Foot Soup and Killing the Dream: A Review of Campbell’s Chunky Kickin’ Buffalo-Style Chicken Soup
I should have known better than to defy my own instincts. Some foods should be left unmixed, unmatched, untested. Micro gastronomy this was not; mega gastrointestinal anomaly is more like it.
A can of Campbell’s Chunky soup is a fallback of my workplace lunch diet. Joining the pantheon of Lean Cuisines and Jimmy Johns (when I can actually leave the office), it serves as a quick pop-top can to fill my belly in 4 minutes or less. So many varietals to delight a sodium-addict while being surprising low-cal, these soups are generally decent selections with a delightful processed taste profile. Sirloin burger? Yes. Chicken noodle? For sure. Sausage gumbo? I’m no dumbo!
So when I saw a new flavor adventure displayed on the grocer’s shelf, I thought, ‘Why not?’ Three of my favorite things combined: mediocre, discount soup + leftover chicken bits + zesty wing sauce. I’m all for crazy flavor mixing, mostly with vodkas, but regardless… After a slight pause, I picked up a can of Campbell’s Chunky Kickin’ Buffalo-Style Chicken Soup with the giddy delight of a fat kid discovering frozen pizza/cookie combos for the first time. This could be bliss!
It was several days later before the soup hit lunch rotation. I popped the pull-back top and dumped the orange-tinted soup into my bowl for a quick heat-and-eat. As the microwave began to do its work, a tinge of awkward tartness began to fill the air. Flag one was raised.
After a few minutes, the soup was bubbling hot and ready to be feasted upon. I opened the microwave door and was hit hard with the smell of vinegar and vomit. My empty stomach clenched, but I was confident that millenniums of sensory evolution were no indicator of a bad lunchtime selection.
Campbell’s Chunky Kickin’ Buffalo-Style Chicken Soup is the perfect combination of aged feet and sticky butt phlegm. Imagine sucking on a moldy sweat sock that has been slowly simmering in a salty navel cheese sauce. This culinary cluster-fuck was disastrous. Slivers of carrots, celery and potatoes floated in a funk factory of tangy orange cream hinting of dollar-store ranch and vinegar. I couldn’t even isolate the singular flavors of this soup’s name under the basic level of disgust that swished in my mouth.
I survived two bites before I became overwhelmed with the urge to hurtle the flaming chunky buffalo barf bowl across my office while simultaneously projectile vomiting an orange soup stream onto the walls. Was I more disappointed in the soup, or myself for daring to believe that fatty-fatty-two-by-four American exceptionalism could actually translate into a stew designed to mirror the flavors of deep-fried chicken and a salad dressing come staple condiment?
I would not recommend Campbell’s Chunky Kickin’ Buffalo Chicken Soup. As of yet, I am not certain that consumption of the soup did not render me infertile. At very least, it killed a part of my hope and spirit for a better tomorrow.