Welcome to Delicious or Distressing, where we rate recent food memes, videos, and other entertainment news. Last week we discussed the eerie redesign of the classic SpongeBob Popsicle.
Happy Pride, and also happy birthday month to Grimace, the amorphous McDonald’s mascot who has recently inundated social media with reminders that it is, lest you forget it, his birthday month. For this star alignment—of Pride month and Grimace’s supposed birthday—fans are deeming him a queer icon. Rumor has it that Grimace might actually be an anthropomorphized taste bud, and now apparently a queer one at that. Though he hasn’t publicly commented on his LGBTQ fandom, it’s clear that he contains multitudes.
Also this week, popular ice cream company Van Leeuwen put out a call for a “Lead Ice Cream Taster” (LICT), which obviously sounds like a phenomenal gig. Legend Ina Garten fell victim to Facebook hacking, with a bad actor posting an Olive Garden recipe on her page and changing her profile picture to a pie. Lastly, Good Humor has discontinued its classic Toasted Almond Bar, to the upset of some on social media.
Here’s more on what happened in internet food moments this week.
Fans have declared McDonald’s Grimace a queer icon
If the McDonald’s marketing team has somehow failed you, let me be the first to inform you: It’s Grimace’s birthday month. It’s not clear how old Grimace is turning this year—he first appeared in 1971, but he doesn’t look like he’s aged a day. Either Grimace is diligent with his skin care, or time doesn’t affect him in the same way it does everyone else. Regardless, Grimace turned a year older on June 12, and some stans are declaring him a queer icon as he so publicly celebrates his birthday during Pride month. You know who else has a birthday during Pride month? ME. I do. My birthday is June 1, which is before Grimace’s birthday—I don’t know if that means I’m more of a queer icon than Grimace? That’s not for me to say. If you wanted to say it though…and tell all your friends…I could use some of that corporate Pride sponsor money. Listen, I understand the urge to make fictional characters into queer icons (see the Babadook), but what has Grimace done for queer people? Pride is a riot! Call me when Grimace sets up a queer legal defense fund! This morsel of news gets a 3.7/5 distressing. —Sam Stone, staff writer
Van Leeuwen is looking for a “lead ice cream taster”
Calling all ice cream lovers! Van Leeuwen is holding a contest to find its first Lead Ice Cream Tester or, as it calls it, a LICT. This lucky person will be flown to New York in July to get a personal store tour by the CEO and check out the production process at its factory from start to finish—and even help create a new flavor. Ever since Van Leeuwen came out with the Hidden Valley Ranch collab, clearly any flavor is possible…Tabasco, perhaps? Or Hawaiian Pizza? Call me if you need more, VL. Oh, and one more thing: If you win, you get free ice cream for a year. Sounds like a dream (and a great PR stunt). To enter, you’ll need to submit a video answering some detailed questions, such as “why do you love ice cream” and “what’s your favorite flavor.” If I wasn’t lactose intolerant I’d drop what I’m doing right now and apply. 4.5/5 delicious. —Julia Duarte, art assistant
Someone used Ina Garten’s Facebook account to share an Olive Garden recipe
The Barefoot Contessa, she’s just like us. Clearly, she also has not been bothered to protect her Facebook account using two-factor authentication. This week Ina Garten’s official page was seemingly hacked by a mysterious troll. Only, instead of sharing crass memes, damning confessions, or sultry photos of Jeffrey wearing nothing but an apron, they posted something so much worse: a copycat Olive Garden recipe for “Chicken Scampi.” (They also changed her profile pic to an image of pie; not not on brand.) Like a fake Gucci bag, it wasn’t immediately obvious the post was a scam—after all, the first ingredient listed was olive oil, a staple in Contessa’s kitchen, and she does love to chug the odd enormous Cosmopolitan. But the true stans could tell: “I knew you would not have shared an Olive Garden Copycat recipe!!” commented one follower, once Meta had fixed the situation and real Ina had logged back on. Once again, The Barefoot Contessa is a beacon of relatable wisdom. The lesson this time is: Lock ya shit up, kids! That’s a 4.3/5 distressing for the nerds who dared to hack our national treasure. —Ali Francis, staff writer
Good Humor has discontinued its Toasted Almond bar
Today.com’s intrepid ice cream journalism has revealed that Good Humor has discontinued its Toasted Almond bar–in fact, it quietly took the flavor off shelves last summer. “At Good Humor, we’re always updating our product portfolio to reflect consumer preferences,” a spokesperson told Today.com. The company says it doesn’t have plans to reintroduce it. I’ll be honest that I’ve rarely had a Toasted Almond bar and I don’t know anyone whose favorite ice cream is one (based on a very formal survey) so this isn’t the most surprising move. But look, it’s symbolic. Our youth, by which I mean my youth, is fully over. Toasted Almond’s vanilla ice cream and crunchy almond bits officially join Choco Taco and Spongebob’s gumball eyes in the frozen dessert cemetery. Nothing beautiful lasts, especially if it’s crunchy and chewy and only seasonally marketable. RIP, Toasted Almond. You were mid, but you were ours. 3.9/5 distressing. —Karen Yuan, culture editor