Nonprofit, independent journalism. Supported by readers.


Bad news for hog farms, cantaloupe fans

Unusual finds: antiques from a Civil War hero — and a scorpion on the porch; Andrew Zimmern has a food truck, too; and more.

Editor’s note: Former Glean writer Max Sparber is filling in for Brian Lambert for a few days.

Do you remember when there used to be a Grain Exchange in downtown Minneapolis that featured everything you would want from such a thing? There was a bell that started trading, and people shouting and holding up pieces of paper, and whatever the heck else happens. There was also a magic and practical joke shop in the building, which feels like it should have some metaphoric value, but I’m not quite sure what that might be.

The Grain Exchange is still around, electronically (and with some controvery; Wikipedia offers a summary). But the “open outcry” part is gone now, and what a shame, as there would be a lot of open outcries going on right now. Corn is doing well! Milk is doing poorly! And now, as Mark Steil of Minnesota Public Radio reports, pigs are down. MPR seems to be irritated by my commenting a few days ago on how dry their headlines are, because they have titled this “Down market has Minn. hog producers squealing.” Do I really get credit for this shift in titling policy? Probably not, but if there is one thing I have learned, it is that credit is claimed, not deserved.

In more agricultural news, Cut Fruit Express Inc. of Inver Grove Heights has voluntarily recalled cantaloupe because of a risk of salmonella, as reported by the AP.  I am going to quote Krusty the Klown, and then, if you recognize the quote, I am going to blow your mind. So here goes: “Eh, you didn’t miss much. Honeydew is the money melon.” Here’s the mind-blow: The episode that quote is from is almost 13 years old. There are seventh-graders who were not born when that episode aired. So now you know to be careful aboutcantaloupe, and you feel old. Sorry.

Article continues after advertisement

You’re not old. Here’s old: A Stillwater antiques dealer was digging around a farm, which, I think, is what they do. He found a blackened pitcher and water tray. Looking closer, he saw the date: 1884. The items had belonged to Stillwater Civil War hero Adam Marty. The Pipress’ Mary Divine has the story. These are the sorts of thing you hope you’ll find when you go to auctions or estate sales, but instead you always end up with those Archie Comics that were inexplicably published for churches and filled with Bible lessons. You remember those? Well, they date back to the ’70s, so now you feel old again.

The GleanAt least you usually don’t find scorpions at antiques events. Unlike, say, an Edina couple that discovered one on their porch, as recounted by Rachel Slavik of WCCO. They did what anybody would do — they bopped it and then went to an entomologist to figure out what the heck it was doing there. Nobody seems to know — maybe it was a pet that got free, which has got to be upsetting to some owner if it is true. I presume he is tattooed and watches a lot of “American Chopper,” but that’s just how I like to imagine him. I think scorpion owners should look like characters from biker movies, and I am not likely to change my mind.

There is another possibility, of course. Joy Summers of City Pages tells us about a new food truck, AZ Canteen. The AZ? Andrew Zimmern, and the truck carries goat meat, bacon chips and pork belly. One supposes the scorpion might have been a meal idea that just fell off the truck at some point.

Boy, it seems like just yesterday when Zimmern was the executive chef at Cafe Un Deux Trois in the Foshay Tower. Actually, it was 1991, 21 years ago, so people who can drink now weren’t even born when Zimmern started his tenure there.

Now you feel old, and I’m sorry.