Fruit Breeder Creates Cotton-Candy-Flavored Grapes

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They look and smell just like common table grapes, but pop one into your mouth and the first impression you get is a rush of cotton candy flavor. At least that’s what Spencer Gray, a personal chef in Culver City and blogger at Omnivorous, who has sampled the grapes says.

If you have sweet tooth but want to stay away from unhealthy treats, cotton candy grapes could be a great alternative. They have have about five grams of sugar per ounce, 12 percent more than regular table grapes, but far less than popular candy like Skittles, which have about 20 grams per ounce. Still, to many people, a grape variety that packs this much sugar and is advertised as tasting like cotton candy might seem like a gimmick to turn a natural healthy treat into junk food. But while its creator, California-based fruit breeder David Cain admits new sweeter fruit varieties are competing against candy bars and cookies, nutritionists say that’s not a cause for concern. ”You would have to eat about 100 grapes to consume the same amount of calories in a candy bar,” David Heber, director of the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition, told the Los Angeles Times.

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Curious Eats – Tokyo’s Legendary Black Hot Dog

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Japan is known for its selection of weird foods, and today we can add one more item to the ever-growing list. The Black Terra Hot-Dog is one of the most popular fast-food delicacies sold in the Akihabara district of Tokyo. It’s over 30 centimeters long and looks like it’s been cooked a few hours longer than necessary.

Black hamburgers have been around for about a year now, ever since Burger King launched its Premium Kuro Burger in Japan. It has black buns and dark ketchup, but the meat patty and vegetables retain their natural colors. But the people over at Vegas Premium Hot-Dogs, in Akihabara, Tokyo decided to one-up the giant fast-food chain by creating a food item that is entirely black as charcoal. Vegas was already famous for the size of its delicious hot-dogs, which span over 30 cm in length, but ever since they introduced the Black Terra Hot-Dog, in March, their popularity has grown even more. You would expect clients to be turned off by the rubber-like sausage, but apparently people who see this delicacy advertised on the billboards in front of the fast-food joint just can’t resist the urge to try it.

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Restaurant Photographs Its Burritos Next to Babies to Prove Their Size

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Gorditos, a popular Mexican restaurant in Seattle, sells burritos the size of babies. No, it’s not an exaggeration, and to prove it, they’ve covered a whole wall with photos of their burritos next to some of their customers’ infants.

At Gorditos, Mexican burritos can weigh up to four pounds, not as much as most newborns, but ridiculously close. These Grande Burritos consist of two tortillas, a sea of meat, guacamole, cheese, rice lettuce and sour cream, and cost just $9. Considering it usually takes two people to finish one of these calorie bombs, you could say eating at Gorditos is a bargain. But the Seattle-based restaurant offers further incentives to patrons who just had a baby. If they agree to have their less than one-month-old infant next to one of the baby-sized burritos, they can dine for free. It’s been a hard-to-pass deal for a lot of parents, as demonstrated by the fact that the walls of both Gorditos locations are covered with photos of babies and burritos. But people will gladly pay for one of these gargantuan dishes as confirmed by one of the joint’s waiters, who says it’s one of their most popular items and that they sell dozens every day.

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The World’s Largest Dish – Whole Camel Stuffed with Sheep Stuffed with Chicken Stuffed with Fish

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Some people believe it to be just a myth, but the Guinness Book of Records has the stuffed whole camel listed as the largest single food item on any menu, and there are even a few photos of Bedouins feasting on it doing the rounds on the internet

The official name of this traditional Bedouin dish is unknown, but most people refer to it as a “camel Turducken”. According to most sources it’s sometimes prepared at wedding feasts and special parties in Arab countries like Saudi Arabia. Basically, they get a full-grown camel, take out the insides and stuff it with a few sheep or lambs which are in turn stuffed with about 20 chickens full of fish. This calorie atomic bomb has to be boiled then cooked over a pit of burning charcoal until the camel meat is brown and crispy. I can’t imagine what the pot that can hold a whole camel looks like, but apparently the entire cooking process takes about 24 hours. The camel is then served on a silver platter and the wedding guests attack it with knives or their bare hands, leaving only the clean bones.

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Japanese Shop Sells Perfect Fruits as Luxury Items

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Tokyo’s Sembikiya Fruit Parlor looks like a luxurious jewelry store and the prices of the items on offer aren’t too far off either, only instead of diamonds and gold this place sells fruits. If you’re looking for perfectly shaped, delicious-tasting cantaloupes, apples, grapes or any other Japanese fruits, Sembikiya is where you’ll find them, but you’d better stop by the bank first, because they don’t come cheap.

In Japan, it’s customary to give high-quality fruits for formal occasions like weddings, business meetings or hospital visits. But we’re not talking about fruits you usually find at the local market or grocery store. Specialized fruit shops like Sembikiya sell only the rarest, most perfect products, grown in special conditions to ensure they look and taste as good as possible. Take the Yubari muskmelons, also known as Yubari King melons, priced at ¥15,750 ($160) for one, or ¥26,250 ($265) for two, at the exclusive Tokyo fruit parlor. That’s a small fortune for produce, wouldn’t you say? But these Japanese cantaloupes are pretty special. The Yubari King sold at Sembikiya only come from Shizuoka prefecture, where they get the most sunshine. They are grown in specially-designed greenhouses with air-conditioning and paper hats in the hot summer months, and heaters during wintertime. Farmers prune the less perfect fruits early on, leaving just one melon to ensure it gets the best flavor possible. A 12-pack of Queen Strawberries sells for ¥6,825 ($68), a box of perfect cherries costs ¥15,750 ($159), and a Senkai-ichi (Japanese for “world’s best”) apple will set you back ¥2,100 ($21). They might seem like outrageously-priced fruits to most people, but with 11 parlors opened in Japan, at Sembikiya business is booming.

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Look But Don’t Bite – China’s Mouthwatering Stone Food Banquets

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Petrified pasta, juicy braised pork, rocky dried fruits and many other delicious-looking dishes are all part of China’s rare stone food banquets. The spread is nice to look at, but trying to sneak a bite will cost you a few teeth.

People in the mountainous regions of China know how to appreciate beautiful rocks, and some spend their whole lives gathering different kinds of rocks, scouring specialized stone shops and trekking through rugged mountain passes and desserts in search of unique additions to their collections. Strangely shaped or colored rocks are considered a feast for the eyes, and stones that resemble food are considered even more wonderful. It takes a lot of time and luck to find naturally shaped pieces of carnelian or jade that look good enough to eat, but dedicated stone collectors have proven it’s possible, on a number of occasions. Organizing stone food banquets is a long-standing Chinese tradition, and even in modern times it manages to draw media attention and keep stone collecting popular.

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Anus-Shaped Chocolates – The World’s Most Outrageous Treats

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From cooked insects to fermented bird meat, humans have been eating all kinds of outrageous foods for hundreds of years, but there are some things that I just wouldn’t dream of putting in my mouth. One of them is the anus-shaped Belgian chocolates sold by a cheeky British chocolaterie.

If you think the chocolate “Edible Anus” looks remarkably like the real thing, that’s because it’s made using a mold “crafted from the posterior” of the company’s “stunning butt model.” Feel like throwing up yet? There’s really no proof of that on their official website, so you’ll just have to take their word for it. The allegedly delicious treats are hand-crafted in the UK, and contain no artificial preservatives, if it’s any consolation. According to the geniuses behind this novelty desert, the Edible Anus is ”the perfect gift for the whole family” and will “light up” Grandma’s face, as she “unwraps a homely selection of chocolate cracks”. I’m pretty sure my family would disown me if I sent them a box of these unique treats, but they’re actually a great gift idea for your proctologist.

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Japanese Cafeteria Offers Curious Eaters a Taste of Prison Food

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In Japan, you don’t actually have to get thrown in jail to get a taste of prison food. The Prison cafeteria, in Abashiri, Hokkaido, specializes solely in food actually served inside Japanese prisons.

I’ve often wondered what jail food tastes like, but I was never curious enough to commit a crime and find out. Luckily, for like-minded Japanese, there is a place where they can sample prison-quality meals without having to give up their freedom. The Prison Cafeteria, at the Abashirishi Prison Museum, serves the same food that the genuine inmates of Abashirishi prison eat for lunch each day. As you can imagine, it’s pretty cheap, but the guys at RocketNews24, who visited the place and tried some of the courses on the menu say it’s also pretty tasty. I’ve heard some awful things about prison food, but it seems Japanese inmates have it pretty good. To be fair though, having to constantly keep an eye out for someone trying to shank you at lunch time, is just not worth trying this decent food in actual prison.

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Food Artist Creates Edible Beyonce Portrait from 3780 Oreo Pops

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To celebrate Beyonce’s recent return to a UK stage, after the Glastonbury festival in 2011, Oreo commissioned food artist Michelle Wibowo to create a tasty portrait of the popular singer from nearly 4,000 Oreo pops.

For those of you who don’t yet know about Oreo pops, they’re are delicious treats made from crushed Oreo cookies mixed with Philadelphia cream cheese. Michelle enlisted the help of former Atomic Kitten member Jenny Frost and her son Casper to celebrate Beyonce’s return by making a scrumptious portrait of her from 3780 Oreo pops of different consistencies. The edible artwork required six weeks of careful planning, and crushing the cookies, mixing them with the cream cheese, rolling every single pop by hand and placing them at the exact right place to create the detailed image needed another eight hours of work. The five foot by eight foot portrait numbered  2244 dark pops and 1536 lighter pops. “When I was asked to create a pop icon portrait using just Oreo pops, new mum and superstar Beyoncé seemed the natural choice,” Michelle Wibowo said about the project. “It took a long time to map the exact position for each pop and create a recognizable likeness, but the hardest part of the process was trying not to eat it!”As a huge Oreo fan, I can relate…Beyonce however, can’t. The former Destiny’s Child lead singer is said to have banned junk food from her global tour, as she turned to healthy snacks such as almonds and oatcakes to maintain her tone figure. More junk food for the rest of us, I guess…

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Man Has Eaten Over 5,000 Bug Species in the Last 11 Years

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David Gracer is an entomophagist, which means he consumes insects for sustenance and flavor. During the last 11 years, he claims he has munched on countless creepy crawlies from 5,000 different species.

Eating bugs may seem disgusting to a lot of people, but mankind has been doing it for most of its existence. The Greeks and the Romans loved them, and many cultures throughout Asia, Africa and the Americas actually raise insects for food or gather them through foraging. It is estimated over half the world’s population regularly feasts on a variety of flying and crawling bugs, and entomophagy experts advocate that they are almost as nutritious as beef, contain considerably less fat and have a low impact on the environment. 47-year-old David Gracer, from Providence, Rhode island has been living on bugs since 2001, while trying to convince others that it’s the sustainable way to go. His basement freezer is constantly packed with over 12,000 insects from 20 different species, but the convinced enthomophagist claims he has eaten over 5,000 kinds of bugs during the last 11 years. He consumes them sautéed, filleted and roasted, and says he is working hard on making insects taste more appealing.

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14-Year-Old McDonald’s Burger Looks Good Enough to Eat

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In 1999 a man from Utah bought a McDonald’s hamburger and kept it around for a month just to show his friends how it would look exactly the same because it was full of preservatives. Fast forward 14 years, the burger is almost unchanged .

David Whipple originally intended to hang on to his burger for 30 days, but somehow forgot it in the pocket of one of his coats and only found it two years later. Seeing the fast food looked almost the same as the day it was first flipped, he decided to continue his experiment just to see how long it would take until the burger disintegrated. It’s been 14 years now and the burger simply refuses to age. “It wasn’t on purpose,” Whipple said about his decision to keep the hamburger for so long. “I was showing some people how enzymes work and I thought a hamburger would be a good idea. And I used it for a month and then I forgot about it. “My wife didn’t discover it until at least a year or two after that. And we pulled it out and said ‘oh my gosh. I can’t believe it looks the same way.’” His “edible” keepsake has been recently showcased on the popular TV show “The Doctors”, and while the pickle had disintegrated, you could clearly see there was no sign of mold on the buns or the meat.

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Man Replaces Solid Food with Nutritious Drink Called Soylent

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Rob Rhinehart, a 24-year-old software engineer from Atlanta, has been living on a liquid diet for the past three months and says he has never felt better. He has combined all the nutrients he needs in a shake-like drink named Soylent which allegedly contains just a third of the calories and no toxins or cancer-causing substances.

You might be tempted to believe that Rob switched from solid foods to Soylent to lose weight, but that’s only one of his reasons. After realizing he was spending around 2 hours every day cooking food, the young software engineer decided something had to be done to make eating and all the work it involves less time-consuming. Conventional food was also affecting his finances and physical strength, so being the experimental person he is he started looking for a better alternative to common food. Reading biology books made him think that the cells of the human body don’t really know the difference between nutrients from a carrot and those from a powder, so he started scouring the Internet for every essential nutrient in powdered form. Soon, his kitchen looked more like a chemistry lab in which he experimented with various quantities of powders until he found the mix that worked for him. For the past three months he has lived on Soylent alone, and says he has noticed a massive boost to my focus, stamina, physique, and free time.

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Teenage Girl Has Been on a Noodle-Only Diet for 11 Years

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Georgi Readman, an 18-year-old teenager from the Island of Wight, England survives only on cheap instant noodles, because she is afraid to eat other foods. The young hairdressing student goes through about 30 miles of noodles every year.

Georgi Readman got hooked on instant noodles when she was just five years old, after watching her older brother eat them, but they became her only source of nutrition after suffering a case of severe food poisoning at age eight. From that point on she couldn’t bring herself to eat any fruits or vegetables, and only occasionally diversified her diet with small bits of potatoes and chicken. Whenever she goes out shopping, Georgi’s mom always stocks up on 11p (¢16) packs of M Savers chicken noodles, because that’s the only brand she’s sure her daughter will eat. Any other kind of noodles might have green bits in them, so she would have to sieve them first. ”I always fancy noodles and could easily eat two packets at once. I’ve even eaten them dry and uncooked before,” Readman says. She has always been a fussy eater, but ever since her food poisoning as a child, Georgi claims she goes into a panic, sweats and starts heaving whenever she tries to swallow any fruits or vegetables.

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Japanese Vodka Made from Fermented Giant Hornets

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The voracious Japanese giant hornet has a quarter-inch stinger that pumps out venom containing an enzyme so strong that it can literally dissolve human tissue. The sting of a giant hornet causes excruciating pain, yet some people are willing to endure a few stings while trying to capture them to make a special kind of shouchuu (Japanese liquor similar to vodka).

A person stung by a Japanese giant hornet who doesn’t receive proper treatment soon thereafter can die from an allergic reaction to the venom. About 40 deaths related to giant hornet stings are recorded every year. But this doesn’t seem to scare fans of shouchuu from risking their lives trying to capture the main ingredient of a bizarre alcoholic drink. It’s a rare concoction that isn’t usually commercially available in shops, but a team of RocketNews24 reporters traveled to Japan’s Kumamoto Prefecture in search of a huntsman who catches hornets and leaves them to ferment in alcohol for three years. According to their reports, fermented wasp shouchuu has an unappetizing muddy-brown color and smells a bit like rotting flesh. If you’re wondering about the taste of this unusual drink, it’s apparently a lot like that of regular shouchuu, but with a salty aftertaste that comes from the wasps poison. In conclusion, it looks disgusting, it stinks and it tastes really bad, so why would anyone want to drink this home-made fermented hornet brew? Well, for the health-related benefits, of course. The venom-infused liquor is said to make the skin more beautiful, boost recovery from fatigue and prevent “lifestyle disease” (whatever that is).

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The Stinking Rose – San Francisco’s Garlic-Centered Restaurant

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If your idea of a perfect meal is garlic, garlic and more garlic, The Stinking Rose restaurant should definitely be on your itinerary the next time you’re in San Francisco. Their motto – “we season our garlic with food” – says about everything you need to know about this place.

Located in the Italian North Beach district of San Francisco, The Stinking Rose is probably not the best place to go on a first date, at least not if you plan on getting to first base. The garlic-centered restaurant prides itself on serving over 3,000 pounds of the pungent seasoning every month, so you can expect almost every dish served here to be literally covered in it. It does have a few garlic-free foods on its Vampire Fare menu, for “those finding the herb’s folklore and aroma more appealing than its taste”, but if you’re not a fan of the culinary treat, there’s really no point in visiting. On the other hand, if you are a garlic enthusiast, all you have to do is “follow your nose” and it will lead you to the door of The Stinking Rose restaurant, on Columbus Avenue. As soon as you walk in, you’re greeted by the unmistakable smell of garlic and a gallery of garlic-inspired memorabilia covering the ceiling and walls of this unique establishment. Colorful garlic characters, a mechanical miniature garlic factory and the world’s longest garlic braid featuring 2,635 bulbs of garlic are just some of the whimsical decorations you can expect to find inside The Stinking Rose.

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