Happy New Year, bitches! Welcome to 2015. Let’s hope it’s a little better than 2014.
The first post I have on tap is twofold, with items totally unrelated to each other, but both fall into the category I like to call, “What the fuck?”
One: White Castle is now offering veggie burgers. What the fuck?
Two: Coca-Cola is launching a milk product. No, it’s not coke-flavored milk, but they are aiming to create the Coke of milks, if that makes any sense. It’s called Fairlife, and it’s like concentrated milk. What the fuck?
Let’s start with the limited release White Castle Veggie Burger, because it’s 2015 and I’m pretending to eat better for about five minutes. You know, by eating veggie burgers. From White Castle. I should probably just give up right now.
The burger patties are made by a company called Dr. Praeger’s Sensible Food. I haven’t seen them in many places other than Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods, but they’re definitely a real thing. My friend was married to a relative of Dr. Praeger, who is a real person, but then later, my friend’s wife went rogue, divorced my friend, and is now his ex-wife, and the aforementioned friend isn’t my friend anymore, because he’s a dickhole. This is a pretty cool story, because I’m a pretty cool guy.
Dr. Praeger’s veggie burgers, unfortunately, aren’t my favorite thing in the world. In fact, I stopped eating them because they’re kind of gross. These are exactly as I remember them. Mushy and gummy, with occasional corn kernels and a random pea here or there in the chewed up vegetable filler. You can get them dressed with Sweet Thai (seriously?), Ranch, and Honey Mustard sauces. But that detail doesn’t matter, because you shouldn’t get them.
You’re at White Castle. Just eat a goddamn slider. I’m telling you this out of love.
Side note: If you’re a vegetarian and you absolutely have to eat one of these since you’re going to die of starvation for some reason, don’t worry. They segregate the burgers from the meat ones so you won’t have to accidentally, you know, eat something that touched delicious steam-grilled onionated beef.
And now onto the Frankenmilk. Otherwise known as Fairlife Ultra-Filtered Milk.
Fairlife is a joint-venture between a farm co-op named Fair Oaks Farms and Coca-Cola. Fairlife is headquartered in Chicago, which is sort of hilarious to me (since I live in Chicago). Fair Oaks Farms, its parent company, seems like a really strange place. It’s a dairy farm in Indiana that’s sort of an educational farm theme park at the same time. Taylor Hicks (of American Idol fame) performed there on New Year’s Eve. I repeat: Taylor Hicks played a concert at a dairy farm. Also, their buses run on cow poo. Oh, and if you visit, there’s a thing called a “Birthing Barn,” where you can watch a live cow give birth, and they have a similar setup so you can watch pigs give birth too. None of this makes any sense.
This milk isn’t any less weird. It’s regular cow’s milk, run through a sort of filter, resulting in a separation of milk sugars, extra liquid, and the thicker, protein and nutrient-rich portion of milk. Think of it almost like Greek yogurt (regular yogurt that’s been strained to take out excess moisture).
So it’s mostly still milk. It apparently has some nutritionally useless shit taken out of it. That’s my scientific assessment, at least. Lactase enzyme has also been added, rendering the milk lactose free. So they did fool around with it a little more than just the filtering part.
Fairlife comes in whole, 2%, skim, and chocolate milk form. I bought the 2% for no reason other than the fact that it was closest to my face on the shelf. Taste-wise, it’s definitely a little different from your old fashioned moo juice. It has a clean dairy taste with the texture of half-and-half. The concentrated protein changes the texture of the milk in a richer way. It doesn’t have the sweeter flavor you’d typically notice in lactose-free milk, though, which is interesting. An 8 oz serving gives you a whopping 13 grams of protein, which is 50% more than a typical glass of cow titty extract.
According to business-minded folk, this milk has been described as “Value-Added.” That’s exactly how I’d describe the flavor. It tastes like value. Except…it’s expensive, at $4.29 for 1.5 liters of the stuff. So, basically, I lied. Coca-Cola North American president, Sandy Douglas, calls this “The premiumization of milk,” according to this article from Food Safety News. That made up term, “premiumization,” just sounds like an unabashed excuse to charge people lots of money for something as ordinary as milk. It makes me feel dirty and stupid just seeing that word, “premiumization.” I typed it three times now. Someone please spray me down with a fire hose.
The whole concept still weirds me out. It’s like futuristic milk. What if it becomes self aware? Will milk robots take over the world? Will we need to travel back in time and find John Connor? Will the milk robots be bullet resistant? I’m scared. Hold me.
For the most part, the milk tastes just fine. Satisfying, too, as much as I hate to say it. But frankly, Coke’s just looking for lots of money, as usual. If clean, delicious milk is important to you, go try something like this 1871 Dairy milk instead, and tell Coca-Cola to choke on a messenger satchel full of dicks. Don’t worry, though, I’m not turning into an indignant food blogger waving his baby-sized digital fist in the air. I just don’t like assholes.
Get ready, because I have a feeling 2015 is going to be weird. Real weird.