"color" news and stories
There's a solution to this problem that was invented by Raymond Calvel, a French baker who wrote "The Taste of Bread." Mr. Calvel developed a way to get the big fluffy bread while retaining its color and flavor. It's called autolyse, which translates as 'self destruct.' Autolyse is done when you mix only the flour and water of a bread recipe and let that rest for at least twenty minutes, and up to an hour. The flour and water are mixed enough that they are thoroughly incorporated, but not beyond that. This allows the flour to hydrate and the enzymes to start working, particularly protease which works to break down the protein in the flour.
Filed under: Ingredients
And they are not alone.
For a company to use the "USDA Organic" label, the ingredients must be organic and the colorings must be natural. The colorings must be from organic ingredients for a product to claim that it is 100% organic. Fresh produce and other products don't usually have issues with colorings, but other organic products do, which can give them a disadvantage in the marketplace because consumers expect their food items to look a certain way. Strawberry milk, for example, is generally a shade of pink.
So organic food processors are looking for natural plant sources that will produce the colors they want and trying to encourage farmers to produce organic versions. Beets are used for red, carrots for orange and turmeric for yellow in many products, but many categories are left without coloring. To help alleviate the problem and not put organics at a disadvantage, the National Organic Standards Board is planning to meet this spring "to devise a precise list of natural colors that can be used in organic foods until organic colors are commercially available."
New year, new episode of Bravo's Top Chef. The season picked up again this week with only seven of the original fifteen competitors still in the competition. At this point, the chefs have been living together for several weeks and, as in many situations where you have a group of type-A personalities, things are getting a little tense. Everyone in the group seems to oscillate back and forth between feeling compelled to act as a team trying to screw over everyone else so that they, as individuals, can get ahead. It makes things more interesting from a dramatic standpoint, but the chefs really need to get a grip on their tempers if they want to end up as Top Chef.
As the episode started out, one of the first things that we got to see was that Michael had a wisdom tooth pulled. He made it sound like he went to a less-than-reputable individual for the procedure, but seemed to be getting along fine aside from the pain and swelling. Medicated, Michael was much less feisty than usual. He noted that he hoped the challenges weren't too long and the rest of the tired-looking competitors agreed.
Filed under: Television/Film
Red, yellow, green and purple - are rainbow carrots the way of the future? Perhaps, but they could more accurately be called the carrots of the past because they have a long history. Purple and yellow carrots were grown as many as 1,000 years ago in Asia and Western Europe, although selective breeding programs to produce such colors for commercial purposes are fairly recent. Carrots are now regularly bred in purple, red, yellow and white, in addition to orange, and scientists say that there is added nutritional benefit to choosing a colorful vegetable over a more conventional one.
Red carrots have extra lycopene, which is also found in tomatoes and is believed to lower blood pressure and help to reduce the risk of some cancers. Yellow carrots promote eye health with beta-carotene-like pigments, and purple carrots have powerful antioxidants.
Even with health benefits to recommend them, the carrots are not an easy sell. This is in part because neither consumers nor producers are really sure what to look for as a sign of a good purple carrot, whereas most people look for a good color and relatively smooth skin for an orange one. The bigger issue is that consumers don't know what they're going to taste like and are reluctant to branch out. But the carrots taste pretty much the same, regardless of their color, and some taste even sweeter than a standard carrot.
Some Trader Joe's locations started carrying the rainbow carrots this week, and they're worth a try if you see them there or at your local grocery store.
While browsing the list of Coldstone's latest summer flavors, all of which are targeted at kids, I had so wonder why it is that kids like blue ice cream because one of the new flavors is "Beary Beary Blue," described as cotton candy ice cream with gummi bears . Blue ice cream is not a new phenomenon, not by a long shot, but it's just a bit of a mystery why kids like the stuff. The real question is whether kids actually want blue ice cream, creating a demand for it, or if they eat it because it is what is marketed to them.
I tend to believe it is the latter and that kids, who are perfectly satisfied with regular ice creams at home, go crazy over wacky flavors and colors because it is labeled as a "kids" ice cream. As far as I can tell, this is the reason that I ate some of that stuff as a kid. I was drawn in by the promise of gummi bears and bits of bubble gum and, though I hated the way that they turned rock hard and inedible in the ice cream, I often ordered them anyway.
I'd rather see kids' ice creams that come in less electric colors and with additions that kids want to eat, not just with ones that they want to order. I suspect that there are a few kids who would disagree with me over the blue ice cream part, but even they might change their minds when they get down to those rock hard gummi bears.