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TIDBITS

AM I BLUE?

You've probably heard by now: Blue blew away the competition and has won the right to be the next color to melt in your mouth (and certainly NOT in you hand.)

That's right . . . because they asked, more than 5.5 million of us told the big kahuna of candy, M&M/Mars, to do blue.

Another 3.2 million wanted a purple haze; pinkthink was minimal. And then the conservatives - all 428,000 of 'em - begged for no change at all.

Can't wait for the wearin' o' the blue? By summer's end, it will begin showing up in bags across the country. In plain M&Ms, gone is tan - replaced by blue, ROYAL BLUE to be exact. In peanut butter and almond M&Ms, orange is out - blue in.

Peanut M&Ms get the added blue orbs.

Sad. I kind of liked tan. But it was actually a replacement color to begin with.

In the original 1941 assortment, purple (YES, PURPLE) was among the chosen crew. Then some "focus groups" grabbed Mars by the throat and that was the end of the color purple.

Maybe we should hoard the tan ones.

Isn't their shelf life right up there with Twinkies?

AND SPEAKING OF DEMISES . . .

Gary Larson lovers (who are typically a shade on the Far Side themselves, thank you), were served up a jewel on their April 9th calendar.

Picture a chef preparing to toss a terror-stricken lobster into a boiling cauldron. The unfortunate clawed-one is crying, "Auntie Em, Auntie Em! . . . There's no place like home! . . . There's no place like home!"

FOOD TERM O' THE WEEK AQUACULTURE

Sound fishy? It's actually the term for food cultivated in water. Aquaculture grew rapidly in the '80s, with advances in the cultivation of mussels (see health clubs . . . but that's another story), crayfish, trout, oysters, catfish, salmon, and tilapia.

Currrently, more than 3,400 aquaculture farms in 23 states are raising approximately 15 percent of the U.S. seafood supply.

By the way, Tilapia, aka St. Peter's fish, has become a popular food fish in the American market. Varieties range from 10 to 20 ounces in weight and are usually broiled, steamed, or sauteed.