Thinly sliced: America’s firefighters say, “Step away from the deep fryer”

This is the web version of a list we publish twice-weekly in our newsletter. It comprises the most noteworthy food stories of the moment, selected by our editors. Get it first here.

Extra cheesy. A pizzeria in Mesa, Arizona, is saying goodbye to Charlie Balogh, its in-house organist, who died last week from complications following a stroke. For decades, Balogh played a Wurtlizer organ with 6,000 pipes, reportedly the largest in the world, on a spinning stage in the dining room. The Takeout reports that Organ Stop Pizza is far from the only pizzeria to boast live organ accompaniment, and if that isn’t the best argument against delivery, then we don’t know what is. (Note: There is some dissent among NFE staff on this opinion.)

Fry hard. Thinking of deep-frying a turkey this Thanksgiving? Fire departments across the country are worried about you! Thaw your bird first, wear protective gear in case of oil splatters, and never fry indoors. Historically, the holiday period has seen a sharp uptick in home cooking fires, primarily linked to unattended stoves. As we’ve reported, home cooking causes four times as many fires on Thanksgiving as it does on a regular day. To decrease the risk of fires caused by ambitious, ill-prepared turkey fryers, experts recommend leaving the task up to professionals like restaurants or grocery stores, Route Fifty reports. But where’s the fun in that? Gobble up more food safety advice here.

Wicked smart. Next week, Dunkin’ will begin to phase out its foam cups, which are something of an obsession for New Englanders. Double-cupping, as the local ritual is called, is when customers ask for an extra cup to use as an outer sleeve for their iced coffee. Apparently, this is a thing, so the Wall Street Journal asked Dunkin’ diehards to wax rhapsodic about their hot cup collections, which they keep in cupboards and bring across the country when they move. Over on Grub Street, there’s a handy list of double-cup alternatives.

Pass me the THC-infused gravy. Let’s face it, lots of us dread Thanksgiving dinner. Not so much the dinner, but the potential pitfalls accompanying said dinner. It’s a day when politics come to the table, and it may not be pretty. Sunset recommends (take it as you will) spiking your turkey gravy with a new fast-acting line of edibles. Kiva Confections launched their limited-edition, cannabis-infused gravy right on time. For the small price of $5, the product comes in powdered form. Just add water and in 2 to 15 minutes everyone will be getting along and you may even *gasp* enjoy Thanksgiving. This piece also includes a winking disclaimer that the editors aren’t suggesting you “dose your family.”

The market will not solve it. Last year, the only grocery store in rural Baldwin, Florida, shut down. So the town’s mayor did what most government officials do—used generous tax breaks to entice major retailers. Right? Wrong! He allowed a tech company to pilot a drone delivery program from a supermarket 20 miles away? No. He hired a nonprofit to set up a farmers’ market? Still no. The town opened its own grocery store—a quietly radical upending of the expectation that business, not government, should be responsible for providing the basic necessity of healthy food. “We take the water out of the ground, and we pump it to your house and charge you,” he told The Washington Post. “So what’s the difference with a grocery store?”

The Counter Stories by our editors.