Culinary Curiosity. Oysters: Maybe aphrodisiac, definitely delicious...

Aug 25, 2012 by

By Jennifer Brule` Jennifer Brule` is a classically trained chef, food writer and mother. Each of her hip and sassy columns feature an ingredient demystified with humor and facts. Contact her at jennifer@thefoodsyndicate.com. Oysters have forever been the object of myth and intrigue. Coveted by some because of their crisp, delicately salty, oceanic flavor. Repulsive to others because of their gelatinous, gray appearance. And of course, who can discount the bivalve’s infamous, if not altogether dubious aphrodisiac reputation. When live oysters are eaten raw, eager diners wedge the shellfish open, drizzle them with a bit of lemon, cocktail sauce or maybe sauce mignonette (a classic French sauce of vinegar, shallots, parsley and peppercorns), and slide them off the shells into their mouths where they ease down the gullet and into the gastric abyss. A...

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Do you like smoked food? There are things you should know about...

Aug 18, 2012 by

Mesquite wood is used in barbecuing and smoking foods. It gives foods a slightly sweet smokey flavour. Mesquite is the common name for several small spine hardwood trees or shrubs of the genus Prosopis in the pea family. They are native to the southwestern U.S., Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean Islands. Although you may like smoked foods, they contain polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons which are known carcinogens. Smoked foods are known to be carcinogenic when eaten as a regular part of a person’s diet. Most people do not eat enough smoked foods for this to be a major concern. HOWEVER, the hotter the wood or charcoal burns, the more polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons that are produced. And mesquite burns hotter than hardwood charcoal, and produces much more of these dangerous hydrocarbons. According to a study...

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The Restaurant Rat : Fast-Food Entree Salads: New Leaf or Fig Leaf?...

Aug 15, 2012 by

By Kathryn Martin Kathryn Martin has covered dining and entertainment from coast to coast – Los Angeles to South Carolina – for more than a decade. She admits to being picky about what she eats, and where she eats it. Fast-food restaurants have taken a lot of heat recently about their contribution to the nation’s growing obesity problem. Consumer advocates have criticized these eateries for the preponderance of fat-laden choices on their menus, their “super-sized” portions and lack of nutritional guidance to diners. In an avowed effort to become part of the solution instead of part of the problem, McDonald’s Corporation has taken a first step toward turning the tide of obesity in America – or at least, of its own bad press on the subject. Last month, the fast-food giant launched a line...

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Cutting the empty calories in your baking. Includes a sugar-free muffin recipe...

Aug 11, 2012 by

By Mona Blaber, writer for the FoodSyndicate Take everything you hear about sugar with a grain of salt. It’s probably not as bad as a lot of people think, but it might be more damaging than most people realize. Those of us who blithely munch on muffins at breakfast and Pop-Tarts at lunch don’t seem to pay much heed to refined sugar and its many vehicles, including non-sweets such as peanut butter and bread. Those of us who have read William Dufty’s “Sugar Blues” – or any number of other anti-sugar rants – avoid it like the plague, which was caused by sugar, according to Dufty. If the mayonnaise in our cole slaw contains high-fructose corn syrup, we fear the imminent onset of gout, acne, dropsy, scurvy, depression and premature death. Which is silly,...

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Indulgent “health products”...

Aug 4, 2012 by

.. not the answer for the calorie conscious consumer. Low fat and reduced calorie snacks, cakes and biscuits are becoming increasingly popular and a new study by market analysts Mintel has found that weight conscious consumers are increasingly turning to these indulgent “health foods.” Nutritionists insist however that such products are only helping people to mislead themselves about dieting and the role of “health foods.” Mintel discovered that around a quarter of British adults are struggling with diets, and from the British Nutrition Foundation, Sarah Stanner warned dieters not to mislead themselves about the benefits of eating low-calorie versions of their favourite snack foods. She added that eating fruit and vegetables and taking plenty of exercise is the only way to get in shape. Medical experts believe that the proportion of the public who...

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