482: Rice Cakes

Molly 0:04

I'm Molly.

Matthew Amster-Burton 0:04

And I'm Matthew.

Molly 0:05

And this is spilled milk, the show where we cook something delicious eat at all, and you can't

Matthew Amster-Burton 0:09

have any. And this week we're talking about rice cakes.


We came up with this idea last week I just realized, like I'm making it sound like this was an amazing,

Molly 0:21

this is a big idea. We had to act on it.

Matthew Amster-Burton 0:23

Like, what if we devoted an entire episode to rice cakes? And we're talking about American style puffed rice cakes?

Molly 0:30

Yeah, the kind of things that come in a plastic sleeve that are shaped like frozen burger patties.

Matthew Amster-Burton 0:36

They totally are kind of like frozen burger patties when I was a kid. I'm sure I've talked about this on the show before and this is not the frozen burger patty episode. But there was a time like when I was a teenager, and like, you know, needed to like cram large quantities of food into myself at all times. And my mom is like, I got I got a 20 pack of frozen burger patties from Costco. There's the grill right outside on the patio. When you need a snack, you figure out how to put these things together. And I did and I would make myself a double cheeseburger as a snack.

Molly 1:08

Oh my god. I don't remember ever going through this as as a teenage you know, assigned female at birth person. But I do remember going through this as a pregnant person.

Matthew Amster-Burton 1:20

Oh, absolutely.

Molly 1:21

Yes. Oh my god, it was so fun. Only my version of it was like an entire, like, you know, loaf of sandwich bread already sliced, okay, and a jar of peanut butter. And it was just endless. I didn't even toast the bread just like smeared peanut butter on slice after slice of bread.

Matthew Amster-Burton 1:40

So not rice cakes is

Molly 1:42

not rice cakes. But hold on. We're gonna get back to rice cakes here. Get ready everybody. This is where the show actually begins. When I was growing up, I remember my mom eating peanut butter on rice cakes. This was like it was a diet thing.

Matthew Amster-Burton 1:57

I ate peanut butter on rice cakes growing up all the time.

Molly 2:00

Oh my god, really? Because to me, it seemed like something that my mom did because she was on a diet like rice cakes to me say I have bought into diet culture.

Matthew Amster-Burton 2:12

Oh, absolutely. And yet like I mean, like they were around and so I mean, I you know that definitely like infested my house as well. But you know, the rice cakes are around and they are pretty tasty. like are they a substantial snack? Not really.

Molly 2:26

It's true. They are pretty tasty. Like more than you would expect.

Matthew Amster-Burton 2:31

Yeah, so I haven't bought these in a while but I have been snacking on them pretty satisfied Lee that probably not a word.

Molly 2:39

Anyway. Okay, wait, so let's go let's go down memory lane. I mean, we already just sort of did but so when you had these as a kid were they the salted kind they even make the salted kind back then.

Matthew Amster-Burton 2:51

Well I think they were lightly salted were they i don't i don't think of them as being unsalted but I don't know it's possible.

Molly 2:58

You know what what's always bothered me about rice cakes. It sounds like I'm shitting on rice cakes but but I do actually enjoy it

Matthew Amster-Burton 3:06

you know what's always bothered you about rice cakes. It's time like well,

Molly 3:09

I really need them to be unbroken like when I take them out of the pack.

Matthew Amster-Burton 3:14

Like one Laura Hillenbrand book.

Molly 3:17

Is there a book called unbroken I think so. Anyway, I want them to be whole and I want them to have enough flat surface to smear peanut butter on like, you know one side is often like flatter than the other the other ones like it's like a moon. Oh god. Okay, great.

Matthew Amster-Burton 3:35

So wait so does that mean you spread the peanut butter on the on the bottom of the rice cake? I suppose I think of the flat one as being the bottom.

Molly 3:42

No, I don't think rice cakes have a top or a bottom.

Matthew Amster-Burton 3:45

But when they come out of the package like the the the moon crater side is always on top.

Molly 3:50

Well I don't care which ones on top when they come out of the package.

Matthew Amster-Burton 3:54

I think maybe I lied because Okay, I'm gonna we're gonna be opening some rice cake pack. Okay, here at least I am.

Molly 3:59

Let's get down to like, what are rice cakes? Because you've implied that like, maybe in their production there's a top and a bottom.

Matthew Amster-Burton 4:05

Yeah, there is so okay, rice cakes are literally so we this grew out of the this is a spin off episode of the of the puffed snacks, aka pop chips episode that we did last week. Is that right? That's correct. And we learned on that that pop chips were invented when some guy bought or some business guy bought a rice cake factory and like put potatoes in the machines to see what would happen. Something like that. Does that sound right?

Molly 4:33

So yes,

Matthew Amster-Burton 4:34

yeah. Okay. I mean, even if not, let's just pretend that so let's

Molly 4:37

I already blanked

out on what happened last week.

Matthew Amster-Burton 4:40

There was a lot of crunching and there's gonna be a lot of crunching again this week,

Molly 4:43

possibly more

Matthew Amster-Burton 4:44

possibly more. So the way they're made is you soak some rice, you put it into like a round metal depression like like a you know, you go to YouTube and look up, you know, our rice cakes.

Molly 4:57

Depression. Is it like a crater

Matthew Amster-Burton 4:59

It's like a crater

Molly 5:00

or is it a cylinder?

Matthew Amster-Burton 5:02

It's a cylinder. But But like, you know, like a tunic can shaped cylinder Chi def. Okay,

Molly 5:10

I wouldn't call that a depression. I would call that a divot, a divot I was looking for, but it didn't it

Matthew Amster-Burton 5:18

implies something that happened like, unfortunately right?

Molly 5:22

Yeah, like a little chunk of grass that's been pulled up.

Matthew Amster-Burton 5:25

Yeah, like when we go golfing as we've been doing throughout the pandemic, you know, you you you swing your, your, your niblick or whatever, and you like get a divot

Molly 5:37


Matthew Amster-Burton 5:38

I think that's a golf thing. I don't know.

Molly 5:41

Even he's really

Matthew Amster-Burton 5:44

public is really a golf thing.

Molly 5:46

Oh my god. Okay, wait, but hold on a round metal depression.

Matthew Amster-Burton 5:50

You put you put soaked rice in there like so. And there's a bunch of them it's like they're made by big industrial machines. Okay, so you've got like a little like tuna cans shaped depression like in in like a metal mold.

Molly 6:03

Whenever I go through a depression it is totally tuna catch.

Matthew Amster-Burton 6:07

Yeah, just popping one can of tuna after another. Go on. The put soaked rice in there. Then a heated cylinder is placed on top to pressurize it. And then it's heated under under high pressure and then suddenly depressurized, which causes the price to pop and quote interweave and there are no like added ingredients holding the rice grains together. I thought there was going to be like a syrup or a you know, industrial adhesive or something. But it's just like the the molecules of the rice grains literally intertwine when it puffs.

Molly 6:42

Oh, that is that's actually really interesting.

Matthew Amster-Burton 6:45

I can see this in many YouTube videos.

Molly 6:48

Oh, okay. I love the phrase pop and interweave it seems like this is like the next step from Pop and Lock.

Matthew Amster-Burton 6:56

Yes, exactly. Yep, popping and locking that new dance craze that the kids just came up with. Yes, now they're popping in inter wavy so so to pop and interweave you like put a bunch of kids into a mosh pit and then like suddenly reduce the pressure and they become permanently bonded together.

Molly 7:15

Oh, man, I

can't wait till post pandemic time so I can go pop it in or weave

Matthew Amster-Burton 7:20

oh god I've been so missing out on the on the casual popping in interweave.

Molly 7:27

Do you remember casual interweaving? And it was so dangerous and so fun.

Matthew Amster-Burton 7:31

I know. Okay, so rice cakes can be made with white or brown rice. But I said we were going to try both or at least I was but then when I looked it, I realized that both of the plain rice cakes I bought were made with brown rice. So I think that may be like the standard.

Molly 7:46

Okay, interesting.

Matthew Amster-Burton 7:48

And I also like, in one of the videos I watched it showed them being like sprayed with a syrup to give them a sheen, which I think does happen for some like sweetened rice cakes, but the plain ones are not sprayed with syrup. They're literally just made with brown rice and salt. Wow. Yeah, it's pretty cool.

Molly 8:04

Okay, I mean, this is a this is a really fascinating industrial product like,

Matthew Amster-Burton 8:10

yeah, and there also are videos about like, you can make rice cakes at home, but like you won't

Molly 8:15

know why would I bother

Matthew Amster-Burton 8:17

you? You have to I mean, you need a metal depression First of all,

Molly 8:20


Matthew Amster-Burton 8:21

I think like a like a metal depression sounds like a sad robot that would appear like an A Radiohead song.

Molly 8:27

I think it sounds like Well, I was thinking more like hair metal.

Matthew Amster-Burton 8:31

Yeah, no, you're right. As I was saying it, I am like, like, what if? What if like Motley Crue did a whole album of sad songs

Molly 8:39

called metal depression, battle depression. Oh. Well, I feel like Metallica is a metal depression band.

Matthew Amster-Burton 8:47

Metallica is a metal depression and they're also some kind of monster.

Okay, great. Okay,

so let's talk about the history of puffed rice cakes, which does not go back very far.

Molly 8:57

Should we eat rice cakes while we do this?

Matthew Amster-Burton 9:00

Sure. Like, Oh, you got some good stuff there.

Oh, I did

Molly 9:04

I did I Well, I think I got the same ones. You did? Only I only got three. Did you get four?

Matthew Amster-Burton 9:08

I got four. Yes, I got. Oh, by the way, Molly and I are on camera for the first time in a while because like Molly had like shitty internet for a while and we were using some weird software that didn't have a camera. But now like we're back, we're back to 2020

Molly 9:23

and we're so distracted to

Matthew Amster-Burton 9:25

we're so distracted like Molly has like so much hair since last time. So much less hair just last time. And I'm holding up some rice cakes is the point I was making. So yeah, I've got the the Quaker lightly salted. I got the lundeberg organic. And then I've got I did I couldn't find the Quaker white cheddar but I got the simple truth organic store brand white cheddar. You got the Quaker white cheddar. I did. So where should we start? Let's Let's cheese plate this and then I'll go into the history. Well we crunch

Molly 9:54

so wait are the Quaker lightly salted? This seems to me that this should be Like this is the mild cheese.

Matthew Amster-Burton 10:02

Yeah, your question I think it's gonna be easy to cheese plate.

Molly 10:06

Okay wait oh this is me so you're right this is made with brown rice too.

Matthew Amster-Burton 10:10

Oh this is crumbling badly oh

Molly 10:12

my god my closet is gonna be destroyed by this

Matthew Amster-Burton 10:15

something something went wrong here at the at the at the plant

Molly 10:19

Do you think something actually went wrong in the grocery handling?

Matthew Amster-Burton 10:22

I think something went wrong in the grocery handling. Yeah, actually I come to figure out like I'm the one who put them in in like a cart and rolled them up the hill over many bumpy sidewalks.

Molly 10:32

Do you guys have like a grocery? Like?

Matthew Amster-Burton 10:34

We do like the classic like granny cart? Yeah.

Molly 10:37

Oh my god that's so great.

Matthew Amster-Burton 10:39

Yeah, cuz we do grocery pickup like twice a week and bring it home in our cart.

Molly 10:43

I did grocery pickup yesterday to get these I went to Central Market in shoreline. And wow, they're like curbside pickup situation was really awesome.

Matthew Amster-Burton 10:55

Yeah, it's good. Like, I just got so many crumbs, but I laid a towel down on my bed in preparation for this episode, which I think may have saved my marriage. I think I might not have to do that Oprah interview. Yeah,

Molly 11:06

my rice cakes were well handled. Okay, I may say so. Wow, this is a really beautiful rice cake. I think I could spread peanut butter on either side of it.

Matthew Amster-Burton 11:16

That's interesting. Like you're absolutely right. Like the Quaker these Quaker ones seem like the two sides seem much more similar than I remember.

Molly 11:24

You know what I'm noticing with those myself, the individual puffs of rice seem extremely thoroughly interwoven.

Matthew Amster-Burton 11:33

Yeah, like such

Molly 11:34

that I cannot it's created sort of an overall I want to say mushy, but crunchy texture.

Matthew Amster-Burton 11:40

Do you know what I mean? Right? I mean,

Molly 11:42

I think we're gonna find with the Lundberg family farms brand that the the kernels are more distinguishable.

Matthew Amster-Burton 11:49

Yes, I am really surprised how different the Quaker and lundeberg rice cakes are. I thought they were going to be exactly the same.

Molly 11:56

This is riveting information. Okay, so

Matthew Amster-Burton 11:59

let's talk about the history of rice cakes. So

Molly 12:01

this is fine. I mean, I don't really want to keep

Matthew Amster-Burton 12:04

the Quaker one is very good. I think it's under salted and Kashi. Yeah. Okay. Okay. All right, go on Joe. Some of this information comes from an article that will link to an eater called what happened to Quaker rice cakes by Brenna Houk? The answer to what happened to Quaker rice cakes is like it's not like a fad diet food anymore, so they don't sell it sell as many of them anymore, but they're still around. So here's a quote from the article. I can't remember the first time I held one, but I also can't remember a time before I did palm size discs. They're the same way to styrofoam with a scant sprinkle of flavor crystals, salt or maybe cinnamon dusting the top and coating the crevices between each grain of puffy rice. So puffed rice predates industrialization and probably something people have been doing since antiquity. Really? Yeah. Cuz like, like you can you can like pop rice kind of like popcorn, like, you know, just when it's when it's roasted. Like if the right if the rice is a little moist and and you roast brown rice, like some of it will pop off. And people probably you know, 1000s of years ago figured that out and we're like, oh, this is good. Like, I'm gonna like puff rice on purpose. But industrial puffed rice dates to like the beginning of the 20th century.

Molly 13:12

This is I mean, this is very logical. And also somehow I'm still surprised.

Matthew Amster-Burton 13:17

Yeah, it is attributed to a botanist named Alexander P. Anderson, who allegedly discovered it in 1901 and sold the process to Quaker in 1904.

Molly 13:27

This is a well I you phrased it here on the agenda as an American industrial puffed rice is attributed to Alexander P. Anderson. But I was gonna say like, I wonder who the original creator of puffed rice is, like, I guess like probably sound like some like, caveman cave person. Yeah. Okay. All right. Just wanted to give credit where it's due man

Matthew Amster-Burton 13:47

the original Puff Daddy if you Yes. Okay. Anders quote from Wikipedia Anderson took a four by 36 inch gas pipe and sealed it with pipe heads on each end one removable, he placed raw rice inside and rotated the cylinder while heating it. When a gauge showed what he felt was enough pressure. Anderson used a sledgehammer to knock loose the removable head a shower of puffed rice burst from the device. After reading this I was like I want to see like how long before this guy died in a gender reveal party rice puffer accident. He didn't he lived to like 84 or something. I cannot believe this guy survived these experiments. Like there were so many things just in that one like 10 minute experiment that should have killed him. So Quaker Quaker use the process for various cereals and other products sometimes advertising them as food shot from a gun. What Yes, for example, there's a 1940s ad that I found here comes Quaker with a bang bang wheat shot from guns is the most tempting breakfast grain you ever ate

Molly 14:51

wheat Is that real?

Matthew Amster-Burton 14:53

It's absolutely real Here comes Quaker with a bang bang. Quaker Quaker is going to shoot it in the face.

Molly 15:00

Oh my god.

Wait a minute.

Hold on though. I'm trying to figure this out so so the what we're talking about here is like the the puffed grain we're not talking about the wheat interweaving like the popping or weaving.

Matthew Amster-Burton 15:13

I think like, you know honey smacks Yes. That's like rice cereal. So like individual grains of puffed rice have been around since the early 20th century. Well, probably before that, but like, produced like, you know, with with industrial, you know, capacity and precision. Okay, we I eat rice cake.

Molly 15:33

Yeah, which one are you eating?

Unknown Speaker 15:37

Oh, boy.

Matthew Amster-Burton 15:40

is the one Berg?

Molly 15:41

Is it better?

Matthew Amster-Burton 15:43

It's way better. Yeah, okay. Rice cakes hit the market in the mid 80s and didn't really become huge until the late 80s which is later than I would have guessed.

Molly 15:53

Okay, I have liberated my Lundberg lightly salted brown rice cake from it. Now we're on camera, I can see you liberating your lundeberg one thing that I do want to say is that the Quaker packaging i think is a little bit better in that the stack of rice cakes is divided into two plastic sleeves. Yeah, whereas the lundeberg is just in one sleeve and if there's one thing that I don't want it's a stale rice cake. So So now I got to eat this stuff fast

Matthew Amster-Burton 16:24

now that I've opened it hold on. Okay, start you can start now. Oh my god. It's always various crispier is like more toasted somehow it's got a little more salt. I think

Molly 16:36

I would have thought if I opened this without tasting the Quaker I would have thought it's just a little bit stale.

Matthew Amster-Burton 16:41

But other rice cakes are like I think

Molly 16:44

yeah, it's just the the way that like the the kernels kind of crackle between your teeth and it's just what I want. I think that's what I want. I want that slightly stale texture as opposed to a mushy crunchy texture.

Matthew Amster-Burton 16:58

Right. So all right, yeah, we've learned a lot so far. So like you know, when you when you go like to pick up a bunch of rice cakes as you probably do, because this is 1989 go Lundberg, I guess. So rice cakes hit the market in the mid to late 80s. Here's an article from Advertising Age in May 1986. Quote, Quaker Oats company is now in a position to dominate the small obscure rice cake market thanks to serious efforts in that area. Rice cake sales hit only $30 million in 1985. But that figure could double by the end of 1986 as grocery store distribution increases. Also spring sales will be Quakers $10 million investment in the national introduction of its rice cakes. His rice cake line acquired from Arden organics in 1985 holds a 40% share of the market but hJ Heinz company holds the remaining 60%

Molly 17:48

hold on Matthew I

think we just lost all our listeners

Matthew Amster-Burton 17:50

yeah I just read this quote is way way too long. Okay, let's let's cut to the cut to the punch line here. Okay Food Industry analysts believe the success of rice cakes will depend upon their taste. Oh, oh. Three analysts bold. Wow. I don't think that's correct at all.

Molly 18:07

Do you think that the success of rice cakes depends upon their calorie content?

Matthew Amster-Burton 18:11

Yeah, I think so.

Molly 18:12

Are there other foods whose success depends upon I mean, I guess like every diet food ever

Matthew Amster-Burton 18:17

Yeah, like snack wells remember snack? Well, I

Molly 18:19

God do snack will still exist.

Matthew Amster-Burton 18:21

I don't know if they do. I'm gonna guess probably they do. And they're down to like, you know, one cookie box in the cookie aisle. Yeah, that's just a guess. But one thing that I thought was kind of interesting, as I was reading up on this is that a lot of people writing about this seem to have forgotten that like low fat and low carb were two separate diet trends, like many years apart, and kind of collapsed them into one thing in their memory, which makes sense, but I'm old enough to remember that that's not what happened.

Molly 18:48

Oh, yes. Yeah, it was definitely low fat in the beginning and low carb. Nobody

Matthew Amster-Burton 18:53

thought about that. Right? And so these like rice cakes are like symbolic emblematic even of like the low fat era. Right.

Molly 19:02

Okay. How do you think these things entered your childhood household? Like, did Judy amster buy these out of a moment of like, dot like diet? Oh, yeah, I

Matthew Amster-Burton 19:11

think so. That like these are a snack. That's good for you.


Molly 19:14

did you ever reach for them plain? Or did you only eat them with peanut butter? Hmm,

Matthew Amster-Burton 19:19

I definitely prefer them with peanut butter. But I think I would snack on them plain as just pure convenience.

Molly 19:25


I don't think June has ever had one of these, which seems right. I mean, now I think this is a very marginal, like a very sort of bygone era kind of product

Matthew Amster-Burton 19:36

like teenager the show December grabbed one the other day, like as a convenient snack and ate half of it and was like, should I put this leftover rice cake half back in the bag? And we're like, no, that's not

Molly 19:49

even put peanut butter on it though. Okay, I was gonna say i think i think if they had put peanut butter on it,

Matthew Amster-Burton 19:54

they might have been back in the bag.

Molly 19:57

No, no, no, but I think in terms of wanting to finish The whole thing I think that teenager of the show December might have finished it. If

Matthew Amster-Burton 20:05

I like went for the rice cake bag and my child had put a half peanut butter rice cake back in the bag. I'd be like, Oh shit, my kid is gonna be a serial killer. Like, like, I blew it. There's nothing I could do like not that it's my fault if my kid becomes a serial killer, but still, it would be upsetting.

Molly 20:21

I love how we've turned this into a sociology podcast where we're gonna get to the bottom of like, the signs that your kid is going to be a serial killer And whose fault it is.

Matthew Amster-Burton 20:31

I think we just like answered those questions. The number one sign is is putting back a butter peanut buttered rice cake and no, it's not your fault.

Molly 20:47

Matthew is Quaker still the leading brand for rice cake. Yeah, Quaker,

Matthew Amster-Burton 20:51

I think is still the leading brand for rice cakes, and they make all of their rice cakes at a factory in Columbia, Missouri.

Molly 20:56

Hmm, okay,

how long did these did this product like have its heyday?

Matthew Amster-Burton 21:03

So by 1995 they were they were still like a huge snack, which again, this whole thing happened like later than I remember. Like, I would have guessed that like rice cakes were already big by 1982. No,

Molly 21:16

not so really 1985 to 95

Matthew Amster-Burton 21:19

Yeah. And then by the late 90s, like people had started to move on to other things and the low carb fad really hit around 2003 and like sales really dropped off. And so they came back with snack size rice cakes marketed in like chip bags, and I got a couple of those. And those seem to be now more widely available than like the classic hockey puck ones because it used to be I remember like in my like adult grocery shopping lifetime there would be like a whole rice cake section with the with the tall bags just like dozens of different varieties and brands. And now like that's mostly migrated over to like the healthy chip section.

Molly 21:57

I'm fascinated by the thought of like chip sized rice cakes because for me the entire reason for eating a rice cake. Okay, hold on Matthew, hold your horses. The entire reason for eating a rice cake is to put peanut butter on it to like get peanut butter from the jar to your mouth.

Matthew Amster-Burton 22:13

I think like people want little more convenient snacks than that these days though.

Molly 22:20

But like are they are they using these? Are they dipping these things? Are they what what do you do? Are these all flavored? The ones the ones in bags I

Matthew Amster-Burton 22:28

think are mostly if not all flavored? And like I I'm like an on the go business person like I don't have time to stop and spread peanut butter on things the way I used to like I mean I have people for that of course but but like I need I need a portable snack that's going to satisfy me with with a crunchy crunchy texture and and some sort of flavor powder. And that's why I bought simple truth organic creamy ranch with other natural flavors mini rice cakes made with rice and corn.

Molly 22:59

Okay, talk for a minute about these while I open up my Quaker white cheddar full size rice cakes.

Matthew Amster-Burton 23:05

Okay, I think these are very good. Like I've been snacking the shit out of these

Molly 23:09

How would you compare them to like the like a potato, like a like a pop chip type thing. Um,

Matthew Amster-Burton 23:15

I think they're better because the pop chips have like sort of like an artificial potato flavor to them that and these these like really worked for me all around. But like, the reason the reason these are good is because like they put on tons of ranch powder and it's a good ranch powder with like, lots of salt and lots of buttermilk powder, which I think the key things

Molly 23:38

right now I made a Quaker rice cake and the white cheddar Klein. I noticed that it is kind of freckled. I don't know if you can see that. There are like yellow splotches in it.

Matthew Amster-Burton 23:48

Yeah, I can see the splotches

Molly 23:50

on kind of like, like as though it's like got butter buds in it or something. But hang on. I'm trying to figure out what's going on here. doesn't really taste like white cheddar, but when tastes good, and that like powdery, dairy facsimile kind of way.

Matthew Amster-Burton 24:07

Yeah, I do remember having the white cheddar ones where I think I have I got the chip style white cheddar ones the store brands simple truth organic, you know,

Molly 24:16

this reminds me of Pirate's Booty. This is like the flavor of Pirate's Booty in the shape of a cake.

Matthew Amster-Burton 24:22

Yeah, I think Pirate's Booty probably also like cannibalize part of the rice cake market. Mm hmm.

Molly 24:28

Good point.

Matthew Amster-Burton 24:28

Mm hmm.

Molly 24:29

This is tasty. I like this interesting Matthew. Wait a minute. Can we pause on the rice cakes for just a second and returning try last week's pop chips because so we record on Monday mornings generally. Yeah, I'm telling you this because the listener already knows obviously. Oh, right. Yeah. Oh, yeah.

Matthew Amster-Burton 24:45

Yeah, your this is your hand like you know, don't don't forget. Next week. Next week's taping, no. showed up in six weeks.

Molly 24:54

So we usually record on Monday mornings Monday evenings. I teach a class on zoom. And I usually like when my class takes a little break midway through, I usually go get myself a little bowl of chips to quickly inhale on our break or whatever course. So last Monday, after eating pop chips with you in the morning, that evening, I got myself a bowl of pop chips. And I was like, I'm gonna see how this feels to have as like a legit snack. And I couldn't even finish the bowl and we're talking like a little bowl. Okay. I was just like, I was like, What? I wound up dumping them all in the yard waste container.

Matthew Amster-Burton 25:30

Yeah, we like how did we do on the pop chips? We ate neither neither none nor all of them. Neither none nor only

Molly 25:39

thing I've saved are the the Lay's Papa bowls, the ones that are like,

Matthew Amster-Burton 25:45

yeah, you know,

I tried a few of those white cheddar pop corners. I thought those were pretty good. But then I didn't finish the bag like When have I ever not finished a bag of chips? You're right. You're not very good.

Molly 25:57

Yeah, it was weird. It also just felt so processed. And I'm aware that that is like my, my snobby mind, but still Anyway, there's my pop chips update. When you

Matthew Amster-Burton 26:09

said you wanted to see if they were a legit snack that there's an episode of The Good Place where Eleanor shell strop, played by Kristen Bell describes herself as a legit snack, which is very fun.

That's delightful.

Okay, what else reason? Oh, last thing, perhaps about rice cakes is Quaker and lundeberg have made dozens of rice cake flavors. And I started to make a quiz but like, my wacky ones really stuck out too much. But here's a few that that are available or worth coconut sprinkle which is part of the lundeberg thin stackers series. Hmm. butter popcorn, not buttered popcorn but butter popcorn tomari with seaweed, which I misspelled on the agenda as tomari with sea week, which is like Shark Week. Cinnamon Toast and everything. Not everything bagel, but just everything.

Molly 27:02

Yeah. I wonder what kind of stuff they cram into the rice cake. The everything one

Matthew Amster-Burton 27:08

way for the show Laurie and I went to did a quick Trader Joe's run yesterday. And we were talking on the on the way back about Trader Joe's, how many different trail mixes they sell that I was speculating not having gone into the store that maybe like you know, do due to like, you know, pandemic supply chain issues, they haven't been able to to sell all of their regular Wow, the setup for this job is taking way too long. I can hear it too. Anyway, the joke was that they were just gonna like make like one trail mix at any given time based on like which trail mix components they had available in the category I just call it like, this is the shit you get trail mix. So it's gonna be like, like a piece of peanut brittle. And like three of those caramel chips that no one really likes and and like two different kinds of peanuts.

Molly 28:02

That was a really good story.

Matthew Amster-Burton 28:03

It was a great story. Yeah, let me let me tell you some other things we talked about on the way back from Trader jazz,

Molly 28:09

your typo where you turned seaweed into sea week reminds me Have you watched the octopus teacher? My Oh, it's on Netflix. Matthew. I'm like the last person to watch this. No, actually, you're not until I yeah. So it's on Netflix. And I've only watched half of it because it was my kids bedtime.

Matthew Amster-Burton 28:28

Is this like a thing with like tentacle sex?

Molly 28:30

No, there's

no there's I haven't gotten to any sex part yet.

Matthew Amster-Burton 28:34

Because I feel like if I wanted to write like, like an erotic octopus story, I would call it my octopus teacher. I mean, I'm not saying I want to write an erotic octopus story. I'm saying I need to write it in erotic octopus story.

Molly 28:48

I can't wait to read it. Please. Send me the Google Doc when when you're ready for editing.

Matthew Amster-Burton 28:52

What do you think of the title iraq tapas? Nevermind.

Molly 28:57

Anyway. Yeah, I was just gonna say it's like a tender loving Shark Week is my hose teacher. No, but really, it's it's quite delightful. If you are someone who loves nature documentaries, if you need something that feels good. I mean, that's not our octopus.

Matthew Amster-Burton 29:15

Not that bad guy, but it feels pretty good. Feels

Molly 29:18

pretty good. Yeah, a number of my students had told me to watch my octopus teacher. I think they you know, obviously they think of me as their octopus teacher. Of course. Yes.

Matthew Amster-Burton 29:27


Molly 29:28

But anyway, it's really good. Matthew and I couldn't pass up the opportunity to link it to your type LFC week.

Matthew Amster-Burton 29:34

No, that totally makes sense. Do they think of you as their octopus teacher because you turned on an octopus zoom filter and couldn't figure out how to turn it off now. Okay. So that's a great segue to our most popular segment cute animals you need to know.

Oh, I thought you might say By the way, there's no mail this week. So for spelled Mail just like someone Someone sent us an email contact at spellbound podcasts or

Molly 30:04

something. Yeah. Okay, animals.

Matthew Amster-Burton 30:06

So since giant otters were so polarizing I am curious to see what people think of other giant animals and so this week I give you cocoa puff a Flemish giant rabbit and this is a domesticated rabbit and it's a it's the largest domesticated rabbit it's like the size of a medium sized dog I guess maybe like a small ish dog

Molly 30:28

I'm looking at the video that you've linked to of cocoa Puff the Flemish giant rabbit with its with its human children who it hangs out with. I want this rabbit

Matthew Amster-Burton 30:40

Oh yeah, this rabbit is a delight. The the females have a pronounced do lap which is like the the flap of fat under under the chin, which is adorable and you can like rub it and scratch it. And yeah,

Molly 30:53

I was just thinking about how how much you you really leaned into rubbing and scratching the do flap?

Matthew Amster-Burton 30:59

Yeah, is it do laugh but yes.

Go on.

Um, the thing the thing I've been noticing like, like as I as I get into more as YouTube has realized that like everyone else in the world, the thing I want to watch is cute animal videos. Like when the gist is like this is the cute animal that is also our pet. And we're appearing in like a three minute segment about like us and our and our giant rabbit or other weird pet. There's this underlying tone of like, the family is trying to pretend that they're normal. Yeah, I enjoy very much like you know, we're just like you we just how are padded just happens to be like an 80 pound rabbit. Like, but you could tell that they're not really normal. And I don't I don't mean that like, like in a judgmental. I just like the line. They're trying to tightrope they're trying to walk there is very entertaining.

Molly 31:56

I love this. By the way, the whole time. You've been talking I'm still watching the cocoa puffs video, because it goes on and on and on and on.

Matthew Amster-Burton 32:05

Oh, yeah. It's great. Oh, link to that in the show notes. Wait, I can find in your podcast player. Yes,

Molly 32:11

I have one thing

to say. So the Flemish giant rabbit was suggested by listener Casey, thank you listener Casey.

Matthew Amster-Burton 32:18

Thank you listener Casey

Molly 32:20

listener. Casey has a rabbit that is I believe half Flemish giant. So um, so let's enter Casey.

Matthew Amster-Burton 32:27

Yeah. Okay. listener. Casey will be there shortly. Okay. The CDC released new guidance today that says we can come to your house and pet your rabbit.

Molly 32:35

Okay. Yeah, rabbits don't transfer COVID No, that's right. So this will be fine. June and I saw a billboard the other day, that was a very large photo of a man and a dog. And they were like snuggling. And the you know, the the words on the Billboard or something like dogs can't spread COVID or something like that. And do

Matthew Amster-Burton 32:57

we know that for sure.

Molly 32:59

Well, I you know, June was like, what do you what do they mean, dogs can spread COVID and I was like, well, in theory, the virus could like live on their coat for a little while if you like coughed on them.

Matthew Amster-Burton 33:09

But But often your dog, even I know that don't have a dog.

Molly 33:14

Well, what if I coughed on my hand? Then I pet somebody else's dog and left my COVID germs on their dog and then they pet the dog and then licked their hand. I mean, I think dogs can transfer COVID

Matthew Amster-Burton 33:29

Yeah, so you really debugged that Billboard.

Molly 33:32

Anyway. So there you go. That was my story.

Matthew Amster-Burton 33:35

Alright, so I have important news about the quilting segment, which is that I came up I know, we stopped doing the quilting segment like three four weeks ago. But I came up with a name for it. So Abby, could you go back and edit this package every episode? No, not really. But the name of the quilting segment should have been calling it quilts.

Molly 33:58

Oh my God, that's great. And so what it's about is is like whether or not I should machine wash my new quilt right

Matthew Amster-Burton 34:08

right because people have very strong opinions on this in the sense that we've gotten no less than two emails one from someone saying do not machine wash the quilt and another person saying to machine wash the quilt on gentle cycle. I can't this rift is going to kind of split our audience I don't I don't think we're going to come back from this. What do they call it like in a religion when like it breaks into two religions? I know there's a good word for this schism. schism. Thank you.

Molly 34:36

Well, I have a little bit of an update on on colonic quilts right now. So I've been sleeping with my quilt on top of our comforter. Oh, I

Matthew Amster-Burton 34:46

don't sleeping with an octopus.

Molly 34:48

Anyway, how are how Iraq, dick? I tried. Anyway,

Matthew Amster-Burton 34:55

I really appreciate that.

Molly 34:57

But during the day when I am not In the bed, and when the bed is made,

Matthew Amster-Burton 35:02

I sound like a robot that just learned English when I am not in the

Molly 35:07

now I fold up the quilt and like put it somewhere where the dog can't lie on it. I still haven't washed it. And I'm trying to keep it clean as long as possible so that I can, you know, not either destroy or not destroying my quilt depending upon which side of the schism you're on. Anyway, what I wanted to say is that today when I was setting up the studio in my closet, I grabbed my folded up quilt and that is what I've used as some soundproofing in the studio today.

Matthew Amster-Burton 35:39

Wow, we're hearing or not hearing right now

Molly 35:43

you are I like it. Yeah, I thought so. Okay,

Matthew Amster-Burton 35:47

you know what's going on in my house like this. This is about a cute animal, but it's also kind of sad like me, me, maybe the cat has had to wear a cone for several weeks and just got the cone off and is doing okay. But the thing is, that I didn't realize is that it's winter time, I did realize that. And that's the time when cats like grow the most fur and shed the most. And if a cat can't groom its own fur because it's wearing a cone it will leave like huge balls have toughs and sheets of fur on every surface. Oh my god. And this is a short haired cat.

Molly 36:19

So between between what your cat is doing and what you're doing with the rice cakes, your house is a disaster right now.

Matthew Amster-Burton 36:27

It's a disaster right now. But the thing is, like I I've got one thing I've gotten really into during pandemic is enjoying the process of emptying out the dust thingy on the vacuum. And so I'm really looking forward to like next this week's vacuum.

Molly 36:41

This is super exciting.

Matthew Amster-Burton 36:43

Yeah, okay, maybe we should do a segment about vacuuming.

Molly 36:47

Okay, how about now but wow, our segment? stuff we're into this week.

Matthew Amster-Burton 36:58

Tiger first this time?

Molly 37:00

Sure. Yeah, yeah. All right. So

Matthew Amster-Burton 37:01

I've been listening to the food truck scholar podcast hosted by Ariel Smith. And it is really a podcast for food truck operators. So it talks about like, you know, operators themselves and like food truck historians, regulators, like sometimes people who like to eat it food trucks, but like everyone involved in the food truck industry, but like if you love food trucks and you miss food trucks like this is a wonderfully produced show. Ariel Smith is a great host gets really cool guests and like, I am learning so much about food trucks that I just never really thought about before. Like behind the scenes look,

Molly 37:36

I love the phrase that you wrote on the agenda. This is a podcast for food truck operators. This is what I love about the world of podcasting.

Matthew Amster-Burton 37:43


Molly 37:44

that there is truly room for every kind of podcast.

Matthew Amster-Burton 37:48

Yeah, that's true. So no, but I genuinely recommend this show. Like if you if you like food trucks, I think you are going to enjoy this show.

Molly 37:55

Matthew, I have to tell you, so I had a different now but wow, that I was going to do this morning. And as I was like washing my face, I realized so last week and now but wow, I talked about how excited I was that finally my hold through the library had just come like it was my turn to read the book of delights by Ross gay member I mentioned this last week. I do remember that and how have you gotten it yet?

Matthew Amster-Burton 38:21

I've not gotten it yet. I think it says estimated time like nine weeks.

Molly 38:25

Okay, so now you see why I was excited. Right? Yeah. Okay, well, I'm now like halfway through it. And I was gonna talk about something else this morning. But I realized while I was washing my face that last night, I dreamed like thinking about that book. So I just had to share that this book is so good that like it's showing up like in my dreams like I'm I'm unpacking now in my dreams. So if you listener have not already put a hold on Ross gays, the book of delights through your library, well either buy a copy or get on hold, but you could

Matthew Amster-Burton 39:01

also like buy the book.

Molly 39:03

You could also buy the book. I mean, the truth is, I'm gonna go out and buy the book now. Yeah, so sorry, I'm doing two weeks in a row of Ross gay the book of delights.

Matthew Amster-Burton 39:12

No, that's that's totally legit. That's a legit snack. In the dream like were you dreaming about the book as like a physical object or like something that happened in the like that he wrote about in the book.

Molly 39:23

I was like, analyzing it. Like I like I do. Like I was like doing a close reading of it. As I was dreaming like and it wasn't that I was dreaming about doing a close reading of it. It was like in my dreams. I was unpacking the book. And specifically like his writing style. Wow, that is super nerdy. It's so nerdy. But anyway, I just had to share because I mean now but wow, what a nerd Am I yeah, anyway, the book is great

Matthew Amster-Burton 39:52

for your next dream. I recommend sexy octopus dreams. You mean our octopus dreams? Your octopus dreams? Okay. No I can't tell you how much I appreciate you like going on that iraq suppose journey with the and trying to like make that word a thing for for a few minutes because as soon as I said that I was like I wish I could take that back but no, you were so affirming.

Molly 40:13

That's what I am. I am here to affirm you sometimes.

Matthew Amster-Burton 40:18

Yeah, and I don't mean like take it back because there's anything wrong with like, like erotic octopus content, just just like that. It's so many consonants. It's true. All right, you can find us online at spellbound podcast.com. And on reddit@reddit.com slash are slash everything spilled milk, you can send us an email for spilled mail or some time segment contact at spilled milk podcast calm. Our producer is Abby circuit tele who is our octopus teacher.

Molly 40:49

Yep. And thank you as always for listening to spilled milk. The show that that is a podcast for food

Matthew Amster-Burton 40:59


Molly 41:02


can I have a food podcast?

Matthew Amster-Burton 41:05

operator? Can I have a food?

Molly 41:07

I'm Molly weisenberg.

Matthew Amster-Burton 41:09

Ad. I'm octopus man.

Molly 41:18

Hang on. Okay, my sorry. I know my sound quality is really bad because I'm far away from my mic. Picking it up again.