The Disappearing $1,000 Tip, How “Meat Sticks” Are Made and Your Portrait in Nutella

by in News, June 12th, 2014

The Disappearing $1,000 TipNo Big Tips Allowed? What should a restaurant do when a generous, deep-pocketed patron spontaneously leaves one of its servers, a single mother of three who’s working two jobs, a $1,000 tip — on Mother’s Day, at 3 a.m.? A) Let her keep it. B) Take it away from her. C) Return it to the customer. The correct answer is clearly “A.” But when a customer left waitress Shaina Brown a $1,000 tip and asked her to direct an additional $500 to another customer, writing $1,500 into the tip line on his credit card form, the Waffle House in Raleigh, N.C., chose options B and C instead. The chain refunded the generous customer’s money, which it said was its standard procedure with big tips, in case the tipper has a change of heart. Shaina was crestfallen. “I feel like they stole from me,” she told the Charlotte Observer. Mercifully, the big tipper, a local businessman who wished to remain anonymous, wrote her a check after the paper contacted him. So, phew, sticky situation resolved. [Charlotte Observer]

An In-Depth Look at a Dried Meat Snack: You know what they say about not wanting to know how the sausage is made, but the sentiment may or may not hold true for Slim Jims. For anyone the least bit curious as to how the iconic packaged “meat sticks” are put together, a Wired video exploring “What’s Inside” a Slim Jim is worth a watch. Really, despite the ironic tone of the video’s narrator and the garish animation, it’s not that bad: You got your questionable cuts of meat; your “mechanically separated chicken” (i.e., that pink, pasty stuff they use in some chicken nuggets); your corn and wheat proteins and hydrolyzed soy; lots of salt; and the preservative sodium nitrate, which helps the stick stay red “instead of an unappetizing gray.” Maybe have carrot sticks for a snack today? [Wired via Eater]

Pasty, Tasty 3D Printing: 3D printing is set to take a new foodie turn, thanks to an add-on food-grade paste extruder from Structur3D Printing that will let you print in three dimensions using soft, pliable, even pastelike and, yes, edible materials like icing, fondant and Nutella. The Discov3ry, which is compatible with many existing 3D printers, is currently gathering financial support via Kickstarter, with perks at various pledge levels. If you pledge 50 Canadian dollars ($45.92) or more, the company will print your Facebook profile picture in Nutella “on a large graham cracker” and send you a high-quality image. On the other hand, for CA$249 ($228.68) you can be among the very first people to own the extruder itself — and paint your own picture in Nutella. Your call. [Kickstarter via Mashable]

In Other Food News: Kellogg’s has put out limited-edition packaging on some of its more sugary cereals that encourages consumers to eat them as a late-night snack. [Consumerist] On The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon Tuesday night, guests Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels teamed up with Fallon for a truly strange skit in which they prepare a fast-food meal using mannequin arms. It just gets dumb and dumber — though not in a bad way. No, you really don’t want fries with that. [NBC/Hulu]

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