Jewish Delicatessens: Not Your Local Sub Shop

The best delis have an adjoining bakery which sells authentic bagels, bialys, cookies and rolls, along with take-out foods and salads. Some of the old timers like the Stage Deli and the Carnegie Deli have gone the way of the dinosaur (go figure) but some still flourish, especially in NYC, Chicago and of course Miami. We’re not talking sandwich or sub shops here, we’re talking honest-to-gosh authentic delis where you’d swear grandma was making matzo balls in the kitchen. Here is what you can expect to find if you venture into a good one:

Lox and bagels or bialys, with or without a schmear of cream cheese (if they don’t serve these, you made a wrong turn and you’re at Subway)

A comforting bowl of matzo ball soup – a light dumpling made with matzo meal in chicken broth, or kreplach, a heavier meat-filled dumpling

Borekas – filled pastries made of a thin flaky phyllo dough and filled with spinach, cheese or sometimes meat (also a Greek dish)

Kugel – popular baked noodle dish, can be sweet or savory

Shashuka – spicy dish of eggs poached in a sauce of tomatoes, chili peppers, and onions, often spiced with cumin

Potato latkes – your basic potato pancakes, served with applesauce and sour cream

Brisket and pastrami sandwiches – best served warm on Jewish rye with lots of mustard, coleslaw on the side

Blintzes – usually fruit fill and served with sour cream, similar to a crepe

Potato knishes – a heavier dumpling-type usually filled with, potato and onions

Reuben sandwich – classic grilled sandwich with corned beef, sauerkraut, swiss cheese and thousand island dressing (you can go “lighter” with turkey) delicious

Potato salad and coleslaw – the perfect side dish, creamy and plenty of it

Matzo breh – pieces of matzoh lightly sauteed in butter and scrambled with eggs, the perfect breakfast

Chocolate egg cream – a tall drink with a splash of milk, flavored syrup and fizzy water (no egg or cream)

Chopped liver – usually a plate with a mound of chopped liver, accompanied by sliced onions, tomatoes, chopped egg and served with rye bread

Kosher dill pickles – the best, say no more

Brown mustard – the spicier the better (forget that yellow stuff)

Gefilte fish – not high on everyone’s favorites but a traditional white fish and part of a traditional holiday meal, served cold

Matzo – flat tasteless popular cracker, part of a traditional Jewish passover meal

Kasha – buckwheat groats, pretty tasteless but very traditional (great source of fiber)

Babka – coffee cake

Loaves of braided challah, a traditional sweet holiday bread which usually contains raisins, similar to a brioche

Sufganiyot – a jelly donut

Rugelah – a sweet rolled dough cookie filled with raisins and nuts

Many Jewish dishes of course have a similar version in neighboring countries like Poland, the Mediterranean countries and Russia, and many are part of a traditional holiday meal such as Passover. But what has evolved into the classic delicatessen, with its mile high sandwiches, matzo ball soup and chopped liver is unique unto itself. The waiters are rude and rushed, the portions are large, and the customers are hungry. What’s not to like?

 

Explorer Diaries: Bhopal on Your Plate

The capital city of Madhya Pradesh, India, Bhopal city has much to offer in terms of tourism. The city of lakes, as it is fondly called, has a very rich and vibrant history, and culture along with a strong culinary vibe for foodies keen to explore. A fantastic fusion of Muslim and Hindu culture, the food here can satisfy many cravings. The range is huge – from Indori poha-jalebito Irani chai, Kanpuriya kachori to chaat, Bikaneri sev to idli-dosa, Punjabi chole bhature to pizzas and pasta. There are all sorts of eateries too, from high-end, 5 star restaurants to the narrow, crowded lanes of the Chatori Gali. With the wide variety of experiences it offers, the food from this city in the heart of India, will fill not only your stomach, but your heart too. Read on for a curated list of famous places to eat at in Bhopal, along with insights into the most popular food in Madhya Pradesh.

A culinary journey in Bhopal should start with the almost sacred Poha-Jalebi. In the morning hours, head to the famous Jama Masjid, just off Itwara Road, to the famous Kalyan Singh’s Swad Bhandar. It serves Bhopali Poha – fresh, light, hot poha that is both spicy and sweet, garnished generously with sev adding a crunch. Couple this with hot jalebis for a perfect breakfast, which is available across the city. It is only in Bhopal and Indore, that the deliciously soft poha is topped with sev and crispy jalebis. To settle the matter further, enjoy a cup of authentic Bhopali Sulemani chai at Jamal Bhai’s chai ki dukaan – the tea is unique blend of sweet and salty and comes loaded with a generous helping of cream.

For a fuller meal at lunch (or dinner) Hakeem’s, Bapu ki kutiya, Tapti and Rajhans are places one could head to. Mecca for the non vegetarians, Hakeem hotel serves delicious non vegetarian delicacies throughout its multiple outlets in Bhopal. The aromatic gravies, the tikkas and kababs here are among the best in the city. Order anything on the menu and be assured of delight in every bite. The staff is very friendly, service is fast and the food served is hot and tasty. Head to either T.T Nagar or M.P Nagar for a hearty meal at Hakeem. If you’re looking for a more upmarket, ambience-laden experience Jehan Numah Palace or Noor us Sabah are popular restaurants for authentic Mughal, Italian and continental dishes.

 

Celebrity Chefs Don’t Just Cook

Some celebrity chefs stick with their cookbooks and TV shows, some just lend their name and some go the full route of actually producing a line of products. But like many sports figures who actually make far more money from their endorsements than from their sport, many cooks seem to have hit pay dirt with their own personal line of gadgets, cooking apparatus and seasoning lines. The list is seemingly endless, but here is who tops the hit parade:

Michael Chiarello – this Italian foods chef seems happy with his family vineyard, award-winning Napa restaurant and cookbooks, all of which keep him busy.

Guy Fieri – wild and vivacious restaurant owner and Food Network star, he hawks a simple line of kitchen gadgets, cutlery and T-shirts on his website.

Rachael Ray – better known for her chirpy, giggly personality than her cooking, she showcases a line of kitchen gadgets, cookware and bakeware, which is ironic since she’s the first to tell you she doesn’t bake.

George Foreman – likable ex-boxer who followed Ron Popeil’s lead and hawks his own incredibly successful counter top grills.

Martha Stewart – a mega industry in and of herself, with videos, cookbooks, linens,and even her own magazine.

Giada de Laurentis – following Martha Stewart’s lead, she is a veritable corporation with her own cookware, gadgets, cookbooks and has recently ventured into the restaurant business.

Paula Deen – Southern cook sells an extensive line of gadgets, cookware and utensils plus baked goods, and of course her famous Savannah restaurant (strangely missing from her line is a large butter dish).

Bobby Flay – prefers the route of cookbooks and eateries but does sell a simple line of discount grilling gear including (no surprise here) stainless steel BBQ sauce pots with a built-in silicone brush.

Ina Garten – focuses on cookbooks (and husband Jeffrey) but could definitely profit from a king-sized salt shaker.

Gordon Ramsay – so incredibly busy with his TV shows, cookbooks and restaurants, he does endorse a simple tasteful line of tableware for British china giant Royal Doulton, along with cutlery.

Jamie Oliver – quiet, unpretentious Brit who sells an extensive line of kitchen gadgets.

Nigella Lawson – popular British food writer and cooking hostess has her own line of dishware, cooking supplies, and utensils.

Emeril Lagasse – beloved New Orleans-style chef, popular cooking show host and restaurant owner, he offers an extensive line of sauces and seasonings as well as high quality cutlery.

Paul Prudhomme – top New Orleans chef who practically invented Creole and Cajun cooking, understandably made his mark not only as a successful chef and restaurateur but created an expansive line of spices and marinades.

Wolfgang Puck – does it all, with restaurants, food products and cookware (his line of frozen foods bombed a few years–can’t win ’em all).

Thomas Keller – world-class chef and restaurateur, he sells a pricey set of cookware through Williams Sonoma called TK (clearly not for those on a budget).

Paul Bocuse – French chef considered the “Father of Culinary Art” runs the gamut with cookware, restaurants, food products and even a double oven cooking range for serious and professional chefs only (or those who can afford to pretend they are).

Jack LaLanne – America’s most recognized early TV exercise guru, he revolutionized the juicing industry and still has his name on a top line of juicers.

And no one can count out foodie president Thomas Jefferson, who missed the boat by almost two centuries with the first French ice cream maker, which he discovered in France and brought back to America in the early 1800s.

Sadly several of the above mentioned professionals are no longer with us, but their legacies live on in their products lines.

So the big question remains: do these chefs really design and test their products, do they simply lend their name, or are they micro managers of production and marketing? No one’s talking. Are the pricey ones better than the economical ones, or are consumers just paying for a high-priced name? It’s anybody’s guess. But in this author’s humble opinion, she’d sure want to “try before you buy” and then perhaps just stick with a good old paring knife, a little elbow grease and the pots and pans her mother used.

 

The Story of Cheese

Ancient records indicate that making of cheese dates back over 4,000 years. Although no one knows how the first cheese was made. A theory that through the transportation of milk in bladders made of ruminants. The definition of a ruminant is an even-toed ungulate mammal that chews cud regurgitated from its rumen. Storing the milk in such a manner would cause it to coagulate separation into curds and whey. Though the original process may never be known by the time of the Roman Empire the art has become a highly valued process throughout Europe the Middle East. Hundreds of varieties of cheese were produced and traded across the Roman Empire. Many kinds of cheese which are well known today were first produced and recorded in the late middle ages such as cheddar in the 1500’s Parmigiano-Reggiano in 1957, Gouda in 1697 and Camembert in 1791.

France has a long history of making over 400 varieties of cheese. In its early days of production, it remained a local product simply identified by the origin in which it was made. British cheese making began about 2,000 years ago in Pre-Roman times. Cheshire and Lancashire are two that evolved into what we recognize today. As in France most of the cheese making was localized and done by farmers as well as in monasteries. Switzerland, of course, is known for its cheese, Emmental is a firm cheese with a pale yellow color and buttery, mildly sharp taste. Emmental features the characteristic holes typical of swiss cheese.

English Puritans dairy farmers brought to America in the 17th Century their knowledge of cheese making, Following the Revolutionary War, New York was known as the great cheese state. The Southeastern portion of Wisconsin was settled in the 1830’s. By 1850,s immigrants from Germany, Norway, and Switzerland arrived and coupling with American Pioneers stated farmstead cheese manufacturing. It took generations for Wisconsin to evolve and in 1868 Nicholas Gerber opened the first Wisconsin Cheese Factory. by 1910 Wisconsin surpassed Ohio and New York and became the number one in cheese production in the USA.

The invention of processed cheese in 1911, a combination of at least two different types and made popular by James L. Kraft who became known as American Cheese.

Here is a recipe made with delicious cheese.

Cheese Fondue

2 cups shredded natural Swiss Cheese

2 cups shredded Gruyere

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 clove garlic, cut in half

1 cup dry white wine or nonalcoholic white wine

1 tablespoon lemon juice

3 tablespoons Kirsch, dry sherry, brandy or nonalcoholic white wine

1 loaf French bread, cut into 1-inch pieces

1. Place cheese and flour in resealable plastic bag. Shake until cheese is coated with flour.

2. Rub garlic on bottom and side of fondue pot, heavy saucepan or skillet; discard garlic. Add wine. Heat over simmer setting or low heat just until bubbles rise to surface (do not boil). Stir in lemon juice.

3. Gradually add cheese mixture, about 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly with wooden spoon over low heat, until melted. Stir in Kirsch.

4. Keep warm over simmer setting. If prepared in saucepan or skillet, pour into a fondue pot or heatproof serving bowl and keep warm over low heat. Fondue must be served over heat to maintain its smooth, creamy texture.

5. Spear bread with fondue forks; dip and swirl in fondue with stirring motion. If fondue becomes too thick, stir in 1/4 to 1/2 cup heated wine.

Fondue is French for “melted” Be patient when making cheese fondue, and allow each addition of cheese to completely melt into the wine before adding more. Serve with tossed green salad and make a meal.

 

America’s Favorite Foods: Some Things Never Change

Americans are an interesting mix of cultures and cuisine aficionados. We love sushi, Chinese and Mexican food, Italian restaurants and designer coffee drinks, yet when it gets right down to it, there are few surprises. We buy the same basics which have been around for decades, mainly because we grow up on them, they’re served up in school lunchrooms, and they are around every corner.

Overall there are no surprises here and this list has seen little change in decades, so let’s start with the Big Ten of America’s overall favorite foods (no veggies in sight):

Hamburgers – since the first White Castle opened, we were hooked
Hot Dogs – the all-American food
French Fries – can’t do much to improve on these
Oreo Cookies – chocolate chip cookie lovers will disagree
Pizza – lots of toppings, but the base remains the same
Soft Drinks – as a nation we guzzle them all day long (not technically a food, but hey)
Chicken Tenders – we know what fast food chain started it all
Ice cream – thank foodie president Thomas Jefferson for this one
Donuts – breakfast of champions
Potato chips – our favorite snack food, hands down
Mac and cheese (yes, Thomas Jefferson also introduced this)
Apple Pie – been around in some form for centuries

Soft Drinks:

Colas – since the first soda fountain opened, they have maintained their status
Lemon/Lime drinks – since Americans discovered lemons, a fizzy variation of good old lemonade
Dr Pepper – first considered a medicinal tonic (similar to cola) it still has a loyal following

Fruits:

Berries-ever since man began gathering wild berries in the woods (it’s a toss-up-some surveys will argue it’s bananas or apples)
Apples – easy to grow and transport
Bananas – no washing required
Grapes – cost can vary, but still wonderful, especially seedless

Veggies:

Broccoli – serious doubts here, but some surveys insist
Corn – probably America’s first native veggie and still right up there
Potatoes – due in no small part to French fries and potato chips
Tomatoes – the base for ketchup (our favorite condiment) and so many other foods
Green beans – what’s not to like?

Candy (no surprise the top five are all chocolate-based):

M&Ms pretty much tied with
Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
Snickers – peanuts, caramel – nougat – the best of everything
Hershey’s – Milk Chocolate Bar – can’t improve on that
Kit Kats – crunchy and fun
Candy corn – at Halloween, for sure

Ice Cream flavors:

Cookies N’ Cream – part of the Oreo craze
Chocolate – just a continuation of America’s love affair with chocolate anything
Mint Chocolate Chip – refreshing
Vanilla – so versatile and the foundation of many treats
Cookie Dough – a relative newcomer compared to the original vanilla

Unlike most categories, cost plays a major role with Seafood:

Shrimp, which still tops the list, would undoubtedly be far greater in consumption if the price was lower
Salmon – a distant second (but by far the most popular ordered at restaurants)
Tuna – beloved sandwich filling as well as dining out
Tilapia – frequently bashed as “dirty” it’s still cost effective, light, easy to prepare

Best-selling Cold Cereals:

Cheerios – both Honey Nut and plain
Frosted Flakes – sugar already added to old-timer corn flakes
Mini-Wheats – likewise shredded wheat – sugar-coated and smaller size than original
Special K – touted as a “diet” food, we can still fool ourselves if we don’t add sugar

And at Starbuck’s, the Frappuccinos rule:

Triple Mocha Frappuccino – just can’t have too much chocolate
Coffee Frappuccino – the basic which started it all
Double Chocolaty Chip Creme Frappuccino – getting a little complicated here
Caffè Mocha – beats out lattes – gotta have that shot of chocolate

So there you have it. As a foodie nation, we are still conservative and stuck in a rut, as we cling to our old standards for convenience, cost, habit and just plain good taste. But don’t we love to live vicariously when we watch cooking shows, devour cookbooks and feel adventurous when we frequent ethnic restaurants. Although a diverse country of many backgrounds and cuisines, the same foods stand the test of time. and we might not be into haute cuisine but we definitely enjoy our native foods to the max. And that’s just fine with us.

 

How Does Food Impact Health? What Does Food Do In Our Bodies?

The food we eat gives our bodies the “information” and materials they need to function properly. If we don’t get the right information, our metabolic processes suffer and our health declines.

If we get too much food, or food that gives our bodies the wrong instructions, we can become overweight, undernourished, and at risk for the development of diseases and conditions, such as arthritis, diabetes, and heart disease.

In short, what we eat is central to our health. Consider that in light of Webster’s definition of medicine: “The science and art dealing with the maintenance of health and the prevention, alleviation, or cure of disease.”
Food acts as medicine–to maintain, prevent, and treat disease.

What does food do in our bodies?

The nutrients in food enable the cells in our bodies to perform their necessary functions. This quote from a popular textbook describes how the nutrients in food are essential for our physical functioning.

“Nutrients are the nourishing substances in food that are essential for the growth, development and maintenance of body functions. Essential meaning that if a nutrient is not present, aspects of function and therefore human health decline. When nutrient intake does not regularly meet the nutrient needs dictated by the cell activity, the metabolic processes slow down or even stop.”

In other words, nutrients give our bodies instructions about how to function. In this sense, food can be seen as a source of “information” for the body.

Thinking about food in this way gives us a view of nutrition that goes beyond calories or grams, good foods or bad foods. This view leads us to focus on foods we should include rather than foods to exclude.

Instead of viewing food as the enemy, we look to food as a way to create health and reduce disease by helping the body maintain function.

Examples of the Roles Nutrients Play

Here are some examples of nutrients essential for specific body functions. These nutrients provide “information” so the body can complete the necessary processes. (Note: This is a simplification for illustrative purposes. There are no doubt many more substances involved in all of these processes, including trace minerals and co-factors.)

Immune function: vitamin A, vitamin E, zinc, folic acid, vitamin B-6, riboflavin, magnesium, selenium, vitamin C

Nerve impulses: sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium, vitamin B6, folic acid, B-12, copper, vitamin C

Tissue repair and formation: vitamin A, vitamin E, copper, riboflavin, magnesium, vitamin B6, vitamin C

Metabolism: potassium, thiamin, niacin, vitamin B6, magnesium, riboflavin, folic acid, vitamin C

Note that magnesium is needed for all of the functions listed above. Let’s take a closer look at magnesium as “information.”

What is magnesium?

Magnesium is a mineral found in whole grain, wheat germ, nuts, and seeds (especially pumpkin seeds), soybeans, tofu, chocolate, dark-green vegetables, legumes, yogurt, and other dairy products. However, the amount of magnesium in any magnesium-rich food is influenced by the soil content in which the food was grown. In many commercial farms, magnesium has been depleted from the soil.

Functions of magnesium:
Needed for healthy bones
Involved in nerve transmission
Initiates muscle release
Activates energy synthesis
Promotes healthy blood vessels
Inhibits platelet aggregation
Lowers blood pressure
Increases HDL cholesterol
Involved in temperature regulation
Helps control blood sugar
Promotes wound healing
Enhances immune function

 

What Are Bacteria And How Do They Affect Our Food?

What are bacteria?

Before we can understand how bacteria affect your food, we need to define the term: what are bacteria?

How do we define bacteria?

Bacteria are single-celled microorganisms which can exist either as independent (free-living) organisms or as parasites (dependent upon another organism for life). They are about 0.5 to 2 micrometers in size. A grain of sand is 2 millimeters is size. This means you could fit 1000 bacterial cells into a single grain of sand. This means we can only see bacterial cells through the microscope.

Other than through the microscope, bacteria form what we call “colonies” which have millions of cells which allow us to easily see bacteria in a medium that is grown in the lab known as agar plates. This is the simplest method used, in order to identify and see bacteria. We use this method to count how many bacteria are present in for example a swab of a cutting board. Greater than 300 colonies is considered dirty and contaminated.

These were one of the very first organisms to exist on our planet, so they are very, very old and have co-existed with humans since the beginning. There are millions of different types of bacteria, some good for you and some very dangerous to your health.

Where can you find bacteria?

Bacteria live in water, soil, in plants and in animals. Bacteria are so prominent on earth that they also live in some of the most extreme environments, such as the deep ocean, hot springs and there is even evidence that bacteria lived on mars.

As an example, bacteria on a human associated level grows in your gut, on your skin and in your hair (eye-lashes included). So much so, that recent research has shown that the makeup of the different kinds of bacteria in your gut and skin is MORE unique than a fingerprint.

Bacteria also grows and survives in the food that we eat, raw meat and vegetables by design must be cooked so that we as humans can consume these foods without getting sick from the bacteria that thrive in these environments.

There are two main distinctions for bacteria which we define as gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria.

We use this distinction to group the various types of bacteria by how the look and behave. All commonly occurring bacteria fall under these two categories. Suffice to say we identify bacteria in the lab with a simple test that we use as a broad category to determine which bacteria we are looking at. This test is known as a Gram stain. This means that there are two main types of bacteria that look and behave differently from each other. With this method we are able to see bacteria under the microscope.

This test also helps us see the shape of the bacteria. There are three shapes, bacilli (rod-shaped), cocci (circular), and spirilla (corkscrew shaped).

What Do Bacteria Need to Survive?

There are 6 elements in the environment that allow bacteria to grow and survive:

Temperature

Moisture Content

pH

Nutrient Content

Oxygen

Time

Temperature

In general (with bacteria there are always exceptions) we see that bacteria can survive in a very large temperature ranges. Bacteria can live between 0 to 60 °Celsius (32 – 122 °Fahrenheit), however on a human associated level they grow at their best between 20 and 45 °Celsius (68 – 113 ° Fahrenheit).

This is because the bacteria that we are concerned with have adapted to our internal bodies, in order to infect and contaminate our bodies. Therefore the absolute best temperature is 37 ° C (98 ° F).

Moisture (Water activity)

Bacteria can grow mostly in moisture rich environments. In food, bacteria love moisture rich conditions. Water activity means how much water is available in a food product. Such an example would be cucumbers, there is a high availability of water in cucumbers, lettuce and celery (95%). When compared to dried spices (5 – 50%). Most bacteria need at least 80% water to survive.

Nutrient content

As we as humans need nutrients to survive, so does bacteria. With nutrient high content, food is a perfect source of nutrients for bacteria to grow. Which is why we need to have very good hygiene standards in the kitchen. Food is an ideal environment for bacteria. The skin of humans and animals are also an example of a high nutrient source for bacteria. Bacteria require sources of carbon, nitrogen, phosphorous, iron and a large number of other minerals.

pH (acidity)

The pH or acidity level also affects how bacteria grows and how effectively bacteria can survive within the environment. Bacteria in food ranges from 5 to 8 pH. This means items such as vinegar is unlikely to allow bacteria to survive.

Lemons are always a popular food when anti-bacterial properties are mentioned. Indeed the pH does discourage the growth of bacteria, but is not a major factor when killing bacteria that occurs from cross-contamination. meats, spinach and milk are within the ideal pH range of bacteria. Yogurt has a pH just below the ideal range, and is general considered less risky than milk because of this.

Oxygen

Bacteria can grow in both oxygen rich and poor environments. This means sealed and unsealed products. Therefore, vacuum packed meals and foods are not free from concern. This also means exposing foods to the environment and leaving food uncovered allows bacteria to grow.

Time

The longer bacteria are exposed to the above factors in their ideal conditions, the more established the bacterial cells become. These factors are all dependent on time, and bacteria can rapidly multiply within 15 to 45 minutes.

Summary

We now know that bacteria can survive in temperatures of between 0 – 65ºC (32 – 149ºF)

Grow best at 20 – 45 ºC (20 – 113ºF).

They rapidly multiply in 15 – 45 minutes in these ranges.

Moisture rich environments are favourable.

Can survive at pH of 3.0 – 7.5

Can survive in oxygen rich and poor conditions.

As you can see, bacteria are similar to humans in what they need to survive, hence there are human associated bacteria, and as a result, bacteria that occur in the foods that we consume.

 

8 Foods To Fight Stress

Under stress – whether it is work, study or a relation, dietary habits change substantially. Some people lose their hunger when under stress whilst others tend to overeat – most often fatty, sugary and junk foods. Always blaming stress for making poor food choices is not the right approach. In fact, making the right food choices will help stabilize blood sugar levels and your emotional response. Good nutrition helps in balancing your stress hormones, relieving stress and boosting your mood.

Here are 8 foods to reach out for when you have just about had enough which will calm and soothe you.

OATS: Being a complex carbohydrate, oatmeal causes your brain to produce serotonin, a feel-good chemical. Serotonin calms you down and makes you feel good. Oats are also rich in beta-glucan, which help in lowering blood cholesterol level and also help in weight management.

NUTS: Nuts help replenish Vitamin B stores that are depleted in stress. The B vitamins help us manage the fight or flight response in stress. The potassium in nuts also helps keep the blood pressure in check thus reducing the strain on the heart.

SALMON: Eating salmon on a regular basis has been linked to reducing the risk of getting depression because of the omega 3 fatty acids present in it. It can reduce stress and anxiety in individuals when eaten even twice a week.

LEAFY GREENS: Leafy greens contain folate that produces dopamine in your brain. Dopamine is involved in the emotional regulation in the brain thus keeping you happy. Besides folate, magnesium in the leafy greens also helps in keeping us calm and good.

SEEDS: Seeds like the sunflower seeds, flax seeds, watermelon seeds, etc have stress-reducing benefits. These tiny powerhouses are rich in magnesium that promotes a healthy nervous system. They also are full of tryptophan which is an amino acid that helps in the production of serotonin that helps you feel calm.

AVOCADOS: Avocados are rich in the stress relieving B vitamins, Vitamin C and folate. They also contain potassium that naturally helps in lowering blood pressure. This makes them one of the best foods for relieving stress and anxiety.

MILK: Milk contains tryptophan, an essential amino acid which is a precursor for the neurotransmitter Serotonin. Serotonin is a “feel good” chemical known to promote relaxation and calm in a person. And, milk taken with another carbohydrate will help in the absorption of tryptophan.

LENTILS & BEANS: Being stressed can be detrimental to your nerve health. Lentils and beans are rich in magnesium, folate and potassium which help calm the nerves, reduce anxiety and promote brain health.

Researchers have found that eating a diet of processed, sugary and fatty foods increases the chances of stress and depression. So, as a general rule steer away from these foods if you are looking to improve your mood. Eating a healthy diet not only helps in maintaining a healthy body weight but also helps in keeping the moods in order.

 

Protein Ingredients to Witness Higher Demand With Heightening Consumer Interest in Health & Fitness

Looking at the estimates by the United Nations (UN), the global population is increasing rapidly to reach 9.5 billion by the end of 2050. Along with increasing population and globalization, the global demand for food products is rising significantly. The world is undergoing various socioeconomic changes such as rising disposable income, ageing population, and urbanization. Consumers are becoming more health-conscious and aware of the contribution of protein-rich food in healthy living, which is causing a transition in dietary patterns at the individual level. Increasing needs for adding protein in a healthy diet is leading to boost demand for protein ingredients globally.

Proteins – Building Blocks of Muscle Tissues

Proteins are organic compounds that are primarily made of 20 different types of amino acids. Amino acids play many critical roles by supporting almost all the metabolic processes in the human body. As the body cannot produce some types of amino acids, introducing protein-rich food products in a diet is important so as to avoid protein-deficiencies. Consumption of adequate amount of proteins is necessary for building muscles and repairing body tissues. Proteins act as a big source of energy for the human body and improve immunity to fight antigens such as virus and bacteria. Subsequently, growing awareness about the importance of its consumption in a diet is boosting the growth of the protein ingredients market.

Types of Proteins Based on its Original Source

Food products that contain all the types of amino acids are referred as complete proteins. Complete proteins are usually derived from animal-based food products. On the other hand, proteins derived from plant-based foods, which are called complementary proteins, are not considered as complete proteins. Plant-based foods need to be consumed in combination with animal-based food in order to add complete proteins in a diet.

As the human body cannot store proteins, plant-based foods and animal-based foods are the only sources for providing proteins to the body. Foods that contain animal-based proteins are fish, meat, eggs, dairy, and poultry, and foods that contain plant-based proteins mainly include nuts, lentils, and beans. Proteins derived from plants and animals are distinguished according to different types of amino acids contained in plant-based and animal-based foods. Animal-based protein ingredients contain a wide range of essential amino acids, whereas some plant-based proteins contain a relatively lower amount of amino acids. Even though some types of vitamins and nutrients are high in animal protein sources, consuming certain types of meat can cause diseases.

Consumers are becoming more conscious about their dietary intake and making critical choices while adding protein ingredient to their diet. Protein ingredient manufacturers in the world are keenly monitoring the factors influencing purchasing decisions of consumers. Consumer insights are expected to make a significant impact on the manufacturing and marketing strategies of protein ingredient manufacturers in the world.

Product Innovation to be a Popular Trend Among Protein Ingredient Manufacturers

Arla Foods, a Denmark-based manufacturer of dairy products, recently launched a new range of Complementary Feeding products that contain high-quality whey protein. The new product range supports dietary transition in infants from breast milk or infant formula to solid foods. The company also stated that the Complementary Feeding range contains whey protein extracted from cows’ milk as a primary ingredient, which delivers several health benefits such as allergy management, gut health, and bone development in babies.

FrieslandCampina DMV B.V, a global player in the protein ingredients market, unveiled a new product ‘Nutri Whey Native’, which is a natural and pure source of whey protein. The company incorporated advanced technologies such as ceramic microfiltration technology to ensure the nativity of the product. It targets growing consumer needs for natural and healthy products, by adding a high nutritional value in the product. More than 14% of leucine contents in ‘Nutri Whey Native’ make it simpler to reach the adequate levels of leucine for excellent muscle protein synthesis.

Cargill Inc., one of the biggest food manufacturers in the world, is currently focusing more on recognizing the exact consumer demands and introducing innovative protein ingredients. Cargill Inc. polled over 1,000 Americans in Dec. 2017 for its Feed4Thought survey, according to which around 62% millennials showed interest in protein ingredients with natural supplements. In the conclusion of the survey, the company mentioned that consumers are preferring protein ingredients derived from animals fed with natural feed additives. After identifying the growing demand for protein and increasing consumption of meat in the U.S., Cargill Inc. invested over $850 million in its animal protein business. The company is leveraging the latest developments in meat science, supply chain, and food trends to ensure long-term growth in the industry.

As consumers are becoming more health-conscious and are willing to change their dietary patterns with the inclusion of proteins, the global demand for protein ingredients is increasing rapidly. Apart from adopting innovative manufacturing technologies, market players are incorporating unique marketing strategies to attract more consumers. Collaborating with leading athletes to promote premium protein ingredients for sports nutrition may continue to be a popular trend among established food companies in the market. For instance, Brazil’s Adriano Bastos – an eight-time marathon winner – and Denmark’s Maja Alm – a gold-medalist in Orienteering and cross-country running – signed on as ambassadors for ‘Lacprodan® HYDRO.365’. ‘Lacprodan® HYDRO.365’ is the premium whey protein hydrolysate manufactured by Arla Foods.

 

Cookbooks Throughout History: Foodie Treasure Troves

Author’s note: keep in mind that the word “recipe” came from the word “receipt,” which you will see used in early books.)

Our fascination with cookbooks has virtually no limit. Celebrity chefs make millions on their beautifully illustrated cookbooks, many of which are never really used other than for fantasy. And basic classics like Better Homes & Gardens, Betty Crocker or Pillsbury will always sell. But before the nineteenth century, if a young woman or servant wasn’t taught culinary skills growing up, she was in for a rough trial-and-error period as she found herself pressed into service with a new husband and growing family. If she was able to read, she might find a few well-worn stained pages to consult but that was the extent of it.

Early cookbooks were for the wealthy only (especially royalty) and most of the castle kitchen staff couldn’t read. Of course very early cookbooks proved to be a bit daunting for the average farmer’s wife, like Forme of Cury (14th century) by the Master Cooks of King Richard II of England. Seems the portions were a tad overwhelming and one meal might require spending an entire year’s food budget for the average peasant. In Germany and England many of the books were written by women, who saw what was needed in households with fewer or no servants, and understood what made it possible to simplify the dishes with less expensive ingredients.

So for basic bona fide cookbooks, here are some which stand out, many of which are still in publication today:

Hannah Glasse’s The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy (1747) was the top selling English-language cookbook for over a century, and had a major influence on early American cooking; even Martha Washington had a copy in her Mount Vernon kitchen;

Martha Bradley, in the 1756’s wrote The British Housewife taking recipes from earlier books but reworking them in her own personal style;

Fifteen Cent Dinners for Working-Men’s Families was published in New York in the late 1870s, and similar books could be found at the same time across Europe, a bit more practical for the average laborer. Presumably, creative ways to prepare poor man’s potatoes and turnips gave way to meats and fresh vegetables (hot dogs and boxed mac and cheese had not made their appearance yet);

Amelia Simmons’ American Cookery (1796) one of the first cookbooks printed in America, it made a significant impact on American colonials after the Revolutionary War;

Mary Randolph’s The Virginia Housewife (1824) still considered one of the best for authentic southern cuisine, it includes recipes for barbecued pork, okra soup, and numerous other traditional southern recipes (her brother was married to the daughter of first foodie president Thomas Jefferson, which didn’t hurt);

Lydia Marie Child’s The Frugal Housewife (1829), although a slim volume, it was popular with pioneers and light travelers, as it emphasized affordable, available foods (after all, there were no supermarkets on the frontier);

Eliza Leslie’s Directions for Cookery, In Its Various Branches (1837) the author of several volumes in the nineteenth century, her culinary fame began in 1828 with the publication of Seventy-Five Receipts for Pastry, Cakes, and Sweetmeats, a veritable bible for foodies with sweet tooths; inspiration came largely from the cooking school of Mrs. Goodfellow, a celebrated baker in Philadelphia;

The Confederate Receipt Book: A Compilation of Over One Hundred Receipts, adapted during the Civil War (1863) when Naval blockades prevented many foods from reaching the South,where growing cotton and tobacco was far more common than food;

Charles Ranhofer’s The Epicurean (1894) for over a century Delmonico’s Restaurant in New York City was the epitome of find dining during the late Victorian period, hosting dinners for presidents like Ulysses S. Grant, and writers like Charles Dickens; known for their unique and ornate presentations, the most elaborate of dishes were prepared under the masterful eye of chef Charles Ranhofer; this huge heavily-illustrated tome contains mostly classic French recipes;

Fannie Merritt Farmer’s Boston Cooking-School Cook Book (1896), and thanks to her we have detailed, step-by-step instructions in cookbooks that use standardized measurements for ingredients;

Rufus Estes’ Good Things To Eat (1911) his cookbook was preceded by the first from an African American, namely Robert Roberts’ The House Servant’s Directory from 1827, which featured recipes of the wealthy New England families he was accustomed to working for;

Irma Rombauer’s Joy of Cooking (1931) among the best-selling cookbooks in American publishing history, the Joy of Cooking was originally self-published by Mrs. Rombaue, keeping her busy after her husband died, but with its unexpected initial success, she entered into a contract with a publisher;

Landmark books and chefs which have made a major contribution over the last sixty or seventy years include:

Ruth Graves Wakefield, restaurant owner and the creator of the original Toll House cookie, was a popular cookbook writer in the 1930s;

Although more famous for her marijuana-laced brownies, Alice B. Toklas was actually an accomplished cook, and her mid-twentieth century cookbook made a major impression on cooks of the future; Julia Child’s cookbooks changed America’s basic more conservative cuisine;

One of the premier cookbooks of all time, Georges Auguste Escoffier, revered French chef and considered the father of fine French cuisine, published Le Guide Culinaire, in the early years of the 20th century;

So there you have it. A brief walk through time with those early pioneers who put the art of cooking on the map and still give foodies goose bumps.