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A Big Hand for the Seedless Lady

August 22, 1991|CHARLES PERRY

We've been calling Thompson Seedless grapes by the wrong name for 115 years. A Scottish immigrant named William Thompson introduced them to California, but their correct name is Lady deCoverly Seedless.

We Apologize for This Item

Moose nuggets are . . . um, let's say they're indigestible plant matter recycled by moose as they wander around the Alaskan wilderness. Alaskans carve (thoroughly dried) moose nuggets into jewelry (which they then thoroughly varnish) to sell to tourists. The whole subject is not in the highest taste, nor are Tundra Chocolates, the chocolate candies which an Eagle River, Alaska, candy maker has designed to resemble moose nuggets.

Here She Comes

And a big claw for Santa Crab, who won the Miss Crustacean Beauty Pageant in Ocean City, N.J., Aug. 7. The comely young hermit crab received a cucumber rind cup (a year's food for a hermit crab).

Quick Service Notes

It's said that 67% of restaurant traffic last year was "quick service" (don't call it "fast food," puh-leeze ). This might suggest that places such as Burger King and Pizza Hut already have it their way, but both chains are making tentative efforts upscale. Burger King has waiters deliver to your table--only from 5 to 8 p.m., though, and you still get your own drinks. Pizza Hut is trying out a Pizza Hut Cafe concept in Wichita, Kan., where you can get minestrone, pasta and chocolate desserts as well as pizza.

A Faster Vehicle

Only 0.3% of supermarket purchases are by credit card, but the credit card people are working on the technology--they've got a transaction down to 10 seconds, which is as fast as cash--and they're expecting that 0.3% to reach 10% in the next five years. According to Randy Drangle, a spokesman for the Discover card, "66% of people in a supermarket shop on impulse. The credit card is an impulse vehicle."

If You've Got a Tangerine, Make Tangerine Wine

So you think you've tasted it all. Jul. Bochantin Winery makes apricot wine, tangerine wine, rose wine (not rose-- rose wine), tomato wine and wild sunflower honey wine. The red mahogany bush honey wine, we expect, goes best with red meats.

It Ain't Hay

In a salad bar or deli case, there are always those green plastic leaves among the food, laboring mightily to make you think of freshness. Here are some things you didn't know about them: They're washable; they're FDA approved, and they're called Replica Kale.

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