Fried Chicken Will Make You Strong

Fried Chicken Will Make You Strong

We all know the Japanese love some fried chicken. I’m sure everyone reading this has seen pictures of Japanese KFCs, complete with statues of Colonel Sanders dressed up in charming outfits. It seems that even anime characters have come to love all those secret herbs and spices too, since Dragonball Z‘s Goku is now pitching fried chicken to the Japanese public. The Colonel is now cosplaying as Goku, and the restaurants are offering light-up DBZ bottle and games. All this is to promote the upcoming movie Dragonball Z: Battle of the Gods. To be honest, I think those promotional items are pretty sweet. If only I lived in Japan, I might actually go and eat at a KFC again, something I probably haven’t done in over a decade.    ...
Someone spilled their drink.

Someone spilled their drink.

If my cranky childhood swimming instructor is to be believed, these people will all croak in the next few minutes because they’re perpetrating the heinous crime of combining swimming with eating… Or being near water and eating, which was enough to get us yelled at when we were kids.  But seriously, can you think of a more awesome restaurant in which to kick the proverbial bucket?   It not only has a waterfall flowing right through it, but they’re also serving mouth-watering food that makes me want to hop on a plane to the Philippines right now. Follow this link for more pictures and video of this amazing...

The Japanese Tackle ‘Big America’ Burgers

Last year, Japanese McDonald’s introduced four new kinds of burgers: the ‘Big America’ burgers. The Texas burger: looks sinfully good, although that’s way too much mustard and I don’t want a bun barrier between my bacon/fried onion and my meat. The New York Burger: Looks OK, I’d eat it. The California Burger: I’d eat that too. The Hawaiian Burger: No freaking way! What the Hell did they do to that egg? That is completely unnatural. Big America Round 1 Well, apparently these burgers were so popular that they are introducing Wave 2 this year. The Texas 2 Burger: I guess Texas is so big they need two burgers to represent it. This one, no way. I’m not a fan of chili (Cincinnati chili, which is less chili than a sauce, I could handle). The Idaho Burger: Separate that has brown from the burger, and we have a deal. The Miami Burger: A…taco burger? Huh? Methinks the Japanese McDonald’s peeps might have their geography mixed up a bit. But, whatever. I’d never eat this anyway. The Manhattan Burger: The New York burger, with pastrami. Not my first choice, but I’d eat it. Big America Round 2 When do we get the Kentucky Burger, made from the meat of racehorses who didn’t live up to their owners’ expectations? I was going to be annoyed that all these burgers feature bacon, until I realized that is a completely accurate version of the average American...
MSG: Nutritional nuisance or good eats?

MSG: Nutritional nuisance or good eats?

My wife swears that MSG gives her headaches. Frankly, my wife gives me headaches when she starts whining about the level of MSG in her Chinese food…because for all the noise generated about MSG’s supposedly harmful effects, nobody has been able to definitively determine that MSG – eaten in normal amounts – causes any physiological problems. Despite this, many people persist in the belief that MSG causes everything from headaches to muscle weakness. What is MSG? MSG is short for monosodium glutamate. According to Wikipedia, monosodium glutamate is “…a sodium salt of the naturally occurring non-essential amino acid glutamic acid.” This is probably as Greek to you as it is to me, but what’s important is that MSG stimulates the ‘fifth taste’, or umami. While you’re probably familiar with the first four taste sensations (bitter, salty, sweet, and sour) – many taste authorities have begun to refer to a fifth taste sensation called umami, a Japanese word roughly meaning  ‘good flavor’. A more accurate interpretation would be ‘savory’. When you eat a steak, it’s this fifth taste sense that is being triggered. MSG was discovered in 1907 in Japan by researcher Kikunae Ikeda and is a common flavor enhancer in many fast- and processed foods. Potato chips and flavored tortilla chips contain MSG as do packaged barbecue sauces and salad dressings. As you can see, even if you avoid Chinese food altogether, it’s very likely that you already ingest a fair amount of MSG without realizing it. What do the experts say about MSG? The Food and Drug Administration officially ruled that MSG is safe for consumption in 1959....
China’s looming environmental crisis – disposable chopsticks

China’s looming environmental crisis – disposable chopsticks

China is opening a new front on the war against environmental degredation – disposable wooden chopsticks. While the ubiquitous eating utensils may seem harmless to you and me, in China they’re causing a huge problem. 130 million pairs of chopsticks are consumed in China per day, requiring 100 acres of trees to be ground up each and every 24 hours – leading to massive deforestation. The alternative is reusable chopsticks, but this leads to higher maintenance costs on the part of restaurants who then have to sterilize the chopsticks after use – a practice which seems trivial here in the West, where we routinely wash silverware as a function of running a restaurant. But in China, where disposable eating utensils have become the norm, this practice would be harder to adopt. If the disposable chopstick has to go, you can be sure that its death will be a slow one. Calls to abandon the use-and-toss type began more than 10 years ago and have since persisted unabated. By 2006, the activism had become more strenuous: Citizens launched a BYOC (Bring Your Own Chopsticks) movement, which continues to gather momentum. And Greenpeace China, channeling Nancy Reagan, sponsored a “Say no to disposable chopsticks” campaign. In 2008, endangered orangutans (OK, they probably were just guys dressed as orangutans) took up the cause, bursting into cafeterias in China of large companies such as IBM, Microsoft and Intel to remind diners of the ecological perils of chopstick...

Takeru Kobayashi freaks out at annual hot dog eating contest

Competitive eating champ Takeru Kobayashi made a big splash at yesterday’s annual Nathan’s hot dog eating contest – though it wasn’t because he ate so many wieners. Kobayashi sat out this year’s shindig because he refused to sign on with the MLE (Major League Eating – no, seriously…) – and I guess Nathan’s contest is now an officially sponsored MLE event. Kobayashi seems to have had a last-minute change of heart, however, and showed up to the event unannounced. You can see the ensuing events...