Welcome to Delicious or Distressing, where we rate recent food memes, videos, and other entertainment news. Last week we discussed the ‘Great British Baking Show’ ending national-themed weeks (for the better).
Wonder how the sausage gets made? With bones, apparently. Hillshire Farm, sausage producer of note, recalled 15,000 pounds of the stuff recently for “possibly containing bone fragments.” Is it surprising, per se, that just a little bit of bone snuck into these encased mish-mashes of animal innards? Frankly, I don’t know. What I do know is that I don’t necessarily want bone shards in my dinner. (This is a novel, extremely unique opinion that only I possess.) It’s recall season, baby!
Also this week, adults are ordering from the childrens’ menu at restaurants as a thrifty hack, and people are debating its ethics and merits. Dunkin’ launched a Munchkin-infused frozen bev, and it’s a 26-step creation—rightfully rattling some workers. Lastly, McDonald’s is getting rid of self-serve soda, to the chagrin of some who like to control their ice-to-drink ratios.
Here’s what’s happening in food moments on the internet this week.
Over 15,000 pounds of sausage recalled for containing bones
I don’t buy meat but let me cosplay someone who does for the sake of this week’s Delicious or Distressing round up. So, the thing about meat is that it’s connected to bones. Yet the thing about buying processed meat is that you don’t want to see any bones. By the time animal flesh has been ground into tubes of salty, millennial-pink…stuff?…presumably no one wants a reminder that their charcuterie once held a skeleton. Well! This week, Hillshire Farm, a Missouri-based company owned by Tyson Foods, broke the fourth wall, so to speak: Over 15,000 pounds of its smoked sausage, made with pork, turkey, and beef, was recalled in seven states for “possibly containing bone fragments.” Which animal’s bones? No one knows. So far, there’s only been one reported “oral injury” caused by the bone shards. But what about the emotional wounds? In a news release, Tyson advised affected customers to “cut the UPC and date code from the packaging” and throw away the product. That’s a 5.7/5 distressing for the sausage barons. —Ali Francis, staff writer
Adults are ordering from the kids’ menu to save money
Fun fact about me: I love a good scam. Not scams that hurt small businesses or individual people or communities, but scams that take advantage of faceless corporations who don’t care whether I live or die. That’s why I felt a little ping of joy in my heart when I heard that adults are ordering off of kids’ menus to eat out for less. Olive Garden seems to be the target of a lot of these mini-scams: People are ordering the cheaper kids’ menu items online for pickup, and using modifications and add-on sides to increase the amount of food they’re getting. While I cannot in good faith endorse eating there because its food is, to use an industry term, “yucky,” I appreciate the Robin Hood of it all—for the record, Olive Garden is doing fine, it’s part of a giant restaurant group that’s raking in around 10 billion dollars in revenue a year these days. Scam away scammers! I’m giving this one a 4.2/5 delicious. —Sam Stone, staff writer
Dunkin’s new Ice Spice Munchkins Drink may be stressing workers out
Dunkin’ has finally figured out how to Dunk its donuts. The coffee kings collaborated with Ice Spice to create a limited-time drink that is captivating the internet and potentially ruining the working lives of Dunkin’ employees: The Ice Spice Munchkins Drink, promoted by the rapper and Ben Affleck larping as a brand ambassador, is made of creamy frozen coffee blended with Pumpkin Munchkins donut holes and topped with whipped cream and a caramel drizzle. It’s giving cookies and cream milkshakes. It’s giving fall sweaters and PSLs. It’s giving…can Dunkin’ employees get a break? The official recipe for a large drink, which was shared on X (nee Twitter), calls for nine ingredients and a whopping 26 individual steps: ice, water, eight pumps of liquid cane sugar, a dash of cream, four pumps of coffee syrup, four Munchkins, three spins of caramel drizzle, a squirt of whipped cream, and three more swirls—not spins this time—of caramel drizzle on top. I have a brain freeze just reading that. That’s a 4.2/5 distressing on behalf of the Dunkin’ workers of America. —AF
McDonald’s is ending self-serve soda fountains
There’s something so pleasantly tactile and nostalgic about filling a soda cup—it evokes fluorescent 7/11 pit stops and sticky movie theater visits. The whoosh of the soda pouring, the ice getting stuck and then crashing down in an avalanche. With all of this sentimental imagery in mind, I’m sad to report that McDonald’s is phasing out self-serve soda, in the interest of efficiency, consistency, and food safety, according to the brand. Some customers are lamenting the prospect of not being able to control their soda-to-ice ratios, not to mention the implications for getting free refills. All I hope is that the newly automated machines don’t fall victim to the ineffectual fate of McDonald’s ice cream machines. —Li Goldstein, digital production assistant