City Council bans foie gras, Prantl’s bakes a Terrible Torte, and more Pittsburgh food news | Pittsburgh City Paper

City Council bans foie gras, Prantl’s bakes a Terrible Torte, and more Pittsburgh food news

click to enlarge Two football teams, one wearing black and gold uniforms and the other wearing red and white uniforms, get into position at the former Heinz Field in Pittsburgh.
CP Photo: Jared Wickerham
The former Heinz Field scoreboard features its iconic ketchup bottles, one of which will go on display at the Heinz History Center

Pittsburgh City Council

Local animal activists applauded Pittsburgh City Council for banning foie gras, a controversial delicacy produced by force-feeding ducks and geese until their livers become fatty and diseased. In what one Humane Action Pittsburgh press release describes as a "groundbreaking move toward animal welfare and ethical consumption," the City Council passed, by a vote of 7-2, a bill to "ban the production and sale of foie gras within city limits." Restrictions on foie gras have already been placed in numerous countries around the world, including Australia, Germany, India, the United Kingdom, and Turkey, as well as in various U.S. states and cities.

Dr. Karen Phillips, founder of the Sewickley-based Hope Haven Farm Sanctuary, has rescued muscovy ducks from the foie gras industry, and says of the City Council decision, “This victory showcases the power of collective action and our shared commitment to creating a more compassionate society. We are grateful to the City Council for recognizing the importance of this issue and taking a proactive stance to protect animals from egregiously inhumane treatment.”

Heinz History Center x Kraft Heinz Company
1212 Smallman St., Strip District. heinzhistorycenter.org

Sometimes food news becomes food history, and on Fri., Dec. 22, a ketchup bottle from the former Heinz Field scoreboard will be unveiled in its new home at Heinz History Center. One of two 35-foot-long Heinz ketchup bottles that once “poured” onto the stadium’s scoreboard, it was removed last year when naming rights changed and Heinz Field became Acrisure Stadium.

Kraft Heinz has since told KDKA that it’s working with Heinz History Center to “memorialize the bottle as a historical artifact,” and it will hang as an installation on the Center’s exterior at 12th St. and Smallman St. “The ketchup bottle represents more than 20 years of memories at Heinz Field and is an important part of Pittsburgh [Steelers] history,” Heinz History Center tweeted, encouraging visitors to take selfies with the colossal ketchup bottle. Those who tag Heinz History Center in their photos will be entered to win a gift basket and museum membership.

Mancini's Bakery
1717 Penn Ave., Strip District. mancinisbakery.com

For another golden selfie opportunity, Mancini’s Bakery debuted its third annual “bread art” holiday display: a tribute to A Christmas Story. This year’s “bread creation” features the 1983 movie’s iconic leg lamp and Ralphie Parker’s pink bunny suit with space for customers to pose for photos. Bakery owner Nick Mancini Hartner said in a press release that he took the “triple dog dare” (a line from the movie) to celebrate the film’s 40th anniversary, creating the 190-pound, four-foot-by-four-foot artwork out of Mancini’s signature twist bread. Catch the leg lamp at Mancini’s Strip District location from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. through the end of the year (closed Mon., Dec. 25-Tue., Dec. 26).
click to enlarge A baker wearing a brown shirt, white gloves, and a white baseball cap, proudly poses with a large bread sculpture
Photo: Courtesy of Mancini's Bakery
Mancini's "leg lamp" bread sculpture in honor of A Christmas Story

Prantl’s Bakery
Multiple locations. prantlsbakery.com

Prantl’s announced another uncanny confection, a Terrible Torte. Inspired by the Pittsburgh Steelers, the torte is “a new black-and-gold spin” on the bakery's nationally lauded burnt almond torte. Prantl’s president Jeff Pastor told TribLive, “It’s called the Terrible Torte, but it’s actually delicious.” The cake is made with black and yellow “jimmies,” filled with vanilla pastry cream, and topped with the bakery’s signature toasted almonds and buttercream icing. The torte’s release marks 160 years of the Prantl family’s bakery business, which began in 1863 on the North Side. The limited-time Terrible Torte can be ordered online or by calling 724-837-3706.

Eat'n Park x Mrs. T’s Pierogies
Multiple locations. eatnpark.com

Mrs. T’s Pierogies are now on the menu at Eat’n Park. According to WPXI, the two Pennsylvania companies have collaborated to create Cheddar Bacon Ranch Pierogies, which are fried, topped with shredded cheddar and bacon bits, and served with Eat'n Park’s “Famous Ranch” sauce. The new appetizer is available at all Eat'n Park restaurants and for online and mobile orders.

Hot Ones
hotonesdelivery.com

And for the spiciest debut yet, Hot Ones — the hit YouTube talk show that features celebrities eating wings slathered in increasingly hotter sauces — launched a delivery menu in Pittsburgh. Fans of the show can now test their tolerance with a Hot Ones “Challenge Box” and a full lineup of wings (chicken- or plant-based), sandwiches, hot sauces, sides, desserts, and, if needed, milk. According to First We Feast, which produces Hot Ones, the current sauce selection was tested by “A-list Hot Ones guests this season,” allowing diners to compare their reaction to a sobbing Jennifer Lawrence while tasting “spicy and tropical” roja, classic chili-maple, or garlic fresno sauces. Delivery is available through Hot Ones’ delivery website and other major delivery apps.

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"Yinzerpolitan" pies in the Northside

By Mars Johnson