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Jamie Drummond’s Supertaster Video

supertastervideoJamie Drummond, one of the co-founders and editors of Good Food Revolution has posted a fascinating video this week. It is a collection of short clips showing what happened when he got hundreds of people to take a field test that purports to tell whether they are supertasters are not.

Over the five years that I’ve been writing about food and drink in Toronto, Jamie has been one of my most well-known colleagues. Undoubtedly, that’s partly because he’s a friendly, gregarious person, but it didn’t hurt that starting in early 2011 he became known for being the guy with the video camera asking you to put a piece of treated paper in your mouth while he recorded your reaction. (more…)

Keep Guacamole from Turning Brown

IPAGuacFWLWhen I was writing the process steps for the IPA Guacamole in my cookbook I thought it a good idea to offer some advice on how to take the avocados from intact to in the bowl. I did a bit of old-fashioned crowdsourcing and it turns out that you’ve already cracked this nut.

To my amazement, just about everyone named a different method: peel the avocado with a vegetable peeler (seriously?); or with a paring knife; pry the pit out with a spoon; or try to flick it away with your thumb. Obviously, I would’ve been wasting space on a problem that was already vaguely under control. (more…)

No Knead Bread in Stop Motion

How to make homemade no-knead bread in stop motion video.

I have a terrible video voice. When that light on the front of a camera is lit in red I sound like my grade nine gym teacher teaching us about the various rules of badminton when clearly he was just thinking about his next coffee-donut-smoke break. Why this happens is beyond me and I’m working on it but in the meanwhile I think I have a solution.

What’s the problem? Well, I know that many of you are visual learners and like to have a demonstration of techniques that you don’t have to read. Video seems weird if the presenter doesn’t opt to talk about what they’re doing. Last week a link to a very good stop-motion video demonstrating how to make yogurt crossed my Twitter stream and I knew instantly I’d have to borrow the idea for my own purposes.

The original was created by Agnes “bob” Gentili (bby_su on Twitter) and I encourage you to take a look at it on Vimeo. She makes yogurt and for my first attempt I went with Jim Lahey’s no-knead bread. ┬áThis is the pane integrale (fancy for “partly whole wheat”) recipe from his book My Bread. (more…)

Maple Monday

Everyone has their favourite first sign of spring but the end of maple syrup season deserves a place on every Canadian’s list. For the second installment on the Food With Legs Youtube channel I have this video that I shot on our tour of McCully’s Hill Farm (I used their bacon in this recipe) near Stratford, Ontario. We were there at the end of March at the beginning of the season and the problem was that daytime temperatures weren’t warm enough to encourage the sap to run. By this time of year we are at the point where nighttime temperatures no longer fall low enough for the sap to retract back to spile height in the tree and with the warmer daytime temperatures enzymatic action slows, less sugar is produced in the sap, and the tree’s buds break into leaf.

After a delicious, if slightly controversy-filled lunch (I was forced to admit that despite my pedantic objections to the nomenclature they make an excellent lobster slider) at Simple Fish and Chips and an unscheduled visit to my favourite pig farm we were given the chance to taste the certified organic maple syrup from Hoover’s Maple Syrup. Having done shots of olive oil I was an old pro at this sort of routine of sipping delicious liquids which are almost always poured. The Hoovers make some excellent syrup and I learned from the tasting that I prefer the more robust, less-floral, darker medium or amber syrup. I also learned that the syrup’s colour has nothing to do with how long it is cooked for (all syrup is cooked until it is 66% sugar) but rather when in the season the sap was drawn from the tree. The later sap makes darker syrup. (more…)