Seems it was just yesterday I was announcing the arrival of a bouncing new addition to the ever-growing Shake Shack family. And now the tribe has grown again.
On December 20 at 11 a.m., Shake Shack Brooklyn opened for business, complete with a ribbon cutting ceremony. The Brooklyn menu features all the Shake Shack classics, plus a selection of items inspired by its new neighborhood: The Urban Lumber Shack (vanilla custard, fried Belgian waffles, bananas, and The Redhead’s bacon peanut brittle), Fudge-eddaboutit (chocolate custard, Mast Brothers Shake Shack blend chocolate, and cinnamon fudge sauce) and Borough Precedent (vanilla custard, Early Bird granola, and seasonal fruit). Beverages include Abita Root Beer on tap, Brooklyn Brewery’s ShackMeister Ale, and wines blended exclusively for Shake Shack by Napa Valley’s Frog’s Leap. Shake Shack Brooklyn, 409 Fulton Street, bet Willoughby and Adams Sts, across from Borough Hall.
Napoleon once observed that an army marches on its stomach. It is doubtful, however, that his troops ate as well as the Little Corporal did.
Even today, field units are forced to survive on rations most soldiers would be loath to feed to their enemy. Exhibit A: A 2-year-old sandwich.
Actually, despite its advanced years, that sandwich is perfectly safe to eat. It was developed by the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development & Engineering Center—inventors of the Meal-Ready-To-Eat, or MRE. Modeled on the “hot pocket,” the sandwich that will stay fresh without refrigeration for two years. Food technologist Michelle Richardson told NPR that the trick to extending shelf life is figuring out how to control pH, water activity, moisture content, and oxygen inside a food’s packaging:
If you think about bacteria as sprinters in a food system, what we’re trying to do is put enough hurdles in so they can’t survive.
The sandwich she developed has succeeded in doing just that partly through the addition of iron filings, which absorb the oxygen so that it’s not available to bacteria, yeast, and mold. “This,” she explains, “keeps the bread, meat and filling from going rancid.”
The big question, of course, is how does the sandwich taste. My guess is “like fruitcake.”
The Christmas holidays may have come and gone, but if you’re like most celebrants you probably received a fruitcake or two to add to your doorstop collection. (Me, I’m one of the oddballs who love fruitcake, so if you want wing your rejects this way I’ll be happy to find them good homes.)
One thing you don’t want to do is chuck the cake in the trash. There’s gold in them there candied cherries. The New York Daily News reports that a 70-year-old fruitcake just fetched $525 in an online auction. The cake was made by The Kroger Company in 1941 and sold at a Cincinnati-area store. The proceeds of the sale will go to helping the homeless.
The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports an even older cake. This confection, which just passed the century mark, was stashed away in a closet. Its frosting had disintegrated and the nuts sprinkled on top had become petrified. I imagine some people will read about it and ask how that makes it different from your standard fruitcake.
Speaking of cakes, a quartet of misguided teens whipped up a special treat for a peer’s birthday. Instead of buttercream, the “pranksters” iced the cake with human feces. According to the police report, the four girls “kept trying to get [the victim] to eat the cake in front of them, until she finally ate a small piece.”
The perpetrators were all sentenced to 22 months probation and ordered to perform 200 hours of community service. One can only hope the community service is no nowhere near a soup kitchen.
Pizza Doesn’t Kill People, People Kill People
A 10-year-old who lives in a suburb of Nashville got into hot water with his school’s administration when he nibbled a slice of pizza into the shape of a handgun and pointed it at fellow students. James Evans, of the Rutherford County School District, reported that “some students reported [the boy] was making some threatening hand gestures, that he was shooting other kids at the table and they reported it to a teacher.”
As punishment for violating the school’s zero tolerance policy with respect to handguns, the child was forced to eat lunch in “silence” for the remainder of the semester, which ended at the holiday break. The child is just lucky the school didn’t decree that his punishment was eating a slice of birthday cake.
- School disciplines 10-year-old for gun-shaped pizza slice (Video)
- Teens sentenced to probation after serving birthday cake ‘iced’ with human feces
- Critic’s Notebook: The bitter truth, Shake Shack strikes again, Shecky’s toast, daily dining deals
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