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Doc-G

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Posts posted by Doc-G

  1. This is a very interesting situation for both Lepard/Whitehouse and the bloggers and forum users concerned.

    The description on Amazon for Lepard's book, 'The Handmade Loaf' says that it, 'contains more than 80 contemporary European bread recipes'. Not having seen the book, I can't comment but are these recipes all truly invented by Dan Lepard and have never been seen in any way shape or form before? Or are they adaptations of observations he has made during travels around Europe? If so, how different is this to what the users of the Thermomix Forum are doing whereby they are using some or all of the same ingredients and completely rewriting the methods to suit the machine? One big difference is that Dan is making money from his adaptation and the thermomix crowd are not.

    I can fully understand full transcriptions of recipes with no references or links to the original author constituting plagiarism however (i.e. passing off someone else's work as your own).

    My local copyright laws (I'm not a lawyer) seem to indicate that lists of ingredients are not protected and to some extent even methods especially for generic products (i.e. a generic white bread roll). However word for word transcription of methods may be protected and the description (blurb) at the beginning is fully protected as this is what gives the recipe context to the author. In some cases, the recipe title can be protected and even trademarked (I notice that Momofuku's Crack Pie has a TM on its menu).

    Admittedly, I cannot speak with legal authority on this issue but wonder if Whitehouse is out of his depth. Looking into this a bit further has revealed there are also some potential legal repercussions for people who spuriously claim copyright infringement.

    The funny thing about this is that until now, I had never heard of Dan Lepard. Now, I only know of him because of his business manager hassling bloggers and for all intents purposes claiming global copyright infringement. One would also have to wonder in the world of social media whether this will affect Lepard's personal brand? It seems quite a few people have now heard of him but possibly for reasons unintended. The internet has repeatedly demonstrated that these things will be very difficult to stop 'once the horse has bolted'.

    It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

  2. Hi e_monster,

    Yes, I have found what you have found too. David Chang's book, 'Momofuku' gives the recommendation to crack the eggs on to a saucer and then slide the egg on to the serving plate. He recommends poaching for 45 minutes at 60 degrees which seems short and cold but anyway I found that the plate thing helps to separate some of the watery stuff out. My concern is that cooking to temperatures too high will harden the yolk too.

    What about longer cooking times at say 62 or 63 for 3 or 4 hours? Does this cook more of the white without hardening the yolk?

    Regards,

    G

  3. Hi there,

    Its been such a long time such I've been to egullet and at least a few years since I've seen this thread. I kind of lost my mojo with food writing whilst doing my Gastronomy MA. But now that I finished and had a break, my mojo is back and so am I.

    So, anyway, when I first saw this thread, I got really excited and during this time, I've been able to try some lovely food cooked sous vide in some great restaurants but is was only recently when I was able to purchase an immersion circulator that I've been able to try my own. Not having seen most of this thread, for a few years, I assume that the whole egg thing is old hat here but just wanted to share my first experiment of eggs cooked for 75 minutes at 64 degrees centigrade.

    SVE1.jpg

    SVE2.jpg

    As far as flavour goes, they taste like eggs. Where they came into their own however was with regards to texture. They are creamy and rich like custard and have a similar texture all the way through with a velvety, soft and unctuous mouthfeel unlike any other egg dish and quite unlike standard poached eggs.

    Anyway, regards to all. Its great to see this thread still going and I'm really excited about Nathan's upcoming book. I remember being very impressed with his posts in the earlier parts of this thread and its great to see that his knowledge will be available to a much wider audience. I look forward to learning more and trying out some of the recipes and techniques from this thread.

    Doc-G

    'The Foodologist'

  4. Hi Maggie,

    You could well be right. Ultimately, I think it's pretty hard to say why French cuisine is so venerated in Western culture. I certainly agree with sanrensho's comments regarding French cuisines relationship to Japanese and Chinese cuisine. I guess I should add that my comments in the post above are strictly limited to modern Western society.

    I guess we have just taken so much from it over the years that in some ways we do tend to look at it as the 'mother-cuisine' right down to the way it is served at the table. I know the mode of serving food is Russian in origin (aka service a la Russe) but it wasn't until it went to France and was adopted in France that it became standard elsewhere (...from memory!!).

    Anyway, this is one of those threads that I really enjoy and I'm sure I will be corrected and also pick up lots of other information that I had not heard before.

    Regards,

    George

  5. This is a question I asked myself on numerous occasions probably for the same reasons. I think I found some of the answers whilst studying some of the early classes in my Gastronomy degree. Here's my take which is very much in short-hand:

    Firstly, around the time of the French revolution brought about the very first Restaurants. Initially from memory a restaurant was a dish, like a soup or consomme which was used as a restorative for patrons who were feeling 'weak'. What differentiated these places from other Inn's and places where one could buy food was that it was they were the first places to offer choices of what one could eat. They were also places where one could essentially be 'seen' in public but still dine in a 'private' space (ie you didn't have to share tables with strangers as was the case in Inn's and the like. In fact some of these restaurants had private rooms as they still do). Many of the chefs in these early restaurants were previous employed by the French aristocracy. As the royals were now spending much of their time either running away from France or getting their heads chopped off, these chefs were now unemployed. Many of them opened restaurants as a means of keeping employed, the difference being that now in a France where there was indeed 'power to the people', many of these people were now enjoying haute cuisine that was previously only ever enjoyed by those of noble origin.

    As part of this we also got the first celebrity chefs and food writers who celebrated food in ways not often done before. One could argue that Archestratus was the first food and travel writer and that there were other chefs too before this time who were held in high esteem but during this time we got Careme (chef), Grimod de la Reyniere and Brillat Savarin (writers) who were all in their own right much like the celebrity chefs and food writers that we have today (Does anyone reading this think Steingarten is a bit like a modern day Brillat-Savarin?)

    Another one to look at is Escoffier who perhaps was the ultimate celebrity chef and cooked the greatest food for the rich and wealthy all over Europe. What he also developed though was a highly codified and rigid standard for cooking that was exceptionally well documented.

    All this information here is very much in short hand and written from memory. It probably excludes a lot of very important people and dates and times and so forth.

    I think though that the reason why it was so important is partly one of timing. So the French revolution happened and we got restaurants and celeb chefs and food writers. During and after this time, we also got the British colonizing half of the world, the development of the USA and the Industrial revolution. So when big hotels opened up in big cities the world over, the French way of cooling in restaurants was a great model to use and a relatively recently developed and highly popular phenomenon. The French restaurant brigade was a good way to run a high class food outlet that needed to cater to the different needs of well-heeled clientele. The French it seems were the ones who it seems venerated their chefs the most at this time. I once heard Giorgio Locatelli say that the difference between French and Italian food was that French food was all about the chef whereas Italian food was all about the ingredients. If this is true then if you wanted to open the best restaurant for your hotel, you needed both the best chefs and best ingredients. I suspect the French chefs were the ones of yelled the loudest!!

    Below are some books that I found very interesting on this topic. It is certainly not an exhaustive list.

    I hope this post was of interest.

    Regards,

    George

    The physiology of taste by Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

    The Invention of the Restaurant: Paris and Modern Gastronomic Culture (Harvard Historical Studies): Rebecca L. Spang

    Cooking for Kings: The Life of Antonin Careme - The First Celebrity Chef by Ian Kelly

  6. Thanks again everybody for the replies. I havent made solid plans yet other than the one week in Chicago so I am still able to make decisions as to where and when.

    Thanks to everybody regarding details for flights. It looks like the getting around America bit will be quite easy.

    I will however let you all know via this thread where I go and how it all works out!! I may still be go to KC as I have a contact there (a fellow Gastronomy student who lives in KC) who will show me the 'in's and outs'. It does however look like Austin TX is a definite as it just looks and sounds too good to miss!!

    I will try to find out a little more about North Carolina.

    I just wish I had a month or more to do it a bit more thoroughly!

    Thanks again everybody, your help in this matter is much appreciated.

    Regards,

    George

  7. Hi everybody,

    Thanks for all for he replies so far.

    I will be in the US for a total of 2 weeks but will only have 1 week for travelling.

    I will be in Chicago for the first week of which 3 days will be a conference. I have seen the Smoque website and will certainly be contacting them and going there perhaps a couple of times (Thankyou for the reference tim!).

    During this time I will also getting a visit to where they make the burgers for McD's as we deal with the company that makes the machinery (ie the main reason for going to the US).

    Then I will have 1 week to travel having already done Chicago. I was under the impression that I could do Kansas city and Austin Texas pretty easily in a week but was wondering if I could (or should) try to fit in Memphis and/or North Carolina during this time too? My understanding is that Lockhart in only 45 miles from Austin? I dont know if I could trust myself in a car (we drive on the other side of the road) but there must be some way to get there (bus, train etc). Is this an incorrect assumption? I may have to take up Jaymes's offer (thankyou Jaymes!). Similarly with Kansas city, I thought that most of the BBQ joints would be a taxi ride from the city centre?

    I apologise for my lack of knowledge on US geography. My previous visits were strictly tourist in nature so I have only ever been to LA, San Francisco and NY although I do understand how big the US is!

    Lastly, I assue I will be able to arrange for travel quite easily by plane from Chicago to Kansas City and Kansas City to Austin?

    Thanks again to everyone,

    Regards,

    George

  8. Hi there folks,

    I work in the Australian meat trade, have a food blog called 'The Foodologist' and am currently studying for a Masters degree in Gastronomy from Le Cordon Bleu so in short, like the rest of you, I love my food.

    I will be travelling to the US in October for a meat conference in Chicago (I own a business that manufactues, sausages, burgers etc) and will have a week to travel after he conference finishes.

    I want to get a good overview (in the time that I have) of regional cuisine in America, good BBQ and of the types of meat products that are available in retail outlets.

    So, I am thinking that apart from seeing Chicago (where the conference is), I should travel to Kansas City and Texas (Kreuz in Lockhart). I am also maybe thinking Memphis and North Carolina.

    I would like to hear some thought on how I can piece this trip together (given that I only have one week). I know I can go to all the fancy restaurants in the world and will probably visit Trotters place in Chicago but my main emphasis needs to be on what meat products do Americans eat at home and where can I eat the best BBQ? Does this expectation seem realistic? Do these expectations marry up?

    Your thoughts would all be most valuable,

    Thankyou

    George Ujvary

  9. I'd ask for some lamb trim if you can get it which will be everything off the carcass (ie no offal) except the loin, leg and possibly the shanks and shoulder. This is what most butchers use for making sausages and what we use for making sausages and burgers. However with lamb, you will probably get more like 65-75% lean meat to 25-35% fat ratio.

    If you want leaner you may have to go to mutton which is find but will taste a little different.

    Have fun and post pics of the finished products!!

    G

  10. Hi there,

    I use lemon juice, oregano, garlic and little bit of olive oil. Also if you are using large chunks of lamb, dont bunch them up too tight otherwise the insides will be raw when the outsids are charred.

    Lastly, use charcoal if you can to cook. It will impart a great flavour and dont forget to baste with the same marinade throughout the cooking process.

    Thats my 2 cents worth anyway.

    Cheers,

    G

  11. My father is 70, not Jewish but of Hungarian descent and can cook anything you can think of as can my mother (Estonian, non-Jewish). But whilst we dont have salami and eggs as such, I did grow up eating something my father called hash (no not the 'funny' herb that messes with your brain!) which was essentially scrambled eggs with chopped onions, peppers and either chopped bacon, ham or salami. After being plated, he would sprinkle it with Hungarian hot Paprika. I dont know if the dish is Hungarian. I've certainly never seen it there during visits but nonetheless I loved it every time we ate it.

    Now we cook together all the time. I work with my Father in a food business so it extends over to work too. I also cook with my Mother too but never when she is making desserts as I think it just stresses her out!

    I too like the feelings of nostalgia when cooking with my parents and I also want to learn their repertoire (despite my bugging, they will not write down their recipes!!!).

    Great thread.

    Cheers,

    G

  12. Whilst running the risk of splitting the thread, I wanted to convey a couple of thoughts regarding the 'fusion' issue.

    Whilst in a sense it can easily be argued that the fusion of cuisines from different cultures has been occurring for hundreds of years, the active assimilation of ingredients from different cultures for the sole purpose of creating something new is a phenomenon that is relatively new. This fusion of foods or ‘fusion cuisine’ has been defined by Sinsheimer as the ‘fashionable trend to marry different cuisines, combining in one dish elements that cut across distinct, culinary regimes’.

    ‘Hungarian Paprika’ is a good example of an ingredient assimilated by another culture. Originating in America, Paprika or ‘Indian Pepper’ entered Hungarian cuisine indirectly through Columbus’s ‘discovery’ of the Americas. After traveling to Europe where it was likely picked up by the Turkish in Venice as a result of trade partnerships, paprika was then transported to Hungary via the invading Turkish armies. What is important to consider when looking at this assimilation compared to true ‘fusion’ cuisine is that this process was passive and occurred over a relatively long period of time.

    True ‘fusion’ cuisine, on the other hand, is a more deliberate and dynamic attempt to mix key ingredients from two cuisines together. The result is not always admirable and this is often the reason why people are either firm believers or critics of this movement. There are also critics of this movement who disagree with its virtues due to its potential for damaging regional culinary traditions such as Paula Gho who offers concerns about the “’deconstructed cuisine’ offered at Bulli by Ferrán Adriá”.

    For this reason, fusion cuisine is most prominent in countries that do not have a firmly entrenched culinary tradition. Indeed, according to John Brunton, ‘fusion always works best in a country that does not have – or has lost – its own firm foundation of traditional cooking, which is why America, Australia and Britain have become the birthplaces of fusion cuisine’. This is further reinforced by Barbara Santich who states that, ‘fusion cuisine seems to be most obvious, and most developed, in countries that have welcomed migrants from a great diversity of background cultures and where, coincidentally, culinary traditions have been relatively weak’.

    In addition, according to Barbara Santich, another important factor to consider is ‘globalization, both of peoples and of products. The ingredients which once characterized a particular national or regional cuisine are no longer restricted to that country or region, nor is that nation or region limited to its local ingredients’.

    In conclusion then, we can see that modern day fusion cuisine is a distinct phenomenon from the culinary assimilation that occurs passively over time as is the case with Paprika in Hungary. Modern day fusion cuisine is a characterized by the speed at which it has occurred and its deliberateness. It is also characterized by its prominence in cultures with little notion of national or regional cuisine and high numbers of diverse migrant populations. Finally, an overall driver by the name of globalization means that ingredients once restricted to a particular region or cuisine are now freely available on a global basis.

    Cheers,

    G

  13. I cant remember who said it earlier on, but I think an important point was raised earlier which was that it is difficult to recognize the existence of any sort of 'National' cuisine whilst residing in that given nation. This is interesting as it brings in the idea of the ‘culinary Other’, that is you only realize that you are different when comparing to something that is different to ‘self’.

    With regards to Mintz’s provocative statements on National cuisine, they are based on a premise proposed by Benedict Anderson, who states that ‘nationality, or, as one might prefer to put it in view of that word’s significations, nation-ness, as well as nationalism, are cultural artifacts of a particular kind’. To further clarify this statement, he goes on to define the idea of nation (which was created towards the end of the eighteenth century ) as ‘an imagined political community – and imagined as both inherently limited and sovereign’. He further states that a nation is ‘imagined because the member of even the smallest nation will never know most of their fellow-members, meet them, or even hear of them, yet in the minds of each lives the image of their communion’. Further more, a ‘nation is imagined as limited because even the largest of them, encompassing perhaps a billion human beings, has finite, if elastic, boundaries, beyond which lie other nations’ and that it is ‘imagined as sovereign because the concept was born in an age in which Enlightenment and Revolution were destroying the legitimacy of the divinely-ordained, hierarchical dynastic realm’

    This is the argument that Mintz uses to promote the idea of the non-existence of National cuisine (ie that as the idea of Nation is 'imaginary', so too is the idea of a National cuisine) and that the only real cuisine is regional as this is representative of something 'tangible' and that National cuisine is really an amalgamation of regional cuisines.

    That being said, I think that US regional cuisine is fantastic. It is highly variable, it is accessible to everybody and IMHO really tasty!! Then again, I say that for the food of just every region of the world.

    Someone mentioned earlier that the idea of National cuisine is a pretty simple concept (ie if blindfolded and taken into a Chinese or Indian restaurant, it wont take too long to guess what sort of food we are eating). I have to say, I wholeheartedly agree. The case put forward by Mintz was most likely done so in order to stimulate discourse rather than state that National cuisine does not exist per se. I personally think it best to take his argument with a pinch of salt but use it as an interesting stepping stone to further the discussions on issues such as this.

    People here have been mentioning stereotypical ‘American’ foods such as Hamburgers, Hot Dogs, Sandwiches etc and others have mentioned that they already belong to cuisines of different ethnicity. One only has to look however as ‘Fat Guy’ mentioned at the Chilli which has found a spiritual home in Asia and even in Hungary as Paprika, Potato’s in Ireland, Tomato’s in Italy and one of my favourites, ‘Thai’ Sweet Chilli sauce in Australia to see that the idea of culinary fusion is an idea as old as ‘the hills’. People often refer to these American ‘fast foods’ in a derogatory manner but what they fail to see is that the ‘fast food’ versions of these originally ‘noble’ foods are the same as the bastardized versions of ‘Vindaloo’ curry we see in the British high street when compared to a home cooked Indian meal or the ‘Sweet and Sour Pork’ versions of Chinese cuisine when compared to the genuine article. This is like saying that ‘Asian’ food is bad because you can buy packet noodles that give you the runs every time you eat them (at least with me anyway!). I think Americans have every right to be very proud of the ‘real deal’ versions of these foods. The fact that large corporations have managed to bastardize them for SERIOUS amounts of cash belongs perhaps in another thread.

    Also, someone mentioned that cuisine should really be associated with haute cuisine and regional food with cooking. I personally don’t feel comfortable with this idea as cuisine has every right to associate itself with regional roots. Again from the same paper, Mintz defines cuisines as, “'Cuisine,' more exactly defined, has to do with the ongoing foodways of a region, within which active discourse about food sustains both common understandings and reliable production of the foods in question”. Here it not only implies that cuisine has to do with food of a particular region but also with the discourse relating to common understandings which implies the input of people. Cuisine by its very nature is therefore regional and I’m sure Mintz ‘bent’ his definition of cuisine to support his argument against the idea of National cuisine.

    Finally, to answer the question of what is American cuisine, I think the answer whatever your ideas of nation and cuisine are that American cuisine is the amalgamation of the regional cuisines of the United States of America. That is not to say that a fusion of all of them into one dish is ‘American’ but rather to say that Gumbo is as American as Smoked Brisket is as American as Po’ Boys etc…

    Forget one anyone says about America’s contribution to culinary culture as being bad. These people are just referring to the bastardized versions of what were originally great foods and that are for the most part if you visit the places of their origin still very much alive and kicking. The only thing I would like to add is that this is most likely true for cuisines of all ethnicity.

    Again, another interesting thread. I look forward to seeing how it develops.

    Cheers,

    G

  14. Hi Heather,

    I did not know that about Archestratus. All I remember is that he said that when you visit [cant remember the name of the place], the slice of swordfish from the tail-end is best!

    RE: Romans, puritans etc...

    Couldn't agree more!

    Cheers,

    G

  15. Hi Heather,

    I've not read the book on sugar but I'm told it is great reading.

    Below is a quote from a chapter entitled Cuisine: High, Low and Not at All?

    "A 'national cuisine' is a contradiction in terms; there can be regional cuisines, but not national cuisines. I think that for the most part, a national cuisine is simply a holistic artifice based on the foods of the people who live inside some political system, such as France or Spain. 'Cuisine,' more exactly defined, has to do with the ongoing foodways of a region, within which active discourse about food sustains both common understandings and reliable production of the foods in question."

    Mintz, Sidney. Tasting Food, Tasting Freedom: Excursions into Eating, Culture, and the Past. Boston: Beacon Press, 1996, 104.

    I had to write an essay on this for my studies. I have to say that I loved it and I got really sucked in. As a former scientist, I never thought this would happen to me! I'll post more on it tomorrow!

    Cheers,

    G

  16. "There is no American food. When we begin to list American foods, either we talk about regional things like lobster or shrimp Creole, or we talk about spaghetti and pizza and hot dogs...One could argue it's what makes us great. The fact that we don't have a cuisine is a measure of our democracy and of our ethnic heterogeneity."

    -- Sidney Mintz, Anthropologist

    source for this quote

    I rather like this phrase: our ethnic heterogeneity

    I love the fact that you brought in Mintz. Dont forget however that he also argues very cleverly against the existence of National Cuisines as a whole. I have to say I find his arguments compelling although he admits to the existence of National cuisines in a textual sense.

    I will dig up my stuff on National cuisine when I get into work tomorrow morning.

    Cheers,

    G

  17. Hi people. I have been following this thread with great interest and had a few thoughts to add which might add to why so much emphasis has been placed on ‘french cuisine’ as it has been of particular interest to me as part of my study over the last year. Part of the following discourse is a result of previous writing on the subject. I hope I have been able to put it forward in a lucid way. The main point that I wish to stress is the ability of the French to market their ‘cuisine’ through the use of gastronomic discourse originating in the early nineteenth century. The purpose of this post is not to further push the superiority of French cuisine (especially haute cuisine). Anyone who knows me properly will tell you I prefer a smoked beef brisket and a bottle of beer any day to Lobster Thermidor or Tournedos Rossini. But, as Tim stated, much of the elitist bias towards French food is based solely on some people’s ignorant need to show superiority over others rather than due to any sort of appreciation of the history behind the emergence of this cuisine as being ‘superior’. I feel that whilst the myth may today be propagated by ignorant mis-informed snobs flying first class on the company credit card, the French too have had just an important role in bringing it to the fore.

    Whilst one could argue that perhaps Archestratus of ancient Greece may have been the original food and travel writer, I believe it was the emergence of the French food writing beginning with a poem by Berchoux in 1801, which set the scene for the preeminence of French cuisine that some argue exists to this day.

    The factors affecting the emergence of this discipline are wide and varied and although gastronomy’s most immediate predecessor was the French revolution of 1789, this factor alone is not detailed enough to encompass all the factors influencing its birth.

    Firstly, the abolition of guilds in 1791 meant that various food producers could make more than one type of item and the abolition of the French monarchy as a result of the revolution put a large number of chefs at the disposal of an increasingly wealthy French middle class. This effectively paved the way for the further development of the restaurant, which until then had been supplying those of ‘sensitive disposition’ or with a ‘weak chest’ with medicinal boullions known as restaurants. The restaurant however, in keeping with the hangover of post revolutionary France, allowed for the equality of all diners who patronized them and opened fine dining to ‘all those who could afford the fare’. One demonstration of this was the introduction of service á la russe.

    Secondly, until the nineteenth century, cuisine was considered on the basis of the humoral medicine system. However, as improvements in scientific knowledge brought about an increased awareness of the actual constituents of our food this medicinal system gave way to a system more reminiscent of what we know today. As a result, the constraints on cuisine that were specifically due to medicinal beliefs were lifted and chefs and diners alike were able to develop a cuisine more in tune with their own tastes.

    In addition, the ‘liberation from religious prohibitions’ for a predominantly Catholic France began to make allowances for gustatory pleasure. Now, the idea of enjoying food was no longer frowned upon as the word gourmandise was no longer associated with one of the seven deadly sins.

    Finally, for France, the end of the food shortages of the revolutionary period and the increase in the importation of exotic foodstuffs from all over the world despite the British naval blockades provided a period of ‘alimentary abundance for the urban elites’. This was also made possible by improvements in transportation technology coinciding with a time when Napoleonic France was in the midst of building a formidable empire.

    One could see that these factors that occurred during the ‘age of enlightenment’ sowed a rich seed that bore fruit ripe for the discourse in gastronomy that followed. This allowed the most famous names associated with the subject such as Grimod de la Reyniére, Brillat-Savarin, Berchoux, Carême and later Escoffier to publish the books, poems and manuals which have served to codify and unify the subject of gastronomy.

    In a way, the massive amounts of discourse on food during this time brought light onto French cuisine of the time. This was simply an occurrence that was not happening anywhere else and hence the emergence of French cuisine as ‘superior’ began here via the vehicle of gastronomic discourse. One only has to read the more recent writings of people of the like of Pascal Ory to see that even with the French, this belief of superiority is still evident. It could be argued though that it is partly justified if one has the background knowledge to back it up and of course with regards to the discussion at hand it is the ‘first class flying - ignorant snobs’ who of course don’t have the background knowledge to whom Tim is referring.

    My point is that the influence by the French on the way the whole of ‘Western society’ eats today cannot be discounted and I feel that this is an issue that Tim is well aware. It is of course as important as others have stated to also recognize the importance that other cultures have had on contemporary dining. Finally and again as others have already stated elsewhere in this thread, is not only the need to recognize the French for their cuisine but also the British for their cuisine, the Chinese for theirs etc… All have their merits and their downfalls, it’s just that the French have been writing about the merits of theirs for years!

    Anyway, an interesting discussion worth continuing. I hope it continues.

    Cheers,

    G

  18. After this, the product is placed in  room temperature but relatively DRY (compared to the 1st 24 hours) conditions until the product weight has been reduced by around 25%.

    Hi Doc-G,

    So as long as we have a cured product it is ok to dry at elevated temperatures? and just out of curiosity what would you consider to be room temperature? I ask this because I live in the tropics.

    This seems to contradict what I have read to be the norm that the salami should be held cold. Would the Australian government website you quoted have any more information on this? I will admit that it makes sense to me but I have no specialised food hygiene, or biological training! But being an engineer like to know and understand the process that my food is going through when I am producing it.

    Regards,

    Richard

    Hi Tristar,

    Youve raised an important point. We live in Adelaide, Australia which is described as having a 'Mediterranean' climate. That is hot dry summers and relatively cold dry (wetter than summer of course) winters. We also generally restrict out smallgoods making to the winter months. Therefore, room temperature to us is around 12-18 degrees centigrade during the day and perhaps as low as 6-10 degrees centigrade at night.

    I would assume that living in the tropics will present it's own challenges to curing at 'room temperature'. I'm not quite sure how to help you there. I would assume that your room temperature may be just perfect for the initial 24 hour cure to activate the starter culture. The maturation process however will be an interesting prospect for you as you will have to maintain a lower temp and humidity for longer periods of time. As for how to go about, someone else will have to help you here.

    There are some pretty clever people on this board! I'm sure someone will think of something!

    Cheers,

    Doc-G

    btw from memory the website I previously mentioned does have a fair amount of information on food safety for meat manufacturing.

  19. Hi people,

    As part of my job involves being an internal food safety auditor in a meat factory, one of the biggest causes of concern is cross contamination. In the case of meat products this means handling raw meat and then handling cooked, smoked or fermented products, allowing bacteria from the raw meat to 're-infect' the cured meat where the bacteria have been killed off.

    With regards to your various molds, whilst I cannot comment on specific cases on this site, I have it on good authority that the only stuff NOT to worry about is the white stuff. Anything green and especially anything black is to be turfed out. However, I am not an expert on mold. There may well be some white mold that could wipe out the entire population of the planet.

    Finally, checks and measures for good practices should always be carried out with preparation, especially with regards to temperature. Until smoking, curing or fermentation takes place, meat should be stored at 4 degrees centigrade or less.

    Before curing, smoking or fermentation takes place, products should be weighed and then subsequently weighed again after the product has been 'cooked'. This is especially important when fermenting meat products. As a rule of thumb, it is important that the product loses around 10-15% of its weight in the first 24 hours of fermenting when using a starter culture. This is to ensure that the starter culture has activated and that sufficient amounts of lactic acid have been produced to bring down the pH levels. The by product of this is water loss and a reduction in what is called water activity obviously as well as the general destruction of much of the harmful bacteria due to the reduced pH. During this initial 24 hour time period, in order to maintain maximum moisture loss, the product must be kept in warm and MOIST conditions to prevent case hardening which can cause the product to rot (I generally squirt water over my products every two hours for the first 12 hours). After this, the product is placed in room temperature but relatively DRY (compared to the 1st 24 hours) conditions until the product weight has been reduced by around 25%. Generally speaking for a batch of salami, this takes around 4 weeks. Further hanging will produce better flavour in your product as a result of maturation.

    Whilst this list is not exhaustive, I think it gives a couple of the more important pointers to pay attention to. Also, please do not treat this as advice on how you MUST make your smallgoods. If you want further clarification, check out texts or regulatory websites. A good Australian website is www.foodstandards.gov.au

    I hope this is of help. I dont take any responsibility for your actions as a result of my post. Sorry about all the disclaimers. I cant claim to know everything about everything.

    Cheers,

    Doc-G

  20. Hi Abra,

    I wonder if you leave it on the grill longer and let some of the fat come out to 'loosen' it before turning it whether it might help. Also, leaving it a little longer before turning it will 'firm up' more through the act of cooking. At our factory, we make skinless sausages 'Cevapcici's' and sometimes put skewers in them. We find that if you turn it too early it sticks and messes it up. Also, I havent read all your posts and I'm not sure what you are cooking on. I'm sure you are well aware that some cooking surfaces are more sticky than others.

    Also I think the reason you are getting good binding when you mix your meat mix is because the salt added and the action of the paddling, you are extruding the ends of the 'myosin' proteins which are very sticky which is also what always you to mix in water or wine to the mix (if you want) without it losing any juice whilst cooking. Even 5 minutes of hard kneading by hand should be enough to extract this protein in 'non-emulsified' mince meat mixes.

    Hope this is of use.

    G

  21. The Chorizo was ground with a combination to two sized plates. One third of the mixture was left 'coarse' minced with a 10mm plate and the rest was minced a second time through a 5mm plate to give two different textures.

    With the Hungarian Salami, all the mixture was minced through a 10mm plate and then through a 5mm plate. That is why the texture is 'even'. Also, the mixture was VERY cold when minced. It is on the way to being frozen, which is what we call 'tempered'. This is also good temperature for slicing very thin slices of beef for carpaccio or something.

    The skins are a fibrous skin that come from a Butcher supplier. They cost about $1 or so each and can be bought in any quantity you like. One end is already tied with a loop at the end so that all you have to do is stick it on the end of your filler and fill it whilst maintaining the pressure and then twist the other end and tie it. We were thinking of getting a clipper but the $3000 price tag for it didn't seem to justify this as it is only a hobby for us and not part of our core business.

    Hope this answers your questions.

    Cheers,

    Doc-G

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