Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Yes, it's Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest - 4th of July

Nathan's hot dogs are the only hot dogs the Voodoo Kitchen eats and we will do our best to stuff ourselves on 4th of July.
But our tradition is nothing compared to Nathan's Fourth of July tradition, this is where we find out who can eat the most hot dogs and buns in ten minutes?

Yes, it's Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest in Coney Island in Brooklyn, New York.

This year's event is filled with all the tension of a world-class competition:
• Joey Chestnut will attempt to swallow his fourth consecutive title.
• Pat "Deep Dish" Bertoletti is trying to come out on top.
• Sonya "The Black Widow" Thomas seeks to confirm herself as the top woman.
• Bob "Notorious B.O.B." Shoudt is looking to eat his way past the competition.
• How about "Eater X" Tim Janus, he has a score to settle.

And what will become of Takeru Kobayashi, who is in a contract dispute with Major League Eating ?
We guess he won't be competing in the event? (Major League Eating?)

This event that has been held every year since 1916, and last year, Joey Chestnut defeated 18 other eaters from around the world.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Can the Government tell you what to eat?

Interesting exchange between Sen.Tom Coburn and Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan.
She maneuvers carefully around the question, does the Government have the authority to tell Americans what they can eat?

Rocco DiSpirito + Twitter + Facebook = Cookbook

We like think celebrity chefs have the answers to our questions but Rocco DiSpirito is using Twitter and Facebook to get answers for his new cookbook.
To us, it sounds like a clever way to get noticed on the social networks, but DiSpirito says the reason for this is to make his cookbook more relevant and become an inspiration.
He's asking for their opinions and ideas about healthty eating, like, "How important is pulled pork and chocolate chip cookies to you for inclusion in my healthy food makeover cookbook?"

He received Tweets and posts on Facebook with ideas and suggestions and a strong pro-pork sentiment.

Rocco says, "If your job is to make someone who wants to cook at home feel like they really can, then you owe it to them to figure out what they want."

The cookbook, due out March 2 and still without a title, is about healthier versions of what DiSpirito titles America's favorite "downfall dishes."
Those dishes include burgers, enchiladas, mac and cheese and fried chicken.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Kopp's Custard Stand and Joe Biden

Vice President Biden was confused when he asked for ice cream instead of custard, but when that got straightened out he called the manager of the Kopp's custard shop outside of Milwaukee, Wis., a "smartass" after the man asked him to lower taxes.
Biden made the comment after the Kopp’s Frozen Custard shop manager told him that his dessert would be on the house if he lowered taxes.
"What do we owe you?" Biden is heard saying.
"Don’t worry, it’s on us," the manager replied. "Lower our taxes and we’ll call it [the custard] even."
"Why don’t you say something nice instead of being a smartass all the time?" Biden said a few minutes later.

Friday, June 25, 2010

It's time for a little fun

We have had so many stories full of tension and opinions lately, it's time to unwind and have a little fun.

This interesting feature was found at the Hunan restaurant in China.

Yes, they are living the dream at this Canadian Chinese restaurant.

This dish is proudly offered at a Muslim restaurant

A Russian hotel with attitude

It's okay, we don't understand it either. And what is a cold mix?

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Obama, Medvedev, Cheeseburgers and Fries

The president of the United States and the president of Russia went to lunch to enjoy cheeseburgers and fries.
So much for Michelle Obama's White House garden vegetables.
But speaking of the first lady, we know she really enjoys burgers, fries and milkshakes.
It wasn't long ago, Michelle dug into burgers, french fries and toasted marshmallow shakes, and the “Obama Burger,” is topped with bacon, blue cheese, Mendelsohn’s homemade onion marmalade and a horseradish mayo.
Sounds healthy?
Not so much, but it does sounds delicious.

But let's get back to our story.
The talk around the White House was all about the presidential lunch at Ray's Hell Burger in Virginia, home of the 10-ounce steakhouse-style burgers.
Obama and Medvedev ordered at the counter, Obama chowed down on a cheddar cheeseburger with onions, lettuce, tomato, and bread-and-butter pickles washed down with ice tea.

Medvedev went for the cheddar-cheeseburger with onions, jalapeno peppers and mushrooms, along with a bottle of Coke.

Together they shared an order of French fries.

 "An interesting place, which is typically American," said Medvedev.
"Probably it's not quite healthy. But it's very tasty. You can feel the spirit of America."

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

A Dumpster Diving Story

Dumpster diving  probably conjures up thoughts of the homeless, bums and lowlife's rummaging through rotten and of discarded food.
For the most part that's probably true, but dumpster diving is becoming more popular as economic circumstances tighten.

We have two videos for your viewing pleasure.
The first story is from WTVG-TV Toledo, OH

The second is from the CBC news team as they follow a dumpster diving story.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Lots of fish, lots of oil seen off Alabama Coast

As the President goes golfing to clear his mind and BP's chief executive attended a luxury yacht race, the gulf oil spill disaster continues.
The video comes from Breitbart TV:
Submerged oil at Bon Secour shoreline

Best Fried Chicken Results

Here are the results of our non scientific poll, asking who has the best fried chicken.
Here's how you voted:

The Best Fried Chicken? Total Votes 312
  Popeyes (139) 45%
  Church's (97) 31%
  KFC (76) 24%

Trial begins for French 'Cannibal' Eating Cellmate

Do you think Cannibalism is a eating disorder? No none talks about this growing trend, yet it's happening worldwide.
Nicolas Cocaign, 39, a Frenchman has gone on trial for killing his prison cellmate, Thierry Baudry, 41, and then slicing open his chest to remove and consume his heart, but as luck would have it, he ate his his lung by mistake.
We have learned the cellmate was killed by Nicolas punching and kicking him, stabbing him with a pair of scissors and suffocating him with a rubbish bag.
Cocaign then opened the dead cell mates chest with a razor blade, removed a rib and pulled out an organ which he believed was the man's heart, but instead, it was a lung.
He ate part of the lung raw and then frying the rest of it with some onions on a homemade cooker.
He murdered his fellow inmate "because he gave me a dirty look".
"I wanted to take his soul," Cocaign said.
The whole thing was witnessed by a third cellmate, David Lagrue, 36, who had tried to separate Cocaign and Baudry when they started fighting.
Lagrue was so traumatised by what happened that he ended up committing suicide.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

PETA Protester and the Singapore Police

We have often wondered what would happen if PETA went to an Asian country and protested.
Well, Edward Basse, an American PETA campaigner found out.
With his Pamela Anderson PETA sign, Edward stood outside a KFC in Singapore chanting anti-KFC messages.
This is when things went bad.
In Singapore protests are only allowed at a park known as the “Speaker’s Corner.” But first the protester must receive permission from the police before the demonstration can begin.
Edward did seek approval, but his protest was never authorized.
After the arrest, Edward was interrogated by the police and then later confined to his hotel room.
"It took a long time, the questioning, perhaps a couple of hours. I was scared, but that is what I have to do for the chickens," Basse said. "They confiscated my bags and the chicken costume, as well as the poster," he added.
"I am here now in my room safe, but what I went through is nothing compared to (the treatment of) the chickens."
Edward, was finally allowed to leave Singapore, but plans to come back someday.
Why do this?
“I have to do it for the chickens.”

Friday, June 18, 2010

The Coast Guard ordered the Gulf cleanup stopped

On June 14th we ran a post about the damage that's been done to the Gulf and the promises made about the FDA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association are stepping up their efforts to keep food safe.
It was also promised that state and federal agencies will be watching and monitoring fish that is caught near danger zones to make sure that they are safe to consume.
Well, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has had a very frustrating week and half fighting to get working barges to begin vacuuming crude oil out of his state's oil-soaked waters. By Thursday morning, against the governor's wishes, those barges still were sitting idle, even as more oil flowed toward the Louisiana shore.
So what happened?
"The Coast Guard came and shut them down," Jindal said. "You got men on the barges in the oil, and they have been told by the Coast Guard, 'Cease and desist. Stop sucking up that oil.'"
The Coast Guard ordered the cleanup stopped because they needed to make sure that there were fire extinguishers and life vests on board, and then it had trouble contacting the people who built the barges.

A frustrated Governor Couldn't Overrule Coast Guard
He said he didn't have the authority to overrule the Coast Guard's decision, though he tried to reach the White House to raise his concerns.
"They promised us they were going to get it done as quickly as possible," he said. But "every time you talk to someone different at the Coast Guard, you get a different answer."
After Jindal strenuously made his case, the barges finally got the go-ahead Thursday to return to the Gulf and get back to work, after more than 24 hours of sitting idle.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Paris police ban pork street party in Muslim neighborhood

French police have banned a street pork party.
Organizers were going to serve cocktails and pork sausages in a neighborhood heavily populated with Muslims.
Police said the party, called "Sausage and Booze," could have been seen as a provocation in the neighborhood  where many Muslims pray on the streets.
Both alcohol and pork are forbidden by Islam and the party had been scheduled right after Friday's main Muslim weekly prayers.
Organizers admitted the party was in protest of Islam's encroachment on traditional French values in the neighborhood.
The woman who organized the party on Facebook said that she had organized the party as a way to "express exasperation."
She complained that the "Islamization" of her working-class neighborhood was "more and more ostentatious," and complained that Muslims now block several streets during Friday prayers.
"It offends my concept of the republic's secularism, I feel increasingly excluded in the neighborhood," she said.

Mayor Bertrand Delanoe said "Everything seems planned to create trouble, scandal or even violence."   Several Facebook groups announced they planned "Sausage and Booze" cocktails in other French towns and in Belgium after the Paris protest was banned.

Wendy's drive through brawl

It was a brawl with burgers, fries, punches and chairs thrown during a food rage fight between customers and employees at Wendy's in Kalamazoo.
Four customers in the Wendy's drive-thru said their order was wrong, and that's all it takes it seems.
As a result the customers threw drinks, hamburgers and fries at the employee inside.
That's when the employee then threw food back at the car, hitting it with a drink, ketchup and fries.
Two of the people from the car went inside and began fighting with employees.
Eventually the police showed up and two of the customers were arrested on charges of assault.
We aren't too sure what this means, but employees blamed the fight on a "communication breakdown."

Monday, June 14, 2010

Obama Promises Gulf Coast Seafood Safe to Eat

President Barack Obama has promised that seafood from the Gulf of Mexico is as tasty and safe as it ever was, despite the fact that dispersant chemicals were used and oil is almost everywhere in the area.

“I had some of that seafood for lunch, and it was delicious,” Obama said, “We want to make sure that the food industry down here, as much as possible, is getting the protection and certification that they need to continue their businesses.”

The president also promised that the FDA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association are stepping up their efforts to keep food safe.
State and federal agencies will be watching and monitoring fish that is caught near danger zones to make sure that they are safe to consume.

But the promises weren't enough for some, Steve Platts, a resident of Gulfport, Mississippi is one of them.
He used to eat seafood everyday, but now, he says he will no longer eat fish from local waters. He worries about the the oil and the dispersant chemicals used, and believes the health risk is too high. “I don’t want to fish or eat the fish anymore,” Platts said, “I don’t trust anything coming out of the Gulf.”

The Best Fried Chicken?

We love fried chicken and when you eat as much fried chicken as much as we do, this becomes serious.
We also know there many contenders that serve up great fried chicken throughout the country, but that's not why we are conducting this poll.
We have another reason..
We want to know more about these chicken chains, and which one you like best.
When you travel or are on your way home from work or shopping, which of these three would you prefer?
We have been asking this question for several weeks at our cooking shows, we've added up those numbers and included them in this poll.
Now, we want to know what you think, so we inviting you to join in on the voting as well.

The three choices are: KFC, 


and Church's.

We'll run this for a week and then we'll get a better idea, who is chicken royalty.
Go to the poll on the right side of this blog and vote.

Jimmy Dean Dies at 81

Jimmy Dean, a country music singer and sausage king is dead.
His wife, Donna Meade Dean, said her husband died at their Henrico County, Va., home.
She said that he had some health problems but was still functioning well, so his death came as a shock. She said he was eating in front of the television. She left the room for a time and came back and he was unresponsive. He was81.
"He was amazing," she said. "He had a lot of talents."

He enjoyed a successful entertainment career in the 1950s and '60s that included the nationally televised "The Jimmy Dean Show."
In the late '60s, Dean entered the sausage business, it was something his family had a lot of experience with.
They had butchered hogs along with the young  Jimmy whacking them over the head with the blunt end of an ax.
The two Dean brothers, Jimmy and Don ground the meat and their mother seasoned it.
The Jimmy Dean Meat Co. opened with a plant in Plainview Texas.
After six months, the company was profitable.
His fortune was estimated at $75 million in the early '90s.
In 1969, Dean went into the sausage business, starting the Jimmy Dean Meat Co. in his hometown. He sold the company to Sara Lee Corp. in 1984.
He had been the spokesman for Sasa Lee until they fired him in 2003.
He issued a statement titled "Somebody doesn't like Sara Lee," claiming he was fired because he got old.
"The company told me that they were trying to attract the younger housewife, and they didn't think I was the one to do that,"  "I think it's the dumbest thing. But you know, what do I know?"
Sara Lee has said that it chose not to renew Dean's contract because the "brand was going in a new direction" that demanded a shift in marketing.

Having watched other stars waste away their money, Dean said he learned to be careful with his money.
"I've seen so many people in this business that made a fortune," he told the AP. "They get old and broke and can't make any money. ... I tell you something, ... no one's going to play a benefit for Jimmy Dean."
Dean said then that he was at peace at his estate and that he had picked a spot near the river where he wanted to be buried.
"It's the sweetest piece of property in the world, we think,"
"It sure is peaceful here."

Sunday, June 13, 2010

What's up with KFC?

Let us count the ways: once known as Kentucky Fried Chicken, then they changed the name to only initials, then the menu went south on us.
Their bottom line has suffered as a result.
The grilled chicken, didn't help the bottom line and the Double Down sandwich, which replaces bread with chicken breasts hasn't done much either.
We tried the Double Down sandwich, it was just okay, we haven't ordered it again.

Make no mistake, KFC is the chicken king, but brands such as Chick-fil-A. now owns 20% of the market with just 1,500 locations. That's less than one-third of KFC's 5,200-store U.S. presence. And Chick-fil-A operates on a six-day week, as its restaurants are closed on Sundays.
Last year, KFC said that the grilled chicken would be the key to turn things around.
After that, KFC reported its first same-store sales growth in two years,  but results since have been negative falling 4% for the year as a whole.

Except for KFC, each of the top chicken chains grew business last year.
Chick-fil-A grew sales 9% to $3.2 billion, and gained 1.8 market-share points to 20%.
Sales were also up at Popeyes, 0.3%,
Church's, 2%,
Zaxby's, 8%,
Bojangles, 8%.

Remember El Pollo Loco?
Remember the tough advertising assault against KFC's grilled chicken?
Well, they too suffered sales declines, 7% to $582 million.

Branding consultant Denise Lee-Yohn noted that, for KFC, trumpeting grilled chicken and then promoting products like the Double Down may have muddied the brand. "They don't have a clear identity anymore, and I think that's hurt them," she said.

Those of us in the Voodoo Kitchen didn't like it when they shoved Colonel Sanders into the closet, pretending he wasn't around anymore.
The Colonel was their clear identity.

A Peanut ban on all commercial flights?

The federal regulators who make big decisions are considering a ban on the only thing left handed out on airplane rides.
This ban would completely ban serving peanuts on commercial all flights.
Proponents claim the ban would make people feel safer from harm to almost 2 million Americans who have peanut allergies.
"The peanut is such a great snack and such an American snack," says Martin Kanan, CEO of King Nut Companies, the people who packages the peanuts served by most U.S. airlines. "What's next? Is it banning peanuts in ballparks?"

Get this, there was an option besides banning peanuts, there could have been a "peanut-free zone" flight when a passenger asks for one.  But taht wouldn't be good enough.

Spokesman Bill Mosely said the department is responding to concerns from travelers who either suffer from peanut allergies or have allergic children, "some of whom do not fly" because they're afraid of exposure.
Advocates say the confined spaces where the air and dust particles get re-circulated is the problem.
"It's a different environment when you're basically 30,000 feet in the air," said Chris Weiss, the group's vice president of advocacy and government relations. "If you're sitting around a bunch of people and all of a sudden they're all handed packages of peanuts, that could release enough peanut dust into the air to trigger a reaction."
Continental, United, US Airways and JetBlue have already stopped serving packaged peanuts, American Airlines doesn't serve packaged peanuts, but it does have a trail mix and other snacks that can contain peanut ingredients.
"The peanut industry feels like we're being picked on," said Armond Morris, a peanut farmer.
"If we're going to go targeting food products, maybe we just need to ban all food" on planes.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

P&J Oyster Company to ship from the West Coast for the first time in its 134 years

This mess in the Gulf of Mexico is destroying the Louisiana shoreline and P&J Oyster Company, the country's oldest oyster processor and distributor, has stopped its oyster shucking.
"The bottom line is that the guys that we purchase from are not working," said Sal Sunseri, (P&J co owner) talking about the oyster harvesters who haven't been working.
"Today's our last day of shucking."

The owners are currently looking to bring oysters in from the West Coast, and that is something that hasn't happened in 134 years.
"They weren't what we would typically sell," he said, "and they cost 30 percent to 40 percent more than we usually pay"

The P&J Oyster brand is proudly displayed on New Orleans restaurant menus as a sign of excellence.
Al Sunseri said oysters from unfamiliar sources and the lack of quality of local oysters did not meet the company's standards, and P&J have had these standards since 1876 when the company began.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Child Drinks from Beer Bottle at Phillies Game

Okay, we know beer is now a health drink but the Philadelphia Phillies said that the small child and the beer bottle may not be what it appears to be.
Based on no evidence at all the baseball team says it was "probably empty."

Phillies spokeswoman Bonnie Clark said the team does not condone allowing children to drink beer.
What we do see is a small boy around 3 or 4, in the stands with what looks like a beer bottle in his mouth.
Clark then tells the real truth:
"We are not able to determine the identity of anyone involved, nor are we able to determine what was in the bottle or whether it was empty,"

"Obviously, the Phillies, like everyone else, would not want a child to be permitted to consume any alcoholic beverage," the spokeswoman said. "We suspect that this was a very brief event, probably involving an empty bottle. We are confident that our employees and our fans would not allow this to happen if they were aware of it."

Monday, June 7, 2010

How about people eating pets as food?

We know the stories about people eating pet food, but how about people eating pets as food.
We realize our standards may be completely different from the rest of the world but we simply refuse to be open minded when it comes to traditional, domesticated animals as a source for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Perhaps we are hypocritical because we eat most meats but not domesticated meats, that's okay, we can live with our hypocrisy.

Dog – Bosintang Soup (South Korea)

This very popular dish is served in many South Korean restaurants, even though there is a ban on dog meat in the country. Dog meat is boiled and mixed with green onions, leeks, ginger, garlic and Taro stalk. A particular mint herb known as perilla is also added to disguise the intense smell that dog meat has when cooked.

While not known for great flavor, this dish is famous for its medicinal benefits.

Horse – Basashi (Japan)

Raw horse meat is served with the sashimi and a little soy sauce on the side. This is like an appetizer or finger food you might find at a local bar in Japan,

Tarantula – Fried Tarantulas (Cambodia)

People love this in in Cambodia and has even gained something of a cult following among tourists.
A smaller sized species of tarantula calledpan fried by the hundreds.
It's claimed they have great natural flavor, with only a pinch of garlic or salt added.

Mouse – Baby Mice Wine (Korea)

This consists of rice wine combined with fermented baby mice. People believe this stuff can help cure all kinds of ailments from asthma to liver disease.

To make it, days old mice babies who don’t even have hair or open eyes are dropped into a bottle of rice wine and left to sit for about a year. It's been described as tasting like “roadkill mixed with gasoline”.

Cat-(Korea and China)

A very popular stew like like dish in Korea and China.

WARNING - Some may find the following disturbing:

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Kellogg no longer makes health claims about Rice Krispies

Rice Krispies has been around forever and not once did we think of it as a health food.
Regardless, Rice Krispies cereal maker Kellogg Co has agreed to stop advertising claims that Rice Krispies will strengthen children's immune systems.
They have also agreed to stop claiming that its Frosted Min Wheats were "clinically shown to improve kids' attentiveness by nearly 20 percent."
In an advertising campaign that began in 2009, Kellogg began advertising on cereal boxes that Rice Krispies "now helps support your child's immunity."

"We stand behind the validity of our product claims and research, but we agreed to an order that covers those claims," company spokeswoman said in an emailed statement.

We guess it's back to "Snap, Crackle, Pop."

Chef Threatens - Finish Your Meal, or Else!

There is a restaurant that won't take it any more.
This Australian restaurateur has had it with the waste left by diners, and she has new rules.
She has ordered her customers to eat everything on their plates in order to save the planet, or don't bother to return.
Chef Yukako Ichikawa (seen above) is offering a 30 percent discount for diners who eat all the food on their plate at Wafu, her 30-seat restaurant in the Sydney suburb of Surry Hills.
"To contribute toward creating a sustainable future we request a little more of our guests than most other restaurants," she says in a list of her restaurant's policies that is pinned on the door to the restaurant.
She wants you to finish all dishes ordered which are organic and free of gluten, dairy, sugar and eggs and the chef and her staff tell people who don't clean their plates to eat at another restaurant next time.
"Finishing your meal requires that everything is eaten except lemon slices, gari (sushi ginger) and wasabi," it says so on the menu.
"Please also note that vegetables and salad on the side are NOT decorations; they are part of the meal too."
Wafu's tough policy seems overbearing by some reviewers, while others applaud her efforts.
If you don't appreciate her philosophies, if you don't appreciate you should go somewhere else. We are certain there are plenty of great choices in Sydney.'
It seems to us, if her food was all that great she wouldn't need this policy.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Why lard may be better for you than vegetable oil

We now know coffee, chocolate and beer, along wine and alcohol in general may be good for you.
But are you ready for this: If you believe that saturated animal fat is bad for your health, think again.

As you are are most likely aware by now, trans fats acids are made by the hydrogenation of vegetable oil; a process that offers the oil a longer shelf life. But many studies have shown the trans fat acid is associated with a much higher risk of artery damage, heart disease, and even cancer.

This is where lard comes into our story.

Lard (rendered and clarified pig fat) we point out not only produces a flakier or tastier pie crust, it also produces delicious fried foods
But for those of you that believe lard spells danger, here's the lard resume:

Any guesses how lard stacks up? Not too badly, as it turns out. Lard contains:
  • More monounsaturated fats ("good" fats) than sunflower oil and corn oil
  • More polyunsaturated fats (also "good" fats) than olive oil
  • Thirty percent less saturated fat than butter
  • No trans fats at all!
But you are thinking perhaps lard will clog your arteries and strike you dead with a heart attack, right?

In a review of saturated fat studies that appeared last year in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the authors wrote that many mainstream researchers have narrowly focused on the hypothesis that saturated fat raises LDL cholesterol and the risk of coronary artery disease (CAD).

The authors write: "The evidence is not strong, and, overall, dietary intervention by lowering saturated fat intake does not lower the incidence of nonfatal CAD; nor does such dietary intervention lower coronary disease or total mortality."

They also wrote: "The conclusion of an analysis of the history and politics behind the diet-heart hypothesis was that after 50 years of research, there was no evidence that a diet low in saturated fat prolongs life."

And similar observations have been noted often by US physician Dr William Campbell Douglass II.
Dr. Douglass wrote: "Countless studies show that the MORE animal fats people eat, the better their heart health."
If you are looking for evidence take a look at the African Masai, North American Eskimos, Greeks, and the French, they all consume diets that are extremely high in saturated animal fats.
Astonishingly, they have low rates of heart disease, hypertension, and coronary episodes.

So the point is this, we have stopped listening to all the doomsayers and naysayers, and we don't fear the lard.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Are the Health Benefits of Beer Better than Wine?

Could it be true?
Does beer really have better health benefits than wine?
The Medicine Hunter tells us why this is so.