Learn how to make one of the world's most famous desserts.
Learn how to make one of the world's most famous desserts.
In brief: The Book of Difficult Fruit; Early Morning Riser; Sex Robots & Vegan Meat – reviewsA foray into the world of tricky fruit, unquiet life in small-town Michigan, and a savvy guide to the science of life Katherine Heiny: ‘Anne Tyler with added grunge’. Photograph: Leila Barbaro
Chick-fil-A's popularity has been well-documented. For six consecutive years, the Atlanta-based chain has taken first place on the American Consumer Satisfaction Index. Then a few years ago, Business Insider and Foursquare went so far as to name it America's favorite fast-food restaurant, publishing a map that showed Chick-fil-A as the most popular chain in 39 out of the 50 states.But if you look at this map more closely, you might notice an interesting outlier: almost the entirety of the East Coast is blocked out as "Chick-fil-A-states," except for one. The state of Vermont. And not only is the chain not popular in the state—it has no locations there at all. In fact, Vermont is the only mainland state without a Chick-fil-A restaurant. (RELATED: 7 New Fast-Food Chicken Sandwiches Everyone's Talking About.)There are a few possible explanations for this. Perhaps Vermont is too sparsely populated to be an attractive place for Chick-fil-A to bring its business—by a 2021 estimate, Vermont is the second least populous state in the U.S. There's also the fact that Chick-fil-A is notoriously selective in its application process, granting franchises to only about 1% of all applicants. It's possible that Vermont has simply failed to produce a competitive candidate. Yea, that could make sense.On the other hand, its absence from the Green Mountain State might have something to do with the chain's history of legal trouble in Vermont. In 2011, Chick-fil-A became entangled in a trademark dispute with a popular Vermont silk-screen artist Robert Muller-Moore. Moore had designed the "Eat More Kale" slogan on behalf of a farmer friend, with the goal of promoting Vermont's agriculture and produce. But when he attempted to trademark it, Chick-fil-A contested his application, claiming the slogan infringed on their own popular "Eat Mor Chikin" trademark.A three-year legal battle ensued, during which the residents and even heads of state weren't shy in expressing whose side they were on. Muller-Moore received public support from Vermont's governor, and ultimately claimed victory in 2014, when the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office approved his application.Could the "Eat More Kale" dispute be the reason Chick-fil-A has yet to open a restaurant in Vermont? While Muller-Moore has heard "neither hide nor hair" from Chick-fil-A since 2014, they popped back up on the state's radar in 2016, when they debuted a kale salad side dish served with—wait for it—maple vinaigrette. Maple is one of Vermont's major exports, and the move was seen by some (including Muller-Moore) as an overt jab at the state.Whatever the case may be, Chick-fil-A remains an immensely popular fast-food chain, and with plans to open a location in Helena, Alaska, they are quickly closing in on a complete national presence. Before they can get to fifty states, though, they may have to patch things up with Vermont. For more on the latest fast-food trends, check out 9 Best Limited-Time Fast Foods on Menus Right Now, and don't forget to sign up for our newsletter to get the latest restaurant news delivered straight to your inbox.
Food marketing is so ubiquitous, we almost don't notice it anymore—all the ads in everything from grocery stores to magazines to billboards, and even on some gas pumps—but it turns out that it's succeeding, maybe a little too well.A new study in the Journal of Consumer Psychology looked at how responsive people are to food marketing messages, and whether their buying habits might sync up based on weight. Turns out, that's true.Researchers followed three groups: people with severe obesity before and after weight-loss surgery; people with obesity who weren't having surgery; and people categorized as normal weight. Each group was shown a breadth of branding and advertising messages and asked to estimate the calorie content in the foods and beverages they were being shown. (Related: The 7 Healthiest Foods to Eat Right Now).Everyone in the study underestimated the calorie contents, but the effect was more significant in people with obesity. To delve deeper into whether this had an impact on actions, researchers asked participants to choose a portion of French fries based on different wording. For example, the amount of fries in a "mini" size were actually the same as one labeled "small.""This is a marketing tactic that makes larger portions seem more reasonable," says lead researcher Yann Cornil, PhD, assistant professor at the University of British Columbia Sauder School of Business. "Those with obesity were more likely to follow this labeling as opposed to the actual information about quantity, and that could lead to them eating more than they'd planned."By contrast, those in the normal-weight group were much less responsive to this marketing and tended to choose their fries portion based on actual quantity rather than labeling.The good news, Cornil adds, is that weight loss seems to have an effect on those who are more prone to these marketing tricks. The group of participants who went through weight-loss surgery became less responsive to this marketing over time. A year after their surgery, their amount of responsiveness was about the same as those in the normal-weight group.Keep in mind that the reasons are complex, says Cornil. For instance, people who experience weight loss have several physiological shifts—including hormonal changes and improvements to gut health—that could make them less likely to respond to food marketing. At the same time, they usually have a higher desire to change their habits and that could make them less prone to unhealthy food messaging.Whatever the reason, it's helpful to remember that food marketing is exactly that: advertising designed to get you to eat more, all the time. And as you lose weight, it seems to lose its power.For more, be sure to check out 10 Worst Snacks That Should Never Be In Your Pantry.
Glenda Jackson: ‘Awards should be something you share… the camaraderie was absent’. Her performance in Elizabeth Is Missing won the veteran actress a Bafta and an Emmy – and she hasn’t missed dressing up for the virtual ceremonies
In the late 1990s, McDonald's was riding a wave of growth that had lasted some four decades. The beloved burger chain was adding new locations every year, and during that time, a new type of McDonald's restaurant started to proliferate—one located inside Walmart centers.While the partnership between the two American giants yielded strong results for a while, the concept started to lose steam by 2010. Between 2012 and 2017, the number of McDonald's locations in Walmart had gone from 875 to around 630, according to Grocery Dive. And that was only the beginning. (RELATED: 7 New Fast-Food Chicken Sandwiches Everyone's Talking About.)Just in the past year, some 100 McDonald's units situated inside a Walmart have shut down, according to East Idaho News. The shuttered Walmart restaurants represent nearly half of all closures the fast-food chain had undergone during that time period. With more closures planned through this summer, it is estimated the chain will have about 150 remaining locations inside the big-box stores.This trend isn't surprising at all. The COVID-19 pandemic dramatically curtailed in-store shopping at Walmart centers nationwide and moved the retail experience online. But even before the pandemic, in-store McDonald's locations have always seen lower traffic compared to stand-alone units, especially those with drive-thru locations, which account for some 95% of McDonald's in America, according to East Idaho News.And it's hardly a regional issue. In recent weeks, a McDonald's located inside a Walmart in Camden, Del. shut down, as did several such units around Bradenton, Fla., and in Idaho. For more on the most shocking fast-food chain closures, check out 10 Biggest Restaurant Chain Bankruptcies of 2020. And don't forget to sign up for our newsletter to get the latest restaurant news delivered straight to your inbox.
Four Hundred Souls, edited by Ibram X Kendi and Keisha N Blain review – a resounding history of African AmericaIn this rich anthology spanning 1619-2019, no fewer than 90 writers, historians, lawyers and activists challenge the myths of America’s past Ibram X Kendi, the book’s co-curator: ‘an able navigator of race relations’. Photograph: Jeff Watts/AP
He's "united in grief" with the rest of the royals.
Kyle Abraham’s When We Fell review – study of stillness and isolation in black and whiteAvailable onlineThe choreographer’s unhurried movements are rendered exquisitely on film by cinematographer Ryan Marie Helfant for New York City Ballet Space to move… the first scene of When We Fell is filmed in the lobby of the David H. Koch Theater in the Lincoln Center. Photograph: PR
‘We’ve been inundated’: England’s beauty salons say cash-splashing clients excited to return. Clamour for salon appointments comes as uncertainty remains over new rules on shorter, basic treatments
Romeo & Juliet review – Jessie Buckley and Josh O’Connor are outstanding. National Theatre/Sky ArtsBuckley and O’Connor head a terrific cast in this imaginatively pared down, made-for-TV production
Me and my ‘she shed’: women on the joys of their garden retreats. Move over man caves! Now women are discovering what a life-saver their own private sheds can be
Shark sketches, dinosaur drawings… My two-year-old thinks I'm a genius. My son’s ecstatic response to my drawing skills leaves me in no doubt – Damien Hirst would be blown away
Anita Sethi: 'I wanted something joyous to come out of this horrific experience'The Mancunian author on becoming a victim of a race-hate crime, walking the Pennine Way – and the memoir that followedRead an extract from I Belong Here by Anita Sethi Anita Sethi photographed near Edale in the Peak District, Derbyshire. Photograph: Richard Saker/The Observer
Some home truths about DIY fertilisersHomespun versions of fertilisers are likely to have more downsides than up Growing pains: pasta water, banana skins and raw eggs all have drawbacks and won’t work as well as commercially made fertilisers. Photograph: Anna Ostanina/Alamy
Jamie Demetriou: ‘When I won the awards, I almost felt sheepish to have good news’. The creator and star of Stath Lets Flats, who scooped three Baftas last year, on the incomparable boost of winning big in Covid times
Airport culture is really going places, even if we aren’t. Jetting off to Magaluf may or may not be possible this summer, but just hanging out at Stansted is half the fun
All to yourself: 10 of the best remote hotels in the UK. From the coast to the mountains, we pick remote and characterful hotels where you can forget all about the outside world
Beautiful Things: A Memoir by Hunter Biden review – confessions of a hellraiser. The US president’s guilt-ridden son relates his life of excess in detail, but sadly lacks any self-awareness
The Agenda review: why Biden must expand the supreme court – fast. Ian Millhiser offers a perfect short read for a key moment in US constitutional history, after Republicans hijacked the court
10 of the best cleansing balmsFor anyone with sensitive, dry or oily skin, these balms are a joy ‘When I see cleansing balms whose only purpose in life is to remove makeup, I can’t help but label them as lazy’: Funmi Fetto. Photograph: Iuliia Zavalishina/Getty Images