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The Ballot Books

March 25, 1993

The International Assn. of Culinary Professionals, which gives out the annual Julia Child Cookbook Awards, now also solicits votes from the general public for a parallel Cooks' Choice Award. To receive a ballot and list of nominated books, send a self-addressed envelope to IACP HQ, 304 W. Liberty St., Suite 201, Louisville, Ky. 40202, or phone (502) 587-7953. P.S.: Voting by April 6 makes you eligible for a drawing for three collections of kitchenware, one including a Thermador microwave oven.

A Problem for the Food Pyramid

Last year two chemists at UC Davis compared foods cooked by microwave and conventional methods. Naturally they found that microwaved food doesn't develop browned aromas, but Takayuki Shibamoto and Helen C.H. Yeo also discovered a lot of off-flavors in the zapped stuff: Cabbage had more sulfurous and burned components and beef was more pungent and sour than when either was boiled. And in place of nutty, caramel and butter qualities, microwaved cake had a "green vegetable" flavor.

The Secret Life of Fish

Greenland turbot is more closely related to halibut than to turbot. In fact, it was known as Greenland halibut until the early '70s, when the Halibut Wives' Assn. petitioned the Supreme Court to change its name because it was driving down the price of regular halibut. P.S.: Most of it really comes from Iceland.

I Can't Get Started Until I've Had My Chewing Gum in the Morning

For a quick lift, the Japanese like caffeinated chewing gum. A brand called Sting boasts visible white crystals of caffeine.

Nothing Serious, We Hope

The Curmudgeon's Home Companion is a tongue-in-cheek cynic's newsletter . . . or so we assume; its proposed solution to the conflict between meat-eaters and vegetarians is for the former to eat the latter ("After all, they are pure grain- and vegetable-fed, just like prime meat, and by their own account not superior to sheep"). For a sample copy, send $2 and a self-addressed business envelope to P.O. Box 3312, Yountville, Calif. 94599. A 12-issue subscription is $18.

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