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In part two of a series, Orson goes where few dare: the bargain aisle of your local GNC/Legal ‘roids shop, in a series that owes everything to the legendary "Steve, Don’t Eat It" segments from The Sneeze.

We comb the aisles of your local GNC looking for the worst abortions of scientific nutrition so you don't have to, dear reader, in the second part of our extremely sporadic feature...


Item: Protein Delite Cookies. It's so good, you won't even be able to spell correctly. We bought the chocolate "chip" and peanut butter variety for experimental validity to make sure that all varieties were equally inedible, but opted out of the oatmeal raisin since raisins, by even our liberal definition, are not "food."

But my, that's some dynamic, manly block lettering on that package. It's not just 25 grams of protein unless it announces it in a starburst, as if it were literally bursting out of the package.

Protein-rich cookies. You know this was a good idea.

Initial Impressions. Caught our eye for the simple fact that anything advertising itself as "the best tasting protein supplement snack" begs for testing. Kicks prior contestant "Sylvester Stallone's Power Pudding" for total protein by 5 whole grams, 20 to 25. We also note a disturbing trend among power foods: like Power Pudding, Protein Delites feel like they've been made with added ununoctium or some other superheavy element previously only observable under carefully controlled laboratory conditions.

On opening, the disturbingly heavy cookies smell faintly of whey protein, an odor not unlike that of fresh Play-Doh.

(The similarities, sadly, will continue in the taste and consistency.) They're also very, very hard. We're talking, like, Chips Ahoy! hardness here, but without the promise of hardened sugar and flour. Sitting brick-like in the hand, they're already giving off the sad vibe of Frood, that awful middle ground between food and fraud.

Like weighty discs of pure sorrow: Delites, out of the bag.

Taste: First comes the peanut butter, and the overwhelming impression is...Play-Doh left out to dry on the counter for a few hours. There's whey protein in there, sure, and high, reedy notes of good old reliable Sorbitol and Sucralose to simulate a treacly sweetnes in there. There may actually be peanut in there, too, but it's all lost in the gummy, oddly heavy texture of the cookie. We could be eating a fake cookie. Or building insulation. Or whole chunks of undoctored marzipan. Or pieces of a model train set, really. It's all possible at this point.

The chocolate chip cookie opens the floodgates to real, you-just-killed-my-dog-with-a-lightning-bolt sorrow, though. The same reeky play-doh consistency follows, but with an attempt to put chocolate "chips" in there. We say "chips" because instead of proper fake chocolate they've simply run the whole thing through with ribbons of motor-oil colored fake chocolate syrup. When you hit them, they taste like burnt Sweet 'n Low. If you handed them out on a street corner, the entire city of New York would be paralyzed with despair in a matter of hours.

We finish a quarter of each. TCOAN, helping us in the taste test, spits hers out and announces that this is the first time she's ever spit something out of her mouth. We would like to say that she has threatened us within an inch of our lives if we printed that comment without a warning that yes, it's as bad as it sounds, and yes again, that comment is unfortunately lewd-sounding and sounded just as bad in real life.

We're totally ready to say a hearty fuck-off to Protein Delites when we espy this bit of instruction on the back:

We're shocked that the FDA would allow these to be heated. However, this also eliminates a theory of ours that the cookies are, in fact, low-grade plastic explosive. TCOAN isn't quite buying this, however, and waits at the opposite end of the house while we heat one up in the microwave. No explosions, and no "oven-fresh taste" as promised. Unless we're referring to young roofing tiles just removed from the kiln, in which case they're totally correct. It is the same shitty cookie, just a hot, shitty, and inedible cookie.

Summary Judgement: Driven to tears. The official cookie of voluntary self-euthanasia. The Protein Delite Super Cookie defies nature, and not in that "heavenly, levitating booty" manner, but more in the "OH GOD BRAIN IT WITH A SHOVEL BEFORE IT BREEDS!!!" way.

Emotionally, we're devastated. Spent. Cookies bring joy. Cookies make the sun warm. Cookies are not supposed to leave you sitting on the sentimental ash-heap of life, wondering what could have been...and yet here we are with our Job hat on, covered in regret and sorrow. Fuck you, Protein Delites. Including the therapy and serotonin-reuptake inhibitors you'll need after eating just a half of one, it could be the most expensive cookie you'll ever purchase.

We've got two halves left in our refrigerator. We're saving them for when Galactus comes to devour our planet. If he eats them as an appetizer, his suicide will save the planet, and will be the only possible redemption for Protein Delites.

Galactus couldn't finish a whole one.