Now we’re cooking with… blood

Thursday, 30 October, 2014

I’ve heard of animal blood being used as a cooking ingredient before – blood sausages spring to mind, not that I’ve ever tried them – but didn’t realise its culinary applications were quite so extensive

Yet from Scotland to Italy, Spain to Russia, and Tanzania to China, many traditional dishes still use blood. A few modern chefs have dared, in recent years, to whip up dishes like blood tarts with fig soaked in grappa and espresso, blood custard with rosemary topped with pickled pears, and blood-chocolate pudding with bing cherries.

Read more posts on related topics

, ,

This chef sure can chop onions, many, many, onions

Wednesday, 1 October, 2014

How quickly can you chop an onion? How about a sack of onions? I can’t imagine there’d be too many people who’d be faster than this chef in India is at the task

Read more posts on related topics

, ,

A non alcoholic, yet potent, amber liquid? Mad honey is its name

Friday, 12 September, 2014

Some honey produced in coastal regions of Turkey, along the Black Sea, can be possessed of a certain hallucinogenic quality, if honey bees are able to pollinate, and gather the nectar of, rhododendron flowers that grow in the area.

While adding a dollop of this so-called “mad honey” to drinks, such as tea I imagine, resulted in a buzz akin to consuming a couple of alcoholic beverages, when ingested in any reasonable quantity it can however induce nausea, blurred vision, and seizures, among other things.

Indeed, the honey, that has been a product of the region for centuries, has not only seen use as a depressant though, it has also been deployed a war weapon in the past:

Indeed, in 67 B.C. Roman soldiers invaded the Black Sea region under General Pompey’s command, and those loyal to the reigning King Mithridates secretly lined the Romans’ path with enticing chunks of mad honeycomb. The unwitting army ate these with gusto, as the story goes. Driven into an intoxicated stupor by the hallucinogenic honey, many of the flailing soldiers became easy prey, and were slain.

Interestingly, I saw a film called Bal, or Honey, a few years ago, that is set in pretty much the same part of Turkey, although I don’t believe hallucinogenic honey was featured.

Read more posts on related topics

, ,

Since it’s Monday, a recipe for two ingredient ice cream bread

Monday, 8 September, 2014

I’m not sure exactly why I decided to post this, a recipe for ice cream bread, but the reasons are hardly inscrutable… one, the idea of ice cream bread is intriguing, two, it only requires two ingredients, three, it is the Simple Cooking Channel, and four, it’s Monday, this calls for some comfort food.

Read more posts on related topics

, ,

All you need to know about… food can design

Monday, 11 August, 2014

If you’re having to write a dissertation on the design of food cans, this resource should prove useful. The cylindrical shaped cans didn’t just come along, it seems quite some thought went into their conception.

Familiarity. The original cans may have been manufactured with an arbitrary aspect ratio, but now we’ve been programmed to search for items of this shape when we shop. A soup can of the wrong shape might not attract our attention (or bizarrely might be less attractive) to shoppers. Changing a can shape at this stage (without accompanying large budget media awareness campaigns) could have a negative impact on sales.

Read more posts on related topics

, ,

Elevating the perception of bread, it’s been a side dish for too long

Friday, 1 August, 2014

Just as there are dining establishments that feel water is more than just water, there are those who think that the bread and butter that accompanies our meals is also worthy of a place in the spotlight, such as Jersey City restaurateur and chef Dan Richer.

Read more posts on related topics

, ,

If we had to pay everything’s true cost could we afford anything?

Wednesday, 30 July, 2014

Here’s something to think about the next time you buy a hamburger. Or a cheeseburger. Or, come to that, absolutely anything else for that matter. Does the price you pay bear any relation to the actual cost of producing said commodity, considering the number of hidden – and not necessarily financial – costs?

What you pay for a cheeseburger is the price, but price isn’t cost. It isn’t the cost to the producers or the marketers and it certainly isn’t the sum of the costs to the world; those true costs are much greater than the price.

Read more posts on related topics

, ,

For a healthier future should we eat like our Paleolithic ancestors?

Wednesday, 25 June, 2014

While we don’t need to send civilisation as a whole back to the Stone Age, there may be some benefit in adhering to the diet of our Paleolithic ancestors, one that consisted mainly of meat, fish, nuts, and berries:

The argument for the so-called “Palaeolithic diet” goes like this: the human body adapted to life during the Stone Age, and as our genetics has changed very little since then, this means biologically speaking we are far better-suited to the hunter-gatherers’ diet that existed before there was any agriculture. Details vary from diet to diet, but on the whole they advocate eschewing all dairy products, grain-based foods like pasta, bread or rice, and in some versions lentils and beans aren’t allowed. Proponents argue modern disorders like heart disease, diabetes and cancer have arisen primarily from the incompatibility between our current forms of diet and our prehistoric anatomy.

Read more posts on related topics

, ,

The food stylings of the Wu-Tang Clan

Monday, 9 June, 2014

Wu-Tang sticky rice, photo by Tisha Cherry

The music of our favourite bands or recording artists likely inspires us in all sorts of ways, and food preparation is no exception, at least as far as fans of US hip hop group Wu-Tang Clan are concerned.

Be it cupcakes, pizzas, tortillas, biscuits, steaks, or rice, foodies don’t seem to be short of ideas when it comes to incorporating a reference to the group into their cooking.

(Photo by Tisha Cherry)

Read more posts on related topics

, , ,

The great thing about artisan toast is any toast can be artisan

Tuesday, 29 April, 2014

Artisanal toast, being bread dressed up as a gourmet snack I guess, should be of more interest to me than it seems to be, since it strikes me as being the ultimate in minimal comfort food. If you too wish to transform a run-of-the-mill slice of bread into something more, then there are plenty of suggestions.

“Artisanal” toast is made from inch-thick, snow-white or grainy slices, lathered in butter and cinnamon or peanut butter and honey, then wrapped individually in wax paper.

Read more posts on related topics

, ,