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Chicken fingers dipped in Coke? US Open fan's food habit sparks debate

It seems like a typical American lunch: crispy chicken fingers paired with an ice-cold Coca-Cola. But one woman's way of combining the two has sparked a heated debate on social media.

>> Read more trending news 

According to Fox News, an unsuspecting tennis fan was caught on camera dipping a chicken tender in her soda cup Monday at the U.S. Open. ESPN posted the video clip on Twitter, where it quickly went viral. 

>> Watch the clip here

The woman, later identified as Alexa Greenfield of New York, explained her food habit in an interview Tuesday.

"My dad started me with [dipping chicken fingers in soda] I think to cool it down, but I just loved the taste and kept going," she told Fox News. "Once I got older, I gave it up for a while, assuming it would be way too weird to bring it into adulthood."

But she eventually decided to bring back the curious combo – and social media users aren't quite sure what to make of it. While some commenters were just confused, others were appalled.

Other Twitter users had Greenfield's back.

One thing's for sure: If the internet can't handle the idea of dipping chicken strips in soda, it definitely isn't ready for the Southern tradition of combining Coke and peanuts

PETA wants to build 5-foot memorial for lobsters killed in truck crash

Animal rights activists with the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) are asking the Maine DOT for permission to put up a five-foot memorial along Route 1 in Brunswick where lobsters died in a crash a week ago.

>> PETA billboard in Baltimore urges patrons to stop eating crabs

Last Wednesday, a truck carrying about 70 crates of live lobsters overturned on the road, killing some of the crustaceans

In PETA's letter to the Department of Transportation, activists said the memorial would urge passing drivers to "try vegan."

"Countless sensitive crustaceans experienced an agonizing death when this truck rolled over and their bodies came crashing down onto the highway," said PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. "PETA hopes to pay tribute to these individuals who didn't want to die with a memorial urging people to help prevent future suffering by keeping lobsters and all other animals off their plates."

>> SEE: Eye-popping rainbow-colored lobster escapes death, now on display at aquarium

PETA said in their letter that "lobsters are intelligent individuals who use complex signals to establish social relationships" and that the practice of boiling them alive without first stunning them has been banned in Switzerland.

The organization hopes that the memorial would motivate others to go vegan and "prevent such tragedies."

>> Read more trending news 

The letter said: "At a time when animal transport accidents are becoming more common, this memorial would be an effective way to remind truck drivers and Brunswick residents of their responsibility to fellow motorists and animals."

According to PETA, "the memorial would be placed at the edge of the right-of-way farthest from the road so that it wouldn't be distracting to drivers."

Snoop Dogg releasing ‘From Crook to Cook’ cookbook this fall

Snoop Dogg continues to do the unexpected -- from a cooking show with Martha Stewart to a No. 1 gospel album to a cookbook.

The California rapper announced the release of his first cookbook, “From Crook to Cook: Platinum Recipes from Tha Boss Dogg's Kitchen,” on social media Thursday.

>> Read more trending news 

People reported that the book will have 50 of Snoop’s favorite recipes, and they are all cannabis-free.

Recipes for baked mac and cheese, chicken and waffles, baby back ribs and more will be in the book, which is organized by meal and occasion with entertaining tips from Snoop, 43,  throughout. 

Us Weekly reported that the book will also have takes on soft flour tacos, orange chicken, lobster and filet mignon.

It wouldn’t be a Snoop cookbook without some mention of the rapper’s favorite munchies, like chewy Starbursts and Frito BBQ twists, and a gin and juice recipe.

“You know it’s blazin’ up in my kitchen,” Snoop said in a news release. “I’m takin’ the cookbook game higher with a dipped and whipped collection of my favorite recipes, ya dig?”

“From Crook to Cook” will be released Oct. 23

BrewDog DogHouse: ‘World's first’ craft beer hotel opens in Ohio this weekend

BrewDog will celebrate the opening of its new “beer-hotel” in Ohio this weekend. 

The brewery said the hotel, named the DogHouse, is the “world’s first craft beer hotel,” according to BrewDog’s website

>> PREVIOUS STORY: World’s first beer-themed hotel may be coming to Ohio

Named the DogHouse, the hotel in Canal Winchester, a city near Columbus, is the first of its kind and features 32 rooms, including eight deluxe suites and a workout facility, according to WBNS.

Other features include a lobby bar with games and activities, a marketplace for takeaway food, international continental breakfast daily and select dog-friendly rooms. Guests also will have views of the brewery throughout in order to watch the brewers work.

All rooms include in-room refrigerators stocked with BrewDog beers, in-shower fridges, in-room taps, 42-inch flat screens and plenty more.

>> Read more trending news 

In addition to the craft beer escape, BrewDog also has unveiled its on-site, interactive beer museum. This 6,000-square-foot space provides a journey through the brewing process, a deep dive into the history of craft beer, and a hands-on experience of "the fundamental four" ingredients that contribute to the creation of a craft beer.

Established in 2007, BrewDog has grown from selling craft beer in the United Kingdom to exporting to 60 countries and 49 bars around the world.

The first night patrons can sleep at the DogHouse hotel will be Aug. 26, according to the website.

Read more here.

Grilling fanatic? Get $10K to eat barbecue as Reynolds' new 'chief grilling officer'

Hungry for a new career? Reynolds Kitchens has a mouthwatering new job opportunity.

According to a post on its website, the company best known for its aluminum foil is hiring a chief grilling officer to help "identify the best grilling techniques and tips" to pass along to Reynolds' fans.

>> 6 tips for safe and fun summer grilling

"As CGO, you won't need a comfy corner office. That's because for two weeks, you'll be too busy sampling and savoring grilled goods from some of the top barbeque cities in the country," the job ad reads.

"Along the way, you'll share tips, techniques and pictures of your travels on the Reynolds Kitchens website and social channels, so that grilling enthusiasts at home can make drool-worthy meals on their own."

>> Read more trending news 

The gig includes a $10,000 stipend and "pre-paid travel and lodging for you and a (very lucky) guest," the listing says.

Ready to dig in? You can apply for the position by sending a 100-word essay about "why you think you would be the ultimate CGO" to ReynoldsCGO@gmail.com. You also must include an original photo of your favorite grilling recipe.

Read more here.

CNN to release final season of Anthony Bourdain's 'Parts Unknown' this fall

CNN will be cobbling together a final seven-episode season of “Parts Unknown” with Anthony Bourdain, who died of suicide in June. It’s set to air this fall. 

Only one episode featuring Bourdain and fellow CNN host W. Kamau Bell in Kenya was fully completed before his death with his signature narration.

>> PHOTOS: Anthony Bourdain through the years

Bourdain’s production company will use pre-existing footage to create four other episodes in Manhattan’s Lower East Side, the Big Bend area of Texas along the border of Mexico, the Asturias region of Spain and Indonesia. Without his post-production narration, the producers will use audio that he shot while on location.

>> Anthony Bourdain: Chef influenced food world with 'Kitchen Confidential', 'Parts Unknown'

Another episode will be focused on outtakes and anecdotes from crew and producers. The final “Parts Unknown” will be more of a tribute from fans and friends. 

“Each one will feel slightly different depending on what’s gathered in the field,” said Amy Entelis, executive vice president of talent and content at CNN who handles original series and films, to the Los Angeles Times. “They will have the full presence of Tony because you’ll see him, you’ll hear him, you’ll watch him. That layer of his narration will be missing, but it will be replaced by other voices of people who are in the episodes.”

>> Anthony Bourdain will filed, leaves bulk of $1.2 million estate to daughter

The network relied on Bourdain’s Emmy-winning show for ratings, especially on Sunday nights, where it regularly propelled the network ahead of Fox News and MSNBC among 25- to 54-year-olds. On CNN since 2013, Bourdain’s show was CNN’s original series calling card, the show that was able to charge the most ad dollars, according to Standard Media Index. The Los Angeles Times story said over a nearly nine-month period through June 14, CNN aired his show 166 times. 

>> Read more trending news 

While Bourdain’s show is in effect irreplaceable, CNN still has other original series options, including Bell’s “United Shades of America,” “This is Life With Lisa Ling,” “The 2000s,” and “The History of Comedy.” And more are in the pipeline, including Atlanta-based Sanjay Gupta’s “Chasing Life,” where he travels the world seeking secrets to living longer, healthier and happier. 

Kudzu is edible: Here's how to eat it

In the Southeast, you’ll find kudzu draping the scenery off the side of the interstate. You’ll find kudzu climbing that abandoned barn in your neighbor’s backyard. And if you sit long enough in one place, you may even find kudzu growing up your leg — the picturesque, prolific creeper vine can grow up to 12 inches in a day.

But one place you’re unlikely to find kudzu is on your plate. Why is that?

>> Back to school: 15 preschool lunch ideas even teens will eat

After all, in today’s culinary climate of favoring locally grown produce, shouldn’t we eat an edible leaf that grows seemingly everywhere?

“I’ve never cooked with or used kudzu, because none of the farmers I source from have ever had it on their lists,” said Jarrett Stieber, an Atlanta chef with a reputation for using local, seasonal ingredients. “But I’m open to cooking with it. I’ve used similar things like sweet potato and pumpkin leaf, which are popular in Southeast Asian and some African cuisines, but never kudzu.”

Regardless of a willingness to try, is eating kudzu even possible? Yes, say experts, as long as you know what you’re doing.

“Kudzu seeds and seed pods aren’t edible, but the leaves, roots, flowers and vine tips are,” said Raleigh Saperstein, senior horticulturist at the Atlanta Botanical Garden. She pointed out that, despite its reputation as an omnipresent nuisance, U.S. Forest Service research has shown that kudzu, whose scientific name is Pueraria montana, only occupies one-tenth of 1 percent of the South’s 200 million acres of forest. Asian privet, by comparison, takes up 14 times the amount of space that kudzu does. Making kudzu edible may be a way to demythologize and destigmatize the plant.

>> Is fruit juice healthy for kids? Expert weighs in

Darryl Wilson is a North Carolina forager and entrepreneur whose business, Carolina Kudzu Crazy, focuses on edible applications of the vine. He started by feeding the leaves to pigs and rabbits before moving on to us humans, avoiding the larger leaves, which can be too tough.

“We use the small leaves in recipes that call for spinach bacon quiche,” said Wilson. Kudzu has a mild spinach-like flavor, and Wilson said that it absorbs other flavors well.

Kudzu flowers may hold the most uses for those looking to get something tasty out of the vine. Yes, kudzu has flowers. They’re small and purple and blossom beneath the leaves, which is why they’re not easily noticed. The vine generally flowers in late July through early September, and hanging vines are more likely to have flowers than those growing along the ground.

Carolina Kudzu Crazy has also developed grilling glazes, stir-fry glazes, both sweet and spicy jellies and a pancake syrup, all using kudzu blossoms that impart a flavor that tastes like a grape-apple combination to some, and a strawberry-apple to others, according to Wilson.

Thinking of testing out your own kudzu recipes? Saperstein cautions against just pulling off the highway with a pair of shears. “Like any foraged food, avoid plants that might have been sprayed with herbicides or are growing alongside major roadways where they could be contaminated with vehicle exhaust,” she said.

>> Hot Cheetos, Takis under fire after mom blames spicy snacks for daughter's gallbladder surgery

Kudzu originates in East Asia. It was first imported to the United States from Japan in 1876, brought over for the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. It made its way to the Southeast within a decade. But it wasn’t until farmer, radio personality and Atlanta Constitution columnist Channing Cope exhorted its benefits in the mid-1900s that it began to spread across the region.

So although kudzu has become iconically Southern, perhaps to find an edible application for it, it’s best to look to the culinary traditions from where kudzu is rooted.

“I have cooked with powder of kudzu root when I was in Asia,” said Jason Liang, the sushi chef behind Brush Sushi Izakaya in Decatur, Georgia, and the newly opened Japanese fast-casual spot Momonoki in Midtown Atlanta. “The powder is mixed with water then added to thicken the sauce or soup. It doesn’t have color or taste of its own.”

In addition to kudzu starch’s use as a cooking thickener, Liang noted that dehydrated kudzu root is commonly used in Chinese medicine to relieve hangovers, upset stomachs, headaches and flu symptoms.

And while kudzu is unlikely to be the next locavore craze, Atlanta diners may see some dishes incorporating the vine creep onto menus around town.

>> Read more trending news 

“I’m sure it would go well with other veggies and summer fruits, too, like peach, blueberry and fig,” speculated chef Jarrett Stieber of the pop-up concept Eat Me Speak Me.

And Matt Marcus, the new chef-owner of Watershed, is currently testing culinary applications for kudzu.

“We are making powders, oils, papers, jams and more while trying to figure out the sweet spot between flavor and color,” said Marcus, who’s also playing around with okra-esque kudzu “slime” in his kitchen. “I think most people don’t use kudzu in town because of the stigma it has gotten as an invasive vine. It’s also not easy to manipulate, and the yield is very low for usable raw product without refinement.”

But perhaps the vine just doesn’t have enough going for it to make it worth the trouble. After all, said Jason Liang, “It doesn’t have much taste, and no one seems to care about it. Maybe we all have enough things to eat already.”

Wraps, salads sold at Kroger, Trader Joe's recalled over possible parasite

Have you recently picked up a salad or wrap from the grocery store? It could make you sick, according to a new health alert.

The Food Safety and Inspection Service said Monday that "beef, pork and poultry salad and wrap products" recently distributed by Indianapolis-based Caito Foods may be contaminated with a parasite called cyclospora.

>> On USDA.gov: See the full list of recalled products

The products, produced July 15-18, have "sell by" dates of July 18-23 and were sold at Kroger, Trader Joe's, Walgreens and other retailers across the country, WRTV reported. The recalled items also have an establishment number of EST. 39985 or P-39985, the FSIS said.

>> On USDA. gov: See the labels here

Health officials issued the alert after Caito Foods' lettuce supplier, Fresh Express, said "the chopped romaine that is used to manufacture some of their salads and wraps was being recalled," according to the FSIS.

>> RELATED STORY: Listeria concerns prompt recall of grab-and-go sandwiches in 11 states

Symptoms of cyclospora infection include watery diarrhea with frequent bowel movements, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Its incubation period could last up to 14 days, officials said.

>> Read more trending news 

If you have any of the recalled products, you should throw them away or return them to the store, officials said. If you think you are sick, visit your health care provider.

Read more here.

Dragon's Breath liquid nitrogen snack sends Florida boy to hospital, mom says

A Florida mom said what looked like a fun and harmless treat sent her child to the hospital

>> Watch the news report here

Dragon's Breath, a cereal-like treat, is sold at The Avenues Mall in Jacksonville.

It’s coated in liquid nitrogen, which makes it look like you're breathing smoke out of your mouth and nose after eating it.

Racheal Richard McKenny of St. Augustine said her son has very mild asthma.

>> On ActionNewsJax.com: Man dies after eating raw oysters at Florida restaurant, report says

She says he started having trouble breathing on the way home from the mall, shortly after eating the snack.

“Around 20 minutes in, the cough became really consistent. By the time we passed the Palencia subdivision, he was coughing so bad that he was having trouble catching his breath,” she wrote on Facebook. “We knew he couldn’t breathe, and we knew that we couldn’t get him to the hospital in time.”

>> See the post here

McKenny said they quickly pulled into a fire station, where EMTs immediately started Johnny on an albuterol treatment and hooked him up to an IV while preparing him for transport. 

“The nebulizer was not improving his breathing at all and, by the time they got him loaded into the ambulance, he needed a shot of epinephrine,” she said. “Johnny had a second breathing treatment and steroid on the way to the hospital.”

Dr. Sunil Joshi of Family Allergy Asthma Consultants in Jacksonville said even people who don’t have asthma could have side effects from the nitrogen in the treat.

“Even if you don’t have asthma it can be very, very inflammatory or irritating to the airway and your esophagus and your stomach, all of that,” he said.

>> Read more trending news 

He also said exposure to the nitrogen can cause serious burns. 

Dragon’s Breath sold by a different vendor made headlines in October when a 14-year-old girl was severely burned at a fair.

A county in New York has also moved to ban the treats.

A manager of the kiosk at the mall in Jacksonville said a notice at the cash register was updated to include an allergy and asthma warning after Johnny’s reaction.

He said the business believes it was an isolated incident and that several customers with asthma who ate Dragon’s Breath did not have a reaction.

McKenny posted a warning on Facebook, saying she hopes sharing Johnny’s experience prevents this from happening to any other family.

How to get a McDonald's MacCoin, free Big Mac in honor of iconic burger's 50th anniversary

McDonald's is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its iconic Big Mac in a big way.

Starting at lunchtime Thursday, customers at 14,000 participating restaurants across the country will receive a MacCoin with the purchase of a Big Mac while supplies last, the company announced in a news release.

>> Read more trending news 

From Friday through the end of the year, customers can redeem a MacCoin for a free Big Mac at participating restaurants.

The coins have the following five designs, each paying tribute to a different decade:

  • The '70s MacCoin's theme is flower power.
  • The '80s MacCoin pays tribute to pop art. 
  • The '90s MacCoin has bold, abstract shapes.
  • The '00s MacCoin focuses on technology.
  • The '10s MacCoin honors "the evolution of communication." 

According to WPXI, the iconic burger was created in the Pittsburgh area by franchisee Jim Delligatti.

“When my great-grandfather Jim Delligatti invented the Big Mac at his grill in Uniontown, Pennsylvania, he just wanted to make his local customers happy,” said Nick Delligatti, fourth-generation McDonald’s owner-operator and great-grandson of Delligatti. “August 2 would have been my great-grandfather’s 100th birthday, and I believe he would be very proud knowing his humble sandwich has made such a lasting impression that people all around the world can enjoy it wherever they find a McDonald’s.” 

Read more here.

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