Amuse Bouche

by Brian Clarey

Usually these three-day weekend holidays sap all the juice from the news cycle, but we’ve had bank robberies, celebrity divorce scandals and the death of Jesse Helms to contend with. But news in the food sector has been predictably slow. Sure, there’s some local new of note — on Friday the Piedmont Triad Farmers Market celebrates Peach Day with several types of farm-fresh peaches that taste just like a summer’s day. The Greensboro Farmers Curb Market counters with Berry Day on Saturday, which features all manner of berries and blueberry pancakes by Alex Amoroso of Cheesecakes by Alex. And Friday is Cow Appreciation Day at participating Chik-fil-A restaurants. Customers who come in dressed like a cow “from head to hoof” will receive a free combo meal. In other fast-food news, 1980s new wave band Devo is suing McDonalds for a Happy Meal toy called “New Wave Nigel,” part of a partnership with “American Idol,” who is wearing one of the band’s signature flowerpot hats. “[W]e don’t like McDonald’s, and we don’t like American Idol, so we’re doubly offended,” said Devo’s Jerry Casale, who designed and copyrighted the hats. Men’s Health magazine recently ran an article on the five unhealthiest beverages in the US. Highlights include the worst “healthy” drink — Glaceau Vitamin Water, which has 33 grams of sugar and 130 calories; the worst juice imposter, which is Arizona Kiwi Strawberry, with 360 calories, 84 grams of sugar and 5 percent juice per 23.5-ounce can; and the unhealthiest drink in America, the Baskin Robbins large Heath Bar shake, with 2,310 calories, 266 grams of sugar and 108 grams of fat, the caloric equivalent of 11 actual Heath Bars. In response, Health magazine has compiled a list of the 10 healthiest drinks based on a study by UCLA. Juices feature heavily in the list — specifically pomegranate (No. 1), grape No. 3), blueberry (No. 4), black cherry (No. 5), acaNo. 6), cranberry (No. 7), orange (No. 8) and apple (No. 10). Tea made No. 9 on the list, and at No. 2 is red wine, so drink up, my pretties. Speaking of wine, the sometimes pretentious New York Times Dining & Wine section ran a blog item last week in The Pour on the merits of chilling red wine. Can you imagine! But writer Eric Asimov swears that some pinot noirs, lighter zinfandels, Loire Valley cabernet francs and Beaujolais can benefit from a subtle decrease in temperature. One more bite: July 1 marked the deadline for New York City’s ban on trans fat. The movement has yet to gain traction in North Carolina, where we feel trans fat is an inalienable right. Krispy Kreme, however, has removed the trans fat from all its doughnuts as of January.