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Here's Mud in Your Nose

June 20, 1991|CHARLES PERRY

So we already know about the beers flavored with chiles, such as the one served at a Denver bar with a serrano pepper in every bottle. Now we are obliged to learn that in Germany, some people add horseradish to beer. (More often to brandy, though.)

Fleur de Mango, le Parfum Dangereux

Cashews and mangos are related to poison oak and poison ivy and can cause exactly the same kind of rash. Cashew nuts are poisonous until they're toasted (causing no end of trouble for professional cashew handlers), and every last part of the mango plant is poisonous . . . except the flesh of the mango fruit. Really; it's possible to get a rash from the mango's skin, and for sensitive people, even the aroma of a mango blossom is poisonous.

Quarter-Tonner

A McDonald's in San Diego boasts a 30-foot-long statue of a pink and green dinosaur--scientifically pretty accurate, apart from the running shoes, Hawaiian shirt and dark glasses--posed as a waiter.

Where's the Grease?

Not long ago the editor of Render, the trade journal of the fat-rendering industry, was complaining to the Wall Street Journal that recycled grease from restaurants and meat handlers is fetching such a low price that renderers often don't pay for it--they charge to haul it away. Now comes an Associated Press story about grease rustlers in Houston, who vacuum hamburger grease out of recycling bins and sell it to "grease fences." One company claims it's losing $30,000 worth of grease a month from its bins. Somebody may be pulling a slippery one on us.

Bugs Just Want a Nutritious Breakfast

Insects can sneak into cereal boxes through amazingly tiny holes. The USDA reports that they have the hardest time with cylindrical cardboard boxes, but packages with plastic wrap on the outside or heavy plastic wrap on the inside also slow them down.

Worcestershire, India

On the label of Lea and Perrins' Worcestershire sauce, the recipe is said to have come from "a gentleman in the county." He was actually Sir Marcus Sandys, the ex-governor of Bengal. When he returned from India he hired the company to make his favorite Indian condiment (when he stopped ordering it, for a while they considered throwing the excess stock out until it occurred to them to market it to the public).

Certifiably Cajun

The Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry is introducing an official Cajun trademark in order to "stop the spread of fake Cajun foods." Since the Cajun rage peaked a couple of years ago, this is a case of locking the barn door after the horse got out, but from now on you can scan your market for packages bearing the label "Certified Cajun."

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