Archive for ‘Food’

July 6, 2016

Sprouted Bread

ezekiel bread

Sprouted bread is a type of bread made from whole grains that have been allowed to sprout, that is, to germinate. There are a few different types of sprouted grain bread. Some are made with added flour, some are made with added gluten, and some, such as Essene bread, are made with very few additional ingredients.

These are breads that contain the whole grain (or kernel, or berry) of various seeds after they have been sprouted. They are different from ‘white’ bread inasmuch as ‘white’ breads are made from ground wheat endosperm (after removal of the bran and germ). Whole grain breads include the bran, germ and endosperm, therefore providing more fiber, and naturally occurring vitamins and proteins. A comparison of nutritional analyses shows that sprouted grains contain about 75% of the energy (carbohydrates), slightly higher protein and about 40% of the fat when compared to whole grains.

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July 3, 2016

Elizabeth Coleman White

whitesbog

Elizabeth Coleman White (1871 – 1954) was a New Jersey agricultural specialist who collaborated with botanist Frederick Vernon Coville to develop and commercialize cultivated blueberries. White was Quaker, graduating from the Friends’ Central School in Philadelphia in 1887. Afterwards she worked at her father’s farm, Whitesbog in the New Jersey Pine Barrens, supervising cranberry pickers in the bogs. Pine barrens are plant communities that occur on dry, acidic, infertile soils dominated by grasses, low shrubs, and small to medium-sized pines.

In the early part of the 20th century, White offered pineland residents cash for wild blueberry plants with unusually large fruit. Her collaboration with Coville began in 1910. Their project revealed the importance of soil acidity (blueberries need highly acidic soil), that blueberries do not self-pollinate, and the effects of cold on blueberries and other plants. Their work doubled the size of some strains’ fruit, and by 1916, Coville had succeeded in cultivating blueberries, making them a valuable crop in the Northeastern United States.

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June 13, 2016

Where’s the Beef?

Clara Peller

Where’s the beef?” is a catchphrase in the United States and Canada. The phrase originated as a slogan for the fast food chain Wendy’s. Since then it has become an all-purpose phrase questioning the substance of an idea, event or product.

The phrase first came to public attention in a television commercial for the Wendy’s in 1984. In reality, the strategy behind the campaign was to distinguish competitors (McDonald’s and Burger King) big name sandwiches (Big Mac and Whopper respectively) from Wendy’s ‘modest’ Single by focusing on the large bun used by the competitors and the larger beef patty in Wendy’s sandwich. In the ad, titled ‘Fluffy Bun,’ actress Clara Peller receives a burger with a massive bun from a fictional competitor, which uses the slogan ‘Home of the Big Bun.’ The small patty prompts Peller to angrily exclaim, ‘Where’s the beef?’

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May 16, 2016

Mukbang

Choi Ji-hwan

Mukbang is a live online audiovisual broadcast in which a host eats large amounts of foods while interacting with their audience. Usually done through an internet webcast, mukbang became popular in South Korea in the 2010s. Foods ranging from pizza to noodles are consumed in front of a camera for an internet audience (who pay or not, depending on which platform one is watching). The word is a portmanteau of the Korean words for ‘eating’ (‘meokneun’) and ‘broadcast’ (‘bangsong’).

Some mukbangs involve eating large amounts of food rapidly, while others features hosts savoring small meals at a more normal pace. In 2018, the South Korean government announced that it would create and regulate mukbang guidelines by launching the ‘National Obesity Management Comprehensive Measures,’ which was intended to discourage binge eating.

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April 28, 2016

Pepsi Challenge

cola wars by Mark Duffin

dispepsi

The Pepsi Challenge is an ongoing marketing promotion run by PepsiCo since 1975. It is also the name of a cross country ski race at Giant’s Ridge Ski Area in Biwabik, Minnesota, an event sponsored by Pepsi. The challenge originally took the form of a single blind taste test. At malls, shopping centers, and other public locations, a Pepsi representative set up a table with two white cups: one containing Pepsi and one with Coca-Cola. Shoppers were encouraged to taste both colas, and then select which drink they prefer. The results of the test leaned toward a consensus that Pepsi was preferred by more Americans.

The Pepsi Challenge taste test ad campaign is frequently credited for Coca-Cola’s decision to introduce New Coke in 1985. In his book ‘Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking’ (2005), author Malcolm Gladwell presents evidence that suggests Pepsi’s success over Coca-Cola is a result of the flawed nature of the ‘sip test’ method. His research shows that tasters will generally prefer the sweeter of two beverages based on a single sip, even if they prefer a less sweet beverage over the course of an entire can. Additionally, many participants recalled a difference in temperature between the two drinks. According to these claims, Pepsi was served chilled, while Coca-Cola was served at room temperature, thus making the Pepsi more appealing.

April 15, 2016

Apéritif and Digestif

dryness

Apéritifs and digestifs are drinks, typically alcoholic, served before (apéritif) or after (digestif) a meal. An apéritif is served to stimulate the appetite, and is therefore usually dry rather than sweet. A digestif is intended to aid digestion. When served after a coffee course, it may be called ‘pousse-café.’ Digestifs are usually taken straight and typically contain carminative herbs, which are thought to aid digestion. ‘Apéritif’ is a French word derived from the Latin verb ‘aperire,’ which means ‘to open.’ The French slang word for ‘apéritif’ is ‘apéro,’ although in France an ‘apéro’ is also light food eaten in the late afternoon/early evening.

Common apéritif choices include dry vermouth, champagne, pastis (an anise-flavored spirit from France), gin, and dry sherry (e.g. fino and amontillado). ‘Apéritif’ may also refer to a snack that precedes a meal. This includes an amuse-bouche (a single, bite-sized hors d’oeuvre), such as crackers, cheese, pâté or olives. Common kinds of digestif include: Brandy, Cream Sherry, Sweet Vermouth, Port, Grand Marnier, Jagermeister, Kahlua, limoncello, ouzo, and tequila. In certain areas, it is not uncommon for a digestif to be taken before a main course. One example is le trou Normand, a glass of Calvados taken before the main course of a meal.

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April 8, 2016

Silent Service Code

Silent Service Code

The silent service code is a way for a diner to ‘talk’ to servers during a meal without saying a word, mainly to tell them that the diner is finished. This will prevent any embarrassing situations where the server would take a meal prematurely.

To tell a server you have finished place your napkin to the left of your plate, and place all your utensils together in a ‘4-o’clock’ position on your plate. Utensils crossed on a plate signify that a diner is still eating. If you must leave during the meal, you should place the napkin on your chair to avoid any confusion. The code is almost always taught during business dining etiquette classes.

March 24, 2016

Fika

tosse bageriet

coffee break

Fika [fee-kah] is a concept in Swedish culture with the basic meaning ‘to have coffee,’ often accompanied with pastries or sandwiches. A more contemporary generalized meaning of the word, where the coffee may be replaced by tea or even juice, lemonade or squash for children, has become widespread. In some social circles, even just a sandwich or a small meal may be denoted a fika similar to the English concept of afternoon tea. In Sweden pastries in general (for example cinnamon buns) are often referred to as ‘fikabröd’ (‘fika bread’).

Fika is a common practice at workplaces in Sweden where it constitutes at least one break during a normal workday. Often, two fikas are taken in a day at around 9:00 in the morning and 3:00 in the afternoon. The work fika is an important social event where employees can gather and socialize to discuss private and professional matters. It is not uncommon for management to join employees and to some extent it can even be considered impolite not to join one’s colleagues at fika. The practice is not limited to any specific sector of the labor market and is considered normal practice even in government administration.

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February 10, 2016

Aquafaba

bean cuisine by Meredith Blumenstock

Aquafaba [ah-kwuh-fah-buh], or chickpea brine, is the liquid from canned chickpeas, used as an egg substitute because of its function as an emulsifier, leavening agent, and foaming agent. Vegan baker Goose Wohlt coined the term aquafaba (‘bean liquid’) to describe the substance, which French chef Joël Roessel discovered could be used as substitute for egg whites in recipes. Aquafaba has been used to create meringues, macarons, nougat, and other products that normally require the use of eggs, making them suitable for people with egg allergies, vegans, and lacto-vegetarians.

There is currently no scientific consensus on the chemical properties of aquafaba and why it mimics egg whites so effectively. Seed proteins, including albumins and globulins, as well as soluble fibers, sugars, and glycosides have been proposed as contributing to the similarity. Roessel purports that the most likely agent that causes the liquid to foam are saponins, plant molecules containing a combination of hydrophobic (fat-soluble) and a hydrophilic (water-soluble) components.

December 17, 2015

Pieing

Biotic Baking Brigade

battle of the century

Pieing is the act of throwing a pie at a person or people. This may be a simple practical joke, but can be a political action when the target is an authority figure, politician, or celebrity and can be used as a means of protesting against the target’s political beliefs, or against perceived arrogance or vanity. Perpetrators generally regard the act as a form of ridicule to embarrass and humiliate the victim. In most or all jurisdictions, pieing is punishable as battery, and may constitute assault as well.

In pieing, the goal is usually to humiliate the victim while avoiding actual injury. For this reason the pie is traditionally of the cream variety without a top crust, and is rarely if ever a hot pie. In Britain, a pie in the context of throwing is traditionally referred to as a ‘custard pie.’ An aluminum pie pan or paper plate filled with whipped cream or shaving foam can substitute for a real pie. Pieing and pie fights are a staple of slapstick comedy, and pie ‘tosses’ are also common charity fundraising events, especially in schools.

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September 23, 2015

Fasting

break fast

kol nidre by lazarovic

Fasting is primarily an act of willing abstinence or reduction from certain or all food, drink, or both, for a period of time. An absolute fast is normally defined as abstinence from all food and liquid for a defined period, usually 24 hours. Other fasts may be only partially restrictive, limiting particular foods or substances. The fast may also be intermittent in nature.

Fasting practices may preclude sexual intercourse and other activities as well as food. Extended fasting has been recommended as therapy for various conditions by health professionals of many cultures, throughout history, from ancient to modern. Fasting is also a part of many religious observances.

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August 10, 2015

Hawaiian Pizza

Sam Panopoulos

Hawaiian pizza is made up of a dough crust, tomato sauce, Canadian bacon, and pineapple rings or chunks. Often versions will have ham, mixed peppers, mushrooms and bacon.

Pineapple as a pizza topping divides public opinion. Hawaiian was the most popular pizza in Australia in 1999, accounting for 15% of pizza sales, and a 2015 review of independent UK pizzerias found the Hawaiian pizza to be the most commonly available. However, a 2016 survey of US adults had pineapple in the top three least favorite pizza toppings, behind anchovies and mushrooms.

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