“Guys, we need to be better. We need to do better. We should have jumped on these limey bastards the moment this garbage was published! I know it was around the Fourth of the July, and I know we spent the next three months blackout drunk, NO EXCUSES!”
~AFFotD Editor-in-Chief, Johnny Roosevelt
Listen here, faithful readers. When we started this website, we had one very important goal—find a way to get free alcohol sent us to while breaking a few financial laws by listing ourselves as a tax-exempt non-profit. But once you make a name for yourself, and it’s all, “Oh, Johnny Roosevelt, start a newsletter” this and “you know the internet is a thing now, people need to hear from you” that, and we have to deal with mission statements and being sober enough to press a button that says “Publish.” It’s all very hard work, and we blame our Editor-in-Chief—we wouldn’t even exist today if he hadn’t stuck his nose where it didn’t belong.
Um, if anyone asks, we were, uh…doing some undercover investigations. Yeah. That’s it.
We mention this because, lately, we’ve been focusing a lot on “this alcohol is crazy” or “woahhh easy there, M&M flavors!” but we’ve been ignoring one of our founding principles. Making fun of foreigners. And in these increasingly divisive times, shouldn’t we be focusing less on what makes all of us different, and focusing more on making fun of what makes people in like, goddamn Europe different? Have you ever seen lederhosen? Ridiculous!
And while we were examining our past with an eye fixed firmly on the future (read as—a night where you sorta end up in one of those melancholy drunk moods) we stumbled across this little article from the British tabloid/reason-for-hundreds-of-lies-your-facebook-feed-has-told-you, Metro. The article in question?
Oh you cheeky buggers. Wait, no, that’s the quaint British way of saying what we really think. Let’s Americanize up our reaction to this article just a tad.
You motherfucking sons of cockrashes.
There we go. That’s much better. Anyway, it’s been a while, so time to take apart this argument, one by one. Because, Jesus, if we wanted to take food advice from the Brits, we don’t have a way to finish that analogy because no one in the history of cuisine, since the dawn of man where we as a species realized that cooking food makes it less likely to carry disease, has anyone ever wanted to take food advice from the Brits.
Well, sure, okay, but yelling doesn’t count as advice.
Anyway, let’s take this article to pieces.
Wherein AFFotD Scoffs at the Attempts of British Tabloids to Critique America’s Culinary Practices
We could write an article making fun of British food (oh, good idea) but what you’re looking at right there is Stargazey Pie. Now, really, your initial reaction to this should be, “AGHH OH GOD KILL IT KILL IT WITH FIRE OH GOD LOOK AT THE HOLE WHERE ITS EYE USED TO BE OH GOD IT’S STEALING MY SOULLLL.” But, if you’ve somehow managed to reach a point in your life where you can see a pastry with dead fish heads popping out, howling their last fishy words at a frequency that only the truly damned can hear, and respond with just a shrug, well you’re probably a serial killer, but you’d also probably say, “Oh God, I hope they don’t call it Stargazey Pie because it’s sorta like the fish heads are gazing at the stars” in which case you’re doubly wrong because that’s exactly why they named it this stupid thing.
We mention this not to shock you (well, partially to shock you) but to point out that this is the food that the Brits are eating when they try to judge our offerings. Never forget that. Not for a second.
Now to the list.
Reading this description of Pop Tarts is like reading a eunuch try to describe sex. They’re vaguely aware of all the steps involved (in the eunuch’s case, “The man’s thing goes into the ladies, you know” and in this author’s case, “Pop Tarts go in the toaster, and then in your mouth”) but without any personal experience to draw on, thus leaving you making awkward generalizations that the rest of the population would see through (eunuch: “Then you just, like, pee in her”, Hazel Paterson of metro.co.uk: “Then they just, you know, crack them open and pour the steaming innards onto their tongue, thus burning them.”)
Pop Tarts are, by definition, magically delicious*. They literally let you choose your favorite flavor of jam or jelly, put in a pastry that’s so easy to cook it’s essentially divorce proof, and then coated in a sugar “frosting” that was probably made out of crack and memories of babies learning how to high five. It’s the best thing. If you think differently, there’s something wrong with you. There’s something wrong with you.
And also, cooking a Pop Tart is the easiest fucking thing (see again—divorce proof). When you cook a Pop Tart, if you pick it up and go, “ah, oh, that’s hot” you might want to wait like, one goddamn minute for it to cool down enough to pick up with your hands, at which point the insides have gone from “apparently fucking lava, if Hazel Paterson is to be believed” to “tasty and jam-like.” England, riddle us this—how did you guys control a large percentage of the world at some point when your children haven’t yet mastered the simple art of “not putting in a thing that burns your fingers into your damn mouth right away”? Fuck right off.
*We don’t know much about magic, also we might have just accidentally stolen the Lucky Charms slogan. Sorry.
The person who complains about putting ice cream in soda making it “even more unhealthy” is the same person who complains about Halloween being “a holiday that promotes tooth decay.” Don’t be that parent. No one likes that parent. That parent is the fucking worst. Disparaging the Root Beer Float (or black cow, or brown cow, or whatever) or the Coke Float is not reprehensible or insulting, it’s just dumb. It’s the kind of thing a dumb person would have a problem with. “Oh man, you put ice cream in my soda, now it’s going to be harder to drink the soda!” is a statement that turns a blind eye to the Reese’s Scientific Principle of Gastronomical Interaction because, guess what, root beer tastes so much better with a hunk of vanilla ice cream in it!
And this is a point that cannot be overstated—vanilla ice cream would have no worthwhile reason to exist if not for Floats. Vanilla ice cream on its own is so depressing that if you saw someone knock a scoop of it off of a small child’s cone, you wouldn’t even feel bad! You’d just say, “Hey kid, listen, don’t cry, because you dodged yourself a fucking boring-ass bullet. Let me buy you some Rocky Road so you can start eating ice cream like a goddamn American.” If you’re at a party, and you peek into the host’s freezer and see they only have plain, vanilla ice cream, you need to get the fuck out of there, because if you stay one moment longer you’ll end up tied to a chair in the basement forced to have in depth conversations about Normal Rockwell paintings. Vanilla ice cream is “eh, okay” which is not what you’re looking for when eating fucking ice cream! You eat ice cream to make some joke about “having to go to the gym after this” which everyone including yourself knows you will not do, at which point you can contently slide in the corner and have a mild diabetic seizure. That’s why we eat ice cream. Ice cream is not meant to be fucking subtle.
But when vanilla ice cream is plopped in a Root Beer or, if you’re scared of doing things the best way, Coke, it explodes into a new entity entirely! It dances with the sugary flavors of the beverage, taking its best flavor profiles and adding a delightful kiss of vanilla that goes stronger with each sip, as more and more ice cream melts and melds. Meanwhile, the frothy carbonation of the drink is no longer annoying foam that the more impatient of us like to put nose grease on to get rid of, but instead is a frothy, ice cream treat! And when you finally get to the bottom of your drink, you’re left with vanilla ice cream the way it’s meant to be…saturated with a better flavor.
So yeah, if you think Root Beer Floats suck, you suck. And if you’re the kind of person to say, “Don’t be lazy, use a bowl and glass like everyone else” you clearly have never interacted with society, because who in the everloving fuck ever sits down to eat a bowl of ice cream while drinking a separate glass of soda? The two are magnetically drawn to each other—if you have a glass of Root Beer in one hand, and a bowl of vanilla ice cream in the other, and you aren’t immediately overwhelmed with the urge to combine the two, you’re a monster incapable of human feelings. Hint, Hazel Paterson. Hint.
Really, England? You guys make the best Cheese in the world? We should just take your word for that? Because, you know, the World Cheese Championship was held in March this year, and guess how many of the top 16 finalists were from England? Fucking zero. How many were from America? Eight. And we can even then cede that the winning cheese was German, which, and we’re just guessing here because this is America and fuck geography, is located in a section of Europe known as “not goddamn limey-ass England.” So you’ll excuse us if we take issue with your primary point here being, “Easy Cheese is bad, and we should know, we’re the best at cheese.” You’re not, England. Step off.
We don’t feel particularly impassioned to defend the genre of Spray Cheese other than to say, it’s cheap, it’s easy, it tastes better than you’d expect. Turning your nose up at Spray Cheese is a thing you can do without raising too many eyebrows, but really, the argument of “oh God, it’s cheese that comes in a can” is just a more pretentious version of the argument kids make when refusing to eat sushi. “Oh God, it’s raw fish! My mom makes the best fish in the world, so I can say with some authority that any raw fish placed on rice is an abomination, a crime against fish, and should remain firmly in the pond or lake it was caught from where it belongs.” Do you see what we did there, Hazel Paterson? That’s you. That’s how you sound. You sound dumb.
Hazel Paterson spends more time in this article bemoaning the addition of “unnecessary calories” than an Autistic savant on Weightwatchers. “First came the cronut,” she whines, clearly unaware that she’s captioning a picture of a Luther burger, which has been around since 2006 and is delicious if, admittedly, a little over-the-top…wait, what are we saying? This is America Fun Fact of the Day, it’s not over the top, you’re over the top, shut up, we don’t care if that didn’t make sense, you don’t make sense!
But listing the cronut (which garnered eye rolls from everyone in America who didn’t want to wait in line for 3 hours to pretend to be culturally relevant and was only “invented” last fucking year) as the “prime” example of “American Hybrid food” is like saying that a Mounds Bar was a trailblazing product that lead the way for candy bars to become popular. It takes a single outlying example of a culinary trend, follow up with similar examples, and uses that to back up a flimsy goddamn straw man theory. Or as you Brits would call it, an Aunt Sally, God, you people suck. For those keeping track, she says that the cronut (which is just a doughnut made with croissant dough. It’s alright) invaded England, leading to the duffin (not an American product), the hot dog pizza (links to an article about a hot dog crust pizza, another non-American dish, in Iceland, a country with a population of 300,000), and finally the doughnut burger to prove the point that Americans are just out to destroy the sanctity of the hamburger bun.
Listen, it sounds like your main issue is that we have state fairs that replace hamburger buns with doughnuts, and that your country thought that sounded fucking delicious (because it’s fucking delicious), and you’re mad that you’re the lone, unimaginative voice left in your nearly-Scotland-less foggy island of a country whose shouting to the heavens, “But weren’t brioche buns inventive enough!?” And yes, you are the lone, unimaginative voice left shouting that, since another one of your Metro writers listed the Luther Burger as one of the “8 totally amazing American imports we couldn’t live without.”
And by the way. That pizza burger you mentioned? That looks delicious to us. We think unhealthy foods might terrify you, in which case we’d advise you not to read this list, lest your head explode.
As soon as we read the opening line of “I’m no fan of hot dogs” we felt bile rising up in our throats. It’s a sort of dormant vestigial response that leads us to believe that we, as Americans, generations ago, had the ability to form venom and spit it in the eyes of people who say terrible things like “I’m no fan of hot dogs” and it’s times like these that we wish that evolution hadn’t taken that particular mechanism away. Now, we had some harsh things to say about corn dogs in our Hot Dog ranking article series, but that came from a place of knowledge and trust. It was saying, “A hot dog is a wonderful canvas, and you just drew some stick figures on it and decided to call it a day,” which is to say that a corn dog is still better than most foods, just not on the same plane of existence as, say, the Chicago-style hot dog.
Ms. Paterson, it seems like your issue with the corn dog being brought over from America is that we brought over the hot dog from America, which means that your real issue isn’t with the corn dog, it’s with the joyless existence you must lead when every day you wake up, take a sensible three-and-a-half minute cold shower (to conserve water and gas!) make yourself a breakfast of a single piece of whole grain toast covered in just a thin spread of you whispering “calories are bad, butter is worse” over it and taking a sip of your favorite morning beverage “coffee, without the beans!” which is just warm water, you fucking nit.
Then, you hop on the underground (no point in driving, now, innit) and sit at your desk, which is surrounded by low maintenance droopy houseplants, while you spend the day crafting a finely tuned article entitled, “Having fun: why it’s the worst” before sitting down to the lunch you packed at home (“the best salad ingredient is lettuce, why would I need anything else?”) while shouting at your coworker who came in with a Diet Coke that, “You know, that’s acidic, it’ll burn through your enamel!” Finally, you’ll go home to your apartment, sit down and read a book (“It’s like a program on the telly, but for your mind!”) and then go to sleep dreaming about how plain-flavored yogurt tastes. That is what your dislike of hot dogs is telling us, Hazel Paterson. Jesus fucking Christ.
Jesus fucking Christ.
Okay so at this point in the article, we’ve spent a few thousand words, you know, personally and viciously attacking both the writer of this article and country of its origin, but this entry is one we’re not going to argue too much. Granted, the description is trying way too hard to make a pickleback sound as disgusting as possible (they took “you take a shot of whiskey, you chase it with a shot of pickle juice” and turned it into some nefarious attempt to replace your white blood cells with pure vinegar) but we can’t fault the core concept. Picklebacks are alright, but if you’re taking them with good whiskey, you’re wasting that whiskey.
But it’s fine. But if we met someone who hated picklebacks in the street, we’d say, “Eh, I can see your point.”
However, note that the one time we don’t take issue with an entry in this article is when they’re talking about a drink that most people in England haven’t tried yet. Hell, most Americans haven’t tried it. It’s not exactly a cultural staple of ours. Just a sort of weird thing that some bars in New York like to do which, if you’re Hazel Paterson, is where you assume all American culture must come from obviously you hack of a… dammit, no, we said this one we’d be nice. Well, nice-ish. Onto the next one.
Every American (and probably people from any other country, probably humanity as a whole, but we don’t give a shit about you lot, Americans are talking) has two distinct mindsets in their head. They have the ability, nay, the wisdom to look at an issue, sit back, and look at it logically. We can read something like that and say, “While I guess at this point she’s trying to be inflammatory, which admittedly is what we’re doing on this very page, she does bring forward some good points. Hershey’s is fine. It’s cheap, and easy to find, and tastes chocolately enough, but you’re right, it isn’t quite as good as pure chocolate. Hell, England’s responsible for Cadbury’s, which is definitely a better chocolate! We can’t really fight you on this.”
But then, that primal part of our brain, the one that tells us, “No, that guy was looking at you funny” when you’re ten bourbons deep, and guess what? We’re always ten bourbons deep.
So fuck you, you limey assholes! Try to say that garbage in Pennsylvania, see how the fine folks there treat ya!
But in all seriousness, if you have an active, personal, and strong dislike for Hershey’s (which again, at it’s very worst, is still pretty good!) you probably failed to realize how Hershey’s is pretty much the only chocolate that really completes a s’more. Or, what, you’re gonna tell us you hate marshmallows too now?
Oh, neat, you’re a fucking idiot, we could have just summed up this article by calling it, “Wherein AFFotD Asserts Hazel Paterson, of Metro.co.uk, is an idiot, as evidenced by her writing” and been done with it!
“Oh, AFFotD, why are you being so harsh? What’s the big deal? Do you really like Marshmallow Fluff that much?”
Hell no, but we take issue with some hack writer describing one of our damn foods in a way that’s clear that she didn’t even bother to Wikipedia the fucking thing! God fucking damn it, Hazel! So for starters, ha, very fun caption, “Heart attack sandwich, anyone,” too bad that doesn’t work for fucking sugar. Make a diabetes joke, like an adult, and get back to us when you’ve figured out the difference between sugar and cholesterol.
Oh, and also, who in the actual fuck did you talk to that says they eat Marshmallow Fluff for breakfast? Who does this? We get it, you Brits are used to eating bland and broiled this and that and we’ve been trying so hard not to make this article just a bullet point of British dentistry jokes, but if you guys think that Fluff is something that’s an appropriate breakfast food, you clearly have Americans confused with “your one 8-year-old cousin who was a little slow developing the ability to talk, so he spent a lot of his formative years getting frustrated and biting children” because, sure, Jimmy the Biter might consider asking his parents if he can have a Fluffernutter for breakfast, but otherwise, most people pretty much know to save it as a lunch and snack kind of deal!
After establishing that she knows nothing about the product she is deriding, she then dryly states, “try it with peanut butter for a Fluffernutter sandwich” which is a sentence that you can only say two ways—excitedly, or sarcastically because you’ve never even fucking tried the beauty that is a Fluffernutter because you have lived a sensory-depraved almost hermit like existence where you have dedicated yourself to ignoring all that is wonderful in the world and trying, like some sort of twisted fucking Pied Piper of food lies, to lure the children into your frothy sea of loathing and broiled cabbage. Goddamn you, Hazel Paterson, and goddamn you England for encouraging these lies.
Now, if you’ll excuse us, we’re about to eat everything on this list, just to spite the lot of you. Don’t mess with America’s food, we’ll mess right back.