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Counterfeit Escargots

August 06, 1992|CHARLES PERRY

The French snail market is sticky. A few months ago, unscrupulous snail ranchers started selling gritty-fleshed Giant African Land Snails as genuine escargots, and snail sales started to slide.

Peace, Love and Rootstocks

On Sunday, a food, wine and music benefit concert was held at the Silverado Country Club in Napa. The proceeds went to research to develop vine rootstocks that can resist the current plague of vine lice. The name of the event, of course, was the Rootstock Festival.

Demand Your Pound of Fish

The average American eats a little under one pound of fish and/or shellfish a month. About a third of that is tuna.

Manners by Flash Card

"Setting the Table: A Short Course in Confident Entertaining" spells out table-setting basics in a little booklet and then demonstrates with 20 menu cards, each with its correct table setting. The package also includes 20 recipes from the menu cards, such as flank steak rubbed with chile and garlic, and Cornish hens in Muscat grape sauce. Sounds like just the thing for a recent June bride who is starting to have people over for dinner. It's $14.95 at selected shops, or direct from St. Andrews Dining Society, P.O. Box 1874, Newport Beach, Calif. 92663 (with tax and shipping, $18.45).

I Sing the Peppermill Electric

The modern world clearly needs a battery-powered salt-and-pepper mill, which not only grinds at the touch of a button but includes a high-intensity light in the base so you can actually see what you're salting or peppering at those very intimate dinners. It's available in black or white from Chef Specialties, (814) 887-5652 ($39.95, including six AA batteries, peppercorns and crystallized sea salt; there's also a rechargeable model for $49.95); also at Bullock's and selected shops.

Wine Trak: The New Generation

Wine Trakker 2.0 is a computer program for keeping track of a wine-cellar inventory and tastings (it can print out wine-tasting score sheets). It pays particular attention to beginners, giving basic information on how to store and evaluate wine, suggesting starter wine cellars and giving the addresses of dozens of wine publications and most California, Washington and Oregon wineries. It's pretty cheap for software: $39.50 from Wine Software Partners, 5472 Winnetka Ave., Suite 187, Woodland Hills, Calif. 91364. Requires an IBM compatible running DOS 3.1 or above, with a hard drive and 640K RAM.

You Say You Want Fiber?

The Wall Street Journal reports that if you wrap a plastic pot scrubber in water-soluble tape and talk a cow into swallowing it, when the pot scrubber expands in the cow's stomach, it has the same beneficial effects as dietary fiber. Sure, this sounds disgusting, but don't you wish we had the kind of stomachs where we could just swallow one Toughie pad (the brand tried) and never have to look at oat bran again?

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