The Steak Glossary

Adriana Velez wrote . . . . . . . . .

USDA Prime: The United States Department of Agriculture grades the quality of beef according to the marbling, or those little veins of fat you see in a cut of meat. The more marbling, the higher the rating. The idea is that those little streaks of fat add flavor, tenderness, and juiciness to your steak. Prime is the highest rating, and it’s the kind you’re more likely to see in restaurants. Choice is what you’ll see at the grocery store.

Wagyu: This is a breed of cattle originating in Japan, where it must be 100% purebred in order to carry the name. The Japanese Meat Grading Association has its own grading system that differs from the USDA’s. Japan exports only beef with the highest two grades, A4 and A5, to the US.

But here’s where things get tricky. American brands raise wagyu here as well, but it’s typically bred with Angus. This “Wangus” only has to be 46.875% wagyu to be labeled as wagyu. So when you see wagyu on the menu, notice where it’s from. If it’s Japanese, the menu will most likely say so (and the price will reflect that). Otherwise, you can assume that it’s actually Wangus from the US or Australia.

Kobe: This is a particular type of wagyu raised only in the Yuogo Prefecture of Japan according to strict guidelines. The Kobe Beef Association awards a limited number of restaurants a license to serve the beef; currently there are 35 in the US, and you can find them on the KBA’s website.

Grass-Fed/Grass-Finished: Pretty much all cattle raised for meat feeds on grass soon after weaning. But most are transitioned to grain, which facilitates faster weight gain and is believed to result in more marbling. Cattle that continue to feed on grass in pastures for the duration of their lives are called grass-finished (though grass-fed is also common).

Grass-finished beef is more environmentally friendly than grain; pasture-raised animals often play a key role in a sustainable farming system. As far as your plate goes, grass-finished beef tends to be leaner than grain-fed, and the flavors of the meat vary according to the geography and the types of grass the animal ate; this is considered a desirable feature for fans.

Many restaurants serve grass-finished beef from Australia. It’s perfectly fine, but don’t kid yourself that you’re doing the planet any favors by eating meat that’s been shipped from halfway around the world.

Natural: When it comes to meat, this means it contains no preservatives or artificial ingredients that fundamentally alter the product. Meat from animals given hormones and/or antibiotics can still be labeled as “natural.”

Naturally Raised: This is a specific certification program in which animals are raised without hormones or antibiotics, ever. Note the difference in language between “natural” or “all natural” and “certified naturally raised.”

Dry-aged vs. wet-aged: Aging meat improves the taste and texture no matter how you do it. The easiest and most economical way restaurants and producers do this is through wet aging, in which cuts are kept in vacuum-packed plastic for a few days. Dry-aging, on the other hand, entails hanging whole sides of beef uncovered in near-freezing temperatures for several weeks.

Dry-aging results in more concentrated flavor and ultra-tender meat; but moisture loss from the process results in an overall loss of volume and a more expensive steak. Wet-aging lets you retain all of the volume, but you won’t get the same depth of flavor. Choose dry-aged if you’re adventurous, up for the splurge, and know you’ll appreciate the intense flavor.

Source: Thrillist

Roasted Lamb with Rosemary, Feta and Garlic


1 small boned leg lamb (1.6 kg), trimmed
sea salt and cracked black pepper
2 heads garlic, cloves separated and skin on
8 sprigs rosemary
1 tablespoon olive oil
350 g firm feta, thickly sliced
2 stalks celery, sliced with a vegetable peeler
100 g baby or wild rocket (arugula)
1 tablespoon lemonjuice
1 tablespoon olive oil, extra
lemon wedges, to serve


  1. Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F).
  2. Heat a large frying pan over high heat. Sprinkle both sides of the lamb generously with salt and pepper. Add to the pan and cook for 4 minutes each side or until well browned.
  3. Place the lamb in a baking dish lined with non-stick baking paper and toss with the garlic, rosemary and oil.
  4. Add the feta to the pan and bake for 25 minutes for medium or until cooked to your liking.
  5. To serve, slice the lamb and serve with the roasted feta and the garlic squeezed from its skin.
  6. Toss together the celery, rocket, lemon juice and extra oil and serve with the lamb and lemon wedges.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Fast, Fresh, Simple

This Swiss Company Can Now 3D Print Tons of Personalized Chocolate

Catherine Lamb wrote . . . . . . . . .

It’s February 14, which means there’s a good chance you’ll give or receive chocolate at some point today. The chances that that chocolate will be 3D printed? Slim to nil.

But all that could soon change thanks to Barry Callebaut AG, a company that makes roughly one-fourth of all the world’s chocolate, including that used by well-known brands like Hershey’s and Nestlé. According to a press release from the Swiss corporation, it will work with gourmet clients to let them print personalized chocolate designs en masse through Mona Lisa, its chocolate decoration brand. In short — Barry Callebaut will help brands print customized chocolate creations.

Business partners can develop their own custom designs and specify size parameters for their chocolate. They’ll then share those with Barry Callebaut, which will print the custom chocolates in large quantities at its Mona Lisa 3D Studio. Barry Callebaut can print thousands of a particular design succession thanks to its new 3D printing tech, which keeps melted chocolate at the perfect temperature for speedy printing.

Chocoholics will have to wait a while before they can buy these 3D printed creations in stores, though. Barry Callebaut will first work with high-end clients, like hotels, pastry chefs and coffee chains. Its first customer will be Dutch hotel chain Van der Valk. Down the road, Barry Callebaut will open up its tech to use with manufacturers such as Nestlé and Hershey.

For aspiring chocolatiers who don’t want to wait, there are some home options. Mycusini is a countertop chocolate printer (though it’s only available in Europe). The Mayku Formbox lets you print DIY chocolate molds at home. And while it’s not available yet, but the Cocoterra lets you make bean-to-bar chocolate right in your kitchen.

Barry Callebaut’s tech is perfectly situated to tap into a trend we at the Spoon have been seeing everywhere lately: personalization. The chocolate-maker can’t produce individualized chocolates for every person, obviously — the Mona Lisa 3D Studio will be printing chocolates on a large scale. But with this new 3D printing service, businesses can get more creative with their sugary marketing and branding efforts. For example, Starbucks could make a line of hot chocolate sticks (it’s a thing!) in the shape of their signature coffee cups. Or your favorite hotel line could make pillow chocolates shaped like pillows!

Source: The Spoon

Coronavirus Spreads Most Easily When Patients Are Sickest: CDC

Coronavirus is most infectious when patients are at the peak of their illness, U.S. health officials said Friday.

“Based on what we know now, we believe this virus spreads mainly from person to person among close contacts, which is defined as about six feet, through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes,” Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said during a media briefing on Friday.

“People are thought to be the most contagious when they are most symptomatic, that is when they are the sickest,” she added.

“Some spread may happen by touching contaminated surfaces and then touching the eyes, nose and mouth,” she added. “But remember, we believe this virus does not last long on surfaces. Some spread may happen before people show symptoms. There have been a few reports of this with the new coronavirus, and it is compatible with what we know about other respiratory viruses, including seasonal flu. But right now, we don’t believe these last two forms of transmission are the main driver of spread.”

Messonnier also noted that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has launched a new strategy aimed at stemming any potential spread of coronavirus within the United States.

The “CDC has begun working with five public health labs across the U.S. to tap into their ability to conduct community-based influenza surveillance, so we can begin testing people with flu-like symptoms for novel coronavirus,” she said.

“This is an extra layer of our response that will help us detect if and when this virus is spreading in the community,” she said, explaining that samples of flu-like illness that test negative for influenza will then be tested for coronavirus.

As U.S. health officials devised ways to try to stop the spread of coronavirus in this country, Chinese health officials said Friday that coronavirus cases in that country continued to climb, reaching nearly 64,000, with a death count is approaching 1,400.

For the first time, the number of medical workers who have been infected with the virus was reported Friday, with 1,700 confirmed illnesses and six deaths, The New York Times reported.

“This is concerning and consistent with what CDC knows from our experience with SARS and MERS, where we saw that transmission can be amplified in health care settings if infection control practices are not carefully followed,” Messonnier said.

Meanwhile, two new cases were confirmed in the United States this week, upping the total from 13 to 15.

Both of the new cases involved patients who were among the hundreds of American evacuees from China’s Hubei province, the epicenter of the outbreak.

The latest case, announced Thursday, “is among a group of people under a federal quarantine order at JBSA-Lackland in Texas because of their recent return to the U.S. on a State Department-chartered flight that arrived on February 7, 2020,” the CDC said in a statement.

“The individual is currently isolated and receiving medical care at a designated hospital nearby,” the agency said.

The CDC added that testing of all evacuees is still underway, and “there will likely be additional cases [identified] in the coming days and weeks.”

“While 195 people were discharged from quarantine yesterday, more than 600 people who returned on chartered flights from Wuhan remain under federal quarantine,” the agency noted.

Things are even worse for Americans on board a cruise ship named the Diamond Princess, which is now quarantined in the Japanese port of Yokohama. Forty-four new cases were reported there on Thursday, the Associated Press said. There have now been 218 cases reported among those on the ship, and at least 23 of those are American patients.

“CDC staff are working with State Department and embassy in Japan to figure out a plan for Americans who are eventually released from the Diamond Princess,” Messonnier said. “We are concerned that the data coming out of Japan suggests there’s a higher risk among the people on the ship, and therefore their safety is of utmost importance.”

Just last week, a 60-year-old man living in Wuhan, China, became the first American citizen to die from the new coronavirus.

The man, whose name has not been disclosed, died last week at Jinyintian Hospital in Wuhan, the U.S. Embassy in China said Saturday.

Earlier this month, the United States began to bar entry to any foreigners who have recently traveled to China. U.S. citizens who have recently traveled to the Hubei province of China, where Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak, is located, will be quarantined for up to 14 days, U.S. health officials said. U.S. citizens who have recently traveled to other parts of China will face health screenings and voluntary quarantines of up to 14 days.

The temporary entry ban applies to foreign nationals, with the exception of relatives of citizens and permanent residents.

The WHO has already declared the new coronavirus outbreak an international public health emergency.

Experts fear the outbreak could become a pandemic, where there are outbreaks on more than one continent.

Source: HealthDay

Want to Live Longer? Get into the Swing of Golfing

Hitting the golf course at least once a month could lower the risk of death among older adults, according to a new preliminary study.

Researchers found during the decade-long study that golfers had a death rate of 15.1% compared to 24.6% among non-golfers. About 25 million Americans play golf.

“Our study is perhaps the first of its kind to evaluate the long-term health benefits of golf, particularly one of the most popular sports among older people in many countries,” the study’s lead author, Dr. Adnan Qureshi, said in a news release. Qureshi is executive director of the Zeenat Qureshi Stroke Institute and professor of neurology at the University of Missouri in Columbia.

“The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans does not yet include golf in the list of recommended physical activities. We are hopeful our research findings could help to expand the options for adults to include golf,” Qureshi said.

The research will be presented next Thursday at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference in Los Angeles.

Researchers used data from the Cardiovascular Health Study, which began in 1989. Participants had extensive annual clinical exams and clinic visits every six months for 10 years. Once clinic visits ended, people were contacted by phone to ask about heart attack and stroke events.

Among nearly 5,900 participants, whose average age was about 72, researchers identified 384 golfers. The study did not specify whether the golfers walked or rode in a golf cart.

Although the rate of heart attacks and strokes didn’t appear to differ between golfers and non-golfers, researchers are investigating whether regularly playing golf impacts other health conditions. They also are performing additional analyses to determine whether gender and race of golfers alters the findings.

“While walking and low-intensity jogging may be comparable exercise, they lack the competitive excitement of golf,” Qureshi said. “Another positive is that older adults can continue to play golf, unlike other more strenuous sports such as football, boxing and tennis. Additional positive aspects are stress relief and relaxation, which golf appears better suited for than other sports.”

Source: American Heart Association

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