food dyes and hyperactivity/ Food Coloring Warnings
By GARDINER HARRIS
Studies suggest a link between food dyes and hyperactivity in children.
THEY were the four syllables that had the power to make both carnivores and vegetarians cringe: veggie burger.
For meat-lovers, the veggie burger was long seen as a sad stand-in that tried to copy the contours and textures of a classic beef patty while falling pathetically short of the pleasure. And for meat-refusers, the veggie burger served as a kind of penitential wafer: You ate this bland, freeze-dried nutrient disc because you had to eat it (your duty as someone who had forsaken the flesh) and because at many a restaurant or backyard barbecue, it was the only option available.
If that has been your mental framework since the days when Jerry Garcia was still with us, it might be time to take another bite. To borrow a phrase from the culture that produced it, the veggie burger seems finally to have achieved self-actualization.
Across the country, chefs and restaurateurs have been taking on the erstwhile health-food punch line with a kind of experimental brio, using it as a noble excuse to fool around with flavor and texture and hue. As a result, veggie burgers haven’t merely become good. They have exploded into countless variations of good, and in doing so they’ve begun to look like a bellwether for the American appetite. If the growing passion for plant-based diets is here to stay, chefs — even in restaurants where you won’t find the slightest trace of spirulina — are paying attention.
“I just think it’s important to accommodate everybody,” said Josh Capon, who opened Burger & Barrel in SoHo last fall and quietly slipped a chickpea-based veggie burger onto a menu heady with pork chops, charcuterie and carpaccio. “And I don’t think somebody should feel like they’re eating an inferior burger. If you’re going to do a veggie burger, it should have that richness and mouth feel and overall texture. When you pick it up, it should eat like a burger.”
He will get no argument from Adam Fleischman, the owner of the expanding Umami Burger chain in Los Angeles. Even though his Earth Burger includes no meat, it offers the taste buds a gooey, decadent tradeoff by dandying up a mushroom-and-edamame patty with ricotta, truffle aioli and cipollini onions.
At Cru, a largely vegan and raw-food-focused cafe in that city’s Silver Lake neighborhood, the dietary and structural restrictions only seem to open up pathways of metamorphosis. Cru’s South American sliders are made of sprouted lentils and cooked garbanzo beans pulsed with garlic and spices. They’re deep-fried, dressed with a mojo sauce of blood orange and paprika and Peruvian aji amarillo chilies, and served on leaves of butter lettuce instead of a bread bun.
“We’re trying to stay away from that dry, tasteless veggie burger thing,” said Cru’s chef, Vincent Krimmel. “We have a lot more to play with now.”
Sometimes that sense of play leads to accidental discovery. The three Westville outposts around Manhattan serve a daily array of fresh vegetables. One day about four years ago, Sammy Victoria, a Westville chef, had an impulse to combine some of that garden produce into little cakes. “It went over amazingly well,” said Jay Strauss, an owner of Westville. “And Sammy said, ‘Let’s try this as a veggie burger — the exact same ingredients, just larger.’ ” Westville’s deep-fried blend of corn, cauliflower, broccoli, roasted red pepper and other ingredients now sells out on a regular basis.
Gone are the days, it seems, when the veggie burger was almost a source of shame. Sure, some restaurants fixed their own, from scratch, but many others served a dry mass-produced patty — one that might well have been made of natural ingredients like mushrooms and oats and black beans and brown rice, but which nevertheless had been gathering ice crystals in the freezer for an unknown period of time.
Tal Ronnen, 36, the author of the 2009 cookbook “The Conscious Cook,” has seen the frozen versions, too, gradually improve in the ensuing years. (Lately he has collaborated with Gardein in creating the food company’s new Ultimate Beefless Burger patties.) “When I first started eating this way, they came in a box,” said Mr. Ronnen, a chef who signed on this month to create vegan choices for the restaurants in all of the Wynn and Encore hotels in Las Vegas. “You had to add water to it. It was embarrassing to eat it around anyone. Imagine showing up to a backyard barbecue with a box and saying, ‘Hey, can I have a little bit of water to form a veggie burger?’ ”
If there is a primary reason they are improving, it comes back to the force that drives just about anything in the marketplace: demand. According to Mintel, a market research firm, there was a 26 percent increase in menu items labeled vegetarian or vegan between the last quarter of 2008 and the same quarter in 2010.
With more and more people pledging themselves to vegan and vegetarian modes of dining, it seems self-defeating for restaurants to ignore them — or to pretend that those diners will be satisfied with yet another droopy grilled-vegetable platter. The signs are clear enough that two high priests of the global burger gospel, Burger King and McDonald’s, have for years given veggie burgers a run, although only Burger King currently has one on menus in the United States.
“It is really awesome to see a lot of places starting to make their own patties from scratch, instead of simply stockpiling premade ones in the freezer,” said Joni Newman, the author of a cookbook, “The Best Veggie Burgers on the Planet,” which Fair Winds Press is to publish in May.
But with thousands of flora-based recipes in the world, why the compulsive return to the burger genre? “There’s something really satisfying about a hand-held food that’s served on a bun,” said Lukas Volger, the author of “Veggie Burgers Every Which Way,” a cookbook that was published last year. The patty-bun-condiments format of a burger holds sway over us the same way the dependable verse-chorus-bridge structure of a perfect three-minute pop song does.
That said, there is vigorous debate over how closely a veggie burger should ape the look and taste of beef.
“I never like to tell people that this is going to taste exactly like ground beef, because you’re setting yourself up,” Mr. Ronnen said. “It’s its own thing.”
Chefs might adhere to the architectural limitations of a burger, but within that framework, the challenge of trying to make a veggie burger that tastes good (and doesn’t fall apart) seems to free up their imaginations.
At Blue Smoke, the barbecue restaurant on East 27th Street, the team creates patties out of French lentils, quinoa, carrots, onions and cauliflower and smokes them over hickory. If they seemed like a fluke when they were introduced in 2008, they now feel like a perennial. “It’s one of those items that I wouldn’t take off the menu because there’d be some kind of backlash,” said Kenny Callaghan, the executive chef.
At 5 Napkin Burger, another joint unapologetically devoted to meat, you’ll find a veggie option that derives a loamy richness from mushroom duxelles while getting its ballast from sunflower seeds, wheatberries and brown rice.
When the 5 Napkin team originally tested contenders in their kitchens about three years ago, they found themselves pondering the Zen koan of veggie-patty enlightenment: If a burger is not a burger, how do you make it stick together? “They were falling apart,” said Andy D’Amico, a chef and partner. “They would just kind of collapse in the roll.” The solution was something familiar to the home meatloaf maker: seal the mix with eggs and panko crumbs.
The veggie-burger pendulum of peril swings between too dry and too wet, and sometimes, achieving the right balance of moisture and texture has to do with knowing which seeds, nuts and vegetables to mash and which ones to leave whole.
There are other challenges. A patty made of puréed vegetables may be healthy, but “you might say it doesn’t have much tang to it,” said Mr. Strauss of Westville. To give it flavor layering, Westville tops the patty with mushrooms and a spicy tartar sauce. (With a successful veggie burger, Mr. Ronnen observed, “so much of it is the condiments.”)
If you need extra evidence that this hippie-town mainstay is venturing into territory that once might have been seen as hostile, look no further than Shula Burger, a chain scheduled to open this summer in Florida. Shula Burger is the latest food enterprise from the family whose patriarch is Don Shula, the legendary football coach. One of his sons, Dave, said in a telephone interview that Shula Burger’s test kitchens were in the midst of “trying a lot of different versions.”
The root conundrum of a veggie burger, he said, comes down to its “bite profile” — or what happens at the moment of impact between teeth and patty. And what bite profile does a restaurant want to avoid? “Picture taking a bite out of a hockey puck,” said Mr. Shula, also a former N.F.L. coach. “And the other end of the bite profile to avoid is when it’s really squishy and mushy.”
Mr. D’Amico wanted his version, in keeping with the 5 Napkin mission, to have the traditional cheek-smeared pleasure of a beef burger. But sometimes it seems as if he’s been almost too successful with that, thanks in part to the incorporation of beets, which give the patty a color reminiscent of rare steak. “I have to tell you that my veggie burger has freaked out some vegetarians,” he said. “They’ve been put off by the color of it. They feel like it looks too much like meat.”
Brian Stefano, the chef at the Hillstone branch on Park Avenue, has had similar moments with the restaurant’s lauded griddled, crispy-exterior version. If you eat one, it’s hard to miss the presence of beans, rice and beets. What’s less obvious is that another ingredient — the one that gives the mix a touch of sweetness and stickiness — is prunes. “We’ve had vegetarians think that it is meat and send it back,” Mr. Stefano said.
Apparently most just chow down, though. The Park Avenue Hillstone, previously known as Houston’s, sells 400 to 500 veggie burgers a week.
“I give them a lot of credit,” Mr. Capon, the chef at Burger & Barrel, said of Hillstone. “Their veggie burger has a little bit of a cult following. I know people who go there just for that.”
Still, Mr. Capon zagged in a different direction. He found inspiration during a Saturday night “family meal” with his cooking crew when Ryan Schmidtberger, the chef de cuisine at another of Mr. Capon’s restaurants, made falafel for the team. In converting the chickpea fritter to a burger, Mr. Capon amped up the herbs, smeared on plenty of tzatziki sauce and chose a coarser, crunchier grind.
Ultimately, how a restaurant rises to the challenge of a veggie burger can be a telling sign of its cooks’ core values.
“It gives you a lot of room to create,” said David Burke, the chef behind New York restaurants like Fishtail and David Burke Kitchen. At Fishtail, Mr. Burke eventually went with the tried-and-true pleasure-delivery system of a portobello mushroom with roasted peppers, basil mayo and mozzarella. “We treat it like an Italian sandwich without the meat,” he said.
Talking about the topic sent Mr. Burke into something of a creative reverie on the phone. “Falafel makes a good burger,” he started musing. “A corn risotto cake. Even a potato pancake, because a good burger has a little crunch, a little snap.”
That led him to think about creating an altogether different twist on an American icon: something perfect for the summer.
“A veggie lobster roll,” he said. “I’m going to try that.”
2010.05.18把玉米粉的用量減少20g，再試一次。哇塞！好吃到不行，一點都不亞於台大農場喔！超開心的啦！更多 -->牛奶雪花糕- 清蘭小舍- Yahoo!奇摩部落格
"Gomoku chirashi" (Provided by Katsumi Oyama)
"Gomoku chirashi" is sushi rice topped with a variety of colorful vegetables and others. "All you have to do is to stir-fry the ingredients together. You will get the perfect flavor that way," says cooking expert Atsuko Matsumoto.
INGREDIENTS (serves four to five)
540 cc (about 3 cups) rice
Vinegar seasoning (1/2 cup vinegar, 2 Tbsp sugar, 1.5 tsp salt)
Ingredients (60 grams dried shiitake mushrooms soaked in water, 1/2 piece konjac, 80 grams each of burdock root (gobo) and carrots, 2 pockets of deep-fried tofu (abura-age))
1 Tbsp cooking oil
Cooking stock (1 cup dashi, 2 Tbsp each of sake and sweet mirin sake, 3 Tbsp each of sugar and soy sauce, 1/2 tsp salt)
Young rapeseed flowers (nanohana)
Pickled ginger strips (benishoga)
Cut all ingredients into 3-cm matchsticks. Soak burdock root in water to remove bitterness.
Beat eggs with a dash of salt (not listed above), and strain through a metal sieve for a smooth texture. Heat pan, coat inside with oil and pour out any excess oil. Add drops of egg left in sieve to absorb excess oil. Then pour in enough egg liquid to cook a thin layer. Remove. Repeat, stack the egg sheets and cut into thin strips.
Boil rapeseed flowers.
Rinse rice, soak in water for 30 minutes and cook with a little less water than usual. In a pot, bring ingredients for vinegar seasoning to a boil and cool. When rice is cooked, transfer rice into a bowl, pour vinegar seasoning over the rice and mix it in with a rice paddle.
Add cooking oil to a pot and stir-fry ingredients other than carrots. Add cooking stock and stir with chopsticks over high heat for 7 to 8 minutes. Add carrots and cook for another few minutes. Remove from heat and let the flavors seep in.
When the sushi rice has cooled to body temperature, squeeze out some of the liquid in the cooked ingredients and scatter on top. Divide the rice into quarters in the bowl, and blend the ingredients and rice in quartered segments.
Serve in a bowl, cover with egg strips. Garnish with rapeseed flowers and pickled ginger.
* * *
From The Asahi Shimbun's Okazu Renshucho column
When customers visit one of the 1,770 Aldi Süd stores equipped with a self-service bread machine in the southern and western parts of Germany, they may think they've walked into the future. They simply press a button on a machine panel, and out pops what the discount chain claims is freshly baked bread.
But it's too good to be true, according to the German Bakers' Confederation in Berlin, which has brought a lawsuit against the chain claiming false advertising. They believe the machines simply warm up the bread, and maybe put a bit of a brown crust on it.
The fight recently heated up when Aldi denied a judge in Duisburg - where the lawsuit has been filed - the right to inspect the raw dough fed into the machines, which are largely hidden from customers' view.
Armin Werner of the German Bakers' Confederation told Deutsche Welle that "there are very strong indicators that they have something to hide."
"Various bakers discovered that the bread comes out at different temperatures, and that sometimes the rolls come out with a still-frozen center," he said. "We found their advertising claim that 'we're baking bread and rolls for you all day long' to be impudent."
When contacted by Deutsche Welle, Aldi Süd reiterated that a baking process takes place in its machines, and claimed it was protecting a trade secret by not allowing the judge access. Its supplier, Düsseldorf-based industrial baker Leiken, declined to comment.
German bakers under pressure
In a country with 300 individual bread types and a baking tradition dating at least to the Middle Ages, the issue of bread can be a sensitive one. Independent, artisanal bakers who Germans used to purchase their bread from have long been losing market share to nationwide franchises and discount chains.
Self-service bakeries like Back-Factory, Back-Werk, Baking Friends and Mr. Baker now produce freshly baked bread and pastries throughout the day with minimal personnel. Employees simply dump batches of fresh bread into Plexiglas partitions for customers to take and slide trays of prepared dough loaves into convection ovens.
But self-service bakeries only have 2 to 3 percent of the market, mainly because their low prices cause them to depend on sheer volume in order to profit, according to the German Bakers' Confederation. That means they need plenty of foot traffic. Back-Factory locations reportedly receive between 1,000 and 8,000 customers each day, depending on their location.
Reinald Wolf, an editor with the trade publication Allgemeine BäckerZeitung, says bakers generally aren't too concerned about their self-service counterparts.
"The grocery discounters are the ones who are making life difficult for bakers," he told Deutsche Welle. "They just undercut prices, and bakers can't match them."
Aldi's bread machine has been dubbed a "black box" in industry circles, according to Wolf, who added that the quality of bread coming from such machines varies greatly. By contrast, chains like Lidl, NORMA and Real bake bread in convection ovens on the sales floor, something which has won over customers.
"Of course that's more attractive because it is transparent - you can watch as it's done - and the bread stays fresher longer," Wolf said. "But in neighborhoods with these kinds of stores, revenues (for bakers) have to some degree dropped - sometimes up to 10 or 20 percent."
Catering to rock-bottom prices
For all their love of bread, German consumers are also known for extreme frugality when it comes to food. Not only do discount grocers provide the convenience of a one-stop shop, they are also willing to cut their prices to a bare minimum.
NORMA, for instance, recently reduced the price of a 1 kilogram loaf of bread by 10 euro cents to 1.19 euros and ciabatta-style bread from 35 to 29 euro cents. But as with many other foods in Germany, highly discounted prices may come at the expense of quality.
In the case of Aldi, the German Bakers' Confederation has also accused the discounter of skimping on ingredients. It claims the mixed rye bread available in Aldi's bread machines only contain 34 percent rye flower, instead of the regulation 50 to 90 percent.
"Concepts like Lidl has are significantly more threatening than that of Aldi," Werner said. "It's very difficult - year after year our bakery branch looses a little bit of market share to the grocery industry."
Author: Gerhard Schneibel
Editor: Kyle James
這種情形在中國大陸也很明顯，每個地方的人通常只吃那個地方的菜。即便是最靈光通達的上海人，日常用餐也難得逾越本幫與江浙菜的傳統。這當然沒什麼好壞對 錯，甚至可以說是最自然的狀態。但比較起來，台灣人因為長年受到族群遷徙融合的影響，口味明顯的雜而廣泛。賣包子、饅頭、刀削麵的店家往往與米粉、碗粿、 肉圓並列一條街，來客也不分族群，管你祖上是山東、客家、還是台南。不同的飲食傳統顯得稀鬆平常，因為完全被我們的肚子給內化了。
文化純粹論者或許惋歎世風日下，菜肴愈發欠缺道地。但我總覺得如果為了一個「道地」，硬把口味凝結在某個時空，未免有點畫地自限，因為食物和人一樣，是會 隨著時代與情勢演變的。為此，我們的江浙菜沒有上海吃到的那麼醬色深濃，我們的川菜也沒有四川吃到的那麼辣那麼油，甚至所謂的「川味牛肉麵」也創始於台 灣，總之就是本土化了的外省菜嘛！很通情達理啊！其實就連什麼算得上台灣代表性食物這件事，也不斷的在改變。廿年前，誰想得到台灣的「珍珠奶茶」會流傳到 世界各地，還常常附帶賣些「大腸包小腸」這種聽起來很奇怪的小吃呢？
所以我認為，與其在大陸興起的當下跟人家打道地，或是回歸狹義的本土，只承認閩南與原住民的傳統菜肴為正宗台灣菜，還不如自自然然的擁抱我們的多元背景。 且看當今全球美食界很受矚目的「加州菜」與「澳洲菜」，都是族群融合下的產物—它們主要以豐富的本土食材為依歸，再擷取歐亞各地的烹調與搭配手法，呈現出 符合地緣時令又有原創性的飲食，還造就了好幾個世界知名的大廚。回頭看台灣，我們的農產品本來就以種類和品質傲視全球，如果同樣以本土的優秀食材為取向， 並善用我們開放的味蕾和豐富的烹飪傳統，哪裡怕做不出有代表性的台灣菜呢？
近半年以來我住在上海，發現這裡到處都是台灣人開的餐廳。「永和豆漿大王」裡賣刈包也賣小餛飩，「鹿港小鎮」賣三杯雞也賣水煮牛，菜色的種類其實頗繁雜， 卻很清楚的讓人知道他們賣的是台灣菜；一來因為口味總有那麼點兒不一樣，二來因為他們清潔便利的小康形象很鮮明。再說十里洋場裡的老外特別愛去此地的「鼎 泰豐」吃小籠包，而且多半認定那是台灣菜，可見一道菜在人們心中隸屬哪個菜系，有時與傳統淵源沒有絕對的關係，反而深受周邊氛圍的影響。如果台灣菜能一直 與細膩的品管、舒適的環境和親切的服務畫上等號，哪裡怕沒有競爭力呢？