Herb Hack - Cilantro

Nothing divides people quite like cilantro, but the faithful few accept no substitutes for brightening up their dishes. Its distinctive flavor pushes through and cools off hotter fare. 

Cilantro tempers not only spicy foods, but freshly fried foods as well, creating a soothing sensation amidst piping hot cuisine.

Recipe: Fried Okra and Shallots with Fresh Cilantros

Math and Science Week!

aseantoo submitted to medievalpoc:

Kikunae Ikeda

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Kikunae Ikeda / 池田 菊苗 (1864-1936) was a Japanese chemist and the inventor of MSG. (To all you haters: because Chinese restaurant syndrome has been debunked.)

He was also the first scientist to realise we have five basic tastes, not four. Before his time, Western science had accepted that our tongues have receptors for the following tastes:

1. sweetness

2. sourness

3. saltiness

4. bitterness.

 In 1909, he pointed out that there was a missing taste:

5. umami, or savouriness - i.e. the proteiny taste of meat or cheese or mushrooms or eggs.

This is kind of a big deal. It’s like pointing out that we have five fingers on each hand when Western science is only counting four.

So why the hell are we still teaching schoolkids that there are only four tastes, 105 years after that’s been proven wrong? Don’t we want them to understand why bacon is delicious????

Foods and Flavors Assocaited with the Signs:

Aries- Chili peppers, pomegranate, black pepper, cinnamon, and cloves.

Taurus- Apples, honey, grapes, vanilla, chocolate, and artichokes.

Gemini- Nuts, lemon, fennel, licorice, lavender, and black tea. 

Cancer- Chamomile, eggs, cheese, lychee, meat, milk, and cabbage.

Leo- Oranges, grapefruit, sunflower seeds, spinach, and peaches.

Virgo- Figs, wheat, rice, herbs, hops, corn, oats, carrots, parsnips, and celery.

Libra- Strawberry, cherry, mint, pears, avocado, beans, and peas.

Scorpio- Coffee, plum, prickly pear fruit, onion, garlic, and pickle.

Sagittarius- Ginger, Tomato, wasabi, lemon grass, mango, leeks, and olives.

Capricorn- Potato, meat, cucumber, pine nuts, green tea, beet, turnip, caviar, and barley.

Aquarius- Tofu, coconut, lime, kiwi, star fruit, papaya, and whipped cream. 

Pisces- Pineapple, banana, watercress, endive, sugarcane, seaweed, and watermelon.

Watch on www.itsokaytobesmart.com

Mmmmmm… BACON SCIENCE

Bacon is perhaps nature’s most potent distillation of deliciousness. To those of us who fall in the category of “bacon lover”, there are few more innately pleasurable smells than sizzling bacon. 

The heat-induced chemical reactions catalyzed by the hot pan combine with compounds introduced by the process of smoking and curing bacon to launch a cornucopia of volatile flavor compounds into the air, and in turn your nose, stimulating salivary production and drawing you out of bed aloft on the wafting wonderfulness like a classic cartoon character.

So what ARE those delicious chemicals? The American Chemical Society’s Reactions channel has teamed up with CompoundChem to produce this look at the yummy chemistry of bacon.

Everything that’s delicious, we owe to chemistry.

My favorite bacon compound? When researching my next video (which also has a food-related theme, but you’ll have to wait until Monday to find out), I discovered guaiacol:

It’s a humble little molecule with a mouthful for a name, but it’s one of the most delicious chemicals on Earth. Here’s why it’s special…

Wood contains lots of lignin, a polymer that helps strengthen plant cell walls. When that lignin burns, like when bacon is smoked over applewood or coffee beans are roasted and toasted, some of its ring-like aromatic structures are converted into guaiacol (as well as hundreds of other compounds(, which is the main flavor compound behind the smoky taste in all sorts of foods… including bacon

Flavor of the Month: Cinnamon

Sweet and spicy and one of the oldest spices known to man, cinnamon is a favorite topping or secret ingredient in both sweet and savory recipes. This warm spice is obtained from the dried inner bark of several species of trees within the Cinnamomum genus. True cinnamon however, sometimes known as Ceylon cinnamon, comes from C. verum (also, C. zeylanicum, the antiquated botanical name for the species), indigenous to Sri Lanka. Analysis of the fragrant essential oil from cinnamon bark reveals the main compound responsible for the sharp taste and scent of cinnamon comes from cinnamaldehyde (also known as cinnamic aldehyde). Read more…

Photo Credit: Hans Braxmeier

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Magic: the Gathering - Recent Planes

THEROS
Theros is ruled by an awe-inspiring pantheon of gods. Mortals tremble before them, feel the sting of their petty whims, and live in terror of their wrath.

RAVNICA
A worldwide cityscape of grand halls, decrepit slums, and ancient ruins. Looming over it all presides the vast—and vastly powerful—City of Ravnica.

FIORA
Fiora is a world of political intrigue, where government factions vie for power and hope to control Paliano, the High City. Despite its scenic vistas, Fiora is one of the most dangerous planes a Planeswalker can visit.

Read all about ‘em at http://magic.wizards.com/en/story/planes

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