December 18, 2004

Friday Fry #15 PNC Bank has released the "Christmas Price Index" which measures the cost of all the gifts in the song "The 12 Days of Christmas." This annually updated study shows a 2.4% increase in the price of Christmas from 2003 to 2004 by traditional measures, but a 10.5% increase if you are shopping via Internet (shipping!) Jonesing for a Java Machine The research and evaluation process for a home espresso machine overwhelms me. A recent Slate article takes the task on. We all know the 'latte factor',--"$4 a day, seven days a week, 52 weeks a year amounts to $1,456 per annum." Who Moved My Cheese? Award-winning cheesemaker Cypress Grove is celebrating it's 20th anniversary by doubling it's creamery size with the recent move in to a custom made-to-order facility. These fine folks produce the ever sublime Humboldt Fog. Brand Marketing Blunders The year-end brings it's usual round-up of "best of" and "top 10" lists. As some of you know that's how I make my bread to eat my cheese. I thought that the recent Top Ten Branding Blunders. The list includes the Barbie Break Up, American athletes as brands, and the failed "Mr. Wendy" campaign. Hardee's Strikes Again As if the Monster Thickburger release wasn't enough. This week they launched the 46-grams of fat Breakfast Burger. The 'burger' features a fresh, fried egg, crisp bacon, hash brown nuggets, cheese, ketchup and a charbroiled all-beef patty, all on a sesame-seed bun all for $2.39 (US). The company press release, in an...
Pear-a-dise #2 Cultivated since before the time of the Greeks, there are now over 5,000 varieties of pears. Three common types of pears are grown throughout the U.S.--the “Common” or European pear (pyrus communis), the Oriental pear (pyrus serotina), and the Asian pear (pyrus pyrifolia). Throughout the U.S. we find Asian varieties called 20th Century, Shinseiki, Korean Giant, Shinko, Chojuro, Niitaka and European varieties such as Bartlett, Bosc, D'Anjou, Seckel, Magness, Maxine, Moonglow, Comice. US production comes from states in the Northwest, plus New York, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and California. Imports come from South America, Canada, New Zealand, and South Africa. The European category tends to have a buttery smooth and sweet flavor; Asian varieties tend to be crisp and depending on the particular variety can range in flavor from mild to tart to all types in between. Originally grown in Russia's Caucasus Mountains, pears spread over time to locales as diverse as China, Chile, South Africa, France, Australia, and the United States. By the Dark Ages, the fruit had become a delicacy mainly reserved for aristocrats and clergy. According to the The Great Book of Pears the Rousselet de Reims was Louis XIV's favored variety and the court at Versailles delighted in pears. According to Whole Health MD, Bartlett pears (called Williams outside of the U.S.) comprise 65% of all U.S. commercial production. The Bartlett pear came into existence in Berkshire, England in the 17th century, and pear seedlings came to America with the early colonists. Pears were later brought west in...


what happens to the hole when the donut is gone?

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