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Entries by Foodbeast

We Accidentally Ate the Most Endangered Species In Honduras

(22) Comments | Posted December 29, 2014 | 9:47 AM

It really was an accident. Here's how it all began.


A group of FOODBEAST writers, myself included, had the opportunity earlier this year to check out the latest developments from Carnival Cruise Lines. This gave us the opportunity to make multiple, albeit short, international day-trips in Mexico, Belize and Honduras. After spending four days mostly on the ship consuming our own weight in food, we decided that we were going to explore the Honduran island of Roatán on our own.

Roatán is an island economically bound to tourism related to its temperate Caribbean weather and the second largest barrier reef in the world. But similar to its mainland counterpart, the island and its people are extremely poor. So, similar to our other stops in Mexico and Central America, we were bombarded by vendors mostly related to excursions and activities. We avoided the zip lining, snorkeling and scuba diving in a pursuit to find cuisine and culture that we had never experienced before. After all, before this trip we didn't know this island existed - so who knew when we would actually be back, if ever.

It was during our first meal at a literal shack, away from the harbor bars and restaurants, lacking signage and electricity, that we ran into Marcus. Boasting a big smile and a white polo that claimed he was an 'independent tour guide,' he started giving us unprompted recommendations of what to see on the island. Although the initial subtlety of selling himself was there, his casual and welcoming nature convinced us to have him lead our journey. It would be this same trusting nature that would get us into more than we bargained for.

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Marcus (our tour guide), Rudy, Marc and Elie photo-opping with kids in Marcus' neighborhood


Past the purchase of Honduran weed, that really was more like an actual weed than any ganja I've had stateside. Past the insane views of the Caribbean juxtaposed with derelict homes, buildings, schools and neighborhoods. Past the dozens of children running barefoot or practically barefoot after our car to sell us any variety of shells, trinkets, homemade jewelry and the like. Past the nightclub that really was a bar that really was a front for a brothel filled with scantily clad ladies seeing $$$ associated with every American that walked in.  Past all of it, was a restaurant. A restaurant that Marcus had been hyping up during our entire journey and our hunger had finally caught up with us.

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Like most islands or coastal cities, the menu and locals bragged of the seafood. Without hesitating we ordered lobster, shrimp, island fried chicken. But the real reason we were there screamed at us from a petite 1990s whiteboard taped to a pillar inside this restaurant: Especial Iguana $13.

To put the price of 13 American Dollars into context, the Iguana special was pricey considering the fact that 5 American dollars could buy you a lifetime supply of hot sauce or a full round of beers. But then Marcus described the processes involved with getting that Iguana to our plate, and it's pretty much the opposite of farm-to-table.

Step 1, enter the jungle at your own risk. Step 2, bring a dog to help you track down an Iguana and run it up a tree. Step 3, climb the tree and snatch the Iguana without getting bit. Step 4, bring your crated Iguana by multiple restaurants to see who's buying. Step 5, begin a painstaking and arduous process of boiling the Iguana enough to be able to try and remove chunks of the thick skin off of the animal (after some sort of death/slaughter). Step 6, use your skills to make the meat delicious. Step 7, serve with rice and plantains.

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Iguana, fish-like bones and all, sitting on a plate of rice and plantains


The iguana itself, had a consistency comparable to a lightly boiled chicken one might use in a soup, most likely more due to the type of preparation than the animal itself. I hate using the comparison to chicken, but that's the closest thing we could all agree on. A delicate sweeter chicken, with lots and lots and lots of bones. Similar to a fish you have to fry whole because it's impossible to filet.

And that's when during the last bites of our meal, Marcus explained how the act of catching and selling Iguanas for food or otherwise is illegal in the country. "Here Iguana is an endangered species."

Wait what?! If you watch the video above, you can see our candid reaction to the statement we never saw coming. Further research from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the international organization that publishes the Red List of of Threatened Species, pointed to eating the Roatán Spiny-tailed Iguana or Ctenosaura oedirhina that is endangered but not critically endangered or extinct in the wild. So there's that.

Written by Foodbeast's Geoff...

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How To Make Mac & Cheese Buns For Your Burgers

(0) Comments | Posted December 18, 2014 | 2:49 PM

It all started with this ridiculous Facebook post we put up, a picture from Foodbeast reader @tymbussanich. The photo in question from November 4th then decided to reverberate through the halls of our Facebook audience, quickly reaching over 4 million people, 160,000 likes, comments and shares:

mac-cheese-bun-foodbeast

It was nuts, so a few days later we tested a slightly different variant, just wanted to see if it was cheesy buns that were getting our audience foaming at the mouth. Same creator, @tymbussanich, put together an entire bun made of cheese and tater tots. That picture went on to reach 2.7 million people initiating over 180,000 Likes, Comments and Shares:

cheese-tot-buns

Following the explosive growth of that second post relative to the standard reach of our other images running through the Facebook page, we decided to give it some time before the next test.

Nearly a month later on December 7th, we put one more picture up to make sure Facebook's algorithm wasn't just generously giving eyeballs to those couple posts. We ran a picture from another Foodbeast reader, @alexmensi, arguably the most beautiful one yet:

best-looking-mac-cheese-bun-foodbeast

The above picture was the definitive proof we needed that people were more drawn to mac and cheese buns than any other food concoction we'd covered in the past two months. @Alexmensi's glorious picture was immediately served to over 2.2 million eyeballs, garnering over 103,000 Likes, Comments and Shares.

Here are the stats straight from our Facebook Insights:

mac-cheese-bun-insights

After sharing the above findings with my team and sifting through the hundreds of inquiries that asked "Where can we get these buns?" and "How do I make them at home?" we found a location in Torrance, CA that just started serving them.

That's when our team of Marc, Peter and Geoff made the trek out to Muncheese Burger in Torrance to meet the Drake-look-a-like head chef Corey Davidson. Corey was cool enough to give us the lowdown on how to make the bun for yourself.

Here's the porny aftermath:

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Photos by Peter Pham, Written by Elie...

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Pizza Donuts Exist, Taking Donuts Yet Another Step Too Far (Or Is It?)

(0) Comments | Posted November 13, 2014 | 1:50 PM

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Elie spotting something savory amidst the sweet donuts || Photo: Peter Pham


A pizza donut may sound like an oxymoron, but I assure you, friend, the fusion feels all...

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전 세계에서 모은 스테이크 양념비법 10

(1) Comments | Posted November 11, 2014 | 2:15 AM

한국의 양념 갈비처럼 다른 나라도 독특한 양념으로 재운 스테이크를 먹는다.

다음은 뉴욕의 유명 요리사인 프랭크 델로아치가 소개한 10가지 스테이크 양념법이다. 한국만큼 매운 양념을 즐기는 나라도 있고 특이한 향신료를 듬뿍 넣어 고기의 누린내를 잡는 곳도 있다. 모두 소금과 후추 말고도 고기의 맛을 제대로 살리는 비법들이다.


아래에서...

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You'll Never Not Have a Chip 'N' Dip Bowl Ever Again With This Hack

(0) Comments | Posted November 4, 2014 | 9:09 AM

You know the feeling -- you invite your bourgeois, pseudo foodie Yelp Elite friends over for a dinner circle jerk at your new loft and you're tearing through the cupboards looking for kitchenware only to come to the heart-dropping realization, "I don't have a single chip...

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3 Ingenious Easy Halloween Food Hacks

(1) Comments | Posted October 27, 2014 | 1:54 PM

'Tis the season for Halloween merriment!

We're all about boozin' and enjoying the Halloween festivities, but when it comes down to decorating or creating anything of actual Halloween-related ambiance, we need simple ideas. Real simple ideas.

That's why we've put together these three uber cute, incredibly simple halloween food ideas you can make regardless of your skill level, and all of them make it seem like you're a regular Pinterest showgirl:

 

Turn a Tangerine Into an Edible Pumpkin

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 Just peel your tangerine and stick a sour candy straw in as the stem!


 
Turn Your Bananas Into Banana Ghosts

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Peel banana, cut them in half for a flat base, then stick chocolate chips of varying sizes to make a ghost face 


 
Slice and Gut Your Pumpkin to Make a Dope Beer Cooler

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Slice a pumpkin of whatever size you want your cooler to be, gut it, pour in ice and...

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9 Questionable Straw Sips You Never Knew You Were Doing

(0) Comments | Posted October 20, 2014 | 5:54 PM

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How do you sip from your straw? Straight on? Barely touching?

When the act of sucking is not being...

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Disneyland is Now Serving Mickey-shaped Pumpkin Beignets

(0) Comments | Posted October 10, 2014 | 1:37 PM

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'Tis the season for everything pumpkin-flavored, so why should Disneyland be any different?

While usually available plain or with powdered sugar, for a limited time the happiest place on God's green Earth will be serving Pumpkin Beignets....

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10 Fancy Steak Rubs and Marinades That Go Beyond Salt and Pepper

(0) Comments | Posted September 30, 2014 | 10:32 AM

Summer may be over, but that doesn't mean steak season has to be. As we trade our grills in for stove tops, we also re-open ourselves to a whole world of opportunity, courtesy of our fridges and kitchen cabinets. From herbs to citrus fruits to spices, there are countless ingredients...

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Peel-and-Win, The Realistic Chances Of Winning A Fast Food Sweepstakes

(0) Comments | Posted September 25, 2014 | 1:56 PM

"Come to (insert restaurant here) and play (insert prize-eligible game with catchy name here). One-in-four wins a prize!"

Challenge accepted.

"One-in-four wins" is a claim that we often disregard as we peel the little sticker off the box and redeem it for our free small Coke. However, some of us call bullshit and say, "There's no way that's accurate."

We recently got a news release from Jack in the Box about a new Munchie Meal called the "Chick-n-Tater Melt" and a new "peel-and-win" game called Jack's Munchie Peel where they say they're giving away over $1,000,000 in food and prizes. We immediately questioned the one-in-four claim from the contest and wanted to find a way to test the validity of it.

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Jack in the Box's latest addition to the Munchie Meal lineup, a Chick-n-Tater Melt


The contest seemed pretty straightforward. Stickers are found on the boxes of Jack's Munchie Meals, they ask you to peel them off, and you either jump for joy that you won some free tacos, or the more likely scenario, you get the depressing, "Sorry! You didn't win this time" message.

So, we channeled our inner statisticians and decided we should buy 150 of Jack's Munchie Meals, peel off the stickers, and keep track of all the winners and losers to see if the results came out to the 25 percent stat Jack brags about. We felt 150 was a large enough sample size to get a pretty accurate reading (they accidentally gave us four extra, so we ended up using 154).

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Elie spent our entire monthly editorial budget buying 150+ Munchie Meals for this project

We rolled up to a couple different Jack in the Box locations, ordered 75 Munchie Meals at each location, confirmed with the workers that we weren't high and came back to Foodbeast Headquarters with a totally irresponsible amount of Jack in the Box.

So we began peeling off the stickers. All 154 Munchie Meal boxes. For two hours.

We ended up winning 48 times out of the 154 game pieces we peeled off, for a 31.2 percent rate. Which is actually well above the arbitrary 25 percent chance.

Grand Prize:

  • Two-night VIP experience for four in Las Vegas at the MTV Real World Suite at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
Apparently, it doesn't matter if you win or lose, you can still enter for this bad boy at www.jacksmunchiepeel.com


Non-Food Prizes:



  • Southwest Airlines round-trip ticket

  • Jack in the Box snowboard

  • $50 toward a Live Nation concert

  • Red Mini Jambox

  • Jack in the Box skateboard

  • Zappos.com gift card

  • $50 gas gift card

  • Wireless headphones

  • Neff gear

  • $25 toward a Live Nation concert

  • Movie tickets

  • $10 toward a Live Nation concert -1 win

  • 3-pack music downloads -5 wins


Food Prizes:



  • Jack's Munchie Meal -2 wins

  • Jack's Spicy Chicken -6 wins

  • Breakfast burrito -2 wins

  • Milkshake -1 win

  • Iced coffee -5 wins

  • Medium curly fries -5 wins

  • Jumbo Jack -6 wins

  • 16-ounce drink -2 wins

  • 5-piece churros -9 wins

  • Mini cookies -2 wins

  • 2 tacos -2 wins


Final Results


- 48/154 were winners for a 31.2 percent chance of winning

- 88 percent of winners were food items

- 5-piece churros was most frequent with 9 winners

- Only 6 non-food items won. Five downloads, and 1 $10 voucher toward a Live Nation concert.



Ok, so at least by our tests, Jack in the Box does stick to its word on the one-in-four chance of winning. We didn't win any of the larger prizes but the Jack's mini caramel churros are bomb though, so we ain't mad (and it's what we won the most of).

Written by Isai Rocha for...

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A Death Row-Themed Restaurant Is About to Happen, People Aren't Stoked

(0) Comments | Posted September 24, 2014 | 6:47 PM

It's called Death Row Dinners and it's an eerily interesting pop-up restaurant concept opening up in Hoxton (London). For those who are continuously in a 1st-world rut about their life and contemplate what it'd be like to be incarcerated without the hassle of slapping a judge during a traffic...

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13 Fascinating Facts That Will Change the Way You Perceive Your Dishwasher

(1) Comments | Posted September 17, 2014 | 6:48 PM

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We all love food. It's a universal truth. The only thing we don't love, however, is having to do the dishes after creating an epic Ramen Burrito. Thankfully for most of us, a dishwasher is a solid option...

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How to Pronounce Riesling, Sangiovese and 20 Other Tricky Wine Names

(1) Comments | Posted September 15, 2014 | 10:09 PM

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If you walk into BevMo and have trouble pronouncing 90 percent of the wine in there, you're definitely not alone.

Even if you listen to an insane amount of Rick Ross and Drake, and feel like a...

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Ramen Donuts Combine the Two Most Popular Foods of the Moment

(1) Comments | Posted September 12, 2014 | 5:50 PM

Just when you thought the donut craze and ramen craze couldn't squeeze anymore ridiculous fusions, respectively, they've gone and joined forces. Yessir, Ramen Donuts. Though is anyone even surprised anymore?

Made with ramen noodles drenched in a savory sauce, the ramen is packed into a breaded ball and...

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Jimmy Dean Is Launching a Real-Life GIF Creator Powered by the Sun

(0) Comments | Posted September 12, 2014 | 4:57 PM

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If you like solar-powered GIFs, you're probably lying, because they've never existed until now.

Jimmy Dean has put together this wacky solar-powered contraption that will produce animated GIFs, all in the name of their new lunch and...

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This Is What I Learned by Eating With My Las Vegas Escort, Instead of Sleeping With Her

(2) Comments | Posted September 10, 2014 | 7:11 PM

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"I want to get a hooker tonight." That's how it all started as my friend Rudy and I waited for our bags in the Las Vegas airport a few days back.

Shocked by my sudden inquiry for...

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7 Beautiful Beef Sandwiches From Around the World

(0) Comments | Posted September 8, 2014 | 9:24 PM

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Whether your cows go moo, meuh, ụm bò or eum-mae, it's hard denying the sheer pleasure of biting into a good chunk of beef. And thankfully, no matter where you go around the world, there's no shortage of ways...

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Biscuit Taco: Taco Bell is Testing a Shell That is Entirely Biscuit, Here is Where to Get it

(14) Comments | Posted September 4, 2014 | 7:49 PM

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The ubiquity of Taco Bell's Doritos Locos Taco has done some weird shit to Taco Bell's innovation team -- they are now testing a Biscuit Taco.

Yes,...

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10 Unconventional Ways to Open a Bottle of Wine, Including a Blowtorch

(0) Comments | Posted September 3, 2014 | 4:18 PM

You're out glamping, or at the worst party thrown by the worst, most ill-prepared host ever, and there is not a single corkscrew to be found. Rather than give up on your beloved Cab and buy a six pack, though (you're classier than that), why not MacGyver that...

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The Most American Grill Ever Includes 2 Beers Kegs, Seating for 8 and Cooks 100+ Hot Dogs at a Time

(0) Comments | Posted August 29, 2014 | 10:41 AM

It's summer, this is America, and that means we are all looking for ways to utterly and embarrassingly outdo each other when it comes to our summer cookouts. The summer food debauchery seemingly jumpstarted when the summer fair circuit started deep frying everything in sight and seems to...

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