March 8th, 2011
03:30 PM ET
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A southern California fish kill that authorities identified as "millions" of sardines is not the result of any environmental foul play but rather is the product of natural forces, officials said Tuesday.

Floating fish were so pervasive in King Harbor Marina in Redondo Beach, California, that some moored boats seemed surrounded not by water but by the lifeless aquatic animals a foot deep.

"All evidence points to oxygen deprivation as cause of death," California Department of Fish and Game spokesman Andrew Hughan told CNN.

"There is no oil sheen, nor is there a chemical sheen," Hughan said.

Read Officials: Lack of oxygen likely cause of fish kill in California

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Filed under: Environment • News • Weird News

March 8th, 2011
03:27 PM ET
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Move over, Mickey D's, and bring Ronald McDonald with you - there's a new fast food king in town.

Subway has surpassed McDonald's to become the world's largest restaurant chain in terms of units, the sandwich company confirmed Monday.

Subway had 33,749 restaurants around the globe at the end of 2010, said company spokesman Les Winograd. McDonald's had 32,737 at year end, according to a February regulatory filing from the burger giant.

"Last year was actually pretty average for us, growth-wise," Winograd said. "We aim to open between 1,000 and 2,000 locations globally each year."

As of Monday, Subway has 34,218 locations globally - all of which are owned by franchisees.

Read Subway beats McDonald's to become top restaurant chain

Lunchtime poll – Mardi Gras, Shrove Tuesday and Paczki Day
March 8th, 2011
01:00 PM ET
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Talk about your Fat Tuesday!

We've sunk our teeth pretty deeply into Mardi Gras already today, but New Orleans isn't the only float in the food parade.

Across the UK, royals (and royals-to be, like Kate Middleton, pictured above) and hoi polloi alike flip pancakes in celebration of Shrove Tuesday. The Pennsylvania Dutch fry up fastnachts and folks of Polish descent (and/or, apparently, residents of Michigan) polish off plenty of paczki - a jelly-filled doughnut - with great, greasy abandon.

Box lunch
March 8th, 2011
12:00 PM ET
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Sink your teeth into today's top stories from around the globe:

  • On Shrove Tuesday, the UK flips for pancakes -

  • A Michigan bakery goes nuts for the Polish jelly doughnuts served up for Paczki Day - Consumerist

  • The Atlantic Food is now The Atlantic Life, expanding coverage to health, design, travel, and sustainability - The Atlantic

  • We knew Snap, Crackle and Pop were the reason we kept eating those soggy rice crisps. They're greaaaaaaaat!  - TIME

  • Sbarro, Fuddruckers and other eateries struggle under rising food costs.  - Reuters

  • Kellogg wants a photo of your breakfast. A strange request, but we can get behind any advertising campaign that feeds children in need. - The New York Times

  • Subway dethrones McDonald's as the world's largest food chain - Slate

  • Do the strawberries at the grocery store look less appealing when you get them home? Blame technology. - Discovery News
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Filed under: Box Lunch • News

March 8th, 2011
10:00 AM ET
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We spend all our days just dreaming of fresh, hot beignets. Well, those and muffulettas, brandy milk punch, fried oyster po' boys, butter-drenched shrimp etouffee, glorious gumbo, Gulf oysters and the sort of red beans and rice that could turn a bunch of strangers into life-long friends.

It's been two weeks since Eatocracy left New Orleans. We came to throw a Secret Supper, and it seems we left a big chunk of our soul there. Watch after it 'til we get back there, okay?

In the meantime, take a stroll through the fare we shared in the gallery above (yup - we ate all of that) and our features below - and please catch us a throw if some pretty beads float by. We promise we'll return the favor.

Talking with our mouths full

Mardi Gras: Milk that packs a brandy punch - a recipe from New Orleans bar chef Lu Brow

Beyond Bourbon Street - the real fun is on Frenchman St.

Alligator to z'herbes: NOLA food 101 - beignets, boudin and Ramos gin fizzes

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Filed under: 100 Places to Eat • Bite • Creole • Cuisines • Events • Mardi Gras • New Orleans • New Orleans • Travel

March 8th, 2011
09:30 AM ET
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Breakfast buffet
March 8th, 2011
09:00 AM ET
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While you're frying up some eggs and bacon, we're cooking up something else: a way to celebrate today's food holiday and the most delicious finds on TV.

March 8 is National Peanut Cluster Day.

Chocolate (or butterscotch) chips melted over peanuts: straightforward and oh, so satisfying. Wanna get all schmancy? Add almond bark, Chinese noodles, toffee chips, corn flakes, pretzels - who's gonna stop you?

Sweet, salty, crunchy - sounds like a nutty good time, huh?

What's on TV?

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Filed under: Breakfast Buffet • News

Coffee klatsch
March 8th, 2011
05:00 AM ET
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Pssst! Got a sec to chat?

We are utterly thrilled when readers want to hang out and talk – whether it's amongst themselves or in response to pieces we've posted. We want Eatocracy to be a cozy, spirited online home for those who find their way here.

Consider the daily Coffee klatsch post as your VIP lounge – the primary comments thread for readers who'd like to chat about topics not related to the articles we're running. That way, everyone knows where to find each other, and each post's comments section remains on topic.

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Filed under: Buzz • Coffee Klatsch

March 8th, 2011
01:45 AM ET
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The Prez – not so much a fan of the salty yeast extract that's a staple on sandwiches down under. In fact, he called the Australian spread "horrible." We'd tsk his diplomatic dealings here if we didn't so wholeheartedly agree.

White House Producer Shawna Shepherd weighs in at The 1600 Report

If there's one area where President Obama and his Australian counterpart disagree, it is over the culinary merits of Vegemite.

Vege-what? That was on the mind of one 11th grade history student when she asked Prime Minister Julia Gillard to explain the Australian, um, delicacy, during a visit with Obama to Wakefield High School in Arlington, Virginia on Monday.

As Gillard described the sandwich spread as a “by-product of making beer” and “yeast paste,” she must have realized how unappetizing that sounded to American kids who grew up on PB&J.

“I’m making this sound really good, aren’t I?” Gillard quipped and then added the spread has a black hue and is “quite salty,” cringe-inducing adjectives when combined with yeast paste.

Read Obama not a Vegemite-terian

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Filed under: Australia • Bite • Cuisines • News • President Obama

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