A weekly serving of food news and views.
By JANET K. KEELER, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times, published June 26, 2002
food and drink for the long, hot summer
Few sounds scream summer like the tinny jingles blasting from the Ice Cream truck. The kids hear Turkey in the Straw, or maybe The Entertainer, from blocks away and holler "Mom!!! He's coming!!!"
How can they be denied? A rainbow pop or a cherry torpedo plucked from the truck's frigid compartment is just the thing to chase away the heat.
We call them Popsicles but that's a trademark name for fruit-flavored ice pops made by Good Humor. Popsicles, generically ice pops, have become a part of the American lexicon, like Kleenex, Frisbee and Xerox.
Semantics don't much matter as frozen grape turns to liquid and runs down our chins. Slurp.
There's an ice pop to satisfy everyone. Add banana, coconut and lime to the very popular cherry-strawberry-grape varieties. We are partial to the coconut pops that have chunks of the sweet meat layered in them.
For people watching sugar intake, there are pops without added sugar. For those watching fat intake, many flavors are fat-free. How perfectly cool.
"McDonald's double cheeseburgers, a weapon of mass destruction," consumer activist Ralph Nader, when asked by the New York Times "What product on the market makes you think of the Corvair every time you see it?"
This site is a labor of love from Oregon cookbook author Linda Stradley (What's Cooking in America, ThreeForks Books, 2000; $22.95). Stradley's site is full of recipes and down-home cooking advice, much the same as dozens of others. We like this one for its "History of Favorite Foods" section. Who knew that the first known recipe for brownies appeared in a Sears catalog in 1897? There are also some great menu-planning ideas from Stradley, who invites visitors to e-mail her with questions not answered on the site.
A tip from Steven Raichlen's How to Grill (Workman, 2001): Grill bone-in, skin-on chicken over medium heat. If you are using a charcoal grill, leave a small area free of coals in case you need to move the chicken to a cooler spot.
Boca's soy-based Ground Burger makes it easy for cooks to make many meatless entrees, such as tacos, meat balls and meatloaf. The crumbles are precooked, so they will be ready to eat once heated through. A 1/2-cup serving contains 70 calories, 1/2 gram of fat and 11 grams of protein. A 12-ounce box of three pouches (each pouch contains the equivalent of 1/2-pound of cooked, drained ground beef) costs $3.50 to $3.80.
Some 25-million Americans suffer from chronic heartburn and much of that suffering can be blamed on food, says the National Heartburn Alliance. (Yes, there is such an organization.) To help those of us who don't know that fried Twinkies can give us wicked indigestion, the Alliance has put together a handy wallet-size guide to troublesome food. For instance, proceed with caution when eating orange juice, raw onions, sour cream, and cheese and macaroni. For a copy of the guide, call toll-free 1-877-471-2081 or go to www.heartburnalliance.com.
Let's hope Scooby-Doo the ice cream is better than Scooby-Doo, the much-maligned movie. Edy's has hitched its name to the cartoon Great Dane with two ice creams, Peanut Butter Bones and Cookie Dough Lite. Another summer movie-inspired flavor is on its way: Powerpuff Mint Chip. Blossom, Bubbles and Buttercup can save the world before bedtime, but after how many bowls of ice cream? Look for the new flavors this summer for $5.59 a carton.
To describe the new Lime Bomber, we turned to the promotional material that came in the mail. "In one swift motion, the Lime Bomber easily and sanitarily squeezes a wedge of lime and inserts it into your bottle of beer or favorite drink." Finally! The plastic Lime Bomber consists of a "loader" that sits on top of a bottle, and a "plunger" that's pushed down into the loader. The lime wedge sits on top of the loader. The lime bomb costs $9.99. Call toll-free 1-866-322-4956 for availability or log on to www.limebomber.com.