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The Hoddle of Coffee: Tottenham Hotspur News and Links for Wednesday, December 8

fast food exchange

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Tottenham Hotspur v Norwich City - Premier League Photo by Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images

Hello, all!

Today’s Hoddle accidentally teases the next several days of Hoddle content. The theme is strong quotes.

Ramble of the Day

I love a story about a valuable cultural exchange, and find food to be a fantastic venue for said cultural exchange. I find them mildly amusing, but mostly I enjoy the fact that food is an easily accessible entry point into exploring something one may be unfamiliar with.

I think that is true for more than just traditional or expensive food experiences. I have always found fast food to be a lens to view the way others eat and live. I use my first trip to India at age nine as an example; the McDonald’s did not serve beef, but did serve an enjoyable and very well-seasoned chicken sandwich that I ate a few times. It wasn’t a traditional Indian eating experiences (of which I had several, don’t worry), but it did reflect the country I was eating in.

This is just long buildup to say Lyon’s Eugénie Le Sommer had a similar cultural exchange while on loan at OL Reign this year. For me, it was McDonald’s; for her, it was Taco Bell.

Taco Bell is the only commonly known fast food chain I indulge in, and totally recommend it as an American fast food experience. Taco Bell both tastes pretty good for fast food, but also is the fast food representation of how commonplace Mexican food is in the US. It is hardly authentic Mexican food, and one should not go there looking for authentic Mexican food. It is an enjoyable fast food experience, though, and remains one of the few that uses Mexican food as its basis.

The cultural exchange can go the other way, though. The New York Times recently covered the opening of the first Popeyes location in the UK, and the article focuses on translating one particular concept: the biscuit, which means different things in the UK and the US. There’s a wonderful quote at the start of the piece that perfectly spotlights the issue:

“It looks like a scone,” Victoria Ubochi said after trying a biscuit, “but it doesn’t taste like one.”

The whole experience feels like an optimistic take on American and British food traditions: the biscuit is described as Popeyes’ biggest roadblock in the UK, but the idea clearly is that there can be a healthy meeting point of two contrasting concepts. The New York Times also notes that there was an hours-long line when the Popeyes opened, so it looks like the bet might be paying off.

tl;dr: Cultural exchanges through fast food, as demonstrated by Eugénie Le Sommer’s trip to Taco Bell and Popeyes opening a location in the UK.

Stay informed, read this: Rob Tornoe on broadcaster Beth Mowins, who on Friday became the first woman to commentate a regular season NBA match on ESPN for The Philadelphia Inquirer

Links of the Day

Chelsea’s Mateo Kovačić tested positive for COVID-19.

FIFA and a United Nations agency will reportedly launch a global investigation into sexual abuse next year.

MLS updated its Diversity Hiring Policy, increasing the number of candidates from underrepresented groups that need to be interviewed for a sporting position.

The German FA fined Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham €40k for criticizing referee Felix Zwayer.

The Orlando Pride hired Amanda Cromwell as the team’s head coach.

Southampton signed Willy Caballero on a free.

A longer read: Tariq Panja on the events and aftermath of the attack on PSG’s Kheira Hamraoui, a story that involves infidelity, anonymous calls, and locker room tension but very few answers for The New York Times