“Hotpot, noodles and lobsters are the most common dishes to get this treatment…215 restaurants in Guizhou province were shut down for spiking their food with opiates.”
For China Real Time, Richard Silk reports: Chinese consumers are used to food safety scandals, from toxic heavy metals in their rice to cooking oil scraped up from the gutter. After those outrages, they might be grateful for some good old-fashioned painkillers in their soup.
“Last month a noodle shop owner in Shaanxi province admitted dosing his dishes with poppy buds after a customer tested positive on a drug test.”
The website of Xinhua, the Chinese government’s official information agency, reported Thursday that restaurants around the country are routinely spiking their dishes with poppy shells, which contain opiates like morphine and codeine, to keep customers coming back.
Hotpot, noodles and lobsters are the most common dishes to get this treatment, Xinhua said. The tactic isn’t new – 215 restaurants in Guizhou province were shut down for spiking their food with opiates way back in 2004 – but has been receiving increasing media coverage as multiple incidents have come to light. Read the rest of this entry »
BETHEL, Maine – The owner of a Maine bait and tackle shop says she found a rare calico-colored lobster that was caught off the state’s coast.
Sarah Lane says the crustacean, covered in orange blotches, appeared in a crate of lobsters brought from the Pemaquid Lobster Co-op in Bristol last weekend.
The University of Maine says the odds of finding one are about one in 30 million.
Lane named the lobster “Freckles.” Read the rest of this entry »
— Chris (@Chris_1791) August 25, 2014
Know Your Enemy
1. Cup of drawn butter
2. Plastic bib
3. Fistful of moist towelettes
— from the Lobster Self-Defense Handbook
For WSJ, Elizabeth Gunnison Dunn writes: Summertime, at its very best, announces itself in little rituals: the sprint down the beach to feel the ocean hit your toes, the beer yanked from an ice-filled cooler. Up and down the New England coast, the first lobster of the season emerges steaming from an aluminum pot and is served with a little cup of drawn butter, a plastic bib and a fistful of moist towelletes.
“Claws like boxing gloves, prized for its hefty size…”
— Human Predator, describing targeted species
Then there is the second lobster, likely tossed in butter and mayonnaise and piled on a toasted roll. The third one might arrive by way of a creamy bisque. By then, most of us have come to the end of our lobster repertoires. We’re out of steam.
“I look for the lobster that scares me the most.”
— Chef Michael Hung
Lobster might be the ultimate totem of the seaside experience.Though it looms large in the summer vacationer’s imagination, it has traditionally been pigeonholed into a tediously narrow range of preparations.
“This scrumptious shellfish is nothing to be intimidated by.”
— Wall Street Journal, promoting shellfish combat tactics
This is a shame, because lobster has so much to recommend it. It’s sustainable, for one, in an ocean full of creatures being fished toward extinction. It’s lean. It has also, in recent years, become a bargain.
The cost of meats, fish, poultry and eggs has risen, overall, by almost 8% in the past year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, but lobster is getting more affordable. Thanks to a glut of so-called soft-shell lobsters—the delicate specimens in new shells caught off the coast of Maine in the summer months—the past three seasons have delivered deals for anyone buying close to the source. Consumers at the seaside this summer are finding local prices as low as $5 a pound, as much as 50% below where they were a decade ago. Read the rest of this entry »