This Chocolate Cheese Toast Is Super Weird — Or Is It? (Photos)

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By Cooking Panda

Cheese, chocolate and toast are three of the culinary world’s most versatile and cherished foods. Cheese makes everything better, from pastas to scrambles. Chocolate has a rightful place in every dessert known to man. And toast can be topped with just about anything. 

One Twitter user took that last statement to heart when she shared photos of her own white toast, topped with an unconventional combination of chocolate spread and shredded cheese.

The internet provided mixed reactions. 

Unsurprisingly, people were revolted. 

Some were so offended, they deemed it an abomination worthy of police attention.

Others, though, found the cheesy chocolate toast mildly appetizing.

In fact, Metro polled its readers asking if they would try chocolate and cheese toast, and the results show a population that is surprisingly adventurous. Though half firmly declined, 37 percent said they would love to experiment with the dish. What’s more, 12 percent said they’d already tried it, showing the combination is not wildly unprecedented, but somewhat popular.  

Chocolate and cheese pairings make a delicious and sophisticated appetizer or dessert. Sharp cheeses like Parmigiano Reggiano pair well with intense, spicy dark chocolates. Smooth and rich chocolate truffles complement the earthy flavors of blue cheese. Soft and creamy cheeses are delightful with Nutella and sea salt on crunchy toasts for a more refined version of our Twitter user’s snack.

Some people put chocolate inside of cheese. An Australian cheese shop made headlines when it unveiled chocolate cheese, a wheel of mild Italian blue cheese ripened with chocolate liqueur, rubbed with cocoa powder and finished with chocolate chips. The sweet and salty treat sold out in no time.

Spiced hot chocolate with melting cheese is a specialty in Colombia.

Colombian hot chocolate with cheese (not as bad as you think) @sonido69 #melbourne #khootravels

A post shared by Rachel Khoo (@rachelkhooks) on

And with desserts like Oreo cheesecake and chocolate cannolis, people have been combining chocolate and cheese — and loving it — for decades.

Tell us your favorite chocolate and cheese combinations, and see if other people are just as fond of them as you are.

Source: Metro / Featured image credit: Pixabay

Tags: cheese, chocolate, chocolate cheese toast, food combinations, toast, Twitter, weird food
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Those Strings On Bananas — This Is What They’re For (Photo)

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By Cooking Panda

You know those weird little fleshy strings on your banana that get in your way as soon as you peel them open?

Yeah, those. They are kind of weird, right? A lot of people hate them or at least could do without them, but did you know that they actually serve a very important purpose?

The strings, or “phloem bundles” more technically, send nutrients to your banana, according to Huffington Post. There you go.

According to Dole’s Research Vice President Nicholas D. Gillitt, phloem bundles are perfectly edible and healthy, though of course it’s up to personal taste whether or not they are gross enough to peel off.

“In general, all parts of fruits are healthy,” Gillitt, who has a Ph.D. in physical/inorganic chemistry, told Huffington Post. “We eat the skins of apples, pears, etc., and we could eat the skins of bananas — including the phloem bundles — if we find them palatable, but there is no evidence to suggest they are harmful.”

It is “likely” that they have a somewhat different nutritional makeup than the rest of the banana flesh, especially since they probably have “more and varied types of fiber and structural components required for their function,” although nobody has really tested this, he added.

“Since they are intended to do a specific job, and as such likely have a defined structure which supports that job, they would be expected to have a different compound profile to the regular edible banana flesh,” he explained.

He also said that “it is potentially possible” to make bananas without the phloem bundles but wasn’t convinced that this was an endeavor anyone was interested in, since he has never heard any “meaningful” complaints about them.

In other words, if you are one of those people who despises those bundles with the fire of a thousand stringy suns, you’re out of luck.

Sorry, banana string haters. You’ll have to continue manually removing them.

Fortunately for anyone who can’t stand the phloem bundles, there’s a trick you might want to try: according to a totally-not-so-scientific experiment from Slate, if you break from conventional wisdom and peel your banana from the “bottom” end — that is, the part without a stem — you’ll be much more likely to remove the majority of those pesky little fiber strings right off the bat.

 

Sources: The Huffington Post, Slate / Photo Credit: Pexels

Tags: banana string, Bananas, food science, phloem bundles, weird food
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You Can Now Order Pizza Hut With Your Sneakers (Video)

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By Cooking Panda

Springtime is fast approaching in the U.S., which for many people means both spring cleaning as well as spring wardrobe shopping. Soon, the time for winter coats will be behind us all, and more weather-appropriate clothing is in order!

Apparently, no food chain knows this better than Pizza Hut, because not only is it hoping to infiltrate your wardrobe, its hoping that its brand new high-top sneakers will also help you order a meal to welcome in the spring (video below).

That’s right, Pizza Hut has come up with perhaps its zaniest marketing gig yet: pairs of high-tops  that are called Pie Tops, of course, that allow consumers and wearers to order their favorite variety of Pizza Hut pizza by pushing a button on the shoes.

For fans who cannot afford the shoes, the pizza chain is also offering up a massive discount offer.

David Daniels, Pizza Hut’s VP of advertising and media, told AdAge of the shoes (designed by the Los Angeles-based Dominic Chambrone, aka “The Shoe Surgeon,”) that:

“The bulk of these will go to influencers (and) media, just to create buzz and talk value and we’ve reserved some for the opportunity for a select few Pizza Hut super fans to receive a pair of these custom Pie Top high-top tennis shoes.”

The deals don’t end with the shoes though: from March and into April 2017, customers can order a large, two-topping pizza online for $7.99; usually the same order would run pizza lovers $12.99.

How generous!

Check out the ad for the ridiculous Pie Tops below:

Sources: AdAgePizza Hut/YouTube / Photo Credit: Pizza Hut/YouTube

Tags: delivery service, pizza hut, pizza shoes, weird food, YouTube
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Would You Drink A Cocktail With Ants In It? (Photos)

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By Cooking Panda

If you found a ton of ants in your cocktail, you might run away screaming or dump your drink down the garbage disposal. But some people are paying $16 to down a drink full of insects.

Head over to Singapore’s Native bar, order the “Antz” cocktail and grit your teeth. Next thing you know, a yogurt and rum-based drink blended with local ants and topped with basil cubes and hulking, crunchy, black Thai ants atop a frozen leaf will materialize in front of you.

The bartender will probably instruct you to crunch the whole leaf (plus scary toppings!) in one bite before drinking the thick cocktail. You’ll wonder how you got into this mess, stare at your libation and get crunching.

You can thank Native founder and head bartender Vijay Mudaliar for the bizarre creation, something that he swears he didn’t come up with just to scare people. Mudaliar told Mashable that he crafted the drink as an homage to Brazilian double Michelin-starred chef Alex Atala, who has been known to charge lots of money for curious customers to gnaw on raw Amazonian ants, which have hints of ginger, atop pineapple cubes, according to the Guardian.

If ants are a little scary for you, you can still order a bunch of non-insect drinks at Native. Mudaliar mixes most of the cocktails at his bar with traditional local ingredients to fit the Southeast Asian theme of his bar.

“It makes more sense for the bar to be Southeast Asian themed, because that’s what we’re familiar with,” he told Mashable. “So many bars (in Singapore) are like New York speakeasies, or New Orleans clubs — why don’t we do something we know?”

For the ant concoction, Mudaliar said that he tried around seven different types of ants before settling on sour Singapore weaver ants, which are full of Vitamin C and harmonize nicely with the yogurt and rum. But they don’t crunch very well, so he added the Thai ants as a garnish.

“Sometimes, little bits of the ant legs and parts get stuck in people’s teeth,” Mudaliar said.

Sources: Mashable, Guardian / Photo Credit: Ng Yi Shu/Mashable

Tags: ant cocktail, ant drink, singapore, unusual cocktail, weird food
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Ever Tried A Rat Burger? Now You Can (Photo)

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By Cooking Panda

It’s always nice when the latest hip food craze is something super affordable and easy to get your hands on, right?

We’re not totally sure that we’d ever be ready for these RAT BURGERS though.

Take a look:

???? ???????? ????? – ?????? ?? ??????. ? @krasnodarbistro ?? ?????????, ? ??????? ??????.

A photo posted by Krasnodar Bistro (@krasnodarbistro) on

It doesn’t look half bad, to be honest. Then again, you can put just about anything on a bun and make mouths water.

The meat in question, served at Krasnodar Bistro in Russia, doesn’t come from just any rats. It comes from coypu, also known as nutrias or river rat, a species common in southern Russia that fits right into Moscow’s recent focus on serving locally sourced, high-quality food.

“I have it here and at one of my other restaurants,” Krasnodar owner and chef Takhir Kholikberdiev told the Guardian. “Other chefs have started to use it here. And now, if you go to the market in Moscow, they might not have nutria available every day, but they’ll get it in for you within a week if you ask.”

There is an excess of nutrias leftover from the 1990s, when many people could not afford traditional fur coats and bred the river rats as a substitute. But they breed so quickly, that they are common in many areas.

“Every village in Krasnodar region would have 100 or so nutrias, and when you went to stay with your grandparents, they’d always stew one up for you,” said Kholikberdiev.

Even so, they weren’t exactly common in Moscow, even though Kholikberdiev says that the meat is easy to work with and stays juicy even if you overcook it.

“It’s a really clean animal; not only is it a herbivore but it washes all its food before it eats,” he added, of the food that reportedly tastes like a mix between turkey and pork. “And it’s very high in omega-3 acids. A lot of doctors and dietitians recommend it.”

However you feel about eating rats, it’s actually not that weird to serve them. People in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, parts of the Philippines and Indonesia, Thailand, Ghana, China and Vietnam all eat rats on the regular, reports the BBC.

Sources: Guardian, BBC / Photo Credit: Peleg/Wikimedia Commons

Tags: exotic meat, nutria, rat burger, russia, weird food
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8 Outrageous Things You Can Make Into A Taco Shell

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By Cooking Panda

Taco Tuesday is here, and we’re feeling a little wild, so we’ve come up with some truly outrageous ways to eat tacos. Instead of using a tortilla, why not make a taco shell with something else, like bacon or ramen? We’re pretty confident that taco purists will scream in anger when they see this – to be fair, these can hardly be classified as tacos — but these recipes are seriously delicious and we think you should give them a try.

1. Cheddar Taco Shell

That’s right. You can make a taco shell out of CHEESE. Just cheese. Bonus: You can do this one on the stove, so you don’t have to heat up your oven on a hot day.

2. Pizza Taco

This is probably the furthest recipe from tacos, as it is basically just folded leftover pizza, but seriously why don’t we fry leftover pizza? If you want to be taco-y about it, you can always throw taco fillings into your pizza before folding it.

Bonus: If you have a little more respect for yourself, you might prefer this variation on the Pizza Taco (recipe here).

3. Waffle Breakfast Taco

You can totally use frozen waffles. They are heavenly when made from scratch, though.

4. The Real Fish Taco

If you’re already making fish tacos, this isn’t a ton more work, but it’s way more fun. We recommend using the fish batter from this recipe on white fish like cod or tilapia.

5. Ramen Noodle Pork Taco

Ramen burgers are a thing, so why not?

6. Taco Donut

It’s not exactly a taco, but we figured you wouldn’t complain. This taco donut is a bit of work, but it’s also a lot of fun. If you want to go for it, you can probably just take a regular donut and operate on it. Carefully slice the middle open from the inside of the ring and hollow it out if need be. Then add your taco fillings and seal it shut with melted cheese.

7. Bacon Weave Taco

The classic. Fill with anything you want – BLT + avocado or breakfast stuff would be great.

8. Potato Caviar Taco

Basically a potato chip taco. If you don’t have or want caviar/roe, these would be great with smoked salmon. Otherwise, we can’t see how these would be bad with Cuban Picadilla (ground beef) or really anything else.

Featured Photo Credit: Idaho Potato Commission

Tags: bacon weave taco, fusion tacos, ramen taco, Taco Tuesday, weird food
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