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Tasting Vodka with Your Nose (A Review)


Unless you’re from the country of Moldova (or know someone from there), chances are you don’t know exactly where it is on a map. This Eastern European nation lies tucked between Romania and Ukraine, where its picturesque countryside attracts visitors who come for its bucolic vibe — those who actually know its geographic location, that is. While many may know Moldova for its wine, this former Soviet republic also produces vodka, a remnant of being under Russian rule for almost two centuries. And Moldovan vodka (or “vodca,” as they spell it) is ready to introduce its creators’ country to America, one cocktail at a time.

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Root Beer-Flavored Frozen Yogurt to Replace Root Beer Floats? (A Review)

Root Beer Flavored Yogurt

We live in the future. Mostly everything that had been imagined in the middle of the 20th century already exists, from robots that vacuum our homes to portable video communication devices to the ability to push a button to dispense food. You can also pull down a lever to dish out something to eat — in this case, a dessert. All you have to do is grab the handle.

There are 16 handles at the aptly named frozen yogurt chain 16 Handles, which has let customers extrude their own choice of frosty desserts for the past few years — not that frozen treat dispensers haven’t been around for decades. But their latest flavor is a bit indicative of our “futuristic” times: Like the 1930s’ vision of entire courses of food coming in pill form, 16 Handles has eliminated the prep time of making a root beer float by combining all its tastes in a single frozen yogurt flavor, aptly named Frosty Root Beer Float (112 calories for 4 oz.). The result is a tasty and creamy treat with the flavor of root beer. Additionally, if you opt for the recommended topping of vanilla clodhoppers — vanilla fudge-coated graham wafer clusters — it becomes a crunchy dessert you can sink your teeth into.

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Can King Oscar’s Canned Fish Have Sex Appeal? (A Review)

Confession: As a child, I always assumed tuna was a little fish because it came in little cans. I never imagined the 3-footer marine creatures that they actually are. But it’s no secret that some little fish do come in cans — in this case, sardines — for there are plenty of fish in the sea (just not all are suited to be served in metal containers).

To some people, canned fish may have a bit of stigma attached to it — the can automatically denotes that the fish is not fresh. But for others, it’s a completely normal and delicious way to transport seafood, especially when you don’t live near a coast. In fact in inland Spain, canned seafood, or latillas as they are called (literally “little cans”), is very much part of the gastronomic culture in the home and in tapas bars.

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iLL Fortune Cookies Make Confucius Sound Like a Moron

Ill Fortune Cookies

Ever wonder who writes the “fortunes” you find inside the fortune cookies you get at the end of a Chinese takeout meal? I put “fortunes” in quotes because a lot of the time they aren’t really fortunes that predict the future, but merely presumptuous statements about your life — or just really obscure proverbs from legendary Chinese wise man Confucius. Usually on the back there’s a vocabulary word so you can learn Chinese in piecemeal — not that you ever remember the word anyway — followed by some lucky numbers — not that Confucius was alive to even know how big a Mega Millions lottery can get. If he had known, he might have kept those numbers to himself.

But never mind about that ancient Chinese guy. Now there’s iLL Fortune Cookies, a new type of post-Chinese food treat, because “we live in the ‘real’ world” — as stated on the box (which, of course, looks like a big Chinese takeout container). Created by the iLLFortune company based in the California Bay Area, these “fortune cookies for the brave” look and taste like ordinary fortune cookies, but inside are snarky and sarcastic sayings designed to prank your friends — or your enemies. Like ordinary fortune cookies, they don’t always predict the future, but rather state an assumption about your life — in an intentionally insulting way.

Some iLL Fortunes I’ve opened up include:

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