Pizza Hut Debuts a New Detroit-style Pizza in the U.S.

Jordan Valinsky wrote . . . . . . . . .

Pizza Hut’s newest pizza doesn’t look like its other pizzas.

The chain is launching a new Detroit-style pizza, which ditches the traditional round shape for a rectangular crust with cheese to the edges that’s popular in the Michigan city. It’s Pizza Hut’s second major product launch this month as the pandemic-era pizza wars show few signs of slowing down.

Pizza Hut said it tested more than 500 iterations of the new menu item, with several of those tests in the Midwest, ahead of the nationwide launch Tuesday. The chain used its own special “vine-ripened tomato sauce” because it found that it keeps the thick crust light and airy.

The new offering comes in four options, including the “Detroit Double Pepperoni” which Pizza Hut describes as a “work of pizza art” because it includes 80 pepperoni slices. The other options are the “Double Cheesy,” “Meaty Deluxe” and the “Supremo,” which has Italian sausage, red onions and green bell peppers. Prices start at US$10.99.

Competition among big chains has been fierce during the pandemic, which has fueled a surge in pizza demand from Americans who are spending more time at home and avoiding dine-in restaurants. Sales and revenue rose last year at Pizza Hut, Domino’s (DMPZF) and Papa John’s (PZZA) as consumers relentlessly shoveled pizzas down their throats.

Peter Saleh, a restaurant analyst with research firm BTIG, expects last year’s rising sales to continue this year. “What we saw in 2020 was that many of these pizza delivery guys had a big boom in their sales because there was no where else to go,” he told CNN Business. Several US states limit in-restaurant dining and have enacted capacity controls because of the virus.

Saleh predicts that pizza sales will remain healthy in 2021 as the “environment for dining continues to be challenged.”

Source: CNN


Research: People with High Omega-3 Index Less Likely to Die from COVID-19

Enlarge image . . . . .

Researchers with the Fatty Acid Research Institute (FARI) and collaborators at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles and in Orange County, CA, have published the first direct evidence that higher omega-3 blood levels may reduce risk for death from COVID-19 infection. The report was published in the journal Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids on January 20, 2021.

There are several papers in the medical literature hypothesizing that omega-3 fatty acids should have beneficial effects in patients with COVID-19 infection, but up until now, there have been no published peer-reviewed studies supporting that hypothesis.

This study included 100 patients admitted to the hospital with COVID-19 for whom admission blood samples had been stored. Clinical outcomes for these patients were obtained and blood was analyzed for the Omega-3 Index (O3I, red blood cell membrane EPA+DHA levels) at OmegaQuant Analytics (Sioux Falls, SD). Fourteen of the patients died.

The 100 patients were grouped into four quartiles according to their O3I, with 25% of the patients in each quartile. There was one death in the top quartile (i.e., 1 death out of 25 patients with O3I>5.7%), with 13 deaths in the remaining patients (i.e., 13 deaths out of 75 patients with O3I5.7%) were 75% less likely to die compared with those in the lower three quartiles (p=0.07). Stated another way, the relative risk for death was about four times higher in those with a lower O3I (<5.7%) compared to those with higher levels.

"While not meeting standard statistical significance thresholds, this pilot study – along with multiple lines of evidence regarding the anti-inflammatory effects of EPA and DHA – strongly suggests that these nutritionally available marine fatty acids may help reduce risk for adverse outcomes in COVID-19 patients. Larger studies are clearly needed to confirm these preliminary findings," said Arash Asher, MD, the lead author on this study.

Agreeing with Dr. Asher, cardiology researcher and co-developer with Dr. Harris of the Omega-3 Index, Clemens von Schacky, MD, (CEO, Omegametrix GmbH, Martinsried, Germany, and not involved with the study) said, "Asher et al have demonstrated that a low Omega-3 Index might be a powerful predictor for death from COVID-19. Although encouraging, their findings clearly need to be replicated."

Omega-3 expert James H. O'Keefe, Jr., MD, (Director of Preventive Cardiology, Saint Luke's Mid America Heart Institute, Kansas City, MO, and also not involved with the study) observed, "An excessive inflammatory response, referred to as a 'cytokine storm,' is a fundamental mediator of severe COVID-19 illness. Omega-3 fatty acids (DHA and EPA) have potent anti-inflammatory activities, and this pilot study provides suggestive evidence that these fatty acids may dampen COVID-19's cytokine storm."

Source: EurekAlert!

In Pictures: Sunday Roasts of Restaurants in London, U.K. (3)

Study: Midday Nap Could Leave You Smarter

“You snooze, you lose” may not be true when it comes to your brain: A new study finds that napping in the afternoon may actually boost mental agility.

The study couldn’t prove cause and effect, but a midday nap was associated with a rise in “locational awareness,” verbal fluency and working memory, the Chinese researchers reported Jan. 25 in the journal General Psychiatry.

“Among the things that are good for you and fun, you can now count daytime naps,” said Dr. Gayatri Devi, a neurologist specializing in memory disorders at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

“We know that healthy sleep habits are protective for dementia and this study suggests that at least for some, midday naps may be of benefit in keeping the brain healthy,” said Devi, who wasn’t involved in the new research. He stressed, however, that “more studies are needed to confirm this preliminary finding.”

The new study was led by Dr Lin Sun, of the Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders Center at the Shanghai Mental Health Center, in Shanghai. Sun’s team collected data on more than 2,200 people at least age 60 who lived in Chinese cities including Beijing, Shanghai and Xian.

In all, more than 1,500 took regular afternoon naps, which were no more than two hours long, and 680 did not.

Study participants were given tests that judge several aspects of mental ability including visuospatial skills, working memory, attention span, problem-solving, locational awareness and verbal fluency.

Those who took afternoon naps scored higher than those who didn’t, and there were significant differences in locational awareness, verbal fluency and memory.

According to the study team, there are theories why naps may be beneficial. One is that naps help ease inflammation, which plays a role in sleep disorders and overall health.

Dr. Melissa Bernbaum directs epilepsy and ambulatory sleep medicine at Huntington Hospital in Huntington, N.Y. Reading over the Chinese findings, she said they “seem to indicate a cognitive benefit for napping.”

But Bernbaum added that the “duration and frequency of naps may also be important.”

For example, “individuals who fall asleep unintentionally during the day — potentially due to underlying medical or sleep disorders — may not perform as well as individuals who take planned naps,” Bernbaum said. Future studies might tease out whether the type of midday snooze taken matters when it comes to brain health,” she said.

Source: HealthDay

Eggs Dijonnaise


6 eggs (hard-boiled)
2 oz Cheshire cheese (finely grated)


2-3 egg yolks
salt and pepper
1 teaspoon French mustard
1 pint olive oil
2 tablespoons wine vinegar

Mushroom Salad

1 lb firm mushrooms
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 shallot (finely chopped)
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon parsley (chopped)


  1. Make the mayonnaise. Work egg yolks and seasonings with a small whisk or wooden spoon in a bowl until thick: then start adding the oil drop by drop. When 2 tablespoons of oil have been added this mixture will be very thick. Now carefully stir in 1 teaspoon of the vinegar.
  2. The remaining oil can then be added a little more quickly, either 1 tablespoon at a time and beaten thoroughly between each addition until it is absorbed, or in a thin steady stream if you are using an electric beater.
  3. When all the oil has been absorbed, add remaining vinegar to taste, and extra salt and pepper as necessary.
  4. To thin and lighten mayonnaise add a little hot water. For a coating consistency, thin with a little cream or milk.
  5. Eggs should not come straight from the refrigerator. If oil is cloudy or chilled, it can be slightly warmed which will lessen the chances of eggs curdling. Put oil bottle in a pan of hot water for a short time.
  6. Cut the eggs in half lengthwise, remove the yolks and rub through a wire strainer into a bowl. Keep the whites in a bowl of cold water.
  7. Mix the yolks with the cheese and a tablespoon of mayonnaise and beat until smooth and creamy. Season to taste.
  8. Make the salad. Trim the stalks and wash mushrooms quickly in salted water, drain well and cut in thick slices.
  9. Heat the oil in a sauté pan, add the mushrooms and shallot and cook briskly for 1 minute only, then pour into a bowl. Add the parsley, vinegar and seasoning and leave to cool.
  10. Dry the halved egg whites on a cloth or absorbent paper and fill them with the cheese mixture. Combine two filled halve-egg to form one egg and arrange on a serving dish. Spoon over the mustard mayonnaise and garnish with the mushroom salad.

Makes 3 to 4 servings.

Source: Cooking with Eggs

Today’s Comic