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Support the Survival-Impaired

May 21, 1997|Charles Perry

A century and a half after potato blight devastated Ireland, the Late Blight fungus is still making trouble for farmers. So gene splicers at the Max Planck Institute in Germany have developed a potato variety that destroys its own cells wherever the fungus invades, "committing suicide," in effect, to keep the fungus from spreading. The problem may be convincing the public to eat suicide-prone potatoes.

Jacques Six-Buck

American (mostly California) wine is sold all over the world, but 22 countries, mostly in Europe and the Pacific Rim, account for nearly 90% of our foreign wine sales. England buys the most, followed by Canada, and those two countries also pay top dollar: $8 and $7.50 a gallon, respectively. (Those are wholesale prices, obviously.) The third-biggest importer of American wine is Japan, but it buys the $6-a-gallon stuff--and so do the French.

Eat Mo' Chitlins, It Says Here

"The Great American Chitlin Cookbook," by western North Carolina native E. Frank Stephenson Jr. (Meherrin River Press, 1996), credibly claims to be the only cookbook with more than one or two recipes for chitlins (pork intestines). Some of the dishes in this good-natured 22-page pamphlet are basic Southern food like chitlin hash, but others are either creative or waggish--we really can't tell. We're particularly thinking of the chitlin cheese ball and that chitlin quiche.

As the author suggests with some emphasis, any of these dishes will make for a memorable dining experience. He also expresses the hope that his book may help chitlin-eaters come out of the closet (as if any closet could conceal the smell of chitlins). It's $7.50 from Meherrin River Press, 301 E. Broad St., Murfreesboro, NC 27855; (919) 398-3554. Visa and MasterCard accepted.

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