The Truffler

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Wasn't Romeo and Juliet's doomed marriage cut short when one of the parties ingested poison? The makers of Olivio (Van den Bergh Foods, which also gives us I Can't Believe It's Not Butter) are promoting the "new member of its family of oils and spreads". Their wheeze to draw our attention to this exciting "marriage" between olive oil and butter is to hand out copies of Romeo and Juliet with, on the cover, a photo of Olivio, blended spread. A picture of Olivio, oops, I mean Olivia Hussey from Zefferelli's Romeo and Juliet would have been more appealing.

Wasn't Romeo and Juliet's doomed marriage cut short when one of the parties ingested poison? The makers of Olivio (Van den Bergh Foods, which also gives us I Can't Believe It's Not Butter) are promoting the "new member of its family of oils and spreads". Their wheeze to draw our attention to this exciting "marriage" between olive oil and butter is to hand out copies of Romeo and Juliet with, on the cover, a photo of Olivio, blended spread. A picture of Olivio, oops, I mean Olivia Hussey from Zefferelli's Romeo and Juliet would have been more appealing.

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Just because something's organic doesn't mean it's made by good guys. Sales of organic food are growing by around 40 per cent year on year. The number of food processors licensed by the Soil Association, which is doing nicely out of the expansion (although it claims that the money it makes from issuing licences is swallowed by staff costs), is growing enormously - from 264 three years ago to 1030 in the past year. Even Nescafé comes in an organic version. What is the point? Still, I wouldn't say that about the winners of the SA's Organic Food Awards, whose products, fresh or processed, were tasted blind by distinguished judges and announced yesterday. They included Orgarden Produce's courgettes and climbing beans, Churchtown Farm's beef from Cornwall, oak-smoked back bacon from Swaddles Green Farm, Shipton Mill's wholemeal flour, the Village Bakery's Christmas cake, Green & Black's hazelnut and chocolate spread and Simply Organic's sweet pepper soup, which won the Convenience Food category. Sainsbury's left the other supermarkets behind by winning two categories, for its par-baked half ciabatta and chocolate ice-cream. The fact that Sainsbury's also wins the Organic Supermarket of the Year Award is coincidental. This award was decided by a NOP poll, and ends Waitrose's two year reign.

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The publication of The 2001 Good Curry Guide by Pat Chapman, the self-styled curry king, does not quite coincide with National Curry Day next Tuesday, although a few copies may have found their way into the shops. Does this mistiming have anything to do with the fact that Chapman's book is sponsored by Cobra beer, while National Curry Day - an event that must be of supreme irrelevance to British Asians, but let's not be a party pooper - is sponsored by rival Kingfisher, which claims to be the UK's top selling Indian lager? This year for National Curry Week, there will again be various attempts to produce a record-breaking naan bread. At least the proceeds will go to the NSPCC.

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A reminder to join the genteel stampede to Henrietta Green's Food Lovers' Fair in Covent Garden Piazza today and tomorrow between 10am and 5.30pm. There are more than 100 stallholders handpicked by Ms Green, and cookery demonstrators, including Antony Worrall Thompson, Clarissa Dickson Wright, Marguerite Patten and Elizabeth Luard, will be showing what can be done with their produce in a Cookery Theatre. The Food Lovers' Fair is sponsored by Marchents, a new "virtual food market" which delivers food and ingredients from small specialist producers. So it seems only fair to mention that Best Internet Retailer in the Soil Association's Organic Food Awards went to the longer-established Fresh Food Company, also highly commended for its Box Scheme. The Fresh Food Company was the first national fresh food home delivery service, has won previous Soil Association Awards and has been on-line since 1996 when its founder Thoby Young described it as a "virtual farmers' market".

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Don't expect help with DIY sushi from The Book of YO! by Simon Woodroffe. The founder of the YO! Sushi group, which began with a conveyor-belt sushi restaurant in Soho and whose sushi that shocks purists has spread to Bluewater shopping centre, the Millennium Dome and Sainsbury's, has compiled a collection of entrepreneurial insights and unnecessary personal information. Being named UK Group Restaurateur of the Year 2000 seems to have gone to the former music biz man's head. He should have called it "The Book of Me, Me, Me".

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