FAVORITE BEERS AROUND THE WORLD: Americans love Bud Light. in Canada, the beer of choice is Bud Light’s heavier cousin Budweiser. Down in Mexico, people choose Corona most often. In China, beer drinkers down a lager beer called Snow; in India, people like a pale lager called Kingfisher best; in Brazil, the most popular brew is a Pilsner called Skol; and across the ocean, in Australia, it’s a beer called Victoria Bitter.
How to drink beer like a local (WAPO)
LUXURY TOILET PAPER: Americans have a new favorite way to flush money down the drain: luxury toilet paper. Sales in the United States of what the industry calls “luxury” rolls — anything quilted, lotioned, perfumed or ultra-soft, from two- to four-ply — climbed to $1.4 billion last year, outpacing all other kinds of toilet paper for the first time in nearly a decade.
A roll of luxury toilet paper is stamped with gold in Germany. American luxury toilet paper is softer, thicker and gold-free. (Michael Dalder, Reuters)
Alcohol could be used to relieve stress, that Type A workers could end up in jobs with longer hours, or that there could be an associated link between demanding jobs, alcohol use and people with existing depression or sleep problems.
CEOs who end the day with a few glasses of pricey scotch and minimum-wage workers who throw back a few beers after their second shift are both more likely to over-drink than those who work fewer hours.
Why So Jittery? (Nutritionaction.com; Center for Science in the Public Interest)
WHY SO JITTERY? One 20 oz Starbucks coffee = 2 shots of 5-hour energy = 25 Monster drinks = 12 cans of Coca-Cola = 21 Hershey’s Special Dark chocolate
The cost of the pour should ring up at no more than 25% of the price of the cocktail.
50% to 60% of what you’re paying goes toward labor, keeping the lights on and the rent paid, and spillage — a term that encompasses testing as well as, yes, actual sloppiness, inevitable on busy nights.
The Charted Cheese Wheel (Pop Chart Lab)
Charted Cheese Wheel: A charting of 65 cheeses, broken down by the animal and texture, ranging from the mild to the stinky and from the rock hard to the silky smooth.
RUNNING OUT OF CHOCOLATE: Last year, the world ate 70,000 metric tons more cocoa than it produced. By 2020, that number could swell to 1 million metric tons, a more than 14-fold increase; by 2030, they think the deficit could reach 2 million metric tons.
Dry weather in West Africa (specifically in the Ivory Coast and Ghana, where more than 70% of the world’s cocoa is produced) has greatly decreased production in the region.
A nasty fungal disease known as frosty pod hasn’t helped either.
The International Cocoa Organization estimates it has wiped out between 30% and 40% of global coca production.
CHINA’S BORDEAUX OBSESSION: Chinese investors now own almost 100 chateaus out of the 7,400 wine estates in the Bordeaux region. Shipments of Bordeaux wines to mainland China, their largest export market by volume and value.
NEW YORK DONUT: Every corner of New York has its doughnut now. There is room for all of us, the minimalist and the profligate, the nostalgist and the radical.
The donut is prehistoric — fossilized ring-shaped cakes have been unearthed, dating back 8,000 years. Free doughnuts were handed to the huddled arrivals at Ellis Island, to lines of hollow-cheeked men during the Great Depression and to soldiers on the battlefields of the First World War, by Salvation Army volunteers who requisitioned helmets as deep fryers and punched holes with spent artillery shells.
In New York City, the doughnut no longer resembles the Dutch olykoek that Anna Joralemon started selling in 1673 from a shop on lower Broadway. Along with a hole, it has acquired glazes in Barbie hues, fillings that wheeze forth on first bite, even do-it-yourself accessories like a syringe primed with jam, waiting to be stabbed in.
Mah-Ze-Dahr Bakery’s doughnuts made in Chelsea. (Tony Cenicola/The New York Times)
WHOLE MILK NOT THAT WHOLE: Whole milk isn’t made wholly of fat, or largely of fat, or even substantially of fat. In fact, it doesn’t contain much fat all. Whole milk is actually only about 3.5% fat.
The reason it’s called “whole milk” has less to do with its fat content, than the fact that it’s comparatively unadulterated. As the Dairy Council of California puts it, whole milk is “the way it comes from the cow before processing.”