Mark Pendergrast, author of For God, Country, and Coca-Cola, relays the colorful history of the world's most popular drink.
Charlie Boghosian is the owner of "Chicken Charlie," a booth at many California county fairs that specializes in deep-frying the unusual. Ten years ago, while in college studying to be an FBI agent, Charlie took a summer job at a fair. He took advantage of an opportunity to buy a chicken business at the fair and the rest is history. If unusual fried creations like deep-fried Twinkies, Oreos and avocados sound intriguing, you can try them at Chicken Charlie's booth at the California State Fair in Sacramento (August 11-September 4) and at the LA County Fair in Pomona (September 8 --- October 1).
Luke Cole is a lawyer with a passion for root beer who's got a Website devoted to his passion where he discusses history, types, reviews and rankings of root beer. He also has pages devoted to trivia, bottle caps and other minutia regarding his beloved soda. Since 2001, Luke and his fellow root beer tasters have reviewed and ranked over 168 different root beers. They have bi-annual tastings.
Stacie Hunt of Du Vin Wine and Spirits reviews the top ten wines ordered in restaurants today and explains how the list is changing as our tastes as consumers evolve. She says that Pinot Grigios from the region of Alto Adige are a better value than those from Friuli and suggests we experiment with the "V's" that are popping up on wine lists: Vermentino, Verdejo, Viognier and Verdicchio, as well as the one non-v, a lovely Albari--o .
Stacy Waneka is a medical doctor specializing in family and travel medicine. She offers advice on what shots to get when traveling and has advice on how to avoid and treat the malady politely referred to as 'Montezuma's Revenge.'
Phil Vettel, restaurant reviewer for the Chicago Tribune, explains how Chicago has become the first city in the country to prohibit the sale of foie gras, the fatty livers of geese and ducks. Many consider this food a delicacy, but animal-rights advocates decry it as a product of inhumane treatment. The ordinance, which took effect July 26, 2006, will be enforced by means of citizen complaints, according to Alderman Joe Moore, who sponsored the ban.
Phil also mentioned Chicago Chefs for Choice, a chapter of the Illinois Restaurant Association, which was founded after the ban was approved in April.
Anne Nelson, an editor at Boston Globe Magazine, has recently published The New Preserves, which includes recipes for sweet Cantonese pickles, Moroccan preserved lemons, European sauerkraut, and Central American hot pickled peppers. She also explores herb-infused vinegars, fruit-infused vodka, and jellied wine, plus fruit preserves, jellies, jams, and butters. Anne reminds that "canning" foods at their freshest makes wonderful preserves, and explains how salt and vinegar keeps foods fresh.