The Taco Cleanse Is Total Bullsh*t, But You Should Try It Anyway

Let me be real with you from the first sentence: The Taco cleanse –that’s the one where all you do is eat tacos–will not change your life. It won’t solve all your problems. And not even Jennifer Aniston — who recently admitted that she’d “heard of” the cleanse — will get me to admit otherwise.

Forget everything else you’ve read, this is important: The Taco Cleanse is a beautiful stomach-churning lie.

Here’s the cool thing, though: The authors of the Taco Cleanse — self-proclaimed “taco scientists” (which is not a real job, otherwise every person you got stoned with in college would be in a STEM field now) — know that tacos aren’t going to make the two thousand pounds you gained during the holidays disappear. In fact, despite not having actual doctorates in taco-logy, they have the common sense to understand that cleanses don’t work. Why? Because regardless of the cleanse, there’s no metric to judge whatever “toxins” you’re removing from your body other than the very scientific “I pooped a lot” scale.

Let’s just stop pretending and admit that without hard work and eating right and exercise, no amount of cayenne pepper, orange juice, or tacos are going to turn you into Idris Elba by February 1.

Now that we’re done unpacking my initial disclaimer, I need to be honest with you once again (because the truth has set me free, but also chained me to my toilet): You should totally do the taco cleanse… just, you know, prepare to poop a lot.

Like a lot a lot. Especially if you’re drinking alcohol with all your meals. Because that’s something that’s actively encouraged by the cleanse’s creators.

I did the taco cleanse for a week. That’s one step up from the first level of the cleanse (doing it for a day), but a giant step down from doing it for an entire month. If you’re going to try it, I suggest trying it for an entire week. Not only will you be fine, you’ll be sated.

There are several rules to the Taco Cleanse. The most important one, and the one I took as gospel, is that burritos are not tacos. Nor can you claim a sandwich is a taco if you hold it sideways. Whatever you’re eating has to be vegan, too, which is where I ran into some problems.

“What about the valuable proteins and fibers I get from eating cheese and chugging sour cream?” I asked my friend, a personal trainer I’d called up to make sure this entire thing was safe.

“Are you serious?” she asked. “Because if you are, you need to get to an ER right away. I’m worried you might be suffering a traumatic brain injury.” According to her, there are people out there who choose not to eat dairy on a regular basis. And they’re fine. Healthier, in fact.

Lest you think the Taco Cleanse is all Taco Bell without the cheese sauce (the workers at your local franchise will be very confused, but also very accommodating), you need to understand that the book you’re purchasing isn’t just a philosophical text, but also a cookbook. And aside from several pages that extol the virtues of Taco Yoga (Pretending to be an avocado seed is fun! Try it!), the majority of the book is made up of recipes that a layman could use to make scores of delicious tacos.

“What the hell is a jackfruit?” I asked my husband as I stuffed an entire tomato into my mouth right behind a flour tortilla. Finally, I drizzled Sriracha sauce directly into my open maw, because seasoning is an important part of taco-based nutrition.

“It’s a member of the fig family,” he said. “You wouldn’t like it.” He also didn’t think I’d enjoy soy curls (wrong), sweet potatoes cooked at home (right), or something called Nooch, which is an offensive diminutive for nutritional yeast — a lovely tasting item which should be spread on any and all food that you eat.

“I also don’t think that you’re following the rules,” my husband told me as I took a shot of tequila after eating a taco I’d created out of a leftover corn tortilla (the worst kind) and some lettuce we’d had lying around to feed to the rabbit. “You’re supposed to make a margarita.”

“I don’t want to waste the calories,” I told him. “I’ve got to save it for all the starches I’m going to eat.” At which point I proceeded to spend the next few days putting mashed potatoes on tortillas and complimenting myself on this major “lifestyle change.”

For people like Jennifer Aniston, who probably have a personal chef to wend through grocery store aisles looking for the ripest avocados and best-looking vine-ripened tomatoes, this cleanse may be easy. For the rest of us, particularly those of us whose cooking skills top out at ordering takeout, it might be a little bit more difficult. If you are going to commit to the cleanse, I suggest you check out the recipes on the website before you buy the book. But don’t waste time slicing pretty little cucumbers pieces. After all, your food is all going to the same place anyway. That place, of course, is hell. And the river Styx flows directly through your toilet — where you’ll be chained for at least 15 minutes a day just as soon as you start mixing margaritas and roughage.

According to vegan friends who had to deal with my terrified phone calls, I do not have a normal digestive system. And while I’m a vegetarian, my entire system is usually more clogged than the shower drains on Endor. That’s why, one friend explained, I suffered some “ill effects” from giving up dairy.

“This might be a reason to just go vegan,” she said. “Soon you’ll just feel better.”

At first, I felt horrible. I certainly didn’t expect results right away, but I also didn’t want the Taco Cleanse to be the last diet I ever needed because I was going to die like Elvis, straining on the toilet. Worthwhile to mention: Unlike The King, I had no right to expect that anyone would remember me for anything other than dying in the bathroom. For three days, I suffered while my friend reminded me that I’d “always struggled with the machinations of eliminating waste,” because she thinks the word poop is disgusting.

Four days into eating tacos at every meal (of course, one of the rules says you can eat other things, too, but I’m a weird-cleanse purist), something shifted. Whether it was the healing power of nutritional yeast and mangos (Have you combined those in a taco? You should!) or the effects of living without dairy, I’ll never know. Either way, my stomach catastrophes eased and suddenly I was feeling like I was a little more energetic, a little more fun, and just a little bit healthier. Of course, as my husband points out, it could have had something to do with the “amount of alcohol you’re drinking. I wouldn’t be surprised if you’d just pickled your insides.”

Of Course North Korea Has Reportedly Invented Hangover-Proof Liquor

Having already teased the world with exclusives in the form of purported cures for AIDS and cancer, North Korea is now tackling a truly profound scientific advancement: hangover-proof liquor. North Korean government officials announced their invention of this so-called “elixir of life” via a statement to the state-sponsored Pyongyang Times, the Daily Dot reports.

“Koryo Liquor, which is made of six-year-old Kaesong Koryo insam [ginseng], known as being highest in medicinal effect, and the scorched rice, is highly appreciated by experts and lovers as it is suave and causes no hangovers,” officials claim, which definitely makes this sound like the greatest drink of all time. If a cursory Googling is any indication, North Korea isn’t exactly keen on sharing this stuff with their worldly brethren.

Sadly, North Korea’s alleged achievement doesn’t extend to all meanings of the word “hangover,” meaning there is still no way to completely eradicate the world of The Hangover Part II and The Hangover Part III.

Your Barnes And Noble Book Browsing May Soon Get A Lot Boozier

The noble art of combining books with booze could be arriving at select New York Barnes & Noble locations.

The retail giant has been experiencing less-than-desirable sales numbers of late and what do you do when you’re feeling glum? Get to drinkin’ is what you do! Good E-Reader reports that the chain has applied for a beer and wine license from the New York State Liquor Authority. If everything’s hunky dory, customers will be able to buy booze from the store’s cafes and possibly get into fistfights over Jonathan Franzen. (Barnes & Noble didn’t put the Franzen fistfight thing on their application, mind you.)

Having alcoholic beverages on hand at a bookstore isn’t a new idea (loads of shops already do this), but it marks another way Barnes & Noble has tried to give their sales a boost. According to Good-E Reader, the company’s New Hartford location will be serving as a test location for this boozy B&N with the operating hours (currently) not subject to change once these adult beverages are introduced as a purchase option. So if you’re looking to have a 2am rager with your pals over the release of Melanie Benjamin’s The Swans of Fifth Avenue, you’ll have to do it at TGI Fridays as you normally would.

Renowned Wood Artist Pays Homage to Ballantine’s Whiskey Maturation Process

For the first of two Signature Oak Limited Editions exclusively available in travel retail, Ballantine’s 21YO European Oak Edition showcases the characteristics and flavors that European oak contributes to the award-winning taste profile of Ballantine’s 21-year-old blend. To commemorate this unveiling, the innovative Korean woodworking artist, Lee Sam Woong, produced a unique sculpture that pays homage to the oak that plays a significant role in the whisky maturation process. The impressive sculpture is currently on showcase at Korea’s Incheon Airport, and will later be awarded as a lucky draw prize to one lucky Ballantine’s consumer.

With the European Oak Edition currently available at select duty free stores, be on the lookout for the American Oak Edition to reveal itself in the coming months.

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Taco Bell Will Reportedly Use Super Bowl To Announce Year-Old “Quesalupa” Idea

It’s been a year since we first got wind of the Taco Bell “Quesalupa” — or as Conan O’Brien put it, the “case of lupus” — and 11 months since the company began testing the vaguely taco-like object (complete with a soft, cheese-stuffed shell) in Dayton, Ohio. Now it looks like the Bell is set to unleash this menu item nationwide.

BrandEating.com reports that the Quesalupa will launch during the Super Bowl on Feb. 7. Presumably, this is what the company was trying to tease in that heavily redacted not-really-a-press-release last week.

Even though the secret appears to have been spilled by this news, TB is going to try to drag out the news through more teasers and “ambiguous activities” in the run up to the big game. Then we’ll all see the commercial and continue gorging on whatever food is already in front of us.

Early reviews of the Quesalupa were fine but nothing to brag about — one reader told us that it tastes like a Chalupa, “but a lot more cheesy” — which makes us wonder why Taco Bell thinks this product is worth the advertising blitz. The company did manage to strike orange-colored gold with its Dorito-shelled tacos, but that was something that many Bell fans had been pipe-dreaming about for years.

WHERE TO EAT PIZZA Book Gives Tips and Recipes to the Best Pizza

It’s the year 2016 and people are still on the relentless pursuit of the perfect slice of pizza. Acclaimed London-based food critic Daniel Young is coming out with a new book for the pizza lovers that will be comprised of insider tips and advice for finding and making the perfect slice of pizza. Titled WHERE TO EAT PIZZA: The Last Word on the Slice, the hardback novel will provide inside scoop to the popular food including recipes to special sauces and perfect crusts with secret ingredients from over 1,000 food experts from around the world. Guides also include reviews and information to pizzas on global city maps with over 1,700 pizzerias, pizza joints and parlours.

WHERE TO EAT PIZZA: The Last Word on the Slice is now available for pre-order over at PHAIDON for about ($25 USD), with shipping beginning April 25.

Candied Whiskey Bacon Grilled Cheese Dippers Recipe

INGREDIENTS

  • 8 strips of Wright Brand Bacon
  • 1 cup whiskey or bourbon
  • 1¼ cup dark brown sugar, divided
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 8 slices of your favorite bread, with the crust cut off
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 8 slices sharp cheddar cheese
  • 4 slices mozzarella cheese
  • ¼ cup shredded cheddar cheese for garnish (optional)
  • tomato soup for dipping

 INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat your oven to 350F
  2. While oven is heating, mix together your whiskey with 1 cup brown sugar and cayenne pepper in a small saucepan over medium/high heat. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Place each strip of bacon directly on a baking sheet, allowing a bit of space between strips. HERE is an AWESOME video about oven baking bacon + tips!)
  4. Brush the bacon with the whiskey reduction and then sprinkle with remaining ¼ cup brown sugar.
  5. Place bacon in the oven and cook for 20 minutes, checking after 12 minutes. Ovens vary, so you want to make sure they don’t burn. Mine took the full 20 minutes.
  6. Take bacon out of the oven and allow to sit on a paper towel to cool/drain.
  7. When ready to make your grilled cheese, heat a large skillet over medium high heat.
  8. Butter the outside of each slice of bread. Sprinkle each buttered side with a pinch of garlic powder.
  9. Place each slice of bread onto the hot skillet, butter side down. Add one slice of cheddar and one slice of mozzarella to each slice of bread and allow to melt while bread toasts. Cook each slice of bread for approximately 2 minutes, or until the outside is fully toasted and browned to your liking.
  10. Place two slices of bacon onto 4 pieces of the bread, side by side. Top with the remaining for slices of bread, 4 cheesy sandwiches. Sprinkle each hot sandwich with a little shredded cheddar (optional)
  11. Cut each sandwich in half, between the bacon, to create 8 dippers.
  12. Enjoy!

LUXCO TO LAUNCH ‘HANDCRAFTED’ IRISH WHISKEY IN US

The Quiet Man is created in partnership with Niche Drinks in Derry, Ireland, and is said to be the first Irish whiskey bottled in Derry in over a century.

“The Quiet Man is a completely unique combination of hand selected whiskies, finished in first-fill Bourbon barrels, creating sweet and spicy notes,” said Ciaran Mulgrew.

“In more than 50 years behind the bar, my father saw and heard it all, but like all good bartenders, John Mulgrew was true to the code and told no tales.

“He was ‘the quiet man’, or as they say in the pubs of Ireland, ‘an fear ciuin’.”

The range comprises two variants – The Quiet Man Traditional Blended Irish Whiskey and The Quiet Man 8-Year Single Malt Irish Whiskey – distilled in Irish whiskey pot stills and matured in oak barrels and recasked in first-fill Bourbon barrels.

Both expressinos are bottled at 40% abv and carry an RRP of US$39.99 per 750ml for the blended whiskey and US$49.99 per 750ml for the single malt.

First launched in June 2015, the range is already available to purchase in Germany, South Africa, Canada and Ireland.

Anthony Bourdain Discovers the Magic & Tradition of Whiskey in Scotland

As host of The Balvenie‘s Raw Craft series investigating the essence of craftsmanship across the U.S., Anthony Bourdain’s duties have taken him everywhere from one of America’s last hand-bookbinding businesses to a bladesmith who forges kitchen knives out of none other than melted meteorite. Now, the celebrity chef heads back to home turf in matters concerning the tongue, namely The Balvenie’s distillery in Dufftown, Scotland, where he was inoculated into the age-old culture and craft of Scottish whisky. There, he is taken on a tour through the facility, which was built in 1892, by the institution’s head cooper, coppersmith, mash man, malt man, and the malt master, who provide a holistic overview of the journey a grain of malt takes to become a drop in The Balvenie’s prized whisky. As jovial as they are passionate about their craft, these Scotsmen embody a fast disappearing attitude towards a life’s pursuit in this modern age.

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Hopsy Delivers Local Beer to Your Door

Between Seamless, GrubHub, Dollar Shave Club and Sock Club, you can have just about everything delivered to your door on a regular basis. Hopsy joins the ranks of awesome delivery services by giving you access to local beer deliveries from their curated menu. Currently servicing the East Bay area, the current list of Hopsy breweries includes: Alameda Island, Ale Industries, Baeltane, Black Diamond, Cleophus Quealy, Freewheel, Half Moon Bay, Magnolia, Moylan’s and Tag + Jug Cider with flavor options ranging from IPAs and Ambers to stouts and saisons. Each option comes in a 32oz growlette guaranteed to be delivered cold and delicious based on your schedule.