Saturday, April 8, 2017

Compost April 9 2017

Took the opportunity to try out one of the increasing number of food trucks around Sydney. This was Lemon and Rose which promotes itself as American Burger Meets the Middle East Street Eats. The burger [not pictured] was a delish shredded slow cooked beef brisket tho I couldn't quite see the Middle East in it, but the dessert of a lemon and rose water sorbet balanced out the experience nicely. That we ate it at tables in a parking lot beside the Princes Highway at peak early night traffic added to the ambience.

The Sculptural Desserts of an Architect–Turned–Pastry Chef
Ukrainian pastry chef Dinara Kasko, inspired by her background in architecture, makes geometric desserts that look far more like tiny sculptures than soft, velvety cakes — but that’s exactly what they are. She graduated from the Kharkov University Architecture School, then worked as an architect, designer, and 3D visualizer, frequently utilizing 3D printing technology in her work.’

Quite quite lovely…continuing my entrancement with 3D printed things – the food here ain’t printed 3D the moulds are, so edible all.

What Kikkoman’s iconic soy sauce bottle says about Japan
‘It took Kenji Ekuan three years and 100 prototypes to complete the design — a fact that speaks volumes for the importance of detail in Japanese culture. The Kikkoman bottle led the way, showing that Japan had a place in the modern world, and became known the world over’

It’s a big claim and one that can no doubt be disputed, but the article tells me things I didn’t know about the bottle, the designer and Japan post war which is more than enough reason to recommend a reading.

The Gentrification of Soul food
‘However, it is imperative for foodies and cultural critics alike to recognize the origins of “soul” food and the systemic way that black soul food chefs are sidelined and discredited. If we don’t, white Southern cooks will continue to end up on Chopped while Black chefs languish on the chopping block.’

The parallels to what is happening here with indigenous food and foodways is depressing.

Are boutique burgers healthy?
Short answer –
 ‘If your priority is taste, or the provenance, quality and freshness of the ingredients, then a gourmet burger might be just what you're after. Just don't assume it'll be good for you too.
On the whole, fast food burgers (gourmet or otherwise) have a tendency to be high in kilojoules, fat and salt, so consider skipping the soft drinks and sides when you're ordering one for a meal.’

Humans made the perfect banana, but soon it will be gone
‘This giant organism [the Cavendish banana – see the article for an explanation of this]is now at risk of exactly the same sort of population crash that befell the Gros Michel, and a new strain of Fusarium, a close relative of the pathogen that causes Panama disease, has evolved. It can kill both Gros Michel and Cavendish bananas. This strain has already spread from Asia to East Africa and seems likely to make its way to Central America. This should be extremely worrisome. But what should be more worrisome is that the same is true of most of our crops, most of the plants that we most depend on, a list of species that is shockingly and increasingly short.’

Extracted from the recently released  Never Out of Season: How Having the Food We Want When We Want It Threatens Our Food Supply and Our Future, 2017 by Rob Dunn published, Little, Brown and Company, New York, the point of the article won’t come as a surprise to many of us, but the info on the Gros Michel, Cavendish and the United Fruit Company is of interest as is the argument that both species of banana constitute separate single large scale organisms.

And for the sake of the argument, the article doesn’t touch on other varieties of banana that are making their way out of Asian markets and into the mainstream, at least in Aus. Will these too now become clones as industry turns to new varieties to future proof the banana market? Are they already?

Digital signals turn water to lemonade
From New Scientist, 1 April 2017.

When life hands you lemons make virtual lemonade.

A system of sensors and electrodes can digitally transmit the basic colour and sourness of a glass of lemonade to at a tumbler of water, changing its look and taste.

Nimesha Ranasinghe at the National University of Singapore and his team used a colour sensor and a pH sensor to capture the appearance and acidity of a drink. This data was sent to a special tumbler full of water. An electrode stimulated the drinker’s tongue to mimic the lemonade’s sourness, while LED lights replicated its colour [].

‘People are always posting pictures of drinks on social media – what if you could upload the taste as well?” says Ranasinghe.

I have to admit that when I noticed the date of printing of this story I was highly suspicious, but when I followed the link cited I did indeed find that this was a summary of an actual presentation to the quite wonderfully named TEI '17 Proceedings of the Eleventh International Conference on Tangible, Embedded, and Embodied Interaction.

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