Difference between "tannic" and "acidic"?

Many friends have asked me how to differentiate between tannins and acids, on the palate. To put it simply, tannins gives you a ‘cheek-sucking’ feeling on gums, inner-side of your cheeks and the middle of the tongue. It is the same feeling you get from eating unripe bananas, pineapples and sometimes, tea. Too much tannins in wine is unpleasant, but you can 'soften’ them but pairing the wine with high-protein and fatty foods like cheese and meats. However, tannins helps a wine to develop complex flavours (what wine geeks called 'secondary flavours’ like chasis, barnyard, pencil-shavings, herbs …) overtime. Tannins are also the reason why some people add milk to their tea to 'soften’ them.

On the other hand, acids give you a 'I-have-a-million-needles-attacking-my-tongue’ feeling. Acids are more prominent in white and sweet wines, as compared to reds. Right amount of acids makes the wine feels 'refreshing’ and 'fruity’ (especially citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruits). They are the ones that make some of you feel addicted to sweet wines, instead of you getting too sick of the sweetness.

Go now to drink more wines to feel the differences!

The clear water of Lafayette Blue Springs meet the tannin stained waters of the Suwannee River.

On a side note while I was along the banks of the Suwannee here I saw a jumping Gulf Sturgeon (Acipenser oxyrhynchus desotoi). 

Lafayette Blue Springs State Park, FL


Fried Green Tomatoes

Haul out your cast iron skillet: Green Tomato season is upon us.

Growing up in the Midwest, the offspring of vaguely-Southern expatriates, Fried Green Tomatoes were always a part of summer time family dinners. As grown ups who have even further abandoned the dish’s rural roots, frying them makes us feel connected to the family members who did this long before Southern food was trendy.

For the uninitiated, Green Tomatoes aren’t a fancy heirloom breed. They’re the regular old red ones that just haven’t had a chance to get ripe. They’re rock hard, with extra bitter seeds and sour, almost tannic flesh. Once fried, they are a pleasantly tart and, well, fried. The perfect vehicle for your favorite hot sauce or devouring before they even make it to the table.

Fried Green Tomatoes

  • ¾ cup Corn Flour
  • ¾ cup All Purpose Flour
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • ½ tsp Black Pepper
  • 3 cups Buttermilk
  • 1 tsp Tabasco, plus more for serving
  • 4 large, firm unripened Green Tomatoes
  • 8 oz Crisco (our preference) or Peanut Oil

You will also need:

  • a cast iron skillet
  • two shallow dishes
  • a wire rack or paper towels for draining

Serves: 4

Frying always starts with a well-organized kitchen.

Have your wire rack ready to hold the Tomatoes one they’re fried. Make sure that you have a lid, baking sheet, or fire extinguisher safe for oil-based fires ready if shit gets bad. Mix the Corn Flour/Flour/Salt/Pepper into one shallow dish and Buttermilk/Tabasco in the other.

Slice your Tomatoes in ½” thick discs and dredge them in the Flour mixture.

Grab your cast iron. There is no alternative.

Fill it with your Oil of choice and begin to heat over medium heat. Once it starts to shimmer (and a pinch of flour dropped into the oil starts sizzling immediately), begin to batter the Tomato slices.

Since they have already been dredged, dip into the Buttermilk. Gently shake off any excess liquid, and coat the slice completely in the Flour once again. Immediately drop into the oil and fry for 2-3 minutes on each side, until golden brown. Drain on your wire rack or paper towel; lather, rinse, repeat.

Serve hot with plenty of Tabasco. Maybe think about topping them with a slice of Country Ham, a sunny Egg, and Red-Eye Gravy for a Redneck Benedict next time.

The last time we fried we pointed this out too. If you added a few pinches of Baking Soda to the left over Flour Dredge, and stirred in enough Buttermilk to make a thick batter: you could probably make some pretty dope hushpuppies.

Afternoon light streaks in and makes the tannic water of this small stream glow. Heading toward Fisheating Creek, the swamp can flood into many different paths in the summer—@paulmarcellini.

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Chocolate Beet Cake

Chocolate is so much more than the heart shaped buttery sweetness of the season. There’s also a weird malty, smokey thing happening just under the surface. It’s tannic and bitter and, more than anything, Chocolate tastes like minerals. Which, if we’re honest, is just the nice way of saying dirt. But, like, really fucking good dirt. Dirt with chocolate in it.

While we’re sure that there’s some hip post modern, even nihilist, allegory in the inherent dirt flavor of the patron sweet of romance (something about how we never really know anyone or whatever the Valentine’s industrial complex, man) it mostly just reminds us of beets. Because beets also happen to taste like delicious clods of dirt.

Putting beets in a cake sounds like a terrible idea, but it’s actually a fucking great one.

Just like carrots in a carrot cake, beets hold on to moisture, giving you a perfect crumb. They add fiber and bonus vitamins, while the beet’s mellow, earthy sweetness brings out everything dirty and delicious in the chocolate. What you end up with is a weird but charming, kind of purple dessert that’s way more special than saccharine flourless fudge blobs we’ve been (happily) suffering through all winter long.

Not making anything worse: we top this cake with a bourbon-cream cheese frosting. You could put this on a brick and we’d ask for seconds, but it does make things pretty– obviously– rich. If you tend to like your sweets on the less ostentatious side, a simple sprinkle of powdered sugar will suffice quite nicely.

Chocolate Beet Cake

  • 5 medium Beets
  • 2 oz Unsweetened Chocolate
  • ¼ cup Cocoa Powder,plus more for dusting
  • 2 sticks Butter, at room temperature
  • 1 ½ cups Dark Brown Sugar
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1 Vanilla Bean
  • 2 tbs Bourbon
  • 2 cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 teaspoons Baking Soda
  • ½ tsp Salt

In an oven heated to 400°, roast the Beets until tender. About 20 minutes. Once out of the oven, the skins should slide off. Use a paper towel if you need a little extra grip. Regardless: it will look like you just handjobbed the Koolaid Man. Set the now nude Beets aside to cool until hardly warm.

Grease, stick a parchment round on the bottom, grease again, and dust two 9in cake pans with cocoa powder. If you’re feeling twee, drop liners for 24 cup cakes instead. Bring your oven down to 350°.

Sift or Whisk together Flour, Baking Soda, and Salt in a small bowl, set aside

In a blender, add your peeled, roasted Beets, Chocolate, and Cocoa. Also set aside.

Cream butter and sugar well in a large bowl, using an electric mixer or stand mixer. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, mixing until well incorporated. Add vanilla bean scrapings and bourbon.

Add 1/3 of Flour Mixture to butter and sugar, mix until just combined and follow it up with ½ of the beets. Add half of the remaining flour. Then all of the beets you’ve got. Last thing in the bowl will be the last of your flour.

Divide the batter evenly into your cake pans. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean– about 20-25 minutes.

Cool the cakes on a wire rack. Frost with the easiest icing ever: Bourbon Cream Cheese Frosting.

Bourbon Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1 block Cream Cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 stick Butter, at room temperature
  • 1 ¼ cup Confectioners Sugar - sifted
  • 2 tbs Bourbon

Beat. Spread. Lick the bowl. It’s not rocket surgery.


Kaki Persimmon Seedling (1 year old)

Diospyros kaki

This species of persimmon has been cultivated in China for at least 2000 years; wild populations of the tree are no longer found.

Being dioecious, Kaki trees have male and female flowers on different trees, but can produce parthenocarpic (seedless) fruit if unfertilised. Rarely, trees with both sexes of flowers can occur, or female flowers on otherwise male trees can occur, producing atypical fruit; oddly, trees can have different sexual expressions in different years. They can also be pollinated by other Diospyros species, despite differing numbers of chromosomes.

Like many temperate-dwelling members of this genus, the fruit is harvested long after the leaves have dropped, sometimes even being bletted – like the Medlar – in order to reduce the astringent or tannic flavour.

Since I grew my two trees from seed (and they seem to have survived and thrived over winter), I plan on grafting them with female scion wood of desirable cultivars, and perhaps even limbs of my Date Plum Persimmon (D. lotus), and American Persimmons (D. virginiana), in order to cut down on the overall amount of space devoted to persimmon cultivation.

Kaki persimmons begin fruiting at 3-6 years of age: earlier than D. virginiana. Hopefully, grafting the later-fruiting species provokes fruiting on the D. kaki timeline.

Related: Of Persimmons and Dioecy

Sept. 12, 2016 - Day 1 of Cold Processed Acorn Flour made with Bur Oak Acorns. Bur Oak Acorns are in the white oak family. I shelled all of the acorns, ground them all up in a blender with some water, and poured the mix into this glass container (no need to refrigerate).

If you plan on baking with acorn flour, the cold-water leaching method is much better than boiling acorns. It will take a few days to a week to leach out the tannic acid from the acorns (it rises to the top by itself). You pour off the Amber-colored water each day and put fresh water back into the acorn mix until it stays clear. Then the acorn flour is sweet, not bitter from the tannins. You could even save the acorn tannic acid water for skin tanning use.

After that, the flour is air dried on sheets, sun dried, or put in the oven on low heat for an hour for completed flour.

#Survival #Bushcraft #Acorn #Acorns #Oak #Tree #Fall #Autumn #Food #Flour #Baking #ColdProcess #AcornFlour #BurOak #SHTF

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Word of the Day: Albumen

albumen \al-BYOO-muhn\, noun:

1. the white of an egg.
2. Botany. the nutritive matter around the embryo in a seed.

Tannic acid hardens albumen into a leathery substance of which the most courageous stomach is rightfully suspicious…
– Myrtle Reed, The Myrtle Reed Cookbook, 1916

Don’t overbeat the eggs, as an overbeaten albumen results in a less-than-perfect texture.
– Craig Boreth, The Hemingway Cookbook, 1998

Albumen comes from the Latin word for “white," albus. It entered English around 1600.

The AU No One Knew They Needed

Here’s the beginning. I’ll have some more soon, if you’d like. :) (Also, tumblr is being SUPER ANNOYING and not letting me reblog?) bonehandledknife

His eyes track over the horizon, blank and flat and silent.

He tenses at the sound of skittering sand, striking sharply through the hissing cloud of voices crowding into his brain like a noxious gas. He recognizes it immediately, the dry rasp of scaly feet over desert earth being an essential noise to decipher in the wasteland.

He waits for it, still as stone, as it skitters ever closer, tempted by the scent of his meagre meal of roasted locusts from the night before.

In an instant, his heel breaks through the mutant lizard’s neck and he scrapes it up into his waiting hand with a deft swing of his leg. The creature is tough, sinew and bone grating over his tongue. His mouth fills with the bitter ink of its blood, hot and tannic.

He turns at the rustle of movement from the slope of the hill he’s parked next to. A person is scrambling down it, their pace reminiscent of one in the midst of a hasty escape. He feels his nerves fire in panic as he looks from the figure to his car and realizes what this person is planning.

He rushes to where he had foolishly left some of his gear spilled out on the ground, kneeling to gather it up as quickly as he could. Just as he stands to throw himself into his Interceptor and drive like hell away from this place, he is rocked back into the sand with a bitter blow to his jaw.

He curses and spits red as he watches a woman dive into his car with a rifle swaying on her back. His fucking car.

He lunges forward, the door slamming against his side as she attempts to close it. He is fuming with violence, ready to rip this intruder asunder, when he hears the growl of engines blooming from the desert at his back.

His thirst for fight dissolves into the heady fear of flight in an instant. “Move,” he snarls, shoving the woman further into the cabin. She relents, though she hisses at him in warning like a snake. He flings himself inside and throws the engine into life, sending them screaming away into the flats below.

His car is fast, but also in slight disrepair, and the party pursuing them is gaining on them with alarming ease.

He glances over at the woman occupying his usually empty passenger seat. Blood ribbons from a gash above her right ear and over her jaw. She is pale, sweaty, panting, eyes wild and jumping from him to the side and rearview mirrors reflecting her peril. Their peril now, damnit.

He’s glancing at the rearview too, watching the swimming shapes sharpen and solidify as they break through the shimmering haze of heat. He feels his blood run hot and fast through his veins like oil as he skids the car eastward, hoping to throw their pursuers off their trail.

The woman suddenly springs from her seat, throwing open the sunroof and he flinches, looking up at her fearfully.

He hears the crack of the gun above him and sees one of the cars swing wildly into another, causing the others in the group to swerve or stop completely to avoid them.

There’s another ring of gunshot and he sees a bike kick up a splash of sand as it crashes into the earth. Another and he sees a gunner fall from a truck.

She hands him the rifle without a word or glance. He takes it and watches as she pulls a clip from her pocket and hands him that as well. She then holds out her prosthetic hand to him expectantly. He hesitates for only a second before he pulls his sawn shotgun from the footwell. She looks down at it, frowning, as he leans the rifle against his arm and reloads it, muscle memory kicking in hard and fast.

He hears the blast from his gun as he hands the rifle back up to her. The party is almost on them now, and he leans over to grab the Glock hidden in his glove box. The roar of combustion is punctuated by the steady crack of the rifle and assailants are falling like insects. He fires into the cab of a car trying to get ahead of them, racks of tire spikes loaded up on the back and it skids away when he gets a bullet in the driver’s neck. He briefly wonders who exactly this woman had pissed off. This was an extremely well-equipped, disciplined raiding party and he did not appreciate getting dragged into the middle of it.

He shouts a warning to the woman standing precariously through the sunroof before slamming the brakes. The woman is thrown into the dashboard and left gasping as he pistons his foot on the gas again, ratcheting savagely through the gears as he swings the nose of the car back to where they came.

What remains of the party comes arching back after them, engines screaming like harpies, but his maneuver has managed to stretch the distance between them by quite a distance. He knows of some buttes near here, the narrow channels being as good a place as any to lose a pursuit.

u know why else i love tea? tea has tannic acid, which is a substance that helps with blood clotting

anw when i got my wisdom teeth taken out i didn’t know i wasn’t supposed to suck on a straw. apparently the suction somehow fucked up the blood clotting, so while normally heavy bleeding should stop after a few hours, i looked like a vampire or cannibal and it just kept coming. multiple pieces of gauze were exhausted and bitten down on to no avail  

so finally someone thought of using a teabag as gauze to bite down on. lo and behold, it worked 

this is why everyone should worship tea. the end.

Day 3 of Cold Processed Acorn Flour.

The bitter tannins in the acorn flour naturally separate, leaving the acorn flour sweet once processing is done. Each day I will remove the dark tannic water and then add fresh cold water until the tannins get lighter and lighter colored each day, and eventually the water will stay clear.

1. White Oak Acorns - least tannins.
2. Pin Oak (also called Water Oak)
3. Red Oak
4. Black Oak
5. Bur Oak
6. Live Oak - most tannins.

As a side note, tannic acid is what is traditionally used to tan leather (for those who aren’t fond of using animal brains or urine). You could pour the tannic acid from processing acorns into a container to let the hide soak for several days, or even use a hollowed out oak tree stump with oak chips in it to help with tanning. Tannic acid is also why grass will not grow very well under hickory trees, oak trees, etc. It is a natural herbicide.

Even some animals don’t like the tannins in acorns if they are on the stronger side. Deer, squirrels, and chipmunks will often leave plenty of acorns on the ground until lots of rain and/or snow has leached some of the tannins out. Isn’t nature amazing?

#Survival #Bushcraft #Acorn #Acorns #Oak #Tree #Fall #Autumn #Food #Flour #Baking #ColdProcess #AcornFlour #BurOak #SHTF #ColdProcessedAcornFlour #Homesteading #Hunting #Tanning #Leather

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Oak galls from the oak tree that grows by my clinic. They are caused by insects. They contain gallic acid (A hexagonal ring of carbon atoms with three OH groups and one COOH group attached), Gallotannin (three of these arranged around a central carbon hexagon), and tannic acid (several pairs or chains of these or something similar, arranged around a central ring).
All of these substances are astringent, and have the ability to turn rawhide into leather. An extract of oak galls using iron as a mordant makes a blackish purple dye that will stain wool or hides, and also makes a good ink. Many ancient manuscripts were written in it. .
#nature #natural #herbal #plant #herbalmedicine #medicinalherbs #naturalhealth #organic #naturaldye

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The History of Harqus
Fascinating research on harqus (henna) in North African Muslim & Jewish traditions.

I reproduced below the excerpts related to Jewish history, but the research is NOT MINE. It comes from the blog of Noam Sienna, a graduate student at the University of Minnesota in the Department of History. 

Jewish girl with ḥarqus, southern Morocco, ca. 1930; photo by Jean Belin.

Ḥarqus is essentially a gall ink, made from the tannic acid of oak galls and iron or copper sulfate, which produces a intensely deep black ink, lasting for a few days on living skin and permanent on parchment (a very similar ink is used in Jewish communities to this day for writing Torah scrolls). It was (and is still) used throughout the Maghreb, mainly Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia.

Jews in Morocco, like the majority of Jewish communities worldwide, historically refrained from tattooing (Herber 1926 does note the presence of some tattoos among Jewish prostitutes and prisoners, but these are exceptions that prove the general rule). And we know that Moroccan Jews did use ḥarqus, both at lifecycle events and for daily adornment.

Herber (1927: 217) records that a newborn Jewish baby had a long line drawn on their forehead with ḥarqus for protection, called the sba’ (’finger’), and Malka (1946: 22) calls it khemoussa (‘little hand’), suggesting that it was once a stylized khamsa. As described in this post, Jewish children in Morocco and Algeria were adorned with ḥarqus and henna for a special ceremony known as the kettab, a mock wedding celebrating Shavu‘ot and marking their entrance into the world of schooling (Briggs and Guède 1964: 29).

And real weddings too, of course: Jewish brides were decorated with ḥarqus and henna, going back at least to the 18th century — Romanelli, an Italian Jew who visited Morocco from 1786-1790, writes that the bride’s attendants “draw strange designs on her forehead, her nose, and under her lip with black pitch to save her from the evil eye” (1926: 28), thus confirming not only the presence of ḥarqus designs but also their purpose in protecting the bride during her vulnerable moment of transition. Legey’s note that the best compliment is that one is “beautiful even without ḥarqus” appears in the Judeo-Arabic wedding song Ya Mashta.

Jewish woman with ḥarqus, Dadès valley, ca. 1935;
photo by Jean Besancenot.

Jewish girls, Kelaat Mgouna, ca. 1930; photo by Jean Besancenot.

Young Jewish bride with ḥarqus, Tillit, ca. 1935; photo by Jean Besancenot.

We can therefore confidently assume that photos of Jewish women with facial decoration (of which there are plenty) show designs with ḥarqus — this might even help us narrow down what the visual distinctions between tattoos and ḥarqus designs. The patterns range from simple lines and dots on the cheeks to delicate and complex motifs between the eyebrows like those recorded by Herber. It can be assumed that Jewish women were the artists, although they may have also turned to a Muslim neighbour or professional. Among Algerian Jews, the henna artist was known as a ḥarqassa, implying that she was also a ḥarqus artist. Like with henna, it doesn’t appear that the patterns used by Jews were any different than those of Muslims. In these rural Jewish communities, especially those living in Amazigh areas, ḥarqus was a regular cosmetic. It seems to have been popular with women and girls of all ages (although it should be remembered that many of these young girls were already married).

David and Hassiba Bensimon, Fes, 1930; night of the henna

However, like tattoos among Muslims, by the early 20th century ḥarqus had fallen out of favour in the large cities for daily use. Nonetheless, it was still done for ceremonial occasions, as shown by this photo of David and Hassiba Bensimon, a Jewish couple from Fes, who were married in 1930. For their henna ceremony, they are both dressed in traditional Moroccan clothing — for David, a white jellaba [robe], a tarbush [felt hat], and belgha [leather slippers]; for Hassiba, the keswa lkbira, the gold-embroidered ensemble unique to Moroccan Jews. Hassiba’s fingers have been hennaed up to the first knuckle, and her palms were probably hennaed as well; her face is painted with a black line in ḥarqus down her chin, and dots (likely in red ‘aker) on her cheeks and forehead. For their wedding, though, they wore European clothing and cosmetics.

Day 2 of Cold Processed Acorn Flour.

A few friends on Tumblr brought up some good points I’d like to share. As @latmover on Tumblr pointed out, during World War II, acorns were leached of their tannic acid then dark roasted to make a coffee substitute (fooling the taste buds, but not the nerves). Roasted dandelion roots can also make a decent brew substitute when you don’t have the real deal.

Acorns are very rich in nutrients, and one of the traditional food staples of many Native American tribes. Acorn flour is also naturally gluten free, and can (and should be) mixed with other flours for best baking results. You could try mixing it 50/50 with corn meal, coconut flour, wheat flour, oats, etc.

Tumblr user @nobelshieldmaiden asked for the nutritional value of acorn flour. Processed Acorn Flour contains 45% Carbs, 50% fats (good fats), and 5% protein. Remember that in a true survival scenario, you will be striving to add carbs and fats to your diet for lean months, not to cut back. Acorn flour also contains phosphorus, niacin, fiber, potassium, calcium, and magnesium; not only essential for human health but also things not found in wheat flour.

Traditionally, acorns would have been shelled and soaked in a river in a bag tied off to shore, or in a weighted container in a river, or buried in the sand near a creek for several days to leach out the tannins before being ground up then sun dried or roasted.

The Native of Americans made porridge, soups and breads from acorn flour. During World War 2 acorns were ground up and used as a coffee substitute. In Spain, some sweets and liquor are made from processed acorns.

There is no reason to look down on acorns as ‘famine food.’ In many ways, acorn flour surpasses the quality of other popular grains. They are not hard to process to be sweet and tasty.

It’s no surprise why acorns are a vital source of food for birds, squirrels, other wild animals, and good for humans too, once you learn how to use them! 🌳🌰🌰🌰🍞

#Survival #Bushcraft #Acorn #Acorns #Oak #Tree #Fall #Autumn #Food #Flour #Baking #ColdProcess #AcornFlour #BurOak #SHTF #ColdProcessedAcornFlour #Nutrition #NutritionalValue #Homesteading

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