2014's fast food atrocities
Burger King's black cheeseburger: Made with squid ink and bamboo charcoal, arguably a symbol of meat's destructive effect on the planet. Only available in Japan.
At school drop-off the other day, I ran into my friend Carla. We talked about what our kids were going to be for Halloween, and then she asked, “Do you know if there are any programs to give away all that extra Halloween candy?”
My usual plan is to remove the excess loot from my kids’ pumpkins when they are sleeping. The best thing to do then, healthwise, would probably be to throw it away. But even though candy has no nutritional value, I still can’t bring myself to discard it. So I recycle it: I bring it to work, where it somehow magically disappears within minutes.
Recycling is one of the new “three Rs,” which have traditionally referred to “Reading, wRiting and aRithmetic.” These days, it carries an additional meaning– “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.” Kids in Northern California and in other eco-conscious cities and towns are becoming environmentally literate even before they learn to read.
I didn’t get the head start that my kids have, but I am getting my eco-education just by living in San Francisco. I just wish it could be more fun.
Now that Halloween is approaching, I’d like to apply the waste-sorting lessons I have learned to creatively reusing Halloween candy. I’m talking about compost.
Compost may not sound like an appetizing thing to eat, unless you’ve been to David Chang’s Momofuku Milk Bar in New York. The Milk Bar’s pastry chef, Christina Tosi, created a cookie with a cult following known as the compost cookie (™).
I had one recently and it was fabulous — a little bit of salt to temper and enhance the sweet, and added crunch from its compost pail of ingredients: coffee grounds, potato chips and pretzels to complement chocolate and butterscotch chips. The result combines the tastes of chocolate chip cookies with chocolate-covered pretzels and espresso beans. In honor of this brilliant New York creation and living green, San Francisco-style, I’ve adapted the compost cookie idea into a blondie filled with a bounty of Halloween candy.
Because blondies have more fun.
Domino's Specialty Chicken: It's like regular pizza, except instead of a crust, there's fried chicken. The company's marketing officer calls it "one of the most creative, innovative menu items we have ever had” -- brain power put to good use.
KFC'S ZINGER DOUBLE DOWN KING: A sandwich made by adding a burger patty to the infamous chicken-instead-of-buns creation can only be described using all caps. NO BUN ALL MEAT. Only available in South Korea.
Taco Bell's Waffle Taco: It took two years for Taco Bell to develop this waffle folded in the shape of a taco, the stand-out star of its new breakfast menu.
Krispy Kreme Triple Cheeseburger: Only attendees at the San Diego County Fair were given the opportunity to taste the official version of this donut-hamburger-heart attack combo. The rest of America has reasonable odds of not dropping dead tomorrow.
Taco Bell's Quesarito: A burrito wrapped in a quesadilla inside an enigma. Quarantined to one store in Oklahoma City.