Ketchup – Pour It on

Ketchup, undoubtedly America’s favorite condiment, (followed closely by mayonnaise and salsa) is poured on virtually everything.. Who doesn’t know a ketchup addict who can’t get through one meal without ketchup on something. Or perhaps you are unabashedly one yourself.

A bottle of ketchup is found in approximately 97 percent of U.S. homes, but the present form we enjoy is relatively new, considering it has its roots in ancient China. The origin of the word ketchup is believed to be traced back to a Chinese word that can be loosely translated as ke-tep or kio-chiap. Or possibly from a Malay language sometimes referred to as kicap, kecap, ketjap. The precursor to our ketchup was actually a fermented fish sauce made from fish entrails, meat byproducts and soybeans, usually ground into a paste. This mixture not only added flavor to food, but was easy to store on long ocean voyages. As it spread along spice trade routes to Indonesia and the Philippines, British traders got hooked on the spicy, salty taste, and by he early 1700s. they took samples home to England and promptly modified the original recipe.

Even though tomato plants were introduced to England by way of South America during the 1500s, tomatoes were widely believed to be poisonous, along with other members of the nightshade family (eggplants and potatoes). The earliest usage in England was recorded in 1690 and spelled “catchup”; later the spelling of “ketchup” appeared around 1711, and the modified spelling “catsup” in 1730.

A famine in Italy during the late 1830’s led the starving superstitious folks to finally try tomatoes, and the population was pleasantly surprised when no one became poisoned,
leading to the popularity across Europe. The first Italian tomato sauce recipe appeared soon after the famine. Imagine Italian cooking without the tomato… unthinkable.

Tomato ketchup appeared in America in the early 1800’s. An enterprising Philadelphia native named James Mease incorporated the tomato into his recipe, setting off a revolution of tomato-based ketchup. By 1896, The New York Tribune estimated that tomato ketchup had become America’s national condiment and could be found “on every table in the land.” That might have been a bit of an exaggeration at the time, but certainly prophetic for the coming twentieth century, especially with the introduction of hot dogs at the two world fairs: Chicago and St Louis. Cooks and homemakers began scrambling for ketchup recipes to make at home along with the growing popularity of bottled versions. Many cookbooks featured recipes for ketchup made of oysters, mussels, mushrooms, walnuts, lemons and celery, but the Americans were the first to make the tomato its base for the prized condiment.

With many different versions of the condiment already in the U.S., a Pittsburgh businessman named Henry J. Heinz started producing ketchup in 1876 using tomatoes and vinegar as his chief ingredients, and he soon dominated the commercial market (and still does). By1905, the company had sold five million bottles of ketchup. The first recipes Heinz tried contained allspice, cloves, cayenne pepper, mace, and cinnamon. A second
included pepper, ginger, mustard seed, celery salt, horseradish, and brown sugar, along with the two primary ingredients, tomatoes and vinegar. Soon the country was hooked.

Americans currently purchase 10 billion ounces of ketchup annually, which comes out to approximately three bottles per person per year. That figure seems low, but keep in mind that Americans consume much of their ketchup outside the home, at restaurants and fast food locations.

So today, when you shake that bottle or open that packet, be thankful that your beloved ketchup is free from entrails and fish heads… and enjoy.

A Nutritional War Between Roasted And Raw Nuts – Which One Is Better?

Nuts are very healthy and have many essential minerals and nutrients that benefit your body. Many people eat them raw whereas, many people love to eat them roasted or cooked. You can eat them as a snack because it is ready to eat item. The best part is you can also use it to make various recipes such as Desserts, Biscuits, and Cakes etc. It is the fact that both raw and roasted nut have their own way to benefits the body, but it is the fact that roasted nut tends to be healthier than the raw one. Here is a difference between roasted vs. raw nuts that will help you to understand that which type is better for health.

  • The Nutrients Value – Roasted nuts are usually being roasted in little oil and contain salt that can increase value of the sodium intake. It is the fact that roasted nuts are rich in calories as compared to raw nuts, so if you are looking for a weight gain then, roasted nuts can be your best choice.
  • Taste Factor – Both types of nuts have their own different taste, but usually people like roasted nuts because it contains flavors. Raw nuts are simplistic in taste and sometimes a person gets bored by eating them. You can eat both of them as a snack as they both have their own unique taste and nutrition value.
  • Bacteria – Raw nuts have the higher chances of bacterial attack whereas, bacteria cannot affect the roasted nuts easily. It is the fact that a huge amount or harmful bacteria get eliminate after the roasting process. The number of contaminates also get removed after the cleaning process of the nuts that makes them safe for our health.
  • Chemical Process – Many manufacturers use the chemical method to roast the nuts, so it is very important to buy it from a trustworthy manufacturer to get the good quality product. Chemical harms the nutrition of the nuts and makes them tasteless because of which many people opt for raw nuts rather than the roasted one.

These are some differences between raw and roasted nuts. Both are good for health,so you can choose according to your taste and preferences. It is very important to buy the nuts from a good supplier to get fresh and premium products. Both roasted and raw nut are healthy in nature and they are available at a very affordable price, so one can easily buy them. Make sure to buy from a good manufacturer as a good one will always deliver you the fresh and pure products.

Vinegar – The Acid We Love

Vinegar has been in use for thousands of years and traces its heritage to China, as do many other condiments and staples of the modern diet. Going back to 2000 B.C. vinegar was disdained as a beverage due to its harsh acidic taste, but was soon incorporated into a myriad of foods and other uses, taking its place on the ships of the spice traders.

But perhaps getting a jump on the Chinese were the Babylonians, as recordings start about 5000 BC, when the Babylonians were using fruits to make wine and vinegar, most likely the date palm. (Let’s face it, apples were pretty scarce in Egypt.) Residues have been found in ancient Egyptian urns as far back as 3000 B.C. and, like the Chinese, it was a popular pickling agent. Centuries later, Cleopatra used vinegar daily for her many personal beauty treatments.

The Bible frequently refers to vinegar being used for bathing and embalming, and it was offered to Jesus Christ when he was crucified on the cross. In the Islam traditions, it is thought to have been a favorite of the Prophet Mohammed. Of course the European royalty were not to be left out, using it primarily in food preparation. (They weren’t big on bathing.)

Hippocrates, the father of medicine, prescribed apple cider vinegar to be mixed with honey for a variety of health complaints, including lung congestion and coughs. He theorized that vinegar could remove infection by applying it to the wounded area,which was vital for the armies of ancient Greece.

In 218 B.C. the Carthaginian general Hannibal pressed vinegar into service when he crossed the Alps. His troops discovered that heating vinegar then pouring it over large stones would dissolve them, making passage easier for their animals.

The army of King Louis XIII of France, in the early 1600’s, used vinegar to cool off the cannons of his army in their many battles. When applied to the hot iron cannons, it not only had a cooling effect, but cleaned the surface metal, thus inhibiting rust.

Not to be outdone, many armies of the Middle Ages, when some country was always waging war, found that vinegar mixed with sand formed an abrasive material that was great for cleaning armor. (The forerunner of SOS pads?)

European alchemists in the Middle Ages poured it over lead, which created a sweet tasting substance they called “sugar of lead.” It was used into the nineteenth century to sweeten bitter ciders. As we now know, lead is highly poisonous, which resulted in the early death of many cider aficionados. They also learned the hard way not to store lead in metal containers.

In 1721, once again the Bubonic Plague reared its deadly head in many French cities. The French used imprisoned convicts to bury the dead, and the tale goes that four convicted thieves survived exposure to the infected bodies by drinking large amounts of vinegar daily, infused with garlic. Today, Four Thieve’s Vinegar is still sold in parts of France.

Not merely content to invent the pasteurization process for milk, scientist Louis Pasteur also experimented with a natural fermentation process to make vinegar, around the year 1864. It became popular for pickling vegetables and fruits, as well as a meat tenderizer. Vinegar promptly found its way into the first recipe for ketchup by the Henry J. Heinz Company and forever changed the popular condiment.

Imagine a kitchen without at least one bottle of vinegar, but more likely several varieties, including apple cider, red wine and balsamic. As many flavored vinegars continue to flourish, its popularity extends to thousands of other uses, including cleaning agents, pickling, salad dressings and a myriad of others. Regardless of who created it, Vinegar is clearly a staple of the world.

Snow Formation – One of the Greatest Challenges for IQF Processors

Snow formation inside IQF freezers is strongly linked to the process of dehydration, which occurs during freezing and is represented by water loss through the product’s membrane when it meets the cold air flow inside the IQF tunnel freezer.

During the process of dehydration, the products will also suffer a loss of weight. The humidity that is transferred from the product into the air will saturate it, and at the maximum point of air humidity (100% saturated), snow is created. This phenomenon is called precipitation and it is the same as when rain or snow is created out in the atmosphere.

The major factor responsible for the occurrence of precipitation during the IQF process is the large quantity of wet and warm product that makes contact with the cold temperatures inside the IQF freezer. After precipitation, the level of saturation decreases and even more moisture can be transferred from the product to the air, leading to more weight loss for the product transported on the bedplate inside the freezer.

Therefore, if snow formation inside IQF freezers is an indicator of product loss and dehydration, how can we minimize the level of dehydration?

First of all, the process of precipitation and thus sublimation needs to be kept under a specific level, with the help of optimal aerodynamics which ensures less disruption of the air flow and better air speed.

In order to minimize dehydration you need to avoid precipitation and thus sublimation, have better aerodynamics (less disruption of the air flow) and better air speed.

Considering that temperature variations inside an IQF freezer are a common thing, snow formation cannot be completely prevented but, thanks to its advanced design features, the IQF tunnel freezer can successfully minimize snow formation, increasing the yield of the overall production.

The IQF tunnel freezer benefits of unique fans, which can be individually adjusted in order to ensure the optimal speed for the perfect air velocity and air pressure. Thanks to the good control over the aerodynamics inside the IQF tunnel freezer, the level of air humidity remains constant and the process of precipitation is significantly prevented, ensuring a level of product dehydration between 0,1% and 1%.

The fact is that the snow building up inside your freezer is product loss, and that is because an IQF freezer is a closed system and the humidity creating the precipitation doesn’t have anywhere else to come from than from the products you are freezing.

Picnics & Pointers

Picnics have been around for as long as people have been eating meals (even if they didn’t realize it at the time). Over the years, the “dictionary definition” of picnic has changed; however, the original relaxed setting associated with a picnic still resonates today. The mention of a “picnic” versus a “cookout” or “BBQ” tends to take one down a slower, nostalgic path. Taking food out of the kitchen and moving to a less formal setting has been enjoyed throughout the ages.

Whether in a park, at a festival, on a hike in the woods, or in your own living room, having an informal meal in a setting other than your normal meal setting will put one in a frame of mind that alters significantly from what is commonly referred to as breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Formality is no longer at the forefront of the meal. The lack of formality tends to lead to more open, fun communication with those you choose to have at your picnic.

It’s best to keep the food simple. One should not over-complicate a picnic meal. Keeping the items simple and light will lend to the change being incurred with the change of scenery. Items such as finger sandwiches, crackers and cheese, meat and cheese wraps, fruits, nuts and/or vegetables are all simple foods that provide sustenance and variety when planning a picnic.

The foods and location you choose will dictate whether or not you require to keep the food cold or if it requires heating once you arrive. There are cool packs, small grills and solar warmers that can be used almost anywhere these days. Be sure to keep your food stuffs at the appropriate temperatures to prevent food born illnesses.

Whenever there’s a meal, drinks should definitely a consideration. Water, wine, soda, coffee and tea are all popular. Small coolers of ice and reusable cups are always a good idea. Should you decide on wine, be sure to pack a corkscrew or you’ll be very sorry come mealtime.

Your location will dictate some of the supplies you will need to have available and carry with you on your route. If you’re in your living room with the furniture pushed back to create a space, the weather is likely not going to have an impact on your event. However, if you choose an outdoor setting, weather is a definite consideration – from what to wear to what you might bring with you. Umbrellas are great for beaches and unpredictable weather while backpacks and outdoor gear are more suitable for true outdoor enthusiasts that may be hiking to their final destination.

As you are considering what to eat and drink and where to have your picnic, there are other items highly recommended to have on-hand. Other items that come in handy when picnicking are:

  • Plates & Utensils
  • Napkins and/or Paper Towels
  • Salt & pepper
  • Blanket (in the event there are no picnic tables where you end up)
  • Sanitizing Wipes
  • Garbage Bag(s)

If you’ve never been on a picnic or it’s simply been a long time since your last one, please make a plan and take a moment to relax and enjoy the smaller things in life; starting with a picnic.

Say Hello to the Superfood, Yuca

Welcome to Yuca

Currently there is a global health movement growing. People are more conscious about their health and are seeking alternatives to traditional eating habits. The realization that there are many different superfoods virtually untouched by the average population has created a desire to experiment with and try new exotic foods. Many of these superfoods have been brought over from South America, Asia, and Africa. Indigenous peoples have thrived off the land and sustained massive civilizations with the use of superfoods. One in particular is gaining momentum in North America.

To the right, is the Yuca (Quechua name spoken in Peru) root. This root has many different names depending on where you are geographically: cassava, manioc, manioca, yucca root, casaba, and tapioca. It is currently an essential root vegetable in the Caribbean diet.

Yuca is a perennial plant that is found in tropical climates. In Africa, Asia, and South America, it has been used as a major food source. Indigenous people use it along with other high-starch foods like yams, taro, plantains, and potatoes. While it is still not well known outside of the tropics, it accounts for about 30% of the world production of roots. Recently popular in the Americas is tapioca. Grinding the yuca root into small powder balls forms tapioca balls- enjoyed in boba teas and various drinks.

To clarify some dispute, YUCA and YUCCA are two very different plants. Yuca, is the root while Yucca is a scrub.

Why the sudden interest?

As the world continues to connect more and more, people are able to enjoy the benefits of fruits and vegetables that were once out of reach. Not long ago, if you were not born in the tropics, yuca would have been virtually intangible. But now, people all over the world can reap the benefits.

The general population also has access to endless amounts of new information. So with that comes new opportunities to incorporate in daily life. Previously you would have walked into a grocery store, unable to decipher what this long brown root was. Now with a quick Google search the information is there for you disposal. Recipes for this root are endless. The endless recipes allow you to experiment and diversify your diet.

The Energy it Provides is Incredible!

In Peru, South America we visited a local family. They were simply the most welcoming, humble, and hardworking family I’d ever encountered. In many cultures around the world it is very common for large families to live together. In one home you may have your mother, father, grandparents, great-grandparents, children and grandchildren. It is very common to take in family members and live as one large family unit. What we saw in this family was that everyone was extraordinarily hard working. Even the great-grandparents would pitch in to help around the house. While the activity they partook in was more limited than those of the younger generations, it was incredible to see the how agile and energized these men and women were.

I remember asking one day how they found the energy to work so hard at their age.

With a smile the older lady said, “comer bien.”

That was it, a simple explanation. “Comer bien” translates to “eat well.” These families eat fresh and powerful superfoods everyday. The yuca root is only a supplement to the other superfoods Peruvians have been enjoying for centuries.

How is it that this simple answer: comer bien, could lead to a long-lasting and healthy life.

I thought back to the United States where much of our older generation are forced to reside in Nursing Homes, or never make it to be a great-grandparent. These older generations thrive in Peru and are well respected. Their persistent activity and nutritious diets help them excel in life.

Processed vs Natural

Now comes the inevitable truth that many populations that suffer with obesity hate to admit. You are what you eat. Now what we see with the people in Peru is that most families eat a diet consisting of fresh grains, fruits, and vegetables acquired at the local open-air markets. These families are fueling their bodies with unprocessed, natural ingredients. A meal is made from scratch and all meals are viewed as family events. Everyone eats meals together and eats equally. There is little overindulgence because the quality of food creates a sensation of satisfaction and wholeness. There is no need for a cookie after dinner because there is no dependency on sugar like we find in the U.S. Since the foods are unprocessed, meals lack added sugars and preservatives. Their bodies run like a well-oiled machine- not like one that is driven by cravings. Imagine how powerful your body would feel if you energized it with whole foods- superfoods! Could you imagine how strong you would feel. Not lacking energy, not craving chips or cream puffs. Incorporating superfoods such as yuca into your diet slowly can show you how strong you can feel. It takes one small step that will lead to endless amounts of healthy decisions.

Don’t be afraid to try yuca. Your body will thank you for it!

Hold the Mayo

The first time it dawned on me there were two distinct camps regarding mayonnaise was one afternoon at a restaurant. I was having lunch with a good friend, and she was interrogating the waitress about the chicken salad plate, asking her, “This doesn’t have any of that horrible Miracle Whip, does it?” The waitress assured her it was pure mayo that held those little morsels together. My friend seemed relieved and ordered it, but I ordered something else. I am in the Miracle Whip camp, and I make no apologies.

I admit I come by it honestly. I grew up in a Miracle Whip household, and I inherited my mother’s dislike for mayonnaise. early. To this day, I buy only MW and so does my sister. But mayo holds top honors in the condiment world, at least in the U.S., tied only with ketchup in popularity, and a must-have on millions of sandwiches daily, as well as in salads and sauces. Some fanatics even put it on french fries.

As a child, I frequently asked my mother why some sandwiches or salads tasted “gross” until I understood that MW had a distinctly different flavor than traditional mayo, which, in my opinion, has no flavor at all. (Please, no hate mail). When it finally clicked in my young mind, and I understood the difference, it was MW all the way from then on.

But let’s travel back in time to learn about mayo, and the French passion that started it all. The creation of mayonnaise is credited to the chef of Duke de Richelieu in 1756. While the Duke was defeating the British at Port Mahon in Menorca, Spain, his chef was whipping up a special victory feast that included a unique sauce made with eggs and cream, staples of French cuisine. Some food historians insist that the Spanish pioneered the rich spread, but it seems more likely that the French did the honors. Word of mouth (and taste buds) traveled across the pond, and Americans quickly embraced the creamy madness. Many residents of French heritage, not to mention chefs searching for new frontiers, introduced it in New York City, and we know that by 1838, the popular restaurant Delmonico’s in Manhattan offered mayonnaise in a variety of dishes. Gourmets were hooked.

Soon chefs were dreaming up different ways to use the wildly popular spread, especially in salads. In 1896, the famous Waldorf salad, made its debut to rave reviews at a charity ball at the Waldorf Hotel, chock full of apple pieces, celery, walnuts and grapes, all held together by that creamy mayo, and diners couldn’t get enough.

As refrigeration blossomed at the turn of the century, hundreds of food manufacturers raced to get their version of mayo in the shops. One such manufacturer was Hellmann’s, a New York City brand which designed wide mouth jars that could accommodate large spoons and scoops, and they soon began to dominate the sector. Mayonnaise, which had heretofore been considered a luxury, was fast becoming a household staple and taking its place at the dinner tables in millions of homes. Many professional chefs and homemakers made their own versions, but jars of the popular condiment were featured prominently on grocery store shelves.

Enter Miracle Whip, created in 1933 by the Chicago-based Kraft Foods Company. It made its debut during the Depression as a cheaper alternative to mayo, and while it does contain the key ingredients of mayonnaise (egg, soybean oil, vinegar, water), it deviates from the standard of mayo with a sweet, spicy flavor that many folks preferred and still do, but is required to label itself as “salad dressing” rather than mayo.

So whether you are a straight mayonnaise user, a renegade Miracle Whip aficionado, or you are frequently heard to state “hold the mayo”, there’s no getting around this wildly popular condiment, and we can thank the French gourmands once again for this creation.

Food Specialities Of Different States Of India That Everyone Must Have

The variety of food India has to offer is simply unbelievable. Every state of it has an array of food and different cooking style. From the spiciest to the most ordinary preparations, they have something different to offer. To know more, we bring to you some authentic, must have, local dishes native to the various Indian states.

DAAB CHINGRI- West Bengal
Filled with green coconut, it is a traditional Bengali dish of soupy mustard prawn curry. The aroma of the coconut water and kernel gets mixed up with the prawn, giving it a most fabulous taste. This special delicacy is best served with a plate of boiled rice.

BAL MITHAI- Uttarakhand
This exquisite dish comes from the state of Uttarakhand which is made by roasting the evaporated milk cream with cane sugar and later coated with white sugar balls. It is one of a true delight for all the dessert lover.

KAMBU KOOZH- Tamil Nadu
It is cool refreshing and healthy dish from the state of Tamil Nadu. The dish is prepared from millet and is stored in the earthen pots to create a perfect taste.

MALAAI GHEWAR- Rajasthan
This round shaped food delicacy is a traditional dish of Rajasthan. It is made from flour, milk and pure ghee. There is a possibility that you might find it in the other parts of India also, but the one you get in Rajasthan is simply incomparable.

CHHENA PODA- Odisha
This is an Oriya desert prepared from the baked ricotta cheese. This sweet delight could also be taken as an Indian version of Cheesecake. Do explore when you plan your visit to the state.

THALIPEETH- Maharashtra
It could be taken as the multigrain pancake, prepared from roasted chana daal, wheat, sorghum, millet, rice and mildly spiced with coriander seeds, onion fresh coriander and cumin seeds. The delicacy is very nutritious and is best served with buffalo milk cream.

BHUTTE KA KEES- Madhya Pradesh
It is a dish made with spicy grated sweet corn. The tangy taste of this authentic delicacy is must to try when you plan to visit the state.

IRACHI ISHTU- Kerala
This is a traditional food item from Kerala which is made with Chicken, beef or lamb. This tasty stew is best served with appam or plain bread.

RUGDA- Jharkhand
When you planning to visit Jharkhand, do not forget to try Rugda. It is a variety of mushroom indigenous to the forests of Jharkhand. The dish is very healthy and is best eaten with rice or poori.

KALAADI CHEESE- Jammu and Kashmir
Prepared from cow’s milk, Kalaadi is a traditional local hill cheese which comes from the state of Jammu and Kashmir. You simply cannot forget to miss out on its divine taste when you are there.

MADRA- Himachal Pradesh
Coming from the state of Himachal Pradesh, Madra is a traditional pahadi gravy. The dish is prepared with yoghurt, coconut, almonds, peas and raisins. This special food item offers a very aromatic flavour and delicious taste.

BAJRA KHICHDI- Haryana
This amazing khichdi is made with coarsely crushed pearl millet and is served with pure ghee or sesame oil. The dish becomes all the more tasty with lassi, pickles, papad, gur or curd.

KHANDVI- Gujarat
This delectable snack is made from gram flour and yoghurt, tempered with sesame, mustard seeds and decorated with green chillies, coconut and coriander leaves for its amazing look.

BEBINCA- Goa
Famous for its seafood cuisine, Goa is also known for its authentic and exquisite pudding dessert. The traditional Bebinca in Goa is made up of 16 layers and is rightly served warm with cold ice cream.

DEHRORI- Chhattisgarh
It is a delicious dessert from the state of Chhattisgarh which consists of fried rice dumplings dipped in sugar syrup and garnished with nuts. The dish is usually prepared on Diwali eve to make the celebrations more joyful.

LITTI CHOKHA- Bihar
This crunchy dish from Bihar is prepared with wheat balls stuffed with Pitthi – roasted and spiced gram flour) and Chokha (mashed potatoes). The dish becomes all the more delicious with pure desi ghee on its side.