Posted in Food Facts, GastroJokes, Nerd Adventures

This ain’t Cinderella’s fairytale…

Summer is certainly over, but it doesn’t mean its bounty is. I’m still up to my eyeballs in eggplant, mostly due to my overly eager mom (she goes crazy when I bring her to my CSA and just can’t help herself.) This past Saturday we spent a few hours snipping some of the most breathtaking arugula, tatsoi and mustards I’ve ever seen. A few last tomatoes held tight to the vine, while the peppers exploded everywhere. Kale and cabbage abounded, as expected. But the eggplant! What a delightful treat. Now despite the color synonymous with its name, eggplant is certainly not limited to one color or variety. Japanese, Italian, Chinese, white and zebra eggplants range in length, width and color. Some slightly firmer and others a tad more tender, some deep purple, some striped, some even white, but all delicious. By far are the cutest are the fairytale eggplant, shown above. Luckily for us, we don’t need to be living in a fairytale to enjoy them.

 

And for a smile: eggplant-joke-page-image

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Posted in Food Facts

Say What Pork Butt?

Ever wonder why the popular pulled pork cut of meat: the butt is called the butt even though it comes from the shoulder? Well apparently back in the pre-revolutionary day in America’s Boston, less popular cuts of the pig, such as the shoulder, were packed away casks or barrels, also known as “butts,” to ship. Soon the name caught on, and the cut was called the “Boston Butt.”  The real butt is a highly prized part of the pig and is used for hams and even better prosciutto or “jamón.”

Posted in Food Facts

Why is Saffron So Expensive?

Next time you debate the cost of a small bottle of saffron in the market, think of this: It takes 70,000 crocus flowers to produce 1 lb of dried saffron (Saffron is the dried stigma of a crocus flower, see above, pretty no?) And to harvest and process that same 1 lb of saffron, it takes 200 hours of labor.  Now you get it?!

Posted in Food Facts

When to Really Shop Organic…

In the theme of my upcoming podcast about becoming a smart consumer, here is the list of the “Dirty Dozen,” the fruits and vegetables with the most pesticides. So while it’s nice to shop organic as much as possible, really shop organic for the following ones and then pick and choose for the rest… List courtesy of mindbodygreen.com

The fruits and veggies with the most pesticides (the “Dirty Dozen Plus“) are:

  1. Apples
  2. Peaches
  3. Nectarines
  4. Strawberries
  5. Grapes
  6. Celery
  7. Spinach
  8. Sweet bell peppers
  9. Cucumbers
  10. Cherry tomatoes
  11. Snap peas (imported)
  12. Potatoes

The “Dirty Dozen Plus” includes:

  1. Hot peppers
  2. Kale / Collard greens

And the fruits and veggies with the least pesticides (the “Clean Fifteen“) are:

  1. Avocados
  2. Sweet corn
  3. Pineapples
  4. Cabbage
  5. Sweet peas (frozen)
  6. Onions
  7. Asparagus
  8. Mangos
  9. Papayas
  10. Kiwi
  11. Eggplant
  12. Grapefruit
  13. Cantaloupe
  14. Cauliflower
  15. Sweet potatoes
Posted in Food Facts

Spicy Burns Fat

According to Monsieur Harold McGee, capsaicin, the pungent chemical secreted by cells in our beloved jalapeno and other chilis that makes everything so muy e-spicy, increases our metabolic rate, so we burn more energy aka fat!! It also might trigger the brain to say we ain’t so hungry.  All in all, extra hot sauce please!