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.
My sister the cook (not to be confused with my sister the research librarian) and I were reminiscing about Milwaukee the other day. We grew up there, third-generation locals on my dad’s side. In those long-ago days, Milwaukee was largely German and Polish. One of Dad’s favorite restaurants was Boder’s in the small town of Mequon, Wis., just north of the city.
Dad had gone to high school with (and had dated) the owner at the time, Dolly, who ran the place with her husband, Jack, who’d inherited the place from his father. Eating there was like going to a friend’s house for a meal — a German-influenced meal, that is. Which is not to say the food wasn’t first-rate because it was, from fresh-caught trout and whitefish (it was on the Milwaukee River) to more traditional German dishes (veal Oscar and duck with cherries).
I had a sweet tooth back then (still do) and so would order some dish I couldn’t or wouldn’t finish in order to save room for one of Boder’s delicious desserts. Among the highlights was schaum torte with strawberries.
If you’re from Wisconsin, you’re probably familiar with schaum torte, which is really a meringue shell. Pavlova is one variation. The best part of schaum torte is what you put inside it, like sweetened berries and whipped cream. Well, there’s also the fact that although it has sugar and it has no fat: my kind of dessert.
This year, my sister had some leftover egg whites (who knows why?) and I happened to have the insides of a pumpkin I’d carved. Clever sis got the clever idea of creating a Halloween version of a schaum torte that we could fill with fall fruit compote. Canned pumpkin works just as well and it makes a great alternative or addition to apple or pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving.
Don’t be afraid of the vinegar in the recipe; it actually makes the meringue a bit chewier, as opposed to dry and brittle.
Yield: About a dozen
Unfilled shells may be frozen.
Fall Fruit Compote
Yield: 1½ cups
Nikki Stern regularly blogs on Open Salon. She is the author of "Because I Say So: The Dangerous Appeal of Moral Authority."More Nikki Stern.
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.