On a cold, dark Monday evening before Thanksgiving break, Funnies co-editors, Emma and Ana, and fellow Record editors, Tyson and Phil, sat down to make the ultimate sacrifice to quench the curiosity of the Goshen College student body. Whispers on campus wondering what could possibly be contained in the refrigerated vending machine in the Union Building by ITS have circulated for weeks. Our four brave editors decided it was their duty to take on this task. All of the food was prepared according to the microwave instructions on the packaging. To quickly sum up the experience, it was a “lotta sausage, lotta spice” and Emma had to pop a Tums afterward. For the detailed version, continue reading. Reader discretion advised….
Hottie bites “hot n’ spicy pickle snacking cuts”
Avg Score: 4
Appetizing crunchy pickle bits with a kick. Definitely a solid snack, if not an entire meal. Some of the reviewers are not a huge fan of spice, as Emma claimed “If I liked spice, I would rate this a 5, but realistically we’re looking at a 3. The spice lingers. Oh boy. My tongue is on fire.” However, according to Phil, “the packaging was cute; you could totally stuff it in your refrigerator and save some for later if you wanted to” which is definitely a plus. The only downside is that it is so wet. The slices were dripping. Also the package wasn’t resealable which was also a bummer.
Summary quote: “I’m a fan. Downside, very wet.” -Tyson
Avg Score: 4
It’s a hot dog. It comes with ketchup – name brand Heinz to be exact. Microwave for 30 seconds and boom you got yourself a typical, low-effort snack. It’s exactly what you’d expect if you got a hot dog. It’s a solid hot dog.
Summary quote: “Nothing special, but it got the job done” -Phil
Hot Link with Cheddar: Sausage Wrapped in Dough
Avg score: 2.5
This one was definitely odd. The mobility of the sausage in the dough might make some potential buyers uncomfortable, but it’s a great comedic effect. Ana stated “I’m terrified. This does not look appealing. I don’t want a sausage wrapped in dough” and while that may be true for most people, at least there was a cute lil’ guy on the packaging. However, this product does CONTAIN MAJOR ALLERGENS so it might not be the best for everyone. Ana also noted that this sausage wrapped in dough was basically “a hotdog but worse. It’s overwhelmingly dough with spice… the dough is flavorless and the sausage flavor is indistinguishable from the spice. My stomach is sad and my mouth is crying.” Again, Ana and Emma are not the biggest fans of spice, nor are they able to tolerate it well, as Emma’s reaction was as follows: “Oh good lord. The spice is increasing. The sausage itself [lacks] flavor but there’s something so comforting about the feeling of hot dough in your mouth. I finished the last bite but I will probably regret that later.” Tyson and Phil were not impressed by the spiciness, as Phil described the taste as “a tiny bit of spice, not much flavor” and Tyson, delirious with disappointment exclaimed that this product was “The first one I didn’t like. [They] reached too far and tried to do too much. Know your place. [I] wouldn’t go back [for this product].” The sausage wrapped in dough was definitely not a highlight of this vending machine review.
Summary quote: “Sausage seems like too big of a step for a vending machine.” -Tyson
Sausage and Gravy Stuffed in a Buttermilk Biscuit: “the perfect combination”
Avg score: 2.5
This item described by Phil was “basically a jelly donut except instead of a donut, it’s a biscuit, and instead of jelly it’s gravy.” The label is misleading- it’s definitely not “the perfect combination” because for Emma, “the concept of gravy already freaks me out to begin with, and this gravy was on the very white, very creamy side, which did not help… I don’t think I could physically eat another bite.” This particular sample of gravy filled biscuit expired Nov 22 and was eaten on Nov 21, perhaps that had a role to play in its level of disappointment. Tyson was the outlier for this item since he kind of enjoyed it. He noted that “[I was] honestly super impressed. It was about as neutral as I could be on a food. I have a feeling though that if I ate much more than the two bites I had I would start to feel differently, and quick.” So while the feeling of neutrality was present, the overwhelming feeling towards this product was disgust and hostility.
Summary quote: “If I didn’t like biscuits and gravy I would hate it. If I did like biscuits and gravy I would hate it.” -Ana
Tony’s Deep Dish Pizza Pepperoni made with pork, chicken, and beef
100% real mozzarella
Avg score: 2.5
This was wholly a disappointment. After microwaving the pizza for three minutes, Phil noted the “grease bubbling on top… [the] bottom [was] very soft and ready. Not awful; not doing a lot for me.” It was also “sizable for $2.50” and could be considered “deep dish-inspired” according to Emma since typical deep-dish pizzas are 1.5-3 inches deep and this pizza was barely one inch deep. Ana and Tyson had similar sentiments in that “it was soggy, greasy and made my stomach do flip-flops in a not good way” and it was “the worst pizza I’ve had in a while… too soggy and way too doughy.” Emma, as discovered previously, loves hot dough, so this pizza while unappealing had her in a mindset of “weirdly.. [wanting] to keep eating it.” She wasn’t even hungry. She just thought it was a really nice chewing experience. Overall, it was greasy, soggy, but according to Emma, it was “better than Papa John’s” although no one else agreed with her. Ana thought that this item was the best bang for your buck, but only if you’re willing to sacrifice 30 minutes on the toilet at some point during the day.
Summary quote: “It was like eating a slab of dough that had once heard vaguely what pizza was supposed to be. The La Croix of pizza.” -Tyson
Spicy Sausage Egg and Gouda Cheese Everything Bagel
Avg Score: 1
This abomination is a blight on the industry of bagels. It was so bad. Everyone agreed it was so bad. And for four dollars and 50 cents??? Inexcusable. Tyson’s first exclamation upon biting into this monstrosity was “Oh god, it’s so soggy” as viscous, white cheese dribbled onto the paper towel below him. Phil said “I guess it’s technically edible, but there is absolutely no reason to purchase this monstrosity” and this is coming from a guy who ate an entire stick of butter (re: Battle of the Bands). Emma was quite uncomfortable with the whole viscous, white, cheese ordeal and said that this was “extraordinarily disappointing for the price. They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but if I ate this for breakfast, I’d importantly be on the toilet.”
Summary quote: “I hated this so much. It was so plastic and fake… How did I get roped into this? I’m an editor for crying out loud. Why am I doing this? My pride has taken a definite hit. Worried about the public image.” -Tyson
Avg Score: 5
This was absolutely the best, most delightful thing to grace our vending machine review. It was soft and gooey and luscious and delicious. “I have high standards when it comes to prepackaged baked goods and I was fully expecting this to fall short. It did not. The Killer Brownie Company didn’t lie. I tried to run off with it before the others could take a bite but Tyson tackled me” Emma said. After their kerfuffle, Emma and Tyson eventually wrote down their reviews while Ana secretly ate the rest of the brookie- there were definitely two bites left and she had both of them. Phil noted very accurately that this item was an “easy five- only true award winner on this menu… better than a great deal of other brookie-types I’ve had at gas stations over the years.” Multiple reviewers claimed this item melted in their mouth. This product was so good. Tyson would like to give his compliments to the chef. Be lucky, reader, that we even included this in the review. Emma was a strong advocate for keeping this gem a secret.
Summary quote: “The only disappointment is that this is better than what they serve in the Rott.” -Ana