HUNTSVILLE, AL—Barry Hodge, a 37-year-old Huntsville resident and assistant shoe-store manager, has no fear of trying new or unfamiliar snack-food items, it was reported Monday.
"I don't know what it is about me, but I've never been afraid to try new things," Hodge said. "Remember when they put the crisped rice in the middle of M&Ms last year? I wasn't scared. Or when they added that cookie layer to Reese's Peanut Butter Cups? Even though I had no idea what it would be like, I dove right in without thinking twice. I just try to keep an open mind about new experiences."
Hodge has long cultivated his reputation for fearlessness, willing to try anything described on its packaging as new, zestier, crunchier or bolder.
"A lot of people I know don't seize the moment, and I think that's kind of sad," said Hodge, eating a Fluffernutter sandwich. "When I heard there was a new pizza-flavored Pringles, I didn't back down in fear of the unknown. Instead, I went for it, hopping in my car and racing to the Piggly Wiggly to pick up a can. Same thing when I heard about those new chocolate-covered Pretzel Flipz."
"Even when I make a mistake," Hodge continued, "I never regret it, because at least I know I tried to expand my horizons. Like that new Oreo breakfast cereal: I wound up not liking it all that much, but I won't spend the rest of my life looking over my shoulder, wondering what it would've been like to try it."
Hodge has been known to push the snacking envelope in other ways, as well. Recently, he began experimenting with dipping chips into such non-traditional chip-dipping substances as Duncan Hines cake frosting, Smuckers strawberry jam, and the frozen residue left by a can of A&W cream soda that exploded in his freezer.
"I tried scraping the frozen cream soda with some Tostitos, but it really didn't work," Hodge said. "The Tostitos did go surprisingly well with the frosting, though. That sweet-salty combination is great."
Though Hodge is best known for his adventurousness and bravado in the face of untested snack foods, he said he also enjoys returning to old favorites. "I've always loved Bugles, and I eat those a lot when I feel like having something friendly and familiar," Hodge said. "I'm the same way with Funyuns."
"Still, most of the time, I find myself seeking out something new to try," Hodge added. "I guess I'm just a restless soul."