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On this page are posts that I have chosen to feature on Instagram. There are hundreds of articles here on CulinaryLore and I can't post them all, but here are the special ones I've chosen just for you.

Should I Use White or Yellow Onions in My Cooking?

In America, yellow onions, sometimes called Spanish onions, seem to be the most popular for cooking. In fact, many chefs will say to always choose yellow onions over white onions. So, are yellow onions really superior to white onions? The answer is no. If you ask a lot of Latino cooks, in fact, they are going to tell you that they prefer white onions. Mexican cookbooks will usually call for white onions. They are considered a bit milder and less pungent than yellow onions. However, I would be...

Is the Heat in Chile Peppers Found in the Seeds? And Do We Get Used to the Heat?

If you are looking for the source of heat, which comes from the chemical capsaicin in chile peppers, the statement that you will most often find goes something like this: The source of heat in a chile pepper is not the outer flesh of the chile, but rather the inner membranous ribs and the seeds. To remove some of the heat, remove all the seeds and the ribs. This is both incorrectly stated and the source of an urban myth about chile peppers. That is, that a lot of the heat, or capsaicin, in a...

Cooking

Can You Deep Fry With Olive Oil?

Have you heard? You can't deep fry with olive oil! Its smoking point is too low and it becomes bitter, etc. Funny that people in the Mediterranean regions, who know a lot more than us about olive oil, deep fry more often with olive oil than any other oil. In other words, what you've heard is bunk. You absolutely can deep fry with olive oil. Mario Batali has been seen doing it more than once on television. Since people are always looking for a healthy oil for deep frying, and Olive oil is among...

Recycling and Environment

When Is Recycling Actually Downcycling?

In my article explaining the meanings of plastic recycling codes, I listed the various types of products for which these different types of recycled plastic are used. In other words, I described what happens to the plastic you put in your recycling bins. If you read that article, you will discover that those circular arrows, which seem to indicate a never-ending stream of recycling, again and again, are misleading. Many times, recycled plastic is turned into products that are not themselves...

What Do The Recycling Codes On Plastics Mean?

When it was common for consumers to pay deposits for bottles and then return the bottles to a retailer to reclaim the deposit, the type of plastics used in the bottles were known. Now that curbside recycling or drop-off recycling centers are common, it is much more difficult to identify particular types of plastic. Plastic resin identification coding was developed to assist in this identification. Therefore, most plastic packaging, including bottles and food packets, have a symbol on them which...

Food Science and Nutrition

Do You Need Living Enzymes from Your Diet to Digest Food?

A claim of raw food diets is that your body has a limited amount of enzymes to digest food and you must get additional enzymes from your diet. One of the claims associated with the raw food movement is that you need the living enzymes in raw foods to help you digest food. And furthermore, you only have a finite amount of enzymes in your body, so these enzymes from raw plant foods become more and more important to your health as you age. Well, first, the enzymes in plants are there for the...

The Dirtiest and Most Germy Item at Restaurants

Sometimes the logic of the restaurant industry, and of professional chefs, escapes me. Or, rather, the lack of logic. Should you never eat on on Valentine's day, like Gordon Ramsay says, because it is the busiest restaurant day of the year? Sure, let's all make sure to never eat out on a busy day. Restaurants should embrace the reduction in profits. You may not get the highest quality food and service on the busiest days but, on the other hand, a restaurant's ability to deliver the best...

Toxic Canola Oil Warning

Since 2001, warnings have circulated via Email and Facebook warning people not to use Canola oil because it is highly dangerous to humans. According to such messages, you shouldn't use Canola oil because it is made from a genetically engineered plant developed in Canada which is part of the mustard family of plants. Mustard Gas and Canola Oil Like other such warnings concerning foods derived from the mustard family, the message probably plays on the perceived correlation between mustard gas...

Is Chocolate Milk Really Made From Expired Milk?

I recently noticed an Instagram post under the hashtag #foodfacts, which I use for my CulinaryLore posts on Instagram. The image claimed that chocolate milk is actually made from expired white milk that is sent back to the processing facilities, boiled down and re-pasteurized, then mixed with artificial synthetic chocolate flavoring, sugar (GMO). In other words, chocolate milk is a way to get another month of shelf-life out of white milk while adding a lot of bad stuff. I had never heard this...

Is Honey Really Bee Vomit?

Since honey bees foraging for nectar slurp up the sweet stuff from flowers and the regurgitate it back up at the colony or hive, etymologists sometimes jokingly refer to honey as bee vomit. Others pick up this quip for shock or gross-out value. When a honey bee reaches a flower, she slurps up as much of the sweet, floral nectar as she can. Although she does store this nectar inside her body, it is not in her regular stomach, but in a special stomach called a crop. This crop is actually a very...

Food History

Was Ketchup Banned In French Schools?

In 2011, media outfits from the LA Times to Gawker began reporting the curious case of the French war on ketchup. In fact, Gawker chose this as the headline, France Wages War on Ketchup. According to these stories, France, in an effort to protect the integrity of its traditional cuisine and to combat the influence of Americanisms, decided that ketchup should be banned from school cafeterias. Einstein's Beets, a book about food and food aversions throughout history provides a typical...

Chun King Chow Mein, Sold by an Italian American

While Chinese immigrants were starting Chinese restaurants in the United States during the early part of the 20th century, the potential for mass distribution of ready-prepared Chinese dishes was not readily apparent. One of the first to see it was a man of Italian ancestry. Luigino 'Jeno' Paulucchi started the Chun King corporation during the later 1940's. His first product was canned Chow Mein, using bean sprouts grown locally by Japenese immigrants, and leftover celery trimmings. He patented...

'There's No Such Thing As a Free Lunch' Origin

What Does 'There's No Such Thing as a Free Lunch' Mean? When we say 'there's no such thing as a free lunch,' we mean to express that there are few things in life that are truly given to us at no cost or free. There are usually strings or at least expectations attached. The cost of goods or services has to come from somewhere. In other words, you can't get something for nothing, and if something appears to be free, it isn't really. A similar saying is there is no such thing as a free ride. ...

Who Makes Those Plastic Packets of Soy Sauce in Chinese Takeout?

We tend to associate soy sauce with Chinese food first, and with Asian food second. When you order Chinese food, you usually get about 300 or so of those little packets of the black salty liquid. But, what type of bottled soy sauce do you have at home right now? The most likely answer for most of my readers is Kikkoman. It's Japanese soy sauce. Ironically, most of the common soy sauces we buy at the grocery store are Japanese. Does Kikkoman make those little packets of soy sauce? Perish the...

Which Came First: The Toaster or Sliced Bread?

This not-so-useful knowledge is right up CulinaryLore's alley. It would make sense to assume that the toaster, as an invention, didn't come around until after sliced bread was invented, making the toaster the greatest thing since sliced well, you know. But in reality, the toaster is a good deal older than pre-sliced and packaged bread. People had been slicing bread or just tearing it forever, and there is nothing new in taking some not-so-fresh bread and toasting it to bring on that smell of...

Dining and Food Facts

Is It Legal For Restaurants to Not Accept Cash?

I've noticed a lot of restaurants popping up with a peculiar sign in their window: Cashless. Yes, these restaurants will not take cash!. They only accept credit cards. Yet, right on your money, it says legal tender for all debts private and public. Are these cashless restaurants legal? First, though, why in the world would a restaurant not want to take cash? One of the main reasons a restaurant may refuse to accept cash is convenience and safety. No money on the premises means there is no...

Small Amount of Kobe Beef Available In U.S. - Most Menu Claims of Kobe Still LIES

The other day I was watching the Las Vegas episode of Food Network Star and one of the contestants, Loreal, went to Le Burger Brasserie and was served, of all thinks, a Kobe beef burger. I was a bit flabbergasted. You have to be one hell of a lying liar to claim Kobe beef on a menu and then claim you made it into a burger! Why? Because, since at least 2009 Kobe beef has not been available in the U.S. due to a ban on ALL Japanese beef into the US. Most restaurants claiming to have Kobe beef were...

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