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View from the North 40: A heaping helping of foodie news

 


Of all the special interests I have pursued over the years, I think it’s a fair and honest assessment to say that food is by far my favorite and longest-lasting hobby.

Not only do I love food, I love all kinds of foods from cheap, highly processed, empty-calorie foods to healthy, home-cooked-with-fresh-ingredient dishes. And from a simple roast beef and potato staple to a spicy, hot Thai dish. I’ll try almost anything.

Imagine my joy, then, to see a food trend in this week’s news.

First off, you should know that if you ever enjoyed a meal of Swedish meatballs, you were served up a whole plateful of lies.

It’s an international scandal.

CNN reporter Judith Vonberg reported Wednesday that a post on Sweden’s official Twitter account “shocked the country’s culinary aficionados” with the statement that “Swedish meatballs are actually based on a recipe King Charles XII brought home from Turkey in the early 18th century.”

Forsooth. I’m just as set back on my seat as you are over this revelation that Swedes are thieves and the country’s renowned company IKEA has been celebrating Turkish meatballs all along.

The article also pointed out that traditionally, in Sweden that is, the meatballs and gravy are served with mashed or boiled potatoes, with a lingonberry sauce over top

I know, I’m with you on this one, too. My whole perception of life is askew now.

CNN also reported that a Delta passenger getting off an 8 1/2 hour flight from Paris to Minneapolis was detained and ultimately fined for transporting an apple into the U.S. from Paris.

No, it wasn’t like those people who try to smuggle baby pythons into the states by stuffing the baby snakes into their underwear. This passenger was served the forbidden fruit on the plane, decided to put it in her purse for later. And later, it cost her $500 in fines.

And in another stroke of irony, the fine would have been less if she hadn’t spent seven months and $160 getting approved for the Global Entry quick pass to expedite her trip through customs.

I’m telling you, none of this would have happened if she’d squirreled away a small packet of peanuts, or maybe a bag of chips. Just saying.

The next two food stops are in Texas.

The Associated Press reports that entries are tapped out for a Saturday charity road race in Boerne, Texas, dubbed the Boerne 0.5K for underachievers.

The 546-yard race will begin and end with a free microbrew beer, and for those competitors who feel under-prepared for the event, a 1963 Volkswagen bus will be on hand to haul the athletes to the finish line beer.

In Brownsville, Texas, though, food crime has been abrewing.

Gilberto Escamilla, 53, of Brownsville was sentenced April 23 to 50 years in prison for stealing $1.2 million worth of fajitas. Yes, fajitas.

Over a nine-year period Escamilla, who worked for the Cameron County juvenile center, diverted pallets of fajitas to himself.

Escamilla would still be in fajita heaven if a medical appointment hadn’t taken him from the office on the day that an 800-pound fajita delivery arrived at the facility – where fajitas are not served.

Authorities checked vendor invoices and later found fajitas in Escamilla’s refrigerator during a search of his home. Ultimately, The Brownsville Herald reported, Escamilla stole $1,251,578 worth of fajitas, and this figure does not include the brisket, pork chops, sausage and various types of chicken he also admitted to stealing, during testimony in his trial.

None of the news reports on this theft say anything about Escamilla selling the food, so my hat is off to this man who clearly has a more significant obsession for food than I do.

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I don’t know how he didn’t get tired of eating so much of the same thing over nearly a decade. Didn’t he ever just sit down to dinner, look at a plateful of fajitas and say “Uck, I cannot eat even one more 800-pound pallet of these things.” Pamville celebrates wondrous variety at http://facebook.com/viewfromthenorth40/.

 

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