When Restaurants Go Too Far With Presentation

We have previously bemoaned what hipster restaurants have been doing to food, but there are so many terrible things restaurants have been doing with their presentation that it cannot possibly be limited to just one post.

Over on Bored Panda, you can find a list of over 180 absurd restaurant serving ideas and each one is more groanworthy than the next.

Even the ones that look delicious still look impossible to eat.

So see the full list of absurd food presentations over at the link.

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Food Courts Are Out; Food Halls Are In

Across the country, enclosed malls are going out of business or else struggling. The huge food courts that have a variety of familiar fast food chains are struggling or dying along with them. A new generation of foodies is rejecting the cookie-cutter recipe for eating on the run, but a new style of cluster dining choices is taking its place: the food hall.   

What makes something a food court, and what makes it a food hall? One is the most discredited concept in 20th-century dining, while the other is the hottest new idea of the 21st: an open floor plan; fresh food prepared in front of your eyes; a post-industrial space, or at least one with high ceilings, exposed wiring, and hanging air ducts. Good-looking people hunched on long benches over small plates or perched on stools around dozens of tiny countertops. The accidental flash of a bad Instagram. The places brim with noise—perhaps even a kind of working sound, an occasional butcher’s chop, something left over from a more utilitarian period, or at least the roar of an espresso machine.

Reduce this concept to the basics—a dozen quick-service restaurants sharing a space, a landlord, and maybe a seating area—and you have a food court. A food hall, in contrast, is a drafty and austere moniker for an age of raw interior design. No pleather or plastic here. What separates the former from the latter is “authenticity,” according to Matthew Fainchtein, a senior director for real estate giant Cushman & Wakefield in Los Angeles and a guy who makes food halls, not courts.

While it seems the food hall is a completely hipster concept, it is actually a resurgence of the traditional public market. For example, they are not limited to malls, but are catering to neighborhoods by opening in office buildings and residential buildings in addition to shopping centers. Read about the development of the food hall at Slate. -via Digg

(Image credit: Flickr user Shinya Suzuki)

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6 Of TV's Grossest Foods, Tested

Situation comedies sometimes feature ridiculous recipes that are good for a laugh …but how would they taste in the real world? Loryn Stone of Cracked was determined to find out, so she prepared some of the most egregious joke foods found on TV, starting with Moon Waffles from The Simpsons. It's a waffle made with pancake mix, caramel, and liquid smoke, wrapped around a stick of butter.

The liquid smoke, a substance apparently made from the runoff from an extinguished house fire, wafted into my eyes, burning them to tears. And just like in the TV show, the mass started oozing out of the sides. The caramels, in fact, started leaking into the mechanical components of the waffle iron, and I wondered for a minute if this was going to be my last time using that machine. Then the caramels started falling out of the waffle iron, jizzing all over my counter.

Right as the burning smell really permeated my kitchen, the waffle iron's green light came on. I knew this had to cool for a while -- those melted caramels looked like little globs of lava that would burn right through my tongue. I let it hang out while I scraped caramel emission off the counter and charred residue out of the maker with a skewer.  

Then she wrapped it around a stick of butter and ate it. That's just one recipe. She also made Breakfast Spaghetti, Seven-Layer Salad, Milk Steak with Jelly Beans, Peanut Butter And Clam Pizza, and Rachel's English Trifle. She is a brave woman. Read her accounts of all of these cooking adventures at Cracked.

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Lunchtime Is Coming...

Game Of Thrones fans adore Kristian Nairn because he did such a great job playing Hodor and because he's actually a cool and likeable guy in real life, an actor from a hit show who still has a sense of humor about himself.

And it's a good thing he keeps on smiling no matter where his acting career takes him- because in his latest role he plays a fast food worker dealing with the lunch rush in a commercial for KFC UK and Ireland.

(YouTube Link)

Chicken and rice instead of chicken and fries- I did not see that twist coming!

-Via Geeks Are Sexy

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This is a Cupcake

Your eyes are deceiving you. This may look like a hamburger, but it's really dessert. KinkyKittenHeather made two dozen baked "hamburgers" for a family Fourth of July party. The ingredients are all sweet.

Cupcake bun, brownie "burger," coconut dyed green as lettuce, and red icing as ketchup.

Edit: The cheese is yellow marshmallow fondant.

She promised to report back and let reddit know how the burgers go over with the family. See more pictures at imgur.

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How To Make Bread That Will Outlast The Apocalypse

One of the top three priorities in any survival scenario is the need for food, which is often in short supply when the s#%t hits the fan.

Which is why you may have seen recipes for hard tack, aka survival bread, floating around on sites like Pinterest- it's a must-have during a disaster scenario and the stuff has a shelf life of around a year or two.

Plus, survival bread is made with just three ingredients- water, flour and salt, which makes it ideal for dire situations where the crops are gone and food is hard to find.

#survival #survivalbread #outdoors in a grapefruit for flavour

A post shared by Backyard Survival (@backyard_survival) on Feb 22, 2015 at 12:33pm PST

Survival bread can be baked over a campfire inside a grapefruit or coconut, you can sub in sugar, oats and mixed fruit to give the bread a little flavor, and if you add olive oil to the mix the bread becomes way more palatable.

Read Here's The Deal With The Survival Bread That's All Over Pinterest at BuzzFeed

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Slater's 50/50 Introduces the Most 'Merican Food Since Apple Pie

Every year for the Fourth of July, Southern California burger chain Slater's 50/50 introduces a new version of their outrageous 'Merica burger that always includes a 100% bacon patty. In the past, that has meant adding bacon to the bun, cheese, sauce and any other place they could squeeze in a little extra smoked pork butt (including in coleslaw and baked bean toppings). This year though, they decided to work in the old expression "as American as apple pie" while creating the new 'Merica burger and the result is a 100% bacon patty topped with bacon apple pie filling and bacon American cheese all topped with a heaping scoop of vanilla ice cream (though you have to wonder why they didn't just go ahead and make bacon vanilla ice cream). If that sounds like too much bacon for you, then you can always try the bacon apple pie dog, which is made of a half beef/half bacon frank also topped with bacon apple pie filling and vanilla ice cream.

Find out more about the burger and where you can get it at Slater's 50/50

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To Celebrate Canada Day, Tim Hortons' is Introducing A Poutine Doughnut

This Canada Day will mark the country's 150th anniversary. To celebrate, Tim Hortons' will be introducing a poutine doughnut -though, oddly, the savory and sweet treat will only be available in America. "Our new Canadian-inspired treats are a great way for Americans to get in on the 150th celebration of their friendly neighbour next door," said a representative in a statement. Canadians do get some treats to celebrate though, including maple Timbits, a white and red velvet muffin, a Dutchie doughnut and a Nanaimo bar doughnut.

You can read more about the restaurant's celebratory menu over on CBCNews 

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29 Mind-blowing Banana Facts

You may think you know a lot about bananas because you've eaten them all your life. Even if you do, you'll learn more in a list chock-full of banana facts, all with links for further reading. Did you know…

8. The so-called "banana tree" is not a tree at all. In fact, it is the world's largest herb.

9. Walmart sells more bananas than any other item.

10. Banana fibers can be used to purify water.

That's just a small taste of the bananas …I mean, banana facts. Check out all 29 banana facts in a list that's just plain bananas at Buzzfeed.

(Image credit: tecking)

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The Best Hot Dogs, Taste-Tested

The staff of the New York Times taste-tested ten hot dogs, most of which are available at your local grocery store. The ten were all-beef franks, so they will cost a little more than average, but you should get some idea of what you're looking for from their descriptions, in case you're hosting a picnic for the Fourth of July.

First, the hot dogs would be cooked on a gas grill until well browned.

Next, each would be tasted plain to evaluate the intrinsic qualities of the hot dog: seasoning, beefiness, snap, texture.

Last, each would be eaten in a bun with the judge’s preordained condiments — the same for each dog, to keep the flavor profile consistent.

This important final step would allow us to assess the melding of meat and bread, sweetness and spice, salt and juice that makes up a perfect hot dog. The bun should hug the hot dog closely; there should be enough juice in the hot dog to keep the whole package together; condiments should complement the hot dog, not overwhelm it.  

If you ask my opinion, any hot dog is great when it's cooked on a grill outdoors in summertime, served with mustard and some potato salad (or even just chips) while you eat outside. I guess that's why they didn't ask me to be a judge. Read the results of the taste-test here.  -via Digg

(Image credit: jeffreyw)

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Why Olive Oil is Awesome

For a long time, I thought the only difference between olive oil and standard vegetable oil was the price. But would you ever find yourself dipping bread into plain vegetable oil, even with spices added? Olive oil is special, and Reactions, from PBS Digital, is here to tell us why.

(YouTube link)

In this video, we get a chemical explanation for olive oil's benefits, plus glimpse into the manufacturing process and some advice on using your oil. My advice: Start any meal by sautéing onions and garlic in olive oil. After that, it really doesn't matter what you add, it will be good.

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IKEA Is Simplifying Meal Prep With Their Brilliant Recipe Posters

IKEA furniture has become an essential part of many homes, and since pretty much everything they sell is extremely affordable people are filling their homes with IKEA's household goods too. 

Customers like the price but they also like the simplicity of IKEA, which is something the Swedish company has strived to bring into our lives by making it simple to furnish our homes with easy to build furniture.

So since they're known for their simplified assembly instructions IKEA Canada and marketing company Leo Burnett created Cook This Page- a set of illustrated recipe posters people can actually use to cook a meal.

All you have to do is fill in each blank on the page with the proper ingredients, roll the recipe page up with the ingredients inside and pop it into the oven. Now you're making dinner the IKEA way!

-Via Bored Panda

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Hotter Than a Burnin' Stump (It's a Texas Thing)

The following is an article from the book Uncle John's Weird, Weird World: EPIC.

Whether five-alarm or just smoke-alarm, there's nothing like a bowl of Texas chili to fill a belly up.


If you know beans about chili, allow us to tell you something really important: Texas chili has no beans. Not a one. Maybe in other states you’ll find a bean or two. But in Texas, chili is just a fiery molten stew made of beef, onions, tomatoes, spices, and lots and lots of chili peppers. Everybody has a special recipe, but no true Texan would add a legume to the mix.


Chili’s past is a little bit shady since nobody quite knows who invented it or when. Some say it was invented by cattle drivers and trail hands during long cattle drives. Others speculate that chili’s origins go much farther back in time to the Mayans, Aztecs, and Incas. Still others give credit to Canary Islanders who started immigrating to the San Antonio region as early as 1723. They were known for concocting tasty dishes using local peppers, meat, onions, and most important of all, cumin.

Continue reading

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Making the Classic Vietnamese Coffee

During the era of French colonialism, the Vietnamese took coffee and made it their own. Now everyone in Saigon drinks coffee, which is made one cup at a time, with a generous amount of ground coffee, and not in a hurry.

The Vietnamese like their “cà phê” sweet. Real sweet. As if spoonfuls of sugar weren’t enough, they also add sweetened condensed milk. This habit developed because canned condensed milk was easier for the French to import into the country than fresh milk, and the Vietnamese have just rolled with it.

I never sweeten my coffee, so I’ve had a hard time adjusting… Oh, what a liar, I don’t know why I even typed that! It took me like thirty seconds to adjust.

As they prepared to leave Saigon, Jürgen Horn and Mike Powell wanted to learn the secrets of the coffee they had grown to love. They got a barista at their favorite local cà phê shop to teach them how to make their own Vietnamese coffee. And armed with the proper coffee press, they are ready to move on. Where will they live next? Only time, and their first post from a new location, will tell.

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Japanese Instagrammer Creates Beautiful Pop Culture Bento Boxes For Husband

Bento boxes are the Japanese equivalent of a sack lunch, and the contents of these portable lunch containers range from freshly prepared meals to last night's leftovers.

But those foodies who put the same amount of love into the preparation of a bento box as they would any other meal turn bentos into a work of edible art.

Japanese Instagrammer @kinakobun makes fantastic and colorful bento boxes inspired by pop culture for her husband, including characters like the Minions, Totoro and Japanese mascots like Kumamon.

Her colorful bento boxes are so cool looking her husband must be the envy of his fellow employees!

今日の旦那さん弁当。 * けろけろけろっぴと薔薇ハムと言う、何とも変な組み合わせ(笑) 昔けろっぴが大好きで、色んなグッズ持ってました。 最近昔のキャラが復活してるのかな? タキシードサムとかも可愛くて好きだったなぁ。 * お弁当に使ってるカラフルな粒々とお花の材料をよく聞かれます。 何度か書いてますが、また書かせて下さいね。 粒々はぶぶあられで、ネットで購入してます。 * お花はスライスチーズやビアハムなどを型抜きして作ってます。 型抜きに関してはシュガークラフト用の物を使用しています * * #お弁当#曲げわっぱ#キャラ弁#デコ弁#旦那弁当#ぶぶあられ#おにぎり#おむすび#ロカリクッキング#kaumo#サンリオ#けろけろけろっぴ#サンリオ弁当

A post shared by しあん (@kinakobun) on May 17, 2016 at 6:16pm PDT

See Japanese Instagrammer's Bentos For Her Husband Takes Packed Lunches To A New Level here

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Unicorn Pizza

The restaurant Industry Kitchen NYC already makes the world's most expensive pizza. Now they've introduced a new menu item called Pop Candy Land Pizza, although people are calling it "unicorn pizza." You can see that it's colorful, but you'll be glad to hear that it does not try to combine classic pizza flavors with candy. This pizza is a large rainbow sugar cookie topped with cream cheese frosting, sprinkles, Pop Rocks, and cotton candy. My teeth hurt just thinking about it.

Unicorn pizza exists and it's basically a giant sugar cookie covered in fluffy cotton candy #cosmobites

A post shared by Danielle Tullo (@danielletullo) on Jun 8, 2017 at 9:02am PDT

What's even stranger is that Industry Kitchen NYC doesn't list it under "desserts," but rather under "pizza" in their menu. Would you try a slice? -via Laughing Squid

(Image credit: Danielle Tullo)

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Extreme Pizza Delivery

Domino's Pizza used to be obsessed with delivering pizzas hotter and faster than any other pizza chain, and they would have won the Pizza Wars in the 80s and 90s too if it weren't for that pesky Noid.

But there's one delivery element Domino's overlooked in their fight to become the fastest- the two-story toss. Pizza pies are tossed while they're being made, so why not toss them up to the customer when they're done? (NSFW language)

(YouTube Link)

I hope that customer didn't order extra cheese...

-Via Geeks Are Sexy

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Haggis: Scotland's Dish

The following is an article from the book Uncle John's Fast-Acting Long-Lasting Bathroom Reader.

(Image credit: Kim Traynor)

Back in the 1950s, the BRI's future food historian, Jeff Cheek, took a trip to Scotland while on one of his clandestine missions with the CIA. (He won't tell us why he was there.) But he did write this story of haggis for us- the origin, the tradition, and the elusive hunt for a wee, wee beastie.


Scotland has given the world many gifts: plaid, golf, the poetry of Robert Burns, and Scotch whisky. They have also offered us their national dish -haggis- but there are few takers… once they find out what haggis is made of. It is the offal (the waste parts) of a slaughtered sheep, minced and then boiled in a sheep's stomach. The dish and name most likely came from the Vikings- the Swedes have a similar dish, hagga, but they use choice cuts of meat to make it. The frugal Scottish farmers, however, wasted nothing, so instead of discarding the lungs, heart, and liver, they used these along with homegrown oats to make haggis. And the Scots have revered it for centuries.

In his "Address to Haggis," 18th-century poet Robert Burns called the dish "the Great Chieftain of the Pudding Race." And it has become a Scottish tradition to serve haggis on Burns Night, January 25th, to celebrate the poet's birthday. Loyal Scotsmen are also supposed to eat haggis on November 30, St. Andrew's Day, to honor Scotland's patron saint.

Continue reading

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What Really Goes Into Each Jar Of Nutella

Many people prefer Nutella to peanut butter, jam or plain butter on bread, and I've known a couple or three people who really go gaga for the stuff, eating it up by the jar as a staple in their pantry.  

But given the sweet, chocolaty and deliciously hazelnutty taste of Nutella I've always thought it must be terrible for you and contain very few hazelnuts - and I was right on both counts.

Redditor MrFlow shared this eye opening image originally created by the Consumer Center in Hamburg, Germany that clearly reveals what actually goes into each jar of Nutella.

And although this graphic shows a jar of Nutella is about half sugar the information on the label indicates it might contain even more sugar than that:

While Nutella contains just five ingredients (palm oil, cocoa, hazelnuts, skimmed milk powder, and sugar), a whopping half of the stuff is sugar.

According to its nutritional label, a jar of Nutella has 21 grams of sugar per 37 grams of spread (two tablespoons), meaning that in reality more than half is sugar. Much of the rest is palm oil — solid fat some claim causes cancer.

Peanut butter wins again!

-Via Daily Mail

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Free Doughnuts for National Doughnut Day

National Doughnut Day is upon us! The holiday is set for the first Friday in June every year. The history of Doughnut Day is interesting: it was first celebrated in 1938 as a "thank you" to volunteers of the Salvation Army who handed out doughnuts to soldiers fighting in World war I.    

Many national doughnut chains are giving away freebies today. Unfortunately, there are no national doughnut outlets in my hometown. Those doughnuts are sold through the local groceries. But if you live in a larger city, check out the list of freebies at Uproxx. 

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How Crystal Rose Candy is Made

Look at this beautiful candy! Each piece looks like an antique glass paperweight with a rose blossom inside.  Gregory Cohen of Lofty Pursuits (previously at Neatorama) shows us how they are made. While this batch of candy is cherry-flavored, later batches produced rose-flavored candies.

(YouTube link)

A lot of work goes into these, so I don't think you'll be making them at home. But while we watch the magic unfold, Cohen keeps us entertained by talking about everything under the sun. You can buy the candy at Public Displays of Confection. -via Laughing Squid

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The Craziest Cravings Women Had During Their Pregnancies

Nothing like a little Nutella on your burrito, right? Yeah, while most pregnant woman don't really have over-the-top pregnancy cravings, the ice cream and pickles craving does strike a handful of ladies. Over on Buzzfeed, you can read some of the strangest pregnancy cravings you could even imagine -like pickles stuffed with grape jelly, vanilla ice cream topped with pulled pork and even the outrageous sweet & savory pasta on Elf

Check out the full list of crazy things woman have craved while pregnant over on Buzzfeed

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How Fast Food Chain Failures In America Led To Success Overseas

It's hard for new fast food chains to compete with the big names who have cemented their control of cities across America, and even Kenny Rogers couldn't compete with the big chicken chains- his chain of Kenny Rogers' Roasters officially closed for business in 2011.

(YouTube Link)

But many failed fast food chains have found success overseas, because these American exports are popular around the world and the market isn't saturated in Asia or Europe like it is here in the U.S.

Kenny Rogers' Roasters was sold to a Malaysian firm in 2008 and has since become so big they now have 400 locations worldwide (more than they ever had in the U.S.), and they just opened their first restaurant in India.

Read The Surprising Resilience Of Failed Fast Food Chains at Atlas Obscura

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Brimstone Bread

This recipe makes bread that looks like crusty balls of molten lava! But that's just the appearance. It's really just tasty bread that you can use for sandwiches, burgers, or hot rolls for dinner. These rolls are not quite as "hot" as they appear. It's an illusion from Helen Die, aka Tye Lombardi.

When I make this in Hell, I like to roll my dough in the deep pits of sulfur and soul dust and cook them in the hot brimstone vents.  Unfortunately, as you are mortal and have neither access to soul dust or brimstone vents, I’ve had to make a few adjustments to the recipe for you.

The inside is standard bread dough from your favorite mix, colored red. The crust is what makes the magic. Get the recipe and instructions at the Necro-Nom-Nom-Nomicon. Bone appetite!

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A Preview of Some of the Craziest Foods at the San Diego Fair

The San DiegoFair doesn't start until June 2, but journalists already got a sneak peak of some of the amazingly strange snacks that will be offered this year at a media preview last week. Naturally, the legendary Chicken Charlie's was there in full force, this year offering a Krispy Kreme ice cream chicken sandwich that features fried chicken, ice cream inside a Krispy Kreme donut all topped with syrup and Fruity Pebbles.

But while we expect strange things from Chicken Charlies, some of the more outrageous treats were far more surprising -like the ninja pizza cupcakes that feature tomato spice cake, caramel marscapone buttercream and candied pepperoni.

And while fried octopus might not be that outrageous, the decoration for this display advertising the seafood snack is all too entertaining.

You can check out more of the bizarro foods at the fair over at KPBS

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What Popular Foods Look Like Before They're Harvested

(Image Link)

It's funny how many "raw food" fanatics out there don't actually know what their favorite natural foods look like in their raw form, and thereby would probably walk right past dates or artichokes if they were out foraging.

(Image Link)

Many of the "organic" foods you buy in stores go through quite a bit of processing before being sold, which totally makes sense from a consumer standpoint- considering this is what rice looks like before it's harvested.

(Image Link)

But if you truly want to call yourself an organic foods expert you should be able to identify this very popular yet quite obscure food. Here's a hint- it goes great with sushi.

(Image Link)

That's right- it's wasabi! Won't your raw food fan friends be wowed when you show them what wasabi looks before being harvested?

See Here's What Some Popular Foods Really Look Like Before They're Harvested here

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20 of the Craziest Burgers from Around the World

If you believe a burger is made up of a ground beef patty and two buns, then you might just consider these burger monstrosities pure blasphemy. But if you like extreme food creations you might consider these to be right up your alley. Some of these are pretty simple concepts that most people might be open to -like the Hawaiian burger with pineapple and ham on it, but others ask the diner to keep a very open mind -like the bogan burger that features steak, chicken schnitzel, a potato cake, bacon, egg, cheese, onion and even a slice of beet. No matter how brave you are though, I somehow doubt you'll be willing to try the beyond outrageous garbage burger that has over 20 ingredients, including five cheeses, peanut butter, peppers, marinara sauce, ice cream hot fudge and a cherry on top (read all the 20 ridiculous ingredients here).

Thanks to Food Republic for the great infographic.

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Alien Egg Cake Balls

You know where facehuggers come from, don't you? From xenomorph eggs, of course! We can skip the middleman and just ingest the eggs first without all that face-hugging unpleasantness, when the eggs are made of cake.

(YouTube link)

Rosanna Pansino of Nerdy Nummies shows us how to recreate the eggs from the Alien movie series in delicious mint chocolate cake. This would be perfect for that Alien marathon party you've planned to prepare your crew for the new movie Alien: Covenant. Just don't blame us when they want to re-emerge from your chest. -via Geeks Are Sexy 

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Avocado + Latte = Avolatte

The latest hipster food obsession is the "avolatte," a latte (which is a fancy term for coffee with milk) served in an avocado shell. Developed at the Truman Cafe in Melbourne, the idea has spread through the internet and around the world, pretty much instantly.

It appears to be an eco-friendly way to add a bit of avocado flavor to the drink, but not everyone likes the idea. Personally, I do not like avocado, and I do like having a handle on my coffee cup. -via Laughing Squid

(Image credit: ozeatingwa)

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5 Ways to Define a Sandwich, According to the Law

You can always find an argument somewhere on the internet about what is and what is not a sandwich. With new food items constantly being developed, the line has grown quite thin. Is a hot dog legally a sandwich? It depends. How about a corn dog? A burrito? An ice cream sandwich? A Pop Tart? It all depends on who you ask, and why. For some jurisdictions, whether a food item is a sandwich makes a difference in how it is taxed or zoned. Some definitions come from courts, others from organizations. Mental Floss dug up five definitions of a sandwich from different governing bodies, which should be enough to keep the arguments going for a while.
(Image credit: U.S. Department of Agriculture)

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