When is a pea, a pea?

peaAs part of an occasional series we’ll just call ‘pretentious?moi?’, I offer you pea texture. Mushy, juice, sprouts or crushed are obviously so passé, the humble pea needs a new image and so here’s just the texture of pea rather then the whole vegetable to clutter up your plate with their devious little catch-me-if-you-can spheres.

Or maybe there’s a part of the sentence missing, perhaps it should read – ‘textures of pea, fragrance of hummingbird and speed of cheetah’ or some such?

Restauranteurs, I salute your ingenuity and offer a space to celebrate it here. Any other examples gratefully received and shared here – just drop me a comment, an email or a tweet.

The dish was actually extremely good, and inthe end it turned out they were just peas with some pea juice.
The rest of the meal at Leyburn’s Sandpiper Inn, was excellent, the service very professional and the whole effect very non-pretentious – a gastropub well worth a visit if you’re in the vicinity.

Chart to show every ‘new cupcake’ ever mentioned

This is a fun infographic – Every food that’s ever been called ‘The New Cupcake,’ in one chart.

Amazingly there’s been 57 items that have been called ‘the new cupcake’. Crazy times indeed.

It was created by Slate which explains:

We searched news database Nexis for the phrase “the new cupcake” and tallied every instance of its use in English language publications, whether it was a writer declaring doughnuts “the new cupcakes,” wondering whether frozen yogurt was the “new cupcake,” or quoting someone else asserting that pie was “the new cupcake.”

Hundreds of viewers complain about the latest Marmite ad

In just 24 hours, the Advertising Standards Authority received 250 complaints about this ad.

Marmite trailed the advert’s debut, during Monday’s Coronation Street on ITV, on its Facebook page and The BBC reports it received mixed responses following its broadcast.

“This ad shows no regard for all those involved with animal welfair [sic] and I personaly [sic] will no longer eat Marmite till this ad is pulled,” wrote one.

Funny or tactless? Have your say below.

Need a faster food order? Deploying drones for home delivery

Forget supermarket vans, how would you like your groceries be delivered by drone? And why beat eggs, sugar and other messy ingredients – just print off that sugary coating on your cute cupcake?

Neither development is that that far-fetched it seems – these are just two technology-meets-food stories I’ve noticed this week.

First of all the drone delivery vehicle – take a look here where your high street pizza provider Dominos’s shows off its ‘DomiCopter’.

It got a writer at Esquire magazine wondering ‘about drones. About the possibilities they hold for the American consumer. About their ethicality.’

“And even though it was presumably just a PR stunt, and FAA approval for commercial drone use is still a few years off, I find myself thinking that, if it did happen, I’d have a few questions.”

Yes, I think we can safely say we’d all have some questions on that……

So what about printed cakes? This is taking technology more commonly associated with engineering feats, 3D printing, and turning it over to sugar and spice and all things nice.

In a rather breathless interview with The Guardian’s technology section, husband and wife team in LA, Kyle and Liz von Hasseln, explain.

“It’s such an exciting intersection between technology, food, and art. We’ve been getting excited reactions from all over the world. When you see a 3D-printed sugar sculpture that’s unlike any food you’ve seen before, its immediately clear that a whole new set of possibilities has opened up.”

Still…… sounds like the printable lamb chop might be a way off.

Audio: BBC Radio 4 takes a look at the food industry for The Bottom Line

I caught this radio programme about the food industry this afternoon and, if you’re interested in how the food supply chain in the UK works, it’s well worth a ‘listen again’.

Presenter Evan Davis finds out from three very different food companies about how their supply chains work and how much oversight any company leader can have. Guests discuss how to create an efficient and cost effective system that delivers on quality and safety. Do consumers elsewhere in Europe and the world demand the same level of locally-sourced credentials as the British now do and are these ideals worthwhile?

The guests are:
Alastair Storey, CEO, WSH
Perween Warsi, CEO, S&A Foods
Gavin Darby, CEO, Premier Foods

The podcast can be downloaded here.

 

Observer Food Monthly photo competition open to all

teaonthetrainThe newly-launched Guardian Witness website is running a food photography contest. The assignment says:

This year the OFM Awards have a category for best food photography – which you could win. So if you’re into snapping street food or beautiful produce, home-cooked meals or fantastic creations in local restaurants – we’d like to see your images. The best will be published on the Guardian site and the winning picture will be printed in the magazine

So far there’s a wide mixture of pictures – everything from a plate of chips to a fruit market in Spain – like most food bloggers I’ve, not unsurprisingly, got heaps of food snaps which might fit the bill but in the end I decided to restrict myself and submitted my favourite picture from last week’s TeaonTheTrain event.

Some gadget eggs-periments for Easter

JohnLewisGadgetsEaster. Eggs. Obviously. I’ve been lucky enough to receive these egg related goodies from John Lewis through the post which, as well as some of the expected chocolate variety, also includes two gadgets – one for boiling an egg, the other for poaching.

Here in six seconds is demo of how they work using the video app Vine:

https://vine.co/v/bIBegJ5uMPK/embed/simple//platform.vine.co/static/scripts/embed.js

Well it said it was a soft boiled and so it was. Onto the poached variety with the packet of bags called Poachies.

https://vine.co/v/bIbhjAqrVaQ/embed/simple//platform.vine.co/static/scripts/embed.js

As you see, they create an un-eggshaped final item but each one was perfectly cooked and a lot less messy than my usual method of just breaking them into the pan and hoping for the best.

chickThere’s more egg gadgets here, who knew the humble egg would inspire so much invention?

Making breakfast pastries, Istanbul style

On a couple of recent business trips to Istanbul I’ve been fortunate to stay in a residence where an amazing breakfast spread was prepared from the small kitchen each day.

breakfast

Cheeses, fruit, meat all laid out – plus some baked tasty, freshly-made that morning pastries of a different style every day but usually involving egg or cheese. The city that truly never sleeps has a great tradition of morning baked goods with shops and cafes selling filled pastries opening early in the day.

As the rest of the household slept, I ventured in to see what was cooking one morning and got this instruction on making the delicious hot cheese and dill pastries while sipping chai and being invited to take these pictures.

It starts with spreading out the large sheets of very thin floured pastry which is sold fresh.
pastry

Next comes the filling, but first each of the large sheets are cut into four squares. As far as I know, the exact ingredients aren’t easily available in the UK (or maybe they are in large cities with a Turkish population) but I think it would be possible to create something very similar using filo pastry and a 50/50 mix of mozerella cheese (in place of the stringy Turkish version) and a slightly sharper, harder cheese such as feta. It takes about half a cup of each plus a generous handful of dill only in the centre of the squares.
filling

Finally, each quarter is folded over itself before being brushed by bean egg and sprinkled with seseme seeds. It’s te little touches of seseme seeds or poppy seeds that really add to the pastry’s flavours. They are then cooked in a medium oven for about 10mins until golden on the top and gooey within. Serves hot. What could be a better start to a busy day!
turkishseseme

The food photo challenge is complete, with love

@happyhooe tweets: @foodiesarah here’s the beetroot and goats cheese starter I made for our Valentine’s Dinner #FarmersChoice http://t.co/0ibPzruv
//platform.n0tice.com/embed.js

Doesn’t that look just perfect!
This beetroot starter is the winning entry to the recent Valentine’s food photo challenge with Farmers Choice and came from Rose in Cornwall.

She tells me she’s always experimenting with different food and flavours.

The starter couldn’t be simpler, just whizz together ready cooked beetroot (I use the vac pack ones), goats cheese, and I add in a couple of tablespoons of cream cheese too to improve the texture.  Lots of freshly ground white pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice, then into the mould and chill for about an hour.  What could be simpler?