Tag Archives: Food

The Year of the Macaron

It was meant to be a short vacation. The Fat Fingers of Justice would lay off the keys, stretch out, and get a little sun in Acupulco. But, the high-stress world of nearly-biannual blogging proved to be too taxing. Plus, I had a family to support. Cats to pet. A liquor cabinet. A brief regrouping turned quickly to a three-year sabbatical. My thoughts would sometimes drift back to this blog, and to its brave words thrown mightily against the walls of America’s strongest bastions, making cracks and shedding light into the financial world, the pharmaceutical industry, the brunch-nap industrial complex. While I existed in a blissful bubble, it was one increasingly close to popping from the cumulative weight of so much corruption, and the pleas from so many. The fingers, well, they began a-twitchin’.

Yesterday, I fired up the ol’ laptop, took a sip of brandy, and faced the truth – America has shit the bed. The rise of ISIS, a Donald Trump presidential run, countless assholes doing incalculably-massive asshole things, and McDonald’s Egg McMuffins now available at any time of day. In other words, total madness. And no matter where I look, from comment sections, to Facebook, to Twitter, all of Internetburg is eerily silent. I can’t seem to find anyone’s opinions, on anything, anywhere. Either the plague of political correctness has us tongue-tied, or outrage has simply fallen out of fashion.

Fear not, dearest readers (Hi Mom, Girlfriend, and Spam Bot Sam!), the Fat Fingers are back, and they have at least three-to-four blog posts of things to say in the new year. While the bad news is too much to tackle all at once, I’ll focus this return on good news – news to satiate long-waiting appetites, while whetting those for an exciting year sure to be full of a solid 2-to-1 ratio of excuses for not writing, to actual written content.

Prediction! The coming year (2016, if anybody’s still counting) will see a new dessert rise to the top of the food search matrix, and by December, everyone will know someone, that knows someone, that has sort of an idea, albeit mostly incorrect, of the delicate magic that is the macaron.

It is not macaroni, and it’s not a cheesy raccoon dish, but I promise – it’s just as delicious. I had one recently – pistachio-flavored. They’re similar to a cookie, but not unlike a perfect, tiny cake. A thin, outside coating cracks easily upon biting, revealing a soft and moist center. Fluffy? You bet your ass. It’s sweet, with a lightness that could trick an easily-fooled man into making himself sick on the damn things. I haven’t yet, but I’m confident I will.

Commonly mistaken for tiny Play-Doh cheeseburgers, macaroons are an edible dessert typically made without the former's borax and petroleum additives. Confirm with your baker before sampling.

Commonly mistaken for tiny Play-Doh cheeseburgers, macarons are an edible dessert typically made without the former’s borax and petroleum additives. Confirm the ingredients with your baker before purchasing.

playdoh kid

If your baker wears a disguise made of Play-Doh, don’t just take their word for it. If it walks like Play-Doh and talks like Play-Doh, there’s a pretty good chance it’s not a macaron. The confectionery world is full of charlatans – be discerning!

Fox News, as far back as 2011,  suggested macarons would be the “new cupcake.” This, despite acknowledging the dessert as both “elite” and “French,” words the news organization typically associates with liberals, the human subspecies known to haunt them without cessation, twenty-four hours a day, 365 days a year. While never identifying the old cupcake, or ur-cupcake, one can only presume that whatever it was, it was invented by Ronald Reagan and helped to defeat Communism forever and ever, amen.

The macaron is a fancier dessert than a fried Snickers bar, bacon-wrapped donut hole, or Oreo-crusted s’more, but don’t worry – it’s still bad for you. Try to overlook its lack of a swirling ice cream center and fructose-dripping heart-attack sauce, and appreciate it for what it is. It’s like a tiny, adorable cake for people that aren’t monsters. I was told to eat it slowly, and I tried. I really did. Unfortunately, I am an insatiable animal who has not met many desserts I didn’t like. I dragged it out, I’m proud to boast, for an excruciatingly long two-and-a-half bites. I believe the world record is four.

Now is the time for an important clarification. In fact, it should have come sooner, but it’s a little more complicated than distinguishing a macaron from a macaroni. You see, this infinitely complex world of ours apparently saw fit to include in its  abundance not just the macaron, but the macaroon. I thought, even halfway through writing this post, that they were one and the same, and assumed it was a to-may-to/to-mah-to situation.  Imagine my sullied journalistic credibility had I published before learning the difference.

I’ll let the Macaron Master do the dirty work of explaining.

macaron-vs-macaroon

It’s a lot like the 1988 film, “Twins,” starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito. In this case, Arnold would be the more refined macaron, and DeVito the streetwise macaroon. Well, hold on a second. That doesn’t sound right. DeVito is kind of like the shriveled, partially burnt batch of desiccated coconut shavings that comprises the macaroon, but Arnold as fancy confectionery? Let’s just say that both the characters and the maca-whichevers, are the results of a secret lab experiment, and you shouldn’t eat either Danny DeVito or a macaroon. You probably shouldn’t eat Arnold Schwarzenegger, either, and if someone offers you something they pronounce as macaron, but it looks like a burnt biscuit, slap it out of their hands and onto the floor. Then grab a bag of real macarons, watch Twins, and come up with your own damn analogy.

I plan to dive sweet-tooth first into 2016 this weekend, by visiting both Walton’s Fancy and Staple and La Patisserie Bakery. A confectionery bloodbath looms. Few, if any, macarons will be spared my butchery. I mean, my god, look at this Walton’s spread:

waltons macarons

I’ll report back as soon as I’ve bankrupted myself on the full, delicious rainbow gamut.

A final bit of trivia: On the French version of Sesame Street, the Cookie Monster is known as the Monstre de Macaron. Due to consistent mispronunciation, the character was killed off the show in 2012.

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CHEESEBURGER STABBING

Without question, that’s a pretty alarming headline.

But, let’s start with the good news. The good news is, a cheeseburger didn’t stab anyone. I repeat: no one was stabbed by a cheeseburger. Cheeseburgers are still safe to eat, folks. Chances of being stabbed by a cheeseburger while you go to bite it remain at the incredibly low rate of zero-out-of-one-hundred. Cheeseburgers are not rising up against us, threatening the global order. They have not grown arms, hands, and opposable thumbs with which to yield sharp objects. Humans retain the title of World Heavyweight Champions of the Food Chain.

Also sort of good news and a point of clarification: No one stabbed a cheeseburger. That’s right – according to my research, every encounter between a cheeseburger and a human being has ended in a straightforward, although sometimes mindlessly mechanical, sometimes overly ecstatic, consumption. Nothing weird. No senseless cheeseburger violence or cheeseburger hate crimes. Humans and cheeseburgers seem to be getting along fine, as the Good Lord intended. And while there are some reports of men discussing marriage to a cheeseburger, these thoughts all appear to be hyperbolic in nature.

Which brings us to the bad news: Someone was stabbed over a cheeseburger. More particularly, the absence of one. On first thought, anyone could be forgiven their shock and outrage at this news. But before you get all self-righteous, maybe you should think about some of the delicious cheeseburgers you’ve had over the years. I mean, really think about them. Turn those memories over in that gut of yours. Savor them, if you will. There have been some pretty good ones, huh? That one at three in the morning after bar-hopping for five hours with your buddy, Jerry? At the time, you called it, and I quote, “life-saving.”

Now, what if someone ate one right in front of you while taunting you in regard to your own lack of a cheeseburger? If you and that person could just as easily have been eating cheeseburgers together, or even sharing the same cheeseburger, and yet they put you in your place, your sad cheeseburger-less place – is that not its own outrage?

Are you really above confrontation? What lengths would you consider? If you were really, really hungry in that moment, could you even make a rational decision? What line would you, could you, draw?

Imagine: your head begins to ache. You hear the growl of your stomach. Your vision tunnels straight to the cheeseburger, everything beyond it a blur. Suddenly, there’s a butcher knife in your hand – how’d that get there? The other person’s chewing grows louder and louder, ringing in your ears, drowning out the voice of reason. The crunch of bacon, of lettuce – it’s deafening. In the heat of the moment, it’s practically instinctual. Territorial.  Cheeseburger territory. Could you refrain from gripping tight that knife and cleaving your all-due half? Fighting, maiming if you had to?

My God, I hope you never have to be in this poor, young man’s shoes to find the terrifying answers.

And what kind of mother doesn’t bring her child a cheeseburger? This family’s doomed.

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To Be, Or Not to Be (A Cheeseburger), That May or May Not Be the Question

This guy looks pretty happy being a cheeseburger.

I bet I’d be happy if I was a cheeseburger.

The life of a cheeseburger is probably pretty great.  You’re delicious, and you know it.  People desire you, and they know it.

Cheeseburgers never have to worry about money, or time management, or if the thoughts in their cheeseburger hearts come out exactly as they intend from their cheeseburger mouths.

Plus, cheeseburgers don’t have to work – ever.  They don’t have debt and don’t get frustrated calculating interest on repayment plans.  Have you ever seen a cheeseburger crunching numbers?  I haven’t.

They don’t grow bitter over never using their degrees from Cheeseburger College.  Cheeseburger parents are never disappointed when lil’ Whopper Jr. announces his theater arts and journalism double-major, because they’re fucking cheeseburgers and they do what they want.

Furthermore, you’re really famous, especially in the United States, where cheeseburgers are so important you get your own king, like you were a country or something (The Cheeseburger Confederacy).  Idols are made of you and distributed to children as pro-cheeseburger propaganda.  Entire teams of the world’s best in marketing and advertising constantly advocate for your existence, allowing you to relax and just do cheeseburger stuff all day.

There’s talk of replacing Benjamin Franklin with a fatass cheeseburger on the hundred dollar bill, with the bill’s slang name evolving appropriately to “cheeseburgers.”

Sure, there are obstacles.  A big one that comes to mind is, you know, being eaten.  You’re literally torn apart bun from burger by big gross mouths, straight up murdered by a ruthless gang of teeth.  But, it’s a very noble death.  A lot of people die FROM eating cheeseburgers.  You get to die AS a cheeseburger.  That’s a big difference, and most of the time you’re contributing to death’s very opposite – life.  You’re a martyr to the noble cause of delicious gratification, a surefire ticket to Cheeseburger heaven, where you’ll be reunited with your loving French fry and soft drink family.

Or, if you were a dirty, no good cheeseburger, perhaps you’ll be reincarnated as racist taco guy:

Unlike cheeseburger guy, notice that taco guy doesn’t get to maintain his human genitalia, only one of many downsides if you’re keeping score at home.

Actual product description from Amazon:

“You don’t have to drive across town to get your favorite Mexican food with this taco costume! The adult costume consists of a poly foam taco suit that has the appearance of a hard shell taco. It comes complete with toppings including lettuce, sauce and cheese. The suit has holes for the head and arms as well as an open bottom for easy movement. You’ll look good enough to eat in this funny taco costume!”

“An open bottom for easy movement” – that sounds dirty to me.

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You Know who Doesn’t Get Saluted Enough?

Those who drunkenly stuff sandwich meat in their mouths at 2 in the morning.

Those are some heroes right there.
Braving the harsh glow of the refrigerator, courageously opening the in-the-moment complexly-sealed plastic container, navigating the obtuse geometry of folded meat slices through a drunken mouth – these are the warriors in the shadows.

And by God, I boldly step out of those shadows to join my brothers and sisters in (probably flabby) arms.

Because sometimes sandwiches are just too hard to deal with, an Everest to a body barely capable of a mole hill, and I’ll unashamedly have a deli mustard chaser with my shot of ham-sandwich meat, thank you very much.

 

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Filed under Drinking, Food, Humor