Originally created 12/25/96

Santa may need to cut down on the fat



Have pity on poor Santa Claus! The American Dietetic Association says if Santa drank a glass of whole milk and ate two butter cookies at every American household he visited, he consumed 14,026,032,000 calories and 6,180,336,000 grams of fat. The association suggests that next year Santa should try skim milk instead of whole (saving 64 calories and 8 grams of fat per glass) and gingersnaps or graham crackers (saving 169 calories and 8 grams of fat per serving).

Starbucks expands

Prefer coffee with your cookies? Starbucks, which already has 1,050 stores in the United States, plans to open 325 more next year. The company says U.S. sales are increasing 40 percent to 50 percent a year.

Lobster logic

If you want to know whether a boiled lobster was alive when it was cooked, see if its tail is curled. "A live lobster curls its tail under when plunged into boiling water," Samuels & Sons Seafood's Fish Doctor reports. "If killed any other way, i.e. before being cooked, the tail becomes too elastic to curl."

Fruit for thought

Eating fruit, vegetables and low-fat foods can quickly lower high blood pressure. So say researchers from Johns Hopkins University and other institutions, who found that a diet high in produce and low in fat gave persons with high blood pressure reductions similar to those achieved by medications.

Winewear

Are no nudes good news? Well, after being hit with complaints that the sketch of a nude girl on its wine label was too provocative, Chateau Mouton Rothschild, France's famous vineyard, is shipping bottles to the United States with blank labels. This has made both the original and the blank label collector's items.

Pet provisions

Check out the changing pet food aisle in your local supermarket. Sure, all the basic brands are there, but you'll also see some "super-premium" brands and special formulas - food for growing puppies, vitamin-enriched water with fish flavor for gourmet cats, even diet foods for overweight dogs.

Last year, Americans spent more than $6.9 billion on their dogs, cats, goldfish, parakeets, and other assorted animal friends.

Pet foods and accessories have been big business for supermarkets in particular, which racked up $4.5 billion of the market.

But supermarkets are fighting to retain those pet purchases, and in some cases they are losing the fight.

A decade ago, 95 percent of all pet food was sold in the supermarket. Today that number has declined to less than 60 percent.

Krispy cafe

In the days before biscotti and skinny double decaf cappuccinos, there were doughnuts and coffee. For nearly 60 years, Krispy Kreme has been a master of the doughnut.

Now it's perfected the coffee part of the combo. Earlier this month, the company, based in Winston-Salem, N.C., introduced America's Cup of Coffee, a blend of 100 percent Arabica beans.

Krispy Kreme worked for more than a year on the blend, which was developed specifically to complement the flavor of doughnuts. We think the smooth, non-bitter brew goes with just about anything - even biscotti.

Besides a cup and sinker at Krispy Kreme stores, ground coffee is available in 12-ounce bags.

Choice chocolates

Now that you've been altruistic, it's high time for your own little treat. Consider Godiva's new product, targeted "for personal indulgence."

The item: dessert chocolate, a 1.25-ounce box of Creme Brulee, strawberry cheesecake or Mochaccino mousse temptations. If you're a reformed chocaholic, their cost may be your salvation: $2.50 for two pieces.