Welcome to Delicious or Distressing, where we rate recent food memes, videos, and other decidedly unserious news. Last week we discussed a pizza shop’s offer of free pies for a year in exchange for Taylor Swift tickets.
Remarkably, musician Teyana Taylor snuck Chick-Fil-A into the Met Gala this year, opting for a spread of tenders and fries with Hawaiian sauce rather than the event’s very fancy multi-course dinner. This information is public knowledge thanks to whistleblower Pusha T, who documented the whole situation via his Instagram story and in doing so implicated Usher, who allegedly “tried to stop her.” But she can’t be stopped, she won’t be stopped, and she wasn’t stopped, not even by newly-relevant-again Usher.
Also newly relevant again is Crumbs Bake Shop, former alpha in the New York cupcake scene prior to its plummet into bankruptcy. The owners have re-purchased the shop for $300, planning to resurrect its massive cupcakes online and in grocery stores. A sugary blast from the past indeed. In neighboring New Jersey, hundreds of pounds of spaghetti eerily appeared in a forest, and it’s a mystery of both intent and execution. Finally, in South Korea, someone ate a $120K art exhibit of a banana duct-taped to a wall…for the second time. Emphasis on second.
Here’s everything else new in food internet culture this week.
I have always been suspicious of hugely trendy desserts—Crumbl cookies, I’m looking at you—but no trendy dessert has disappointed me more than a Crumbs cupcake. Crumbs shops were everywhere when I first moved to New York. Their enormous cupcakes adorned windows on nearly every block, it seemed. I thought I had moved to a dessert wonderland. Then I tried one. It was dry and tasted stale and somehow flavorless. I wasn’t surprised when the chain eventually closed for good. Now, years later, Crumbs has been brought back from the grave, news that brings back strikingly vivid sense-memories of biting into a cupcake so utterly character-less it hardly registered as a dessert. But one morsel of news did arise to comfort me as I’m tormented by memories of terrible treats: The company, once a $66 million empire, was bought back by its founders for a mere $300 dollars—that is, the price required to buy back an abandoned brand from the US Patent Office. Oh how the mighty have fallen. I’m giving this one a dry, neglected, 2.5/5 delicious. —Sam Stone, staff writer
Back in college when I still had a lust for life, I used to sneak into New York Fashion Week afterparties with a bag of McNuggets up my dress. Let me tell you, I was the most beloved person wherever I walked. Surprise fast food is the easiest way to win the hearts of drunk people who only ate salad all day. Now I eat depressed little tinned fish dinners at home and don’t respond to anyone’s texts, but this blurb isn’t about me. Actress and singer Teyana Taylor snuck Chick-Fil-A to the Met Gala this week, chomping on chicken strips and waffle fries while other guests at her table had to eat the catered pea soup. (Very nice-looking pea soup, to be fair.) I wouldn’t have chosen Chick-Fil-A, personally, and I can hear some people calling this an annoying “celebrity trying to be relatable” move, but like, I don’t think it’s that serious. The Met Gala is already a pageant of excess and nonsense. Make everyone eat fried chicken! Make next year’s theme fried chicken! Rihanna dresses as a waffle fry! 3.9/5 delicious. —Karen Yuan, culture editor
Museum-goers in Seoul were flabbergasted this week when a man plucked a $120K banana off the wall and shamelessly ate it. From the perpetrator’s own account, he was hungry, saw something edible in his eyeline, and the rest was history. Frankly, the whole thing reeks of performance art to me, for a couple reasons. Chiefly, the duct-taped banana already gets replaced periodically, every two or three days. This begs the question: What’s one eaten banana in the grand scheme of things? Also, this is notably the second time that someone’s eaten the banana—and the first time was, indeed, performance art, though more blatantly so. Overall, the stakes seem low, and I have to tip my hat to the banana-eater—I get hungry at museums too! Man’s gotta eat. 2.8/5 delicious. —Li Goldstein, digital production assistant
If somebody had told me that these images of hundreds of pounds of pasta in the woods had been generated by AI, I would have believed them. It just feels like something that a very high person would think about doing, and then maybe their slightly less high, artsy friend would throw together in a pinch. But apparently it is real! Spotted! There are eye-witness accounts, plus a local news confirmation, that a whopping “15 wheel barrel loads of illegally dumped pasta” had appeared in the residential New Jersey neighborhood! It’s not clear if the noods were cooked or not; one witness told the Philadelphia Inquirer that they were, while a town official said they were uncooked and just a little moist from sitting around for a while. Puns abounded—“Lead suspect is a guy named Al Dente”—and it’s not yet clear who committed this ziti-themed crime. It’s atrocious and it’s rude and it’s a slap in the face to the town, whose water source could have been impacted by this contamination had it not been cleaned up so quickly. Also, it is hilarious. And I hope that some sort of Lynchian musical inspired by this event will one day come into fruition. 3.7/5 distressing. —Serena Dai, editorial director