RESTAURANT REVIEW: ‘ When Eating Out of Can Is the Height of Luxury in London’s Soho ‘

In the heart of London’s Soho sits a gleaming new restaurant — Tincan. The premise is simple: No kitchen, very few staff, and the menu all comes out of a can. Specifically, canned fish.

Tincan sells gourmet canned fish from around the world, though many of the items come from Portugal and Spain, where tinned delicacies have long been appreciated as culinary luxuries.

Tincan sells gourmet canned fish from around the world, though many of the items come from Portugal and Spain, where tinned delicacies have long been appreciated as culinary luxuries.

To many people, canned food conjures up images of stocking up for winter, emergency rations, or — for Brits — the deprivations of World War II.

“The big challenge we had was how to change the perception of tinned food in the U.K.,” says Max Arrocet, one of the directors of AL_A, the architecture firm behind Tincan. He and his team, he says, wanted to “elevate the tin to an object of desire.”

Indeed, there’s a strong element of buying with your eyes at Tincan. Rows of gourmet-quality tins, beautifully packaged in collectible-worthy cans, are displayed at eye level.

“This combines our two passions: design and food,” Arrocet tells me when I meet him for lunch at Tincan.

The products are carefully chosen not just for taste, but for presentation. “If we have two products that are very close in terms of taste, we will definitely go for the tin that looks better,” he says.

Most products on the menu come from Portugal and Spain, Arrocet’s native country, where tinned delicacies have long been appreciated as culinary luxuries. On the day I visit, there are over 20 different varieties of tinned delicacies on display. The shelves in the shop behind the counter boast even more options.

The writer's meal included anchovies and baby squid in their own ink, served with sides of bread and small bowls of salad greens, chopped onions and peppers.

The writer’s meal included anchovies and baby squid in their own ink, served with sides of bread and small bowls of salad greens, chopped onions and peppers.

We order the baby squid served in its own ink, some anchovies and cod liver. The food arrives quickly, unsurprising given that no preparation is needed.

Arrocet recommends the cod with a  drop of oil and some sea salt. The squid is my favorite, and goes well with the plate of bread that comes as a standard side dish at Tincan, along with a very small bowl of salad greens. The anchovies taste nothing like what I was expecting: Instead of sharp, salty, “pizza anchovies,” these are fleshy, smooth-textured.

Sourcing is a big deal for Tincan, Arrocet says. “Family-run  businesses make better products,” he comments. His team, he says, scrutinizes the credentials of all of their suppliers. When they first opened Tincan, the owners faced criticism over one of their bluefin tuna products — so they stopped stocking it.

Arrocet thinks canned food is one of  the greenest options around: Tinned fish has a long shelf life, there’s no refrigeration required in the transportation phase, and even in the restaurant itself, the products don’t need to be cooled. Only the anchovies are kept at a low temperature. “But in reality, you don’t really need to — we’re doing it because that’s what they suggest you do,” Max says. “So if you think about it in terms of energy efficiency, this is really energy efficient.”

Some popular canned fish species, like sardines, can also be a relatively more sustainable option, as well as a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, which is why celebrity chefs like England’s Jamie Oliver and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall have been advocating their use in recent years. In Paris, Alain Ducasse has said he plans to use “humbler” fish in his newly reopened, three-Michelin-starred restaurant.




‘ The ‘Sioux Chef’ Is Putting Pre-Colonization Food Back On The Menu ‘

Like most chefs, Sean Sherman practically lives in the kitchen. But in his spare time, this member of the Oglala Lakota tribe has been on a quest to identify the foods his ancestors ate on the Great Plains before European settlers appeared on the scene. After years of researching and experimenting with “pre-colonization” foods, he’s preparing to open a restaurant in the Twin Cities this winter that showcases those foods, reborn for contemporary palates.

Sean Sherman, who calls himself the "Sioux Chef," grew up on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota.

Sean Sherman, who calls himself the “Sioux Chef,” grew up on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota.

Sherman, who calls himself the Sioux Chef, grew up on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. It’s where he first started to learn about the traditional foods of the Plains, whether it was hunting animals like pronghorn antelope and grouse, or picking chokecherries for wojapi, a berry soup.

“We were close to the Badlands and its sand hills, which is not the best growing area by far,” says Sherman, who’s now 40. “But we would also spend weeks in the Black Hills, crawling around and learning stuff.”

Sherman’s grandfather was among the first Native American children to go to mission schools on the reservation, and he was one of Sherman’s first teachers. Forced assimilation during the 19th and early 20th centuries wiped out much of Native American food culture across the country. When his grandfather died when Sherman was 18, he was left with many unanswered questions.

In the meantime, Sherman worked his way up in the restaurant world, eventually becoming an executive chef at Minneapolis’ La Bodega in 2000. Around the same time, he had the idea to write a Lakota cookbook. Although there were some Native American cookbooks already on the market, he says he found that most of them focused on the Southwest or made too many generalizations about food across regions and tribes.



‘ Best Cheese to Use for Making Pizza ‘

Scientists Explain Why Nobody Puts Cheddar on Pizza

Denis Vrublevski/Shutterstock

Here is what happens, chemically, when you bake a pizza. (Warning: The following description will be ever-so-slightly disgusting.)

The water molecules contained in the cheese atop the pizza—all those little H2Os, trapped between the protein and the fat—heat up. In fairly short order, the water begins to boil. When that happens, the water becomes steam. But the steam is trapped in the cheese—inside all that protein and fat—so it can’t evaporate into the surrounding air. Instead, it pushes against the surface of the cheese. The cheese, in turn, starts to bubble.

So that’s what generally happens. What that basic process looks like in practice, though, varies greatly depending on which kind of cheese tops the pizza. If the cheese has more moisture, the bubbles the steam creates will be large. A less elastic cheese will produce smaller bubbles.

And that distinction, in turn, affects what is arguably the best part of a pizza: the cheese’s ability to brown in the oven. All that bubbling and steaming causes the oil to leak out of the melting cheese, settling on the surface. Cheese with high moisture content and low fat content will create bubbles large enough to break that surface of oil, exposing the moisture in the bubble directly to the oven’s heat—meaning that it evaporates, leaving the rest of the cheese to brown. Only some cheeses produce that effect, though. If a cheese is low-moisture and low-fat, it will burn; if it’s high-moisture and high-fat it will simply stay greasy without browning.

All of which helps to explain why, when it comes to pizza, there is one cheese to rule them all—and why that cheese is, greasy hands down, mozzarella. Mozzarella hits that high-moisture, low-fat sweet spot that makes for a bendable, brownable pizza topping. And now, thanks to a team of food scientists at the University of Auckland in New Zealand, we know a bit more about why that is.

The researchers, the BBC reports, developed a high-resolution camera, along with specialized computer software, that are able to measure, with unprecedented precision, the blistering and browning of pizza cheese. They then put various kinds of cheeses to the pizza-topping test—because quantification. Because curiosity. Because science.

The experiment went like this: The team sprinkled grated forms of several different cheeses—cheddar, colby, edam, emmental, gruyere, provolone, and, of course, mozzarella—on pizza crusts and baked them in an oven. (The baking time was the same for each variety, as was, for each experimental “pizza,” a lack of sauce.) The team then used its camera to capture the color uniformity of the cheese—browned spots indicating a lack of uniformity—to render an analysis of a cheese’s ability to brown. They also subjected the cheese to what the BBC delightfully terms “a standard panel of cheese tests,” including measurements of elasticity, moisture content, the amount of oil released as the cheese melts, and the temperature at which it melts.

The team’s results, recently published in the Journal of Food Science, confirm that browning, as Bryony James, the the study leader, explains in a video accompanying the paper, “is dictated by a combination of the composition and the mechanical properties of the cheese itself, as well as every other component of the pizza.” They also confirm what generations of pizza bakers and pizza enthusiasts have long known: that pizza, in its Platonic Form, is topped with mozzarella. Ooey, gooey, chemically perfect mozzarella.

Via BBC Future


‘ Our Saturday Night Supper Favourite Home Made Pizza In 4 Easy Steps ‘

Here is a real Saturday Night Favourite that we love. Hope you will as well.



For the base

  • 300g strong bread flour
  • 1 tsp instant yeast (from a sachet or a tub)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for drizzling

For the tomato sauce

  • 100ml passata
  • handful fresh basil or 1 tsp dried
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed

For the topping

  • 125g ball mozzarella, sliced
  • handful grated or shaved parmesan
  • handful cherry tomatoes, halved

To finish

  • handful basil leaves (optional)


  1. Make the base: Put the flour into a large bowl, then stir in the yeast and salt. Make a well, pour in 200ml warm water and the olive oil and bring together with a wooden spoon until you have a soft, fairly wet dough. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 mins until smooth. Cover with a tea towel and set aside. You can leave the dough to rise if you like, but it’s not essential for a thin crust.
  2. Make the sauce: Mix the passata, basil and crushed garlic together, then season to taste. Leave to stand at room temperature while you get on with shaping the base.
  3. Roll out the dough: If you’ve let the dough rise, give it a quick knead, then split into two balls. On a floured surface, roll out the dough into large rounds, about 25cm across, using a rolling pin. The dough needs to be very thin as it will rise in the oven. Lift the rounds onto two floured baking sheets.
  4. Top and bake: Heat oven to 240C/fan 220C /gas 8. Put another baking sheet or an upturned baking tray in the oven on the top shelf. Smooth sauce over bases with the back of a spoon. Scatter with cheese and tomatoes, drizzle with olive oil and season. Put one pizza, still on its baking sheet, on top of the preheated sheet or tray. Bake for 8-10 mins until crisp. Serve with a little more olive oil, and basil leaves if using. Repeat step for remaining pizza.

‘ All About Apples and Their Health Benefits ‘

Scientists at Washington State University have concluded that non-digestible compounds in apples – specifically, Granny Smith apples – may help prevent disorders associated with obesity. The study, thought to be the first to assess these compounds in apple cultivars grown in the Pacific Northwest, appears in October’s print edition of the journal Food Chemistry.

“We know that, in general, apples are a good source of these nondigestible compounds but there are differences in varieties,” said food scientist Giuliana Noratto, the study’s lead researcher. “Results from this study will help consumers to discriminate between apple varieties that can aid in the fight against obesity.”

Golden Delicious, Gala, Granny Smith and Red Delicious apples. (Photo courtesy of USDA ARS)

The tart green Granny Smith apples benefit the growth of friendly bacteria in the colon due to their high content of non-digestible compounds, including dietary fiber and polyphenols, and low content of available carbohydrates. Despite being subjected to chewing, stomach acid and digestive enzymes, these compounds remain intact when they reach the colon. Once there, they are fermented by bacteria in the colon, which benefits the growth of friendly bacteria in the gut.

The study showed that Granny Smith apples surpass Braeburn, Fuji, Gala, Golden Delicious, McIntosh and Red Delicious in the amount of nondigestible compounds they contain.

“The nondigestible compounds in the Granny Smith apples actually changed the proportions of fecal bacteria from obese mice to be similar to that of lean mice,” Noratto said.

The discovery could help prevent some of the disorders associated with obesity such as low-grade, chronic inflammation that can lead to diabetes. The balance of bacterial communities in the colon of obese people is disturbed. This results in microbial byproducts that lead to inflammation and influence metabolic disorders associated with obesity, Noratto said.

“What determines the balance of bacteria in our colon is the food we consume,” she said.

Re-establishing a healthy balance of bacteria in the colon stabilizes metabolic processes that influence inflammation and the sensation of feeling satisfied, or satiety, she said.

The study was funded with an Emerging Research Issues Internal Competitive Grant from the Agricultural Research Center at Washington State University’s College of Agricultural, Human and Natural Resource Sciences.



‘ Winter Warmer Banana and Bailey’s Bread Butter Pudding ‘

Hello Foodies,

Cooked this one the other day from the Great Jamie Oliver and it really is great …….. #chefstip .. Recommended.

Bailey's Bread and Butter Pudding '

Bailey’s Bread and Butter Pudding ‘

This is my ultimate new twist on that classic British pud that everyone loves. I’ve added a super-gooey layer of bananas, pecans and chocolate, and with the addition of Baileys, this is definitely my new guilty pleasure. Just be really careful when using the blowtorch – when it lights the sugar, it can flare up unexpectedly and I don’t want you singeing your eyebrows like Jonathan Ross almost did!


  • 75 g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing, softened

  • 7 to 8 slices good-quality white bread

  • 100 g golden caster sugar , plus 1 heaped tablespoon for sprinkling

  • 1 vanilla pod, halved lengthways and seeds scraped out

  • 4 large free-range eggs

  • 600 ml double cream

  • 600 ml semi-skimmed milk

  • 4 ripe bananas

  • 75 g pecan nuts

  • 100 ml Baileys

  • Optional

  • 100 g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)


Preheat the oven to 180°C/350F/gas 4. Lightly butter the bread on one side, then cut each piece in half diagonally.
Whisk the sugar, vanilla seeds and eggs together in a large bowl until well combined, then pour in the cream and milk and continue whisking until smooth. Peel and roughly slice the bananas, then roughly bash up the pecans and chocolate, if using.

Rub the inside of a baking dish (roughly 25cm x 30cm) with a little butter, then layer up the bread (butter-side up), bananas, pecans and chocolate, if using, finishing with a final layer of bread (again butter-side up). Drizzle over the Baileys and custardy mixture, then leave to stand for around 20 minutes, or until the bread begins to soak up the liquid.

Bake in the hot oven for around 35 minutes, or until set around the edges but still wobbly in the middle. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly, then serve as is, or sprinkle over the caster sugar and blast with a blowtorch to caramelise the top. Delicious served with good-quality vanilla ice cream.

Nutritional Information Amount per serving:
  • Calories78539%
  • Carbs53.4g21%
  • Sugar31.1g35%
  • Fat56.1g80%
  • Saturates29.7g148%
  • Protein13.8g31%
Of an adult’s reference intake