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Plastic Chopping Boards Fight Back

July 15, 1993|CHARLES PERRY

A few months ago a University of Wisconsin study claimed that wooden chopping boards appeared to have some antibacterial effect, making them safer than plastic boards. A new study points out that the boards in the Wisconsin study had been brand new, and wetting agents applied to them at the factory to help oils penetrate the wood probably accounted for the antibacterial effect. The study disputing the University of Wisconsin report came--doubtless this is a coincidence--from the University of Minnesota. It included advice that wooden boards should be rigorously scrubbed with hot soapy water, kept dry and treated with protective oil, and a very disgusting photo of bacteria growing in a crack in a wooden board.

At Last: Crispy Tofu

Oregon Chips are the only chips sold in this country made from that traditional Oregonian product tofu. Well, actually, they also contain wheat and corn, because a pure tofu chip, though bursting with protein, has the texture of a poker chip. These chips have been flavored with Cheddar, garlic or tomato and herbs (the original tofu flavor has apparently been withdrawn). At health food stores.

How to Play With Food

Gold Medal has a booklet of craft ideas for children. For instance, Creative Dough for Modeling: 1 cup flour, 2 teaspoons cream of tartar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 cup water, 1 tablespoon vegetable oil and 15 drops food coloring. Cook together over medium heat, stirring hard, until ball forms, about 4 minutes. Remove from saucepan and let stand 5 minutes, then knead until smooth and blended, about 30 seconds. Cool completely and store in airtight container in refrigerator. For more fun with flour, send name, address and a $2 check made out to General Mills, to "Alpha-Bakery Cookbook," P.O. Box 5119, Minneapolis, Minn. 55460.

Two Hot Sauces

The world is full of barbecue sauces, but once in a while one or two are really distinctive. Bulls Eye's new Western Grill flavor is exceptionally smoky, giving something remarkably like a long-smoked barbecue flavor. Two Buddies, coming in hickory sweet or macho mesquite flavor, is more like the old-fashioned catsup-y chile sauce, only with a fresh, homemade taste (it actually comes in a mason jar) and soy and Worcestershire flavors. Bulls Eye Western Grill is in supermarkets; for Two Buddies, try (800) 48S-AUCE.

Psst--Want Some Margarine?

Since the recent health report questioning margarine's claim to be more healthful than butter, all major brands of margarine have shown sales losses, reports the Wall Street Journal. All, that is, except I Can't Believe It's Not Butter, which stresses butter-like flavor rather than health qualities (it's only 70% vegetable oil, as against 80% for most brands).

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