March 19, 2012

Foods That Should Exist

Pretty much every year, KFC or Taco Bell introduces some new culinary atrocity to the world. A couple of years ago, there was the Double Down, a sandwich that used fried chicken patties in lieu of a bun. The dirty secret of that sandwich is that it was pretty tasty…but would have been better on a roll. This year, we have Taco Bell’s “Doritos Locos Tacos,” whose slogan is “Taco Bell on the Inside, Doritos on the Outside.” That sounds more like a description of Snooki (rim shot/ cheap shot) than an advertisement for a food item.

Why are these fast food moguls wasting so much time on nonsense, when there are much more important foods to invent? Foods that people could eat daily without fear of immediate congestive heart failure. Like hovercraft skateboards and lightsabers, many of these items would already exist if scientists would buckle down and get their priorities straight. Here is a (partial) list of foods we should have by now.

Breakfast Pizza

Cold pizza for breakfast is amazing. Just another reason that pizza is the gift that keeps on giving. But I’m talking about a pizza specially designed for breakfast. Breakfast tacos and burritos enjoy widespread renown, but so far, no one has stepped up to the round, flat plate to bring us a breakfast pizza. Think about it. Deep-dish pizza. With eggs and beans and sausage. Are you kidding me? Let’s get on this, chefs!

Chocolate Covered Popcorn Ice Cream

Jimmy Fallon’s “Late Night Snack” ice cream almost gets this one right. Allegedly, Ben and Jerry experimented with popcorn and pretzels before settling on chocolate covered potato chips for their new flavor. That’s great. But salty/ sweet is really hitting its stride as a flavor combination, and I demand more options! Popcorn! Pretzels! Triscuits! Jerky! Cover them all with chocolate and put them in ice cream! Let the free market decide what it will bear in terms of salted and cured snacks inside of a creamy base. I could do this on my own, but I have weak arms and stirring things into ice cream makes me achy and self-conscious. Ben! Jerry! Breyer! Edy! Hear me and answer my call!

Stay-fresh Fruit

I’m always trying to eat healthier. Strike that. I’m always saying I’m trying to eat healthier. The hard thing about that is that while Twinkies last forever, apples turn brown within minutes of being sliced, berries quickly deteriorate, and bananas are their own separate nightmare. Is it too much to ask for an avocado that you can eat half of one day and half of the next day? We’ve put a man on the moon, but we haven’t perfected lettuce that doesn’t turn rancid if I forget about it over a long weekend?

I know that geneticists working on things like this, and the genetic engineering is problematic both nutritionally and ethically. But the way I see it is I could die from eating only donuts or donuts and rotten produce, or I could die from unnaturally modified vegetables. I’d rather go down swinging.

Meatball Pops

Meat and sticks are a winning combination. Shish kebab and teriyaki are two classic speared/ skewered meats. We should have more. Cake pops are all the rage right now, and while I’m in favor of cake in all its forms, why would we choose one that keeps it away from ice cream, its natural companion?

Meatball pops give you the neatness of stickmeat and the option to (single) dip into a variety of sauces. Not just little appetizer-sized balls. Full on meatballs. Yes, I know what I just wrote and how hilarious it sounds. Focus, people!

There’s not a ton to say on the issue. It’s just sensible. I would also be in favor of this presentation for chicken nuggets.

Bottomless Broccoli

Broccoli is like two different vegetables. The top is a lush but firm masterpiece of produce. It maintains its integrity even when sautéed, unlike the fickle carrot. Broccoli tops somehow taste both nutritious and delicious. Cheese tips the scales towards deliciousness at the expense of nutrition, but man is it worth it.

Broccoli bottoms are the worst. Pale and flaccid, like they’ve never been outside. They taste rubbery on the outer layer and stringy on the inside. If you ate a broccoli bottom first, you’d throw the top against the wall in disgust and never know the wonders within. When I cook with broccoli, I often discard the bottoms, which is so wasteful. There has to be a better way.

Clearly, bottomless broccoli refers to a more perfect broccoli, where the far superior top part comprises the entirety of the vegetable. I would also like more restaurants to offer bottomless bowls of broccoli. Bottomless usually only applies to pasta or coffee, but let’s branch out.

(Side note: Broccoli may be the world’s only example of something where “bottomless” is vastly more desirable than “topless.”)

As another note, writing this silly fun frivolous nonsense about food, especially throwing away the broccoli bottoms, got me thinking about how many people go without food all the time. I decided to donate to a local food bank, and it would be nice if you would think about doing the same! If only to assuage my broccoli guilt. Just a thought! Thanks, everyone! TC mark

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Josh Gondelman

Josh Gondelman is a writer and comedian who incubated in Boston before moving to New York City. His writing has been …