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the REAL shamrock shake
First off, wow. I’m a little overwhelmed. Unbeknownst to me, fellow Substack writer Wil Reidie ofsomehow managed to get Food is Stupid featured on Substack’s weekly reading roundup. Many of you have no idea what you’re in for, so brace yourselves. Hi, everyone, and thanks, Wil!
Also, Substack sent me this sick digital badge which doesn’t appear do anything (I tried paying for my groceries with it, now I’m banned from the store) but hey, smoke ‘em if you got ‘em.
As many of you fellow Shamrock Shake enthusiasts are probably already aware, the minty green milkshake is back out at McDonald’s.
This is excellent news, because I firmly believe that the Shamrock Shake is the nectar of the gods, plus its emergence is a herald of spring. Some of you may scoff and say, “Dannis, this is merely a mint-flavored fast food milkshake that is artificially colored with Shrek’s blood. Don’t you remember that one time you drank so many they turned your turds green?”
That was a dark day in my life. Thank you for your continued support in this matter.
Despite being mildly lactose intolerant (I put the wind in the Windy City after eating dairy, heyo), I can crush these things like there’s no tomorrow. I picked up my first one of the season today, and perhaps to celebrate, McDonald’s gave me the greenest Shamrock Shake I’ve ever seen. Bring on the emerald dookies.
But that had me pondering: While McDonald’s calls it a Shamrock Shake, last time I checked, there’s no actual shamrocks, aka clover, in it. I declare horseshit. If we’re honoring St. Patrick’s season, we should also be honoring shamrocks, which are the national symbol of Ireland.
So I said to myself, “Dannis Ree, as the greatest food writer in all of history and the biggest fan of Shamrock Shakes in existence, you must respect their true heritage. You are the only one with the culinary nuts to take on this mission. You must make a milkshake out of actual shamrocks.”
Mission accepted. From myself.
The milkshake part would be relatively easy, since all I’d need would be some ice cream and milk.
In order to capture the spirit, I also picked up some food coloring. But where the hell was I going to get clover, you may ask?
I knew just the place.
If you recall, I used red clover sprouts in a previous edition of the newsletter (I was recreating a nightmare of a school lunch). I’d been looking for alfalfa sprouts at Whole Foods, but managed to find red clover sprouts instead that day, which were wholly new to me.
After doing some research, it turns out that red clover really is a type that can technically be considered a shamrock. Bingo. I went to two Whole Foods locations and was out of luck; both were out of stock. I was bummed, thinking I wouldn’t have anything to write about (uh oh) until I called one final Whole Foods location.
I was in luck. Get it?! Why’s it so quiet? Nobody understands my genius in this cold, cold, world. Death.
After rinsing a good amount of them, I dumped them into my Nutribullet container.
Though it’s commonly thought that finding a four leaf clover is a one in 10,000 chance, the truth is, it’s a lot easier than that. The Fort Worth Botanic Garden says it’s actually a one in 5,076 chance. I easily had the likelihood of drinking a baby four leaf clover since I was using so many sprouts. Liquid luck, baby.
Next, I needed to employ my favorite tool in the kitchen, my ice cream scoop.
It’s Harvey’s favorite tool too, because they’re technically cousins. We’re a family-oriented household, as you can see.
Thank you for your service, Scoopie.
A little splash of questionably-old milk was next.
Maybe the real luck in this Shamrock Shake was that it would potentially give me diarrhea.
The last ingredient I’d need was some food coloring.
I wanted to capture the sheer joy of drinking a neon green beverage, just like the McDonald’s version. But as soon as I added a few drops of green to the Nutribullet container, I frowned. The liquid coming out from the tip of the dispenser was a murky green and not a vivid one.
Then I realized my fatal mistake. I’d purchased the food coloring from Whole Foods when I picked up the red clover sprouts, and when I examined the packaging, I realized it said “plant-based” on the front. Goddammit. This wasn’t going to be an industrial-waste green, this was going to be a decomposing-chlorophyll green. I’ve never cried so hard in my life.
I dried my tears and bravely continued on.
I put the container on the Nutribullet base and started blitzing away, scaring the living garbage out of the cats in the meantime. Nothing like applying power tools to truly extract nutrients from superfood, and by superfood, I’m talking about the ice cream.
The resulting drink was a mildly green and on-the-verge of tan milkshake that looked nothing like my delicious Shamrock Shake from earlier.
Well, I should have seen this coming, but I guess I wasn’t exactly ready for it. The milkshake, while creamy and sweet, tasted exactly like dirt. I always knew deep inside my flavor hole that alfalfa sprouts had a dirt-like situation going on, but I’ve only ever had them in relatively small doses, like on a salad or in an overpriced sandwich.
I would be surprised if many people have ever consumed them in this concentration, let alone in a milkshake. I may in fact be the only person on this planet who now knows what a real Shamrock Shake tastes like, and let me tell you, it tastes like soil and disappointment. But that’s okay. My entire being has been imbued with good luck, soon to be absorbed through my digestive tract.
When I win the lottery, that just means the next round of Shamrock Shakes (this time from McDonald’s) will be on me. It’ll help get the taste of actual shamrock out of my mouth.
Thanks for joining me on my quest to enjoy a real Shamrock Shake, everyone! If you’re new, I’d really appreciate if you could share Food is Stupid with as many people as you know. Forward it to your boss, shout the URL at people on the street, or hey, there’s this handy button:
And this is important: Don’t forget to upgrade your subscription. I can’t run this thing without your support, and so far, you’ve done a bang-up job of keeping this one-man show running.
When you become a paid subscriber, you’ll get exclusive content in the form of extra editions almost every week (last week’s TikTok hack was pretty good), plus you’ll get full access to three-and-a-half years of non-stop culinary mayhem via foodisstupid.substack.com. There’s some real bangers in the archives.
Lastly, whenever someone gives me inspiration for the newsletter, I always give them a shoutout. I wasn’t able to reach commenter @sawkinator in time for the last free edition, so here’s the plug. She’d love if you all would consider donating to trans rights organizations, like the National Center For Transgender Equality Action Fund and Mermaids (which is a UK trans equality organization). These are causes I feel strongly about as well, so please contribute where you can.
Ran long today (as usual), so don’t forget I love you all, and I’ll hop into your inboxes again soon. I’ll be on the lookout for green turds.