Would you dare with the monkey gland?
No, this sauce is not made with any part of the monkey or any primate. Despite the gastronomic-cultural shock that its name can produce, it is actually a South African sauce that gives dishes a spicy and bittersweet touch. What is it made of? Of ingredients as common as onion (minced), garlic (in teaspoons), water, tomato (minced and in sauce) or oil and other less frequent such as brown sugar, red vinegar and Worcestershire sauce.
'Kewpie mayo', the Japanese mayonnaise
Kewpie sauce is nothing more than an adaptation of conventional mayonnaise, adding a characteristic touch of Japanese cuisine. What is it about? From one of its star seasonings, rice vinegar. In combination with a homemade creamy mayonnaise, you get a very easy dressing to prepare, which combines especially well with savory preparations. For this reason, many Asian chefs turn to it to prepare their best dishes.
Filipino ketchup is banana
How many diners would imagine a ketchup whose essential ingredient is the banana? In the Philippines it is one of the most used condiments in almost all dishes. It is applied in fish, meat, pasta or omelettes, among others. It is made up of sugar, vinegar, numerous spices, and mashed bananas (sometimes bananas). Its natural color is brown, although it is colored red to resemble conventional ketchup (tomato ketchup).
Ajvar, to enhance pasta or sandwiches
If we travel to any Balkan country, and even more so if it is North Macedonia or Serbia, and we order a pasta dish or a sandwich or a sandwich, it is very likely that we will come across this condiment. It is composed of red (hot) peppers, country aubergines and garlic, and flavored with pepper. It can be spicy (the most common) or sweet, so those diners in whom the hot sauces generate a certain rejection, should make sure which one they are going to try.
Anchovies are also useful for sauces
In the Italian region of Campania they make a sauce that is obtained from the maturation or fermentation of salted anchovies. We refer to the Colatura di alici, for which the anchovies will have to be matured for at least five months in oak barrels. It is used, above all, to flavor the quintessential Italian food, pasta, along with olive oil, garlic and lemon.
Did you know that the word "sauce" means "put in salt"?
It comes from the Latin verb sallere and, specifically, from the participle “salsus”, which defined that food in whose preparation and seasoning salt had been used as an ingredient. Curiously, in some languages such as English and German, the Latin form of salsa has been assimilated to refer to Mexican sauces (for example, in English salsa is “sauce”).
Both the sauces and the funds are cooking methods:
For this reason, there are some recipes to which we add that of "in sauce". This means that the sauce (or the background) has been part of the recipe from the beginning and that it cannot be separated from it, unlike other sauces (such as mayonnaise), which are usually prepared separately and used as complement.
Classic sauces have their roots in the 19th century and are mainly attributed to French stoves. The systematization in the preparations and use of ingredients for the sauces considered as classic is due to Carême. From the classic sauces (also called “mother sauces”, all the others have been made).
The first classification of sauces dates from the seventeenth century. Since then, there have been many more.
The "distillates of desire": Sauces have been called by some gourmets and culinary actors with this suggestive name. This is because it is considered that, in the experience of eating, a sauce appeals not only to taste, but to the senses of smell, sight and even touch, the best being those that are capable of awakening the most sensations varied at the time.
Sauces, a thermometer of the talent of a chef: in the culinary tradition, a true chef of talent is one who is capable of preparing all the fundamental sauces well, as well as discovering others of his creation on the palate. The preparation of a good sauce is complex, especially if we want to get the real point. Hence, they have become a good gauge of talent between casseroles.
Although the origin of the sauces is uncertain, there is a theory that they are heirs to basic dressings that included the various flavors: salty, spicy, acidic citrus fruit juices, sweet like honey and sugar, aromatic with various herbs.
The first substantiated testimonies of the use of sauces in gastronomy date back to Roman times. At that time they were already consuming the so-called “garum”, a sauce that appears in the book De re coladora by the Roman gourmet Marcus Gavius Apicius (1st century BC) and which was made from fish intestines marinated in brine and that were left to ferment in the sun.
The Emperor Domitian was a true fan of sauces, or so the chronicles of the time say. So much so that, at times, he put aside the sessions in the Senate to worry about the sauces that would accompany the food that was served at his banquets, mainly with fish.
In his book Le Viandier, the well-known medieval gastronomic writer Taillevent spoke of various sauces of the time such as verjuice, cameline, granés (a fish broth that was thickened with grains) and dodine, although the Middle Ages are not known. It is distinguished precisely by having lavished a lot in the matter of sauces.
Do you know what weightless sauce is? It is a sauce invented by the chef Ferran Adriá, who calls it "air" and which corresponds to his concept of deconstruction of the kitchen.
The pesto sauce was born in the city of Genoa and in its beginnings it was a dish called moretum, which although it had most of the ingredients of the current sauce, basil was not incorporated as the main ingredient until the 19th century. This aromatic plant gives a special color, flavor and smell to the sauce and for this reason it has received so much recognition and fame throughout history. At that time, in Genoa there would be a lot of traffic of ships that left and entered through the port and for this reason, this sauce spread rapidly throughout the rest of the country.
The bechamel sauce comes from Florence (Italy) and is the invention of Catherine de Medici's cooks who brought the recipe to the kitchens of France, on the occasion of her marriage to Henry II of France in 1533.
The first written recipe appears in the cookbook entitled Le Cuisinier Français, published in 1651 by the chef François Pierre de La Varenne.
Why then bechamel? Because years later the amateur gourmet Louis de Béchameil claims its authorship. In some countries it is known as "White sauce".
Curiosities about Ketchup
Did you know that Heinz ketchup is one of the few foods astronauts are allowed to eat in space? After being tested by scientists, dietitians and engineers, in 1999 NASA approved its use aboard the International Space Station. Three bottles of Heinz ketchup are sold every second in more than 140 countries and 650 million each year. Heinz ketchup is made thanks to the perfect combination of six ingredients: sugar, salt, vinegar, aromatic herbs, spices and, of course, tomatoes.
Ketchup is not American
The main reason why no other recipe for tomato ketchup existed is that, despite the extensive use of tomatoes in countries such as Spain and Italy since the seventeenth century, in England and all its colonies there was a belief that tomato it was poisonous.
Although many people take it for granted, the reality is that ketchup does not originate in the United States but in China, where it was known as Ketsiap, which means pickled fish sauce. Ketsiap was a very spicy and spicy sauce that was used to accompany all kinds of meat and fish. And no, among its ingredients was not the tomato.
It wasn't until 1876 that ketchup was marketed as the sauce we know today and achieved unprecedented popularity. Who had the great idea to add tomato? Well, it's all due to someone named Henry J. Heinz. Until then, Mr. Heinz worked selling canned radishes in glass jars, something that was very new and sophisticated for his time.
It began to be sold as medicine
The first to import it to the West were the English, who brought it in the middle of the 17th century from Malaysia, because the popularity of Ketsiap had crossed the borders of China. At first it was not sold as a food, but like Coca Cola it began to be distributed as medicine. It is in these moments when it changes its name, since the newspapers and people called it "Catchup", from where it has derived until today.
The first signs of the healing power of ketchup appear in 1837, when Archibald Miles manufactured it locally in a Cincinnati laboratory, producing it under the name “Dr. Miles Compound Extract of Tomato ”. That sauce claimed to be a great medicine for any disease, from baldness to athlete's foot.
That same year, Jonas Yerkes popularized ketchup, being the first company to manufacture and sell it nationally in the United States. The popular F. J. Heinz ketchup brand would not appear on the market until 32 years later, in 1876.
No reference to the healing power of ketchup appears again until in 1998 F. J. Heinz began to emphasize the antioxidant properties of his ketchup due to the lycopene present in tomatoes to try to boost his sales.
After a strong ad campaign that spoke about the need to use ketchup to help prevent prostate cancer, heart disease, help lower cholesterol or fight osteoporosis, the US FDA (Food and Drug Administration) he prohibited publicizing the healing properties of lycopene since there was no (and still does not exist today) evidence that it actually fights directly against these diseases.
Ketchup is a non-Newtonian fluid
Ketchup, along with whipped creams, nail polish or blood, falls within the group of non-Newtonian fluids. What does this mean? Well, these are liquids that are capable of changing their state of viscosity when shaken. For this reason, before putting it on the plate we must shake the container.
Children eat 50 percent more ketchup sauce than adults.
25% of ketchup is sugar!
The world's largest ketchup bottle is proudly displayed in Collinsville, Illinois. Built on a water tower in 1949, it is 21 meters high.
Squeezable bottles were introduced in the 1980s to solve the problem of ketchup not wanting to come out of glass jars.
Curiosities about mustard
Like many other things in the world, mustard comes from a plant, which has a flower and as you can imagine the flower is yellow. Mustard is believed to have been cultivated since 3000 BC, it was thanks to the Roman markets and the medicinal use against the headaches that this plant gave that it spread rapidly throughout the world.
Even the Greeks used this plant, but not as something medicinal but as a condiment for food. According to Pythagoras, the consumption of this plant helped improve memory and make the person happy.
On mustard and its international day
Believe it or not there is an international day for almost everything on this planet, and every August 5 is the international day of this delicious yellow sauce. So now you know with what extra sauce you should order your burger on August 5.
Many species in the world
It may sound incredible, but there are about 40 different species of mustard. But the ones we use the most in our day to day life and the ones most used in different commercial products are: black, white and brown mustard.
The most popular mustards in the world are: American, English, German and French. The first is more yellow and has a mild flavor, used in hamburgers. The English has a strong flavor because it is made with black grains, recommended for meats.
The German has apples, caramel and fine herbs, it is sweeter but somewhat spicy, recommended for sausages. The French is one of the strongest, it was also the first mustard prepared as a sauce. These are some of the most striking curiosities about mustard
Curiosities about pasta and sauce
The history of pasta is linked to sauce, you cannot understand a pasta or pizza dish without its corresponding sauce, both have evolved throughout history.
We celebrate October 25, World Pasta Day, with 10 curiosities about this famous dish.
1. Pasta is the most popular dish in the world, according to an OXFAM study. As you read, even with the permission of pizza, rice or meat, pasta is present in all parts of the globe.
2. Pasta has been pasta since time immemorial, you might think. Well no! The first references to this dish are produced with the name “maccare”, from Latin, which comes from the verb “crush”.
3. It is preferable to cook it "al dente", or just right. But why? If we do it this way, we stay satiated for longer, since it takes longer to digest. It also helps us maintain more stable sugar levels.
4. The most popular pasta in its country of origin, Italy, is spaghetti, but there are countless varieties. Be careful, we are not exaggerating when we say it: There are up to 600 different types and shapes of pasta.
5. The reason why there are so many varieties of pasta is because this wide range of possibilities allows pasta to combine better with certain sauces. The shape, weight, size and texture of the pasta should be taken into account when choosing which seasonings to mix it with.
6. Although we classify it within carbohydrates, pasta is also a source of protein. In fact -although depending on the brand-, a cup of pasta contains up to 8g of protein.
7. It makes us happy; eating pasta makes us happy. Scientifically speaking, in addition, and is that pasta - especially whole wheat - is rich in tryptophan, which affects the levels of serotonin in the brain, a neurotransmitter that inhibits anger and aggression.
8. There is controversy about its origin. It is said that Marco Polo returned from China with this food in 1275, but no, the Greeks and Romans already consumed foods very similar to pasta.
9. Cook in wide pots. In fact, it is a common and widespread mistake to cook it in small containers, since this way we do not allow the noodle to expand.
10. It is more respectful with the planet than other foods. Its plant origin causes less environmental impact than food of animal origin. Less land, energy, and water are required to produce; remember that it is prepared based on water and flour.
Soy sauce has gone from being an exotic ingredient to a common element in our kitchens, but although it is relatively new to Westerners, soy sauce is very old. In China, a primal recipe was already made more than 2,500 years ago that evolved into the soy sauce that we enjoy today. In this article we are going to learn more about this fundamental condiment of Asian cuisine, its uses and benefits.
Soy sauce arises from the need to preserve food, and a common technique in all cultures is to use brines. The origin of soy sauce is in China, where cereals were preserved with salt. The mixture of wheat with soybeans and salt, resulted in a fermented paste from which today's soy sauce derives.
We can hear terms like, soy sauce, soy sauce, soy sauce (in Cantonese), or shōyu (Japanese), to refer to Chinese Sauce. Its appearance dates from 1122 to 246 BC. C., in China, and today it is still a must-have sauce to flavor your food recipes.
Soy sauce came to Japan in the 17th century. The data indicates that the first genuinely Japanese soy sauce began to be made in the town of Yuasa, in Wakayama prefecture. It was started to prepare taking advantage of the leftover liquid from the preparation of miso. In Yuasa you can visit a factory where they introduce the traditional process, which is more than 700 years old.
There are two ways to do it.
Japan uses the traditional way. This first way is by fermenting soybeans with cracked roasted wheat. The soybeans are arranged in blocks and dipped. Later they are removed several times in a cold broth of water and salt. This whole process can take about a year.
The funny thing about this method is that in Japan it is illegal to produce or import artificial soy sauce, so everything is made in a traditional way.
On the other hand, the artificial way is a much faster and cheaper process than the traditional one. Explaining in a more technical way, this is given by the "chemical hydrolysis" of soybean meal, with sweeteners and glutamate.
Types of soy sauce
It is interesting to know which is the best soy sauce. In Japan there are different classifications according to preparation or ingredients. These are the five best known types.
The koikuchy shoyu is the most popular. It is used as a base for teriyaki sauce and as a dressing or condiment for various recipes. It is also used as a sauce for sushi. It is the one we usually buy in the supermarket.
Named usukuchi shoyu; its color is lighter because its soy content is lower. It is used mainly for cooking, especially in stews and soups.
This type, called shiro shoyu, contains more wheat than soybeans. Its flavor is sweeter and it is perfect for making vinaigrettes or sweet and sour sauces.
This variety is the most similar to the traditional sauce made in Yuasa. Its main characteristic is that it does not contain wheat, or in very little proportion. It is perfect to accompany sashimi and as a sauce for sushi.
Double fermentation sauce
This type of soy sauce is called saishikomi shoyu. It is the most expensive, since its production process is slow. Its flavor is less salty than that of other soy sauces, having sweet touches and a very dense texture. It is ideal to accompany sashimi.
Do you know its benefits?
Among the benefits of soy sauce, we highlight its high fiber content, which helps gastrointestinal function. It is a good source of calcium, iron, and magnesium. Soy sauce contains healthy fatty acids, which help the proper functioning of the circulatory system, but in a low proportion, making it a good way to add flavor to a weight loss diet.
Now, most Chinese sauces have a high percentage of salt. That is why we have to be very careful, everything in excess is bad. According to data from the World Health Organization, reducing sodium intake can reduce blood pressure and the risk of cardiovascular disease.
The origin of the name sushi
We are sure that when someone calls you "sushi" you only think of raw fish with rice. The funny thing is that this word comes from the union of Su (vinegar) and Shi-meshi (rice). So when you hear about sushi, think better of vinegary rice and put raw fish aside.
Beauty with meaning
For Japanese chefs, food not only has to enter through the mouth, it must also enter through the eye, which is why many pieces of sushi have such a striking visual appearance.
Only men prepare sushi
According to tradition, only men can prepare sushi. The reason? The theory was based on the fact that women have a higher body temperature, when treating it, the taste of the product is altered by heat.
The salmon or avocado in sushi is not of Japanese origin
We are sure you are sick of eating salmon or avocado sushi. However, these ingredients are not native to Japanese cuisine. Avocado is a fruit from Mexico, so it is unlikely that the Japanese included it in sushi. On the other hand, salmon is difficult to find on the Japanese coasts and it is estimated that those who introduced this fish into sushi were the Norwegians. Originally, sushi was made with tuna.
Don't dip the sushi in the soy sauce
Yes, we all like the touch that soy sauce adds to sushi. But it has to be just that, a slight touch. Flooding the piece in the sauce will only make the fish lose flavor, and for that we would not eat sushi, right? To eat it correctly you should dump the sushi and wet the part of the fish, without the sauce ever touching the rice.
Rice as a simple preservative
It is hard to believe that rice, which is currently consumed daily by 70% of the Japanese population, was in ancient times a simple preservative for fish. Thus, in the 6th century, fish was salted, covered with cooked rice and soaked in wine for later preservation. Once it was prepared, the rice was discarded and only the fish was consumed.
The soup, last
You are right. Here we are used to having a good soup as a first course, to warm the stomach before starting with the main meal. However, in Japan it is customary to leave it last, as it is used to achieve better digestion and make meals more satisfying.
In 1868, Edmund McIlhenny, a fourth-generation American of Scottish-Irish descent, created a hot chili sauce that has become the most famous in the world. A century and a half later, his descendants continue to make it with methods and ingredients that have not changed, and have added new varieties that enrich dishes and cocktails.
The Tabasco chili sauce, owned by the American company McIlhenny, has a history that is not often seen today ... It has been made in the same way for a century and a half. In 1868, Edmund McIlhenny created this sauce, identical to the one that his descendants continue to produce on Avery Island (Louisiana).
It is made from chili pulp macerated for three years in white oak barrels, and then mixed with high-quality vinegar and a small amount of Avery Island salt. This unique aging process gives it an incomparable and unmistakable concentration and seasoning, which has made Tabasco Sauce the most famous hot sauce in the world. The artisan care with which it is produced and its versatility have made it a friend of chefs, cooks, housewives, bartenders and foodies for a century and a half, so much so that it has become an essential ingredient in classic recipes and contemporaries all over the planet.
Tabasco Sauce is a unique global brand not only because of its ubiquity, but also because of that versatility that we have talked about. The popular and iconic red bottle can be found in more than 185 countries on five continents and is labeled in more than 22 languages.
Where does the name of Tabasco come from?
The red chili peppers that a traveler gave Edmund McIlhenny one day came from the Mexican region of Tabasco, a word that in the Nahuatl language means "hot and humid land." This term perfectly describes the climate of Avery Island, which has proven to be ideal for growing this special variety of hot pepper, due to its similarity to its land of origin.
Initially, Edmund McIlhenny considered calling the sauce Petite Anse, the name by which Avery Island was known at the time, but since some family members objected to the commercial use of the island's name, he opted for the trademark from Tabasco, which has remained generation after generation as a benchmark of authenticity.
What makes it special and different?
The unmistakable flavor and quality of the Tabasco Sauce are the result of the use of the highest quality chili peppers and an absolutely unique production process. Since the first harvest in 1868, each year a member of the McIlhenny family personally selects the best plants. The seeds of these chosen plants are treated, dried and stored on Avery Island and in a local bank chamber to protect them from any disaster that could spoil future harvests.
The seeds are grown in greenhouses until the best stems are transplanted into the fields. The young plants are loaded with chili fruits that change color until they reach the bright red of maturity.
A member of the McIlhenny family personally inspects the chili peppers for color and flesh, and only then is the harvest manually harvested, a process that is done with the utmost care. In keeping with the McIlhenny tradition, chiles must be processed within hours of harvest. Thus, on the same day that they are collected, they are transported to the milling plant, where they are crushed and mixed with a small amount of Avery Island salt, to be immediately put into white oak barrels.
The labor of time
The mixture is left to ferment and age for three long years, in order to achieve its distinctive flavor and consistency, which have made Tabasco® Sauce the best-selling chili sauce since it was born in 1868. Since the first The fermentation phase is active, a hole is made in the lids of the barrels and covered with salt: this lets the gases and fermentation juices escape, while the layer of salt acts as a natural protective barrier that prevents any type of contamination.
After those three years have passed, the mixture is thoroughly inspected by a member of the McIlhenny family, who decides if it has reached the proper point of maturity. It is then mixed with high quality distilled white vinegar. The mixture is stirred frequently for four weeks, after which it is sieved to remove skins and seeds. Once all the conditions are met, the resulting sauce, worthy of the brand name, is bottled and labeled for marketing.
Of all the colors
Since its inception in 1868, the Tabasco® Sauce family of flavors has grown considerably, with varieties ranging from mild to extra spicy and sweet to smoky, to meet the demand of the global palate.
1. Green Tabasco
This sauce is made with jalapeno peppers (milder in flavor than red peppers), mixed with vinegar and salt. It is less spicy than the Red Tabasco® Sauce, and gives all dishes a delicious green pepper flavor. It is delicious in sauces, salad dressings, vegetables, rice, poultry, dips ... In addition, it is a typical product of Tex-Mex cuisine, where it is used in quesadillas, enchiladas, fajitas, tacos, nachos ...
2. Tabasco Chipotle
The Tabasco Chipotle Sauce is made following an old technique already used in Aztec times, with red jalapeno peppers ripened on the plant and later smoked over low heat over walnut fires. After the chilies are smoked, they are combined with a mixture of natural spices, vinegar, salt, and water. All this results in a sauce that is full-bodied, moderately spicy and with an irresistible smoky flavor.
3. Red Tabasco
Inimitable quality and flavor thanks to its original recipe from 1868, with three simple ingredients (red chili, vinegar and salt) and a unique production process: chili peppers matured in their own plant and then macerated in oak barrels for three long years.
It is ideal both for seasoning and cooking any dish (meat, seafood, eggs, sauces, soups, baked potatoes, pizzas ...) and essential in the famous Bloody Mary cocktail.
4. Tabasco Habanero
The Tabasco Habanero Sauce is the spiciest of this powerful family. It is a product of the purest Jamaican style, made with super hot habanero peppers mixed with fruits (mango, papaya, tamarind, banana), ginger and black pepper. Add a tasty and daring Caribbean touch to any type of meat, fish and seafood.
Curiosities about Tabasco Sauce
If you have a passion for curry, you will have tried many recipes: chicken with curry, lamb with curry, rice with curry… But do you really know what it is, where it comes from and what types are there? We leave you with a mini guide of curiosities and types to be a curry expert.
Origin of curry or karmi:
Curry is the name that we have adopted in the West to refer to the mixture of other spices typical of Asian gastronomies. However, in India a curry is any spicy stew of vegetables, meat or fish with sauce. The word curry comes from the word kari, which means sauce in Tamil (the language of Tamil Nadu, state of India).
In the UK it is very popular, especially in cities like London. The vast majority of restaurants in the city in the 1970s were owned by Bangladeshis. As a result, curry was quickly incorporated into traditional English cuisine. In fact, if you have traveled to London you will have tried Chicken Tikka Masala, one of the most popular dishes in the capital.
This mixture that we call curry can contain, among others, these spices: chili, cinnamon, cardamom, turmeric, coriander, cloves, cumin, ginger, mustard, nutmeg or cayenne.
In addition to the peculiar flavor that many fall in love with, it has wonderful properties: it is antidiabetic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and liver protector.
Types of curry:
From North to South India there are many types of curries, almost as many as there are chefs. The most representative are the following.
Vindaloo Curry: It is the spiciest of all, for the bravest, and it is made with very spicy fresh chili. It can be cooked with pork, lamb and chicken. Curiously, its origin is in Portugal. Over time the peoples of the former Portuguese colony of Goa were giving shape to this curry.
Mandrás curry: it is one of the sweetest curries, since among other spices it contains cinnamon, star anise and ginger. Despite the sweet touch, it is characterized by its reddish color, typical of chili powder. He comes from the city of Madras, in South India.
Korma Curry: The Korma has a yellowish tone and stands out for its mild flavor, since it is prepared with coconut milk or yogurt that softens the spices. Dried fruits such as walnuts or ground almonds are also often added. In addition to preparing it with meat (which is marinated in yogurt), it combines well with vegetables such as spinach and turnips.
Curiosities about curry
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