‘ 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

#ChefsTip

#Chef-tips ” Preparing Soy Sauces”


#AceFoodNews says here is my latest health food tip, it true that the traditional methods of preparing and consuming soy are greatly disregarded today?

In many Asian traditions, soybeans have always undergone processes of fermentation and aging before they have been consumed. Soy sauces, soy curds (made into tofu), soy pastes (made into miso), and other soy products like tempeh have all been traditionally produced through methods that take time and revolve around the ability of microorganisms (mostly “friendly bacteria” that are very desirable inhabitants of our digestive tract) to convert the cooked soybeans into a more digestible, nutrient-rich, and health-supportive food.

I’ve seen studies, for example, comparing soy foods fermented with the bacterium Bifidobacterium to non-fermented soy foods. In these studies (conducted on mice) the fermented foods were able to support the skin and connective tissue of the animals (by increasing the production of a substance called hyaluronic acid) in a way that the non-fermented products were not. Two phytoestrogens (called genistein and daidzen) were also found to be present in the fermented foods but not detectable in the non-fermented versions.

Research has clearly shown that soy proteins become more digestible with fermentation. A significant percentage of soy proteins get broken down into shorter protein strands (called polypeptides) or even into single amino acids during the process of fermentation. These protein forms require less chemical activity in our digestive tract and are much better prepared for digestion than whole, intact proteins.

I’ve also seen studies that examined traditional fermentation process used to make soy sauce (shoyu), and these studies suggest that the antioxidant properties of soy sauce and the potentially cancer-preventive properties of soy sauce are both related to the process of fermentation.

In addition, these studies show that the risk of allergy to soy is decreased through the process of fermentation. This conclusion makes sense to me, because many food allergies involve our immune system’s response to food proteins, and the proteins in soy are clearly changed during the fermentation process.

From a manufacturing standpoint, however, there are challenges with traditional fermentation methods for soy. Proper fermenting takes time, adds complexity to production, and may not match with existing consumer expectations in terms of texture or taste. Lengthy fermentation processes may also bring a cost factor into production. Preservation of unique characteristics in the final food product can also be an issue.

The majority of soy products in the marketplace today is not fermented and therefore would be expected to lack the unique health benefits provided by soy foods that have been prepared using traditional fermentation methods.

While there appear to be special health benefits from the consumption of traditionally fermented soy foods, non-fermented soy foods can still make a very nourishing contribution to your diet. We definitely like some of the unique health-supporting aspects of fermented soy foods (and other fermented foods as well), but we encourage you to consider all types of whole soy products and their great potential for improving health and nourishment.

(Please note that we prefer organic soybeans and foods made from them since they are not grown from genetically modified seeds.)

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“Detoxify Your Body with Detoxifying Mint Tea”


#AceFoodNews says need to detoxify after all that #ChristmasFayre then maybe this simple blending of “Herbal Tea” maybe just the ticket #chef-tips

Courtesy of: Heidi Swanson at: 101 Cookbooks

heidi101_101ymlplogo.jpg Blending your own herbal tea is a revelation. Once you start, it’s hard to go back to tea bags. This way, you’re able to shape your blends to be as simple or complex as you like. You control the flavour profile and ingredients entirely, it’s great. I liken it to making your own soup versus buying canned soup, and tend to bounce around from one blend to another. For a stretch it was this turmeric tea, lately it has been this detox-y ginger mint blend. The tea is green-tasting from mint and coriander, and fennel-sweet. The layered peppery-ness comes from black peppercorns and freshly muddled ginger, and with all sorts of beneficial goodness in it – lemon, cumin, the fresh ginger – it just feels good going down. You can pre-blend the dry ingredients and keep the in a small jar on the counter, making it easy to brew a cup. This pot made the drive to Big Sur with me. I poured it in a thermos, slipped it in my weekend bag, and sipped my way down the coast where we did some Christmas hiking (and surprise whale watching!). …

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#AceHealthNews

“Sauteed Fennel Salmon And #ChefTips”


#AceRecipeNews says this is wholesome and nutritional meal with all the ingredients adding to your healthy, mind and body

#chef-tips

Today’s Recipe

If you don’t know what to serve for dinner tonight …

This is a great way to enjoy fennel. The flavour of the fennel wonderfully complements the rich taste of salmon for a complete meal that takes only 15 minutes to prepare!

15-Minute Sautéed Fennel Salmon

15-Minute Sautéed Fennel Salmon

Prep and Cook Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/2 lbs salmon fillet, cut into 8 pieces, skin and bones removed
  • 1 TBS + 1/4 cup chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 large fennel bulb sliced thin, save 1 TBS chopped green tops to use for garnish
  • 2 TBS fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • salt and white pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Season salmon with a little salt and white pepper. Set aside.
  2. Heat 1 TBS broth in 10-12 inch stainless steel skillet. Healthy Sauté fennel bulb in broth over medium heat for 1 minute stirring constantly.
  3. Add 1/4 cup broth, lemon juice, pinch salt and pepper, and place salmon on top.
  4. Reduce heat to low and cover. Cook for about 5 minutes. Do not overcook fennel, or it will lose its flavor. Sprinkle with chopped green fennel tops. Adjust seasoning to taste and serve.

Serves 4Serving Suggestions: Serve with

  • Pureed Sweet Peas

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In-Depth Nutritional Profile for 15-Minute Sautéed Fennel Salmon

Healthy Food Tip

I’ve heard that black pepper stays in our body for many years and is a health hazard. Is that true?

No, it’s not true. First of all, black pepper is a complex food composed of many different substances. No complex food that we eat stays inside our body whole and intact. Complex foods don’t even get absorbed into our body as whole, intact foods. Instead, they are broken down into much smaller parts in our digestive tract before they ever get absorbed.

Therefore, at the very most, it would only be some isolated component of black pepper (not black pepper itself) that was absorbed into our body (via our bloodstream) and then stayed either in storage or in transit for a long period of time. However, this also is not the case. For example, one of the substances that can act as a type of irritant in black pepper (and provoke a sneeze, for example) is a well-studied alkaloid called piperine. In animal studies, researchers have found that it takes between 6—24 hours for over 90% of this substance to be cleared from the body. Other important substances found in black pepper, like the polysaccharides that have been shown to have potential immune-supportive properties, would also be readily metabolized.

For a food component to stay inside our body for any extended period of time, it would have to be stored inside some body tissue that kept it fairly strongly attached. Minerals found in food can sometimes be stored in this way when they become part of the bone matrix. It’s possible for the bone matrix to hold on to some of its mineral content throughout the course of a lifetime. However, the whole, intact foods that we eat only serve as the initial carriers of these minerals from the outside world into our body. The foods themselves do not stay inside us undigested.

References:

Chun H, Shin DH, Hong BS, et al. Biochemical properties of polysaccharides from black pepper. Biol Pharm Bull. 2002 Sep; 25(9):1203-8.

Bhat BG, Chandrasekhara N. Studies on the metabolism of piperine: absorption, tissue distribution and excretion of urinary conjugates in rats. Toxicology. 1986 Jul; 40(1):83-92.

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