Horrors! Is your avocado toast addiction in danger? Will you soon have to go cold turkey and suffer whatever effects of withdrawal come with it? The shakes? The cravings? The hunger screaming from deep in your soul?
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By Lauren Haslett
You know what kind of fast food you reach for after a late night. But are the rest of the folks in your state on the same page as you? Foursquare Swarm and City Guide apps recently compiled a whole lot of data for us on which fast-food restaurants people in each state of our great nation visit the most. And the results might surprise you.
Nearly 50 percent of states — a whopping 24 of them — prefer Chick-fil-A above all else. West Virginia is among that group, but it’s unique in that it has two top picks: Chick-fil-A and Sheetz. You may not be familiar with Hawaii’s favorite fast-food spot: Zippy’s Makiki, which is a chain based on the islands. Not surprisingly, McDonald’s is well represented, with 17 states liking that spot best. If you want to check out your home state’s favorite fast-food indulgence, just take a closer look at the map above.
Long a controversial condiment — there are those who love it, and those who very vocally do not — the creamy topping, used by its numerous fans on everything from salad to pizza, is in foodie focus after Ben Adler, a staff writer covering environmental politics and policy at Grist, wrote a scathing takedown of it that was published in The Washington Post.
Sure, having a go-to neighborhood grocery store for all your essentials is key to maintaining a well-stocked pantry. But don’t overlook these sources for imported items and gourmet goods at a fraction of the cost you’d pay at regular grocers.
Along with its sister stores Marshalls and HomeGoods, T.J. Maxx is a treasure trove of specialty foods at better prices than you’d find them elsewhere. On any given day, you may find an array as varied as gorgeous Italian pastas in shapes you’ve never seen, pink Himalayan salt, good-quality canned tuna from Spain, Italian truffle paste, samplers from high-end tea purveyors and Bloody Mary mix. (In fact, this list is a fraction of the items I’ve actually snagged there — most for substantially less than they would cost in grocery stores.) The stock is usually more organized than the chaotic assortment of clothes, shoes and home products the store is known for, but you still get the same thrill of the hunt. The selection is usually anything but reliable, but on a recent trip to North Carolina, when I couldn’t find the whole flax seeds and chia seeds my niece and I needed for a baking project at regular grocery stores, I found them at HomeGoods.
Where to shop: brick-and-mortar stores
Best known for its mix of globally inspired furniture and home decor, World Market boasts a similarly eclectic mix of globetrotting foods and spirits and feels a bit like cult-favorite grocery Trader Joe’s. Look for Café Du Monde Beignet Mix, organic coconut palm sugar, Guittard baking chocolates, chickpea snacks, pickled okra, and soba and udon noodles, plus cucumber sake and apple-pie moonshine packaged in a Mason jar.
Where to shop: brick-and-mortar stores, with a smaller selection available online Read more
“Needless Markup” indeed. Neiman Marcus — which offers on its website such necessities as a private airplane entirely covered in rose gold for $1,500,000 (such a deal!) and a “curated collection” of 36 children’s books for $100,000 (Caldecott winners, but still …) — is not known for its low prices. Yet the luxury department store recently may have set a new bar for price-tag overreach by offering collard greens, that staple of down-home Southern cuisine, for (hang onto your wallet) $66, plus $15.50 shipping.
Even if you’ve taken the time to make a food budget (and if you have, here’s to you!), all that careful planning can get knocked sideways in an instant. You order in on a whim. (You’re busy!) You splurge on a pricey treat. (You deserve it!) You cave to the pressure to spend to save. (Who has time to do math?)
Money magazine has just pegged a few “food budget busters” and how to guard against them. They are …
Raise your hand if you like Spam. Anyone?
Actually, some of you out there must be raising your hands. According to several recent reports, the retro canned meat product, which made its grocery-store debut in 1937, is making a comeback — perhaps even a major comeback.
Spam, long derided as a mystery meat, actually contains, according to parent company Hormel Foods, only “six simple ingredients”: “pork with ham, salt, water, modified potato starch, sugar and sodium nitrite.” Its popularity spread thanks to GIs stationed around the world during World War II, and the Minnesota-made tinned meat product is now sold in 44 countries; it has apparently built up a huge fan base in several particular countries and cultures.
For instance …
Every year, Starbucks simultaneously rolls out its signature holiday beverages and introduces a brand-new seasonal cup that they are served in. And this year, for (maybe?) the first time ever, that festive cup is not red but green.
Green is, of course, Starbucks’ signature color, and based on that and the description of the new cup in the recent company press release, it’s evident this new design is pretty personal. The cup shows a single line connecting an array of different people — everyone from coffee farmers to baristas to families — and was designed by Seattle-based artist Shogo Ota. It is also, says Howard Schultz, the company’s chairman and CEO, a design that represents “the connections Starbucks has as a community with its partners (employees) and customers. During a divisive time in our country, Starbucks wanted to create a symbol of unity as a reminder of our shared values, and the need to be good to each other.”
By Patty Lee
It’s been a heated election season, with no shortage of debates, speeches and campaign revelations, and the race to the White House has had everyone talking — including the country’s chefs and bartenders, who are taking politics into the kitchen. From burgers to ice cream to cocktails, check out the creative election-themed specials that bars and restaurants across the country are whipping up. Read more