Six Best Culinary Herbs for Cooking

Freshly picked culinary herbs add flavour to food and many are delicious additions to salads. Edible herb flowers such as pot marigold, nasturtium and rosemary can also be added to the salad bowl. Many culinary herbs are rich in vitamins and minerals and when freshly picked and eaten raw they can form part of a well-balanced diet. Raw herbs can also be used to add flavour to oils and vinegars for cooking and for salads.

Parsley

Parsley leaves gives a fresh flavour to sauces and salads, when added just before serving. The stems and leaves of parsley can also be used in bouquet garni. Parsley tastes particularly good with pasta dishes, omelettes, vegetables, fish and any meat or poultry.

Parsley is one of the most widely known and used of the culinary herbs. There are two main types of parsley – curly leaf and flat leaf – and both are excellent for culinary purposes. Both of these herbs are a rich source of vitamins and minerals and they can be used to enhance the flavour of cooked dishes and green salads.

Basil

Basil goes with almost any dish but it has a special affinity with tomatoes and is a favourite in Italian cooking.

Sweet basil with its soft green leaves and creamy white or purple tinted flowers is the most popular type of basil. This culinary herb can be used in sauces and salads and to enhance the flavour of cooked dishes such as soups and stews. Perhaps the greatest basil dish is pesto sauce, eaten with spaghetti. This combination makes a wonderfully delicious meal.

There are many other types of basil. Purple ruffle, dark opal and Greek basil are three of the other more unusual varieties, all with differing flavours.

Mint

Spearmint and peppermint are two members of the mint family most widely known and used as culinary herbs. There are many varieties of mint, some with distinct scents and flavours and some can be used for a variety of culinary purposes, such as in sweet and savoury dishes, in salads and for herb tea.

Spearmint is a favourite for mint sauce to accompany lamb and tastes particularly good with dishes such as soups, stews, plain meats, fish and lemon-based deserts.

Peppermint is also popular as a culinary herb flavouring. This herb is most commonly used as flavouring for sweets and chocolates etc. and is also used to flavour cordials. Fresh peppermint leaves can be used to make peppermint tea and the leaves can be added to fresh green salads.

Thyme

Thyme can be used to improve the flavour of most dishes. Both the fresh and dried leaves of this herb are used for cooking. Fresh thyme leaves are useful in many savoury dishes.

Thyme has a rich flavour which makes it an ideal accompaniment to roast meats and tastes good in slowly cooked dishes such as stews and soups. The finely chopped fresh leaves may be added to new potatoes or salad.

Thyme is regarded as one of the great culinary herbs and is widely used in European cooking. This herb is an evergreen perennial it is recognisable by its mauve flowers and small leaves.
Warning: Avoid using Thyme if you are pregnant.

Rosemary

This lovely culinary herb has a strong but pleasant flavour. It enhances the flavour of many dishes such as strong tasting fish and some meat dishes but goes especially well with

Specialty Coffee – A Vibrant Industry, Or The Future Of Coffee At Crossroads Of Change?

Seattle; the home of Boeing, software giants, grunge music and…specialty coffee. Well, not quite. Contrary to popular belief, while Pearl Jam, Nirvana and Boeing and Oracle do indeed hail from the Pacific Northwest, modern specialty coffee has its roots much further south.

When Alfred Peet died in his sleep a few weeks ago he was a sprightly 87. He passed away peacefully hopefully dreaming of coffee trees laden with ripened cherries. While most people have never heard of him, Peet is widely recognised as being the father of modern “specialty coffee” in the industry. He was a Dutchman who became an American. He had traded tea for Lipton’s in Java, lived in Sumatra, worked in the business in New Zealand before, finally, settling down (somewhat) in the University suburb of Berkeley, California. It was at Berkeley where he founded his roastery in 1966 and Peet’s Coffee was born. Alfred Peet was passionate about coffee. His roasting exploits legendary and his ability to commentate, roast and put out fires simultaneously are famous. His experiences while living in Indonesia had given him an affinity with farmers who grew coffee, as well as a thorough understanding of the origin, the place where coffee was grown. This background, combined with his love of roasting, resulted in a place where coffee was not just a cup of Java, but something exotic, living and with a story.

From Alfred Peet’s inspirational example came many of the coffee cultures that now are household names today in America and around the world- Starbucks being the most famous of these of course. The original founders of Starbucks- Baldwin, Bowker and Ziv Seigel originally leant their roasting trade from Peet, in fact Peet roasted for them in their early years. Many others in the industry in America today also passed through the Peet’s Coffee experience. In fact when Howard Schulz purchased Starbucks, Bowker and Baldwin moved across and purchased Peets Coffee- Alfred Peet retiring to a role of Coffee Mentor for the Industry as a whole.

Today most coffee drinkers, from Surabaya to San Francisco, recognise Starbucks and its logo, but the name “Alfred Peet” often draws draws blank looks.

Specialty Coffee today is at a crossroad- an important junction in deciding which direction coffee will be heading over the next decade. In the last 10 years many new comers have entered the business. It is estimated that the global coffee sector today is valued at over US$80 billion. It is no wonder that with these revenue numbers, the industry attracts a mix of business people with mixed agendas- who often see the potential bottom line rather than education and passion as being the driving force in what they do. Traditionally the specialty coffee industry has been built on the strong foundation of sharing knowledge and experience- with the supposition that by helping each other the industry will be strongly quality focused. However a number of the more recent arrivals in the market are perhaps choosing coffee for the perceived easy profits, rather than for a real passion for coffee or its heritage. As a result many of the traditional methods of exchange are not as effective, or used as frequently as they have been in the past.

Globally Coffee is in a position where consumption is beginning to slow down and opportunities to

The History Of Coffee

Coffee – THE Drink of Choice

Did you know coffee is the most consumed beverage in the world. How did coffee get this ranking? What country first figured out coffee was safe for consumption? When was the first drink of coffee prepared? Where did the first coffee shop come in being?
There are many questions about the starting point of drinking coffee. It has been so long ago no one really knows all the facts. But, one thing is for sure, coffee is the most consumed beverage on the planet.

The Beginning of Coffee

It looks as if the first trace came out of Abyssinia and was also sporadically in the vicinity of the Red Sea around seven hundred AD. Along with these people, other Africans of the same period also have a history of using the coffee berry pulp for more than one occasion like rituals and even for health.

Coffee began to get more attention when the Arabs began cultivating it in their peninsulas around eleven hundred AD. It is speculated that trade ships brought the coffee their way. The Arabs started making a drink that became quite popular called gahwa— meaning to prevent sleep. Roasting and boiling the bean was how they made this drink. It became so popular among the Arabs that they made it their signature Arabian wine and it was used a lot during rituals.

After the coffee bean was found to be a great wine and a medicine, someone discovered in Arabia that you could also make a different dark, delicious drink out of the beans, this happened somewhere around twelve hundred AD. After that it didn’t take long and everyone in Arabia was drinking coffee. Everywhere these people traveled the coffee went with them. It made its way around to India, North Africa, the eastern Mediterranean, and was then cultivated to a great extent in Yemen around fourteen hundred AD.

Other countries would have gladly welcomed these beans if only the Arabs had let them. The Arabs killed the seed-germ making sure no one else could grow the coffee if taken elsewhere. Heavily guarding their plants, Yemen is where the main source of coffee stayed for several hundred years. Even with their efforts, the beans were eventually smuggled out by pilgrims and travelers.

Coffee Shops Appear

Around 1475 the first coffee shop opens in Constantinople called Kiv Han two years after coffee was introduced to Turkey, in 1554 two coffee houses open there. People came pouring in to socialize, listen to music, play games and of course drink coffee. Some often called these places in Turkey the “school of the wise”, because you could learn so much by just visiting the coffee house and listening to conversations.
In the sixteen hundreds coffee enters Europe through the port of Venice. The Turkish warriors also brought the drink to Balkans, Spain, and North Africa. Not too much later the first coffee house opens in Italy.

There were plenty of people also trying to ban coffee. Such as Khair Beg a governor of Mecca who was executed and Grand Vizir of the Ottoman Empire who successfully closed down many coffee houses in Turkey. Thankfully not everyone thought this way.

Coffee Tips Arrive

In the early sixteen hundreds coffee is presented to the New World by man named John Smith. Later in

Nespresso Coffee

In 1976 the technology that is used to brew Nespresso, some of the most expensive coffee cup for cup, was invented by the Nestle corporation in Switzerland. Since then the product has gone through many stages of development that have led us to a very popular product that brews perfect high-quality coffee with a rich layer of crema on top every single time. With coffee capsules that sell for one dollar each, Nespresso justifies its price with exceptional quality and has been becoming more and more popular worldwide in the past few years.

If you are wondering what the fuss is all about, consider how rare it is, whether it is at home or at a coffee shop, that a shot of espresso has that perfect layer of thick tan foam resting on top. This is known to coffee connoisseurs as crema, and is an indication of high quality coffee that’s been perfectly brewed. Once brewed, Nespresso has a full rich flavor and an aroma that wakes up the senses of coffee lovers, along with a beautiful layer of crema on every single cup.

There are several factors that are considered and a number of steps the Nespresso company takes to ensure that their coffee is so exceptional. These begin where one might expect, with the coffee.

The Highest Quality Coffee

Acquiring the perfect coffee is a very high priority for the people at Nespresso. It is the coffee that the customer drinks, and it is therefore the primary consideration when it comes to customer satisfaction. Second best just won’t do for Nespresso. To begin with, the firm only uses the best Grand Cru coffee. This terminology, generally used to describe the finest wines from the best regions is used by Nespresso to describe the top harvests from the greatest coffee regions in the world.

The beans used in the production of Nespresso coffee are chosen using a very specific methodology. Only the best beans from the top harvests are used, and the roasting and grinding of all of the beans is very closely monitored to make sure that the coffee comes out as it should.

In addition to this, Nespresso makes sure that it offers the variety its customers need by providing various coffees from many well known top quality sources to give their clients a wide variety of flavors and a wide variety in the level of intensity.

The coffee is sold in hermetically sealed aluminum capsules that measure the perfect amount of coffee, preserve its freshness, and are integrated optimally into the Nespresso coffee machines.

The Perfect Coffee Machines

The other thing that makes Nespresso Coffee loved all over the world is their coffee machines. The machines were created to be used with Nespresso capsules and only Nespresso capsules. There are many top quality coffee machines available, but Nespresso machines are unique.

Nespresso Machines Are Well Designed

The very first thing that you will notice about Nespresso machines if you look through a catalog or browse them in a store is that they are all very well designed. They are not only designed to make the perfect coffee but to be nice to look at. This makes them ideal for display both at home and at the office. The colors of the machines are well balanced and attractive and fit well at home or at the office.

Fitness Tips

Fitness tips offer concise knowledge about developments in the field of health and fitness. It is a step-by-step procedure that guides one through the basic concepts and internal aspects of health. It can be defined as expert advice on how to remain fit and healthy. Fitness tips inspire fitness enthusiasts to maintain a healthy life style. Fitness tips involbe exercise regimens, diets, even motivational courses, meditation sessions, and so on. Fitness is best defined as whatever works best for you. (more…)

Finding the “Best of the Best” in Coffee

Tips for Finding Perfect Premium Coffee…

There is coffee and THERE IS COFFEE! You likely know about the generic quality coffees you find at the supermarket, using the inferior Robusta beans. And, in contrast, there is the alternative: the coffee regularly termed Gourmet Coffee you buy direct from roasters around the country. Popular large volume roasters, like Starbucks as well as most of the the smaller roasters dispersed about town, essentially utilize this far better grade, high altitude, shade grown Arabica bean.

That being said, and broadly known by all nowadays, how can you siphon out the crème de la crème of gourmet coffee beans to purchase?

To begin with, let’s hone in specifically on taste. Nowadays, coffee has become a “drink of experts”…
evolved into an art of reflection! We’ve begun to savor our coffee…flavor identify and define the subtle hints and nuances, as well as the qualities that identify the bean’s continent of origin. You as a coffee drinker, can begin to explore and experience the undertones of your coffee’s region, but better yet, begin to revel in the independently specific flavors of the bean defined by the specific hill and farm where it’s grown.

Coffee Cupping: Defining Coffee by its “Underlying Flavors”

There are, nowadays, a limited number of coffee roasters that independently test their coffee beans for taste observations and aromas. These beans are graded and assessed just like fine wine. This activity is called Coffee Cupping or Coffee Tasting. Professionals known as Master Tasters are the assessors. The procedure involves deeply sniffing a cup of brewed coffee, then loudly slurping the coffee so it draws in air, spreads to the back of the tongue, and maximizes flavor.

These Master Tasters, much akin to wine tasters, then attempt to measure in detail, every aspect of the coffee’s taste. This assessment includes measurement of the body (the texture or mouth-feel, such as oiliness), acidity (a sharp and tangy feeling, like when biting into an orange), and balance (the innuendo and the harmony of flavors working together). Since coffee beans embody telltale flavors from their region or continent of their origin, cuppers may also attempt to predict where the coffee was grown.

There is an infinite range of vocabulary that is used to describe the tastes found in coffee. Descriptors range from the familiar (chocolaty, sweet, fruity, woody) to the conceptual (clean, vibrant, sturdy) to the wildly esoteric (summery, racy, gentlemanly).

Following are a few key characteristics as defined by Coffee Geek. (http://coffeegeek.com/guides/beginnercupping/tastenotes)

Key Characteristics

Acidity:

The brightness or sharpness of coffee: It is through the acidity that many of the most intriguing fruit and floral flavors are delivered, and is usually the most scrutinized characteristic of the coffee. Acidity can be intense or mild, round or edgy, elegant or wild, and everything in between. Usually the acidity is best evaluated once the coffee has cooled slightly to a warm/lukewarm temperature. Tasting a coffee from Sumatra next to one from Kenya is a good way to begin to understand acidity.

Body:

This is sometimes referred to as “mouthfeel”. The body is the sense of weight or heaviness that the coffee exerts in the mouth, and can be very difficult

Preserve your Food with food sealing machine

One of the basic necessities of life that is food is perishable. Thanks to the sedentary lifestyle which a person is living up these days, it has been noted down that more intake of unhealthy food is consumed by the individual. This has related to many health issues like cancer and tumor. To help the person live a healthy life, it is always advisable to have food which is fresh and cooked well. If you are quite busy in your life and looking for easy to cook and store services fridge won’t be a better option. To get the best services, you need to buy food sealing machine. (more…)