A Little Skittle-butt – WIF I Candy

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Tasty Facts

About Skittles

Unless, like us, you always have a bag of them ready to rock in your freezer (seriously, try Skittles straight from the freezer, they taste amazing), you probably don’t spare much thought for the rainbow colored candy snack unless you’re eating them. Well, we do. So we compiled this list of stories and facts about the candy. Partly because it’s interesting, but mostly because we really want them to sponsor us so we can live our dream of Scrooge McDuck-ing our way into a giant pile of these delicious treats.

 10. They once drained all of the color from their packaging and product during Pride Week

One of the most visually distinctive aspects of Skittles is that each bag contains more colors than a blender full of Marvel comics. Mars (Skittles’ parent company) has played up to the smattering of color each bag of their product contains by coining the tagline “taste the rainbow” and it’s hard to imagine the company would ever abandon their distinctly fabulous design and color scheme.

In fact, the company has only ever dropped the rainbow colored profile of their brand once, in 2016, in celebration of London Pride Week.

As Skittles detailed in a PR letter, they wanted the only rainbow that week to be the Pride flag and to that end released an unsettlingly boring special edition bag of Skittles totally devoid of any color. In addition, the Skittles inside the bag were similarly Spartan, being entirely white (though they were still flavored). The company then handed out thousands of these nega-Skittles from a giant, colorless float in the Pride parade. Speaking of being pelted with Skittles…

9. There’s a band who love them so much they get showered with them every time they play

Relient K is a Christian rock band that has enjoyed moderate mainstream success and has toured extensively since the late ’90s. The author of this piece is actually a big fan of the band and highly recommends their cover of Africa, his favorite song. Moving on, the band, along with loving them some Jesus, adores Skittles, going so far as to release a hidden song on one of their albums (a thing people owned before MP3s became a thing) talking about how great they are. Prior to this the band would often eat entire bags of Skittles between songs while performing, and made sure to mention on their rider for each performance that they needed their green room to contain a near infinite amount of the candy.

This love of Skittles saw it become a tradition of sorts for fans to pelt the band with bags of Skittles while playing. Amusingly, years later, the lead singer of the band admitted that he wasn’t a big a fan of the candy as his bandmates and was getting kind of annoyed with being beaned on the head 3 times per show by a large bag of flavorful delights. Information that just encouraged fans to throw even more, because of course it did.

8. They have one of the few non-embarrassing corporate Facebook pages

Skittles are a brand noted as being one of the earliest to recognize the marketing potential of social media, and have been consistently praised for their genuine understanding of the platform strengths and limitations and humor while interacting with fans. In particular, the Skittles Facebook page has often been singled out as one of the best corporate fan pages out there because it’s actually kind of entertaining.

Along with doing boring corporate stuff like responding to complaints and sharing fan photos, the brand seemed to have hired whoever runs Ryan Reynolds’ social media accounts, sharing irreverent observations that have both bemused and entertained fans for years. Gems dropped by the Skittles Facebook page (which, remember, is an official arm of the brand) include:

“If chinchillas ever lost their cool they’d have to change their name.”

“Everytime you like this a turtle learns kung-fu”

“Marshmallows don’t dissolve, they just use hot cocoa to teleport to their homeworld”

All of which we think we can all agree are infinitely better to read than the sterile corporate doublespeak touted on other, lesser official Facebook pages. Then again, it’s not like Skittles didn’t have some early missteps while using social media. For example, consider the time they…

7. Brought down Twitter, with fisting

Early in 2009, when Twitter wasn’t yet the massive, globally recognized force it is today, Skittles tried to dip their toes into the world of tweeting by changing the front page of their official website to display the feeds from their various official social media platforms. In specific regard to the Twitter bit, the brand decided it would be a good idea to display any tweets people sent to the company. You can probably guess what happened next.

Fisting happened. Or rather, thousands of people tweeted the brand with a deluge of profanity that was then proudly displayed on their official website. So many thousands of people tried flooding Skittles’ homepage with profane content that, for a brief moment, they actually brought down Twitter. In other words, Skittles once actually broke (a small part of) the internet, by inviting people to have the most offensive things they could squeeze into a 140 character long tweet displayed for millions of people (and Mars’ shareholders) to see. Take that, Kim Kardashian. And while we’re on the subject of viral tweets…

6. Their response to a Donald Trump Jr. tweet is considered a textbook example of how to respond to controversy

In 2016, Donald Trump Jr. tweeted an image comparing refugees fleeing ISIS with a bowl of poisoned Skittles. You probably heard about it. It was pretty big news and for a moment, everyone was looking kind of awkwardly at Skittles, wondering how in the hell they were supposed to respond to something like that. Think about it: not commenting on the statement would look like tacit endorsement of the sentiment of the comment, whereas addressing it could be misconstrued as trying to capitalize on the controversy. Skittles were, in most people’s eyes, kind of screwed no matter what they did.

With all eyes turned to them and a public waiting for the brand to slip up, a few hours after the tweet going viral, Skittles issued a frank statement through an official from Mars to a newspaper simply saying that Skittles are candy and refugees are people and that they didn’t wish to comment further. This astonishingly classy way of handling what could have been a minefield of controversy for the brand has been cited by experts on PR as a sterling example of how a company should operate online. In other words, the same company that talks online about chinchillas losing their cool also somehow managed to smoothly shut down controversy about their brand being used to dehumanize people fleeing an active warzone. Say what you want about the controversy, this just shows that Skittles has some amazing people working for its PR department.

5. A pack of Skittles somehow contains a decent percentage of your daily recommended amount of Vitamin C

Moving away from politics and Donald Trump, which we’re sure has already got some people arguing in the comments, let’s discuss the fact that Skittles are one of the only a handful of candies that could technically be part of a balanced diet.

This is because unlike most every other kind of candy that have less health benefits than the wrapper they’re packaged in, a small bag of Skittles supposedly contains about 50% of the daily recommended amount of Vitamin C for an 8 year old (which is about 49% more than we assumed when we started researching this), and 25% for an adult. This means that unlike, well, any other candy, there’s a quantifiable benefit to eating Skittles rather than, say, M&M’S or Jolly Ranchers, which have no real nutritional value. While we’re not saying that you should shovel these things into your mouth by the handful, it’s quite nice to know that at the very least, you’re getting something from them to make you feel ever so slightly less guilty.

4. If you leave them in water the trademark S will mysteriously float off

One of the last things Mars does before they send off Skittles to be bought and consumed by the public is add the little S you can find on every candy. This little S is written using a non-water soluble ink that is attached using an apparently delicious kind of edible glue we’re annoyed you can’t buy in stores.

When you submerge Skittles inside any kind of liquid, this S will magically float off and rise to the surface and sit there, waiting for you to either drink it or try to pull it out using your fingers, only to watch it do that annoying thing where it moves just out of the way every single time you pinch your digits together. There’s no real reason to do this, but it’s something to keep in mind if you’re ever at a party, have a few on hand, and want to make someone think their drink is being haunted by an angry snake. And you always know it’s going to work because…

3. They destroy any Skittle that doesn’t have an S on it

Like any brand, Skittles are subjected to strict quality control measures that see them being checked against perfect examples of the candy we assume are kept in a comically well guarded vault. Since so many millions of Skittles are produced every single day, people in charge of quality control simply check one Skittle out of every so many thousand produced, and if it doesn’t look right, all of them will be destroyed.  

Since there’s not exactly many things that can really go wrong with producing a small, spherical candy with an S on it, that’s really the only thing they check for. In other words, Mars will happily destroy thousands of perfectly edible Skittles just because they don’t have that thing on it nobody really cares about. For anyone curious about what happens to these imperfect Skittles, the company crushes them and sells them as animal feed, meaning somewhere out there is a cow that eats nothing but Skittles all day. And now, we’re jealous of that cow, even if it does have to eat those awful yellow ones. Speaking of which…

2. There are always more yellow Skittles in a bag, for some reason

Millions of Skittles are made every day in roughly equal amounts, which are then sorted into the bags you can buy in stores. However, if you’ve ever actually opened up a bag and counted how many of each color are in there, you may notice that there are way more yellow ones.

Nobody is really quite sure why this is the case and Skittles won’t answer our emails, but if you take a look at videos of the candy being made you’ll notice that for some reason, yellow Skittles seem to end up in the same vats as other colors. Exactly why this happens isn’t clear but a theory is that since yellow is the cheapest color to produce, it’s the one made in the highest quantities. The theory continues that the plentiful yellow Skittles are then accidentally sorted along with other colors, explaining why you always seem to find more of them. Again, we have no idea if this is true but it’s for sure a better explanation than Skittles just like messing with us.

1. There’s a terrible film where they tried to be the next Reese’s Pieces

There’s a scene in E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial where the eponymous E.T. is lured out of a closet by a trail of Reese’s Pieces. This scene is noted as being one of the singular most successful cases of product placement ever, resulting in a sales increase of nearly 300% for Reese’s Pieces. As it turns out, Mars were originally offered that lucrative deal for M&M’S, but turned it down.

Not wanting to pass up this kind of chance twice, Mars jumped at the chance to have Skittles appear in an almost identical movie called Mac and Me. If you’ve never seen it, Mac and Me is often referred to as one of the worst movies ever made, mostly because it’s an unapologetic cash grab full of shameless product placement for Skittles, Coke, and McDonald’s. As an example of how utterly flagrant this film is in promoting the brands, it features: a break-dancing scene set entirely inside a McDonald’s; Coke as the only thing the aliens in the film will drink; and a character who wears a McDonald’s uniform in every scene they appear in. Unsurprisingly, Skittles didn’t suddenly notice a 300% boost in sales after the movie was released because nobody went and saw this movie. In fact, we’ll bet more people have seen that clip where a kid in a wheelchair falls off a cliff. Particularly since Paul Rudd shows it literally every time he ever appears on Conan O’Brien’s show.


A Little Skittle-butt

– WIF I Candy

Snacks from Around the World – WIF Fast Food

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Delicious Global

Snacks

You Should Try

There are many, many reasons to travel: to meet new people, to explore new cultures, to see awesome cities, to hike through spectacular scenery. But what about food? For some, sampling the cuisine of another country is like peeking inside the mind of an entire culture.

We’re not talking Michelin-starred, fancy, five course dining, either. From Europe, to Asia, to the Americas and Africa, some of the best eats on the planet are stuff you can pick up at markets and from street vendors. Here are ten delicious snacks from around the globe that will blow your mind and leave you craving more.

10. Okonomiyaki (Japan)

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It’s said that you haven’t really tasted Japan until you’ve tried Okonomiyaki. In the land of sushi, noodles and seafood, Okonomiyaki stands out by being exactly what you wouldn’t expect. A sort of cabbage-based pancake traditionally served with aonori seaweed flakes, bonito fish flakes, super-sweet mayonnaise and the heavenly Okonomiyaki sauce (not unlike the UK’s HP sauce with a hint of soy), this snack is eaten across the country by the truckload.

Garnish aside, it’s tricky to say what actually makes an Okonomiyaki. The name itself loosely translates as “what you like, grilled.” This means the combinations are essentially endless. You might nab a shrimp or octopus one in Osaka, then high-tail it to Tokyo for a pork filling. There are even local variations on how to cook it. Hiroshima style means putting the ingredients on top; Osaka style means mixing them all into the batter.

You can grab one of these taste-explosions at one of the many Okonomiyaki bars across the country. Just rock up, place your order and prepare to have your tastebuds blown.

9. BeaverTails (Canada)

beavertails

The standard joke is that America is a nation of bulging waistlines, while Canadians are svelte and trim. Judging by the existence of BeaverTails, the only rational explanation for this is that those north of the border are riddled with tapeworm. A fried dough pastry stretched into the shape of a beaver’s tail and loaded with more sweet stuff and condiments than you can shake a proverbial stick at, BeaverTails are a delicious heart-attack-in-the-making.

Just look at this picture, for example. Really, look at it. For those of you who hate right-clicking, it’s a pastry snack the size of your face, coated in chocolate and topped with Smarties (chocolate buttons that inexplicably aren’t available south of the Canadian border). It looks like everything you never knew you wanted while mildly drunk at an ice hockey game.

A branded snack, BeaverTails have only been around since 1978. But our sweet tooth would take them over poutine any day.

8. Kürtoskalács (Hungary)

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If you’re ever wandering around the top of Budapest at night, follow your nose to the ancient castle. That sweet, doughy smell tickling your senses and making your mouth water like Niagara Falls? That’s probably coming from the Kürtoskalács stalls. Known as Transylvanian Chimney Cakes, these Hungarian bad boys are even tastier than they smell.

Supposedly, the dish originated in modern-day Romania (hence the Transylvania part of the name), among the Hungarian community living there. Today, Kürtoskalács are called the oldest pastry in Hungary, and pop up at street food stands everywhere. So, you might be asking, what the heck are they? It’s pretty simple, really. Chimney cakes are made by rolling dough slowly round a wooden spoon (or similar vessel), coating the outside in sugar and oil and heating it over a fire. So you get a sweet, crunchy exterior and a warm, doughy inside. Just to send the calorie count even higher, plenty of Hungarians take them with chocolate spread.

The absolute best time to try Kürtoskalács is when it’s so cold out you can see your breath. Then the heat of the dough and the sweetness combine to feel like an elixir of life.   

7. Tamiya (Egypt)

tamiya

Everybody in the Middle East does falafel, and most countries do it excellently. No one, however, does it as well as the Egyptians. Only they don’t call it falafel, oh no. They want to keep a dish this good a secret. If you’re ever in Cairo or Alexandria (according to food critics, the two best places for Egyptian falafel), keep an eye out for Tamiya. It’ll change your ideas of just how freakin’ good falafel can be.

The secret here is fava beans. While most Middle Eastern countries use chickpeas to make falafel, Egypt bucks the trend by using fava beans. The result is a falafel that’s moister and lighter than anything you’ll find elsewhere. It’s cheap, too. Stalls will sell you a tamiya wrap for around the equivalent of 30 cents a pop. According to the experts, though, the place to head for is Mohammed Ahmed, a cheap eatery in Alexandria. There you can combine it with fuul (a bean paste) and eat yourself into a coma. In fact, tamiya is so cheap and delicious and plentiful that many joke Egypt is the best country for making vegetarians fat.

6. Red Red (Ghana)

red red

West African food is famous across the continent for its intense flavors and inventive style. But in West Africa itself, the country that takes the crown is probably Ghana. While there’s plenty to be said for Nigerian or Senegalese food, Ghana just edges its neighbors out the running. Part of the key to that success? Red red.

A kind of simple tomato stew made with black-eyed peas, red red is practically Ghana’s national dish. People eat it at home, on the way to work, while hanging out and at restaurants. The reason being that it’s delightful. The texture of the beans, combined with the vague, smoky flavor of the meat all combines to make a mouthwatering dish. Then there’s the red palm oil. Supposedly, the mixture of this oil with tomatoes is why the stew is called red red in the first place.

Although Ghanaians eat red red at pretty much any time, apparently the time to really appreciate it is breakfast time. It’s a fair point. We’re trying and we honestly can’t think of any better way to start the day than with a spicy, smoky, tomatoey African stew.

 5. Klobasa (Czech Republic)

kolbasa

The Czech Republic consumes more beer per capita than literally any other country on God’s green Earth. Yes, that includes Ireland, Austria and Germany. As such, you’d expect their best street food to cater to the needs of drunks; i.e. warm, fatty and deeply delicious. Enter the infamous klobasa. A smoked, German-style sausage traditionally served with mustard and two slices of brown Czech bread, its 1:00 a.m. drunken street food elevated to an art form.

All this is a pretty recent development. In 1948, the Communists took over what was then Czechoslovakia and immediately started being jerks about it. One of the things they were jerky about was what people could eat. A book was published, called Recipes for Warm Meals. If you cooked and sold anything that wasn’t in it, you’d get yourself thrown in jail. Combined with meat shortages in the ’70s and ’80s, this led to Czech sausages almost vanishing. When the Communists were overthrown in 1989, Czechs went klobasa crazy.

Today, klobasa is so popular that English-speaking locals even runinternational blogs about where exactly to chow down on the best Czech sausage. One to study before you go.

4. Hormigas (Colombia)

ants

In the heart of Colombia’s Santander department sits a little, whitewashed village called Barichara. Legendarily beautiful, it looks like a slice of southern Spain relocated to South America. That’s not why people go there, though. For foodies and snack fans, there’s one overwhelming reason to visit this sleepy village. Barichara is where you can buy hormigas.

The slightly gross part first: Hormigas are ants. Specifically, they’re female leaf-cutter ants with a butt so big it could star in music videos. Harvested in the spring, they’re toasted with salt and served from little packets, just like peanuts. But this isn’t an entry we’ve thrown in just to make you go “eww!” Hormigas are considered a local delicacy, with high protein levels and aphrodisiac qualities. They’re so renowned that upscale restaurants across Colombia use them to make expensive sauces. But the best way to try them is to grab a pack in Barichara and chow on down.

Salty, earthy and a little strange, hormigas in Santander are traditionally eaten under the blazing sun with an ice cold beer. You take a sip of beer, eat an ant, then take another sip, and so on until the packet is empty.

3. Chilli Crab (Singapore)

chilli crab

Singapore is one of the smallest countries on Earth. How small? Well, you could fit the entire nation into Rhode Island four whole times and still have a bit of space left over (confused UK readers can replace “Rhode Island” with “Cornwall”). At such a reduced size, you might not expect any incredible foods to come out of Singapore, but you’d be wrong. The micro state’s chilli crab is some of the best street food in Asia.

The snack does what it says on the tin. A stir fried crab, coated in a sweet and super spicy sauce, it comes served with deep fried buns. But that explanation can’t convey just how tasty chilli crab is. CNN ranked it the 35thmost delicious food in the entire world. There are more shops, restaurants and stalls selling it in Singapore than there probably are people in Wyoming. People fly to Asia purely to sample it. That’s how good we’re talking, here.

Chilli crab is so widely available in Singapore that there’s no point in us telling you where to go for it. Just step off the plane and head towards the nearest group of people. We’re like 99% sure one of them will be able to point you to a stand within walking distance.

2. Tacos (Mexico)

tacos

Yeah, we know what you’re thinking. Tacos. Of all the street food in the world, they go and choose the dish that inspired the abomination we call Taco Bell. Well, hold your horses there, pardner. What you probably think a taco is, is light years from what you’ll get on a street in Mexico. Forget the Tex-Mex thing with the crispy shell, real tacos are as close to them as your fourth grade art project was to the Sistine Chapel.

Let’s start with the basics: Proper Mexican tacos come in a flat, homemade tortilla. They also contain more than just a begrudging serving of meat and some salsa. El Chupacabra’s taco stand in Mexico City, for example, claims over 100 different ingredients go into each and every one of their tacos…and that’s before you get onto the sides. Here’s a picture of their truck. See those endless vats full of sauces and garnishes and deliciousness? If you want to, you can pile in stuff from each and every one of those (plus many others off camera) to make a taco exploding with so many flavors you’ll wind up accidentally recreating that scene from When Harry Met Sally.

Basically, get away from the border cities, and tacos in Mexico go from being cheap junk food you eat when you hate yourself and no longer want your pants to fit, to awesome, working class street food that deserves its spot on this list.

1. Burek (Bosnia-Herzegovina)

burek

The Balkans have easily some of the best food in the world, and that includes the best street food. Pljeskavica meat patties in Serbia, shkembe chorba soup in Bulgaria…the list goes on. For our money, though, there’s one clear winner. Burek (also called Borek) from Bosnia-Herzegovina is perhaps the tastiest snack in the whole of the Balkan region.

Originally from Turkey, this pastry snack really came into its own in Bosnia, where it was brought along with Ottoman rule in the middle of the last millennium. Basically, you take some pastry, fill it with aromatic mincemeat, goat’s cheese, spinach and herbs, roll it up, lightly spice it, glaze with oil and bake until it is golden and delicious. The result is a kinda-sweet, kinda-savory dish that’s crispy on the outside, and has the consistency of al dente pasta on the inside.

 The best place to grab burek is on the streets of Sarajevo, where a serving goes for around the equivalent of $1.70. Awesomely, it tastes good both drunk and stone cold sober, meaning it’s probably, therefore, the most perfect snack in the entire world.

Snacks Around the World

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– WIF Fast Food

Pilgrim Thanksgiving – Food For the 1st Settlers

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Foods the Pilgrims

Likely Ate

at the First

Thanksgiving

Unfortunately, there is no actual menu for the first Thanksgiving in 1621. There is some debate, however, whether or not turkey was on the table. There is even one story where the original intent was to hunt for turkey, and all the Pilgrims wound up bagging was a bunch of crows instead. We would guess that those were a wise bunch of birds.

So let’s assume that turkey became a holiday symbol later on, and look at some of the other foods that may well have been served at that first Thanksgiving. Keep some napkins handy, because you are about to start drooling something fierce.

10. Eel

Serving Eel for Thanksgiving

It is well known that Squanto took pity on the Pilgrims, and helped teach them how to live off of the land and water. One of the hunting methods that Squanto taught them was to spear eels, who were curled up in muddy areas during colder weather. As a matter of fact, the feast made when the Pilgrims made peace with the leader of the Massosoit tribe was a feast of eels. The hunting of eels is also backed up by Pilgrim accounts. So yes, instead of cranberries, the first Thanksgiving would have probably featured a second helping of eel. Just like Grandma used to make.

9. Dried Fruit

dried fruit for Thanksgiving

Fruit was considered to be more of a snack by the Pilgrims. However, there was not refrigeration to store fruits. The solution, particularly when out of season or when you did not have a budget to ship them in from Spain, was to dry the fruits and eat them later. Drying could be done either outside or in shelters, to keep away flies. In addition to sun-drying fruit, there was also the option of oven-drying fruits in cooler climates. Dried fruit, such as raisins, would have been a treat or dessert to eat at the first Thanksgiving table. Also, you might have wanted to store a few in your pocket for later.

8. Lobster

stuffed-lobster thanksgiving

While lobster is more of a delicacy today, the Pilgrims would have seen the crustacean as a staple of their diet. The Patuxet Squanto was again instrumental in teaching the Pilgrims to catch and cook lobsters. The Pilgrim Edward Winslow even sent a letter back to England in 1622 detailing the feast (which is reported to have lasted up to five days) and lobster was really put over as a major dish. This letter electrified the imagination of all who read it, and started to turn the Harvest Feast into Thanksgiving. So it might be a great idea to spend a Thanksgiving rolling out that very traditional Lobster Feast. Just don’t forget to remove the rubber bands afterwards. They’re chewy.

7. Hardtack

hardtack thanksgiving

To be fair, “Hardtack” was also a name applied to these biscuits served primarily during the Civil War. They were often derided, and would frequently be infested with bugs. Hardtack existed during the Pilgrims’ era too, would often be eaten in darker places (so they didn’t have to see the bugs) and dipped into liquids. The dipping had a dual purpose. First, it would lighten the biscuits’ rock hard jaw-breaking consistency. Plus, it killed the maggots, a recommended step for any good dish, really.

Hardtack is rather easy to make, as well as plentiful. if you’re sick of warm, soft, buttery rolls at your Thanksgiving, consider these glorified stones for all your future meals. Just  keep an eye out for any wriggling maggots that somehow survived the Dipping Holocaust.

6. Samp

Zimbabwe-food-recipes-munhuchis

When the pilgrims and the Wampanoag broke hardtack together, they would have enjoyed a helping of samp on the side. Samp, a derivative of a primarily-English porridge, is a mixture of corn and milk mixed into a rather soupy consistency. In the 1600’s book Two Voyages to New EnglandJohn Josselyn states that the Samp would be boiled by the gallon after the corn was ground into a flour and stirred in a combination of milk and water. Samp could have either been a side dish or a full meal, depending on the situation. Photo and Samp recipe.

5. Maize

corn-rainbow2

Because it grew better than English grains, Pilgrims referred to Maize as “Indian Corn.” The corn was planted in the spring, with the Wampanoag using small herring fish as fertilizer for its growth. The corn would have been dried out by November, meaning the Pilgrims would not have eaten corn-on-the-cob at Thanksgiving. The corn would have been shucked, as well as ground. This would have been primarily done to make into a meal, or to cook into bread. Either way, maize would have been a staple of Pilgrim diets at the time of the first feast.

4. Pumpkins

Pumpkin+Stuffed+with+Everything+Good+full-+Simple+Living+and+Eating+006

The classic image of Pilgrims making pumpkin pie for the first Thanksgiving is not quite accurate. The Pilgrims would likely have dug out the contents of the pumpkin, and refilled it with eggs and other items. The pumpkin would then have been cooked to a blackened outside shell. In this way, the pumpkin would have served as an edible pot, with the contents being scooped out and served. So pumpkins were likely a big part of the first Thanksgiving feast, though they were not specifically mentioned until the account of the second Thanksgiving feast.

3. Wild Fowl

THanksgiving Goose

Far moreso than turkey, it was quite likely that ducks or geese were served at the first Thanksgiving. The simple fact is that ducks and geese were more plentiful in autumn to hunt than turkeys were. There is also the great possibility that Passenger Pigeons, which have been extinct for over a century, would have been plentiful at the time. Swan may have also been on the menu.

One reason to use these birds over turkey is the issue of preparation. Smaller fowl can be spit roasted, which would make them easier to cook for a large crowd. Back then, turkey would have to be boiled prior to stuffing, which was a much bigger pain back in the day. It would have simply been easier to feed a crowd with birds other than turkey.

2. Fish

atlantic white cod for thanksgiving

Fish, specifically Atlantic White Cod, would have been a staple of most any meal done by the Pilgrims. Cod was plentiful, as well as desired for its lean white meat. The Pilgrims were quite intent on fishing, except they were terrible at it. Squanto and others taught the Pilgrims not only to fish, but also to use the rest of the fish as fertilizers for crops and oils.

Of course, cod would not be the only seafood on the menu. There would have also been quahogs (clams,) which were steamed. Bass and oysters would have been plentiful as well. In short, the bulk of the first Thanksgiving would have most likely been a seafood feast.

1. Deer (Venison)

roast venison - deer meat

While we’re doubtful about turkey being on the first Thanksgiving menu, there is no question about deer meat being on the table. According to Edward Winslow, author of the only known account of the event, the Wampanoag killed five deer for the feast. Winslow was extremely specific about the deer portion of the meal, and only vaguely referred to the bird meat as “fowl,” so you can guess which dish was his favorite that day. What can we say; some people are simply partial to red meat.

So if someone kills Bambi this Thanksgiving, they’re not heartless murderers of all thing innocent and childlike; they’re simply following a proud tradition dating back to 1621. Not to worry though; if you’re squeamish about killing your own deer, there are plenty of exotic meat markets out there willing to charge youridiculous amounts of money for the right to enjoy the ultimate hipster holiday treat.


Pilgrim Thanksgiving

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– Foods of the Settlers

Fun Beer Facts – WIF Edu-tainment

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Weird Facts About

the World’s Best Beers

To paraphrase famed scholar Homer Simpson, beer is the cause of, and solution to, all of life’s problems. That’s probably why almost every country on Earth has a particular beer its denizens prefer. But each of those market dominating beers holds a secret…

10. China’s Snow Beer: Popular Despite its Taste

worldbeer1

Snow Beer is the single most popular beer on Earth. If you’ve never heard of it, that’s not surprising considering the beer is pretty much only sold in China, where it accounts for a dominating 84% of all sales despite the fact its parent company spends almost nothing on advertising.

In other words, Snow Beer has been able to secure the coveted title of “most popular beer on Earth” while only being available for sale in a single huge market with little to no advertising. The beer is so seldom shipped abroad that it’s considered foreign in Hong Kong and is notoriously difficult to get a hold of, even in specialty beer shops. But you’re not missing out on anything special, because according to this CNN article quizzing Chinese residents it’s bitter, flat and unappealing. Normally we’d make a quip about the power of advertising, but since Snow doesn’t advertise we’re a little lost for words.

9. America’s Bud Light: Cynically Appealing to the Buzzfeed Generation

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In recent years, Bud Light has replaced its more calorie heavy, beer gut causing cousin as the favored beer of the United States, thanks in part to amassive push on behalf of the company that owns the brand, Anheuser-Busch. They’re regarded as industry trendsetters for being one of the few companies to successfully tap the burgeoning millennials market by re-structuring itsmarketing to better appeal to young, hip, twenty-something consumers who are more concerned with tweeting, partying and taking selfies than anything those lame-ass adults care about.

While this has undoubtedly led to some innovative campaigns like the much reported on “up for whatever” campaign, which saw a thousand random young adults being invited to a town called Whatever for a weekend long party, you have to keep in mind these were all masterminded by stuffy guys in suits cynically predicting that millenials would fall for whatever marketing they shoved down their throats as long as it was on Buzzfeed or Tinder. That’s not a joke, those were both platforms they used.

What’s worse is that Bud Light spokesmen have claimed they can reach over 50% of all 21-27 year olds using these methods. Yes, Bud Light is so cynical about the predictability and manipulability of young adults that they think they can make 50% of us pay attention to one of their ads with a post on Buzzfeed. Which is kind of insulting, but also depressingly realistic if the post they’re talking about happens to have GIFs.

8. Mexico’s Corona: Limes and Wagers

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The most commonly consumed beer in Mexico and Fast and Furious movies is Corona. Unusually for a successful domestic beer, Corona enjoys a good deal of success in several foreign markets, particularly the United States and the United Kingdom. Abroad it’s almost universally consumed with a wedge of lime, something that confuses Mexican people to no end.

Despite it being considered customary to garnish Corona with lime, there’s no agreed upon consensus for why this is the case, since the beer has never been consumed that way in its native Mexico. A popular theory is that the custom was started by a New York barman for a bet in 1981, but this has never been confirmed because of course it hasn’t. Corona themselves have been tight-lipped about discussing what, if anything, the lime is supposed to do. Either they have a secret deal with a Mexican lime farmer, or they don’t check their emails.

7. Singapore’s Tiger: Time for a Tiger

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Along with being the most popular beer in both Singapore and Malaysia, Tiger is proof that the west really needs to step up its game when it comes to naming alcoholic beverages. When drinks like this and Cobra are on the market, we honestly don’t know how anyone can justify drinking anything less metal.

Since the ’30s Tiger has used the slogan “Time for a Tiger” in a great deal of its advertising, because even soulless ad agency workers can see that’s a slogan people will never get tired of hearing. One person who agreed with this sentiment was Anthony Burgress, who used the slogan as the title for a 1956 novel.

Burgress would later reveal that he chose Tiger’s slogan as the title purely because he wanted a free clock from Tiger. When Burgress asked the company if they’d send him a clock for giving them a bunch of free advertising, they rather reasonably asked if they could see a copy of the novel first. Offended at the idea of a company wanting to see if their intellectual property was being used in a way that didn’t make them look bad, Burgress went back and hastily added a line saying that Tiger Beer sucked and Carlsberg was better. The change prompted Carlsberg to send him a complimentary crate of beer.

Even though Burgress made fun of their product and generally acted like a petulant child in all correspondence with them, when Burgress visited Singapore in the ’70s Tiger tried to bury the hatchet by offering him free beer for the duration of his entire visit. Burgress heroically turned the offer down, because sometimes being a colossal jackass requires a bit of sacrifice.

6. Russia’s Baltika: Better than Coke

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As we’ve talked about before, in 1860 almost half of the Russian government’s income came from taxes placed on vodka. Russians love them some vodka,and given how much of it they drink you could be forgiven for thinking that beer isn’t a thing over there. Well, until 2013, it kind of wasn’t.

While beer is certainly sold in Russia, with the Baltika brand being the most popular overall, it wasn’t legally considered alcohol until 2013 due to a quirk in Russian law that dictated that any alcoholic drink that had a strength of less than 10% was considered a foodstuff and thus could be sold as a soft drink. Along with speaking volumes about how hardcore Russians are when it comes to drinking, it also means that prior to 2013 you can technically say that the best-selling soft drink in Russia was a beer.

5. Jamaica’s Red Stripe: Jamaican in Name, American in Spirit

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According to the marketing guys behind Red Stripe, it’s a traditional Jamaican style lager with a rich history. According to Google, Red Stripe was first brewed in Illinois for a century before it was bought out by some British guys during prohibition who then marketed it to soldiers stationed in Jamaica. After proving popular in Jamaica, Red Stripe was then marketed back to the States as an exotic foreign brew from the mysterious sun bleached sands of a tropical island. Thus proving that, with good enough marketing, you can convince people of anything.

Oddly, when Red Stripe was initially pitched to the States, it failed to catch on because they sold it in green bottles instead of the distinctive brown ones they used in Jamaica, marking the only time in history Americans complained that something being brought in from a foreign country wasn’t dark enough. A more hilarious twist came in 1989, when all shipments of Red Stripe were cancelled when it was discovered that cannabis was being smuggled in with each shipment. We honestly wouldn’t be surprised if someone at Red Stripe did that on purpose just to really sell Americans on the idea that Red Stripe was from Jamaica.

4. Brazil’s Skol: Hobo Murdering Super Beer

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Although Skol is most popular in Brazil, we’d like to talk about its ill-fated foray into the British market, mostly because we get to use the phrase “murder beer.” High alcohol content beers are by no means a new thing, but Skol’s Super Beer (it’s actually called that) was on another level entirely. Unlike other high alcohol beers which are sold as premium prices, Super Beer sold for just a pound per can despite having roughly the same alcoholic content as anentire bottle of wine.

Unsurprisingly, the beer proved to be incredibly popular with the homeless to the point that it’s still a running joke in the UK to call it “tramp juice.” The government was less amused, as they noticed a concerning rise in the number homeless people drinking themselves to death after the beer and others like it became widely available. Before legislation was introduced to make access to the beer more difficult with a tariff, it was estimated that perfectly legal super-strength beers that people could buy for less than a pint of milk were killing more homeless people than crack cocaine or heroin. Perhaps even more worrying is that up until 2013, the same murder beer that was killing homeless people in the UK could have been sold like a can of Coke in Russia.

3. Japan’s Asahi: The Poo Building

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Since homeless people drinking themselves to death is kind of depressing, let’s lighten the mood by talking about Asahi, Japan’s beer of choice. More specifically, we’d like to tell you about the big building Asahi constructed that looks like it’s topped with enormous golden feces.

Built in 1989 and dubbed “one of Tokyo’s most recognizable modern structures,” the Asahi Beer Hall is supposed to resemble a frothing beer glass. It houses a beer hall where customers can sample its many products. Unfortunately, residents of Tokyo had other ideas and instead decided that the golden monument atop the building more closely resembles feces or a sperm than a frothing beer. Which wouldn’t be that bad if the building wasn’tright next to Asahi’s headquarters. That means it’s now common for people in Tokyo to refer to the headquarters of the best selling beer in their entire country as “the poo building.” But hey, it hasn’t hurt sales.

2. North Korea’s Taedonggang: Better than South Korea

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Taedonggang, which is pronounced however the hell you feel like it, is North Korea’s leading brand of beer and, according to the few outsiders who’ve had the honor of sampling it, isn’t half bad. North Korea’s crippled, outdated infrastructure has actually made it easier for Taedonggang breweries to make top notch beer, because none of the other factories in North Korea produce enough pollution to affect its otherwise pristine water supply.

As you’d expect from a country where you’re not allowed to have the same name as the guy who runs it, the only reason Taedonggang beer exists is because Kim Jong-il wanted to prove a point. Apparently the late leader got into an argument with a South Korean official at a 2000 summit in Pyongyang about the quality of North Korean beer. Incensed at the idea of South Koreans enjoying better beer than his people, he bought an entire brewery from the United Kingdom and had it shipped piece by piece to North Korea, then demanded that it begin producing better beer than South Korea. Kim Jong-il was so keen to promote this new patriotic beer that he even granted special permission for an advertisement to be run on North Korean TV, something that’s only ever been done a handful of times.

And it worked! Not only is Taedonggang the most popular beer in North Korea, the few experts who’ve tried it have admitted that it’s way better than any South Korean beer. We think we’d still prefer to live in the South, though.

1. Ireland’s Guinness: Nazis and Toucans

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Guinness had genuine plans in place to advertise in Nazi Germany during the 1936 Olympics. You know, the ones held in Germany that Hitler himselfattended. While nothing ever came of it, primarily because a London based subsidiary advised the Irish wing against pandering to Nazis, they did end up reusing one of the designs when they eventually launched in the United States a few years later.

Just to be clear, Guinness took a poster that they had originally planned to hang in bars around Nazi Germany, changed the flag in the background, and then used it announce their glorious arrival in the United States. Keep that in mind the next time St Patrick’s Day rolls around and Walmart tries to convince you to buy three crates of Guinness to celebrate.


 Fun Beer Facts

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Bad Food Trends – WIF Science

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Food Trends

That Have Negative

Consequences on the World

What’s popular in the grocery stores, fast food restaurants and other dining establishments changes throughout the years. In more recent days we have seen fast food establishments at least make an effort to look healthy, especially with children’s food products, and people are more concerned with health than ever before. However, not all of the trends regarding food are necessarily good. While people are more concerned with their health, consumer ignorance and misinformation is widespread, and many popular food trends have hidden consequences that the average person is completely unaware of.

10. Reliance on Cows is a Huge Contributor to Global Warming

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Aside from those in the world population who find cows sacred, and the world’s vegetarians, we all love our cow meat. Tucking into a delicious burger or steak is a part of life many of us would be loathe to give up, and for many you would have to pry the steak out of their cold, dead hands. However, it is this love of beef that is helping raise worldwide greenhouse gas levels by alarming amounts. Cows both fart, and burp a lot, and they also leave a lot of cow pies lying around as well. All the methane that is belched into the environment or broken down in their waste is easily the majority worldwide contributor to methane being released in large quantities.

Of course, while methane is incredibly bad for the environment, it is only one greenhouse gas. Cows alone are far from the only, or biggest, major contributor, but they are enough to be causing a serious impact. Scientists are now trying to solve the problem, or at least find ways to mitigate it. Some have suggested changing the cows’ diets to something that has more alfalfa and supplements instead of the usual diets, so they will be less gassy. And they have also emphasized that proper breakdown or reuse of dung can prevent extra methane leaking into the atmosphere. Either way, scientists believe that with the reliance on beef for food by many developing countries, that the issue is going to be here to stay for a long time to come.

9. Fat Free Foods Have Increased Our Reliance on Sugar to be Satisfied

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Perhaps one of the worst food fads that still affects us today is the “fat free” fad. This fad is do pervasive that even though it began in the 1970s due to a hearing started by Senator George Mcgovern, you will meet many weight watching people today who, despite religiously watching their calorie count, still balk at “fat content” in foods. The fact is that if you understand calorie count, you’ll know that calories plus exercise — and to some extent genetics — will decide your weight loss rate. And studies have not shown any health benefit to a low fat diet, but this still persists in the national consciousness and it’s still doing damage.

Today stores are full of “fat free” or “low-fat” products, and many products today that would have had more fat in the past have none or very little. However, what they have instead, and started having in the late ’70s when the trend began, was a whole lot more sugar. And coincidentally, it wasn’t long after this that incidences of diabetes and obesity really took off. Now, it’s hard to say for certain if this was the main or only cause of the rise of diabetes, but there is no question that a brief time ago we started consuming way more sugar than we once did, and it is most definitely bad for us. It shows that in our rush to make fat the villain, we forgot that all food groups are an essential part of a good diet, and that moderation is the most important thing of all.

8. “GMO-Free” Foods Are Helping Produce Ignorant American Consumers

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Recently there has been a strong movement for “GMO-free” foods. On the one hand this sounds reasonable if you don’t understand what a GMO is, but when you do, it sounds utterly inane. GMOs are genetically modified organisms. The problem is that by the actual definition of genetic modification, we have been practicing this on plants and animals for thousands of years — at least. However, even if you feel that there should be more transparency as to today’s biotech practices, the fact is that current labeling and “GMO-free” foods are only helping to increase consumer ignorance and take advantage of people who think they are “avoiding something”.

The truth is that many of the companies who look like they are bowing to the will of the consumer are making changes just to please people, because it’s easier to do that than to argue and cause a viral issue on social media. Companies like Kraft will gladly switch to natural dyes while still selling you a box of processed macaroni and cheese product. And Subway may remove a perfectly harmless ingredient like azodicarbonamide because people get up in arms about it, but they continue to sell many processed foods and use the slogan “eat fresh”. What is really bad for people’s health is the increasing reliance on heavily sugared products and heavily processed foods. Companies jumping on the “GMO-free” bandwagon allows them to make meaningless, cheap changes that make it look like they are doing something while actually continuing business as usual.

7. Soy Food Could Be Decreasing Testosterone Levels

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In recent years soy milk, which was once considered more of a niche drink you’d see in a health food store, has become a full blown fad. Women and men alike are drinking it not only as a substitute for milk — as a growing number of people in America have decided it is trendy to claim lactose intolerance without being tested for it — but also just because they enjoy the taste. Milk substitutes like soy tend to come in exciting flavors already full of sugar and other artificial flavor boosters, making it look way more enticing than plain old milk. Unfortunately, soy milk has also been linked with the ability to increase estrogen levels.

While for most people, it would be unlikely to cause anything truly noticeable, there is the case of one man who was dealing with a really strange medical issue. His body seemed to be increasingly feminizing and he could not figure out why. He had swollen mammary glands, hair loss, decreased facial hair growth, etc. After going to four doctors and starting to become frustrated he would never find the answer, his fourth doctor decided to ask him to give him all the details of his diet. It was then that he discovered the man was drinking three quarts of soy milk per day. Now, this is a lot more than most people would consume in a day, so most people would be unlikely to ever show such drastic effects, but it shows that soy can have serious effects on the body’s hormone levels.

6. The Low Carb Diet Fad Has Caused Widespread Nutritional Deficiency

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Back in the 1990s the Atkins Diet really started to become a full blown fad, and before long, people were telling you that eating carbohydrates was bad. It’s easy to see in hindsight that this particular fad was not good — anything that tells you to almost entirely cut a large type of food group out of your diet is likely an unbalanced way to eat. However, at the time it was easy to get on board with the hype, if nothing else to see if it would provide any benefit. And while many people may have lost some weight with it, it is also important to note that lost weight does not necessarily equal good health.

The low carb fad very likely helped contribute to the rise of obesity along with the decrease in fat intake and rise of sugar intake. While there was some reason to be bothered by some carbohydrates — certain processed carbohydrates like refined sugar — the fad did not discriminate, and many people now had diets lacking in proper complex carbohydrates such as grains, fruits and vegetables. The fact is that good carbohydrates are an important part of a balanced diet and will help keep your body in good working order — just like all diets you should eat them in moderation, but not to the point of almost not eating them.

5. The Recent Quinoa Fad Has Been Causing Extreme Hunger in Bolivia

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If you haven’t heard of it, Quinoa is one of those products that you will hear people tout as a “secret superfood”. It is an Andean plant often confused as a grain, although it is actually closer related to foods like spinach. It looks like an incredibly tiny grain-like object, although it is spherical (where rice is oval). While it was touted by NASA and has been in health food stores for years, it exploded in popularity only recently. Vegans and hipsters everywhere have flocked to this product as the next big thing, and it has created an entirely new export product in thecountry of Bolivia where it is grown.

However, this is not without issues. Our increased trade with Bolivia is having unintended consequences. While the farmers are actually making more money now because of the export market, the price of Quinoa itself is going up so much globally, that many Bolivians who once relied on it as a food staple can no longer afford it as anything but a treat. To make matters worse, now that they are trading with us they are discovering products like Coca-Cola and processed white bread, and the younger generation is becoming attached to it while the older generation watches on in horror. The processed products we import there and our unnecessary overuse of their food staple is helping contribute to obesity and malnutrition in Bolivia.

4. Deceptive Marketing for Cage Free and Free Range Hides the Problem From View

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Another point where consumers are often mislead is when cartons of eggs are labeled “cage free” or “free range”. The truth is that the United States government has no legal standard for those terms on egg cartons and as such companies can pretty much just say it as a marketing gimmick if they wish to. Many companies that claim “cage free” may actually let their chickensout of cages, but never let them see the light of day. Others may consider “free range” to be giving them a small amount of sunlight and fresh air from their cage everyday. There is simply no real standard to go by, so you really don’t know what you are getting.

However, it gets a little weird in terms of poultry. The rules for chickens raised for poultry instead of egg laying is fairly well laid out by the USDA, and has fairly comprehensive guidelines, but these rules don’t count at all when it comes to eggs. What this means is that when a company slaps a label on non-poultry products stating things like “free range” it is essentially meaningless since there isn’t even a loose industry guideline on what that means for that product. The company is likely being deceptive with you, and trying to use your ignorance of the issue to temporarily override your common sense.

3. The Multivitamin Fad Could Be Causing Serious Health Damage

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Multivitamins are becoming increasingly ubiquitous, there is no doubt about it. Where once you saw them mostly in health food stores and infomercials, you will now find dozens of different bottles of multivitamins in every grocery store. They are colorful and often have some kind of sugary flavor and cute shape in order to be more enticing. Plenty of people have come under the impression that everyone would be better off if they had their daily vitamin, and many now take them religiously. Now, for some people this is a good thing, but for many people it could actually be quite harmful. The matter lies in how healthy the person taking the vitamin is to begin with, and it all ties into how vitamins work.

Multivitamins have a lot of nutrients in them — enough to easily replace anything missing in a deficient diet. And if you think you are struggling to keep a diet that has all the nutrients you need, then a multivitamin might be a really good idea for you. However, the issue is that the people most likely to take multivitamins like clockwork also happen to be the people who already have well balanced and conscientious diets and thus have no need for one. In fact, it could actually be harming them because taking large concentrations of a nutrient you already have enough or more than enough of, especially on a long term, steady basis, can damage the body. Many nutrients found in large quantities in vitamins can be toxic — and even carcinogenic — if allowed to build up in the body too much.

2. Disposable Water Bottles are Devastating to the Environment

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Back when bottled water first hit the scene many people were skeptical and scoffed at the very notion. Well, as strange as it seemed, bottled water has skyrocketed in popularity and now buying disposable bottles of water has become a normal way of life for many people. For some people in the United States, they buy bottled water because they consider it safer and some people just really like the convenience, but it is causing a great deal of harm. The amount offossil fuels used to make the plastic for our bottled water would be enough to fuel a million cars for a whole year, not to mention that it takes roughly triple the amount of water to produce the average bottle of water that the bottle actually contains.

While these may sound bad, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Water bottles are also one of the biggest sources of plastic pollution in the world, and due to the poorly organized recycling system in America, a large quantity of plastic water bottles simply end up in the landfill or ocean and are never reused. This is also a problem because the plastics used for water bottles tend to break down poorly, and leach toxins when they do.

As for whether they are safer to drink, this is not the case either, so there is really no advantage to bottled water. Studies have shown that the toxins present in the plastics can affect the water, and for those who think it has less bacteria than tap, this is not necessarily true either. Some bottled water has been tested and found to be similarly unsafe. This may be due to the fact that some major bottled water companies have been caught using simple tap water for their operations and then reselling it to people. Experts recommend getting a good filter and using it to clean your own tap water.

1. Going “Gluten-Free” If You Don’t Have Celiac Can Be Really Bad For You

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These days, a lot of people are trying as hard as they can to “go gluten free” as part of the latest, most popular fad diet. While this might sound reasonable at first, the fact of the matter is that there is a reason that food companies are now catering to a large amount of gluten free customers, even though only 1% of Americans have celiac disease. The reason is because, since it’s the “in thing” to do, 21% of people are now trying to cut gluten from their diet. This means that 20% of those people are improperly giving themselves serious dietary deficiencies, and also allowing food companies to all too happily take advantage of their ignorance.

For example, food companies will happily label products like french fries “gluten free” even though people who understand what gluten is would know they are naturally gluten free anyway, and it’s the same with many other treats that are given the same label, such as Rice Krispies treats. The truth is that all the people cutting out gluten may be right to cut out processed and/or refined foods containing gluten, but the wheat and whole grain products that contain gluten are an extremely important part of a normal, balanced diet. Those with celiac have to follow special dietary guidelines from a doctor in order to avoid gluten and still get the required nutrients, so medical professionals strongly recommend getting tested and then getting proper dietary advice before cutting entire food groups from your diet.

Bad Food Trends

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Burger King Confidential – WIF Fast Food

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WIF Fast Food-001

Things You Didn’t Know

About Burger King

Burger King has become an almost ubiquitous feature of the global landscape. With more than 13,000 locations across more than 70 countries, it’s hard to visit many cities, especially within the United States, which houses the majority of its outlets, without seeing at least one Burger King. However, despite its constant presence on roadsides worldwide, Burger King is still hiding some surprises, including the 10 shockers listed below.

10. BK Ended Over 200,000 Friendships

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Burger King has created buzz with its unusual marketing tactics. One of its most original was 2009’s “Whopper Sacrifice” promotion. The promotion, offered via a Facebook application, offered users a free Whopper in exchange for unfriending 10 of their Facebook friends. In contrast to a normal Facebook unfriending, in which the “dumped” friend is not notified, Burger King’s application sent notifications to the 10 rejected friends, alerting them that their online friendship had been traded for (part of) a hamburger.

The app was wildly successful, with more than 80,000 users deleting more than 200,000 friends in a week. Facebook, however, was not amused. The company disabled the app after 10 days, claiming that the notification feature violated its privacy standards, stopping the promise of a free Whopper from ending any additional Facebook friendships.

9. BK Tried to Make Nice with McDonald’s

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In 2015, in recognition of the United Nations’ International Peace Day on September 21, Burger King made a bold proposal to archrival McDonald’s. In full-page ads in the New York Times and the Chicago Tribune, Burger King askedMcDonald’s to join it in a one-day truce in the “Burger Wars” between the two chains. Burger King proposed selling a “McWhopper,” a combo of both chain’s signature burgers in a one day pop-up location in Atlanta located between the two restaurants, staffed with employees of both chains. Proceeds would support Peace One Day, a non-profit organization that seeks to raise awareness of the International Day of Peace.

McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook was unimpressed with the gesture and quickly dismissed the possibility of a McWhopper. He further noted that the “friendly business competition” between the two companies in no way resembled “the real pain and suffering of war.” Burger King took its rejection in stride, partnering with other chains, including Denny’s, on its Peace Burger popup. McDonald’s, meanwhile, launched a separate ad campaign in support of the UN’s World Food Program.

8. The Whopper has a Hard to Find “Perfect Wine Pairing”

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When Burger King sought to celebrate the 40th anniversary of its 1975 entry into Spain, it did so with a classy touch. The chain produced a limited edition wine, designed to pair perfectly with the Whopper. “Whopper wine,” as Burger King dubbed it, was produced in Spain, and aged in flame-grilled (by a Burger King broiler) barrels, to produce a flavor that would complement its burgers.

Unfortunately, this ideal beverage companion to the Whopper will remain unknown to most. Bottles of Whopper wine, which included a matching box (perhaps for ease of carrying into one’s local Burger King), were available only in Spain, and then only to forty winners of a contest to share your “Best Burger King story.” Which, in retrospect, is a contest they should have saved until after they started plying their customers with wine.

7. BK has a Secret Menu

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Several quick-service restaurants offer items that aren’t on the menu, but that they will make if in-the-know customers request them. For example, In-N-Out’ssecret menu includes “Animal Style fries,” which are topped with a mix of grilled onions, cheese and Thousand Island spread. And though there are no quesadillason the menu at Chipotle, you can get one if you know to order it.

Burger King also has a secret menu of items that are available as long as the ingredients are there and the employees are game (It’s best not to try your luck during the lunch hour rush). Offerings include the BK Ham & Cheese (served hot or cold on a sesame seed bun), “Frings”—a half order of fries, half order of onion rings, certain to settle any marital squabble, and the Rodeo Burger, which features the addition of BBQ sauce and onion rings. However, the title for “most intense secret menu item” at Burger King goes to the aptly named “Suicide Burger.” Also known as the “Quad Stacker,” this monster burger includes 4 patties, 4 slices of cheese, bacon, and special sauce. If you know about the secret menu and have a death wish, about $4, and a patient local Burger King employee, this giant ball of meat can be yours.

6. BK Briefly Offered Table Service

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Table service? At Burger King? The idea of sitting down and having your food brought to your table at Burger King is hard to imagine. But if you missed the three-month period in 1992 when the chain rolled out table service, the only way that you will have this experience is in your imagination.

The idea behind table service was to attract new customers during the evening, traditionally a slow time of day for fast food restaurants. After ordering at the counter, guests were offered free baskets of popcorn to snack on while they awaited the arrival of their food, which could include choices from an upgraded dinner menu including steak sandwiches and fried shrimp, at their tables. Some locations even offered mood lighting and music.

Rival restaurant Wendy’s took a tongue-in-cheek approach to the upgraded experience offered by Burger King. Noting that Wendy’s did not plan to offer similar service, a Wendy’s spokesman said of Burger King’s table service (we’re sure with no hint of sarcasm at all) , “We think it’s fabulous. We hope Burger King spends millions of dollars on it.” That assessment would prove prophetic. Table service slowed down Burger King’s operations so much that the company lost millions of dollars, abandoning the foray into offering more upgraded service just a few months after it was launched.

5. BK Footed the Bill for One Lucky Couple’s Wedding

king burger

Ashley and Joel’s relationship has its roots in a history that will sound familiar to many couples. Friends since grade school, the two attended prom and homecoming together, but insisted to those around them that they were “just friends.” However, the two started dating in college and in 2015, Joel proposed.

This sounds like an ordinary love story, until you hear that Ashley’s last name is King, and Joel’s is Burger. After a guest speaker at their elementary school pointed out that together, they were “Burger-King,” the moniker stuck with the couple. When they got engaged, they took photos at a local Burger King, which soon went viral. The couple, who had hoped Burger King would provide some branded party favors or let them use the logo on wedding swag were in for a real treat. Burger King offered to pick up the whole tab for their Jacksonville, Illinois ceremony and reception—offering them “a whopper of a wedding,” delighting the stunned, and fortunately named, pair.

The Burger-King wedding, attended by approximately 400 guests, took place July 17, 2015. The couple, and their wedding party, donned cardboard Burger King crowns for some of their photos and the groom and groomsmen wore Burger King t-shirts hidden under their formalwear. The guests sipped out of custom Mason jars bearing the Burger King logo during the reception. The sign in front of the local Burger King celebrated the Burger-King wedding as well, reading “Congratulations Ashley and Joel.”

4. BK is Owned by a Canadian Donut Shop

tim horton

Burger King seems as American as, well, the hamburger, which was invented in the US around the turn of the century. But as of 2014, Burger King is actually aCanadian company. How did this happen? Burger King merged with Tim Hortons, an iconic Canadian coffee and donut shop, and both companies were consolidated under the Restaurant Brands International holding company, headquartered in Canada.

The deal was controversial on both sides of the border. Americans protested the relocation of a highly symbolic company as part of a tax inversion transaction, a move which some said could save the company more than $1 billion in US tax payments over the next several years. Meanwhile, Canadians and their lawmakers weren’t thrilled about the American takeover of their iconic brand, fearing job losses and a negative impact to national identity. The company, which denies that tax considerations were central to the merger decision, defends its merger decision as part of a larger strategy to aggressively pursue global expansion opportunities for both brands.

3. BK Had to Recall “Religiously Offensive” Ice Cream Desserts in the UK

BK ice cream

When you think of controversial Burger King desserts, if anything comes to mind at all, it may be Burger King’s bacon sundae, which debuted to mixed reviews in 2012. But Burger King’s UK operations faced an entirely different controversy in 2005 over its ice cream desserts. In that case, it wasn’t even the dessert that caused the dustup—it was the packaging it came in.

The lid on the ice cream treat depicted a rotating ice cream cone. But at least onehorrified customer—Rashad Akthar of High Wycombe—saw something else entirely. Akthar claimed that the design resembled the Arabic inscription for Allah, causing offense to Muslims. He urged a boycott of Burger King, calling the issue, “my jihad.” Burger King promptly recalled the questionable cones, apologizing and redesigning the lid in concert with the backing of the Muslim Council of Britain. At the same time, the chain insisted that the original design, “simply represents a spinning ice-cream cone.”

2. BK’s “Black Whopper” Has an…Unusual…Side Effect

black whopper

Health experts have long warned of the negative consequences of a long-term diet heavy in fast food. But Burger King’s A1 Halloween Whopper, which appeared as a limited-time holiday menu item in the US in October of 2015 had a more immediate, and colorful, impact on the digestive systems of those who consumed it, producing bright green poop.

The A1 Halloween Whopper, a burger in a black bun, is the American version of a similar item sold in Burger King’s Japanese locations. The company indicates that the black bun of this burger comes from having A1 steak sauce baked in. But it’s clear to at least one medical professional that that deep color didn’t come just from A1, but rather, from food coloring—and a lot of it. The dye used on the bun of the Black Whopper travels through your system, emerging with a jaunty green hue. Luckily, this spooky side effect, much like the A1 Halloween Whopper that produces it, exists only on a temporary basis.

1. BK has a Special Crown Gold Card Available Only to Celebrities

BK Card

Ahhh, the perks of being famous: private jets, deluxe hotel suites, personal assistants to cater to your every whim. But there’s one perk that a small subset of the rich and famous enjoy that you may not have anticipated: unlimited free Burger King food.

Burger King has offered its “Crown Card” since 2006. For ordinary folks, this works just like any other prepaid gift card (the one pictured above is an ordinary Crown Card, if you were curious). But some celebrities, at least 12 that we know of, have been given an upgraded Burger King gold crown card. Why is this card special? It entitles the bearer to unlimited free food from Burger King…for life. We’ll leave it to you to determine if this is a reward, or a punishment.

How do you get one of these coveted cards? Even for top-tier celebrities, getting the gold crown card is a rare achievement, with fewer in circulation than, say, Oscar statuettes. Chris Koster, who manages the program for Burger King, notes, “We’ve been extremely thoughtful about who receives them for life.”

Some celebrity cardholders, including Jennifer Hudson and My Name is Earlcreator Greg Garcia, got theirs because, at one point in their careers, they worked at Burger King. George Lucas earned his by always partnering with Burger King on releases of his blockbuster movies. Hugh Laurie of House fame, got his after joking that he had one in an interview; the claim garnered so much free PR for Burger King that the company happily added him the 12th celebrity gold crown card holder.

Burger King Confidential

– WIF Fast Food

Food Franchise Origins – WIF Fast Food

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WIF Fast Food-001

Origins of Famous

Fast Food Franchises

Besides baseball and apple pie, is there anything more American than fast food? It’s a staple of American culture that is both loved and hated all over the world. We’ve talked about some of the secrets behind the biggest fast food behemoth in the world, McDonald’s, but how did other fast food giants get to the point where they are now?

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10. Carl’s Jr.

carlsjr

Carl Karcher was born January 16, 1917 in Upper Sandusky, Ohio. He dropped out of school when he was 13 and worked on his family farm for the next seven years. When he was 20, he got a job making $18 a week working for his uncle at a feed store in Southern California. In 1941, Karcher was working in a bread factory and managed to get a $311 loan against his new Plymouth sedan. Using the loan and $15 out of his wallet, Karcher bought a hot dog stand and served them outside the Goodyear plant in South-Central Los Angeles. Sales were going well, and more hot dog carts were bought. What slowed down business for a bit was when Karcher went to serve in World War II.

When Karcher returned from the war, he opened his first restaurant, Carl’s Drive-In Barbeque in Anaheim, California, in 1945. In 1956, he opened two other franchises, which he called Carl’s Jr. That was the start of the spread of Carl’s Jr. and by 1975 there were 100 franchises. In 1981, they opened their 300th store and then they went public in 1982.

Karcher would go on to be the CEO after going public, but his ultra-right political leanings got him into hot water with shareholders and some feminist and gay rights groups. Also, in the late 1980s, Karcher was accused of insider trading. He called the allegations “totally false”, but still agreed to pay a fine of $332,000 in July of 1989. In 1992, a new CEO was put in place and Karcher died on January 11, 2008 at the age of 90.

9. Wendy’s

wendys

Born Rex David Thomas on July 2, 1932, in Atlantic City, New Jersey, the Wendy’s founder didn’t have a great childhood. He was adopted as a baby and never knew his real mother. When he was five, his adoptive mother passed away and by the time he was 10, he had lost two stepmothers. The person that Thomas was closest to was his adoptive grandmother, who taught him valuable life lessons, like not cutting corners; that’s why Wendy’s hamburgers are square.

When Thomas was 12, he first started working at a barbeque restaurant. When he was in grade 10, he dropped out to work full time. He served in the army and when he got back from Korea, he learned that his former boss at the restaurant he worked at was an early franchise owner of Kentucky Fried Chicken. Thomas was hired on by his former boss to help him turn around some of his KFC franchises. Eventually, Thomas came to own some of his own franchises, but he would sell them back to the corporation in 1968 for $1.5 million.

The story as to how Wendy’s first came to be is that Thomas would often complain that there wasn’t a good place in Columbus, Ohio to get a burger. So on November 15, 1969, he opened his first Wendy’s, which was named after his daughter Melinda Lou, whose nickname was Wendy. She was even the store’s mascot and would sometimes be on hand, in costume, to welcome customers. The restaurant was immediately popular and within a decade there were over a 1,000 franchises.

In 1982, Thomas stepped down from the day-to-day operations, but in 1989 he had a large role in driving sales up when he became the spokesperson. He appeared in all the commercials in the 1990s and 90 percent of Americans recognized him. Thomas was also made national spokesperson on adoptive rights by George H.W. Bush, and due to his work with adoptive rights President Clinton signed a bill giving a tax credit to adoptive parents in 1996. Thomas died at the age of 69 on January 8, 2002.

8. Burger King

BK

By 1952, McDonald’s in San Berdino had become famous and attracted a lot of people from across the country. Some of those people were fascinated at how McDonald’s ran their business and looked to open up a similar restaurant. Two of those men were Matthew Burns and Keith G. Kramer. Burns invited Kramer, who was his stepson, out to California to visit the McDonald’s. Kramer was the owner of a drive-in restaurant in Florida and Burns wanted to see what he thought of McDonald’s. Seeing opportunity in cooking burgers and fries quickly, Burns and Kramer contacted an inventor and he created two machines for them. One was a milkshake maker that made a number of shakes at one time. The other was an “Insta-Broiler” which could cook 400 burgers in an hour. In 1954, Burns and Kramer opened the first restaurant, called Insta-Burger King, in 1953 in Jacksonville, Florida. They sold burgers and milkshakes for 18 cents, or for 10 cents you could get fries or a soft drink.

In 1954, they sold some franchises to two Cornell graduates, David Edgerton and James McLamore, who opened their stores in Miami. The problem was that Edgerton and McLamore weren’t making any money. So they changed the name to Burger King, got rid of the Insta-Broiler, and introduced the flame broiler. They also introduced a new burger called the Whopper, and did something a bit risky when they introduced it – they priced it at 35 cents, which was more than double a McDonald’s burger, which sold for 15 cents. The Whopper was instantly successful and became their trademark burger.

In 1959, more stores began to run into problems, so the original owners were bought out by Edgerton and McLamore in 1959. In 1961, they started a massive push to franchise Burger Kings across the country. By the time they sold the company to Pillsbury in 1967 for $18 million, they had 274 stores throughout the United States. Today, Burger King is the second biggest burger chain in the world, just behind McDonald’s.

7. Subway

subway

Subway got its start in 1965, when 17-year-old Fred DeLuca got a $1,000 investment from a friend of his family’s, Dr. Peter Buck. Buck suggested using the money to open up a sub shop because it would be a good way for DeLuca to pay for college and medical school. On August 28, 1965 DeLuca opened Pete’s Super Submarines in Bridgeport, Connecticut. However, on the radio ads, it sounded like “Pizza Marine,” so they changed the name to Pete’s Subway and later just to Subway.

In 1974, DeLuca started franchising and he went through a bit of a learning curve, but he was soon able to jump from 16 stores to 200. Then in 1987, Subway really took off and since then, 1,000 Subways open every year. As of mid-2015, Subway is the biggest restaurant chain, with the most franchises in the world.

6. Taco Bell

tacobell

Born on September 3, 1923, Glen Bell served in the Marine Corps in World War II and when he returned home, he lived in San Berdino, California. In 1952, he opened a hot dog stand called Bell’s Drive-In. His stand wasn’t too far from this hamburger stand that was run by two brothers named McDonald.

After buying a few more hot dog stands, Bell was looking for ways to expand his business. He was a fan of Mexican food, especially tacos, but the problem with serving tacos was the way they were made. Restaurants would use soft tortilla shells, stuff them with beef, cheese, lettuce and sauce and then fry them. It was a timely process, especially if you had to make a bunch at once. Bell then had the idea to fry the tortillas first and then stuff them. He had a special wire built that would allow him to cook the tortillas in the U-shape, thus giving birth to the hard shell taco. He then sold the tacos for 19 cents apiece from the side of one of his stands. Bell said he remembered the very first customer: a man in a suit who, as soon as he bit the taco, the juice ran down his sleeves and stained it. The man also got some sauce on his tie. Bell was convinced that they had lost him as a customer, but after finishing the first one, he came back and bought another.

By 1954, Bell and a partner opened Taco Tia, his first Mexican-food dedicated restaurant. By 1957, they had four restaurants and his partner didn’t want to expand beyond that, so Bell sold his share of the business and in 1957, he opened another Mexican restaurant in Pasadena called El Taco. He got three partners a year later and they opened four stores. But again, Bell sold his interest in the restaurants.

In 1962, with a $4,000 investment Bell opened the first Taco Bell in Downey, California. Over the next two years, he opened eight Taco Bells. In 1978, Bell sold Taco Bell to PepsiCo for $125 million. PepsiCo then expanded the brand to the juggernaut of 6,600 restaurants, famous for selling its diarrhea-inducing food. Bell passed away in January of 2010.

5. Domino’s

dominos

In 1960, brothers James and Tom Monaghan bought a small pizzeria called DomiNick’s in Ypsilanti, Michigan for $500 down and then had to borrow another $900. Tom grew up in a series of foster homes and didn’t have much money so the pizzeria was meant to pay for his tuition at the University of Michigan, where he was studying to be an architect. After a 15 minute lessonfrom the former owner on how to make pizza, the very first Domino’s was up-and-running. After about eight months, James sold his half of the partnership for a Volkswagen Beetle they used for deliveries. By the way, wondering how it became Domino’s? When Tom Monaghan wanted to expand the business, the former owner, whose name was Dominick wouldn’t let him use the name, so he changed it to Domino’s Pizza, which was a suggestion from a delivery driver.

Other fast food places on this list either had an innovative product or copied McDonald’s. Domino’s is interesting because pizzerias have been in America since 1905 and pizza really got popular after World War II. Men serving in Italy brought back the cuisine with them. So how did Monaghan, who had a 15 minute lesson in making pizza, make Domino’s the dominant pizza company in the whole world? Well, it was their delivery system that made them stick out. Monaghan said he got the idea after he went to a seminar and met Ray Croc from McDonald’s and John Y. Brown from KFC.

By focusing on delivery, Domino’s developed a few innovations that would change the industry. For example, it is believed they developed the modern pizza box in the early 1960s. The boxes could be stacked and they were vented, meaning drivers could deliver more pizzas on one trip. Amazingly, they never patented the box. The other innovation that helped push the business was 30-minutes-or-it’s-free for deliveries. Monaghan said that helped push the business as much as anything. However, the company had to stop the promotion in 1993 after a Domino’s delivery driver ran a red light and hit a woman.

Today, Domino’s is the biggest pizza chain in the world, but second in America, just behind Pizza Hut. In 1998, Tom Monaghan sold his share in the business for a reported $1 billion. After living the life of extreme luxury, Monaghan is currently involved in Catholic philanthropy and activism.

4. A&W Restaurants

A&W

Born September 30, 1882, in Illinois, Roy W. Allen moved out to California to renovate and run hotels. While there, he met a chemist who claimed that he had perfected the recipe to root beer. So Allen tried it out at his hotel and saw that the chemist did indeed have a great root beer recipe, and bought the rights to sell it. Using the recipe, Allen opened a root beer stand in 1919 in Lodi, California. Three years later, Frank Wright, an employee of Allen’s, became his partner in the root beer business and the name was born from their initials.

In 1924, Wright sold his share of the company, but Allen pushed forward with the name into an even bigger plan. He wanted to make A&W the first chain of roadside restaurants in America. Amazingly, by the mid-1930s, there were over 200 A&W Restaurants across America. Many of them were different from each other and the only thing they had in common was the root beer. In 1950, Wright retired and sold A&W to a businessman from Nebraska named Greg Hurtz. The contemporary age of A&W didn’t happen until 1966 when it was bought by the United Fruit Company.

3. Dunkin’ Donuts

dunkin

When William Rosenberg was in the 8th grade, he dropped out of school. When he was 17, he got a job with an ice cream vending business, and worked there for 10 years, rising in the ranks from a deliveryman to supervisor. During World War II, he was an electrician at Bethlehem Steel. After the war, he cashed in $1,500 worth of war bonds and borrowed another $3,500 and started a catering company called Industrial Luncheon Services. Only able to buy one truck after the war, Rosenberg bought 10 taxicabs and converted them so that the sides would open up. This was one of the first canteen trucks and a huge step in mobile catering. Rosenberg’s fleet grew to have over 200 trucks, but what he noticed was that 40% of all his sales came from two items – coffee and donuts. This led to him opening his first donut and coffee shop, called Kettle Donuts in Quincy, Massachusetts, on Memorial Day in 1948 where he sold donuts for a nickel and coffee for a dime. The name was changed to Dunkin’ Donuts in 1950.

At the time when Rosenberg wanted to franchise, it was considered a horrible practice. In some states it was illegal and companies that were franchising weren’t allowed to advertise in publications like the New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. So Rosenberg and 16 friends created the International Franchise Assn., which was a group made to uphold standards in franchising; thus paving the way for franchising in America.

In 1963, Rosenberg handed the day-to-day business over to his son, but was a lifelong consultant to the empire he started. He died in September of 2002. Today, Dunkin’ Donuts is in 36 countries with over 11,000 franchises.

2. Dairy Queen

DQ

J.F. McCullough, owner of the Homemade Ice Cream Company in Green River, Illinois, had come up with a process of making ice cream soft, instead of hard. McCullough and his son/business partner convinced family friend and customer Sherb Noble, who ran Noble’s Ice Cream shop, to sell their soft serve in a unique promotion. They offered customers a chance to eat all they could on one specific day for 10 cents. On August 4, 1938, they ran the promotion and it attracted 1,600 people. Two weeks later, they held another all-you-can-eat soft serve day and it was just as successful.

A problem with the ice cream was that they needed to keep it at exactly 32 degrees, but freezers at the time couldn’t keep a steady temperature like that. They placed an ad in the newspaper looking for someone to solve the problem and were contacted by a man named Harry Oltz, who had a patent on a freezer that did just that. The McCulloughs partnered with Oltz, in a deal where they would split the country. The McCulloughs had the exclusive rights to Oltz’s freezers in the West, while Oltz had the East. They also gave Oltz a percentage on all the ice cream they sold.

The first franchise was opened by Sherb Noble in Joliet, Illinois on June 22, 1940. They sold the ice cream two different ways; a cone with a swirl on the top and in tubs. There was a steady increase in franchises leading up to World War II and at the outbreak of the war, they had 10. During the war, Dairy Queen struggled to stay open because some supplies were hard to come by, but business boomed again in the Post-War era. By 1950, there were over a thousand stores. Today there are close to 6,400 franchises.

1. KFC

KFC

One of the most famous franchise founders of all time is Harland Sanders, better known as Colonel Sanders. Sanders was born September 9, 1890,near Henryville, Indiana. He started cooking at the age of six after his father died. His mother had to go to work, so Sanders did the cooking for his younger brother and sister. By the time he was 12, he dropped out of school and got a job on a farm that also gave him room and board. That was the start of a life of different jobs like streetcar conductor, insurance salesman and railroad firefighter. He was fired from dozens of jobs during this time.

At the age of 40, in 1930, Sanders was running a service station in Corbin, Kentucky and his family lived in the back. There he would cook for his family and to make a little extra money, he would sell meals to hungry travelers. Soon, his chicken became so popular that he got rid of the gas pumps and opened a restaurant that would seat 140 people. However, there was a problem because he couldn’t cook chicken fast enough. To fix the problem, he altered a pressure cooker and made it into a flash fryer, which was revolutionary in the fast food industry.

Using the flash fryer, the restaurant became popular and this was when Sanders was given the honorary title of Colonel by a Kentucky senator. Things really took off when famed food writing pioneer Duncan Hines visited the restaurant and wrote a glowing review. But by 1952, Sanders closed his original restaurant. He was a roadside attraction and new junctions and highways made his restaurant too far out of the way.

Knowing he had a winning product, Sanders taught the frying process and the recipe to his good friend Pete Harman in Salt Lake City with the deal that he would get paid a few cents for every piece of chicken that he sold. Harman’s restaurant was instantly successful and soon other people were contacting Sanders about serving his chicken. He made deals with other restaurants and they would pay him four cents for every piece of chicken they sold. To expand his franchise further, at the age of 66, Sanders set out on the road with some flash flyers and a sack of spices to find failing diners and convince them he could turn their business around.

Sanders was tremendously successful as a franchise salesman and on January 6, 1964, Sanders sold the rights to his stores for $2 million and a $40,000-per-year salary, which was later increased to $75,000. He turned down tens of thousands of dollars in stocks. Sanders died on December 16, 1980 at the age of 90. As of 2015, there are close to 19,000 KFC franchises worldwide, and Sanders’ chicken is the most famous fried chicken in the world.

Food Franchise Origins

– WIF Fast Food

Porter, Pizza, Peanut Butter and Pudding – Oktoberfest Beer Partaking

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Strange Beers That

Challenge the Norm

10. Pizza Beer

pizza beer

How many times have you sat down to eat a pizza, only to think “If only I could drink this”? We reckon the number out there is very small, but just in case you have, the Seefurths have you covered. Known as theMamma Mia Pizza Beer, the couple claim that their invention is the “world’s first culinary beer”, born from the thought of combining a supply of tomatoes, garlic and herbs. The pair then networked with other radical brewers around the world to finalise a recipe that creates pizza beer.

So, how is it made? Pretty simple. Within the mash, a margarita pizza is added. This is allowed to “steep like a tea bag”, according to the official website. A wheat crust made of water, flour and yeast is topped with some familiar ingredients you’d see from your local pizza place; some tomato and oregano, for instance. More spices are added during a boiling process, and the mixture gets bottled up for two weeks.

So does it fit the bill? According to the reviews, the beer does actually taste and smell just like pizza. Its low score, however, is simply because the absolute last thing people want to crack open on a hot summers day is liquefied Italian dishes. Still, a potential novelty purchase for the teenage mutant ninja turtle of the household.

9. Mangalitsa Pig Porter

pig porter

Next time you go to throw your dinner scraps away, take a time to think; what would it taste like if all of this were brewed into a beer? Chances are you’ll be more repulsed than inspired, but that didn’t stop Right Brain Brewery from trying their own spin.

The fact that it’s called “pig porter” is its first warning. It’s brewed using the heads and bones of pigs, which are thrown into the mix using cheesecloth bags after being smoked. The beer is then transferred from the bottom into another tank, deliberately avoiding all the fat that rises to the top. Right Brain Brewery would also like to tell you that there’s no need to worry — their latest batch does, in fact, contain the eyeballs along with the rest of the pig head. You know, in case you were concerned that they were missing the good bits.

Just before you file this under “disgusting”, however, perhaps note that the critics who have tried this beer actually state that it’s not that bad. In fact, it’s actually quite good. Drinkers of the porky porter pointed out that the flavor had a smoky hint to it, with the taste of fatty pork coming through at the end. So if you’re looking for something to accompany some roast pork, you can do worse than this pig-beer.

8. The End Of The World

end of history

For some people, brewing beer is a passion. For others, it’s straight-up competition. While everyone else is presumably cramming strange things into their mashes to make strange new beers, there’s an ongoing war to make some of the strongest beers known to man. In the arena of ‘extreme ABV brewing’, breweries from across the world work to create beverages of high alcohol content. One of those breweries is Scotland-based BrewDog.

They entered the arena with their beer, Tactical Nuclear Penguin, which earned a respectable 32% ABV rating. When it was beaten by a German brewery, they had to step up their game with Sink the Bismarck! at 40% ABV. When that lost its title, BrewDog once again put up a fight with an interesting beer called The End of History. At a powerful 55% ABV, The End of History is not a drink to be taken lightly. The first thing you note about a bottle of The End of History isn’t its strength, however; each one was stuffed inside a stuffed animal. And we don’t mean the kind you find at a Build-A-Bear:

“Only 12 bottles have been made and each comes with its own certificate and is presented in a stuffed stoat or grey squirrel,” the website says. “The striking packaging was created by a very talented taxidermist and all the animals used were road kill. This release is a limited run of 11 bottles, 7 stoats and 4 grey squirrels.”

Since then, the war for the highest ABV has run into fierce competition, with some accusations of cheating along the way. As long as nothing is bottled in anything weirder than a stuffed stoat, however, The End of History may be outdone, but it won’t be forgotten.

7. Beer Geek Brunch Weasel

brunch weasel

It may be strange to some people that some beer use coffee as one of their ingredients, but when the coffee itself also uses a strange ingredient in the brewing process, you end up with a beer that requires a brave resolve to try.

The Beer Geek Brunch Weasel from Mikkeller seems innocent. It’s a 10.9% Norwegian beer that’s classed as an Imperial Oatmeal Stout. It contains coffee as one of its ingredients, but not the kind that you can buy in the supermarket – Mikkeller states that the coffee within Beer Geek Brunch Weasel is “one of the world’s most expensive coffees”. So you know you’re getting quality the moment you buy it. That is, if you decide to buy it after you discover the coffee is brewed from cat faeces.

It is, apparently, not a practical joke. After all, we’re not talking aboutany cat, here – the dung comes from “weasel-like civet cats” who are renown for being choosy how they eat. The cats consume only ‘the best and ripest coffee berries’, and their stomach enzymes play a part by breaking the beans down. In short, these cats are doing you a favour, thank you very much. Now drink your cat poo beer. And if you want further proof the world slowly went mad while you weren’t looking, the beer is getting absolute rave reviews, being praised as “world-class” quality. One of the reviews goes into detail about the flavour, stating that it has a “bitter coffee in the backend”, which probably could have been worded better.

6. PB&J Beer

pbj

There’s no dancing around the name of this one. If you want to go back to the days of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, but want an adult twist on it, these stouts might just be right for you. Yes, that’s right – stouts plural. It turns out, PB&J beer isn’t isolated to just one brewery. Making the perfect beverage-based replica of the iconic sandwich is a hobby quite a few breweries have taken up, with creations including Peanut Butter Jelly Time, No Crusts, PB&J Stout and the more simply-named Peanut Butter and Jelly Beer.

The latter beer was brewed at Edmond’s Oast, a company who have experimented with beverages such as chocolate and banana beers. They keep the ingredients as authentic as possible, using grape juice and peanut butter powder to nail the flavour of the sandwich. People who drink it agree; the beer’s flavour comes “exactly as promised”.

Just don’t let the kids catch wind that you have a case.

5. La Jordana del Escorpion en Fuego Hacia la Casa del Chupacabra Muerto

A beer that contains a scorpion as an ingredient would definitely be classed as a little weird, but the Unknown Brewing Co. didn’t stop there. The mix of one of their brews calls for ninety-nine of the nasty creatures to be added to the recipe.

The name (which is the long string of Mexican that makes up the title of the entry) translates out to “The Path of the Fiery Scorpion through the House of the Dead Chupacabra”, which is probably an absolute pain to try to order in the middle of a crowded bar. It’s at a pretty potent 10.1% ABV, and contains agave nectar and serrano peppers alongside the ghastly ingredient mentioned before. The scorpions come into play during the brewing process, thrown in when the beer and the hops are boiled.

It seems the addition of scorpions did not harm the flavour too badly.Reviewers say that the beer is “a decent beer on its own” and “certainly an experience”, just in case you’re looking for a brew with a sting in its tail.

4. Sumerian Beer

sumerian

Sometimes, a beer doesn’t need weird ingredients in order to stand out. Sometimes, it depends where the recipe came from.

Such is the case for Great Lakes Brewing, who tried to create a Sumerian beer. The ingredients weren’t the curious part about this brew; what was interesting was how scholars from the University of Chicago were eager to help create it. After all, when you’re trying to brew a beer that dates back four millennia, you’re going to need the help of friends.

Before people could write, the Sumerians were tinkering with beer. When they did get around to inventing the written word after all those pints, they describe some of the beers they created as “a golden beer, a dark beer, a reddish beer, a dark and sweet beer and a filtered beer”. Unfortunately, the exact recipes of each of those beers are lost to history, but the brewers were encouraged to experiment with the ingredients the ancient Sumerians had on-hand to reproduce a guess as to what they were drinking – beers made from dates, coriander, fennel and juniper berries.

3. Celest-jewel-ale

celeste

Sometimes you just need some space and some beer, but some people want some space in their beer.

The brewers at Dogfish Head decided to add something a little not-of-this-Earth into their drinks; lunar meteorites. Before you consider their antics a little over the top, there is a little logic in using the space rocks in a beer — their makeup of salts and other minerals allows them to actually aid during the fermentation of the beer, giving the ingredient more use than just a simple novelty.

And if you want a little extra sensation of space with your drink, the Rehoboth Beach brewpub also sold covers to help “protect” your beer. Its material? The same stuff they use to make actual spaceman suits out of. Because when you ask someone to hold you beer, you want to make sure it comes back in one piece.

2. Sticky Toffee Pudding Ale

toffee

At this point, we’ve probably covered enough beers where you could construct a full-course meal with different kinds of beverages. Those with a weaker stomach are probably grateful that there hasn’t been a beer that represents a dessert yet. This entry is for them.

Unfortunately, the actual ingredients that go into Charlie Well’s Sticky Toffee Pudding Ale are kept a secret, but they promise that they use “the finest ingredients” combined with ‘accredited mineral water’ to produce the brew. At a modest 5% ABV, the Pudding Ale is another entry into the brewery’s range of “pudding ales”:

“This is very much a beer first and a dessert second,” says Karl Ottomar, the head brewer. “It is brewed with our trusted pale ale malt and a secret blend of complex sugars. The initial sweetness of Sticky Toffee Pudding Ale is tempered by a gentle bitterness which delivers the sweet taste of caramel and toffee along with a smooth and robust aftertaste.”

Despite the alluring company description, the beer received an overall“okay” score by reviewers. The beer goes a bit overboard with the sweet flavours, creating more of a mess than a tasty beverage, thus proving you can’t have your cake and drink it too.

1. Rocky Mountain Oyster Stout

rmo stout

When you’re creating a stout, you have to get the balance of ingredients just right for an appetising blend. When it comes to an interesting mixture, Rocky Mountain Oyster Stout has all the bases covered.

The 7.5% ABV brew contains some fine flavours in its mix; seven kinds of malts, Styrian Goldings hops, Colorado hops, barley, and twenty-five pounds of bull testicles. You know, the usual suspects. The best part about the beer is that its origin was a joke in itself. A video that the company uploaded for April Fool’s Day back in 2012 was meant to be just that – an April Fool’s joke. But when people began to respond positively to it, the Wynkoop brewery decided – unfortunately – that it had to become a reality. As such, real, actual bottles of Rocky Mountain Oyster Stout were brewed and bottled.

To top it off, the resulting flavour is apparently quite decent, with people complimenting the brews strong, meaty flavour. So, at least the idea isn’t a load of bull, even if the drink is.

Porter, Pizza, PB&J and Pudding

– Oktoberfest Beer Partaking

Fast Food Offerings From Near and Far (East)

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WIF Fast Food-001

International Fast Food Menu

Up until recently, we were under the impression that the United States sat atop the throne uncontested for “world’s fattest country”, and it also seemed like general knowledge that many countries resented America for holding that title. After careful, painstaking, and sometimes stomach-turning research, we’ve found that many other countries are producing over-the-top fast food items that may give America run for its money. Here are some of the most outrageous options we’ve found. Horrifying? Some of them, yes. But that certainly isn’t going to stop us from giving them a try.

10. Sausage and Barbecue Sub (Subway, Japan)

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Although it’s not as eye-poppingly outrageous as one might expect, it’s important to keep in mind that Subway is supposed to be one of the more nutritionally reasonable fast food giants – in America, at least. Japan’s Subway seems to want to approach cold cuts a bit differently, offering what’s described as a “coarsely ground juicy sausage”, barbecue sauce, and the standard choices of cheese, vegetables, and bread.

Early reviews of the sandwich were harsh, but that doesn’t stop millions of people from eating Subway every day, so don’t let that discourage you from trying. If you’re in the country and you’re looking to switch it up, a six-inch of this off-kilter treat is offered at a modest 490 yen (around $5.02).

9. Hot Dog Pizza (Pizza Hut, USA)

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A list of outrageous food items wouldn’t be complete without at least one entry from the good ol’ US of A. Surprisingly, this one ranks relatively low on the list, but don’t let that make you think it isn’t at least a little over-the-top. Introduced to US markets in June of this year, Pizza Hut’s Hot Dog Bites Pizza is essentially a normal pie surrounded by a halo of approximately 28 mini-hot dogs and a hot dog bun-style crust. Adhering to the common notion of “even if it’s bad, it’s still pretty good”, there’s little doubt that the pizza itself is probably standard middle-of-the-road fast food pizza.

It’s the addition of miniature frankfurters that’s eliciting all sorts of reactions – praising its creativity of ingredient combination, applauding the addition of a side of French’s mustard, shunning the low quality ingredients, and dismissing the frankenpizza purely based on aesthetic. One Washington Post journalist called the Hot Dog Bites Pizza “visually upsetting,” while a Duluth Tribune writer called it a “kitchen error”. We’ll let you decide for yourself. Good luck.

8. Napoli Crispy Pizza Chicken Wing (KFC, Hong Kong)

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One of the most recent additions to the ever-growing catalog of international food oddities, the Crispy Pizza Chicken Wing from KFC Hong Kong is also one of the more unlikely combinations. Color us curious, though – according to Buzzfeed, it’s a normal chicken wing covered in layers of mozzarella and cheddar cheese, with marinara drizzled on top.

KFC is no stranger to offering over-the-top meal choices, and the Crispy Pizza Chicken Wing essentially takes fried chicken breading to the next level – in the form of two types of cheese. Outrageous? Just a little bit. Delicious? We encourage you to find out.The Napoli Crispy Pizza Chicken Meal Set includes two wings, mushroom rice, egg tart, and a drink for $39 Hong Kong, which is around $5 in the US. Not bad.

7. Birizza (Pizza Hut, India)

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Introduced to Indian and Sri Lankan markets through Pizza Hut in 2013, the Birizza is a thoughtful and Americanized re-imagining of the popular Indian dish biryani. While it may not seem as absurd due to the fact that biryani is a very common dish in a very populated country, the blatant Americanization of the dish by bringing it to Pizza Hut is a bit head-scratching. Nonetheless, one could assume the product is doing well in Indian markets – according to Business Standard, as of April, 2014 there were 320 Pizza Hut restaurants across India, all of which served the Birizza. And really, why would you not try it?

You have the option of the Chicken Birizza (seasoned chicken curried vegetables and rice) or the Vegetarian Birizza (paneer – cubed cheese – along with curried vegetables and rice). The fact that the average American probably hasn’t tried biryani to begin with makes this dish all the more appealing. Personally, we find it more intriguing than outrageous, but this dish was too different to not include on the list. Take notes, Pizza Hut USA.

6. Surf & Turf Burger/Lobster Caviar Sandwich (Wendy’s, Japan)

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Described by the Japanese news site Rocket News 24 as “a genuinely luxurious burger with plenty of volume,” Wendy’s Japan introduced the Surf and Turf Burger, along with its non-burger counterpart Lobster Caviar Sandwich in August of 2012. These items were part of the then-new Ocean Premium submenu, along with a lobster caviar salad. Both Ocean Premium sandwiches contain generous portions of Canadian Lobster, but the Surf and Turf also contains a beef patty and lobster salad, while the Lobster Caviar Sandwich is simply lobster and caviar, no burger.

The outrageousness of these items doesn’t necessarily lie in how over-the-top they are, but in how classy and upscale Wendy’s Japan is attempting to be with them. It might just be classy enough to work, too – the seafood sandwiches were added to the Japan Premium menu, which offers items such as the Foie Gras Rossini Burger and Porcini Grilled Chicken. Please, someone give an official stamp of approval to Wendy’s Japan for attempting to transform an otherwise-bland restaurant chain to appeal to a more sophisticated taste. If you ask us, more chains should try this route, despite the current trend of high-calorie fried food/fried food pairings. We’d happily be the sandwich tester.

5. Gracoro Burger (McDonald’s, Japan)

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There’s the McRib, there’s the Filet O’ Fish, and then there’s Japan’s Gracoro Burger. The reason we list the two subpar sandwiches in conjunction with McDonald’s Japan’s unique delight is that they each share similarities. The Gracoro Burger is essentially the Japanese market’s answer to America’s McRib, in that it’s only served in the winter months and people get overly excited about it. But it’s like the Filet O’ Fish in that it’s a seafood sandwich – only it seems significantly more delicious. The Gracoro Burger, initially introduced into Japanese McDonald’s restaurants in 1993, seems to be something of an alternative croquette sandwich.

At first glance, the patty fairly resembles that of a Filet O’Fish, in that they both boast a seasoned breadcrumb exterior. Beneath the breadcrumbs of the Gracoro, however, is a creamy and tantalizing combination of shrimp, macaroni, and white sauce. According to Kotaku, as of 2012, McDonald’s also launched a variety of the sandwich topped with demi-glace sauce and cheddar cheese. Perhaps you aren’t typically one to succumb to the shallow temptations that restaurants like McDonald’s offer, but Japan is also not typical in their fast food offerings, if you couldn’t tell by now. If you find yourself in Japan this winter, the Gracoro Burger is certainly something to keep in mind. The sandwich goes for 380 yen, or about $3.22 in US currency.

4. Black Ninja Burger (Burger King, Japan)

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Leave it to the culinary oddballs in Japan to churn out outrageous item after outrageous item – behold, the Black Ninja Burger from Burger King. The picture of the sandwich alone should be bizarre enough to appeal to one’s taste buds.Introduced to the Japanese market in October of 2013, the Black Ninja gets its color from the buns being cooked over bamboo charcoal. The combination of ingredients on the burger seems absurd but delicious, consisting of a hash brown, shredded lettuce, Chaliapin (onion and garlic) sauce, and a giant, protruding slab of Canadian bacon.

The slab of bacon sticks out of the sandwich like a tongue, and according to Quartz, it’s meant to represent the Japanese BK mascot of sorts, Kuro Ninja. Kuro Ninja is pictured in BK’s marketing for the sandwich sticking his tongue out in a taunting manner. Now that we’ve learned this tidbit, the protrusion of the bacon makes a little more sense – but that doesn’t make it any less bizarre looking. Still, the press release had me convinced after reading ‘hash browns and bacon’. As of October 25, 2013, the black beauty was selling for 680 yen, or $6.75 USD.

3. Zinger Double Down King (KFC, South Korea)

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While researching this next sandwich, we found that many publications named it as a “monstrosity” and “horrifying” – but anything you can consume (in moderation) without seriously hurting yourself shouldn’t be labeled as such. The key word here is moderation. Enter the Zinger Double Down King from KFC South Korea. When the original Double Down sandwich was introduced in 2009, it boasted a simple-yet-bold recipe of bacon, two different types of cheeses, and secret sauce in between two filets of Original Recipe chicken. In October of 2014, KFC South Korea upped the ante by introducing the Zinger Double Down King, which adds a beef patty (yes, we’re covering all three spectrums of meat here) in between the chicken and bacon.

Called ‘terrifying’ by online publication Foodbeast, one would assume the sandwich would be quick to induce heart palpitations in even the most battle-hardened eaters,but the Zinger apparently only clocks in at 750 calories. It’s hard to believe, but if that’s the information we’re given, we’ll feel less terrible if we ever get our hands on one. Pictures from Twitter show consumers having to cut into the sandwich with a steak knife just to dismantle it, and frankly, that’s not that surprising. What is surprising, however, is that this variation hasn’t made it overseas to US markets. Come on, KFC Korea. Let us try it, and we promise we’ll never bother you for anything again – because we’ll be either sulking in bed alone or spending the night in the bathroom.

2. Double Down Dog (KFC, Philippines)

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January 26th, 2015: a day that will live in infamy…at least in the food industry. This is the day that KFC upped the ante again and decided to combine fried chicken with the worst meat product fast food has to offer – hot dogs. Continuing its trend of replacing innocent bread with fried chicken and throwing whatever the hell they want in between, KFC Philippines released the Double Down Dog only on January 26 and 27, and with only 50 sold per day at just 11 locations in the country. At least they were attempting to limit the amount of arteries clogged.

The Double Down Dog contains a hot dog – apparently of the chicken and cheese variety – and tops it with honey mustard before surrounding it with, yes, fried chicken. Let’s hope there aren’t any plans to bring this thing stateside, although a sandwich of this stature would seem more appropriate (and would probably sell better) in the US than anywhere else.

1. Double Sensation Pizza (Pizza Hut, Singapore)

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There was a time, long ago, when the crust was the most boring part of the pizza. We’re happy to say that time is long gone, and Pizza Hut Singapore has fully taken advantage of that with its Double Sensation Pizza, featuring two separate rings of stuffed crust. And that’s not even close to the only outrageous thing about this pie. It starts with the outer ring of crust, stuffed with parmesan, mozzarella, and cheddar cheese, which in every picture looks to be exploding out of the dough. The outer pizza is topped with turkey ham (didn’t know that was a thing), bell peppers, mushrooms, and a salsa sauce. Moving on, the inner ring of crust is filled with chicken sausage and cheese – yes, there are sausage links within the crust – and the inner pie is topped with smoked chicken, zucchini, and alfredo pepper sauce. If that ingredient list seemed overwhelming to you, it probably did its job.

This may take the cake (or pie) as the most over-the-top item on this list, and it somehow manages to stay desirable. The pizza was made available in Singapore in December of 2012, right around the time the world was freaking out over the pending apocalypse. Perhaps it was planned? “The world’s ending, so we might as well go all out and give hungry Singaporeans this pie as a last hurrah.” In any case, the world is still here, and the memory of the Double Sensation lives on. The pizza sold for the equivalent of $21.75 USD for a 10” option, and $27.49 for a 13” option. Since it seems to be several meals in one, we’d have no problem shelling that amount out for one. It’d be an investment.

Fast Food Offerings From

Near and Far (East)

Refreshing Beer Facts – WIF Summertime 10-pack

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Beer

10 Refreshing Facts About

the World’s Best Beers

To paraphrase famed scholar Homer Simpson, beer is the cause of, and solution to, all of life’s problems. That’s probably why almost every country on Earth has a particular beer its denizens prefer. But each of those market dominating beers holds a secret…

10. China’s Snow Beer:

Popular Despite its Taste

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Snow Beer is the single most popular beer on Earth. If you’ve never heard of it, that’s not surprising considering the beer is pretty much only sold in China, where it accounts for a dominating 84% of all sales despite the fact its parent company spends almost nothing on advertising.

In other words, Snow Beer has been able to secure the coveted title of “most popular beer on Earth” while only being available for sale in a single huge market with little to no advertising. The beer is so seldom shipped abroad that it’s considered foreign in Hong Kong and is notoriously difficult to get a hold of, even in specialty beer shops. But you’re not missing out on anything special, because according to this CNN article quizzing Chinese residents it’s bitter, flat and unappealing. Normally we’d make a quip about the power of advertising, but since Snow doesn’t advertise we’re a little lost for words.

9. America’s Bud Light:

Cynically Appealing to the Buzzfeed Generation

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In recent years, Bud Light has replaced its more calorie heavy, beer gut causing cousin as the favored beer of the United States, thanks in part to a massivepush on behalf of the company that owns the brand, Anheuser-Busch. They’re regarded as industry trendsetters for being one of the few companies to successfully tap the burgeoning millennials market by re-structuring itsmarketing to better appeal to young, hip, twenty-something consumers who are more concerned with tweeting, partying and taking selfies than anything those lame-ass adults care about.

While this has undoubtedly led to some innovative campaigns like the much reported on “up for whatever” campaign, which saw a thousand random young adults being invited to a town called Whatever for a weekend long party, you have to keep in mind these were all masterminded by stuffy guys in suits cynically predicting that millenials would fall for whatever marketing they shoved down their throats as long as it was on Buzzfeed or Tinder. That’s not a joke, those were both platforms they used.

What’s worse is that Bud Light spokesmen have claimed they can reach over 50% of all 21-27 year olds using these methods. Yes, Bud Light is so cynical about the predictability and manipulability of young adults that they think they can make 50% of us pay attention to one of their ads with a post on Buzzfeed. Which is kind of insulting, but also depressingly realistic if the post they’re talking about happens to have GIFs.

8. Mexico’s Corona:

Limes and Wagers

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The most commonly consumed beer in Mexico and Fast and Furious movies is Corona. Unusually for a successful domestic beer, Corona enjoys a good deal of success in several foreign markets, particularly the United States and the United Kingdom. Abroad it’s almost universally consumed with a wedge of lime, something that confuses Mexican people to no end.

Despite it being considered customary to garnish Corona with lime, there’s no agreed upon consensus for why this is the case, since the beer has never been consumed that way in its native Mexico. A popular theory is that the custom was started by a New York barman for a bet in 1981, but this has never been confirmed because of course it hasn’t. Corona themselves have been tight-lipped about discussing what, if anything, the lime is supposed to do. Either they have a secret deal with a Mexican lime farmer, or they don’t check their emails.

7. Singapore’s Tiger:

Time for a Tiger

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Along with being the most popular beer in both Singapore and Malaysia, Tiger is proof that the west really needs to step up its game when it comes to naming alcoholic beverages. When drinks like this and Cobra are on the market, we honestly don’t know how anyone can justify drinking anything less metal.

Since the ’30s Tiger has used the slogan “Time for a Tiger” in a great deal of its advertising, because even soulless ad agency workers can see that’s a slogan people will never get tired of hearing. One person who agreed with this sentiment was Anthony Burgress, who used the slogan as the title for a 1956 novel.

Burgress would later reveal that he chose Tiger’s slogan as the title purely because he wanted a free clock from Tiger. When Burgress asked the company if they’d send him a clock for giving them a bunch of free advertising, they rather reasonably asked if they could see a copy of the novel first. Offended at the idea of a company wanting to see if their intellectual property was being used in a way that didn’t make them look bad, Burgress went back and hastily added a line saying that Tiger Beer sucked and Carlsberg was better. The change prompted Carlsberg to send him a complimentary crate of beer.

Even though Burgress made fun of their product and generally acted like a petulant child in all correspondence with them, when Burgress visited Singapore in the ’70s Tiger tried to bury the hatchet by offering him free beer for the duration of his entire visit. Burgress heroically turned the offer down, because sometimes being a colossal jackass requires a bit of sacrifice.

6. Russia’s Baltika:

Better than Coke

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As we’ve talked about before, in 1860 almost half of the Russian government’s income came from taxes placed on vodka. Russians love them some vodka, and given how much of it they drink you could be forgiven for thinking that beer isn’t a thing over there. Well, until 2013, it kind of wasn’t.

While beer is certainly sold in Russia, with the Baltika brand being the most popular overall, it wasn’t legally considered alcohol until 2013 due to a quirk in Russian law that dictated that any alcoholic drink that had a strength of less than 10% was considered a foodstuff and thus could be sold as a soft drink. Along with speaking volumes about how hardcore Russians are when it comes to drinking, it also means that prior to 2013 you can technically say that the best-selling soft drink in Russia was a beer.

5. Jamaica’s Red Stripe:

Jamaican in Name, American in Spirit

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According to the marketing guys behind Red Stripe, it’s a traditional Jamaican style lager with a rich history. According to Google, Red Stripe was first brewed in Illinois for a century before it was bought out by some British guys during prohibition who then marketed it to soldiers stationed in Jamaica. After proving popular in Jamaica, Red Stripe was then marketed back to the States as an exotic foreign brew from the mysterious sun bleached sands of a tropical island. Thus proving that, with good enough marketing, you can convince people of anything.

Oddly, when Red Stripe was initially pitched to the States, it failed to catch on because they sold it in green bottles instead of the distinctive brown ones they used in Jamaica, marking the only time in history Americans complained that something being brought in from a foreign country wasn’t dark enough. A more hilarious twist came in 1989, when all shipments of Red Stripe were cancelled when it was discovered that cannabis was being smuggled in with each shipment. We honestly wouldn’t be surprised if someone at Red Stripe did that on purpose just to really sell Americans on the idea that Red Stripe was from Jamaica.

4. Brazil’s Skol:

Hobo Murdering Super Beer

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Although Skol is most popular in Brazil, we’d like to talk about its ill-fated foray into the British market, mostly because we get to use the phrase “murder beer.” High alcohol content beers are by no means a new thing, but Skol’s Super Beer (it’s actually called that) was on another level entirely. Unlike other high alcohol beers which are sold as premium prices, Super Beer sold for just a pound per can despite having roughly the same alcoholic content as an entire bottle of wine.

Unsurprisingly, the beer proved to be incredibly popular with the homeless to the point that it’s still a running joke in the UK to call it “tramp juice.” The government was less amused, as they noticed a concerning rise in the number homeless people drinking themselves to death after the beer and others like it became widely available. Before legislation was introduced to make access to the beer more difficult with a tariff, it was estimated that perfectly legal super-strength beers that people could buy for less than a pint of milk were killing more homeless people than crack cocaine or heroin. Perhaps even more worrying is that up until 2013, the same murder beer that was killing homeless people in the UK could have been sold like a can of Coke in Russia.

3. Japan’s Asahi:

The Poo Building

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Since homeless people drinking themselves to death is kind of depressing, let’s lighten the mood by talking about Asahi, Japan’s beer of choice. More specifically, we’d like to tell you about the big building Asahi constructed that looks like it’s topped with enormous golden feces.

Built in 1989 and dubbed “one of Tokyo’s most recognizable modern structures,” the Asahi Beer Hall is supposed to resemble a frothing beer glass. It houses a beer hall where customers can sample its many products. Unfortunately, residents of Tokyo had other ideas and instead decided that the golden monument atop the building more closely resembles feces or a spermthan a frothing beer. Which wouldn’t be that bad if the building wasn’t rightnext to Asahi’s headquarters. That means it’s now common for people in Tokyo to refer to the headquarters of the best selling beer in their entire country as “the poo building.” But hey, it hasn’t hurt sales.

2. North Korea’s Taedonggang:

Better than South Korea

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Taedonggang, which is pronounced however the hell you feel like it, is North Korea’s leading brand of beer and, according to the few outsiders who’ve had the honor of sampling it, isn’t half bad. North Korea’s crippled, outdated infrastructure has actually made it easier for Taedonggang breweries to make top notch beer, because none of the other factories in North Korea produce enough pollution to affect its otherwise pristine water supply.

As you’d expect from a country where you’re not allowed to have the same name as the guy who runs it, the only reason Taedonggang beer exists is because Kim Jong-il wanted to prove a point. Apparently the late leader got into an argument with a South Korean official at a 2000 summit in Pyongyang about the quality of North Korean beer. Incensed at the idea of South Koreans enjoying better beer than his people, he bought an entire brewery from the United Kingdom and had it shipped piece by piece to North Korea, then demanded that it begin producing better beer than South Korea. Kim Jong-il was so keen to promote this new patriotic beer that he even granted special permission for an advertisement to be run on North Korean TV, something that’s only ever been done a handful of times.

And it worked! Not only is Taedonggang the most popular beer in North Korea, the few experts who’ve tried it have admitted that it’s way better than any South Korean beer. We think we’d still prefer to live in the South, though.

1. Ireland’s Guinness:

Nazis and Toucans

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Guinness had genuine plans in place to advertise in Nazi Germany during the 1936 Olympics. You know, the ones held in Germany that Hitler himselfattended. While nothing ever came of it, primarily because a London based subsidiary advised the Irish wing against pandering to Nazis, they did end up reusing one of the designs when they eventually launched in the United States a few years later.

Just to be clear, Guinness took a poster that they had originally planned to hang in bars around Nazi Germany, changed the flag in the background, and then used it announce their glorious arrival in the United States.

Refreshing Beer Facts

– WIF Summertime 10-pack