Food, Travel & Leisure

Eight forbidden gourmet treats

puffer.jpg
The potentially toxic puffer fish, or fugu, is a gourmet treat in Japan, where chefs must prepare it carefully to avoid poisoning diners

Chicago’s gourmands got some good news this week when the city’s two-year-old ban on foie gras was officially lifted. The repeal was a defeat for animal rights groups who pushed to ban the French delicacy because it is made from the fatty livers of geese and ducks that have been force fed.

But the pricey dish is not the only traditional food that’s restricted (or shunned) around the country because of health or political concerns. Here are some other controversial gourmet favorites, from maggot cheese to haggis, that you may or may not be able to find on a menu near you.

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Food, Travel & Leisure

Party at Alligator Pond

Smoked marlin, ricotta spring rolls, jerk rosemary tenderloin with bearnaise sauce and a 50th birthday party on the idyllic south coast near Alligator Pond, St Elizabeth.

It’s not every day one lives to half a century, but if you do, make sure the food makes you glad that you made the journey.


Photography by Peter Dean Rickards


More Julius cooking…

Escovitch snapper and steam parrot fish
Julius’ satay jerk chicken

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Food, Travel & Leisure

The Miracle Berry: Native to Jamaica

miracle.jpgImagine an extract from a berry that would make sour things taste sweet and help you lose weight. Then imagine not being allowed to take it.

The world is getting fatter. One billion people are overweight, and 300 million of those are clinically obese.

The search is always on for replacements for those things that, eaten in excess, make us obese – fatty and sugary foods. There is no miracle pill that can replace either. Nearly four decades ago one man came close to providing a tablet that could reduce our love of sugar. In the 1960s, Robert Harvey, a biomedical postgraduate student, encountered the miracle berry, a fruit from west Africa which turns sour tastes to sweet.

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Food, Travel & Leisure

Evaporative Cooling, Electric-Free Refrigerators

orange.pngMuch of the post-harvest loss of fruits and vegetables in developing countries is due to the lack of proper storage facilities. While refrigerated cool stores are the best method of preserving fruits and vegetables they are expensive to buy and run. Consequently, in developing countries there is an interest in simple low-cost alternatives, many of which depend on evaporative cooling which is simple and does not require any external power supply.

The basic principle relies on cooling by evaporation. When water evaporates it draws energy from its surroundings which produces a considerable cooling effect. Evaporative cooling occurs when air, that is not too humid, passes over a wet surface; the faster the rate of evaporation the greater the cooling. The efficiency of an evaporative cooler depends on the humidity of the surrounding air. Very dry air can absorb a lot of moisture so greater cooling occurs. In the extreme case of air that is totally saturated with water, no evaporation can take place and no cooling occurs.

Generally, an evaporative cooler is made of a porous material that is fed with water. Hot dry air is drawn over the material. The water evaporates into the air raising its humidity and at the same time reducing the temperature of the air. There are many different styles of evaporative coolers. The design will depend on the materials available and the users requirements.

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