It all started on a beautiful Spring day spent in Henderson, North Carolina. Sure, it sounds innocent enough. Just a casual trip to Walmart we thought. Just a nice stop at Chick Fil A we thought. And then we saw it. Shimmering in the early April sunlight – it was a brand spanking new “Big Lots”.
You can tell how exciting it is by simply looking at the exclamation point in the name. If that doesn’t say it all, then nothing will. I don’t know if any of you know what Big Lots is but it’s a Dollar Store gone super-size. Of course everything’s not a dollar, but with the selection and variety they have I’m willing to splurge a few extra bucks on the amazing “crap” that can be had. And it definitely started out as a successful venture for us – as we quickly found a mini-TV table that folds up, is made of REAL FAUX WOOD, and fits over any couch arm! SCORE! $19.95 and that sucker was coming home with me. OK, no it wasn’t – my wife said it was (appropriately) stupid. But that was just a sample of the excitement that was to come. A trip for the ages.
But that’s not why I’m writing. Not everything can be a hit at Big Lots. For every $19.95 mini-faux-wood coffee table that can be found, there’s also a ‘should-be’ delicacy found in the tightly packed food aisles of the store. We like croissants, we like chocolate, we like cheap. We even like Italians! So this is what found its way into our buggy:
That’s right – those right there are some delectable looking Italian Chocolate Croissants – just ripe for the heating, enjoying and savoring. From Big Lots very own elegant website the description of these potential ‘nectar of the Gods’ is:
“Soft sourdough croissant snacks packed with delicious rich chocolate. Ideal to heat-up!”
WHAT COULD BE BETTER!?!?!
Here’s what they looked like coming out of box. Hmmm….doesn’t look QUITE as appetizing as the box makes it appear, but I’m sure it tastes like a warm Spring afternoon walking the streets of Palermo:
Here’s what they looked like coming out of the microwave and sliced open to reveal the “delicious rich chocolate”:
What even is in the middle? Is it chocolate? Licorice? Coffee? I wish for one second that you could also smell the aroma of fresh baked bread. Actually, I wish I could too because these things definitely did NOT smell like that.
Truth be told – they tasted like someone in a sweat shop in Naples found an old licorice jelly bean in that dusty corner behind the bed that you never clean – and melted it over a Bunsen burner and quickly inserted it into a foul-smelling small roll that obviously had been stored in the used sock drawer of the same worker. It was that bad. No, it was worse. So it was off to translate exactly what was being said on the packaging of this god-forgotten ‘delicacy’ of the beautiful country of Italy.
“Croissant di pastasfoglia” = I mis-translated this as ‘Croissant tastes like baby crap’ when actually it was ‘croissant puff pastry’. There was nothing puffed about this thing except my cheeks before I spit it back out. And spit it out I did – just like on a warm Spring afternoon walk down the streets of Palermo.
“crema bigusto al cacao e latte” = translated by Google as ‘two tastes cream with cocoa and milk’. More literally, I would translate this as ‘makes Americans want to get their $2.50 back from Big Lots’.
“incartate singolarmente” = translates as “individually wrapped” but the actual translation is ‘let’s foist this off as delicious and see if anyone notices or complains’.
Well, sir, this person is complaining. I still love Big Lots, but please for the love of all that’s sacred to you avoid this product. What is even scarier is that they have two different styles other than chocolate – one filled with custard and one filled with jelly.
I’m going to leave it to your imagination on what the custard smells or tastes like. Enjoy your meal.