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KFC's Skinwich Is Only A Tasty Illusion
August 19, 2010 2:02 PM   Subscribe

Yesterday, reports leaked out that KFC was releasing a new sandwich, consisting of 5 layers of fried chicken skin between two (bread) buns. Sadly, it was later revealed to be a hoax. Undaunted, some people at the Chicago Tribune went ahead and made the sandwich anyway.
posted by reenum (99 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
Later in the offices of the Chicago Tribune, not only reports were found to be leaking out.
posted by Wolfdog at 2:08 PM on August 19, 2010 [5 favorites]


Wow does that make me hungry. I have no shame.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 2:09 PM on August 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


This is such a lame hoax because it barely registers against the background. It's as if I submitted an obituary to the paper that said "Alan Weiss, 70, died today of pancreatic cancer. He is survived by his children, Alex and Wesley, and his wife of forty years, Maureen." HAHA NO SUCH PERSON YOU IDIOTS I MADE IT ALL UP PRANKED
posted by Electrius at 2:10 PM on August 19, 2010 [13 favorites]


Oh, that looks delicious. I love the modern fast food fried chicken. And I love chicken skin. Mmmm.
posted by alasdair at 2:11 PM on August 19, 2010


What's the point of the bread and cheese? Just give the people a mound of fried chicken skin and bacon.
posted by infinitywaltz at 2:12 PM on August 19, 2010 [2 favorites]


If the hoax was intended to prevent me from ever eating an animal product again, it almost worked. "Skin sandwich"? Really?
posted by DU at 2:12 PM on August 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


"Skin sandwich"? Really?

Really! Chicken skin tastes fucking delicious! You should try it sometime! If you go to a place that specializes in fried chicken, that coating between the chicken's muscle and the breading is skin. Try a bite! It's great!
posted by Greg Nog at 2:14 PM on August 19, 2010 [6 favorites]


They're gonna feel silly when KFC actually releases this and makes a mint.
posted by The Card Cheat at 2:14 PM on August 19, 2010


I'm not convinced that people eat KFC for the actual chickeny bit so this makes a sick kind of sense.
posted by turgid dahlia at 2:14 PM on August 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


Skinwich is a bad word, though.
posted by heyho at 2:14 PM on August 19, 2010 [5 favorites]


DU, if the KFC Skinwich is not something you're a fan of, then I urge you to use caution clicking on the NY Pizza Burger. NY Pizza Burger, set to debut at Burger King, includes four Whoppers and a whopping 2,520 calories, click here for image.
posted by Fizz at 2:14 PM on August 19, 2010


For an ethnic twist, call it "Chicken Chicharrón" and folks who get nervous about eating skin won't know the difference. And really, skin, muscle, what's the difference? We call the muscle "meat" and it's magically OK?
posted by filthy light thief at 2:16 PM on August 19, 2010 [6 favorites]


See also: Pork Rinds - 59 snacks from 21 companies.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:18 PM on August 19, 2010


"skinwich"? Really? Are they going to get Stephen King to do the ads for it?
posted by GuyZero at 2:20 PM on August 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm not objecting to the calories and I know about the taste. The problem is the name. I'm not eating anything with "skin" in the name any more than I am something with "eyeball", "tongue" or testicle".
posted by DU at 2:20 PM on August 19, 2010


click here for image.

DAHHH OH WHY I CLICKT
posted by everichon at 2:20 PM on August 19, 2010 [3 favorites]


IT PUTS THE LOTION MAYO IN THE BASKET
posted by zarq at 2:22 PM on August 19, 2010 [14 favorites]


Fizz, that pic is the "Fifth Third Burger" at a Michigan minor league stadium. At least that's what it's captioned in the article.
posted by waitingtoderail at 2:23 PM on August 19, 2010


Sorry, I misread that. My apologies for misleading people.
posted by Fizz at 2:24 PM on August 19, 2010


"Later revealed to be a hoax"?

No one caught on to "Ekaf, Maine" and "Tihsllub, California"?
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 2:24 PM on August 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


Someone's not going to get the McTesteBurger Happy Meal.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:25 PM on August 19, 2010 [2 favorites]


I saw that making the rounds this morning and believed it. The only real challenge to credulity was the name, "Skinwich". In retrospect, giving it a name like Fabulous Crunchwich would be more believable.

Because just like the Famous Bowls aren't called Bowls O' Gruel, the name has to highlight (or contrive) an advantage while diverting attention from the fact that the key ingredients are conventionally considered filler (potato starch, industrial corn and artificially-flavored gravy) or byproduct (chicken skin).
posted by ardgedee at 2:26 PM on August 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


What's the point of the bread and cheese? Just give the people a mound of fried chicken skin and bacon.

So what you're saying is just give 'em a great big failure pile? Well, my friend, if you want that to go, you'll need to put that in a sadness bowl.

/obligatory Patton Oswalt reference
posted by gompa at 2:26 PM on August 19, 2010


Also, you want to really blow your mind and/or your waistline?

A Double Down has 540 calories and 32g fat.
A Hostess Fruit Pie has 480 calories and 22g fat.

It's nearly the same. Yeah, I know, the Double Down is a lot fattier, but seriously, Hostess Fruit Pies are as bad as they are delicious. And they are very delicious.

Little Debbie Fruit Pies are roughly the same but cost a mere seventy-five cents. I think that makes them the cheapest calories on the planet.

Back to the topic at hand, I suppose if you took a Hostess Fruit Pie and filled it with fried chicken skin...
posted by GuyZero at 2:26 PM on August 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm not eating anything with "skin" in the name any more than I am something with "eyeball", "tongue" or testicle".

Why not?
posted by Greg Nog at 2:26 PM on August 19, 2010 [9 favorites]


> No one caught on to "Ekaf, Maine" and "Tihsllub, California"?

Okay, yeah, that too. But only if you had caught the mention on a blog that had the integrity to link to the source.
posted by ardgedee at 2:27 PM on August 19, 2010


If you liked the Double Down, you'll love the Fourskin.
posted by box at 2:32 PM on August 19, 2010 [36 favorites]


A Double Down has 540 calories and 32g fat.
A Hostess Fruit Pie has 480 calories and 22g fat.


And while we're on the subject . . .

A venti Starbucks Caramel Frappuccino has 490 calories and 16g fat.

And yet I bet your average Frappuccino junkie wouldn't dream of eating a Double Down.
posted by gompa at 2:33 PM on August 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm not eating anything with "skin" in the name any more than I am something with "eyeball", "tongue" or testicle".

Why not?


Named body parts, especially named ICKY body parts are not my thing. But tastes differ, so chow down on some hog anus.
posted by DU at 2:33 PM on August 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


No one caught on to "Ekaf, Maine" and "Tihsllub, California"?

That's a lot of reading and thinking when you're a) getting angry at a fast food chain known for questionable food concoctions or b) salivating at an odd food concoction available at limited locations.

Also, Google Maps has a destination for Ekaf, Maine, but gets confused by Tihsllub, Oklahoma and Eritas, California. and the 4th Fark comment realized it was a hoax, and a few more down the locations were called out as give-aways. The original "leak" had been online 3 days by that point, so chances are that some people realized it wasn't real soon after it was posted.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:34 PM on August 19, 2010


I'm not eating anything with "skin" in the name any more than I am something with "eyeball", "tongue" or testicle".

I've had eyeballs and they weren't great. Haven't tried testicles yet.

Lengua tacos though... that's the stuff. God, now I want to go to the little taqueria near home that has great lengua tacos. Mmmmmm.

(BTW, has anybody met a non-Asian that like century eggs? I love them but everybody I know, even usually adventurous eaters, is completely repulsed. It's very sad.)
posted by kmz at 2:35 PM on August 19, 2010


"I'm Ry Cooder, and I endorse this sandwich."
posted by BitterOldPunk at 2:36 PM on August 19, 2010 [2 favorites]


I think that makes them the cheapest calories on the planet.

Nah. 480 calories for 75 cents is .156 cents per calorie. Canola oil and wheat flour are around .035 cents per calorie. And yeah, those aren't particularly tasty straight up, but whole milk is .155 cents per calorie and glazed donuts are .115. A lot of basic food stuffs are the same as or less expensive per calorie as even a Little Debbie fruit pie.
posted by jedicus at 2:37 PM on August 19, 2010


Would it have really ruined the hoax if it had been four layers of skin?

Because making up fake advertising for a four skin sandwich at KFC is really getting my creative juices flowing.

On a more local note, in another thread today, I said that a Chicago minute was "like a New York minute, only cooler, faster, and maybe a little fatter." Thanks, Tribune, for proving me right on at least one.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 2:38 PM on August 19, 2010 [4 favorites]


I think that makes them the cheapest calories on the planet

A pound of butter is 3,200 calories and costs $1.29 at Kroger. It has less sodium too.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 2:39 PM on August 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


Man, KFC chicken sucks so BAD ever since they switched their oils. They did something with their flouring mix to try to make up for the changed taste -- among other things, they appear to have increased the amount of MSG significantly, because I reacted very poorly to it. The old stuff had a little bit, but I could eat a few pieces without much trouble, but the new stuff really makes me ill.

About the only thing I like there anymore is the mashed potatoes and corn on the cob. The actual DINNER part of dinner is just gross.
posted by Malor at 2:40 PM on August 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


gompa: And yet I bet your average Frappuccino junkie wouldn't dream of eating a Double Down.

You wanna bet?

Yeah, actually, I'm not your average probably.

And actually do not find the Double Down appealing. Even though I do love me some Famous Bowl (Patton Oswalt be damned), and am considering asking the Tribune to make me one of those Skinwiches (though the bread does seem like a waste)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 2:47 PM on August 19, 2010


About the only thing I like there anymore is the mashed potatoes and corn on the cob. The actual DINNER part of dinner is just gross.

I've eaten from KFC just once in the past 5 years and for a half hour after that, my friend and my girlfriend and I were on the floor groaning in pain and wondering what we ever did to deserve this punishment.

The only safe thing to eat on that menu has to be the coleslaw.
posted by Fizz at 2:47 PM on August 19, 2010


You maniacs! Don't you know what you've done?
posted by indubitable at 2:49 PM on August 19, 2010


Pffft. Amateurs.
posted by zarq at 2:51 PM on August 19, 2010


among other things, they appear to have increased the amount of MSG significantly, because I reacted very poorly to it.

No one has significant negative reactions to MSG. Well designed, double-blind studies have confirmed this:
Subjects mostly had no responses to placebo (86%) and MSG (85%) treatments. Sensations, previously attributed to MSG, did not occur at a significantly higher rate than did those elicited by placebo treatment. A significant (P < 0.05) negative correlation between MSG dose and after-effects was found. The profound effect of food in negating the effects of large MSG doses was demonstrated. The common practice of extrapolating food-free experimental results to ‘in use’ situations was called into question. An exhaustive review of previous methodologies identified the strong taste of MSG as the factor invalidating most ‘blind’ and ‘double-blind’ claims by previous researchers. The present study led to the conclusion that ‘Chinese Restaurant Syndrome’ is an anecdote applied to a variety of postprandial illnesses; rigorous and realistic scientific evidence linking the syndrome to MSG could not be found.
Your whole body, including your brain, is swimming in glutamic acid and its salts. "Glutamate is the most abundant excitatory neurotransmitter in the vertebrate nervous system."
posted by jedicus at 2:52 PM on August 19, 2010 [16 favorites]


As usual, zarq, Paula Deen is already all over it.
posted by hermitosis at 2:54 PM on August 19, 2010


KFC skin is pretty pallid and flabby compared to the glory of Popeye's chicken skin. If you're going to blow out your arteries, make the experience worth it.
posted by maudlin at 2:54 PM on August 19, 2010 [5 favorites]


A pound of butter is 3,200 calories and costs $1.29 at Kroger. It has less sodium too.

Ok, perhaps that was too literal. It's just a lot cheaper than the same calories from a double-down.
posted by GuyZero at 2:58 PM on August 19, 2010


Deen, MeFi related.
posted by hermitosis at 2:59 PM on August 19, 2010


"Pork rind" always makes me imagine it's the peelings of some kind of piggy fruit.

> No one has significant negative reactions to MSG. Well designed, double-blind studies have confirmed this.
I knew it.
posted by lucidium at 3:01 PM on August 19, 2010


some people at the Chicago Tribune went ahead and made the sandwich anyway.

Waitaminute ... so they recreated the work of the original hoaxers? 3 days later? Boggling.
posted by mrgrimm at 3:06 PM on August 19, 2010


chair de poule
posted by blue_beetle at 3:06 PM on August 19, 2010


About every six months, I get a craving for the really bad for me fried chicken. Frenchy's or Popeye's--although a bad incident with food poisoning put me off them--or KFC. This thread has really brought that craving on, in large part because chicken skin from really good fried chicken is a weakness of mine.

(Yeah, I know KFC isn't really good but I'll take what I can get. It also tastes like childhood because that's what we ate. My father wasn't allowed to fry chicken any more after certain kitchen incidents when I was little.)
posted by immlass at 3:14 PM on August 19, 2010


No one has significant negative reactions to MSG. Well designed, double-blind studies have confirmed this:

Uh huh. You'll forgive me if I don't eat MSG anyway, since food allergy testing indicated that I'm highly allergic to the stuff.

Nothing in science is an absolute.
posted by zarq at 3:20 PM on August 19, 2010


That is the most delicious sounding sandwich in the history of man. I really, really want to go to KFC now.
posted by antifuse at 3:26 PM on August 19, 2010


Nothing in science is an absolute.

Except the speed of light, which is the approximate rate at which I can consume fried chicken.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 3:29 PM on August 19, 2010


I just enjoy watching all the snotty, I'm not elitist—honest! (well, I am, kinda), tut-tutting OMG—obesity (!!!) food moralists flip out over things like this. I mean, seriously, among people of my largely left-leaning political ilk, this is where all the love and tolerance and compassion goes out the window.

Hurf durf, fat people are gross and eat gross food for grossness.

I got into such firefights on my facebook over my horrifying confession that, yes, I actually do enjoy a KFC Grilled Double Down a few times a week that people unfriended me. Apparently there's something incalculably horrifying about a SANDWICH WHERE THE MEAT IS THE BREAD OH MY—YAAAAUGH!

Umm, except, well, a grilled Double Down is a grilled chicken breast, two pieces of bacon, a piece of cheese, and a little sauce. You open it up, lay it out on a plate, and it's something that would have pretty much been called health food before everyone went f-ing crazy. Fold it all back together, though, and Satan's spooky steed starts clip-cloppin' his way to the Earth.

I've been counting calories to cut back a little extra weight I put on in the midst of a job change from a very active job with a lot of exertion to a more sedentary, office-bound job, and I get 700 calories a meal. A Double Down's 460 calories. Add an apple and a bit of homemade yogurt and some honey from my beehive and I'm in under the wire, but oooOOOH NO THOSE EVIL FAST FOOD CORPORATIONS ARE KILLING OUR CHILDREN OBESITY EPIDEMIC SODIUM HIGH FRUCTOSE AAAAAAUGH!

God forbid our side ever study science when we're too busy freaking out because bad, wicked creationists don't understand science. Hell, sure, maybe MSG isn't an malignant toxin anti-ing my natural anti-oxidant detoxifiers, in a strictly empirical sense, but I ate at KFC and I felt gross and YOU are therefore gross for eating there, you fat, ignorant pig, because that MSG is toxifying my system and now I need to drink lemon juice, maple syrup, and cayenne for a week.

You'd think that the second a skinwich was introduced, people would flip out and consume nothing but skinwiches, meal after meal, because Morgan Spurlock did it that way in his disingenuous documentary and OMG he ALMOST DIED!

For properly body-abusing foods, there generally turns out to be a self-regulating mechanism. I used to love Little Tavern burgers ("buy 'em by the bag!"), and there was a great old Little Tavern at the end of my street (actually featured in Zippy the Pinhead, albeit after it had turned into a doughnut shop), but there was a built-in limiting factor. I'd buy a big bag of the nasty, lovely, oniony, unholy little things, revel in the glory of their delightful awfulness, then wake up at one in the morning in one of those bouts of uncontrollable crapping that leaves you wondering why you can't stop, when you are CLEARLY done. It used to take about a year to forget the agony of having to tuck your lower intestine back in place with three trembly fingertips, but man, once a year—hoooooo yeah.

I do the same thing with orange marshmallow circus peanuts, which seem indescribably dirty and delicious until someone who can't believe that anyone in their right mind would eat such a thing buys me a bag as a larky little joke. You stuff down a wad or two, thinking, well, I do love the taste of artificial banana flavor, but these are foamier and have more chalky marshmallow skin than I remember, and that's enough for a couple years.

A skinwich? I dunno. As a kid, I'd beg bits of skin off the rest of my family, because my mom's fried chicken made with crumbled corn flakes and fried in an ancient square electric skillet that she got as a wedding present in 1960 had the most wonderful, crunchy, tasty perfect skin in the world, whereas the drumsticks I usually got made me feel like a Cro Magnon, tearing at a bird's leg and trying not to start throwing up uncontrollably the second I bit into that horrifying rubber band that belongs to a part of the anatomy I can't quite place.

As a sign of the fatpocalypse, though, it's hardly a minor key melody from a bent-up kazoo, let alone the trumpeting of triumphant demons, escorting the anti-Christ Colonel Sanders into the grim realm beyond the skinny folks' rapture.

With a little balance, all things are possible.

Some are even fun, even if they're a bit gross.
posted by sonascope at 3:36 PM on August 19, 2010 [27 favorites]


I'd like this with bacon, please.
posted by Hylas at 3:42 PM on August 19, 2010


I haven't eaten at KFC in years, if not decades. I would search one out if they actually released this "skinwich." Oddly enough, my only concern would be, "What do they do with all that left over skinless chicken?" But that would melt away, I'm sure, after the first bite. I am actually tempted to just take the Tribune's recipe and do it myself.
posted by effwerd at 3:43 PM on August 19, 2010


Dewey defeats Truman!
posted by hal_c_on at 3:46 PM on August 19, 2010


Uh huh. You'll forgive me if I don't eat MSG anyway, since food allergy testing indicated that I'm highly allergic to the stuff.

You should read up a bit on Bayes' theorem and its application to medical testing. You had a false positive reaction. In fact, Bayes' theorem tells us that even if MSG allergy existed, you probably still had a false positive reaction. I would be willing to bet money that a double blind retest performed by a different allergist would show that you are not allergic to MSG. Anyway, if you were actually allergic to glutamate, you'd probably be dead because your body is full of it and in fact produces it.

You should consider finding a different allergist because the literature simply doesn't support his or her views. From a 2009 study in Clinical and Experimental Allergy: "This review prevents a critical review of the available literature related to the possible role of MSG in the so-called 'Chinese restaurant syndrome' and in eliciting asthmatic bronchospasm, urticaria, angio-oedema, and rhinitis. Despite concerns raised by early reports, decades of research have failed to demonstrate a clear and consistent relationship between MSG ingestion and the development of these conditions."

Or this 1998 study in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: "A statistically valid, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, monosodium glutamate (MSG)-challenge protocol was developed for identifying early and late asthmatic reactions in an individual. We sought to determine whether MSG would induce bronchoconstriction in a group of adults with asthma who perceived that they were MSG sensitive....No immediate or definite late asthmatic reactions occurred."

People have negative reactions to cheap, salty, greasy food because it's cheap, salty, and greasy, not because KFC or a Chinese restaurant added MSG to it. The portion sizes at KFC and overconsumption at all-you-can-eat buffet restaurants don't help.
posted by jedicus at 3:49 PM on August 19, 2010 [11 favorites]


I'm not objecting to the calories and I know about the taste. The problem is the name. I'm not eating anything with "skin" in the name any more than I am something with "eyeball", "tongue" or testicle".

My husband is grossed out by the idea of eating poultry skin on this basis. He'll say stuff like "it's ... skin!" This means that I have to remove all the offending material before I serve a roasted bird. Which means I get to have it all to myself. This is just one of the many reasons we have an ideal marriage.
posted by Daily Alice at 4:15 PM on August 19, 2010 [8 favorites]


Brokkr's first axiom: It is impossible to overconsume at an all-you-can-eat buffet.
posted by brokkr at 4:27 PM on August 19, 2010


Brokkr's first axiom: It is impossible to overconsume at an all-you-can-eat buffet.

<simpsons devil voice>
It's not all you want to eat; it's all you can eat!!!!!!!
</simpsons devil voice>
posted by GuyZero at 4:31 PM on August 19, 2010


I guess none of you skin haters have ever heard of greebenes (scroll down). What a goyishe bunch.
posted by jonmc at 4:58 PM on August 19, 2010 [2 favorites]


The only safe thing to eat on that menu has to be the coleslaw.

I tend to agree. The girlfriends OTOH loves KFC, although even she only eats it once a month. I usually ask her to bring some coleslaw home for me. Although it seems that they're making the coleslaw a lot sweeter lately. Is it just me?
posted by Splunge at 5:18 PM on August 19, 2010


I have been wishing for KFC to sell skin-by-the-bucket for many years.
posted by Cookiebastard at 5:18 PM on August 19, 2010


In a bucket made of skin, of course.
posted by jonmc at 5:31 PM on August 19, 2010


This could be a cash cow for Lloyd Cold and the Commotions.
posted by bwg at 5:43 PM on August 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


Cole, dammit. Lloyd Cole!
posted by bwg at 5:45 PM on August 19, 2010


when I lived in Paris, I would go to the weekly open-air market at Parmentier and go to this one volailller (poultry merchant) and buy a whole roast chicken. I would also buy a small package of those small potatoes that had been sitting at the bottom of the roaster all morning and soaking up the fatty drippings from the chickens. Then, on the way home, I'd pick up a fresh baguette.

At home, I'd tear apart the chicken with my hands, lunging at the skin first, followed closely by the "oysters" (i.e., the oval muscles that connect the thighs to the back, which is the most tender part of the bird), and then the dark meat. Then, I would rip the baguette into chunks and use it to sop up the gold-colored molten fat that had gathered in the bottom of the plate.

I miss Paris, but I'm probably a bit thinner because I'm not there.
posted by LMGM at 5:55 PM on August 19, 2010 [9 favorites]


also, I'm looking forward to KFC's next new big thing: the Tripewich. It'll be chewy!
posted by LMGM at 5:56 PM on August 19, 2010


Metafilter: tuck your lower intestine back in place with three trembly fingertips

The first of these I've done, but that sentence is wonderful. A+ rant, even if I only agree with a portion.
posted by gilrain at 5:57 PM on August 19, 2010


My husband is grossed out by the idea of eating poultry skin on this basis. He'll say stuff like "it's ... skin!"

A blowjob involves skin-eating (kinda) and I bet he never complained about that.

(just offering you a fun retort.
posted by jonmc at 6:05 PM on August 19, 2010


LMGM, I want your memories.
posted by Meatbomb at 6:56 PM on August 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


Has no one—no one here—partaken of a Skin Sammich from Harold's? True, the fry sandwich is traditional, but true connoisseurs knows it's the hot-sauce soaked skin, between the Wonder bread with some fries thrown on as an afterthought, that is the real delight.
posted by stargell at 7:34 PM on August 19, 2010


It would be funnier with four skins.

/comedic genius
posted by Sys Rq at 7:45 PM on August 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


No one has significant negative reactions to MSG.

Hah. Tell that to my irregular heartbeat after eating a bowl of Top Ramen.

I don't get as sick from it as I used to. I had a very, very bad run-in with aspartame about ten years ago, to the point that they seriously thought I might have multiple sclerosis. (I was weak and sick, had weird twitchy movements, my vision was badly blurred, my eyes didn't track together, and I couldn't walk heel and toe, among other issues.) Finally figured out it was aspartame in the diet sodas I was drinking. As soon as I stopped that, things started finally getting better.

For years afterward, even very small amounts of MSG would give me massive brain fog and make me very, very ill. It was that bowl of ramen, and the hour or so I lay there utterly nauseated, with my heart randomly speeding up and slowing down from one beat to the next, that finally twigged me to the fact that I had TWO problems, not just one.

As the years have passed, and I've avoided aspartame completely, my MSG sensitivity has diminished a great deal. I can eat some of it okay, but I still notice when there's a lot. I'm not sure Top Ramen would make my heartbeat irregular anymore, but I guarantee you it would make me sick as hell.

I say this with no malice at all, but you totally, utterly don't know what the fuck you're talking about. I don't care what authorities you appeal to. If they say people never get sick from MSG, they are flat wrong, full stop.

My mother was mildly sick for years, most of the time. We thought she was a hypochondriac. When I had my aspartame crisis, and figured out that I was now cross-sensitive with MSG, she tried eliminating it from her diet too -- which isn't easy, as it's in most packaged foods -- and has felt better ever since. If she gets lazy and buys MSG-laden food, she gets sick again after a week or so of exposure.

I don't know how common MSG intolerance is. I assume it must be infrequent. But for those of us that have problems with it, that stuff is evil. And don't you start preaching about how it's all in my head, because I've got the medical bills and neurologist examinations to back me.
posted by Malor at 8:00 PM on August 19, 2010


I'm not eating anything with "skin" in the name any more than I am something with "eyeball", "tongue" or testicle".

Aw, you are missing out, because there nothing is as simultaneously fried-delicious and eerie as a post-bovine-castration Rocky Mountain Oyster party.

pet topic: stuff that messes with glutamic acid in the brain is the new hotness--or whatever the slang is today--in neuropharmacology, now that GABA is soooo early 2000s.
posted by Uniformitarianism Now! at 8:01 PM on August 19, 2010


Lightweights
posted by warbaby at 8:14 PM on August 19, 2010


I say this with no malice at all, but you totally, utterly don't know what the fuck you're talking about. I don't care what authorities you appeal to. If they say people never get sick from MSG, they are flat wrong, full stop.

The studies were unable to find an effect from MSG consumption even among individuals claiming to be sensitive to it. If you don't want to believe it, fine, but then you have a problem with the scientific method, not me.

she tried eliminating it from her diet too -- which isn't easy, as it's in most packaged foods -- and has felt better ever since

No possibility that eliminating 'most packaged foods' was the reason she felt better? MSG is often used to enhance the flavor of cheap, processed stuff. Cutting that out of ones diet would likely cause an improvement in health and mood.

I would be willing to bet money that a double blind test would show that you have no particularly response to MSG. I don't deny you had symptoms, but I do not believe that MSG caused them.
posted by jedicus at 8:28 PM on August 19, 2010 [6 favorites]


Jedicus, thanks very much for the info. I'll read up on this.

I'm taking my son for his second round of allergy tests next month. Going to speak with the doctor and then if need be, I'll make an appointment for myself as well.

My understanding has always been that I'm very allergic to just three or four things, and two of 'em give me awful migraines.
posted by zarq at 8:39 PM on August 19, 2010


Wait till they find out about beef cheek. That is some tasty gross-out food right there.
posted by Back to you, Jim. at 8:50 PM on August 19, 2010


A blowjob involves skin-eating

you're doing it wrong?
posted by Mid at 8:56 PM on August 19, 2010


If we're trading anecdotes: I drink diet soda and eat Marmite like they're both going out of style. Delicious, delicious style. The only dietary change that did affect my epilepsy (the single neurological disorder that glutamic acid and relatives have been used to induce in rodent models) was my time on the Modifed Atkins Diet, which I quit because I was tired of smelling like a steel pineapple. But the ketogenic diet and its tweaked variants have science backing up their efficacy. So far glutamate and aspartic acid restrictions have not shown the same dramatic effect. GluTEN elimination works in cases of celiac disease with neurologic signs.

So...even if it turns out that humans are more sensitive to excitotoxicity than we think right now, there's a spectrum of reaction, even for people who 'should' display sensitivity.

And a large part of my problem with the whole thing is that you have sites like this spreading the 'truth' about excitotoxins and the brain. It hurts me to read this site. It's way too 'dogs and people...this dietary treatment is a panacea!' We-ell, laxativ effect aside, I can eat all the xylitol I want. I could chew the bark off an entire birch tree if I wanted (I don't), and be okay, except for the hideous case of pica I'd have to contract in order to try it. Also I'm sure the cellulose would be an issue. But one piece of gum can kill a German Shepherd.

Another issue for me is that there is a huge stigma in our society accompanying the idea that psychogenic illness exists and that real people--kind, interesting, good people live with them. It's like the relatively common underlying assumption that only gullible folk fall for placebo/nocebo effects. No. That's not how they work.

Psychogenic illnesses are functional and often crippling somatic experiences for people. It's dismissive of the validity of the experiences and struggles people with psychogenic disorders face to imply some fundamental qualitative difference in the disruptions caused by physical problems and those caused by problems that are 'all in one's head.' I don't believe people with functional illnesses are somehow less worthy of care or respect, and it's a huge flaw of the current medical paradigm/media portrayals of the paradigm that finding/citing an exact biological cause or waving Koch's postulates around seems to make suffering more or less real. Sometimes disorders/reactions are psychogenic. Sometimes they have a 'real' cause that we haven't identified yet. Sometimes we just don't know what is going on at all.
posted by Uniformitarianism Now! at 9:01 PM on August 19, 2010


jonmc: "A blowjob involves skin-eating (kinda) ..."

Well, skin-tasting, anyway.

I'm quite sure it wouldn't be the same deep-fried with 11 herbs and spices.
posted by bwg at 1:30 AM on August 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm not eating anything with "skin" in the name any more than I am something with "eyeball", "tongue" or testicle".

Do you ever eat sausages from the supermarket? Did you ever eat processed meat products in Britain in the '80s (this is why we can't give blood in the States)? Then you've almost certainly eaten one of these. Despite this, I didn't fancy going to St John for a plate of offal.

A friend of mine got enormous headaches when consuming aspartame. Another friend, with Reynaud's Syndrome, avoided MSG as it seemed to make her symptoms worse. Whether psychogenic or not, they avoided things that made them ill, which seems pretty sensible to me. I have a strong aversion to bananas - fresh banana will make me very, very ill, and last time I tried to eat dried banana in the hope I could get over it I was sick for two days - which I am sure is not an allergy, but it's easier to say I'm allergic otherwise people just think I'm a picky eater and expect me to eat them anyway. (And I wish I did like them - they look nice on cereal. Until I smell the foul thing and gag.)
posted by mippy at 1:37 AM on August 20, 2010


In a bucket made of skin, of course.

There's a hole in my bucket, dear Liza, dear Liza.
There's a hole in my bucket, dear Liza, a hole.

'Cause I ate it, dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry,
'Cause I ate it, dear Henry, dear Henry, tastes great.
posted by inigo2 at 4:33 AM on August 20, 2010


The other thing that I often note about MSG to folks who tell me they've got a problem with it is that about 4 billion people eat it pretty regularly, apparently with few ill effects.

But I'm also all about self-determination and I think Western Doctors and those using the Scientific Method use it the wrong way and for the wrong reasons, so if you think you are allergic and you think it gives you migraines, I will not insist you eat it.

Also in our cooking of Chinese and other Asian foods at home, we've never really found the need to use pure MSG as a food additive. The flavors and flavorings in authentic home-made Asian dishes are usually strong enough - you don't need to add any flavor enhancers to the mix.

Finally, Westerners should be aware that a lot of the prepared and preserved foods that they eat have MSG or other glutamates in them even if they're not Asian foods.

What's interesting about glutamates is that they're in a lot of foods that have umami. Secondarily I think it's interesting that MSG is essentially glutamates stabilized with salt. Glutamates are in, for instance:
- parmesan cheese
- ripe cheese
- tomatoes
- cured meats
- dried mushrooms
- Worcester sauce
- Marmite (as yeast extract)

Anyway there's more about MSG over at the Guardian (2005).
posted by kalessin at 5:35 AM on August 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


There is a chicken skin and bacon sandwich on the menu at American Craft in Brookline MA. I had one last week and highly recommend it, especially followed by a crisp Sculpin IPA to balance out the fat. It was really quite good, but I don't think I could eat one everyday.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 6:29 AM on August 20, 2010


This sounds fucking delicious. I am a vegetarian.
posted by magnificent frigatebird at 6:58 AM on August 20, 2010


(BTW, has anybody met a non-Asian that like century eggs? I love them but everybody I know, even usually adventurous eaters, is completely repulsed.
I like them - it turns out they don't have a confronting taste at all.

As for the skinwich: the bread looks disgusting, but the filling fine. Mind you, I like lardo.
posted by hawthorne at 7:37 AM on August 20, 2010


For those in NY, Second Ave. Deli sells baskets of fried chicken skins (gribenes) as an appetizer.
posted by subtle-t at 7:57 AM on August 20, 2010


I guess none of you skin haters have ever heard of greebenes (scroll down). What a goyishe bunch.

I'm a goy, and I hadn't, but that sounds pretty awesome.
posted by infinitywaltz at 10:40 AM on August 20, 2010


I can't lie, I'd probably want to try this sandwich. Or maybe just the breakfast version, on a buttermilk biscuit? Mmmmmmm.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 1:33 PM on August 20, 2010


I really never understood the concept of hoax food. Once the idea is out there, someone will make it. It happens every time. And despite what might be considered better judgement, someone is almost always willing to eat it.

Then again, maybe that's the whole point; the hoax is meant to inspire the reality in people brave enough to actually try.
posted by quin at 3:04 PM on August 20, 2010


I love the msg people. They're like socially acceptable reflexologists or crystal-energy wingnuts.
posted by tehloki at 6:42 PM on August 20, 2010


I love the msg people. They're like socially acceptable reflexologists or crystal-energy wingnuts.

I was told I was allergic to MSG by my GP and then again by my neurologist, based on the results of extensive allergy tests. Was told that the tests conclusively proved that my migraines (which were being treated with a prescription for Imitrex) were caused by that allergy, and most likely by another allergy to sunflower. Removing both ingredients from my diet has helped me manage my migraines to the point that they are now extremely rare. From several per week to one per year, if that.

Yes, I'm exactly like a socially acceptable new age crystal lover.

Your condescension is inappropriate, immature and misplaced.
posted by zarq at 7:52 PM on August 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


Your anecdote is charming, but not data
posted by tehloki at 10:35 PM on August 23, 2010


It's not so much an anecdote as a diagnosis.

For your next trick, why not suggest that depression sufferers should just throw away the happy pills and look on the bright side? After all, data shows that positivity makes one happy, right?
posted by mippy at 3:47 AM on August 24, 2010


Your anecdote is charming, but not data

You miss the point.

You assert that people who believe they have an MSG allergy are new age "wingnuts." When an allergy is diagnosed by a physician (two in my case,) and a patient is strictly warned to avoid exposure, that certainly doesn't make the patient a wingnut. If they've been deliberately misdiagnosed by a medical professional then they're a victim. However, if our understanding of MSG has changed over time and the patient isn't yet aware of it, that doesn't make them deliberately ignorant or crazy.
posted by zarq at 12:11 PM on August 24, 2010


Anyway... I've made a consultation appointment with an immunologist. Hopefully it will be illuminating.
posted by zarq at 12:12 PM on August 24, 2010


I'm not trying to dismiss your legitimate MSG allergy, just trying to assert that (as proven by many citations upthread) despite the existence of real and verifiable MSG allergies, nearly everybody who claims one without having been to a doctor about it is indeed some kind of placebo-plagued wingnut. Sorry for the confusion.
posted by tehloki at 3:14 PM on August 24, 2010


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