How long you have to eat freshly-made McDonalds fries before they become inedible

The Takeout methodically calculated the amount of time fresh McDonalds fries last before they become "inedible." The answer is 18 minutes, but in science, the journey is the destination. [via MeFi] Read the rest

Epic roundup of store-bought mac 'n' cheese

Maura Judkis presents the Washington Post's roundup of 20 different store brands of mac 'n' cheese. Which is best and worst?

We bought 12 frozen microwaveable mac and cheeses, and eight dry boxed brands with either powder or liquid squeeze cheese sauces. We prepared them according to the instructions, even though we knew some of them could probably be jazzed up with a little extra butter. In a blind tasting, a small panel of colleagues judged both the frozen and dry boxed versions of each product according to their taste and cheesiness — and those scores did not necessarily go hand-in-hand! Some brands that ranked high on taste were low on cheesiness and vice versa.

Market leader Kraft doesn't come out well. Best line, though, goes to the judge's review of Amy's: "it tastes like the color gray." Read the rest

Police mourn loss of donut delivery truck

A Krispy Kreme donut truck caught fire this weekend and its cargo was destroyed. Responding police in Lexington, Kentucky, took to social media to mourn their loss.

"Hang tight, we are sending backup forthwith ... We hope you like sprinkles," The New York City Police Department tweeted.

The doughnut company based in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, itself offered condolences via Twitter and let the officers know that they were sending them something to help get them through the ordeal.

Read the rest

Why restaurants are so loud nowadays

The overwhelming clatter and presence of restaurant noise is thanks to the fashionable minimalism of modern decor. Kate Wagner (of McMansion Hell fame) writes that if you want a peaceful meal out, go somewhere with carpet and soft fittings.

Restaurants are so loud because architects don’t design them to be quiet. Much of this shift in design boils down to changing conceptions of what makes a space seem upscale or luxurious, as well as evolving trends in food service. Right now, high-end surfaces connote luxury, such as the slate and wood of restaurants including The Osprey in Brooklyn or Atomix in Manhattan. ... The result is a loud space that renders speech unintelligible. Now that it’s so commonplace, the din of a loud restaurant is unavoidable. That’s bad for your health—and worse for the staff who works there. But it also degrades the thing that eating out is meant to culture: a shared social experience that rejuvenates, rather than harms, its participants.

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Quick how-to on making great scrambled eggs

As a graduate of the "rubbery mutilated omelet" school of scrambled egg preparation, I am mocked by this chef's obvious yet perfectly successful method. The secret ingredient: staying with the eggs from pour to presentation so they never congeal. Read the rest

Pizza delivery man instructed to scream rather than ring doorbell

I hope he got a good tip. Important reference material:

Read the rest

How long will it take my baby son to defeat the Strong Suction Silicone Plate?

We bought the QShare Strong Suction Silicone Baby Plate from Amazon. This product promises to remain affixed to any plastic, metal or other smooth surface no matter how hard a youngster tugs at it. In preliminary testing, we noticed that it was secure when pulled, but that it could be peeled up at the edges.

So after serving up Alfy's dinner and placing him in his high chair, we trained a camera on him to see how long it would take him to defeat the Strong Suction Silicone Baby Plate—if at all. Read the rest

Enjoy this fitted normal distribution of popcorn popping

Redditor sp__ace filmed the popping of popcorn and provided a handy analytical study of the outcome, with pops-per-second in a fitted normal distribution to illustrate just how crazy things get on the stove.

The most useless data I've ever organized. First I counted 300 kernels into the pot and rolled the camera. All the data was obtained from the sound from video file. I used Audacity to look at the waveform to then manually retype exact time when each kernel popped and repeated that 288 times (never doing this again). I then used Wolfram Mathematica to plot the data and calculate normal distribution parameters.

Read the rest

Publix censors graduation cake to remove the cum from "Summa Cum Laude"

Cara Koscinksi ordered a graduation cake from the John's Island Publix, requesting the phrase "Congrats Jacob! Summa Cum Laude Class of 2018". Publix ruined the order by removing "cum", because "cum" is "profane."

A $70 cake!! He earned a 4.79 GPA. Publix refused to write the words Summa Cum Laude because I was using ‘profanity!’ They put three dashes instead of the word!

How utterly ridiculous and I will be speaking to a manager for a refund. Shame on you Publix for turning an innocent

Latin phrase into a total embarrassment for having to explain to my son and others (including my 70 year old mother) about this joke of a cake. My son was humiliated!!! I seriously couldn’t make this crap up!!!!

What better day to explain "cum" to great grandma? Read the rest

The Glory of the Fluffernutter

As a tail-end Baby Boomer, many memories of the early 1960s linger even as I’ve just turned 60 (of which I can only say, Holy She-it!). The talented jingle composers of the ’60s had no peers when it came to luring young viewers with catchy toons into needling their parents endlessly for something we wanted. The catchier the tune, the longer it lingered in our minds, and the more we begged. A $10 toy was a difficult “get,” but marshmallow fluff was inexpensive, and thus required less whining and persuasion.

This brings me to one of the great joys of my childhood: the fluffernutter. And you can revisit my ancient memory here.

So, having watched the video, you know that a fluffernutter is made from putting peanut butter (smooth, not crunchy) and marshmallow fluff (a lot, not a little) on squishy white bread (not toasted, and not wheat). If you use crunchy peanut butter, toast the bread, use whole wheat bread, put Nutella on the damn thing, or commit any other accursed act such as putting bacon on the sandwich, I’m done with you.

What the heck is a Fluffernutter? Who named it? Where did it come from? How long have people been eating this thing? With the somewhat trustworthy help of TrickyPedia. and Boston.com, I shall answer your questions because you can’t really allow your day to proceed until the facts are known.

Would you believe that there are three competing claims for the invention of fluff? Who knew. Read the rest

Child gets first taste of wasabi

"Wanna try it?"

"No." Read the rest

Analysis of North America's weeds reveal the crops, trade, and cuisine of early indigenous people

Cornell archaeobotanist Natalie Mueller harvests "weeds" from across North America, seeking the remnants of "lost crops," the plants cultivated by the people who lived here 2,000 years ago.

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Coco Loko is chocolate you can snort

With Coco Loko you can snort chocolate, sorry, raw cacao infused with a "special energy blend."

The entrepreneur behind this product, 29-year-old Nick Anderson, said he was inspired by Europe's "chocolate-snorting trend." He told the Washington Post, “At first, I was like, ‘Is this a hoax?' And then I tried it and it was like, okay, this is the future right here.” He then invested $10,000 into creating his own.

The Washington Post reports:

It took about 10 tries over two months to come up with the mixture, which was created by an Orlando-based supplement company.

“Some versions, they just burned too much,” Anderson said. “Other times they looked gray and dull, or didn’t have enough stimulants.”

The effects of the cacao-based powder, he said, last about 30 minutes to an hour, and are “almost like an energy-drink feeling, like you’re euphoric but also motivated to get things done.”

Wondering if it works? Watch this guy's video first:

Gotta have some of that sweet, sweet (well, not that sweet) raw cacao snuff? One 1.25 oz. jar will set you back $19.99.

(Sean Bonner) Read the rest

Black Lemonade

Jen, an Instructables community manager, has combined regular ol' fresh-squeezed lemonade with capsules of activated charcoal to make her Black Lemonade

Refreshing, and goth af.

She writes that activated charcoal has several health benefits but, (from what I gather from commenters on the recipe's page) not everyone can tolerate it. So, please, don't serve this to anyone without their knowledge. (Sorry, the mom in me totally just came out.)

Still, it looks really cool. 

recipe

(Foodiggity)

Previously: No matter how cool superblack activated charcoal food looks, it's a bad idea Read the rest

The “Impossible Burger” is a plant-based burger that tastes like meat and bleeds like meat

According to the Impossible Foods website:

Our burger is made from simple, all-natural ingredients such as wheat, coconut oil, and potatoes. What makes the Impossible Burger unlike all others is an ingredient called heme. Heme is a basic building block of life on Earth, including plants, but it’s uniquely abundant in meat. We discovered that heme is what makes meat smell, sizzle, bleed, and taste gloriously meaty. Consider it the “magic ingredient” that makes our burger a carnivore’s dream.

...

Because we use 0% cows, the Impossible Burger uses a fraction of the Earth’s natural resources. Compared to cows, the Impossible Burger uses 95% less land, 74% less water, and creates 87% less greenhouse gas emissions. And it’s 100% free of hormones, antibiotics, and artificial ingredients.

You can watch Quartz break down the science behind the meatless burger in the above video. Then watch carnivores and vegetarians alike give it a try in this video from BuzzFeed:

Read the rest

Five second rule conclusively debunked

Few things match the delight of my dogs and myself at the sight of Floor Food. When it happens we're like "Ooo! Floor Food!" and compete to dive on it and eat it first. Sadly, The New York Times reports that the Five Second Rule—the cherished belief among some humans that it is 'safe' to eat Floor Food so long as it has been in contact with the floor for less than five seconds—has been debunked.

Professor Donald W. Schaffner, a food microbiologist at Rutgers University in New Jersey, said a two-year study he led concluded that no matter how fast you pick up food that falls on the floor, you will pick up bacteria with it.

The findings in the report — “Is the five-second rule real?” — appeared online this month in the American Society for Microbiology’s journal, Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

They tested stainless steel, ceramic tile, wood, and carpet, with four different traditional floor foods: bread, buttered bread, watermelon and gummi bears. All resulted in the transfer of a salmonella-like bacterium.

HOWEVER. They also noted that while "bacteria can contaminate instantaneously," it was also the case that "longer contact times resulted in transfer of more bacteria," so I figure we're still good.

Photo: reader of the pack [CC BY-ND 2.0] Read the rest

Bay leaves are a lie

Bay leaves, writes Kelly Conaboy, are bullshit.

What does a bay leaf taste like? Nothing. What does a bay leaf smell like? Nothing. What does a bay leaf look like? A leaf. How does a bay leaf behave? It behaves as a leaf would, if you took a leaf from the tree outside of your apartment building and put it into your soup. People say, “Boil a bay leaf in some water and then taste the water if you want to know what a bay leaf tastes like.”

No.

Read the rest

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