Thursday, July 22, 2021

Touching Base With My Readers


To My Readers:

This is a different kind of blog specifically written for my regular readers.  Many of you are aware of new posts via my newsletter.  Nothing is changing for those readers.  They'll still receive my newsletter in their inbox whenever I post an update on any of my three blogs (Blogito Ergo Sum, On My Plate, and Musings From The Christian Left).

However, some of you subscribe through through the feedburner in the navigation column.  At the end of the month, the feedburner will no longer support such subscriptions.  In order to receive future updates, simply subscribe to my newsletter. 

To receive my newsletter when new blogs are posted email me here


|Subject: Chicken Nuggets | Rights to PNG secured from FAVPNG Premium |
Now, this is a food blog, so let me ask a food question. 

Dark meat chicken is fattier and much more flavorful than white meat chicken.  I don't think that's a debatable statement.  So why, why, why do manufacturers of everything from canned soup to nuggets brag about using "all white meat?"  They’re proud of using the less flavorful option. 

If you have any thoughts, I'll share your response in an upcoming blog. 

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Flavored Mayonnaise Is Not Aioli

As one could probably guess, I watch a lot of shows on Food Network.  I was watching Trisha’s Southern Kitchen when host, Trisha was making “Smoky Aioli” for over potatoes.  Her aioli was a combination of  mayonnaise, ketchup, smoked paprika, garlic salt, and hot sauce.  The only problem is, IT'S FLAVORED MAYONNAISE, NOT AIOLI!

Aioli is made from garlic and oil while mayo is made from egg yolks and oil.  Mayonnaise, by definition, contains eggs.  Aioli, by definition, contains no eggs.  This is the reason there's no such thing as “vegan mayonnaise.”  Mayonnaise contains eggs.

It's a simple distinction.  Yet, bizarrely, chefs and restaurants keep making flavored mayonnaises and calling them aioli.  Granted, most of the time there's no harm done.  If a diner is vegan or allergic to eggs, and they think they’re ordering aioli, the results can range from annoying to lethal.

Stonewall Kitchen Roasted Garlic Aioli
Photo Courtesy of Amazon's Affiliate Program.
Even products on stores' shelves are misleading. When I typed "aioli" into Amazon's search engine, Stonewall Kitchen Roasted Garlic Aioli was the first product to pop up.
Terrapin Farms Avocado Aioli
Photo Courtesy of Amazon's Affiliate Program.
Yet, the first two ingredients listed are Canola Oil and "Whole Salted Eggs." Several other aioli products appeared which either listed eggs or didn't list ingredients on their Amazon page. 

It wasn't until I typed "vegan aioli" that I found Terrapin Farms Avocado Aioli, which fit the definition of aioli. Other products fit the definition, but were calling themselves "Vegan Mayonnaise," which isn't actually a thing.

Many diners won't ask questions about the food they’re ordering for fear looking stupid and/or annoying.  Likewise, a good number of shoppers don't stop to read the backs of jars because they’re in a hurry. 

When you're ordering food, in a restaurant BE ANNOYING!  When you're shopping for groceries READ THE LABELS!  It’s the food you're going to eat.   Shows on Food Network are usually pretty reliable sources of information. When even they’re mislabeling one as the other, you have a right to know everything about your food before you put it in your mouth.

Saturday, June 19, 2021

My Beef With Misinformation About Beef


I enjoy browsing on Pinterest.  I've found cocktail recipes, side dishes, graphics for my screensaver, etc...  Many of the graphics on the site are infographics, pictorial fact sheets which can display anything from the evolution the Ford Mustang, to best selling vodka brands, to a timeline of Teddy Roosevelt's life.  Such graphics are usually well researched.

Then there are the screwballs.  I opened my email Pinterest newsletter to find a graphic outlining five grades of beef; Choice, Prime, Wagyu, Wagyu from Japan, and Prime 30 day dry aged.

The USDA recognizes eight, and only eight, grades of beef. 

1.  U.S. Prime – Highest in quality and intramuscular fat, limited supply. Currently, about 2.9% of carcasses grade as Prime.  Prime cuts make superb steaks and roasts.

2.  U.S. Choice – High quality, widely available in foodservice industry and retail markets. Choice carcasses are 53.7% of the fed cattle total.  These are also good for roasts and steaks, but are less marbled and flavorful than Prime cuts. 

3.  U.S. Select (formerly known as U.S. Good) – lowest grade commonly sold for retail.  These cuts are of an acceptable quality, but are less flavorful, juicy, and tender due their lack of marbling.  Fat equals flavor.  The ribs, loin, and tender loin, are somewhat tender and are good for outdoor grilling and bar-bar-cuing.

4.  U.S. Standard – Lower quality, yet economical, lacking marbling.  Standard and Commercial cuts are cheap because they’re tough.  Yet, they’re usable in dishes which are cooked low and slow such as chili and stews. 

5.  U.S. Commercial – Low quality, lacking tenderness, produced from older animals.

6.  U.S. Utility - This and the two following grades are essentially void of tenderness, and are mostly used for canned & processed foods, occasionally really cheap hamburger. 

7.  U.S. Cutter

8.  U.S. Canner 

Wagyu isn't a grade of beef, it's a breed, like angus.   Meat from that breed can be graded as prime.  The  breed is renowned for its marbling because there's no room in Japan to allow the cattle to graze.  As a result, the animal develops less muscle and more fat.  Again, fat equals flavor.  

Dry aged beef isn't a grade of beef.  It's beef which has been dried on a rack in a dedicated refrigerator, or cold room, for many days or even weeks.  As the meat sacrifices its moisture, the enzymatic reactions are tenderizing the meat again creating a nutty depth of flavor.  RingSide Steakhouse in Portland, Oregon offers a filet mignon, which has been dry aged for 30 days for $71.75.

The creators of the infographic in question made sure to list a copyright along its bottom edge, so I don't feel comfortable posting it here.  You can click the link to it in the second paragraph of this blog if you're interested though. 

Most infographics are well researched informative tools.  However, every now then and one comes along which makes readers stop... scratch their heads... and think, "WTF."  That's OK though.  You should question EVERYTHING you read online or offline, especially when it involves your food. 

Below are some meat related infographics which are actually helpful.  You can click each graphic to see its full  sized version.  Happy Eating!  🥩

Sunday, May 9, 2021

The Food Blahs


Lets address the elephant in the virtual room; I've only published two food blogs since the beginning of 2021.  As cliché as it sounds, I partly blame the pandemic for my food blahs.  When I don't know which  dining rooms will be open, and food delivery services sometimes deliver cold food, it's hard to get excited about anything. 

I'm flirting with the idea of reviewing more food trucks, but that doesn’t do anything for my non-local readers.  I WILL get my food mojo back, and I WILL reenergize this blog.  For the immediate future though, I plan to focus on my my spiritual blog, and my political opinion blog.

In the meantime if you want to get your food funk on, I recommend this lady's blog, Ahead of Thyme. Sam began her blog as a hobby in 2015. Today she's publishing a recipe a day and reaching a millon people a month.

I save, at least, one recipe of hers per week and have never been disappointed. Just today, she published a recipe for creamy garlic mushrooms, which looks absolutely amazing.

Stella got her groove back, and I will too. Until then, Happy Eating My friends!