In Singapore, a Spanish Tapas Restaurant Teaches Diners about Japanese Sake

Lilit Marcus wrote . . . . . . . . .

The island city-state of Singapore may be small, but it’s known for exceptional food you can’t find anywhere else in the world.

What other places might call fusion is what Singaporeans just call food — the country’s mix of Malaysian, Chinese, Indian and British cultures have resulted in a wide range of culinary combos.

At Singapore restaurant Bam!, two other cultures have been melded into a new cuisine — Japanese and Spanish.

There, chef de cuisine Li Si and the rest of the team combine Japanese style, Spanish flavors and elegant presentation for a truly one-of-a-kind dining experience.

The restaurant’s ethos is “modern shudo,” or “the contemporary way of sake enjoyment.”

That means that sake isn’t just in a glass — it’s on the plate, too.

“We do actually use a lot of sake in our food,” says chef Si. “For making sauces, in our dressings.”

She says it’s common for guests to compliment a certain dish, ask questions about how it is made, and then express surprise that sake is an ingredient.

Staff members can answer questions about sake and recommend different varieties that diners might like to try alongside their meal. Luckily, with an 80-bottle deep sake list, there’s plenty to choose from.

One of the popular dishes at Bam! is an abalone congee with espardenyes. This ultra-rich dish mixes Asian favorites (abalone and congee, a rice-based porridge) with Spanish espardenyes, aka sea cucumbers.

The broth is made with dashi and the dish is finished off with jellied disks of salted egg yolk, crispy “egg floss” and spring onion.

The dish was one of the first things that chef Si, a Singapore native who spent several years working in Spain before returning to run the kitchen at Bam!, came up with at the restaurant.

And for the pairing? In Si’s eyes, nothing pairs better with seafood than sake, especially when you’re trying to bring out notes of sweetness.

Source: CNN


Orecchiette Bolognese with Chestnuts


1-1/4 pounds thickly sliced smoked ham, torn into small pieces
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1-1/4 pounds ground beef chuck
Pinch of ground cloves
1 celery rib, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon finely chopped sage
1 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1-1/2 cups dry red wine
1 (28-ounce) can tomato puree
2 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
pinch of sugar
freshly ground black pepper
1 pound orecchiette
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup vacuum-packed chestnuts, coarsely chopped (4 ounces)
2 tablespoons very finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving


  1. Pulse the ham pieces in a food processor until coarsely chopped.
  2. In a large, deep casserole or Dutch oven, heat the oil. Add the chopped ham, beef chuck and cloves. Cook over high heat, stirring once or twice, until the meat begins to brown, about 10 minutes.
  3. Add the celery, carrot, onion and garlic to the casserole and cook, stirring, until the vegetables are barely softened, about 3 minutes.
  4. Stir in the sage, rosemary and crushed red pepper and cook until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes.
  5. Add the red wine and cook until it is nearly evaporated, about 10 minutes.
  6. Add the tomato puree, chicken stock and sugar, season with black pepper and bring to a boil over moderately high heat. Simmer uncovered over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the Bolognese sauce is thick and reduced by half, about 45 minutes.
  7. in a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the orecchiette until al dente.
  8. Stir the heavy cream into the Bolognese sauce and simmer for 5 minutes.
  9. Stir in the chopped chestnuts and parsley and season lightly with salt. Drain the pasta and transfer to a large bowl. Spoon the Bolognese sauce over the pasta and serve, passing the Parmesan at the table.

Makes 6 servings.

Source:Chef Daniel Boulud

Many Americans’ Thanksgiving Dream: a Faux Turkey in Every Pot

Barbara Goldberg and Richa Naidu wrote . . . . . . . . .

When American vegetarians, pescetarians and flexitarians sit down at the Thanksgiving table this week, there’s one thing many agree they would be thankful for: a tasty, plant-based alternative to turkey.

Wildly popular for their taste and texture, Impossible Burger, Beyond Burger and other plant-based alternatives have revolutionized the fake meat market, and now account for about 5 percent of U.S. meat purchases.

But when it comes to turkey, the traditional star of Thanksgiving feasts, nothing has drummed up the same level of shopper excitement and acceptance.

“I’d love to see an Impossible turkey by next Thanksgiving,” said Cordia Popp, 42, a vegetarian and stay-at-home mother of two who lives in upstate New York. The most authentic-tasting turkey alternative now on the market, Popp said, “doesn’t have that shred like real turkey has.”

Twenty-five years ago Tofurky, a tofu turkey, hit the market and now sells 400,000 roasts each holiday season. But many vegetarians say the search is still on for a plant-based alternative that hits the mark for turkey flavor and texture the same way plant-based options have nailed the beef target.

Beyond Meat urges fans to create holiday dishes from existing beef and sausage alternatives, while Impossible Foods told Reuters that a turkey alternative is among its long-term goals.

First to reach the finish line may be one of the major turkey producers, Butterball, Perdue Farms or Tyson Foods Inc. (TSN.N) Each says it is developing vegetarian options as a growing number of Americans become so-called flexitarians, wading in and out of vegetarianism.

“Don’t be surprised if more protein options find their way onto future Thanksgiving tables,” a Tyson spokeswoman said. “We are looking at options across protein forms. We aren’t sharing future product roll out dates at this time.”

Bill See, a Perdue Farms spokesman, said, “We have something in the pipeline but (it’s) too early to talk about.”

Butterball will run limited tests of plant-based turkey options next year, said Jeff Mundt, vice president of research & development and innovation. Still, the company is confident that for many there is “no substitute for a tender and juicy turkey at the center of the holiday table,” Mundt said.

While Impossible and Beyond have aced the beef-like product for backyard burgers, the bar may be higher for a turkey-like product to grace Thanksgiving tables, said Mike Leonard, who leads research and development at plant-based food technology firm Motif FoodWorks.

“Thanksgiving is all about turkey,” said Leonard, whose company works with several U.S. vegan meat companies. He said no one yet has “cracked the code” on how to make a plant-based turkey that looks and feels and tastes like a real one.

Turkey consumption has remained relatively steady in the United States in recent years, with about 5 billion pounds (2.3 metric tons) of turkey consumed annually, according to Sue King, spokeswoman for the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Consumers looking for better taste and texture in a plant-based turkey alternative say they are motivated by concern for their own health, animal welfare and the environmental stresses of raising animals for meat.

The problem is often taste.

Michael Giulietti, a meat-eating fan of Impossible Burgers, is among those awaiting an appetizing breakthrough in turkey alternatives. While large-scale turkey producers have cornered the market on flavor, Giulietti said, he is troubled by their methods.

“Factory birds are mutants with huge breasts, but they are tastier,” said Giulietti, 32, a medical student advisor from Oregon. “I hope the Impossible turkey tastes like the factory-raised ones so I can have taste without ethical issues.”

Source: Reuters

High Levels of screen Use Associated with Symptoms of Anxiety in Adolescence

A new study, by researchers Drs. Boers, Afzali and Conrod who are affiliated with CHU Sainte-Justine Research Center and the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Montreal, reveals that social media use, television viewing and computer use, but not video gaming, are linked to an increase in anxiety symptoms among adolescents.

The study, published in academic outlet the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, shows that a higher than average frequency of social media use, television viewing and computer use over four years predicts more severe symptoms of anxiety over that same time frame. Over and above a potential common vulnerability to both sets of behaviours, the study demonstrates that if a teen experienced an increase in their social media use, television viewing and computer use in a given year which surpassed their overall average level of use, then his or her anxiety symptoms also increased in that same year. Furthermore, when adolescents decreased their social media use, television viewing, and computer use, their symptoms of anxiety became less severe. Thus, no lasting effects were found.

These are interesting findings considering another recent publication by the same authors, reporting associations of social media use and television viewing on symptoms of depression, but not computer use. Thus, it appears that computer use is uniquely associated to increases in anxiety, potentially in relation to using the computer for homework activities, but this needs further research, explains the study’s lead author, Elroy Boers, post-doctoral researcher at UdeM’s Department of Psychiatry.

This study could have important implications for how youth and families choose to regulate digital screen time in order to prevent and reduce symptoms of anxiety. The study findings indicate social media use, television viewing, and computer use are predictors of anxiety in adolescence. While our results are based on observational research design, the nature of statistical approach that we used to test possible causal effects robustly controlled for any potential common underlying vulnerability to high levels of screen time and anxiety. Nevertheless, more research is needed, including research that includes experimental designs, to confirm that it is exposure to social media, television, and computer use that is causing elevated rates of anxiety in young people,” said Dr. Patricia Conrod, senior author and Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Montreal, and CHU Ste Justine.

Screen time and anxiety

Dr Conrod’s team followed almost four thousand Canadian teenagers from age 12 to 16 who were part of the Co-Venture Trial. Each year of high school, teens were asked to self-report time spent in front of digital screens and specified amount of time spent engaging in four different types of screen time activities (social media, television, video gaming and computer use).

Moreover, the teenagers completed self-reported questionnaires on various anxiety symptoms at ages 12 to 16. Then, after data collection, state-of-the-art statistical analyses were performed to assess the between-person, with-person, and lagged-within person associations between screen time and anxiety in adolescence. These analyses augment standard analyses by modelling the year-to-year changes of both sets of problems, thus, taking into account possible common vulnerability and possible natural developmental changes in each set of behaviours or symptoms.

“These findings suggest that one way to help teens manage anxiety could be to help them limit the amount of time they spend in front screens”, said Conrod. Conrod and her colleagues hope that this study helps guide the design of new intervention strategies for at-risk youth, before anxiety symptoms become clinically significant.

Source: EurekAlert!

Cancer Patients Are at Higher Risk of Dying from Heart Disease and Stroke

More than one in ten cancer patients do not die from their cancer but from heart and blood vessel problems instead, according to new research published in the European Heart Journal [1] today (Monday). For some cancers, like breast, prostate, endometrial, and thyroid cancer, around half will die from cardiovascular disease (CVD).

Dr Nicholas Zaorsky, a radiation oncologist, and Dr Kathleen Sturgeon, an assistant professor in public health sciences, both at Penn State College of Medicine and Penn State Cancer Institute, Hershey, Pennsylvania, USA, and colleagues compared the US general population with over 3.2 million US patients who had been diagnosed with cancer between 1973 and 2012.

They used information contained in the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) database to look at deaths from CVD, which included heart disease, high blood pressure, cerebrovascular disease, blocked arteries and damage to the aorta – the main artery carrying blood from the heart to the rest of the body. They adjusted their analyses to take account of factors that could affect the results, such as age, race and sex, and they looked specifically at 28 different types of cancer.

Among the 3,234,256 cancer patients, 38% (1,228,328) died from cancer and 11% (365,689) died from CVDs. Among the deaths from CVD, 76% were due to heart disease, and the risk of dying from CVD was highest in the first year after a cancer diagnosis and among patients younger than 35 years.

The majority of CVD deaths occurred in patients with cancers of the breast (a total of 60,409 patients) and prostate (84,534 patients), as these are among the most common cancers to be diagnosed. In 2012, 61% of all cancer patients who died from CVD were diagnosed with breast, prostate, or bladder cancer.

The proportion of cancer survivors dying from CVD was highest in bladder (19% of patients), larynx (17%), prostate (17%), womb (16%), bowel (14%) and breast (12%).

Patients who were more likely to die from cancer than from CVD were those with the most aggressive and hard-to-treat cancers, such as cancer of the lung, liver, brain, stomach, gallbladder, pancreas, oesophagus, ovary and multiple myeloma.

This is the largest and most comprehensive study looking at deaths from cardiovascular disease among patients with 28 types of cancer with over 40 years of data. Other, smaller studies have looked at the risk of death from CVD in some specific cancers, but none have looked at so many cancers with such a long follow-up.

Dr Sturgeon said: “These findings show that a large proportion of certain cancer patients will die of cardiovascular disease, including heart disease, stroke, aneurysm, high blood pressure and damage to blood vessels. We also found that among survivors with any type of cancer diagnosed before the age of 55 years, the risk of cardiovascular death was more than ten-fold greater than in the general population.

“Cancer survivors with cancer of the breast, larynx, skin, Hodgkin lymphoma, thyroid, testis, prostate, endometrium, bladder, vulva, and penis, are about as likely to die of cardiovascular diseases as they are to die of their initial cancer. The risk of death from cardiovascular diseases is several times that of the general population in the first year of diagnosis; sometimes, this risk decreases, but for most, this risk increases as survivors are followed for ten years or more. Increasing awareness of this risk may spur cancer survivors to implement healthy lifestyle behaviours that not only decrease their risk of cardiovascular disease, but also the risk of cancer recurrence.”

Dr Zaorsky said: “Clinicians need to be aware that the majority of cardiovascular disease deaths occur in patients diagnosed with breast, prostate or bladder cancer. Thus, clinics that aim to open “cardio-oncology” centres should likely focus on the inclusion of these sites, followed by the other sites listed above. Additionally, primary care physicians and cardiologists may seek to control cardiovascular diseases more aggressively in cancer survivors.

“As the number of cancer survivors increase, the rate of cardiovascular deaths will continue to rise.”

He said the reason why cancer patients were more at risk of dying from cardiovascular disease within the first year of diagnosis might be because when they entered the hospital system, other illnesses and problems, such as heart disease, lung dysfunction and kidney failure were also detected. It could also be explained by the aggressive treatment that follows a cancer diagnosis.

Dr Sturgeon concluded: “We hope these findings will increase awareness in patients, primary care physicians, oncologists and cardiologists as to the risk of cardiovascular disease among cancer patients and the need for earlier, more aggressive and better coordinated cardiovascular care.”

Limitations of the study include the fact that the type of treatments the patients received was not known, including whether or not they had therapies that can be more toxic to the heart; the SEER database does not provide information on other illnesses and risk factors (such as smoking, alcohol consumption, obesity); the role played by socioeconomic status on the risk of cardiovascular death after a cancer diagnosis was not investigated. The study was carried out in the US population, so the risks may vary in different populations; the authors believe their findings are most applicable to Canada, Europe and Australia because the cancers and causes of death among cancer patients are similar.

In an accompanying editorial, Dr Jörg Herrmann, a cardiologist at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, USA, writes: “The important work by Sturgeon et al. confirms that cancer patients have an on average 2–6 times higher CVD mortality risk than the general population. This is a key message that every cardiologist needs to hear. Secondly, the CVD mortality risk is evident throughout the continuum of cancer care, and entails an acute phase (early risk) and a chronic phase (late risk). In view of such grave and persistent consequences, a reactive management approach that comes into play solely when clinical presentations and complications arise is no longer in order. Rather, one would advocate for a proactive approach that starts before any cancer therapy is given and continues for a lifetime thereafter. Thirdly, even with the best possible cardio-oncology care, no difference in population-based outcomes may be achieved in patients with relentless malignancies, while for others it is of increasing significance.”

Source: European Society of Cardiology

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