Amuse Bouche

by Brian Clarey

“Americans passionately enjoy snacking” says the press release on my desk from the relatively exotic locale of Rockville Centre, NY, about 10 minutes from where I grew up. The release touts a new snack food, Pogos, baked potato cheese sticks made from all-natural ingredients and with low calorie and fat counts. Enclosed are three sample bags: white cheddar, jalapeño cheddar and hickory smoked. I’m munching them as I type out this column. They’re pretty good, but the most redeeming thing about them is they don’t coat your fingers with cheese dust. There are new food products being launched all over the place, just in time to help us fatten up for the winter. Caffe Prada in Winston-Salem, for example, has introduced a line of TeaLato, a fat- and dairy-free sorbet with the nutritional boost of tea. A press release suggests pairing the sweet tea flavor with a scoop of lemon. Doesn’t that sound nice? Also, Smokey Bones in Greensboro introduces a new line of cocktails available by the 16-ounce pitcher, including Cranberry Crush Lemonade, Log Cabin Limeade, South-of the-border Sweet Tea and Citrus Sangria. Also new: the Hawaiian Ice shop on Davie Street in downtown Greensboro and the Goodwill Industries banquet server certification course through Winston-Salem State University that runs Aug. 11 through Sept. 23 at the downtown Marriott. Register by calling 336.761.1002 — some scholarships are available. The weekend looks flush with food-related happenings. Thursday is Small Farms Field Day at the NC A&T University Farm on McConnell Road in Greensboro. Topics include colored bell peppers, on-farm biodiesel production and produce-handling practices. The day begins at 8:30 a.m. — late for farmers — and you can register by calling 336.334.7957. Friday is Watermelon Day at the Piedmont Triad Farmers Market, with free local melon for all. And Saturday is the Dog Days of Summer event at Earth Fare in Greensboro, beginning at 11 a.m. Bring your dog for the dog wash or to meet pet communicator Susan Scott downs, check out the puppy adoption fair or attend the natural dog food seminar. Enter him in the pet costume contest. And hot dogs are a buck. Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar has been honored by Wine Spectator magazine with 52 Awards of Excellence. And Bonefish Grill has produced a television series, “Notes from the Road,” to run on Ovation. According to a press release, “The series gives viewers a rare glimpse of life on the road for the musicians, with behind-the-scenes footage and candid conversations. Each hour long episode is shot on location at a Bonefish Grill and is imprinted with the guest artist’s personality, viewpoint, experiences and music.” Scheduled guests include 3 Doors Down, Josh Kelley, Gavin DeGraw, Vanessa Carlton, the Bravery, Ben Folds, Jason Mraz and Matisyahu. One more: A shout-out goes to Triad area Ben & Jerry’s employees who on Monday competed in the Scooper Olympics at the Ben & Jerry’s in Charlotte. Events include a brownie relay race, scooping for accuracy and appearance, Ben & Jerry’s trivia and speed cake decorating. The winning team is awarded the Golden Scoop.