Less Than, or Pretty Close to, Zero

The quest for zero-calorie food never ends. Angel food cake and catfish are dieting staples because they're low in fat, but scientists are working on reduced-fat versions of both.

Boola Pie

According to school tradition, for a period of more than 100 years in the 18th and 19th centuries, Yale University (then just a college, of course) served its students the same supper every night: apple pie.

Fleer Flees Philly

It was end-of-an-era time when the Dubble Bubble plant closed in Philadelphia Nov. 27. The Frank H. Fleer Candy Co., founded in Philadelphia in 1885, had been making Dubble Bubble gum there since 1928.

But for the last 15 years, Fleer's big moneymaker hasn't been bubble gum but the sports and celebrity cards that used to be distributed with the gum. During the 1980s, when the trading card mania blazed up and old Honus Wagners were selling for hundreds of thousands of dollars, Fleer concentrated more and more on the card business. In 1989, it started packaging cards by themselves, without gum. (Fleer's great rival, Topps Co., makers of Bazooka Bubble Gum, is primarily in the card business itself these days.)

The Fleer family sold the company the same year, and in September 1992 it was acquired by comic book empire Marvel Entertainment Group Inc. Trading cards didn't do so well this year because of the baseball strike, but in 1994, the card business provided 35% of Marvel's estimated $650 million in revenue.

Dubble Bubble gum will continue to be produced at a plant in Mississippi.

Chuck Chili

Herewith a chili recipe contributed by Chuck Norris, star of "Walker: Texas Ranger":

CHUCK NORRIS'S TEXAS RANGER CHILI

10 pounds lean chuck roast

1 pound flour

Oil

5 yellow onions

2 heads garlic

1/4 cup salt

5 tablespoons ground pepper

2 quarts beef stock

1/2 cup crushed dried chiles

1/2 cup cumin

1 quart tomato puree

1 teaspoon hot sauce

3 pounds tomatoes

1 pound carrots

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 pound Mexican or sweet chocolate

Boiled pinto or kidney beans, optional

Cut beef into 1-inch cubes. Lightly dust beef with flour. Put oil for frying in 10-gallon pot over medium-high heat and fry beef until brown. Dice onions, add and stir until translucent. Crush garlic, add and fry briefly. Season with salt and pepper and reduce heat to low. Add beef stock and simmer 45 minutes.

Add chiles, cumin, tomato puree and hot sauce. Simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

Dice tomatoes and shred carrots. Add brown sugar, tomatoes and carrots and simmer 10 minutes. Add chocolate, stir well and simmer 20 minutes.

Beans may be added if desired. Serve with rice and spurs.

Makes 24 servings ("for Texans, or 40 for regular folks").

Each serving contains about:

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