Food news antipasto

You can get whiplash from reading various articles about whether certain foods are healthy – one day eggs are going to kill you, the next day they are the best thing ever – so we rarely post about food and nutrition. When it comes to chocolate, however, we are here to spread the good news about the health benefits of cacao. Chocolate has long been touted as having various positive attributes: it is packed with antioxidants, can improve cognitive function, and can help control inflammation. A new study says chocolate may be good for your gut as well. It seems that the polyphenols in cacao beans are actually prebiotics, according to an article in the journal Nutrients. This means that chocolate “feeds” the good bacteria in your gut. Score another win for cacao!

We now pivot to bad news, this time for French wine lovers: a late frost hit scores of French vineyards hard, resulting in up to 50% losses. An estimated 80 percent of vineyards have been affected, but the damage is not limited to wine grapes. The frost has affected other crops too, such as beets and almonds. Except to see fewer bottles of French wine on store shelves in the coming year.

Earlier in the week we posted about a wonderful interview with Nigella Lawson, and today we return with another great Nigella article. This time it is in Observer Food Monthly, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this month. Nigella discusses different topics in this interview, so it’s worth a read even if you already devoured the earlier article.

If you are interested in exploring the foods of Persia but are discouraged because you do not have access to all of the ingredients needed, head over to The Independent (UK). They have a list of ingredient substitutions you can use for several Persian ingredients including reshteh (Persian noodles) and advieh (a Persian spice mix). Note – registration may be required at the website to access the full article.

Have you ever wished that you could dine with your cat at mealtime? Then you might be interested in a new cookbook from the makers of Fancy Feast canned cat food. It is not about making human meals out of cat food (thank goodness!), instead the “recipes are for humans but were created in honor of the dishes you will be serving your cat.” The cookbook was created in conjunction with the launch of new single-serve cat entrees. The small-plate, restaurant-inspired recipes in Petite Feast: A Cookbook were created by Amanda Hassner, Fancy Feast’s in-house chef (they have an in-house chef?), with assistance from James Beard Award nominee Jerrelle Guy and “actor turned baker” Josh Snyder. 

Photo of Persian noodle soup (Ashe-reshteh) from The Washington Post by Louisa Shafia

Post a comment

Seen anything interesting? Let us know & we'll share it!