Junior Mad Scientist – Lab Notes

National Gelato Month?

May 19th, 2010 by Weber

image courtesy http://www.biteclubeats.com/gelato.jpg

Why didn’t anybody tell me it’s National Artisan Gelato Month?

Guess I’d have to be on one of the privacy-abusing social networking sites to get that kind of up-to-date info. Well, it’s a small price to pay for keeping my business mine and not fodder for trolls, sell-outs, busybodies, and data miners pimping my status to the advertising industry.

I may be behind the curve on this one, but I’ve still got twelve solid days left to enjoy the sweet, yummy goodness of artisan gelato. I like gelato. Not better than ice cream. Equally, I’d have to say.

If you had a scoop of gelato in one hand and a scoop if ice cream in another and asked me which one I wanted, I’d tell you, “Neither — because they’re all melty and gross and running down your arm. It’s a dessert, not a fetish. So get me a fresh one in a cone; I don’t care what.”

I bet jalapeno gelato is good. I’d like some of that.

Anyway, Here’s a list of artisan gelato joints in Chicago area — including Palazzolo’s and Caffe Gelato (make sure your speakers are off when you hit this site) — and a link to recent Chicago Tribune articles on artisan gelato and places to get it.

All of this artisan gelato action begs the question: how, exactly, did May become National Artisan Gelato Month? Seems like any chucklehead with half an agenda can get his own National Something Month. Take a look at the ones for May:

Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month
Mental Health Month
Allergy/Asthma Awareness Month
National Good Car Keeping Month
National Strawberry Month
National Chocolate Custard Month
Foot Health Month
National Physical Fitness and Sports Month
National High Blood Pressure Month
National Hamburger Month
Arthritis Month
Better Sleep Month
Correct Posture Month
National Salad Month
Older Americans Month
National Barbecue Month
National Bike Month
National Mine Month
National Egg Month
National Artisan Gelato Month
National Asparagus Month
National Macaroon Day
National Salad Month
National Salsa Month
National Share A Story month

National Chocolate Custard Month? Seriously? Why not a National High Fructose Corn Syrup Month? And how about whipping National Egg Month into a nice Bearnaise to drizzle over National Asparagus Month? Where’s National Steak & Crab Legs Month?

Not that I have the time for it, but now I’m pissed-off enough to start investigating how we got all these ridiculous National Months — I’m looking right at you, “Hug a Texas Chef Month.”

More on this as I find it. Meanwhile, here, for your viewing pleasure and possible outrage, is an expanded list of National Months by month. If you’re lucky, maybe your birthday falls during a really good one. My birthday’s in January, host to a bunch of sucky National Months such as:

Prune Breakfast Month
Fat Free Living Month
Dried Plum Breakfast Month (I’m flummoxed as to how this differs from Prune Breakfast Month. Any help here?)
National Fiber Focus Month
National Mail Order Gardening Month
National Eye Health Care

January is also National Egg Month. How did eggs get two National Months? Either the egg lobby is more powerful than we thought, or our elected public servants aren’t paying attention to the bills they vote on.

Nah. Couldn’t be that.

Posted in Food, Weridness | Comments Off on National Gelato Month?

Carlos V — some (more) follow-up

April 30th, 2008 by Weber


Two-Face (flipping coin in the air): “Heads — I shoot you. Tails — You have to eat this candy bar.”

Me: “C’mon HEADS!”

Below is a copy of my initial info request via the Nestle site and the same-day reply from Liz Rocklin, the nice lady from Nestle’s Corporate & Brand Affairs. Thank you, Liz!


Nestlé USA Media Inquiry

FirstName: Bradley
LastName: Weber
Organization: JMS Labs
City: Chicago
State: Illinois
Email: bweber@juniormadscientist.com
Deadline: May 1, 2008

Good morning,

I’m writing a short article on the Carlos V candy bar. The latest packaging bears the legend “DARK KNIGHT.” Nothing in my research indicates Carlos V was known, in his time or after, as “El Caballero Oscuro” or had any related sobriquet.

Can you please clarify the connection between Carlos V and “Dark Knight?”

Many Thanks.

Bradley Weber

From: Rocklin,Liz,GLENDALE,Corporate & Brand Affairs
To: bweber@juniormadscientist.com
Sent: Tuesday, April 29, 2008 3:21 PM
Subject: RE: Nestlé USA Media Inquiry

The name “Dark Knight” was developed to correlate with the Dark Chocolate version of Carlos V. The name Dark Knight also references Knights, which has to do with the kingdom that Carlos V oversaw.


So, there’s the answer. I don’t buy it, but there’s the answer. Enjoy!


Posted in Food, Weridness | Comments Off on Carlos V — some (more) follow-up

Carlos V — some follow-up

April 29th, 2008 by Weber


Why so crunchy?

This whole thing about the Carlos V/Dark Knight candy bar is making me nuts.

Why is Nestle using DARK KNIGHT on the box? What’s the connection?

On Tuesday, I emailed them a request for clarification. I’ll post their reply as soon as I get it.

Posted in Food, Weridness | Comments Off on Carlos V — some follow-up

The Dark Knight no es sabroso

April 20th, 2008 by Weber


What’s a 16C Spanish Monarch have to do with Batman? Uhhhhh . . . .

Another new candy bar at my grocery store today: Nestle’s CARLOS V. Why every Holy Roman Emperor doesn’t have a candy bar named after him, I don’t know. Maybe they lack the same marketing engines employed by baseball players, NASCAR drivers, and other religious icons.

According to the fine people over at Candy Snob, the CARLOS V seems to be a re-release of an older confection. Why? Something to do with the packaging, perhaps????


and the zoom-shot


What’s the connection? Is there one?

Nothing I’ve read indicates Charles V was known as “El Caballero Oscuro”; his parents didn’t die in a robbery-gone-bad; nor did young Charlie develop a predilection for high-tech gadgetry and vigilante justice; all of which leaves me flummoxed how Nestle might justify tagging this candy with the ‘Dark Knight’ moniker.

Yeah, yeah, whatever. How’s the candy?


Unlike my encounter with the Big Mo’, I bought this particular ticket and took the ride. The first bite of the CARLOS V is dry and overly sweet, like Eucharist crumbles stirred in a package of Swiss Miss, but not as tasty. The second’s even worse.

At two-for-a-dollar, the CARLOS V is still a rip-off — that is unless you plan to give them to lousy neighbors or hated co-workers in the hope that bad candy will drive them the hell away from you. Then it’s a bargain.

But if you like candy and dig the chocolate/wafer combo, stick to Kit-Kats.

Posted in Editorials, Food, Weridness | Comments Off on The Dark Knight no es sabroso

The Big Mo’: Will Gay Community Embrace NASCAR Candy Bar?

February 25th, 2008 by Weber

The Big Mo’ — A misplaced apostrophe?

Yes, these candy bars are for real. I almost tripped over a big display of them at my local grocery store.

Here’s some info from NASCAR‘s official Web site

After months of anticipation by NASCAR and chocolate fans alike, “Dale Jr.’s Big Mo’ ” chocolate bar is now on shelves at most major food retailers nationwide.

The Big Mo’ was created specifically for NASCAR’s mega star driver through the R.M. Palmer Company. The name Big Mo’ is a play off Earnhardt Jr.’s hometown of Mooresville, N.C., and the longtime moniker used for he and his closest friends, the Dirty Mo’ Posse.

Weighing in at an impressive 2.5 ounces for only 99 cents, the king-size, quality milk chocolate bar is available with either creamy caramel or peanut butter filling. Creating the exclusive recipe of the Big Mo’ bar included numerous taste-tests by Earnhardt Jr., and was tailored to please his palate

The King Size Mo’ is made by R.M. Palmer, the company responsible for a fat lot of the chocolate goodies you’ll be shoveling into your gaping maw this Easter — right on the heels of the fat lot of chocolate goodies you shoveled in during Valentine’s day.

As one business site puts it: R.M. Palmer probably produces more chocolate bunnies than anyone in the United States.

Good to know.

But what’s really going on here?
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Editorials, Food, Weridness | 9 Comments »

Custom design: www.sitebymike.com | See more of Brad's work at: www.fineartsguild.com