Monday, September 19, 2011

Around The Culinary World

Good evening everyone! After jumping back into blogging form our long vacation last week, we’re ready to make a full return to a ‘regular schedule’ this week. That means a return to Around the Culinary World. The cooking world was busy while we were away, leaving us with a lot of stories to cover for this week. Warning, the term pickle chemist will be used below. Yeah – it’s that kind of week for stories. Let’s dive in!

A two year secret project was recently completed by a major fast food chain. This project was titled ‘Project Gold Hamburger’ and focused on redesigning their staple burger offering. The company went as far as to consult a pickle chemist (which apparently is a real job…) to guarantee a perfect flavor. Who is the company behind this massive burger overhaul? Learn more about the secret project and its grand reveal HERE.

Google the term "pickle chemist" in image search - this is the only thing that shows up in the top 5. Made up job? I think so...

Even if you enjoy cooking, there are simply some things you don’t enjoy doing. For me, it’s making guacamole and mirepoix. I don’t enjoy slicing onions (which you really need to do when making mirepoix) nor do I enjoy peeling and slicing avocados. Luckily, there are products out there to help every chef. The biggest one has to be marinara sauce. Sure, you can make your own sauce by crushing and stewing tomatoes, basil, garlic and whatever else you want – will it taste great? You bet. Will it also be a pain in your rear end? You bet. That’s why most people simply buy their marinara sauce pre-made. But, which sauce tops the rest? KitchenDaily conducted a test of some of the major sauces on the market. Who topped the charts? The results may surprise you! Check it out HERE.

One of my favorite treats is a good bourbon or whiskey. I enjoy savoring a deep, rich, well aged flavor on a cool fall night. Now that the cool crisp falls winds have begun crawling across our lawns, the bourbon and whiskey producers have begun to roll out their new lines. Which ones are shaping up as must tries during the fall and winter months? The Huffington Post has a handy little list of rums, bourbons and other liquors to keep your eye on this fall. Check it out HERE.

Iowa's own is not on the list...probably because it's been in short supply since last fall. C'mon guys, I want to try this stuff!

Every health market, diet consultant and morning news program has rolled out their own list of ‘foods to avoid’ and most of them consist of the same products all the time. Refined sugar, fast food, processed foods, buttery foods. Essentially, they’re not telling you anything new or groundbreaking. Processed food is bad for you – sugar too. But I don’t think people who engorge themselves on Pepsi and McDonald’s are expecting to look like a super model. Organic Authority has composed their own list of ‘don’t eat’ foods, and, for the most part, it’s the same list. What I like about their list, however, is the explanations they provide along with the foods to avoid. It’s worth a read we think – check it out HERE.

Wait...this is bad for me? WHAT??

Chances are, you have a few pieces of glass bake ware in your kitchen. Be it Pyrex or another brand, every at home cook has some piece of ‘sturdy, durable SHATTER RESITANT’ bake ware. It’s a right of passage it seems, you know you’re all grown up when you get your first Pyrex dish. Consumer Reports has just completed an investigation on these common kitchen items and found something shocking – the sturdy, durable product may actually be the most dangerous and breakable thing in your kitchen. Their study finds that the product is prone to explosive cracking when put through common activities in the kitchen (you know, things it was designed for!) Check out the story HERE.

Maggie and I have experience with Pyrex and its dangerous properties. During a Christmas gathering at our apartment, Maggie was washing a Pyrex storage dish and dropped it when she was not paying attention to what she was doing (accidents happen, glass breaks, everyone has a brain dead – “oops” moment with glass. I’ve had them, Maggie’s had them, it’s a right of passage). You expect the dish to break, to crack – to be ruined in some way. What you don’t expect is an explosive destruction of the dish. This bowl shattered into thousands of tiny (less than ¼ or 1/8 of an inch) pieces. Some flew up to Maggie’s face; some flew a solid 6 feet into the dining room where I was standing. This ‘durable’ glass acted like it was primed with TNT. A short, 4 foot drop ended in an absolute explosion of sharp glass shards. That’s when we realized that this glass bake ware is really an injury waiting to happen. If you treat it very carefully, it’s a useful item – but if you run into any issues, it’s a dangerous force in the kitchen.

Finally this week, we’ll cover a few ‘unique stories’ First we have a list of the most unique and bizarre pizza toppings. Check out his unique collection HERE.

Did you know it’s possible to ruin grilled cheese? Apparently so. Did you also know that it’s possible to ‘fancify’ grilled cheese? Yup, there’s a world out there of fancy (costly) grilled cheese sandwiches. This results in a ruined grilled cheese when done incorrectly. Is any of this blowing your mind like it blew mine? Fancy grilled cheese? REALLY? Well, here’s how to ruin it – so…don’t do this to grilled cheese.

That’s all we have for you this evening. We’ve got a front loaded week of cooking lined up. Maggie is taking to the kitchen on Tuesday night and I’m following immediately on Wednesday. Be sure to stop back tomorrow night to see what Maggie has cooking. Until then,  (Oh and yes, we did do a little blog redesign to give it more of a fall feel!)


No comments:

Post a Comment