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Rat Deaths Fuel Pepper Fears!

September 06, 1990|CHARLES PERRY

Lab rats die of respiratory failure if fed large enough doses of Louisiana hot sauce, reports the scientific journal Toxicon. The lethal dose works out to half a cup of sauce per 10 pounds of body weight, so play it safe, OK? If you weigh 140 pounds, don't drink more than a quart and a half of straight Tabasco at one sitting.

You should probably stay away from those chug-a-lug contests altogether. Note, however, that these figures are for drinking hot sauce. It would take less--maybe as little as four cups of Tabasco--to kill a 140-pound individual if it was injected with a hypodermic needle. If anybody suggests "shooting up a quart of red" . . . Just Say No.

Unloaded Garlic

Dr. Kotaro Sakai, a Japanese soil researcher, has patented a way of pickling garlic said to leave all the flavor while preventing "garlic breath." The Wall Street Journal reports that a company in Strausstown, Penn., markets Dr. Sakai Garlic made according to his recipe at $1.50 per two-bulb package. There is debate, however, as to how effective the pickling process is, both from the flavor and the breath angles.

But here's one question nobody's been asking: How do we know odorless garlic is any good against vampires? Do we want to wake up some night to the sound of scratching at our windowpanes and reach for a clove of garlic, only to find it's unloaded?

Sparkling Moo

Ranjit S. Kadan, an Agriculture Department food researcher, claims to have perfected carbonated milk. "One reason people don't like milk," he says, "is that it has a very bland taste and the milk protein coats your tongue and leaves a blah taste." His solution involves adding not only the perky refreshment of bubbles but the allure of fruit flavors to make a sort of canned soda. A year from now, he predicts, carbonated milk could be in the markets on the same shelves as Coke and Pepsi.

Sprays to Savor

Now there are flavored Pam-type frying pan sprays. Creative's Naturally Light sprays, which contain only 6% saturated fat (as against 52% for rendered beef tallow), come in the following flavors: Real Butter Flavor with canola oil, Real Garlic with olive oil, and Canola with canola oil, which might be going too far.

The Paws That Refresh

Coca-Cola has been called the American vin de pays , and many people cook with it just as if it were wine--there are Coke-spiked recipes for gingerbread, sweet and sour cabbage, meatloaf and so on. Add one more to the list. From Taiwan comes a recipe for Fried Frog Legs with Sweet Bean Paste that includes a teaspoon of Coke per pair of legs.

Frozen Breakfast News

Last year sales of frozen waffles were up 16% by tonnage. This year Quaker Oats is trying out a microwavable breakfast in New England; Aunt Jemima Lite Breakfast consists of four lite pancakes and two lite sausage links.

Highland Cookie News

Walkers Bakery of Aberlour-on-Spey, Scotland, just about redefines the concept of hitting all the bases with its two new products: a 24 1/2-ounce gift tin of mixed cookies commemorating the 90th birthday of Queen Elizabeth's mother, and a line of certified kosher shortbread.

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