Original YT playout date: 6 August 2009
Highlights from the last of Richard Berkeley’s Tasty Classic events of 2008-2009 season. If you want to attend one of these events for the creme de la creme brulee of Warsaw’s cultural elite, then let me know and I’ll try to swing you an invite… Continue reading “Classical Music and Food”→
Original playout date: 29 March 2008
Scenes from two fine meals, incorporating perfect Turkish hospitality, fine food, fine ceramic and football with Fenerbahce.
Black carrot juice with spices – a fine drink they should sell over here too. It sounds like I am saying “blackcurrant juice” but it is actually black carrots. Checking this out, I note that what this is is not a separate species, just the purple form which is actually the way they looked as they came into Europe in the tenth Century AD, along the silk road, while the orange version we know and love was only emerging in Afghanistan at around that time, and arrived some time later.
Carrots are one vegetable with quite interesting comparative etymologies, having clumps of similar words for them in similar languages, but these don’t really resemble one another. I hope to enlarge on that one day in a series of etymological articles.
It has been a few weeks not so much hectic as rather completely crzay, hence my kind and loyal readers might with reason consider themselves somewhat neglected by this blog. In order to put that right, I shall attempt a brief post on a useful topic which may be of help to many people.
Some years ago my dear friend Leslie Grufford informed me that you should not eat and drink at the same time. I was not convinced of this at the time as I knew that Mr Grufford was prone to making statements that I didn’t agree with, although with the passage of time some of them have increased their plausibility and this statement of his is no exception. Looking at the matter today I trawled the internet looking for opinions on whether you should avoid fluid intake close to mealtimes and if so why?
Of course I had an inkling myself of why this should be, and this was confirmed by those who said that the stomach contents are flushed into the lower reaches of the Alimentary Canal more quickly if you drink fluids, whereas it hangs around longer in the “pouch” as some commentators put it, if you don’t drink at the same time, which not only enables the feeling of fulltitude to happen with less food, but also better digestion of the nutrients in the food.
Which all kind of makes sense. The best reason to have liquids at hand is of course in case you find yourself choking, but hopefully that doesn’t happen very often and if anxiety to avoid choking makes you eat slower, then well, there’s a third advantage.
It is one thing to know the above though, and quite another to put it into practice. People like to have a drink with meals and there are some social kinds of eating which rather call for the drinking of fluids at the same time.
Maybe we need to change social morays and other sociable eels like the conga in order to reflect what actually is conducive to better health. Maybe we should wait for a good hour after desert before we start to drink coffee. In a lot of restaurants I’ve been at that tends to be what can happen anyway even whn you don’t want it to, so maybe that should be formalised and written into the newest editions of Debretts?
Aperitifs and wine with meals which are included in the price with certain set posh meals are a big temptation to let all that go by the board on occasion, but if that happens at least we need to get back on the programme when we are eating in normal life. It isn’t what happens on conferenced that determines if we are fat or thin, but what happens in our own kitchens and dining rooms and at our desks or canteens at work.
I will say this – an unexpected side effect I noticed when becoming vegetarian was that the desire to drink while eating automtically went down. I need to remember to drink after meals.
The recommendations people on line say that their doctors had given them is not drinkning from 15 minutes before eating a meal to 30 minutes or in some cases 60 minutes after finishing eating. Maybe 45 minutes is a good compromise. I like the 80:20 rule but I’m not sure it would apply here very well.