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#foodbeast Fast Food FOODBEAST Hit-Or-Miss Plant-Based Restaurants SPONSORED

SPOTTED: Taco Bell Testing A Plant-Based Naked Chicken Chalupa

Ring the alarms and tell a friend: Taco Bell is testing a new plant-based Naked Chicken Chalupa shell! Spotted at a Taco Bell location in Irvine, California, The Crispy Plant-Based Shell is a take on their own hit innovation a few years ago that changed the whole game.

This time it’s made from a pea protein-based proprietary blend, which is then breaded and shaped into a one of a kind Chalupa form and crisped up. This shell is certified vegan by the American Vegetarian Association, so you know it’s valid. The tasty shell is then filled with delicious deets like lettuce, cheddar cheese, diced tomatoes, and a rich, tangy avocado ranch sauce to complete a mouthwatering mouthful. 

The new Naked Chicken Chalupa with Crispy Plant-Based shell will be testing at the Taco Bell location on 2222 Barranca Pkwy, Irvine, California, from now until June 27, 2021.

Created in partnership with Taco Bell.

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Food Policy Packaged Food Technology

Meat Price Spikes, Shortages A Concern Following Cyberattack On Major Beef Firm

Photo: Tatjana Baibakova // Shutterstock

A major cyberattack on one of the world’s largest meat producers is generating concerns that consumers could see both price spikes and possible shortages in the category.

According to the Seattle Times, the ransomware attack on meat titan JBS occurred over the weekend, closing an unknown number of plants temporarily. The Wall Street Journal has noted that JBS has since reopened most of the affected factories, and JBS released a statement saying that shipping has resumed at nearly all of its locations.

Still, the damage caused by the ransomware attack has been done, as hackers temporarily disabled production at plants responsible for 25% of US beef processing, as well as a fifth of the country’s pork. Chicken production facilities were also affected by the cyberattack.

This has led to a push in wholesale prices for meat, with beef prices for some cuts climbing approximately 1.6%, or up to $5.60 per 100 pounds. Trey Malone, an assistant professor of agriculture at Michigan State University, also told Columbus outlet WRBL that overall, beef prices could go up 1-2%, chicken up 1.5%, and pork up 2-3% in the coming days.

The chicken plant closures also led Publix to announce that chicken shortages could happen intermittently over the next few days, as the Wall Street Journal reported.

While wholesale prices have gone up, grocery stores may not always convert that into increases in retail price, meaning consumers may not see a price increase despite the jump in cost. The USDA is also encouraging other meat suppliers to increase capacity where possible to offset the loss in production.

Globally, JBS operations in Canada and Australia were also affected, meaning production capacity decreases and price increases for meat there are also expected.

JBS has notified the White House that their ransomware demand came from a criminal organization “likely based in Russia.” Principal deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters in a press gaggle that the Biden administration is “directly engaging with the Russian government” about the cyberattack, and that the FBI is also investigating.

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Fast Food

Church’s Brings Back Bourbon Black Pepper Smokehouse Chicken

Photo courtesy of Church’s Chicken

Five years ago, Church’s Chicken began their annual Smokehouse event. This seasonal promotion offered flavors attributed to the chain’s home state of Texas.

For the first time since 2019, Church’s is bringing back a Smokehouse favorite in their Bourbon Black Pepper Smokehouse Chicken.

Served as a bone-in half chicken, the returning dish is marinated in a savory, smoky seasoning, deep-fried naked, then glazed with a sweet, smoky sauce that boasts a hint of bourbon and is finished with cracked black pepper.

The Smokehouse Chicken will be available at participating Church’s Chicken locations nationwide through the end of August.

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Science Video

Guy Literally Slaps Chicken And Steak Until They’re Perfectly Cooked

A couple of years ago on Reddit, someone decided to ask how much energy it would take to cook a chicken by slapping it. The internet, of course, responded as best it could, with answers saying how fast you would need to slap it (over 3,700 miles per hour) or how many times total (over 23,000 times).

Of course, this was all just theoretical until recently, when science YouTuber Louis Weisz did the unthinkable and cooked a whole chicken and steak purely through the power of slapping.

Weisz accomplished this culinary feat through some science and robotic ingenuity, putting together a piston, a cutting board for slapping, and some aerogel for insulation. This kept all of the heat generated by slapping the meat inside of the food, meaning that it wouldn’t get lost and the entire thing would cook.

@louisweiszyt

Eat your heart out @gordonramsayofficial ##mythbuster ##science ##chickenslap ##engineerscience ##extremescience ##physicsmemes

♬ WII SHOP TRAP – Flixterr

It took a few attempts, but Weisz managed to get a steak up to a perfect medium rare (about 60 degrees Celsius) and keep a whole chicken at 55-58 degrees Celsius long enough to kill any bacteria and render the meat cooked. While he didn’t eat the chicken (one of the protective bags broke into the meat), the steak was tasty, even though the texture was a little off from all of the slapping.

Weisz wouldn’t recommend trying this at home, however, since the energy needed to cause all of that slapping is a lot more than what your oven would use to cook the same chicken. Nonetheless, the world of culinary science has solved another puzzle bequeathed to it by the internet.

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#foodbeast Fast Food FOODBEAST Hit-Or-Miss Restaurants SPONSORED What's New

Chipotle Adds Quesadillas Nationwide Complete With Dipping Sauce Tray

Every so often, I find myself torn between ordering a burrito or tacos when stopping at Chipotle. While the bowls have their own magic, there’s something special about biting into a layer of warm tortilla paired with fresh meat. It’s euphoric.

Photo courtesy of Chipotle

Imagine how much tougher that decision has become, knowing that Chipotle has now added mouthwatering build-your-own Quesadillas to their plethora of menu options. 

Oh, man.

Customers can choose from any of their favorite proteins. This includes Adobo Chicken, Steak, Barbacoa, Carnitas, and plant-based Sofritas, before filling it with their favorite accoutrements.

You can personalize it with any of their salsas and dips, so your meaty quesadillas will never be without sauce options.

The Quesadillas are available at Chipotle locations nationwide and can only be ordered online or through the Chipotle mobile app.

Created in partnership with Chipotle.

Categories
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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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.

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Fast Food News Plant-Based Sustainability What's New

KFC Will Be Selling Plant-Based Chicken Nuggets In China Next Week

On Monday, KFC announced that it will be selling vegan chicken nuggets in China from April 28 to April 30, as it continues its expansion into the plant-based market.

The fast food giant said that the nuggets will be sold in Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Guangzhou, and will be manufactured by Cargill Ltd. 

This comes after extremely successful plant-based product testing in multiple countries, which showed enough consumer demand to expand the dishes into more locations in the US. Notably, the company is using a different manufacturer for the Chinese launch, as they tapped Beyond Meat in the US and Lightlife in Canada, respectively.

This isn’t the only way in which the brand’s Chinese release differs. Customers will have to purchase a pre-sale voucher for 1.99 yuan that entitles them to five chicken pieces, according to the company’s official Weibo account. 

This is an interesting path to take, as KFC surely looks to avoid the expansive line that occurred during the high profile Atlanta launch of the company’s plant-based fried chicken. It’s reminiscent of the pre-sale lotteries and raffles that many sneaker companies have done to avoid real-life lines and online crashes during hyped shoe releases. 

We’ll surely be keeping our eyes peeled for any visuals of the new nuggets, as well as any potential plant-based nugget voucher resale market, so check back soon.