“So why do people enjoy watching folks eat cod sperm dumplings?” Christopher Kimball asked, wasting no time with resident food producer Josh Scherer of the YouTube series Good Mythical Morning.
Sure, it’s a spectacle and therefore entertainment gold, just like willingly eating a Carolina Reaper chili pepper (one of the hottest in the world). But Kimball’s follow-up gets to the more interesting question: What about the more banal subjects: taste-testing popcorn or flavor-comparing pizza crusts and potato chips? Is there some sort of formula for the 16 million subscribers and 5 billion total views on the YouTube channel when it’s not all outrageous feats?
In this week’s episode of Milk Street Radio, Scherer explains the internet’s fascination with taste-test videos on both ends of the spectrum and digs into the channel’s success. Get a taste of some of the more outlandish videos below, with commentary from Scherer himself, and if you like (or dislike) what you see, listen to the full conversation with Christopher Kimball here.
Will It Cheesecake?
“I ate the beef bile cheesecake. It was truly, really a nightmarish creation.”
$205 Big Mac
“The McDonald's near our studio in Burbank has the saddest Big Macs of any McDonald's you’ve ever seen. It’s truly an art.”
World’s Hottest Pepper Challenge
“I couldn’t tell you how many thousands times hotter than a jalapeño it is, but at some point numbers stop meaning anything. I mean, [hosts Rhett McLaughlin and Link Neal] were borderline hallucinating, writhing around in pain.”
Will It Dumpling?
“Ooh, cod sperm dumplings are delicious.”
International Taco Bell
“I would love to sit down with all 74 Taco Bell menu items and taste them one by one to decide which is the best."
Will It Milk?
“We took Twinkies and blended them with water to soak in a nut-milk bag for a couple days, and then wrung it out. It was truly delicious. Cheetos milk was less delicious, but that’s what recipe development is about. You’ve got to take risks.”
Quotes have been edited for clarity.
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