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Archive for August 28, 2012

PRODUCT: Wine Wipes For Red Wine Lovers

We have a friend who enjoys hearty red wines. After a few glasses, his teeth become so stained that monster movie makeup specialists should take note. It’s not a pretty sight.

If only he would carry Wine Wipes. Unfortunately, the product packaging, with its image of female lips, is not exactly unisex. But either sex can use Wine Wipes discretely. The container can hide in the palm of your hand, and there’s a mirror on the inside of the lid.

Years ago, when we went through an intensive Port-drinking phase and ended up with embarrassing “tannin teeth,” we asked our dentist, who was near retirement, what we could do to eliminate the stains. “If I were in an earlier phase of my career,” he said, “I’d love to do the research. But I’m winding down.”

He did recommend drinking less tannic red wines. But when you’re in a Port mode, nothing else suffices. We ended up carrying a toothbrush and baking soda, and making trips to the restroom to clean our Bride of Frankenstein teeth.

 

If red wine stains your teeth, here’s the solution. Photo courtesy Wine Wipes.

 

Ten years later, we discovered Wine Wipes, a boon for people whose teeth stain more than they’d like. It’s easy to wipe away the unattractive dark red film on your teeth: Just run the cloth over your teeth, tongue and mouth, and they’ll be restored to normal.

The all-natural ingredients won’t otherwise interfere with the taste of the wine:

  • Baking soda, which gives off free radicals that penetrate the surface of the tooth’s enamel and turn the stain clear. It also neutralizes acids that can corrode the enamel.
  • Salt, used before toothpaste was invented, is a natural cleanser and antiseptic. It helps to remove stains, and its alkaline properties also fight germs. The slight taste of salt will not interfere with your palate.
  • Hydrogen peroxide is a mild bleaching agent and germ killer. It does not harm tooth enamel.
  • Calcium strengthens teeth by adhering to tooth enamel.
  • Glycerine coats the teeth to keep them from further staining.
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    A small compact with 20 wipes has an SRP of $6.95.* You can get three for $14.99 on Amazon.

    Wine Wipes make great gifts for pals whose teeth tend to develop “wine tatoos,” and are fun stocking stuffers.

    Buy Wine Wipes on Amazon.com.
     
     
    *SRP = Suggested Retail Price, also called MSRP, Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price.

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Mix Crudités With Green Salads

    Mix it up: a green salad with crudites, figs
    and nuts. Photo courtesy La Tourangelle.

     

    We were facing lot of leftover crudités—raw broccoli, cauliflower, green beans and sugar snap peas—among traditional salad ingredients like carrots, cherry tomatoes and radishes.

    Why is it that we normally toss the carrots, tomatoes and radishes into a green salad, but not the rest of the crudités?

    We amended that posthaste, and enjoyed a delicious “crudité salad”: a salad with more variety, more nutrition, more crunch. And we avoided a supply of withering raw vegetables. We also added nuts for protein, ripe figs and a walnut oil and white wine vinaigrette.

    For those who don’t have enough time in the day to eat their veggie quota, it’s also a two-fer (or perhaps, a three-fer).

    Find more of our favorite salad recipes.

     

     
      

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    FOOD FILM: Three Stars ~ Three-Star Michelin Chefs

    We were excited when we were invited to see the new film, “Three Stars,” a documentary that showcases 10 of the world’s Michelin three-star chefs.* Also featured is Jean-Luc Naret, director of the Guide Michelin, founded in 1900. He provides insights into the rating system and the economic and personal benefits of earning that third star—with the chefs commenting on the pressure it brings to keep it, and other travails.

    The highest Michelin rating, three stars, means “exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey.” It gives a restaurant and its chef world prominence, as foodies around the globe trek long distances to experience the cuisine.

    To those who have followed the stars over the years, one insight provided by Mr. Naret is that now, the ratings are all about the food. In prior years, a restaurant had to be beautifully appointed in order to get the coveted third star. Today, the focus is “what’s on the plate.” Ishikawa in Tokyo is as plain as any traditionally-designed sushi restaurant, and Noma in Copenhagen—rated the world’s best restaurant by Restaurant magazine†—looks like a café in Vermont.

    The 10 chefs featured in “Three Stars” include:

  • Yannick Alléno of Le Meurice in Paris
  • Sven Elverfeld of Aqua in Wolfsburg, Germany
  • Sergio Herman of Oud Sluis in Sluis, The Netherlands
  • Hideki Ishikawa of Ishikawa in Tokyo
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    Noma restaurant has no photos on its website. Want to see the food? You won’t get a satisfying glimpse in “Three Stars.” You’ll have to buy the cookbook. Photo by Ditte Isager ourtesy Phaidon Press.

  • Juan Mari Arzak and Elena Arzak of Arzak in San Sebastian, Spain
  • René Redzepi of Noma in Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Olivier Roellinger of Le Coquillage in Cancale, France (in 2009, Roellinger closed his three-star haute cuisine restaurant, Les Maisons de Bricourt, to focus on the seafood of Brittany at Le Coquillage—more casual cuisine but equally acclaimed [currently 1 Michelin star])
  • Nadia Santini of Dal Pescatore in Runate, Italy
  • Jean-Georges Vongerichten of Jean-Georges in New York City
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    The work of German filmmaker Lutz Hachmeister (the original title is “Drei Sterne—Die Köche und die Sterne, “Three Stars—The Cook and the Stars”), the film is 94 minutes well spent for lovers of haute cuisine. It’s a rare trip behind the scenes, and the opportunity to spend face time—at least on film—with the great chefs.

    There are some quirks. We found the extensive cross-cutting, jumping from topic to topic, to be distracting (we’d like to add some title cards). But truly disappointing is that there’s only about a minute of screen time given to showing the food!

    The director focuses on searches for the finest ingredients, kitchen preparation and some dining room scenes, along with the chefs as talking heads.

    Strangely, when the director has the opportunity to focus on the beautiful plates of food that result from their chefs’ philosophies and labors, he quickly shifts focus—in two disappointing instances, spending time on the face of the pretty server, while the plates of food she serves get short shrift (or no shrift). It’s a real flaw in the film, and makes us wonder why Herr Hachmeister chose to spend his time documenting three-star chefs.

    So, while the film doesn’t merit three stars, it’s still a tasty treat for all who love exquisite cuisine and want to know more about those who produce it.

    See our list of food films.

    *The 2012 edition of the Guide Michelin features 109 three-stars, up from 96 in 2012.

    †The World’s 50 Best Restaurants is a list produced by the British magazine Restaurant. The voters include consumer gourmets, international chefs, restaurant critics and restaurateurs.

      

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