PSA: Stop Eating Fried Toothpicks

PSA: Stop Eating Fried Toothpicks

Welcome to Delicious or Distressing, where we rate recent food memes, videos, and other entertainment news. Last week we discussed the Hidden Valley Ranch lip balm.

The Taylor Swift industrial complex is alive and flourishing. The latest to capitalize on it? None other than the NFL, obviously. After Swift and boyfriend Travis Kelce gifted the NFL with the sheer fact of their relationship, the league has made a conspicuous point of calling attention to her presence at this season’s games. Last Sunday, indeed, the Buffalo Bills’ catering team served up a Swiftie-themed menu at a home game against the Kansas City Chiefs, featuring items like “Bad Blood” waffle fries and a “Karma” quesadilla. The Chiefs are still in the running, meaning there could be many more Swiftie foods in the pipeline. That’s showbiz!

Also this week, Dunkin’ is getting slammed with a lawsuit for charging extra for non-dairy milks, alleging discrimination against the plant-based among us. People are frying and eating toothpicks, and for obvious reasons (or so one might think) this is a bad thing. Lastly, the ceaseless Stanley craze saw one California woman steal 65 of them, before getting arrested.

Read more below on this week’s food news around the internet.

I will admit that when I heard there would be Taylor Swift-themed foods at last Sunday’s game between the Buffalo Bills and the Kansas City Chiefs, I was skeptical. What could Taylor Swift-themed foods even be? Some kind of sandwich they’ve named “Anti-Gyro?” “BarbaCruel Summer Ribs?” Some other half-baked food pun that no one in their right mind would ever share with the general public? As it turns out, basically yes. The stadium served “Bad Blood” waffle fries (topped with buffalo chicken and blue cheese on one half, and pork, coleslaw, and pickles on the other) and “Karma” quesadillas, filled with chicken tenders and bacon. I can only hope that whoever is responsible for determining what TS snacks are in the pipeline is given more resources next time. I’m looking for arena food like a MilkShake it Off, or Look What You Made Me Stew. I will also take this opportunity to let it be known that I am available for Taylor Swift food-name-consulting. Somewhat egregious names aside, I confess I would absolutely go to town on any of these dishes, which is why I’m rating this news a greasy, cheesy 4/5 delicious. —Sam Stone, staff writer


Is it discrimination to charge extra for non-dairy milk? That’s what a new lawsuit against Dunkin’ claims. The suit argues that the $2 surcharge for plant-based milks like oat or almond is discriminatory toward people with dairy milk allergies, and that the doughnut-and-coffee chain needs to stop.

Look, I feel for small cafes that want to offer alternative milks. Plant-based milks like oat and almond simply cost more to make for a variety of factors, and small shops struggle to swallow the extra fees. But in 2023, several major coffee-selling chains started ditching surcharges for plant-based milks. Panera, Pret a Manger, Philz, Stumptown, Blue Bottle—all of them started making oat milk the same price as dairy milk, and some of them even made oat milk the default option. “Larger chains with massive order volumes are likely, at least in part, capitalizing on the hype around oat milk,” my colleague Ali Francis reported last year about oat milk surcharges. So really, Dunkin’—the mega-chain that it is—doesn’t have much ground to stand on here. Allergies or not, swallow that fee, DD! 2.4/5 distressing. —Serena Dai, editorial director


After taking the bus home in primary school, I used to microwave slices of processed cheese and eat the oily slick as a little snack (let me just say I’m currently using my preferred utensils to type this). After more than a year contributing to this deliciously distressing column, I kind of consider us friends. Like, you can keep a secret, right? In this case: I’ve eaten my fair share of truly disgusting things. But nothing as weird as…fried toothpicks, an apparent delicacy amongst Mukbang enthusiasts recently.


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Author:Li Goldstein | Website:www.bonappetit.com

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