carnivourous plant - © 2023 - Wurzburg University

Food News Odds And Sods: Silly Snippets, Nutty Nibbles

Time once again to sweep the editorial floor here at the Fab Food Blog and sift out some funny, juicy and/or outlandish tidbits that really needed to be shared – but didn’t quite rate a full post each..

Splice - Dren and Elsa - © 2010 - NETFLIXDren (the creature – CGI – left front) struggling with ‘coming of age’ issues. Comforted
by Elsa (rigtht rear) who substituted her own DNA for the anonymous
human female sample the splicers were supposed to use…

End of an era

Chick-Fil-A is closing its original shop, in the food court at Greenbriar Mall in Atlanta, GA. It opened there 56 years ago, and promptly set Chicken on a path to glory as a the ‘non burger’.

Now, half a century after helping make the mall food court a legendary retail fixture, CFA is abandoning the nest. Seems there was trouble with the Mall management, or the mall’s shrinking customer traffic figures, or some such thing. Oddly – according to some – the restaurant made no specific mention of why it was leaving Greenbriar in the official announcement at its Facebook Page. As you’ll see, the community is grieving the death of the original CFA location deeply.

My take? This is just another indication of how the big malls of the 70s, 80s and 90s are – one by one – drifting into their twilight years. And the death of Chick-Fil-A’s original location is just another example of the sad collateral damage that usually accompanies the death of a mall.

Height of indulgent convenience

We all know how to ensure the moistest, sweetest, most tender BBQed chicken: employ the deceptively simple beer can method. Traditionally, one dry rubs a whole chicken with their fave BBQ chicken spice blend and then sits the chicken upright on an open can of their fave IPA or Pilsner on a low grill rack. The bird is cooked with the grill hood closed, until the usual thermometer test reads ‘done’.

Well, you might have noted that we haven’t heard much about beer can chicken in the past few years. Put that down to the general disruption in the grilling scene triggered by COVID isolation orders and associated issues. But now we’re entering our first full grinning season with no restrictions si9nce 2020 and it’s not a moment to soon. According to Netbase, online conversation around beer can chicken grew by nearly 20 percent over the last 12 months.

To celebrate, Perdue Chicken has teamed with New York’s Torch & Crown Brewing Company to launch Perdue Beer Can Chicken Beer, a honey double-citrus summer ale brewed with American ale yeast, citra hops, lemon and orange purée, honey and grilled chicken seasonings like rosemary, thyme, and pink peppercorn.

Perdue is also offering a convenient, optimized Beer Can Chicken recipe featuring its new brew.

What’s eating YOU?

A rare tropical plant is playing all the angles to survive in its tough native environment. Researchers report that the newly discovered species – Triphyophyllum pelatum – can turn from vegetarian to carnivore depending on its growing conditions.

Researchers explain that the plant has three stages of development: “In the juvenile phase, small leaves form, which leads to sticky “trap leaves” forming. After hitting their trap quota, the leaves fall off and are replaced with fresh ones. When in the liana stage, the leaves grow tiny hooks on the tips, which helps it climb up nearby trees.”

“We exposed the plant to different stress factors, including deficiencies of various nutrients, and studied how it responded to each. Only in one case were we able to observe the formation of traps: in the case of a lack of phosphorus,” says Dr. Traud Winkelmann of the University of Wurtzburg. Insects can provide both water and nutrients during the long, hot, bone dry summers of its native West Africa.

Now, the scientists aren’t suggesting we all start eating the stuff. But they are lauding the plant as a source of medicinal compounds useful against pancreatic cancer, leukemia cells, pathogens that cause malaria, and other diseases.

Creeps me out

One thing that kind of creeps me out is the potential I see for calamitous complications if the thing is carelessly cross-bred. Maybe its because I’ve just recently watched a 2010 NETFLIX movie titled Splice, which chronicles a fictional disaster brought about when gene splicing scientists cross a collection of animal species with human DNA. The researchers get a quasi-human, three-fingered, hairless creature with a blend of human and animal emotions and reactions. It’s cute as a baby but, as an adolescent, pries open Hell’s gates.

Like the African tree frog genes in Jurassic Park, which trigger female gene-diddled dinosaurs to turn male if there’s a shortage of males, the creature exhibits different animal and human behaviours and physical traits depending on its stage of maturity. And it turns from vegetarian to carnivore at what would be elementary school age for a human child. Did I mention it’s ten times stronger than your average human? And has a prehensile tail tipped with a deadly venomous stinger?

Don’t worry about me. I’m fine, really. It just took half a bottle of Riesling and a bag of Cool Ranch Doritos to calm me down to a point where I could get to sleep…

~ Maggie J.