Archive for Worth a Fork

Never mock Whole Foods again

Unless they start selling “dwarf cabbage” at five bucks a head:

Dear God, I hope he didn’t boil it.

(Via @rattycastle.)

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Condition contrary to fact

Now that the nearby Walmart has been taught to stock Royal Crown Cola on a regular basis, I figured I ought to work on acquiring a stash of Moon Pies. (My Suthun upbringing, doncha know.) Amazon coughed up a case of 24 convenience-store size Moon Pies ($19.95), and I propelled myself half a century or so into the past.

It wouldn’t last, of course. Today’s Moon Pie must comply with all the usual federal rules, and on the back of the wrapper is the obligatory nutrition data, including the calorie count, which is 100.

A mere 100? I looked closer. Serving size: 1/3 pie.

Now really, people. Has anyone in the 100-year history of the Moon Pie ever eaten merely a third of a Pie? I know I haven’t, and I’m damned if I’m going to start now.

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Willingly buffeted

There is all you can eat, and there is “All You Can Eat.” How the difference is maintained:

Some of this I figured; some of it I never imagined.


Cheeses crust

It was a very rough day, what with the usual Friday folderol at work, the necessity of picking up next week’s groceries, and the heat being sufficient to blow Gwendolyn’s temp gauge past its usual 45-percent-of-range reading (though never out of range). In anticipation of the latter incidents, and mindful that I’d probably overspent the last couple of months, I dialed up Papa John from the workplace — I was in no mood to cook, and they don’t deliver out in the sticks anyway — and determined that a large pie with three or more toppings would cost 25 of Papa’s reward points. I hadn’t been keeping count, but I figured I’d polished off enough pizza to have rolled up thirty points or more. Not being entirely sure, though, I decided to wait to order until I got home and could check my standing myself.

One hundred forty-eight points. By any reasonable reckoning this was a hell of a lot of pizza.

Now if I can just figure out to do with my Bing Rewards (53,030 points). I’m sure they’re not redeemable for pizza.


The unbearable being of lightness

It’s not Jack Baruth. Not yet, anyway:

The fact of the matter is that it’s almost impossible to cut a 2014 Accord Coupe down to 2,700 pounds without fuel, particularly after you put in a rollcage, and that’s what I would need to cross the scales at three K flat. If I could manage it, however, I’d likely stretch my margin of victory even further. You wouldn’t know it to look at 2018’s “performance car” market, but weight is the senior partner in what we call the power-to-weight ratio. It’s why Robert Kubica willingly cut muscle to lose 13 pounds for the 2008 F1 season; there was no more fat for him to lose, but the stopwatch doesn’t care if you’re pulling fat, muscle, fuel, or depleted uranium.

Losing weight isn’t always a struggle of Kubica-esque proportions. I lost a full three pounds off my combined bike-and-rider weight recently by switching to a titanium frame with carbon fork. I could have made the same gains by ordering a smaller filet on weekend nights but there’s no joy in that. Porsche took a few ounces off the 911 GT3RS by putting stickers on the car in place of little plastic logos. They even got to charge more for it.

Porsche charges extra for two kinds of options: (1) those that improve performance, and (2) those that don’t. The Cayenne that tried to clamber into my lane Monday afternoon was probably jammed full of (2)s.


But look at all those drumsticks!

SteveF will not eat bugs:

Unlike the bug eaters and the soyboys, I’m an apex predator. I’m a productive member of a culture which overcame geographic challenges and grew to dominate the world. Unlike members of certain other cultures or races or subspecies, which cannot feed themselves without bugs and foreign aid and nevertheless are breeding at a rate which not even bugs will sustain, my culture is productive enough and rich enough and prudent enough that we can eat any damned thing we want. And we do.

Which brought this story from the sidelines:

When I was in high school, I threw a party: all the hors d’oeuvres were weird things. That’s one thing you can count on in California, you can find whatever weird foodstuffs you want!

So I had chocolate-covered ants, fried crickets, some kind of french-fried worms that closely resembled Cheetos, all kinds of mouth-watering delicacies. Somehow I forgot to mention what was actually in or on the plates & bowls, but everyone happily munched them down! Until I brought out the containers they’d been in when I bought them…

You could say that a hush fell over the crowd, but only momentarily. Then it got very noisy indeed! That stage direction in Shakespeare’s A Winter’s Tale seemed to apply: “Exeunt, pursued by a bear.”

And don’t argue with bears, either:

Last week, a very clever bear broke into a New Jersey woman’s car and devoured two dozen cupcakes. The woman, who owns a vegan, gluten-free bakery, told a reporter at local newspaper The Record that she left the cupcakes in her SUV overnight so they could be delivered first thing the next day. Early that morning she awoke to hear the family dog barking at a late-night interloper mulling around in the backyard. She would later discover her car had endured a broken window and multiple frosting smudges, along with the disappearance of her valuable cupcake provisions.

You don’t see bears breaking into pest-control trucks, now do you?

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Lucky King

The Home of the Whopper has a sort of romantic side after all:

The object of his affections responded positively:

There’s something weirdly gratifying about fast food capable of a fast quip.

(Via HelloGiggles.)

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Semi-sweet roadblock

Actually, it probably wasn’t sweet at all, but just the sound of it creates music in the brain:

Drivers on the way to the Polish capital of Warsaw on Wednesday morning found the road blocked by an unusual impediment: tons of liquid chocolate that spilled onto the A2 motorway.

A tanker carrying the sweet load hit a road barrier and overturned, blocking two lanes. The ruptured tank spewed a pool of rapidly-hardening chocolate from both ends, which quickly covered the width of the road. While the driver has been taken to the hospital with a broken arm, firefighters are struggling to remove a reported 12 tons of solid chocolate from the roadway.

A representative for the firefighters told local news source TVN24 that scraping up the bittersweet barricade was worse than dealing with snow, a bold statement coming from chilly Poland. After contacting the chocolate manufacturer, the firefighters resorted to spraying hot, pressurized water to melt the sticky roadblock, while the New York Times reports that a bulldozer has been spotted scraping away.

(Via American Digest.)

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See your nearest C-store

You’ll recognize it immediately:

This LA Times item gives hope: “Fernando Lopez plans to close his three local Los Angeles-area Oaxacan restaurants for the day Monday after his approximately 50 employees agreed to observe a planned immigrant rights boycott then.”

By my count that’s three less places that will be serving up the “hand-wrapped garbage disposal delight” known as the “Burrito” (so named because it contains scraps of otherwise inedible food that was, in the past, fed only to Burros). Touted by the poor and the brain-dead alike as a “tasty snack,” the Burrito violates the primary rule of dining, “Never eat anything bigger than your head,” while recycling stuff usually found in the dumpsters of good restaurants through the innards of a human host who should know better and — shortly — will.

Hmmmm. Am I poor, or am I brain-dead? (Don’t answer that.)

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What you can do with your ethanol

And that’s not just Iowa corn.

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Seriously non-dairy

In fact, it would be difficult to come up with something more non-dairy than this:

Although most cockroaches don’t actually produce milk, Diploptera punctate, which is the only known cockroach to give birth to live young, has been shown to pump out a type of “milk” containing protein crystals to feed its babies.

The fact that an insect produces milk is pretty fascinating — but what fascinated researchers is the fact that a single one of these protein crystals contains more than three times the amount of energy found in an equivalent amount of buffalo milk (which is also higher in calories than regular cow’s milk).

Clearly milking a cockroach isn’t the most feasible option, so an international team of scientists headed by researchers from the Institute of Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine in India decided to sequence the genes responsible for producing the milk protein crystals to see if they could somehow replicate them in the lab.

Apparently they can, and the crystals have serious food value:

“It’s time-released food,” said Subramanian Ramaswamy, who led the project. “If you need food that is calorifically high, that is time released and food that is complete, this is it.”

I don’t think I need calories that much.

(Via Jeff Faria.)

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Single exposure

Sunday had been a long day, what with chores to finish and yet another team of techs in to work on the water heater. They checked out about 4:15; I decided maybe I might be able to squeeze in one more load of wash. At 4:23, I dialed up Dining Express and requested a No-Name from Irma’s Burger Shack. Normal delivery, I expected, would be in 55 minutes or so, and sure enough, the email confirmation came back with “Delivery: 05:18 pm.” Given my long-standing rule to WASH ALL THE THINGS, I peeled down to, well, nothing, and loaded up the washer.

The call came at 4:30. “We’re running about 15 minutes behind,” explained the Dining Express person. Well, yeah, what with the Marathon going on, traffic was bound to be flaky.

“So, a quarter to six, then? That’s fine.”

I had just loaded my tray with newly-dry towels when the doorbell rang. It was, um, 5:18. This would normally be a bathrobe moment, but the robe in question was not to be had just then, because Wash All The Things. I shouted a warning through the front door, and popped it open.

A fortyish chap with an insulated bag stood there. “You know, the first time I go to an address, I never know just what to expect.” I came back with an idiot grin; he added, “Just last week I got caught that way.”

About a quarter to six, halfway through a basket of hand-cut fries, it occurred to me. On the checkout page there is always a section for “Special instructions for driver.” I wondered for a moment: what would happen if I filled in that box with, say, “Customer wears no clothes, but you won’t see anything”? Because they really won’t see anything; the walker blocks the view. Would they stop delivering here? I’m not sure I want to take that chance.

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Lettuce alone

Surely this can’t go on forever. Still:

Right now chocolate is good for you and romaine lettuce can kill you: I've been training my whole life for this moment.

To quote the author:

[F]or optimal health, based on current science news, I’m going to be in the corner eating swanky chocolate and avoiding greens. Keep in mind this is a personal life choice. I’m not advising you to do this. I’m not a doctor. Consult your own physician for advice on what foods to light on fire.

And remember: the dark chocolate is the Good Stuff.

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Extra empty

Now this is just sad:

Thursday the nearest Popeye’s had no Spicy chicken except for thighs, and neither Coca-Cola nor Dr Pepper. Still, a workable meal could be had with judicious substitutions. But being totally out of chicken? That’s truly sad. In terms of sadness, in fact, it’s right down there with this scary story from six decades before:

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In lieu of a trip to Naples

It’s been at least 15 years since I even saw a carton of Neapolitan ice cream, and I never saw a tub of the stuff until this week’s shopping extravaganza.

And since memory fails me, I turn to you guys: Is there a canonical arrangement for the flavor sections? (This one has chocolate in the middle.)

I suspect that in Italy, if they actually serve this in Italy, they use the colors of the Italian flag, which would imply a section of pistachio in place of chocolate. (I’ve actually been in Italy less than 24 hours, and had no ice cream during that period. What was I thinking?)

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Where America used to be

Paul and Kathy hit the road: “So we bought a pack of cigarettes / And Mrs. Wagner pies / And walked off to look for America.”

Cigarettes you know. Mrs. Wagner’s pies, maybe not:

The Bitter Irony Department notes that Mrs. Wagner’s company ceased operations in 1968, the same year that Simon and Garfunkel’s Bookends album, whence came Simon’s song “America,” was released.


It’s good for you, too

Meanwhile in Bridgeville, Pennsylvania:

Medical marinara at Big Guys Pizza

(From reddit via Miss Cellania.)


Replicator 0.9

This isn’t even beta yet. Delta, maybe. Still, the premise is sufficiently Trek-y to command my attention:

Dutch company ByFlow has come up with a 3D printer that prints food. Their model starts at 3,300 euros (£2,940) and the firm has already sold more than 100 of them, including many to professional restaurant kitchens.

The printer is loaded with cartridges full of edible pastes that can be designed to set when extruded, says ByFlow’s Milena Adamczewska. It will print a carrot by using beetroot paste, for example.

I can’t see Bugs Bunny approving of that sort of thing. Or, for that matter, Jean-Luc Picard, until they can figure out how to get a cup of tea (Earl Grey, hot) out of that contraption.

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And you won’t get wafers with it

Is this the end of the Clark bar?

The Massachusetts manufacturer of such iconic candies as Necco wafers, Clark bars and those heart-shaped Sweethearts decorated with romantic sayings says it will shut down and lay off nearly 400 workers unless it finds a buyer.

Necco CEO Michael McGee wrote in a letter last week to Revere Mayor Brian Arrigo the company would close its plant in the city north of Boston if it can’t find a buyer by May 6. Negotiations with potential buyers are ongoing.

The New England Confectionary Company, which dates to 1847, has had problems before, notably in 2009 when it abandoned its original wafer flavors and colors in favor of something that wasn’t kale, but might as well have been.

(Via Marc Wielage.)

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Sue Storm orders a snack

I have to figure that the Invisible Woman would be delighted by this Transparent Taco:

Intense, indeed.

(Via @SwiftOnSecurity, hard to see in their own right.)

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Apart from the question of frosting

After a week scanning social media, the under-assistant something-or-other at Kellogg’s decided, “We must make a stand!”

And so it came to be:

I’m glad they cleared that up.

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Fair food

If you’re in the proper frame of mind, it might even be good — though few will argue that it’s good for you:

(Via Emily Rose.)

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If only you could order it to go

You expect See If You Can Eat This Much challenges in places like Texas. Japan, maybe not so much. But then:

Right now, the branch of the Stamina Taro Next restaurant chain in Tokyo’s Takadanobaba neighborhood is offering what it calls the Meaty Mega-mori Stamina Taro Napolitan Spaghetti, “mega-mori” being the Japanese phrase for “mega-sized” food. The restaurant is in no way kidding around with that descriptor, either, as the entree weighs a mind-blowing 3.7 kilograms (8.14 pounds).

Meaty Mega-mori Stamina Taro Napolitan Spaghetti

“Stamina,” indeed.

It’s a two-kilogram pile of spaghetti topped with a 500-gram hamburger steak, four strips of bacon, and no fewer than four pork cutlets. Oh, and it also comes with tonkatsu and cheese sauces on the side.

How much? I mean, price-wise:

Meaty Mega-mori Stamina Taro Napolitan is priced at 10,800 yen (US$98) … if you, all by yourself, can finish the entire Meaty Mega-mori Stamina Taro Napolitan in 30 minutes or less, not only will Stamina Taro Next waive your bill, they’ll also give you 50,000 yen (US$455) gift certificate as a prize!

Already I feel the urge for a Bromo-Seltzer.

(Via American Digest.)

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Not a single tray to wash

Says the Oklahoma History Center, the one-time Cafeteria Capital of the World reached Peak Cafeteria half a century ago, with thirty-seven of them. Now they’re down to zip:

Wednesday was the last day for Luby’s in Oklahoma City.

Luby’s employees confirmed the store’s last day would be Wednesday, shortly before the dinner rush.

With the restaurant’s closing, Oklahoma City is without an operating cafeteria for the first time in nearly a century. Anna Maude Smith opened the YWCA cafeteria in downtown Oklahoma City in 1919, and later her own place in 1928.

This is it for Luby’s in Oklahoma. The Tulsa Luby’s, at 71st and Riverside, closed in 2015; I suppose I’m surprised this one, at May and Britton, lasted as long as it did.

Google News, asked about Luby’s, coughed up a whole bunch of financial pages, all of them seemingly originating from the same place: they all had the same design and the same popups. Bing, meanwhile, was focusing on mass shootings: in 1991, a shooter literally drove a truck into Luby’s in Killeen, Texas, opened fire, and killed 23 before turning the gun on himself. (Why the hell can’t these psychopaths do it in reverse, taking their own lives first?)


The latest McThing

It’s perhaps not ready for the States yet, but the Scandinavian trial was decently successful:

Vegans were cautiously excited when a McDonald’s vegan burger was introduced in Sweden and Finland late last year. Mainly, people wanted to know: would it be McGood?

And after almost six months on the menu, all signs point to YES.

Described by writer Sidsel Overgaard as “firm, weighty, a tiny bit smoky with a strange — but not unpleasant — note of instant ramen, the patty comes topped with a generous dose of McFeast sauce (a vegan ‘special sauce’), lettuce, tomato, onion and pickles,” the McVegan burger sounds pretty similar to McDonald’s standard burger fare.

Other customers were pleased with the plant-based McDonald’s vegan burger, calling it “good” and “very tolerable,” which, although not super complimentary, is better than the alternative. One meat lover even said of the soy-based patty, “It was like meat. It was a good experience — I really like it,” adding that he’ll probably order it again.

No date has been set for an American introduction, but I’m pretty sure McVegan will show up here soon.

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And a pinked crustacean

Walmart makes a lot of noise about “rollbacks,” prices that used to be higher. This is apparently not a rollback:

Lobster tail at Walmart for slightly under fourteen dollars

Roll side, maybe?

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There is only Zuul

Now suppose Zuul likes cheese:

I mean, who’s gonna tell him he doesn’t?

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Memorializing the Greatest Thing

You’ve even had some yourself, haven’t you?

Missouri lawmakers are considering whether to mark an official day to celebrate sliced bread.

A bill pending in the state House would designate July 7 as Missouri Sliced Bread Day. Supporters say the day is needed to promote tourism in the northern Missouri city of Chillicothe, where the first commercially sliced bread was sold on July 7, 1928.

The city of roughly 9,500 people touts its carb-filled history and holds a Sliced Bread Jam Bluegrass Festival every year as part of celebrations.

“What are we, chopped liver?” protested Noshville Katz.

(Via Bayou Renaissance Man.)


Defeating the whole purpose

Of course, I think Rocky Road is sort of exotic, so maybe I shouldn’t say anything about this stuff from Scotland:

A cafe is dishing out scoops of the world’s most dangerous ice cream — which is so hot that customers need to sign a disclaimer.

How … hot … is it?

The Aldwych Café and ice cream parlor launched a Valentine’s Day ice cream special called “Respiro Del Diavolo” (Breath of the Devil).

But the frozen treat is so spicy that customers must be 18 years of age or older and sign a legal waiver before it is handed over the counter. Words in the disclaimer mention having the ice cream “could be a risk of personal injury, illness and possible loss of life.” And staff at the cafe even need to wear gloves when they dish out scoops.

Scoville heat units: 1,569,300. When it melts, you could use it to help remove that rusty muffler on your ’87 Oldsmobile.

(Via Bayou Renaissance Man.)

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Wearing a trefoil hat

Gerard VanderLeun can hear a box of Thin Mints calling him:

Who let them out? Why are they everywhere? On the corners, by the entrances to supermarkets, at the crossings, and all over the place. They swoop into the neighborhood in massive SUVs driven by classic MILFs. They pull in, tumble out giggling, and yank their card tables and their boxes of contraband from the back. Then they set up their offerings in stacks, and slap crude handmade signs with a heavy helping of glitter on the tables. Then they don their gang colors and get to work on you.

They are the most ruthless retail agents known to man. They are virtually irresistible in their peddling of their wares. They do it with cutting edge cute, and they have no scruples concerning your desperate attempt to diet away the winter flab.

They are the Girl Scouts and no matter how I try I cannot avoid them.

How many Brownies will fit into a Chevrolet Suburban? (The answer is left as an exercise for the student.)

On the off-chance that you’re interested, here’s a story from ten years ago, in which a first-timer is turned loose to knock on doors.

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