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- Fast food chains will release one-off products in other countries that we'll never see on menus in the States. The Shrimp Fireo at McDonald's in Japan, the Bulgogi Whopper at Burger King in Korea, the Dry Pork and Seaweed Donut at Dunkin' Donuts in China, the Shoarma Pizza at Pizza Hut in the Netherlands – we will never taste these bizarro offerings unless we fly across the world and dare step foot into an American fast food joint abroad. And I think we're probably better off for it. This belief was strengthened when I came upon the newest offering from Taco Bell Philippines. The new Cheetos Quesadilla stuffs the bright orange cheese-flavored puffs into a standard three-cheese Taco Bell quesadilla. My brother puts it best: "This is the Donald Trump of foods... a promise of something you think you want, delivered in orange, but undoubtedly resulting in diarrhea and regret." (Thrillist)

- Speaking of unorthodox Mexi-combos, have you seen the Phorrito? Yes, it's exactly what it sounds like – pho fixin's, including rice noodles, slices of ribeye beef poached in pho broth, sauteed onions, sriracha, hoisin sauce, basil leaves, and jalapeño all wrapped up in a flour tortilla. LA's Komodo is the brainchild of the Phorrito, which it only makes available seasonally, from October 1 to December 31. And apparently it's good. Vice writer Javier Cabral writes, "Should a pho burrito even exist? Probably not. But when it tastes this good and is executed this well with so much love, who the hell cares." (Vice Munchies; via Nat Savage)

-  You might not know the name Michael James Delligatti, but you surely know of his most famous invention: the Big Mac. The man who brought the world "two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame-seed bun" died on Monday, November 28, at the age of 98. The McDonald’s franchise owner first created the Big Mac in 1967, when it appeared on menus for 45 cents! (New York Times)



- If you like ikura (salmon roe), you'll enjoy this short clip of waiters at Umi Hachikyo. This Sapporo-based restaurant specializes in tsukko meshi and according to the restaurant's website, is the originator of the kobore-mori serving style, in which "salmon roe is poured over rice until the roe almost overflows the bowl."  (Distractify/Insider; via Roy Woo)

- Umami Mart friend and farmer Kristyn Leach recently got some much-deserved press. Kristyn is the owner of Namu Farm, a small acre-and-a-half piece of land in Sunol, where she grows Asian vegetables using Korean natural farming practices – that is, entirely by hand. The farm is a partnership with Namu Gaji restaurant in San Francisco, and has close ties to Kitazawa Seed Company. The recent PRI story focuses on Kristyn's background as a Korean adoptee who found her heritage through farming. (PRI)



- Watch this soothing vintage video of these masterful chocolate makers at work. (Vintage et Industrial)

- Have you heard of the bad-ass lesbian motorcycle gang that delivers breast milk to babies? Well, now you have. (New York Post)

- It's apple season, a.k.a. time to make pies and cider! Back when I was a kid in California, you had a choice between three apples: Red Delicious, Granny Smith, and Golden Delicious. These days, you can find a whole slew of apple varieties, which is great, but it can get confusing about which type is best for slicing and eating raw, baking into desserts, or poaching in savory dishes. America's Test Kitchen wrote a piece for Science Friday that breaks down how to choose the best apples for cooking. Give it a read before you make your next pie. (Science Friday)


- And finally, I leave you with this video. Here, you'll see what happens when a can of Chef Boyardee Ravioli meets an angry flow of lava. If that wasn't fun enough on its own, Facebook user Jimmy, from Long ISland dubbed over the video with narration by Wernor Herzog, from his recent volcano movie, Into the Inferno.




The Umami Reader: Mining the internet for stuff about food worth reading and watching