Kobe beef dogs versus Shopsy’s, mac-and-cheese taste test, the science of successful wine labels

Kobe beef dogs versus Shopsy’s, mac-and-cheese taste test, the science of successful wine labels

Hot dog, we have a wiener: Shopsy's beef bests Kobe's in a taste test (Photo by Matito) 

• A Kobe beef hot dog should be superior to the standard wiener, right? With high-end wieners recently making a splash in Toronto by being sold at the ACC (though those dogs are made of beef from North American Wagyu cattle, not the real Japanese deal), the Toronto Star set out to answer that question. The paper conducted a blind taste test of an array of hot dogs, including Kobe. The judges’ favourite comes as a bit of a surprise. While Kobe dogs hovered in the realm of mediocrity, plain old Shopsy’s dogs ranked the highest. [Toronto Star]

• Not to be outdone by the Star (see above), the National Post has done a taste test of the hot dog’s partner in crime: boxed macaroni and cheese. Their reviews of four brands, including Kraft Dinner and some other more obscure offerings, is intriguing on its own, but what is really fascinating are the reader comments. Many have submitted their far more interesting tips on how to cook KD and its doppelgängers “properly” (many point to ludicrously inaccurate cooking directions on the box). Some highlights: toss some jalapeños or curry powder into the mix, grate in some real brick cheese and use only a tablespoon of milk. [National Post]

• A Quebec-based anti-obesity group is asking Health Canada to regulate the use of such logos as Smart Choice, Smart Spot and Snackwise. The use of these labels implies that certain foods are healthy, says the Coalition on Weight-Related Problems. The group also points out that the criteria for selection are determined by the food manufacturer. Consequently, chips and sugar-laden granola bars are making the cut. Is the public being duped, or are chocolate-dipped marshmallow granola bars more than just rectangular cookies? [CBC]

• Turns out that it’s hard to avoid judging a bottle of wine by its label. A recent study by two European economists has looked into what makes a perfect wine label and concluded that lots of yellows, greens and rectangles apparently make for a more likely sell. The test wasn’t reliant on the mere opinions of the participants—no, the researchers used the infallible power of complex mathematical equations to get their results. [Globe and Mail]

• An anonymous bidder has just flipped the bird to the recession by paying £23,000 (nearly $40,000 CAD) at a recent charity auction to dine on Gordon Ramsay’s three-Michelin-starred food in a capsule of London’s colossal Ferris wheel, the London Eye. Not only is this a timing challenge for the chef, who will have to coordinate a three-course meal according to the wheel’s rotation, but it will also be the only capsule that is fully lit, so the pretentiousness will be observable by all of London. To top off the absurdity, there has been no confirmation as to whether Ramsay himself will actually cook any of the food. [Guardian]