Entries Tagged 'Food' ↓

My Goodness: Are Pop Rocks Next On the Airlines’ Restricted Items List?

Here’s a question for travelers in our security-minded era: Should the TSA put Pop Rocks, above—the fizzy, crumbly, kids candy from the ’70s—on its air travel prohibited items list?

I ask because it’s long been known what happens to the human digestive system when you swallow Pop Rocks, then mix it with Coca-Cola, a drink available on every commercial flight: Your stomach explodes!

The effect on the individual is, obviously, catastrophic. As for the craft’s airframe, well, suppose this were to happen while flying over the Pacific, right?

Heh, heh. Of course, it’s nonsense, the idea that these two substances, when combined, detonate. It’s a 30-year-old, urban myth. But, as every parent knows, kids have lots of questions about how our bodies are affected by all kinds of phenomena, and why we work as we do.

Andrea and Julia Ditkoff sure did. For example, they wanted to know:

Why do you get a headache when you eat ice cream too quickly?

What’s that small, dewdrop-shaped thing in the back of your throat?

Why do people hiccup?

…not to mention the query which forms the title of their mother’s book, Why Don’t Your Eyelashes Grow?: Curious Questions Kids Ask About the Human Body, right, by Dr. Beth Ann Ditkoff.

In fact, they came up with all the interrogatives Dr. Ditkoff uses in her text. She thought her daughters’ inquiries were, indeed, provocative, but commonplace. Other children, and other adults, would want to hear the answers, also.

They will: Dr. Ditkoff is the guest today on a repeat edition of my WBAI-NY / 99.5 FM radio show, NONFICTION, this afternoon, Friday, June 18, at 2 pm ET.

You can listen to this thoughtful writer / physician’s ideas by tuning in at 2 pm. If you’re outside of the New York tri-state, check out our stream on the web. If you miss the live show, dig into our archives for up to 90 days after broadcast.

Eat Cheese…And You “Don’t Stop.”


laughing_cowWhen The Laughing Cow, right, France’s Jura-based makers of spreadable cheese wedges, above, recently started airing their latest commercial, something about the cloppy, jug-band, oddly sexy beats underneath sounded familiar. But I couldn’t place ’em.

So I racked up a little internet research, and, voilá: The track—called “Don’t Stop”—is by the UK’s Patrick & Eugene. It’s from their 2008 import, Everything & Everyone.

51paurvjxwl_ss500_Patrick & Eugene? Yes, Patrick Dawes and Eugene Bezodis, whose debut domestic release, Altogether Now (Birds Bees Flowers Trees), right, is out today, featuring new tracks next to their best-loved songs.

On the P&E web site, the bushy duo describes their sound as

whistles, bells and bongos combined with banjos, ukuleles and sunshine pop vocals to produce a unique but accessible music for post modern vaudeville, with a nod to Monty Python, Derek & Clive and even Woody Allen.

screen3If you can rememeber back to 2006, their ditty, “The Birds and the Bees,” was compellingly clamped to Volkswagen’s reintroduction of their classic Rabbit. The ad featured of black and white subcompacts dipping into dark tunnels and alleyways, right, only to re-emerge, followed by gray, black, white, and multi-hued lil’ uns. (Multiplying like…rabbits, get it?)

If you can’t remember that, though, ne’er worry: “The Birds and the Bees,” “Don’t Stop,” the slinky, captivating “Llama” (hear it on their MySpace page) and eleven other compositions fill out the new CD. Plus, I’ve packed this post with YouTubes, below, for your listening and viewing pleasure. Dance, kiddies, dance.

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Palm Some Poms, Yo.


Hey, chocolate-covered fruit freaks: Do yourself a favor and grab a bag of absurdly delicious Brookside Dark Chocolate Covered Pomegranates, above. My wife picked me up a 2-pounder of these sweet chewy suckers a month or two ago and, whoa. Knowing me, I’d have probably gone for the Dark Chocolate Covered Cranberries. Glad I didn’t.

Anyway, Brookside Foods is clearly better at food than they are marketing: When you go to their web site, Pomengranate is all the rage on with the fans. But it’s not even on the product page. Well, follow the crowds, kiddies. Brookside Dark Chocolate Covered Pomegranates 2 lb. bag, $18.61, Amazon.com.

The Sauce Is Strong With This One.


Lightsaber chopsticks. I mean, what more need be said?

In Vader Red, above, Yoda Green, or Skywalker Blue. The Mon Calamari love ’em. Lightsaber chopsticks, $12, Amazon Japan.

[via streetlevel.com]



Don’t let ’em lie to you: I know with all the cooking shows, people try and act like, in the past, American food, though artery-clogging, was hearty and simple. Meanwhile, many argue, today’s chefs have gone bonkers, working to outdo each other with odder and even odder ingredients, methods of preparation, plating, and the like.

Well, if you really think so, try and hold down your lunch just imagining what anybody you love would do if you sat this, below, in front of them: A whole pheasant, tail feathers, head, eyeballs, beak, and all, surrounded by greens, and, incidentally, plunked down next to a roasted version of itself.


Baaroomph. Around 8pm, one day over sixty years ago, somebody probably ran out onto a busy city street and upchucked all the previous week’s electrolytes. I know that because the above is a print ad for Niblets Whole Kernel Corn, from pg. 10 of the Nov 11, 1946 issue of LIFE magazine. (“Gay Color – Good Eating,” blares the headline. Wow.)

That retina-scalding, ornithological centerpiece, above, says the copy, was

prepared by Louis Diat, Chef, Ritz-Carlton Hotel, New York City—a spectacular way to serve pheasant…the casserole of meat flanked by the brilliant plumage of the bird itself. And what goes better with pheasant than the gold of Niblets Brand whole kernel corn, the tender flavor of its sweet young kernels?

nibletsA little context, admittedly, might be helpful here. This is, literally, the postwar period; WWII had ended a bit over a year before. Julia Child wouldn’t start teaching French cooking for another half decade. American women probably wanted to do something exciting in the kitchen, after years of shortages and rationing.

Minnesota Valley Canning Company probably seized the opportunity to market arguably the second-most generic vegetable known to humanity, after rice, by linking it to exotic dishes and fantasy. They knew full well their target audience would never go to the Ritz-Carlton, but would be entranced by its world-renowned reputation for luxury and excitement. They certainly knew that the chef there woulddn’t have touched Niblets, above, to make a meal for his discerning clientele. Notice they never claim he does in the text, but just strongly associate it with his food?

Fortunately, Minnesota Valley Canning smartened up and realized that they needed to talk to regular people, and heightened both the visibility and branding opportunities in the green giant on their label, even ultimately sprouting a little giant called, of all things, Niblet. (Green Giant was a ho, ho, ho.)

But, thankfully for all of us, they stopped trying to sell housewives the myth that their hard-working, meat-and-potatoes husbands would stomach the sight of an undressed bird, still smoking with buckshot, on their dinner plates. After all, supper’s the time for family talk, not taxidermy.

That’s a Huge Sandwich Yer Holdin’.


Am I the only person who thinks there might be something phallic going on in Yankee CC Sabathia’s and Met Johan Santana’s Big Chipotle Cheesesteak commercial for Subway?

screen2That is, the fast food chain would have us believe, with the ad, they’re only marketing “a toasted tower of juicy steak and melted cheese, topped with peppers, onions, and spicy chipotle southwest sauce,” right.

But check out the positioning and angle of the sandwiches between their open legs—which never changes—the lighting, and even the “circumcised cut” at the exposed end of the bread.

Plus, follow the dialogue, as two pinnacles of Black masculine physicality trade locker room talk about how “big” the meaty cylinder between their legs is. One almost gets the indelicate impression that Doctor’s Associates, Subway’s parent company, is selling more than sustenance. Hey: It wouldn’t be the first time.

How big is it?, asks Subway. You decide. Watch the ad, below.

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“Your time is UP, Mr. Bond! When this bomb detonates, you will DIE!
But, first let me make one cup of joe.”


Not only does the Saeco Etienne Louis espresso coffee machine make a great cup o’ java, but, as a neat bonus, it looks like a sci-fi movie prop thermonuclear device.

According to the Google Translate version of the description on Saeco Ettienne’s web site,

The cover of Etienne Louis is a ball made of polished stainless steel from cast aluminum – the foot is taken and the surface of aluminum peaks occupied. All aluminum parts are polished. The upper half of the sphere is removed, your under the water tank to be removed also.

Uh, yeah, right. No price has been given yet, but is any cost too much to both sooth your friends’ taste buds and terrorize them?

[via walyou.com]

Wow: That’s, Uh, Quite a Mouthful.


We’ve covered fellatio-inspired ads before, here, on MEDIA ASSASSIN. However, this print piece, above, offering to “blow” Burger King’s “Super Seven Incher” into the wide-open mouth of a customer is so perfectly awful that, as I post it, I’m actually still wondering if it’s real. (This other picture of it seems to suggest its veracity, however.)

As the amazing copyranter.com clarifies,

this ad via Singapore for the BK Super Seven Incher is the new leading “most overtly blow-jobby ad” I’ve ever seen, surpassing this one, this one, and even this one. Nice misogynistic touch making the woman look like a f%#@ing blow-up doll.

Meanwhile, a word to Gaviscon: Selling your white, thick, creamy, heartburn medicine on the promise that it will cool your insides “like a fireman came in your mouth” is going to really narrow your audience.

[via BuzzFeed.com]

Best. Barbecue. Commercial. Ever.


I don’t know how actor/comedian Chris Hardwick keeps getting work, but I’m suddenly glad he does.

Continue reading →

Obama-Lickin’ Good.

DEU Obama Fingers

Simply crazy about the 44th president? Don’t you wish you could just grab him and take him home with you? Well, now you can, and, when you get there, you can eat him, soaked in a delicious curry dip. (Thanks for the tip, Ray.) Says USA Today‘s “On Deadline” blog,

The German frozen food company Sprehe is offering a new product called “Obama Fingers,” which the packaging [above] describes as “tender, juicy pieces of chicken breast, coated and fried,” the German news magazine Der Spiegel reports.

The magazine quotes Judith Witting, a sales manager for the company, as saying Sprehe decided to offer the product after noting  that “American products and the American way of eating are trendy at the moment.”

“Americans are more relaxed,” Witting explained. “Not like us stiff Germans, like (Chancellor Angela) Merkel.”

Possibly still doused with post-racial goodwill, however, there was no comment from “On Deadline” about something of which Der Spiegel seemed highly aware: Namely

a risk that the product might be seen as racially insensitive. Fried chicken has long been associated with African-Americans in the US — naming strips of fried chicken after the first black president could cause some furrowing of brows.

According to Der Spiegel, “The company says it was unaware of the possible racist overtones of the product.”

Witting told SPIEGEL ONLINE the connection never even occurred to her. “It was supposed to be a homage to the American lifestyle and the new US president,” she said.

Twenty bucks says Obama smiles it off.

[via On Deadline]