Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Sel Gris from France and White Peppercorns

I would greatly appreciate any tips on food photography/styling or picture taking in general. I might be to clumsy to actually take photos without making a mess. I spilled some of my precious salt on the ground while attempting to take the shot above.

Who wouldn't want to lick mountain snow to realize it was soft powdered sugar. Or, dig for glossy jewels hidden between juicy watermelon peaks (personally I would eat my way through them). Akiko Ida and Pierre Javelle collaborated to create photos that display life alongside food. Surreal, idyllic and a depiction of every foodies fantasy. These photos connect the mind and body showing how the cravings of one's belly can inspire a world of pure imagination.

To see more from the project Minimiam by the Japanese and French photographers check out this link:

Thursday, June 10, 2010

According to some research there may be five rather than four taste receptors. The fifth is called umami that was first discovered by Dr. Kikunae Ikeda in Japan. While experimenting with kombu (seaweed) he found that it was high in glutamate. This lead to the creation of MSG (monosodium glutamate), which we all know as the addictive seasoning used in  fast food. Glutamate causes us to crave food and it is naturally found in meat, mushrooms, cheese, green tea, tomatoes, tofu, etc. Reducing a stock, aging cheese and meat, and cooking in general concentrates glutamate and makes the end product tastier. That's why a grilled portabello, is a delicious substitute for meat. Scientists also believe that umami was part of our evolution; it allows us to identify foods high in protein, which were necessary for our ancestors.

In my previous post I mentioned Jennifer McLagan's book Fat that has become my endless source of information. After reading the recipes and helpful facts on butter, lard and animal fat I feel ready to find myself a local butcher and start embracing my Epicurean pleasures.

(Duck Rillettes)

(Salted Butter Tart)

I came across this book when searching through the James Beard Foundation's list of cookbook winners and recommendations. Of course the title caught my attention immediately. I now understand what my mother was talking about when she said that the dairy products in the grocery stores do not compare with the ones she grew up with. Our egg yolks are more yellow than orange and our butter is pale rather than golden. My goal this summer: to visit a local dairy farm and experience what Canadian cows have to offer. I know I won't be disappointed.

Jennifer McLagan's website:

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

I can believe it's not butter

The Yak plays an important role for the Tibetans; it is a source of food, clothing, fuel and travel. Butter is turned into Godly art during the 15th of January. The Tibetans create sculptures and lanterns out of Yak's milk for an annual festival in Lhasa. Preparation takes place months ahead when the butter is hand made and painted into flowers and religious figures that can reach several feet in height.

I came across this piece of information while reading Fat by Jennifer McLagan.