Guilty Pleasures

In Defense of Five Junk Food Favorites

Laurie hearts Twizzlers.
Laurie hearts Twizzlers. Laurie Notaro
We asked some of our favorite writers to proudly defend their favorite low-end snacks. Here are their picks.

In Defense of Twizzlers

"One of my fondest memories of my wayward youth was spinning on a bar stool at Long Wong's in Tempe, drinking Jack Daniels out of my purse, and eating a whole bag of chocolate Twizzlers in one sitting." — Laurie Notaro


One microwave away from cholesterol-infused ecstasy. - PHOTO BY ROB_ROB2001/FLICKR
One microwave away from cholesterol-infused ecstasy.
Photo by rob_rob2001/Flickr

In Defense of the Gas Station Breakfast Sandwich

"No road trip is complete without a breakfast sandwich. To me, the egg-and-cheese sandwich is an icon of roadside America: compact, portable, and eaten without utensils. The ingredients vary, and every kind is arterial suicide." — Robert Isenberg


For this author, the Cool Ranch Dorito is everything. - TOM CARLSON
For this author, the Cool Ranch Dorito is everything.
Tom Carlson

In Defense of Cool Ranch Doritos

"Have you ever been so nauseous you swear you’ll never have an appetite again? During this window of desperation, you can decipher your favorite food by thinking of all your beloved dishes, one by one, and seeing which one doesn’t make you feel even more ill. One sick night in fifth grade, I realized, despite my nausea, I could probably still take down a lunchbox-size bag of Cool Ranch Doritos." — Lauren Cusimano

An imitation won't do, as the author learned. - TOM CARLSON
An imitation won't do, as the author learned.
Tom Carlson

In Defense of Cheddar-Caramel Popcorn

"I don’t care who got wise to this taste sensation, I only care about how the combination of sweet brown sugar, salty butter, and sharp cheddar tastes in my mouth. If a magic wizard turned up in my life and offered me a lifetime supply of either cash or Garrett popcorn, I’m afraid I’d die a pauper with cheese-stained fingers." — Robrt Pela

TOM CARLSON
Tom Carlson

In Defense of Funyuns

"Do you know why I like Funyuns? It’s because they are a testament to modern science, a marvel of chemical equation, that a snack food can be made without one single real ingredient." — Laurie Notaro

Editor's note: This story was originally published on April 1, 2017. It was updated on July 21, 2020.
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