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Entries in rants (10)


VINDICATED: Nutella is NOT Health Food

YES. Others have heard my call to arms.

You may recall that several months ago, I engaged in a post-long rant about Nutella. Mostly, I was annoyed that Nutella was being marketed as a health food, part of a balanced breakfast, etc.

I was having none of it. An excerpt: "Now, I'm not a doctor, nor am I a nutritionist. But I'm also not an idiot. And trying to sell me chocolate for breakfast, implying it's healthful, is tantamount to Nutella telling me that I am an idiot."

Here's an example of this absurdity:

Ok, it's never explicitly said that Nutella is healthy, but the company is using messaging and imagery that implies that having Nutella-slathered toast is a great decision for you and your family. And "a hint of cocoa"? Hahahahahaha. IT'S VISCOUS, NUTTY, CHOCOLATE SAUCE!

So I was annoyed.

AND THEN THIS HAPPENED (hat-tip to Deborah for sharing the article):

"Nutella Maker May Settle Deceptive Ad Lawsuit for $3 Million" (Ted Burnham, NPR)

...As we reported on the Shots blog last year, the trouble began when Athena Hohenberg realized that the Nutella she'd been feeding her 4-year-old daughter was "the next best thing to a candy bar," according to court documents. Hohenberg says she was taken in by ads and product labels that claimed Nutella was "healthy" and "part of a balanced meal." 


Also, I wasn't aware Spiderman was in Dashboard Confessional...


RESPONSE: Comparing Apples and Oranges

As I often do on my several-mile walk to work, I took the opportunity yesterday to listen to my favorite food-oriented (and indeed, favorite) podcast, The Sporkful. The episode I enjoyed that morning pertained to apples and oranges and to a general comparison thereof (even against the strong headwinds of prevailing wisdom).

Photo: Flickr CC/limonada

Now, The Sporkful, I feel, exists in the same food-space as this blog. As Mark and Dan, the gentleman podcasters behind the show articulate, The Sporkful is "not for foodies, it's for eaters."

I feel the same way about Hungry Sam, which is why my posts range from a determination of the categorical imperatives of salad to the recipe for my vanilla chai-infused french toast. Ecclectic? Yes. Insane? Maybe. Interesting? You tell me.

Back to the point. In "Comparing Apples and Oranges" Dan and Win (guest) took the position that oranges are superior to apples for several reasons: the superfluity of apple varieties is absurd; apples' cores are an obnoxious bit of trash; and apples become bruised or blemished while oranges have a pristine wrapper in the form of the peel that keeps the fruit pure and unsullied. I'd like to respond somewhat and involve myself uninvited in this discussion, and then I want to hear what you guys think:

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How to Make Brussels Sprouts Not Taste Terrible

Caught on film: Brussels sprouts tasting...decent.

I like most food. Some readers have noted that it seems as though I'm positive and excited about almost everything I eat, which I am; in fact, I tend to be positive and excited about most things. I'm just an enthusiastic sort of guy. (Epic tale AND recipe continues after the break!)

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Enough Haba├▒eros to Kill a Reasonably Small Army

I've always thought of the habero pepper much as I do the jaguar or great white shark -- they're all pretty to look at, rather dangerous, but not really my problem. 
Sure, I had a run-in with haberos in high school, but I foolishly sought that out (when you don't know what these chilies can do, a recipe for habero salsa with equal parts chilies and tomatoes doesn't seem so problematic). Sure, habañeros are hot, but I'm just not going to stumble across these piquant little fireballs in my sheltered, everyday American life.

However, during my time in Mexico, I had to actively avoid habero peppers. Perhaps one in three of my meals came with a roasted habero chili on the plate, whether as garnish or an integral part of the meal I'll never know, because my Spanish language education (generally adequate for my Yucatecan adventure needs) did not cover the word for garnish (it appears to be "guarnicion").   
Moreover, I came across this impressive stand at el Mercado Municipal in the city of Mé rida:
It hurts just to look at. Also, the price is five pesos per bag -- about 38 cents. Cheap!

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A Brief Rant About Nutella

I'm back from the Yucatan, dear friends, and soon I will have a few posts detailing the stupendous dishes I enjoyed while away. But first, welcome to "A Brief Rant About Nutella."

Ok, people: I like Nutella as much as the next guy who loves chocolate. That's because Nutella is chocolate. With, like, some hazelnuts ("Over 50 hazelnuts per 13.5 oz. jar!" I hear).

But then you see ads on Facebook, Google and elsewhere, marketing Nutella as part of healthy, balanced breakfast. And it's not even just a marketing ploy -- the website, has a "Nutella & Breakfast tab" as well as a dynamic "breakfast builder" with which you can design a balanced breakfast (which will, inevitably, include Nutella!). So OF COURSE NUTELLA MUST BE PART OF A BALANCED BREAKFAST? How could it not be? The website says so.


Well, sort of. The section referring to Nutella and nutrition goes into great depth about how critical breakfast is, without really ever adding the caveat that WHAT one chooses to eat for breakfast might have some impact on things. By this logic, straight, unadulterated spoonfuls of butter could be part of a balanced breakfast. Sneaky (and good lawyering).

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The Great 5-Hour Energy Experiment

Just seconds ago, I drank a 5-Hour Energy brand energy shot. Like Dr. Henry Jekyll's potion, it has begun to wreak terrible changes within me.


 "The Transformation: 'Great God! Can it Be???'"

Dawn, upon hearing I'd done so, just said, "Uh oh." Based on the sickening, pseudo-fruity aftertaste I'm currently "enjoying," I'm beginning to agree with her assessment.

Update: I drank the bottle 5 minutes ago. Pretty gross, no immediate discernible impact on my energy level. I'm still yawning.

Allow me to back up. Now, I'm a pretty energetic person, and have generally been scornful of those who needed "energy drinks" to feel normal. "Pshaw!" I say. "They should just do what I do and drink 30 plus ounces of coffee every day!"

Alright, maybe there's not much of a distinction. Yes, I know I have a little problem -- but to be fair, 30 ounces of coffee is slightly less than two Starbucks mediums, or grandes, or what have you.

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Gratuitous Jokes about My Divorced Eggs

I'm not totally insane. I know that most of the foods and dishes I blog about wouldn't amuse a normal person as much as they amuse me.

However, the whole table at Mexican brunch (Don Jaime's in Mt. Pleasant) on Sunday found some humor in this dish:
It's called Huevos Divorciados. Yes, that's right, Spanglish speakers: I ate "divorced eggs" for breakfast.
Now, this might seem perplexing if you don't know the backstory to this sad yet delicious state of things. But I think I've pieced it together.


Warning: I'm about to take something moderately amusing way too far.

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