Food Snark

Basic Types of Salt

July 29, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Salt is an essential item in cooking. In fact it is an essential item for the human body. Salt has played an integral part in human lives for thousands of years. According to Pliny the Elder, the Roman historian, the Roman soldiers were paid in salt and it from that act that the word Salary is derived from. Salt has (in surprising ways) come a long way since then. Now we find a variety of Salts like table, iodized, kosher etc. But we will take a look at the two basic types of Salt – Sea Salt and Table Salt.

Sea Salt does go through much processing and is created by the evaporation of sea water. It contains two percent of trace minerals and the rest is all Sodium Chloride. It is a little different in color and has a different taste to it as well. Sea Salt granules are a little bigger and it is used for purposes other than cooking; for example, Sea Salt is used in medicines and in producing cosmetics.

Table Salt can be created from sea water; however, it can also be harvested from salt deposits or more commonly from salt mines. The harvested salt is then run through a heavy processing program which sees additives like anti-caking agents, Iodine and others being added to it. While none of these are harmful, it remains the “wrong” salt for many who are used to the taste of Sea Salt. It is also said to be less healthy than Sea Salt because it contain 99.9 percent of Sodium Chloride. However, Table Salt does not have any impurities and the iodine that is present helps to prevent any thyroid problems.

The bottom line is that neither type of salt can be touted as the better one. It comes down to factors like what you want to use it for, whether you prefer the taste of one over the other and availability.

Food and Gift Packages are a Welcome Gift

July 22, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

When it comes to giving gifts to friends and family, sending home and garden products adds a personalized touch and tells them that you know what they like. Some of the best gifts that you can give are unique food and drink options such as cookie and chocolate baskets from Become.com. Everyone appreciates a delicious treat and food and drink gifts are a perfect way to show you care.

If that special someone in your life has a sweet tooth, gourmet chocolates are a great gift. If not, there are many other delectable gift choices at Become.com including rich, organic Mexican coffee and delicious nut gift packs. There’s something to match everyone’s taste and when you purchase a food or drink gift from Beyond.com, the person you give it to can appreciate it with every sip or bite.

Bitter Melon Salad: Great Asian Salad Idea for Busting Bad Blood Sugar

July 11, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Diabetes Mellitus is one of those diseases that creeps up on you, and if ignored can bring about a plethora of complications which are often irreversible. Even though medications are available, nothing beats diet therapy when controlling blood sugar. In Asia and South America, there grows an herb-like vegetable known as bitter gourd or bitter melon. The vegetable is green and oblong in shape, with a wrinkled exterior. When cut in half, one can see it is hollow with large flat seeds filling the center.

The seeds are taken out when the vegetable is used for a variety of viands. But it is said, that the best way to eat this blood-sugar regulating vegetable, is raw. One can only imagine the taste, which the vegetable’s name speaks of so obviously. Here are quick and easy techniques for creating the perfect Asian salad that not only tickles your palate with a burst of flavor, it also does your body a great favor. You will need 2 fresh bitter melons, preferably with less wrinkles and a bright green color. Cut in half and scoop out the seeds, and drench in rock salt. Rub the rock salt against the vegetable, then squeeze until green liquid comes out of the bitter gourd. This technique will help you lose the bitter taste, without losing any of the vital nutrients.

Slice the bitter gourds in thin c-shaped slices, and pour 6 tablespoons of your regular vinegar (except balsamic vinegar), and set aside. You will also need one regular Mexican turnip, which you will julienne finely. Cut up one red onion finely. Take one piece of a fresh tomato, scoop out the seeds, and cut up in strips. Stir these ingredients in with your bitter melon. Season with fish sauce to taste and add a dash of pepper. This salad works best when you are having fried fish or grilled meat.

    High Smoking Point Oils are best for frying

    July 1, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

    High smoking point oils are best for deep frying needs. This is because they can absorb a lot of heat before they start to smoke and burn. The following are some types of those oils that you can use.

    1. Peanut oil – Extracted by pressing the peanut and the kernel, this oil quite healthy for consumption. This is because it does not contain any type of fats that can affect the heart negatively. Store this oil in the refrigerator and bring back to room temperature before use.

    2. Canola oil – Made out of rape seed, this oil contains very little saturated fat. It is also considered to be friendly to the heart. It is also low in flavor so it will not affect the taste of the fried food too much.

    3. Safflower oil – Safflowers are found in colors of red, orange and yellow. Around five blooms are found on a branch usually and are rather spiny. Each flower contains around 25 seeds. The process of crushing these seeds and extracting the oil can produce two types of oil – monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. The former is used for deep frying and the latter is used in cold salads. The former is also high in oleic acids and low in saturated fat, which means it is quite healthy.

    4. Sunflower oil – This oil is also extracted from the seeds of the flower. It is also high in oleic acid, low in fat and contains vitamin E. It is known to bring down cholesterol levels and does not affect the heart negatively. It also has a long shelf life.

    5. Corn oil – Extracted from corn seeds, it is versatile as it can be used for deep frying as well as in salads. It is also very low in taste and in price.