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Gastronomic Expeditions
My Experiments with Food
Curated by Ashish Umre
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The Best Way to Grill Sausages: Poach Them Right on the Grill

The Best Way to Grill Sausages: Poach Them Right on the Grill | Gastronomic Expeditions | Scoop.it

Sausages may seem like the one food you don't need instructions for grilling, but actually much can go wrong. Sausages burst, burn on the outside while staying raw in the center, or shrivel up. Serious Eats' meticulous experiments show how to cook the perfect sausage: by poaching and grilling at the same time.If you're a grill master, you may already be poaching or roasting sausages in the oven before finishing them on the grill. However, with that method, Serious Eats' J. Kenji López-Alt says, you don't get as much smoke flavor, due to the short grilling time. Also, it's kind of a hassle.

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Good mood foods: Some flavors in some foods resemble a prescription mood stabilizer

Good mood foods: Some flavors in some foods resemble a prescription mood stabilizer | Gastronomic Expeditions | Scoop.it

New evidence reveals the possibility of mood-enhancing effects associated with some flavors, stemming at least in part from natural ingredients bearing a striking chemical similarity to valproic acid, a widely used prescription mood-stabilizing drug, scientists reported in Philadelphia. This effect joins those previously reported for chocolate, teas and some other known comfort foods.

 

They presented the study of more than 1,700 substances that make up the flavors of common foods at the 244th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society.

 

"Molecules in chocolate, a variety of berries and foods containing omega-3 fatty acids have shown positive effects on mood. In turn, our studies show that some commonly used flavor components are structurally similar to valproic acid," said Karina Martinez-Mayorga, Ph.D., leader of a research team that has been studying the effects of flavors on mood. She described research done while working at the Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies, and now is with the

Chemistry Institute at the National Autonomous University of Mexico.

 

Sold under brand names that include Depakene, Depakote and Stavzor, valproic acid is used to smooth out the mood swings of people with manic-depressive disorder and related conditions.

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Steve Kingsley's curator insight, July 27, 2013 1:21 PM

Seems to me the companies producing Depakene, Depakote, Stavzor, and similar products have mimicked nature, not the other way around.

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Researchers discover earliest use of Mexican turkeys by ancient Maya

Researchers discover earliest use of Mexican turkeys by ancient Maya | Gastronomic Expeditions | Scoop.it

A new University of Florida study shows the turkey, one of the most widely consumed birds worldwide, was domesticated more than 1,000 years earlier than previously believed.

 

Researchers say discovery of the bones from an ancient Mayan archaeological site in Guatemala provides evidence of domestication, usually a significant mark of civilization, and the earliest evidence of the Mexican turkey in the Maya world. The study appears online in PLoS ONE today.

 

The discovery of the turkey bones is significant because the Maya did not use a lot of domesticated animals. While they cultivated domesticated plants, most of their animal protein came mostly from wild resources, said lead author Erin Thornton, a research associate at the Florida Museum of Natural History on the UF campus and Trent University Archaeological Research Centre.

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How the brain reacts to the taste of fat

How the brain reacts to the taste of fat | Gastronomic Expeditions | Scoop.it

MRI scans show that fat in food can reduce activity in several areas of the brain that are responsible for processing taste, aroma, and reward.

 

"This is the first brain study to assess the effect of fat on the processing of flavor perception and it raises questions as to why fat emulsions suppress the cortical response in brain areas linked to the processing of flavor and reward," says Joanne Hort, associate professor in sensory science at the University of Nottingham.

 

 

 

 

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Citrusy Lamb Barbacoa

I know Mexican food may not be the first thing that jumps to mind when you think Lamb, but trust us on this one, it should be. The flavor of lamb falls nicely in between the more traditional pork and beef, and holds up well against the range of flavors you find in Mexican cooking.

 

Barbacoa is also a great preparation style for the boneless leg of lamb we were sent for the contest. Traditional Barbacoa is cooked in a pit, and wrapped in leaves. My recipe is closer to a slow braise, but the result is the same; tender, flavorful, morsels of meat. It is also very healthy. The long, slow cooking render the fat from the meat and breaks down the connective tissue.

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Ilegal Mezcal | The finest small batch, artisanal mezcal. 100% Agave.

Ilegal Mezcal | The finest small batch, artisanal mezcal. 100% Agave. | Gastronomic Expeditions | Scoop.it

ILEGAL-MEZCAL: The finest small batch, artisanal mezcal. 100% Agave. Hand crafted, bottled and numbered.

 

Ilegal Mezcal started as a journey full of banditos, river rafts, bribes, disguises, and late night drop points. Desperate for a good mezcal to stock at his bar, Cafe No Se, John Rexer began smuggling artisanal mezcal from Oaxaca, Mexico to Antigua, Guatemala in 2004. This story has more weird characters and crazy (mis)adventures than a really good Soderbergh film. It didn't take long for word to get out about this smooth and smokey spirit with the handwritten labels available from the backroom at Café No Se.

 

Soon, this mezcal was being carried one, two, three, bottles at a time, in the luggage of travelers, writers and photographers passing from Guatemala to New York, London, LA, Amsterdam, Berlin, Sydney. In late 2009, Ilegal Mezcal became legal and started appearing at select restaurants and bars in New York, Texas and California. Bartenders and mixologists were all over it. Many of them flying back with John to Oaxaca and Antigua to better understand this ancient elixir, and have a little adventure of their own. Today in New York it is carried in over 200 bars and restaurants and on the shelves everywhere, from neighborhood bars like Puffy's Tavern to haute cuisine spots like Daniel's. Foodies and roadies, burlesque dancers and bond traders alike are in love with the stuff.

 

Until now, Ilegal Mezcal has been a small operation consisting mostly of John's family, former girlfriends and former bartenders getting the word out, armed only with stickers, flasks and a penchant for staying out late. Nonetheless, the press caught wind of it and stories about John and Ilegal ran unprompted in the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times, The Miami Herald, Details, Maxim, Playboy, Wine & Spirits, Wine Spectator, Bon Appétit, and Edible Manhattan, and countless blogs. Each reporter more excited and intrigued than the next.

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Kadiri’s Rational combi steamer cooks ‘juicier’ tandoori dishes

Kadiri’s Rational combi steamer cooks ‘juicier’ tandoori dishes | Gastronomic Expeditions | Scoop.it

What cooks traditional tandoori better than a tandoor oven?  Kadiri’s answer: A Rational SelfCookingCenter® whitefficiency® Kadiri is one of the best known names in Indian restaurants.

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Kids who cook are hungrier for healthy food choices

Kids who cook are hungrier for healthy food choices | Gastronomic Expeditions | Scoop.it

Children who help cook at home are more likely to enjoy fruits and veggies than kids who don't cook, according to a new study.

 

A province-wide survey of Grade 5 students in Alberta suggests the best way to get your child to eat healthier foods -- and actually enjoy them -- is to have them help with meal preparation.

 

"Kids who like fruits and vegetables more tend to eat them more frequently and have better diets," said lead author Yen Li Chu, a post-doctoral fellow in the School of Public Health. "These data show that encouraging kids to get involved in meal preparation could be an effective health promotion strategy for schools and parents."

 

Published last month by Public Health Nutrition in an early online release, the study involved a survey of students in 151 schools across Alberta to learn about kids' experiences with cooking and food choices.

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Peaches, plums, nectarines give obesity, diabetes slim chance

Peaches, plums, nectarines give obesity, diabetes slim chance | Gastronomic Expeditions | Scoop.it

Peaches, plums and nectarines have bioactive compounds that can potentially fight-off obesity-related diabetes and cardiovascular disease, according to new studies.

 

The study, which will be presented at the American Chemical Society in Philadelphia next August, showed that the compounds in stone fruits could be a weapon against "metabolic syndrome," in which obesity and inflammation lead to serious health issues, according to Dr. Luis Cisneros-Zevallos, AgriLife Research food scientist.

 

"In recent years obesity has become a major concern in society due to the health problems associated to it," said Cisneros-Zevallos, who also is an associate professor at Texas A&M University. "In the U.S., statistics show that around 30 percent of the population is overweight or obese, and these cases are increasing every year in alarming numbers."

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Life Beyond Noma

Life Beyond Noma | Gastronomic Expeditions | Scoop.it
A few years ago, when the attention of the food world was about to shift north to Scandinavia, a presiding wunderkind at Copenhagen's Noma restaurant was kitchen sous chef Christian Puglisi. In 2009, Mr. Puglisi, now 29 years old, decided to leave Noma, along with Kim Rossen, a young waiter and chef, and the two made plans to open their own restaurant.

 

The result, called Relæ, opened in August 2010 in Copenhagen's funky Nørrebro district, and was followed last year by Manfreds og Vin, a neighboring wine bar featuring natural wines. Relæ showcases Mr. Puglisi's eclectic culinary mind-set—the result of a Sicilian father, a Norwegian mother, a Danish adolescence and a stint working at Spain's El Bulli restaurant—and the partners' preference for small wine producers.

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Tequila And BioFuel Breakthrough

Tequila And BioFuel Breakthrough | Gastronomic Expeditions | Scoop.it

The tequila industry is one of the most profitable in Mexico, but during the preparation of this waste is produced mezcal available and is difficult to find how to make a challenge.

 

In this regard, the company Carbon Diversion Latin America has a technology able to convert various biomass in a renewable energy source and has started with the agave.

 

According to the engineer Francis Xavier Pérez-Villaseñor Verdia, CEO of the company, the process required to receive waste from the tequila industry, which will be squeezed, crushed and dried until a moisture level below 12 percent. Then be milled and subjected to a compression process or densified with the aim of converting them into briquettes (cylinder diameter of 10 centimeters with a length varying from 3 to 30 centimeters).

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Spiral Cut Hot Dogs Before Grilling for Maximum Meaty Goodness and Plenty of Room for Toppings

Spiral Cut Hot Dogs Before Grilling for Maximum Meaty Goodness and Plenty of Room for Toppings | Gastronomic Expeditions | Scoop.it

Cooking a hot dog isn't rocket science, but making that hot dog something really special can be trickier than loading it up with toppings. The fine folks at Chow suggest giving your hot dog a quick spiral cut before putting it on the grill: It'll cook up perfectly straight, you boost the surface area so you get more of that nice grilled flavor, and once it's on the bun there are plenty of nooks and crannies for relish and other toppings to fit into.

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Mediterranean diet enriched with olive oil may protect bone

Mediterranean diet enriched with olive oil may protect bone | Gastronomic Expeditions | Scoop.it

A study to be published in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism (JCEM) shows consumption of a Mediterranean diet enriched with olive oil for two years is associated with increased serum osteocalcin concentrations, suggesting a protective effect on bone.

 

Age-related bone mass loss and decreased bone strength affects women and men alike are an important determinant of osteoporosis and fracture risk. Studies have shown that the incidence of osteoporosis in Europe is lower in the Mediterranean basin. The traditional Mediterranean diet, rich in fruits and vegetables, with a high intake of olives and olive oil could be one of the environmental factors underlying this difference.

 

“The intake of olive oil has been related to the prevention of osteoporosis in experimental and in vitro models,” said José Manuel Fernández-Real, MD, PhD, of Hospital Dr. Josep Trueta in Girona, Spain and lead author of the study. “This is the first randomized study which demonstrates that olive oil preserves bone, at least as inferred by circulating bone markers, in humans.”

 

The participants in this study were 127 community-dwelling men aged 55 to 80 years randomly selected from one of the Prevencion con Dieta Mediterranea (PREDIMED) study centers who had at least two years of follow-up. The PREDIMED study is a large, parallel group, randomized, controlled trial aimed to assess the effect of the Mediterranean diet on the prevention of cardiovascular diseases.

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Tuna Ceviche with Avocado and Cilantro Recipe

Tuna Ceviche with Avocado and Cilantro Recipe | Gastronomic Expeditions | Scoop.it

With only a few ingredients, Rick Bayless's salpimentado (salt-and-pepper) ceviche is typical of what one would find at stands around the southern tip of Baja. Cooks often make it with sierra, a large and meaty Mexican fish, but tuna works just as well.

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Roasted sea bream with coriander and cherry tomatoes

Roasted sea bream with coriander and cherry tomatoes | Gastronomic Expeditions | Scoop.it

Ingredients:

 

1 sea bream or other fish suitable for roasting in the oven
3 garlic cloves
1/2 lemon
10 to 12 cherry tomatoes
1 sprig of coriander
1 stalk of rosemary
olive oil
salt and peppercorns to taste

 

1. Stuff two cloves of garlic (with the its peel), rosemary and lemon in the belly of the fish.

 

2. To prepare the wrapper, place a sheet of parchment paper on top of an aluminum foil sheet. On top of the parchment paper sheet, place a sprig of coriander and then on top of that place the fish after being seasoned with salt.

 

3. Sprinkle the fish with chopped garlic and a sprig of cilantro. Place the cherry tomatoes around the fish. Sprinkle with peppercorns.

4. Sprinkle with olive oil and close the wrapper. Put it into a preheated oven for 40 minutes.

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Human Ancestors Were Nearly All Vegetarians

Human Ancestors Were Nearly All Vegetarians | Gastronomic Expeditions | Scoop.it

Paleolithic diets have become all the rage, but they are getting our ancestral diet all wrong.

 

Right now, one half of all Americans are on a diet. The other half just gave up on their diets and are on a binge. Collectively, we are overweight, sick and struggling. Our modern choices about what and how much to eat have gone terribly wrong. The time has come to return to a more sensible way of eating and living, but which way? An entire class of self-help books recommends a return to the diets of our ancestors. Paleolithic diets, caveman diets, primal diets and the like, urge us to eat like the ancients. Taken too literally, such diets are ridiculous. After all, sometimes our ancestors starved to death and the starving to death diet, well, it ends badly. Yet, the idea that we might take our ancestral diet into consideration when evaluating the foods on which our organs, cells and existence thrive, makes sense. But what did our ancestors eat?

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Hot-and-sour oxtail

Hot-and-sour oxtail.

 

This traditional Asian dish will require a little extra shopping, but the result is worth it.

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How to cook perfect moussaka

How to cook perfect moussaka | Gastronomic Expeditions | Scoop.it

The first sunny day of spring always takes us by collective surprise yet soon we're throwing a strop if it dares to rain on our new espadrilles. Moussaka seems the perfect choice for this time of year, like bouillabaisse, or parmigiana; a dish which simultaneously manages to taste of sunshine, and boast warming qualities quite sufficient to see you through a spring shower.

 

It's not just a Greek dish – the name is Arabic, and it's known, in various forms, from Egypt to Romania. But the moussaka we know best is the one we brought back with us from a thousand Shirley Valentine-esque Ionian holidays. Meat, aubergines and a wobbly bechamel sauce should be the principal ingredients – but in what combination?

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Genetic gastronomy: how artists are bringing science to the dinner table

Genetic gastronomy: how artists are bringing science to the dinner table | Gastronomic Expeditions | Scoop.it

On the menu at the Planetary Sculpture Supper Club: to start, the "disappearing genome", a cocktail made from the rare pomelo fruit from Karnataka, India. Next up, "glowing sushi" -- a genetically modified species of zebrafish usually sold in the US as a glow-in-the-dark pet. And, for dessert, a refreshing mutagenic grapefruit sorbet.

The Planetary Sculpture Supper Club is what results when you invite artists, scientists, chefs and policymakers to dinner. "The name comes from how we sculpt the planet unconsciously, through our food choices," says artist and cofounder Cat Kramer. She and her partner Zack Denfeld, both 29, organise the meals in cities across the world, encouraging diners to imagine and debate the future of food.

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The Whisky Rule

The Whisky Rule | Gastronomic Expeditions | Scoop.it

The Whisky Rule is pretty simple. If you cancel a meeting less than 10 minutes notice, or if you miss it completely then you owe your counterpart a bottle of whisky.

 

Everyones time is important but sometimes mistakes should happen.

 

Rather than any sense of ill will being generated the mistake should be settled. The party who was left waiting should be compensated in some small way for their time.

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Eating Behavior May Be Shaped by Who You Eat With

How you eat may depend on who you’re eating with, according to a study published in the online journal PLoS ONE.Diners who eat together, the authors report, tend to mirror each other, taking bites of food at the same time. They call it behavioral mimicry, or “the process in which a person unwittingly imitates the behavior of another person.”

 

And they conclude that such insights have “significant implications for one’s health and well-being.”

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Pairing Cocktails With Food

Pairing Cocktails With Food | Gastronomic Expeditions | Scoop.it
As cocktails have moved toward center stage, restaurants and customers have been looking to pair cocktails with meals. The trick is to compromise the taste of neither the drink or the dish, says Dave Arnold, co-owner of the Booker and Dax bar.
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Mezcalita de Piña

Mezcalita de Piña | Gastronomic Expeditions | Scoop.it
Made with mezcal, grilled pineapple, jalapeño, and lime, this take on the classic margarita is smoky, sweet, and spicy, with an herbaceous kick from cilantro.
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