I am very fortunate to be living in beautiful County Waterford in Ireland. Of course I don’t feel fortunate all of the time. Just like growing up in the beautiful city of Edinburgh, I didn’t really appreciate it until I left. So it takes little reminders every now and then, away from everyday life, to regain that sense of appreciation. Like some of the spectacular sunsets we’ve had in the past few months. Glowing red, orange and pink clouds on a background of vivid blue stretching across the nearby estuary and surrounded by black silhouetted mountains. Then only a very short drive into the countryside to be immersed in fields. Although, a lot of fields look like no more than a lot of fields, until one day something big and pink is seen sitting in them.…….. Continue reading
Now for the second part of my little exploration into moisture in tea and coffee. This time I’m focussing on coffee. Unlike tea, there is a lot written about the impact of moisture on coffee and this splits generally into two issues. One is the growth of fungi, a favourite topic in my blog articles, and the other is an effect on flavour that makes coffee taste bitter. Have you heard about either of these two issues? There is a very good chance that you have….. Continue reading
Back to moisture this week specifically moisture in tea and coffee. Should we be concerned? Both tea and coffee take up moisture in certain circumstances. Have you ever thought about why in a lot of places tea bags are left out for you to add hot water, but coffee is always prepared for you? Of course there’s the marketing angle of “Fresh Coffee”, but, because of moisture, there is a very good reason why we don’t see DIY coffee…….. Continue reading
I’m back to blogging after a short time away in Edinburgh. It was a few days of mixed emotions. I gave the eulogy at my mother’s funeral on Friday the 11th of March then two days later watched Scotland beat France in a great victory at Murrayfield. Returning to Ireland and checking my rainfall meter, showed that there was no rain whilst I was away. We’ve not had any rain since, which makes it 14 days rain free and a welcome break from all the wet weather of the past 3 months. Easter is arriving this weekend and thinking of eggs, I thought a few ‘foustie’ ones would be of interest. A dilemma I had was on which article to post first. This one about eggs, or, my previous one on chickens. Continue reading
Sorry about the pun in the title. Actually this is a serious matter. Demands from a rapidly increasing human population means that food production techniques have to be maximised for efficiency. Moisture has a proven effect on the size of poultry grown in large numbers. Research on broilers (chickens for eating) and turkeys shows that their living conditions impact directly on their growth and health. Studies in the United States have estimated the cost of lack of moisture control to run into several hundred million dollars each year. But how can something that sounds so simple be such a big problem?
Out of the blue, a man talking about blue cheese and caves! Interesting enough on its own to maybe tune in and listen. Then, he mentions that magic word for me, “humidity”. Roquefort cheese from the Aveyron region in France is matured in a cave. And there is a very long history of the cheese makers in this region using the steady temperature and humidity conditions of the caves. But equally as fascinating for me is that the caves were also the original source of the fungus that gives the cheese its blue streaks.… Continue reading
Biscuit or Cake?
Imagine not knowing the difference!
I might say “Thank you very much. I’ll have a nice cake to dunk in my tea”. Doesn’t quite work does it?
What about a Jaffa Cake? A quick dip into the hot tea just enough to start melting the chocolate and into your mouth for a bite of warm chocolatey citrus delight.
Who cares about the difference? Let’s bring in the lawyers for a decision. Well, McVitie’s did, and didn’t have to pay the UK tax man VAT on about £1 billion yearly sales of Jaffas… Continue reading
Wasting food a “pet hate”
Wasting food is a “pet hate” of mine. I’m not sure where this comes from exactly. A number of reasons probably. When I was young I had a hiatus hernia that made it difficult to swallow food so never really enjoyed meals until the hernia was repaired. Now I enjoy eating most foods so not wasting food might come from an appreciation of just being able to eat properly. Another reason may come from a social conscious of being in a position of having plenty of food if I want when others in the world are starving. A third and probably quite significant reason is being self-employed. There were times when months would go by with little or no income so only buying food in small amounts and having minimal waste became a financially beneficial habit.So what’s this got to do with moisture-matters? The picture might give a clue. Continue reading