Look at the detail on that thing! It’s truly incredible. It’s got the biggest head I’ve ever seen on a Pez dispenser and the dedication to reproducing H. R. Giger’s nightmarish and biologically persuasive design concept for outer space’s most terrifying acid-spewer is positively remarkable.
Hats off to Peter “Rat D” Davidson, credited as the little gizmo’s creator.
Now, if only we can make the little Pez candies in the shape of the ghastly creature that famously burst through John Hurt’s sternum….
These “Ice Cream Cigars” were spotted in Germany last month. It’s rather hard to find out details on this product. The company that manufactures it, ABLIG Feinfrost GmbH, is based in Thüringen, and there isn’t much information out there about it.
Earlier this year the prominent German tabloid newspaper BILD wrote of the “Havana ice cream cigars,” “Warum prangt auf der Packung der Kopf von Che Guevara? Nun, die Hersteller haben sich die Freiheit genommen, Windbeutel in handlicher Zigarrenform auf den Markt zu bringen. Sahnig, klebrig, teigig, mag ich.” [Why is the head of Che Guevara emblazoned on the package? Well, the manufacturers have taken the liberty to put puffs on the market in a handy cigar shape. Creamy, sticky, doughy, I like it.]
Australian ice cream manufacturer Magnum created a Dove-style bar with the name Cherry Guevara. For whatever reason this bar is persistently confused with Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia, which is a whole different deal. For example, in the political journal Americas Quarterly, Eusebio Mujal-León grumbles, “In the decades after Che’s death, the icon found new life as a Ben and Jerry’s ice cream flavor (Cherry Guevara), on a bikini worn by model Giselle Bündchen and most irreverently and ironically on a Coca-Cola ad sponsoring a Che memorial event on the 40th anniversary of his death.” Well yeah, but Ben & Jerry’s never made any such product, and Che Guevara and Jerry Garcia are totally different people.
When you eat a Magnum Cherry Guevara, once you’re done with the tasty ice cream snack, you’re left with a little wooden stick with the cheeky statement “We will bite to the end!”
In 2011 Stoyn, an independent advertising firm based in Lobnya, Russia, introduced an experimental line of ice cream treats in the shapes of the heads of various prominent figures with adventurous flavor combinations: Vladimir Mayakovsky gets cranberry and vodka, while Darth Vader tastes like blueberry and licorice. Che Guevara’s combination is maté and rum. Other Stoyn ice cream figures include Mickey Mouse, Marilyn Monroe, Mark Zuckerberg, and Mario the Plumber.
Below we have a video of the Stoyn guys transporting a massive and more permanent version of their Mickey Mouse ice cream treat:
A cafe in Glasgow, Scotland, has come under criticism for selling Breaking Bad crystal meth cupcakes.
The Riverhill Coffee Bar is selling the cupcakes, with a blue topping that resembles the crystal meth drug manufactured by Bryan Cranston’s character, Walter White, in the hit TV series, at $3.00 a hit.
Christine Duncan, chief executive of Scottish Families Affected by Alcohol and Drugs, told Glasgow’s Evening Times:
“The glamorising of drugs is completely distasteful.
“We know from our membership base that the impact of drug misuse on families includes financial instability, breakdown in family relationships and the loss of employment.”
Two different points being made by Christine here, neither of which relate to the subject of cupcakes.
Meanwhile Nina Parker, city councillor for the Green Party said:
“It doesn’t sit well with the work that is being done to tackle drug abuse. Quite frankly, there’s nothing funny about recreational drug use.”
Bilbo’s Pizza in Kalamazoo, Michigan is a small locally-owned pizzeria that has somehow managed to avoid being sued by the Tolkien estate for its use of Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit character names. Even their logo is the tree that was inside the pavilion at Bilbo’s eleventy-first birthday party, misidentified on their website as “the singular and unusual (to Hobbits) existence of the Mallorn tree in Hobbiton that became the centerpiece for the grand birthday party that Bilbo threw for himself that signaled the beginning of the adventure of the War of the Ring.” (Mallorn trees grew in Lothlórien.) The business was started in 1976 by two friends and Tolkien fans, John Hindman and Charlie Konett. They chose the name Bilbo’s “because of the enduring nature of the character by that name.”
The generosity of diversity in Tolkien’s character development allowed us to have a lot of fun with this world. The richness endemic to fantasy characters presented as they were as part of a history gives rise to to fleeting notions that such beings might well have preceded us here and that flight is buttressed from time to time by references in the work. Hobbits, for example, are said to be able to pass unnoticed by most if they wished to and elves would probably have been considered to be some half remembered day dream if any of us had happened upon them unawares. So we feel remotely tied to them and their world. In the early years there were groups of people, whether Tolkien Society or Society for Creative Anachronism members who engaged us in debates about our depictions of characters.
It was pointed out by one that Hobbits did not have facial hair and that our rendition of Bilbo was therefore inaccurate. Our response was that there was a remote division of Hobbits, the Stoors, who indeed did sometimes grow facial hair and that Bilbo was certainly a descendant of this line. There was a group of people who had developed their own costumes with elaborate masks and accouterments who, upon arrangement, would visit our dining room and display themselves in full regalia. Patrons of Bilbo’s were treated to fairy-like creatures crouching next to their table as if avoiding some greater threat from something otherwise unseen by ordinary men and women. Before anyone could gather themselves enough to break the spell, the visitors were gone.
There is an “Elven Favorite” pizza (pepperoni, mushroom, ham and green pepper) on the menu, but the list of sandwiches has the most Tolkien references: The choice of “Master Sam,” “The Old Guy lived 130 years and he NEVER tasted anything this good!,” “It took 13 strong young dwarves to carry this,” “The Elves of the world recommend,” “Brought forth on the ships of the ancient sea king,” and “Old Fatty, whose wise nose led him here.”
Dennis Miller was so bummed about Obama winning his first term that the day following the election, Miller restricted listeners’ calls on his radio show to the subject of sandwiches. Some weird guy from Michigan called in and mentioned the “Fatty Lumpkin” from Bilbo’s but would not answer the simple question of what was on the sandwich (sliced breast of turkey, choice roast beef, Monterrey jack cheese, shredded lettuce, fresh tomato and mayo on seven-grain bread), and Miller hung up on him.
One of Bilbo’s locations now has its own craft beer as well, “Sledgehammer Wizard Wheat Dragon Red Ale.” I can hear the dwarven drinking songs now.
When two beautiful worlds collide, you get… Nugtella!
I’ve yet to encounter this fantastical hazelnut chocolatey goodness—apparently infused with 320 milligrams of THC from hash oil—at my local dispensary, but I’m willing to give it try when I do! (You really had to twist my arm with that one, btw!)
So far it’s only available in the great state of California. And as BuzzFeed points out, “...all your Nutella recipes just got way more interesting.”
Cleveland Ohio’s rock and roll sandwich emporium, “Melt Bar and Grilled,” is known the world over for its gigantic, rock-themed, whole-meal-between-two-buns, culinary masterpieces of excess. The restaurant’s latest sandwich special, created as part of a dinner-and-a-movie promo with a local theater, is like, totally right there in your face for everybody to see.
The overstuffed grinder in question, aptly-named “The Goblin King’s Ultimate Package,” pays loving tribute to “that which lies beneath” David Bowie’s nut-hugging, grey riding pants snugly worn in Jim Henson’s 1986 fantasy dance vehicle, Labyrinth. In it, Bowie plays a teased-hair wizard-type who reigns over a giant multi- square-mile stone maze holding children captive and casting creepy musical spells while dancing around with puppets.
Giving new meaning to the term “Manwich,” Melt’s newest zesty monstrosity features “Bowie’s Spicy Battered Cod-Piece” and “Sir Didymus’s Sweet n’ Spicy Jalapeno Hush Puppies” peaking out from behind a nest of “Hoggle’s Hot Pepper and Pickle Slaw.” Cover it up with “Ludo’s Lip-Smacking Pepper Jack,” pack it all between two pieces of bread, and you’ve got yourself a sandwich that leaves nothing to the imagination.
You may have heard of the sacrilege, the abomination that is the cronut. It is the unholy union of a donut and a croissant, and it has so infected the hearts and minds of New Yorkers that there are waiting lists to get one. I don’t think I have to tell you of the unspeakable evil that lurks in that pastry.
However, there is a new kid on the trendy food block! New York chef Keizo Shimamoto has taken a dish available at many Japanese chain restaurants and tweaked it to work for a US palate. While Japanese ramen burgers contain a lovingly prepared pattty of fried ramen noodles between two hamburger buns for a carbohydrate horse tranquilizer, Shimamoto knew to use the noodles themselves as the buns, and (for the love of god) leave the meat patty because, of course, we Americans need our beef.
What resulted from the low-run specialty items were cronut levels of pilgrimage, as seen below. It was so popular, Shimamoto intends to make them again. Yes, I have considered the possibility that Shimamoto knew the manufactured scarcity of a limited edition food would fabricate demand. And yes, I have considered the fact that he is using the very cronut zeitgeist to leverage it! But I believe in my heart of hearts that while the cronut is a decadent vulgarity, simultaneously undermining both the butteriness of the croissant and the untempered sweetness of the donut, the ramen burger maintains the perfect balance of starch and meat, making it a substantive and innovative food for a glorious multculti gastronomical future.
Cast your allegiance now! The ramen burger is the frankenfood of the people!
Like Spam, cheeseburgers-in-a-can, whole chickens-in-a-can, this 12-course meal in a can by designer Chris Godfrey skeeves me out. Even though it’s not an actual product sold in stores (yet!)—it’s Godfrey poking fun at gimmickry in contemporary culture—I wouldn’t be shocked if this caught on and became a… thing. Because…well, this is America, that’s why.
Here’s what the 12-course canned meal consists of:
- Selection of local cheeses with sourdough bread
- Pickled kobe beef with charred strawberry
- Ricotta ravioli with a soft egg yolk
- Shiitake mushroom topped with filled peppers
- Halibut poached in truffle butter in a coconut crepe
- Risotto foraged ramps, prosciutto and fresh parmesan
- French onion soup with fresh thyme and gruyere cheese
- Roast pork belly and celeriac root puree
- Palate cleanser, pear ginger juice
- Rib eye steak with grilled mustard greens
- Crack pie with milk ice cream on a vanilla tuile
- French canele with a malt barley and hazelnut latte
A few years ago the BBC reported that young denizens of Brooklyn and other clusters of hipsters were making illegal moonshine in their tiny apartments. They managed, as usual, to take a relatively cheap hobby and spend thousands of dollars on gear for it, keeping entrepreneurs like Arkansas’ Colonel Vaughn Wilson in business.
The outlaw aspect of risking a $15,000 fine and five years in prison is likely part of the allure too. That and the possibility of the getting the temperature wrong during one point of the process and poisoning yourself and and anyone else dumb enough to imbibe your rancid artisanal hooch.
It didn’t take long for the safe and legal variants of moonshine to hit the market and for Bon Appetit to feature them.
Moonshine is now being served at trendy restaurants. That’s right, where there used to be a list of local microbrews or outrageously expensive tequilas or organic wines, there is a list of the flavored moonshines on offer. Hipsters have left behind those previous alcoholic obsessions, as well as absinthe, bastardizations of the martini, small-batch bourbon, and Pabst Blue Ribbon. Hooch is hip.
The safe, legally produced and distributed brands include NASCAR’s Junior Johnson’s Midnight Moon and Howling Moon Moonshine. You can buy Troy & Sons’ Platinum Moonshine and Oak Reserve Moonshine at, among other places throughout the Southeast, Walt Disney World’s Wilderness Lodge.
Distillers are as pleased as highly spiked punch, because moonshine provides an immediate profit, as opposed to other sour mash products like whiskey that require years of aging in wooden barrels.
The manager of Husk restaurant in South Carolina tried to describe the taste of different kinds of moonshine to Bon Appetit, obviously struggling not to fall into wankerish wine-speak:
Compared to other clear spirits, you can definitely taste the corn. Sometimes there’s that cereal profile, and sometimes, like with white whiskey from a Tennessee distillery called Prichard’s, it has a little bit more of a sweetness, and that kind of comes forth, like a corn cake or johnnycake.
On a side note, further appropriation of Appalachian culture by hipsters (besides the unemployed film school graduates walking the Appalachian Trail this summer and horrifying locals by showing up unwashed and funky at local eating establishments along the way) is Stewart Copeland’s (this one, not that one) new documentary on buck dancing, Let Your Feet Do The Talkin’.
The Moonshine Yoda, Mike Haney the CEO of Hillbilly Stills, below:
Al Arabiya is reporting that a sharia committee closely associated with a faction of Syrian rebels in Aleppo has apparently issued a religious ruling declaring croissants(!) to be “haram” (forbidden under strict Islamic practices).
The, er, logic, if you can call it that, behind the fatwā forbidding the French pastry popular the world over is that the crescent shape of croissants apparently celebrates European colonialists’ victory over Islam. I know that’s what I’m thinking every morning when I eat mine! Aren’t you?
In 2011, a Somalian Islamist group, the al-Shabaab al-Mujahedin Movement, declared a holy war on the savory Egyptian meat pastries shaped like triangles called sambousa, because a triangle is supposed to symbolize the Holy Trinity, never mind that it’s been a Middle East diet staple probably for centuries. What shape WOULD these assholes approve of for someone else’s food? Talk about OCD control freaks, this takes it to a whole new level of group psychosis!
And here’s the thing, The Free Syria Army, the ones who issued this fatwā against fluffy, buttery bread is one of the more moderate groups fighting Assad! Another one issued a ban on listening to music—any music—and to make little girls wear veils. Still another wants to ban women from driving. They even set up their own informal tribunals for this!
Poor Syria, obviously the country has much bigger problems than merely deposing a brutal despot when the proposed “new bosses” want to dictate the very shape of their food.