You Should Have these Fancy Vinegar in Your Pantry

Kate Krader wrote . . . . . . .

If there’s one ingredient that’s key to the current food trends—from pickling to ketchup to mayonnaise—it’s vinegar. Over the next three years, vinegar sales are forecast to rise more than 6 percent worldwide. Credit everything from diets that have caused a run on cider vinegar to America’s increasingly adventurous taste for cuisines such as Korean and all the intense, pucker-inducing, fermented kimchee that comes with it.

A handful of books is also addressing the country’s expanding taste for sour flavors. Acid Trip: Travels in the World of Vinegar, by Michael Harlan Turkell (Abrams), offers recipes from around the world such as Italian pancetta and beef tartare from Seattle chef Renee Erickson. Turkell includes tips for do-it-yourselfers on how to make their own vinegar.

There’s also Vinegar Revival: Artisanal Recipes for Brightening Dishes & Drinks with Homemade Vinegar, by Harry Rosenblum (Clarkson Potter), which also advocates for making the stuff at home. Beginners are advised to start by leaving out beer, cider, or wine and watching the transformation. More advanced “brewers” need to start buying such equipment as a hydrometer, a refractometer, and pH strips.

Vinegar fans also have increasing opportunity to mingle at festivals such as Boston Ferments, which connects, educates, and inspires communities through fermentation. The Santa Barbara Fermentation Festival offers the opportunity to learn more about such subjects as kombucha, and the upcoming Austin Fermentation Festival, on Oct. 22, has hands-on workshops.

As would be expected, the array of vinegar flavors has expanded astronomically beyond red and white wine. Here are five vinegars that Acid Trip author Turkell believes deserve a place in your pantry.

Lindera Farms Ramp Vinegar

Uncommon options such as sorghum, turmeric, and even hickory are the specialties at Virginia’s Lindera Farms. Its ramp vinegar, made from the vegetable foraged in spring, offers a smooth blast of oniony heat and an extra layer of flavor to salads, sauces for white-fleshed fish and chicken, sautés, and stir-fries.

Keepwell Aronia Berry Vinegar

The little-known, cranberrylike aronia berry is the base for this lightly fruity and tangy vinegar from Keepwell Vinegar in Washington, D.C. Think of it as a training-wheels vinegar, milder than the red wine standard but just as all-purpose. It’s good in a vinaigrette or a cocktail, or even as an accent to a fruit pie.

Iio Jozo Purple Sweet Potato Vinegar

Made in Miyazu, Japan, Iio Jozo products start as sakes made from rice plus the featured ingredient, which are then fermented to become vinegar. Its purple sweet potato vinegar is a gorgeous crimson, with a funky, earthy, almost peppery flavor that’s less tart than many vinegars. The umami taste makes it great for stirring into soups and stews.

Katz Late-Harvest Viognier Honey Vinegar

In Napa Valley, where almost every grape is designated for wine, Katz produces a handful of vinegars (along with a lot of olive oil and honey). The late-harvest honey selection—produced using the slow Orleáns method for making vinegar—is simultaneously sweet and tart, with a powerfully fruity taste that makes it ideal for anything from a goat cheese salad to chicken, duck, or pork, to a custard or berry dessert.

Gegenbauer Edelsaurer P.X. Noble Sour

Made in Vienna at a brewery dating to the 1920s, the Noble Sour has the mahogany hue and lush, thick texture of an aged sherry. The elegant, nutty liquid, produced from Pedro Ximénez grapes, is designed for sipping like a digestif. But it’s also superb drizzled over vanilla ice cream. Such chefs as Thomas Keller and Daniel Boulud are fans.

Source: Bloomberg


Braised Lamb Shanks with Red Wine


6 even-sized lamb shanks, about 4-1/2 lb. in total
1 large onion, thinly sliced
3 carrots, cut into thin sticks
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2-3 sprigs of rosemary
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 bottle robust red wine, 750 ml, such as Shiraz, Malbec, or Zinfandel, plus 1/2 cup extra to finish
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups strained tomatoes tomato ketchup, to taste
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
creamy mashed potatoes, to serve


  1. Put the lamb shanks in a large, heavyweight plastic bag. Add the onion, carrots, garlic, rosemary, and peppercorns. Pour in the bottle of wine, then pull up the sides of the bag so the marinade covers the meat. Secure the top of the bag with a wire twist. Put the bag in a bowl or dish and refrigerate overnight.
  2. The next day, remove the lamb shanks from the marinade, pat them dry with paper towels, and season with salt and pepper. Strain the marinade through a sieve into a large bowl and reserve the vegetables.
  3. Heat half the oil in a large flameproof casserole, add the lamb shanks, and brown them thoroughly on all sides — you may need to do this in 2 batches.
  4. Remove the lamb and set it aside. Add the remaining oil to the casserole, then add the reserved vegetables and saute briefly until they begin to soften. Add a few tablespoons of the marinade and let it bubble up, incorporating any caramelized juices that have stuck to the casserole.
  5. Stir in the strained tomatoes and the rest of the marinade, then return the lamb shanks to the pan. Spoon the vegetables and sauce over the lamb and bring to simmering point.
  6. Cover the meat tightly with parchment paper, put the lid on the casserole, and cook in a preheated oven at 325°F for 1-3/4 to 2 hours until the meat is almost tender.
  7. Remove the lid and paper and cook for a further 30 minutes.
  8. Remove the rosemary sprigs, let cool, cover, and refrigerate overnight.
  9. The next day, carefully remove any fat that has accumulated on the surface. Reheat gently on the top of the stove until the sauce comes to simmering point. If the sauce isn’t thick enough, remove the lamb shanks from the pan, simmer the sauce until it thickens, then return the lamb to the pan.
  10. Add the remaining glass of wine and simmer for a further 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper and sweeten with a little tomato ketchup, if necessary. Serve with creamy mashed potatoes.

Makes 6 servings.

Source:Cooking with Wine

Feel Fuller, Longer with Mushrooms

If breakfast is the most important meal of the day, then mushrooms may be one of the most imperative ingredients. A new study on satiety published in the October issue of the journal Appetite indicates that eating a mushroom-rich breakfast may result in less hunger and a greater feeling of fullness after the mushroom breakfast compared to the meat breakfast.

“Previous studies on mushrooms suggest that they can be more satiating than meat, but this effect had not been studied with protein-matched amounts until now,” said gut health and satiety researcher and study author Joanne Slavin, PhD, RD, professor at the University of Minnesota. “As with previous published research, this study indicates there may be both a nutritional and satiating benefit to either substituting mushrooms for meat in some meals or replacing some of the meat with mushrooms.”

Because protein appears to be the most satiating macronutrient according to the scientific literature , researchers wanted to match the amount of protein in the mushroom and meat interventions to essentially control for the influence of protein on satiety. After matching the mushroom and meat by protein content, both ended up containing comparable amounts of calories as well, which is a common way to match interventions in satiety studies.

“This new study adds to a growing body of evidence that suggests mushrooms may aid weight management and satiety, and thus contribute to overall wellness,” said Mary Jo Feeney, MS, RD, FADA and nutrition research coordinator to the Mushroom Council. “Consumers are interested in the benefits of protein food choices, so it’s important for them to know that plant-based sources of protein, such as mushrooms, can be satisfying.”

Mushrooms Curbed Hunger and Prospective Consumption Compared to Meat

The objective of the study was to assess the differences with satiety and a 10-day food intake between Agaricus bisporus mushrooms (commonly known as white button mushrooms) (226g) and meat (28g) in a randomized open-label crossover study. Participants included 17 women and 15 men who consumed two servings of mushrooms or meat for 10 days. Participants were given either sliced mushrooms or 93-percent lean/7-percent fat ground beef to consume for a total of 10 days, twice a day. Portion sizes were based on matching the same protein content and similar calorie counts (±7 calories).

Results showed a significant difference on satiety ratings between the mushroom and meat consumption. Participants reported significantly less hunger (p=0.045), greater fullness (p=0.05) and decreased prospective consumption (p=0.03) after consuming a mushroom breakfast compared to a meat breakfast.

Blending Makes Meals Better

The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines encourage healthy eating patterns that are low in saturated fat, which is found in animal proteins . From meatless meals to plant-centric plates, there are many ways to gradually decrease meat consumption without loss of flavor, and research has shown that blending finely chopped mushrooms with meat can be a cooking technique that’s both nutritious and delicious.

A one-year randomized clinical trial at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health indicated increasing intake of low-energy-density foods, specifically mushrooms, in place of high-energy-density foods, like lean ground beef, can be an effective method for reducing daily energy and fat intake while still feeling full and satiated after the meal. Participants following the mushroom-rich diet lost seven pounds, showed improvements in body composition and maintained these changes for six months after losing weight.

Another study conducted by University of California, Davis and the Culinary Institute of America found that substituting mushrooms for a portion of meat helped improve nutrition and flavor. Adding mushrooms to the mix helped lower calorie, saturated fat and sodium intake, while adding nutrients to the plate like B vitamins, vitamin D, antioxidants and potassium (8-percent). Today, the mushroom-meat mix, also referred to as The Blend, is popular both professional chefs and home cooks.

Source: EurekAlert!

Recipe of an awarding winning burger using The Blend

Chew Before You Inhale Burger


84% 21 day aged ribeye
15% royal trumpet mushrooms, minced raw, cooked in butter and salt added to taste
1% portabella powder


2 strips crispy Berkwood bacon
5 chanterelles, sliced in half, cooked in butter
heirloom tomato, sliced thick
Single year aged cheddar cheese

Poblano Smashed Avocado Sauce:

1 poblanos, roasted, peeled, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
sea salt and pepper, to taste
3 avocados, smashed

Lobster Mushroom Aioli Sauce:
1/2 cup lobster mushrooms, chopped
1 tablespoon butter
1 lemon, juiced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup mayo

Garnish – Fried Pickle:

2 cup predust (fine ground cracker meal)
2 cups wet batter
2 cups Japanese Breadcrumb


  1. Combine beef with butter cooked mushrooms and powder and make into patties.
  2. Cook bacon in oven.
  3. Make Poblano Smashed Avocado Sauce and the Lobster Mushroom Aioli Sauce.
  4. Slice tomato.
  5. Butter bun and toast on the grill.
  6. Sauté chanterelle mushrooms until soft.
  7. Cook burger on flat top to rare.
  8. Smoke burger in sealable container for 8-10 minutes.
  9. Assemble burger.

BASF Joins the Forum for Sustainable Palm Oil (FONAP) as Supporting Member

BASF has joined the Forum for Sustainable Palm Oil (FONAP) as a producer of oleoderivatives in the category “Supporter”. “Becoming an official supporter of FONAP is an important signal for BASF in its ongoing efforts to foster sustainable oil palm products. This underlines our commitment to transform the market towards sustainable renewable resources and to help our customers fulfill their FONAP commitments,” said Xavier Susterac, Senior Vice President BASF Personal Care Europe. BASF is one of the leading global processors of oleochemicals: One of its key raw materials is palm kernel oil and its primary derivatives. Both are mainly used for the production of ingredients for the cosmetics, detergents and cleaners industries, as well as in human nutrition.

FONAP broadens scope and opens up to oleoderivative producers

Revising its membership charter, FONAP’s General Assembly has now opened up for the so called upstream part of the palm value chain – the producers of oleoderivatives as “Supporter” of the association – thereby making BASF’s entry possible. “We welcome BASF as an official Supporter-member of FONAP. We are happy to strengthen our network and multiply our joint efforts,” said Daniel May, Secretary General of FONAP. FONAP had been established in 2013 and officially registered in 2015 as an alliance of companies, non-governmental organizations, associations and the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL). The association has currently 46 members including small, medium-sized and multinational companies from various palm oil processing sectors. The aim of the Forum for Sustainable Palm Oil (FONAP) is to significantly boost the proportion of certified palm oil, palm kernel oil and their derivatives and fractions in the German, Austrian and Swiss markets. Together the member companies are working towards the goal of ensuring that all the palm oil and palm kernel oil available on these markets is certified as soon as possible. Regular members commit themselves to use only 100 percent certified palm oil and to improve current certification systems.

Why certification is key to a sustainable palm industry

In more than a decade, the increasing demand for palm-based products and the expansion of palm plantations especially in Indonesia and Malaysia have destroyed high value forests, peatland and biodiversity. At the same time, palm kernel oil in particular is irreplaceable for the oleoderivate business due to its specific traits. This dilemma means a huge responsibility for the industry. The chief global certification body for the palm industry is the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). Sustainable palm oil has been certified by the RSPO according to specific criteria to help to reduce the negative impacts of palm oil cultivation on the environment and communities. BASF was one of the first RSPO members and became a member of the High Carbon Stock Approach in 2016 to leverage industry activities to stop deforestation. Since then BASF integrated the criteria of the HCS Approach such as forest and peat conservation as well as social and labor rights into its Palm Sourcing Policy. “We engage intensively with
our stakeholders at all levels of the supply chain to understand their needs and help them achieve their targets. Our customers rely on our expertise to fulfill the additional requirements necessary to meet their commitments,” said Susterac. “Beyond this, we support smallholders as an important link within the value chain.”

In 2016, BASF expanded its purchasing volumes by about 32,000 metric tons to 158,000 metric tons, and nearly doubled the sales of certified products based on palm kernel oil. BASF had an overall oil palm exposure of 508,000 metric tons in 2016.

Source: BASF

A Calculator Estimates How Many Years of Healthy Life You Still Have

Jeyaraj Vadiveloo wrote . . . . . . .

As the old saying goes, the only things certain in life are death and taxes. While death is inevitable, the quality of life you experience until death is often within an individual’s control.

This is what our team at the Goldenson Center for Actuarial Research chose to focus on by developing a rigorous measure of quality of life. How many healthy years of life do you have ahead before you become unhealthy?

Everyone understands the benefits of living a long healthy life, but this also has implications for industry and society. Medical costs, financial planning and health support services are directly related to the state of health of an individual or community.

We call this measure of quality of life “healthy life expectancy” and its complement “unhealthy life expectancy.” We define entering an unhealthy state as a severe enough state of disablement that there is no recovery, so you remain unhealthy until death.

It follows that life expectancy – a measure of the total future years an individual is expected to live – is simply the two added together.


Imagine a healthy 60-year-old male who exercises regularly, has a healthy diet and healthy body mass index and sleeps at least eight hours a night. By our estimate, he could have an additional 13 years of healthy living compared to his unhealthy counterpart. That’s 13 more years of quality living with family and loved ones.

This is quite a startling revelation, not only because of the significant difference in healthy life expectancy between these two individuals, but also because this difference is driven by lifestyle choices within the individual’s control.

So what factors contribute to a better healthy life expectancy? Two factors that are not lifestyle-related are age and gender. All other things being equal, healthy life expectancy decreases with age. Women have a longer healthy life expectancy compared to men.

We have already seen that diet, exercise and sufficient sleep positively impact healthy life expectancy. Other positive factors that we have incorporated in our model include level of education, level of income, perception of one’s own state of health, moderate alcohol intake, not smoking and absence of Type 2 diabetes. The higher the level of education and income, the higher your healthy life expectancy. Having a positive perception of your state of health helps, too.

Try it yourself

Want to know your own estimate of healthy years ahead? We developed a free online tool that lets you calculate healthy, unhealthy and total life expectancy. This is work in progress.

This is the first time such a measurement tool has been developed. While it’s too early to validate the accuracy of our calculations with actual data, we have been careful to ensure that the model assumptions are based on established actuarial sources and the modeling results are logical and consistent.

It should be noted that healthy life expectancy is simply an educated prediction. Unforeseen incidents – like being hit by a truck – could render this estimate invalid, no matter how well you manage lifestyle habits. Also, there could be other nonmeasurable factors impacting healthy life expectancy that we have not included in our model, like level of stress, a positive attitude to life or social connections.

Putting our model to work

Our team plans to explore some of these practical applications of healthy life expectancy in industry.

For example, the concept of healthy life expectancy can help with retirement financial planning. Annual retirement spending should not be level across your life expectancy. More discretionary retirement spending should happen during healthy years and less during unhealthy years, while spending on basic expenses increases during unhealthy years.

Insurance products can be also designed using healthy life expectancy measures in mind. This can protect an individual against additional basic living expenses during the unhealthy period. One such product could be a deferred long-term care or temporary deferred life annuity, where the deferral period is for healthy life expectancy and the temporary coverage is for the unhealthy period. This can be a significantly cheaper and a more needed product compared to what is available in the marketplace currently.

Since healthy life expectancy is also related to quality of life and level of health, a relative index could compare an individual’s results against a benchmark healthy life expectancy for someone with “average” characteristics. This can then be used as an underwriting tool and to predict future health care costs. Our model could also serve as a patient screening tool for medical providers by incorporating more detailed lifestyle and dietary details as well as prior medical history information.

We hope that other researchers and practitioners will continue to build on this. Then society could focus on not just prolonging life, but prolonging quality of life using our model. As the saying goes, “In the end, it is not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.”

Source : The Conversation

Healthy Life Expectancy Calculator. . . . . .

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