Thursday, October 29, 2009

Coffee Grounds Lead to the Future

TEL AVIV -  Coffee drinkers at a popular Israeli chain can have their fortunes told for free if they buy a cup of the brew that leaves grounds at the bottom.
"A surprise is waiting for you when you finish your coffee," say waitresses at branches of Ilan's Coffee House.
 A "gypsy" was hired to teach staff how to interpret the residue.

Reading coffee grounds  (Tasseography) is a very old art is associated with the Celts, Gypsies, Middle Eastern and other cultures. Learn its philosophy and how to perform .

The free service is meant to boost sales in Israel's highly competitive coffee market.

Marketing Manager Michal Steg is behind the scheme: "You feel you are unique and that is a good feeling and you would like to go there again."
After receiving free advice about his future from a trained waitress, Amit Pinchuk said he was confident the gimmick would draw customers back: "It can be something different, you know, some people will probably connect to that, you know, if you believe in that, it can definitely be something surprising."
The staff promise to alert customers to potential woes, but are trained to focus on the good news.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

100 Reasons to Drink Coffee

We love coffee!
There's nothing quite like the aroma of brew early in the morning.
There's nothing like that first sip.
There are also 100 other reasons to drink coffee, 
check out Coffee Cup News

No Reservations, an Evening with Anthony Bourdain - Chicago - Nov 6

Anthony Bourdain will be in Waukegan on Nov. 6th at  the Genesee Theater.
It's an evening with no cooking demonstration, no samples to taste, it's just Bourdain, a microphone and the audience.
"I never really know what the show is going to be like, I just wing it," said Bourdain,  "A lot of it counts on who's in the audience; how drunk, how rowdy, how crazy the crowd is. Is it line cooks on a day off of work, or a more refined crowd?"
He will offer an hour of monologue, or diatribe, talking about  his world travels, his kitchen trials, his books  and his views on the organic food movement.  After that, he'll take questions.

Here are some thoughts by Anothony Bourdain preceding his visit to Chicago:

Q. Halloween's coming up. Any fond memories?
A. For me Halloween was memorable mostly for the opportunity for juvenile delinquency. For two days, vandalizing, creeping around neighbors houses was accepted.

Q. What are your plans for this Halloween?
A. Halloween is a big deal; we'll dress her (2-year-old daughter Ariane) up as a fairy princess. When she's old enough to go trick-or-treating you can bet I'll be there, probably in a pirate costume.

Q. What was the last meal you cooked at home?
A. Boeuf bourguignon. I like one-pot cooking; I like to keep it simple at home; at the restaurant I had a cleanup crew.

Q. Did the movie "Julie and Julia" inspire you to cook that French dish?
A. Julia Child was frankly an influence even before I ever thought of being a cook. My mother cooked from "Mastering the Art of French Cooking." Julia set the standard; she changed the world for the better.

Q. On "No Reservations" you also expose your audience to a new world of flavors.
A. I would never, ever dream of comparing me to Julia. On my show, it's me trying to have fun; it's a very personal, first-person essay. I'm not an educator or an advocate; I'm just a guy traveling around the world.

Q. Where do you stand on the organic movement?
A. I'm for organic and sustainable food, but I'm deeply suspicious of people who believe all of us should eat that way.

No Reservations, an Evening with Anthony Bourdain
When: 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 6
Where: Genesee Theatre, 203 N. Genesee St., Waukegan
Tickets: $39.50, $49.50, $75 (includes post-show meeting). Available at box office, Ticketmaster outlets, (800) 982-2787 or

Robo Chef: Anthony Bourdain's Alternate Universe

Anthony Bourdain's Alternate Universe looks like a lot of fun,
On his blog he wrote:
"There seems to be some understandable confusion with the announcement of our upcoming "web series", ALTERNATE UNIVERSE. Reactions varying between "WTF!!??" and " This time he's jumped the shark for sure." While shark jumping is always a danger--particularly since me and my partners take a perverse delight in flirting with just that with every new outrage (The family friendly Sardinia show being an example of a profoundly risky rub up against 'off-brand,' late-era Fonzarelli), these dark, nasty, frequently foul TWO MINUTE LONG web extras are not a replacement for NO RESERVATIONS. They are not a pilot for some new, family friendly, watered down follow on. They are instead brief, often violent, alt versions of NO RES--representing things we could never have done on the actual show-or the way things should have gone on the show--or animated acknowledgments of what already went terribly wrong on the show. Or, for example, my take on the network's "Travel Bug" promo campaign--about which I was, shall we say...dubious.

They'll appear on the fan site--for those who wish to click on them. I wrote the damn things--so there's nobody to blame but me if they're not as quick, nasty--and funny as I think they are. And I want to thank Andrew Zimmern and Samantha Brown in advance--for their extraordinarily good humored participation in one particularly lurid episode. I hope we don't freak out their fan base."

Here's the preview:

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Maple Baked Apples

We love all apples, fresh, roasted or baked, it doesn't matter.
With the winter months upon us we thought we would share a simple but fun recipe for  
maple baked apples.

Some apples are best for baking, here's a few to choose from:

This apple is juicy and tart with dense flesh that holds its shape when cooked.
Granny Smith
this apple is quite tart and doesn't turn brown as quickly as other varieties.
It softens a bit more than other apples and releases a wonderful juice.
Golden Delicious
This sweet yellow apple is delicious in pies and crisps and it's very easy to find.
Rome Beauty
This fall apple holds its shape perfectly when cooked; it has a sweeter flesh than other baking apples.

Okay let's get started:

Prep time
10 minutes
Cooking time
50-60 minutes

4 apples, such as Gala, Fuji or Granny Smith
4 pitted dates, chopped
2 tsp chopped walnuts or hazelnuts
4 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground cloves
½ cup maple syrup
½ cup water
4 tsp butter

Remove cores from apples with an apple corer.
Score the skin around  each apple with a sharp knife allowing them to split neatly around the middle when they bake.
Combine sugar, cinnamon and cloves.
Stuff mixture into apples and place them in a shallow baking dish.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Pour combined maple syrup and water over apples.

Brush with butter and bake until apples are wrinkly and soft and starting to puff, about 50-60 minutes. Serve with custard, heavy whipped cream or ice cream.


Cannibalism the Latest Fashion

It appears that cannibalism is in  fashion currently.
The latest report is a case of in Germany where German police found posts on the internet from a man trying (get this) to find volunteers to be slaughtered victims for a cannibalistic meal. 
It turns out  that Armin M., a 41-year-old computer engineer from Rotenburg, had been persuasive enough to convince Bernd Jürgen to be the victim.

Apparently, Bernd volunteered to be slaughtered and eaten by Armin. 
After making contact over the Internet, Bernd visited Armin in Rotenburg. 
They bought a large supply of painkillers and got to work.
We aren't sure how this works, but they cut of Bernd's penis, and ate it together.
Then Armin slaughtered Bernd in the bathtub, drained his blood, and cut the meat off his bones. He packaged the meat and put it in his freezer. 
During the following summer, Armin barbequed some ribs on the grill in his backyard. 
(we're talking about Bernd's ribs here)

When police found Armin, he admitted his act of cannibalism, but insisted his victim volunteered to be slaughtered.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Lord Stern: Give up meat to save the planet

We get confused.
There is Sir Paul McCartney, Sir Mick Jagger, Sir Elton John , so we though Sir Stern of Brenford was just another aging rock star.

But no, Lord Stern, the author of the influential 2006 Stern Review is tackling global warming and telling  People they need to become vegetarian if the world is to conquer climate change.

Lord Stern of Brentford says "Meat is a wasteful use of water and creates a lot of greenhouse gases. It puts enormous pressure on the world’s resources. A vegetarian diet is better."
He predicted that people’s attitudes would evolve until meat eating became unacceptable.

He said that he was deeply concerned that popular opinion had so far failed to grasp the scale of the changes needed to address climate change, or of the importance of the UN meeting in Copenhagen from December 7 to December 18. "I am not sure that people fully understand what we are talking about or the kind of changes that will be necessary."

The UN suggest that meat production is responsible for about 18 per cent of global carbon emissions, including the destruction of forest land for cattle ranching and the production of animal feeds such as soy.
We might want to point out that Lord Stern said he was not a strict vegetarian himself.

Red Meat Production Up in West Virginia

Here's some bad news for PETA: USDA says red meat production jumped 26 percent in West Virginia last month.
The agency announced that West Virginia's cattle, hog and sheep farmers produced 1 million pounds of meat in September. Last year, September, West Virginia farmers produced 740,000 pounds of red meat.

With all the campaigning against red meat how could something like this happen?
With every single celebrity going Vegan, how is this possible, isn't West Virginia listening to movie and rock stars, are they even paying attention to them?

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Why We Love Journalism

Journalism is sometimes hilarious and shows why we can't always take it seriously.



Saturday, October 24, 2009

Chinese who are eating human embryos and fetuses

Warning Disturbing Content.
There are some Chinese who are eating human embryos and fetuses.
Sickening and appalling pictures of a soup have been confirmed by Seoul Times.
Even though we felt somewhat obligated to share this information with you, we will not be showing the shocking and revolting photos.
Having said all that, we have provided the link:
Seoul Time photos.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Pumpkins - Vegetable or Fruit?

So, is your Halloween pumpkin is a vegetable or a fruit?
We've decided the knowledge of such things have the utmost importance, so let's explore.

First, here's a short quiz,  how about a tomato, is it a fruit or a vegetable?
The answer is because pumpkins and tomatoes have something in common?
What could they possibly have in common?
Here's a hint, it's in the above photo.
Here's another hint, do they both have seeds?
If the answer is yes, then  we are talking about fruit.
This, of course, makes pumpkins and tomatoes both fruit.
But wait there's more...
It also makes cucumbers, squash, green beans and walnuts all fruits as well. Right?
The answer is based on the parts of the plant involved.
Besides the seeds, basically, fruits are developed from flowers, vegetables aren't.
Vegetables are not made from flowers; instead, they are the plant's roots (carrots), stems (celery), leaves (cabbage) and other edible parts of a plant.

It's common to refer to these fruits as vegetables:

  • Pumpkin
  • Squash
  • Tomato
  • Cucumbers
  • Green beans
  • Hot peppers
  • Bell peppers 
If you are speaking in culinary terms, you can call these fruits vegetables, even though in the truest form they are still fruits.

The United States Supreme Court back in 1883 had some extra time on their hands and entered a legal verdict on whether a tomato should be classified as a vegetable or a fruit.
They decided unanimously, in Nix versus Hedden, that a tomato is a vegetable, even though it is really a fruit.

Another way to determine whether it is a vegetable or a fruit is after being picked a Fruit will ripen, and a vegetable will rot.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Miracle Whip - What's Wrong With You?

We don't use Miracle Whip for anything, we like heavy duty mayo.
So what do the brains behind Miracle Whip do?  They validate our instincts and doubts with the dumbest  ad campaign we have seen in quite a while.
Ever seen someone who is aging a little and they try to hard to be young?  That's what we have here, they try too hard with all this pretend “youthful energy.” 

Don't go unnoticed. Don't blend in. Don't be ordinary, boring, or bland. In other words, "don't be so mayo," "We will not try to blend in." "We are Miracle Whip, and we will not tone it down."
Does anyone know what any of that means?
What is Miracle Whip anyway?

German Police are Investigating Kebab Sauce

German police are investigating a kebab sauce, yes, that's correct, the sauce is being investigated, to determine whether it was so spicy that it caused extreme bodily harm when used in an attack.
Police took a sample of the sauce from a kebab stand after a the salesman threw it into the eyes of a customer during a fight over napkins.
So, the question becomes whether the spiciness of the kebab sauce could cause "normal" harm or "serious"  harm.
Officers broke up the fight  that started after a 23-year-old wiped his kebab-soiled hands on the stand because the salesman refused to give him a paper napkin.
The seller responded by throwing a ladle of sauce in the man's face.
The victim's eyes became bloodshot and police are busy trying to investigate why the napkin dispute broke out in the first place.
But it appears that both men could end up facing charges, which may mean the police have no idea what's going on.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Mother, Son hospitalized after eating "Death Angel" mushrooms

A mother and son team remain hospitalized after they ate poisonous mushrooms.
The woman and her adult son ate mushroom that are called "death angel" in a meal.
We thought most people understood the risks and dangers eating wild mushrooms, which can cause liver and kidney damage, and occasionally death, but we were mistaken.
Authorities said, "The message we want to send is that the mushrooms in your backyard can be very pretty, but also very deadly. Don't eat them."
The Death Angel can be deadly and it accounts for more than 90 percent of all reported wild mushroom fatalities, even many mushroom experts avoid them.

So here's our deadly mushroom tips:

  • If you want to remove wild mushrooms from your garden, do so with a shovel and a bag, then wash your hands thoroughly to prevent any accidental hand-mouth contact or ingestion. (wearing garden gloves is an idea)
  •  Second tip, don't cook and eat them, regardless how organic they may appear. 

Monday, October 19, 2009

PETA "Meat Kills" Ad Banned

We found it interesting how the "Big Brother" comments turned into a meat verses vegan story.
And wouldn't you know, right on the heels of that our next post is about PETA and meat.

PETA is telling anyone who will listen that you can catch swine flu from eating meat.
Peta’s poster proclaims that “Meat Kills,” using all their fear mongering buzz words including, E.Coli, mad cow disease, swine flu and MRSA. The words "swine flu" were more prominent than the surrounding text.
A tag line at the bottom of the ad said: "Go Vegetarian. Peta".

The advertising Standards Authority has banned the ad and Peta for misleading consumers that swine flu could be contracted by eating meat.

The ASA received a complaint that the poster just might people believe that the swine flu could be caught be eating meat and that it might cause "undue fear."

Peta said it did not intend to suggest that eating meat caused swine flu (oh please) but it only wanted to highlight the role that livestock production played in the incubation, development and spread of fatal infectious diseases.
Adopting a purely vegetarian diet was one of the best ways to prevent the development and spread of deadly diseases that originated from livestock production and meat consumption and which threatened public health.
The ASA also pointed out that the poster referred to a number of diseases, two of which were known to have originated from eating meat and two that did not.
"Although we understood the intention was to refer to livestock and meat production rather than just eating meat, we considered that the message was, at best, ambiguous," said the ASA.
"We considered that some readers might infer from the poster, and in particular the claim "Meat kills" in conjunction with the claim "Go vegetarian", that eating meat caused swine flu.
We concluded that the poster was likely to mislead and could cause undue fear and distress to some readers."

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Big Brother is Watching, - Actually, it's Mom and Dad

Mom's and dad's everywhere can stop worrying about school grades, violence and drug use. They can now focus on what's really important. They can log onto a Web site and see exactly what their kids are eating for lunch and how much they are spending.
"I think it's awesome," said one parent, who once a week logs onto to see what her daughter ate at school. "You're able to see when they're not getting the full meals. Prior to this, you would depend on your kid to tell you what they were eating." (is she saying her daughter is a liar?)

Parents just have to log onto the site and enter their child's student identification number for the cafeteria and the surveillance begins.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Tired of the same old food for Halloween?

Tired of the same old food at your Halloween festivities?
Here are a few suggestions for the office celebration or your Halloween party.

Digger wasp rice cracker.
For that little something extra, wasps have been added to the to rice crackers.
We are sure you'll agree, this is much more interesting than the  traditional fare.

Fried spiders.  Perfect for all your Halloween guests.
With a budget in mind, the costs is $2 for 10 deep-fried spiders,  seasoned with garlic.
Crunchy on the outside and taste like cold, gooey chicken on the inside.

Blood, yes, you guessed it, the stuff Vampires die for.
This raw blood dish is cooked with entrails,
of course!
You can offer your guests a choice, frozen pudding from fresh duck or pig blood.  But why not let them have both, it's Halloween!!!
One bowl of raw blood costs $0.75. Let's see, 20 dinner guests, wow, only $15.00

Starbucks VIA vs Brewed Coffee Reviewed

Coffee Cup News did a blind taste test on Starbucks new instant brew and Starbucks regular brewed coffee.
This is a great site for coffee lovers!
So, which is it, instant or regular brew?
Watch the video review and find out: Coffee Cup News.

Friday, October 16, 2009

It's called the best beef in the world, it's name is Wagyu - Kobe

It's called he best beef in the world, it's name, Wagyu.
It's the Japanese cattle that are known as Kobe, and they produce meat that makes a $500 per steak in some of Tokyo’s restaurants.

If you are looking for something less expensive, how about this?
5 lb. Japanese Kobe Rib Roast
Regular Price:$897.00

You may be asking, is Kobe beef really that good, is it worth all that money?

Here's a clue - take a look at the marbling chart, give up?

It's the fat, it's always the fat.

The marbled fat content is what decides the grade of the meat and with Japanese beef. Here's the crazy thing, the fat content in Japanese beef  is mainly mono-unsaturated, which means that it's actually known to lower bad cholesterol.

The marbling doesn't come easy or cheap. It's the result of much time and effort, and cows in Japan, live the lives fit for royalty, that is, until they are butchered into steaks.

But before that, a lot of care goes into their feeding, with high quality grains and beer.
Beer, yes, that's right. Beer, is given to them to keep their appetites healthy. (and their spirits up)

Carly Simon Sues Starbucks over her 2008 Album

"Starbucks did more than its fair share to help the album," said Chris Bruzzo, Starbucks' vice president of Carly Simon's 2008 album.  Carly Simon is suing Starbucks anyway, saying the coffee company's now ended music venture didn't do a good job promotng her 2008 album, making her album dead on arrival.

But let's face it Carly your career was only alive during the 1970s and '80s with hits like "You're So Vain" and "Anticipation," and, we can't think of any others. 
But she can't be bothered with those small details, and is seeking "unspecified damages" (money) connected to the release of the 14-track "This Kind of Love" (cover seen below) in April 2008.
In the lawsuit filed  Simon and her attorneys said the album wasn't available in "a substantial number" of Starbucks stores during the key early months following its release. Later, when the disc was stocked in Starbucks locations, the Seattle-based company slashed the price.
"By doing so, Starbucks stigmatized Ms. Simon's album as an album that could not be sold at full price," according to the claim.
In a statement issued Monday, Starbucks said it met all its contractual obligations and even extended the amount of time it promoted the album in New York and Boston.
"Unfortunately, sales continued to lag as the title received tepid response from music consumers," Starbucks said. "Other retailers faced the same fate with this CD."
Simon blamed the lack of interest in the album - which has sold only 124,000 copies, on a decision by Starbucks days before the album's release to end its involvement in Hear Music, a joint venture with Concord Music.

As for the unhappiness with how those albums sold, Bruzzo said, "Every artist brings a different level of expectation about how well something is going to sell in our stores. We humbly offer it to our customers, and our customers either buy it or they don't."

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Kellogg's to Laser Each Corn Flake with Logo

We thought taste alone would separate real corn flakes from the imitators, but never mind all that because Kellogg's is in the process of developing a laser that would burn its logo onto each individual Corn Flake.
"Now you'll always be able to tell your Corn Flakes from your corn fakes!" Kellogg's said. (suggesting Corn Flakes taste like the fake flakes)
They will send beams of light to print a toasted trademark logo without altering the cereal's taste,  (a taste difference we apparently can't distinguish anyway)
If all works out the logos could be put on other brands, such as Special K and Bran Flakes.
Helen Lyons, lead food technologist for Kellogg, said "We want shoppers to be under absolutely no illusion that Kellogg's does not make cereal for anyone else. We're constantly looking at new ways to reaffirm this, (may we suggest taste) and giving our golden flakes of corn an official stamp of approval could be the answer."

Pepsi Stops All advertising Effective Immediately

PepsiCo has announced that it would stop all advertising effective immediately.
"We know it's good, and everyone's pretty happy with the overall taste, so why spend all our time worrying about what other people think?" PepsiCo CEO Indra K. Nooyi said during a press conference at the company's headquarters.
"Frankly, it just feels sort of weird and desperate to put all this energy into telling people what to drink. If they don't like it, then they don't like it."
Added Nooyi, "That's not really any of our business anyway."
According to Nooyi, top PepsiCo  the company's century-old history of massive, high-budget ad campaigns, cross-promotional tie-ins, merchandising, and Super Bowl halftime extravaganzas had been "a big mistake."
Executives then told shareholders PepsiCo is now "what it should have been all along: a company that just makes soda, and doesn't get caught up in trying to make everyone like it."
Responding to the question that is decision would hurt the company's ability to compete with Coca-Cola, Nooyi expressed no concern.
"Vying for the greatest market share shouldn't be a soft drink company's be-all and end-all," said Nooyi, who added that if she's happy at the end of the day, that's what really matters. "After all, it's not like this is some kind of Cola War or anything."
"Look, Coca-Cola is a terrific product," Nooyi continued. "Millions of people choose it over Pepsi every day. Are those people wrong? Of course not. Concepts like 'right' and 'wrong' shouldn't even apply. It's a soft drink."
Nooyi told reporters the company's $1.3 billion annual advertising budget would be put into Pepsi's savings account, spread among various charitable organizations, and divided up into generous bonuses for the company's minimum-wage factory employees.
Nooyi said, "taste is subjective," and that those who hadn't already heard of Pepsi were unlikely to begin drinking it now, and that the company was perfectly content to rely on word of mouth to sell its product.
"You can't taste an ad, anyway," Nooyi said. "People are going to make up their own minds regardless of whether we spend millions trying to inform them that Taylor Swift drinks Pepsi. I mean, seriously, does it really matter if Taylor Swift drinks Pepsi? She's just a human being like everybody else."
Concluding the press conference, Nooyi stated that she wasn't even sure why she was talking about any of this in the first place, asked the assembled reporters whether they didn't have better uses for their time, and suggested that everybody just go home, hug their loving spouses, before life passes them by.
"Hey, there's a slogan for you," Nooyi said. "Spend more time with your families."

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Face of Michelle Obama to Fight Fast Food

The face of Michele Obama will be used to fight the use of fast food according to The Onion.
Her stare alone, it is hoped, will discourage anyone from eating fast food.

Dave Levey wins 'Hell's Kitchen's sixth-season title

Dave Levey has been crowned Hell's Kitchen winner and he did it with only one good arm.
The 32-year-old executive chef said,
"I've been in so much pain for so many weeks and I had to fight so hard to stay in the competition," said Dave after his victory was revealed.
"But I wouldn't change anything. This is the most important thing that's ever happened to me in my life. I'm just so grateful to have earned Chef Ramsay's respect, that means more to me than anything else."

The prize for winning Hell's Kitchen's sixth season, was to become the head chef position at Araxi Restaurant in British Columbia, Canada.

"I can't believe I won. It's a dream come true.  I'm totally in a state of shock," said Dave.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

NYC Health Department Hands Out Fast Food Coupons

Remember, it was Mayor Bloomberg who banned trans fats and required chain restaurants to post calorie labeling in big letters?
Well, it's his Health Department that is now handing out free coupons to McDonald's, Wendy's, Burger King and Kentucky Fried Chicken.
The health department has been giving out $5 vouchers to the fast-food restaurants, to encourage tuberculosis patients to return to clinics for treatment programs.
You would think that patients would be more than happy to get free treatment even without the coupon.

A former department employee who managed tuberculosis control when the incentives began, trashed the program.
"It's a big hypocrisy when they've been campaigning against people eating that stuff, the hypocrisy is that the city launches a campaign, as you well know, of making restaurants list calories and all that, while at the same time they themselves are proliferating free McDonald's incentive cards."

Monday, October 12, 2009

Jay Leno - NBC = PETA

Right on the heels of World Vegetarian Day we find PETA dressed as chickens protesting NBC Studios and  Jay Leno because of a McDonald’s  planned promotion.

With memories of Andy Dick (pictured left), the protesters were flapping their wings, holding signs reading, “McDonald’s: Nothing But Cruelty,” and “McCruelty: I’m Hatin’ It.”
Guests waiting in line for the prime-time taping gasped as PETA organizers begged the show’s host to use his influence to benefit the millions of birds that end up as McNuggets.
This is “The Jay Leno Show’s” first major ad buy and PETA organizers said they hope to throw attention on slaughterhouse practices and persuade the fast-food giant to change its ways.
The PETA comic below is yet another method used to shame adults and children alike.

World Vegetarian Day

We don't know how this slipped by us but it was World Vegetarian Day on October 1.
It was the annual kick-off of Vegetarian Awareness Month.
The goal was to make a difference by informing others about the benefits of vegetarianism.
The claim is that you will be helping to create a better world because vegetarian diets have proven health benefits, save animals’ lives and help to preserve the Earth.

North Korea's Minced Beef and Bread

Back in July we ran a post about the evil "US imperialist" fast food now available in North Korea.
Burgers, called "minced beef and bread" to avoid any connection to American fast food, are the biggest attraction along with fries, crispy Belgian waffles, fried chicken and yes, hot dogs.
The restaurant buys soft drinks from local shops that cater to the diplomatic community and resells the beverages in paper cups.

Since Samtaesong opened its doors in May, customers, including foreign students from China and Russia, have been standing in line to place their orders.
Prices may be set in euros, but US dollars are accepted as payment.
A "minced beef and bread" costs 1.20-1.70 euros (1.77 to 2.50 dollars) and about 300 are sold each day.
The most expensive item on the menu is the crispy fried chicken at slightly under three euros.
North Korea's per person income was estimated at just over 1,000 dollars in 2008,
a whopping 2.74 dollars per day.
But that doesn't seem to be hurting business. There's a plan to open more Samtaesong outlets in the country.

Everything sounds great, but we just have a few observations:
1. How many burgers can they possibly stack on that grill at one time?
2. What's up with that can on the grill?  What is that? Why is that?
3. What's going on with the girls and the hair treatment in the second photo?

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Pumpkin Bisque


Pumpkin Bisque

1 medium onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
3 cloves garlic, roasted first, then chopped
4 cups chicken stock
2 bay leaves
pinch of Nutmeg pinch of Cinnamon
2 cups pumpkin purée
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup heavy cream

Sauté onions, celery, and garlic in butter. Add stock, bay leaves and nutmeg and cinnamon.
Cook until vegetables are very soft.
Strain and reserve liquid.
Purée vegetables with some liquid and strain through a cheesecloth.
Combine liquid, puréed vegetables, and pumpkin; heat.
Add cream and season with salt and pepper.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Is Chef Ferran Adria the king of gelling agents and laboratory emulsifiers?

El Bulli was named the world's best restaurant, and that's the fourth year in a row, so in a world where the thoughts of a chef are sacred, it would be the ultimate heresy to question the cuisine.
Well a food writer as done just that.
He has accuse Ferran Adria, often described as the world’s best chef, of unintentionally  poisoning diners with additives.
Adria, who presides over El Bulli, near Barcelona, inspires a reverence of hushed tones as he creates more of an art form than a cuisine.
It may take years to get a booking but Jörg Zipprick, a German food writer, is unimpressed with the sacred robes of “molecular gastronomy” and says menus should carry health warnings informing diners of the additives in the dishes.
“These colorants, gelling agents, emulsifiers, acidifiers and taste enhancers that Adria has introduced massively into his dishes to obtain extraordinary textures, tastes and sensations do not have a neutral impact on health,”  adding that some have a laxative effect.
Molecular cooks also use polysaccharides from seaweed, which Zipprick says are suspected of causing intestinal cancer.
Chef Adria’s dismisses the claim saying,  that the chemicals he uses have been part of holy cuisine for years and he denies his dishes pose any risk to health.
But Zipprick is not alone questioning Adria’s use of ingredients more often associated with food processing than with this cuisine. His book, The Unappetising Underside of Molecular Cooking, followed last year’s attack on Adria by Santi Santamaria, another top Spanish chef, who asked in a newspaper: “Can we be proud of a cuisine which fills plates with gelling agents and laboratory emulsifiers?”

The restaurant charges about $400 a head and opens for only six months a year, giving the chef time to develop new creations at his “laboratory” in Barcelona.

Some diners claim to have found it too much.
There have been those who almost walked out after being served a wafer called “electric milk” that “incinerated her tongue”, while another said “the meal ... was an experience and art. I enjoyed it enormously and it made me vomit”.

Reefer Madness and Food Stamps

It's reefer madness at Diane's Market in Cottage Grove.
It's a simple case of supply and demand,  food stamps-for-marijuana.
Diane and David Clark owners of Diane’s Market and some other guy were arrested on charges that they illegally possessed, manufactured and distributed marijuana. 
We are told the Clarks sold pot at their business, allowing customers to use state-issued “Oregon Trail” food benefits cards to purchase the drugs.
Police served search warrants at the Clarks’ home and business, as well as at the home of this other guy.
Investigators seized 21 mature pot plants, several pounds of processed marijuana and 107 immature plants during the raids.
State officials are prepared to help police identify people who may have used their food benefits to purchase marijuana at the Clarks’ market.
And if you read an earlier post of ours, you know that all these people had to do was go to McDonald's for a bag of reefer madness.