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.
- The New York Times has a gorgeous ode by Korsha Wilson about how pizza became a New York City staple over the past century. The story includes early reviews of the food from Times writers who predicted that "[t]he pizza could be as popular a snack as the hamburger if Americans only knew more about it.”
- My phone cases features an artistically rendered flamingo, because I am such a fan of the bird in a deeply uncool way (I mean, have you even seen Planet Earth II??) I'm also a pretty big fan of eating, but I can't say that I ever wondered what it would be like to eat a flamingo until Slate wrote about the fact that, apparently, lots of people do wonder about it. As migratory birds, flamingos are protected from hunters; however, if you were to eat one, it would probably taste "more like duck than chicken."
- Last week, when the government shutdown was a mere 20 days old, the Brewers Association warned that breweries would be unable to release new beers until employees at the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) were allowed to return to work. With no end to the catastrophic Trump tantrum in sight, Atlas Brew Works in D.C. is now suing the administration over just that. The brewery is claiming that by preventing their seasonal apricot-infused IPA from hitting shelves, the shutdown is impinging on their free speech.
- Fireball Cinnamon Whisky has surpassed Allen’s Coffee Flavored Brandy as the most popular liquor in the state of Maine. You guys OK up there?
- A new study shows that junk food advertisements disproportionately target black kids—which is troubling, and something that should definitely be addressed. But it seems unlikely that it will be, considering a study conducted two years ago reported the same thing, as did one released two years before that.
God bless this child who asked Catherine "Duchess of Cambridge" Middleton whether the Queen has ever eaten pizza. For my money? She's had something labeled "flatbread" but never a slice.
This Reddit rant about how anything other than cheese and bread should not be called a "grilled cheese" is four years old, but this kind of passion—"Yet again, it is utter blasphemy and it rocks me to the core of my pale being"—transcends time and place and should be assigned reading in debate classes.
Be the warmest attendee at your next inanimate object costume party.