Twin Lotus Herbal Toothpaste

The Twin Lotus Original Herbal Toothpaste combines three things I’m scared of when it comes to products to review — it’s from a Southeastern Asian country (Thailand), it’s herbal, and it looks like something that might come out of an asshole. Not surprisingly, the most disturbing out of the three for me is the fact it looks like shit, and believe me I know what shit looks like because I’ve seen the 2 Girls 1 Cup video enough that I could make the calmest reaction video ever.

Fortunately for me, the packaging came in Thai and English so I could read what I was getting myself into, but not even the English language could help ease my trepidation about the product. I’m used to toothpaste with sodium fluoride, foaming agents, and the American Dental Association Seal of Acceptance, but not toothpaste made from over ten natural herbs, sorbitol, and flavour. The packaging doesn’t even list the natural herbs, except for streblus asper and clove, which makes me wonder if this product is a true Thai toothpaste or a tourist tricking toothpaste?

Speaking of its ten natural herbs, the Twin Lotus Herbal Toothpaste gets its dark shit-like color from them, but according to the packaging those herbs also have an oral hygienic kick.

(Editor’s Note: The following quote from the package has not been altered for grammatical correctness.)

With over 10 natural herbal ingredients keeps gums and teeth healthy firmly. It relieves sensitive teeth and decreases cigarette, tea and coffee stains, eliminates bad breath, keeps breath fresh and clean.

Its scent reminded me of the Sea Breeze astringent I used to suck up the oil from my face in the late 1980s. The scent also reminded me of the alcoholic burn from the Sea Breeze astringent, which had the same rousing abilities as smelling salt. When I first brushed with the Twin Lotus Original Herbal Toothpaste, I could only stand it for 15 seconds before having to spit it out because it tasted like what I imagine the sole of a boot that has walked on a herbal farm tastes like. However, the more I brushed with it, the more I got used to it and now I can go the whole three minutes of brushing without gagging.

The foam made by the Twin Lotus Original Herbal Toothpaste was disturbingly tan in color. Also, my mouth still felt gritty after rinsing the first time, so I had to rinse a second time to ensure that I wouldn’t cause any unusual sensations if I had to French kiss or salad toss someone.

Now that I’m used to its flavor, the Twin Lotus Original Herbal Toothpaste is something I would use to brush during odd times, like after lunch, but it isn’t something I would use for brushing in the morning or before I go to bed because I love fluoride to protect my teeth. However, I’m quickly running out of it because I’m having too much fun using it to make small piles of fake dog poop.

(Editor’s Note: I would like to curse thank TIB reader LaneO for providing me with the Twin Lotus Original Herbal Toothpaste to review.)

Item: Twin Lotus Original Herbal Toothpaste
Price: FREE
Size: 200 grams
Purchased at: Given by reader LaneO
Rating: 2 out of 10
Pros: Made from more than ten genuine natural herbs. English translation. Natural oral care. Makes awesome fake dog poop. Not being bothered by 2 Girls 1 Cup.
Cons: Looks like shit. Tastes like making out with Joan Rivers after a clove cigarette. Looks like shit. No fluoride. Looks like shit. Leaves a gritty feeling in my mouth. Looks like shit. Smells like Sea Breeze astringent. Looks like shit. Takes some time to get used to its taste.

Taco Bell Volcano Taco

Why must Taco Bell insist on painting the taco shell red for their Volcano Taco to let you know that it’s spicy? Most of us are probably functionally retarded during the times we’re eating there at two in the morning, but it doesn’t give them carte blanche to rub it in our faces. We shouldn’t take this lying down, no matter how fat and lazy their food has made us!

This is Taco Bell flipping us off with one hand and biting their thumb with the other. We already knew that their product wasn’t healthy, but now they’re basically admitting the food is by no means real or to be taken seriously. You might as well swing by the drive-thru window and ask for a cup of Play-Doh so you can make your own taco shells at home.

Aside from the food coloring, I was excited about the prospect of a new affordable taco with a “cheesy lava sauce” that would allow me to spew fire and blow smoke from my head. As I was figuring out the logistics of trying how to make a taco stand up for a picture, I had two of my buds perform an informal taste test.

The first looked rather disgusted and deadpanned that it “tastes like old mayonnaise” as he reached for a bottle of beer.

The second response started off more promising. “I like it better than a regular taco,” he nodded, before continuing, “I’d probably give it a 4 out of 10.”

Apparently, he doesn’t like Taco Bell’s regular tacos very much.

I agree with his score, but not with his original assessment. Taco Bell’s original tacos are unabashedly generic Tex-Mex tacos, but they typically hit the spot. Even doused with hot sauce, the smattering of iceberg lettuce does an admirable job of being a refreshing palate cleanser.

With the Volcano Taco, the cheese sauce overwhelms all of the other ingredients and leaves you with a rather tangy aftertaste. I wouldn’t say that it tastes like bad mayonnaise, but it does have a pretty thick and heavy mouth feel which threw me off a bit. In regards to the heat, I’d say that the red shell warning was unnecessary. It’s moderately spicy, but it’s not anything that will have you blowing fire or reaching for the nearest icy beverage.

Unless, of course, it’s to wash the taste out of your mouth.

(Nutritional Facts – 1 taco – 240 calories, 150 calories from fat, 17 grams of fat, 5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 35 milligrams of cholesterol, 490 milligrams sodium, 14 gram of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, 1 gram of sugar, and 8 grams of protein.)

(Editor’s Note: The folks at Fast Food Critic also reviewed the red-shelled one.)

Item: Taco Bell Volcano Taco
Price: 89 cents
Purchased at: Taco Bell
Rating: 4 out of 10
Pros: Cheaper than most of their items that come with cheese sauce. Moderately spicy. The ability to breathe fire.
Cons: Not nearly as spicy as advertised. Tangier and thicker sauce than I expected. Sauce masks the taste of lettuce, beef, and shredded cheese. Aftertaste is not pleasant.

The Week in Reviews – 9/6/2008

Take a trip with me through some of this week’s reviews from other blogs because, admit it, you’re a little bored now that the Olympics are over.

I had an ex-girlfriend who liked the scent of the seasonal Pumpkin Spice Bath and Body Works body wash, but it was hard to find. I wanted to do something nice for her, so tracked some down on eBay and she later broke up with me. Candy Blog’s review of the Pumpkin Spice Kisses brought back memories of her. Thanks Cybele…I’m going to go cry in a corner now.

In order for me to have any desire to eat an Ore-Ida Twice Baked Potato, I’m probably going to have to be twice baked myself.

Oooh, gum so irritatingly cute that I want to gnaw them to death.

I’m disappointed that this wasn’t an autobiographical film.

I guess I should pimp my new blog, The Impulsive Download, which provides quasi-reviews of iPhone/iPod Touch applications. The first review? A $30 dictionary app that finally puts something thick into my pants.

REVIEW: Trident Xtra Care

The new Trident Xtra Care gum is like Viagra for teeth because it makes them hard and able to handle daily pounding if taken at least three hours in advance. I’ve been chewing it for the past few weeks, so I think my teeth are nice and hard. Whatever comes my way, I’m going to pound them hard. I’m going to pound them in the front with my incisors, then I’m going to pound them in the back with my molars, then I’m going to pound them on the side with my canines, and then we’re going to do it all over again until I’m through.

The Viagra-like substance in it that makes teeth hard is a patented ingredient called Recaldent, a unique form of calcium, that’s absorbed right into the tooth, strengthening areas attacked by plaque acids, helping replace minerals in weakened tooth enamel, and ensuring your teeth can withstand an all-day, all-night pounding session. The downside of Recaldent is that it’s derived from milk, so if you’re allergic to milk (not lactose intolerant) and chew on this gum, I suggest you get to a hospital soon after.

According to the Trident website, their Xtra Care gum has been clinically proven to rebuild, protect, and strengthen teeth. So this gum basically has the ability to turn your teeth into the regenerative Claire Bennet from Heroes, except not as hot (Wait…She’s 18, right? She is? Good.) and pictures of them won’t end up on The Superficial with witty comments.

Since I’m not a scientist, dentist or passed any of my college science classes with anything greater than a C, there’s no way I could ever truly find out if Recaldent has the ability to strengthen teeth. I’m just a jackass with a computer and an ability to sometimes type better than a monkey, so I’ll just have to take their word for it. Although I could try to test my teeth strength by catching a bullet with them or biting the Orbit gum girl who says I have a dirty mouth.

Trident Xtra Care gum comes in two flavors: Peppermint and Cool Mint. They’re both minty, but not pound-the-mouth-minty-fresh, like most minty gums I prefer to chew, which give me a cooling sensation that feels like I’m sucking on a huge piece of cocktail ice. When I first put the Xtra Care gum in my mouth, it seemed softer than most others I’ve had, but as time went on it ended up like all the others and got a little hard, so I had to take it out of my mouth. Because of its mild minty flavor, it’s a gum I wouldn’t reach for if I wanted fresh breath, but again its main draw isn’t its flavor, it is its ability to help maintain healthy teeth, which I hope it does because I’m going to go brush my teeth with sugar and rinse it out with a chocolate milkshake.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 piece – less than 5 calories, 0 grams of fat, 0 milligrams of sodium, 1 gram of carbohydrates, 0 grams of sugar, 1 grams of sugar alcohol, 0 grams of protein, and 15 minutes of hard pounding.)

Item: Trident Xtra Care
Price: $1.49
Size: 14 pieces
Purchased at: 7-Eleven
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Sugarless. Low calorie. Fat free. Recaldent has been clinically proven to rebuild, protect, and strengthen teeth, making it the Viagra for teeth. Brushing teeth with sugar. Rinsing sugar with a chocolate milkshake. Being able to handle all-day, all-night pounding from the front, back, and side. Hayden Panettiere.
Cons: Not powerfully minty, like most gum. Comes in only two flavors. Can’t really determine if it’s doing any good, unless you go to the dentist. Can’t be consumed by those who are allergic to milk. I sometimes type better than a monkey. Season 2 of Heroes.

REVIEW: Ito En Veggie Shot

Somewhere in the heavens, Jack LaLanne is laughing at us and yelling “I told you so, motherfuckers! I told you juicing is a great way for you to get your vegetables, bitches!” It turns out that the old man was right and if I had a time machine, I would go back in time to purchase a Jack LaLanne Juice Tiger in three easy installments of $29.95 plus shipping and handling and receive a set of Ginsu Knives absolutely free if I order it within the next 20 minutes.

Oh wait. I’ve just been told that Jack LaLanne is still alive thanks to juicing and that he will probably live longer than I will and when I’m dead, he will dance on my grave.

I may not have a Juice Tiger, but I probably have the second best thing — the Ito En Veggie Shot. Developed in the same country that gave us one billion episodes of Dragonball and game shows that are one billion times more entertaining than American ones, the Japanese drink shoehorns TWENTY vegetables and three fruits into one beverage, which bests the eight vegetables in a V8 Vegetable Drink and the seven to ten vegetables MTV sticks into each Real World house.

The clusterfuck of veggies and fruits in the Ito En Veggie Shot include: apples, lemons, white grapes, carrots, spinach, sweet potato, red bell peppers, green beans, celery, lettuce, broccoli, kale, pumpkin, green bell peppers, asparagus, napa cabbage, komatsuna, ashitaba, parsley, watercress, cabbage, radish, and Japanese honewort. It doesn’t specifically say on the bottle, but I’m pretty sure an 8-ounce cup of this blended farmer’s market provides a serving of vegetables.

With two and half times more vegetables than a V8 Vegetable Juice, I was expecting the Ito En Veggie Shot to taste like a rabbit’s wet dream, but it has a surprisingly fruity flavor, like the V8 Fusion drinks, thanks to the three fruits also included with the veggies. When the beverage first hit my tongue, it tasted like apple juice and after that it was more of a sweet vegetable taste, slightly similar to the Odwalla Superfood green sludge.

With twenty vegetables, you might think that the Ito En Veggie Shot is healthier and provides more vitamins than a V8 Vegetable Juice, but unfortunately that wasn’t the case. The Japanese drink has less sodium than a regular V8, but the V8 has less calories, more potassium, less carbs, less sugar, more fiber, more protein, more vitamins, and mixes well with vodka in a Bloody Mary. However, even the V8’s healthiness isn’t enough for me to choose it over the Ito En Veggie Shot’s taste.

(Nutrition Facts – 8 ounces – 80 calories, 0 grams of fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 65 milligrams of sodium, 400 milligrams of potassium, 18 grams of carbohydrates, 1 grams of dietary fiber, 17 grams of sugar, 0 grams of protein, 20% Vitamin A, 2% Calcium, and 100 milligrams of Japanese ingenuity.)

Item: Ito En Veggie Shot
Price: $2.99
Size: 30.4 ounces
Purchased at: Nijiya Market
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Surprisingly good. Contains 100% juice and twenty different vegetables and three fruits. Better tasting than V8 because it has a fruity flavor. Easy to drink. It initially tastes like apple juice. No added sugar or salt. Jack LaLanne is still alive. Japanese game shows. Getting Ginsu Knives for free.
Cons: Not as healthy and full of vitamins as V8. Not sure if some of the vegetables make a difference, like parsley. Might be hard to find if you don’t have a Asian grocer near you. Jack LaLanne will live longer than me. The billions of Dragonball episodes.

Jack in the Box Pita Snacks

First off, if you’re reading this review in the morning, I apologize for the rude awakening the picture above of the new Jack in the Box Pita Snacks has given you. If you’re reading this review in the evening, I would like to say I’m sorry for the nightmares the photo on top are about to give you. I know the picture above looks as scary as a photo of the Doodlebops. Oh crap! If you just clicked that link for pictures of the Doodlebops, I apologize for the possible nightmare orgy of Pita Snacks and brightly dressed children’s television show characters, which could eventually lead to a rainbow orgy in your mind of Yo Gabba Gabba!, Doodlebops, and Teletubbies.

If you love chomping down on animals, the Jack in the Box pretty much has most of your meats covered with their Pita Snacks, offering it in chicken (center), beef (right), and fish (left). The chicken one comes with either the deliciously unhealthy crispy chicken or the slightly less daring grilled chicken, the beef version consists of strips of marinated sirloin steak, while the fish one has a breaded fish fillet. All Pita Snacks also feature shredded cheddar cheese, shredded lettuce, and a chipotle sauce wrapped in a pita made with whole grain.

I was pleasantly surprised by the Jack in the Box Pita Snacks in size and taste. Despite have the word “Snack” in its name, they were remarkably well-sized. I was afraid its size was going to be disappointing like the KFC Snacker or a male Asian porn star, but they were as big as a Taco Bell Chalupa, except with less farting.

I tried the grilled chicken, sirloin, and fish versions in one sitting and pretty much enjoyed them all, thanks to the chipotle sauce, which gave the Pita Snacks a nice heat and flavor, but didn’t overwhelming the meat in them. Without the sauce, each Pita Snack would be the equivalent of a telenovela without the steamy love triangle and excessive face slaps. The grilled chicken and sirloin were tender and the breaded fish had a nice crunchy coating, although that crunch coating probably caused the fish version to be unhealthier than the other two.

The iceberg lettuce didn’t add much to the pita package, which really wasn’t surprising since iceberg lettuce has never made a significant contribution to any dish. As for the cheddar cheese, it also didn’t add anything to the Pita Snacks, but its radioactive orange color might make it easier for your subconscious mind to stick the Jack in the Box Pita Snacks into your nightmare orgy of fuzzy children’s television characters.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 pita snack – Fish – 380 calories, 19 grams of fat, 4.5 grams of saturated fat, 2 grams of trans fat, 30 milligrams of cholesterol, 780 milligrams of sodium, 170 milligrams of potassium, 39 grams of carbs, 3 grams of dietary fiber, 2 grams of sugar, 13 grams of protein. Grilled Chicken – 310 calories, 13 grams of fat, 3 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 50 milligrams of cholesterol, 640 milligrams of sodium, 210 milligrams of potassium, 31 grams of carbs, 3 grams of dietary fiber, 2 grams of sugar, 17 grams of protein, Sirloin Steak – 350 calories, 16 grams of fat, 4.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 45 milligrams of cholesterol, 640 milligrams of sodium, 200 milligrams of potassium, 3 grams of dietary fiber, 2 grams of sugar, 19 grams of protein.)

Item: Jack in the Box Pita Snacks
Price: $2.99 ($1.99 in most other places)
Purchased at: Jack in the Box
Rating: 8 out of 10 (Grilled chicken)
Rating: 8 out of 10 (Sirloin steak)
Rating: 6 out of 10 (Fish)
Pros: Chipotle sauce was tasty and spicy, but not too spicy. Pita made with whole grain, but what isn’t made out of whole grain nowadays. Bigger than I thought they would be. Tender grilled chicken and sirloin. Less farting than a Taco Bell Chalupa. Reasonably priced at $1.99.
Cons: Eating three in one sitting. Use of iceberg lettuce. Messy to eat. Fish had 2 grams of trans fat and was the unhealthiest of the three. Lettuce and cheese didn’t add much. A rainbow orgy of fuzzy children’s television characters haunting your dreams. Having to pay $2.99 for each, instead of the more reasonably priced $1.99.