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Adam Balic

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Posts posted by Adam Balic

  1. Just went to weigh. Yep, my wok is the thin cast iron one, 14" 3.5 lb. Adam, Melbourne isn't that far away, I would have thought you have it there? Happy to send one your way...



    Thanks Tepee for the kind offer. I think that you are right, they will be here somewhere, I just have to look harder. But who knows, I might have to take you up on your offer. :rolleyes:

  2. Yes, you can get them from Amazon, but unfortunately haven't seen them here in Melbourne.

    An indication of the difference between the traditional an Western versions are the shipping weights. Shipping weight for 14 inch Traditional is 3.5 pounds, Prologic 14 inch is 14 pounds, Le Creuset 14.5 inch (with lid) is 15 pounds.

  3. Traditional/original Chinese cast iron woks should be relatively thin (a few mm) and light, Western versions are much thicker. Cast iron was the original metal wok using a very specific technique.

    Here is a link to the makings of these woks.

    I've looked hard, but haven't ever found a cast iron wok of this type, only the thicker versions, which I think would not be very good for me.

  4. Speaking of Meyers - I just bought a house and want to start an edible garden.  It turns out that meyers are a cross between a lemon and an orange and I want to use as many heirloom veges, etc. as possible.  Can someone recommend a lemon tree that I can get in New Zealand which is not a hybrid?

    Um, all lemons are hybrids. Citrus that are ancestral are citrons, pummelos, papedas and mandarin (although many commercial "mandarin" are hybrids).

    Lemons (Eureka/Lisbon et al) are an ancient Citron X Lime hybrid

    Limes (Mexican/Key/West Indian) are likely are Citron X Papeda hybrid. However the more common (in Australia) Tahitian lime is a Mexican lime X citron (or maybe lemon) hybrid.

    Meyer Lemons are likely a sweet orange (also a hybrid) lemon cross. It was introduced from China in the early 20th century, which would make it older then many many heirloom fruit and veg. They are the most cold tolerant of them lemons, so most likely bets for the NZ climate.

  5. I'll be making a haggis later in the week for a late Burns' Night Supper this weekend. I'll post images if people are interested. As the temperature has been 43.C for the last few days I'm not looking forward to the production this year. Here are some images of an earlier effort.

    Um, I think that a Gaelic toast on Burns' Night is a bit odd, given that one of his main claims to fame was the popularization of the Scots language.

    Adam, I'll speak for the people are we're interested!

    If it's 43C you must be down under, and that photo of the smiling rumen will be with me for many nights. Here in Nova Scotia the toast is always a Canadian Scotch Gaelic, such as Slainte Mhath or Cead Mile Failte.

    Melbourne to be exact. Air conditioning has just failed in the building too.

    Mostly it was "cheers!" when I lived in Edinburgh, but on occasion there was the odd "Slainte!". One day I will have to work out what the equivalent Lowland toast is.

  6. I'll be making a haggis later in the week for a late Burns' Night Supper this weekend. I'll post images if people are interested. As the temperature has been 43.C for the last few days I'm not looking forward to the production this year. Here are some images of an earlier effort.

    Um, I think that a Gaelic toast on Burns' Night is a bit odd, given that one of his main claims to fame was the popularization of the Scots language.

  7. I can't answer many of the questions as they are specific to a brand I don't have access to.

    First, flour doesn't contain gluten. It contains glutenin and gliadin proteins that combine to form gluten when water is added. However, it is usual to refer to "gluten" content which can be a measure of how much of these proteins are present and the quality of the gluten produced. Most flour will just mention % protein, and gluten content is typically 80% of total protein.

    However, protein content varies hugely even in a single strain due to environmental conditions (dry v wet years), durum can have 9-18% protein content depending on where it is grown.

    If you want to control the flour you are producing then you have to account for this natural variation, hence flours are usually blends from different sources. For different products you produce a different flour, so a single mill might produce four types of 00 flour.

  8. "The use of the word dessert as applied to the pudding course is not confined to

    America, but prevails to some extent in Scotland as well."

    This quote comes from 1883, so it implies that in England it was more usual practice to refer to the last sweet course in a meal as "pudding". During the 19th century there is the shift in the order of service which ends up will the modern meal structure (sweet course at the end of the meal). Prior to this it was also possible to have sweet dishes served along side savoury, although the last course was dominated by sweet dishes.

    As pudding at this period, and before, covers a whole range of dishes that might not be considered a "pudding" now (see modern US English definition of "pudding") and it usual to refer to the sweet dish (served at any point in the meal) as pudding.

    So you can't refer to a sweet course as "pudding" unless you have an exclusive sweet course.

  9. Hi I am writing from Australia and am a fourth generation not of Chinese extraction.

    Our "Chinese" food took a decidedly similar turn to yours with sweet and sour pork (with pineapple pieces) taking a fairly central place early and mid last century.

    An interesting thing happened in the latter part of last century. For political reasons that are not relevant here, our Chinese and other Asian populations expanded rapidly and our Government embraced the concept of multiculturalism (all cultures living together) rather than a melting pot approach. As a consequence, our culinary horizons broadened markedly. All manner of Asian ingredients are available not only in Asian grocery stores but also in mainstream supermarkets. A number of our more prominent chefs, for example Neil Perry, have embraced Asian cooking and not really done them up as fusion food but rather taken the time to understand them from their original perspective and then play with them while retaining the essence of the original. It would not be going too far to suggest that most Australian homes have a wok and most would endeavor to make some sort of stir fry on a regular basis.

    That having been said, traditional ingredients and preparations are typically available in many restaurants but will often not be offered to the mainstream diners unless they specifically ask for them. I remember well in the late '80s asking for chicken's feet and having all the restaurant staff watch the Gweilo devour them.

    There is a wonderful history of Chinese food and culture in Australia  called Banquet (ten courses to harmony). Written by Annette Shun Wah and Greg Aitken, it details the evolution from sweet and sour pork restaurants to where we are presently. Chinese have contributed greatly to all aspects of Australian life: their food has gone from exotic and unknown through being modified for local palates to the mainstream position it holds today.

    I imagine that a lot of the early history of Chinese food in Australia is similar to the experience in the USA, simply because of the movement of the Chinese people between the two countries (gold fields for instance).

  10. Actually, farro is the general-purpose Italian word that can cover three different grains in the wheat family.  There is farro piccolo, farro medio, and farro grande (also known as farro monococco, farro dicocco, and farro spelta).  When someone says simply farro, they are referring to farro medio (aka emmer wheat), which is not the same thing as spelt.  Spelt is typically called spelta.  This is a constant source of confusion for non-Italian culinary types, as farro and spelt do not have similar cooking properties.  Try making zuppa di farro or a "risotto" di farro with spelt grains instead of farro grains, and you will see what I mean.

    The emmer is ancient, but the rise in emmer farro popularity is relatively recent, which can be seen in the 1996 date for Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) of Farro della Garfagnana. I first was introduce to farro at around this date and even in Tuscany some products known simply as "farro" were actual spelt, not emmer.

    Now it is this doesn't really happen, in fact the last few batches I've bought not only have the region where the emmer is grown, but also the species name on label

  11. As Paul mentioned, light and dark meat are a consequence of having different compositions of muscle fibres. This will come down to different muscle bundles. So depending on the cut of meat you will have muscles with different proportions of muscle fibres. These muscle types will vary based on muscle location, age, breed and sex of the animal and excercise level.

    Basically the skeletal muscle fibre types varies with the function of the muscle. Slow twitch muscle (red or dark muscle) can function over a long time period, where as Fast twitch muscle (white muscle) can contract more powerfully, but for a much shorter period of time. So if you look at something like a sword fish cutlet, you will see white meat with a core of dark meat around the spine. Essentially this means that the fish can swim for a long period of time using the white muscle, but when it needs to the dark muscle along the spine can give is an extra burst of speed for a short time.

    According to the pork marketing board in Australia, peope prefer white meat to the exclusion of all others and pork is marketed "The other white meat". Pork in Australia struggles for this reason and because it is so lean. Essentially it is pretty poor eating quality.

    With PSS when the pigs get stressed their metabolism goes mad and they start heating up dramatically. When you cut up an animal that dies from this, the meat looks pale and opaque, sort of part cooked already. This is different to the colour of the meat as described above.

  12. What I mean is that I never seen mention of tipo 000 flour in the Italian classification system.

    So if we get away from the strict definiton that Italian flour doesn't exist as it isn't made from totally Italian produced grain and that while Italian mills produce a huge range of flours for specific uses there may be a similar product somewhere else in the world, the it would seem that for many people (say Australia and the UK) then the only real option for buying flour of a quality that is the same as Italian flour - is in fact to buy Italian flour.

    Not so you can buy very good or excellent type 00 in Australia try Centurion 25kg farina tipo 00 made in Australia you'll be surprised how good it is.

    I'm sure you are correct, but there is no chance of me using 25 kg of flour in a year, so not practical for me.

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