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#foodbeast Brand Cravings Culture FOODBEAST Hit-Or-Miss Now Trending Recipes SPONSORED Sweets Test Kitchen Toasty Video What's New

Get Baked With This Delicious Recipe For Cannabis-Infused Brownie A La Mode

While it’s impossible to figure out who originally came up with the genius invention of the “pot brownie,” it’s safe to say that the concept will live on for eternity. Even to this day, folks everywhere are still trying to perfect and recreate their own versions of the legendary recipe.

Now, thanks to the newly founded legalization of recreational use of MJ in states like Washington, Colorado, and most recently, California, the aspects of cooking with cannabis are becoming more widely accepted. And, with more acceptance, comes improved technique, efficiency, and more deliciousness.

Since 4/20, aka the biggest celebration of cannabis all year, is almost upon us, we picked up your fave low-cal, high protein ice cream, Halo Top, to make the day — and the pot brownie — even more delicious. See our recipe for “Pot Brownie a la Mode” below.

Remember, everyone’s cannabis tolerance varies. FOODBEAST recommends consuming medicated edibles with oversight and caution. You can always eat more — not less!

Pot Brownie A La Mode Checklist

You will need:

– crockpot

– baking sheet

– oven

– cheesecloth

– cannabis grinder

– baking pan

– About 16 hours of cooking time

Ingredients

7-14 grams of cannabis

½ pound clarified butter

½ cup Cocoa powder

½ cup flour

3 ½ cups sugar

8 whole eggs

For the pot brownie al a mode recipe you’ll need 7 – 14 grams of cannabis and a ½ pound of clarified butter, to make cannabutter. Grind up the cannabis — preferably on a baking sheet — then bake for 30 minutes at 240 degrees.

After your cannabis is done baking, transfer it into your crockpot. Next, take the ½ pound of clarified butter and mix into cannabis and mix thoroughly. Let mixture cook on low for 6-8 hours.

After your cannabutter is done cooking for 6-8 hours, strain the mixture using cheese cloth. Just be sure that there is no plant material left. Let chill overnight.

Next, it’s time to make our brownies. Combine one ½ cup cocoa powder, a ½ cup flour, 3 ½ cups sugar, and 8 whole eggs into a large mixing bowl and stir. This mixture should yield a thick chocolatey paste.

Add in the ½ pound of cannabutter and one ½ cup of melted butter. It’s also a good idea to coat your pan with a nice layer of cannabutter so the brownies do not stick. It’s best to use a 9” x 13” or 11” x 15” pan.

If you only have a small pan, try not filling it to the top — the brownies will come out undercooked. You can use a toothpick to check if brownies are done. If brownies stick to the toothpick, cook them longer.

Set oven to 300 degrees and bake for 40 minutes. After cooling, cut and serve with a scoop (or more) of Halo Top ice cream (we used Vanilla Bean!).

Created in partnership with Halo Top Creamery

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#foodbeast Brand Cravings Culture Fast Food FOODBEAST Hit-Or-Miss News Now Trending Restaurants SPONSORED Video What's New

Watch This Restaurant Turn Fried Chicken & Waffles Into A Cubano Sandwich


It’s easy to see why the Cubano sandwich trend has began to proliferate, branching out from its roots on the East Coast. If you think about it, the Cubano is probably one of the simplest sandwiches ever made, yet its simplicity is sparking culinary intrigue across the country —  and everyone is beginning to notice something special about the Cubano.

Having originated in Florida, the Cubano is traditionally made with roasted pork, ham, pickles, Swiss cheese, yellow mustard and lightly toasted on a panini grill. Its adaptations can certainly vary when it comes to specific ingredients, but all share the same no-frills approach to making an unforgettable and deliciously savory, melt-in-your-mouth creation.

This April, Bruxie, the fried chicken and waffle sandwich chain, will also be sharing their own Cubano concept.

Photos by Pete Pham

Behold: the Bruxie Fried Chicken & Waffle Cubano Sandwich.

Made with shaved ham, Bruxie’s house-made honey-mustard, thinly sliced pickles, and of course their crispy, golden brown fried chicken, all served between two savory waffle buns, this is something that might actually be better than Spring Break.

If you’re looking to experience the traditional taste of the Cubano with a twist from Bruxie Gourmet Waffle Sandwiches, you’d better hurry. Like Spring Break, Bruxie’s Cubano Sandwich won’t be here forever (even though we all wish it would).

The Bruxie Cubano sandwich will be available from April 5 – 25.

Created in partnership with Bruxie

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Fast Food

Woman Attacked by Angry Taco Bell Customer who Blames Her for Missing Breakfast Cutoff

Taco-Bell-Breakfast-Assault

Every fast-food employee knows that the last 20 minutes before the breakfast menu ends are the most chaotic. Customers will storm the the restaurant and drive-thrus demanding they get their morning fix, regardless of the breakfast timer running out. One instance ended in the horrific attack of a Taco Bell customer.

According to KGUN-TV, a woman was ordering her breakfast at the Taco Bell drive-thru when she was assaulted by an angry Taco Bell customer. Detectives believe that the cause of the attack was the vehicle behind had just missed the cutoff for the breakfast menu and decided to take their rage and frustration out on the woman in front of him. This was obviously the best course of action rather than blame themselves for the hours they’ve had beforehand to order breakfast.

The woman reportedly pulled out of the Taco Bell when she noticed that the SUV that was behind her in line was now following her. Upon pulling over to call the police, she could hear the passengers of the vehicle (a man and woman) yelling expletives towards her.

A man then exited the car and proceeded to smash her car windows. Afterwards the man picked up a rock and struck the woman repeatedly in the face. The woman received a broken nose and teeth as a result of the attack, which unfortunately occurred only a few weeks before her wedding.

Despite this vicious assault, she says she will continue to go through with her big day.

H/T Consumerist

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Hit-Or-Miss

Cult Soda Surge Made Available on Amazon, Sells out Immediately

Surge-Cover

Arguably the most popular soda of our childhoods has made a swift return. Yessir, if Coca-Cola ever had a child with Mountain Dew, it was Surge. While the citrus-flavored soda didn’t sell as well as most of the other carbonated beverages stocked on shelves at the time, its absence has definitely made many hearts grow fonder.

Dark times fell upon the soda world in 2003 when the soft drink was discontinued only seven years after it made its public debut. The Surge Movement, which was created to bring back Surge years ago, has more than 130K fans of the cult beverage. Coca-Cola has noticed this and made strides to quietly bring back the niche product. Upon being released on Amazon, the cult soda was sold out almost immediately. Another batch was posted and then also quickly sold out.

Surge’s brief, but messianic return can be considered a sign that the soda will be here to stay. According to Coca-Cola, this comeback will be a test to see if it’s worth restocking store shelves with the product. Yes, Coca-Cola. It most definitely is.

Never have we seen a product get such a near perfect review on Amazon. That’s the love of Surge for you.

H/T Huffpost Taste

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Food Policy Opinion

How Donald Trump’s Presidency Has Affected Our Food

Photos: Sonder Quest on Unsplash and the White House Archives

After a tumultuous and chaotic four years, Donald Trump’s presidential run is coming to an end as Joe Biden assumes the presidency.

Four years of policymaking by the executive branch in that timeline has altered the food landscape in numerous ways. As we take a look back at Trump’s term and what he did to the world of food, we also can see the challenges Biden will have to overcome in that industry and field as he steps into the Oval Office. 

Overall, the numbers paint a more bleak picture for how food is made, its cost, and access to nutrition compared to four years ago. Below are some of the ways the food world has changed with Trump at the country’s helm.

The cost of food increased over the last four years, leading to rises in food insecurity

Photo: Motion Array

One of the key economic measures folks can look at for the cost of food comes from the Consumer Price Index. That chart shows that the cost of food went up 4% in the last year, and had additional increases ranging from 1.6-1.8% in each year of Trump’s presidency. This is compared to small increases of less than 1 percent, or even decreases, in the cost of food in the years prior.

As the cost of food has climbed, so has food insecurity, or the ability to access food by the general population. Prior to the 2020 pandemic, food insecurity had been dropping, and was at 15.7%. Conditions exacerbated by the lengthening of the pandemic, however, cause food insecurity to double overall, and triple amongst families with children. 

As Joe Biden takes office, bringing the cost of food down to help make it affordable, while improving economic livelihoods to decrease food insecurity, will need to be a priority as we emerge from the pandemic in the months to come. 

The power of Food Stamps and SNAP has significantly decreased, the program was almost gutted

Photo: Jeff Bukowski // Shutterstock

Food stamps were a program targeted for cuts early on in the Trump Administration, and in 2019, they finally got their wish. Regulations were enacted that restricted the number of people eligible for food stamps, with up to 3.7 million potentially being impacted by the new rules. 

While one could argue that an improving economy prior to the pandemic was dropping the number of those enrolled, numbers skyrocketed once COVID-19 hit. 38 million people were on food stamps in 2019, and that number jumped to 43 million in early 2020. 

The recent stimulus package passed by Congress did loosen eligibility requirements for food stamps, and benefits were also expanded. In a challenging economy caused by COVID-19, we can expect numbers to go up, but hopefully, as jobs come back, numbers of those who need food assistance will decrease naturally.

Food became more unsafe, less inspected, had more outbreaks and more at risk to more contamination

Photo: Aleksander Malivuk // Shutterstock

The FDA under the Trump Administration cut back warning letters sent to facilities by a third, meaning that enforcement and regulatory warnings to help prevent contamination were limited at a similar rate. 

The pandemic also led to the suspension of routine inspections of food processing facilities domestic and abroad. The amount of potential fraud and contamination that could arise is alarming, but we have yet to see any measurable data in that regard.

What we have seen, however, is a measurable rise in foodborne pathogen illnesses. Comparing data from 2016-2018 to just 2019, every single one of the eight most common pathogens saw an increase in reported cases. Produce and chicken, which the USDA just allowed to raise processing speeds on, were the most common causes, and even the CDC says that progress in controlling the pathogens has “stalled.” 

Increasing food safety inspections is a tough ask to do during a pandemic, given the risk of spreading infection to all of those involved. Improving food safety technology and getting inspections to above normal rates should help in the long run, however.

Racism targeting the food industry rose steadily, but so did pushback

Photo: Shutterstock

Maybe this was just due to claims made by the president that exacerbated hatred against Asian-American and more specifically, Chinese-American communities, or it could have been increased exposure to incidences on social media. Nonetheless, racism within the food industry was continually exposed over the last 4 years, and during the pandemic, Asian-American business owners were hit hard. They saw a 26 percent drop in business compared to 22 percent for other businesses. 

Issues of equity in the food, food media, and restaurant industries are nothing new. But during the Trump presidency, private businesses took it upon themselves to do better, even if the country’s leader was still being blatantly racist towards many groups. Many major firms, including Bon Appetit and the Los Angeles Times, expelled or took corrective actions against those who were racist to others in the company.

Of course, there’s still a long way to go in that regard.

School lunch nutrition, and children’s nutrition in general, took a massive hit

Photo: Motion Array

One of the first actions the Trump Administration took was to limit the guidelines set in place by Michelle Obama that improved the quality and nutrition of childrens’ school lunches. The Trump Administration started by allowing for more sodium and flavored milks while decreasing whole grains required for kids.

That was initially rebuffed by a federal judge in 2017, but the Trump Administration continued by limiting the amount of fruits and veggies schools had to serve to kids. The administration is also taking another run at the initial limitations they desired, but a final rule never materialized before Joe Biden’s inauguration. 

This comes as labeling requirements to point out added sugars and other changes have been indefinitely delayed, meaning that parents and kids may not have access to all of that info on all products they buy at the store. 

Whether the Biden administration chooses to lift that indefinite delay and restore school nutrition policies remains to be seen, though many experts predict it will happen with his first 100 days as president.

Price fixing scandals within the industry have been caught and halted

Photo: Motion Array

Across the meat, poultry, and seafood industries, executives have been consolidating and artificially inflating prices. This was proven in both the poultry and seafood industries, where the Department of Justice has levied fines or indicted individuals and companies in both groups. 

Companies where employees were charged included StarKist, Bumblebee, Tyson, Pilgrim’s Pride, and Claxton Poultry Farms. 

The Trump Administration is also actively investigating the meat/beef industry, although no charges or fines have yet to be levied. The investigations that the Justice Department started will continue and be handed over to Biden Administration officials.

Farmers are relying on the government more than ever to survive: well, big farmers at least

Photo: Motion Array

The government has long been subsidizing farmers to help keep the costs of produce down. Due to Trump’s trade war with China that sharply elevated prices, that amount of subsidy increased, to the amount where farmers could be getting up to 40 percent of their income from the government. That’s not sustainable for a business to survive on in the long run.

What makes matters worse is that most of that funding is being used to subsidize major farm and production corporations, rather than small farms. Two-thirds of the above payments went to the top 10 producers, while small farms and those with diversified operations were largely shut out.

This all comes as the country continues to see an exodus of small farms that has continued over the past 40 years. While small farms used to constitute half of all farming in the 1980s, they now only consist of just a fourth of farming. Over 1,000 dairy farms have also closed in just the past year in Wisconsin, and even agriculture secretary Sonny Perdue acknowledged the issue, saying “In America, the big get bigger and the small go out.”

Could the United States go further and privatize farming to guarantee incomes? Or will improved trade deals and economic conditions mean that they will have to help farmers less? That’s something the Biden Administration may have to decide in the coming years as they navigate issues surrounding farmers, including climate change and the current trade war with China.

GMOs got updated labeling requirements, but new nutrition labels have yet to be enforced

Photo courtesy of the FDA

Good news, America: You’ll now be able to see if a product contains GMOs based on labels that were passed into law in 2019. President Obama signed the requirements into law in 2016, and the industry is starting to have to comply, with everyone needing labels by 2022. 

Bad news, though: the updated nutrition label laws that show added sugars, make calories bigger, and implement other changes that are required at restaurant chains, are indefinitely delayed. While many companies took it upon themselves to institute the changes anyway, the Trump Administration chose to keep pushing the enforcement date back on them. Eventually, they chose to just indefinitely delay it in response to pressure from trade groups.

Biden may choose to end that delay and push them into effect, which would bring everyone up to date on nutrition labelling nearly 5 years after legislation was passed requiring them. Industry lobbyists, however, could still prevail.

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Hit-Or-Miss

Trader Joe’s Debuts Everything But The Bagel Potato Chips

Image courtesy of Trader Joe’s

The complex flavors of Everything But The Bagel Seasoning is quickly gaining popularity, especially after Trader Joe’s released their EBTB seasoning in early 2017 for customers to throw on anything and everything. 

One snack, I’ll admit, I enjoyed adding the medley of spices to were potato chips. Luckily, Trader Joe’s latest snack item takes away that middle step and serving up Everything But The Bagel Seasoned Kettle Cooked Potato Chips. 

The new snack boasts crunchy kettle-cooked chips fried in small batches and seasoned with the popular Trader Joe’s Blend. This includes salt, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, onion powder, garlic powder, and black pepper. 

You’ll be able to find the new bag of chips at Trader Joe’s locations nationwide in their snack section. It also can’t hurt to grab a bottle of EBTB Seasoning Blend while you’re there to enhance these chips even further. 

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Cravings Packaged Food What's New

Pringles Debuts Stunning Karaage Flavor In Japan This Month

Photo courtesy of Pringles Japan

There’s always that one menu item that, no matter where you dine for the first time, if you see it, you have to order it. For me, those two items are Garlic Fish Sauce Wings at Vietnamese joints and Karaage Chicken at Japanese restaurants. 

Thanks to Pringles, one of my favorite appetizers is getting its own flavor to kick off 2021. While Vietnamese Fish Sauce Wings Pringles won’t be hitting snack shelves anytime soon, residents of Japan will want to check stores for the new Karaage Aji flavor — the first new flavor addition for the Pringles brand in Japan this year. 

SoraNews24 reports the new variation is based on the bite-sized morsels of fried chicken thighs that are breaded, seasoned, and deep-fried. Those flavors, including garlic and onion powder, are now dusted onto each Pringles chip, recreating the popular chicken snack profiles. 

You can find the new Pringles hitting shelves beginning Jan. 25 at select stores in Japan. Alright, Pringles Vietnam, let’s get on those Fish Sauce Wing chips next, please.

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Grocery Packaged Food Sweets

New Klondike Milkshakes Can Be Drunk Straight From The Freezer

Photos courtesy of Klondike and Shutterstock

Klondike is known for their chocolate covered ice cream bars, but they may have just changed the frozen foods game with some brand new, on-the-go milkshake pouches.

These Klondike Shakes work similar to the squeezable fruit purees, applesauces, or smoothies you might have seen pop up in the refrigerated section of a grocery store. These pouches have a twistable cap that you crack off and then squeeze to drink.

The key difference here is that Klondike’s is ready to slurp on straight from the freezer, meaning that you don’t have to grab ice cream or blend anything together if you’re craving a milkshake. Sure, you could just freeze the smoothie pouches in the refrigerated section, but they would turn to essentially ice and not have that smooth consistency.

Klondike’s squeezable milkshakes will be hitting stores nationwide in February 2021. You can get them in chocolate or vanilla flavors, and a pack of six will go for about $5.99.

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Grocery Health Packaged Food

Hidden Valley Ranch Now Has A Dairy Free Option

Photo courtesy of Hidden Valley Ranch

Ranch dressing is known for having buttermilk and not being friendly to those with dairy or lactose issues.

That doesn’t have to be a hindrance to those wanting to sample ranch anymore, however, as Hidden Valley Ranch just announced a dairy-free version of their iconic condiment.

As the most ubiquitous bottle of ranch out there, this makes the dressing way more accessible to those who couldn’t consume it before, and makes it an option for those on lactose-free, vegan, or flexitarian diets.

Hidden Valley Ranch normally contains egg yolk and buttermilk in it, according to information on the brand’s website. This new plant-based version swaps those out for soy protein isolate. The company also claims to have no animal-derived ingredients in the new Plant Powered Ranch.

Bottles of the plant-based Hidden Valley Ranch will be available in stores nationwide starting in April 2021. A 12 ounce bottle comes at a suggested price of $3.49.

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Fast Food Plant-Based

Taco Bell Gives In: Potatoes And Beyond Meat Are On The Way

Photo courtesy of Taco Bell

For those who have been clamoring for Taco Bell to bring back potatoes, your wish has been granted.

After getting taken off of the menu as a way to streamline operations during the pandemic, the taco titan has confirmed that their beloved spuds will be returning to menus starting March 11th. You’ll be able to enjoy them in all the same ways as before.

Photo courtesy of Taco Bell

Buried within the announcement of potatoes returning was even bigger news, however. After years of resisting the urge to pick a plant-based meat purveyor like Impossible Foods or Beyond Meat, Taco Bell has finally given in and chosen the latter.

For a long time, the chain has hung their hat on the beans, potatoes, and other inherently vegetarian options they had on the menu without the need to add a plant-based meat. They did launch an oat-based protein substitute, but that never made its way to US markets.

This year, though, Taco Bell will test a product nationwide that includes a collaboration with Beyond Meat. Like many other chains (ie. Del Taco or KFC), they’ll be making a custom protein that fits within the chain’s flavor spectrum, although whether that will be a beef substitute or not remains to be seen.

Taco Bell did mention back in 2019 that they were looking into plant-based alternatives. With Beyond Meat on board, it will be interesting to see if they include any vegan cheese, egg, or other animal product alternatives as time goes on.

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Cravings Packaged Food

Today I Learned Pizza Cupcakes Exist And They Look DELIGHTFUL

Ever sit in bed at night, wondering if there was another form of pizza out there that’s waiting for you to sink your teeth into? Perhaps, a marriage of pizza and cupcakes?

Artisinal bakery The Pizza Cupcake. delivers exactly this holy matrimony of eats.

Created by owners Michelle Jimenez-Meggiato and Andrea Meggiato, the bite-sized snack brings together elements of their namesakes into a delectable flavor puck.

Photo courtesy of The Pizza Cupcake

Made with brioche and pizza dough, the cupcakes are stuffed with tomatoes, sauce, and stretchy mozzarella cheese.

You can order Pizza Cupcakes through their website and are available for delivery in 26 states:
Arizona, Southern California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, Washington DC, West Virginia.

We may never want to try a pizza bagel again after looking at these. I’d love to dunk one in some Wing Stop ranch.

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Fast Food Plant-Based

Fatburger Launches Vegetarian Chicken Wings

Photo courtesy of Fatburger

Brands Inc., the parent company to Fatburger and Buffalo’s Express, announced that they’re offering a new vegetarian wing item they’re calling Chick’n Vings.

The Chick’n Vings will be tossed in Buffalo’s Express’ 13 house-made sauces: Scorchin’, Carolina Fire BBQ, Coconut Jerk, Honey Garlic, and Sweet Bourbon BBQ.

Made with Quorn Vegetarian Meatless wings, the product does contain traces of eggs and milk proteins, preventing it from being labeled as vegan.

Not gonna lie, if they can satiate my chicken wing cravings come Lent season, I’m all aboard.

You can find these new vegetarian wings at all domestic Fatburger and Buffalo’s Expresses locations.