Food by VICE

The Greatest Food Mysteries of 2017, Solved

We now know why so many people get into fights at Taco Bell and what to call chocolate chip cookies with no chocolate chips.

by Munchies Staff
Dec 21 2017, 12:00am

Modified photo via Flickr user sparklykate

We discovered a lot about ourselves and each other in 2017—most importantly the revelation that Tom DeLonge was right all along about the feds' secret UFO program, but, you know, some other stuff, too. He dug into the delicate nature of cookie-naming, the ethical soundness of street drugs, and the timeliness of one of the 90s' most memorable movie scenes—involving pizza, naturally. Oh, speaking of pizza, we angered some Italians by postulating that New York's pizza is a very worthy competitor. Answers, answers, we've got answers, kids. Read on to put an end to some of food's biggest unsolved mysteries of 2017.

What the hell do you call a chocolate chip cookie that has no chocolate chips?

Ever pondered this one, smart guy? Sometimes you want chocolate chip cookies, but for whatever reason, you just want that buttery, brown-sugary base without all of that damn cocoa clouding up your flavor profile. They're not a sugar cookie. They're not a chocolate-chip-free chocolate chip cookie—even the acronym of CCFCCC is too long. But writer Eve Peyser, who is fond of such cookies, settles on a name that feels fitting enough.


Is cocaine vegan?

You ask the tough questions, and MUNCHIES answers. This quandary might be a tad subjective, but it's something that vegan drug users the world over should surely marinate on. We spoke to environmental scientists, vegans, and former cocaine addicts (with some overlap in those categories) to figure out whether cruelty-conscious herbivores should feel tinges of guilt if they're thinking of railing a few lines.


Is it actually safe to eat raw chicken?

It all started with that meme about "medium-rare chicken strips." And we know what you're thinking: Uhh, obviously no, it's not safe, you idiots. And you're right—common sense and common health code dictate that the answer is "hell no." But dig a little deeper and you'll find that some people disagree—and some restaurants are serving dishes that suggest otherwise.

As to whether raw chicken tastes good (or like slimy nothingness) we're not looking to volunteer as tribute to find out.


Which has better pizza: New York or Italy?

OK, so this one's an op-ed. But our writer—who happens to be Italian—has somethin' to say about how New York's Neapolitan pizza scene is way more off the chain than the sorry, cardboardy facsimiles of tourist pizza that you'll find in many Italian cities. Yes, some Italian people got mad at us over this one—but we will always bow down to the pizza of Naples, whether it's being served in Italy or in Brooklyn.


Did the founder of sandwich chain Jimmy John's get naked and hump a dead shark?

This was a complicated one. It all started with a tweet from a British naturalist and TV host: This photo surfaced on the internet of a guy who most definitely, certainly looks like the founder of Jimmy John's, and he's ass-naked, and he's mounting what appears to be a dead shark. The World Wide Web was shook. A spokeperson for Jimmy John's denies that it's Jimmy John himself, but the resemblance is pretty striking and Mr. JJ has been known to pose with dead animals in the past. We dug deep... and while we may not have a definitive answer, we have some answers.


Why do so many fights break out in fast food restaurants?

Ever noticed that there seem to be, uh, a lot of fist fights in close proximity to drive-thrus? You're not crazy—there's actually a whole lot of reasons why a late-night stop for French fries and chicken nuggets can quickly turn into a full-on brawl. To get to the bottom of this phenomenon, we spoke to David D. Van Fleet, a professor at Arizona State University's Morrison School of Agribusiness and the author of The Violence Volcano: Reducing the Threat of Workplace Violence, and Chris McGoey a.k.a. the Crime Doctor, a security expert witness and consultant who's worked with several fast food franchises to minimize the occurrence of violence.


An exhaustive analysis of the pizza scene from Home Alone

If you've ever had any questions about that iconic moment in home alone when Kevin McCallister uses a fictional film noir to accept a cheese pizza into his parentless, vulnerable home, look no further than our deep dive. Who played the pizza kid? What's up with Angels with Filthy Souls, that insane gangster movie-within-a-movie? Isn't $11.80 for a single pizza a little expensive for 1990? All these queries, and more you never even thought you had, are answered within.


See more of MUNCHIES' Best of 2017 here.