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Thread: Fast Food Nastiness

  1. #301
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    shrimp nuggets?

    McDonald’s Japan goes beyond chicken by adding shrimp nuggets to menu
    Casey Baseel 5 days ago


    Puripuri Ebi Purio combines strange-sounding name and delicious-sounding concept.

    At some point, we all just sort of stopped saying the “chicken” part when talking about McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets. Even with other fast food brands, “nuggets” has largely come to be understood to mean that you’re referring to breaded bite-sized chicken morsels.

    But if you can make nuggets with chicken, surely you can make them with other things too, right? As proof, McDonald’s Japan has just unveiled the newest planned addition to its menu: shrimp nuggets.

    Technically, McDonald’s Japan isn’t trotting out the “McNugget” name for these, as their official name is Puripuri Ebi Purio, which…kind of makes sense. Puripuri is a unique Japanese word that describes a plump and firm-giving-way-to-tender consistency, pretty much the ideal mouthfeel for cooked shrimp, and ebi is “shrimp” in Japanese. “Purio” is the headscratcher here, but it seems to be a play on words from fireo, the Japanese pronunciation of the “Filet-O” part of McDonald’s flagship fish sandwich, the Filet-O-Fish, perhaps with a substitute P to emphasize the shrimp’s puripuri property.

    Linguistic vagaries aside, it seems pretty certain that these are going to be delicious. Shrimp cutlet sandwiches have long been a favorite among in-the-know Japanese fast food foodies, and with five shrimp nuggets to an order, the Puripuri Ebi Purio looks poised to steal the show of customers’ McDonald’s meals even as the company itself is pitching them as a side order.

    ▼ McDonald’s is also promoting the Puripuri Ebi Purio with a commercial featuring actress Sairi Ito, a werewolf, a mummy, and Frankenstein’s monster, because Japanese advertising is never afraid of getting a little weird.

    video unavailable


    In addition to the five-piece Puripuri Ebi Purio side order (which is priced starting from 260 yen [US$1.80]), as part of its after-5 p.m. Yoru Mac menu McDonald’s will be offering the shrimp nuggets as part of a Tabekurabe (“eating comparison”) Set with five Puripuri Ebi Purio, five Chicken McNuggets, and an order of French fries for 620 yen.

    ▼ French fries are sort of a separate thing from nuggets, so they don’t really fit with the “comparison” aspect, but hey, it’s always important to eat your vegetables.

    unavailable

    The Puripuri Ebi Purio go on sale September 20 and will be available for a limited time.

    Source: McDonald’s Japan via IT Media
    Top image: McDonald’s Japan
    Insert images: McDonald’s Japan
    I'd try these if I was in Japan.
    Gene Ching
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  2. #302
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    McBrunch Burger

    There's a Secret McDonald's Sandwich You Can Only Get at Exactly 10:35am
    You need to get *really* specific for this one.

    By Jelisa Castrodale Updated on September 25, 2023

    Last fall, superstar Dutch DJ Tiësto collaborated with Canadian singer Tate McRae on “10:35,” a dance banger apparently inspired by an ultra-luxe resort in Dubai. In an interview with Hypebeast, Tiësto said that the song is meant to evoke “that changing point in time when it switches from day to night,” adding that “as soon as you hear ‘10:35,’ everything changes from day to night.”

    That may be the case if you’re a superstar DJ who drops collabs with the kind of resort that has a Michelin star restaurant and a $100,000-per-night Royal Mansion suite, but when the rest of us hear 10:35, we usually think, “Dang, it’s too late to get breakfast at McDonald’s right now.” But apparently, when you see those four magical digits on your phone display, what you can get is the McBrunch Burger, which is only available for a few short minutes every day.


    JAKUB PORZYCKI / NURPHOTO VIA GETTY IMAGES

    According to in-the-know TikTokers, the “McBrunch Burger” is a glorious combination of McDonald’s breakfast menu — which its U.S. restaurants stop serving at 10:30 a.m.— and its rest-of-the-day staples. The McBrunch burger involves two cheeseburger patties, bacon, eggs, and a hash brown on top of a sesame seed bun, and you can only get this meal-straddling menu item in the sweet spot between when McDonald’s is wrapping up its breakfast service, and it’s starting its lunch rotation. And if you want to get ultra-specific, the eggs are preferably scrambled, not the round eggs used on McMuffins and other breakfast sandwiches.

    In a wildly popular TikTok about the McBrunch Burger, Tommy Winkler posted himself ordering the burger — which did take a bit of finesse with the McStaffers on duty. (Some other TikTokers have had to order both a breakfast item and a Double Cheeseburger and then built their own McBrunch Burger.)

    This isn’t the first time a “secret” 10:35 McDonald’s order has made its way around the internet. In September 2010, a post in Reddit’s r/food described a burger called the “Mc 10:35,” which involved stacking an Egg McMuffin – or at least the egg and meat from the McMuffin — on top of a Double Cheeseburger.

    About the same time, the now-defunct Consumerist website also covered the Mc 10:35. At the time, a San Francisco McDonald's worker told the outlet that the sandwich was "getting kind of a cult following" in the Bay Area.

    On another Reddit thread about the Mc 10:35 three years later, a McD's team member just grumbled about the idea that McDonald's had a "secret menu" at all. "There's no such thing," they wrote. "We can make any combination of food we have. It's not a secret that we use our condiments and meats in weird ways when you ASK."

    We're gonna guess that a lot of people have been asking for a McBrunch burger in the past few weeks. We also seriously hope that one of them is Tiësto.
    A secret McD sammy with a cult following? Cults are weird.
    Gene Ching
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  3. #303
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    Sauces Reactions | McDonald's

    Gene Ching
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  4. #304
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    BK Moon festival

    Burger King Taiwan launches bunless burgers for Mid-Autumn Festival
    Eatery calls on consumers to 'shed the starch burden and go all-in with meat'
    2734
    By Keoni Everington, Taiwan News, Staff Writer
    2023/09/28 13:29


    Burger King's bunless burgers. (Burger King Taiwan image)
    TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — To coincide with Mid-Autumn Festival feasts, Burger King Taiwan has unveiled four bunless burgers for a limited time.

    To cash in on Taiwan's Mid-Autumn Festival barbecue craze, Burger King Taiwan on Sept. 20 said that from Sept. 21 to Oct. 10 it would feature four new bunless burgers. The sandwiches include the Bunless Double Beef, Bunless Quad Beef, Bunless Double Chicken, and Bunless Chicken Crisp.

    In its advertisement for the new burgers, it used slogans such as "Mid-Autumn meat beatdown," "Going without bread is the craze," and "No meat, no fun" and called on consumers to "shed the starch burden and go all-in with meat."

    The eatery said, "Whether it's a fire-grilled beef patty sandwich or a crispy fried chicken patty sandwich, paired with seasonal vegetables and cheese, it's so satisfying and delicious, and you can eat to your heart's content!"

    Traditionally, Taiwanese celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival by eating moon cakes and pomelos. However, in recent decades barbecuing on sidewalks and in parks has become widely popular across the country.

    Reports of Taiwanese grilling meat in scenic areas began to surface in the late 1970s, but in 1986 Wan Ja Shan Brewery added fuel to the fire with TV commercials for its barbecue sauce, reported the American Chamber of Commerce in Taiwan. The campaign is well known for its slogan, "When one family grills meats, 10,000 families enjoy the aroma."

    The burgers are availabe at most of the fastfood chain's restaurants from 10:30 a.m. until 30 minutes before closing. However, some branches do not offer the burgers and availability at each store will depend on supply.


    Burger King advertisment for its bunless burgers. (Burger King Taiwan image)
    Didn't know about the BBQ trend...

    Happy-mid-autumn-festival
    Fast-Food-Nastiness
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  5. #305
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    burned

    A woman is suing McDonald's after being burned by hot coffee. It's not the first time

    September 28, 20235:00 AM ET
    By Joe Hernandez


    Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
    Early on a Tuesday morning in June, Mable Childress ordered a cup of coffee from a McDonald's drive-thru in San Francisco.

    The 85-year-old put the coffee in her vehicle's cup holder, drove to her foot doctor's office for an appointment and parked.

    "As soon as she picked up the cup of coffee to drink it, since the lid wasn't put on correctly, all of the coffee spilled on her," her attorney, Dylan Hackett, said in an interview.

    The coffee burned Childress on her stomach, groin and leg area and left scarring on her groin. When she returned to McDonald's to make a complaint, none of the three employees she spoke with filled out an incident report, Hackett said.

    Now, Childress is suing the fast-food giant and one of its San Francisco franchises in California Superior Court, according to Hackett. They say workers were negligent for improperly securing Childress' coffee cup lid and that she continues to suffer from pain and emotional distress as a result of the incident.

    McDonald's owner/operator Peter Ou said in a statement that he was reviewing the lawsuit and that his employees have to abide by safety rules.

    "My restaurants have strict food safety protocols in place, including training crew to ensure lids on hot beverages are secure," Ou said. "We take every customer complaint seriously — and when Ms. Childress reported her experience to us later that day, our employees and management team spoke to her within a few minutes and offered assistance."

    If any of this sounds familiar, it's because McDonald's faced a similar lawsuit in 1994 from an elderly woman who was burned by the company's hot coffee.

    That case captured the national interest but was widely misunderstood, becoming the poster child for critics of frivolous lawsuits.

    Liebeck v. McDonald's

    In 1992, while sitting in a car in Albuquerque, N.M., 79-year-old Stella Liebeck was also burned by hot McDonald's coffee. She had placed the cup between her legs and removed the lid to add cream and sugar when the spill occurred, scalding her and causing third-degree burns.

    Hoping to have her medical bills reimbursed, Liebeck reportedly offered to settle the lawsuit she filed against McDonald's for $20,000. But when the company only offered $800, the case went to court.

    Attorneys showed graphic images of Liebeck's burns, and experts testified that McDonald's kept its coffee between 180 and 190 degrees — 30 to 40 degrees hotter than other companies — according to the American Museum of Tort Law. Testimony revealed that 700 other McDonald's customers also had been burned.

    Ultimately the jury awarded Liebeck $200,000 in compensatory damages, which was reduced to $160,000 because she was found to be partially responsible for the spill. They also suggested that McDonald's pay $2.7 million in punitive damages, a sum that was based on the revenue from two days of coffee sales.

    The case immediately drew global attention. "Several days after the verdict, I had news crews from France, Japan, Germany, in my driveway, wanting to interview me. I mean, I was stunned," attorney Ken Wagner told the documentary company Retro Report.

    The case was also widely misunderstood and, at worst, had its facts twisted. For example, Liebeck was not driving with a hot cup of coffee between her legs, as some said, but rather the car was parked.

    Liebeck also did not walk away from the case with $3 million. The trial judge reduced the punitive damages to $480,000, and Liebeck and McDonald's ultimately reached an undisclosed settlement.

    Still, critics cast Liebeck as a greedy opportunist and used the suit to push for so-called tort reform, a national effort to cap damages in personal injury lawsuits. The case also became a cultural punchline, popping up everywhere from an episode of Seinfeld to a song by country star Toby Keith.

    Liebeck died in 2004.

    What's different about this case?

    While there are similarities between the two cases, Hackett, the attorney in the current lawsuit, said here are also some key differences.

    Childress did not suffer third-degree burns and didn't require lengthy treatment in the hospital. Hackett has also not yet asked for a specific sum in damages.

    Still, Hackett said the Liebeck case and its aftermath could have an impact on Childress's lawsuit. "Anytime an attorney looks at a case, they'll look at precedence that has been set," he said.

    But Liebeck's case wasn't the only one against the fast-food giant, and it's not the first time this year that McDonald's has found itself in court over the temperature of its food.

    In May, a South Florida jury found McDonald's and a franchise holder at fault after a hot Chicken McNugget fell on a 4-year-old girl's leg and left her with second-degree burns.

    Hackett said Childress is hoping to get her medical bills reimbursed and ensure that this doesn't happen to other customers in the future.
    Again? WTH?
    Gene Ching
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  6. #306
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    Vera Wang

    STYLISH

    By Kira Gunn Barrett October 23, 2023


    Vera Wang Gilbert Carrasquillo/FilmMagic

    Fans have long wondered how on earth Vera Wang manages to look so youthful. Well, the secret’s out — and the answer is probably not what you would have guessed.

    While attending the DKMS gala on Thursday, October 19, Wang, 74, told Page Six that she doesn’t have many restrictions on her diet. “I do eat McDonald’s, absolutely,” she said, adding, “I order it every day, like two weeks on it, and then I’ll change.”

    But Wang doesn’t just limit herself to McDonald’s. She’s also a fan of Dunkin’ Donuts. “I like the cream-filled, sugar-coated donut,” she told the outlet. “It’s like a jelly donut, but it’s cream inside, vanilla cream. I like the pink with sprinkles, too.”

    In the same interview with Page Six, Wang said she believes that working hard also helps her to feel young. “Basically, I’ve worked my whole life, so it’s really been about work. I think work keeps you young and stimulated,” she said, continuing, “I work very long hours, I’ve raised two daughters. I think keeping busy is the best antidote [for] good health.”


    Courtesy of Vera Wang/Instagram

    In 2020, Wang shocked fans when she posted an Instagram photo of herself posing in an orange sports bra and white denim shorts. At the time, she was 70 years old, although readers would be forgiven for mistaking the designer for decades younger.

    Fans flocked to the comments to express their awe at her youthful appearance. One commenter wrote, “Impossible, it is biologically impossible not to have a single wrinkle and loose skin after seventy. Don’t make fools of us – or are you a Martian?????😂”


    Courtesy of Vera Wang/Instagram

    In an interview with Elle published on March 16, the designer said that she isn’t seeking out approval for her appearance. “I’m very flattered that people think I’ve aged well, but it was never my goal,” Wang said. “I drink vodka, I sleep, I avoid the sun. But I like to work. I don’t want to be pigeonholed.”

    Later in the interview, Wang said that she feels that the public’s focus on her looks “brings up the issue of ageism.” She added, “ I was never really obsessed with aging. I can’t speak for younger generations, but things that exist now did not exist 50 or 60 years ago. There was no such thing as Botox.”
    She has her own line of vodka...
    Fast-Food-Nastiness
    my-kung-fu-booze
    Gene Ching
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  7. #307
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    Ghost Rice Noodle Roll and Chicken Claw Pizza

    Pizza Hut Taiwan unleashes ghastly Halloween chicken feet pizza
    Touted as world's first pizza that tells ghost stories

    By Keoni Everington, Taiwan News, Staff Writer
    2023/10/26 12:53

    Pizza Hut special pizza for Halloween. (Pizza Hut Taiwan photo)
    TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Pizza Hut Taiwan has released a Halloween special that features rice noodle rolls and chicken feet, and is said to be the world's first pizza that tells ghost stories.

    Following the launch of "Eyeball Pizza" last year, Pizza Hut Taiwan on Tuesday (Oct. 24) announced the limited-edition "Ghost Rice Noodle Roll and Phoenix Claw Pizza." It transforms Hong Kong-style barbecued pork rice noodle rolls and smoked chicken feet into Halloween elements.

    The pizza portrays rice noodle rolls as little Halloween ghosts and pairs them with chicken feet, making them look like ghosts coming out of the ground and reaching with severed hands for candy.

    The pizza is based on a thin crispy crust, topped with a Korean-style special spicy sauce and a secret seasoning that creates a multi-layered flavor. It is topped with sprinkles of mozzarella cheese, offering a fusion of international flavors.

    In addition to its appearance, the pizza is purported to be the world's first "storytelling pizza." Customers can scan the QR code on the pizza box with their phone and upload a photo of the ghostly noodles on the event page.

    This will provide them with access to listen to a podcaster named "Talking Story" sharing ghost stories, enhancing their sensory experience while enjoying the pizza.

    From Oct. 24-30, the "Ghost Rice Noodle Roll and Chicken Claw Pizza" will be available to PK APP members for one-week early bird pre-order. The general public will be able to purchase the devilish dish across Taiwan starting Oct. 30.


    (Pizza Hut Taiwan photo)


    Personal Pan Pizza version. (Pizza Hut Taiwan photo)
    Fast Food Nastiness
    Happy-Halloween!
    Gene Ching
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  8. #308
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    Snake pizza

    Pizza Hut in Hong Kong rolls out snake-meat pizza for limited time
    Doc Louallen
    USA TODAY

    Pizza Hut introduced a new and exotic pizza option available only in Hong Kong that's garnering attention around the world. The new pizza is topped with finely shredded snake meat, giving it a distinctive texture and flavor.

    Pizza Hut and Ser Wong Fun teamed up to create a 9-inch pizza inspired by traditional snake stew. The pizza features shredded snake meat, black mushrooms, and Chinese dried ham.

    The pizza will only be available until November 22nd.

    According to CNN, customers who have tried the pizza claim that the texture of the snake is similar to dry chicken.

    No strings attached:Krispy Kreme wants to gift you a dozen donuts on World Kindness Day.


    Pizza Hut pizza with snake meat.
    Inspired by popular regional dish

    Snake meat is believed to have medicinal properties and Pizza Hut claims that it can boost blood circulation.

    “Combined with pizza, it marks a breakthrough from the conventional concept of what maintaining good health means while challenging one’s taste buds,” Pizza Hut Hong Kong said in a statement to CNN.

    A popular Hong Kong and southern China snake stew inspired the dish.

    Pizza Hut Hong Kong has announced its plans to introduce unconventional menu items, such as a pizza topped with Chinese preserved sausages. This move is part of a trend among Asian franchises of American brands to celebrate local food culture with gastronomical creations, including pizzas featuring durian, pig blood curds, or Tonkotsu ramen.

    Fast-Food-Nastiness
    snakes
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  9. #309
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    I’d like to walk in her shoes

    Woman Who Threw Burrito Bowl at Chipotle Worker Sentenced to Work 2 Months in Fast Food Job
    Rosemary Hayne was caught on video throwing her burrito bowl at Chipotle employee Emily Russell on Sept. 5

    By Julia Moore Updated on December 7, 2023 03:34PM EST

    An Ohio woman has been sentenced to a month in jail and must work in fast food for two months after she attacked a Chipotle worker.

    Rosemary Hayne was caught on video throwing food in the face of employee Emily Russell on Sept. 5 in a Parma, Ohio Chipotle location, CNN reported.

    Hayne, 39, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor assault charge, and Parma Municipal Court Judge Timothy Gilligan sentenced her to 180 days in jail at a hearing last week, per the outlet.

    Gilligan then gave Hayne the option to instead spend 30 days in jail and work the remainder of her sentencing, 60 days, at a fast food restaurant, local outlet FOX8 News reported. She must work at least 20 hours a week at whichever fast food restaurant she finds a job at.

    At the sentencing, the judge asked Hayne if she’d like to “walk in [Russell’s] shoes for two months and learn how people should treat people, or do you want to do your jail time?” CBS reported.

    Hayne replied, “I’d like to walk in her shoes,”

    CNN reported that she has not yet found a fast food job as of Wednesday, per her attorney.

    Gilligan also said during last week’s hearing, per FOX8, “You didn’t get your burrito bowl the way you like it and this is how you respond? This is not Real Housewives of Parma. This behavior is not acceptable.”

    Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Sign up for PEOPLE's free True Crime newsletter for breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases.

    Russell, 26, had been working at Chipotle for over four years at the time of the incident, she told CBS, but quit a month after the assault due to a lack of support from the chain.

    She said she was never contacted by Chipotle after Hayne’s attack, and she shared that she had to work the four remaining hours of her shift on Sept. 5 after Hayne threw food in her face.

    She told the outlet she was “relieved” at Hayne’s sentencing, and said of the requirement to work in fast food: "I've been saying she's lucky she's working 20 hours [a] week — I was working 65 hours a week.”

    Russell added of the incident, “She said she had a bad day, but that's not the way you react when you have a bad day — to throw food in someone's face.”

    In a statement to PEOPLE, Laurie Schalow, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer for Chipotle, said: “The health and safety of our employees is our greatest priority, and we’re pleased to see justice served for any individual that does not treat our team members with the respect they deserve.”

    Karma in action
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  10. #310
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    CosMc’s

    McDonald’s Is Opening a New Retro-Themed Spinoff Chain: CosMc’s
    The restaurant concept will be beverage-focused.

    December 08, 2023
    By: Amy Reiter


    Photo courtesy of McDonald's
    The rumors are true: McDonald’s is moving beyond the tried and true and launching a spinoff chain that is (almost) entirely new.

    The fast food giant confirmed on December 6 in an investment call that it will open the first location of its new CosMc’s restaurant chain in Bolingbrook, Illinois, this week. The limited test run will expand with the opening of more CosMc’s locations — nine of them in Texas — by the end of 2024. Then, after a year of data analysis, McDonald’s will decide it will expand to still more U.S. locations.

    So what else should you know about the new chain?

    The Concept: McDonald’s has described CosMc’s as a “new small-format, beverage-led concept” that is “inspired by nostalgia and powered by a menu of bold, refreshing beverages and tasty treats.” It’s basically being positioned as the kind of place you’d swing by for a snack. “At CosMc’s, we’re exploring how we might solve the 3pm slump by lifting humans up with every sip,” the brand says.

    The Menu: The menu board the chain has shared ahead of launch features lots of unusual new beverage items and a limited number of quick pick-me-up treats, some new, some familiar to McDonald’s fans. Sweet or savory? You actually have both options. Food items include Spicy Queso Sandwich, Savory Hash Brown Bites and Pretzel Bites with dipping sauces, on the savory side, as well as sweet treats such as a Blueberry Lemon Cookie Sundae and Caramel Fudge Brownies.

    “CosMc’s menu is rooted in beverage exploration, with bold and unexpected flavor combinations, vibrant colors and functional boosts,” the brand says. “You’ll see a range of specialty lemonades and teas, indulgent blended beverages and cold coffee – think Sour Cherry Energy Slush, Tropical Spiceade and S’mores Cold Brew.” Drinks will be customizable with options such as boba, syrups and energy and Vitamin C shots.

    The Name: It’s actually a throwback to a McDonald’s character in TV and print ads for the chain from the late ’80s and early ’90s. A McDonald’s fan wiki page describes CosMc as a male “alien from outer space who craves for McDonald’s.”

    The Experience: CosMc’s will offer a “uniquely seamless digital and Drive Thru experience,” McDonald’s say, featuring dynamic menu boards and cashless payment devices to speed up the ordering process. Once your order is ready, you’ll be assigned a Drive Thru pickup window to make pickup smooth as well.

    Where You Can Try It: In addition to the debut Bolingbrook, Illinois, location, by the end of 2024, 10 more CosMc’s pilot locations are anticipated in the Dallas-Fort Worth and San Antonio, Texas, metro areas.

    If the return of Grimace has taught us anything, it’s that McDonald’s fans have an appetite for retro.
    I don't remember the CosMc character. I do remember Grimace and the Hamburglar.
    Gene Ching
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  11. #311
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    Ramen pizza

    Pizza Hut releases a ramen pizza in Japan, and it took half a year to perfect


    Oona McGee 14 hours ago


    Tie-up with the country’s top ramen chain fuses two comfort foods together for a limited time.

    When it comes to comfort foods in Japan, pizza and ramen are two foods that come to mind for many, so the opportunity to enjoy both at the same time is the stuff of dreams. Now those dreams are set to come true for a limited time, thanks to Pizza Hut’s newest menu item — the Kotteri-fuu Ramen Pizza.

    “Kotteri-fuu” means “thick style”, which is in reference to the thick and rich “kotteri” broth served up at Tenka Ippin, a ramen restaurant with 50 years of history that’s been ranked number one in popularity polls. The chain’s signature thick broth, which is a large part of its appeal with fans, sets this pizza apart from all the others on the market, with a generous amount of it used in the topping.

    Tenka Ippin’s creamy broth, made from chicken bones and over a dozen different vegetables, would normally soak through a dough base, so Pizza Hut worked with the ramen chain to make it more viscous, giving it a sauce-like texture without changing the taste or aroma.

    Diehard Tenka Ippin fans will no doubt appreciate the option to add more of the irresistible broth flavour to the pizza, and they’ll be happy to know that familiar ramen ingredients like green onions and chashu pork are included in the toppings to further replicate the sensation of eating noodles.

    Of course, the highlight of the new pizza is the noodles, and though it was a challenge to preserve their texture while adding them to the topping, by choosing crispy dough they were able to successfully combine the ingredients. Pizza Hut informs us that the mouthwatering image below is for illustrative purposes only, though, as the noodles don’t stretch.

    According to Pizza Hut, this new product took half a year to perfect, and it was born from the company’s TikTok video initiative, which aims to blow people’s minds with creations that are in line with their slogan, “Always more than you can imagine“. This is the third pizza created for the project, which began in 2023 as a way to update the chain’s image for its 50th anniversary year in Japan, with the first being the Too Much Coriander Pizza and the second being the Weiner Coffee Pizza.

    As the names of these pizzas suggest, this campaign is all about creating a buzz on social media with innovative and surprising ingredient combinations that create debate and garner mixed reviews from the public. The chain’s first two pizzas proved to be very popular, with sales for the coriander-laden pizza extended due to demand, so we have high hopes that the new Ramen Pizza will become just as sought after.

    Sold in a medium size, priced at 1,980 yen (US$13.40) for pickup or 2,230 yen for delivery, the Ramen Pizza will be available at Pizza Hut branches around Japan from 22 January to 12 February.

    Source: PR Times
    Featured image: PR Times
    Insert images: Pizza Hut, PR Times
    Fast Food Nastiness
    Noodles
    Gene Ching
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  12. #312
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    Tastien

    China Is Munching Toward a Fast Food Revolution
    Yaling Jiang
    Fri, February 16, 2024 at 4:16 AM PST·4 min read



    A TASTIEN Chinese Hamburg ancient architecture store in Suqian, Jiangsu Province, China, Nov. 1, 2023. Credit - CFOTO/Future Publishing via Getty Images

    When I stumbled upon a poster featuring a “Chinese Burger” with a Gen-Z idol dressed in a qipao dress and striking a kung fu pose in Shanghai, I couldn't help but scoff at it. “I've seen this before,” I thought to myself, recalling similar marketing ploys that never seemed to last.

    But I would be proven wrong. While there have been countless attempts at adding a Chinese twist on Western goods, none had the appetizing consumer market that local fast food chain Tastien enjoys today. In many ways, it is a small signifier of a larger revolution of Xinzhongshi, or “New Chinese Style,” that has now infiltrated mainland Chinese consumers’ lives.

    Costing 30-40% less than the typical KFC fried chicken burger in China, the 12-year-old Tastien replaces burger bread doughs with bread pockets, and its limited-time offers stuffing options of traditional Chinese dishes like Yuxiang shredded pork and Mapo tofu. Chinese consumers, especially those in lower-tier cities, are lapping it up. Tastien last year added a whopping 3,500 stores to reach 6,700, edging closer toward McDonald’s 5,900 and KFC’s 12,000, which added around 900 and 1,200 stores, respectively.

    The new Chinese style powering this growth is focused on the culture, presentation, and branding of products that channel traditional Chinese culture. It can be bubble tea in a cup made of bamboo, a modified qipao dress with features better suited for mobility, or even the style of one’s home decor.

    Why are people so excited about the new Chinese style? The answer lies in the modern Chinese history of shedding traditional customs and, more recently, the evolution of the guochao trend.

    One element of Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution, which ran from 1966 to 1976, was the demand that the country shed its Four Olds: “Old Ideas, Old Culture, Old Customs, and Old Habits.” Even Chinese New Year customs including setting off firecrackers, and dragon and lion dances, were canceled during that time. That development, along with market reforms starting in 1979 that nudged China toward capitalism, shaped modern mainland China as a receptacle for Western ideas and culture. KFC would go on to open its first store in China in 1987; McDonald’s in 1990.

    Some of my happiest memories growing up in the 1990s were relishing in Western fast food chains like KFC. The greasy fried chicken with mayo and thinly sliced lettuce slapped in between white burger buns was seen as an exotic reward when we earned good grades at school. I still remember the anticipation of waiting at the window to see my mom riding a bike carrying KFC.

    But in the wake of China’s soaring economy, which created the world’s largest middle class, President Xi Jinping has been advocating for “cultural confidence” since he took office in 2012. The word guochao, which means “China chic” or “national hip,” was coined later in the decade and reflected the growing cultural pride mixed with rising nationalism among consumers.

    That pride was noticed by policymakers, who pushed out supporting guidelines and incentives for more brands and e-commerce platforms to follow suit, including the 2017 decision to mark May 10 as China Brand Day every year. Guochao is now used to describe any made-in-China goods, or any products that contain Chinese symbols, techniques, or technologies.

    Tastien has capitalized on Guochao but so have other fast food chains like Mr. Rice and Home Original Chicken that serve small stir fry dishes that are closer to China’s traditional foods, as well as beef noodles and Rougamo, a meat sandwich originating from Xi’an.

    Even KFC started introducing a new Chinese style brand, Grandpa’s Homely Tea, in my home province Jiangsu, with a logo featuring a cartoon version of the famous Colonel Sanders in a Chinese-style long gown. Its menu and price points look no different than any other new Chinese style tea shops, and it currently has over 20 stores and counting.

    If Western fast food brands were the tastemakers in the early days of China’s economic rise, they are now giving away to homegrown upstarts. I’ll always have a soft spot for the KFC greasy fried chicken burger of my youth. But for a new generation of Chinese, they may one day look at milk tea or brands like Tastien with a similar feeling of nostalgia.
    2024 marks 20 years since I've set foot in PRC. I don't remember Tastien.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

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    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

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