Originally created 07/19/00

Small portions



Colorful cuisine

News that Heinz anticipates putting green ketchup into supermarkets (and the hands of children) this fall sent a tsunami of titters and "Oh, boys" across some segments of America - at least among those who remember Crystal Pepsi, yellow milk and blue polenta.

How green ketchup flies remains to be seen. It won't be in stores until this fall, with Heinz dubbing the product EZ Squirt Blastin' Green.

Roll on the run

Trying to tap a new market, Cinnabon Inc. is rolling out a new cinnamon product the company says you can eat on the run. CinnabonStix are made from the same dough and proprietary ingredients as the regular cinnamon rolls baked on site, but with the stick shape, a company spokesman says, "you can walk around and hold it without getting sticky fingers.

Egg-citing book

"An egg is always an adventure" is an Oscar Wilde quote found, appropriately enough, in The Good Egg (Houghton Mifflin, $27). Author Marie Simmons delivers more than 200 eggy adventures, from the familiar (old-fashioned deviled eggs, hollandaise sauce, egg salad) to the unusual (lasagna with pesto and poached eggs in Parmesan custard; escarole, ricotta and egg pie; mocha souffle with hazelnut creme anglaise).

Expensive wine

How hot is the market for California's cult Cabernets? Consider that at a recent Zachys Christie's California Only wine auction, there were nine lots that went for more than $5,000 a case, and five went for more than $10,000. That's more than $800 a bottle. But even more astonishing is that these are not aged wines - the oldest was only a 1989. In fact, of the six wineries represented, only one has been around for more than a decade.

The top seller was an $11,500 mixed case of Colgin double magnums from the 1993, 1994 and 1995 vintages. Right behind was a half-case of 1996 Screaming Eagle and eight mags of Grace Family from 1989 to 1996 for identical $10,925 bids. A case of 1996 Bryant Family went for $10,580, and a magnum of 1996 Screaming Eagle went for $10,120 - of course, it was in its original wooden case.

As a comparison, a search of wine prices on the Internet turned up 1961 Chateau Lafite - a fully mature bottle of what is generally acknowledged to be among the greatest Bordeaux ever - beginning at about $500 a bottle.

Crabby recipes

Even if you haven't grown up feasting on steamed crabs, Cooking with Crab: Best-Loved Recipes and Menus From Chesapeake Bay Gourmet, will turn you into a crustacean lover. The book (QVC, 2000) by Margie Kauffman includes recipes for steamed crabs Maryland style, crab gazpacho, and asparagus and crab quiche. The book is available at bookstores for $25.

In hot water

There are only so many recipes in the world, so in a way, it's probably inevitable that occasionally someone will repeat one or two. But 10? David Ruggerio, former chef at a couple of big-name New York restaurants and currently the author of David Ruggerio's Italian Kitchen: Family Recipes from the Old Country (Artisan Books, $30), is in hot water after food writer Mimi Sheraton noted on the Brill's Content Web site (http://www.brillscontent.com/online/cookbook.html) that some of his recipes were virtually identical to those in other published cookbooks. The recipes were identical not only in concept, but also in phrasing and even in ingredient amounts.

When she examined further, she found at least 10 recipes that appeared to have been cribbed from a kind of Greatest Hits of Italian Cookbooks - mostly by Marcella Hazan and Giuliano Bugialli. What was even more disconcerting was that many of these recipes had personalized headnotes from Mr. Ruggerio, recollecting in some detail how his grandmother had prepared one on Christmas Eve.

Mr. Ruggerio denies having stolen the recipes, but his editor at Artisan Books, Ann Bramson, has already written Ms. Bugialli apologizing.