Gadget: Carson Rodizio Brazilian Churrascaria Grill

Turn your home grill into a Brazilian style BBQ with this “multi-rotisserie turbo kit.” Impale meat on the six massive skewers and a battery powered frame rotates them to seal the juices in.

The system works with just about any type of grill, so long as it safely sits above a heat source. We cannot guarantee a “Utopian State of Barbecue Bliss,” as the website promises, but it should provide some pretty great Brazilian style meat.

The price is US$498.

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New Fancy Food Trend

Leanne Italie wrote . . . . .

Water that packs a hydrogen punch, snack bars as sticks and confections more savory than sweet are among innovations to emerge from hundreds of purveyors at the Summer Fancy Food Show.

The annual showcase hosted by the Specialty Food Association wrapped Tuesday in New York after three days and more than a little sampling of the artisan and high-tech bites and beverages from more than 1,200 companies.

Phil Kafarakis, president of the trade group, said in a recent interview that his industry is booming to the tune of $127 billion a year, including the retail and food service markets. The consumer has really changed the dynamic, he said.

“Everybody keeps talking about the Millennial, but it’s not just the Millennial. GenX and NextGen and even Boomers, when you think about health and wellness, are looking for authenticity in products,” Kafarakis said.

Denise Purcell, head of content, offered these observations gleaned from the food artisans, importers and entrepreneurs who peddled their wares:

SPECIALTY WATERS

Over the last couple of years, Purcell said, something has happened to water. Companies are playing with its natural properties to claim added benefits.

“Water is up 75 per cent in dollar sales from 2014 to 2016. Separately, there’s a lot of interest in functional beverages, so what we’re seeing right now are enhanced waters,” she said.

There’s a company called HFactor Hydrogen infusing its pouched water with molecular hydrogen, reportedly to boost anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It also claims of an additional energy boost, all with no added chemicals or magnesium.

And there’s Formula Four Beverages’ OXiGEN water, infused with molecular oxygen, so not the O2 kind. Specifically, the company said it uses 1,000 parts per million of bio-available oxygen per 20 ounces in a bottle, compared to between five and 40 parts per million in tap or other bottled water.

Why? Well, according a study cited by Formula Four, all of that helps clear lactic acid, making for a faster recovery after exercise. It also claims a boost in endurance, stamina, mental clarity and, wait for it, decreased hangover effects.

There’s also a shot format with five times more oxygen than the bottled product, Purcell said.

Another company is doing enhanced waters with pomegranate seed oil, reportedly good for inflammation and to help with digestive health, Purcell said.

Another company took an entirely different twist on water and it’s not necessarily to sip or improve health.

It’s from Rogers Collection and it’s called Oak Smoked Water, made from Welsh oak chips smoked by the folks at Halen Mon. The water has actually been on the market since 2013 and is pretty much what it claims to be, with smoking done over four days without additives for use in soups, risottos and casseroles as a way to add depth.

It can also be frozen into ice cubes for cocktails.

SNACK BARS THAT AREN’T BARS

Purcell has been watching this market segment for a while.

“They, too, have grown a lot over the last couple of years. Snack bars are up about 50 per cent since 2014 and they’re forecast to grow even more. They hit on a lot of macro-trends like snacking and portability and good for you.”

Among recent innovations: A company called Aunt Dottie’s mixes together salad ingredients — greens, vegetables, nuts, seeds and fruits — and condenses them into a bar.

What’s interesting to Purcell is a variation on the bar, the snack stick.

There’s one company, Vivify, doing energy snack sticks in interesting combinations of nuts, quinoa and seeds like flax and sunflower. There’s a chia-pistachio combination and a quinoa and toasted coconut combo.

PLANT-BASED FOODS

For the first time, the Specialty Food Association asked members if they plan to expand out in this market category.

“A third of them said they’re planning innovation around that, and it’s cutting across all different categories, so there’s cheese and meat and dairy alternatives but also condiments, frozen desserts and water again.”

The show included a plant-based water made from hemp. Cashew sauce was offered as a cheese sauce alternative in a handy add-hot-water format.

For dessert?

“We are seeing a lot more vegan-friendly desserts, whether it’s frozen ice creams or sorbets. Alternative milks, nut milks, are becoming very popular,” Purcell said.

COFFEE AND TEA

“This is another area where we’re seeing a lot of innovation, especially refrigerated and ready to drink varieties. Those have exploded. They’ve been up 114 per cent between 2014 and 2016,” Purcell said.

A company called Sunup uses unroasted green coffee beans in a bottle drink, offering tea-style flavour with a full caffeine kick.

Another company, Afineur, claims to have customized the natural fermentation process to eliminate the undesirable characteristics of coffee and enhance the goodness. The resulting coffee is less bitter and easier to digest, Purcell said.

Camille Delebecque, the CEO and co-founder of Afineur, has a Ph.D. in synthetic biology.

SAVORY AND SPICY CONFECTIONS

Chocolate went peppery a while ago. Now the artisans are having fun with other flavours.

“Spices, they’re going to a new level in confections,” Purcell said.

One company, Rumi Spice, was founded by a group of U.S. military veterans who source saffron from sustainable farms in Afghanistan for its Saffron Gems, a gummy bite-size treat with threads of saffron visible in the rich-tasting golden candy.

MilkBoy chocolates out of Switzerland offers bars of 60 per cent cocoa infused with pine tree oil

Source: Toronto Sun

Brioche

Ingredients

2 cups strong white flour
2 teaspoons caster sugar
pinch salt
3 teaspoons easy blend dried yeast
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 eggs, beaten
1 egg, beaten, to glaze
butter curls and jam, to serve

Method

  1. Sift flour, sugar and salt into a large bowl and stir in the yeast. Add 5 teaspoons water, the butter, 2 of the eggs and mix to a soft dough. Turn onto a floured surface and knead for 5 minutes, then put into an oiled polythene bag and leave to rise for about 1 hour.
  2. Shape three-quarters of the dough into a ball and push into a well-oiled brioche tin. Shape remaining dough into a ball and put on top, pushing a floured finger through both balls.
  3. Cover with oiled polythene and leave to rise until the dough is puffy and risen to the top of the tin.
  4. Preheat the oven to 450ºF (230ºC).
  5. Brush dough with beaten egg and bake in the oven for 10 minutes, then lower the temperature to 400ºF (200ºC) for a further 10-15 minutes until golden brown.
  6. Serve with butter curls and jam.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Source: Breakfasts and Brunches

In Pictures: Popular Breakfasts in Countries Around the World

Russia

Peru

Spain

Tahiti

Morocco

France

Some Drugs for Enlarged Prostate May Do Harm

Dennis Thompson wrote . . . . . .

Popular hormone-based drugs for treating an enlarged prostate could increase men’s risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease or stroke, a new study suggests.

A group of German men taking the drug Avodart (dutasteride) for three years wound up with higher blood sugar and cholesterol levels than men taking another class of prostate medication that does not affect male hormones, the researchers reported.

“Our small study suggests there are really adverse effects on metabolic function from these drugs that has not been reported previously,” said lead researcher Abdulmaged Traish. He is a professor of urology with the Boston University School of Medicine.

But Dr. Ashutosh Tewari, chair of urology for the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, said the new findings run counter to prior clinical trials of the drug, and do not warrant any change in use at this time.

Still, Traish believes urologists should talk about these new results with patients before prescribing either Avodart or another hormone-based prostate drug called Proscar (finasteride). Both are in the class of drugs known as 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors.

“They should have a clear, open and honest discussion with their patients,” Traish said. “This drug might cause some of these problems.”

However, according to Tewari, “This is an interesting finding which is a little different than the large ‘controlled’ studies. It needs to be studied in a larger pool of patients in a prospective manner.”

The association seen in the study doesn’t prove a cause-and-effect relationship.

The prostate is a walnut-sized gland surrounding the urethra where it connects to the bladder. The prostate produces fluid that goes into semen, and is essential for male fertility. But as men age, their prostates tend to enlarge, pinching the urethra and making urination more difficult.

Avodart reduces production of dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a hormone linked to enlargement of the prostate gland. Treatment with Avodart can cause a man’s prostate to shrink by roughly 18 percent to 20 percent, Traish noted.

“The men urinate a little bit better,” Traish said. “They don’t have to stand an hour and a half in the bathroom at the airport.”

However, DHT also plays an important role in the function of other organs, particularly the liver, Traish said. He and his colleagues are concerned that reducing DHT could have other unknown health effects.

To examine the issue, Traish’s team reviewed records of 460 men treated at a single urologist’s office in Germany for enlarged prostate.

Half of the men had been prescribed Avodart to treat their problem, and the other half had been prescribed Flomax (tamsulosin). Flomax, in the class of drugs known as alpha-blockers, does not affect hormones, but works by causing the smooth muscle tissue of the prostate to relax, Traish said.

The researchers tracked all of the men for 36 to 42 months, performing blood tests and assessing prostate size and function.

Avodart was linked to an ongoing rise in blood sugar levels among men who received the drug, while men taking Flomax did not experience any such increase, the study authors said.

Further, long-term Avodart treatment was linked to increased “bad” LDL cholesterol levels in men, the investigators found. Men on Flomax experienced a smaller but yet significant increase in their LDL cholesterol levels, but also had an increase in their “good” HDL cholesterol levels, the findings showed.

Based on his findings, Traish said he would lean toward prescribing Flomax first rather than a hormone-based prostate drug.

“I would rather have my patient try something safer, and if it works for him, keep him on that,” Traish said.

Tewari noted that the clinical trials that found Avodart effective in treating enlarged prostate did not show any of these other metabolic problems.

Those clinical trials relied on men being randomly assigned Avodart, Tewari said. The men in this new study were not assigned medication randomly, but were allowed to choose their treatment following discussion with a doctor.

The new study also did not compare men taking Avodart to a control group taking a placebo, and relied on past data rather than an entirely new experiment, Tewari continued.

“This is interesting, yet needs to be verified in a controlled setting with a larger pool of patients,” Tewari explained. “At this time, I’m not too impressed with any clinical significance of this study.”

The study was published online recently in the journal Hormone Molecular Biology and Clinical Investigation.

Source: HealthDay


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