Welcome to Off-Menu , where we'll be rounding up all the food news and food-adjacent internet ephemera that delighted, fascinated, or infuriated us today.
- It took a week, but people have finally gotten pissed about Ariana Grande’s cloud-themed collaboration with Starbucks. When Grande tweeted about the Cloud Macchiato, she hashtagged it #trythesoyversion, which was unsurprising, since she’s reportedly been a vegan since the Yours Truly era. But what is a shock is that, despite her endorsement of the drink, it’s not vegan at all—and Starbucks says that not even its best baristas can make the drink without using animal products. Its ingredient list includes some decidedly non-vegan items, like egg white powder, heavy cream, butter, and nonfat dry milk. “Sorry, no [it’s not vegan],” Starbucks commented on Instagram. “The cloud powder cold foam contains egg and milk, and the sauce contains dairy.” Starbucks taught me love, Starbucks taught me patience, and Starbucks taught me pain.
- GU Energy Labs makes squeezable packets of energy gels, products that seem to exist solely to answer the question “But what if semen tasted like berries?” It recently announced its latest flavor, a beer-inspired gel called Hoppy Trails. “Inspired by that celebratory cold beer after a long day on the trails, Hoppy Trails Energy Gel perfectly balances flavorful hops with milder citrus notes to complement your other GU favorites and fight flavor fatigue,” the company wrote on Facebook. You could buy a 24-count box of hop paste… orrrrr you could just choke down one of the blueberry ones, and drink an actual beer after your workout.
VERY, VERY BAD BEHAVIOR
- Pop quiz, Hotshot: if you walk up to the El California Sports Bar at 4 AM and the bouncer tells you that the place is closed, do you: 1) sheepishly admit that you’d lost track of time; 2) strongly suggest that the establishment should post its business hours on its door; or 3) start arguing with the bouncer, bite his pinky finger off, and then try to wipe the blood off your mouth as you run away? If you answered “3,” then the NYPD would like to speak with you, and so would the 37-year-old bouncer who just learned the Bellevue Hospital billing code for “Reattaching Human Finger.”
According to Gothamist, the suspect, seen in the video above, has a medium build, close-cropped dark hair, and a goatee. We’re all upset about the Cloud Macchiato, but get your shit together, man.
- A 17-year-old Wisconsin teen is facing felony charges and a potentially lengthy prison sentence for putting a drug described as a “cattle sedative” in his stepdad’s energy drinks. The Wisconsin State Farmer reports that, in January 2018, Tyler Rabenhorst-Malone’s stepfather went to the emergency room after “experiencing a droopy face, slurring words, breathing heavy and stumbling.” The doctors told him to try to get some rest and lay off the energy drinks, and he was mostly fine until that April, when the symptoms returned. The man strongly suspected that Rabenhorst-Malone was fucking with him, because the teen would stack blankets on his head or flick his feet while he slept; when he started keeping an eye on his energy drinks, he noticed that his illnesses subsided. The man and Rabenhorst-Malone’s mother found two syringes in their barn, and also discovered an empty bottle of a cow sedative that they’d reported stolen several months earlier. When he had a can of his energy drink-of-choice tested, it was found to contain the same drug that was in those syringes. Rabenhorst-Malone ultimately confessed, and said that he thought it would just be “funny.” It probably seems less funny, now that he’s facing a fine of up to $10,000 and a prison sentence as long as ten years, depending on which felony he is ultimately convicted of.
- A Welsh man has been sentenced to a 12-week curfew and ordered to pay £835 ($1,100) in fines after he grabbed and killed the seagull that knocked his French fries out of his hand. “This was deliberate cruelty borne from the fact that this man cared more for his chips than what his actions did to the poor gull,” an RSPCA inspector told Wales Online. “Simply, the man showed blatant disregard for an animal because he was annoyed about his chips. Witnesses saw the attack and shocked bystanders, including children, had to look on as the man killed the gull." I’m not saying this man should be stripped down, forced to wear a pair of French fry pants, and dropped onto a gull-heavy public beach, but I’m not NOT saying that either.
ON A NICER NOTE
- After some long-awaited announcements about Halo: The Master Chief Collection and Halo: Reach, enthusiastic and grateful gamers started sending pizzas to the offices of its developer, 343 Industries. And it’s not that they don’t appreciate it, it’s just that there’s so much pizza. “The Halo community is awesome. We're excited, too! Please don't send any more pizzas to 343 Industries," 343’s community manager tweeted.
"The building receptionist isn't here, so it's getting logistically challenging and we really don't want to see food go to waste." If you want to celebrate this news by sending someone a pizza, my DMs are open, and so is the door to my apartment building.