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.