It’s only 1 p.m., and I have already learned more today than I usually do in three months… at least concerning the more odd and useful pieces of information about food, gastronomic history, and ingredient sources.
The odd ones are always the most fun.
1. Glucose! Generally speaking, people who care about what they put in their bodies tend to steer free from ingredients that do not come more or less directly from nature. Thus, glucose may not seem to be the more appetizing of the sweeteners, compared to, say, pure sugar cane, agave, honey, or beet sugar. But did you know that beyond being a processed sweetening agent there is further reasons for you or your loved one, as a Bubble Child, to avoid glucose? It’s because it is derived from wheat! Or corn. Glucose is created from the hydrolyzed protein of wheat or corn and is therefore not only more difficult for your body to digest but a perilous addition for those with strong gluten intolerances or Celiac Disease. One more reason to stick to good ole, natural sugar.
2. Pastures! There is much ado about something when discussing the source of milk products and the animals treatment. While ethically it is good to raise and get product from happy animals, this goes far beyond animal rights, and further into the quality and taste of the milk or meat itself. Today I discovered a fun tidbit: butter from Normandie, France, is revered by many for being the best in taste and quality because of its opulent pastures and humid climate. What most people do not know, however, is the difference between the cream from Normandie and Alsace, France. The pastures in Normandie are great, the cows eat, breed, “digest” and roam these pastures year-round. The cows in Alsace do not– thanks to German inspiration, these cows rotate pastures once a year, spending half of their year on one pasture, and then moving to another pasture to allow for their previous grass area to rejuvenate and cleanse. The result? Better tasting milk, a more durable cream (it holds up to heat better), a more white complexion of the milk, and more digestible product. That being said, not only is how the animal is treated important for the animal itself, but moreover for your digestive and the ability to make something like what you see above and to the right.
3. The Inventor of Whipped Cream’s Death! Monsieur Chef Francois Vatel had it rough, poor guy. Or moreover rough on himself. This gentleman, born Swiss, ended up as the Chef for King Louis XIV. This culinary and pastry genius grew to fame at the time for not only serving the King daily, but also for inventing whipped cream, or “chantilly”. Yahoo! Did that satisfy him enough to stay alive? Nope. One evening, when preparing for a huge gala feast, his fish order had not arrived. It was fifteen minutes after the dinner was supposed to start that this chef became so overwhelmed with anxiety about failing to serve the king that he took his own life, leaving the feast and his whipped cream legacy behind. A pretty dark story for a pretty light invention.
Moral of the story(ies)? Avoid glucose, aim for grass-fed butter if you want to digest it, and please do not stress ever at all that much about food. It’s for pleasure and energy, after all.