Umami Mart Registry

- Glico has teamed up with Suntory to bring the world a new limited edition flavor: Whisky Pocky! Part of its adult collection, Otona No Kohaku Pocky (Adult Amber) are salted pretzel sticks flavored with wort (malt extract) that are covered with rich, bitter chocolate. Glico explains that these Pocky are meant to be enjoyed with a glass of whisky, and has suggested pairings. The packaging will also be special, coming in a classy cylindrical box, as if holding a fine single malt. Glico is only releasing 300,000 boxes of Otona No Kohaku, starting on October 25! (Dramafever/Mashable; via Sandeep)

- Wasabi is notoriously difficult to grow, which is why 90% of the "wasabi" you're eating is green-tinted horseradish. It takes one year and three months to grow wasabi plants. It's hand cultivated, and the growing conditions and the water used have to be just so for a successful harvest. All these factors mean it's very, very expensive – starting at $80 a pound. Find out more about the plant with a spicy kick in this video that focuses on Daio Wasabi Farm, which has been growing wasabi for the past 100 years. (Great Big Story; via Gregory Han, photo by Kayoko Akabori)

- Japanese Sake is finally getting the respect it deserves. Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that like Champagne, Burgundy wine, and Parmigiano Reggiano, anything labeled Japanese Sake must be produced in Japan. Now, if only they'd create regulations against sake bombs. (Bloomberg)

- Have you ever thought about how weird Ronald McDonald is? He's a tall skinny clown in a yellow jumpsuit who hangs out with a ragtag group – a burglar; a gigantic walking, talking purple poop; a bird pilot... WTF? But this clown used to be even more bizarre back when he was created in the '60s and portrayed by Willard Scott. "Ronald wore a tray with a hamburger, fries and a milkshake on his head, a branded paper cup on his nose and a tray on his belt that constantly refilled with hamburgers." There's a strange history behind the creepy pale guy in the big red shoes. (Mic)

- This week the owner of South Philly Barbacoa, Cristina Martinez posted a damning essay accusing Mission Taqueria, of barging into her kitchen to copy her barbacoa recipe and food prep techniques. South Philly Barbacoa was voted #6 Best New Restaurant in America by Bon Appetit this year, and is well known for their amazing slow-cooked lamb tacos prepared by Martinez, who learned the recipe from her parents in her hometown, Capulhuac, Mexico (the birthplace of barbacoa!). The owners of Mission Taqueria tell a different tale, natch, but the whole thing is all a bit cringey and fueling the continuing conversation of cultural appropriation in the food world. (Huffington Post/Eater Philadelphia; via Nat Savage)

- Speaking of cultural insensitivity relating to tacos... the mind-numbingly idiotic comment by Latinos for Trump founder Marco Gutierrez that we’ll soon have “taco trucks on every corner should nothing be done about illegal immigrants from Mexico has led to a new taco truck hybrid in Texas and Arizona: Taco trucks that register citizens to vote! (Remezcla)

- Rest(aurant) in peace: We've all been to restaurants where we've had to shout in order to be heard by our tablemates and servers. And apparently restaurants are louder than they've ever been, thanks to popularity, overly loud background music, and love for minimalist decor (no noise dampering furniture and carpeting). According to The Guardian, some restaurants have decibel levels of 110 (normal speaking voices are 50 to 60 decibels, a plane taking is about 180 decibels). Is it something we diners will just have to get used to, or is there a solution to all that excessive noise? (The Guardian)

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