A Hipster McDonald’s, the Best Way to Slice Pizza, and More on Food This Week

January 16, 2016

—McDonald’s does a stylish makeover with one of its Hong Kong branches, creating the world’s first Mcdonald’s Next. It still retains the usual menu but with the addition of table service after 6 p.m. and, wait for it, a salad bar—with quinoa. The third wave café look, however, also means slightly higher prices for the food.

McDonald's Next

With McDonald’s Next, salad bars contain your not so usual items, from a Quinoa Cous Cous Mix to Crayfish Egg Mayo. Above image from: Featured Photo (top) from: deapeajay/Flicker.

—The world is slowly realizing that MSG isn’t the culprit  it was made out to be. Scientists and chefs are speaking out on the wrongly accused flavoring and promoting its value in cooking. Time to start hitting those Chinese restaurants.


MSG effects might be caused by the nocebo effect, the opposite of placebo where negative suggestions will result in that particular effect.

—Speaking of flavors, Australian researchers published a paper that could make fat the sixth taste. Understanding fat in this light might lead to better fat-free products, which use “fat replacers” that only mimic the texture but not the taste.

Bananas, specifically the Cavendish, might go extinct thanks to a deadly fungus called Tropical Race 4. Scientists are currently testing the resistance of wild bananas, studying whether crossbreeding will save the Cavendish.

—It appears that mathematicians dedicate serious time for pizza. Two students from the University of Liverpool used geometry to discover the perfect way to cut pizza called the monohedral disc tiling; it creates 12 identical slices. Another mathematician developed a slicing pattern based on a calculated ratio that ensures maximum toppings. Try it out with our recent post.


Thanks to mathematics and geometry, this cutting style can be, in theory, continued indefinitely.

—Paul Qui used to be a broke art major and a horrible drug dealer. He started with 500 pills of Xanax. Opening up to Vice, Qui recounts his life from growing up in the Philippines, starting out at Orange Julius, and his life after winning Top Chef.

—China is the land of opportunity, so much so that Starbucks—which currently has 2,000 stores in the country—is aiming to build 2,500 new stores in the next five years. The projected demand for baristas and store managers is so great that the company will also subsidize at least half of the housing cost of its employees.


Coffee consumption is projected to periodically rise by 18% each year in the next few years. Photo: dunhilaryu / Flicker.

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