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.
- Women in Japan are growing understandably resentful of a Valentine's Day tradition known as giri choco, or "obligation chocolates," whereby women in the workplace are supposed to give their male colleagues chocolate gifts. The practice is so self-evidently contrary to modern office dynamics and shifting gender expectations that last year even Godiva encouraged women to buck the outdated expectation in a Valentine's Day ad. Now, offices are increasingly banning the practice to alleviate what 40 percent of people, men and women alike, felt was a "a form of power harassment," according to a recent study written up in Japan Today.
- Eater delved into the increasing ubiquity of the tiny "roni cup"-style of pepperoni on pizza in New York and declared the reason behind the trend to be "not just because of Instagram" (emphasis mine). I still wouldn't recommend clicking through or following any of your favorite pizzerias on the app if you have trypophobia.
- Every day here at MUNCHIES, we encounter at least one story of someone attacking a restaurant employee or establishment because of factors that are far beyond the control of whomever happened to working there that day. This time, it's a woman who took a baseball bat to the glass storefront of Back Home Restaurant in the Bronx after it ran out of burger patties. And the takeaway is the same as always: Service workers are underpaid and often dangerously disrespected.
- I'm not sure what possessed Dave Pasch to nonchalantly suggest that Bill Walton take a bite out of his candle-laden cupcake while it was still lit (perhaps he was scrambling for anything to say to disrupt Bill's odd mangling of the Happy Birthday song), but the result is delightfully deranged. There's so much pathos that sweeps across Bill's face in the half-second hesitation before he attacks the flame face-first.
Calling all Yinzers: If you propose at any Primanti Bros. locations this Valentine's Day, the sandwich shop will foot the bill for a wedding ceremony and reception held at their original Pittsburgh location this summer (caveat being that you have to share the space with anyone else who also popped the question over corned beef). This honestly sounds like a pretty amazing deal, assuming your guests like French fries on their sandwiches.
South Korean makeup brand Etude House just released a pair of makeup palettes that look like KitKat candy bars, which is charmingly unnecessary.
Buy This Big-Ass Cheese
Personally, if I had $900 to spend on my cheese obsession, I would check ticket prices to Italy before I hit up the closest Costco. But then I wouldn't have 72 pounds of Parmigiano Reggiano.