Archive for Worth a Fork

Usually a dollar extra

I have to wonder whether this was actually planned, or somehow just happened:

Workers fled a Tim Horton’s restaurant in Canada after a patron threw a live snake behind the counter during an argument over sandwich toppings.

According to the Saskatoon Police Service, two 20-year-old men are in custody after they allegedly engaged in the snake throwing incident at a Saskatoon Tim Horton’s Monday morning.

The report indicates the men wanted their onions diced and as the argument escalated, one of the men reached into the pocket of his friend’s coat, pulled out a live snake and threw it behind the counter. According to police, no one was injured, but employees fled the store in fear.

On the upside, you have to figure that had they diced it for him, a man eating a snake, even at a Tim Horton’s, has to go over better than a snake eating a man.

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Is this worth Brownie points?

The Girl Scouts of America will be selling cookies online:

[T]he online sales program has only been rolled out in select areas, according to The New York Times, but the plan is to go national come January. So that’s one awesome way to start the new year.

Along with their practice of selling the cookies door-to-door and to your mom at her workplace, Girl Scouts will now be able to use a “Digital Cookie” to sell boxes online. It sounds like a cool mix between a cookie app, and a cookie website, where Girl Scouts can create their own page to reach friends and family.

“Girls across the country now can use modern tools to expand the size and scope of their cookie business, and learn vital entrepreneurial lessons in online marketing, application use and e-commerce,” Sarah Angel-Johnson, who is in charge of the new digital cookie approach, told the Times. That’s actually kind of awesome when you think about the business lessons these young girls will be learning well before they even reach high school.

I can see giving the girls an app to take orders — that piece of cardstock they’ve been carrying since the French and Indian War is as low-tech as you can possibly get without falling back on cuneiform — but I can’t help but think we’re losing something here.

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Put-ti-put-ti

Meanwhile in Denmark, this would seem to be concrete evidence for some sort of malfeasance:

National authorities have shut down a company that produced food for nursing homes and hospitals in a cement mixer.

The Danish Food and Veterinary Administration (Fødevarestyrelsen) discovered that the food company Nordic Ingredients violated hygiene rules by producing gelled foods in a cement mixer. The food was delivered to public nursing homes and to hospital patients who have difficulty swallowing whole food.

Thereby confirming your worst fears about hospital food, no doubt. And furthermore:

A Food and Veterinary Administration official said that in addition to producing food in a cement mixer, the hygiene levels at the company’s production facility were abysmal.

“It wasn’t just a bit of mess from the most recent production, and we determined that the cleaning standards were completely inadequate,” Henriette Mynster told DR.

I suspect government procurement rules, and all that lowest-bidder jazz. It will happen here soon enough.

(Via Bayou Renaissance Man. If you don’t get the title, get this.)

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It’s gotta be that damn kale

The correlation between health and happiness may not be what you thought it was, even for our herbivore friends:

Australian vegetarians might be healthier than meat-eaters but they are unhappier and more prone to mental health disorders, new research suggests.

The Alere Wellness Index shows vegetarians drink and smoke less and are more physically active than their carnivorous counterparts.

But they are also more likely to have depression and anxiety disorders, according to the Index made up of scores for nutrition, fitness, smoking, alcohol, psychological wellbeing, body mass and medical conditions.

Hmmm. Now how can this be?

Dr John Lang, who developed the wellness index for preventive healthcare company Alere, says the adoption of a vegetarian diet can sometimes follow the onset of mental disorders.

“So the diet isn’t the cause but rather the symptom,” he said. “If you think of people that are committed to being a vegetarian it’s a fairly significant commitment and it picks up people at the fringe of the obsessive-compulsive spectrum.”

Vitamin OCD! The mind boggles. Still, grinding up pork rinds over their quinoa seems unkind, if not downright treacherous.

(Via Tim Blair.)

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Early turkey

Surely you knew this was coming:

Ah, domestic sub-bliss.

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Bring out the Musketeers

3 Musketeers barThe legendary 3 Musketeers bar, reconfigured and downsized many times since its humble beginnings in 1932 — hint: there’s a reason for the “3” other than the obvious literary reference — may be threatened, along with most of the rest of the candy bars on earth, for the simplest (and scariest) of all reasons. To put it bluntly, we may be running short of chocolate:

Two global chocolate giants, Mars, Inc. and Barry Callebaut, are warning that global demand for one of the world’s most popular commodities will outpace supply by one million metric tons by 2020, Bloomberg reports.

Is there growing demand? Yes, but there’s also a supply issue. More precisely, there’s another supply issue:

As CBS Moneywatch reported last month, Ebola has been the most recent culprit. West Africa produces nearly three-quarters of the world’s cocoa — with the nations of Ivory Coast and Ghana responsible for 60 percent of that supply. Those nations’ proximity to Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone — the current epicenters of the Ebola outbreak — have fueled worries that the virus could ultimately stall production, and trigger another spike in world cocoa prices.

Meanwhile, the existing supply issues continue:

The lack of rain has continued to wreak havoc on crops in Ivory Coast and Ghana. That means smaller, lower-quality cocoa beans that must be processed more to produce the same amount of chocolate.

The International Cocoa Organization estimates that pests and diseases — with menacing names like Witches’ Broom and Frosty Pod Rot — have cut up to 40 percent of global cocoa production.

“Frosty pod rot” doesn’t sound that menacing. But both those ailments come from similarly destructive fungi: Moniliophthora roreri for a case of the frosties, and M. perniciosa for witches’ broom. And having looked at a list of diseases that attack cocoa, now I wonder how I ever managed to get a single Mr. Goodbar.

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No size is Fun Size

Nathan Gunter found this at the local Sprouts:

Alive & Radiant Organic Kandy Kale

I’m having trouble trying to figure out what “holiday” is involved. April 15th, maybe?

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Up with chowing down

“The second day of a diet,” observed Jackie Gleason, “is always easier than the first. By the second day you’re off it.”

The Great One never was one for taking his own advice: in the spring and summer of 1969, he went on a super-strict diet and lost about 100 pounds, only to discover that a skinny Ralph Kramden is not a funny Ralph Kramden. Ratings declined, and CBS, looking for any and all excuses to make over its lineup, canceled Gleason’s TV show.

Forty-five years later, we know much more about dieting than we did in Gleason’s time, and what we know is this:

[H]ealthiest diet isn’t a specific diet at all. It’s the absence of a diet.

This is not a sudden, world-changing, mind-altering finding. It is not well suited to a blaring news headline. It is not share fodder on social media. What it is, however, is a realization that surfaced gradually and methodically: Science will never conclusively prove that a single diet is the best diet.

You want to live longer, you say?

The University of California-Irvine’s 90+ Study has tracked thousands of Americans who’ve made it to age 90 and beyond, yielding an unprecedented wealth of information about their lifestyle habits. For lead investigators Claudia Kawas and Maria Corrada, the most surprising finding they made is that most participants didn’t seem to be too concerned with their health. Generally, the 90-year-olds said they didn’t really keep to a restrictive diet. Nor did they abstain from alcohol, quite the opposite actually! The researchers found that up two drinks a day — no matter the type — was associated with a 10-15% reduced risk of death. They also discovered other things that might disturb ardent dieters. Vitamin supplements did not affect lifespan in any way, and being a little overweight starting in middle age positively affected longevity.

This will not, of course, cause the promoters and the haranguists to back off: as Upton Sinclair once noted, “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.”

(Via Cold Fury.)

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On the hand-cut rocks

Just in case your drink doesn’t cost enough:

Now that we’ve entered the “craft cocktail” era, drinks with double-digit price tags are just par for the course. And in many cities, there’s a decent chance that your fancy craft drink now comes with a large, crystal-clear cube or rectangle that melts unhurriedly in your glass. That’s right: Artisanal ice is a thing.

Excuse me? That’s what we said when the Washington City Paper reported that a restaurant called Second State will charge $1 per “hand-cut rock” if you order from its rye whiskey menu. (If you order one of the cocktails, which range from $11 to $17, the fancy cubes are included gratis.)

And apparently it’s a cut above the stuff routinely coughed up by your Frigidaire:

Regular ice is cloudy because of the minerals like calcium in tap water, [Joe] Ambrose says. (Editor’s note: Air bubbles that form as water crystallizes also contribute to the clouds, as some commenters informed us.) So he filters water, and then puts it in a big machine made by Clinebell — the same machine that makes those huge blocks for ice sculptures.

The machine churns out 200- to 300-pound blocks of crystal-clear ice. Ambrose or his partner, Owen Thomson, director of the beverage program at Range restaurant, then cut up these giant blocks into 25-pound slabs or 2-inch cubes with a band saw.

“It’s hard work: You’re dealing with ice and slippery surfaces, and working with a blade that’s made for cutting up cows,” says Ambrose. “It’s a little scary, especially when the blades wear down and pop and metal goes flying across the room. Oh, and your hands get really cold.”

I expect a dispenser for these to show up in next year’s Sub-Zero hyperfridges.

(Via Consumerist.)

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The cruelty of the clown

Deep in his thermoplastic little heart, Ronald McDonald must truly hate us:

McDonald’s is going to be stingy with their McRib this year, which is unfortunate because that’s probably one of the only menu items people get excited for.

According to CNBC, McDonald’s isn’t going to do a national rollout, instead it will only be offered at “participating restaurants.” McDonald’s will be letting each individual store make the decision if they feel it should be carried there.

#3384 (1525 Northwest Distressway)? #6528 (6700 North May)? I’m looking at you.

(Via Fark.)

Addendum: Moe Lane sees complaints of this sort as traffic builders.

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How tricks are earned

With Halloween a mere two weeks away, the HelloGiggles crew have assembled a list of Worst Candy, and some of them, I think, are pretty inarguable. Consider #9, which is that candy corn mutation shaped like a pumpkin:

The only thing worse than a plastic baggy of candy corn, was a handful (hand to candy contact = a problem) of these pumpkin-shaped waxy thingamabobs.

Actually, those bother me the least of any of the listed items, which may suggest that some of them are pretty dire. Take, for instance, #4, Mary Janes:

This candy tastes like it was invented by a man who wore a non-ironic monocle and collected abacuses as a hobby.

Was he as condescending as Wonka? We may never know.

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And now, a word from our alternate Sponch

Gansito, the Mexican sort-of-Twinkie that has been showing up in local Anglo-ish supermarkets of late, has apparently sold well enough for the store chain to bring over a couple more items from the Marinela line, neither of which I’d seen on their Web site: Mini Mantecadas, which appeared to be shrunken muffins, and something called Sponch. Reasoning that hey, a muffin is a muffin, I opted for a bag of Sponch.

Sponch — which I’m sure is not a mnemonic for the elements that support life — is, for all intents and purposes, the anti-Mallomar. I don’t think I can top this description:

Picture, if you will, four miniature Hostess Snowballs (marshmallow covered in coconut). Two are strawberry flavored, and two are plain flavored. Lay the whole thing on a butter cookie, and then, for good measure, squirt some strawberry jam in the center. Wow, even in just typing that, I realized I had described my dream cookie.

This may be the second time around for Sponch, which, at the time of that description, was actually branded “¡Sponch!” This particular packaging has six tubes, each containing three Sponch, a total of 270g, or 15g per Sponch. And I eventually found Marinela’s World site, which filled me in on some of the non-Mexican Marinela lore. (Some Houston stores were apparently carrying Gansito in 1984.)

And Sponch suffers one of the same issues as Mallomars:

[W]ith all the jubilant, celebrating marshmallows dancing in their coconut crusts, little attention was given to the cookie’s core component. The cookie itself is rather flavorless, and somewhat frustratingly flaky. It doesn’t add a lot to the experience, other than providing a base for the party going on above it. This is also not a huge complaint, in the same way you don’t complain when the apartment full of hot sorority sisters who just moved in downstairs and spend all of their time giggling and having sexy drunken pillowfights, don’t know a lot about Keats. In fact, that’s what this cookie is. It is a sexy drunken pillowfight, where you accidentally get punched in the stomach at the end.

“The pity is that we must wonder at it, as we should at finding a pearl in rubbish,” commented John Keats.

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After while, crocodile

Russia’s Food Czar, or whatever, has approved the importation of crocodile meat:

Russia’s food safety watchdog has approved the import of crocodile meat from the Philippines to replace the beef and pork banned under Moscow’s restrictions on foods from Western countries, a news report said.

The veterinary and sanitary inspection agency, Rosselkhoznadzor, has added a Filipino producer of frozen crocodile meat, Coral Agri-Ventures Farm, to its list of companies allowed to supply food to Russia’s markets, the Interfax news agency reported Thursday.

The restrictions, of course, are intended as payback for Western sanctions imposed as a response to Russian incursions into Ukraine. But Moscow is prepared to look far and wide for replacements, and not just crocodiles:

Russian officials have also visited India to consider imports of buffalo meat after dismissing it for years over quality concerns.

And the government is planning a hard sell to hungry Russians:

The government’s official daily Rossiiskaya Gazeta recently published an article extolling the culinary qualities of meats that have otherwise remained exotic for the vast majority of the country’s population.

Titled “Grilled Crocodiles and Hippos on a Skewer,” the article also reviewed the taste of kangaroo, shark and ostrich meats.

A bag of otters’ noses, please. Um, make it two.

(Via Interested-Participant.)

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Shroom for one more

If there hadn’t been a fungus among us beforehand, there certainly is now:

A 1.7m long and 1.2m wide reishi mushroom weighing 220 kilogram has been found by a local man in Ea Kar District, the Central Highlands province of Dak Lak.

The mushroom has been sold to Dao Duc Dai in Ban Me Thuot City at VND200 million.

A 500-pound mushroom is not something you see every day. (And 200 million dong works out to $9500 US, so this wee beastie brought around twenty bucks a pound.) Let’s have a look:

Humongous reishi mushroom

The buyer apparently hiked into the forest to get a look at it, and:

Mr. Dai said that at the time he purchased the mushroom, it was clinging on a big stump in the forest. He had to mobilize nearly ten men to remove and take it home.

I don’t doubt it. This looks even less maneuverable than the contents of Utah Phillips’ Moose Turd Pie.

(Via Interested-Participant.)

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Hops right onto the toast

It’s newer than Nutella, and far more inexplicable, perhaps:

Beer lovers, rejoice! The world’s first spreadable beer — “Birra Spalmabile” — is a genius Italian invention that allows you to enjoy your favorite beverage early in the day, completely guilt-free. No one can judge you for indulging in this delectable beer-based breakfast spread — just slather the stuff on your toast and crepes, or stuff it in your pastry.

Made of 40 percent beer, Birra Spalmabile is predominantly sweet to taste. The spread comes in two flavors — one light and delicate, and the other with an intense aroma and stronger taste. Both flavors are available for purchase internationally at $51 for a 280-gram jar.

Ten ounces for $51 may seem a bit steep, but hey, at least it isn’t Country Crock.

(Via WFMU.)

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Or you can wait and pay less

Sprig is a San Francisco eatery that isn’t really an eatery: everything is cooked at HQ and then delivered to your door in (usually) five to ten minutes.

Except, of course, when it can’t be. Their solution to this is elegantly simple:

Previously where you may have seen “out for now,” we will now be testing dynamic delivery fees. Dynamic delivery fees will adjust up or down throughout Sprig’s service based on how busy things get and how far away a delivery is. While delivery fees will go up during the rushes — like at 8pm in the Marina — they will also decrease when things are slower, meaning you may even see free delivery!

Why are we testing dynamic delivery pricing? Because it will enable us to continue to provide fair compensation for our hard-working Sprig Servers as we continue to expand. Furthermore, it makes Sprig more reliable for you — so you can get a Sprig meal right when you want it, straight to your desk or door.

Laura Northrup at Consumerist sees the sense in this:

I know that I tend to tip delivery drivers more when it’s, say, Super Bowl Sunday, or the busiest pizza times on Friday nights. Sprig’s plan is to take that system and make it mandatory. If customers don’t want to pay the higher fees, they can just wait until the sustainable and organic feeding frenzy is over: one option within the mobile ordering app is to receive a notification when delivery fees fall again.

Me, I’m very much the Apple Bloom type: “But I want it NAO!” And I’ll pay to get it.

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Pootatively the best

Ellia Kassoff, proprietor of the new Leaf Brands, gets another feather, or maybe an air biscuit, in his cap:

Candy and snack manufacturer Leaf Brands LLC has won The Most Innovative Product Award at the 2014 Sweets & Snacks Expo in Chicago for its Sour Farts Flow Packs.

Ellia Kassoff, CEO of Leaf Brands, accepted the Most Innovative Product Award for Novelty candy after a rigorous vetting of more than 250 different new products unveiled at the show Wednesday.

“Flow Packs”? That seems ominous.

Leaf Brands developed Farts Candy, small pieces of candy that looks similar to a Nerd but chewy with more intense flavors, in partnership with Can You Imagine That!, a candy company owned by David Klein, the inventor of the Jelly Belly Jelly Bean.

“People often complained Nerds were too hard on your teeth, so we created our candy, which is soft, not hard, and has a better texture and taste,” Klein said.

Not all Farts are Sour; you can also get Fruity Farts.

Leaf Brands is also shepherding the return of Hydrox, due Real Soon Now.

(With thanks to Nancy Friedman, always a breath of fresh air.)

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Currently comestible

This is enough to make me reject the theory that “You are what you tweet” all by itself:

Some of those I can actually believe: sauerkraut in Wisconsin, cod in Massachusetts, grits wherever there are grits. But this is Twitter, and Twitter is part of the Internet, and the Internet is ruled by bacon, dammit.

Personal note: I have family in Missouri (two children, six grandchildren). If they’ve ever mentioned succotash, I missed it — and yes, at least some of them are cluttering up social media the way I do.

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Taking stalk

I have long suspected this, but actually doing the experiment myself was simply out of the question. Now, though, there is corroboration:

When something sounds too good to be true, well, it probably is. Take “negative-calorie foods” as an example. The notion is that digesting certain foods burns more calories than those foods provide. The faulty logic of this urban legend is based on the scientifically proven thermic effect of food (TEF), which simply means the amount of energy the body uses to digest a food. The thinking goes, if you were to eat a very low-calorie food — common examples include celery, apples, and limes — then you’d actually create a calorie deficit. In other words, these foods would end up costing less-than-zero calories.

Sadly, there are no negative-calorie foods. The TEF generally ranges from 10 percent to 20 percent of the calories in a food. So let’s say a celery stalk has seven calories. Even if you assume a 20 percent TEF, that means you’re still left with about five and a half calories.

In the specific case of celery, chewing the stalk is supposed to expend some smallish number of calories, though 5½ seems a bit high unless you’re one of those people who counts every chew up to N, where N = 32, probably.

Still, that isn’t the biggest problem with celery:

Which is almost certainly true.

(Via Violins and Starships.)

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Choosing your battles poorly

Not that their track record is good, exactly, but this seemed a bit more quixotic than usual:

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals’ (PETA) first shot at religious activism — a call to Muslims to observe a vegetarian Eid this October — has misfired. It met with violent protests [in Bhopal] on Monday.

“Misfired” may be a trifle generous:

PRTA woman volunteer Benazir Suraiya attempted to make an appeal to Muslims to go vegetarian at the legendary Taj-ul-Masajid, said to be one of Asia’s largest mosques.

Camouflaged in a green hijab, to highlight the importance of vegetarianism, she walked towards the mosque gates with a couple of PETA volunteers holding a placard in Urdu and English which read: “Make Eid Happy for All. Try Vegan.”

With less than a dozen policemen deployed, locals took the opportunity and shouted slogans asking her to turn back. She was forced to take cover along with another PETA volunteer in the market outside the mosque.

Besides, there are vegetable products that fail to qualify as halal:

[M]ost observant Muslims refrain from consuming food products that contain pure vanilla extract or soy sauce if these food products contain alcohol; there is some debate about whether the prohibition extends to dishes in which the alcohol would be cooked off or if it would be practically impossible to consume enough of the food to become intoxicated.

Tim Blair described the scene as “a clash of civilisations involving no actual civilisations.”

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Goodness in precise units

Gansito, a sort of Mexican Twinkie with a layer of raspberry, has been available here in some merely-Anglo stores for a couple of years; I pick up a box now and then. (Fillyjonk mentioned them here.) They’re quite tasty, and not appreciably pricier than their distant American relatives. (Grupo Bimbo, the Mexican bakery conglomerate that owns Marinela, producer of Gansito, has substantial American holdings, including, yes, Sara Lee’s baked-goods line.)

A box of Gansito contains eight of the little cakes and weighs precisely 14.11 ounces, a number which seemed awfully specific to me until I read the metric equivalent: 400g. Fifty grams per cake. Sounds almost elegant when you put it that way.

In Mexico, Marinela has a whole line of stuff, including Dálmata, a sort of chocolate-ish Twinkie with white frosting embedded with chocolate chips, and Pingüinos, a knockoff of the classic Hostess CupCake. I trust — and a glance at the Gansito box assures me — that these south-of-the-border treats are just as delightfully horrible for you as the junk we buy here. There’s a Mexican supermarket half a mile from Crest; perhaps I ought to look for some of them there.

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Cookie grail

I remember reading this for some now-forgotten reason:

In the United States, Mallomars are produced by Nabisco. A graham cracker circle is covered with a puff of extruded marshmallow, then enrobed in dark chocolate, which forms a hard shell. Mallomars were introduced to the public in 1913, the same year as the Moon Pie (a confection which has similar ingredients). The first box of Mallomars was sold in West Hoboken, New Jersey (now Union City, New Jersey).

Mallomars are generally available from early October through to April. They are not distributed during the summer months, supposedly because they melt easily in summer temperatures, though this is as much for marketing reasons as for practical ones. Devoted eaters of the cookie have been known to stock up during winter months and keep them refrigerated over the summer, although Nabisco markets other fudge-coated cookie brands year-round. Eighty-seven percent of all Mallomars are sold in the New York metropolitan area. They are produced entirely within Canada, at a factory in Scarborough, Ontario. The issue of Nabisco’s choice to release Mallomars seasonally became a parodied topic on a sketch delivered by graphic artist Pierre Bernard on Late Night with Conan O’Brien.

I do remember my reaction, though: “Yeah, like I’ll ever see any of those here, in the land of nine-month summers.”

Today, I have a box of Mallomars, courtesy of Crest Foods. Now Crest usually discounts Nabisco stuff fairly heavily: the standard bag of Oreos is typically $2.50, occasionally as low as $1.99. I paid $4.50 for this. I’m wondering if I should keep them in the fridge — or in a safety-deposit box.

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Incomplete dataset

I spotted this last night on Fark:

Hot Pockets advertisement claiming premium meats and real cheese

Anyone want to guess how many products are in this line?

No, seriously, I have no idea:

There are more than 20 varieties of the traditional Hot Pocket, including breakfast, lunch, and dinner varieties. Nestlé also offers Lean Pockets, Pretzel Bread Hot and Lean Pockets, Hot Pockets Croissant Crust (formerly called Croissant Pockets), Hot Pockets Breakfast items, and Hot Pockets Sideshots. Nestlé formerly produced Hot Pie Express, Hot Pocket Pizza Minis (originally called Hot Pockets Pizza Snacks), Hot Pockets Subs, Hot Pockets Calzones, Hot Pockets Panini, and Hot Pockets Breakfast fruit pastries.

Then again, I often pay the long dollar at lunch for Stouffer’s, another Nestlé product, so maybe I should shut up already.

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Just a snack before I go

Last month, Maxim got a makeover of massive proportions: fart jokes and other juvenilia were cast aside in favor of an upscale, Playboy-ish look, though the dress code for the pictorials remains unchanged.

One feature they kept, fortunately, was “24 Hours to Live,” in which a gentleman of note is asked several questions regarding his last day on earth. This month, Anthony Anderson, star of this fall’s ABC series Black-ish, gets the call, and describes his last meal:

A 36-ounce, bone-in Kobe beef rib eye cooked medium with tarragon French fingerling potatoes, creamed corn with bacon, my daughter’s homemade cheesecake from scratch. And a Diet Coke.

Clearly a man of health and taste.

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Hardly seems fair

Jennifer McClintock saw this being vended at the State Fair of Oklahoma this week, and decided “Pretty sure I’m going to pass on this one”:

Scorpion Pizza at State Fair of Oklahoma

Apparently it was a big hit in Calgary back in July:

The owner of the Pizza on a Stick stand says she’s the sole scorpion pizza vendor at Stampede, and confirmed slices are expected to return this week.

“I’m hoping Thursday, but definitely by Friday,” Percsilla Larue told the Herald. Her stand ran out of $10 scorpion pizza slices Monday after demand was higher than expected.

“People love it. I had one guy come back twice for more slices,” said Larue, who describes it as “crunchy.” She said staff were surprised by how many people came asking on last Thursday’s Sneak-a-Peek.

I dunno. You tell me that a pizza with scorpions on it is sixty bucks, and the first thing I’m going to ask is “How much is it without scorpions?”

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Definitely fishy

The local supermarkets seem to sell a ton of tilapia, probably because it’s relatively cheap. Fillyjonk, for one, won’t touch the stuff:

Actually, some of the Healthists claim that Tilapia really isn’t all that great for you after all — something to do with the balance of Omega 6 and Omega 3 acids. (The fact that it eats excrement apparently isn’t even a blip on the radar)

Me? I hate most fish and won’t eat it. I make an exception for freshly-caught panfish and the occasional wildcaught salmon.

This particular claim by “Healthists” (I gotta steal that term) drew this open letter from a consortium of scientific types:

US Department of Agriculture statistics indicate that farmed tilapia and catfish contain somewhat more omega-6 fatty acids than omega-3. Most health experts (including organizations such as the American Heart Association and the American Dietetic Association) agree that omega-6 fatty acids are, like omega-3s, heart-healthy nutrients which should be a part of everyone’s diet. Omega-6 fatty acids are found primarily in vegetable oils (corn, soybean, safflower, etc) but also in salad dressings, nuts, whole-wheat bread, and chicken.

Replacing tilapia or catfish with “bacon, hamburgers or doughnuts” is absolutely not recommended.

And that would seem to be that — except for this:

While working in Mexico I found that some Beltrán-Leyva Cartel types were feeding people they killed to farmed tilapia in the Puerto Vallarta area to hide the bodies. Other disturbing reports indicated that the Arellano-Felix Cartel people were doing it in Northern Mexico as well to get rid of their rivals. Apparently tilapia enjoy the meal and grow even more rapidly with the steady supply of protein.

Most of these fish find their way to tables in Mexico and to tourist destinations along the Mexican Riviera, so buying and eating them in the US is likely cartel-influence free. Personally I’ve been put off on eating them.

Beltrán-Leyva has supposedly been inactive for several years, but yes, that sort of thing is off-putting: you generally don’t see this issue with bacon, hamburgers or doughnuts.

(That cartel link via Bayou Renaissance Man.)

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The future’s looking Tim

After the announcement of the fusion of Tim Hortons and Burger King last month, I expected some polite disapproval of the idea from north of the border. (Canadians are polite, right?) What I did not expect was this:

Tim Hortons is not a defining national institution. Rather, it is a chain of thousands of doughnut shops, several of which have working toilets.

Tim Hortons is not an indispensable part of the Canadian experience. Rather, it is a place that sells a breakfast sandwich that tastes like a dishcloth soaked in egg yolk and left out overnight on top of a radiator.

Tim Hortons is not an anti-Starbucks choice that makes you a more relatable politician or a more authentic Canadian. Rather, it is a great place to buy a muffin if you’ve always wondered what it would be like to eat blueberry air.

So if you were planning to boycott both BK and Tim’s for tax reasons, you may be assured that you’re not missing out on a whole lot.

(Via Kathy Shaidle.)

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The emetic in your refrigerator door

I am not fond of mayonnaise. (Then there’s McGehee, who is really not fond of mayonnaise.) Still, your go-to person for mayo hatred is Amelia:

When is it appropriate to use mayonnaise?
@BrianFaughnan

Dear Brian,

Never. Well, never as condiment, anyways. Mayonnaise is acceptable if you’ve ingested poison and need to induce vomiting, but only if other means are not available and time is truly of the essence.

Amusingly, this is the top of the Wikipedia page for “Vomiting”:

“Vomit” redirects here. For other uses, see Vomit (disambiguation).

“Emesis” redirects here. For the butterfly genus, see Emesis (genus).

“Heaving” redirects here. For the up-and-down motion, see Heave.

“Puke” redirects here. For other uses, see Puke (disambiguation).

When the aliens come, as they must, I’ll remind them that this world of ours is so incredibly diverse that there’s a disambiguation page for “Puke.”

(Typed while eating a ham sandwich. No mayo.)

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The Element of Pasta

The British have long feasted on things like stodge and spotted dick, so I figure Pinkie Pie is a step in the right direction:

You should probably keep cans of this stuff all over town, in case of food emergency.

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It’s cheap to be the King

From 1989 to 2002, Burger King was owned by the British conglomerate Grand Metropolitan (now Diageo). In 2010, it was acquired by the equity firm 3G Capital, with offices in New York and roots in Brazil. Now it’s about to become Canadian:

The Wall Street Journal‘s Liz Hoffman and Dana Mattioli report Burger King is in talks to buy Tim Horton’s to pull off a “tax inversion” that would allow it to avoid U.S. taxes.

The new holding company would be based in Canada, the pair report.

Whether one will be able to pick up Timbits with a Whopper is not yet known.

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