Archive for Food

Imperialism Becomes a Born-Again Virgin, But Will Turn Tricks for Meat

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on January 9, 2009 by thebibliophile

Burger King's Mascot - fittingly the King himself.

Burger King, which has a  small cult following among advertising gurus, for its quirky, odd, and (to some) increasingly bizarre commercials released a series of “Whopper Virgin” commercials in the U.S this December. In addition to the documentary-style commercials, Burger King has released a behind the scenes making of the “Whopper Virgin” documentary.

The basic premise of the commercials, is that the only way to have a “true” taste test, is to have so-called “whopper virgins,” try the whopper (Burger King) and the Big Mac (McDonald’s). What’s a “whopper virgin” you ask? According to  Burger King, it’s any one who’s never had Americanized food – specifically a person who’s never had a burger. Or as I like to think about it, people who have not been exposed to artery clogging, likely to kill you, over-processed and chemicalized food, which here in the U.S. we call hamburger meat.

The Burger King film crew runs the “test,” in a Thai Hmong village, a small village in Transylvania, and an Inuit village – encouraging all of the participants to try the whopper, while they record the responses, which vary from confusion about how to eat the whopper, to general disgust about what it is, to enjoyment and curiosity. And it’s all done with an eye for anthropological exploitation.

When I first saw these I was fascinated, trying to figure out what was going on – were Americans being challenged about our assumptions about food? Was there a larger commentary on how we think of food? Was Burger King going to support these small villages? No. Burger King wants to show you that somehow, although many of those featured, eat far healthier food than many of us do in the U.S. , somehow the ultimate symbol of American food, the “burger,” – and how we eat it, is superior to how other people eat around the world.

I guess imperialism is real hungry these days, and busy learning how to turn new tricks. It is so self-explanatory as to why this is whack, that I will stop with the commentary right here. Here are the “Whopper Virgins” commercial released in the U.S.

The Gaurdian ran an article about the ads, “Burger King’s ‘Whopper Virgins’ ads: just bad taste?”

Thai Hmong Village

Transylvania Village

This is “The Making of Whopper Virgins”


Black Chocolate Stout: Chocolate and Beer – What could be better?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on December 1, 2008 by thebibliophile
Brooklyn Brewery's Black Chocolate Stout

Brooklyn Brewery

Brooklyn Brewery only makes their seasonal Black Chocolate Stout once a year. Generally, it’s released before Thanksgiving, with enough stock to last until Christmas. With the beer’s popularity, however, it can be hard to get past Thanksgiving.

The beer has a rich, full, taste – and the chocolate flavor and aroma. For some it may be overpowering, I thought, it had a great balance. Just beware, the beer is about 10.5% alcohol per volume – eat it with a heavy meal or you’ll be very tipsy and sleepy. Try the Stout with a meal of duck or roasted chicken, with potatoes (mashed or roasted), it also works well with soups (pumpkin, for instance). I’ve also used 1/2 a cup of the Stout in brownies for an extra kick. You can also use the stout in cupcakes  and cakes.

Check out Thom’s beer blog, lots of great info about beer: