Letter from The Editors
lot of hard work and effort went into the making of this magazine, as goes for many others. What makes Artichoke unique is the wide spectrum of food as well as personality expressed throughout the pages of this publication. Inadvertently the four of us became a group, a team of sous-chefs, not yet realizing the diversity amongst just what each of us eats on a regular basis. These differences are really what became, and remain at the core of our magazine. We make it our greatest attempt, as Editors, to broaden each of your culinary horizons a little, if even just by defining the word “pescatarian”. We want you, as our reader, to keep our philosophy in mind while flipping through these pages; peeling away layers of hard leaves to reveal the soft, yellow heart of the Artichoke.
-The Artichoke Editors
Buono mangiare Good eating Jó evés Spring 2010
Menu Featured Items
A Chef With ............ out Borders
10 16 24
The trend of concession trailers nation ............ wide and some of the opposition to it.
The Politics of School Lunches
What goes in to feeding school ............ children in the US
Change Your Ways Change Your Life
.......... The Art of Eating Healthy
A Show like No Other
Tarka: Indian Food in Austin
A World of Food
Fashion Vs. Food
â€™s 8 Everyone Problem, Your Solution
The Secret Life of Chickens
A Family Eating Together
with the 14 Dinning Queen
Essential 35 Five Kitchen Accessories
22 The Sour Deception
The Sustainable Food Center
If Elliott G. were a food he would most likely be a sprig of parsley, or maybe a chive. Chives tend to be a bit more flavorful and substantial than flat, leafy garnishes, so it would only be fair. Elliott, being in a group of girls, takes a lot of flack from them and is usually a good sport about it. However, Elliott is an excellent and avid contributor to the lively discussions the Artichoke team tends get into. Elliott would gladly take you up on a discussion over the best recipes for anything and everything at any time of the day, if you would choose to undertake such an endeavor. In his seemingly plentiful spare time (for a LASA student), Elliott often chooses to begin cooking projects and could truly be considered an expert on many matters of the kitchen. Other than eat and cook Elliott does other things like homework. He also sleeps occasionally and makes toys for cats at the animal shelter. Elliott's contributions to Artichoke include “Change Your Ways, Change Your Life” and “A Show Like No Other”.
If Sinéad C. were a food she would like to be phad thai. Her personality somewhat relates to this scrumptious noodle dish, considering she could probably be considered very bossy or fiery, depending on who in the Artichoke team you were talking too. However, Sinead usually has good intentitions. If Sinéad ever does grow up she might like to be an Editor, rather fitting of her personality, and use a purple pen instead of your standard red one. In her spare time Sinead likes to cook a few of her own meals, row, do Model U.N (like the globally concerned dork she is), and fail at growing herbs in her backyard because she was too busy to actually water them for five seconds. No matter what though, Sinéad will have a future involved with food. In fact she could not survive without it. Or her sense of sarcasm. Sinéad contributed “A World of Food” and “Chef without Borders” to Artichoke, illustrating her interest in a global perspective on food.
If Blair C.R were a food, she would most likely be a mango. Although not the prettiest fruit and certainly not the one you would first reach for, she is deliciously sweet and juicy on the inside, once you get past the tough, outer skin. Also the skin’s color goes nicely with her hair, for she is a natural red head with hints of other colors. She also finds mangos completely delicious. She loves cooking and food, like the rest of the group, and one of her favorite things to cook is chocolate cake (under the guise of Thunder cake). She is also in Model U.N at school, reads when ever she isn’t busy, which isn’t much of the time, and plays violin and electric bass. She contributed “Fashion Vs. Food” and “Trailer Trash: The trend of concession trailers nation wide and the politics trying to destroy them. ”
If Rachel B. were a food she would be chocolate; Mexican hot chocolate, the Artichoke team agrees. She happens to be perfectly innocent looking, especially when topped with whipped cream, but has a definite kick. Rachel can be feisty, if crossed or under pressure, but this is all part of her scheme to keep the incredibly creative, yet not always focused Artichoke team working functionally. Rachel in her spare time likes to read MLIA and the CakeWrecks blog, as well as other notas- credible literature such as Pride and Prejudice. With all of her knowledge of the English language Rachel could probably write a cookbook, eventually. The only problem would be the lack of dairy in all of her recipes. Rachel, besides reading often, also managed to maintain her strength as a food critic throughout this spring; sampling her way from high-end Indian dishes to some intriguingly limp fries. With these experiences Rachel contributed the pieces, “Tarka: Indian Food in Austin” and “The Politics of School Lunch.”
the Cheeseless One Spring 2010
Everyone’s Problem, Your Solutions Austinites do their part to help the climate by eating locally by Elliott G.
by Sinead Carolan
The People’s Viewsa
The Corporations’ Role
City-run community gardens in Austin
Billion dollars of pesticides sales in 2007
Students who eat mostly non-processed meals
The City’s Helpa
LASA students who have gardens
Students who eat mostly organic food
Many people are worried about climate change. In Austin, however, actions speak louder than words.The residents of this city are all working towards change. Especially when it comes to food. Austin features numerous farmers markets and communtiy gardens, all dedicated to helping the environment. The city of Austin even produces its own organic compost. Change starts small, but grows large. Do your part to help the world.
Megawatts of solar power produced each year in Austin
Eateries eligible for discounts with the “Go Local Card”
Land on Earth used for livestock farming
Million metric tons of CO2 released by agribusiness in ‘05
A Show Unlike Any Other by Elliott G.
hen I go out to eat, I do not culinary standpoint. As more non- from Tina Fey and other actors, who identify the restaurant at culinary facets of competitive cooking are not chefs or culinary experts, to which I will be eating that shows keep emerging, and these shows famous people, like Natalie Coughlin, the Olympic swimmer, with no real night with the chef who is cooking the become more ridiculous. food. I make my decision based on Now, some people may say that they culinary experience. Even the food the nationality of the food, reviews, become better cooks from watching critics act ridiculously. The judges will and previous experiences at that the chefs on the show cook and make sarcastic comments and pull place. Shows like Iron Chef America listening to the commentary. However, jokes at each other, spouting random attempt to put faces on food, the that does not translate to any real phrases and picking on one another. faces of professional chefs who decide improvement in cooking, as no hands The judges are there to entertain us to compete in mindless culinary on experience is involved. These shows through the way they act; not simply battles with other chefs (the Iron are watched in a relaxed, vegetative to critique the food. At the end of any Chefs) who have been made famous state on the couch. Even though Alton given show, most people remember the by those competitions. It’s up to us Brown, the host of Iron Chef America, judges’ verbal critiques and theatrics to remember that food is not about has interesting and useful culinary more than the food. When you watch who is cooking; it is about “What’s facts to share, many of them are lost a show that teaches recipes, such as for dinner?” Watching people cook in the constant hubub and commotion those with Julia Child, you remember the recipes, yet if you watch a show thousands of miles from your living “W atching people cook thousands like Iron Chef America you remember room only makes you hungry, it does not make you a better chef. We all of miles from your living room the judges. Like with all shows on TV, the have the power to control our habits. only makes you hungry” producers of Iron Chef America work How? By making an effort to keep hard to make the show appealing to as your hand off the remote and your eyes away from mesmerizing and time of the show, and the information many people as possible. However, in that registers is not going to help you doing that, the show is more about the wasting “competitive cooking.” Shows, such as Iron Chef America, become an Iron Chef. The point of the entertainment than the cooking. In are, in my opinion, not educational show is to make us believe that these my opinion, that is not what a cooking but merely for entertainment. For competitions will help us to become a show should be. Watch these shows in example, the chefs sometimes throw better and more knowledgeable cook. moderation, and cook more at home! food, even live fish, give “gifts” to Do not get fooled. Iron Chef America doesn’t encourage the judges, and explain what they Another unnecessary aspect of us to cook, it just encourages us to be are making to the commentator, all shows like Iron Chef America is the sedative on our couches. Instructional things that most people would not judges. On these shows, the judges cooking shows encourage us to make do while they are cooking. They do it tend to be so picky that the quality of the same dishes as the host, while to provide entertainment. The most the food is forgotten, or the judges are Iron Chef America puts us in awe of prevalent non-culinary aspect of Iron famous with large egos. Recently Chef “16 spice bone marrow broiled under a Chef America is the “chairman”, a man Tim Love beat Iron Chef Morimoto, ‘Salamander’.” The Iron Chefs may be portrayed by a martial artist, yet is received only 48 points out of 60 from much better than you when it comes intended as the nephew of the host the judges (a relatively low score), to cooking talent, but we can have as of the original Iron Chef, from Japan. yet is now selling that meal for $85 much fun as them in the kitchen. He adds nothing to the show from a at his restaurant. The judges range Spring 2010
photographs courtesy of Aisha Essien
afia, 14, and her mom, Aisha Essien, have a “food fight” every evening around dinner-time. Not a throwing-vegetables-and-fruit fight or a yelling-and-screaming fight, but a difference-in-taste sort of fight that spans a generation. Many nights at dinnertime the two Essiens will go their different ways, each woman for herself, and cook their own meals. “[Safia’s] got her own way of cooking to her taste, and that is good,” Aisha says. Looking back, Safia seems to be following directly in her mother’s footsteps. Once upon a time Aisha was a teenage girl as well, looking expand her culinary knowledge and develop her own style. However, Aisha did not learn to cook in one place, from one person or even in one country. Her story spans three continents and lots and lots of food. Aisha’s own mother first introduced her to cooking when she was 15, much as Aisha has done for Safia, now. “I helped [my mother] cook and sometimes she would let me cook [on my own],” Aisha says while reflecting on her childhood. Aisha was born in Ghana but when she was older a desire to travel took her to numerous nations across Africa and then even later to Latin America. Meanwhile, the basis of her cooking still originates from the methods and customs she learned at a younger age. Using a stove, or more often red-hot coals, Aisha or her mother would fry beans and the plantains they grew themselves, picked once they were ripe and bright yellow. The farm they owned would yield cassava and corn, vegetables and some fruit. All of these fresh ingredients, supplemented we have to steam the meat first to take out
Chef With No Borders
art and story by Sinéad C.
the with food from the local market, went into the making of traditional Ghanian dishes for the family to eat. Meals consisted of a variety of fare, ranging from African yam boiled with collard greens to placali, a starchy paste made of ground cassava. “[In] the typical Ghanaian dishes, if we are to prepare the soup, we have to steam the meat first to take out the blood before we can add water and all the ingredients.” Aisha says. However, this intuitive belief about the preparation of meat was not a prominent method used in most other African countries Aisha traveled to. “The difference [between my mother’s Ghanian cooking and other Africans’ cooking] is the taste and the way we cook, the way they cook,” she says. Aisha spent 15 years in South Africa, where Safia was born, and it was there she was introduced to braai, or South African barbeque. Without removing the blood, prime meat is simply breaded with corn flour (called ‘pop’) and placed above a fire, creating relatively unusual but tasty results. “It’s good to see [braai] preparing. [South Africans have a] different way of preparing that. It [tastes] very good,” Aisha says. She shows the necessary openness one must have when learning to eat and cook from a multitude of places. More of these cultural disparities exposed themselves with time, as Aisha’s travels began taking her to different countries. She learned different ways of using the same basic ingredients that grow all across Africa. “[Ghanians] make stew or soup out of okra with meat, crab and fish. In Senegal they cook [okra with] the jollof rice,” Aisha says.
In Mali she saw lots of people eating rice like at home, but most often they ate it with soups, like peanut butter soup. The cassava leaves are used to make a main dish in Liberia, she explained, but its root is used in Ghana. Even sitting down to eat differed from place to place across Africa. “In Senegal [for] lunch and dinner, they put it in a big bowl and they all sit on the floor. Even babies, they must eat with their hands,” she smiles. For all meals of the days Aisha would sit down and eat. Although meals were not taken at the table, but this by no means decreased their importance or formality. If you were late to dinner that was too bad for you. “You know we have [a] different environment because [in Africa] when dinner is ready, there is a dish out for each [family member] and if you are not there they keep yours [to eat themselves]. And so first come first serve,” Aisha laughs. Despite this, in every place that Aisha has lived food has been the accommodating factor centralizing social events or getting together with the family. “We eat three times a day. We eat
together,” Aisha states. With food being such a differential, yet uniting factor globally it seems unfeasible that Aisha could have picked up on all of these recipes and customs as fast as necessary to make it to Africa, the U.S and finally South America at such a fast pace. But she did not just pick up all of this culinary
knowledge by simply sitting back.. Aisha, in a new country, would apply for a chef ’s position at a restaurant, work there for about two months so as to learn the local trade and then quit. “If you want to learn how to prepare a different dish either you volunteer or you apply to work in the restaurant.” Aisha says. With all this culinary knowledge, acquired from her constant jobs a restaurants, Aisha needed to extend her cooking beyond the household or restaurant kitchen. “In South Africa I had my own
restaurant and I improved it in my own way. It was very good [and it was] very successful. I had it for twelve years,” says Aisha. By the time she came to America, she was not without her own well seasoned style and method of cooking. But there is always time to learn something more. She went to work at an Ethiopian restaurant downtown, having experience with African cuisine. “I can say the freshness was good because we were cooking fresh every morning,” Aisha says. She observes that the food grade at the Ethiopian restaurant is much better than that of fast food restaurants in the Untied Continued on page 30 Spring 2010
Cake In A Mug [ A TEN MINUTE RECIPE ]
What you will need 4 Tablespoons of Flour 4 Tablespoons of Sugar 2 Tablespoons of Cocoa Powder 1 Egg 3 Tablespoons Water 1 Tablespoon of Canola Oil MIX the dry ingredients together in a microwave-safe mug. CRACK an egg on top fo the other ingredients. STIR well. Make sure the egg proteins are all broken up. We arenâ€™t making fried eggs. ADD the liquid ingredients and stir well. MICROWAVE the entire mug for 4 minutes and 30 seconds, or until the cake puffs over the edge of the mug.
Butterscotch Bites [ RECIPE CONTEST ] Artichoke Magazine asked for readers to submit their favorite, most creative dessert recipes. After a week of pondering, the Artichoke Staff concluded that Maggie Kopp and her Butterscotch Bites were indeed the winners. A simple, easy to make recipe but delicious all the same, the Butterscotch Bites were a hit. Maggie definitely got bonus points with the Judges after making a fresh batch for the Artichoke Staff. by Sinead C.
photographs by Sinead C.
2 bags butterscotch Nestle Tollhouse Morsels 2 cups of peanut butter (crunchy or creamy) 1 container of LaChoy chow mein noodles
photograph by Blair C.R LASA students attend our cake baking demonstaration. Mr. Lowenstern adds sugar to his mug
1) In a medium sized saucepan add all the morsels and peanut butter 2) Melt on medium heat, stirring constantly until all the morsels are melted and it has a creamy consistency. Be careful not to over heat as it will burn. 3) Crunch the noodles up into tiny pieces using a rolling pin or just your hands. Add them to the saucepan and stir thoroughly. 4) Place in the freezer for at least 30 minutes. Keep frozen. 5) Break into bite sized pieces, then eat and enjoy.
Chicken Kabob Salad photo from Tark Indian Kitchen
Indian food in Austin
by Rachel B.
Clockwise from top right: Chicken Kabob salad, Chicken Biryani, Kids Chicken Pakoras, Vegetable curry.
he smell of flavorful food is one of the best parts of coming in to a restaurant. You know that you will have a good meal when you can smell it at the door. I also happen to love Indian food. I can generally eat most of it (as my family eats no gluten or dairy), and the flavors are really good. Tarka Indian Kitchen is really good considering it is not really expensive as some Indian food can be. At many Indian restaurants you can expect to spend a fair amounts for food. They are generally not overly expensive places to eat, but they are definitely not in expensive.For one dinner at Tarka, three people(my mom, me and my sister Mimi) was about $20 and we had enough leftovers for a good lunch the next day. In my family we judge food by who
likes it. If just my parents like it, then itâ€™s o.k. If both my parents and I like it then itâ€™s good. If my sister and the rest of us like it then itâ€™s really good and has to be included in to future menu planning. Mimi loves the kids chicken pakoras that comes with French fries. That gives us even more reason to like the food here, even though it is about the only thing she will eat out of fear of spicy foods. She decided that the french fries are the best in the world despite the fact that they have a seasoning mix on them. I personally love the chicken biryani while my parents both like the different curries. How ever, eating here sometimes comes with a warning; the level of heat in their dishes changes from one dish to another. For example my mom go a mild vegetable curry and I got
a mild chicken biryani. My dish was pretty spicy, especially for a mild dish, while my moms was not spicy at all. I like that fact, because it seem to be appropriate for the different dishes, but for those picky people who expect food that is ordered mild to not be spicy at all might want to keep that factor in mind Also, the way that the menu is set up so that you can easily tell what is vegetarian, gluten free, or contains nuts is really nice. If you use those markings often, then you know that many restaurants are very unclear in their labeling which can cause some confusion. many times when you go out to eat when you have food allergies, you have to comb through menus to find things that you can eat, and then order things with substitutions made. Continued page 30 Spring 2010
What can I tell you? Who wants to eat their Choc fish oil? The dessert spoon and fork are placed above have been
g n i n
The first napkin, believe it or
pitchfork, twopronged twig, fish fork (*right), dinner fork, salad fork. Whatever you choose to call them all forks have one thing in common; those little pokey things you can scoop of poke you food with. Forks did not immediately catch on in their earli-
not, was made of dough. Individual slices of bread were used to wipe ones hands before the start of a meal. Cloth napkins were used frequently in the Mediterranean to wipe sweat from the brow, and to wrap up leftover food to take home. After the Middle Ages napkins were often used in context of a hierarchy, two towels up to six feet in length were placed before the masterâ€™s chair, or used to honor a distinguished guest. At banquets servants would carry clothes draped over their left arm for guests to wipe their hands upon in passing. With the arrival of the fork the napkin became less essential, yet it is still used today to keep things neat.
est days, some believed them to be an attempt at usurping the humans' God-gifted fingers, most men also believed forks to be only a feminine utensil. However as forks began to gain recognition different versions and uses began to arise. In the case of fish forks, eating with a knife
became unnecessary because the wider left tine provided leverage for separating fish into smaller pieces. Dinner forks are made especially, with curved tines, for picking up chunks of meat, grains, or stew. Salad forks have a notch on the left tine for picking up lettuce leaves.
colate Ganache Fudge with a fork covered in garlic and e the plate and are not to be used until all other utensils cleared away.
w it h Th e
Knives in the
Middle Ages, even once adopted for use at the table, still posed a threat of sorts to each guest. King Louis XIV, in recognizing the danger that
this etiquette could potentially have on society, ordered all knife points to be ground into round edges. So came about the knife we use today for scooping
and cutting purposes. But hopefully not in brawls with our tablemates. Butter knives typically have a more sabre-like shape and are entirely dull.
Table Setting: History, A Lesson, A Dinner Party by Sinead C.
been used for thousands of years. The first bowl was made from human fingers. If you
think about it, this fact is not gruesome at all. How else do you think cave men drank? Scooping soup or
stew with your hands is not recommended however, especially if in polite company. *See soup spoon
Tr Tra Tre
railer ash or easure
The trend of concession trailers nation wide and some of the oppostion to it. photo and story by Blair C. R.
Austin is called a music capital, not a food capital, but even so we are seeing food trailers sprout up everywhere. There are now over 2,000 food trailers in Austin and that number has been growing steadily over the last four or five years, according to Rick Gutierrez, the coowner of one of them. Gurierrez and his other proprietor, Aaron Blair, run a yellow trailer in the back of little Woodrow’s on Guadeloupe Street to serve, mainly, burgers to little Woodrow’s patrons. As two of the growing number of trailer owners in Austin, Gurierrez and Blair are keenly aware of the fast increasing trailer trend, both locally and nationally. “It’s definitely a movement across the country that’s working really well in Austin…” said, Gurierrez, “… because the regulations are not as stringent as other places.” Every city has its food regulations. Although many of us frequent these places, few of us see the workings behind them, as we often do at restaurants. For starters, all concession trailers are required to have a commissary kitchen, which
try and put some of the newer trailers out of business. One of these regulations these companies are trying to pass that Gurierrez expands on, is the idea that trailers would need to get a professional to drain their gray water retainment tanks, which is where dirty water that’s been used for washing hands or dishes is stored. If this regulation were put in place, it would be about an 800 or 900 dollar a month charge, which would certainly have an impact on the number of trailers in business. It would be antithetical to the point of trailers, for the appeal of trailers is the lower overhead costs, lower investments and the ability to move and follow the crowds. Blair and Gurierrez themselves are potent reminders of just how big this trend is becoming. The professionally trained chefs, who now spend they time cooking making burgers, hot dogs and wings for little Woodrow’s customers, started their careers at Café Josie’s , a prominent fine dining restaurant here in town. They worked together for four years at Café Josie before Gurierrez left for Puerto Rico in order to explore his own cultural history and learn the food. Upon returning, Gurierrez took a position at Mandola’s Market. After years of joking about it and dozens of “hair-brained schemes” as Gurierrez put it, they finally “decided
riving anywhere in town, you’ll be almost accosted with trailers. And not trailers that people live in, but trailers that people cook it. From the sliver airstreams trailers with all their multi-colored trappings and signs to the painted and solid colored trailers, their everywhere. Even in a medium sized city like Austin. is a off site kitchen, where most prep work gets done. There are then regulations about what you can and can’t do in a trailer. “We [F.N Goode Burgers] actually have an unrestricted license, which means you can do prep work in the trailer,” says Blair. Moving to point out the differences in licenses, saying, “A lot of places have a restricted license to where you cannot do any prep work in the trailer.” And surprisingly, or unsurprisingly as it might be, there is fighting as well as political maneuvering as Gurierrez explains. “I’ve been to some meetings at the cities counsel’s office … that have devolved into name calling and shouting…” explains Gurierrez. These big trailer companies have been going though political routs to
“I’ve been to some meetings at the cities counsels office over the future of concession trailers that have devolved into name calling and shouting because one trailer doesn’t like how another trailer is running there business” explained Gurierrez
Top: An inside shot of F.N Goode Burgers Trailor
Right: A picture of the owners, Aaron Blair (left) and Rick Gurierrez (right), in front their menu.
A World of Food Exploring Gastronomic Xenophobia by Sinead C.
Photo by Sinead Carolan
merica is known as the cultural melting pot of the world. We are a nation built from immigrants, all with unique cultures, and foods. Even LASA draws from across the city of Austin, bringing a medley of students each with their own backgrounds. However, despite the ease with which we could all expand our culinary palettes, my peers have a stunning tolerance for eating the same thing everyday. Imagine living in a world where everything tasted the same. “Not so bad”, you say, “Maybe as long as it all tasted like apple pie.” Now imagine eating the same food over and over, bland to you after a while, and then
abruptly being presented with a heap of pungent natto (soybeans fermented in bacteria). No wonder so many of us adolescents are more comfortable with eating the same thing over and over. It is what we are used to. This point was clearly illustrated in a study published in the journal, “Appetite” performed by L. Brown, a post graduate student at Bournemouth University, and his peers while conducting research in England. After a series of interviews they concluded that the majority of student participants traveling abroad had strong attachments to the food native to their home country, often because of its familiarity. Although this study looks at only students on foreign exchange, it also applies to the rest of us, staying in our home towns. We aren’t bothered enough to venture outside our individual and varying comfort zones simply because many of us have grown up with eating habits that repeat themselves day after day. This striking aversion to unusual foods, unusual being subjective to the individual in question, has also been looked at in a study performed by the Food Science Department at the University of Denmark in early 2008. During its course participants were provided with eleven different dishes, many leaning towards the way of atypical. Participants were
found to have a lack of positive feedback after sampling foods that they were not familiar with. The strangeness of the dishes, however, did tend to attract more comments like “Curious”, “Challenging to the senses” and “Surprising”. Perhaps this is one of the main reasons people even do willingly experience new things-because discovering new things evoke these pleasant reactions. The results of a survey available to an assortment of LASA students through February and March, 2010 revealed that students do in fact eat the same thing for lunch multiple times a week, some even everyday. Students, when questioned Photo by Sinead Caorlan about the grossest or worst food they have ever eaten, Tastes and smell are the most namely answered with foods obvious of the five, but consistency of a very pungent flavor or foreign and sight (that unnatural Kraft consistency. A few entries were: yellow) follow soon afterward. fried grubs and caterpillars, tripe, pig ears, bull testicles (by mistake) The food you once claimed to be delectable is now just ordinary. and other such animal parts, Perhaps because you ate it for chilled jellyfish and “I don’t know lunch every single day of the what it is called... it was foreign.” This illustrates adolescents general week (and for breakfast Saturday aversion towards consistencies and morning). But the simple enjoyment of food sources they aren’t familiar eating is not all that one loses with. out on. There are numerous Gastronomic xenophobia, the fear of that ball of brightly colored, opportunities in life that can easily pass when you have an aversion to slightly damp plant material eating foods outside your comfort sitting on the plate in front of zone. My father for one tells me you, can severely deprive anyone that his particular dislike of beans of some of the most (potentially) wonderful experiences in their life. in general drove him off the track for a job with the Peace Corp, or as Admittedly I help myself to a nice an ambassador. Because beans of bowl of tasteless but somewhat different types are a general staple delicious mush on occasion, but in many countries of the world, when you give up your culinary he was concerned that by refusing variety to the great gods of a dish he would perhaps foster macaroni and cheese you are bad relations with the nation. losing four sensory perceptions.
The countless experiences one could have with foreign exchange don’t outweigh the rich culture you can find not miles from your house. Granted many students at this school, myself included, have particular restricting diets and eating habits, whether religious or not. As a vegetarian myself I am occasionally willing to try certain dishes with meat in them, but to an extent. Not everyone has that amount of discretion with which to eat, but in these cases variety is especially essential. With any restricted diet, your intake of certain nutrients is severely cut down and they need replacement. Variety is truly one of the best ways to institute more health into your diet, to get the widest range of vitamins and mineral possible. Additionally, those with restricted diets, myself included, tend to get into ruts, eating food they know that they enjoy to some degree. So although it may seem harder to incorporate a number of different types of food into your diet, it is even more important that you do so. Options are still plentiful, the majority of Indian food is vegetarian and often gluten-free and dairy free. Greek food also provides a number of vegetarian options as well. The Greeks use chickpea flour as a base in many dishes, so naturally much of their cuisine is also gluten-free. In many cases it will be easier for those with dietary restrictions to branch out from the meat, dairy and wheat centered diets found in America. There are places to eat literally all over Austin. A few spots you might want to try, Continued on page 30 Spring 2010
here is one sure route for a chef or for anyone to pretension: the use and almost always, over use of mint. Not only is mint incredibly pretentious, its overpowering even in small amounts and disgusting. I have long believed that mint is most disgusting herb in the kitchen, no matter what other ingredients the chef is using to try and cover it up. Mint, in any case, is over used and does not add anything to the flavor of the dish it is supposed to improve. I believe that mint should be banned from the kitchen and never again darken the pages of a menu or garnish a plate. Mint, when used in dishes, is amazingly pretentious. It is just another flavor or component complicating the dish further and its not even a good flavor. And when and where ever mint is used, its overused. Obviously the smell of mint stifles the judgment in most and causes them to use more and more, creating a disdainfully strong odor that permeates the entire dish, leaving it completely inedible. While mint is over used in the kitchen it is also over used in many industrial product. Mint, and mint under the guise of spearmint, gum is one of the worse offender. The noxious fumes that spew from the mouth of the person chewing this supposedly ‘fresh’ scented gum can often be smelled clear across the room. A supposed lover of mint might ask do mint infused products include mint chocolate-chip ice cream. Yes, this does include mint chocolate-chip ice cream. While mint Chocolate-chip ice cream is more tolerable than most mint concoctions, this is only because ice cream corporations often only use mint flavoring, which while still having the disgusting taste of mint, is considerably less potent. This odious little plant darkens my day any I happen to smell it’s toxic fumes. Mint, the smell that leaves my head ringing in inharmonious pitches. Mint, the smell that is always over used. Mint, the only plant that has pretentious in its name. Mint, the plant unfit to eat. Mint, the plant my grandfather couldn’t stand. Mint, the plant I can’t stand. This is believe.
Sour Deception Mintâ€™s wicked deception and why it sould be banned from the kitchen. by Blair C. R.
Photo from SavorySweetLife. com
The Politics of School Lunches What goes in to feeding school children in the U.S. by Rachel B.
here is a lot of politicking that goes in to your school lunches. There are so many different rules and regulations that the school must follow restricting what they can put in your lunch, all of them put in place by federal and state government programs. How is the federal government involved in making your school lunch? They are who makes the rules that regulate what food can and can not be served in school, and set the guidelines that are followed. For an example as to the regulation that is involved in menu planning for school lunches, in a 278 page document provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture on menu planning two full pages are devoted to whether something is counted as one menu item or two. A hamburger can be counted as either one or two, depending on if it is served as a “hamburger on a bun” or as a “hamburger patty” and a “bun”. The National School Lunch Program is an optional program for school districts that provides cash subsidies and donated commodities from the USDA for all meals served. In return, the schools must serve lunches that meet federal requirements along with offering free and reduced lunches to eligible children. There were 7751 schools across 1180 school districts that taking part in the National School Lunch Program in Texas during the 2008-2009 school year. In those schools 772,079,354 lunches were served, with $1,329,897,039.00 in federal reimbursement given. All of those lunches meet the recommendations of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, that no more that
30 percent of calories consumed come from fat and less then 10 percent from saturated fat. School lunches also must provide one-third of the Recommended Dietary Allowances of vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, iron, protein and calories to students. All AISD schools participate in the National School Lunch Program, therefore all of the school lunches that you eat have to follow the guidelines set by our federal government. Every day lunch must contain 1.5 to 2 oz of meat or a meat alternative, one serving of bread or grain, at least two different fruits/vegetables, and 8oz of milk as a beverage. Schools must offer an entree, milk and at least one side dish everyday fulfilling those nutritional requirements. The district tries to keep school menus consistent so all students have the same access to the same food every day. AISD Food Services controls all of the menu planning, making sure all of the guidelines are met, and finding sources to provide the food for all 110 campuses. AISD Food Services department “is self-sufficient and must pay all overhead costs associated with running the operation to include all food, supplies, labor, employee benefits, equipment purchases, equipment maintenance, utilities, etc. The revenue stream is comprised of federal reimbursement and sales of meals” according to Chris Spano, the director of AISD Food Services. They do not receive any local tax revenue, and are run on a totally separate budget from the regular AISD budget.
There is much controversy about whether or not school food is actually healthy. Many groups are against the amount of processed foods that are used in schools because it is thought to be unhealthy. The groups are also trying to bring in a focus on local foods in to school cafeterias. The food provided for AISD usually comes from all over the state and country, depending on whether it is meat, produce, etc. Only about of 30% of foods that are served are frozen foods. “We are currently working with the Sustainable Food Center on a pilot project that hooks up our school cafeterias with local farmers.” says Ms. Spano. “ We currently source local produce in five of our middle schools and will expand the program as soon as all of the logistics are worked out” AISD wants their students to like the food that they get in their cafeteria. The district Chef even conducts student focus groups to get student feedback and try to incorporate their ideas and opinions when ever possible. But, in the end, all the rules and regulations handed down by government agencies must be followed. If students are interested in making changes to what can be offered for school lunches Ms. Spano says that “Most of what we do is dictated by either federal regulation or state policy. To effect change, you would need to lobby your state and federal representatives and senators.” It all comes back down to politics.
Energy Allowances (Calories=cal.)
Vitamin A (Retinol Equivalents= RE Vitamin C (milligrams=mg) Total Fat Saturated Fat
No more that 30 percent of total calories should come from fat Less than 10 percent of total calories should come from saturated fat. Spring 2010
The secret life of chickens... The chickens behind fresh eggs from your back yard Pansy “the 7 year old” When she was little she was the leader of the gang. Now she is a little less of a leader and more of a follower. She is adventurous and likes red nail polish on your toes. The most photogenic of all three, she loved the attention. Breed: Black Giant
Des, the youngest owner, holding Pansy, the only chicken in a good enough mood to be picked up. The most cuddly one too...
Honey “the teen” Honey is the trouble maker. She has spent the night out of the coop beforebecause she went up to the awning on the porch and would not come down, disregarding the offers of food and danger of being eaten. Breed: Araucana
Butterscotch aka. Butter “the toddler” Butterscotch is chubby with a lot of feathers . She is like a “following cute 5 year old” as a young chick she was “the fluffiest cutie chick” Breed: Buff Orpington
Pansy with her other owner, Melissa, just before she flew out of her arms.
“We eat fresh eggs in everything, when they are laying (so except in the winter). Now if we eat eggs in a restaurant or at someone’s house they taste weird. It’s like the fresh eggs ‘spoil’ you”
The blue eggs are laid by Honey. They like to nest in different places, under the stairs, on the porch etc. The other chicks just lay the brown eggs.
Change Your Ways, Change Your Life The Art of Eating Healthy by Elliott G.
The Store At Austin Healthy Cooking, where classes are taught and pasta and kitchen appliances are sold.
Photos courtesy of Roy Marshall
hen Roy Marshall was that because they are good, they sixteen years old, he are hardy, they are filling.” And remembers being “raised why should you eat whole grains? on a diet of hamburgers and french Aside from tasting good, they are a fries,” he says. These days, Marshall, crucial step “toward changing your the owner of Austin Healthy Cooking diet,” Marshall says. “Even starting has a much different approach. He to eat more whole grains, brown began “trying different things, [like] rice, ... [and] fresh vegetables, ... fresh vegetables ... and it was eye you [will] feel a difference.” opening [to him] ... [He] has lived Even Marshall does not eat all [his] life that way” ever since. Now he organic produce and meat. He can shows people with the same problem/ not afford it. “If you want to eat addiction a way out in classes he healthier, start eating healthier teaches at his business. with whatever you can afford,” Eating well is the secret to he says. It is not about the label, a healthy lifestyle, but how to it is more about the product. accomplish it should be no “It’s up to us to decide secret. “If you start eating healthy, you are going to feel what we are going to eat” better,” Marshall says. The first step to eating healthy “Conventionally grown grains,” he is “to get away from the STAD, the says, are still okay. Just beware of standard American diet,” Marshall the “many additives and poisons and toxins in our system [that] big says. That includes “a lot of salt [and] ... a lot of animal fats.” agribusiness and food processors Marshall says the key to eating a are allowed to add,” Marshall says. healthy balanced diet is “[eating] Despite common belief, eating a lot of grains. I eat a lot of brown healthy does not not have to be a rice and quinoa and stuff like step down from the conveniences
Diet For A Small Planet aaaa aaaaaaaaa Instructional/Cookbook Review: It is a scintilating book. Talks about both citizen politics and the food crisis. Deep, philisophical, and energizing. $8 (Mass Market Paperback) www.smallplanet.org
Gourmet Texas Pasta aaaaaaaa aaaaaaa Flavored Pasta Review: The pasta is delicious. I tried tomato, garlic, and basil and was amazed by the flavor. Everyone should try this. $6 for 12 oz. packages gourmettexaspasta.com www. gourmettexaspasta.com
of fast food. Marshall attempts to “try to get people to see a different way of cooking, one that retains nutrition and actually makes cooking fun and healthy for you.” “You can have very healthy things that are packed with f lavor [that are] very unique and unusual,” he says (see sidebar). The trick to eating healthy, claims Marshall, is “to make healthy food to be as easily prepared and as fast as possible, because if it takes a long time and you have to spend an arm and a leg to make it, then nobody is going to do it.” After all, Marshall says, “[fast food] is quick, it is easy, it is convenient, [and] it tastes good.” The most rewarding part of changing your eating habits are the impacts in the long run. “You have to actually look at yourself and say, I want to live to be 90 years old and still be active,” he says. And, according to Marshall, that means breaking off from the STAD. After all, he says, “It is up to us to decide what we are going to eat.”
Austin Farmers’ Markets aaaaaaaaaaaaa Every Wednesday, 3-7 PM, The Triangle Every Saturday, 9 AM-1 PM, Downtown Every Saturday, 9 AM - 1 PM, Sunset Valley aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa www.austinfarmersmarkets.org Spring 2010
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and some of my personal favorites are: Tarka and Star of India (Indian), Uchi (Japanese) and Sarah’s Mediterranean Market (Greek cafe and ingredient supply). Keep in mind though that not everything you eat has to come from a restaurant. Specialty food suppliers provide some of the most authentic ingredients you will find here in Austin. MT supermarket covers your Southeast Asia spectrum while Asahi imports sells items from Japan. MGM supermarket carries Indian spices and foods, and sometime you can buy freshly made samosa (very hot) from the owner himself. Then again, even your local grocery store, like H-E-B, ought to carry the basic supplies you might need for any dish. Food for so long has remained an essential part of our society and societies across the globe, as well as sharing it with people. Therefore refusing something
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States. Aisha’s routine, however, does not include sticking in one place for long, even if the food is good. After coming to the U.S she began to learn the ways of Latin food, traveling to Honduras, Belize, Venezuela, Mexico and countless other countries. “I liked it a lot, especially the taco [and the] different ways of making them. It was so nice. I learned how to prepare Mexican dishes. And how to prepare their rice, pasta [and] soup.” No one could claim at this point that Aisha Essien is not a well rounded chef. She herself is incredibly introspective on her own culinary style. “I have my own way of cooking also. When I [cook] myself I make sure I drain all the oil. And when it’s the chicken I like to boil it. Even if I fry it I like to peel the skin.” Aisha says. She keeps her food healthy, but also
to eat, anywhere, is going to be frowned upon if not considered extremely rude. Just here in America, and similar all over the world, a vast number of our social events are centered around food: family reunions, potlucks, simply the tradition of having friends over for dinner. So if we continue to live in the culinary shell we are in now, the implications for our own social lives are not very welcoming, neither are the opportunities that could pass by. Eating with variety is an easily conquerable cultural barrier. It may not be easy to take in the entire world of food at once, but gradually exposing yourself to more types of food will be very effective in the long run. I suggest that we all take incentive and responsibility to better our own lives by gradually expanding our culinary experiences and in turn how we in part view our world.
enjoys the taste. But honestly, despite the amount of time she has spent cooking all over the world for hundreds of different people and the care with which she cooks, Aisha no longer makes meals for anyone much but herself. “Me and my mom have very different tastes. I’m really into South African and Chinese food and she’s really into West African food, so there’s an imbalance. The only thing my mom cooks, that I actually like is couscous and atcheke,” Safia, her daughter, says. Aisha was once a little like this too, cooking on her own for the first time, while incorporating her style into everything she made. And even if Aisha was not able to give her distinct taste for the food she grew up on to Safia, she certainly has been able to grant her the ideal culinary basis with which to branch off of and a love of cooking.
Continued from page 18 to do our own thing and give it a try,” according to Blair. Once little Woodrow’s approached them, they found inspirations in the idea of “fifty’s dinner meets punk rock,” as Gurierrez described. “There [are] some real skills to be learned from dinners and dives” says professional chef Gurierrez. This idea has really been at the center of the movement towards trailers and certainly was at the core of F.N Goode Burger’s development. It could also be argued that this idea is part of the reason for the wide verity of things been served from trailers, at least in Austin. Nationally, this movement has been changing the
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At Tarka, they have things labeled on the menu so it is easy to tell if something has for example, nuts, in it. There is also the fact that you don’t have to make substitutions to the wonderful foods that should not be messed with.
way we eat when we’re out and on the go. There is quite obviously a market for trailers, evidence by the greater number of them opening up, and the increasing variety of trailers. The next question is where this trend goes next, because this trend certainly hasn’t reached the end of its evolution. It may be that this trend will continue to dominate the way we eat, coming to encompass not only fast food but fine dining as well. “It would be insane to try to put out a three or four course meal out of trailer, I’m sure somebody’s going to try it one of these days,” says Gurierrez, “ It just not going it be us.” That concludes the reasons for the opinion that Tarka is a wonderful place to get Indian food. All of the factors come together to make the reasons that I personally love Tarka.
A Family Eating Together
Just one meal a day, by Rachel B.
n my family we eat dinner together almost every night. We usually have my mom, dad, sister, me and either one or both of my grandmothers. Almost every night my mom cooks dinner, my sister and I set the table and then we all sit down for a tasty meal. It does not matter if we are in the middle of something or not in a good mood you still have to come and help and then eat. I did not realize that not every family does not eat a sit down dinner together every night until about fifth or sixth grade. To me it made perfect sense that you would eat a freshly cooked and (usually) delicious dinner sitting at you kitchen table every night. Why would it not? It is what I had always been doing. The realization that not every family did what we did was unusual for me to have because the way the we do things in my family just seemed the only logical way. It led to me realizing that every family is different. From just one little meal eaten just once a day I got all of that information in my little 11 or 12 year old head. I am really glad that we do what we do, the way we do it in my family. When we all sit down to eat dinner sitting is the little break in my day where I no not have to
deal with much other than talking and eating. It is like a little tether that keeps us all connected together as one little family. Our dinner conversations are always the most interesting ones of the day. We can go from how or day was, to politics, to our next trip to the beach all in one meal. In fact, the most memorable conversations have been over dinner. Most recently we have had much discussion on or family road trip that is being planed for the summer and how fast the school year has gone by. As my mom is the best cook in the family she has the job of coming up with new combinations for dinner every night. Most of the time dinner is yummy, but there are times that the results are not going to be repeated for another time. She always manages to come up with something that everyone can eat as everyone has different requirements for food that has to be met. We do not eat gluten or dairy and have to accommodate a very picky 8 year old eater. How she comes up with all of that I do not quite know, but I am glad that she can. I love eating with my family, talking with them, listening to every ones stories about their day. Joking about my dog under the table begging for food. Eating together is a thing to look forward to every day.
One of our favorites! Ingrediants: 1 Head of garlic 16 oz. lentils 4 large carrots, chopped 6 stalks of celery, chopped Peel head of garlic. Put garlic in pot with 16 oz lentils along with chopped celery and carrots. Cook until lentils are soft. Add salt or Edward and Sons garden veggie bullion cubes. Eat. Spring 2010
Food Wars In the war between food and fashion, fashon is winning. photo and story by Blair C. R.
pain recently banned models with anything less then an 18 Body mass index (BMI), from the runway. The United Kingdoms soon followed suit. My first thought upon hearing this was in America all we hear about is how we have this obesity problem and how big fast food is in our culture.Are our food cultures really that different? What is really causing these completely opposite problems? Kelly Brownell describes America as a “toxic food environment,” and looking at any town in America you can see why. America is covered in fast food restaurants and chains and that isn’t the end of it either. As Bridget Murray points out, it’s not only fast food restaurants, but also the way we consume cokes, candy bars, cookies, chips and every other imaginable junk food. We are inundated with cheap junk food and at the same time we are a huge amount of emphasis on size and weight. This combines to create a society that puts pressure on people to be as thin as possible while not enforcing that with good eating habits. People,
especially women, try to hold themselves to these impossible standards, of so called “beauty.” And mostly they can’t. Only though terrible habits can models hold themselves to these standards of “beauty.” So what are we promoting? We are promoting being thin, which has negative health effects, through the worst ways possible. Hard-core dieting, bulimia and anorexia are the primary means by which models achieve these standards. At the same time, we’re eating huge amount junk food while there are greater amounts of fat laden foods available for purchase, and we’re also removing most of the physical activity from out daily lives. The places we should lay the blame are two parts of western culture, Fashion, and Fast food. Fashion, nowadays, operates with models mostly a size eight or under, going all the way to a size zero. And I would be
willing to bet that most models are on the smaller end of that, from like zero to four. Think about that for a second, I certainly can’t image what a size zero looks like, or even as size four. The modeling industry, coming to their own defense, tries to point to the fact that its easier to design for a smaller model, and their closes look better on smaller models. Now, I don’t care at all about fashion; so maybe I’m not on the best authority here, but I think these are terrible arguments. We as a culture have decided that fashion is more important that health. Even a size ten,which is the smallest size for a plush size model, is under the dress size of an average American woman, says Jim Lovejoy. It’s more like a 12 or a 14. The fashion industry also argues that women know that those standards
Left: The conicopia of corn syrp laden drinks. Right: The rows of fatty chips. Both sights that can be found at any convient store. are impossible for most people. But when the fashion industry is shoving their message it down our throats at every possible opportunity, it’s hard to remember that. Almost every fashion or women’s magazine has items about loosing weight as quickly as possible, and these items always make the cover. Is this really how we’re supposed to know that this is unrealistic? And people, women especially, to meet these “beauty” standards resort to methods like extreme dieting and eating disorders. From 1970 to 2001 the number of fast food restaurants increased from 30,000 to 222,000. And in just ten years following 1970 sales where up 300 percent. And this over all trend has been accelerated by the recession that began as of 2008. Fast food
restaurants appeal to us for their low prices, especially in a recession, despite their unhealthy constant, consisting of fats and carbohydrates. People are eating more and more of these unhealthy comfort foods, which is causing the obesity problem we here so much about. At the same time, our standards of beauty haven’t changed. So you have more people trying to meet those standards while being in this worsening food environment, which leads to the increases in the number of people on super diets and increases in bulimia and anorexia. While on completely different ends of the continuum, they are very much tied together. Mainly because they stem from the same root and their solutions are one in the same. Food is a requirement for human life
and something we should all enjoy. So many cultures focus on big family meals and eating. We’ve cut that out of our culture, with direr results. Eating has become something of a chore for a lot of people. People don’t want to have to eat anymore; this is the result of a culture centered on thinness. All we’re focusing on is how harmful food is for us and not how good it is. And the two things certainly aren’t mutually exclusive. We need to focus on reducing how much junk food we produce and consume as well as putting more emphasis on healthy foods. Banning unhealthy models isn’t a bad first step, but I’d love to see so many more plus size models on the runway. We need to think more about how we eat and what we eat and how our culture treats weight and food.
5 Essential Kitchen Accesories by Elliott G.
SmartStick Hand Blender by Cuisinart $30 Perfect for pureeing soup without the hastle of moving hot liquid from a pot to a blender. Not to mention smoothies, smooth mashed potatoes, and salad dressing.
Must Haves Pressure Cooker (10-qt.) by Fagor $90 Need to tenderize that beef tongue your generous neighbor gave you? A pressure cooker wil do that and more. With 15 pounds per square inch of pressure, you can cook brown rice in 35 less minutes. Sizes range from 3 - 12 quarts.
(Electric) Deep Fryer (1-L.) by Cuisinart $50 The most annoying parts of deep frying are the mess and keeping the oil temperature constant. An electric deep fryer removes the problems and insures perfectly cooked and crispy food.
Ice Cream Maker (1.5-qt.) by Cuisinart $50 Hate to have to go out for ice cream but don’t want to use a bucket. Problem solved. Just freeze this canister for a few hours, plug it in, and you’ll be feasting in no time.
Chef’s Torch with Fuel Gauge by BonJour $35 Fire, fire, fire! With this device at your finger tip, you can caramelize anything. Creme brulee is no longer just french bistro fare. Just don’t turn it towards your curtains.
Photos courtesy of Food Network
The Sustainable Food Center:
A Vegetable Heaven by Blair C.R
Pictures from the Saturday meeting of the Sustinable Food Center farmer’s market at Toney Burger Center. Pictures from: 1) BarW Farm and Ranch, , 2) Johnson’s Backyard Garden , 3) Sweetish Hill Backery, Naegelin Farms (Back Cover).
Published on May 27, 2010