Eat the Week National: Funny-Looking Honey, Wendy’s Spruced Up, and Rachael Ray’s Totally Ridic
1. Honey bees are always getting the dirty end of the stick, so it’s nice to see them with a sweet deal now and then, regardless of how it might affect their keepers. Since about August, apiarists in northeast France — a region that pumps out an annual average of a thousand tons of honey — have been trying to find out why their bees have been producing green, brown, and blue honey recently, which sounds cool but really tanks honey sales. The culprit was just discovered to be a mound of discarded M & M shells awaiting processing at a nearby bio-gas plant. The bees had been eating candy instead of gathering flower pollen. Well, you know what they say: When life gives you naturally dyed honeys, sell them to boardwalk novelty shops and Cirque du Soleil.
2. Leave it to Pizza Hut, home of the Whatever-You-Can-Find-Lying-Around Stuffed Crust Pizza, to make a farce of our nation’s time-honored, televised political traditions. The chain disseminated a press release this week advocating an official attendee of the upcoming Obama v. Romney debate asking the contenders whether they prefer sausage or pepperoni on their pizza instead of wasting that rare opportunity on a mature, topically relevant, and thought-provoking question. If somebody had actually gone through with it, Pizza Hut would’ve provided a free weekly pizza to the ballsy party for the next thirty years. Then, after a bunch of people with tact expressed distaste for the travesty, Pizza Hut yanked their offer. It’s just an online sweepstakes thing now.
3. The acid-tongued culinary busy-body Anthony Bourdain is adding another bell to his bonnet — a PBS series called The Mind of a Chef. Cameras follow Momofuku’s David Chang around the globe as executive producer Bourdain narrates this “rethinking of a travel cooking show” that “feeds both the gut and the mind.” Chang laces together food, music, nature, sports, cultural history, and science in these episodes, all while chatting with internationally lauded chefs, investigating kitchen techniques and preservation theories, feasting at top-quality chow halls, and occasionally whipping up a dish of his own. Enter Chang’s brain November 9.
4. Little pig-tailed, ginger Wendy just got a makeover. Her look’s been maintained, blue bows and all, but stylized a bit — or, as they’re calling it, modernized — along with the Wendy’s font. Gone are the saloon-style letters, and ornamental flourish and boxy frames have been removed. All you get is Wendy and her up-sweeping name, possessive, front and center, starting March 2013.
5. The Jackson, MS, social-relations group Mission Mississippi organized a two-day area-restaurant discount this week that saved diners 22% on their meals at participating establishments if they dined with somebody of a different race or religious denomination on Tuesday or Thursday. Let it not be said their hearts were in the wrong place, but, instead, that couth had no bearing on the creation of this non-bigot food reward.
6. Abstract: Virginia Teen Equestrian Hit by Mysterious Raining Chicken. Evidence: Horseback-riding lessons, cloudless sky, falling chicken parts, nearby Tyson processing plant. Hypothesis: High-flying gulls. Conclusion: Hilarious.
7. Like your average Floridian does, Eddie Archbold entered a bug-eating competition at his local pet store to win a giant python. Sadly, though he technically won the contest after forcing down dozens of roaches, crickets, and worms supposedly fit for consumption, Mr. Archbold stepped outside the shop, vomited a whole bunch, collapsed, and died. None of the other contestants even fell ill, and a precise cause of death has yet to be determined, but a mix of anaphylactic shock and disgust is most probable.
8. The next step toward pretending they think of us as people and not as pie-slices in a color-coded chart is Pepsi, Dr. Pepper, and Coke rolling out vending machines with posted calorie counts and quotes that inspire as much as chide — “Try a Low-Calorie Beverage” and “Calories Count: Check Then Choose” — in what ultimately comes off as a no-calorie beverage marketing strategy behind a mask of corporate responsibility. Before the machines go national, they’ll launch in Chicago and San Antonio municipal buildings sometime next year.
9. Hooray for Hostess! The Twinkie makers are pulling out of bankruptcy protection. Too bad for Hostess employees, though, as their wages, pensions, and health benefits are taking a hit in the name of the bigger picture, said the company Wednesday. Also, creditors won’t see a cent of the $2 million Hostess owes them, per an approved concession deal complete with terms imposition. There are some incentives for unionized employees outlined in financial-speak (25% equity stake, two board of director seats, and a $100 million interest-bearing note), but it would seem the dissatisfied Bakery Workers union is gearing up for a strike. If a strike does occur, Hostess will see liquidation, claims management.
10. So, food trucks are cool and convenient and everything, but is it really necessary to cater to urban dog-owners who are willing to stand in line for chef-inspired entrées for their dogs just moments after following them around and picking up their droppings? Rachael Ray thinks so. That’s why she’s launching a temporary dog-food truck in New York City, October 18–20, promoting her pet food brand Nutrish’s new line of wet food, called Naturally Delish, with little ditties like Savory Lamb Stew and Chicken Muttballs with Pasta. Be sure to take the meal home, though, and toss it in the microwave for 45 to 55 seconds before feeding it to Fido, because popping it open right there on the street for him would seem too much like feeding a dog.
Photo: Thomas Leth-Olsen