Jenny Famewhore

Starbuck’s Clover coffee

Posted in Boston by Jenny Famewhore on January 30, 2010

Tokyo, April 2009

I will admit that I have this shameful habit of ducking into a Starbucks to sip a saccharine, spicy chai latte, with foamy whole milk or a creamy caramel macchiato on the occasion. I should feel twinges of guilty when I go, “wee,” when the red holiday cups make its seasonal debut, or when I walked into a Starbucks in Tokyo in March and April to find sakura pastries and strawberry frappes with pink and white swirls. Pretty.

Starbucks is so prevalent in the landscape of big cities, that sometimes, I miss it when I don’t find a store across from a store, cannibalizing each other. I even get angry when I really, really, REALLY need to pee, and I can’t find one within a block and I have to resort to using the restroom at, ugh, a McDonalds. Their job is to be everywhere, isn’t it?

It’s frustrating how it’s always crowded no matter how many stores there are in the city, and when Starbucks announced that it would close a few hundred stores in NYC a few years ago, the Times sarcastically wrote, “Now, New Yorkers will ONLY have 10,000 branches to choose from.” These stores never kick anyone out either, which serves as a great procrastination space to gossip with friends, cut class, and beg the barista for free whipped cream.

Yet, the company is so evil and so sinister, that it has conditioned college students to associate their brand with the delights of coffee, caffeine, and class by embedding themselves in the dining halls (“we serve Starbucks coffee”) and using whatever currency system the university accepts. Then, when everyone graduates, they will naturally gravitate towards the same provider of liquid stimulant that they have relied on for the last four years. (more…)

Godzilla burgers

Posted in Tokyo by Jenny Famewhore on October 25, 2009
Windows 7 burger from Burger King Japan

Windows 7 Whopper from Burger King Japan

The Whopper has a special place in my heart. Despite being extremely handicapped in terms of quality and flavor (unless you count the flavor of Heinz, the perennial hallmark of all fast food burgers,) the Burger King Whopper represents my Saturdays between the age of 11 and 14, where my father would futilely educate me on Chinese reading and then take me to the Burger King by our house for lunch every week without fail. I don’t know why we went so often– I disliked their food almost as much as I disliked being mind-raped by the weekly 50 Chinese characters/Kanji I was forced to memorize.

The limited edition Whopper, exclusive to Japan and only for seven days, consists of the usual whopper fixin’s pimped with 7 beef patties, each 113 grams. That is 1.74 lbs total of far below-mediocre meat processed into unnaturally gray, extremely dry hockey pucks of bovine product. It’s a monstrosity that the first 30 customers get to savor for ¥777 ($8.55), and the subsequent masochists can buy it for double the price.

"Beef Heaven"

I showed it to my roommates yesterday, excitedly watching for their reactions, and they cried, “How do those Japanese people finish it all? They’re all so thin!” Deja-vu. I had wondered the same, when the McDonald’s MegaMac (another exclusively Japanese product) was released in 2007. 2 Big Macs, 1 burger. So heinous that I could not stand to simply live vicariously through that ad– I had to experience it for myself.

It was bad, bad, bad. Never had I wished so much for a bucket of ketchup and mayo so that the extra-dry patties would actually make it down my throat. My digestive tract was probably plotting mutiny, and based on the utter disappointment that is the MegaMac, which is minor league by comparison, the Whopper 7 is the icon of artery abuse and dietary guilt. This is the point in history where all good judgement come to die.

Might want to avoid these series of Franken-burgers.

IMG_0074

MegaMac, September 2008, Shinjuku, Tokyo

Riddle me this: Is Japan surpassing America at its obesity game?

Cereal: I am so confused

Posted in Boston by Jenny Famewhore on October 14, 2009

If I had to predict, 70% of students (seniors/juniors who have kitchens and no college meal plan; slumming it in the real world) earlier this morning, rolled out of bed, and poured themselves a bowl of cereal for breakfast. Maybe even jazzed it up with some milk. Inhaled that crunchy, slightly soggy, sugary delight. I did the same, at noon, but it was a first this semester. Eating cereal, that is, not waking up at noon. I had even bought my own $3 box of Kashi’s honey toasted oat cereal at Walmart (Yes, I went to Walmart. Also another first.) It took three seconds. Burnt 3 calories making it.

It’s really not good.

IMG_4724Look at this. It’s like doggy kibbles– the same artificially molded, brownish gray, crunchy and requiring back molars to pulverize into a powdery dust containing 1g of soluble fiber, 100mg of green tea, 25mg of grape seed, 4g of protein, 95mg of potassium, 85mg of sodium, and 5g of sugar. Then there are the small print ingredient items. The name of the product has more natural ingredients than the actual cereal contains.

Addressing the elephant in the room… WHAT IS CEREAL?

Seriously. What are you?

You’re so processed, my brain can’t wrap itself around your existence. Does anyone else find you kind of creepy? You don’t need to be refrigerated, and have a shelf-life of 6 months. Not only that, but I also get hungry again 20 minutes after I’ve eaten you. You dominate an entire aisle in the supermarkets. Real food like oranges have to deal with sharing their space with the bananas. You’re easy. Too easy. You’re the “I overslept” food. You’re the “food I bought because it was a complete meal in itself for $3.” Explain yourself.

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