Food

An Interesting Read on How Traditional Italian Pizzas Came About

An Interesting Read on How Traditional Italian Pizzas Came About

Most of us think pizza is an Italian invention, but according to Oxford Professor Diego Zancani, both the concept and term related to this food are very old. His recent studies show that pizza has correlations to the Mediterranean “pita” and to the “pissa” of Ancient Greece. However, although the concept of pizza has been around for thousands of years, pizza introduced a variation on how it was cooked and prepared, either baked or fried while topping the dough with an assortment of ingredients. .

Pizza as a food with value in Naples, Italy was documented by a rental contract executed in 997 CE involving a house in Gaeta, Naples. The renters swore in writing to pay the landlord with pizza and pork meat as mode of payment. Professor Zancani explained that the aforementioned “pizza” might only be pieces of bread. According to the professor, the appearance of the food in 1570, was in the recipe of the Pope’s head chef, which indicated that during the period, pizza was basically a cake made of sugar and almonds.

When Did the Real Pizza Come Around?

Hundred of years after pizza was used as a way to pay rent, pizzas made in Naples during the early 18th century had transformed into bread that was baked, slathered with pork fat and topped with cheese. The addition of tomatoes as important ingredient came around only during the 1760s and from that time on, pizza became a staple food in Naples. .

The most famous breakthrough event that increased the popularity of Naples pizzas was in 1889 when Queen Margarita tagged along in the king’s visit to Naples so she could try the popular dish. According to Professor Zancani, the best pizza-maker or pizzaiolo in Naples presented the queen with three variants: the first was white with caciocavallo cheese; the second was pork fat, basil and tomatoes and the third was mozzarella, olive oil and anchovies.

It was widely believed that Queen Margarita chose the second variant, the one with tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella mainly because the color combination reminded her of Italy’s flag. The variant later became known as Margherita’s pizza and popular as it drew many visiting tourists to Naples just to get a taste of authentic Naples pizza.

President and founder of the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana, Antonio Pace, takes pride is saying that pizza is one of Naples’ icons as it was created there and is a staple food of families in Naples. Signore Pace says their association was in fact created in 1984 to keep the tradition of Neapolitan pizza intact. He added that Neapolitan pizza was not invented or owned by any one person as the creativity of the people in Naples is a great part of traditional Neapolitan pizzas.

Why Eating Carbs-Rich Food in Moderation is Still the Best

Why Eating Carbs-Rich Food in Moderation is Still the Best

Eating carbohydrates has been a source of confusion to many as there have been recommendations to consume carbs-rich foods, while others say low carb is better. Yet these are suggestions either for people with a high demand for energy in relation to their physical activities, or for those looking to cut down on calories in order to lose weight. A research study says that as far as proper nutrition goes, eating carbohydrates in moderation is still the best when looking to improve one’s life longevity.

A 2018 research report published in the The Lancet Public Health journal, gives information about the findings of a study involving more than 15,000 Americans whose carbo-eating habits were tracked for 25 years. The findings on those who maintained either low carb or high carb diets revealed higher risks of dying early during the study period, when compared to those who simply kept to eating carbohydrates in moderation.

To better explain their findings, the report cited as an example those who consumed carb-rich foods in moderation starting at age 50, when the average life expectancy is at 83 years old. This group showed they lived longer by four years, when compared to those who maintained a low-carb diet as their average life expectancy was up to age 79 only. Still, the life longevity among the low-carb eaters who participated in the study depended on the type of protein they consumed.

Type of Protein Source Can Also Impact Life Expectancy of Low-Carb Dieters

Based on their findings, the low-carb dieters who consumed animal-based proteins and fats, were linked to increased risks of early death. On the other hand, those who had low-carb diets but at the same time ate plant-based protein and fats, had links to those who had reduced risks of early deaths.

The lead author of the study, Dr. Sara Seidelmann, a cardiovascular research fellow at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, said that their data suggest that if one is to follow a low-carb diet, eating plant-based proteins and fats as carb replacements could actually boost life longevity.

Methodology Used by Researchers on Study About Carbs and Longevity

The more than 15,000 American adults whose diets were monitored for 25 years were between ages 45 and 64, and living in a selected community in four states, namely Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi and North Carolina. The study started sometime in the late 80s, in which after six years, the participants completed surveys that asked about the kind of food they ate and how often they had them. During the period of study, 6,283 of those who participated in the initial phases of the study had died.

This was how the researchers found links to carbohydrate intakes and life longevity, as those with high or low carb consumption had greater risks of dying early as opposed to those who ate carbs-rich foods in moderation.

Using data pulled from seven similar studies, the researchers performed a separate analysis related to the consumption of carbs-rich food of more than 432,000 individuals located in 20 countries. The results of the analysis confirmed the researchers’ findings that 20% of deaths that occurred earlier than the average life expectancy, were linked to high or low carb intakes.

Curious about Disgusting Foods? Sweden Has a Museum Full of Them

Curious about Disgusting Foods? Sweden Has a Museum Full of Them

In Malmö, Sweden, there’s a quaint food exhibit called the “Disgusting Food Museum” featuring delicacies that are revolting especially for the faint of heart. You would probably think so to, as the disgusting food collection includes beverages as vile as a wine made from feces, gin brewed from ants, and an Icelandic craft beer brewed from whale testicles.

Actually, the museum is known for its unusual displays of various international cuisine. The strangest and the most repugnant food coming from different parts of the world have been in exhibit since last September.

How Disgusting Can the Food and Drinks Be?

According to Andreas Ahrens, director of the Disgusting Food Museum, they made sure that all alcohol drinks on exhibit are acceptable in other parts of the world regardless of how repulsive the ingredients or revolting the process used in making the beverage.

Mr. Ahrens cited a drink called Ttongsul as an example, which is a medicinal rice wine in South Korea that is brewed using fermented human excrement. While the production process is disgusting in other countries, the brewing process is widely acceptable in South Korea.

One of the main beverages that draws much attention is a Scottish beer that is touted as the strongest beer in the world as it contains high alcohol content of 55% per measure of volume. Yet the disgusting aspect of the Scottish beverage is not the staggering level of alcohol content but the manner by which the beer is served. The drink is poured and served inside a taxidermied squirrel.

Mr Ahrens takes pride in saying that their showcase of culinary concoctions includes homemade brews dating as far back as thousands of years ago; many of which were experimented by local brewers.

As an example, Mr. Ahrens pointed to the aforementioned whale testicle beer that is seasonally made available by a local brewery in Iceland that goes by the name of Brewery Steðji. In making the alcoholic beverage, the brewery first cures whale testicles using an old Icelandic tradition of adding a slight amount of salt and smoking the testicles for a long period.

The ant-brewed alcoholic beverage called Anty Gin contains about 62 redwood ants. It is said to be the first-of-its-kind-brewed-insect gin in the world, which gives the beverage a sharp hints of citrusy flavor.

The museum’s website invites adventurous people to visit the exhibit and try the concoction as a way of challenging their concept of disgusting while simultaneously exploring the world of food.