Thursday, 31 July 2008 by Dr Maytel
by Dr Maytel
You either eat honey or you don't; to debate the question in public only makes the vegan movement seem silly and dogmatic
"The Great Vegan Honey Debate" IS HONEY THE DAIRY OF THE INSECT WORLD? By Daniel Engber
by Dr Maytel
It's super-moan (moan means chicken in Khmer)
Wednesday, 30 July 2008 by nalika
I found surprisingly few.
I think I also have my hands on food not on camera when hand-to-mouth commensality occurs. Here are some I managed to dig out.
The maize meal is called nshima in Malawi, ugali in Kenya and Tanzania and several more different names throughout South-East Africa. In homes, it sometimes comes served in the covered pot that keep them warm.
It's actually quite hot when they are freshly made... but the locals seem to have more tolerance to the heat from the maize meal.
The manner is to rinse your fingers first, then roll the nshima into a ball with your fingers. Some seem to be using a part of the palm. It takes some training... nshima feels a lot looser than sticky rice. It's similar to the consistency of, say, mashed potatoes after all the liquids are added.
The Kenyan and Tanzanian equivalent, ugali, has thicker consistency and is sometimes made hard enough to be cut into small pieces, so I was told.
The picture above might be condowole, similar texture to nshima made with white maize flour, but instead made with cassava flour.
Some people told me that if you keep eating condowole, you get constipated... I guess there is almost no fiber left in the starchy cassava flour.
Nshima and condowole are eaten with the relish.
The poor man's relish is pumpkin leaves cooked with just salt, while a bit better-off folks add tomatoes and onions.
Often, beans are the only protein source to accompany the meal.
Then comes usipa (small dried fish), also cooked with tomatoes and onions.
While in the city of Lilongwe, expats have them with chicken or beef. Or sometimes with chambo, freshwater fish from the Lake Malawi.
These prime protein sources are occasionally eaten in the countryside as well, but more rarely, and in many places limited on festivities.
There is so much attachment people seemed to have with this staple food. When I asked the project driver what his favorite food was... he thought about it for more than a few seconds, then said, nshima!
... and yes, fruits are also the classic hand-to-mouth food.
These small girls are not drying fish, but rather, walked around to sell these fish, while snacking on local mangoes.
When I stayed in the countryside at a local development officer's house, every once in a while we'd run out of water, which they brought from the nearby well about 500 meters away. After dark, there is no way you would walk to the well, so when the water is finished, it's finished.
So, after the meal is eaten in the evening, I sometimes went to bed feeling leftover nshima on my fingertips... which seemed to stick even after rinsing with a wee bit of water and rubbing off with tissues I brought. And I would try not to use those fingertips to take off my contact lens.
by Dr Maytel
By JAMES HOOKWAY
July 30, 2008; Page B8
VIENTIANE, Laos -- A Soviet-trained female brewmaster is trying to turn an obscure Laotian lager into the world's next great cult beer, largely by tapping into the buzz about the brew being carried home by visitors to this small communist country.
The 49-year-old Sivilay Lasachack, who seldom drinks beer, preferring sweet tea instead, thinks her Czech-inspired Beerlao has what it takes to follow in the footsteps of Mexico's Corona Extra.
To some, the idea that a Laotian beer might one day be the toast of a cosmopolitan cabal of beer drinkers might not seem very promising. Laos has no brewing tradition to speak of and little international business.
The nation of six million people is nestled between China, Vietnam and Thailand. It has become a trendy destination for backpackers and adventure tourists, in part because of its slow pace and relative lack of exposure to the West.
But Ms. Sivilay, chief brewmaster at Lao Brewery Co. is counting on savvy marketing to overcome the beer's relatively unimpressive pedigree, in a bid to emulate Corona's rise to global stardom...
But Lao Brewery doesn't want to come on too strong. Its marketing manager, 47-year-old Bounkanh Kounlabouth, fears that promoting Beerlao too aggressively will scare off its grass-roots following. Instead, he would rather follow Corona's example of becoming an "accidental" brand. "We don't want to undermine Beerlao's word-of-mouth appeal, so for us it is better to let it grow naturally."
Mr. Bounkanh spends much of his time trying to engineer such an "accident." Because he is relying on foreign tourists to spread the word about Beerlao, he is promoting the brand heavily in Laos. "We won't let the competition get a foothold," Mr. Bounkanh says.
The next step: Bringing Beerlao to the rest of the world. The beer is already sold in several major markets, including Britain, Australia, Japan and the U.S.
"We were a bit skeptical at first," says James Morgan, a director at British distributor Milestone Point Ltd. "But it's one of the few brands where the customer seeks it out rather than the other way round."
Beerlao's rise has followed an unusual path. Most Laotians aren't big beer drinkers. In fact, Lao Brewery was founded by French and Lao businessmen in 1971 mostly to slake the thirst of French colonists.
After the Vietnam War, Laos's new communist rulers sent the country's best and brightest for training in physics, medicine and other disciplines in communist states in Eastern Europe. Ms Sivilay was assigned to study brewing and spent six years in what was then Czechoslovakia learning from Prague's master brewers.
Ms. Sivilay's big break came shortly after she returned to Vientiane to work at Lao Brewery, with the collapse of the Soviet Union. With the financial lifeline to the brewery's Soviet sponsor cut, its managers turned to her to keep the brewery going.
Her first move was to introduce rice to replace some of the imported grains which the brewery could no longer afford. Mixing the mash by hand, she also began recycling yeast-a trick she learned in Prague-and brought Beerlao much closer to a classic European pilsner. Sales figures are hard to come by in Laos's state-run economy, but Lao Brewery currently produces 200 million liters of beer a year, and it is the country's biggest taxpayer.
Ms. Sivilay says these days she rarely needs to taste a beer to see if it is any good. "I smell it and see how the head settles in the glass to judge whether it's a good beer," she says. "The tourists seem to like it though."
As do some international beer judges. Ms. Sivilay's brew has won a string of prizes, including honors at international beer competitions in Moscow and Prague, and she hopes Beerlao will one day put her tiny country on the map.
"The judges often say 'We love your beer, but where is your country?' We hope to change that," she says.
Read Full Article
I'm no beer conisseur but beer Laos seems to be one of the few beers in South East Asia that doesn't taste like watery hops...it has flavour....I never knew it was brewed by a sweet tea drinking lady
Beer Laos Dark and Baguette consumed at Koh Chang cafe 2008
by Dr Maytel
A WORK-IN-PROGRESS SEMINAR
1- 2.30 pm, Tuesday 5 August 2008, Theatrette, Old Canberra House.
Enabling new ways of thinking about the world?: The Australian food writer as activist
Associate Professor Donna Lee Brien Associate Professor of Creative Industries, and Head, School of Arts and Creative Enterprise, Central Queensland University.
Food writing makes up a significant proportion of the books, articles, weblogs and other texts written, published, sold and read each year in Australia. While the food writing in cookbooks, magazines and other publications is often thought of as providing useful, but banal, practical skill-based information, recent scholarship has begun to suggest that food writing is a more creative, and interesting, form of cultural production. As part of a biographically-based study of Australian food writers, this work-in-progress seminar focuses on the roles the contemporary food writer plays in an environment where food is the subject of considerable scholarly, policy and personal interest and anxiety. In such a context, a number of contemporary food writers engage with issues around food production and consumption. These issues include sustainable and ethical agriculture, biodiversity and genetic modification, food miles and fair trade, food safety and security, and obesity, diabetes and other health issues. In this activity, the Australian food writer is, moreover, not only a media commentator on these important contemporary concerns, but is, at times, a forward-thinking activist, advocating and campaigning for change.
by Dr Maytel
Courtesy of Wikipedia.....perceptions of religious imagery in food
The Nun Bun
The face of Mother Teresa was seen in a cinnamon bun at Bongo Java in Nashville, Tennessee. It was first discovered on 15 October 1996 by employee Ryan Finney and was turned into an enterprise by the company, selling T-shirts and mugs. Mother Teresa contacted the company and asked them to stop these sales. Discussions between the cafe owner and Mother Teresa's attorney brought about a compromise. The cafe agreed to only sell a limited amount NunBun merchandise and sell it only at their store and not license the images. The bun remained as an attraction at Bongo Java. On 25 December 2005 the bun was stolen during a break-in at the coffee house. The owner of Bongo Java has offered a $5,000 reward for the return of the NunBun. Recently, photographs of the pastry have been sent to the Nashville, TN newspaper The Tennessean from a person identifying themselves as "Hu Dunet." It shows the NunBun near a statue of a woman, a picture showing it being held by two men, their faces obscured by alterations to the photograph, and a picture of a man lying on a beach holding the bun in his left hand.
Virgin Mary grilled cheese sandwich
On November 23, 2004, a grilled cheese sandwich that contained the likeness of the Virgin Mary was sold for $28,000 in an eBay auction by Diana Duyser from Hollywood, Florida. Duyser explained, "I made this sandwich 10 years ago. When I took a bite out of it, I saw a face looking up at me - it was Virgin Mary staring back at me. I was in total shock." She kept the toast surrounded by cotton wool, in a plastic container on a stand. Duyser claimed that although a decade old, the toast has not shown any sign of mold or crumbling, which she considered as "a miracle". She also believed its mystical properties have brought her blessings, including a $70,000 win in a nearby casino. The sandwich was purchased by the online casino, GoldenPalace.com, which is known for its publicity stunts. The company said that they planned to undertake a world tour with the sandwich and then sell it, with proceeds going to charity. The pan that was used to make the sandwich was also sold on eBay.
Mary and Jesus pretzel
In March 2005, Machelle and Crysta Naylor placed a pretzel on the internet auction site eBay claiming that it looked like the Virgin Mary holding baby Jesus. They found the item in a packet of Rold Gold Honey Mustard Pretzels when they opened it in their home in Nebraska.
On August 14, 2006, workers at chocolate company, Bodega Chocolates in Fountain Valley, California discovered a 2-inch tall column of chocolate drippings that they believed bore a resemblance to traditional depictions of the Virgin Mary. Since the discovery of the drippings under a vat by kitchen worker Cruz Jacinto, Bodega Chocolate employees have spent time hovering over the tiny figure, praying and placing rose petals and candles around it.
Virgin Mary Restaurant Wood Panel
On August 23, 2006, customers at a Souplantation restaurant in Grantville, California near San Diego reported to NBC 7/39 about an image in a wood panel that resembled the Virgin Mary.
Virgin Pizza Pan
On February 21, 2007, the date of Ash Wednesday, a kitchen worker at Pugh Elementary School in Houston, Texas discovered a grease stain on a pizza pan that resembled a silhouette of the Lady of Guadalupe. A shrine was erected in honor of the pizza pan.
Virgin Mary Watermelon
In June 2007 an Arizona family says the Virgin Mary has appeared to them in the fruity flesh. They say the image can be seen in a piece of watermelon.
In 1978 at Lake Arthur, New Mexico, when Maria Rubio was making burritos, she noticed the pattern of skillet burns on the tortilla which she felt resembled the face of Jesus Christ. She built a shrine to house the tortilla after a priest reluctantly blessed it. Thousands of people from across the United States came see the Jesus Christ tortilla and prayed for divine assistance in curing ailments.
Jesus on a Pizza Hut billboard
In 1991, Joyce Simpson spotted the face of Christ on a Pizza Hut billboard in Atlanta after praying for a divine sign. She had a dilemma—she could not decide whether to continue with the church choir or to leave and sing professionally. Her interpretation: the shadowy image of Jesus' face in strands of spaghetti hanging from a fork meant she should stay with the choir. John Moody, a marketing director for Pizza Hut, said the picture, one of 35 put up in the area, was a standard food photograph that the Wichita headquarters provided its franchises. (Chicago Tribune, May 23, 1991)
Jesus in the pan
In January 2005, Juan Pastrano from Prairie Lea, Texas found etchings on his frying pan which he believed resembled the face of Jesus Christ. He said he noticed the likeness when he was going to cook his mother breakfast.
In December 2005, Jacksonville, Florida restaurant workers at the Stadium Club claimed they saw an image of Jesus Christ in their nacho warming pan. The pan is used to heat water which then heats the nachos. The image came from mineral deposits in the water. One of the restaurant cooks said he went to empty the pan one night and saw Jesus Christ looking back at him. The Stadium Club owner said his restaurant had been blessed just before Christmas. The Stadium Club said the restaurant would not continue to use this pan.
Jesus fish bone
In October 2005, a Luther, Oklahoma couple who owned a sailcat fish bone that had the image of Jesus Christ was selling it on eBay. The Newmans said they received the fish bone from a friend 10 years ago. They claimed they have had good luck ever since they had the bone. There is a legend that a sailcat bone was chosen by Jesus to remind people of what he went through.
In November 2005, a Toledo family found a pierogi that they felt had an image of Jesus Christ on Easter. They put the blessed pastry on eBay where it was sold for $1,775 to Golden Palace Casino.
Hot chocolate Jesus
In April 2006, in Bogotá, Colombia, Dorely Rojas' son-in-law noticed an overspill of hot chocolate from his mug. The overspill had created an unusual pattern. He showed it to Rojas who believed that the pattern resembled Jesus Christ.
Jesus on a shrimp tail dinner
In August 2006, a California man believed he saw Jesus Christ's face on a shrimp tail. He said that when he ate his first shrimp, he had disregarded its tail, but then looked at it again and saw the face of Jesus. The man believed it was a sign, as he was going through a nasty divorce.
In 1997, Mikail Güçlü from the Regent Quarter of The Hague had bought about five kilos of beans, about 500 grams of which according to him, bore the name "Allah". Two days earlier, Güçlü had bought some eggs fresh from a farm and discovered that two of the eggs seemed slightly strange. He felt that the egg shells were a little misshapened. He called in a friend for some translation help and discovered that the egg's 'inscription' read, "There is but one God, Allah, and Mohammed is His prophet."
In September 1999, hundreds of Muslims visited a small house in Girlington, West Yorkshire after housewife Shabana Hussain sliced a tomato open, and "bismillah", or "In the name of God", was written in Arabic in the veins. The other half of the vegetable said "la illaha illala", or There is no God but Allah. In June 2007 Uzma Khalid of Cowley, Oxford, sliced a tomato in half and saw the word "Allah" written in Arabic. The tomato later made an appearance at Stanley Road Mosque in Cowley.
In March 2004, hundreds of Palestinians gathered in Hebron, a West Bank town, to see a lamb that was born with what appeared to be the word "Allah" spelled out in Arabic on its coat. Yahya Atrash, the lamb's owner felt that the lamb's writings were a clear evidence of God's existence. He claimed that the lamb had the words "Allah" on one side and "Mohammed" on the other.
In February 2006, people flocked to a pet shop named Water Aquatic in Waterfoot, near Bury, (United Kingdom) after it was announced that the markings on the scales of a two-year-old albino fish named Oscar in the shop, mimicked the Arabic script for "Allah". That the other side of the fish appeared to be inscribed with the word, "Muhammad". The fish was originally from Singapore. In 2006, a Dubai fish market man, Faisal, claimed that he had a Safi, or rabbitfish, with the word "Allah" inscribed on its belly in Arabic.
In July 2006, a chicken in a Kazakhstan village laid an egg with the word "Allah" supposedly inscribed on its shell. The local mosque confirmed that the inscription said "Allah" in Arabic. "We'll keep this egg and we don't think it'll go bad," Bites Amantayeva, a farmer from the village of Stepnoi in eastern Kazakhstan, told state news agency Kazinform. Kazinform reported that the egg was laid just after a powerful hail storm hit the village.
2002 A family in Mumbai, India, finds a potato shaped like the city's patron god, Ganesh. The divine tuber now supposedly gets 60 to 70 pilgrims a day.
If you come across any more please post them or leave in the comment section
Voila: my husband. (I still get a kick out of how arcane that word sounds). He hates this photo.
#2: Gamely eating fried fish with soon-to-be in-laws at the Fisherman's Table Restaurant, Wellington, NZ
Nice location, but this restaurant is decidedly not good.
Tuesday, 29 July 2008 by Dr Maytel
First came the bistro and creperie...now comes dim sum and "japanese cafe" (whatever that is supposed to be)
On Ekkamai soi 12, in one of the many very cool old 1970s era houses that dominate the tree lined back sois of Sukhumvit is Vanilla Royal and Vanilla Garden.
Vanilla Royal is a dim sum...fairly bad, gluggy dim sum....edible mind you. The decor is, staff uniforms and overall presentation is, as to be expected great. So people come and they eat. Note the mercedes and bmw's in the car park. It's not that pricy by western standards but very pricy by Thai standards so its strictly high so in there.
Further down the garden path you can wash down your gluggy dim sum and fishy prawn flavour down with some decent coffee...or choose from their Western-inspired Japanese food at their Japanese Cafe...and try to remember you're in Thailand...
We went back for a second try, after the dim sum to try the cafe. Hock had the katsu pork bun, not quite what he had in mind, but tasty apparently
I had a somewhat comforting prawn and avocado sandwich drowned with seafood mayo wedged on pillowy soft white bread
It wasn't terrible but it was far from memorable.....I like a good garden, especially in Bangkok but there really is little reason food wise to visit this place
Update: well maybe I was wrong....we went back there again and had a coffee and sandwiches. The coffee is decent and the sandwiches were sandwiches of my childhood. Egg and mayo on crustless white bread and ham cheese and mushroom toasted on crustless white bread. Terribly trashy by western standards but decidedly Japanese and hi society by Thai ones. There is something strangely comforting about a well made egg sandwich that takes me and Hock back to our 1970s childhoods, vegemite and cheese sandwiches, cheese and Piccadilly sandwiches, vegemite and chip sandwiches, ham and cheese sandwiches, those strange salad rolls that always had grated carrot in them, lamingtons and custard pies....they probably just need to put asparagus rolls and some curried egg on the menu and it could quite easily be renamed the New Zealand Edmond's Cookbook Cafe. But then probably no one would go
Monday, 28 July 2008 by kinakoJam
This is an adaption of a recipe that was part of a Cook-Do sauce advert in Orange Page magazine. Unfortunately for the advertisers, instead of the pre-prepared chinjaorousu Cook-Do sauce I made a 'spicy chinese sauce-base' recipe from the book '15 min Easy Okazu'.
Recipe magazines can be hit & miss, let alone the recipes in advertisements in magazines, but this is damn good. I'll be making this again for sure. If it had a song it would be The Race by Yello. Your mouth gets this all-over tingly spicy warmth. Every ingredient really shines, from the sweetish pumpkin, to the savoury onion, to the fresh shishitougarashi peppers. The original recipe has thin sliced pork in it but you don't need it at all (EDIT: I made the dish again last night and I now think the pork would take it next-level from being a plain pumpkin stir-fry). If you want to add the small pieces of thin sliced pork, add them at the same time as the onion (50 grams per person).
Shishitougarashi are a small sweetish green Japanese pepper - maybe a bit like the Spanish 'pimientos de padron' but a bit smaller. Similarly to pimientos de padron, they taste awesome char-grilled or broiled until floppy, and you don't need to peel: just eat whole. Apart from the little stalk bit.
Spicy Chinese Sauce-Base
1 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup oyster sauce
2 tbsp Tobanjiang or other chilli bean sauce (I used 1 tbsp each Tobanjiang and a really hot Korean BBQ sauce)
1/4 cup sake
3 big cloves garlic finely chopped
3 tbsp finely chopped fresh ginger or that pre-prepared 'oroshi' ginger paste that comes in pottles
1 tbsp oil
Sauté the garlic and ginger in the oil, taking care not to burn, until they start to give off a good aroma.
Add everything else and mix around for one or two more minutes on the heat.
Kabocha+Shishitou Stir fry
The following ingredients are for one person, so just multiply to feed more.
A small handful of kabocha or butternut squash segments (skin still on), roughly 8mm thin
A small handful of thin sliced pork bits
4-5 shishitougarashi (substitute with green bell pepper in bite size pieces or pimientos de padron)
1 onion sliced in strips/ribbons (basically in half and then thin, vertical slices).
sesame oil & olive oil
2 tbsp spicy chinese cooking sauce (above)
Heat a tablespoon of sesame oil and saute the pumpkin segments, making sure to flip over, until cooked through. Add the green peppers and give them a stir.
New learnings from having made the dish a couple of times: Take the pumpkin and peppers out of the pan.
Add a spoon of olive or other oil plus the onion and pork, and cook until the onion is soft. Put the pumpkin & peppers back in and add two tablespoons of the Spicy Chinese Sauce-base (be careful with this, if you add too much it will just taste overpoweringly like soy sauce), toss to coat and sauté for 30 seconds to a minute, check whether you need to add a bit more sauce or maybe some shichimi spice or chilli flakes, and then serve piping hot.
There aren't many things that can make brown rice taste this good.
by Dr Maytel
Tomatom's recent blog post spurred me to think about how better to ensure this blog continues as its was intended, to be the "rock and roll" of food blogs and to continue to explore the nice, nasty and nitty gritty issues surrounding food and all interrelated matters.
As this blog has demonstrated over its short life, food is a messy, political, impassioned topic that stirs deep reactions
Given this past weeks agitations, I feel that it is important that we reaffrim that Gut Feelings is a free space where people can write freely, creatively and with feeling about subjects that they find interesting, useful, meaningful or amusing
Also in order to reclaim a sense of ownership in this blog, and ensure that Gut Feelings continues as a free space for all members I feel it may now be necessary to lay down some ground rules. This post is open to edit and discussion until we get a version that we are all happy with.
Rules of Engagement
1. No one may delete or edit another bloggers post without their prior consent unless it contravenes any of the following rules
2. All bloggers are free to express their opinions, beliefs and thoughts on food (within the statues of the law) and other related matters no matter how offensive they may be seem to some readers so long as those opinions or thoughts do not contain personal attacks, threats or issuance of fatwas
3. All criticism of opinions, beliefs and thoughts are welcome however they too must not contain personal grievances. You may criticise the idea but not the person.
3. If a blogger is writing under a pseudonym then you must respect their privacy and use that pseudonym when addressing them, if you do not your post or comment may be removed without permission
4. All posts must in some way be food, drink or gut related, however obscure
5. The opinions of different blog members may differ and should not be seen as reflection of the views of other members
6. comments that include derogatory, personal or highly bigoted attacks or death threats will be deleted
7. Where possible please reference sources, material or recipes used, plagerism or extreme copyright infringements may be removed
8. Swearing is fine so long as it is not directed at anyone in particular. Cuss words as an adjective or for exclamatory effect is fine
Nothing like good yoghurt.
I could actually wax rhapsodic about the slight differences in mouth-feel and creaminess of different yoghurts. (Oh yeah, I sort of already did).
Every country has its own twists on what makes a wonderful yoghurt. In 2004 when Japanese table tennis icon Ai-chan threw a temper tantrum at the Olympics because the yoghurt didn't taste like back home, it didn't seem total diva behaviour. A thick, high fat Greek milk-product texture could be unsettling if you were used to light yet solid and wobbly Japanese 'Bulgarian' yoghurt. Yoghurt can be any slightly sour milk product, at any point between liquid and fatty or gelatinous. Yoghurt drinks are popular here in Germany: I'm fond of this stuff called 'Schweden Milch' (in Swedish: 'filmjölk') which is creamy and slightly fizzy in your mouth. Apparently the high-sucrose Korean frozen yoghurt chain Pinkberry is spreading faster than Starbucks in the States right now.
But don't assume it's good for you. The good bacteria can survive the freezing process, but there has to be a large enough number of them to survive being killed off in your gut. Apparently (according to a 2004 article by Severin Carrell in the Independent) most probiotic drinks, including Yakult and Danone Actimel, ignored recommendations by the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation and World Health Organisation to print the number of live bacteria each bottle contains. Some university in Reading is doing a study to see which products deliver on their advertising promises.
My favourite in NZ, Cyclops coffee-flavour, is available in every supermarket. To me it is one of those ultimate junk-food treats. The high fat content of the yoghurt and the perfectly sour creaminess are a mind-blowing combo with the sweet, slightly bitter, gelatinous texture provided by the layer of coffee gloop.
Sour-bitter-fatty-sweet: genius combo.
It's the kind of thing where you're thinking 'This is so bad for me' as your spoon-to-mouth movements become steadily more robotic and increase in frequency.
Sunday, 27 July 2008 by kinakoJam
It's not that I think you can't be older and stylish (thank god for Lynn Yaeger, the Village Voice's very own Isabella Blow, who's also one of my favourite writers). But how can you take someone with a name like 'Grace Coddington' seriously, especially when she appears in the magazine looking like death warmed up and clutching fluffy orange feline relics?
Of course, every single issue also sports at least one story that makes you want to become the unibomber of Saks (e.g. their younger editors talking about 'investment' handbags at $3000 in a story about thrifty shopping, and photographed in improbable Manhattan abodes. At least Lynn Yaeger favours Orchard St knock-offs).
But what really made me sick, in an issue that was grudgingly fluttering a tinted eyelash at the downtrodden economy, was their ridiculous collection of 'budget friendly' shopping tips (i.e. under $500), which included Pilates sessions for $160 each because they're so worth it for your priceless body,
and this dieting tip:
"Thinking of your last meal has been proven to stave off hunger pangs."
One can't help but imagine Grace Coddington being gnawed at by orange cats as she eats her two-tablespoons of egg white for breakfast and dabs La Prairie fish caviar under her eyes.
Anyway, right now you can download Jeffrey Steingarten's guide to Beijing restaurants, which could be worth grabbing while it's still on the Vogue site. Just in case you find yourself pawning your investment hand bag for a trip to eat succulent duck fat in Beijing. You never know.
Saturday, 26 July 2008 by kinakoJam
If you have that bourgeois, obsessive-compulsive habit of photographing food, no doubt you've also accidentally collected quite a few shots of people caught in the act of stuffing their faces. Hence: the Hand to Mouth series. Gut Feelings members, I heartily invite you to add your own.
And in the interests of bringing myself down a peg or two, I present:
#1: Chewing ribs in Porirua, Wellington, New Zealand.
Thursday, 24 July 2008 by Phil Lees
At least it is if you're counting in Roman numerals.
I know that this may be adding a dash of kero to the flamewar, but Maytel's redacted post reminded me of a point that Michael Pollan makes incredibly badly. From the everyone's favorite justification for carnivorousness, The Omnivore's Dilemma (p.231):
Domestication is an evolutionary, rather than a political, development. It is certainly not a regime humans somehow imposed on animals some ten thousand years ago. Rather, domestication took place when a handful of especially opportunistic species discovered, through Darwinian trial and error, that they were more likely to survive and prosper in an alliance with humans than on their own.
Pollan goes on to explain that domesticated animals lead much cushier lifestyles than their counterparts whom languish in what is left of Nature. This argument seems like an ecologist's version of the bumper sticker slogan that if God hadn't wanted us to eat animals, He wouldn't have made them from meat. Just replace the deity with evolution. A few pages later, he argues that unlike domesticated animals (who made themselves through their own opportunism) humans made bisons. He quotes Tim Flannery:
"the bison is a human artifact, it was shaped by Indians"
I'm still confused as to why Pollan attributes agency to domestic animals (it was their own fault that they exist and are full of meat) but not to wild ones (who man made full of meat, through predation).
Wednesday, 23 July 2008 by kinakoJam
I read Phil's post on the SBS blog about Bellota Iberico ham, so thought I should post this Bellota ham shot for posterity.
I actually think Iberico ham is kind of over-rated when you consider the range of meats available to man kind: give me head sausage any day.
We were in Barcelona recently to work at Sonar Festival, and this place was the feeding-our-faces highlight, discovered by accident in the Born area where we were staying, at midnight.
So we went there for lunch on the day that we were leaving, as well. Because we are - in a word - pigs.
It's called Set de Born, and if you are interested in sampling a range of Spanish cured meats, I really recommend you check it out and ham it up 'til you drop. There's a veritable waterfall of cured meats hanging behind the counter.
We had some of the ham above later, on the plane, sandwiched in airport croissants, and it elevated that dry and sad pastry into a whole new stratosphere.
Or maybe it was the aeroplane that did that.
After you've been in Barcelona for a few days, you get a bit sick of Iberico ham. Once you've been eating it every day, in little baguettes, you don't really care if it's the expensive version or not.
That's when you start to crave a different type of thin sliced meat.
Voila, the wild boar's head sausage, above. Sliced very thinly, it reminded me of a little bit of fine Italian mortadella (because of the pistachios I guess) but had a distinct meatiness. No spam vibe. Delicious cheeky goodness!
Mmmm... the 'patatas bravas', a typical Catalonian tapas dish, which I believe is normally served with a tomato sauce (according to 'The New Spanish Table'). These just-cooked, juicy waxy potato slices are slopped in this delicious garlicky salad cream. Not exactly diet food. I like how the Spanish consume like a litre of olive oil per day, with meat, potatoes, tomatoes, paprika, seafood and bread. It doesn't get much more Columbus' new world than that. I am slightly nervous about spending a couple of months there later in the year though. Maybe I can start to get in training for it by drinking a glass of olive oil each morning while standing on my head.
The little sausages that look like chorizos, I have the name written down at home, will amend this post later. They were damn good.
The spinach and orange salad had black truffle stuff around the outside and a shot glass of some type of yoghurt curd with pine nuts in the middle of the plate.
by Dr Maytel
As if you didn't know that already.
And since my my tongue in cheek sabre rattling blog style has essentially left me stranded with the label of "hack" (no one finds vegan zombies amusing but me it seems)
I thought I'd leave it to some peer reviewed academics to argue my case for me, mainly the work of Kathryn Paxton George, Department of Philosophy, University of Idaho
But just a reminded to those who didn't quite understand my intent at the outset of the previous furore. The purpose of this post is to speak generally about veganism and vegetarianism not about specific vegans or vegetarians. It is not a personal attack and I'd prefer it if you didn't read it as so.
Paxton George, K., 1994, "Discrimination and bias in the vegan ideal", Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics, 7, 1, 1187-7863.
The vegan ideal is entailed by arguments for ethical veganism based on traditional moral theory (rights and/or utilitarianism) extended to animals. The most ideal lifestyle would abjure the use of animals or their products for food since animals suffer and have rights not to be killed. The ideal is discriminatory because the arguments presuppose a male physiological norm that gives a privileged position to adult, middle-class males living in industrialized countries. Women, children, the aged, and others have substantially different nutritional requirements and would bear a greater burden on vegetarian and vegan diets with respect to health and economic risks, than do these males. The poor and many persons in Third World nations live in circumstances that make the obligatory adoption of such diets, where they are not already a matter of sheer necessity, even more risky.
Traditional moral theorists (such as Evelyn Pluhar and Gary Varner whose essays appear in this issue) argue that those who are at risk would be excused from a duty to attain the virtue associated with ethical vegan lifestyles. The routine excuse of nearly everyone in the world besides adult, middle-class males in industrialized countries suggests bias in the perspective from which traditional arguments for animal rights and (utilitarian) animal welfare are formulated.
This is key to what I was trying to argue in the last post. For example, mal-nourishment and even starvation still plagues many people in the Third World and from my own personal experience in Cambodia, I can attest that in the main wet season, while the rice is still growing and the fields are inundated with water, vegetables rot and there is often little else to eat aside from fish, amphibians and insects. This matter of ecology imposes such limits on diet that even monks in this part of the world are mostly only semi-vegetarian. Should western vegans in the industrialised world be seen to inhabit a moral high ground because of the luxury that access to plentiful vegan foodstuffs provide? It seems to me just another way in which the over-privileged manage to lay claim to moral superiority, as if the aid industry weren't enough in itself.
Indeed, one of the key things that struck me when I was researching for this post was how out of touch the debate on the morality of veganism or vegetarianism is with the practicalities of survival for the majority of the world's inhabitants. The enormity of research on nutrition for vegans analysed the risks associated and how to manage them including the need for extensive supplements which are expensive. In some extreme cases vegans have ended up in hospital. Veganism and vegetarianism, at least in the part of the world I live in are thus associated with people of higher class and privileged backgrounds, those that can manage the risks, afford health care and supplements. Thus as Paxton argues, veganism or vegetarianism cannot be seen as a universal moral code but merely relegated to a cultural quirk often associated with wealth, education and class.
Mosy on over to page 216 "A feminist critique of vegetarianism" in The Animal Ethics Reader and read further....some of the pages are not there but you'll be able to get the gist of her debate
Finally, Kathryn also has a book published on the subject, Animal, Vegetable, Woman, Feminist, Vegetarianism
Of which the amazon reviewer says:
Kathryn Paxton George challenges the view held by noted philosophers Tom Regan and Peter Singer and ecofeminists Carol Adams and Deane Curtin who assume the Principle of Equality to argue that no one should eat meat or animal products. She shows how these renowned individuals also violate the Principle of Equality, because they place women, children, adolescents, the elderly, and many others in a subordinate position. She reviews the principal arguments of these major ethical thinkers, offers a detailed examination of the nutritional literature on vegetarianism, and shows how this inconsistency arises and why it recurs in every major argument for ethical vegetarianism. Included is her own view about what we should eat, which she calls "feminist aesthetic semi-vegetarianism." "George has presented original, often compelling, arguments against ethical vegetarianism. Relying on well-researched evidence of nutritional and material differences among humans based on age, gender, race, class, and cultural location, George shows respects in which current arguments for vegetarianism falsely presuppose a male physiological norm and ideal. This book is necessary reading for animal rights advocates, feminists, ethicists, or anyone else interested in interconnected health and ethical issues concerning vegetarianism." - Karen J. Warren, author of Ecofeminist Philosophy: A Western Perspective on What It Is and Why It Matters- Paul B. Thompson, author of Food Biotechnology in Ethical Perspective
"This broadly provocative book should be controversial, worthy of being attacked on several fronts. It is central to two large topics: feminist philosophy and the moral status of animals. It will not be the last word on any of the controversial issues that it touches upon, but it is unequivocally the next word."
And no my freezer isn't stuffed with meat and no I don't enjoy torturing kittens. I do however get annoyed when I can't get a point across well enough and blogging isn't always the perfect forum. I'm hoping that this post will at least release the angsty tension I seem to get under circumstances of miscommunication and I won't have to spend another afternoon running out my annoyance at the gym
The client from my Sabbath Day ladypose invited me out to dinner. I should have bù huì'd, but I said OK and ended up confronted with an all-pig Szechuan hotpot.
As I rooted around in the hotpot with the ladle, hoping to find some small intestine submerged in the depths, I heard the massive sound of a needle scratching off a record. Hoping to find small intestine? Yeah, small intestine: doubt me if you want, but I have lately discovered that it is a fucking delectable part of a pig. Texture of liver with no hideous fat or gummy bits wobbling on it as on pig muscle. Alas, this particular 'pot contained naught but vile cubes of congealed blood and rubbery ciliated large intestine. Chinese people, I know you love a bit of blood in your breakfast congee, or any time really, but I just can't get down with it. At dinner, I swallowed a single jiggling clot, a postage stamp-sized scrap of tripe, then filled up on cabbage and kept my hands busy by chopsticking black peppercorns into my mouth one by one.
OK, so I thought I was going to take a day or two's break from the burning digestive issues of Gut Feelings, but then, ya know. As it happens, this week, inspired by Coco, I decided to start a music blog, and just now I was browsing around to see if there were any other worthwhile music blogs that I should link to.
So I was surfing through the links provided by the New Yorker's music blogger Sasha FrereJones, as you do, and I clicked through randomly to Elyse Sewell.
Who the hell is Elyse Sewell? You might ask. (As did I).
It turns out she is a model. (Whoop de do, I hear you reply. Well, stick with me). This girl is not only a model, but a model who appeared on the first season of America's Next Top Model. And apparently there is a fan site dedicated to her. This is remarkable because I am surprised that any ANTM graduate has a fan site, let alone from Season 1 - who can remember back that far?
(I'm getting to the food-related point, I promise).
Most of all, I am surprised to find that this girl's blog actually kicks ass! A blog that doesn't make me want to crush my head with my keypad is rare, but written by a model?? Who has been on an American reality show??
Life is too weird sometimes.
Anyway, Elyse seems to be a fan of food, from spicy to hormonal and gelatinous (no ominivorous dilemmas, sic, for her), from asparagus juice to squid ink meatballs and frozen candied plums. She makes Fuschia Dunlop seem like Eliza Doolittle.
She is somewhat linguistically inspired, writing that she wants to "elevate the status of "conversate" from a Biggie-perpetrated malaprop to a legitimate member of the lexicon".
And her caption for the photo below:
"I burned my finger poking this aperture. I burned my head trying to climb through it into Narnia."
Go Elyse. I still don't really understand who you are, but I like your writing. A lot.
Tuesday, 22 July 2008 by Hock
by Dr Maytel
My god, I'm not getting any work done today
Anyway, the debate on idealism and diet will return in a less obnoxious form in a few days for comment and debate.
I'm truly sorry to the friends and friends of friends which I cause offence to.
I hope that you don't mind if we continue to debate on dietary preference, including veganism at a later date and I promise I will behave myself more and keep my writing to a more civilised tone
Posted in: | 5 comments | |
I just photographed them because I think they look nice.
Here is a good salad to make with them (or any other round, interesting berry.... usually blue berries or kiwi berries).
It's a salad that works on the days when you really really don't feel like salad.
Wash & chop: two handfuls of basil leaves, a couple of spring onions, a couple of baby bok-choi, a few handfuls of a dark green leafy vegetable (e.g. spinach, lamb's mache/feldsalat) and either red cabbage, or another Asian green like Mizuna/mustard greens.
Dice an avocado in small cubes. Finely chop a small hunk of ginger.
Mix all of the above together with a handful of cherry tomatoes, a decent sprinkling of black sesame seeds, and a tablespoon each of soy sauce/tamari and olive oil. Then scatter your round berries on top. (I think round is good because they are usually not too sweet and the symmetry with the tomatoes is pleasing). And serve.
Please remind me if I already posted this recipe. I have some mild version of Alzheimers so you never know.
Sunday, 20 July 2008 by kinakoJam
One thing I never got round to eating in Japan was 'dry curry'. I've been wanting to try this particular recipe for a while, partly because the topping of a melting hot-water soaked 'onsen' (hotspring) egg looked so appealing in the book. We didn't really nail the egg - the white should be just barely congealed. Here are some interesting tips on cooking onsen tamago. I guess if you lay the room-temperature egg in just-boiled still water just as your rice starts cooking in a different pot, you might time it perfectly. Another error I would address regarding the photo above, is the rice. I think it looks nicer if you spread the rice a bit wider so you can see it in a ring of white around the outside. And the parsley should be chopped more über-finely too.
Mince on rice, what could be wrong with that mate. My father used to specialise in spag-bol when I was a kid, and I'm just coming back round to the comfort-power of mince.
Wafuu (japanese style) Dry Curry from '15-min Easy Delicious Okazu'.
Enough warm white short grain rice to satisfy.
150 g mince (I used a pork-beef mix)
An onion and a small carrot diced finely.
A capsicum (red or green pepper) peeled roughly and diced finely.
2 tsp hot curry powder
1 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp soy
1 tbsp sake
1 tbsp butter
2 very soft 'onsen' eggs
Finely chopped parsley
Cook the chopped onion in the butter gently until softened. Add the other veges and when these too are softened, turn the heat up and add the mince. When the mince has started to get clumpy, add the curry powder, sugar, soy and sake and stir fry until most of the liquid has evaporated. Check the seasonings - you might want to add a touch more curry powder. Top your warm rice with the curry-mince, sprinkle with chopped parsley and then scoop those eggs in a puddle on top.
Damn it to hell. Yesterday I went to the local Rewe supermarkt with our camera, to capture a billboard that had been spray-painted, but ironically, it was pasted over with the poster above. That fool in the photo has had a cooking show on TV for ages. He's about as far from 'anarchie' as you can get.
The one I wanted to photograph, was an advertisement for discounted nectarines. The slogan was originally something like 'Sun in your heart, savings in your head.' But it had been defaced to read 'Sun in your heart, anarchy in your head.'
Then over the picture of nectarines they sprayed 'consumerism kills'.
I loved it, and I agree that discount fruit are at the centre of our troubles as a society.
Maybe this also has something to do with the name of a German band I really like, called the 'die Goldenen Zitronen' (the Golden Lemons).
Saturday, 19 July 2008 by kinakoJam
That zip-locked lentil salad from Metzgerei Schmitz went a ways, even when we gave half to Carmen & Demi: I guess I never need to eat it again.
I still didn't find out what that nice orange cheese was called (Edit: I found out today. It's 12-month old Mimolette, a cheese from North France, coloured with flower seeds and flavourized by an insect called the 'cheese mite'). It's fun to eat things in extreme colours.
By the way, we still didn't figure out what to do with all those extra champagne glasses from Ikea. I am currently gazing through a forest of them on our kitchen bench.
We thought of giving half to Carmen & Demi, but Demi doesn't drink.
Next time I am asked for money by one of Cologne's executive bums (pseudo-anarchist alcoholics who sit on the footpath beside ATMs and curse people, when not playing petanque in the park), maybe I should give him a box of champagne glasses. They would either sip 90% proof out of them, or smash them over their dogs' heads. Either way, it could suit their brand of punk-ethos to a tee.
Thursday, 17 July 2008 by kinakoJam
In the week or two after the wedding we managed to stretch out the left-overs quite well. Boy, I enjoyed them!
Above is fresh soft goat cheese from France, coated in dried petals. Thanks to Alice, John and Mayuko for the endless cheese feast!
I'm not really an expert on cheese, especially not French cheese. If visiting Holland I would often try to bring back some aged Amsterdam gouda; and in London, there are nice hard English cheese like Wensleydale. But when it comes to the softer, riper genre of French cheeses, I'm a bit in the dark.
It turns out that French cheeses really are all that – and you don't even have to go for the really smelly stuff. I loved the St. Dominin lavender goat's cheese below, just spread on toast, I ate in about 2 days all by myself! A sort of honey vibe to the lavender, and the perfect balance of yielding crust and subtle melting vibe. Almost porno. I am definitely going to go back to Manufactum for this!
The dog's breakfast you can see above is what remained of a Peanut butter-almond-chocolate pie from the Fresh cookbook. I scooped it into a bowl to take up less space in the fridge. This decadent treat tastes a bit like Reeses Pieces - but you can sort of trick yourself that it might be healthy because it contains a few spoonfuls of tofu. It has a really good texture between pumpkin pie and toffee.
It's quite easy to make. Line a pie-dish or tart dish with crumbled dark chocolate cookies. Here is the recipe for vegan cookies (it's very easy).
Fresh's Double Choc Cookies
Combine 2 1/2 cups of maple syrup (or Agave cactus syrup, which is a lot cheaper, I got a gallon for 10 euros or something), a cup of oil and 1 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips. Combine 2 1/2 cups of dark cocoa with 5 cups of wholemeal flour and add to the wet stuff. Add a pinch of salt, and 2 tsp vanilla extract or to taste.
Scoop the batter in teaspoons onto a waxed cookie sheet, bake for about 20 minutes at 200 degrees.
Peanut-butter Choc Almond Pie
Combine cookie crumbs with 1 tbsp oil and 1/4 cup syrup (maple or Agave), don't mix too much, but don't worry too much if it turns into a paste. Line your dish and bake at 220 degrees for 10 minutes.
In a food processor, blend 3/4 cup smooth peanut butter, 1/4 cup raw sugar, 1/4 cup syrup, just over half a cup of firm silken tofu, just over 1/4 cup soy milk, and a pinch of salt.
Pour into crust and bake for 15 minutes.
When it has cooled, top with more crushed dark chocolate and almonds (optionally toasted/chopped), then refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
You can also freeze it without damage for a few nights.
I am not usually the type of person to buy ingredients without an idea of what I'm going to do with them, so I am not usually the type of person to search around online for a recipe idea. But I wanted to make sure we did something yummy with the Roquefort Carles blue cheese from the wedding, before it went to waste. I wanted something fresh, but a blue cheese and pear salad sounded too healthy. I found a great recipe from Mark Bittman online where you blanch a mixture of veges in boiling water (we used green beans, fennel and zucchini) - put into a flat dish, season, sprinkle with 2 bread-slices worth of bread crumbs and then 1/4 cup of crumbled or grated blue cheese. Then bake! Awwwwwwwesome.
Follow with several bottles of left over pink wedding champagne and a game of Shithead.
Wednesday, 16 July 2008 by Dr Maytel
... which I think is probably fairly well-known in the world of Japangrish product.
Here's one from Dydo Drinco.
It is a word joke... "Ochou fujin" is this blond hair character which appeared in the "Ace wo Nerae", a late-70's cartoon in which high school tennis club members compete to each other.
In the cartoon, this blond woman's name is "Ochou fujin" meaning "Madame Butterfly." This Dydo's drink, which is prune juice supposedly good for regularity, is named "Ochou fujin", meaning "Madame Intestine."
Both "butterfly" and "intestine" has the same pronunciation, "chou", though they use the different kanji (Chinese character).
Even though they still have the press release, they unfortunately no longer sell this hilarious product... maybe constipated customers didn't feel comfortable taking the "Madame Intestine" drinks to the cashier.
The TV commercial below takes place at a Japanese "snack" where people speak Osaka dialect...
Apparently they were trying to target the middle-aged "salary men"... to get the rigor like that of Maasai warriors...
by Dr Maytel
Said five year old Zacky, son of Fluffy.....From the mouths of babes....
Tuesday, 15 July 2008 by Dr Maytel
Pigs raised in conventional indoor pens have different feeding patterns from those raised under more natural conditions. Research published today in BioMed Central's open access journal Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica shows that while pigs in the wild spend much time searching for food and eat little and often, the preferred feeding regime for conventional raised pigs is three meals a day.
Lead author, Eva Persson, from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences explains that, "The natural feeding behaviour of pigs is searching for feed by rooting activities throughout the day; self-feeding pigs randomly space their activities and generally consume between ten and twelve meals in an average day. By replicating this pattern in conventional indoor kept pigs, we had hoped they would fare better than those fed the traditional three meals."
All of the 360 pigs in the study received the same amount of food, spaced out into either three meals or nine and delivered as liquid feed. Contrary to what may be expected, feeding the pigs in a more 'natural' way did not result in a better outcome. In fact, the pigs fed three times gained over 100g more per day than the pigs fed more frequently.
As Persson reports, "Increased daily feeding occasions among group-housed pigs resulted in a poorer daily weight gain and an increased number of stomach problems. It will be of great interest to those in the farming and animal welfare fields that this study does not support increased daily feeding occasions in fattening pigs".
Each group of nine pigs in this study had to share one 3 m trough. Due to the fact that pigs will naturally fight for prime feeding positions, one likely explanation for the poorer performance in the pigs fed more often is increased competition within the group. The authors note 'More feeds mend smaller ratios each time and it is possible that each feeding occasion in our study did not offer enough feed to satisfy the hunger of all the pigs".
I remember one forward shop assistant barged up to me and was all like 'wassup ghuuurl' while demanding to know if I had 'cream in my coffee'. He asked this six times. It turned out to be a simple racial enquiry, did I have non-white lineage in the genetic mix or vice-versa. I remembered this story as I had a great breakfast this morning using CREAM as a condiment on the casual and in my delicious cup of joe like it was the 50's.
If karma is a bitch then this morning was her son. It was so icey and cold I went scottish all up in it and had a deluxe bowl of porridge. Don't get depressed - this is porridge stirred with, yes, cream - and a special mix of chopped hazlenuts, brazil nuts, raw sugar and cinnamon. Add almonds, stewed apple and sultanas. Basically this is a seratonin grenade and appetite-wise sustained like Madonna. (If you a bit blue and really need cheering up I'd add bananas and have some St Johns Wart loose leaf tea. I call this lethal loved-up combo 'ravers delight').
by Dr Maytel
This month was my Dad's turn....which meant a selection of all his fatty favourite Chinese foods. We went to a Chinese Restaurant on Sukhumvit Soi 24, just down from Imoya (Potato Club) and I guessed just about every course of the usual suspects
First up, selection of starters including smoked duck, chilled jellyfish, drunken chicken, and yam cake
Second was a bit of a surprise. It's usually shark fin soup but due to my abstention over previous meals (I love shark fin soup but figured I should try to practice what I preach in terms of sustainable seafood) he ordered fish maw soup (fish stomach). I have no idea whether the stomachs where harvested sustainably
Third, fresh prawns with dipping sauces
Fourth Peking Duck
Fifth, shitake mushrooms with black hair seaweed
Sixth, deep fried prawns (I sat this course out and handed my prawn over to my 20 year old cousin)
Teo Chew style Goose Feet noodles
I had the noodles, but Hock ate the feet. I've never been a fan of feet. I don't really see the point, but Hock loves them. I'm not a big chicken cartilage fan either, whereas Hock eats grilled parson's nose off street meat vendors
Cantonese style steamed fish
9th course was kaw tom, or rice soup with vegetables and mined duck meat
10th was dessert...which was predictably the black sesame dumpling in ginger soup
The meal was long and at times yummy, I've definitely had better versions of this meal at other Chinese restaurants
It took 3 hours, during which I sat and eavesdropped on my cousin's conversations in Thai "next week something something is happening, Monday afternoon something something, hair something something" and so on....I really must get back to learning Thai
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