November 10, 2006

Stop Dipping Around!

Print More

I’ve been getting a lot of criticism for the lack of references to 14th century epic poems in my snack column recently. So, without further ado, I present (with apologies to Dante, Italian culture, any literary majors and people who say The Sun is going to hell in a hand basket) Il divino nove intingolo di strato or The Divine Nine Layer Dip.
A blend of cheeses.
A protective crust.
Continuing further?
Thick chips are a must
This is a big dip, and if you think you’re getting away with scoops or a hint-of-lime (or a hint of anything citrus for that matter), think again, buster. I recommend Bite-Sized gold, the thickest chip in wide commercial distribution, but a variety of lesser-known thick-branded chips add some local flavor and allow you to pile 9 types of food onto a tiny corn plate.
Just below cheese
Is a vegetable medley.
Allergic to olives?
‘Tis the layer most deadly.
Getting to layer two is nothing to brag about, and because you’ve only barely scratched the surface of the dip, the rewards are minimal. I blow through layer two like its nothing, trying to hit the beef pay dirt I know is buried many layers below.
Fry beans once
Then fry them again.
The amount of flavor
Will expand by ten.
The refried beans layer is where most weak chips snap in two, leaving you with a very tough decision. You can cut your losses and enjoy two and a half layers, or you can press on through thick beans and go for the bottom with half a chip. Choosing to continue will always leave you with dip all over your hand, but hey, it’s the host’s responsibility to provide adequate chips.
Salsa when fresh
Is delicious and spicy.
You’re four layers down
This is gonna get dicey.
Salsa as a stand alone dip is popular, and the level of spice here can make or break a layered delight. Not spicy enough, and it’s just like another layer of tomatoes; too spicy and people will be reluctant to go for more. This is the first “wet layer” of the dip, but don’t get self-conscious just because you are close to wrist-deep in snack.
Glorious Green Guacamole(y)
-The Snack of the Gods-
It’s the layer most holy
I love guacamole. Unfortunately, everyone else loves it too. What happens in a lot of deep dish dips is people get down to the guac layer and stop scooping vertically. This leads to horizontal scooping to maximize guacamole, compromising the entire structure balanced above. The only solution to this problem is having a separate dish of guacamole next to the layer dip so that people don’t have the urge to pillage.
Sour Cream is Gross
Not all poems need to rhyme.
I guess if your salsa two layers above was super spicy, sour cream would be necessary to quench the fire. I try to change the angle of my chip at this layer to minimize scoopage of sour cream, because it is my second-to-least-favorite white condiment (first being mayo). Until an embarrassing age, I would confuse sour cream and whipped cream, always asking for the wrong thing at the wrong time. I learned the difference in seventh grade, when I first was allowed to eat whipped cream from the can.
“Lettuce gets its own layer?!”
You shout with disdain
“its not needed nor tasty”
You complaints are in vain
Its hard for the makers of dips to make nine layers, so often a thin layer of fossilized lettuce is placed right before the holy grail of beef, just to test the snacker’s resolve. This layer of lettuce is also a buffer zone, preventing “beef juice” from tainting the white sour cream above.
The bottom layer
You struck solid beef.
Pop that chip in your mouth
For some hunger relief.
Mexican beef, as found in tacos, burritos, burros, chimichangas, beef pies and enchiladas wins the “Charlie Niesenbaum Flat-Out Delicious Award.” The reason this goes on the bottom of the of the dip is because if you put it on top, nobody would ever go below the first layer. If you made it this far, congratulations. Retract your eight layers of delicious food delicately out of the container, rejoice and repeat.
The pain! The incredible burning!
You know that you’re stupid
‘Cause for more chips you are yearning.
Looks like you repeated too frequently. Oh well, we grew a lot together anyway. You conquered the depths of dip, and I conquered my fear of epic poetry. Until next time, snack on.