a perfectly dipped Oreo? That’s pure heaven. It’s just too bad that they’re basically pure sugar coated with sugar, because I am convinced I could eat nothing but Oreo’s for the remainder of my existence.
2. Coca-Cola Classic
This may be a bit of a cheat as it’s not a food, but nonetheless there was rarely a gaming session back in my high school days that wasn’t accompanied by a cold, delicious Coke. I absolutely loved Coke back in the day, almost to the point of fanboyism. I had special glasses in which I drank only Coke. I had several shirts emblazoned with the Coca-Cola logo and if asked which was better Pepsi or Coke, I would probably have laughed in your face for inquiring about such an obvious fact of life. Looking back, I was genuinely addicted to the soda. They aren’t lying when they say that caffeine is a drug. I would begin each day with a Coke and then rush to the fridge when I got home to re-energize myself with a second a fix. When I wasn’t drinking Coke I felt logy and cranky. When I had it in me I was cheerful and ready to go. My freshman year in college, with my pound count on the rise I opted to break my addiction. It may not have been as hard as quitting smoking but my school didn’t make it easy. Stupid free fountain sodas…
1. Cooler Ranch Doritos
A constant point of contention in my marriage is what the best flavor of Doritos is. She insists on Nacho Cheese, but for me it’s Cooler Ranch for the win. I would go so far as to say that not only is Cooler Ranch the best flavor of Doritos; they’re the best snack ship ever devised. I have yet to experience a meal that can’t be augmented by Cooler Ranch Doritos. They are creamy and crunchy at the same time and resonate with so many different flavors that every bite is like a fiesta in your mouth. And how do they mesh with gaming? With the exception of Coke, every snack mentioned in this list is a two-handed affair. Even with Oreos you may need to hold a glass of milk. Doritos comparatively can be eaten with one hand and if you pick the right game, one hand is all you’ll need to play. In short, heaven, hell, I don’t care which one I go to as long as they have Cooler Ranch Doritos.