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Food & Drink

Coolio gets a cooking show (yes, that Coolio), Rachael Ray bests Martha Stewart, recession ruins champagne sales

• Mid-’90s rapper Coolio has traded in rhymes for recipes. The Ghetto Gourmet now has an on-line cooking show and a new book called Cookin’ With Coolio. Mixing African-American and urban foods with such world cuisines as Asian and Italian, Coolio has crafted what he calls “ghetto fusion,” offering dishes like chicken lettuce blunts, Coolio caprese salad and cold shrimpin’. Although the rapper said he grew up in the kitchen, there might be an ulterior motive behind his food: “If I can get [a woman] to eat my food, I can [seduce her]”—meaning, we think, that he can follow a rump roast with some serious back. [Boston]

• We are sad to report that the tussle between food mavens Martha Stewart and Rachael Ray ended before it had a chance to get interesting. In the end, Ray won the Miss Congeniality belt, and Stewart was simply outclassed. After appearing on the Rachael Ray Show, Stewart condescendingly remarked on Nightline that while she herself is a teacher, Ray is a mere entertainer. Instead of slinging back insults, Ray gracefully acknowledged Stewart’s strong talents and admitted that when it comes to food she’d rather eat Stewart’s than her own. Now, Martha, could you teach us how to strike it rich on the markets? [New York]

• A U.S. study commissioned by the Center for Science and Public Interest (CSPI) has revealed that eating a medium bag of movie popcorn with a soda could be the equivalent of consuming three McDonald’s quarter-pounders smothered in a dozen scoops of butter. Moviegoers risk taking in 1,160 calories and 60 grams (three days’ worth) of saturated fat with their cinema snack. “You might think you’re getting Bambi, but you’re really getting Godzilla,” zinged CSPI senior nutritionist Jayne Hurley. In unrelated news, USA Today reports that by 2018, 43 per cent of Americans will be obese, carrying around 30 or more pounds than is healthy. [Reuters]

• For boozehounds who didn’t get sidelined by the recession, this is a banner year to buy champagne: prices for bubbly are falling as global demand has dropped by at least 10 per cent. Despite rumours of production cuts to maintain price supports, cases of unsold champagne are piling up, with “1.2 billion bottles now aging in caves in Reims and surrounding hamlets.” Soon even the most ordinary consumer will be able to access vintages once reserved for spilling on the shag carpet of blinged-out rap stars’ limos. [Seattle Times]

• A Nigerian nutritionist, Ukpong Udofia of the University of Uyo, has proposed a remedy to dietary deficiencies rampant in developing nations across Africa: giant snail pie. Incredibly common across the continent (apparently, the species is an invasive pest), the African giant snail is rich in essential vitamins, protein, iron, calcium and zinc, while being cheaper, more nutritious and easier to come by than beef. Oh, and it doesn’t taste awful: when baked in an easy-to-make pie and taste-tested along with a beef alternative, the snail option was preferred hands down. [Tree Hugger]

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