Saturday, November 09, 2002
depression. . .
never never never accept recipes from people you don't really know!
i just tossed US$12 and 17 oz. of otherwise perfectly acceptable guittard and fair pile of plugra into what was billed as a "super-fudgy" cookie. no way -- completely inedible. somehow amazingly fattening, yet totally without flavor. peculiar and disappointing. . .
i'm so bummed over this i may need an awesome massage from the incredible and incredibly affordable seth asher. or just call him at 718.802.1972 for a quick appointment. . .
the only thing perking me up is that tomorrow is pizza day. oh, and that the annual new york chocolate show is next weekend! will i see you all there?
the real question is: who will be exhibiting? i hope they update the website with more vendors -- elsewise it's not looking quite to be as awesome as last year. . .
Friday, November 08, 2002
endless coffee health confusion. . .
sometimes these studies can be confusing no? a new dutch study suggests that drinking a large amount of coffee per day could prevent diabetes, now an epidemic in our overweight western world.
the kicker is that they are not sure what in the coffee has this effect. (i'm going out on a limb here and voting for the chlorogenic acid, which is one of those groovy anti-oxidant polyphenols, and seems to inhibit cancer in hamsters, but hey, what do i know?) it's not the caffeine, because the effect was seen in decaf drinkers as well. as readers of illy's book on coffee chemistry know, coffee contains hundreds of interesting phytochemicals, minerals, and micro-nutrients, so they could be searching for a while to find the useful substance.
the dutch study showed a 50% risk-reduction for those who drank 7 cups of coffee a day. i think that's too much for most people to drink; here at bccy the recommendation is no more than 3 cups a day. (so drink the best and freshest you can get your hands on!) with luck, that would translate into a 20% risk-reduction, but of course i can't prove that. still, it would be significant.
another interesting thing about this study is that for people who already have diabetes, coffee can slightly impair the body's insulin system. strange, hmm? if you don't have diabetes, coffee will help you prevent it; if you do have it, full-caf coffee may make it slightly worse. but if you put milk in your coffee, then your risk seems to go down again. very confusing! well, all the studies are provisional. . .
but what we can say without a doubt is that yoga is excellent for the health. since lack of exercise is also a major factor in diabetes, i can definitely state that going to a challenging vinyasa class will help. so go to class tomorrow. . . i certainly will!
Thursday, November 07, 2002
history of pizza in new york. . .
and in yet another suprise from the new york times food section -- perhaps in a moment of penance for those horrible columns by nigella? -- we have a very nice history of pizza in new york.
it has an especially good discussion of the mozzarella blend used by top pizzerias here in town, like difara's. this is a great secret to know: 3/4 fresh mozzarella di bufala imported and 1/4 domestic from grande. . .however, those of at home don't have to worry about our profit margins and so can afford to go 100% imported, or use the freshest cheese from the best latticini near you. . .
also, as a new yorker, my heart lifted to see how each group comes to the city and make it their own: thus the birth of the spicy indian pizza, with curried tomato sauce and hot peppers. . .i won't be eating it, but hey! only in new york!
Wednesday, November 06, 2002
the unseasonably cold weather of the last 2 weeks continues here, which keeps me reaching for my richard donnelly dark chocolate lip balm. this stuff is just as good as kiehl's famous lip balm but tastes and smells much better. rich, creamy, and of course, chocolate-y. it truly should be called kissing cream; you'll find it prefectly suitable for men and women both.
i'm told that this will finally be available for sale on his website toward the end of this month. it's just beautiful stuff, and comes in a tiny decorative tin very similar to those used by t. leclerc for its exclusive luxury face powders. i'm not sure i understand why he's not selling it at barneys, bendels, or bergdorf. . . it stays on nicely, survives even a cold drink, and gives your lips a barest hint of sheer nude color, altho' it looks dark in the tin.
normally in the winter i'm wearing carmex and kiehl's shimmering pink gloss. now i've ditched it for the chocolate lip balm, mac tempting, and mac clear lipglass. . .done right, you seem to be wearing nothing at all, but are simply somehow prettier. . .
Tuesday, November 05, 2002
mystery blend identified!
and richard donnelly removed my fog of ignorance today about the coffee he sent: it's the world-famous graffeo from san francisco. i'd long wanted to try it and never had. so once again, donnelly does me a huge favor.
i was somewhat relieved to have guessed correctly that it was a 3-bean blend, and not made for milk drinking. however, i was aghast to have mistaken the costa rica component for an african coffee. my bad! their website says it is a blend of new guinea, colombian, and costa rica.
it's a slightly different style than the italian-type coffee i usually seek out. in italy, generally, the espresso blend is based in brazil, with an indonesian for body and an african for brightness, the term i think makes more sense than the more-common acid.
(brightness means that feeling-taste you get in your mouth when you drink really fresh orange juice. it feels almost fizzy, right? it hits the roof of your mouth. . .you know. . .and tastes kinda, well, like sunshine. bright! orange juice is the pinnacle of brightness. coffee should have some of this feeling, but obviously not as much as o.j.)
in a vain rationalization in my own defense, the graffeo website also says that they roast in a fluid-bed roaster, which some people feel is a method that enhances a coffee's brightness. so perhaps i mistook that for an african kinda brightness? nah -- the truth is i need to work harder on my coffee-tasting skills.
fire up the silvia! i need to practice drinking more coffee. or at least drink the coffee i currently do more mindfully. . .
Monday, November 04, 2002
the caffe appassionato organic bird-friendly espresso has arrived -- about a week late. although i ordered it on the 25th, it did not come until today.
i appassionati apparently didn't ship it until the 29th. i have no idea now what the roast date is. and i had such high hopes for this coffee too! well, i'll make some tomorrow and see how it tastes. . . .
Sunday, November 03, 2002
here at bccy we naturally must ask for a moment of silence to mark the tragic and untimely death of the world's greatest bread baker, the artist lionel poilane. he was also known as a connoisseur of fine chocolates.
while piloting his private helicopter over the sea last thursday, poilane and his wife were lost when the craft plunged into the sea off the brittany coast in a terrible fog. he was on his way to this country house on the small island of rimains. by friday it was clear what had happened -- pieces of the wreckage and one body were discovered. nevertheless there was some small hope that perhaps a survivor would be found.
alas, this was not the case. he is survived by 2 daughters, and it appears as if his bakery will continue.