Archive for Worth a Fork

And 58 flops

H. J. Heinz is known for — says so right on the label — “57 varieties.” (Actually, I think they have more than that, but you don’t throw away a perfectly good trademark.) It would be heinous, I think, for them to obtain a new one by slapping a different label on an old one.

And especially in this case:

“Chicago is an amazing city full of traditions — [one] of them, as you well know, is never putting Ketchup on your Chicago Dog,” reads an oddly capitalized press release. It continues: “While Heinz respects this time-honored tradition, the brand is hoping that Chicagoans will reconsider their anti-ketchup stance.”

Nah. Chicago’s good.

Heinz’s new “Chicago Dog Sauce” — a limited-time-only cheap marketing ploy that disguises the company’s normal, bland ketchup with a new label — is an insult to Abe Froman and the rest of Chicago’s encased-meat community.

“But our marketing survey … ?”

No one here cares about that “random” sample of gullible tourists who deemed this behavior acceptable. These traitors were caught on film along the lakefront. They might as well be Packers fans.

(Via E. M. Zanotti.)

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Spice is nice

That’s what they say. Sometimes, though, blood is shed:

I was watching an episode [of Good Eats] about pickles this evening and this blurb comes up on the screen about how back in the 1300s the Europeans wiped out half of southeast Asia in their quest for nutmeg. That seems a little extreme and a heck of long time ago, is there any truth here? Well, the Dutch did pretty much wipe out the population on one small island in the 1600s.

That sounds fierce, and apparently it was:

The Banda Islands became the scene of the earliest European ventures in Asia, in order to get a grip on the spice trade. In August 1511, Afonso de Albuquerque conquered Malacca, which at the time was the hub of Asian trade, on behalf of the king of Portugal. In November of the same year, after having secured Malacca and learning of Banda’s location, Albuquerque sent an expedition of three ships led by his friend António de Abreu to find it. Malay pilots, either recruited or forcibly conscripted, guided them via Java, the Lesser Sundas, and Ambon to the Banda Islands, arriving in early 1512. The first Europeans to reach the Banda Islands, the expedition remained for about a month, buying and filling their ships with Banda’s nutmeg and mace, and with cloves in which Banda had a thriving entrepôt trade. An early account of Banda is in Suma Oriental, a book written by the Portuguese apothecary Tomé Pires, based in Malacca from 1512 to 1515. Full control of this trade by the Portuguese was not possible, and they remained participants without a foothold in the islands.

And then things got fiercer:

In order to obtain a monopoly, on the production and trade of nutmeg, the Dutch East India Company (VOC) waged a bloody battle with the Bandanese in 1621. Historian Willard Hanna estimated that before this struggle the islands were populated by approximately 15,000 people, and only 1,000 were left (the Bandanese were killed, starved while fleeing, exiled or sold as slaves). The Company constructed a comprehensive nutmeg plantation system on the islands during the 17th century. It included the nutmeg plantations for spice production, several forts for the defense of the spices, and a colonial town for trading and governance. The Dutch were not the only occupants of this region, however. The British skillfully negotiated with the village leaders on the island Rhun to protect them from the Dutch in exchange for a monopoly on their nutmeg. The village leader of Rhun accepted King James I of England as their sovereign, but the English presence on Rhun only lasted until 1624. Control of the Banda Islands continued to be contested until 1667 when, in the Treaty of Breda, the British ceded Rhun to the Dutch in exchange for the island of Manhattan and its city New Amsterdam (later New York) in North America.

Which leaves one question: how did Connecticut, rather than New York, end up as the Nutmeg State? Skulduggery, of course:

Connecticut received its nickname from the claim that some unscrupulous Connecticut traders would whittle “nutmeg” out of wood, creating a “wooden nutmeg,” a term which later came to mean any type of fraud.

Sorry about that, New Jersey.

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Will Cap’n Crunch walk the plank?

The subject is being discussed in Australia:

More than half of supermarket products marketed at kids are unhealthy, according to a new survey by the Obesity Policy Coalition. The finding has led to calls for cartoon characters to be removed from “junk food” packaging.

The OPC surveyed 186 packaged foods with cartoons or character promotions designed to attract children. It found 52 per cent were classified as unhealthy by the Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) Nutrient Profiling Scoring Criterion calculator.

Grocers and food processors put up a counterargument, probably to no avail:

The Australian Food and Grocery Council says parents also have control over what they feed their children.

“Parents are best placed to make the right food choices for their kids, and they have a role in using their purchasing discretion to determine what foods they purchase,” a council spokesperson said.

Canberra, we may safely assume, has the same disdain for leaving parents in control that Washington does.

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It’s raining wieners

Oscar Mayer wants it that way:

As is currently en vogue for any company making a product that ends up in consumers’ hands, Oscar Mayer is expanding its Wienermobile fleet with a phallic flying drone that can (supposedly) drop a single hot dog on someone not too worried about what they’re eating. If Silicon Valley had its way, we’d only eat things that fell from the sky.

Specs, kinda sorta:

The drone itself appears to be a custom creation, weighing in at 6.5 pounds with a flight time of around 15 minutes, letting it fly about a mile before needing to land for a recharge. It has enough lifting power to carry a single wrapped hot dog during flight, but details on condiment capacity are still unknown. If you prefer those Chicago-style hot dogs piled high with pickle spears, tomato wedges, and peppers, you’ll presumably be limiting the WienerDrone’s flight capabilities.

You may have noticed that nowhere above is the word “bun” mentioned.

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Dying a thousand deaths

This phrase is of course metaphorical: each of us dies a single death, and the odds of so doing are 100 percent.

Unless, of course, we have a thing for French-fried potatoes, in which case we have a 200-percent shot:

Headline from The Telegraph: Eating chips doubles your chance of death

Notes Geoffrey K. Pulliam:

That’s right: although your probability of dying is one hundred percent, just like mine, the Telegraph has found a study saying you can double it by eating french fries.

Add this to whatever apocalyptic bushwah the Democrats are putting out about “TrumpCare” and you have to figure that the average American is in line for somewhere around 2.33 deaths (2.42 with ketchup).

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Resolutely independent

Chain restaurants are everywhere, or almost everywhere; the old-style out-by-Route 23 supper club seems to be in irreversible decline. But they had a lot to recommend them:

The one thing about most supper clubs is they required at least a 30-mile drive to get there because they were built on highways outside of major population areas, which gave them the feel of an upscale roadhouse — the opposite of “your neighborhood Applebee’s.”

In more ways than one, in fact:

Back then and now, a supper club is destination dining. But what is the difference? Consider this: At Applebee’s you get someone in a typical high turnover, low-wage job cooking your meal from a standard corporate recipe using pre-measured, pre-packaged ingredients so your meal looks exactly like the meal in those glitzy national TV ads — well, almost. At a supper club, your meal is prepared by someone who has likely worked there more than 25 years and takes great pride in their work. The food is fresher, the service is excellent and genuine, and your meal is cooked with seasoned cookware and grills that are over 50 years old. And the recipes are tried and true, and have been handed down from previous generations.

And then there’s Junior’s here in OKC, built on Northwest Highway (not yet the Distressway) in the early 1970s, before oil boom turned to oil bust. And they’re modestly modest:

Junior’s offers personalized service and fine dining. Don’t come looking for a gourmet fusion of three beans and art though. We offer the best hand-cut certified Black Angus steaks in town, Australian lobster, our famous Caesar Salad, and much more.

Old school, and proud of it. This is not something you encounter at Ruby Tuesday’s.

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It’s broccoli, dear

It’s just a little bitty tablet:

A chemical called sulforaphane, found in broccoli sprouts, has previously demonstrated an ability to reduce glucose levels in diabetic rats. Anders Rosengren of the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, and his colleagues wondered whether the same might be true for humans. To test the theory, his team gave 97 people with type 2 diabetes a concentrated dose of sulforaphane every day for three months, or a placebo. All but three people in the trial continued taking metformin. Those who didn’t take metformin were able to control their condition relatively well without it.

The concentration of sulforaphane given was around 100 times that found naturally in broccoli. “It was the same as eating around five kilograms of broccoli daily,” says Rosengren.

On average, those who received the broccoli extract saw their blood glucose reduce by 10 per cent more than those on the placebo. The extract was most effective in obese participants with “dysregulated” diabetes, whose baseline glucose levels were higher to start with.

“We’re very excited about the effects we’ve seen and are eager to bring the extract to patients,” says Rosengren. “We saw a reduction of glucose of about 10 per cent, which is sufficient to reduce complications in the eyes, kidneys and blood,” he says.

Besides, if you tried to eat 5 kg of broccoli, your intestines would be playing the opening to Also sprach Zarathustra.

Journal reference, should you need it: Science Translational Medicine, DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aah4477.

(Via Fark.)

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Num squared

Two-thirds of a LeeAnn observation:

Today I learned the filling in a Kit Kat is made from defective Kit Kats.

For some reason, this makes me extremely hopeful.

I could not resist:

“Makes you wonder how they made the very first Kit Kats.”

Right back at me:

“They sprang fully formed from the forehead of Milton Hershey.”

This isn’t close to being true or anything — Nestlé acquired Rowntree, which created the Kit Kat, and Hershey licensed the product, first from Rowntree, then from Nestlé — but I definitely like her explanation better.

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There seems to be a theme here

See if you can figure out what it is:

Bacon Restaurant, Oklahoma City

Sean Cummings, who used to run an Irish pub at this location, has decided that what we really want in this town is bacon. Lots of bacon.

Today's Bacon

Did I say lots of bacon?

Even the drink menu comes with bacon. The Bacon Whiskey Smash comes with Whiskey, bacon, simple syrup and mint. Or if you’re in the mood for a good Bloody Mary, they have a bacon one too.

Oh, and seven bucks will get you a Bacon Cheesecake for dessert.

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Come on and work it on out

It is generally accepted that a kid’ll eat the middle of an Oreo first. (How to do it? You unscrew it.) It was this particular characteristic, I presume, that gave birth to this Walmart/Sam’s Club knockoff of the Oreo:

Great Value Twist & Shout

I await a Lorna Doone-alike named for Eleanor Rigby.

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Perfect for your tuna sandwich

Now available on a limited basis:

The Blue Jin Café, a café and bakery based in Japan, are making cat lovers’ dreams come true with their new Ironeko Bread (“neko” being the Japanese word for “cat”).

The feline-shaped bread comes as part of Blue Jin’s reopening celebration — the purrr-fect way to celebrate following a renovation project.

Cat bread from Japan

Note the shape, which is carefully designed to suggest felinity without infringing on any Sanrio trademarks. Just the same, it’s incredibly sweet:

This comes as a result of the flour having been kneaded in hot water, which gelatinizes the starches to “draw out more of their inherent sweetness.”

The bread, which is sold in packs of five slices, went on sale on 26 May for ¥350 (£2) per pack.

Is this worth sixty-odd cents a slice? Of course it is. Don’t be silly.

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Tragedy of the condiments

Actual Whataburger advertisement found on Fark.com last night:

Advertisement for Whataburger-branded ketchup and mustard

Although it’s probably more convenient than stuffing a couple of dozen packets into your purse while you imagine no one is looking.

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Slices of life

The proverbial space invaders, once they’ve conquered this big blue marble, might look over the scene and proclaim: “This species developed a pizza-centric economy.”

I wouldn’t disagree. Several pizza joints deliver coupons to your door every single week. And the last time I hit up Papa John’s, they left me a reusable coupon, redeemable online only: it’s good for 50 percent off all regularly-priced items, any time between now and Labor Day.

Now I wonder: who among us hardy travelers has ever paid full price for a pizza, from Papa John, from another chain, from a local shop? Because everybody seems to have coupons.

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You got your kale in my chocolate

Somehow that just seems unforgivable:

We’re all for exotic food mashups. And when you combine two things so far apart in the food world, it’s really exciting. The California-based chocolatier Compartés has created a kale chocolate bar that combines your favorite super-foods, and we’re practically swooning.

The kale and dark chocolate bar is “Filled by hand with a mouthwatering combination of kale crisps, pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds. This healthy chocolate bar has no added sugars, just delicious fresh seeds and crispy kale chips covered in Compartés famous chocolate,” according to Compartés’ website.

Compartés kale & chocolate bar

I don’t know. It might not be half bad, even if it looks like scrapings from the world’s filthiest petri dish.

If this is a bit much for you, they also have a white chocolate/avocado bar. Each of these will run you $9.95.

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Excess air

At candy prices, yet:

A lawsuit alleging that Hershey is intentionally under-filling packages of Whoppers, Reese’s Pieces and other candy has gotten the green light to move forward.

Robert Bratton of Missouri claims that the $1 packages of chocolate he bought last fall were only partially full. The box of Whoppers, he argued in the lawsuit, was about 59 percent full, while the box of Reese’s Pieces was 71 percent full. He says Hershey is short-changing customers by being “misleading, deceptive and unlawful,” and is asking the company to pay back at least $5 million to its customers.

As a Whopper-hater of long standing, I’d say Mr Bratton was lucky.

The Hershey Co. disputes the allegation that its packaging is deceptive and sought to have the lawsuit thrown out, but U.S. District Judge Nanette Laughrey last week ruled that the case could move forward because “the Court cannot conclude as a matter of law and at this stage of the litigation that the packaging is not misleading.”

Anyone over the age of seven should know that boxes of grocery products are never filled to the brim. (Nor are bottles, except for mouthwash: Listerine, store brands, whatever, all of them will spill when you open them for the first time if you exert the slightest pressure.) What I want to know, though, is this: Where’s he getting this stuff for a buck? It’s $2.50 down at the movie house.

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Gotta have my bowl, gotta have cereal

If this describes you, and you’re somewhere near Los Angeles, polish up your personal custom spoon and go for it:

[N]ow, LA residents can enjoy a bowl of cereal in a brand new cereal bar in the Virgil Village neighborhood. The bar is called Cereal and Such, and was opened by musician, producer, and fashion designer Theo Martins, who moved to LA just five years ago to get more involved with the city’s art scene.

Martins opened up Cereal and Such in a refurbished shack in the back patio of a clothing store called Virgil Normal, Eater reports. Cereal and Such opened on May 5 and started selling bowls of cereal at $4 a pop, along with a menu of coffee, tea, and t-shirts. The cereal menu will move in a rotation of six different cereals, and there will always be one vegan and gluten-free option for those with diet restrictions to enjoy. While on tour in Japan this month, Martins says he will bring back cereal from his trip to sell at the bar.

L.A.’s best-known cereal-eater is not likely to put in an appearance, having (on video!) admitted that she doesn’t really like cereal.

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The pepper, it burns

We begin with a relevant review:

It was like a religious experience, mainly because our tongue was on fire. And that accursed conflagration was reaching down down down into our digestive depths, twisting us sideways/inside-out/round-and-round with searing waves of pepper-powered pain.

So spake an Adweek staffer after trying a single tortilla chip imbued with the Carolina Reaper chili pepper, now the second-spiciest pepper on earth.

Wait, what? Second- spiciest?

Alas, it is true:

Death by chili pepper may not be a common way to die, but it’s certainly a possibility for unlucky souls adventurous enough to try Dragon’s Breath, the new hottest pepper in town.

Mike Smith, the owner of Tom Smith’s Plants in the United Kingdom, developed the record-breaking pepper with researchers at the University of Nottingham. He doesn’t recommend the pepper for eating, however, because it may be the last thing a person ever tastes.

So how exactly do hot peppers, such as Dragon’s Breath, maim or kill those who try to eat them? Let’s start with the pepper’s spicy stats: Dragon’s Breath is so spicy, it clocks in at 2.48 million heat units on the Scoville scale, a measurement of concentration of capsaicin, the chemical that releases that spicy-heat sensation people feel when they bite into a chili pepper. Dragon’s Breath is hotter than the current record-holder, the Carolina Reaper, which packs an average of 1.6 million Scoville heat units, as well as U.S. military pepper sprays, which hit about 2 million on the Scoville scale, according to the Daily Post.

Individual samples of the Reaper are reported to have broken the two-million mark, but 2.48 is just out there.

Dragon’s Breath, in contrast, is so potent that it will be kept in a sealed container when it goes on display at the Chelsea Flower Show from May 23 to 27 in London, the Daily Post reported.

It better be more thoroughly sealed than, say, the average mayonnaise jar off Funk & Wagnalls’ porch.

(Via a woman who is apparently not trying to kill me.)

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Something in between

The first sandwich, we are told, was a piece of salt beef between two slices of toasted bread, and it was named for, if not necessarily created by, John Montagu, fourth Earl of Sandwich (1718-1792). With Lord Sandwich’s tricentennial upon us, we should not be surprised that the definition has spread out a bit:

Personally, I’m not a purist, but I am loath to classify a Pop-Tart as a sandwich.

(Via Neatorama.)

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It’s all about the width

Last night, while the sound of lightning was doing nothing to enhance my AM-radio reception (Dodgers vs. Pirates, if you care), an ancient jingle popped into my head, complete with fuzzy visuals:

The Chunky was reformulated when Nestlé acquired it: gone were the cashews and Brazil nuts, replaced by comparatively mundane peanuts. And of course it’s no longer a nickel; in bulk from Amazon, they’re about a buck apiece.

And is that Casey Kasem doing the voiceover?

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Penes from heaven

In case you wanted someone to go, um, eat a bag of dicks:

Remember that look of joy you got on your face on Christmas morning when you went downstairs and unwrapped a big bag of socks? Us neither.

Dicks by Mail is the easy way to send that feeling to anyone in your life that deserves that feeling of sadness, disappointment and betrayal (or laughter).

In only a few minutes you can send a literal Bag of Dicks to that special friend or dickhole in your life. Dickhole, you ask? You know the one. The annoying guy at the office. Your Ex who decided to see other people before telling you. The Teacher that doesn’t care about your dead grandma. The person that murdered your grandma.

Now if your teacher murdered your grandma, mere gummy weeners may not do the trick.

(These guys sent me an email invitation. Go figure.)

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Chewy, chewy

Or maybe it’s not. I haven’t tried it:

Newport Jerky Company offers 16 varieties of buglunch at several price points. For a mere $12.99, you can get, um, Mixed Pupae.

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Impulses dampened

Stephen Green says this was the inevitable result of switching to online grocery-ordering:

My wife and I switched to online ordering almost as soon as it became available. What we no longer spend on impulse purchases must cost our local grocer hundreds and hundreds of dollars a year — just on my one small family. And many of those impulse buys would have been high-margin treats for our boys, who are locked out of the online shopping experience.

My own expenditures have dropped by about 10 percent, though I’m hardly immune to impulse purchases; I attribute at least some of the decrease to buying fewer steaks.

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Lovely Spam, wonderful Spam

Here’s a couple who couldn’t have a wedding without Spam:

[T]he love for a brand and the love of a couple brought the first-ever Spam wedding to reality when Mark I Love Spam Benson — who last year legally changed his name as a declaration of his love for the brand — wed his fiancée, Anne Mousley, in Austin, Minnesota. The couple, who hail from Liverpool, UK, were married in a Spam-themed wedding complete with Spam cake and Spam-colored bouquets of roses at the Spam Museum in Austin, Minnesota.

Where else could it have been? I mean, really.

Spam wedding at the Spam Museum

Spam is canned precooked meat made by Hormel Foods that was first introduced in 1937 and gained popularity worldwide after its use during World War II. Benson’s love for the Spam brand is rooted in family tradition, with his grandfather and uncle both having worked at a Liverpool Spam manufacturer when the brand first became linked to happy family memories. Knowing her groom would love nothing more than a Spam wedding, Mousley reached out to Hormel Foods. After learning about the couple’s story and Benson’s love for Spam products, Hormel agreed to make it a reality.

“The Spam brand is truly lucky to have such a passionate fan base, and we’re always looking for ways to engage with them in a fun and unique way. When Anne approached us with the idea for their wedding to be hosted at the Spam Museum, we knew it was the perfect place for them. It’s not every day we get a request like this one, so it was an easy decision and one that we think demonstrates the fun, quirky side of the brand,” said Nicole Behne, marketing director of the grocery products division at Hormel Foods.

And no bloody Vikings, either.

(Via Jeff Faria.)

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None more dark

Or, presumably, more green either:

GREEN & BLACK’S is a chocolate brand founded on sustainable and ethical cocoa sourcing principles, based on our conviction that great taste comes from the finest ingredients. Green symbolizes our commitment to always sourcing ethical cocoa. Black stands for our high quality and the delicious intensity of our chocolate.

The first GREEN & BLACK’S chocolate was created in London by original founders, Craig Sams and Jo Fairley. They launched the brand with an organic dark chocolate bar with 70% cocoa. And today you will still find a dark chocolate bar with 70% cocoa in our organic line!

Now, the GREEN & BLACK’S collection includes a wide variety of offerings, all expertly crafted with hand-selected, ethically sourced cocoa beans and the finest ingredients from around the world.

From developing our unique chocolate recipes to selecting ingredients like hand harvested Anglesey Sea Salt and Mediterranean Almonds, we take great pride in creating distinctively smooth and rich chocolate experiences.

That “today you will still” suggests they’ve been around a long time, and, well, 1991 seems quite a long time ago at times.

Still, what does it take to get someone to ante up five bucks for a 100-gram chocolate bar? In my case, it was extreme curiosity:

Our Dark 70% chocolate is made from fine Trinitario cacao beans, providing complex fruit notes and intense bittersweet chocolate aromas.

And six hundred calories, if you care about that sort of thing. The wrapper declares: SUITABLE FOR VEGETARIANS, if you care about that sort of thing. And really, it’s quite good, much more complex than what those guys at Hershey’s (among others) keep shoving out. There are indeed serious fruit notes, and they manifestly didn’t clutter up the recipe with more than a few percentage points of organic raw cane sugar.

Still: five bucks? And said bucks do not end up in the pockets of a couple of eccentric Brits, but in the deep bank account of Mondelez International, which acquired it from Cadbury, purchasers of the original company in 2006. For now, I don’t really care where it came from, as long as Amazon keeps selling them for $3.24.

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A front-nine breakfast

I’m not sure I want to know how this might have happened:

You have an early-morning golf match. You make coffee and contemplate the optimal breakfast to help you hit the ball straighter and calm those first-tee jitters.

For now, skip frozen hash browns sold in nine states under the Harris Teeter and Roundy’s brands. The potatoes may contain pieces of golf balls, according to the hash brown maker.

Says the recall notice from McCain Foods:

McCain Foods USA, Inc. announced today it is voluntarily recalling retail, frozen hash brown products that may be contaminated with extraneous golf ball materials, that despite our stringent supply standards may have been inadvertently harvested with potatoes used to make this product. Consumption of these products may pose a choking hazard or other physical injury to the mouth.

The impacted products include the following: Roundy’s Brand, 2 lb. Bag of Frozen Southern Style Hash Browns (UPC 001115055019) and Harris Teeter Brand, 2 lb. Bag of Frozen Southern Style Hash Browns (UPC 007203649020).

The Roundy’s products were distributed at Marianos, Metro Market, and Pick ‘n Save supermarkets in the states of Illinois and Wisconsin. The Harris Teeter products were distributed in the states of North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, District of Columbia, Delaware, Florida, Georgia and Maryland. Distribution occurred after the date of January 19, 2017.

Which explains the production code: B170119.

As usual with food recalls, you can turn them in at the store where you got them, or you can just pitch them out. I suggest a 5-iron.

(Via Kim Severson.)

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Was this meal Happy?

I don’t think I’d have had the nerve at eighteen, let alone at eight:

An 8-year-old East Palestine [Ohio] boy used YouTube videos to learn how to drive his father’s van to McDonald’s on Sunday.

East Palestine Patrolman Jacob Koehler responded to the restaurant that evening after the police department received reports from several people who witnessed the boy driving the van effortlessly through the downtown area.

Koehler said that according to reports from witnesses … the boy obeyed all traffic laws, stopping properly at red lights and waited for traffic to pass before making the left turn into the McDonald’s parking lot.

The staff assumed this was some kind of joke:

When he pulled up to the drive-through window after ordering a cheeseburger he had been craving and intended to pay for using money he gathered from his piggy bank, the McDonald’s workers at first thought they were being pranked.

“The workers thought that the parents were in the back, but obviously they weren’t,” Koehler said.

The boy had his 4-year-old sister along as a passenger.

There are people a lot older than 8, and you probably know some, who can’t manage a mile and a half trip without knocking something over, or at least hitting a curb, especially if a left turn is involved.

Staff sprung for meals for the lad and his sister, the parental units were notified — apparently a friend of the family recognized the van — and they all lived happily ever after.

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Back to the basics

Advertising for the Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s chain — they started on opposite coasts and eventually sort of grew together — has occasionally ventured a tad onto the risqué side in recent years.

Not anymore, at least for now:

Not to be a spoilsport, but Carl Karcher and Wilber Hardee were not necessarily anything like this. I think. I figure I’ve eaten too much of their food to worry about it.

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The wrong sort of buzz

It probably seemed like a good idea at the time:

Just recently, Cheerios removed Buzz the Bee from their cereal boxes to promote their Bring Back the Bees Campaign. Cheerios’ campaign is quite straightforward. They plan to send out 100 million wildflower seeds and urge people across the nation to plant them.

You might think “Buzz” an obvious name for a bee, but General Mills has not done well with cereal mascots over the years: the silly rabbit who so vainly pursues a bowl of Trix is supposedly named, um, “Tricks.”

And in this case, the absence of Buzz may not be helping:

[S]ome experts warn that the company’s wildflower initiative might actually do more harm in some areas. According [to] a report from My Central Oregon, some of the wildflower seeds being distributed by Cheerios could grow into a highly invasive plant that is not helpful to native bee species.

“No plant is inherently ‘bad,’ but many species can and has caused a great deal of damage when they are introduced into locations outside of their native range,” ecologist Kathryn Turner told Lifehacker:

“Invasive species can out-compete the natives they encounter, they can take up all the space and use up all the resources, they can spread disease, and cause other physical changes to their new homes, all of which can have detrimental effects on native species, and on humans.”

Further, said Lifehacker’s Beth Skwarecki:

What’s odd is that Cheerios partnered with Xerces, an organization dedicated to supporting pollinators, but didn’t use their locally customized, ecologically friendly seed mixes. If you’d like to plant a wildflower garden, maybe start with those instead.

Xerces has nine different plant lists, each one right for a particular region of the States.

(Suggested by reader Holly H.)

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The Heinz is passed

The genius of Don Draper, however many years ago:

The genius of Don Draper, this week:

Don Draper’s ketchup-less pitch for Heinz was rejected by the marketer’s fictional team on Mad Men, but now the real-life Heinz team is embracing the idea.

Creative agency David is taking only some of the credit for its newest Heinz campaign, which includes three New York billboards and ads in two print publications. The ads are nearly identical recreations of ads Mr. Draper, played by Jon Hamm, showed the client during a 2013 episode of the AMC series.

Heinz has been selling ketchup since 1876. I am told that there are competitors, sort of.

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The steaks have never been higher

The George Pub and Grill in County Durham, says Metro.co.uk, “is selling a steak dinner that weighs more than a newborn child.”

Did you say you want some more? Well, here’s some more:

With seven items on its “challenge” menu, including the UK’s largest mixed grill and a kebab sandwiched between two chicken parmos, the George could well be the meatiest place in Europe.

This makes Arby’s “We Have The Meats” claim seem rather, um, undernourished.

Pub owner Craig Harker has set the challenge for four diners to eat the mammoth six kilo rump in 45 minutes.

The Holy Cow 220oz Steak Sharer costs £124.95, and requires 24 [hours] notice so Craig can get the meat from the butchers.

Harker said the piece of beef, which is so big it has to be served on a metal tray, takes two and a half hours to cook to medium rare before it is served with with chips, onion rings and coleslaw “to help it go down.”

Then again, 220 ounces — 13 pounds, 12 ounces — makes for an awfully large newborn child.

And if it doesn’t quite go down?

Harker said that losers will win a free ride to hospital once cardiac arrest sets in.

Try that at Arby’s.

(Via Fark.)

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