Welcome to Delicious or Distressing, where we rate recent food memes, videos, and other decidedly unserious news. Last week, we talked about Matt Lucas’s welcome departure from the Great British Bake Off.
If I had to conjecture, I’d say the one constant in Ben Affleck’s rocky life is his ol’ reliable cup of Dunkin’ iced coffee. Boston blood runs through the man’s veins, and despite many a near-tumble of coffee trays, he can’t stay away from the beloved New England joint. That is, until recently, when he upended his very own meme by cheating on Dunkin’ with the Other Woman, Starbucks, aided and abetted by JLo. Betrayal is in the air.
Another evergreen pop culture phenom, Dolly Parton, made her TikTok debut with a love letter to potatoes, and it was perfect. As for this week’s villains: Inflation (perennial villain) is killing the dating vibe, and a TikToker made a pizza from scratch on a hotel bathroom counter.
Just over a month ago, Bennifer (Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez, for the uninitiated) rocked our worlds with a joint Dunkin’ run. Ben’s solo coffee expeditions has historically caused him extreme, white-knuckle distress, and the world reliably tuned in every time with morbid intrigue. With JLo on his arm, he looked placid and happy. We allowed our hearts to be captured by their little Dunkin’ walkabout, but it might be time to snatch those hearts right back. Bennifer unforgivably betrayed Dunkin’ this week, the chain that has so loyally caffeinated him for as long as he’s been relevant to us. This week he paid a visit to a glitzier Starbucks—for a venti frappe, no less, piled high with whipped cream. What happened to trust? 3.6/5 distressing. —Li Goldstein, digital production assistant
Dolly is one of those magical celebrities who seems like she can actually do no wrong, and I can’t say I’m surprised that she is already killing the TikTok game. She launched on the platform earlier in December, and shout out to her social media team because the videos are such a good vibe, including a bunch that celebrate her love of food. Highly relatable: Dolly’s love of potatoes, the source of all her diets ending. Not relatable but astonishing: The fact that she wears gloves with nails while baking cake. Welcome, Dolly. The only downside is that this will surely make her Epicurious-approved Duncan Hines cake mixes harder to find on shelves. 4.7/5 delicious. —Serena Dai, editorial director
Inflation is coming for everything, even my love life. The cost of dating is up 40% from a decade ago, and now that formal dinner dates are too expensive, people are opting for cheap and casual dates. “Ahead of cuffing season, inflation is high on singles’ minds,” the man declared on CNN. So true, bestie. Inflation is high on my mind. Instead of a candlelit dinner reservation I probably can’t snag in time anyway, I’ll be meeting dates under the fluorescent ambience of the Jamba Juice in Port Authority Bus Terminal. We can pretend the white disposable napkins are very small tablecloths. 0.5/5 distressing. —Karen Yuan, lifestyle editor