March 30, 1991 |
Once I thought that addiction to television was doing more to destroy America than drugs and alcohol combined. Lately, however, I'm convinced that a less conspicuous addiction leads our youth into habits of cigarettes, drugs, drink, brain-damage music and brain- dead television as surely as tugboats take tankers into open seas. I am talking about the addiction to sugar. A few years ago, my daughter Rachel's mother, who has always worked with young children, became convinced that sugar made the difference between a well-adjusted child and a problem child - between a child willing and wanting to learn and a child with no attention span.
June 16, 1989 |
The world over, sweet things mark the stages and seasons of life. In America, it's candy for Halloween, chocolate eggs for Easter, cookies for Christmas, and cake for weddings, birthdays and anniversaries. In Mexico, brightly decorated sugar skulls are central to Day of the Dead festivities. In Eastern Europe, the exchange of decorated honey cakes is a courtship ritual, while in Japan, tiny candies shaped like flowers, leaves and insects are given to celebrate the changing seasons.
December 18, 1991 |
All living things must eat, and without the ability to distinguish what is good to eat from what is not, none of us would live very long. Through trial and error, we eventually collect foods that reflect not just our own taste, but the tastes of our culture. Sometimes it requires resolving apparent contradictions. Something, for example, has to tell us that smelly fish will make us sick but that smelly cheese will not. That's where the tongue, the nose and the brain work together, helping us decide that peanut butter really does go with chocolate, or that we should risk breaking family traditions with a carrot in the cacciatore or coriander on the holiday turkey.
December 19, 2010 |
The handcrafted candy cane can be an unforgiving thing. Boil the sugar syrup too hot (or low) or long, and you've got an unholy mess. Forget the cream of tartar, and you've got grainy crystals, a version of which you'll want later, but, whoa !, not at first. You've got to knead in the oil of peppermint (or wintergreen or whatever) until it's well dispersed, a process started by poking a thumb in the doughy blob, then pouring the flavoring in. The red stripes? You've got to flatten out some of the firming candy until it looks like a rasher of cherry bacon, and keep flipping it so it doesn't get brittle.
July 29, 2012 |
A heated, computer-controlled nozzle glided smoothly back and forth, then up and down, depositing a thin trail of sugar in the shape of a delicate, miniature cage. A scene from a high-tech pastry kitchen? A 21st-century reboot of Willy Wonka's candy factory? Far from it. The sugar cage was a first step toward manufacturing blood vessels for artificial organs, made with a custom-built 3-D "printer" in a bioengineering lab at the University of Pennsylvania. Once they harden, these crisscrossing lines of sugar can be surrounded with a gel that contains cells from the desired type of organ - say, a liver.
July 6, 2012 |
¼ cup tomato paste ¼ cup sorghum molasses, unsulfured molasses, or maple syrup (see note) 3 tablespoons dry mustard 2 tablespoons cider vinegar 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar Kosher salt 1 cup dark beer 2 quarts cooked white beans, drained, cooking liquid reserved 6 thick slices smoked bacon 1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine the tomato paste, sorghum, dry mustard, vinegar, brown sugar, and 1 teaspoon salt.
June 13, 2013
MANAKEESH CAFE ROSE BAKLAVA 7 phyllo dough sheets 200 grams ground cashew 1/2 cup clarified butter, melted 1 cup sugar 1/2 cup water Capful of lemon juice 2 drops rose water Pinch of ground pistachio, for garnish (optional) Stack the dough sheets and cut into 5-by-10-inch rectangles, then into 2.5-inch squares. For the syrup: In a saucepan, combine sugar and water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and stir, 3 to 5 minutes, until sugar is completely dissolved.
September 28, 1999 |
More than 100 pastry chefs gathered to celebrate St. Michel Day, a French holiday that honors their patron saint. The event was held at Opus 251 at the Philadelphia Art Alliance. The chefs demonstrated "sugar pulling," turning sugar into decorative objects.
April 1, 2010
IT WAS Sunday night, and, instead of being home with my family, I was in my office contemplating the soda tax. (Yes, my life is unimaginably exciting.) I was looking at a bottle of soda and decided to do an experiment. The above photo is the result. One 20-ounce bottle of Mountain Dew has 73 grams of sugar, which translates to 2.57 ounces of pure sugar (that's 2.57 ounces of sugar in the container next to the soda), which translates into 24 packets of sugar (those packets in front of the soda bottle, like the ones on a table in a restaurant)
November 20, 1996 |
Creme brulee, a creamy and rich baked custard with a caramelized top makes a handsome and delicious Thanksgiving Day dessert - albeit high in calories and cholesterol. But as a special holiday treat - you don't have to eat the entire ramekin at a single sitting - it works well. In some circles, this dish is often referred to as a Cambridge cream, because its roots are traced to Trinity College in Cambridge, England. It is basically egg yolks mixed with sugar and cream that is scalded, not boiled.