December 7, 2012 |
Starbucks raised eyebrows when it recently started offering coffee for $7 a cup. But that's nothing compared to a brew that goes for a hefty $50 per serving. Why does this coffee cost so much? Because the beans first have to be eaten, digested and then pooped out by an elephant. Apparently that's an exotic enough process to fetch a price of $500 a pound, making this one of the world's most expensive blends. The coffee is called Black Ivory and hails from Thailand. It was unveiled last month at a handful of luxury hotels catering to, well, the sort of people who can afford a $50 cup of joe. Quiz: The year in business "When an elephant eats coffee, its stomach acid breaks down the protein found in coffee, which is a key factor in bitterness," Blake Dinkin, who has spent $300,000 developing the coffee, told the Associated Press . "You end up with a cup that's very smooth without the bitterness of regular coffee.
October 1, 1990 |
The Persian Gulf crisis has given new life to Brazil's program to run its vehicles on sugar-cane alcohol instead of gasoline. Shortages of the costly sugar-cane fuel and an abundance of inexpensive foreign oil had turned Brazilians off to alcohol. But as oil prices have skyrocketed in the wake of Iraq's takeover of Kuwait, another look is being taken at one of the world's leading alternative fuel programs, called Pro-Alcohol here.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 27, 2000
Re "Cuban Teen Makes Revolutionary Choice," Aug. 22: Agustin Gurza tells us that Laura Pina is not your average Cuban kid. That is an understatement. Her mother is an American expatriate (a prize for Castro's Cuba) and her father is a member of one of Cuba's most famous musical groups. Laura did not have to go into the country to cut sugar cane as most Cuban youths are forced to do. She can afford to pay dollars to attend nightclubs and buy $70 Levi's. And she says it's getting awkward?
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 8, 1990
Thank you for your article on alternative fuels. Your section on methanol puzzles me, however. You say its use puts formaldehyde into the air. I've been told by Los Angeles City's Fleet Services Department (which has been part of the state's test program for 10 years) that the use of a catalytic converter prevents this emission. Your article suggests methanol must be made from corn but it can actually be made many things; rice bran, sugar cane, garbage and much more. You state the technology presents daunting problems but actually methanol can be distilled in one's back yard and the mash that's left over makes an excellent cattle and hog feed.
May 25, 1987 |
Rum has been produced in the West Indies since the 16th Century-later figuring in an infamous three-way trade involving slavery--and is still big business here. Made from molasses, a byproduct of sugar cane, the liquor is made almost everywhere in the world where sugar cane is grown. But the most famous, and perhaps best loved, rums are produced in the Caribbean--in the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Haiti, Puerto Rico, Antigua, Barbados, Martinique, Trinidad, the British and U.S.
September 23, 2012 |
The Cutting Season A Novel Attica Locke Harper/Dennis Lehane Books: 374 pp., $25.99 How much do I admire Attica Locke's second novel, "The Cutting Season"? To answer that, I need to go back to her 2009 debut, "Black Water Rising," which told the story of Jay Porter, an African American attorney in Houston, a former radical in full retreat from the unresolved issues, political and personal, of his past. Set in 1981, "Black Water Rising" is nothing if not authoritative; Locke, who lives in Los Angeles, was raised in Houston and understands how the city works.
November 4, 2009 |
Who could resent the attention being showered on electric cars? Stylish and clean, they're the darling of the renewable-energy crowd, which is hailing the scheduled rollout of several e-powered models next year as a major blow against global warming. Well, Eduardo Leao, for one. He's executive director of the Brazil's largest sugar industry association, called UNICA, and he insists that cane-based ethanol produced in massive quantities by his members is a better alternative fuel for the environment than electricity.
October 19, 2007 |
It's doubtful that Mary Poppins would have extolled the virtues of sugar as a medicine chaser if she had known about the horrific plight of Haitian immigrants in the Dominican Republic. According to "The Price of Sugar," a riveting new documentary from director Bill Haney, the migrant laborers there who cut down sugar cane are pressed into virtual slavery.
November 2, 1990 |
Ho Sai Gai, possibly the most decrepit Cantonese restaurant in California, once occupied this site. What a change. As Mandalay, the room has developed a lot of style: Banner-like drawings of Vietnamese maidens hang from the walls, banana trees are spotted around the room, the chair backs are in the shape of the letter M, for Mandalay, of course. It has an air that faintly suggests some low-profile, savagely exclusive nightclub.
September 9, 2013 |
Federal efforts to protect growers of sugar beets and sugar cane epitomize everything that's wrong with U.S. farm programs. At times they've artificially raised the price of sugar, costing consumers billions of dollars; at other times they've stuck taxpayers with the bill for the surplus sugar production they've promoted. The fact that the sugar program is likely to survive the latest rewrite of the farm bill unscathed is a testament to how limited the bill's "reforms" are. Sweeteners are ubiquitous in processed foods, and sugar is the most popular by far. There are two primary sources in the United States: sugar beets, which are grown in parts of California (mainly in Imperial County)