Which sunflower seed is best?

Which sunflower seed is best?

A.A. Knorr and Beau Troutman

AK: In honor of MLB Opening Day, I posted a Twitter poll asking my limited follower base to vote on the best flavor of sunflower seeds. There are two issues here.

First, Twitter only allows four options on a poll, and, in lame effort at baseball humor, I put Grizzly Wintergreen chewing tobacco as one of the options.

Second, why would anyone respond to my poll? I’m as irrelevant on MLB Opening Day as the Cleveland Indians are during the MLB Playoffs.

So, Beau, what’s your take? Give me a pitch for your favorite flavor of seeds.

BT: Original flavor or bust, Adam. Seeing guys walking in the gas station with their off-brand Oakleys and flat-billed caps going straight for the Ranch or Barbecue is a national tragedy every baseball season. Ranch is for salad, buffalo chicken and pizza-dipping sauce; not my sunflower seeds. The marriage of barbecue sauce with the sunflower seed is something that never should’ve happened. It tastes too much like a Dorito trying to be healthy. You can’t go wrong with the basics, my friend: salt, seeds, baseball. Baseball is old school, and its seeds should be too.

AK: OK. Respect. If you can’t show some love to Original, then you’re probably a Miami Marlins fan. Which means you’re not really a fan at all, you’re just old and like bright colors.

Now, Barbecue, Ranch and Original are going to almost always be the de facto top three. They’re all great in their own right, if you ask me, and they get the most facetime at stores. But let’s look at the those that fly under the radar—Jalapeño Hot Salsa and Cracked Pepper. If you’re standing out at shortstop on a sweltering day, you’re going to want to avoid Jalapeño Hot Salsa, but if you’re posted up on the couch without a care in the world, you can take a taste bud risk or two. Cracked Pepper is slept on, and I can’t even say they’re that good, but the design of the black David bag is too appealing for me to pass up.

Just don’t get me started on Dill Pickle.

BT: And our first disagreement: The unsung Dill Pickle.

Dill pickles are interesting. They’re a vegetable that doubles as a burger topping, makes for a savory potato chip and last but certainly not least, make for a great sunflower seed. While I agree Ranch, Barbecue and Original are the big three because they are the most popular in American baseball, Dill Pickle is the unsung hero here; the R.A. Dickey, David Eckstein, Jim Abbott.

Ranch and Barbecue are too manufactured. The seasonings dominate the flavor and take away from the actual sunflower seed. Dill Pickle has a mild, low-key taste that keeps the sincerity of the sunflower seed, because it too has a mild flavor. Ranch and Barbecue call way too much attention to themselves. Dill Pickle is low key, just like baseball is low key. It’s America’s pastime. It’s been here the longest. It doesn’t need to advocate for itself; hence, the Dill Pickle.

AK: Well, I’ll be honest. I never looked at Dill Pickle in that light. Much like the balk rule, sunflower seed preferences are confusing and arbitrary. To each his own, I believe they say.

Now that I think about it, I never took a stance on my actual favorite. I think your original stance on Original seeds was right, Beau. You hit the nail on the head. Baseball is traditional. It doesn’t stray, it doesn’t glorify in flair, it doesn’t boast style, except for those gorgeous stirrups that every baseball player should be forced to wear.

As for the others—Chili Lime, Reduced Sodium, Sweet & Salty—they can stay in Single A where they belong. This is a five-horse race, at best, and since we’re Grand Valley State’s premier sports authorities, we get to make the call. Original it is.

Now, I’m going to go check on that Twitter poll.

BT: Bacon flavored, anyone?