Olive Oil Kaapi, Home Cooks 'Everyday' & More Food News

"AND WOULD YOU like your coffee with or without olive oil?" might soon be a question the barista at the local Starbucks asks you, while taking your order. While it's known to have introduced some questionable drinks over the years (a literal American cherry pie frappuccino?) Starbucks seems to have really outdone itself on the bizzarro-meter with its latest range of drinks — all of which incorporate olive oil. 

The olive oil-laden coffee concoctions are seemingly the brainchild of Starbucks honcho Howard Schulz. Schulz, who has been with Starbucks since 1982, was holidaying in Italy when he was introduced to the practice of consuming a tablespoon of olive oil daily. Starbucks lore would have us believe that Schulz immediately wondered: how could this ritual be incorporated with another daily practice — that of drinking coffee? 

Whether or not such musings should have remained in Schulz's mind and not made it onto Starbucks' menu remains to be seen. The brand's Milan roastery will be the first to roll out these drinks, followed by the US, Japan and Middle East markets. 

The Milan Starbucks will start with five "Oleato" drinks (as the olive oil infused recipes have been christened). CNN reports on three of these: "There's an Oleato latte with oat milk and olive oil; an Oleato ice shaken espresso with oat milk, hazelnut flavor and olive oil; and the Oleato golden foam cold brew, made with a version of Starbucks' sweet milk foam infused with two olive oil servings."

As for CNN's verdict? Their reporter found the drinks tasted fine to begin with, but felt progressively heavier as she went on. And it left an oily residue on her lips. Hmm, how do you say "we'll pass" in Italian? 

GHAR KA KHAANA, ab Zomato se laana. The food delivery app has announced a new service called "Everyday", under which, meals prepared by home cooks will be available for the low, low, low rate of Rs 89. Zomato says Everyday is meant for the demographic that lives away from home and family and must regularly joust with dabba services and daily dal dilemmas by themselves. Quick, wholesome meals "in minutes", that are a direct throwback to the comfort food you grew up with, will presumably make those tasks redundant. At present, the service is being rolled out only in Gurgaon. Zomato will reportedly be working with its merry band of home cooks to finalise the recipes that will make it to the Everyday platform. Sign us up. 

'RICE, RICE BABY… I need that rice, rice baby,' was presumably the song playing in a wild elephant's head as it ransacked a Karnataka state agency's godown for the grainy goodness that lay within. The elephant, captured on CCTV, proved that nothing could stand between it and its one true love (rice), least of all a sturdy shutter and brick walls. In the footage, the elephant can be seen battling with the barriers that keep it apart from its beloved; breaking them down, and ambling off with sacks of rice (which less romantically-minded souls than us have computed to be in the vicinity of 400 kg). Bollywood love stories have crumbled under thinner resistance/parental opposition than this. Trust a pachyderm's pyaar to be the staunchest, most mammoth sort of mohabbat. 

INDIANS ARE WINNING all the global rankings that count, never mind obsolete indices like freedom of the press and suchlike. The Scotch Whisky Association announced this week that we've outdone the French by a neat (!)  margin, when it comes to exporting the finest amber spirit. In 2022, India exported 215 million 70cl bottles of Scotch whisky, as France fell behind in the race, having cadged just 205 million. While India merrily waggled its fingers at France's woebegone reflection in the rearview mirror, it also signalled a personal milestone: a 200 percent growth in the Scotch whisky market in India over the last decade. Contrarily, Scotch whisky comprises only 2 percent of India's total whisky market. With such a surge in growth though, that number should soon be off the rocks. Cheers to that!