Brian Sheehan dishes on what's hot and trending in the world of all things food and drink for Friday, October 14, 2016.
Italy’s Best Pizza Can Be Found… in a Drug Rehab Center? Italians Say Yes
You may think that the best pizza in Italy would be found down a narrow byway in the middle of Naples, but according to a nationwide survey in Italy, it's actually made at a drug rehab center. SP.accio, a restaurant run by rehab residents on the grounds of the San Patrignano youth drug rehabilitation center in Rimini, is surprisingly at the top of the list, according to The Local. The poll, conducted by Italian food website Gastronauta, surveyed 40,000 Italian residents, and more than 18 percent of voters picked the rehab center’s restaurant as the best that Italy has to offer. “As well as honoring a quality pizza, we honor a project of rehabilitation, training, integration, and growth for young people who have decided to turn over a new leaf and give themselves a second chance,” Gastronauta said.
Starbucks Coffee Master Creates the Espresso Cloud IPA
The latest handcrafted innovation from Starbucks combines espresso and craft beer to create the Espresso Cloud IPA. This first-of-its-kind beverage was developed at the Starbucks Reserve Roastery & Tasting Room in Seattle. “Espresso is shaken over ice with orange pieces and a touch of sweet vanilla. Shaking the espresso produces a rich cloud of micro-foam with accents of citrus and vanilla. The foam is layered on top of a freshly poured IPA, and the beer is served with the cold-shaken espresso shot on the side,” a release detailed. When the shot is poured over the beer, it “creates a tantalizing, layered waterfall of espresso and craft beer in the glass.” The Espresso Cloud IPA is available exclusively at Starbucks Evenings locations.
Creepy Clown Sightings Prompt Ronald McDonald to Go Into Hiding
Disturbing sightings of clowns (some brandishing knives) are on the rise across America, a fitting (though terrifying) trend just weeks before Halloween. In response to the red-nosed horror that has swept the nation, McDonald’s is scaling back appearances of beloved mascot Ronald McDonald until the creepy climate has calmed down. The phenomenon was first noted back in August, when residents in Greenville, South Carolina, reported multiple clown sightings in the woods and on the side of country roads. Since then, sightings have spread to other Southern states as well as parts of the Northeast, and in the United Kingdom a middle-aged man was stabbed by an attacker wearing a clown mask. Although Ronald McDonald has been a prominent symbol in the past for the Golden Arches, in recent years his appearances have dwindled, possibly due to an increased incidence of coulrophobia, the surprisingly common fear of clowns.
Study Finds Calorie Restriction Can Be Effective in Maintaining Blood Vessel Health
A study published in The Journal of Experimental Medicine has found that calorie restriction can be an effective means of early prevention of abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA). People with this condition develop an “enlargement of the main artery in the abdomen,” which is “caused by a weakening of the blood vessel wall,” Food Navigator reported. “We think that calorie restriction mimics the natural living conditions with food shortage we [got] used to thousands [of] years ago,” said Dr. De-Pei Liu, lead author of the study. For the study, mice “selected for their susceptibility in developing AAA” were subjected to a calorie-restricted diet for 12 weeks and compared to control mice that were fed a normal diet. The calorie-restricted mice had lower rates of AAA rupture and death. Liu warns that calorie restriction “should be practiced in a moderate and gradual manner” to minimize any potential adverse health reactions.
Martha Stewart Café
Martha Stewart Is Opening a Chain of Coffee Shops
First a meal kit, then a cooking show with Snoop Dogg, and now Martha Stewart is launching a chain of small coffee shops called Martha Stewart’s Café. The first Martha Stewart Café opened in the lobby of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia’s headquarters in New York City in 2015. The second location opened last weekend inside a Macy’s in San Francisco, Eater reported, with the third confirmed café set to open next month in Dallas. The cafés are described as “simple white, free-standing counters with pops of red, tidy merchandise displays, and a touch of black calligraphy.” The New York location sources pastries from local bakeries such as Bien Cuit and Balthazar, and the other cafés may follow suit, sourcing from regional purveyors of similar quality. The coffee and granola offered are from Stewart’s own line.