Today's notes on national stories, local trends, random tastes, and other bycatch dredged up from the food media.
1. Dirty fast food slides. The Chicago Tribune/L.A. Times profile an Arizona woman who is evaluating the playgrounds at fast food restaurants by taking video of the filth and sending swabs to microbial labs to evaluate their germiness. Many McDonald's and Burger King branches have installed playgrounds to lure in families, but apparently most don't have a regular cleaning schedule. (I wonder whether the microbe-detective mom has compared the jungle gym at her local public park to McDonald's.) The only fast-food chain that passes the test with her? Chick-Fil-A, which presents LGBT parents with quite a dilemma.
2. Oh, durian. Somehow, a passion for runny, feculent-smelling cheeses has not translated to a liking of durian, the spiky Southeast Asian fruit with creamy flesh and a smell that makes me think there's a bad gas leak nearby. The Washington Post profiles a durian grower in Penang, Malaysia, who is trying to teach his clients to be durian conoisseurs:
"He teaches his customers to distinguish the fruit of younger trees, which is sweeter, creamier and gummier in texture, from that of more mature trees, which is so strong that it tastes almost like cheese. Durian from some of the oldest trees is so concentrated that it's mostly bitter and can make your tongue go numb for about 10 seconds at first tasting."
Anyone have a favorite S.F. source for imported durian?
3. Oh, Michelle. Have you read about the ridiculous "OMG Michelle Obama ate a burger" nonscandal? This wouldn't have happened in Canada. Or if she were a Republican. Or a man.