Meta-foods are foods that are made of other foods. They are few and far between, but when they come around, they're pretty much always interesting. When Leandra introduced the office to Rice Krispies Treats Cereal yesterday, it was only a matter of time before we asked the obvious question: What happens if you make Rice Krispies Treats out of Rice Krispies Treats Cereal?
To go even more meta on you guys, that'd be Rice Krispies Treats Cereal Treats (RKTCT).
Only one way to find out, and luckily Rice Krispies Treats are just about the simplest recipe out there: melt butter and marshmallows. Add Rice Krispies (or Rice Krispies Treats Cereal, as the case may be). Stir, pack into buttered dish, and cool.
To answer the question, RKTCTs taste essentially like extra sweet RKTs with a few extra crunchy bits thrown in. I wouldn't be able to pick'em out from the regular RKTs in a lineup.
And that would be the end of this post, but hold up.
Yep, we went down another level (perhaps we've seen Inception too many times?) and created the ultimate meta-breakfast cereal: Rice Krispies Treats Cereal Treats Cereal.
We cut up all the extra blocks of RKTCT, dumped them in a bowl, poured milk on them, added a giant marshmallow for good measure, then watched as Leandra tried to down 'em.
It wasn't a particularly pretty site to behold. Problem is, real Rice Krispies Treats are just too soft to hold up in a bowl. What we ended up with was basically a sludgy bowl of wet Rice Krispies Treats. Here are Leandra's thoughts:
Slimy, and didn't play by the rules: They remained in gluey chunks rejecting the milk and coating my throat with a mucus feel. I almost choked eating them, and not the same way I usually choke while eating cereal (I usually choke at least once because of the speed at which I eat it).
So that's one more failed experiment to add to the list, which is all to say that... there's still no real point to this post, so I'll just employ our usual strategy in this all-too-common situation and leave you with a question:
Serious Eaters, what are your favorite meta-foods?*
*Blogging is much easier when you let the commenters come up with the interesting bits.
About the author: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt is the Managing Editor of Serious Eats where he likes to explore the science of home cooking in his weekly column The Food Lab. You can follow him at @thefoodlab on Twitter, or at The Food Lab on Facebook.