Hot on the heels of the pizza burger and the now-iconic Double Down, the spaghetti taco is the latest bizarre culinary phenomenon to bewilder food critics. In Tuesday's New York Times, Helene Stapinski details how the insidious spag-taco has "spread like a virus" among children, and is becoming the food equivalent to the fake Seinfeld holiday Festivus. The story quotes Syracuse university professor Robert J. Thompson—the Times' go-to expert on everything—who stated: "This combination seems to be an inevitability, sort of like chocolate and peanut butter running into each other on that Reese’s commercial." Other publications have only begun to grapple with the implications of the Frankensteinian beast:
- The Pitch pokes at the new creation tentatively: "I'm still wary of combining two childhood staples. I know that when pasta escapes its natural confines, the results can be unholy. I apologize for again resurrecting the idea of the Domino's bread bowl. But that's one carb-loaded zombie that refuses to die."
- Gothamist particularly notes the alternatives: "some moms are riffing off the original—there's a dessert version, one with guacamole, one with Italian sausage and peppers."
- The New York Observer deadpans that the combination is "exactly what you think it is: sauce-slathered noodles scooped liberally into hard taco shells." Doesn't that sound appetizing?
- New York Magazine quips "Michelle Obama, you've got your anti-child-obesity work cut out for you."
- NYTPicker is more interested in the "Spaghetti Taco Professor" that the Times managed to go to for expert analysis. The site found that the newspaper has quoted Robert J. Thompson 78 times "in 150 separate stories over the span of almost two decades. We counted!"
- The River Front Times decries the "unholy alliance" before suspecting that the Times piece had to have been of the "fake-trend" variety.
and unfortunately, possibly due to the high amount of traffic...
- Spaghettitacos.com The Times-highlighted spaghetti taco site (complete with alternate recipes), appears to have unfortunately crashed as of this writing.