Roundup: Forks without knives, a vinophile's dream job, a venti pint
Tuesday, July 21, 2009 | 10:35 AM ET
By Tara Kimura, CBCNews.ca
Whither the knife?
A growing number of consumers shopping for flatware are opting not to purchase the matching knives to their forks, according to an article in the Guardian.
The department store Debenhams says the ratio of fork to knife sales in its London stores is three to one.
"The trend towards fast food is the biggest culprit for abandoning traditional etiquette," Debenhams spokesman Ed Watson told the Guardian. "Burgers seldom require the use of a knife, and ready meals are presented using pre-cut, bit-sized portions which slip easily on to a fork."
Uncorking a social media challenge
The list of tweeting, blogging and vlogging vinophiles has been narrowed to 10 in a dream job contest held by the California winery Murphy-Goode.
The winery is offering a six-month job, with a salary of $10,000 US per month, to the candidate who can best use social media tools like Facebook and Twitter to talk about Sonoma County and what they've learned about the fine art of winemaking.
The contest closely resembles an Australian contest held earlier this year by the Tourism Department of Queensland state in which 35,000 applicants competed for the "Best Job in the World." The much-publicized contest offered the winner a six-month assignment to explore and relax on Hamilton Island while blogging.
Murphy-Goode's campaign itself became the subject of scrutiny among twitterers when readers realized a poll on the site, in which people could vote for their favourite candidates, would in no way influence the final vote.
Spokesman Mark Osmun told the Canadian Press the blunder was a true indicator of how much they need to learn about social media.
"If we knew a lot about social media, we wouldn't have to be hiring somebody," he said.
A venti pint?
Coffee chain Starbucks is branching out with plans to beef up its menu with beer and wine at one of its Seattle locations.
The outlet, renamed 15th Avenue Coffee and Tea, is slated to open next week. The iconic logo will be stripped from the store's décor, according to the Seattle Times.
Along with shedding its corporate image, the new store will also host live music events and poetry readings.
Dan Ollis, owner of the independent chain Victrola Coffee Roasters, told the paper he was skeptical of the company's new venture.
"Starbucks is Starbucks, and we're different from them," he said.
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From trends and culture to politics and nutrition, Food Bytes serves up tasty tidbits about food and the issues surrounding it that flavour our everyday lives.
About the writers
Amber Hildebrandt writes for CBCNews.ca in Toronto. Growing up on a farm in Manitoba, she acquired an insatiable appetite, but it was during a stint in Japan that she developed her discerning tastebuds and "foodie" ways.
Andrea Chiu is an associate producer at CBC Radio Digital. Though she loves to eat, cook and discuss food, don't ask her to bake. It never turns out well. She tweets as @TOfoodie on Twitter and organizes food and wine events in Toronto called FoodieMeet.
Tara Kimura is the consumer life reporter for CBCNews.ca, covering a wide range of issues that range from rising food costs and the growing organic movement, to new trends in the marketplace.
Andree Lau is a CBC web reporter in Calgary. Her journalism career includes seven years as a CBC-TV reporter. Her own blog called "are you gonna eat that?" chronicles her eating adventures (including sampling snake and camel hoof tendon).
Jessica Wong is a CBCNews.ca writer who loves to eat and cook, as well as discuss, read and watch programming about food, sometimes all at once.
Kevin Yarr, CBCNews.ca's writer in Prince Edward Island, wrote about food and beer for national and regional magazines before joining the CBC. He acquired a desire for new tastes on his first trip to Europe, and an appreciation of eating locally and in season when he finally settled down on P.E.I.
Elizabeth Bridge is a writer with the CBC Digital Archives in Toronto. She first ventured into the kitchen as a child to indulge a sweet tooth by baking cookies and making fudge. A student budget compelled her to be a vegetarian (for a while) and instilled in her an ongoing curiosity about food and cooking.
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