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Friday, June 10, 2011

PBR Abandons the Hipsters, Meat Glue Makes Genetic Modification Unnecessary

Posted By on Fri, Jun 10, 2011 at 8:26 AM


Today's notes on national stories, local trends, random tastes, and other bycatch dredged up from the food media.

1. PBR done with hipsters. The story of how Pabst Blue Ribbon went from dying brand to an accessory as beloved by twentysomethings as oversized sunglasses and inked forearms is a model for Gen Y marketers. To read how a group of PBR staffers cultivated its cult status, read Rob Walker's Buying In. But those staffers have quit in protest, writes Hypervocal, when the Metropoulos acquired the brand and decided to push for celebrity endorsements instead of go-kart races. Sales are slowing fast.

2. Meat glue is not for sniffing. Meatpaper's new issue sings the praises of meat glue, aka transglutaminases (often sold under the brand name Activa, which is not to be confused with the substance that keeps Jamie Lee Curtis regular). It used to be just for chicken nuggets, but chefs around the country -- including here! in San Francisco! -- are using meat glue to debone duck legs and knit them back together, bind octopus or beef into unnatural shapes, and form ligerlike beasts out of bacon and cod.

3. The farmers' market policewoman. Organic farmers who bulk up their market sales with produce they've bought wholesale. People who show up at the farmers' market to sell their dog. Twelve hundred a month for a full-time job: It's not easy being the manager of a fledgling farmers' market, says the LA Times, which profiles Diana Rogers, market manager for the Santa Monica farmers' market and now the thriving Mar Vista farmers' market. Another fantasy career, demystified.

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Follow me at @JonKauffman.

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