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May is National Barbecue Month!

Posted by: Lois Manno

Tagged in: grilling , fiery foods


HPBA’S NEW POLL REVEALS: Whether Dressing up or Stripping Down, Americans plan to Grill this Summer.

Forget the winter blues and taste summer! Nationwide, people are getting fired up for National Barbecue Month this May and the kick-off to the peak grilling season. Now is a great time to check out your cook-out equipment and make sure you are ready for summer grilling.

The Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association's 2010 National Barbecue Month (NBM) Poll reveals that six-out-of-ten Americans can’t wait to fire up the grill for the outdoor cooking season igniting this May. In fact, nearly 90 percent of people say they plan to enjoy grilled food in their own backyard this summer!

While grilling is a shared summer pastime, flavor preferences and grilling styles vary as widely as the people who use them. According to the NBM poll, 65 percent of Americans like to “dress it up” with a sauce, marinade or seasoning – and 21 percent prefer to “strip it down” and enjoy grilled food au natural.

Some like it hot! Men more than women say they like to turn up the heat with spicy sauce or steak sauce on their grilled meats (42 percent vs. 31 percent).

Founding Foodies Launches November 1

Posted by: Lois Manno

Tagged in: books

Peanut HarvestSourcebooks, my new publisher, has announced November 1 as the launch date for my new book, Founding Foodies: How Washington, Jefferson, and Franklin Revolutionized American Cuisine. Shockingly, this food history doesn't concern chile peppers and fiery foods, but there is a subchapter about early barbecue.  It took me 3 1/2 years to research and write the book, but it was a lot of fun because I got to return to my Virginia roots in a lot of it.  The illustration at left is entitled "Peanut Harvest, Virginia, c. 1870" and illustrates a chapter partially about the African-American influence on colonial and post-colonial food.  Isn't she cute?  For a sampling of the book, go to my new blog, Founding Foodies.  The launch party is scheduled for October 21 at City Tavern in Philadelphia--join us for a lot of fun!

Nat Decants Smartphone App


Ever wonder which wines go best with "green food," such as asparagus, chile peppers and peas? How about other fresh vegetables that we'll enjoy this summer and fall?
"Green foods are the problem children of the wine world," says Natalie MacLean, editor of one of the largest wine sites on the web at www.nataliemaclean.com. "But as a stubborn hedonist, I've found some terrific wines to drink with them."

Natalie has just launched a new mobile application for iPhone, iPod Touch, BlackBerry, Droid and other smartphones. Developed by Cerado, this app builds on the success of her Drinks Matcher and includes all the pairings in the original app, plus thousands of wine reviews, recipes, articles, blog posts, glossary definitions, cellar journal and winery directory. You can access the new app at www.nataliemaclean.com/mobileapp.

In the spirit of going green (and giving back green), the new app is free. With the Nat Decants Mobile App, you can find the right wines, whether you're in a restaurant or at the liquor store restocking. It's like having a sommelier in your pocket.

Chef Hymie Grandé

Thanks to Jamie Faitelson, a.k.a. Chef Hymie Grandé, diabetics now can choose from a trio of barbecue sauces with no high fructose corn syrup or processed sugars. The sauces are vegan friendly and all natural. It is also the first BBQ sauce to carry the American Diabetes Association mark on the bottle’s label, meaning it meets the ADA specifications.  Chef Hymie Grandé also donates a portion of the proceeds from every bottle sold to the American Diabetes Association. “Chef Hymie Grandé sauces are a unique blend of everything you would want in a barbeque sauce or rub. They taste great, but don’t have all the processed sugar or high fructose corn syrup that nutritionists everywhere are in agreement is so bad for you, says Faitelson.  He adds, “We use agave syrup as a natural sweetener—although it is much more expensive—but isn’t a healthier sauce with great taste worth it?”

You can order the barbecue sauce online here. If you live near New Jersey, the website has a list of stores that carry the sauces as well.

Distasteful Solutions to Gnawing Problems

Posted by: Lois Manno

Tagged in: science , Capsaicin

Destructive pets chew all kinds of objects.

You gotta love a company that names its most popular product Repela.TM According the the company’s website, this is “a combination of denatonium benzoate and natural capsaicin. Denatonium benzoate is a compound that is extremely bitter–so bitter in fact, that just a few grains put into a glass of water would make if absolutely undrinkable by a human or an animal. Add to this a highly concentrated extract of the hottest peppers in the world, and you have a product that animals cannot endure chewing.” The site is interesting because many of the natural ingredients upon which Aversion’s products are based are described in detail, including traditional holistic applications.


Destructive pets chew all kinds of objects.


chemical makeup of cocaine

Twenty-six cases of people in the 1990s who died unexpectedly while in police custody after being doused with pepper spray might be explained by a toxic reaction caused by capsaicin in the spray. It seems that pepper spray intensifies the effect of cocaine and other psychostimulants, resulting in death. All the victims had either cocaine or another psychostimulant in their bloodstreams. Laboratory tests on mice support the evidence that mixing capsaicin and cocaine makes for a very bad high. Read more here.


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