Category Archives: Food News

When 3750 Means Three Thousand Seven Hundred and Fifty

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The English language can be a tricky thing. And a bottle of wine can cost a hell of a lot more than you might think.

Joe Lentini learned that the hard way.

During a business dinner at Bobby Flay’s Steak at the Borgata Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City recently, Lentini and two of his dinner companions decided to share a bottle of wine. Lentini let the waitress know that he didn’t know too much about wine and asked her for a recommendation.  She pointed to the menu and recommended a 2011 bottle of Screaming Eagle Oakville. Since he didn’t have his glasses handy and couldn’t read the menu, Joe asked her how much the bottle would set him back.

He had no idea how much of a setback this would be.

The waitress replied “Thirty seven fifty”.  That’s right – 3750

In Joe’s and his co-workers’ world, “thirty seven fifty” means $37.50.  Okay, so it was the Borgata Hotel & Casino in luxurious downtown Atlantic City, wheeler/dealer capital of Joisey. (I encourage you to insert as much sarcasm as possible there.) But your average…uh…Joe, would never dream that what the waitress meant was actually “Three thousand, seven hundred and fifty” dollars, or clams, or whatever we’re currently calling them in Jersey.

I would’ve been screaming like an eagle too.

Naturally, Joe and his wine drinking cohorts were dumbfounded. They called over the waitress, who stood by her muddled words, they called over the Manager, who stood by the waitresses’ muddled words. And in the end, in order to be permitted to leave the premises, Joe and his dining companions were able to cut a deal with the Manager, settling on a cool $2,500 instead.

Between you and me? I would’ve popped my cork.

The argument from the point of view of the restaurant was that this is a fine dining establishment at a well known, high end, casino where they think nothing of charging and selling bottles of wine ranging well into the thousands. It just so happens, that the wine Joe ordered was the second most expensive bottle on the menu.

So why did the waitress recommend that particular bottle to a relatively un-annointed wine drinker? A cynical and probably right on the money guess would be for the lucrative 18% tip she stood to receive from the bottle in addition to what she would make from the dinner check on a party of ten.

Should Joe have had his glasses at the ready? Sure. But should the waitress have pointed out the second most expensive bottle of wine to a vino newbie? Absolutely not. Should the Manager have charged Joe and his buddies $37.50 and eaten the rest? You bet. Could Bobby Flay afford to take the hit on this one? For freakin’ sure. Will he take an even bigger hit from the media fallout from the story? I sure hope so.

When all was said and done, and Joe was asked what he thought of the most expensive bottle of wine he will consume in his lifetime, his answer was “It was okay. It was good. It wasn’t great. It wasn’t terrible. It was fine.”

And there you have it. So much for your tree-tousand-seven-huntred-and-fifty bottle-uh wine, Bobby!

Sorry Joe, I believe you just got flayed.

Why do I hear Billy Joel singing in the background? “A bottle of red…a bottle of white…costs so much I lost my appetite…”

Photo by It’s Holly / CC BY 

Nutrition Labels: About To Get Real?

Nutrition labeling might finally be getting real – in a very good way.


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Remember when you practically had to pull out a calculator and do the math right there in aisle 7 of Whole Foods during your lunch hour just to figure out how much of that beverage you could actually drink, only to discover that in order to meet your daily requirements without going overboard, you’d be allowed one third of it?  Or how about that 1/2 cup of cereal with a 1/4 cup of skim milk that wouldn’t satisfy an insect until late morning snack time?

We all collectively wondered why labels didn’t more accurately reflect realistic portion sizes. That’s not to say they should pander to the huge portion sizes that some eateries have unhealthily raised the bar to. But when most of us buy a bottle of soda, the label says it’s two servings. Does the average person drink only half and share the rest? Or do we save it for later? Chances are, we drink the whole thing. Granted, beverage companies like The Coca Cola Corporation, are manufacturing smaller bottles of soda. It’s a step in the right direction for sure.

The Federal Food and Drug Administration has proposed updated and improved nutrition labels that would display the calorie count in a larger font and would place more emphasis on added sugars as well as nutrients like potassium and Vitamin D.  Serving sizes would also change to reflect more realistically what the average person consumes. In other words, a bottle of soda would e one serving size. A small bag of chips would also be considered one serving size, making it easier or the consumer to make healthier decisions about what and how much they eat.

This would be the first time nutrition labels have been revised since the FDA began requiring them 20 years ago.

Food and beverages would be required to include information about calcium, iron and potassium amounts as well, since most people don’t get enough Vitamin D in their diets, which is vital to good bone health and potassium helps lower your blood pressure.

There is still some discussion about what amount of salt should be considered a healthy amount, as

The FDA labeling proposal will be open to public comment for 90 days, but it will take months for any changes to go into effect. In addition, they’re giving companies up to two years to implement the changes.

If the changes do take effect, it could be a very important step toward improving the health of a society where diabetes and obesity are on the rise in both adults and children.

What do you think? How much time do you spend reading nutrition labels? What do you look for and what would you like to see that is not currently emphasized on nutrition labels?

featured photo credit 

“Cookies so good I could cry!”

It’s always nice to receive unsolicited positive feedback from customers. And thankfully, we have a loyal and steadily growing fan base who truly appreciates the love and time we put into our products. While every note of encouragement, thanks and praise, is not only appreciated, but helps to fuel our passion, occasionally we receive a note that move us to tears.

Chestnut Cookies (special order only)

[My wife’s] father called her AGAIN about the cookies. He was almost in tears. I’ll tell you why…

As I’d mentioned to you, [my wife’s] mom used to make the same type of cookie for Xmas using walnuts. They were VERY similar in taste and texture — so light they melted in your mouth. I’d await my holiday deliveries from her every year, and she’d always make an extra batch for me. I’d never before or since found that type of cookie made as well until I tasted yours. They’re so identical it’s uncanny. Anyway, her father said the same thing to [my wife]. He said it feels as if he has her mother’s Xmas cookies again. He’d been trying out different bakeries, but nothing cut it. You did a mitzvah!!”

And that, friends, sums up what we hope you all feel when you take a bite of our treats. We aspire to remind you of happy, possibly simpler, times when a bowl of cookie dough could create fun, laughter and the most wonderful memories.

From a fan…beyond the butter, sugar and flour.

The following unsolicited comment about me and my company have my heart bursting at the seams with joy and pride this morning. THIS is what I hope everyone sees through the butter and sugar:

“Anyone who likes sweets who isn’t trying my friend Lin’s prodigious menu is missing out on something special. Besides baking delicious, artisan cakes, cookies and other delicious stuff, she’s one of the most diligent, hardworking and downright decent people I’ve ever met. She puts a huge amount of care into every aspect of her product AND puts her money where her mouth is with regard to donating a portion of her earnings to pug rescue. Talented, independent artists and small business owners should be lauded and supported in this day and age, and Lin is one of them. I’m proud to count her among my small circle of friends.”

Much love to all of our family, friends and fans, who make our (sometimes round-the-clock) baking marathons worth so much more than words can express. YOU put the smiles on our faces! THANK YOU!