• April 4, 2021 /  Food

    The premise is simple. Take a chef, put him or her into the kitchen and watch them prepare their signature dishes. You might think that this would be boring after a bit but the public has proven this wrong.

    Food cooking shows are the “in” thing right now. We love the idea of making food and combine it with reality television and suddenly we come back week after week to see what happens next.

    Fox Network has uncovered a phenomenon with the cursing antics of Chef Gordon Ramsey. We cringe at his explosive attitude yet are somehow sympathetic at his attempts to turn would-be chefs into professionals.

    We might not want to put ourselves on the line of fire but we love watching other contestants wither under his furious stare and tirades. Our kitchens may not be stocked with fois gras but we still take something away from each episode.

    Food Network has a reality show titled “Who Wants to Be the Next Food Network Star” where amateur and professional cooks alike are given tasks to perform that somehow weed out the would-be television chefs from the rest.

    We root for our favorite contestants as the season progresses until only one contestant remains. He or she is then given a food cooking show of their very own.

    What is the fascination with meal preparation shows? Perhaps it is the ease at which dishes are prepared. It might be the professional cookware and charming personality of the hosts.

    Some of the most popular meal preparation show hosts is not formally educated at cooking schools. Thus they give us hope that anyone can prepare delectable dishes from the comfort of their own home.

    Whatever the reason behind our fascination, these shows has become an integral part of television viewing. As great chefs from the past such as Julia Child pass on, a new generation of friendly, knowledgeable faces comes to the forefront of culinary society.

    Perhaps it is the grand showmanship of Emeril LaGasse yelling out “BAM” or Rachel Ray’s cute acronyms such as EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil); we are drawn to our television sets and the expanding culinary world.

    As other television networks air cooking shows, especially ones where competition and cut throat antics by the participants are involved, we will continue to avidly watch food cooking shows.

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  • April 2, 2021 /  Food

    For most of us, brewing up our morning cup of coffee is more than just a necessity, it is a matter of convenience. Each night, millions of us coffee lovers pile heaping tablespoons of our favorite gourmet coffees into those paper filters, fill the tank of our coffee makers with water and set the timer so that our coffee is ready and waiting first thing in the morning.

    So if you are like me and you enjoy the finest gourmet and specialty coffees available, then you must also believe that they deserve the best and most reliable coffee brewing equipment available.

    Here is a quick list of the most popular coffee brewing methods & equipment starting from the best:

    French Press
    The French press coffee maker (or press pot) is universally recognized as the best brewing method, allowing for the truest coffee taste and aroma. This method actually brews the coffee in the hot water (as opposed to drip machines which only pass the water through the coffee and a filter). After a few minutes of brewing, a metal filter is pressed through the brew catching the coffee grinds and then trapping them at the bottom of the carafe. What is left over is full-bodied coffee with all its aroma and essences.

    One of the main advantages to using a French press, other than great coffee taste, is the amount of control you have. You can control the water temperature (which incidentally should be around 190 to 200 degrees Fahrenheit, a temperature that drip makers do not achieve), you can control the amount of coffee you want to add, and you can control the brew time. Four minutes of brew time and 30 seconds of “plunging” time is considered best.

    Another great feature about the French press is that it is extremely portable and only requires hot water. You can take it camping or use it in places with limited kitchen space, like a boat or an RV. Some press pots can also be used to brew loose leaf teas in the same manner.

    As an aside, you shouldn’t leave your brewed coffee in the press-pot with the grounds after you brew it! Either consume it or transfer it to a carafe, preferably a thermal carafe.

    Vacuum Brewer
    Vacuum brewers aren’t very common, but they make coffee just about as well as a French press since the coffee and water are brewing together. A vacuum brewer has an upper and a lower chamber connected by a tube with a small filter inside. Coffee grounds are placed in the upper chamber, and water is placed in the lower chamber. As the lower chamber is heated, the water rises up to meet the coffee in the upper chamber where the brewing begins. After brewing, the water (now coffee) cools and seeps back down into the lower chamber leaving the used coffee grinds behind in the upper chamber. Ideally, the upper chamber is removed and the lower chamber is used as a decanter for the finished coffee.

    Vacuum brewers can be electric, stovetop, or even used over a sterno can for dramatic tabletop brewing!

    The Toddy Maker
    The toddy maker or Cold-Brew Coffee Maker uses an unusual cold-brewing method that creates a coffee concentrate. This concentrate is then mixed with hot water to make coffee. The concentrate can be stored in a refrigerator and used to make one cup at a time if you so desire. This method produces a low-acid coffee, which is doctor recommended for coffee drinkers with stomach conditions.

    Although this method of coffee brewing is sounds a bit odd, the result in taste is pleasantly surprising. One drawback is the amount of time it takes to brew. A good idea is to brew the coffee overnight. Once brewed, the concentrate can produce more than just one pot of coffee, so it’s not a nightly event for a great cup of morning coffee!

    Drip Grind Coffee Makers
    Drip Grind coffee makers are the most common and usual coffee brewing method that we are familiar with.

    In this method, water is dripped over and passes through the coffee grinds and a filter and is caught by the coffee pot below. Despite being the most common brew method it also happens to be the one which produces a coffee brew with the least amount of flavor and aroma.

    There are generally 2 filter options for the drip grind coffee makers.

    Permanent filters: are just what they say, permanent. They are usually gold-plated so they don’t add any unwanted metallic taste to your coffee, resistant to corrosion so they are dishwasher safe and economical because they don’t need replacing. Permanent filters are preferred because they allow for better coffee taste as opposed to the second filter option, paper filters.< are the most common filter choice for the drip grind coffee makers. Unfortunately, paper filters can filter out more than just coffee grinds. Flavorful oils can be left behind in the filter and not make it to the finished coffee brew resulting in less coffee flavor and aroma. Since permanent filters allow for more liquid to pass through, the end result is a more flavorful cup.

    As you can see, the most common brew method happens to be the one which produces the least amount of coffee flavor and aroma. Since, mornings usually need to be made quick and simple, most people have never had their coffee brewed any other way. If you are one of these people, don’t just splurge on gourmet coffee’s, get a small French press maker, start experimenting and experience the truest coffee flavor & aroma in each cup.

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  • March 30, 2021 /  Food

    When you start eating more raw foods, you may find you’re not as thirsty or don’t need as much water or other beverages as you normally do. There are several reasons for this.

    First of all, raw foods, such as raw fruits and vegetables have a higher volume of water in them, so your body is getting the hydration it needs from foods.

    This doesn’t mean you should stop drinking water or juices. You don’t want to adopt some of the more radical elements of the raw food trend. First and foremost, listen to your body. It will tell you what it needs. If you’re overweight, sluggish, tired, depressed, your body might be telling you to make some dietary changes, and raw foods might be one way to alleviate some physical disorders.

    But if you’re overweight and have symptoms of Type II diabetes, overwhelming thirst can be one symptom. When you start consuming more raw foods, with a higher fiber and moisture content, you may start to lose weight, and that can go a long way to reducing your blood sugars.

    If you’re not overweight, or don’t have Type II diabetes, you still might find you’re not as thirsty as you normally are. First of all, if you’re drinking water and juices, you’re not consuming caffeine, which is so dehydrating and makes you thirstier. And by not consuming as much in the way of cooked foods or especially highly processed foods, which have astronomical sodium counts, you won’t be as thirsty either.

    By consuming more raw, uncooked food, and pure water and fruit juices, you’re putting your body into balance. Keeping sodium to normal levels found in foods means you’ll start to require a more balanced amount of water. Don’t think of this as changing or taking away. Think of it as adding balance, and it will make the process of eating healthier much easier.

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  • March 30, 2021 /  Food

    For those who are interested to success in cooking career, selecting a good culinary school is very important to ensure you get a right culinary art degree that worth the most to your future culinary career. Here are a few tips to help you find a good culinary school. Read the rest of this entry »

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  • March 29, 2021 /  Food

    Coffee cultivation is not an exact science, but it has a tremendous impact on coffee quality. Although there are many factors and conditions that are likely to lead to the production of high quality coffee, there are many things that affect the taste of coffee that would appear to be more or less random. As powerful as it can be when sipped hot in the morning, it is a very adaptive crop, and when it comes to producing the highest quality, most expensive coffee, here are a some factors that influence it more than others. Read the rest of this entry »

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  • Coffee Yesterday and Today

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    March 26, 2021 /  Food

    HOW about a cafezinho, freshly made and piping hot? For some, this custom is on the wane, but Brazilians still enjoy the fame of drinking coffee from early morning till late at night. Inflated cost of coffee has not caused a hurried switch to other drinks. In fact, one third of the world’s population still are coffee drinkers. For instance, every year the Belgians drink 149 liters (39 gallons) of coffee, compared with only six liters (1.6 gallons) of tea. The average American drinks 10 cups of coffee to one of tea. In the Western world, only the British break the general rule by annually consuming six liters of coffee to 261 (69 gallons) of tea.

    Brazil holds the title as the world’s largest producer and exporter of coffee. In the first four months of 1977, receipts for exports of this “brown gold” reached the staggering total of $1,000,000,000 for 4.5 million bags, an all-time record.

    However, coffee is not at all native to Brazil. Would you like to know how the use of this almost universal drink developed, where it originated, and how it got to Brazil?

    Origin and Use

    The word “coffee” is derived from the Arabic qahwah, meaning strength, and came to us through the Turkish kahveh. Coffee’s early discovery is shrouded in legend. One story tells about Kaldi, a young Arabian goatherd who noticed his goats’ frolicsome antics after nibbling on the berries and leaves of a certain evergreen shrub. Moved by curiosity, he tried the mysterious little berries himself and was amazed at their exhilarating effect. Word spread and “coffee” was born.

    Originally, coffee served as a solid food, then as a wine, later as a medicine and, last, as a common drink. As a medicine, it was and still is prescribed for the treatment of migraine headache, heart disease, chronic asthma and dropsy. (Immoderate use, however, may form excessive gastric acid, cause nervousness and speed up the heartbeat. The common “heartburn” is attributed to this.) As a food, the whole berries were crushed, fat was added and the mixture was put into round forms. Even today some African tribes “eat” coffee. Later on, the coffee berries yielded a kind of wine. Others made a drink by pouring boiling water over the dried shells. Still later, the seeds were dried and roasted, mixed with the shells and made into a beverage. Finally, someone ground the beans in a mortar, the forerunner of coffee grinders.

    Coffee in Brazil

    Although coffee probably originated in Ethiopia, the Arabs were first to cultivate it, in the fifteenth century. But their monopoly was short-lived. In 1610, the first coffee trees were planted in India. The Dutch began to study its cultivation in 1614. During 1720, French naval officer Gabriel Mathieu de Clieu left Paris for the Antilles, carrying with him some coffee seedlings. Only one survived and was taken to Martinique. From Dutch Guiana coffee spread through the Antilles to French Guiana, and from there Brazilian army officer Francisco de Melo Palheta introduced it to Brazil by way of Belém, doing so about 1727. During the early nineteenth century, coffee cultivation started in Campinas and other cities of São Paulo State, and soon reached other states, especially Paraná.

    Nowadays, coffee plantations are planned with technical rigidity. Instead of sowing seeds in the field, seedlings are cultivated in shaded nurseries. About 40 days after planting, the coffee grain germinates. Its unmistakable appearance gave it the name “match stick.” After a year of careful treatment in the nursery, the seedlings are replanted outside.

    Usually on hillsides, the seedlings are placed in curved rows to make mechanized field work easier and to prevent soil erosion. Four years after planting, the trees are ready for the first harvest. All the while, irrigation boosts growth and output up to 100 percent.

    On the other hand, the coffee grower’s headache is his never-ending fight against insects and plant diseases, such as leaf rust and the coffee-bean borer. Rust is a fungus that attacks the leaves and may kill the tree. The coffee-bean borer is a worm that ruins the beans by eating small holes into them. Of course, there are effective fungicides and insecticides, but their constant use increases production cost.

    Preparation of the Coffee Beans

    On the plantation, coffee may be prepared by either a “wash” or a “dry” process. It is admitted that the wash process yields a fine quality product, since only ripe coffee berries are selected. But because of less work and lower cost, Brazilian coffee usually goes through the “dry” process.

    First, all the berries, from green to dry, are shaken off the bush onto large canvas sheets. Then they are winnowed with special sieves. Next, the berries are rinsed in water canals next to the drying patios, in order to separate the ripe from the unripe and to eliminate impurities. Afterward, they are spread out in layers for drying in the open air and sun. They are turned over frequently so as to allow even drying. Eventually, the dry berries are stored in wood-lined deposits until further use.

    The drying process, by the way, is of utmost importance to the final quality of the coffee. Some plantations, therefore, use wood-fired driers for more rapid drying, especially in rainy weather.

    In other Latin-American countries and elsewhere, the “wash” process is customary, although it is more time-consuming and costly. First, a pulping machine squeezes the beans out of the skin. They fall into large tanks where they stay for about 24 hours, subject to light fermentation of the “honey,” as the surrounding jellylike substance is called. After fermentation, the “honey” is washed off in washing canals. Next, the coffee is laid out to dry in the sun, as in the “dry” process. Some growers make use of drying machines, perforated revolving drums, in which hot air circulates through the coffee. Finally, the coffee beans pass through hulling and polishing machines. And just as the best quality coffees are hand-picked, so the inspection of the berries after washing is done by hand.

    Soon the last step is taken–packing the coffee in jute bags for shipment. The 60-kilogram (132-pound) bag, adopted by Brazil, is held world wide as the statistical unit. Bags are stacked in clean, well-aired warehouses. At last, the coffee is ready for sale.

    Classification, Commercialization and Cost

    The Instituto Brasileiro do Café (IBC: Brazilian Coffee Institute) supplies technical and economic aid to Brazilian coffee growers and controls the home and export trade. For classification, coffee is judged by its taste and aroma. No chemical test for quality has ever been possible. The senses of smell and taste are still the deciding factors. According to its source, preparation and drying, it is classified as strictly soft, soft (pleasant taste and mild), hard (acid or sharp taste) and rio (very hard type preferred in Rio de Janeiro). Other types are less important to the trade.

    For the last 20 years coffee has brought about 50 percent of Brazil’s export receipts. Some 15,500,000 persons are employed in its cultivation and trade. But Camilo Calazans de Magalhães, president of the IBC, warned that 1978 will present an unheard-of situation in the history of the coffee trade. For the first time ever, it will depend entirely on the harvest, as any stocks of Brazilian coffee outside Brazil will be exhausted by then. Additionally, the IBC fears that the specter of problems with frost, insects and diseases may unleash new losses in the 1977/78 and 1978/79 harvests.

    Very recently, a series of misfortunes befell some of the world’s large coffee producers, causing scarcity of the product, price increases–and a lot of speculation. It all began in July 1975. Brazil was hit by an exceptional cold spell, which destroyed almost half the plantations, or 200 to 300 million coffee trees. Next, in Colombia, a drought, followed by torrential rains, devastated their plantations. In Angola and Uganda, political unrest affected exports. And then an earthquake struck Guatemala.

     

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  • Recognized Culinary School

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    March 16, 2021 /  Food

    The culinary school provides several international recipe programs for the students. The professional and adroit chef and cooks present the practical learning of international dishes. These schools give many short term and long term programs. The culinary institutions give wide knowledge of variety of national and international meals, dishes preparation. The institutes provide excellent methods and process as well as complete knowledge required for food cooking. Read the rest of this entry »

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  • A Good Coffee Mug Makes Your Day

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    March 14, 2021 /  Food

    We all have a fetish for our favorite coffee mug, and you are no exception to it. Your cup exudes warmth. If some one dares to use it, you are sad, angry or disappointed.

    What are the ideal features of a good mug? Well each one of us has a different take on it. However there are tons in varied colors and styles to choose from. Read the rest of this entry »

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  • Buy a Case of Ramen to Begin a Food Storage Program

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    March 12, 2021 /  Food

    Food storage and emergency preparedness have been buzz words for decades among people who are trying to be prepared for whatever the future may bring. There are companies which provide elaborate plans and programs to help people buy the food they need in order to sustain themselves and their families during emergencies or natural disasters.

    Most people will never personally experience a devastating act of nature which will immediately change their lives and cause them to need to use their food storage. However, many families will have personal tragedies strike such as illness or loss of a job which may cause them to rely on food which they have stored for a rainy day.

    Several home based businesses have sprung up in the food storage and emergency preparedness arena. If people are interested in food storage, there are ways to earn money by working from home in these businesses. Several companies provide a network marketing and direct sales opportunity. People who have a passion for preparedness may find a lucrative business by sharing the knowledge and products with friends and neighbors.

    Complete devastation from such natural disasters as the earthquake a year ago in Haiti may not have been able to take advantage of personal food storage if there had been any. However, for most people food storage is a means of feeling some security in their day to day lives with the knowledge that they are prepared in case of an emergency.

    Ramen is a hot noodle dish which is popular in Japanese culture and among many Americans as it has become readily available in a packaged form which is simple and easy to prepare. Indeed, many high school and college students almost live on ramen. Although it is not as inexpensive when served in restaurants, it is a cheap meal which can be tasty and filling when made at home from the packaged instant variety.

    There are several different brands of ramen available in grocery stores. Fancier types of packaged noodles may also be found. They are convenient and easy to prepare. An extremely simple and inexpensive way to get started with a food storage program is to buy a case of ramen or several cases. With the price per package sometimes as low as ten cents, a case of twenty-four packages can be less than $3.00. You may find that your family enjoys it and uses it as a staple for their diet or as an after school snack.

    Food storage is a good idea for every family. An effective program may be started for only $50 a month. Whether it is done on a serious basis with a plan or just being prepared with food for a few days, it is wise to have some extra food stored. If you are interested in a feeling of security, check it out and get started. Getting into a home based business may be another way of being prepared.

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  • Wake Up And Smell The Coffee

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    March 10, 2021 /  Food

    Ever wondered how the morning cup of coffee washes off all the lethargy of sleep and kick starts your brain to face a brand new day? Does credit for coffee’s legendary refreshing effect go to the diminutive but obvious presence of caffeine? Can we reduce the virtues of such a great beverage to a mere work of a chemical? Clearly, the flavor, smell and arrogant upshot of caffeine all contribute towards making coffee a complete experience, rather than just a beverage.

    Coffee is basically prepared from the roasted seeds of the coffee plant. The coffee beans – as the seeds are referred to – are roasted and powdered. The processing of coffee beans is a very labor intensive process. The roasting phase of processing considerably influences the final taste and odor of coffee and is thus the most significant part of the whole process. Roasting causes extremely complex chemical action that metamorphoses the insipid taste of the coffee seed to the great taste we all know and love. In some cases the coffee beans are even aged for a considerable period of time before they are roasted.

    The range and variety of the experience we call coffee is considerably huge. For the stringent coffee buff that prefers an experience devoid of caffeine, decaffeinated coffee hits the mark. There are the darker roast styles that justify the word ‘black coffee’. There are even special flavored coffees in the market for people who need a twist in the tale. There is no end to the ways you can get your cup of coffee.

    But, coffee is more than just a hot liquid in a cup. Its significance and influence extend in all aspects of society and culture. The coffee houses of the 16th century started off a trend of using coffee as an excuse and means of getting people to socialize. Coffee is the greatest social lubricant ever invented, capable of bringing people together to mingle, talk, debate and decide. The coffee houses of India became the axis and base camp of the workers struggle where people and propaganda celebrated the birth of a new political age. In Sweden and the Nordic countries, coffee is an important cornerstone of their culture.

    In the past, coffee had a religious and spiritual significance. This appears quite natural given the experience of coffee is nothing short of divine. The early Arabs created wine from the coffee fruit which was used during religious ceremonies. In many cultures coffee naturally substituted wine when wine was prohibited.

    The experienced connoisseurs of coffee indulge in coffee cupping. Coffee cupping is simply a great excuse to turn your love for coffee into a professional pursuit with all the semblances of any grave enterprise. Some professional coffee tasters are so proficient in drinking coffee they can identify the geographical origin of coffee from its taste.

    Coffee is a great accompaniment for any informal meal, typically as an integral component of breakfast. In relatively more formal settings, like for instance, in a restaurant, coffee fits in perfectly during the dessert course. It’s obvious that coffee is a great accompaniment to anything from pastries, cookies, shortbread to muffins. But, if the coffee lovers of the world are to be taken seriously, coffee goes with any occasion or time no matter what.

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