Moo-offThe great Carnegie Hall...


April 18, 1993|By Karol V. Menzie | Karol V. Menzie,Staff Writer


The great Carnegie Hall Moo-Off

Just imagine: The stage at New York's famed Carnegie Hall on Wednesday night. The house lights go down, and the five contestants take their places. One by one they demonstrate their consummate skills. It's bound to be a MOOOOOO-ving experience.

"People wait 10 and 20 years to make their Carnegie Hall debuts," says Ed Burman, of Fallston, champion of the Southeast region in Fleischmann's Move Over Butter Moo-Off. "I'm going to make mine at the Moo-Off. I love it."

Mr. Burman beat out 18,156 other mooers from the region who called a hot line to leave their names and best moos. From the messages, Fleischmann's picked five finalists to appear at the black-tie event in Carnegie's Weill Recital Hall. The grand prize is a trip to Hawaii. Other finalists are: Joseph Dart, Boston; Nancy Rossou, Fairhaven, Mich.; Vance Jones, Dallas; and Ted

Atkinson, Seattle. There were more than 100,000 entries.

Mr. Burman, a route salesman for Miller and Coors products, says he's been mooing all his life. "Mooing, barking, baaing, cars, trucks, cartoon voices -- I used to entertain my family sitting around the dinner table," he says.

The contest idea grew out of a Move Over Butter television ad, in which a farmer and his cow moo together over the benefits of the spread. Mr. Burman plans to do his best to bring the first mooing honor back to Maryland. But he's not putting in hours of practice. "People are telling me, don't try to improve it, just go with what you've got," he says. Fingos is not just a new product with a different concept, it's a product with a mission. "We're trying to take cereal and redefine it," says Barry Davis, marketing manager for the product, made by General Mills, of Minneapolis, Minn. The product is described as "The cereal made to eat with your fingers."

The cereal resembles a cross between corn flakes and snack crackers. It comes in two flavors, cinnamon and honey-toasted oat. Both are made with whole grains and are high in fiber, free of cholesterol, and relatively low in fat (about 3 grams per 110-calorie serving, or less than 25 percent of calories from fat).

"It makes sense," Mr. Davis says, noting that cereal and grains form the base -- and largest segment -- of the new USDA food pyramid, a guide to nutritious eating. "That means the greatest part of your diet should be grains. We want people to think of cereal as a food alternative all day long."

Fingos come in family-size boxes and in boxes of six snack packs, with three packets of each flavor. Suggested retail price is under $2.50, and the cereals should be widely available in groceries and markets.

An informal taste test gave the cereals a general thumbs-up; the idea of eating a snack that plays a relatively positive role in nutrition appealed to many folks.

It's over. The last form has been filled in and Uncle Sam is satisfied once again now that the annual income-tax ritual has been completed.

But . . . what if there's been a mistake? What if you added instead of subtracted somewhere? What if you mixed up two numbers in your Social Security number and are now identified as a notorious money launderer for the Mob? What if the IRS doesn't believe you donated $13,520 to street people last year?

You may get an audit letter, that's what.

But chin up -- Empire Kosher Poultry knows what you're going through -- its chickens go through an army of health "auditors." And, from now until the end of the year, if you receive an audit notice, all you have to do is send it to Empire. No, they won't explain things to the government for you. But they will send you a free kosher chicken and a recipe booklet.

The free-chicken-for-an-audit-notice promotion is designed, the company says, to make people realize they're not alone. And when the ordeal's over, there's always chicken soup.

Send a copy of your IRS correspondence to Empire Audit, P.O. Box 165, Mifflintown, Pa. 17059.

Africa adventure

No time for a spring vacation? Money too tight? There is an alternative way to travel, and it can be the most educational and rewarding of trips -- and it's all accomplished in the comfort of your home -- at least in the kitchen.

Cookbooks can make great travelogues. A new appreciation for ethnic cuisines from all parts of the globe means more cookbooks are coming out that explore delicious and intriguing dishes from faraway lands.

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