jueves, 4 de agosto de 2011

Food and Communications

Have you ever realized that when you turn on the T.V. it always shows about three or four food comertials, and you can't just think about anything else but that fried chicken or thick burger? Well, I'm not that crazy about junk food, I rather real food, to me a stuffed turkey makes me drool, and a good lamb chop makes me dream. 

Anyways, this isn't the point where I'm heading. Have you realize that in the past 10 years, you get to see more and more shows about ways to cook, how restaurants work, and there's have been campaigns to get people back into the kitchen. I'm a huge fan of Gordon Ramsey and Anthony Burdein. For real. I love Ramseys way to see the restaurant as a company or an actual mine of gold if you work it right, but also his passion for food. I've always wonder if I'd get to win a challenge with my eyes blind, and tell the names of all the things he'd make me smell and test (and Here, I'm talking about food and condiments only). 

Burdein's makes me wonder about the world and cultures, about the difference between two asian countries in the way they cook, eat and live. I wish I had the chance to know either one of them. I'd probably faint, or scream, or stay mute, I don't know... Most people dream about meeting U2, or some bands, but I have met Bono, and other artists, and it was like meeting regular people (I'm not saying that they are, just how I felt it), I dream about meeting those amazing chefs.

What's cool about these kind of shows, is that they approach people to food, to ways to cook... To flavors, to culture. In a world where is easier to go out and eat at some restaurant, and where is cheaper to buy frozen meals, and where there's no time to make a dinner for your family, they try to make a stop and say: Hey! this is an amazing thing! You can eat things that in other places they'd never dreamed. I wanted to be a chef, but my mom talked me out of it. She said: you'd be standing up for hours, you'll get cut, you'll have your hands full of blisters that will become hard... She talked me out hurting me in my vanity. I still cook things, and enjoy watching cooking shows, sometimes I look something up in the internet and make it at home.

Anyways, communications has brought food back into our lifes, they are getting bigger and bigger shows, where we dream tasting those dishes. I love to see the american and english culture, and I wish I had and oportunity like that to make the world know that there's a lot of food from southamerica that is worth knowing and tasting. I want to bring my land to a high point. I'm not saying I feel like it's gonna be easy, I don't know if I'll make it. But I'll sure try.

miércoles, 27 de julio de 2011

Poison and Food.

There's a few ingredients we use in a everyday basis, or something very close to that, that are basically poison. We eat it and enjoy it, some of them are so common that it was impossible for us to think that it contains some kind of danger in it. I was thinking about this while I cooked dinner tonight, I made Pasta bolognese, it turned out great, but... it contained tomatoes.

Did you know that "The leaves and stems of the tomato plant contain a chemical called “Glycoalkaloid” which causes extreme nervousness and stomach upsets. Despite this, they can be used in cooking to enhance flavor, but they must be removed before eating. Cooking in this way does not allow enough poison to seep out but can make a huge difference in taste." I found this out in this site, and learned that there are other ingredients I love that can possibly make me sick. I can't think about eating a pizza without mushroom, and I've been eating an apple a day to keep the doctor away.

But these are just a few  of the things we love and makes us sick. We all know about Fugu or pufferfish, that contains tetrodotoxin that can produce paralysis, convulsions, and death within 4 to 6 hours. But let's talk about a national produce for my country: The cassava (yuca). 

Cassava is a kind of root that grows mostly in south américa and is part of the food in a daily basis in most countries that grows the plant. Cassava roots and leaves should not be consumed raw because they contain two cyanogenic glucosideslinamarin and lotaustralin. These are decomposed by linamarase, a naturally-occurring enzyme in cassava, liberating hydrogen cyanide (HCN) (thanks wikipedia) well... this all means that you should not try to eat it raw. And the sweet cassava actually makes cyanide. If cassava is prepared incorrectly, it can be deadly. 

Ok, let's move on to another ingredient you can find in my country, and it's very dangerous to eat if you don't know how: Cashews. Most people think it is a nut, they are actually seeds. Cashews grow inside of a shell-like structure that grows on a fruit, and in my opinion, the fruit is way batter than the seed. If you go to a store and ask for "raw cashews" they are selling you previously baked seeds, why? because when they are really raw they contain urushiol, which is the same chemical that you’d find in poison ivy. You wouldn'd eat poison ivy, would you? If you consume urushiol in big ammounts it can be deadly. In small amounts you'd get simmilar reaction as you'd get with poison ivy or oak.

Have you heard on tv or from some boyscout that the nature gives the animals, plants and so on the colors to tell the world that they are dangerous to eat? The red, black, white and yellow. Those are the colors that says: Hey, if I don't kill you, I can make you feel sick, really sick! Well... They aren't quite wrong. If you see, most fruits and vegetables that are red, are possible poisonous: Apples, Cherries, Chilies, Tomatoes... And still we eat those. Most seeds most be baked or cooked before they can be eaten, or we'd be facing a very heavy stomachache. 

After all of this I find myself saying: thanks to those who dared eat this! I can't live without eating most of them.

jueves, 23 de junio de 2011

My week.

I started working , and I now realise how hard it is to make your own food to take to work, mostly because you get home from work and all you want to do is take your shoes off and watch TV. So I have this problem, I want to eat well at work, not bread/sandwiches everyday. I want fruits, grains, and everything you're supposed to eat to be healthy and stay well for as long as I can.

For a long time I worked at a hotel, where everyday, food was served, it wasn't the best quality food, but it was ok. Now, I do not have that. I have either to bring my food with me, go out eating, or just simply eat bread everyday. So I decided this:


This will be "Bring your food to work" day. Sunday night, I'll cook something nice, like chicken,or meat, with rice and spices or something tasty I can make at work.


On Tuesdays I figure it'll be nice to be "Go out to eat" day. Probably I'll end up eating at a naturist place, or just sushi, It doesn't matter, I'll just have to pick! =)


This is a busy day at work, they call every 5 minutes, so I can't really go out, and I don't like to eat in front of the computer, so this day will be "Have a BIG breakfast in the morning, so you won't get hungry for the whole day" day. I imagine myself having scrambled eggs with fruits, cereal, cheese, everything is valid. And at the end of work, I can go home and eat nice things.


Hard day, 'cause I can't think what else I can do...
Ok, I'll do this, in the morning, I'll bring a fruit (apples, pears, kiwis.. fruits), nuts and cereal. Plus, I'll have breakfast at home. That way I can have snacks, and when I go home, I'll eat a nice meal, with fish! Yes, this is the "Fish" day!!!


It's friday, friday.. Ok, no. Well yes it's friday. And as such I think a nice thing to do is start with a nice breakfast at home, come to work, have a sandwich and at the end of my shift, go out eat with my boyfriend.

Yes, I think this is a nice plan.

Tell me, what do you think?

miércoles, 15 de junio de 2011

Grocery Lists (or fast food part II)

Ok.. I've been reading some nice food blogs and realized something: Every single one has at least one post about their grocery lists.

"You are what you eat"

My mom always told me that when I asked her why we wouldn't go eat out like the other families I knew (or know). If I could go back in time, I probably would stop Ray Kroc, you know who he is, right? He made Mcdonald's a franchise. Why? just because it's food is so damn addictive! That's because of the sugar, the body uses sugar to work, but when it is in everything you eat (as you actually are doing in Mc donald's) your body keeps asking for more and more. So.. you probably started as a little kid eating just the Happy Meal, right? A tiny hamburger, tiny fries, and let's face it... You didn't want to go there for the food... You just LOOOOVED the toy inside and the playzone, right? And your mom and dad had to stay there for hours until you got tired and take you home.

Well... Mom, THANK YOU SO MUCH. There. She saved me from a lifetime of junk food, giving me fruits instead of candy, making food at home... Even my school lunches were made by this AMAZING woman. She woke up at 4:30 every school day to have everything ready for my sisters and me to take to school. Scons, muffins, sandwiches, pizzas (homemade style), cookies, you name it, I took it to school... And I hated it.

And so on... I grew up, confident and sure that my mom was doing wrong... Until I went to college, and learned to eat junk food for every meal for 2 or 3 years. Man... I grew! I started to understand my mother, and my body did too. So I went back to my roots, I buy everything I can from farmers markets, make my own food, with plenty vegetables. So this is how I ended up having this grocery list: (yes, sorry, I use Metric system)

4 Red apples
4 Pears
1 kg green grapes without seeds.
1 kg strawberry
300 gr mushrooms
500 gr potatoes
6 Oranges
1 Lettuce (sometimes roman, and depends on which is fresher)
1 kg of rice
1 kg of flour
4 Milk packs (around 4 gallons)
1 Garlic
1 Avocado

And that's my grocery list... Or at least, the grocery list I use the most.

We are what we eat. What do you think about that?