The first Pennsylvania Dutch Food Festival, featuring farm tours, a chicken pot pie cook-off and demonstrations of soft-pretzel making, will be held in Lancaster County, Pa., Feb. 15-20. Highlight: a week-long Amish Taste-Fest of whoopie pies, grape mush, banana pickles and other traditional Amish foods. For a map and information, write Pennsylvania Dutch Convention and Visitors Bureau, Dept. 2237, 501 Greenfield Road, Lancaster, Pa. 17601.
. . .Or Maybe It's Chile Time
Whoopied out? Consider Meltdown, the Fifth Annual Fiery Foods Show, where over 100 booths will dispense samples of all things hot from salsas and chutneys to chile-flavored beer (even undergarments printed with chile patterns). It runs Feb. 12-14 at Northwest Hall, Albuquerque Convention Center, Albuquerque.
Smell Me! Smell Me!
The Wall Street Journal reports a rumor that the food giants have considered putting attractive aromas into packaging, so a box of cookies might smell appetizingly of chocolate as you pass it in the aisles. Most companies say they have no plans or have looked into the matter and found it too expensive, but one company is reported trying to perfect a microwave dinner package that would release a "home-cooked" bouquet when heated.
The Sparkletts water company claims Californians drank more than 710 million gallons of bottled waters last year, enough to circle the globe with five-gallon water bottles.
Spoons With Lids
Adjustable measuring cups and spoons, which save buying half- and quarter-measures, have been around for a long time, but the Adjust-A-Measure has a patented twist: a lid covering the unused portion of the measure so you don't find yourself measuring out more than you wanted. The dishwasher-safe teaspoon/tablespoon/cup set can handle wet or dry ingredients; $11.95 (plus 8.25% sales tax in Los Angeles and $3.50 shipping and handling) from Mary Anne's Gourmet Trader, 125 S. Robertson Blvd., Suite 108, Beverly Hills, Calif. 90211.
Darling, the Spa Food Is Here
Canyon Ranch will ship you vacuum-packed spa food (e.g., multi-grain pancakes, vegetarian chili, cheese tortelloni ) overnight from Tucson; the food will stay fresh, refrigerated, two to four weeks. You can order a la carte (minimum order $50) or get a whole week's diet meals for $105 to $110; shipping is extra. For information and order form, call (800) 84R-ANCH.
Mussels attach themselves to underwater objects with a gluey protein that resists corrosion. Scientists would like to replicate it--it would save the fishing industry alone about $25 billion a year.