# # Candy Coated Compound

Brother, I Can See Your Skull.

Brother, I Can See Your Skull. - The Coreyshead Blog

Candy Coated Compound

It’s amazing some of the things you learn while in a food-service position.

Unfortunately, such things rarely incite the appetite.

For example, at my present job we make what I was raised calling “Monster Cookies”; cookies with M&M’s on them – only we don’t call them “Monster Cookies” but “Clown Cookies.” And they’re sugar cookies, not the basic chocolate chip cookie batter which was used in the cookies I’m used to. We don’t use M&M’s on them, either. We use what are called “CopyCats” by the staff but which are really known as Rainbow Chips: M&M clones.

Rainbow Chips are to M&M’s as canned dog food is to meat.

As if to reflect this, the side of a shipping container of Rainbow Chips proudly proclaims the contents as “candy coated compound.” (Homer voice:) Mmmmmmmmmm: compound.

Now, I’ve eaten some of these; the term is grazing and is strictly verboten by company rules but, let’s face it, if you’re at work and feeling peckish – or even just bored – and you’re surrounded by edible looking stuff, every once in a while some small amount of it is going to find its way to your face.

At the time that I put one into my mouth, my brain was saying “M&M” and, while my tongue wasn’t as fooled, it didn’t balk, either. The flavor and texture isn’t so much off as muted – not at all unlike what I suspect Soylent Green might taste like: pseudo food. Once cooked, however, they go from “not quite right” to “what the hell is this?”

Due to the nature of the way we add them to the cookies – mashing the cookies face down into a container of the “candies” prior to baking – many of the “candies” fall off during baking. I once picked a baked one up off the cookie sheet and popped it in my mouth. The texture was like compressed gypsum (think sheet rock), the flavor: burnt sugar and wax.

Even this experience, however, didn’t quite keep me from indulging in the occasional nibble – I mean, what the hell, they’re gonna be thrown out, anyway, right? – but seeing “candy coated compound” on the side of the box? The final straw.

Of course, “compound” means nothing more than a mix of things to make a whole – thus milk chocolate is a compound as is grouting putty – but, when eating something so named, I’d rather hope it tastes more like the former than the latter, and so boldly using the euphemism “compound” to describe a foodstuff is not exactly confidence building.

You say “compound” when you know you can’t say chocolate, or marzipan, or whatever. You say “compound” when you don’t want anyone knowing what it is you’re proposing they shove into their eating holes. You say “compound” because your lawyers suggested it as the least problematic – and if you have to bring lawyers into your kitchen, I aint eatin’ what you’re servin’.

(and speaking of lawyers, you’ll notice I’ve yet to publicly state where I work … )

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5 Responses to “Candy Coated Compound”

  1. Roger says:

    You’re giving away trade secrets on your blog. I’m telling.

    (Personally, I love the term “cheese food product.”)

  2. redwithenvy says:

    i worked at a fairly popular restaurant in Ft Collins for almost a decade. I know too much about how the food is made, who was cooking it, and an awful array of other knowledge that would scare the average customer. Still, I have cravings for their food. I’d even eat something that was subject to the 10-second rule if I was hungry enough. Er, maybe.

    by the way, did the name “monster cookies” come from the fact that said cookies look like the ones frequently eaten by Cookie Monster?

  3. Arcstrike says:

    Love the pic, one of my favorite movies. I too experienced this phenonomina when I worked in the kitchen in college. I got to run the “sugar shack” for a while. We sold this prefab “cookie dough” that had the same effect on the tongue. However, it was our most popular products. I never got it, but I took the money and doled it out like the pusher I was.

  4. cae says:

    Cookie Monster and his cookies (usually little, crumbly pale cookies – I always assumed they were Vanilla Wafers) existed well before Monster Cookies. I think Monster Cookies were so named because they were bumpy and multi-colored, like a monster but I honestly don’t know who, when, or why they were so named. I didn’t see my first Monster Cooie until the fourth grade. Consequently, I still think of them as a “new” creation.

    I know what restaurant you worked at and I loved eating there, though I could rarely afford it so I mostly just drank there. =)

    I’m not sure what it says about me that I’m poo-pooing “candy covered compound” in the same blog where I wistfully recounted my dog-food eating days. I don’t even want to get into my attitude about eating food off the ground …

  5. NarLyB says:

    I never snacked on dog food or cat food for that matter. But I was partial to the compound (love that word! best way to describe food when you really don’t want to know the ingredients!) that we fed to the horses.

    Rolled oats, cracked wheat, molasses and who knows what else. Probably some horse vitamins. Hmmmm, maybe that would explain MS?

    Have to admit, I still grab a handful of grain when I see it.

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