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Russia Is Breeding ‘Super Chickens’ to Safeguard Against Potential U.S. Sanctions

Plus, Starbucks targets major expansion in Japan, and more food news to close out the week

Chickens in their coop VCG/VCG via Getty Images

Russia brings back Soviet-era poultry

Any headline that begins with “Putin Resurrects the Soviet ...” can’t be good. In this case, the Russian president is bringing back a breed of “super chickens” that fed the communist empire in its waning years, according to Bloomberg. These juiced-up birds which are described as “a bigger and tastier version of Gallus gallus domesticus,” may be key in fighting any food-related sanctions that could be levied against Russia by the United States. Even if those sanctions don’t come to fruition, the Russian chickens will serve as a local competitor against foreign companies such as Tyson.

For Vladimir Fisinin, the head of the Russian Poultry Union, the new breed is, above all else, insurance against any unforeseen future actions by the U.S. “Who the hell knows what fool will come next, like this Mr. Trump,” Fisinin says.

Russia doesn’t like America, but it likes McDonald’s

As tensions mount, many Russians don’t have a high opinion of the U.S. But, one of the most American exports, McDonald’s, is still beloved. This is because the chain’s operations in the country uses local suppliers and is sure to include that fact in its marketing, reports the Wall Street Journal. “People are only now starting to understand: We’re one of the most Russian companies there is,” Moscow-based McDonald’s spokeswoman Elena Chilingaryan says. Maybe someday soon those super chickens will wind up in McNuggets.

Starbucks bets big on Japan

Ever-expanding Seattle-based coffee chain Starbucks is pushing forward with major growth plans in the Japanese market. The company hopes to open 300 stores in Japan over the next three years, per Fast Casual magazine, and it is testing delivery and mobile order and pay. The ‘Bucks is partnering with Line, a Japan-based delivery behemoth that boasts 78 million users. Starbucks already operates more than 1,300 locations in Japan.

And in other food news ...

  • Black licorice is a foodstuff that most people either love or hate. For the haters, here’s a guide that will help you learn to love the polarizing candy. [The Takeout]
  • The food at ’70s-themed dinner parties tastes better than it looks, but that isn’t saying much. It’s also a pain to make. Despite all this, Grub Street’s Sanam Yar says everyone should host one of these parties exactly once. [Grub Street]
  • New York Times film critic Glen Kenny weighs in on Chef Flynn, the new documentary about teen chef Flynn McGarry. “I would have liked to have seen more about McGarry in the context of changing food culture, particularly the emerging consensus that running a kitchen, no matter how high the pressure, can’t be an excuse for abusive behavior,” Kenny writes. “The young man seems a relatively gentle soul in a world still learning to be less needlessly rough.” [New York Times]
  • Finally, the Onion has some intel on the latest autumnal coffee beverage: Dunkin’ Donuts unveils new rotting jack-o’-lantern latte for end of fall. [The Onion]