Archive for Worth a Fork

Whipped into a frenzy

Found this old ad at Miss Cellania’s, and as usual, it sent me off into a tangential tizzy:

Kraft ad for Miracle Whip

Miracle Whip, says the ad copy, combines “the best qualities of good old-fashioned boiled dressing and fine mayonnaise.”

“Boiled dressing” is apparently before my time, so I went hunting for a description, and found one:

A Boiled Dressing can be thought of as sort of a Hollandaise Sauce for fresh vegetables. It draws on the principle that eggs and vinegar will emulsify in a liquid and form a creamy concoction. The base is usually eggs, vinegar, and a liquid such as cream, milk or water. Some recipes also use a small amount of flour or cornstarch as a thickener. Seasonings such as dry mustard, sugar and salt are added. Later versions would include a tablespoon of olive oil, showing that it was becoming available, but was still a luxury item.

The one thing it isn’t, curiously, is “boiled”; it’s actually simmered over a double boiler.

Wikipedia yields up this historical note:

According to Kraft archivist Becky Haglund Tousey, Kraft developed the product in-house using a patented “emulsifying machine” (invented by Charles Chapman) to create a product blending mayonnaise product and less expensive salad dressing, sometimes called “boiled dressing.”

Miracel WhipHowever, this story is disputed.

In Germany, the Kraft Foods spinoff Mondelēz International sells Miracle Whip as, um, Miracel Whip, presumably to match up with pronunciation in der Vaterland, though that WH combination doesn’t look the slightest bit Teutonic. I have no idea if the formula is any different, though it seems at least plausible that Germany, or the European Union as a whole, might actually have regulations affecting pseudo-mayo; says that same Wikipedia article, the modified corn starch and the inevitable high-fructose corn syrup are derived from non-GMO corn, which presumably would be easier than getting a new variety of maize past the EU’s GMO controls.

(Parenthetically: Once upon a time I inquired of my Twitter followers if there were a low-fructose corn syrup; I was directed to the nearest bottle of Karo.)

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A saucy query

Challenging the atheist:

Campbell Soup withdrew this pretty quickly, perhaps fearing negative response; last I looked, the account had actually been suspended. Before Dawkins, or someone else, sticks his foot in it, allow me (and some anonymous Wikipedian) to explain:

The flavors of the original sauces were created with the help of Howard Moskowitz, a practitioner in the field of psychophysics. The process involved the development of systematic variations of specific ingredients in the formula which then were tried by voluntary subjects. After placing numeric values to each tester’s perception on each of the variants, a mathematical model was created to develop the final recipe, which maximized the perceived taste while minimizing the cost of the ingredients needed to produce it.

Still better than Ragù.

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Tweetlessness

I wonder if their followers even notice:

Nearly 24 million out of 284 million Twitter users do not tweet at all, reveals the latest data filed by the micro-blogging site with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). This means that nearly 8.5 percent of Twitter users could be robots who never use the service, ValueWalk reported.

Or non-robots who never use the service. I’ve seen lots of tweets from actual bots, usually retweets of something that matched a keyword or hashtag.

Twitter also concedes that a substantial number of “users” are fake:

“There are a number of false or spam accounts in existence on our platform. We estimate that false or spam accounts represent less than five percent of our Monthly Active Users (MAUs),” the SEC document read.

Similarly, the Food and Drug Administration will put up with bay leaves that are less than five percent moldy. You may wish to avoid that link around dinnertime.

(Via Heidi Richards Mooney.)

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Allergen detection kit (home version)

If you ask me, this can’t happen soon enough:

“It would be really nice if a person with food allergies could get test strips that they could dip into a food they were concerned about, and it would turn color if the allergen was present.”

I was thinking about the glucose test strips we use in one of the labs I do — they are a product sold for diabetics, so they can test their urine. There are also color-changing tests for lead in paint, and I am sure other things I am not thinking of.

But what nice peace of mind that would be — “I don’t know for sure if this broth might have miso in it, so let me check.” or “Could there be peanut proteins in this smoothie?” (I can see how it would only work for liquid things.)

I doubt you could get every possible allergen detected by a single strip. (Then again, I am not a biochemist, nor do I play one on television.) But even if you have to special-order strips for your one-in-a-million sensitivity, it’s still better than hives.

Disclosure: I don’t have any food allergies, or at least I’m not aware of any. I still think it’s a swell idea.

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50 shapes of something

There are many brave souls willing to risk themselves for truth, or a reasonable facsimile thereof:

There is a tradition of human guinea pig pieces in the world of journalism. Morgan Spurlock, of course, in Super Size Me. Chuck Klosterman, who ate only McNuggets for seven straight days. Gawker’s Caity Weaver did an amazing job chronicling her 14-hour attempt at conquering TGI Fridays’ endless mozzarella sticks. Our willingness to torture ourselves for the sake of entertaining and informing readers is well documented. But they all had a point to make, or a hypothesis to see through.

I have none of this.

What he did have, though, was fifty Chicken McNuggets. It’s not as easy as it looks — and it doesn’t look easy at all.

I’m estimating my maximum McNugget capacity at twenty-seven, and no, I’m not going out to test this. I did once polish off nineteen at a sitting, and I was woozy for the next half hour, and not the good kind of wooz either.

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Those cads

If you’re in the States, nothing is happening to your Cadbury Creme Eggs:

There is much lid-flipping and out-freaking online today as UK news sites report a change to the recipe for Cadbury Creme Eggs, a change that everyone blames on the brand’s U.S.-based ownership. That very well may be true, but for Creme Egg fans stateside, it’s a non-issue as the treats you gobble down each spring are made by a different company.

See, while Kraft’s Mondelēz International controls overseas distribution of Cadbury Creme Eggs, and did indeed recently institute a recipe change, U.S. distribution of Cadbury products is handled by a different U.S. company: Hershey’s.

A rep for Mondelēz confirmed to Consumerist that the two products — the Creme Eggs it distributes and the ones distributed in the U.S. by Hershey’s — are now completely separate and a change to one does not mean a change to the other.

And while we’re clearing up matters, Mondelēz International was spun off from Kraft after the name change.

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It’s crummier in the colonies

Having never stopped off in the UK to buy sweets, I wouldn’t have thought of this. A English journalist in Las Vegas started it off:

If you read the whole thread, you’ll hear that the American version of an English candy — like, for instance, Skittles — will be “always nasty in comparison,” and American Nutella is apparently something to be avoided.

[insert vague “spotted dick” reference here]

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Among the local delicacies

Michael would like you to know that he did not actually sample these on a trip to the Bricktown Brewery’s Remington Park outpost:

Appetizers menu from Bricktown Brewery

“Even my stomach has limits,” he said.

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Apparently they’re not McKidding

Not even the Hamburglar knows about this place:

There’s not a golden arch, burger or fries in sight.

In fact, the casual diner might be excused for thinking the best known name in the fast food business is quietly trying to conceal its true identity.

Welcome to the future of McDonald’s, a mix of Lebanese lentils, tomato basil soup and chipotle pulled pork all washed down with a balsamic strawberry craft soda.

Where — or perhaps when — is this mysterious place?

The fast food giant last week opened The Corner, a cafe/food laboratory, next to Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Camperdown without fuss or fanfare.

Amid the shiny white tiling the only way you would know it was Maccas is the tiny McCafe logo on the sign and the Ronald McDonald cookie jar on the counter.

Manager Kyle Jarvis, who oversees a crew of chambray shirt-wearing, cafe-trained workers, said The Corner would be able to hold its own in inner west cafe hipster heartland.

“If they’re looking for a Quarter Pounder they’ll probably be sorely disappointed,” Mr Jarvis said. “It’s a new concept for us, it’s a learning lab where we test the things that Maccas has never done before and push the boundaries of what we can do in a cafe environment.”

No word on whether Mickey D in the US is planning anything similar.

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Noodle used

I have a medium-size stockpot, used mostly for boiling water into which pasta will be dumped. The diameter of this pot is approximately 0.3 inch less than the length of typical spaghetti-like substances. In days of old, I would break the rods in two in an effort to get them to fit. The trouble with that, of course, is that you can’t actually break them in two: invariably a third piece is formed, and sometimes a fourth. Unable to explain this phenomenon, I started pushing one end of the handful of spaghetti against the bottom of the pot while the water was boiling, and when the rods bent enough, following through with the rest. The results were slightly less satisfactory at precisely al dente, but it was better, I thought, than dealing with segments of random length, given my tendency to roll the stuff onto the fork.

At long last, there’s an explanation for where that third piece comes from:

Maybe I should just get a bigger pot and be done with it.

(Via Sploid.)

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Filet-O-Fishy

Consumerist must have been getting serious mail about this, else they wouldn’t have come back with an article titled “For The Love Of God, McDonald’s Is Not Getting Rid Of The Big Mac Or Apple Pie.” Seriously:

You’ve probably seen your Facebook news feed overrun in recent days with people bemoaning the death of the McDonald’s Big Mac and apple pie. But there’s no need to start a petition or put on mourning garb, it’s just another hoax… [T]he McDonald’s Twitter feed is now working overtime (but probably not getting paid for it; after all, this is McDonald’s) reassuring folks that the fast food chain’s signature sandwich and dessert aren’t going anywhere.

The source of the hoax is a story on a site called Daily Buzz Live, which displays a faked Tweet from the same McDonald’s account stating, “It is with a heavy heart that we must announce that the Big Mac will no longer be apart of our menu. It is our sincerest apologies.”

Sheesh. Even the Hamburglar is more articulate than that.

Now if I could only find a freaking McRib.

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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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