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This Just In ...

Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely young daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.

Culinary no-no #305

Culinary no-no's


THERE ARE THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS OF

FOOD BLOGS, BUT ONLY ONE CULINARY NO-
NO!





The beautiful state Capitol in Madison.

For many, many years I worked as a legislative aide in that fabulous building. During that time we saw some spikes in one particular product's prices.





People I worked with in the Capitol, like millions of others all across America, moaned and groaned and complained about the ever-increasing burden of filling up their tanks.


Some of these same folks, despite their grumbling, could somehow easily find personal funding to make more than one daily purchase of another commodity. And you could set your watch to them from my vantage point in my state Capitol office. Just across the street was….






Starbucks. Can you imagine the business that place does?

With gas prices spiraling out of control, some Capitol staffers I knew would make a daily ritual of parading to the Starbucks pictured above, usually more than once. 

I fully realize the pull, the addictive nature of coffee.

Late in the 70’s and early in my broadcast career at WUWM, I was dispatched to an east side location to do a Q and A with customers about the upcoming closing of the A & P stores.

I think I developed an instant hate for this kind of story that day. This isn’t riveting, compelling, hard-hitting journalism. Do you know how many yutz’s you have to interview before you can get a reasonable sample of sound bites that is broadcast quality?

After getting permission from store management to comb the aisles, I recall shoppers either knew about the demise of A & P and were just plain sad, or were totally taken aback by the news and were shocked.

One of the stunned parties was an antique of a woman, frail and feeble. Should I approach her? Will she be frightened, intimidated, and just tell me to take a hike?

Why not? I could get one of two answers.

The elderly gem was a sweetheart, my best interview of the day.

For her, the closing of the A & P was more than just a business shutting down. This posed a dramatic and serious change to her lifestyle.

In a shaky and very old-sounding voice (remember, this was radio), the woman expressed deep sorrow and near pain.

How am I going to live, she asked directly into my microphone.

And then she referred to a specific product.

To her, an amazing elixir.

A life-saving liquid.
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Pinned Image


And then, the magical quote, the one that when your interviewee utters it, in the back of your mind, you’re going,




YES!




In a voice that was impossible not to sympathize with, the woman implored:

“I love my Eight O’Clock coffee. I need my Eight O’Clock coffee.”

When that sound bite was broadcast, how many listeners could empathize.

That was 1978.

Fast forward to my working days in the state Capitol.

Madison, Wisconsin, USA.

The economy is in the toilet.

Consumers, if not government, are tightening their belts.

Gasoline at one time was over $4 a gallon.

And yet, where I worked, lowly state employees, each and every day, right about the same time, they would high tail it out of the Capitol to that oasis just across the street.

Like the ancient woman I questioned more than 30 years ago, they suffer the same angst.

Gotta have it.

Gotta have it.

Just gotta have…
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This goes on two, three, four times a day. At $4 a crack, we’re talking $16/day.

HELLO!!!

Don’t be moanin’ about the price of petrol folks.

Yes, the lure of the bean is addicting. Surveys indicate coffee drinkers would give up the beverage, but it had better be for something of incredible value, like lottery ticket winnings for a decade.

Starbucks knows they've got you. Can't help yourselves. You are under their spell. They don't have to come up with creative measures to get you into the stores. Like hypnotized zombies, you're already there!

As long as you're captively in their buildings, why not skin you alive?

Starbucks has unveiled its new Costa Rica Finca Palmilera. It's made with some exotic bean meaning, of course we're going to soak you maroons as much as we can because, DOH, you'll be stupid enough to buy it.

Cost a grande (that's Starbucks-ese for a 16-ounce cup), $7.

Starbucks justifies the high price that the $7 coffee made from Geisha beans is OK because Geisha plants don't produce many cherries, making the beans extremely rare and also full of concentrated flavor.

$7 bucks for a cup of coffee?

Isn't the McDonald's stuff just as good?

$7?

It better be Irish coffee!

I usher every Sunday at my church with a cranky old buzzard who hates life and himself. Our church is located across the street from what used to be the famous Goldmann's. My curmudgeon (and that's putting it kindly) co-usher many years ago jumped me when I walked into Mass one Sunday to bitch that Goldmann's was serving coffee at its lunch counter that had just gone past the dollar mark. I thought he was about to spit out his seven teeth.

Because I'm such a good Christian, I didn't tell him today at services about Starbucks for fear it would send this pain in the ass into cardiac arrest, though let me tell you I was deeply tempted.

All you Starbucks worshippers, don't believe any of their spin about Geisha beans. It's a load of crapola. C'mon, those of you in the beads and sandals crowd. Don't you recognize corporate greed when you see it? The Wall Street Journal reports:

"
Starbucks’ new ultra-premium coffee costs more than three times as much as its standard brew — a price experts say is highly over-caffeinated."

Ya think?

Back to the WSJ:

"While the Costa Rica Finca Palmilera beans which went on sale at select locations this week are expensive — they come from a relatively rare cherry of the Gesha tree — the 16-ounce cup should cost just one dollar more than a regular cup of coffee, including the company’s overhead, says James Freeman, owner and CEO of Blue Bottle Coffee. (The price of Starbucks’ regular Grande coffee is $2.20 in New York.) Freeman should know: his chain also charges $7 for a similar cup of Gesha coffee. In fact, an 80% markup is standard in the coffee business on the higher-end brews, he says. Joseph Brodsky, founder and president at Ninety Plus Coffee, which supplies beans to coffee shops in 30 countries, says the new coffee only costs Starbucks an extra $1.30 per cup."

In other words, to all you addicted souls willing to drop $7/cup or $40/bag of Geisha beans...
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SUCKERS!
 


 



CULINARY NO-NO BONUSES


This writer
claims the $7 Starbucks move is "logical."


What did Bela Lugosi say: "I never drink...wine."


She tried the pumpkin pie...she didn't like it.

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