Wings, Sweat, and Tears

While it’s not the first in-depth story about the capsaicin-fueled mayhem of YouTube talk show Hot Ones (see: this 2019 Verge story), Jaya Saxena’s piece goes beyond profile to something more like exegesis. We know that Scoville units introduce a candid new wrinkle to the tired celebrity interview; now, the question becomes what to do with that leverage.

Because celebrities are people and many people do bad things, a celebrity-focused talk show must learn how to navigate such controversies as they surface. And talk shows have served as spaces where celebrities go to specifically address their scandals or, more rarely, be confronted by them. But Hot Ones can avoid such questions because, as an internet-based show still considered less culturally relevant than something on network television, it doesn’t have to play by those rules, and so the vibes can always stay weird and positive.

Source: Eater
Published: May 3, 2022
Length: 13 minutes (3,306 words)

This Story Stinks

JJ Goode uses rich and beautiful language to contemplate his subject matter: poo. His ponderings on why we talk so freely about masticating, but not defecating, are nothing but fascinating.

After seven years submerged in the toilet bowl of parenthood, coauthoring cookbooks by day and wiping butts by night, it began to strike me as somehow both perfectly sensible and utterly strange that a product of ordinary bodily function remains a societal third rail, that for almost two decades I’ve written about eating and never even considered acknowledging the aftermath.

Author: JJ Goode
Source: Eater
Published: Apr 6, 2022
Length: 15 minutes (3,831 words)

Flour Trip

“Two years have passed since that first baking frenzy began — are we any closer to knowing what those loaves are made from?”

Source: Eater
Published: Feb 7, 2022
Length: 26 minutes (6,679 words)

Is the ‘Future of Food’ the Future We Want?

“The draw of a virtual restaurant is that of online shopping: The same products no matter where you are, or sometimes products exclusive to the virtual world. It’s fast food on an even grander scale.”

Source: Eater
Published: Jan 5, 2022
Length: 17 minutes (4,270 words)

Inside the Secretive, Semi-Illicit, High Stakes World of WhatsApp Mango Importing

“Customs restrictions, high transport costs, and a short shelf life have made the world’s greatest mangoes — grown in Pakistan — difficult to come by in the U.S.”

Source: Eater
Published: Aug 12, 2021
Length: 24 minutes (6,041 words)

Margaritaville and the Myth of American Leisure

“Margaritaville, as Parrotheads will tell you, is a state of mind. But it’s also—delightfully, sometimes inexplicably—a real place now open in Times Square.”

Source: Eater
Published: Aug 30, 2021
Length: 16 minutes (4,200 words)

There Has Been Blood

“For more than five decades, the Thai palm oil industry has been marred by rampant exploitation, violence, and corporate greed. Thailand is the world’s No. 3 producer of palm oil.”

Source: Eater
Published: Aug 3, 2021
Length: 25 minutes (6,471 words)

‘We’re at the Crossroads’

“Chefs Russell Jackson and Ian Boden struggled to reconcile their visions of fine dining with their communities’ desires. Now, as they forge a sustainable path beyond the pandemic, one of them is ready to double down, and the other is ready to walk away.”

Source: Eater
Published: Jul 22, 2021
Length: 22 minutes (5,616 words)

One-Horse Town

“She goes to work, goes home, repeats; the sun rises, the sun sets. In her quiet corner of the world, self-sufficiency and independence are how both she and her customers survive, even thrive. They find pleasure in their work and in the small slices of life shared daily.”

Source: Eater
Published: Mar 31, 2021
Length: 8 minutes (2,181 words)

The Limits of the Lunchbox Moment

“The story of being bullied in the cafeteria for one’s lunch is so ubiquitous that it’s attained a gloss of fictionality.”

Source: Eater
Published: Feb 8, 2021
Length: 13 minutes (3,400 words)