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.
- Over at the Ringer, Claire McNear has a lengthy ode to Chicago's Malört: the history, the people who made it (and hate it), the company that recently acquired it, and the locals who love it. But you gotta really love the self-described "bitter" and "unusual" beverage to want to drink it in nonalcoholic form. Finom Coffee in Chicago's Old Irving Park is offering up a Malört latte, which includes a a Malört-based syrup that the owners made by cooking off the alcohol from a bottle of the strong stuff. "Because Chicago, that's why," someone captioned a picture of the latte on Instagram.
- Delta is removing their Coca-Cola-branded napkins that encouraged people to give their numbers to fellow passengers after it was pointed out on Twitter how creepy this comes across. The napkins included a line for a name and phone number, with small print that said "be a little old school, write down your number and give it to your plane crush. You never know…” Because nothing sets the mood for unsolicited flirting like being trapped in a metal tin at 30,000 feet in the air.
- "We Hacked the Coffee Bean," says Atomo, a forthcoming-business venture that plans to sell coffee made without coffee beans. A press release provided to foodnavigator-usa.com explains that since 68 percent of Americans add cream or sugar to coffee, that must mean the natural product is broken. "To fix coffee, he had to get rid of the bean," it says of the microbiologist who cofounded the company. But what's wrong with cream and sugar?
- IHOP is selling something they're calling the "Pancizza," which is a cross between a pizza and a pancake, also known as a really big pancake.
- And a London restaurant is giving away “bagelizza" this Saturday, which is why I now know there is a Wikipedia page dedicated to the "pizza bagel" that credits a then-17-year-old Bruce Treitman with inventing the hybrid at a California Wester Bagel in 1974.
At the parade to celebrate the Red Sox' World Series win in the fall, fans (lovingly?) chucked cans of beers at the players as they rode triumphantly by on the classic Beantown duck boats. Fearing that the city would get similarly amped up about yet another championship, Mayor Walsh requested ahead of the Patriots parade this week that people not do that. “Do not throw things. Do not throw beers, do not throw anything at those boats,” he said on Monday. And yet, it remains firmly Not News that Rob Gronkowski got hit in the head with a beer can thrown at his duck boat during the parade because, c'mon, what did Walsh (and Gronk) expect?
Cookie Monster took to Reddit yesterday (just go with it) to invite people to enter a contest to eat cookies with him on the Sesame Street set, and to answer pressing questions from his public. The results were a spot of unadulterated joy in this shitstorm of a world.
Buy This Bucket
I live in a two-person household and still think this five-pound jar of Skippy peanut butter actually makes so much sense.