Prison Restaurant Staffed by Inmates Voted the Best in Cardiff, Wales

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The Clink has recently been named the number one restaurant in Cardiff, Wales, by TripAdvisor, after getting more votes than all the other 945 restaurants in the Welsh capital. I know that doesn’t seem like the kind of news you normally read on OC, but The Clink isn’t your average restaurant – it’s staffed by inmates at HMP Cardiff, a Category D men’s prison!

Approximately 30 prisoners work a 40-hour week at The Clink, either in the kitchen or waiting tables, before returning to their cells at the end of each day. The restaurant also employs a team of trainers who work closely with the prisoners to come up with seasonal dishes made from locally sourced fresh ingredients. Some of the typical menu options include ‘venison and wild boar ragout with game sausage, chargrilled polenta and seasonal vegetables’ and ‘a celebration of rhubarb’.The inmates are paid £14 ($20) a week, but their biggest reward is the chance to turn their life around. Over time, the restaurant has managed to help reduce the reoffending rate of prisoners who worked there to 12.5 percent, compared to the national average of 47 percent.

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Professional Dog Food Taster Is Actually a Real Job

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Pet owners sneaking a nibble or two out of their pets’ bowls, out of curiosity, is completely understandable. But eating dog food for a living? Now that’s pretty hard to digest!

But ‘professional dog food taster’ is a real job, and it apparently pays quite well. An entry level position in the quality department would typically pay about $30,000 a year, while an ‘experienced professional’ could draw up to $75,000.

So what exactly does the job entail? Well, as the name suggests, it pretty much involves tasting dog food to make sure it meets a premium brand’s exacting quality standards. Tasters regularly open sample tins of each freshly made batch of dog (or cat) food, and then proceed to smell it, and eat it.

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Spanish Bakery Makes $150 Glittering Bread Using Gold Dust

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Whole wheat flour, spelt and water are the usual ingredients used to make bread, but add a touch of edible gold and you’ve got wealthy clients from all around the world stepping on each others’ toes trying to secure a loaf of the world’s most expensive bread. Made by Pan Piña bakery in the small Spanish village of Algatocin, the ‘gold leaf bread’ costs an unbelievable $150 per 400-gram loaf.

Pan Piña baker and co-owner Juan Manuel Moreno said that he came up with the idea for the bread after he saw the ‘world’s most expensive coffee’ on sale at another shop in the region. So he decided to dazzle up his own bread with a dash of edible gold worth over $100 both inside and on the surface of each loaf. However, he does agree that the shiny metal does nothing to enhance flavor.

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America’s First Vegan Butcher Shop Is No Joke

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A vegan butcher shop sounds like an oxymoron, but believe it or not, such a venue is soon going to be operating in the US. Having surpassed their Kickstarter goal of $60,000, ‘The Herbivorous Butcher’ will be setting up shop in Minneapolis – bringing meat-free meat to vegans and vegetarians in the area. They’re going to be serving a host of meatless options, including ribs, bacon, chicken, sausage and more.

Siblings Aubry and Kale Walch are the brains behind Herbivorous Butcher. They have combined their vegetarian lifestyle with their Guamanian roots, and added touches from culinary cultures from around the world to create fake meats that have the texture and flavor of real red meats.

“We have carefully crafted 100% vegan, cruelty-free meat alternatives that capture the best flavors, textures, and nutrients that meats have to offer without their negative impacts on health, animals, and the environment,” they revealed. Some of the benefits of their products include – ‘small batch from scratch’, ‘hand-crafted’, ‘cholesterol free’, and ‘protein rich’.

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Meet the Incredible Eggman – The World’s Fastest Omelette Maker

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72-year-old Howard Helmer can produce a delicious gourmet omelette faster than anyone else in the world. Over the years, he’s managed to hang on to two Guinness World Records – one for the fastest omelette (in 39 seconds) and the other for turning out a whopping 427 omelettes in 30 minutes.

In every demonstrative video he makes, Helmer shares his secret – he mixes two eggs with two tablespoons of water, and fries them in a 10-inch omelette pan. His routine goes something like this: “Butter in the pan – two eggs and two tablespoons of water – bring the cooked egg to the center of the pan and tilt the pan so that the raw egg finds some base to cook on until there’s no more runny egg but the egg is still very moist on top. In goes some cheese, some spinach, fold the omelette in half, and then the whole thing goes upside down on your plate.”

Helmer’s association with eggs actually began 42 years ago, when he took up a job at the American Egg Board, writing copy about the wonders of chicken eggs. Since then, he has promoted eggs at country fairs, restaurant conventions, culinary schools, and on national television. Over the years, he’s also worked with famous chefs and taught movie stars to make omelettes.

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Artist Creates Amazingly Realistic Food Hats

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Israeli artist Maor Zabar’s creations look deceptively delicious, but they are meant to be worn not devoured. He uses felt, plastic and wire to create incredibly realistic models of delicious dishes and incorporates them into fashionable headgear. Some of his clever designs include a berry pie beret, an outdoor picnic fascinator, and even a salad sombrero.

36-year-old Zabar began designing the hats a couple of years ago, when he was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. “When I discovered I had Crohn’s disease, I was forced to start a special diet and was unable to eat many of the foods I have always loved,” he revealed. “So instead of eating them, I created them out of felt and fibers and made them into beautiful fascinators.” And although he’s cured of his illness now, he still loves adding new designs to his Food Hat Collection.

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Forget about Dirty Dishes – Belgian Designers Create Edible Tableware

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A couple of Belgian designers have come up with a new range of edible food containers that are eco-friendly, taste good, and most importantly, save people from the misery of doing dishes.

The young entrepreneurs – Helene Hoyois and Thibaut Gilquin – got the idea after hosting a party one night, after which they found themselves facing a mountain of dirty dishes to that needed cleaning. Instinctively, Thibaut turned to Helene and asked: “And if we eat the dishes?”

He was only joking at first, but the duo soon started to take the idea seriously. After a few trials, they finally managed to come up with a viable concept – containers made from a combination of potato starch, water and oil. The material is tough enough to retain all sorts of foods and sauces, but is also easily digestible.

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The TomTato – A Plant That Grows Tomatoes above Ground and Potatoes Below

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An extraordinary plant that produces both tomatoes and potatoes has been developed in the UK. Just one of these bad boys can grow more than 500 sweet cherry tomatoes above the ground, and a decent crop of white potatoes below. Aptly named ‘TomTato’, the plant is actually 100 percent natural, and not genetically modified as one would expect.

TomTato, a.k.a ‘veg plot in a pot’, was developed through high-tech grafting by Thompson and Morgan, a horticultural firm based in the town of Ipswich, in Suffolk, England. Although similar plants have been created in the UK before, this is the first time someone has managed to produce a commercially viable version.

According to Guy Barter of the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), taste was a real problem with past varieties, but the TomTato seems to have hit the jackpot.

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Swiss Scientists Create ‘Sparkling Apple’ That Feels Like a Fizzy Drink in Your Mouth

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If you’re a soda addict trying to switch to healthy food, then the new ‘Paradis Sparkling’ apple is just the thing for you. With a single bite, your mouth will be filled with sweet effervescent juice that replicates the sensation of sipping on a fizzy drink.

The new Paradis Sparkling apple is the product of 10 years of research by experts from Swiss fruit nursery, Lubera. After several attempts of perfecting the unique fruit, they finally achieved the right amount of fizziness by using two apple varieties – Resi, an East German specimen known for its sweet texture, and English Pirouette apples.

The Lubera website declares: “An apple is an apple. But not in this case. Our new breeding Paradis Sparkling is different. So different, just as the name describes: Sparkling explodes in your mouth. When the large cells release their juice, it feels as if CO2 is brought into play. To stay with the analogy: Paradis Sparkling is the first apple that is not ‘still’, but ‘sparkling’!”

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Apple Variety Aptly Named ‘Surprize’ Hidest Pink Surprise Inside

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The ‘Surprize’ apple looks deceptively normal from the outside – its yellowy-orange exterior gives no indication of the surprise waiting inside. Take one bite though, and its pale-pink flesh is bound to leave you shocked and confused for a second.

The new variety of apples is currently available in 120 Tesco stores across the UK, priced at £1.75 ($2.82) for a pack of four. According to Tesco fruit product developer Ciara Grace, “This apple is a real head-turner on account of its unusual pale orange and yellow skin. But the real fun starts when they take a bite and see the unique pink flesh inside. It was named Surprize because of the fantastic reaction it gets.”

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Did You Know Deep-Fried Maple Leaves Are Actually a Popular Snack in Japan?

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They say everything tastes better deep fried, but who’d have ever guessed that also applies to maple leaves? Well, the dish is real – it’s called Maple Tempura and it’s a fall delicacy in Japan. Surprisingly, it isn’t just made by picking up random fallen leaves and frying them. There’s actually an elaborate process involved in making these sweet, golden snacks.

To prepare Maple Tempura, the leaves are carefully selected and preserved in salt barrels for over a year. Then, they’re removed from the salt and dipped in a batter made from flour, sesame seeds and sugar. These batter-coated leaves are then deep fried for over 20 minutes, until crisp.

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Home-Delivered Airplane Food Is Actually a Thing in Germany

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‘Air Food One’ is a food delivery service in Germany that exclusively caters to people who happen to love airline food. I’m not sure what’s more surprising – that the service exists, or that there are actually people who like the flavorless reheated stuff that is generally passed off as food on an airplane.

Anyway, the service is being provided by a German grocery store in collaboration with the company that makes meals for Lufthansa. It includes weekly home delivery of meals that are supposed to be ‘business-class quality’. Apparently, online grocery store Allyouneed.com noticed there was a demand for airplane food from its clients, so it teamed up with airline caterers LSG to satisfy their cravings.

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Restaurant Owner Laced Noodles with Opium to Make Customers Addicted to Them

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In a bid to get customers addicted to his food, a scheming restaurant owner in China resorted to unethical means – he laced his noodles with parts of a poppy plant from which opium is made. When questioned by the local police, he admitted to spending 600 yuan (about $100) on two kilograms of poppy shells to secretly add to the food.

The diabolical deception came to light when Liu Juyou, a 26-year-old customer, tested positive for opiates during a routine urine test at an anti-drunk-driving program. Liu was stupefied by the result and swore that he never touched any illegal substances. But the police didn’t pay attention to his pleas and detained him for 15 days.

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Chefs to Create Burger Designed to Taste Like Human Flesh

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The idea of a burger that tastes like human meat might sound repulsive, but that didn’t stop a couple of London chefs from trying to cook it. It is going to be offered to diners through a pop-up restaurant in East London on Tuesday, September 30.

The human-flesh-tasting burger is a product of ‘Messhead’ – a collaboration between chef James Tomlinson of ‘London Mess’ and ‘Miss Cakehead’, a freelance creative director who specializes in gory food creations. It was created to mark the start of the fifth season of the zombie television show The Walking Dead.

Thankfully, the two chefs didn’t have to resort to cannibalism to figure out the taste of human flesh. Instead, they just read accounts from well-known cannibals, like explorer William Seabrook and notorious murderer Issei Sagawa.

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New Delhi Restaurant Run by Indian Convicts Proves Big Hit

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Tihar Food Court, a new restaurant in New Delhi, serves its customers a regular fare of north Indian dishes – rice, flatbreads, lentils, samosas, and more. You’d probably get to eat these dishes at many other restaurants in India’s capital, but here’s what’s special about Tihar Food Court – the food is prepared and served by convicts serving time for murder at New Delhi’s infamous Tihar Jail.

The restaurant opened earlier this month within the sprawling Tihar complex – South Asia’s largest prison – as a rehabilitation effort on an experimental basis. It is a rather simple eatery with indoor and outdoor seating for around 50 customers, and cream colored walls decorated with paintings made by prisoners. The small staff consists of a manager who is also a police constable, and seven convicts who have displayed good behavior over several years of imprisonment.

To be eligible to leave prison for a few hours of work at the restaurant, inmates must have a high school education and need to have maintained an ‘unblemished’ record for at least 12 years. They mostly pick prisoners who are due to be released within two years time, so they don’t feel too tempted to escape. The inmates walk or ride a cycle to work everyday completely unsupervised, as the authorities apparently trust them enough not to provide an escort.

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