Munch Madness

Knuckle Salad's Munch Madness 2015

Munch Madness 2015: Copycats

Munch Madness is back, and this year, it’s all about copycats—those recipes that capture our imaginations with promises of just-like-the-restaurant-version yumminess, with none of the calories/preservatives/expense/need for pants! These recipes can range from spectacular to spectacularly disappointing, and we have identified 16 of the most Pinterest-popular copycats with a view to finding out if they deserve the thousands of pins and repins they’ve earned. Which ones are amazing? Which are worth trying? And which have merely seduced the pinning public with a believable photo and a too-good-to-be-true caption? With the help of our panel of expert judges, we aim to find out.

At this moment, our Sweet 16 judges are making, tasting and testing the recipes that will vie for the copycat crown. Now’s your chance to fill in a bracket for a prize, before our March 22nd deadline. To keep up with the action after that, consider following either the Knuckle Salad Facebook page or G+ page or subscribing to automatic email updates (see sidebar).

The ContendersThe StakesMake Your PredictionCurrent StandingsThe JudgesCast Your VoteFollow the Action


Current Standings

Only two finalists remain!

Vote in the poll in the sidebar to make your voice heard in determining the BEST Copycat Recipe on Pinterest! (You may vote once per day.)


The Contenders

Your 2015 contenders claim to be very near approximations of the following recipes. Here they are, seeded in order of Pinterest popularity:

  1. Hooters Fried Pickles
  2. The Taco Bell Crunchwrap
  3. Chick-fil-A’s chicken sandwich
  4. PF Chang’s Mongolian Beef
  5. McDonald’s Shamrock Shake
  6. Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte
  7. White Castle burgers
  8. Starbucks iced lemon pound cake
  9. Chili’s Skillet Queso
  10. Popeyes spicy chicken
  11. Arby’s Beef ‘n Cheddar
  12. Reese’s peanut butter eggs
  13. Stouffer’s macaroni and cheese
  14. Girl Scouts of America’s Samoas
  15. McDonald’s apple pie
  16. Olive Garden Breadsticks

Copycat recipes for these 16 recipes are among the very most repinned on Pinterest. Thousands of people have saved each one with the apparent intent of trying them. How many people actually have tried them is impossible to say. For all we know, we could be the first! [divider][divider]

The Stakes

There will be two lucky winners this year. Well, I’m calling them lucky, but as a matter of fact it’s all skill. Skill and…no, OK, probably a little bit of luck. Skill, a little bit of luck, and the wisdom to follow along, vote, and submit stuff when I say you should.

The first winner, as every year, will be the reader who submits the highest-scoring bracket prediction at the beginning of the tournament. The second winner will be the author of the winning recipe. (In the event that we are unable to contact either winner, the prize will be offered to the respective runner-up.) Prizes for each of these winners will be announced soon! [divider][divider]

Make Your Prediction

Entries are closed for prize eligibility, but you can still use our prediction page to create and download your bracket to follow along!


The Judges

Your 2015 judges are a diverse group, very carefully selected. Some are returning judges from previous Munch Madnesses, some are brand new, and some are me again (and John). Introducing your 2015 judges and judging teams:

  1. Jim Behymer of Sandwich Tribunal
    im’s recipe: Popeye’s Spicy Fried Chicken
  2. Zack Brown, worldly grub aficionado, returning for a second helping of judgery
    Zack’s recipe: White Castle burgers
  3. Kate Donahue of Food Babbles, who will be joining us for her third annual Munch Madness
    Kate’s recipe: Starbucks iced lemon pound cake
  4. Chris Durso of Foodiggity, returning judge and tireless reporter of what’s new and weird in the world of food
    Chris’s recipe: McDonald’s Shamrock Shake
  5. Paul Heath, local legend of culinary masochism/exploration
    Paul’s recipe: Hooters Fried Pickles
  6. Tony Jenkins, fancy restaurantgoer and humorist
    Tony’s recipe: Arby’s Beef ‘n Cheddar
  7. Anthony Kuhns of Scarlet Betch
    Anthony’s recipe: Chili’s Skillet Queso
  8. Jason Mallory of humor-website-cum-live-event Scene Missing Magazine
    Jason’s recipe: Stouffer’s macaroni and cheese
  9. Jenny Mason, accessory designer behind Jenny Sais Quoi and my personal best friend, with her other half Allen Burleson, restaurant operations manager
    Jenny and Allen’s recipe: The Chick-fil-A Sandwich
  10. Natalie, expert eater and brilliant Aveda stylist, with Adam, physics teacher and past Munch Madness contributor (the brains behind the pickle wrapped in turkey and American cheese)
    Natalie and Adam’s recipe: McDonald’s hot apple pies
  11. Lance Price, singer/songwriter/Southern boy, with Diana Jarvis, ASL interpreter and meal enthusiast (not a fat joke, she just has meal enthusiasm)
    Lance’s recipe: PF Chang’s Mongolian Beef
  12. Nicole Smeltzer of The Middlest Sister, dragging her family back for another year of judging
    Nicole’s recipe: Olive Garden Breadsticks
  13. Sammy, a.k.a. Instagram’s @fancycookinmofo
    ammy’s recipe: The Taco Bell Crunchwrap
  14. Becky Striepe, vegan blogger/green crafter behind Glue & Glitter
    Becky’s recipe: Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte
  15. …and me and John. And our kid, possibly! This will be his first time joining us for Munch Madness, because this is the first March of his entire life. He has never judged anything.
    My recipe: Girl Scouts of America’s Samoas
  16. LAST-MINUTE SUBSTITUTION: Instead of helping me with my recipe, John will be judging a recipe of his own.
    John’s recipe: Reese’s peanut butter eggs


Vote in a Winner

Vote in the sidebar! [divider][divider]

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