April 27, 2007
The Perfect Pint!
So scientists have now given us the formula for a perfect pint.
A mathematical formula can now predict how the frothy head on a beer changes over time, a finding that may have a wide range of commercial uses beyond pulling the perfect pint, U.S. researchers said on Wednesday.
The formula explains how the tiny bubbles that make up foam grow -- an explanation that could lead to the development of products such as metal shrink wrap.
The possibilities include "the heat treatment of metals or even controlling (the) head on a pint of beer," Robert MacPherson of Princeton University in New Jersey and David Srolovitz of Yeshiva University in New York report in the journal Nature.
The only problem of course is that the researchers are American and therefore think that beer should in fact be fizzy. Which of course it should not be at all, the froth should be only that provided by the hand pump bringing it up from the cellar.
But then we know that the colonial cousins don't understand that.
March 28, 2007
Cannabis Ain't Kosher
In what might be the least surprising ruling in religious history, it has been decided that cannabis isn't kosher and should therefore not be consumed during Passover:
Marijuana is not kosher for Passover, a pro-cannabis advocacy group says, advising Jews who observe the week-long holiday's special dietary laws to take a break from smoking the weed.
The Green Leaf Party announced Wednesday that products of the cannabis plant have been grouped by rabbis within a family of foods such as peas, beans and lentils that is off-limits to Jews of European descent during Passover.
The Green Leaf Party, which has made several unsuccessful attempts to win election to parliament on a platform urging marijuana's legalisation, said it was issuing its advisory as a service to Jews who don't want to break ritual law.
But it said the rabbinical ban for the holiday beginning at sunset Monday, during which many Jews eat matzos, or unleavened bread, could be a blessing in disguise.
March 13, 2007
Living, as I do, in Portugal, and having lived in several other countries too I've got a certain amount of experience with what might be termed "foreign" cooking. Not just the occasional dish with a hint of garlic in it, as might be the case at home, but our own diet here, made up as it is of foods from the local markets, if we go out to eat it's Portuguese or Portuguese.
Nothing wrong with that, but with the builders in and the kitchen out of action it's all eating out now. This has set me to thinking of which cuisine I know and like I would want to have available here, just as a matter of variety. I've lived in Italy and I do love Italian food but it's not really different enough freom what we get here already. The same with most spanish recipes. Yes, they are different from the Portuguese, but only in style, not substance.
German, Swedish or Russian cuisine? Err, no, I really don't think so. French again is really not so different from what we already get. Cajun or creole would be good but I'm not sure that the others here would take to a diet of gumbo.
I think what I'd really like would be what Americans call spanish recipes, what the Spanish themselves would probably call Mexican. Different enough from the Mediterranean food we're getting here now but still based on the blending of strong flavours and spices.
So, anyone thinking of opening a restaurant down here in the Algarve, let me know will you?
March 07, 2007
Our Food Supply
It seems that British consumers do want to know more about how our food is produced, but also don't want to know the grisly details:
British consumers increasingly take animal welfare into account in food purchases, but they don't want to know the gory details, a report said on Tuesday.
"We are a nation of animal lovers and concerns over welfare standards are helping to shape the content of our shopping baskets," Julie Starck, senior consultant with international food and grocery research body IGD, said in a statement.
The IGD's report showed that 64 percent of consumers have considered animal welfare when buying food, although only 10 percent claimed they buy all higher welfare foods.
The research found increased interest among consumers in the food they eat and how it was produced, a trend that also has sparked rising demand for organic and fairtrade products.
Given the way that most British food actually tastes surely it's better to know the smallest amount possible?
October 28, 2006
My Lord, what will they think of next?
Abel Gonzales, 36, a computer analyst from Dallas, tried about 15 different varieties before coming up with his perfect recipe -- a batter mix made with Coca-Cola syrup, a drizzle of strawberry syrup, and some strawberries.
Balls of the batter are then deep-fried, ending up like ping-pong ball sized doughnuts which are then served in a cup, topped with Coca-Cola syrup, whipped cream, cinnamon sugar and a cherry on the top.
"It tastes great," said Sue Gooding, a spokeswoman for the State Fair of Texas where Gonzales' fried Coke made its debut this fall. "It was a huge success."
Gonzales ran two stands at the State Fair of Texas and sold up to 35,000 fried Cokes over 24 days for $4.50 each -- and won a prize for coming up with "most creative" new fair food.
I can feel my arteries clogging up just reading about it. But there is good news for the slimmers amongst us:
But Gonzales said the success of his fried Coke had inspired him. Next year's fair-goers can look forward to fried Sprite or -- for those watching their weight -- fried diet Coke.
Fried diet Coke? The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse must be saddling up.