Saturday, September 19, 2009

Dunkin Donuts Coffee

I was never a big coffee drinker.  Lately, however, I have gotten hooked on Dunkin Donuts Iced Coffee (okay, maybe its not the basic coffee that I'm hooked on -- I like a "large" with a lot of cream and 4 Splenda).  While this makes me far from a coffee expert, I know much more qualified people who swear by Dunkin Donuts coffee.  A news story indicating that it was noted the favorite coffee of a group of truck drivers, then, caught my eye.  It not only won, but by a fairly large margin (Dunkin Donuts was the favorite of 43% while McDonalds and Starbucks were second and third with 21% and 20% respectively).  In other culinary areas, the favorite fast food was Subway, the favorite snack was fresh fruit, and after morning coffee, most drink water for the rest of the day.  Sounds like this group of truck drivers tries to eat pretty healthy out on the road.  When necessary, however, their favorite antacid is Tums.  If your interested in the full survey (e.g., they prefer Kenworth tractors, Bridgestone tires, and Super 8 hotels) you can find it here.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Where's the Hoki?

It looks like our appetite for breaded, fried fish products (e.g., fish sticks, fast food fish sandwiches, etc.) might again be forced to again look at new ingredients to inspire our cravings. When commercial fish harvests significantly decreased populations of many of the more traditional fish species, uglier, but still tasty, fish at deeper depths were targeted. The orange roughy, an ugly bottom-dweller formerly known as a "slimehead", was one such popular alternative, until it turned out to reproduce slowly and live to be more than 100 years old. The faster reproducing hoki, whiptail, or blue grenadier, a fish found off the waters of New Zealand, was selected as a sustainable replacement. Now, however, the sustainability of hoki is being questioned. Without formally acknowledging that they are being overfished, the New Zealand government has slashed the allowable catch in steps, from about 275,000 tons in 2000 and 2001 to 100,000 tons in 2007 and 2008 – a decline of nearly two-thirds. With McDonald’s alone at one time using roughly 15 million pounds of it each year, we may be facing yet another fundamental switch in popular breaded and fried white fish products. McDonald's Filet-O-Fish has now gone from cod in the early days to hoki and now to pollock mixed with hoki.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

I'm Very Lucky -- I Really Enjoy Ice Cream

While this is probably not a "culinary" topic, it is about a food that I hold near and dear to my heart. As an adult, I still really enjoy a cold glass of milk, cheese is a staple in my diet, and good ice cream is probably my very favorite dessert. Anyway, I was perusing earlier today and an article by Elizabeth Weise titled "Sixty Percent of Adults Can't Digest Milk" caught my attention. Anyway, according to this article, in "normal" humans, the enzyme (lactase) that digests the main sugar (lactose) found in milk stops being produced somewhere between the age of two and five years old. Almost no (0%) adult Native Americans, only 5% of adult Asians, only 25% of African and Caribbean peoples, and only 50% of Mediterranean peoples are lactose tolerant (can digest lactose) after childhood. By contrast, 90% of northern Europeans adults can digest milk. Apparently researchers have investigated why certain groups of people (e.g., people originating from Europe and/or certain areas of Africa) have this genetic mutation. Anyway, as our society treats lactose intolerance as an abnormality, I thought this was very interesting . Above all, I feel blessed to have inherited the genetic gift of "lactase persistence" allowing me to eat and drink my beloved dairy products.