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Floating ice-cream trucks, healthy candy and other fun Friday food tales

2 min read


Each week, SmartBrief strives to bring you the stories of biggest interest in the restaurant world, but space limitation often means we have to leave some of the quirkiest tales on the cutting-room floor.

First up this week, Eater brings us a brief story, complete with video, of the world’s first amphibious ice-cream truck. HMS Flake 99 set sail on the River Thames in London and has ambitions of making it to the canals of Venice, Italy, someday, serving ice cream to beach goers and crews on passing vessels.

Next time you pour a glass of something Italian, you might want to enjoy it while watching a video on how to properly pronounce the name. Los Angeles Times’ Daily Dish tells us about the Italian Grape Name Pronunciation Project, a series of simple videos featuring a different speaker each time who demonstrates the correct way to say grape names such as Aglianico and Freisa.

Many foodies see dining as a religious experience, but this Slate article explores the many ways religious groups are influencing the development of health food. It started with Presbyterian minister Sylvester Graham, who began preaching on the virtues of a vegetarian diet in the 1820s, and led to the many small eateries of today run by religious devotees and serving their own versions of healthy fare, such as Soul Vegetarian Cafe & Exodus Carryout shops, where African-American polygamists serve up vegan mac and cheese and Moses Burgers.

Speaking of health food, one writer who attended the Sweets & Snacks EXPO wonders in The Atlantic whether a focus on healthier eating might mean the end of candy – or at least the guilt-free enjoyment of it – for many consumers.

“Defenders of candy, unite! Let us disavow the slippery logic of ‘nutritional snacking,’ which justifies the expansion of the processed food market with the tools and rhetoric of nutrition (or the faux-nutrition known as ‘nutritionism’). Let us insist that the non-nutritive pleasures of candy be preserved as such: non-nutritive, and pleasure. That is what is special, and fun, and unique about candy,” writes candy blogger Samira Kawash, a former Rutgers University professor.

What was your favorite offbeat food story this week? Tell us about it in the comments.