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September 01, 1994|CHARLES PERRY

The Paperboard Packaging Council (PPC) predicts that in a couple of years we'll see "smart" cartons that could tell you when your food is done or your milk has gone bad and maybe even talk to you. Hey, future shock time--particularly since we just learned you should call that material "paperboard" (it's not PPC to say "cardboard").

Tastes Just Like Chicken!

Visitors to Crowley's Ridge State Park in Walcott, Ark., complained about being bitten by mosquitoes, so park rangers decided to turn the liability into an asset by establishing an annual Mosquito Cook-Off. This year's first prize went to a recipe for mosquito cookies: Crush mosquitoes lightly and stir into boiling syrup mixed with brown sugar. Stir until mosquitoes are flavored and sterilized by heat (mosquitoes carry up to 16 disease bacteria). Pour on cookie sheet or pastry marble, let dry, cut into chips and add to commercial cookie mix.

Runner-ups included mosquito supreme pizza and baked chili con 'skeeter.

Take Two, They're Big

The latest culinary craze in Japan is eyes--the eyes of the bigeye tuna. They turn out to contain large concentrations of DHA, an Omega-3 fatty acid which, the Japanese press has been claiming, lowers blood pressure, clears up the skin and even stimulates the brain. The eyes are going for $2 to $3 "a pop," as Seafood Leader magazine expressively put it.

Wake Up and Smell My Drawing

Ever chew on a pencil when you were a kid? These days Crayola's new Magic Scent crayons are a lot more tempting--they emit food aromas such as coconut, chocolate and cherry when rubbed on paper. They're non-toxic, but the New York consumer protection board fears that because of the aromas children may try to eat the crayons, posing a danger of choking. Binney & Smith Co. claims that there were no reports of eating among the 170 familes that tested Magic Scent crayons. (The test families also helped the company decided not to make crayons with aromas of mushroom, onion, garlic, baby powder or garlic.)

Galleria Goes Garlic

A peculiarly aromatic boutique opens at the Glendale Galleria Saturday, Sept. 3. The Christopher Ranch Garlic Store, owned by the largest garlic shipper in Gilroy, will sell garlic sauces and salsas, whole peeled garlic, pickled garlic, you name it--even, for the garlic lover who has everything, a 14-karat gold-dipped garlic bulb. To request a gift guide or order garlic gift baskets, call (818) 637-2813 or fax 637-2815. The Garlic Store will ship anywhere in the United States.

A Book You Can Pick Out in the Dark

In other garlic news, Celestial Arts is publishing a series entitled Totally Cookbooks, by Helene Siegel and Karen Gillingham. Each of the four books is devoted to a single ingredient . . . and cutely die-cut into the shape of that ingredient. Each contains 49 recipes, mostly pretty sensible--but when it comes to garlic, being sensible isn't enough, so it includes four garlic desserts: lemon-garlic sorbet, caramelized garlic, garlic-creme caramel, pineapple-garlic upside down cake. "Totally Garlic" and its companion volumes (on chiles, mushrooms and corn) are in bookstores now.

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