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May the Best Flavor Win

October 15, 1992|CHARLES PERRY

Baskin-Robbins ice cream parlors want you to "vote" (if you're 18 or older) by choosing an ice cream flavor from a list of B-R flavors dating back to the '40s, to describe the personality of the presidential candidates and their wives. We don't know what happens to the ballots, but at least this enters you in a drawing for a trip to the inaugural festivities in Washington, D.C.

Root for the Home Peanut

Brach's has a food "voting" gimmick that has a longer season, but you don't win anything: chocolate-covered peanut candies called TD's in the colors of the NFL team you root for, e.g. blue and gold for the Rams. They're at candy counters, $1.99 a pound and 45 cents for a 1.74-ounce snack bag.

Storm Cuisine

"Recipe Memories of Desert Storm" may be the most arresting title of the year, but the book is perfectly sincere. It's 116 pages of Saudi, Gulf and Egyptian dishes, most with color photos, collected by an Arabian woman named Mona Gabbori (also spelled Qaboori), who gratefully dedicates it to "all brave men and women of Desert Storm." They might still have some copies at Books for Cooks, 4 Blenheim Crescent, London W11 1NN, England.

Arabia, Where the Fish Come From

Incidentally, though that book gives only two seafood recipes, Saudi Arabia exports lobster tails and fresh and frozen fish. FYI: The number of Saudi Fishers Co., Dammam, is (011-966-3) 857-3979.

Sugar's Little Secret

Researchers at Cornell report that table sugar reduces pain-induced crying among newborns by about 50%. Even small amounts of sugar are calming, so this effect isn't due to sweetness. Probably sucrose stimulates natural compounds related to opium, which is why it doesn't work on children more than a couple of weeks old--they develop tolerance to these compounds.

To Russia, With Jam

In November, the Peanut Council of America will bring 15 tons of Skippy peanut butter to St. Petersburg, Russia. Peanut butter is being promoted there as a protein source to supplement the meager meat supplies--30 tons were already donated to Moscow orphanages in June--and because the Russians already have bread and at least some jam.

Take Two Painkillers and a Pizza and Call Me in the Morning

One reason why the label on bottles of acetaminophen, the most popular non-aspirin pain killer, warns you not to exceed the recommended dosage is that an overdose can damage the liver and kidneys. However, experiments at Rutgers University show that in lab animals, damage was prevented by a dose of diallyl sulfide, a compound present in garlic, just before or after the acetaminophen.

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