Wed 23 Jun 2010
Meanwhile, in the Tetherd Cow Ahead laboratories…
Wed 23 Jun 2010
Fri 11 Jun 2010
1. Coke has an expiry date?
2. Why are they selling it in a pharmacy?
3. Why do you need ‘grip’ on a Coke bottle?
4. Is ‘Just out of date’ any different to ’10 years out of date’ when it comes to Coca Cola?
6. Coke has an expiry date?
Fri 7 May 2010
In keeping with the Tetherd Cow Ahead tradition of keeping regular readers up to date with the latest innovations in cured pig-flesh based comestibles (such as the Pork Martini, Pig Brain Aerosol(i), and Pork Cake), we present to you today for your culinary delectation Torani Bacon Syrup. Yes folks, it’s true. Now you can enjoy your favourite crispy smoked ham flavours in an easy-to-use syrup!
Torani Bacon syrup adds savory bacon flavor to cocktails, lattes, sauces and more.
Lattés? Lattés? Am I the only one who hasn’t been missing a salty pork flavour in my coffee? But the innovations don’t stop there! Torani also suggests you might be tempted by the thought of a Bacon Bloody Mary(ii), a Bacon Milkshake or (blasphemy!), a Bacon Manhattan. There’s even a recipe for a (gag) ‘Bacon Alexander’ (at least it doesn’t have cream in it).
Scanning the Torani products page, I see that they really have quite some selection of syrups there. My feeling is, though, that with this latest product they’re attempting to live high on the hog by making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.
Still, I’m willing to be convinced – a Cow Medallion for the best recipe involving Torani Bacon Syrup. I will consider the word ‘best’ to mean whatever I think it should, in this context. Laughs will rate highly, but astute culinary skill will count too.
Thanks to Guy for discovering this gem!
Wed 21 Apr 2010
The Guardian reports that publisher Penguin Australia has been left with egg on its face after it was revealed that a recipe for Tagliatelle with Sardines and Prosciutto from their book The Pasta Bible, called for the inclusion of ‘salt and freshly ground black people’. 7000 copies of the book have been withdrawn.
Penguin’s head of publishing, Robert Sessions, blamed the gaff on a spellcheck program, and said that proofreaders missed it because they were probably more concerned with checking ingredient quantities.(i) Sessions called the mistake a typo, but I’m thinking that these kinds of episodes, where spellcheck programs offer whole alternative words to the one that is meant, should have a new name. Wordo? Hmm… a bit clunky… Suggestions?
*Thanks to Violet Towne for spotting it in The Guardian and to my guest sub-editor King Willy for the fabulous headline.
Sun 27 Sep 2009
Good iMorning iCowpokes!
Well, down here in sunny[tippy title="*"]That’s sarcasm, in case anyone missed it.[/tippy] iMelbourne we have just survived the insanity that is iGrand iFinal iFootball whereat the official name for the new Vegemite product (formerly known as ‘Name Me’) was kicked off. And as promised, the iCow is bringing the new name to you hot off the iPress.
I know what you’re thinking – that image above is a cheeky Photoshopped pisstake of the actual name which I’m going to reveal to you in due course…
Was that long enough for the cold reality sink in? Yes dear iFriends, the people at iKraft, demonstrating a dorkiness that transcends anything I thought was even possible, have climbed on the iBandwagon and, in some kind of bizarre and incomprehensible grab for what we can only assume to be their concept of coolness, named their product iSnack 2.0. It’s worse than I could possibly have imagined. And I can imagine pretty bad possibilities.
How many kinds of wrong can be encapsulated here? The whole ‘i’ phenomenon has become so hackneyed and feeble that it’s really only Apple that can carry it off in any way, and that’s solely because it’s their heritage. Aside from anything, the ‘i’ was originally intended to designate ‘internet’ and if there’s one thing that Kraft and Vegemite has demonstrated extremely clearly, it’s their complete lack of intertubes acumen. Further to this, as if to underline their credentials as people who have totally missed the boat, they’ve appended the meaningless (but OH so hip…) ’2.0′ to the name – if anything it would be Vegemite 2.0, not iSnack 2.0, which by any proper reckoning has just come out of beta and is in v.1.0.
What were they thinking?
*That’s sarcasm, in case anyone missed it.
Tue 21 Apr 2009
Oh dear. Ohdearohdearohdearohdearohdear.
Sometimes someone turns on the Stupid tap and the washer just ruptures and Stupid starts gushing out all over the shop AND YOU CAN’T STOP IT. These last few weeks have been like that, what with Melissa Rogers and her daft ShooTag™, the resurgence of Prophet Pete, and now…
The two largest supermarket chains in Britain, Tesco and Marks & Spencer, have started advising their customers to be aware on which days of the week they choose to taste wine because it will effect the taste. This breathtaking piece of utter folly is so risible that I had to check the date of the Guardian article several times as I was reading to keep reminding myself it wasn’t an April Fool’s joke.
This is the skinny (although I do advise you to read the article to get a sense of the full absurdity):
Tesco and its rival Marks & Spencer, which sell about a third of all wine drunk in Britain, now invite critics to taste their ranges only at times when the biodynamic calendar suggests they will show at their best.
The calendar has been published for the last 47 years by a gardening great-grandmother called Maria Thun, who lives in rural Germany. She categorises days as “fruit”, “flower”, “leaf” or “root”, according to the moon and stars. Fruit and flower are normally best for tasting, and leaf and root worst.
To put it succinctly – two major UK retailers are consulting and recommending wine ‘horoscopes’.
Jo Aherne, winemaker for Marks & Spencer manages to make herself look like a complete twat (and the wine tasting fraternity even more filled with blarney than it already is) by claiming:
Before the tasting, I was really unconvinced, but the difference between the days was so obvious I was completely blown away.
Once again we see the that little crack of Subjectivity in the door of Reason being jimmied open by the great big club foot of Pseudoscience. Nowhere are we offered any evidence that these taste tests were blind tests, let alone the double blind trials that a scientific assessment would demand. These people are just espousing an opinion, and, worse, an opinion based on highly subjective appraisals of something that is to most people an arcane field of expertise. This is a situation busting for pseudoscientific exploitation.*
Tesco’s senior product development manager, Pierpaolo Petrassi, says of the tastings:
It may be a little step beyond what consumers can comprehend.
Oh yeah. You’re so right there Pierpaolo old chap. I’m certainly having trouble comprehending it.
Perhaps the most extraordinary part of this Guardian article, though, is slipped in almost unobtrusively:
The Guardian tested the theory this week and tasted the same wines on Tuesday evening, a leaf day, then again on Thursday evening, a fruit day. Five out of seven bottles showed a marked improvement.
[Checks date for third time. Nope, not April 1]
The Guardian, a world class newspaper, known for its usually sober news and feet-on-the-ground reporting is endorsing this piece of flimsy superstitious mumbo jumbo! Jesus H. Christ – where did I put that shifting spanner! The basement is awash and the stuff is leaking into the hallway!
As the article trails off and the loony wagon heads into the sunset, our keen correspondent throws a small bone to the wolves:
In other quarters, doubts remain. Waitrose’s† wine department has investigated the idea and cannot see a correlation. Many scientists have little time for biodynamic wine, pointing out that the movement’s guru, Rudolf Steiner, claimed to have conceived the concept after consulting telepathically with spirits beyond the realm of the material world. Among his other works are claims that the human race is as old as the Earth and descended from creatures with jelly-like bodies, and a belief that men’s passions seep into the Earth’s interior, where they trigger earthquakes and volcanoes.‡
Uh-huh. And so, Mr Booth, Guardian correspondent, you’re lending credibility to this wine horoscope idea exactly why?
So, after digesting all that, consider the following:
•Other blind tests show that the perceived expense of a wine, if known, positively influences perceived enjoyment. And:
•A European Commission study from 2001 determined that in excess of 50% of those interviewed considered astrology a science. A Harris Poll conducted in 2003 found that 30% of Americans thought that the position of the stars and planets affect people’s lives.
From those three pieces of data, I leave it to you to extrapolate what’s going on here. My suggestion to readers from the UK is that you should, forthwith, buy your wine from Waitrose.
*Much like the field of high-end domestic audio. And unlike wine-tasting, that is a province I know very well. But as I read all the hi-jinks with this wine stuff, that same peculiar odour – a blend of of fish and bullshit – starts to fill the air. You find this problem anywhere that there is a substantial amount of subjectivity and a stratosphere of opinionated ‘experts’.
†Another, obviously smarter, UK chain.
‡Well, that last bit about the Elder Ones is totally true of course.