Quiz: Match ingredients with processed foods.

What to eat. What not to eat.
June 29 2011 6:45 AM

Is That Cat Chow or Chicken Fried Rice?

Take Slate's ingredients quiz.

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.

Annie Lowrey is a contributing editor for New York magazine. She can be reached at annie.lowrey@gmail.com.

Will Oremus is Slate's senior technology writer.

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