Welcome to Delicious or Distressing, where we rate recent food memes, videos, and other decidedly unserious news. Last week we discussed M&M’s strides toward ending sexism through its all-female character packages.
It’s 2013—a simpler time. You roll up to the nearest Starbs and shamelessly order some vile concoction you saw on Tumblr composed of, like, 17 pumps of white mocha and exactly 8 java chips and a blended cake pop. The drive-thru employee sheds a silent tear. Fast forward to the present day, and Waffle House—another corporation with a chokehold on the newly pubescent of America—knows better than to let itself slide down the slippery slope of a Starbucks Secret Menu-esque off-menu order. Some of the chain’s stores are preemptively and categorically rejecting TikTok hacks and honestly, good for them. For society’s sanity and for food service workers shackled to stupid secret menus, Waffle House is a martyr.
This week, we bid adieu to old flames (goodbye, Sierra Mist) and welcomed other ones back into the fold. Chex Mix, to most people’s delight, is bringing back its beloved bagel chips, but one of my colleagues is controversially a member of the anti-bagel chip camp, and he won’t be silenced. He bravely details below. Lastly, in what can only be understood as a bid for our attention through the means of disgust, a TikToker whipped up an extremely gross pasta slash casserole slash unlabeled thing. We’re not even surprised at this point.
Waffle House has been hacked, but not like that. The all-day breakfast chain is peeved after a series of viral off-menu orders, like this one featuring a plate-sized bacon cheeseburger with waffles in place of the bun, went viral on TikTok. We can only presume from the comments section—which features messages like, “I better not hear an employee say ‘WE CNT DO THAT’ when I show them this video and say make me this”—that a whole bunch of people tried to order the hack after watching. In response, a scrawled sign near the cash register at what appears to be an Atlanta Waffle House reads: “Order from the menu. We are not making anything you saw on TikTok.”
I’m proud of Waffle House employees for taking matters into their own hands and standing up to entitled customers. Are you really going to ask some harried worker barely making more than minimum wage to take time they don’t have just to craft you something special? No: Order the cheeseburger and the waffles separately and do it up in the privacy of your Toyota Prius like the rest of us. 3.6/5 distressing. —Ali Francis, staff writer
Pepsi is replacing Sierra Mist with Starry, which has “higher citrus flavors” and is “more aromatic” in order to compete with Sprite. Some fans say it tastes better, some say it tastes like it did before. Last year, Kraft replaced Macaroni and Cheese with Mac & Cheese, which has a new box design but promises the same great taste. Before that, Facebook renamed itself Meta to encompass all of its products; Google rebranded with Alphabet, a holding company turning the search engine into a subsidiary. The Soviet Union became Russia. The horse-drawn buggy became the Model T. The Holocene became the Anthropocene. The Tibetan Plateau became the Himalayas. Rivers cut mountains into valleys and time sunk valleys into rivers. Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose. The more things change, the more they stay the same. 2.8/5 delicious. —Karen Yuan, lifestyle editor
I’m proud to say that Chex Mix was a regular part of my diet. It makes an appearance on every road trip and long-distance plane ride, and it’s always my pick for a late-night (read: drunken) snack run. The spice mix is so deeply savory, the pretzels so incredibly crunchy, the tiny breadsticks so very…well, those are kind of a flop, but part of the fun is in the surprise of what you might get in each handful.
But there was always one ingredient that I avoided at all costs. Bagel chips. The unpleasantly hard, often stale-tasting discs would always end up kicking around the bottom of the bag, as I fished around for some—any—other Chex mix shape. Given my distaste, you can imagine how upsetting it was to find out that Chex was reincorporating bagel chips into Chex Mix after eliminating them in 2009. Now, I’ve come to understand that my distaste, nay, abhorrence for bagel chips is controversial, thanks to my Bon Appetit colleagues who purport that bagel chips are universally loved. But they’re not writing this blurb and I am. For that reason I will, drunk with power, rate the news of the bagel chips return as 3.7/5 distressing. — Sam Stone, staff writer
Fire up the outrage machine, the internet has a new favorite baffling TikTok cooking tutorial to roast/recoil from in collective disgust. It looks exceedingly familiar to the terminally online—a woman dumps one ingredient after another into a foil pan, cooing about how great and easy and delicious this recipe is while an unseen person, doing double-duty camera operator and hype man, offers an occasional “wow!” and “so easy!” Is this the same lady that served salad in her sink? Or the one who slathered jarred queso over the kitchen island to make Cold Stone-style nachos?