Something We Ate

On its 30th anniversary July 1, Restaurants & Institutions Magazine published its annual list of the largest outfits that feed the public. No real surprises--they’re McDonald’s, KFC, Burger King, Pizza Hut, Wendy’s, Taco Bell, Hardee’s, two institutional feeders (ARA Services and Marriott Management Services), Dairy Queen. The interesting thing was to compare the top 10 in the magazine’s first year. Half the 1964 list was governmental: four military food services and the USDA lunch program. The rest included ARA, McDonald’s (which was only No. 10), Bob’s Big Boy (now No. 30), Howard Johnson (now No. 256) and F.W. Woolworth (now No. 264).

Don’t Try This With a Sore Throat, Kids

Latest trendy dish in Korea, which happens to be suffering from an oversupply of squid at the moment: kochujang , or raw peppery squid. Here’s the recipe: Take a live squid, cut it into pieces and dip them in hot pepper sauce. Swallow carefully, though--the tentacles tend to grip your throat on the way down.

Used to Hear It Through the Grapevine

As of July 31, the 45-year-old California Raisin Advisory Board will no longer exist, due to irreconcilable differences among raisin packers about the fairness of the fees they were required to pay. This means, of course, no more dancing, Motown-crooning raisins on TV. So buy all the California Raisins memorabilia you can, they’ll be collectable.

Ride ‘em, Genghis!

Mongolian barbecue--that ‘70s fad of all-you-can-eat stir-fry--is not the traditional cuisine of Mongolia, which runs instead to things like horsemeat jerky boiled in fermented horse milk. (Would this be a good time to mention that the original name of Mongolia’s capital, before it became Ulan Bator, was Yihee Huree?)

The Inner Pan

A new wrinkle, as it were, in the meatloaf pan: a perforated porcelain rack (in effect, a pan within a pan) with lift-out handles. The manufacturers say this lets fatty juices drain off during cooking, but what they really like to emphasize is the way it lifts out for serving, so you don’t have to scrape the sides of the pan while cutting your meatloaf. The meatloaf pan with drainer rack is in the Baker’s Secret line of non-stick bakeware, available at K-Mart.


Love the Hollow-Cheeked Look, Abe

Abraham Lincoln had the smallest appetite of any American president, often eating nothing for dinner but fruit salad, cheese and crackers.