NBC/Castle Rock Entertainment
NBC/Castle Rock Entertainment

The Return of the Urban Sombrero

NBC/Castle Rock Entertainment
NBC/Castle Rock Entertainment

While enormously popular, NBC’s Seinfeld was never the best sitcom from which to obtain fashion inspiration. Jerry Seinfeld favored sneakers and was once coerced into wearing a puffy shirt; George Costanza adopted a Michelin Man look with his GORE-TEX coat; Elaine Benes marketed an “urban sombrero” that was half Spanish siesta and half Canadian Mountie.

That fictional hat was never actually part of the J. Peterman catalog, the real-life exotic goods dealer that Elaine worked for in the series. Founder John Peterman thought the idea was too silly and resisted any attempt to de-fictionalize it. But as the company’s current Kickstarter campaign can attest, he has since had a change of heart. The sombrero can now be yours for a backing pledge of $275, and you have the fake J. Peterman—actor John O’Hurley—to thank.

“It was a bone of contention for him,” O’Hurley tells mental_floss. “He thought it would be embracing parody at the expense of the core values of the company. I thought it would be an extension for the people who knew the brand through the Seinfeld attachment.” After years of bickering, O'Hurley won. But why was Peterman listening in the first place?

In a very strange case of life imitating art, O’Hurley joined the real J. Peterman company in 2001 as an investor after Peterman saw his expanding fortune from the Seinfeld plugs dwindle: a misguided retail expansion effort killed profits. Forced to declare bankruptcy and reassert control over the brand, Peterman asked O’Hurley to jump in. The actor is now a part owner and sits on the board of directors, a fact he still finds astonishing—given that he essentially stole his partner's identity.

“He kind of lost it to me,” O’Hurley says. “We’ll be walking down Madison Avenue and a cop will roll his window down and scream, ‘Peterman!' He’s talking to me.”

As part of a $500,000 fundraising campaign to offer more unique items, J. Peterman is issuing a limited number of the 22-inch diameter sombreros for backers, with an eye toward eventually carrying them in their regular product catalog. While it will differ slightly from the screen-worn prop, O’Hurley guarantees the quality will be worthy of the brand’s reputation.


“He found a sombrero designer in Mexico. This guy designed a sombrero for the Pope when he visited. It will resemble the one on the show but will be of a much better quality.”

The sombreros are expected to be available in November, with a special signed-and-numbered edition ($400) limited to 300 units. Those who pledge $8600 will have an opportunity to travel with Peterman on one of his famously quixotic journeys, though they should not expect to encounter anyone resembling Elaine’s bombastic onscreen employer.

“We are completely different people in reality," O'Hurley says. "That was a parody. He’s a very happy Kentuckian.”

Here's the Right Way to Pronounce Kitchenware Brand Le Creuset

If you were never quite sure how to pronounce the name of beloved French kitchenware brand Le Creuset, don't fret: For the longest time, southern chef, author, and PBS personality Vivian Howard wasn't sure either.

In this video from Le Creuset, shared by Food & Wine, Howard prepares to sear some meat in her bright orange Le Creuset pot and explains, "For the longest time I had such a crush on them but I could never verbalize it because I didn’t know how to say it and I was so afraid of sounding like a big old redneck." Listen closely as she demonstrates the official, Le Creuset-endorsed pronunciation at 0:51.

Le Creuset is known for its colorful, cast-iron cookware, which is revered by pro chefs and home cooks everywhere. The company first introduced their durable pots to the world in 1925. Especially popular are their Dutch ovens, which are thick cast-iron pots that have been around since the 18th century and are used for slow-cooking dishes like roasts, stews, and casseroles.

[h/t Food & Wine]

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Amazon Will Now Deliver Whole Foods Groceries To Your Door

Since its acquisition of Whole Foods for $13.7 billion in 2017, Amazon has slowly been ramping up synergy between the two brands. An Amazon Go concept convenience store in Seattle allows customers to enter, scan their cell phone, and walk out with groceries without having to stand in line; select Amazon products, like their Echo devices, have made their way onto retail shelves.

Now, consumers in Austin, Dallas, Cincinnati, and Virginia Beach can use their status as an Amazon Prime customer to get free home delivery of their Whole Foods groceries. Beginning Thursday, February 8, the market will drop off orders within two hours. (One-hour delivery carries a $7.99 charge.)

“We're happy to bring our customers the convenience of free two-hour delivery through Prime Now and access to thousands of natural and organic groceries and locally sourced favorites,” Whole Foods Market co-founder and CEO John Mackey said in a statement. “Together, we have already lowered prices on many items, and this offering makes Prime customers’ lives even easier.”

Most everything in the store is eligible for delivery, though we’re not certain they’d deliver a live lobster. “Select” alcohol is also available. You can visit to see if you’re in their delivery region. Keep checking, as they plan to expand throughout 2018.

If you’re not near a Whole Foods at all, other regional grocery chains like Wegman’s also offer home delivery on a subscription-based pricing structure.

[h/t The Verge]


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