(Oregonian (Portland, OR) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Jan. 27--Here are today's hot food topics:
Iced tea, with a garnish of germs: When you eat out at restaurants, your glass of water or iced tea probably comes with a wedge or wheel of fresh lemon. But you may be getting more than a spritz of tangy citrus. Those lemon slices are most-likely harboring microbial growth. The Huffington Post reports on several recent studies, including one that found that more than 70 percent of lemons were contaminated. While the source of the contamination wasn't entirely clear, it most likely came from cross-contamination by restaurant workers who handled raw meat or cash without washing their hands afterwards. Another study found that half of lemon wedges collected from various restaurants were contaminated with human fecal matter. Ewww.
Is Coke's latest marketing campaign anti-gay?: Did Coca Cola learn nothing from last year's colossal blunder by Barilla pasta? Already under fire for its sponsorship of next month's Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, the soda maker now is facing scrutiny and backlash for a social media marketing campaign that won't let customers use the word "gay." If they try, they get this message: "Oops. Let's pretend you didn't just type that." It's got no problem with the word "straight."
What's on my mind: This week we're pulling together recipes for our Valentine's Day coverage, which has me thinking about all the chocolate cakes and mousse recipes we've made at The Oregonian over the years. I'm still swooning over the chocolate mousse we fell in love with last year from TV's Giada De Laurentiss. I'm also digging into a new cookbook called "Amazing Grains," which has all sorts of ideas for using everything from amaranth to wild rice.
Make it tonight: One of those amazing grains is barley, which doesn't get as much respect from home cooks as it should. This Butternut Barley Risotto recipe is a perfect winter supper, and uses pearl barley the way you would use rice in a regular risotto.
-- Grant Butler
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