Friday, June 2, was National Doughnut Day in the States, the day we celebrate fried sweet dough, torus-shaped and otherwise. Nabisco celebrated this joyous holiday by reminding us that there’s nothing quite like a warm jelly doughnut, especially not a creme-filled sandwich cookie. As has been our annual tradition since 2017, Snacktaku combines both National Doughnut Day and Father’s Day into one joyous occasion, inviting the next generation of Snackologists to participate in the eating of the snack. Archer, one of two six-year-old boys that look vaguely similar, is at the stage in his Snackology studies where he’ll try anything once—really sour candy, chips made from cricket flour, that especially delicious-looking blue Lego piece on the floor of my office I keep meaning to pick up. He’s like the canary in my culinary coal mine. Advertisement And so, when it came to Jelly Donut Oreo cookies, he was up to the challenge. The challenge, in this situation, was to forget everything you know about jelly doughnuts and embrace Oreo’s version of the national treasure. Note the use of the shortened “Donut.” That’s awfully familiar, Nabisco. What we have READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!
As far as animated food goes, Studio Ghibli’s looks delicious. Now at the Ghibli Museum, there is an official exhibition depicting recreations of the studio’s eats. The exhibit is called “Delicious! Animating Memorable Meals” in English (in Japanese, it’s “Taberu wo Kaku” or 食べるを描く, which is “Drawing Eating”). It began this weekend and runs until sometime in May 2018. The exhibit doesn’t only feature food recreations, but shows how the meals were designed as well as how characters eat. From the museum’s official site: Advertisement Food that is still warm, that looks soft and tender, with the wonderful flavor showing on the faces of those eating them – these scenes of meals are appealing and charming. No dialogue is needed to convey deliciousness and happiness. This exhibition introduces how food can be drawn to appear even more delectable than the real thing, creating scenes of joy. Via Cinema Cafe and Natalie, just look at how carefully this food was plotted. ©Museo d’Arte Ghibli ©Studio Ghibli [Image: Cinema Cafe] ©Museo d’Arte Ghibli ©Studio Ghibli [Image: Natalie] ©Museo d’Arte Ghibli ©Studio Ghibli [Image: Cinema Cafe] And via Fashion READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!
You hungry? Like really, really hungry? Well, have I got a meal for you. As pointed out on Ishikawa TV, curry restaurant Gold Curry has a special “challenge menu.” (Note: Japanese curry is different from Southeast Asian curry. Website Ishikawa Jet has a good explainer, and Kotaku’s own Chris Kohler has good curry-making tips.) This story was originally published on January 10, 2014. It has since been updated. Even in the world of super-sized Japanese food, this menu is rather unusual. And by “unusual,” I mean bonkers. Advertisement For example, if you order the 2-kilogram “challenge” curry rice (priced at 1,980 yen or US$18) and eat it in fifteen minutes, it’s free. Then, there is the four-kilo curry rice challenge, which is 3,480 yen ($31). Finish it in thirty minutes, and it’s free. Sound easy? This gentleman is trying the four-kilogram challenge (photos courtesy of website Woodball). Look how happy he is! Don’t give up! Oh dear. Here’s where things get interesting. If you finish the six-kilogram curry rice challenge in thirty minutes, your 4,980 yen ($45) meal isn’t only free, but the restaurant will pay you 30,000 yen ($270) in prize money. Finish READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!
You know what I could really go for right now? A stale melted Jolly Rancher sandwich. How about you guys? Advertisement The Pop-Tarts people have caught Oreo fever as of late, teaming up with everything from Dunkin’ Donuts to A&W Root Beer in an attempt to up the profile of everybody’s favorite toaster-friendly breakfast rectangle. Though while many of these joint operations involved creating brand-new flavors, Pop-Tarts’ team-up with Jolly Rancher candy results in twisted versions of three already existing Pop-Tart varieties. There are already cherry, watermelon and apple Pop-Tarts. Yeah, the apple is normally paired with the words “strudel” or “cinnamon” or “Dutch”, but it’s still apple. We’ve been there. Advertisement Jolly Rancher Pop-Tarts are not simply re-branded versions of these existing favorites. The original Pop-Tarts seek to reproduce actual fruit flavors. Jolly Rancher Pop-Tarts are trying to replicate the unique flavors of a popular brand of fruit candy. Well, they succeeded. I’m not sure that’s a good thing. Let’s take a look. Frosted Cherry Jolly Rancher Pop-Tarts Dipped in blood-colored frosting to seal the dark bargain between candy maker and breakfast treat peddlers, the Frosted Cherry Jolly Rancher Pop-Tart is the easiest example of the branded transformation. Everyone’s…
In the hierarchy of things you don’t put in your mouth, fireworks are right up there with razor blades and hobos, but nothing will stand in the way of Nabisco’s relentless quest to keep Snacktaku from eating things that aren’t Oreos. Advertisement Firework Oreos, in stores now alongside something called Waffle and Syrup Oreos (which we have top men searching for), do not feature caked gunpowder wafers sandwiched around sulfur-infused creme. In the snack business they call that a missed opportunity. You have to take risks, even if those risks involve murdering a prominent snackologist on camera. But no, Firework Oreos are just plain Oreos with red, white and blue “popping candy” mixed into the creme. That’s “popping candy” and not Pop Rocks, the famed carbonated candy that launched in 1975 and are the focus of a rumor about exploding stomachs spread by gullible scamps. It’s generic. It’s lawsuit-unfriendly. Not Pop Rocks. Not Pop Rocks. You can watch the video atop this post to witness my first taste and reactions to this rather lazy combination of iconic biscuit and dollar store knock-off candy. Advertisement Long story READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!
Every time Snacktaku posts a review of some hideous food monster, people always ask, “How are you still alive?” They also ask, “When will you eat something healthy?” Why, right now, as I eat my way through two boxes of healthy snacks from LevelUp Foods’ subscription gamer treats service. Advertisement The gaming community is often stereotyped as a Doritos-eating, Mountain Dew-swilling bunch. This is because the Doritos and Mountain Dew folks have latched onto the culture like a remora on the side of a sexy gaming shark. Not a lot of healthy food companies target the market, and when they do they’re often met with derision. That’s not because people who game hate healthy food. It’s that most of us don’t need anyone to tell us what is healthy. What we might need is a means of discovering new healthy snacks without leaving our couch. That’s a service LevelUp provides. Advertisement From the LevelUp Foods website: LevelUp Foods was created to provide Gamers a better choice in eating and drinking to help them play AND feel great! Our products will never have artificial ingredients or colors, and our selection will continue to grow with the newest and best products for…
It was inevitable. Someone looked at some Slime shaped lids and thought they might mold some spectacular breast cheese cake. Advertisement Note: Some readers might find this content objectionable. That someone is Twitter user Non, who took two lids from the Dragon Quest fried chicken currently on sale in Japan and decided to make this: The cheese cake was originally made as a promise Non made to her younger sister. “This was a flippant passing impulse,” she writes. “Please forgive me lol.” Advertisement If Slim boobs aren’t your thing, you can always make Slime jelly: Kotaku East is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am. READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!
There is a place that is both before and beyond bacon, and Arby’s dares take us there, at least for a limited time. Whatever other plans Snacktaku had this week died at the feet of Arby’s Smokehouse Pork Belly sandwich. Advertisement Originally posted 9/29/16. Re-upped because they brought this glorious bastard back today, just in time for my birthday. They love me. Or want me dead. One of those. Whenever I hear someone waxing poetic about the salt and sanctity of the holy bacon, I hear the voice of a long-dead Jedi in the back of my head: “There is another.” Pork belly is the origin of bacon, a fatty piece of pig that, when properly prepared, is much better than the fried parts of its sum. Why slice into thin, crispy strips that which can be devoured whole? People in Korea, China and Japan make glorious food out of pork belly. The Italians make pancetta from it. In Germany it’s a primary component of schlachtplatte, which also might be a Klingon mating ritual. And at Arby’s, for a limited time, it is smoked for many hours before being slapped on a bun with READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!
Yes, yes, people love each other. That’s great. Now that Valentine’s Day is over, it’s time for one of the biggest sweet-lovers’ holiday of the year. It’s the first Discount Candy Day of the year, and Snacktaku is here to help you make the most of it. Advertisement Discount Candy Day is the day following a candy-centric holiday, and depending where you live, it can come multiple times a year. Here in the United States we get three. There’s the day after Halloween, the day after Easter and February 15, the day after Valentine’s Day. The day after Christmas used to count, but as society started shying away from “Merry Christmas” in favor of “Happy Holidays,” retailers got confused and candy began to linger longer on the shelves. So we’ve got three, starting with February 15, which we here at Snacktaku feel is the best for several reasons. Advertisement The message of love is year-round and universal, unlike the message of egg-laying resurrection rabbits or children going door-to-door begging for free stuff. We’re more likely to find cheap chocolate body parts (in good condition) than other Discount Candy Days. There are Creme Eggs and Screme Eggs, but no Valentine’s Day…
Kudos to McDonald’s for using pictures of real food in their official product shots, BTW. Snacktaku fans have been seeking our council on McDonald’s Grand Mac and Mac Jr. since the fast food restaurant started selling the limited-time size variants nationwide last month. Today we finally break our silence. Somebody drop us a beat. Advertisement The immediate question pertaining to these volumetric aberrations of a time-honored classic is “why?” In a statement issued alongside the November 2016 announcement, McDonald’s chef Mike Haracz said, “We listened to our customers, who told us they wanted different ways to enjoy the one-of-a-kind Big Mac taste” Gross. Dead. As a frequent McDonald’s patron, the idea that the restaurant is actively listening to customers doesn’t quite jibe. Given our experience both at the drive-thru and in store, we’d say it’s much more likely that customers told them just about anything else, and “they wanted different ways to enjoy the one-of-a-kind Big Mac taste” is just what McDonald’s heard. Advertisement “Yeah, we’re going to need two six-piece chicken nugget Happy Meals with apple slices and apple juice to READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!
The Lay’s Do Us A Flavor contest returns for a fourth year, once more offering budding snackologists who come up with a halfway edible new potato chip flavor a million dollars. Previous winners include the obvious choice, the bad one and I wasn’t paying attention. Advertisement After skipping a year to perform a Flavor Swap operation, Do Us A Flavor returns once more, this time asking chip flavor creators to pitch their taste combination like some sort of performing Lacheys. Chip creators are urged to go to the Lay’s website to create a pitch, selecting flavors, choosing bag color and style and even submitting YouTube videos and images to help round out their presentation. My submission, Steak Doughnuts, seemed fine to me, but I got an email saying it was not accepted after I submit my entry. Maybe they didn’t like my video. Flavor submissions are being accepted until March 19, after which four or so finalists will be chosen and featured in a Snacktaku tasting video. That’s not an official Lay’s thing, it’s just what I do. Advertisement Then Lay’s selects the tamest, most obvious entry and gives its creator a million dollars. I bet this year it will…
January 26 shall be known as the day the taco shell changed forever, or at least the day Taco Bell started folding up fried chicken patties and calling it a Naked Chicken Chalupa. Advertisement Realizing that we’re almost two weeks into 2017 and there hasn’t been a Snacktaku video, Taco Bell has lept into action, readying its Naked Chicken Chalupa for nationwide release on January 26. The Naked Chicken Chalupa, already in California and Colorado in 2015 and 2016 respectively, is a marinated fried chicken disc filled with lettuce, tomato, cheese and a creamy avocado ranch sauce, because both chewy and spongy avocado ranch sauce tested poorly. The shell is made with four ounces of—and the press release stresses this—antibiotic-free chicken, so if you’ve got strep you’re still going to have to hit up the clinic afterwards. Advertisement Snacktaku will be on the case on January 26, as it was last year for the release of the chewy, spongy quesalupa. We are hopeful this release will fare better at being snacking fare. Taco Bell also seems hopeful, and has jokes. “Something this delicious yet READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!
[Image: Pocky] If you’ve ever been to a bar in Japan, you probably have been served Pocky at some point as a snack. No doubt that’s why Glico decided to make this whisky-infused Pocky. Advertisement Chocolate is a long-time favorite to pair with whisky. But for this Pocky, Glico went one step further and decided to made the stick part from pretzel that has been kneaded with wort, which is the sugary liquid made from mashing malted barley in hot water that is fermented and distilled. The Pocky stick has been salted and covered with whisky-scented chocolate. Glico even worked with Suntory to ensure this snack suited whisky. The result is one fancy Pocky that Japanese website Choco Labo says is tasty enough even for those who don’t drink whisky. No doubt tastier for those who do. Kotaku East is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am. READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!