Thursday, 28 May 2015

The Science of Chocolate for chocofreaks !

I have recently discovered one of the most fascinating "cooking" books I have ever come across in many many many years: Jeff Potter´s compilation of recipes with some extremely interesting science behind it. This is Food Science for the masses.

 Ok, now I have more respect , even so, to chocolate makers because they have created one of the most addictive foods in the whole world. And after reading Potter´s book now I can understand even better why some chocolate bars are to die for while others... well.... are crap.

 .I want to sum up the highlights I found most interesting for food geeks. And to make food science a bit more fun, lets start with: Did you know...?

1- Tempering is not the same as melting: tempering the chocolate is actually melting the different fats present in cocoa butter.

Photo taken from

2- Melted and Tempered chocolate should be kept between 31.5 and 32.5 C . Go higher or lower and your chocolate will turn into a big piece of (===)

3- Cocoa butter is made of 6 different types(or structures) of fats! 
    Each one melts at different temperature. 

4- Each batch of cocoa butter will have different composition of fats. 

5-When chocolate cools down and solidifies, if the fat crystals that form the structure are mostly of the following forms :
Fat crystals 1-4 = Crap chocolate (rough gritty chocolate)
Fat crystals: 5-6= Smooth chocolate

Taken from

5-Chocolate exposed to extreme temperatures will turn into crap chocolate. And this is why some chocolate makers have a break during summer time, as it is very difficult to keep temperature stable for good quality chocolate. Don´t Refrigerate!!! Only if it´s too hot in summer, but ensure that you wrap it well and inside airtight container. 

6- Cocoa butter picks up the smell of whatever is around it. Careful with Onions, garlics and any other foods next to your chocolate. Some people like it though::

Japanese black garlic chocolates

 I wish I had studied more interesting subjects like this one at Uni. I guess wines, jams, pickles (really???) and cured hams were too important to skip in a Food Industries degree... 



Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Detox stupidity .... Warning : this post will make you eat all you haven't eaten in 1 week of juice diet

Where do I start??

Let's start with detox, the word: this popular word that essentially means elimination of impurities, toxins and undesirable residues from our body.

This is what a Detox Plan aims at. Right? And how is that done? Well, by basically reducing any solid food to the minimum (or to nothing) for 1 week (2, even 3!) and surviving with liquids, fresh (and very expensive) juices bought as part of the plan of the moment or made at home with those exotic foods that no tight budget can afford.

But, let's rewind.... so, isn't that elimination of toxins what is supposed to be already doing our organs? The Human Body is  a perfect machine, it really is (until you destroy it of course). We have 3 beautiful and complex organs> liver, kidney, lungs. They are the detox kings of our body. The metabolism recycles and eliminates harmful molecules. Yes, it is true that certain heavy metals and pesticides tend to accumulate if we eat too much of the foods that contain it. It is advised to limit the consumption of  red tuna and swordfish in pregnant or to eliminate spinach and chard in baby purees. But other than that, these detox diets talk about other toxins that I don't even know.

Why this new trend?
1- We live in the society of fast results
2- We feel polluted, dirty, exposed to contaminants and hormones ... eeewww

Detox Claims...Really???: Rapid fat loss! (not!)Feel happier in days! (and hungrier and hungrier too)

Who started this?

This guy: Joe Cross an obese Aussie that decided to on a extreme diet of 60 days with juice only, and documented it in a film Fat, sick and nearly dead.

Who is the winner?

The juice makers and the magazines!!! and all the emerging juice shops and bottled juice plans you can buy in a health store.
And of course the gurus of the detox plans and diets who claim to have regained all health and lost all weight.

Who is the loser?

Your wallet first and everyone desperate to regain health in 1 month... and stay like that forever
You earn your health and detox your body every single day of your life> Do you think that the woman or man that works out and eats healthy (almost) everyday and rarely drinks alcohol needs a detox diet? No, because he/she never overuses and saturates his/her body to the point of damaging the organs.
Your social life and energy to exercise(if you ever move your body) will be reduced to the minimum! No active workout can be carried out for days without giving the body some fuel. 

Put the best fuel to your Mercedes and drive it regularly. That's all!