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Food & Drink

Michael Smith’s tweeting imposter, coffee does not keep drivers alert, Mexican truffles come to T.O.

• Canadian chef Michael Smith, one of the Food Network’s biggest stars, was recently appalled to find that a fake Michael Smith had emerged on Twitter. Of all the caustic things the imposter could have done, he settled for systematically shooting down Montreal’s food scene using depressingly resentful tweets: “Montreal means grotesque, tragic food served by hateful staff.” The real Michael Smith has stood up, however, denouncing the imposter and starting his own Twitter account. [National Post]

• The iGeneration can now iDiet with FoodScanner, a new app that allows users to track their calories by scanning the bar code of the foods they eat with an iPhone camera. While anything healthy is, of course, less likely to have a label on it, items that can’t be scanned can be searched for in a database of over 200,000 foods. [CNET]

• New research may add another twist to the term drinking and driving. According to a study by the U.S. National Safety Commission, within one hour of consuming highly caffeinated drinks, drivers show delays in reaction time similar to the symptoms of alcohol intoxication. As expected, the researchers don’t recommend drinking caffeine to stay awake while driving. It’s better to switch drivers or take a break when possible. [New York Daily News]

• The decidedly unsustainable practice of harvesting caviar has invariably meant a violent demise for female sturgeons, the only fish whose eggs are eaten as the highly coveted delicacy. Enter Mottra, new on the caviar scene; it’s the first company to devise a new extraction technique that spares the life of the sturgeon (which can live up to 35 years). Instead of killing the fish, as is the standard practice, a small incision is made and the roe are massaged out. After 14 months of enjoying their previously unheard-of post-harvest life, the fish have their roe extracted once again. [Independent]

• With the end of the corn-growing season fast approaching, now is the time to get into some corn smut—more appetizingly known as huitlacoche or the “Mexican truffle.” Considered a delicacy in its homeland but a pest in the U.S., huitlacoche is a fungus that grows right on the cob, adding corn tones to its smoky and sweet taste. It’s generating some buzz among Toronto foodies, and there are currently at least two chefs growing it here. It can also be found at Mexican cantina Milagro and at next weekend’s Brickworks Picnic. [CBC]

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