Posted in Food sparks

New year’s resolution #12 – the food expansion program

A couple of years ago, I realised that it was time to expand my food horizons. That’s not to say that I don’t like a wide range of foods, but I had fallen into a bit of a rut and wasn’t trying many new things. So I set a goal that I would try a number of new foods/drinks every month – most of them were things that people laughed at because they were so mainstream and not remotely adventurous, but had somehow never been part of my adult diet: lamb, a Slurpee, sushi, a protein bar, Vegemite, ham, calamari. Stuff like that. Family and friends were very supportive (although they did laugh A LOT at my expense) and made suggestions about what I might like to try next, which helped to keep me honest.

Thanksgiving 2012, I tried yams covered in marshmallows. Verdict: not for everyday, but sweetly delicious.
Thanksgiving 2012, I tried yams covered in marshmallows. Verdict: not for everyday, but sweetly delicious.

I do remember shocking some of my work mates when, on the last day of a month, I was in a panic to fill the final spot on my new food list and my friend Ams rushed me to a city food court to buy Bubble Tea. Have you ever tried that stuff? Yikes. Make that yikes with giant gelatinous balls of tapioca in it. Their packaging system was very cool though and I was enthralled by their production line, but when it came to actually drinking the beverage, it was a struggle. I could only get about halfway through, which was enough to put it on the list.

Bubble Tea image from Wikipedia. Ah, brings back memories.
Bubble Tea image from Wikipedia. Ah, brings back memories. Just look at that tapioca, pretending to be a cute design on the container. Don’t be fooled!

Anyways, I have decided that I’m going to try another food expansion program this year, so I can make sure that I’m trying new things and not going for the same old food and drink options. I’m telling you now so that it’s out there and I feel obliged to follow through. I expect some hits and misses as I aim for five new foods/drinks per month. As an aside, if I am dining or drinking with you in the real world, please remind me to look beyond what I would normally choose from the menu…who knows, but I might find my as-yet-undiscovered new favourite thing. Of course, there’s always a chance that I’ll find another bubble tea, but that’s all part of the fun of broadening horizons and finding everyday sparks (and keeping work-mates entertained). Bon appetit!

Posted in Food sparks

Guten tag, McBurger

I work with a very nice German lass called Kristina. One day, we were in the kitchen talking about McDonald’s (as you do) and Kristina was raving about how much better McDonald’s is in Germany. I noted the existence of something called the ‘McOz’ burger (I think it’s the addition of beetroot that the marketers think makes it an authentic Australian burger) and expected Kristina to admit defeat. But, nein – Kristina laughed heartily and began to tell me all about German McDonald’s, a magical place where you can drink beer with your meal (presumably not with Happy Meals)…

German McDonald’s recently held a competition for the general public to name some new burgers on the menu. The winner was the new McPanther burger, on a cheese & onion bread roll, with mozzarella, beef, bacon & smokey tomato sauce. No panther, it turns out, just traditional beef. Laws for deceptive & misleading advertising mustn’t be quite as tight in ol’ Deutschland.

Then there is the fantastically named Crockstahzumjot. Kristina said there was no translation for this word, which is fine by me. But then I googled it – turns out that before it was a rockin’ burger, Crockstahzumjot was a rockin’ band. Their 2012 tour is called Hip Teens Wear Tight Jeans. Uh huh. The burger itself is pretty fancy – crispy chicken and bacon on ciabatta bread. Ciabatta bread, if you don’t mind! According to the website, this burger will be available later this month, from what I can gather with my limited German skills.

Then there is another great name – the Lauginator. Sounds like the Terminator only tastier, with cured ham and Italian grana pardano cheese. The bun, you ask? Why, it’s made of pretzel bread. That’s right, your burger is nestled onto a bun that is really A GIANT PRETZEL. Genius. Sadly, this came last in the public vote and its creator, Bastian K, will never see his dream become reality.

Then there is the McHaudegen, which came fourth in the public vote – sesame roll, three layers of beef, honey mustard sauce and bacon. I think it got lots of votes because the photo on the website shows its inventor, Sven G, standing behind the burger. And Sven is a big guy, covered in tattoos.

Then there is McOerms, which will also be available at the end of this month – it’s a spicy little number, featuring (according to my trusty translator Kristina), “jalapenos, chorizo, beef, curry chilli sauce, beef”. It seems there is no translation for ‘oerms’ either, but the combination of ingredients makes me think it is possibly either ‘yuck’ or ‘ouch’.

In addition to the wacky competition and the occasional theme-menu options (Mexican, Asian etc) that Kristina assures me are big deals, German McDonald’s has a McWrap with prawns, a McRib with marinated pork ribs and a Veggieburger on the standard menu. Crikey.

Ich bin am ende! (That’s “I give up!” in German. I think.)