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.
If the minds of Trey Parker and Matt Stone and the mind of John Waters violently humped each other raw, they’d create this human strawberry in a dusty, garage sale wig. This joy to the world is serious about her rhubarb and when she’s caught picking rhubarb that’s overgrowing from a neighbor’s yard into the “alley property,” she turns into a fuck-throwing insult machine.
“You shut your goddamn mouth, why don’t you go in there and lose some weight, you big fatass.”
She’s the perfect troll under the bridge! With Tourette’s!
Yes, the man who played most of the famous monsters of filmland (see what I did there, Forry Ackerman fans?) was “Mad About Mexican Food,” and really, who isn’t?
This piece, from an unknown newspaper isn’t dated, but it’s apparently from a time when you had to explain guacamole to readers. (It’s “an avocado-based sauce.”)
1 med. tomato, chopped fine
1 small onion, minced
1 tbsp. chopped canned green chiles
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp sherry
Dash cayenne, optional
Peel and mash avocados. Add onion, tomato and chiles, then stir in lemon juice, sherry and seasonings to taste, blending well. Serve as a dip for tortilla pieces or corn chips or as a canape spread. Makes 10 to 12 appetizer servings.
The consummate English gentleman, Karloff apparently imbued his cosmopolitan dishes with a bit of refinement—I’ve never heard of adding sherry to guacamole, but I am so, so into it.
Old Black Witch is a well-loved children’s book from the husband and wife duo of Harry and Wende Devlin that was originally published in 1962. The plot involves a widow and her young son who buy an old house and start a tea room. What they didn’t bargain for is the witch who’s been living there for over 300 years.
Eventually it all works out and the Old Black Witch’s “magic” blueberry pancakes make the tea room a smashing success.
Part of the fun of the book is making the blueberry pancakes recipe, something my grandmother would often do for my sister and me:
There was also a short filmed version of the book, “Winter of the Witch” made in 1969 by the publisher, Parent’s Magazine, who paid NYU film student Gerald Herman $500 to direct it.
It starred English actress Hermione Gingold as Old Black Witch and Anna Strasberg (wife of famed acting coach Lee Strasberg) as the mother. Burgess Meredith did the narration. When the tea room patrons are eating the magic happiness pancakes, you’d think they were made with nitrous oxide and pure LSD.
“Even the meanest and most unhappy people…ONE BITE and they’re not unhappy anymore,” Old Black Witch says. “I just reversed an old recipe…”
Yes, psychedelic magic pancakes. Here’s a genius YouTube comment:
They cut out the part where the DEA raid the place and the area Fundamentlists stage pancake burnings.
Perhaps you might recall seeing this during a Halloween school assembly? I’d think that at least half of Americans over the age of say, 38, have seen “Winter of the Witch.”