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President Obama is no stranger to taking a shellacking at the polls. Or a beating in the press. Or even a tongue-lashing from the right.

But a flattening from a fish sandwich?

Such is the case from the KFC ad that ran, however briefly, in Hong Kong for a fish sandwich.

Two things are evident from the effort from Yum! Brands ad: 1) This clearly didn't deliver the message they wanted and 2) they serve lemon wedges with fish sandwiches over there!

The spot, a riff on the Obamamantra of "Change," was pulled before the fish had a chance to flatten KFC's image too much. But, before the presidential pardons roll out, consider some of the stunning dialogue:

"Change, not only for your mom, but for you, your stomach, for a better taste! Mmm, change is good."

Change. It tastes bittersweet. And lemony.

"It was meant to be a spoof and no disrespect was intended," a spokesman for Yum! Brands of the Hong Kong market spot thant ran when Chinese President Hu Jintao visited the U.S. "It is no longer airing and will not be re-aired."

Would they have done this when Rahm was still running the White House?

Mentos, the propulsion maker!

Ever find yourself sitting around with several dozen 2-liter bottles of Coke Zero and a couple pounds of Mentos (any flavor) and no idea what to do with them?

Well, if you're the EepyBird nerds, a kind of performance art/science/marketing wonderduo, you build an intricate piston-driven mechanism, powered by 648 Mentos candies and 108 bottles of Coke, add some goofy techno music and see how far you can make your vehicle go on fizz alone.

Turns out, it's 212 feet.

This is not the first brush with soda-and-Mentos-powered geyesers for these two, who have a viral video history making things explode - and shilling for Coke.

Got J-Hud?

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Jennifer Hudson does her motherly duty ... and joins the "Got Milk?" ad campaign:

Martha and Snoop brownies go to pot

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Martha Stewart doesn't need anymore legal trouble. But maybe the cops should sniff her brownies.

On tomorrow's edition of "The Martha Stewart Show," Martha mixes up a batch of brownies with Snoop Dogg, a rapper infamous for his unabashed love for and promotion of marijuana. As the odd couple stirs their respective mixing bowls, Snoop mentions that the recipe is missing a key ingredient.

Snoop: Trying to make some brownies but we missing the most important part of the brownies ...
Martha: Which is, which is ...?
Snoop: No sticks, no seeds, no stems ...
Martha: He wants green brownies.
Snoop: Greener the better.

Check out this surreal sneak peek clip:

Alas, he'll have to settle for green sprinkles on top for this batch.

For when you go Thanksgiving caroling ...

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thanks.jpgHeidi Hartwig, 15, of Genoa (who performs under the stage name of Glory) performs her original songs at "A Sycamore Thanksgiving" at the Sycamore Public Library on Monday. (Curtis Clegg/For the Courier-News)

It's almost time for mistletoe and holly. Almost -- who are we kidding? WLIT has already switched over to full-time Christmas tunes, and my corner CVS has had Day Glo-red stockings and cheap "gift ideas" for weeks already. But normal people like you and me, we'll wait till Friday to start really thinking about Christmas. We certainly won't sing about it till then.

But, in the meantime, what to put on the iPod to get you in that feasting mood?

There are Christmas carols galore, of course, but foolishly no Thanksgiving carols. Turkey Day, however, possesses a handful of tunes. Here are a few of our favorites (alas, some of these are stingy 30-second samples, can't be helped):

"Thanksgiving Day" by Ray Davies
Leave it to a Brit, the lead singer from the Kinks, so ably sum up America's feast with a nice backbeat ...

Click through for the whole playlist ...

Paula Deen's hamtastrophy!

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I believe this particular pass play is called the Ham Mary.

During a charity event yesterday in which celebrity chef Paula Deen was helping to unload 25,000 pounds of meat at an Atlanta food bank, one of the workers needed a football break. He threw a ham to her. Actually, at her. He hit Deen in the face.

"I thought it busted my lip, but it didn't," she said.

Though smiles and laughter, Deen added: "I'm OK. It just knocked me for a little bit."

She says she was unloading hams when she tossed one to a man, who then said "Back at 'ya." Thinking he meant it only as a sentiment, she turned around to get another ham when the errant swine came at her. "He really meant, 'Back at 'ya."'

Later, she tweeted: "I haven't met the ham that could stop me yet!"

There is, of course, video ...

OK, at first glance a video on "who to eat a chicken wing" would seem to rank up there with "how to walk in a straight line" or "how to sit in a chair" in terms of instructional usefulness and necessity. I mean, it's eating a chicken wing! Take a gulp of beer, insert wing into your sauce-stained maw, repeat.

We're not talking brain surgery here.

But OK, it's not quite as lame as you might think. The FoodWishes blog gives us a useful tip on how to eat the flat, double-boned wings that are a minor pain when you're trying to get the good stuff that's always tied up behind the bones. It may be more effort than your average wing fan would want to put forth for a problem than ranks up there in severity with the infomercial people who can't get a loaf of bread out of the wrapper without spraining a wrist. But it gets some points for cleverness.

Now, about that plate of wings ...

Yes, the audio quality is poor, but you get the idea.

kfc.jpgYou may have seen the new KFC Double Down Chicken Sandwich by now, a 1,200-calorie adventure in misaligned dietary goals. This is the monstrosity promising a bacon sandwich with cheese and sauce slapped between two slabs of fried chicken - in lieu of bread.

Mmmm ...

Don't bother rolling yourself to any Chicago KFCs just yet for a taste of the last meal of your life, though, as it's currently only being test marketed in Nebraska and Rhode Island, apparently. But don't worry, it'll likely be in the Midwest before you can say triple bypass.

The drunk food appeal of this death platter aside, it's an amazing menu item - and not the good kind of amazing. At a time when the country is embroiled in a fierce debate over the cost of health care and obesity continues to put our fatness at the forefront of a public health pandemic, this is apparently the answer at least one fast food corporation has come up with to help society: JUST GIVE UP.

KFC for its part is being very secretive about the sandwich - there's no mention on its Web site about the behemoth and even dietary information is sketchy.

And what does $5 taste like? A Foodgeek reviewer breaks it down (complete with horrific photos:

That's it? That is the sandwich? That's not worth five dollars. Oh... oh my God. That is the best thing ever. I don't know what "Colonel's Sauce" is, but it is like a party in my mouth. This is completely worth the five dollars. Unfortunately I'm going to end up weighing 700 lbs after this, but it is simply amazing.

Right. So when the Devil comes to Earth, he's apparently delicious.

Of course, the health community is aghast at the Double Down, decrying the lack of corporate responsibility in the face of the aforementioned health concerns in AMerica now. There's even the possibility of some sort of fast food or fat tax tied to health care reform to penalize American eaters for subjecting the system to undue costs for scarfing just this sort of thing.

Overreaction? Appropriate outrage? All too much to swallow? Who knows, but one thing's for sure - this is yet another reason why This Is Why You're Fat is becoming less funny and more like a coroner's report on cause of death.

And worst of all, they stole the idea from "30 Rock"!

There's nothing like an inbound CTA/Metra ride to make one think of drinking - at least that's what Budweiser is banking on in a new video ad spot.

The twist? It's a spot running in the United Kingdom and Ireland as part of a campaign for the beer's licensed brewer, Diageo Ireland.

Set to the tune of the Beatles' "All Together Now," the spot almost makes you forget you're watching an ad - and almost makes the schlep downtown something to look forward to for the work-a-day drones stuck on the various "L" and Metra lines used in the piece.

Sliding by scenes both famous and simply familiar, it's not the usual glamour shoot you'd see from a Chicago-shot ad campaign, but rather an insider's view to the city. There's the usual skyscraper footage and the like, but no ballparks. No lakeshore. No Michigan Avenue.

Irish blogger Darragh Doyle touched on some of the Chicago-centric aspects of the ad in a post in July. Here's what Doyle had on the city - and its people - as star:

Written by Dave Henderson and Richard Denney, and shot by award winning Director Chris Palmer, it was shot over 5 days from an actual train on the metro-rail as it tracked around the city of Chicago.

All in all, the film and crew were on the train for 50 hrs over a 5 day period in temperatures that were often below freezing. All of the actors were outside for up to 10 hrs a day in the freezing temperatures, often in costumes that provided little warmth. As such there was almost an entire crew of people dedicated to keeping the actors warm with blankets, thermoses and portable heaters.

The people of Chicago were brilliant as well and invited actors into their homes and offered them some respite from the bitter weather during shoot down time glorious stuff.

The band playing the Beatles cover is The Hours, a London-based duo.

The work for the "Lyrics" was written and conceived by DDB London and during a blogger release party for the spot, DDB's Matt Delahunty tells what it took to get the add off the ground - a 17-month process. It's an interesting look behind the scenes:

Delahunty talks about not only the technical challenges of getting the shoot timed perfectly, but his surprise at the freezing Chicago weather that surprised him on his first trip to the States.

You can find much more on the making of the video - behind the scenes and concept work, as well as upload your own video clips - here, though you'll need to be 21 - or at least tell the site you are - to get through the age wall. Some very cool insights to be found.

In the end it is just an ad campaign for a mediocre beer, but any Chicagoan can appreciate the glimpses into our city. And anybody who appreciates the creative process will find the explanations behind the work a treat for sure.

Hat tip to the Windy Citizen for finding this Chicago gem. Stop by and give it a vote up if you're so inclined.

Bloodthirsty? Reach for a bottle o' Tru Blood

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image.jpgIt's hot out, you're thirsty -- how 'bout a nice cold bottle of blood?

The fictional beverage chugged by vampires in the HBO series "True Blood" is now very real and will be on sale in September. Tru Blood is a blood orange-flavored, carbonated drink, in a bottle that's been crafted to replicate the appearance of the vampiric sustenance found on the series - blood type, logo and all.

The Tru Blood drink was officially announced by Alan Ball, creator and executive producer of "True Blood," at the San Diego Comic Con this weekend, where fans were able to sample the beverage and take a bottle home.


It's been a pretty good week for trumped-up holidays - Leave the Office Early Day, Neil Diamond Day, National Running Day, etc. - but it was all just sturm and drang leading up to the real deal today.

donut.jpgNational Doughnut Day (or Donut, if you prefer), my friends.

Right up there with Christmas and your birthday as one of the real worthwhile dates to remember on the calendar. And it's not just because doughnuts (great history here) are delicious and fatty and filled with goodness.

No, just like Christmas, there are gifts involved in the form of free doughnuts from Krispy Kreme - no purchase necessary - and Dunkin' Donuts - with a drink order.

And if that's all there was to it, life would be golden brown and glazed. But it gets better! Turns out actual good deeds could be involved as you stuff your face. A good cause is at the heart (hole?) of the day. Or one was originally, anyway.

DoughnutGirl.jpgDoughnut Day got its start right here in Chicago thanks to the Salvation Army:

National Doughnut Day was established in 1938 by the Chicago Salvation Army to raise much-needed funds during the Great Depression, and to honor the work of World War I Salvation Army volunteers - specifically Ensign Margaret Sheldon and Adjutant Helen Purviance - who prepared doughnuts and other foods for thousands of soldiers.

Why is this important? Because in theory it's still a fund-raising day for the Salvation Army, or any other charity you feel attached to, which is worth remembering while you dunk and salivate.

So by all means, do enjoy free doughnuts, but maybe try to buy a few from an organization that can use the help. Sure, you may still feel guilty for gorging, but you can wash it down with the milk of human kindness, safe in the knowledge that your sacrifice will help somebody in the long run.


sonicx.jpgHey, more free food! This time it's Sonic passing out the grub in the form of a free root beer float til midnight tonight.

Add this to the growing list of companies trying to find their way to your heart - or wallet, anyway - through the stomach.

Yes, the ice cream weather still eludes us in Chicago, but a free float is a free float.

And yes, there are a few locations around the city, but you better be ready to travel for that free goodness.

Popsicle. Daniel Craig popsicle.

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Well, if you've ever admitted to wanting your mouth all over James Bond star Daniel Craig, now's your chance. And here's the weird thing: He tastes like blueberry.

Or pomegranate. Or cranberry. Those are the flavors of the new Daniel Craig popsicles, available this week in Britain from Del Monte Superfruit Smoothies. Why make a popsicle in the shape of 41-year-old hunk Daniel Craig, you ask? Why the hell not, we say. But here's the marketing answer: "'Daniel Craig topped our poll of Britain's coolest celebrities and thanks to our Del Monte lolly replica he is officially immortalised as super smooth and licensed to chill," said spokesman Matt O'Connor. Sigh. You knew that pun was coming.

The frozen treats are modeled after Craig's appearance fresh out of the ocean -- hubba -- in his first film as Bond, "Casino Royale" in 2006.

The others topping the poll of male celebs that British women would most like to see on the end of a stick? Jude Law was second, Hugh Grant was third, Steve Jones fourth and Tom Jones fifth. Hmm, what flavor should they have been?


It was only a matter of time before two of the pop culture phenomenon of this young century smashed into eachother - bacon, meet iPhone; iPhone, meet bacon.

Neither of these trendy products seems like a flash in the pan - sorry - so is it any wonder they finally found a comfy niche together?

Enter a German company making felt phone cases in the form of bacon - many sizes available, including for the popular Apple Jesus phone.

Seems like one of those "act now" opportunities, though. Demand is high for this sizzling product. Sorry. Anyway, here's the really SUPER EXCITED sales pitch ...

"The Zeitgeist Case"

The Bacon Case

Dear Customers! Pls allow 20 days for delivery due to the high number of orders already placed. Sorry for any inconvenience.

The case look really lika a piece of bacon. You can feel the irregular and the illusion is perfect. Each case is different.

There ist no seam, the whole case is seamless and felted in one piece.

Shipment not EU 6€

Shipment EU 3€

I can felt the case in each size, please tell me your type of phone or anything else.

It´s absolutely trendy!!!!!

Weiner War.jpg

The best food is always free food, right, Oprah?

First there was the Denny's Grand Slam Super Bowl promotion that brought a stop to the country as lines poured out of the breakfast joints.

Then you could get your caffeine on with a free Cherry Dr. Pepper.

Then we had the infamous KFC free chicken deal promised by Oprah. Or did we? That promotion seemed to be clucked up from the get-go and many fans of the talk show queen are still crying foul over their unredeemable coupons.

Then the country scored a hole-in-one thanks thanks to a pro golfer's efforts in Sand Diego to secure P.F. Chang's chicken lettuce wraps for everybody.

Even a little free chocolate to take all the hurt away, courtesy the cocoa folks at Mars.And now Oscar Mayer - a division of Northfield-based Kraft - is hopping on the Wienermobile-driven bandwagon with a coupon deal on their Web site to give away a free pack of hot dogs.

Just in time for grilling season, though in annoying fashion, you have to enter an e-mail address and a physical address - no downloading of coupons for sausages, people!

So since we're rapidly turning into a Costco sample-seeking culture, what food do you want to see on the free table next? Sadly, there's no gimmes in the beer and liquor aisles, but there must be some munchies that are begging to be gratis. Chipotle burrito? Potbelly PB&J? Free Philly cheesesteaks on the 4th?

What's got your tumbly rumbly for the hook up?

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    This page is an archive of recent entries in the food category.

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