Eat the Week: Wacky Food Museums, Offensive Pine Nuts, Let’s Move! Turns One, and Bourdain Settles City Feuds
1. We’re suckers for a good listicle. Fortunately for us, we’re also avid readers of the Daily Meal — a site that put together a list of eight of the most bizarre food museums in the world. Although we’d definitely be down for a visit to Berlin’s Currywurst Museum or Austin’s SPAM museum, we’re most thrilled to know that Yokohama, Japan is host to a ramen museum.
2. Good news for American health — or rather, slightly less scary news. We’re no longer the fattest place on earth. According to the Independent, that dubious title now belongs to the South Pacific island of Naura, where more than 90% of the population is overweight. Yikes. Before we get on our high horses, we should remember that Naura now imports most of their food from the United States — so it’s still our fault. The world’s fattest industrialized nation? Kuwait.
3. But all is not lost. Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! campaign celebrated its one-year anniversary this week. Our favorite part of the celebration was a crazy Taiwainese animated video that features FLOTUS as a fat-fighting superhero who conquers well-known fast food spokespeople with banana boomerangs.
4. Speaking of feuds, Anthony Bourdain has finally put some decades-old ones to rest. We learned from Eater that the upcoming issue of Budget Travel features Tony’s take on which cities have the best tacos, pizza, hot dogs, burgers, and barbecue. We’re with him on most. Chicago’s hot dogs do trump New York’s. Good as deep-dish is, it’s not floppy nor foldable, so NYC wins the slice category. And it’s almost impossible for any other city to hold a candle to the burgers of Los Angeles. When it comes to barbecue, North Carolina’s succulent and sauce-free meat is killer (excluding the stuff you find in the city of Charlotte), but we’re not ready to call it the best. And while we’re sure that Mexico City throws down some amazing tacos, so do Los Angeles and Baja.
5. You know what’s a bad idea? Cooking naked. Eater reports that Hong Kong model Flora Cheung has decided to take this bad idea and televise it.
6. We learned this week that soft drink giant Pepsi will debut a new “skinny” can for Diet Pepsi at — where else? — New York’s Fall 2011 Fashion Week. Apparently, the can is a “sassy” “celebration of beautiful, confident women” — and it’ll go with your stylish look. You know, like Virginia Slims did. The drink may have more in common with Virginia Slims than its marketing campaign — new research shows that a group of habitual diet soda drinkers had a 48% higher risk of stroke or heart attack than people who didn’t drink soda.
7. Scary news for chefs, food writers, and food lovers — eating pine nuts can cause all food to taste bitter and metallic for weeks. The condition, known as “pine mouth” is becoming more common, and some suspect it’s the result of inedible pine nuts being passed off as edible.
8. When books and food collide, under the leadership of really rad people, you get McSweeney’s new cookbook imprint. We couldn’t be more excited.
9. After some public outcry and a two-day skewering by Conan, Groupon has decided to pull their controversial ad campaign. When we first saw the ads here at Poor Taste HQ, we were a house divided. Some of us got them right away and applauded Groupon’s quirky wit and efforts to draw attention to these causes; some of us thought that Groupon shouldn’t have walked such a narrow line. What we all agree on, however, is that it’s pretty effing rad that Groupon is handing over $500,000 to some very worthy causes.
10. QSR magazine has published a list of the Top 20 Food Trucks in America, and we’re a little confused. We might be able to forgive that this list overlooked Kogi and Grill ‘em All, two of L.A.’s most beloved trucks, but we can’t square with the absence of the Gastrobus. The Gastrobus is taking the food truck trend to an amazing place – every Sunday, they arrive at the Los Feliz Farmers Market early, figure out what’s good, and craft a menu on the spot using ingredients from the market. It’s the kind of thing we’d love to see in every city in America.