Wednesday, 5 September 2018

Some thoughts about food.

This morning I did my usual Wednesday run to Uppermill to buy fresh fish and some fruit and veg from the Wednesday morning market. My quest for tasty apples (I am very picky about apples) was rewarded with a hybrid apple from the fruit and veg man. He is my usual source of Coxes apples at this time of year but the apples on his stall, although they had a Coxes look about them didn’t quite convince me. So I asked and was informed that they are a Coxes cross. He wasn’t sure what they were crossed with and told me that they grower has not yet decided on a name for the resulting fruit. However, he assured me that they were tasty and so I bought a few to try. Sampled in our late breakfast, they proved to be a good buy.

Here’s something I found about sweet hummus, a concept I find rather odd:

“There is, it has to be said, something slightly unappealing about the thought of sweet hummus. Chickpeas are a natural bedfellow for tahini, garlic and cumin. But chocolate? Mixed berries? Banoffee? It would help if Harry Tyndall had a rootsy backstory with which to sell his sweet hummus – if he were reviving an ancient Levantine dessert, say, or had been handed down a family recipe through 17 generations. But no – when he first had the idea, he struggled to find others who had tried anything similar (one US company, Delighted By Hummus, served as inspiration with its chocolate, vanilla and snickerdoodle flavours). His company, Hou Loves Hou, is the first to sell sweet hummus in the UK. Could the hot fudge brownies and creme brulees of this world really be defeated by hummus?

Actually, Tyndall hopes to disrupt the spread market – compared with jams, nut butters and chocolate spreads, Hou is healthier, boasting lower sugar and saturated fat content, thanks to its virtuous chickpea base. Still, sweet hummus … would you put that in your mouth? I gamely opened the first of three nicely branded tubs (£2.99 for a 180g pot). All are smooth in texture, but the chocolate Hou is especially thick, thanks to the coconut milk included in its ingredients.”

But there it is. In the modern world there is a tendency to make everything sweeter. Our taste buds are trained from an early stage to prefer sweet over savoury.

The article continued:

“Health is Tyndall’s main concern. He had a reckless youth, microwaving whole tubs of Ben & Jerry’s and drinking them as smoothies. Now 30, he suffers from kidney stones and gout, possibly as a consequence. He had to reinvent his diet – no red meat, no red wine and definitely no ice-cream smoothies – and that is where the idea for Hou came from. He is especially excited about entering the children’s market; I can confirm that my two-year-old was particularly enthusiastic about the mixed berry flavour, shouting “more hummus” repeatedly in a way that definitely wouldn’t sound sickeningly middle-class if aired in public. Plus, the team behind Hou will be pleased to hear that, with no prior chickpea associations embedded in her head, she had no problem putting it in her mouth.”

Now, the two-year-old in our family eats with delight ordinary, plain, old-fashioned hummus without needing to have chocolate or fruit flavours added. And we don’t feel “sickeningly middle class’ about it.

Personally I have just discovered beetroot hummus, which is interesting, but I prefer the original version.

I have also recently discovered almond butter. I have never been a fan of peanut butter, even though I could eat peanuts until they come out of my ears, but almond butter, no added sugar or artificial flavourings, thank you, I find very good spread on my morning toast.
On the subject of almonds, I found this stuff about almond milk, one of the trendy substitutes for proper milk from cows:

““But what people don’t know is the environmental damage almond plantations are doing in California, and the water cost. It takes a bonkers 1,611 gallons (7,323 litres) to produce 1 litre of almond milk,” says the Sustainable Restaurant Association’s Pete Hemingway. Over 80% of the world’s almonds are grown in California, which has been in severe drought for most of this decade. Hemingway describes a situation in which farmers are ripping up relatively biodiverse citrus groves to feed rocketing demand for almonds, creating a monoculture fed by increasingly deep water wells that threaten statewide subsidence issues. That leaves rather a bad taste in the mouth.”

Here’s a link to the article that came from, an article about sustainable eating, or indeed sustainable living.

You could go crazy thinking about how to organise your life, your eating habits and all the rest. In the end, I suppose, what we need to do is eat sensibly.

Moderation in all things!

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