Truckers in the Wild – Philadelphia
Philadelphia is filled with longstanding food traditions like the Philly cheesesteak. In this episode, Max and Eli check out Lil Dan’s food truck to taste his twist on the cheesesteak. Inspired by this culinary classic, the brothers set out to find more uniquely Philly food customs that have shaped the city’s character.
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Truckers in the Wild, our show about food trucks and the people who love them, heads to Las Vegas.
Meet the Two Geniuses Who Lived on Cheese Puffs and Licorize for a Week
I first met Rajiv a few years ago when I interviewed him about his band, Oh No Forest Fires (RIP). Besides having a beard that would make lesser men envious, he was also born and raised in Newfoundland, which means he’s capable of drinking most other human beings under the table. Since I’m also from the East Coast and we share several mutual friends, we got along pretty well and stayed in touch after he moved to St. John’s to study medicine. Recently, I was perusing the ol’ Facebook and saw that he was engaged in an “experiment” where he could only eat Hawkins Cheezies (the Canadian equivalent to Cheetos) for 127 hours straight (or one business week), with just water and one vitamin pill per day to keep from dying. To make this challenge even more interesting, his friend Ian also participated, eating only Hershey’s Nibs. This all sounded incredibly stupid to me so I checked in with them a few days after they finished to make sure they were still alive, and find out why exactly they put themselves through such an ordeal.
VICE: Are you an idiot?
Ian: No, we were just at a party and Rajiv was eating some Cheezies and said, matter-of-factly, “You know, I could probably eat only Hawkins Cheezies for the rest of my life.” I instantly said, “Really? How long do you think you could actually live on only Cheezies?” On some level I might have just grown tired of hyperbolic statements that are thrown around so casually, but that’s probably not what actually went through my head. We went back and forth deciding how long he could realistically go and came up with 127 hours, with the justification that if a guy could live trapped under a rock for that long, it should be easy enough to just eat a delicious snack for the same amount of time. And, I think to really push him to find out, I said I’d eat something else exclusively for the same amount of time. He came up with Nibs, a candy that isn’t really one of my favorites but one that I do like, and for some reason, I agreed.
Rajiv: I think the more important values—if we can call them that—at play here were things like raw stubbornness, curiosity, and a sense of one-upmanship. In a lot of ways, it’s the same reason I drank a pint of my best friend’s urine or ate a raw hot dog out of a puddle on George Street.
You didn’t just eat them as is. What are some of the methods you used to prepare your food? I saw the Vine of the Cheezies smoothie…
Rajiv: Yeah. I mean, let’s face it, they taste best raw, room temp. We tried boiling them, straining it, and eating a pasta-esque dish. It ended up just being like warm, mushy, processed cheesy corn meal… and to be honest, it wasn’t all that bad. The Cheezie smoothie was much worse. I tried to get it down quickly, gagged, and brought the whole thing back up.
Ian: I tried a few different techniques to keep my meals interesting, but neither of them made my food taste any less like Nibs. 1) Frozen: just made them really hard and cold. 2) Fried: tasted a bit worse than regular Nibs—almost like burnt hair, maybe—but at least it was a slightly different taste. 3) Boiled: they just melted and became slimy and hard to eat. 4) Smoothied: flavored water, nothing special.
Taipei Carbs – by Tao Lin
above: Tao’s dad eating an “oil stick” (literal translation from Mandarin)
Over the next month, in celebration of the forthcoming release of Tao Lin’s latest novel, Taipei, we will be featuring a weekly selection of photos taken by the author during his recent trip to Taipei, Taiwan. While there, he took thousands of pictures with his iPhone, pictures which he has divided into albums titled things like “Taipei fashion,” “Taipei food,” “Taipei babies,” and “Taipei animals,” among others. The images were taken between January and February 2013 during one of his semiannual visits to the Taiwanese capital, where his parents live. This selection is titled “Taipei Carbs.” All photos and captions by Tao Lin.
Taipei will be released on June 4 from Vintage and is available for pre-order now. To read an early excerpt from the novel that we published in 2011 titled “Relationship Story,” click here.
I seem to rush, whenever I see this photo, to think Huffington Post quickly, like I’m answering a question before someone else does
Al Gore should abruptly stumble cross-stage during a TED talk, falling to his knees, when his vision is replaced with this photo, which he’s never seen, for 2.5 seconds
FIGHTLAND MEETS OTTAVIA BOURDAIN
Ottavia Bourdain—writer, MMA lover, and dedicated Brazilian jiu-jitsu student—and her husband, Anthony, show us what life is like when you’ve got a fighter in the family.
Photos of What Famous Musicians Eat Backstage
A rider is a contractual proviso that outlines a series of stipulations or requests between at least two parties. While they can be attached to leases and other legal documents, they’re most famously used by musicians or bands to outline how they need their equipment to be set up and arranged, how they like their dressing room organized, and what types of food and beverages they require. Anyone who’s seen Spinal Tap knows these requests can be extremely outrageous and unreasonable. (And, in the case of Iggy Pop’s, unexpectedly hilarious.)
I was inspired to create this series after reviewing a few riders from some of the biggest acts in the world, all of which were ridiculous. But what I found most interesting about them is that they offered a glimpse into their larger-than-life personalities.
I initially thought I would try and shoot all of the items listed on the catering riders but quickly realized that this would become an exercise in wasting money. So I decided to focus on the quirkiest requests and shoot them in a Flemish Baroque still-life style because I felt that there was a direct connection between the themes in these types of paintings and the riders: the idea of time passing and the ultimate mortality of a musician’s career as the limelight inevitably fades—they only have a short time in which they are able to make these demands and have them fulfilled.
Photography and Direction: Henry Hargreaves
Prop Styling: Caitlin Levin
Photos of Death Row Inmates’ Last Meals
VICE: Hey Henry. So what made you start photographing serial killer’s last meals?
Henry Hargreaves: I’m really interested in people’s choices with food. It’s one of those things that everyone does several times a day, but you never really see it out of context or think about what it says about someone. I was reading about a campaign to abolish the last meal in Texas, so I went online and researched it. And as I was reading through these records, I felt that I could identify with these people for a brief moment just from what they ordered.
Do you think the meals offer a window into the psyche of the condemned?
I think in general—yes, definitely. The thing that kind of struck me with these last meals was how many of them were these big, deep fried meals, which we like to call comfort food. Here were these people in their last moments and all they really want was a little bit of comfort.
Is the project a statement about the death penalty?
Yeah. I mean, I’m from New Zealand, and when I came to America the death penalty struck me as a really inhumane thing. It’s seen by most of the world as this outdated, barbaric act. And it’s strange that it still exists in a country that spends so much time advertising their democracy and morals to the rest of the world. In the process of researching the project, I came across claims that reckon there’s about 12 people over the last 20 years who have been executed falsely in America. That’s only hearsay of course, but those people are still gone and they have no hope of a retrial.
VICE Podcast 003: Eddie Huang
The VICE Podcast Show is a weekly unedited discussion where we go inside the minds of some of the most interesting, creative, and bizarre people we come across. This week we talk to restaurateur and food personality Eddie Huang about his new book, Fresh Off the Boat: A Memoir and the first season of his VICE show that’s also called Fresh Off the Boat. Host Eddy Moretti and Eddie also covered such wide-ranging topics as philosophers, reading shit on the internet, and how Orlando is a city with all the bad parts of the south (i.e., racism) without the good things (i.e., pickled veggies).
You can watch the podcast as a video here.
Truckers in the Wild – Los Angeles
The luchador scene expanding rapidly through LA with fights popping up and a flood of new contenders entering the biz. Case and point, El Burger Luchador, the food truck that’s a manifestation of the cult following these masked wrestlers have cultivated. While not fighters themselves, the El Burger guys are huge luchador fans. They think outside the box with their burgers, always experimenting with new toppings and using the freshest ingredients and best burger buns in LA. They’re at once flamboyant and mysterious just like the fighters the burgers were inspired by.
After spending an afternoon on Wilshire cooking up the Luchador chef’s newest creation, Max and Eli Sussman find out how El Burger Luchador fares with the top Luchadors born and trained in Mexico City. The brothers take the truck to one of the biggest luchador fights of the year. Parked outside the Mayan, they find out whether these impressive burgers are enough for fans and veteran fighters.
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