Thursday, October 7, 2010

A foodie in the UAE: gross

I usually ignore fast food billboards. I rarely eat at fast food chains, so their ads just kind of blur into the scenery as I drive by. But in the past month I have begun noticing the most disgusting concoctions being hailed as the latest and greatest in culinary perfection. By virtue of their grossness, these ads have been jumping off the roadside and into my consciousness. It makes me wonder, first of all, is this going on back home as well? I mean, I realize Americans eat a lot of garbage, but at least it usually looks appetizing. So maybe (hopefully) these particular food items are just part of these chains’ Middle East divisions. Even still, it saddens me to think this is is being passed off over here as American cuisine, when actually we have such a rich culinary tradition to share, even when it comes to inexpensive food.

The second thing it makes me wonder is who is coming up with this stuff? Have the chains all hired a group of teenage boys and let them create whatever concoctions come to mind? Or maybe the industry has a sick curiosity to find out just how far it can push the limits. Perhaps they're sitting around at corporate headquarters looking at profit margins and laughing maniacally, "Ha, ha, the dulled masses will eat anything we put in front of them, as long as it's part of a meal deal!" 

Exhibit A: Burger King’s Pizza Burger (this one, please note, starred in a recent article in our local paper – take a look; have a laugh).

Exhibit B: Pizza Hut's Crunchy Cheesy Bites Pizza (I guess regular old stuffed crust pizza was too dull – now you can pretend your pizza is a medieval torture victim and pull off its fingers one at a time).

Exhibit C: McDonalds’ Pizza McPuff (I’m noticing a pattern here…apparently plays on pizza, while wholly unnecessary, are very en vogue. But this one was most perplexing to me. Why would someone pay McDonalds to heat up a hot pocket in the microwave? Don't people go out to eat so they don't have to eat frozen dinners?) 

Sam read a first draft of this post and decided I needed to do a bit more research before publishing such harsh criticism, so I came into the kitchen last night to find this:

"It was only 2 dirhams," he beamed. (That's about 56 cents).

So here is the carefully documented research process that followed --

Shannon takes a bite.

All her criticisms confirmed, she passes the rest on to Sam.

"It's not so bad," he says. "Kind of spicy." Pause. "Is that a pea?"

Yes, yes it is.

Okay, done with my rant. But seriously, people, wake up, and stop being gross. 


  1. I saw an add for the BK pizza burger the other day, yuck! And it has 2500 calories! Fortunately for us here in the states (at least IL), we do not have the other two. However after doing some quick research I found that they have the Pizza Hut Crunchy Bites in Malaysia...feel bad that they're passing that off as pizza (especially when I live in a city that has amazing pies).

  2. Laughing so hard! "Is that a pea?" hahahahahahaha
    It does look so gross. (Shudder)
    It really makes me laugh to see Burger King trying to do pizza. It's like when they tried to sell tacos. Please! That's what Taco Bell is for.
    Good job with the research, though. You are a reporter that can be trusted, who thoroughly investigates, and boldly goes where no one should have gone before!

  3. I haven't seen these signs here yet, but I wouldn't doubt it. You're "singing my song" though. Fast food is killing people all over the globe. Cheap food has a price. Besides, how can anyone actually like the taste? Yuck!!

  4. the crunchy cheese bites made it to korea's hard to find a crust-sans-cheese in korea as a result!