It's Shake 'n Bake... and I hayulped!1
Shake 'n Bake is a coating mix, made by Kraft. It is used to apply to meat, which is then baked for a while. It is popular because of two reasons.
A) It's tasty and delicious. Not just tasty. Not just delicious. Tasty and delicious. The packaging doesn't lie when it claims that chicken cooked with Shake 'n Bake™ is "Extra crispy outside, tender and juicy inside". Some of the flavours are better than others, but overall, as long as you're using good chicken and follow the directions, the food turns out real good.
anthropod says re shake 'n bake: Yeah, funny how chemicals make your food taste good. Learning how to really cook does it better, though, IMHO. ;-) but not really joking!
B) It's insanely easy to prepare. You take the plastic bag that comes with the Shake 'n Bake, run a bit of water over a piece of chicken (Or fish, or pork, however chicken is the most popular choice), put the chicken in the bag, pour some of the Shake'n Bake into the bag, shake it, pull it out, put it on a pan and throw it in the oven. 20-45 minutes later, you're done.
The combination of these two factors have made Shake 'n Bake rather popular since it was introduced by Kraft in 1965. At the time, there were only two flavours, Chicken and Fish. Now, however there are a couple of pork flavours, the fish flavour (The least popular type it seems), a whole lot of chicken flavours, and even a coating for spiced homemade french fries.
Shake 'n Bake seems to be most popular amongst those who are just starting to learn how to cook, don't have the resources available to cook elaborate meals themselves, and those who don't have much time to put into meal preparation. Naturally it is a favorite amongst college students, who often fall under all three categories. And of course, there are the millions of people who buy Shake 'n Bake simply because it's tasty and easy to use. You don't really need any other excuse. Having been introduced in 1965, there are a couple generations which have grown up eating this stuff, and it doesn't look like people are about to stop anytime soon.
Shake 'n Bake currently comes in the following flavours:
Myself, I reccomend the Lemon Pepper, Cajun, or Southern Fried. Original's pretty good too. I try to avoid the Teriyaki.
Oh, and since someone asked, here's a list on the indredients, this from the Lemon Pepper variety: Toasted Bread Crumbs, Corn Meal, Whole Wheat, Modified Corn Starch, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean and Cottonseed oil, Sugar, Natural Lemon Flavour, Salt, Natural Flavour, Black Pepper and other spices, Malted Barley Flour, Parsley, Garlic, Onion, Yeast, Amylase.
1: That quote is from a rather old ad for Shake 'n Bake, wherein upon being asked what's for dinner, a young southern girl proudly proclaims It's Shake 'n Bake... and I hayulped! The idea of course being that it is so simple to prepare, even a child can do it.
Wiccanpiper says re shake 'n bake: Hey! That's how I grew up saying "help"! <g>
Wiccanpiper says that's really how they say helped in, for example, Georgia. In KY we'd be more likely to say "heped".
DejaMorgana says If this was Wikipedia i wouldn't mention it, but given the enormous cult status of Aliens in these here parts, i think the shake 'n bake w/u ought to mention that shake'n bake is also slang for the type of semi-automated colony set up on LV-426 in that movie. "It's what we call a shake'n bake colony," says the young Company flack, utterly oblivious to Ripley's horrified expression.
Good point. It's also used to refer to a lot of other things that are quite easy to set up, or things that come ready to use. For example, there is one software package that you use by inputting X-ray diffraction data, which provides a Molecular Model as output. Easy! Simple! Shake 'n Bake!
Kraft Foods Inc. "Fast Easy Meals," 100 Years. <www.kraft.com/100/innovations/fasteasy.html> (December 30, 2004).
Kraft Canada, Inc. "Shake'n Bake," KraftCanada.com. <www.kraftcanada.com/controller?cmd=ARTICLE_VIEW&lang=EN&sid=41019&aid=22805&ctx=5000> (December 30, 2004).