TIME Food & Drink

You Can Now Eat The Chocolate Fried Chicken of Your Dreams

Um, yeah. We’d eat that.

After much anticipation, ChocoChicken — an eatery that specializes in, yes, chocolate-flavored fried chicken — has finally opened in Los Angeles. It’s the brainchild of Adam Fleischman, best known as the founder of Umami Burger.

Behold the restaurant’s signature dish:

The batter contains 62% bittersweet chocolate from a local Beverly Hills chocolate producer, the Los Angeles Times explains. That chocolate is also used in or on almost everything on the menu, including ketchup, duck fat fries and mashed potatoes.

“Chocolate isn’t there to make sweetness, it’s there to make more of a savory experience,” Fleischman tells the LA Times. “It just adds a lot more complexity because a lot of fried chicken is bland because they don’t do much to the chicken, the flavor is all in the coating.”

So, is it actually any good? Unfortunately we haven’t had the opportunity to fly to California to try it, but Los Angeles magazine offers the following assessment:

Brined for 36-hours, the chicken itself was exceptionally moist. The crunchy crust, stained a ruddy brown by the addition of ground chocolate, was subtely sweet and spicy. Oddly enough, the flavor was reminescent of chocolate graham crackers.

Um, yeah. We’d eat that.

TIME Diet & Fitness

12 Foods That Make You Eat Less

Woman eating apple
FP. Wartenberg—Getty Images/Picture Press RM

When you’re trying to lose weight, cutting back on the amount you eat is a given—but feeling hungry all the time is one of the major reasons why most diets fail within a week. Still, you can silence your grumbling stomach without consuming extra calories. In fact, eating certain foods sends a signal to your brain that you’re done eating, and quiets your appetite. Shut out the ice cream pint that’s calling your name by eating these healthy and satisfying foods.

Apples

Chomp on an apple approximately a half hour before a meal—the fiber and water from the apple will fill you up, so you’ll eat less, says Debra Wein, RD, president of Wellness Workdays, a leading provider of worksite wellness programs.

Avocado

Eating half of an avocado with your lunch may help you feel full for the rest of the afternoon, according to a study published in Nutrition Journal. Women who did that felt 22% more satisfied and had a 24% lower desire to snack three hours later than on days they ate a calorically equivalent lunch without the avocado.

Health.com:20 Best Foods for Fiber

Beans, chickpeas, lentils

Dietary pulses such as chickpeas, lentils, beans, and peas are protein-rich superfoods that also pack in fiber, antioxidants, B vitamins, and iron. Eating more of them may also help you control your appetite. A recent meta-analysis published in the journal Obesity found that people were 31% more satisfied after a meal when it included pulses.

Soup

In a Penn State study, people who slurped a bowl of low-calorie, broth-based soup before their lunch entrées reduced their total calorie intake at the meal by 20%. “Soups can take the edge of your appetite since they take up a lot of volume in your stomach, but with very few calories,” says Beth Saltz, RD, owner of nutritionskitchen.com.

Pickles

Pickles, sauerkraut, kimchi, and other fermented foods have short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), and recent research in the Annals of The New York Academy of Sciences found that they help strengthen the bond between the gut and the brain. SCFAs stimulate production of hormones that cross the blood-brain barrier and improve appetite signaling. Fermented foods also boast probiotics, the healthy bacteria that help digestion. Some experts believe probiotics may reduce appetite and aid weight loss, though research is inconclusive.

Chili powder

You may already know that capsaicin, the compound in chilis that gives them their kick, fires up your metabolism. Recent research from Maastricht University in the Netherlands shows that adding heat to your meal may also control your appetite. The study, which was published in the journal Appetite, found that adding 1/4 tsp of chili pepper to each meal increased satiety and fullness. What’s more, some participants were only allowed to consume 75% of their recommended daily calorie intake, but didn’t feel any more desire to continue eating after dinner than those who were given 100% of their daily calories.

Health.com:27 Best Foods for Weight Loss

Dark chocolate

When you’re craving something sweet, reach for dark chocolate. Research suggests dark chocolate can help reduce blood pressure and protect the heart and brain. It’s also more filling than milk chocolate and may help curb cravings for both sweet and salty foods, according to a study in the journal Nutrition & Diabetes. In fact, participants consumed 17% fewer calories at a meal following a dose of dark chocolate.

Eggs

Starting your day with eggs will leave you satisfied until lunch. The power’s in the protein: research from the University of Missouri at Columbia suggests that eating a 300-calorie breakfast made up of 30 to 39 grams of protein (think: eggs and sausage) reduces hunger pangs and increases fullness during the time between breakfast and lunch. What’s more, the research revealed that high-protein breakfast eaters consume fewer calories throughout the day.

Nuts

Nuts are another filling food that may help you eat less. In a British Journal of Nutrition study, obese women who paired either 1.5 ounces of peanuts or 3 tablespoons of peanut butter with Cream of Wheat cereal and orange juice felt fuller for up to 12 hours after finishing breakfast than those who didn’t eat the peanut products. “Nuts are essentially designed by nature to control appetite because they’re rich in healthy unsaturated fat, along with bonus protein and fiber,” says Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD, Health contributing nutrition editor. Together, the three nutrients slow digestion and regulate blood sugar when combined with carbs like fruit, oatmeal, or brown rice.

Health.com:20 Best Foods to Eat for Breakfast

Oatmeal

Consider ditching cereal for warm, gooey oatmeal. Oatmeal will keep you feeling fuller longer, suggests a study in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition. Participants were served 250 calories of cereal or oatmeal with 113 calories of milk. The oatmeal-eaters were satiated longer, and they also experienced a greater reduction in hunger and a decreased desire to eat compared to ready-to-eat cereal eaters. Why the difference? Oatmeal is higher in fiber and protein and also has higher amounts of beta-glucan–the sugars that give oatmeal its heart-healthy properties, hydration, and molecular weight compared to ready-to-eat cereals.

Water

Being low on H2O can trick you into believing you’re hungry. Why? The symptoms of hunger are similar to those of being dehydrated: low energy, reduced cognitive function, and poor mood. So next time you’re craving an afternoon snack, drink a tall glass of water and wait 10 minutes. Chances are, your hunger pangs will pass, and you’ll have saved hundreds of calories.

Health.com:14 Surprising Causes of Dehydration

Whey protein

Dairy whey—one of the two proteins that make up milk products—may be the most filling type of protein. According to a study published in the journal Appetite, people who drank whey protein ate 18% less two hours later than those who had consumed a carbohydrate drink. Use whey protein powder to give smoothies a protein punch.

This article originally appeared on Health.com.

TIME Food

Camel Milk is a Thing and Costs $18 a Bottle

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Camel Gk Hart/vicky Hart—Getty Images

It's supposedly really good for you and at that price it damn well better be

Good news for all you people out there with dreams of traversing the Sahara in a pre-modern caravan—now you can live out at least part of the fantasy by drinking camel milk.

The California-based distributor Desert Farms sells camel milk directly and in more than 40 Whole Foods stores in California, reports The Wall Street Journal, with more locations to come. Desert Farms sources camel milk from a variety of camel ranches (yes, they exist) around the country.

Part of the reason you haven’t seen a lot of camel milk for sale in the U.S. is that as recently as 2009 it was banned by the Food and Drug Administration. According to Desert Farms, camel milk is 50% lower in fat and saturated fat than cows milk and is “easy to digest.”

One thing camel milk ain’t is cheap, at $18 a bottle. And why is it so expensive, you ask? “Camels don’t give lots of milk, but what they do give is precious,” Desert Farms says in the first sentence of its website’s FAQ section.

TIME Family

10 Brilliant Grilling Gifts for Father’s Day

The Big Green Egg smoker The Big Green Egg

This article originally appeared on Food & Wine.

From smokers that can fit an entire hog to the best tongs for nighttime grilling, here are 10 fantastic Father’s Day gifts.

1. The Big Green Egg XXL
This cult-favorite smoker can hold a whole hog.

2. Weber Smokey Mountain
This inexpensive smoker is a great way to try the trend.

3. Double-Duty Grill
Perfect for the urban dad, the Hot-Pot BBQ features a charcoal grill hidden under an herb planter.

4. 18-Inch Grill Tongs
These Weber tongs are great for small foods such as shrimp or vegetables.

5. Pit Mitt
This flexible glove can withstand temperatures of up to 475°.

6. Pizza Stone
This fantastic ceramic pizza stone can be used on a gas or charcoal grill.

7. Herb Infuser
Charcoal Companion’s Herb Grid has hinged gates that hold herbs for extra flavor.

8. Sturdy Skewers
Double prongs keep the food in place.

9. Korean Barbecue Insert
This cast-iron round insert keeps thin-sliced meats from falling into the coals.

10. Illuminated Tongs
These tongs feature detachable LED lights for night grilling.

More:

TIME celebrities

Paula Deen Cooks Up Her Own Online Network

"The fans are going to see things they have never seen before," the disgraced ex-Food Network star said. "They are going to see all of me"

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Former Food Network star Paula Deen announced on her website Wednesday that she is launching her own online network in September. She posted to her blog: “Guess who’s going digital, y’all!”

The Paula Deen Network will be a subscription-based service. For a fee, fans will be able to access recipes, tips and instructional videos at any time. Early registration will begin in July, and those who pre-register can win a trip to Savannah, Ga. to join her live studio audience. In order to court subscribers, Deen has set off on a 20-city summer food tour across the U.S.

Deen lost most of her endorsements, her book deal and her TV deals in 2013 after she acknowledged having used racial slurs—including the N-word—in the past. The confession, in a legal deposition, was sparked by a legal dispute with a former employee who accused Deen of racial discrimination and sexual harassment. The scandal worsened after it was revealed Deen had planned to host a “Southern plantation-styled” wedding featuring African-American servants.

In February, Deen told People that she was mounting a comeback: she launched her own company, Paula Deen Ventures, backed by private investment firm Najafi Companies. Najafi gave the Queen of Southern Cooking $75 million to $100 million to oversee her restaurants, cookbook publications and product endorsements. This new digital network with “network-quality” programming is Deen’s first attempt at a comeback.

Deen told the Wall Street Journal Wednesday that at least one network had offered her a TV show, but she declined. (A Food Network spokesperson told the Journal that she had no knowledge of any Food Network show being offered to the fallen star.) Deen said she decided an online platform was the best way to reach fans. “After much research and talking to our fans, this is what they wanted. They wanted to be able to watch me anytime, anywhere, any place,” Deen said. “iPads are so much lighter to tote around than a TV. In a network program, you only have 22 minutes. The fans are going to see things they have never seen before. They are going to see all of me.”

 

TIME Food & Drink

Behold: A Pair of Beautiful Ramen Tacos

Our stomachs are saying yes. Our doctors are saying no.

Just when you thought you were over the whole ramen food hybrid thing, along come these two gorgeous ramen tacos to make you question everything:

The folks over at the food blog The Vulgar Chef whipped these babies up: one chicken bacon ranch ramen taco and one shaved beef-pickled jalapeño taco.

When we look at these, this is the song that plays in our hearts:

(h/t Foodbeast)

TIME Food

Millennials Spend More Time Planning Brunch Than They Do Looking for a Date

Young people are poring over menus and restaurant apps preparing for their next meal

It’s Wednesday afternoon, but my mind is already on Sunday brunch.

“Where should we go this weekend?” reads a text from my friend. Saturday’s mimosas haven’t even left my system yet, but I’m already planning my next outing.

Minutes later, links to menus are flying back and forth between my G-chat windows.

“This place has apple wood smoked bacon and cheddar scones.”

“Peanut butter French toast? Yes, please.”

“We must try those apple cider donuts.”

My friends and I will spend the next few days casually talking about where we want to go, and what we want to eat. Ultimately, we’ll probably spend more time talking about the food than we will eating it.

And it’s not just brunch. Whether my book club is meeting at a cute French café or coworkers want to grab a bite after a long day, menus are being passed around and obsessed over.

The extensive menu planning doesn’t just happen in New York. Friends from San Francisco to Pittsburgh, Washington D.C. and Denver have admitted to thinking about their meals way in advance. Blessed with fast metabolisms and loose incomes, it’s something we can enjoy now before settling down to strollers and delivered groceries.

Much like modern dating, eating out has become staggering array of choice. Smartphone apps like Ness or Localeur make finding a restaurant easier than a date. My friends and I pore over images of ramen and cupcakes the same way we’d look at a dating profile. It’s like Tinder for food. But unlike the solitary swiping of a hookup app, this activity can be more social – and easier. Not only can we see photos of the menu choices, but also it’s simple to reserve a table or deliver dishes with the tap of a finger.

One reason companies are eager to roll out dining apps is because millennials are spending more when eating out. A recent study found that teenagers now devote more money on food and events than clothing. They want to make sure they are paying for the most delicious, Instagrammable meal. Flashy handbags or cars are being traded in for brag-worthy experiences at funky diners or the newest sushi joint.

But sometimes the food planning hits a speed bump when old school eateries don’t have a website or aren’t listed on the apps.

“I can’t go to a restaurant without looking at the menu first,” my best friend once admitted to me.

It makes sense: for a generation that operates on instant information, there’s a slight anxiety of going to a restaurant that doesn’t list its options.

But in those cases, we can turn to Yelp. The reviewing website, which mainly serves the 18 to 35-year-old crowd, allows people to post pictures of menus and see which meal is most popular. It’s brunch intel overload.

Not to say that this trend of researching a meal is bad. It broadens the conversation about food and helps you connect to your friends. Plus it helps us spend our money a little more wisely. With so much personal financial investment going into a meal, why wouldn’t millennials want to plan the experience?

TIME Saving & Spending

Here’s How to Get Free Donuts Today

Donut
Getty Images

National Doughnut Day is a 76-year-old tradition that was first launched by the Salvation Army to commemorate World War I volunteers and is now held on the first Friday in June. While the spelling debate continues—doughnut vs. donut—the price is clear: free. Here's where to get your sweet on

Friday is National Doughnut Day, a 76-year-old tradition launched by the Salvation Army to commemorate World War I volunteers. Held the first Friday in June, National Doughnut Day is a day to scarf free baked goodies and debate the proper spelling: donut or doughnut? Take your pick, but on Friday, there’s another way to spell it: f-r-e-e. Here’s a roundup of where to get your sweet on.

At participating Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants, customers can get a free donut with any beverage purchase (while supplies last).

At Krispy Kreme, customers can get a free donut of any variety. No purchase is necessary, but Connecticut and Puerto Rico are excluded from the promo.

American outlets of Canadian donut chain Tim Horton’s are offering a free donut with any purchase. Customers have to say, “Happy National Donut Day” to collect their freebie.

Shipley Do-Nuts, a chain with more than 250 stores in six Southern states, is offering a free glazed “do-nut” and a small coffee from 5 a.m. until midnight at participating locations (limit one freebie per customer).

Midwestern chain LaMar’s Donuts is giving away a free donut (any variety with a hole) — no purchase necessary.

 

 

MONEY Shopping

5 Ways to Trim Your Meat Budget During Barbecue Season

140527_EM_Grilling_1
Flamed grilled steaks on a barbecue Carlos Davila—Alamy

Smart, simple ways to keep the soaring price of beef from ruining your grilling season.

Just in time for prime barbecuing season, there’s been an across-the-board rise in meat prices. Many reasons have been cited for higher prices at the supermarket—lingering drought conditions tend to be blamed the most—but farm groups point to another culprit: you.

Strong consumer demand, especially for high-quality meats, is the primary reason, according to Bob Young, chief economist at the American Farm Bureau Federation. “Consumers are feeling better about themselves and their income situation and willing to pay up for good meat,” Young told The Atlantic recently. “I think that given the stronger demand, folks are going to find not quite the cut they want for the price they want. They might have to downmarket a bit.”

Here are five smart ways to cope without giving up your barbecue fix.

Buy in bulk. Maybe from the back of a truck. No matter if you’re at Costco, Walmart, or your local grocer, you’ll almost always pay a lower per-pound price for steaks, ground beef, and more by purchasing meats in larger packages—over 3 pounds, typically. Foodies and frugality gurus alike often recommend the strategy of buying a side of beef or an entire pig straight from a trusted farmer, though this isn’t always practical for folks who don’t have the freezer space or the desire to sharpen up their butcher’s skills.

One of the more odd and intriguing means of buying in bulk comes from a Washington-based company called Zaycon Foods, whose curious sales procedure—and terrific prices, under $2 a pound for chicken breasts—started attracting national attention more than a year ago. You won’t find the Zaycon brand at any store; instead, the company uses a no-middleman approach to business, in which customers place orders online and pick them up at a prearranged time from the back of a truck that’s waiting in, say, a church parking lot. The meat is never frozen; it’s taken from the farm and loaded onto the refrigerated trucks that wind up at pickup locations. “The products are as fresh as if you had your own farm, but without all the chores,” the Zaycon site explains. This is truly a buy-in-bulk operation, with huge packages you won’t see at the supermarket, or even Costco. An individual order of ground beef or chicken breasts is 40 pounds worth of meat.

The Seattle Times described the typical pickup scene: “The driver arrives at the designated parking lot, spreads out yellow parking cones to create a path for the customers’ cars, and hands off the boxes while checking names on an iPad.” Yet despite the quirkiness (or maybe partly because of it), Zaycon’s business has been thriving. At last check, Zaycon had roughly 1,300 drop-off locations in 48 states. Some 325,000 customers have signed up with the company around the country, up from just 84,000 registered users at the end of 2011.

Freeze now, eat later. It goes without saying that if you’re going to make use of Zaycon, or Costco’s meat section for that matter, owning a large freezer is in a must. Of course, smart grocery shoppers also stock up on meats for grilling when their favorite supermarket has a good sale, or there’s a great coupon circulating, rather than right before the July 4 weekend, when you’ll have to pay top dollar. Yet again, a good—and good-sized—freezer is in order, as is some basic knowledge about defrosting meat safely, without losing flavor.

Master of the art of leftovers. Today’s grilled steak is tomorrow’s shabu-shabu. Sure, you could simply heat up the leftovers and eat, but where’s the fun in that? If done correctly, leftovers won’t taste like leftovers, and they can be stretched out and incorporated into several days’ worth of eating. To spice things up, consult SuperCook and enter the foods and ingredients you have handy to see what new dish you can make. For leftover grilled meats, Real Simple recommends sprinkling barbecue sauce, a marinade, or just water over what you have, then wrapping it in foil and warming over indirect heat for a few minutes. Plain old reheating can dry out the meat.

Don’t be snobby about cheap cuts. Ground beef that’s 90% lean will be more expensive than ground chuck that’s 70% or 80% lean. And guess what? The fattier stuff offers far superior taste in a burger. Whereas burgers made with lean ground beef tend to be dense and dry, a 70% lean burger will be juicy and tasty. As a bonus, a lot of the fat drips off in the grilling process. As for grilling steaks, consider less expensive cuts like the skirt and hanger steak over the pricier strip or ribeye. When seasoned and cooked wisely, the cheap cuts won’t taste cheap.

Embrace meatless Monday. It’s an easy way to save a little cash and get a little healthier: At least once a week—it doesn’t have to be a Monday—go meatless. You can still fire up the grill. The Meatless Monday movement offers plenty of suggestions for meals planned around grilled vegetables. Quinoa and white bean burgers anyone?

TIME Food and Spirits

Haylie Duff Wants You to Start Ordering Kale Online

The actress' new show on the Cooking Channel aims to make the art of cuisine a little more straightforward

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A few years ago, actress Haylie Duff launched a blog called Real Girl’s Kitchen to share recipes and cooking tips. Last year, the blog expanded into a book of the same name, allowing Duff the opportunity to more fully explore her love of all things culinary. Now, this weekend, Real Girl’s Kitchen takes a whole new evolution — this time in the form of a ten-episode cooking show on Cooking Channel. The series, which premieres on June 7, follows Duff as she explores various facets of the food world and teaches viewers how to turn chef at home.

For Duff, who has several movies in the works as well, cooking is a way to showcase her true self. The actress talked to TIME about how Real Girl’s Kitchen became a TV series and why, exactly, we should all get on board with kale.

TIME: When did you shoot Real Girl’s Kitchen?

Haylie Duff: We’ve been shooting on and off for the past six months or so. We took our time making it because originally it was a web series. We did our own schedule, and I did some movies in between shooting some of the episodes. And now we get to go onto the Cooking Channel, which is crazy!

How did that come about?

Truthfully, by the grace of the universe. We shot the series as a web series and put a promo out, and then a executive at Cooking Channel saw the promo and we went in for a meeting. We figured out how to make both work – we did the show online first, and then on Saturday we premiere on Cooking Channel. It will air as if it’s a new series that has never been online before, which is sort of a bizarre concept, but it’s new and different.

Did you ever think you would be someone with a Cooking Channel show?

One hundred percent not. I still pinch myself. I think about who I was when I typed up that first blog post, and I never in a million years would have thought this would happen. I’m so grateful and I try to be present every step of the way.

Have you always been interested in cooking and food?

It’s more of a new revelation as an adult. I talk in my cookbook about my mom discovering my take-out menu drawer. We were never the family that ordered pizza, and my mom never came home with a bucket of fried chicken. My mom always made home-cooked meals. We always sat down at the dinner table as a family. So my mom was devastated when she learned that I ordered delivery all the time. The look on her face spawned me wanting to learn how to cook. I had a lot of disasters in the kitchen as I learned.

What’s the first thing someone should learn how to do in the kitchen?

I think the first thing you should learn is how to roast a chicken. Once you can roast a chicken you can pretty much figure out anything else. And who doesn’t like roasted chicken? It’s a classic. You can serve it at a dinner party with a salad and a nice side and it has a great presentation, or you can put it in the oven after a day of work. It’s a go-to dish for me. There’s so many things you can do with it.

Has learning to cook made you more aware of where your food comes from?

Yes — to the point that I drive people crazy! I’m interested in where it comes from. I love the idea of farm to table and farmer’s markets. I enjoy a meal more if I know I’m eating something that’s good quality and good for me. I think it scares some people, maybe, and that’s why they don’t want to dive too deep. There’s a lot of scary stuff out there.

What are some of the culinary themes your show will tackle?

It’s a loose format, which is one of the cool things about it. The first episode we go out to Malibu for a girl’s weekend to eat green juice and turmeric shots and all that kind of detox stuff. We go to Brooklyn in one of the episodes and go to two incredible restaurants. We visit a rooftop farm while we’re in Brooklyn, which is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been. We do a big crab boil in my backyard with my family. We recreate burgers from Plan Check [in Venice, CA]. I visit a goat farm and make goat cheese. We cover some miles.

What’s the coolest thing you learned how to do?

It might have been when we went to Soledad Farms and made goat cheese. I always buy this goat cheese when I’m at the farmer’s market and it has flavors — there’s a lavender one, a honey one. It’s the most delicious but light goat cheese I’ve ever had in my life. I had done some research on this farm and they’re also an animal rescue. Julian [Pearce] is a French cheese-maker who bought a farm in California and he rescues any animal that comes his way. He claims that his goat cheese is more delicious than any other goat cheese because the goats are all happy.

That seems like a really good reason to have a cooking show.

Yeah! In my actual life, a food adventure is my favorite thing to do. To get to do it on the show was amazing.

You mention in one episode how much you love kale. For those who are skeptical, can you defend its merits?

I love kale. I ate it for lunch today. It’s just the best thing ever – it’s so good for you. There’s so many things to do with it. You can eat it raw, you can massage it into a salad, you can sauté it. It’s just the best little green ever. However, I get a lot of people who write to me on my blog and on Twitter who say they live somewhere where they can’t find kale in their stores. So one thing I’ve been encouraging people to do is order it online. It’s so easy to grow in the ground! It’s truly the easiest thing to grow. You can bring kale to you.

As you continue to pursue both acting and cooking, do you have a goal for where you want your career to go?

That’s such a good question because I’ve been very lucky this past year. I’ve been able to continue to make movies and also make the show and keep up with my blog and go on a book tour. I’ve been able to have the best of both worlds. I definitely don’t take that for granted. I think if I could continue doing that I’d be the happiest girl around. But really, Real Girl’s Kitchen has been my focus for the last year. It changed my life. I discovered myself in a whole new way. I would love to see a second season for the show. I’d love to write another cookbook. In a perfect world, I’d get to keep doing both.

What do you hope people take away from the show?

I’m not a trained chef. I’m a self-taught cook and I want people to be like, “Yo, I could do that! Maybe I didn’t think to or maybe it seemed harder than it really is.” That’s one thing people are going to really like about it. It’s not unattainable.

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