“Ancient Grains” Like Quinoa Are Trendier Than Wheat, But No Healthier

“Ancient grains” have been officially mainstream since January of this year, when they got their own Cheerios version. The likes of quinoa, spelt, and teff are turning up more and more, always with a hint that they’re healthier than boring old wheat or corn.

Source: “Ancient Grains” Like Quinoa Are Trendier Than Wheat, But No Healthier

I’m cool with diversity, but are people who dislike wheat because it’s industrially cultivated and intensively bred really pushing for ancient grains to become mainstream, thus being industrially cultivated and intensively bred?

There may well be environmental reasons to prefer these other grains, especially since some are more tolerant of drought or cold or whatever. But that’s definitely not why they’re in Cheerios, y’know?

Remember Which Grains Contain Gluten with the BROWS Acronym

If you, like me, constantly find yourself asking, “Is such-and-such grain gluten-free?,” you’ll be relieved to know that there’s an easy way to remember, at a basic level, which grains and flours contain gluten.

Just think of the acronym B.R.O.W.S.

Source: An Easy Way to Remember Which Grains Contain Gluten

It’s the Flour, Not Just The Yeast, That Makes for Perfect Bread

Why do some wheat dough balls rise well and bake into perfect loaves while others are flat and hard as a brick? A new study says it’s as much about the flour as the yeast.

Source: It’s the Flour, Not Just The Yeast, That Makes for Perfect Bread

What about the water?  J. Kenji López-Alt from SeriousEats (and previously Cook’s Illustrated) wrote about performing a test concerning the effects of water on pizza crust.  They used multiple bottled waters, with different levels of dissolved solids as well as NYC tap water in the introduction of his new book. His panel of judges weren’t able to detect a significant difference between any of the crusts made with the different waters. At this point, I think it’s safe to say this is a myth or at least a very large degree of self-induced bias.

Remarkable Discovery Could Push Back Human Agriculture by 11,000 Years

Archaeologists in Israel have uncovered evidence of early cereal cultivation at a 23,000-year-old site in Galilee, effectively doubling the timespan humans are believed to have practiced farming.

Source: Remarkable Discovery Could Push Back Human Agriculture by 11,000 Years

The unfortunate part is how our projected timelines are based only on what we find…

Make Beer Popsicles from Your Favorite Can of Beer, No Mold Required

Requires canned beer.

You love beer. You love ice pops in the summer. So naturally, you will love beer in your ice pops.

Source: How To Make Ice Pops With Beer

Crisp wheat and bright citrus make summer ales a great base for these sweet and spicy pops, a chocolate stout would really sing in a creamsicle, and if your ice pops must be fruity, these marionberry treats should be right up your alley.

Bread, Ice Cream Is A Foam. Yes, Really.

It is, because foam, essentially, is air bubbles trapped in different phases. The foam on top of a beer—those are air bubbles surrounded by liquid. When you churn an ice cream mix, you are driving air bubbles into it. And then the mix freezes and you end up with a bunch of bubbles inside a solid matrix. The same is true of bread.

Source: What is Gluten?

It’s a slice of food science, but it neglects to mention that there are gluten free breads – sourdough, focaccia…

Study: Crop Change Atmosphere – CO2 Increasing

There’s a lot more to consider when looking at climate change in future models than meets the eye. Yes carbon emissions from the burning of fossil fuels plays a part, but so can the simple changes in the agricultural practices that feed a growing world. And a new study published this week in the journal Nature reveals that levels of carbon dioxide will likely be on the rise, at least in the Northern Hemisphere, as summer heat and the tail-end of the growing season will spark major crop plants to release CO2 in parts of the growing season.

While the team of researchers from Boston University found that corn, soybeans, wheat and rice are the four leading crops that account for maximum CO2 release in the atmosphere of the Northern Hemisphere, the likely culprit will be corn. And how much could a corn plant affect our planet, you might ask yourself? The researchers revealed that agricultural production is likely to account for up to a 25% surge in the seasonal carbon cycle – far more than what humans are capable of.

Source: How Crops Will Change the Atmosphere of the Future—CO2 On the Rise

Ramen: Slurping is Mandatory

Why? Because slurping your noodles isn’t rude, it actually serves three purposes:

  1. It cools off your mouthful of noodles just enough to let you enjoy them while the rest of the bowl stays piping hot, and
  2. It aerates the noodles and the broth, allowing the flavors to mellow out and fully develop before you chew and swallow.
  3. If you eat your ramen daintily, the process can take a long time and the noodles will get all mushy.

Source: Slurping’s Mandatory: Why Getting Messy with Ramen Makes It Taste Better

Western etiquette says slurping is bad – and yes, as a result many of us find the sound irritating.  And it can be messy with spray…  But in some eastern cultures, eating very silently is rude.  Like how burping is a compliment to the chef?  Either way, ramen shops are often clear about the importance of slurping.