Comments: 34
Ugh.

On another note, how duplicative of Czerski's book is this?
BrokenTune 3 months ago
Right?

Not sure whether this will be all that similar. So far, Czerski's narrative was much better because she had a connected flow to the sequence of topics she used ... and she went to a deeper level of chemical / physical science.

I'm only in the first chapter of this one but am not seeing a rhyme or reason, yet, for why he included the different items/processes.
Elentarri's Book Blog 3 months ago
The two books cover different topics and have different writing styles. Czerski's book is more personal, Jopson's more explanetory. I promise, you won't die of boredom or end up reading the same stuff over and over if you end up reading both books.
Well, there has to be a certain amount of topical overlap -- the laws of science are what they are. Then again, there are probably gazilions of examples that one could pick to explain each one of them ...

Re: cyanide: Quite an, um, uncanny follow-up read to "A Is for Arsenic", too, it seems. Also a reminder that even today, prohibiting the sale of chemically "pure" poisons is no bar against the machinations of the educated poisoner ... particularly with abundant raw materials such as cassava roots on hand.
Murder by Death 3 months ago
No plastic shrimp discs for you? I have to admit, when I read this bit I found it more than a little repulsive. The science was cool, but definitely unappetising, lol.
BrokenTune 3 months ago
No to the shrimp anyway, but it is a hell no to the plastic discs in any flavour. :D
Murder by Death 3 months ago
Agreed - I'll be passing them by next time they're offered, and it will take a herculean effort not to share with everyone else their origin story.
BrokenTune 3 months ago
One of my favourite take a way places always add a bag of prawn crackers ... even when I tell them not to ... *sigh*. They always go straight to the next bin ...
Elentarri's Book Blog 3 months ago
I hope you enjoy this book or at least get something out of it. I found the manufacture of puffed cereal interesting (near the end of the book I think?). It isn't as yucky as the shrimp crackers.
BrokenTune 3 months ago
Some of the sections are interesting, but I get the feeling that it is quite superficial. I will look out for the puffed cereal. :)
Elentarri's Book Blog 3 months ago
The book is rather superficial, but since I've never come across most of it, it was interesting.
Portable Magic 3 months ago
Well, I'm not familiar with prawn crackers, but I do love tapioca pudding. Or I *did* love tapioca pudding. I doubt I'll be able to eat it again without thinking of cyanide poisoning.
BrokenTune 3 months ago
Ooops. Sorry.
It does make me wonder, tho, how someone found out that they had to finely grate and soak cassava roots then soak them in water before they were anything near edible...
Portable Magic 3 months ago
Right? Who were the suckers on the losing end of that trial and error process?!?
Elentarri's Book Blog 3 months ago
The people in the Andeas had to do the whole soaking thing with the original potatoes as well... or something like that. I read the potato book a loooong time ago.
Murder by Death 3 months ago
My vote is firmly for the "lazy cooks" camp; someone shredded the cassava, threw it in a pot to boil and forgot about it for, um, days. Threw out the water, started again, and then someone noticed that the people who ate the lazy cooks cassava didn't die. ;-)
Elentarri's Book Blog 3 months ago
Only - why cook something that you know kills people in the first place??
http://i0.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/newsfeed/000/158/329/9189283.jpg

;)
BrokenTune 3 months ago
LoL.
Speaking of food containing tapioca:

Vegan cheese is a non-dairy or plant cheese analogue aimed at vegans and other people who want to avoid animal products, including those who are lactose-intolerant. As with plant milk, vegan cheese can be made from seeds, such as sesame and sunflower; nuts, such as cashew, pine nut, and almond; and soybeans, peanuts, coconut oil, nutritional yeast, tapioca, and rice, among other ingredients.

[...]

A difficult challenge for food scientists is creating vegan cheese that melts and stretches like real cheese. Dairy cheese, and many lactose-free cheese analogues, melt and stretch because of the protein casein, which is a milk protein and therefore not vegan, so food scientists use a "blend of gums, protein, solids and fats" to attempt to duplicate the mouthfeel and melt of real cheese.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vegan_cheese

Things you learn if you follow Wikipedia on Twitter ...
Murder by Death 3 months ago
The day is probably coming when I embrace vegetarianism, but I just can't give up real cheese (or honey, or eggs for that matter). Descriptions like this, (not to mention just the phrase "plant cheese analogue") cement my belief that veganism, however, is not going to be an attainable goal for me.
Agreed. And though vegans are usually -- or at least seem to come across as -- rather concerned about what goes into the food they eat, I wonder how many of them are aware of how tapioca is made ... or that gum is used to give vegan cheese that stretchy feel.
BrokenTune 3 months ago
As much as I admire some vegans, it's not something I could sign up for either because honey, eggs, and cheese. No going to happen. Milk would be easier to give up, but soy milk or rice milk do not work in everything either...

Murder by Death 3 months ago
Oh, I forgot about milk - I couldn't really give that up either (which is funny b/c I hated milk as a kid - it was only as an adult that I developed a taste for it).
BrokenTune 3 months ago
@TA: Exactly. I've seen the vegan cheese before, but haven't been motivated to try it because of the questionable processing to make it "cheesy".
Elentarri's Book Blog 3 months ago
If it doesn't contain cow/goat/horse milk is it really cheese then? Vegan "cheese" is then just some other overly processed "food" that gets the wrong label in an attempt to fool people?
BrokenTune 3 months ago
If were going by the amount of processing that goes into cheese, then some cheese should not be called cheese.
I'll stick with calling it cheese, vegan or milk-based.
The idea is that the term is recognisable, which is not in all cases an intention to fool people but to communicate a concept. If we were going for the purist approach, a lot of things should be called something else and that is not limited to distinctions of veggie/non-veggie food.
The EU Court of Justice certainly seems to think so -- it recently prohibited as misleading the use of terms usually associated with animal products in names given to vegan and vegetarian food not actually containing such products.

As a result of which, we'll now probably be seeing a whole lot of either very clever or very awkward names for veggie food ...
Portable Magic 3 months ago
I could maybe go meatless some day, but never full vegan. And I have serious objections to vegetable matter pretending to be some other kind of food. To me, the attraction of vegetarianism would be... the vegetables, in all their full glory. Not processed vegetables pretending to be meat or cheese.
Murder by Death 2 months ago
@Portable Magic: EXACTLY!

@BT: Velveeta: Should totally be called what it is: Plastic. (No offence to velveeta lovers out there, but seriously, once that stuff hardens on a plate it might as well be a petrochemical plastic.)
BrokenTune 2 months ago
I totally agree. Velveeta, the weird cheese singlets, anything related to them...

Fwiw, I prefer actual cheese, with taste, and cheesy goodness. I'm not even a fan of the standard cheddar around here.

But what I meant by continuing to call things "cheese" or whatever, is that I'm not particular in that respect about whether my understanding of cheese matches someone else's. If going for a particular kind (Emmental, brie, etc.) that's different, but if someone wants to associate the general "cheese" with their particular favourite (even Velveeta) then so be it.
Portable Magic 2 months ago
One exception: Queso made with velveeta and rotel. It's the best quick party snack ever.
BrokenTune 2 months ago
It's hard to imagine a life without queso.
Portable Magic 2 months ago
I don't want to live in a world without queso.
BrokenTune 2 months ago
It's just not worth it.