Black Sapote – The Chocolate Pudding Fruit

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Throughout my childhood I wondered why fruits and vegetables don’t taste as good as chocolate, not knowing that one actually did: the black sapote. It’s probably the only fruit in the world that comes close to tasting like heaven. Or chocolate pudding. Same thing in my book.

The black sapote doesn’t just taste nice, it’s a dieter’s dream-come-true. Don’t let the name and delicious appearance of this fruit fool you, it is actually very low in fat. It also contains four times the vitamin C found in a single orange, and significant amounts of Calcium and Phosphorus. Interestingly, the black sapote isn’t really a sapote at all. The delicious fruit is a close relative of the persimmon, a fruit that greatly resembles a tomato. While persimmons are red, black sapotes (as the name suggests) are chocolaty dark black on the inside. The sticky texture of the fruit might put you off at first, but the unique flavor of a ripe black sapote is absolutely worth it.

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How Hot Is the World’s Hottest Chili Burger? Well, It Put Five People in the Hospital

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Would you be willing to put your body at risk for just one bite of the world’s hottest chili burger? I know I wouldn’t. That’s why I’m surprised that the XXX Hot Chili Burger is selling like crazy. You have to be over 18 to buy it from Burger Off, a British takeaway shop in Sussex. The burger measures a whopping 9.2 million on the Scoville heat scale. Just to give you an idea of how hot that is – a jalapeno measures 2,500 and the average chili is a meager 500 heat units. Even law enforcement spray scores just 5 million. The superhot burger is made with a special spicy sauce based on a Piri Piri chili concentrate. 3,000 people have attempted eating it so far, but only 59 were able to successfully finish it.

The XXX could cause so much damage to the human body that Burger Off owner Nick Gambardella is now asking customers to sign a waiver before consuming it. Five people were actually rushed to the hospital after taking a few bites of the infamous burger. One of them suffered a perforated bowel and the other four had anaphylactic shock. The local hospital even had a two-hour staff meeting about treating the chili burger’s victims. The first course of action is to put them on an adrenalin drip.

The legal disclaimer reads: ‘I, the undersigned, accept all responsibility for any effects incurred due to the consumption of the above mentioned XXX Hot Chili Burger and release Burger Off, its owner and staff from any liability’. I suppose you’ve got to be a real daredevil to eat something that requires you to sign a document like this! In fact, 55-year-old Gambardella himself is very surprised that people keep coming back to eat his burger.

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Man Says He Has Survived on Pizza Alone for 25 Years

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They say junk food can kill you. But then you get to hear stories of people who eat nothing else and are doing just fine. Like this one guy who has been eating pizza exclusively for the past 25 years. Dan, a 38-year-old woodworker from Maryland, hates veggies so much that he won’t even use them as pizza toppings. The only spice he can tolerate on his pizza is oregano.

“I’m not just talking about a slice of pizza every day,” he said in an interview. “I usually eat an entire 14” pizza, and I only eat cheese pizza. I never get sick of it. If I go to one pizza shop or another brand, it’s like eating a completely different meal.” Dan made his bizarre food choice when he was just 15 years old. That’s when he decided to go vegetarian for ‘ethical reasons’. “I still loved the taste of meat, and I still love it to this day, but due to my beliefs, I gave it up. That was about 23 years ago. I also hate vegetables.”

My guess is that Dan’s body can metabolize food like crazy. How else can a person eat just pizza (essentially bread and cheese) for years and still stay so slim? But Dan’s weight is no indicator of his health. The man suffers from type 1 diabetes and his blood sugar drops quite frequently. It gets so bad at times that he blacks out on the kitchen floor in his underwear. One time, he blacked out while driving his new car home.

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Food Artist Creates Edible Replica of Michelangelo’s “The Creation of Adam” Using 10,000 Marshmallows

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Sweets are not just meant for eating, they can be used for art too! Artist Michelle Wibowo recently used tasty treats to create a life-size replica of Michelangelo’s famous Sistine Chapel painting – The Creation of Adam. Measuring 18’9’’ by 9’2’’, it features 10,000 marshmallows and half a billion cake sprinkles. It’s been rightly dubbed, ‘The Baking of Adam’.

Michelle took 168 hours to complete the project that marks the 450th anniversary of Michelangelo’s death. “Britain is currently gripped by baking fever with a real emphasis on unique designs and showmanship,” said the 35-year-old artist who baked the masterpiece for Cake Angels. “When we learnt of Michelangelo’s anniversary celebrations, we really wanted to join in. We decided to challenge the boundaries of cake design by immortalizing his most heavenly creation in our own special way. No celebration is complete without cake and we really hope that Michelangelo would have given us his official seal of approval.”

According to creative director Alex Balzaretti, “Cake Angles is all about inspiring the baker through creativity and innovation. We’ve been looking for a project for a long time that enabled us to do that and it became apparent that 2014 was going to be a historic year in the celebration of the life of Michelangelo. His most important and probably prized work of art is The Creation of Adam on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel and what more heavenly creation to be picked.”

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America’s Most Exclusive Restaurant Has a 5-Year Waiting List

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Damon Baehrel has what most chefs in the world would kill for – a restaurant with a five-year waiting list. The restaurant is aptly named after himself; in his own words he’s “the chef, the waiter, the grower, the forager, the gardener, the cheesemaker, the cured-meat maker,” and everything on the menu comes from his 12-acre property.

Formerly known as the Basement Bistro, the place is actually located in Baehrel’s basement and has only 12 tables. Each night, he cooks and serves a 15-course meal for 18 guests. Although he has never received professional training, Baehrel is a master of molecular gastronomy. All of his small bites are dehydrated, infused and tinctured on their way from the garden to the table.

One of his signature dishes is a palate cleanser called the ‘sumac flavored ice slush’. It involves the steeping of sumac leaves to make tea, to which he adds liquefied wild violet stems (cut from his backyard) and a dozen varieties of fresh grapes (from his garden). He freezes the mixture and serves up one spoonful for a refreshing bite.

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World’s Most Expensive Honey Costs as Much as a Small Car

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At 5,000 euros (US $6,800) per kilogram, ‘Elvish’ honey from Turkey is the most expensive in the world. The special honey is extracted from a 1,800-meter deep cave in the Saricayir valley of Artvin city, northeastern Turkey.

According to Gunay Gunduz, a local beekeeper, elvish honey is so expensive because it is naturally produced. The mineral-rich cave enhances the honey’s quality, adding to its value. Gunduz, whose family has been into beekeeping for three generations, first noticed some bees entering the cave back in 2009. That’s when he realized that it might contain honey.

“With the help of professional climbers, we entered the deep bowels of the cave and found 18 kilograms of honey plastered on its spherical walls,” he said. It was later analyzed at a French lab, confirming it to be seven-year-old, high-quality, mineral-rich honey.

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Stroganina – Raw Frozen Fish Served as a Delicacy in Northern Russia

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Stroganina is a raw frozen fish delicacy from Yakutia, in northern Russia. It is a winter dish, consisting of long, thin slices of frozen Arctic river fish such as whitefishes, white salmons, cisco or sturgeon.

The dish is served with a dip made of equal parts salt and black pepper powder. It is sometimes decorated with wild red whortleberries and greens. Some of the best stroganina is made of freshly caught fish, frozen once. The taste, according to Yakutians, is soft, fresh and frosty.

I find the concept of stroganina very similar to Japanese sashimi, except that the latter isn’t served frozen. This technique of food preparation is very unique to Russia, where the frozen ground doesn’t allow for much fresh produce. The method evolved out of necessity, because the Russians had to store their meat somewhere, so they stored it in ice and consumed it raw.

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New ChocoChicken Restaurant to Specialize in Chocolate Deep-Fried Chicken

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After the insanely popular Cronuts (Croissants + Donuts), the latest trend in food mashups is all set to hit the market. A new restaurant in California is combining two of the world’s most favorite foods – chocolate and fried chicken.

‘ChocoChicken’ is the brainchild of Adam Fleischman, founder and CEO of the patty chain Umami Burger. In his latest invention, he plunges pieces of chicken into chocolate-infused batter before frying them in hot oil.

I cannot quite imagine what this might taste like. Savory? Sweet? Somewhere in between, perhaps? According to Fleischman, it tastes like nothing you’ve eaten before. “ChocoChicken is completely different than anything else out there,” he said. “This isn’t traditional fried chicken, or even chicken just dipped in chocolate. It is a whole new style of fried chicken that you just have to taste to believe.”

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Science Teacher Eats Only McDonald’s Fast Food for 90 Days, Loses 37 Pounds

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Now this is what I call a dream diet. John Cisna, a school teacher from Iowa, ate only at McDonald’s for three whole months and managed to lose 37 pounds (16 kilograms)! He even made a short documentary on his experiences.

John’s project was inspired by the 2004 documentary film, Supersize Me. It featured an American filmmaker, Morgan Spurlock, who also ate only McDonald’s food for 30 days. At the end of that period, Spurlock reported a drastic deterioration of his physical and psychological health. Which is why John’s findings are almost unbelievable. In spite of eating for a longer period of time at the fast food chain, he reported better health and weight loss. In fact, there has been a large improvement in his blood cholesterol after the three-month period.

How could it be that two experiments, so similar to each other, reported such different results? Simple. John followed a much smarter plan that Spurlock did. John and his team of students formulated a plan that would allow him to eat fast food and still stay healthy. “I can eat any food at McDonald’s I want as long as I’m smart for the rest of the day with what I balance it out with,” he said.

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In South Korea People Pay to Watch Live Broadcasts of Other People Gorging on Food

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I’m not sure why, but some of the strangest trends seem to emerge from South Korea. The latest one is dinner porn – people watching other people stuffing themselves with food. The Korean term for it is ‘mok-bang’, which roughly translates as ‘dinner broadcast’.

The dinner porn stars of South Korea film themselves eating copious amounts of food. They also provide moaning noises and a running commentary of their meals. The entire event is live-streamed and the protagonists end up making serious money.

Mok-bang isn’t about people eating a plate or two of food. We’re talking about humongous portions here. Like this one ‘broadcast jockey’ who calls herself The Diva. Consultant by day and food-porn star by night, this beautiful glutton wolfs down two medium pizzas, or 30 fried eggs and a box of crab legs, or five packets of instant noodles in one go. One night, she ate 12 beef patties, 12 fried eggs, three servings of spicy pork kimchi soup and a salad.

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Taiwanese Ice Cream Shop Sells Pig’s Feet and Tofu Flavored Ice Cream

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Snow King, an ice cream shop located in Taipei, capital city of Taiwan, serves more than 70 flavors of fresh, homemade ice cream. There’s nothing unusual about that, I agree. But wait till you hear what these flavors include.

The shop, in business since 1947, boasts of carrying the most unusual of ice cream flavors. Over here, you can get a lick of Sesame Oil Chicken, a dollop of Pig Knuckle, and even a scoop or two of Taiwan Beer. The family-owned business is now being run by the third generation – 33-year-old Kao Ching-feng. “At Snow King, you get the tastes that Taiwanese know,” said Kao. According to him, customers keep coming back for the local flavors and old-fashioned style. They like visiting in large groups, so they can sample a scoop each of all the flavors.

The most famous specialties at Snow King are Red Bean and Watermelon, preferred by the locals. Tourists from Japan like to try exotic flavors like Lychee and Peach, while customers from Hong Kong want Curry and Wasabi. All these unusual ice cream recipes are the brainchild of Kao’s 87-year-old grandfather. He had founded the business out of his savings from selling ice cream on the streets of Taipei. Kao says that his grandfather liked to challenge himself and spent years tweaking flavors to his satisfaction. Some of his best flavors came from trying to accommodate his older, diabetic customers. That’s how he invented with Snow King’s range of savory ice creams.

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New Scented Candles Will Make Your Home Smell Like KFC

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Isn’t it wonderful when the delicious aroma of fried chicken wafts through your home? Fires up those hunger pangs? Leads you by the nose right to the kitchen, where you expect to sit down to a sizzling snack? But what if there was none?

With the new range of KFC-scented candles from Kentucky for Kentucky, you can experience a delectable aroma without the chicken, without the calories. The candles are meant to celebrate the fact that Kentucky is the first state to have ever fried chicken.

The Kentucky by Kentucky website proudly declares: “Our mission is to engage and inform the world by promoting Kentucky people, places and products.” The candles are a latest addition to this mission, available in three scents – Fried Chicken Actual, Ale 8 (Kentucky’s official soft drink) and Derby Actual (inspired by the famous Kentucky Derby).

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21-Year-Old Woman Has Never Eaten a Piece of Vegetable or Fruit

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Faye Campbell, of Suffolk, UK, has been exclusively eating junk food for the last 16 years. While most women would probably have serious weight problems by sticking to this eating habit, Faye is actually regular-sized and weighs just 9 stones and 12 pounds (a bit over 62 kilos).

The woman doesn’t just avoid eating fruit and vegetables, but also avoids thinking about it, as the mere thought of putting produce anywhere near her mouth makes her nauseous. “The thought of eating vegetables or any sort of fruit makes me physically sick,” Faye says. Well, actually, she is more tolerant to fruit, as long as it comes in the form of a juice or soft drink.  Without any fruit, vegetables or homemade meals, Faye’s daily diet consists only of chips, pizza, toast, cheeseburgers and basically any type of junk food you can imagine.This affects her family life the most. “It’s got to the point where I’d be happy to sit in the lounge with a pizza, while they sit in the kitchen with their roast – it has become a normal routine for us now,” the English woman complains. Apparently, even the smell of vegetables and homemade meals is intolerable for this fussy eater, who admits that “if mom is cooking a roast dinner with vegetables, I have to go in to a different room because I can’t stand the smell. Sometimes I have to open all the windows to get rid of it”. Faye’s love life has also been affected by her strange eating habits, as romantic dinners can only take place in fast-food restaurants. “Once, a guy booked a lovely Italian place but we ended up in McDonalds because I couldn’t face eating anything on the menu,” she says.

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Recycling Done Wrong – Chinese Turn Sewer Sludge into Cooking Oil

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According to foodies, traditional cuisine is among the best things China has to offer. The Chinese food prepared and sold on the streets is not only delicious, but it’s also a big part of the cityscape. The problem is that some street vendors and even restaurants have taken recycling too far by using gutter oil – yes, gutter oil - as cooking oil. This practice  has nothing to do with being eco-friendly, but rather with the Chinese food black market, where gutter oil is presented as a cost-friendly solution for small businesses.

Why is it called “gutter oil”, you ask? Well, sadly enough, the name is not a metaphor, but it merely describes the source of the oil used illegally in the food market. The process of turning sewer sludge into cooking oil is quite simple and disgusting: after draining sewers, trash bins, gutters and anything that may contain cooking oil and animal parts, the content is boiled and then filtered. As expected, the final product is not only unhealthy (and gross!), but it can be fatal in some cases, as it contains carcinogens and other dangerous toxins. Recycling oil is not a novelty in the food industry, where cooking oil is re-used after refining  and purifying it, but in most cases the origin of the oil is clearly not the gutter.

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World’s Strongest Beer Has 67.5 Percent Alcohol by Volume, Is Called Snake Venom

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After their record-breaking 65% alcohol beer was considered “too weak” by their hard-core fans, Scottish brewers Lewish Shand and John McKenzie came up with an even stronger concoction, aptly named Snake Venom. This new beer contains a whopping 67.5 percent alcohol by volume, considerably more than whiskey or vodka.

Last year, Shand and McKenzie of Brewmeister Brewery, in Banffshire, created the strongest beer the world had ever seen, called Armageddon, which had a staggering 65 percent alcohol by volume. After buying about 60,000 bottles, fans around the world were disappointed that Armageddon’s high alcohol content was disguised by the flavors of the brew. Some people didn’t even believe it was 65%. “We thought if it was too strong, people wouldn’t like it. But the problem we found is that people said we shouldn’t have tried to cover up the intensity,” Shand says. “This time we thought we’d go full out. We were too nice last time.”

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