As originally published in McSweeney’s.

Rhythm Superfoods Beet Chips – Naked Flavor
Submitted by Kristen Van Nest

Caught up in the lifeless grind of everyday, my fingers wander to the strategically placed rack in the line area at Starbucks. My eyes linger upon a bag of Rhythm Superfoods Beet Chips – Naked Flavor. Will these beet chips answer my yearning to try something new? Will they add purpose and excitement to the malaise and monotony of my life?

After all, beets are a superfood. Once consumed, the nitrate in beets is converted into nitrite, causing blood vessels to dilate, directing blood and oxygen to your muscles. Beets will improve my aerobic performance, but will these beet chips cure my longing for something more?

These chips could have been “plain” flavor, but life is plain. “Naked” implies the experience of flesh on flesh, the tingling sensation of increased blood flow. Like the touch of a new lover, these chips promise heightened excitement. I blush as the cashier rings up my “Naked” chips.

Ripping the bag open, it is dark inside. I peer in and discover a pile of porous, cavernous flat circles. The chips have the rutted exterior of black truffles and, like a tree trunk’s many ripples, their oblate sides have concentric ever-expanding circles. These beets are young, but their exteriors show their deep character, answering to the BALANCE & HARMONY promised on their packaging (listed as a core principles of the Rhythms Superfoods brand). The beet chips have proven mysterious. I must have them.

Seeing they are baked not fried, I bite into their hard exterior. The taste of a thousand deserts enters my mouth. All liquid has been removed. Like the creation of a diamond, everything has been compressed into the hardened flavor of sweetened dehydration. If you dried everything good in this world, removed all that flavor, leaving just mere dust, you would have these chips. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. These beet chips cannot quench my thirst for something more. Perhaps I should have bought the Naturally Bare Baked Crunch Coconut Chips.

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