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 this morning.
- You know that catching a whiff of hot, cheesy pizza is going to make you crave a slice, but according to a new study out of the University of South Florida, you could overcome this urge to indulge if you…just stood there and sniffed it a little bit longer. Apparently, "ambient food scents can directly satisfy the belly" if you're exposed to them for longer than two minutes. (The study also confirms that, yeah, short exposure to the good smells really do make you more desperate to put the food in your face) Anecdotally, this actually kind of tracks. A house that smells like baking cookies is awfully inviting to guests, but if I'm the one who's been working amidst the sweet odor all day, I'm fine to take a pass. It's tough to see how this could be put into practice on an as-needed basis ("no thanks, I'm just here to smell the donuts") unless, ugh, pizza-scented incense is the next big thing in trendy diets.
- The UK's relatively mild winter so far has resulted in an "abundance of psychedelic fungi." An expert at the Shropshire Wildlife Trust warned that "foragers could accidentally pick something hallucinogenic." Do with this information what you will.
- The Clemson football team should absolutely parlay their fast food dinner at the White House into a gratis meal at Chicago's Alinea. Think anyone would believe I'm a D1 wide receiver?
- The team also has standing invites to eat at Ayesha Curry's International Smoke in Houston or go out for lobster (and maybe caviar?) in New York City on Michael Strahan's dime.
- Dogfish Head brewing has figured out a way to make a low-cal and low-carb beer that doesn't taste like Michelob Ultra—the Slightly Mighty, which has only 95 calories and 3.6 carbs, is available now in their Delaware tasting room and will be released more widely in April. According to Esquire, the secret is monkfruit extract, which has "300 times the sweetness of raw sugar," but is calorie- and carb-free.
Despite their wholesome marketing, heavily-processed chips that are made out of something other than potatoes before being dusted in artificial flavoring are not all that much healthier than your regular, greasy, gas station potato chip. I knew this intellectually even before Vox addressed "Are 'healthy' snacks actually good for you?" (c'mon, is the answer to that ever "absolutely; in fact, much better than you thought"?), but I still recommend their thorough debunking of this faux-wellness trend.
This entire mood of belated-birthday girl Sade sitting on the counter eating some yogurt.
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