Consider the cheese curl, or the microwavable dinner, or beef jerky. These foods are not just tasty: They are scientifically optimized to be shelf-stable, perfectly consistent in taste from serving to serving, filling, addictive, savory, and cheap. Achieving all those goals requires more than a handful of pantry items—it requires state-of-the art production techniques and a serious helping of laboratory chemicals. So while most of us could identify our favorite homemade dishes from ingredients alone (olives, garlic, capers, linguine … sounds like puttanesca!), we would be hopelessly lost trying to recognize our favorite snacks.
Nevertheless, Slate challenges you to do just that. We give you a list of ingredients; you select the correct grocery-store foodstuff from a lineup. (If you're right, your guess will turn green and you'll be able to move on to the next set of ingredients; otherwise, it will turn red. Keep trying until you get it right.) At the end of the quiz, you can compare your results with those of other Slate readers.
TODAY IN SLATE
Black people’s disdain for “proper English” and academic achievement is a myth.
Hong Kong’s Protesters Are Ridiculously Polite. That’s What Scares Beijing So Much.
The One Fact About Ebola That Should Calm You: It Spreads Slowly
How White Boy Rick, a legendary Detroit cocaine dealer, helped the FBI uncover brazen police corruption.
A Jaw-Dropping Political Ad Aimed at Young Women, Apparently
How Even an Old Hipster Can Age Gracefully
On their new albums, Leonard Cohen, Robert Plant, and Loudon Wainwright III show three ways.