American cuisine

Planning a weekend brunch? You're in luck! The new Mountain Dew Kickstart is a crowdfunded highly caffeinated pseudo-juice that PepsiCo is marketing as a great breakfast drink. Then, swing round to your local county fair and get Chicken Charlie to sell you a nice takeaway package of his deep-fried cereal to accompany things, and well, you've got yourself a(n insulin) party!

(via Techdirt)


  1. This is a silly product, but I don’t get the “American Cuisine” headline. I’m sure it’s easy to just inductively label this as yet another example of ugly fat Americans doing ugly fat American things, but that’s a lazy dig. This stupid drink and the cereal do not speak for American cuisine anymore than the absolute tripe that is a lot of British food speaks for the UK. 

    Maybe I’m being defensive, but it does feel like an unnecessary jab.

    1. Denying that the GRAS consumables produced by American multinationals are ‘American cuisine’ is sort of like denying your incredibly close genetic relationship with your malignant tumor…

      It doesn’t stop them from being fast-mutating, metabolically-problematic, and deeply self interested at their host’s expense; but they share a close relationship with(and a major percentage by volume of) ‘American cuisine’ in an empirical sense.

      1. My American cuisine last night was roasted tofu, asparagus and peppers in a wine reduction, with soba noodles and spinach in a light peanut sauce. Beverage was coffee, unsweetened.  That’s how I normally eat. 

        1. Yes, and last night somebody in Addis Ababa had a Chinese takeaway. That doesn’t mean you can tell me that General Tso’s Chicken is Ethiopian cuisine. What precisely is your point? ಠ_ಠ

          1.  There are some people throughout the world who would be happy with my dinner and some people throughout the world who would be happy with Cory’s suggestion for brunch.  Some would be happy with both.  Sugar water and deep fried cereal are not representative cuisine for the American palate. 

          2. Okay, but that doesn’t make what you had for dinner the title of this post, “American cuisine.”

          3. @boingboing-2c4ab9b7954f1c0af3fab408b3290a86:disqus I would agree.  It’s exactly as silly as someone claiming a breakfast soda and deep fried cereal was American cuisine.   If I claimed that Canadian cuisine ideal for  brunch was beer, fast food poutine and a box of crullers, I would expect Canadians to bristle.  Yes, Canadians eat that stuff, but it’s not the best they can do.  

          4. Canadians eat that stuff, but it’s not the best they can do.

            Why would “the best they can do” be relevant? What’s relevant is what they actually do en masse, every day. Americans eat fried sugary starch in massive quantities. Breast of pheasant en crépine, not so much.

    2. American is to Cuisine as:
      1) Sexy is to ___
      2) Brave is to _____
      3) Horny is to ____
      4) Arrogant is to ____
      5) Obese is to ____
      6) Misogynist is to  _____

      answers: French, Italian, British, Greek, German, Australian, American, Dutch, Spanish or Chinese. (Some answers may not apply. All answers may not apply. Yes I know I probably offended you somehow. But I didn’t really say anything. Neither did the other guy above and below me.)

    3. America actually has some very nice cuisines.  I would happily stand them up next to British cuisine.  But don’t let that stop anybody from ridiculing us.

      1. America actually has some very nice cuisines.

        But most Americans don’t eat “cuisine”; they eat pre-packaged, extruded shapes from the grocery store that are composed of hydrogenated palm oil, high fructose corn syrup, bleached white flour and artificial colorings and “flavorings”.

          1. Bubble and squeak, toad in the hole, bangers and mash, haddock and chips. With spotted dick for pudding.

      2. America and Britain both have excellent cuisines and bad cuisines.  Post-WWII food-rationing British cuisine was mostly bad, even though traditional British cooking includes good things like Beef Wellington and Cornish pasties as well as badly boiled sausages.  Post-colonialist British cuisine includes the best Indian food in the world, Chinese cooks from Hong Kong, other immigrant cooking from other colonies.

    4. Strongly agree.  Current CEO of pepsi was born and raised in India.  The US certainly hasn’t cornered the market on fried food, it’s likely easier to get deep fried pizza and deep fried Mars bars in Scotland than the US.  Sugary beverages are ubiquitous throughout the world.  

    5. The funny thing is, this isn’t even a great example of FatAmerica doing FatAmerica stuff. Kickstarts have 80 calories per can and “only” 20 grams of sugar. There are way worse drinks out there.

      1. Kickstart also has 92mg of caffeine per 16 oz can.  That’s not highly caffeinated, it’s squarely in the middle of moderate.  Come back when there’s 344mg caffeine to the 16 oz can (Wired is the highest concentration of caffeine I have ever seen short of pills like no-doze and such)

      2. It’s not that its incredibly terrible for you, but it’s tainting one of the only last pure healthy parts of the menu: breakfast juice. Why settle for orange juice when you can get started on your chemically weird diet right out of bed?

        1.  Ever drink Sunny D? As a homeless woman I shuddered when certain churches came to the shelter because instead of orange juice, we’d have “citrus breakfast drink”. And, although coffee was freely available, I saw people sugar it into syrup.

          And how “healthy” and pure is breakfast anyway? Are pancakes, fried eggs and bacon “healthy”? How about some sugary, fatty, granola? It’s organic! How good-for-you is coffee? Or milk?

          Right, you’re drinking soy/almond. Is that stuff local? Do you know your processor? Your soy and almond growers? If you aren’t living in the right climate you’re SOL.

          Orthorexia is endless. Let’s stop arguing and move on.

          1. I didn’t know that there was a word for it.  It has to be the most pervasive eating disorder in the developed world.

  2. my roomate’s sister makes $81 hourly on the computer. She has been fired for ten months but last month her pay check was $18715 just working on the computer for a few hours. Read more on  Jive8.c­om

    1.  my german shepherd makes $9001 hourly from chasing squirrels and fetching sticks in the backyard for a few hours a day.  read more on You’retotallyjivingmearen’

  3. 92 mg/can is hardly ‘highly caffeinated’. 

    Now, given the fact that your good, honest, largely-harmless-to-humans-no-matter-how-often-they-go-back-for-further-harm-hunting, caffeine is being cut with 20 grams of sugar, that’s probably actually a bad thing. If it were more heavily caffeinated, you’d stop drinking it faster.

  4. 80 calories is less than the number of calories in your average starbucks latte with “flavor shots”. Heaven help you if you get the breve, or worse, a Frappachino, which has been hailed as a “liquid doughnut” at 480 calories.
    80 calories is nothing, it’s about as many calories as the milk you pour on your cereal in the morning. First thing in the morning you’re just trying to jump start your metoblism.

    Personally – I drink those Crystal Light Energy packets with a cup of water in the morning. 5 calories and 120mg of caffine (about the same caffine as a medium size Latte)

    1. Yeah… is it just me, or is there more than a little classism going on here? Kinda like Bloomberg banning soda but not frappuccinos… Har har har, fat poor stupid Murkins.

      1. Yeah, it ain’t just you.  Mountain Dew is the mockable sodee-pop of choice, in part due to its hillbilly moonshiner inspiration (which I’d never seen until the Throwback version made with cane sugar came out a while back, complete with throwback can art), and in part due to its ridiculous X-Games modern reputation as the drink of choice for dipshits living on the edge.

        Honestly, is it any worse for you than half the menu items at Starbucks?  Does a sweet tooth like mine necessarily imply a lesser degree of sophistication than your garden-variety espresso-head?  This ain’t exactly a Monster Thickburger we’re talking about here.

  5. Someday a bright economist will prove that no product in history has had as awesome a profit margin as sugar water. Just ask Red Bull, the key to making billions is all in the packaging. 

    1. Closely related is selling that sugar water sans sugar or carbonation at the same price… And people still buy it even though it comes from the same source as freely available tap water.

      1. Well let’s not forget that Coca Cola have an even higher profit margin on tap water with a fancy name. Anyone in the UK remember Dasani? 
        Wikipedia: “Dasani was launched in the UK on 10 February 2004. The product launch was labelled “a disaster”,[4] a “fiasco”[5] and a “PR catastrophe”.[5]Early advertisements referred to Dasani as “bottled spunk” or featured the tagline “can’t live without spunk”. These slogans were used seemingly oblivious to the fact that spunk is slang for semen in the UK.[6][7]Prior to the launch, an article in The Grocer trade magazine had mentioned that the source of the Dasani brand water was in fact treated tap water from Sidcup, a suburban development in London.”

  6. yeah, lemme get one black pudding, one toad-in-the-hole, one spotted dick, and an earl gray–hot–to go.
    #godsavethequeen #YOLO

    1. And if I remember correctly, Asia started it all with Red Bull… I remember we used to get cases of the little glass bottles when I worked in a health supplement store: The labels were completely in Chinese (I think) and with the red bull image on it, it looked like it was bull balls juice or something. 

      ETA: Turns out it was Thai, not Chinese.

      1. When I first went to Thailand I noticed the Red Bull glass bottles and thought they were quite interesting – at first I didn’t realize it was Red Bull, and then when I recognized it, I thought at first it was just a rip-off because I didn’t notice any other energy drinks for sale.

        I tried a Red Bull once in high school ten years ago and haven’t had any energy drinks since then so I wasn’t really familiar with them, but I was further intrigued because the Thai packaging looks a lot cooler than the US packaging. I had assumed it was an American brand, and all the other American brands have similar packaging in Thailand as they do in the US, so it seemed strange that a rip-off would have better packaging… and then I realized it was a Thai brand.

        I looked into it a bit, and on subsequent trips noticed that there’s a surprisingly thriving market in energy drinks (with many competing brands) in Thailand. The people who buy them are laborers in construction, taxi drivers (seems like a great idea given the traffic there), and other solid working-class types, and that’s who they’re marketed to – there’s none of the “EXTREME!” marketing to teenagers as there is here. So the packaging is not made to look extreme either, it’s relatively low-key – which is why I didn’t even realize there were loads of energy drinks on the shelves (all in those little glass bottles) initially, I though they were just something else I guess.

        There are actually energy drinks marketed more towards youths, but their thing is that they’re supposed to be good for the mind – their TV commercials and packaging feature students studying and stuff, and they also claim to have all kinds of vitamins and whatever that are supposed to help with studying or whatever. A marked contrast to what we see in the US.

  7. these half-artificial half-sugar drinks are pretty nice. a good compromise between diet and the flavor of regular soda. i used to drink them before i went low-carb (no refined sugar).

    when i have a hangover or have to wake up too early (read: before noon), i find that seltzer water is an amazing pick-me-up. i don’t see the taboo against soda in the morning.

  8. I was in a focus group about this product… thankfully, not the actual product, because it sounds gross, but the design of the can. I’m pretty sure that this was not my preferred can design, but, honestly, all I could think of was how gross this would taste. I’m not sure if that led me to pick the grossest can design…

  9. The last time I was in the UK, there were billboards everywhere advertising the new product from Tango: “Still Tango”. It was little plastic canisters that looked like IED’s, filled with just the straight syrup used to make Tango soda.

    And you’re telling me American ‘cuisine’ is bad? Give me a break, seriously?

  10. When I was a kid, they hadn’t yet figured out how to deep fry kool aid.  The world we live in today.

    1. Yes. If I was from the American south I might be feeling somewhat stereotyped and maligned by this article. 

      (Now I’m waiting for someone to say ‘Well, now they know how it feels.’)

  11. Don’t know whether it’s American cuisine or not, but it’s pretty clear that the Chicken Charlie’s dish called “Fair Special” is actually deep-fried chthulu.

  12. Sometimes during cold season (and sometimes just for the hell of it) I’ll pour a packet of raspberry Emergen-C into a can of Mountain Dew.  It’s my vitamin C speedball.  And it’s yummy and effervescent.

    I’ll track these Kickstarts down and try ’em out.  Can’t possibly be as revolting as, say, coffee.

    1. I gotta be honest with you, dude:  that sounds…  fucking nasty, yo.  the tangerine I love, but those raspberry ones taste like chemicals.

      1. I have weird tastebuds.  The orange ones taste like baby aspirin to me, and the raspberry ones, while not exactly a flavor sensation when mixed with water, actually seem to react well with whatever antifreeze reagents they make Mountain Dew out of.

  13. Worth noting @ 80 calories for 16 oz.  its half that of a 12 oz. wild cherry pepsi (160 calories.) Thats not to say its good for you, but its not exactly some sort of ‘shocking all consuming evil’ product either. Now recommending it for breakfast is pretty stupid but honestly the cereals most people (not just Americans ) buy regularly are pretty damn atrocitus nutritionally too. 

    Having tried one before Id read this article I can say its kinda hit or miss of a product, the citrus one tastes pretty  bad, kinda like cheap orange soda watered-down with  cheap motel-grade ‘complimentary’ breakfast OJ. The Fruit Punch one though I like, almost a caffeinated & carbonated Hi-C, which I can get behind. The cost for both at a dollar a can (in Florida) though is a bit crazy, though I appreciate it being 16 oz over 12oz. for that price.

  14. Amazing how Americans get picked on for their eating/drinking habits.  Ever been in Cologne Germany during Fasching or Munich during Oktoberfest?

    1. Yes, but all those heavy, greasy German foods are ~~authentic~~. Same with the British dishes such as toad-in-the-hole mentioned upthread. Who cares about the effect on your arteries, so long as it’s not déclassé?

  15. Wouldn’t drinking Mountain Dew mixed with juice be healthier than just drinking Mountain Dew?

    I like Mountain Dew, btw.

    I like to drink it in the morning … so why would it be so horrible for me to drink Kickstart instead?

    I’m also fairly certain Americans aren’t the only people who drink soda.

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