Scary food stories

A ghost of fast food past returns, a Freaky Friday wine mixup, and an Oreo fallout shelter!

This week has been delightfully busy. After writing 3,500 words, conducting two interviews, and filming three videos for a new digital series this week, I am a little too tired to come up with a witty, Halloween-themed intro to this newsletter.

So I’m going to share with you some of the silliest, kinda spooky food stories I happened to stumble upon this week.


Something Saucy This Way Comes

McDonald’s via AP

The McRib is back from the dead! After a successful test run in 10,000 stores last year, the infamous sandwich will reemerge from the grave December 2nd, but only for a limited time. I don’t know what’s scarier — the mystery meat pressed into a pseudo-rib shaped patty, or the hoards of people who have been begging for the return of a pseudo-rib shaped patty. The thing is, I tried this sandwich in the early 2000’s. I still remember it, and not in a good way. The stale bread gave way in a crumbly mess to a McRib that only tasted of the chemically sweet bbq it was slathered in, and had the texture of squishy foam.

I attribute the fame of the McRib to its elusiveness. America only wants what it can’t have. The McRib only got hype after 2005 when the sandwich was removed from the menu. Its limited returns only spark our fear of scarcity — better go eat this foam sandwich before its gone again. Who knows when it’ll be back?! It’s been gone since 2012, what if it’s another 8 years before we are graced by the glorious presence of the McRib? People - it’s not Hailey’s Comet. It’s a subpar sandwich.

Anyway, catch the story here on the Associate Press.

The mystery of the $2,000 bottle of wine

This story has some real fairytale vibes. A young couple went to dinner at New York City’s esteemed Balthazar restaurant and purchased a bottle of the cheapest wine — an $18 bottle of Pino Noir. A few tables over, a group of Wall Street businessmen ordered the restaurant’s most expensive bottle of wine — a $2,000 bottle of Bordeaux First Growth. Because both wines were poured into decanters there was a Freaky Friday switcheroo where the young couple was accidentally given the $2,000 bottle of Bordeaux and the table of wealthy businessmen ended up getting Balthazar’s cheapest bottle.

NO ONE spotted the error. Apparently, the young couple jokingly acted as if they were drinking very expensive wine. Meanwhile, the businessmen “praised the purity” of the cheap bottle of Pino Noir.

I have a lot of mixed feelings about this story — none of which are feeling bad for the Wall Street wolves who ordered an excessively expensive bottle of wine and had no clue they were drinking $18 Pino Noir.

Anyway, don’t judge a wine by its label. You can read the full story on Decanter.

Apocalypse Oreos


Asteroid 2018 VP1 will skirt by Earth on November 2. There’s only a 0.41% chance of it hitting, but naturally, when an asteroid is hurdling toward the planet, mankind’s top priority is to protect the Oreos.

They actually did construct on cement fallout shelter specifically to house Oreos. And funny enough, it’s not too far from the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, which preserves seeds from around the globe in the event of a disaster.

The line between real effort to protect Oreos in the event of global fallout and PR stunt is real thin on this one. You can read the full story on CNET.

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Kae Lani Palmisano is the Emmy nominated host of WHYY's Check, Please! Philly, a television show that explores dining throughout the Philadelphia region. She is a Maker with KitchenAid as well as a food and travel writer who enjoys exploring the history and culture of cuisine.