CulinaryDelights' Weblog

A Blog Devoted to All Things Culinary

Posts Tagged ‘food’

Bay Salt Prawns – Jamie Oliver

Posted by culinarydelightsgb on March 4, 2010

Great video of chef Jamie Oliver preparing some fresh and tasty prawns on the grill. Healthy and beautiful.

jamie oliver – my online videos.

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Posted in cooking, diet, food, grilling, recipes, Uncategorized, video | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

How-to Build a Small-space salad box

Posted by culinarydelightsgb on January 28, 2010

Enjoy easy access to fresh greens with this easy-to-build raised planter box.

How to grow vegetables at home – from Sunset.com. Learn how to build an easy-access planter via Small-space salad box – Main – How to grow vegetables – Sunset.com.

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A County in China Sees Its Fortunes in Tea Leaves Until a Bubble Bursts

Posted by culinarydelightsgb on January 22, 2009

An article written in the NY Times January 16, 2009 speaks about the collapse of southwest China’s Pu’er tea market.

Visit article here.

Tea factory in Menghai County

Tea factory in Menghai County

Pu’er is an fermented tea touted as having the ability to reduce cholesterol and cure hangovers, as well as having a number of other health benefits. From 1999 to 2007, its price increased tenfold befold sinking well below its pre-boom numbers. It has been a lesson in gullibility, greed and the risks of speculative trading. A group of manipulative tea buyers and connoisseurs took over the market and drove the prices to astronomical levels, sometimes paying up to 30% more for the “drinkable gold” than in the previous year. When the stock values hit record levels last spring, the buyers unloaded them, took the money and disappeared.

Menghai County farmers were among the worst hit by this crash, many having never experienced the level of success and prosperity available in other cities in China. They built new homes, equipped with t.v.s and refrigerators; and sent their children away to good schools. They bought cars and designer-label clothes.

Chen Li, a trader who jumped into the business three years ago, now survives by offsetting his losses with profits from a restaurant his family owns in Alabama. He does remain one of the few optimists in town. He’s confident that Pu’er’s prices will eventually rebound now that so many farmers have stopped picking.  And the mounds of unsold tea that nearly engulf him?

“The best thing about Pu’er,” he said with a showman’s smile, “is that the longer you keep it, the more valuable it gets.”

Do you share Mr. Chen’s optimism?

Posted in beverages, business, culture, entrepreneur, food, tea | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

What is Soy Sauce?

Posted by culinarydelightsgb on September 24, 2008

Soy sauce is an extremely important ingredient in Asian, especially Chinese, cooking. It is a dark, brownish, salty liquid made by fermenting boiled soybeans and roasted wheat or barley. Although in the US we are accustomed to one main type of soy sauce, China and Japan create a number of varieties ranging in color and texture.

The History

The soybean plant was not discovered by the Europeans until the early eighteenth century, but the Chinese have been relying on the plant as a food source at least 5,000 years ago. Soy sauce immerges about 2,000 years ago during the Zhou dynasty. It originally started out as a salty paste, then evolved into two separate items – the liquid, called shoyu in Japanese; and miso.

Properly prepared soy sauce is made by mixing boiled soybeans with roasted grain, like wheat, rice or barley; and fermenting that mixture for several months. After the fermentation and aging process is completed, the mixture is strained and bottled. Synthetically-produced sauces, in comparison, can be created in a matter of days using a hydrolytic reaction and colored by caramel, and seasoned by corn syrup, salt and water. They often have a metallic taste.

The Types

Chinese cooking uses two basic types of soy sauce, light and dark. Light soy sauce has a lighter color and texture, and is much saltier than dark soy, and is used more in cooking. Dark soys are aged much longer than lights, which results in a dark brownish-black color and thicker texture. The pungent odor and very dark color limits its use in cooking. It is good, however, for marinating meat.

Soy sauce has been used in the traditional cuisines of many East Asian and South East Asian cultures, and as an important ingredient in Japanese, Thai and Chinese cooking. Although similar in appearance, sauces created in different cultures and regions are very different in taste, texture and saltiness. It may not be appropriate to substitute sauces from one region or culture for another.

Although there are many types of soy sauces, they have a distinct taste called umami by the Japanese (, literally “fresh taste”). The free glutamates which natually occur are what give it this taste quality.

Health

A study conducted by the National University of Singapore shows that dark soy sauce “contains 10 times the antioxidants of red wine, and can help prevent cardiovascular disease.”  [Daniells, Stephen (200606-06). “Antioxidant-rich soy sauce could protect against CVD“. nutraingredients.com. ] It has also been found to be rich in lactic acid bacteria and has high anti-allergic potential.

In  2001 UK Food Safety Agency tests, various low-grade soy sauces (ones made from hydrolyzed soy protein, rather than being naturally fermented), more than 20% of the samples contained a chemicals at levels higher than those deemed safe by the EU. Both chemicals have the potential to cause cancer and the Agency recommends those products be avoided. [Food Standards Agency (200106-20). “Some Soy Sauce Products To Be Removed“. Press release. Retrieved on 200801-07. ]

Final Word

Few ingredients in Chinese cooking are more essential, yet more misunderstood, than soy sauce. We use it in a number of ways, either as a condiment or during cooking, as a sauce or as a marinade. I hope this post has opened your eyes a bit more regarding the humble brown liquid, and please avoid any soy sauces that are chemically manufactured.

 

References:

 About.com-Chinese Food

http://chinesefood.about.com/library/weekly/aa101698.htm

Epicurious.com

http://www.epicurious.com/tools/fooddictionary/search?query=soy+sauce

Wikipedia.com

Posted in cooking, food, foodie, recipes | Tagged: , , , | 3 Comments »

Food-related Business Ideas

Posted by culinarydelightsgb on August 19, 2008

I have a bit of a dilema, and I could use some help.
I love food  Grin  I’ve gone to school for the Culinary Arts and have worked in the field for a few years. I currently own a gourmet gift business. I love my business, however, recently I’ve been feeling a bit unfulfilled.
I Love Baking! I Love Cooking! I love seeing the joy and satisfaction on people’s faces as they enjoy what I’ve created. That’s when I feel fully expressed and self-actualized. Unfortunately it’s hard to establish a food-related business in the State of Florida (lots of hoops and red tape and money 😦 ).
Does anyone have any ideas regarding food businesses I could look into? I don’t have a lot of resources to invest in starting something big like a restaurant, but, I welcome all suggestions.

Thanks so much. Look forward to hearing from you.

Posted in baking, cooking, food, foodie, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Great new video I found on The Coffee Industry

Posted by culinarydelightsgb on August 8, 2008

http://www.culinarydelightsgourmetbaskets.com/index.php

The video is entitled “Just Coffee” and it give a great overview of the coffee industry in various markets throughout the world, as well as the different kinds of certifications for coffee. It wraps up by explaining the benefits of those certifications for both the producers and consumers.

Very interesting find and I hope it sheds some light on what goes into producing your morning cup o’ joe.

Posted in beverages, coffee, food, video | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Cruising Around the Foodosphere

Posted by culinarydelightsgb on July 22, 2008

Recently I’ve had more time to check out what’s going on in the world of online food websites, and I have found some very interesting ones. Here they are:

Devour TV – Food with Bite

http://devour.tv

About: “Devour.tv broadcasts multi-episode produced content with an editorial skewed towards useful infotainment, original content and edgy views. Launched in beta in early 2007, Devour.tv already as nearly 75 shows and approaching 200 episodes (all produced by our own staff of film-makers). Shows include Cooking 1,2,3; Devour This; Spin The Bottle; and Bickering Foodies.”  A really cool site to learn through viewing.

CurdNerds – The Cheese Blog

http://curdnerds.com

About: “This page was created by Jamie Forrest (jamie@curdnerds.com), who realized that A) there are no other sites like it, and B) that he really, really, REALLY likes cheese.” Probably has all the information you’d ever need to know about cheese.

Wine and Food Tube

http://www.wineandfoodtube.com

About: “Wine and Food Tube collects and presents the best of international food and wine content from around the world. Foodies ravenous for information and entertainment on their special interest are using the site to collate and promote their own videos of top chefs, restaurants, markets and food and wine destinations. (Australian Associated Press)” I’ve just discovered this site so I haven’t had time to fully explore all it has to offer. From what I’ve seen so far, it looks very interesting and full of information.

I will continue to update this list as I find more exciting sites devoted to the Culinary Arts. Can’t wait to see what I find. By the way, if you have some favorite food websites, please share. Love to learn what’s going on out there  🙂

Posted in Blogroll, entertaining, food, foodie | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Foodie Blogroll – A Great Find

Posted by culinarydelightsgb on July 8, 2008

I came across a link to this blogroll on another food fan’s site. As described on the website, “The Foodie Blogroll is the first of its kind and is one of the fastest growing online communities for foodbloggers. With over 1500 members spanning the globe in less than a year, there is a reason for its popularity. It is the first blogroll created just for foodies like you by a foodie like you. When I started my food blog, I went looking for a blogroll for food and cooking related websites and there were none to be found. So I decided to create my own! This is all about building the best community online for foodbloggers! Imagine what being exposed on over 1500 blogs about food would do for your traffic.”

I was thoroughly impressed with the number and quality of blogs listed and decided to join.

The address for the blogroll is http://www.foodieblogroll.com/ If you’ve been in the food industry for years, or you just love learning about food, check it out. Let me know what you think!  🙂

Posted in Blogroll, cooking, foodie, recipes | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

The History of Butter

Posted by culinarydelightsgb on April 23, 2008

The word butter comes from the Greek word “bou-tyron”, which seems to mean “cowcheese.” It is also thought to be borrowed from the language of the Scythians, a northern tribe of horsemen. According to ancient histories, the Scythians considered butter so important that they employed blind slaves to produce it because they wouldn’t be distracted while churning the cream needed to make it.

Some historians believe that by the time the Scythians were traveling across the plains of Central Asia hundreds of years before Christ, butter had already been in existence for millennia. Abraham, went visited by the three angels and told he would have a son named Isaac, served them butter and cakes and meat [Genesis 18 v 1-8]. It was used to flavor the breads of the Pharaohs in Ancient Egypt. It was also used to treat wounds and burns by the Romans. The first documented mention of butter making occurred around 1,500 – 2,000 BC in the sacred writings of Asiatic India dwellers. Back then, butter was not only used as food, but also as an illumination oil, for medicinal purposes, and as a coating for the skin to protect tribe members from the bitter winter cold.

In India, clarified butter is called ghee. According to Hindu mythology, and mythologies the world over, butter symbolizes semen; and churning represents both the sexual act and the formation of a child in the womb. To make ghee, butter is melted and simmered long enough to extract all the water, leaving the anhydrous butter fat. During the process, it takes on a buttery taste. By removing the albuminous (simple heat-coagulable water-soluble proteins which occur in milk and other animal substances) curd and water that favor the growth of organisms that promote spoilage, ghee does not become rancid as easily or readily as butter. It can also be stored unrefrigerated for several months.

Butter is made by churning cream until it reaches a semi-solid state. By U.S. law, butter must be at least 80 percent milk fat. It may be artificially colored with annato and carotene; it may also be salted. Unsalted butter contains absolutely no salt. Salt acts as a preservative and, because unsalted butter contains none, it is more perishable than salted butter and should be stored in the freezer section. To store butter, wrap airtight and refrigerate for up to 1 month (regular butter) or up to 2 weeks (unsalted). It can also be frozen for up to 6 months.

I am currently searching for relevant pictures to include with this post. Please bear with me.

References:

http://webexhibits.org/butter/

The Butter Board –

http://www.naturalandtasty.co.uk/history_butter.htm

Food For Life Global –

http://www.ffl.org/ffl_pf_real_milk.php

Epicurious.com –

http://www.epicurious.com/tools/fooddictionary/search?query=butter

Posted in baking, cooking, food, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »

Chocolate Bread – I’ve got to try this!

Posted by culinarydelightsgb on January 24, 2008

I came across this article today and I got so excited! I mean it’s about chocolate and bread, two of my favorite things! 🙂

Check out the recipe

I don’t think I’m the only person who feels that bread is more than just food, it’s almost a metaphor for life. Whenever I make a loaf, I wonder if this is how God feels while creating us. It requires such love, care, patience and just the right mix of “ingredients.” As Emeril would say, it’s truly a “food of love” thing.

Let me know what you think of the article and the recipe. I definitely will be trying it as soon as I can.

Posted in baking, cooking, entertaining, food, foodie, recipes | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »