Culinary no-no #776

Culinary no-no began on Father’s Day 2007, a beautiful summer day, when I wrote about grilling brats. And eating brats. And topping those brats. I was inspired by my wife, Jennifer who, in my admittedly unscientific opinion, ruins brats by squirting ketchup on them. Other dining taboos quickly came to mind. The original idea was to take this concept only a few months, till the end of summer and then pull the plug. Then the unexpected happened. People started reading Culinary no-no. Lots of folks. So we keep doing the no-no.

SPECIAL NOTE: This could very well be the worst Culinary no-no segment of any that I’ve posted in the past 16 years.

Many moons ago, standing on the SW corner of 6th and Oklahoma on Milwaukee’s south side was a Meurer’s Bakery.Quite possibly the best bakery in all of Milwaukee.

This particular location had a small restaurant. One of the breakfast items had eggs with potatoes and a generous slab of liver sausage that had been fried in a pan. Quite rich and filling.

That’s gotta be it, Kev. OMG. PU. This wurst has to be the worst no-no ever!

Well, um, no. I enjoyed it a lot to be honest.

Speaking of liver sausage…

Hmm. I don’t know, Kev. Not exactly lookin’ real appetizing.


Liverwurst/liver sausage/braunschweiger makes for a terrific sandwich.

A friend of mine and I were talking this past week when out of the blue he mentioned that his wife made him such a sandwich for the first time in age for lunch that day.

Oh yeh I replied. Good stuff.

Wanting more details I inquired.

Rye bread?


Salt and pepper?


What about onions?


Is that it, Kev? No salt, pepper, onions?

Well, could be, but no. Much worse.

Back to my 3rd degree.


Yes, but then, with out hesitation, he dropped the bomb.


You might even hazard a guess as to what came next.


Now at this point I can envision Germans spitting at their computers.

Ketchup is just plain nasty. It doesn’t belong anywhere on this planet with the rare exception f really high quality French fries. You know. The kinds that come piled and standing up in a French fry holder, like a scoop or cone. And that’s about it. Maybe ona hot dog, but only if there’s nu mustard within a few blocks.

My goodness. Ketchup on a liver sausage sandwich.

On a few occasions on Culinary no-no I’ve quoted a great philosopher who hailed from Milwaukee.

Henry Winkler shows off original Fonzie jacket on The Tonight Show |

In one “Happy Days” episode Fonzie remarked about ketchup and ice cream. When they’re separated, AYYYYY.

How the Fonzie Flat is changing the face of Australian property and easing  our affordability crisis -

But put them together…

Thumbs DOWN! - Sitcoms Online Photo Galleries

Makes sense to me.

I’ve spotted other liver sausage sandwich ingredients that definitely fall under the no-no category:

Yellow mustard

White bread

Whole grain bread

Regular plain bun

Cream cheese


Swiss cheese



Those are all (or should be) verboten.

Don’t mess around.

Rye bread, salt and pepper, raw onion, brown mustard.

That’s it. Liverwurst heaven.

So, ketchup on a liver sausage sandwich. The most egregious out of almost 800 Culinary no-no blogs?

Well, maybe not.

Most no-nos have been lighthearted, subjective posts. Others have been quite serious. Like…

Culinary no-no #52: Global food crisis
A woman dries mud cookies in the sun on the the roof of Fort Dimanche, once a prison, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Nov. 29, 2007.

Rising prices and food shortages are threatening Haiti’s fragile stability, and the mud cookies, made of dirt, salt and vegetable shortening, are one of very few options the poorest people have to stave off hunger. Pregnant women and children have long prized the dirt as a rich source of calcium and an effective antacid, but for some in the country’s most desperate quarters, where thousands buckle under rising food prices and rampant unemployment, mud has become a daily staple. (Ariana Cubillos/ AP Photos )

But for heaven’s sake when it comes to the most nauseating my friend’s sandwich this week is right up there.


By now you’ve heard about Oscar Mayer

Does Joe Biden hate chocolate milk?

Miller Lite’s Woke Rebrand

What is it with these beer companies?

ICYMI, Culinary no-no #775: Coffee

Culinary no-no #775


That looks pretty close to my wife Jennifer waking up in the morning.

On the list of items Jennifer dearly loves coffee is right up there. Possibly more than me.

She even blogged about her addiction in 2017.

Yes, the lure of the bean is beyond captivating. Surveys indicate coffee drinkers would give up the beverage, but it had better be for something of incredible value, like massive lottery ticket winnings.

What if coffee were to suddenly disappear from my wife’s (and that of others) routine?

Well, it would be ugly. Might even cause the onslaught of WWIII.

Still, the elimination of coffee, I dare say, would be of benefit to Jennifer. LOL. Not gonna happen.

5 Surprising Things Happen After You Stop Drinking Coffee

Removing caffeine’s psychoactive effects from your life can lead to several notable benefits, especially for certain groups of people

The Epoch Times
Apr 20, 2023

5 Surprising Things Happen After You Stop Drinking Coffee

Coffee (and the caffeine it contains) gives pleasure and certain health benefits to countless people, and many see nothing wrong with several cups per day, which could increase health risks for some. Drinking less coffee, or eliminating caffeine from your diet, may help improve sleep quality, reduce anxiety, and even reduce headaches.

Caffeine Is a Psychoactive Substance

Caffeine is the world’s most widely consumed psychoactive substance. It’s considered psychoactive because it affects alertness and our mental state, and it’s used daily by at least 85 percent of Americans.

It has addictive effects for some people, affecting the same parts of the brain as cocaine—but in different ways. Yet, according to a review in the American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, caffeine use doesn’t fit the profile of an addictive drug.

“Its intake does no harm to the individual or to society and its users are not compelled to consume it, though cessation of regular use may result in symptoms such as headache and lethargy,” the review authors wrote.

Regardless, millions of people start their day with a cup of coffee and rely on it to keep them going throughout the day.

However, there are many benefits to reducing your coffee intake or giving up caffeine altogether, and it can be a great way to improve your health and well-being.

“Like any recreational drug, living without caffeine is always healthier,” Dr. Theodore Strange, chair of medicine at Staten Island University Hospital, part of Northwell Health in New York, told The Epoch Times.

Improved Sleep Quality

One of the most significant benefits of quitting caffeine is improved sleep.

According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, caffeine has a half-life of up to five hours. A chemical’s half-life is how long it takes a dose of it to be reduced by half in your body.

This means that if you consume 100 milligrams of caffeine (roughly one cup of coffee), after five hours, you’ll still have 50 milligrams of caffeine in your system. It will take another five hours to reach 25 milligrams.

This means that “afternoon pick-me-up” could still be affecting you by bedtime that evening.

Eliminating caffeine from your diet means you’ll likely fall asleep more easily and stay asleep longer, which should help improve energy and productivity throughout your day.

Reduced Anxiety

Caffeine is a stimulant that can cause an increase in anxiety and jitteriness. Reducing intake or quitting caffeine entirely could reduce your likelihood of experiencing these symptoms and help you feel calmer and more relaxed.

research study conducted with college-age participants found that caffeine intake was associated with depressive symptoms and higher levels of anxiety.

A review from the National Institutes of Health concluded that caffeine can cause anxiety symptoms in normal individuals, especially in those who have preexisting anxiety disorders. The review also found that caffeine could induce psychosis in normal individuals who consume caffeine at toxic doses of more than 1,200 milligrams.

Reduced Risk of High Blood Pressure and Other Diseases

Caffeine can have a negative effect on your health, especially when used in large amounts.

“Caffeine may cause a short but dramatic increase in your blood pressure, even if you don’t have high blood pressure,” Dr. Francisco Lopez-Jimenez, a cardiologist at the Mayo Clinic, said in a statement.

High levels of caffeine can cause cardiac issues, including heart palpitations, and even increase the risk of heart disease. Evidence shows a strong link between high caffeine intake and headaches, due to how it can make blood vessels in the brain swell.

Strange added that a dose of 400 milligrams or less per day, or about four cups of coffee, is probably safe, but more than this can cause tachycardia, jitters, and insomnia.

“Which could have effects on one’s health, especially if someone also has heart disease or is on medications that may exacerbate effects of caffeine,” he said.

Eliminating coffee from your diet can help reduce your risk of these health problems and promote overall better health.

Better Hydration

Caffeine is a diuretic, which means that it can increase the frequency of urination and lead to dehydration.

Eliminating caffeine from your diet can help you stay better hydrated, which can improve your overall health and well-being.

Being dehydrated can adversely affect health, and a decrease of as little as 1.5 percent of your body’s water can cause symptoms. These range from a simple headache to a life-threatening illness, such as heatstroke.

Improved Digestion

Coffee can affect stomach acid secretions and may cause gastroesophageal reflux, commonly called heartburn.

This effect is also associated with a possible increase in digestive problems that include poor digestion, discomfort, nausea, and ulcers.

Reducing caffeine intake can improve digestion and alleviate these symptoms, leading to better overall gastrointestinal health.

People Who Shouldn’t Use Caffeine

Although caffeine and coffee consumption are generally safe for most people, there are some groups of people who should avoid or limit their intake.

Pregnant Women

High doses of caffeine during pregnancy have been linked to an increased risk of miscarriage, premature birth, and increased risk of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in children when they reach 4 to 11 years old.

People With Anxiety Disorders

Caffeine can increase anxiety and jitteriness in some individuals, which can exacerbate symptoms of anxiety disorders.

People With Heart Conditions

Caffeine can cause blood pressure to spike, which may be dangerous for those living with an underlying heart condition. Research also shows that caffeine can increase the risk of atrial fibrillation.

People With Caffeine Sensitivity

Some people have a genetic predisposition to be more sensitive to caffeine, making them much more likely to experience adverse reactions such as anxiety or insomnia when they drink even moderate amounts.


Children are smaller and so are more sensitive to the effects of caffeine than adults.

“Caffeine-containing foods and beverages can have effects on the body and mind that interfere with every aspect of what children need to thrive,” Columbia pediatrician Dr. David Buchholz said in a statement.

He also said that “there is no known safe amount” of caffeine for any child age 11 and younger.

Cutting Caffeine and Withdrawal Symptoms

Strange explained that the symptoms of caffeine withdrawal can be different for every person.

“Common symptoms include headache, fatigue, low energy, irritability, anxiety, poor concentration, depressed mood, tremors, and sleeping issues,” he said, cautioning that the symptoms of quitting caffeine abruptly can last from a few days to a few weeks.

Strange emphasized that the benefits of living without caffeine include better sleep, better focus and concentration, and improved blood pressure, among others.

—-George Citroner reports on health and medicine, covering topics that include cancer, infectious diseases, and neurodegenerative conditions. He was awarded the Media Orthopaedic Reporting Excellence (MORE) award in 2020 for a story on osteoporosis risk in men.

UPDATE: Culinary no-no #754

Previously on This Just In…

The update:

The trouble with food porn

Timothy Jacobson
The Spectator
April 20, 2023

Food porn, an exaggerated photographic representation of how food supposedly looks, has been with us since the 1970s.

Today, it is as ubiquitous as “traditional” porn and just as sad. It disorders our senses. Food tastes and smells, only thirdly does it look.

Youthful gazing through the bakeshop window is one thing; seeing food mediated through the photographic image is quite another: it titillates but does not nourish. It has been a steep fall from the innocent old days of “Oh boy, that looks good!” exclaimed in the real presence of home-prepared meatloaf or macaroni-and-cheese, not in response to a picture of it. This disordering of our senses manifests in two ways. Go on the website of just about any restaurant anywhere and you will see, not a street view of the premises, but supersaturated photos of what’s on the menu. I find this unhelpful, for all such photography looks the same and does nothing to help me discriminate between this eatery and that. Moreover, it has virtually banished something that would be helpful: images of the dining space where I would be committing two or three hours of my time. Is the ceiling high or low? Is the decor woody or metallic? Are there tablecloths and tables for two?

The second disorder is our subject here. At home, if we like to cook what we eat, the cookbooks, and today the endless web videos, that instruct us how to go about it have become photographic extravaganzas: feasts solely for the eyes, as it were, if deceptive ones.

Chances are your own dish, having merely been cooked and not studio-produced, won’t look quite like the one depicted on the glossy page. Nor should it.

In the nineteenth century and earlier, cookery books were bereft of illustration, in part due to the limits of printing technology but not, I suspect, for that reason alone. Sensibilities back then had yet to be seduced by the visual. Two classics of the Victorian age, the American Miss Leslie’s New Cookery Book from 1857 and the British Mrs. Beeton’s Cookery Book from 1861, instructed the home cook largely with words. A century later, the landmark Mastering the Art of French Cooking (1961), in which Mmes. Child, Bertholle and Beck translated the great Gallic tradition for Americans, still appeared with sparse drawings, and those typically of the before, not the after, part of the project: as in “how to seed and juice tomatoes” or “how to stuff and truss a duck.”

The best and most accessible example of this old prejudice for words over pictures, and by far the most comprehensive in terms of the variety of dishes offered, is Craig Claiborne’s 700-page New York Times Cook Book, also from 1961 and comprising recipes that had appeared in the then-great Gray Lady during the 1950s. My copy, its binding broken with use (in “Meats,” between “Country Ham” and “Veal”) and messily annotated with the dates dishes were tried and the results, illustrates without illustration the abiding utility of an unpretentious instruction-manual approach to cookbooks before our obsession with sumptuous visuals took over.

Also absent from Claiborne’s classic are those chatty, it’s-all-about-me asides that let the reader in on just how and where the author discovered such-and-such wonderful dish and highlighting her wide travels and general erudition. Claiborne got around too and was certainly a sophisticated fellow, but his book is not where he told you about it. Such illustrations as it does contain (all of them black-and-white) come across as random, even humorous, as if the publisher wanted something tossed in to be able to describe the book as “illustrated.” Who, for instance, really cares how to roll up galantine of turkey, a complicated dish to say the least and seldom seen outside a proper old-fashioned French restaurant? I have never seen one “at home” or attempted it myself. The four snapshots in the Appetizers section don’t much help, and for today’s cook the turn-off comes in the first caption: “To make a galantine, a turkey or other fowl is boned. Most butchers will do this chore.” Not nowadays, they won’t.

Or consider Lobster en Bellevue Parisienne, another exotic of which we get a something-short-of-tantalizing shot of the finished product: the great crustacean lunging upward off the platter, an artichoke-laden skewer “through the lobster’s eyes,” its antennae preserved and artfully curled, claws un-cracked and menacingly open, medallions cut from the tail adorned with truffles fixed in aspic and fanned-out to decorate the top of the shell. The kitchens of Carême, not those of 1950s household cooks, come to mind here.

There’s the occasional table shot. “From the left: bouillabaisse from France, minestrone from Italy, chicken corn soup, traditionally American.” What we see are three potage-laden vessels, one decorated with fish, one sitting atop an alcohol burner, the third flanked by two candlesticks, all with a spooky cypress branch (for “atmosphere”?) reaching in from top right.

None of this triggers the desire, not mine anyway, to attempt any of these dishes. The pictures are far from the main event, access to which comes only with reading. Claiborne was a recipe writer who had mastered the two essential ingredients of the trade: clarity and concision. We’re amateurs, not professionals, who, however much we may love to cook, aren’t getting paid for it.

The recipe is the portal to a good meal prepared at home, and we want as few obstructions as possible. A list of ingredients, followed by what to do with them in numbered steps, no more no less, was Claiborne’s formula. Seventy years later, it works as well as ever, and I encourage today’s cooks, however addicted to shameless full-frontal food photography, to revert to the old ways. The only extra that Claiborne supplied to some of his recipes — sandwiched in between the subject line, (“Mushroom Bisque”), and the quantity, “About 2 Quarts,”) was the occasional light-handed editorial judgment, but a judgment nonetheless. “Although cultivated mushrooms lack the character of their wild country cousins, they are not to be scorned. They can be the basis for several highly acceptable soups.” I made this bisque, acceptably enough, for guests on New Year’s Eve 2019, who, says my note, approved, which is the test that matters.

Claiborne was onto something. “Highly acceptable” is a standard of kitchen performance actually within reach. Not “best ever,” or “transporting” or “indulgent” or other such foodie guff — just highly acceptable. Today’s deluge of food photography drowns out such sensible expectation and amounts to marketing-driven fraud. Your dish, and mine, is going to look like just what we make it look like. And whatever it looks like, if it tastes right, it will nourish our bodies and brighten our spirits: a decent reward for work well done. Cooking is craft, not art.

How a dish is put together bears study; putting it together takes attentiveness and, if you are like me, practice. There are precious few originals. Most recipes, whether for haute cuisine or down-home favorites or something in between, are the sum of countless other cooks’ experiences. With luck, our experience adds a drop or two more to a broad tradition. Recall those ladies’ charity cookbooks, reported in this space a few months back, that seem forever with us. Just like Claiborne’s and Child’s great classics, they do it in dazzling black-and-white with words, not pictures. Read the instructions and bon appétit.

Culinary no-no #774

Culinary no-no began on Father’s Day 2007, a beautiful summer day, when I wrote about grilling brats. And eating brats. And topping those brats. I was inspired by my wife, Jennifer who, in my admittedly unscientific opinion, ruins brats by squirting ketchup on them. Other dining taboos quickly came to mind. The original idea was to take this concept only a few months, till the end of summer and then pull the plug. Then the unexpected happened. People started reading Culinary no-no. Lots of folks. So we keep doing the no-no.

I wonder what kind of reaction this week’s installment might get.

Our family recently rerturned from a trip to Ireland.

And it’s the Emerald Isle that provides the source for this week’s Culinary.




You mean the country where you had such a marvelous time ?

Yes, that country.

Let’s begin with this photo taken at Oliver St. John Gogartys, in the Heart of Temple Bar, in the heart of Dublin City.

Yours truly is with Tommy Bryne, the patriarchal leader of our tour guides, The Bryne Brothers.

What’s the no-no?

Is it that I am NOT drinking a Guinness?

NO, that not it.

Is it that it appears that I’m drinking some sort of girly-girly libabtion?


It’s a Tanqueray and tonic.

Is the no-no because the G & T is served in a goblet that’s probably best suited for wine?


Is it the garnish being a lemon instead of lime?


Could be difficult to SEE what the no-no is but it is indeed my beverage. And the no-no is actually not all that awful or egregious.

Order that cocktail at just about every Irish bar/pub and you might very well get a chalice-shaped glass with gin poured, and only gin. On the side will be a mini-bottle of Schweppe’s tonic water to be poured over alcohol. And also in the glass a very small number of tiny ice cubes. Hard to pick them out in the photo because they’re either so microscopic or have melted already.

Certainly not a major issue, but some of the Americans on our tour did take notice. They simply politely requested more cubes.

Apparently being stingy with ice is standard operating procedure in Europe. But why?

Lisa Bramen wrote about this on Smithsonian Magazine in 2011:

One explanation I’ve heard elsewhere, and which may hold some truth, is that Europeans see ice as taking up valuable real estate in the glass, so that they would feel cheated if they got too much ice and too little beverage. This theory has two problems: It doesn’t explain, again, why water shouldn’t be served with ice, and it doesn’t take into account the fact that one is often served a whole can or bottle of soda, which could then be used to refill the glass. My guess on the first issue is that drinking water with a meal is (or at least was) less common in Europe than here—a Parisian waiter once sarcastically presented my requested water as “Champagne”—and since no one had become accustomed to ice in drinks the preference carried over to water.

OK. Bramen also speculated as to why Americans like me wanted their Irish mixologist to be more generous ice-wise:

“My theory is that it has to do with our ‘more is more’ mentality. Because somewhere along the line free drink refills became the norm, giving customers lots of ice was actually seen as adding rather than subtracting value. It’s like the giant slab of cream cheese many delis slap on your bagel, when a light schmear would do nicely. Personally, I think they sometimes go overboard with the ice; I like my drink chilled, but not glacial.”

Me? If the cocktail requires rocks, I want glacial. Cubes to the top.

I close with this comment seen on Reddit:

It’s not that Europeans hate ice, but it’s just not a very practical way of cooling your drink, and alters the taste of whatever you’re drinking – which is fine if it’s supposed to be that way, but not if the beverage can stand on it’s own (would you ever put ice in your beer?). We Europeans just prefer to put it in the fridge and drink it once it’s been cooled that way.

One of the many reasons the Brits lost in 1776?


The Star-Spangled Banner as a weapon of mass terrorism or, Paulina is a complete idiot

Just Because the Menu Is Meant To Be Shared, Doesn’t Mean You Have To

Don’t Knock the Parmesan Espresso Martini Before You Try It

ICYMI, Culinary no-no #773: Is she wearing anything underneath that fur?

Culinary no-no #773

Culinary no-no began on Father’s Day 2007, a beautiful summer day, when I wrote about grilling brats. And eating brats. And topping those brats. I was inspired by my wife, Jennifer who, in my admittedly unscientific opinion, ruins brats by squirting ketchup on them. Other dining taboos quickly came to mind. The original idea was to take this concept only a few months, till the end of summer and then pull the plug. Then the unexpected happened. People started reading Culinary no-no. Lots of folks. So we keep doing the no-no.

I wonder what kind of reaction this week’s installment might get.

Many, many years ago, during my courting days, there was this young woman I dated that possessed all the right attributes. Looks. Charm. Sense of humor. Smarts. You know. Your basic joy to be around.

I’m not sure what prompted this to come up one time during conversation but she mentioned how she had this fantasy if you will of going to a fancy restaurant wearing nothing but the following: a fur coat and high heels. Oh, and some makeup and jewelry.

I don’t know if that was a hint, but we never dined together in that manner.

My good friend (I’m her oldest daughter’s godfather) may have to a certain degree been onto something.

Dinners in the nude are now trendy.

The NY Times recently wrote about one such dinner on the Lower East Side where all the guests were au naturel.

The Füde Dinner Experience is hosted by the artist and model Charlie Ann Max. For $88, and after Ms. Max has approved the applications, guests come together to enjoy, according to the website: “a liberating space that celebrates our most pure selves, through plant-based cooking, art, nudity, & self-love.”\

The draw of the naked dinner party is different for different people, Ms. Max said. Some want to feel more connected to their own bodies, while others want to make new, similarly uninhibited friends.

At the dinner earlier in March, guests undressed as soon as they arrived. There was no dressing room, just a clothes rack and hangers off to one side. The main dining hall was warmly lit and draped in sheets of cream and champagne-colored silk. Ms. Max said she makes her events look like Renaissance paintings because “it feels very romantic.”

Each of the attendees (ages ranged from early 20s to late 50s) had approached the challenge of dressing for a naked event differently. Some wore a full party look, while others settled on sweatshirts and jeans. After stripping, guests floated around to different groups, introducing themselves and politely chatting about the weather. Almost all of them showed up alone, which Ms. Max said was typical.

NY Times photo of the Füde Dinner Experience

OK, so you’re nude, with other nude people who happen to be strangers. Plus it’s a vegan meal.

Not my cup of tea.

Even at a nudist resort, Kev? Yes, even at a nudist resort.

Nude dining is a huge no-no…in public 🙂

As for my adventurous friend, no, that thrilling experience never took place. Maybe she was merely joking. Maybe not. Could’ve resulted in a far more interesting blog. But I’ll never know.

Read more in that NY Times article.


The War on Skittles

Now they tell me

About that microwave popcorn…

ICYMI, Culinary no-no #772: Why these Girl Scouts abandoned tradition

Culinary no-no #772

Culinary no-no began on Father’s Day 2007, a beautiful summer day, when I wrote about grilling brats. And eating brats. And topping those brats. I was inspired by my wife, Jennifer who, in my admittedly unscientific opinion, ruins brats by squirting ketchup on them. Other dining taboos quickly came to mind. The original idea was to take this concept only a few months, till the end of summer and then pull the plug. Then the unexpected happened. People started reading Culinary no-no. Lots of folks. So we keep doing the no-no.

These Girl Scouts said no…


Private dinner party: Clothing not allowed

ICYMI, Culinary no-no #771: Good service, if you can find it

Culinary no-no #771


Back in 1990 when I worked in the radio news department at WTMJ we produced a number of weeklong series of reports. Five days, five segments on one selected topic broadcast during critical morning drive. One of them was the poor customer service in America.

Every week before the first part aired the station ran an ad promoting the series. I suggested “Service Stinks.” It was rejected for something else that I don’t recall, but you get the message.

That was more than 30 years ago. Performance hasn’t improved.

We’ve all been there. The drive-thru order that’s not even close to being correct. The lazy young staffer who will never work up a sweat who tells you to “Have a nice day” but wouldn’t be enthusiastic about it if his/her life depended on it. The person on the end of the phone you desperately need assistance from but is 0% concerned.

FOGEY ALERT: America’s work ethic has deteriorated. Those youngins just don’t work as hard as we used to.

Scott Morefield is a columnist at one of my favorite wesbites, Townhall. Morefield writes about how he couldn’t get a simple smoothie one night. But the issue is far more serious than a missed drink.

Read it all here.


Vodka in a cardboard bottle?
By MarketWatch

We’re about to head into April, which is Earth Month. And that had me thinking about booze with an earth-minded point of view. Of course, there are wines made with biodynamic practices. Or grain-to-glass whiskey.

But here’s something else: A vodka that’s bottled in…cardboard.

Half Shell Vodka, a newly launched spirit made by Distillery 98, a micro distillery located in the Florida Panhandle village of Grayton Beach, is indeed packaged just like that. The bottle, which has the same familiar shape as the traditional Bordeaux-style glass wine vessel, comes courtesy of a British manufacturer, which markets it by noting that it has a “carbon footprint up to six times lower than a glass bottle.”

Distillery 98 co-owner Harrison Holditch told MarketWatch that the eco-conscious commitment doesn’t end there. The distillery uses locally sourced corn to make Half Shell Vodka. But the name of the spirit refers to the Panhandle’s famed oysters — and the vodka is distilled using what’s billed as a “one-of-a-kind activated coconut carbon and oyster shell filtration system.” Plus, as Holditch says, “Our distillery is about four miles straight from the beach.”  

Holditch admits that shipping the cardboard bottles from England diminishes the carbon footprint-saving aspect somewhat. But he said he has ambitions to manufacture the bottles locally. And he believe it’s only a matter of time before others hop on the cardboard-bottle bandwagon. “I think it’s the future of our industry,” he said.

What we think about it

Well, the packaging is certainly different: It has the feel of a cardboard box, but it holds the liquid without any issues (there’s a liner pouch inside the cardboard shell). As for the vodka itself, it has an appealing flavor profile on the sweet side — that’s probably the corn talking — with a clean finish.

How to enjoy it

There’s no difference pouring out your vodka from a cardboard or glass bottle, so pour away. Holditch says he likes using the vodka in a martini. But a caveat: Right now, Half Shell is available only in its home state of Florida, though there are plans to expand beyond that soon.

Strawberries are packed with bugs, disgusting microscope videos reveal

Private Dinner Party: Clothing Not Allowed

UPDATE: Culinary no-no #768


Previously on This Just In…

The update:

Stopped in at Franklin’s Blend this past week with daughter Kyla for one of those fancy caramel macchiato frappuccino drinks that Kyla wanted.

When the drink was handed over I was shown a screen for payment that included various tip options. Not sure what percent I selected but I do recall adding a tip. Turns out I would have been ok not to tip at all. According to some so-called experts.

Here are some recent articles about the very misunderstood art of tipping:

Tipping is different than it was just a few years ago (CBS)

The tipping culture is radically different (CNN)

How much should you tip (FOX News)

What money experts say (CNBC)


ICYMI: Culinary no-no #770