Burns My Bacon: Oreo Thins

oreos

The skinny Oreo. Yes, you heard it right, Nabisco is giving in to the effed up health-conscious world to bring you “Oreo Thins.” Supposedly, Nabisco is not trying to offer a healthier option than their Crisco-filled counterparts, but they project sales to increase from offering this wafer-like substance formerly known as an Oreo. Yes, these are more sophisticated snacks “for adults” according to the Associated Press. Nabisco claims that adults don’t want to twist or dunk their Oreos. Instead, adults want to chomp down on some thin piece of cardboard that does not have nearly enough sugar-lard filling and claim that they are satisfied. I call BS.

Let’s be real. First off, since the dawning of the Oreo, debates among young and old centered around the question: to dunk or to twist? “I prefer to eat my Oreo dry, with less filling, and untwisted” – said nobody. Further, when given the choice between a regular Oreo and Double Stuffed, I am willing to bet that 9/10 people will choose the double-stuffed. I mean, I’ll take two double-stuffed Oreos, twist off precisely so that all of the cream is on one side, and then sandwich the two double-stuffed sides together. I am not alone. And yes, on most days, I am an adult.

Finally – let’s talk about the Oreo brand. Oreo makes their money off of the “twist vs. dunk” debate. Endless advertising highlights the debate – even including adults. I recall an ad with a father (adult) and his son (to be an adult some day) by which the father teaches his son “the proper way to eat an Oreo.” I believe he actually followed the twist and dunk technique. What a simpleton.

PHOTO: Associated Press

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Burns My Bacon: Secret Menus

top-secret-stamp

Not sure if you’ve heard, but apparently it’s still cool to be a hipster. I thought now that being hipster is cool, being hipster is no longer cool. But anyway, I digress. I’ve noticed many of the flannel and skinny-jean fashioned patrons at restaurants ordering Starbucks drinks that weren’t listed. I admit, I am a Starbucks snob who knows that they shouldn’t be charging you for “one pump” of syrup, but that’s as far as I go. I looked up “Starbucks secret menu” and realized that Starbucks isn’t the only place that has a supposed secret menu.

Several other chains have “secret menus” published online. I have a problem. Nay, several problems. First off, the publishing of a secret no longer makes it a secret.

Second, why? Why have a secret menu? Who are you helping? Is it really generating enough revenue within that hipster or foodie crowd who really want to know something that everyone else doesn’t? Or is it that the secret menu offering items are too expensive to be on the menu? Well here’s an idea – rotate the menu!

Third, a secret menu defeats the purpose of a regular menu. Patrons look at a regular menu with the understanding that the items listed are the only items available at the time. Now, the regular menu really has little meaning if we are looking online for secret menus, coming to a restaurant, and asking for something that is NOT on the menu. I’m just not seeing the logic. Custom orders are one thing…but even so – STOP IT.

Maybe it is just for the novelty of it all. Maybe there are so many self-righteous people out there that the industry now has to make everyone feel even more special than they already do. If you need to “feel special,” there are plenty of “services” you can purchase to get that special feeling. Or, just get over yourself and realize that restaurants have a select offering of food items that they specialize in. If you are not happy with the offerings of chain restaurants, maybe try something new. We have enough snobbery going around these days; we don’t need secret menus promoting even more snobs.

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Burns My Bacon: Dessert Gimmicks

Dominique-Ansel-Cronuts-SXSW-Coookie-Milk-Shots

So the food porn-obsessed Internet is going crazy this week with news that Dominique Ansel, he of the great cronut craze of 2013, is back with his latest trademark creation: a chocolate chip cookie shot “glass” with a shot of milk. It’s beautiful. It’s mouthwatering. It’s waste-free.

It’s also stupid.

Why? Because, um…who wants to drink a shot of milk and THEN eat a cookie? It’s cute, yes. But the order is just all wrong. Sorry to be a Debbie Downer here but there are some things I just have to take seriously and this concoction is NOT practical. I feel like I would end up with milk and crumbs drizzling down my face as I tried to get the perfect last bite.

This gimmick is just not an improvement on the traditional milk and cookie. Cookie first, then milk. It doesn’t work the other way.  Design me a shot glass made of milk with a cookie contained inside it, and then I might be impressed, Dominique.

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Burns My Bacon: Unnecessary Jarring

salad in a jar

 

From a recently received press release:

More and more consumers are getting creative when it comes to their food—and not just what they eat, but how they eat it! Mason jar salads are particularly a popular trend on Pinterest with healthy eaters easily able to transport their salad creations on-the-go. Not only is it aesthetically pleasing, but also a healthy solution to many commuters, travelers and busybodies on the move.

No. No. No. Fine, cocktails in a jar can be cute, but it’s overdone. (Keep my beer in a pint glass please.) We decried this trend when it moved on to desserts in a jar three years ago. Now SALADS have to be in a jar too? Apparently this “healthy trend” is not limited to Pinterest, but coming to a restaurant/store near you. Please tell me exactly how jars make salads easier to transport. Who has ever thought, “gee, that tupperware works great, but I wish it could more fragile and also five times heavier?” I’m sorry, people. Eat your goddamn salad on a goddamn plate. And if you start putting my entrees in a mason jar…just expect broken glass.

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Burns My Bacon: Still Burning

croutons4

In case you haven’t noticed, I like to complain.  Partially, it’s because there are just so gosh-darn many annoying things in the culinary world, and I feel it is my duty to voice my gripes for all to hear.  Kinda like a public service announcement.  And partially, I have this idea that if I let my annoyance out in a public way, I will be able to move on with my happy-go-lucky existence.  Kinda like group therapy.  Sometimes, though, a violation to my sensitive annoy-o-meter is so heinous that the same complaint, differently manifested, bears a second airing.  So listen up.

Not all that long ago, I wrote about waste-of-space label recipes.  I wrote about it; I thought I was over it.  Then, I came upon the example above, and I knew I couldn’t keep quiet.

I confess, I do love pre-made croutons, even though they are a total ripoff.  Yes, I am paying an exorbitant amount for someone else to cube my stale bread and sprinkle ranch powder on it.  I admit it.  Just call me Sandra Lee.  However, it’s not enough for the crouton makers to basically pick my pocket.  Now, according to the package recipe for “Baked Ranch Chicken,” I am supposed to grind up the bag of croutons into bread crumbs in order to bread my chicken.  Seriously.  I think that would come out to $.02 per crumb or something.  What do these marketers take me for?

The only reason I haven’t called the 1-800 hotline to lodge my complaint is that I never considered using ranch dressing instead of eggs to get my breadcrumbs to stick to the chicken, so the recipe was not a 100% waste.  But, I will provide my own breadcrumbs and use the croutons for my salad, thankyaverymuch.

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Burns My Bacon: Big Beer Marketing

They’re at it again. I thought our expose on the punch top can was a good start. Maybe the top ten reasons to drink craft beer even better. But big beer can’t help itself. Pouring thousands upon thousands of dollars into marketing rather than a better product, big beer is intent on changing the way we drink. Through the packaging. #fail #sadface #dumb

MILLERCOORS NEW BOTTLE

 

On my way to the shore this weekend, I noticed two new beer billboards. The first highlighted Miller Light’s brand spankin’ new bottle design. AWESOME. Can’t wait to get my hands on that new bottle and taste feel the new great flavor “touch” that Miller has come up with. See what I did there? If not, let me clarify—Miller isn’t even comfortable enough to claim that they’ve improved their taste. They are just trying to lure you in with gimmick ads and packaging that in no way make the product any better. But they aren’t responsible for the most embarrassing new gimmick. That title belongs to “The King of Beers.”

Look at those curves…

budweiser-bowtie-can

Yes, Budweiser decided to up the ante.  Screw the blue mountains—they’re going to turn the can into a bowtie. Now, crushing a can will be even easier. Why improve the taste of piss, when all the people are expecting is…piss? …OH, did I mention that there is slightly less beer in this can? (Don’t tell anyone!)

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Burns My Bacon: Corn Flakes Crumbs

cornflakescrumbs

Since food has been “trendy” for the past few years, I feel like there’s now a product there that does everything. I don’t really subscribe to the gadget theory but I understand that some people see the appeal of a microwave egg poacher or an avocado slicer. But you know what isn’t okay? Products that aren’t actually different products.

The other day I was browsing every aisle of the grocery store, because it had started torrentially downpouring outside while I was inside (sans umbrella), and I came across these. Cornflake crumbs. Mmmm hmm. Just in case you are too lazy to take a bag of corn flakes and a) sit on it b) give it to your kids to smash with a baseball bat, or c) roll a bag of corn flakes with a rolling pin, you can buy this product for $3.79.  I thought maybe I was missing something, so I went to the Kellogg’s website to search for a product description. Here it is: “Corn cereal crumbs.” It is LITERALLY, literally, another product that already exists, just crushed up.

I don’t know what I’m more angry about. The fact that manufacturers are making this product, or that there are people supporting the cause.

What. The. Fuck.

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