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The Name Is Sea Bass, See?

March 18, 1993|CHARLES PERRY

It turns out Chilean sea bass, which burst on the food scene in the early 1980s, isn't technically a sea bass at all. Biologists say it should be called the Patagonian tooth-fish.

Artichoke: the Sensitive Thistle

At the Super Bowl, Pepsi ran a commercial that showed a chef praising artichokes while a text scrolled across the screen reading, "One day this may be interesting to you, but until that time comes. . . ." Then the scene switched to skateboarding kids drinking Pepsi. This must have seemed an innocent pitch for the unsophisticated younger palate, but the California Artichoke Advisory Board complained to Pepsi that the ad undermined its efforts to present the artichoke as a non-dull vegetable. Both sides wanted to avoid litigation, so on March 2, Pepsi apologized by unveiling a Pepsi Artichoke Patch at a San Francisco demonstration garden often visited by school children on day trips. Like all the produce raised there, the artichokes will be donated to a homeless shelter.

Uproar in Chile

Longtime hot sauce rivals Tabasco and Red Devil are best friends now, the McIlhenny Co. (Tabasco) having simply bought Trappey's Fine Foods, maker of Red Devil and other hot stuff.

Chile Faces the Future

Mad Dog BBQ Sauce is a superior version of the traditional tomato-vinegar-molasses sauce with a good soy flavor as well (it's made with unsulphured molasses and soy aged three years). It comes in three degrees of hotness--"ultra" is flavored with African bird's-eye peppers. Available at Barbeques Galore stores in Southern California. Rothschild Berry Farms of Urbana, Ohio, now sells hot pepper peach preserves, which they recommend as a poultry baste. At gourmet shops, or call (800) 356-8933.

Chile Out, Dude

Japan's champion eater of hot food, Morihiro Yamashita, won the televised contest by eating hot noodles, sushi with extra wasabi and finally curried rice with 120 times the usual chile. The Wall Street Journal reports that he felt faint during the sushi and in the curry round his tongue went numb and he briefly lost his eyesight.

Last Chile Dispatch

You may have read about Charleston Hot, the new cayenne pepper developed by the U.S. Agricultural Research Service that is supposed to be 20 times as hot as a jalapeno and twice or three times as hot as regular hot sauce cayenne. Co-developer Philip D. Dukes says it will flourish in about any climate. You can get seeds by sending a postcard with your name and address to Dukes c/o U.S. Vegetable Laboratory, 2875 Savannah Highway, Charleston, S.C. 29414-5334. (If they're out of the Charleston Hot, they may send you Carolina Cayenne in its place.)

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