Some Very Stupid Food News
March 30, 2018
By Richie Nakano | Image via Sweet Jesus
Deep below the endless Best Restaurant lists and the breathless 3000-word essays penned by middle-aged food writers who finally summoned the courage to take the fucking L train past Bushwick to eat Caribbean food—lies the seedy food news underbelly.
Sometimes, the food world spits out stories that are just too weird (see: stupid) to ignore. Luckily, we're here to provide insight, context, and analysis. Or something.
This week, like most weeks, everybody was mad about something. Sweet Jesus, a very good soft serve chain in Toronto, came under fire from Christian groups for apparent discrimination. An online petition protesting Sweet Jesus states: "We are calling on not just Christians, but anyone who is against religious discrimination to take a stand against this brand until the name is changed so as not to be offensive … and until such time as it does not discriminate against any religion.”
More shocking? The petition says nothing about the Satanic undertones of Breyers Ice Cream—everyone knows "Breyer" is a pseudonym for brier, as in Beside the Bonnie Brier Bush, a book published in 1894 that references Satan and his attempts to tempt the good people of Scotland. (Listen, I can’t back up this claim but I just like, really need people to leave Sweet Jesus alone, their soft serve has saved me from some of the worst hangovers of my life.)
In other news, a French waiter who was fired for being rude is also claiming discrimination, because in his words he wasn’t being rude, he was just being “French.” Touché. This isn’t the first time that a restaurant has fired someone for ethnically stereotypical behavior; I’m sure we all remember the landmark Supreme Court case, “Buca di Beppo, Inc. vs. Chef Who Kisses His Fingers Too Much.”
Lastly, chef Michael Hunter of Antler in Toronto (wtf is going on in Toronto? I feel like this is Drake’s fault) protested vegan protesters by…butchering a leg of venison in his shop’s front window and then eating it. As frustrating as it is that vegan activist groups don’t protest against, like, McDonald’s or Foster Farms or any other multinational planet-destroying factory farming murder corps, I still think there were more constructive ways to push back against the vegans. Some ideas:
• Project The Shape of Water onto the front window.
• Get a dude with an acoustic guitar to sit out front and play Dave Matthews covers.
• Invite local vape enthusiasts to come demonstrate vape tricks.
• Place a microwave out front with a bag of popcorn inside. Drizzle it with fish oil, then burn it.
• Pro-tip: vegans hate Slayer, but food bloggers think it’s “edgy.” Double win there, IMO.
• Fly a drone. That shit is terrifying. It’s like The Birds, only way scarier.