Facts About Super Foods

The lettuce or the peaches are not the same as before. It is a topic of conversation on many tables and a reality that has driven a new generation of dietetics: that of the so-called super foods.

Given the decrease in the quality of the products we consume today and, sometimes, in the face of an unbalanced diet, the arrival of those new products with extra properties is more than welcome: they are high in antioxidants (such as vitamins A, C and E) ) and phytonutrients (chemical substances present in plants that provide color and flavor, as well as protection against ultraviolet radiation and infections), eliminate toxins, contribute to reduce the risk of heart disease or cancer and combat aging.

It is common to hear about the excellence of traditional products in the Mediterranean diet, such as olive oil.

Myth or Reality

Are we faced with medicines capable of curing and shielding against possible ailments or is this a temporary and baseless tendency, a product of the popular interest of the developed world for diet and health?

A simple search in Google on the term “super food” reveals that every 0.13 seconds someone tracks the term on the Internet.

In addition, it returns around 700,000 results.

However, despite its omnipresence, there is not even an official definition.

Is it a trend or fashion; It is not something new. Years ago the scientific community named functional ingredients to nutrients that, without adding calories, preserve health, such as olive oil, nuts or blue fish. Hence comes the name super food, but this does not enjoy the scientific evidence. It is true that they are very healthy products.

The nutritionist of the Biomedical Research Center of the Carlos III Institute, Manuel Monino, agrees with the statement: “There is no superfood as such. Instead, rather than specific products, talk about food super-patterns: there is insufficient evidence of their claimed properties, in fact, most studies have conducted in vitro tests on animals and use very high doses of substances, impossible to achieve with the habitual intake of the food that contains them.

Even so, it is true that some are rich in bioactive substances or in phytochemicals that are in the focus of research, such as flavonoids, carotenes, phenolic compounds… “.

“They are healthy products, but they do not cure, they only preserve health at best”. Warns Irene Breton.

For this expert, the best way to provide the body with everything you need is through a varied diet rich in legumes, fruits, vegetables, nuts and whole grains, but without exclusive consumption of a specific product or excluding others, such as eggs or dairy “What contributes to health or takes away the food patterns and not eating something isolated. Some cater to do great business, that ask it to those who marketed the oat bran, exotic juices or Goji berries, the latter considered by many a super food when they are not different from our raisins, “.

In Spain, we spend more than 2,000 million euros on miracle products, which sometimes includes extracts from supposedly prodigious foods. According to Nieves Palacios, specialist in Endocrinology and Sports Medicine, when making a menu we can not forget fruits, nuts and vegetables every day and vegetables and fish two or three times a week.

In 2013 The New England Journal of Medicine published the results of a study of the Carlos III Institute of Madrid in patients with cardiovascular risk that proved that a diet rich in such foods and low in soft drinks, fatty meats and sweets reduced up to 30{7dbb2a7e3f9cadcff9d6ad2318cfb492a24d36f3817d5b1f66f555f68cbb00a9} the probability of heart attacks. “The concept” super “has become popular in the media, not among scientists,” he adds.

Exotic and traditional

What does seem clear is that incorporating these foods into a balanced diet is beneficial both physically and emotionally. “It produces emotional well-being and increases self-esteem, by being aware that we are taking care of our body,” says Itxasne Tome, a psychologist at the Ravenna Clinic.

But what to buy?

The acclaimed of all the life or those of extravagant name exalted by journalists and bloggers? Paula Rosso, nutritionist at the Lajo Plaza medical center, do not bet on both options.

“Some traditions return when they discover their active ingredients scientifically: for example Omega-3 acids and chia fiber, protectors of the cardiovascular system, or Goji berries, excellent antioxidant, although it has been discovered that some commercial presentations incorporated high doses of heavy metals, hence they sell less.

In any case, Mediterranean foods are also a source of vitamins and the basis of our diet, “adds the nutritionist. And as important as what to take is the way to do it.

“This type of food must be consumed raw or with the least possible cooking and take it very fresh so that it keeps its properties intact and makes it easier for the body to absorb it,” says Dr. Rosso. And nothing to gorge on one and marginalise all others.

“There is evidence that fruits and vegetables fight cancer, but in the form of supplements – that is, isolating their nutrients outside – they do not produce the same effects. Including large doses of a new food can sometimes mean displacing others of greater nutritional value and thus contribute to the imbalance, “says Manuel Monino.

 

Trying Enchilada Into One Roll

One of America’s most popular ethnic cuisines is unquestionably Mexican. How far we have come from those hard, crisp tacos and lard-laden refried beans. Dating back to the Mayan culture circa 1500 BC, corn and beans have formed the foundation of original Mexican foods and still comprise a major portion of their foods. They were plentiful and easily stored. Gradually, a variety of fresh ingredients have been added over the years, along with chicken, beef, pork and seafood, to delight the palates of most everyone, from fast food to haute cuisine, and everything in between. But the basics which we adore the most still top our hit parade. So let’s check out the whole enchilada:

As early as 5000 BC, possibly 7000 BC in Pre-Columbian history. the tamale (or “tamal”) is corn masa, individually wrapped in a corn husk and was the perfect portable food. Kind of your early fast convenience food, they were often carried by warriors, hunters and travelers as a sort of meal on the go. Early tamales were often filled with turkey,frog, flamingo, axolotl (salamander), gopher or rabbit (would I make that up?). Homemade tamales are still a tradition at Christmas in Mexican homes, and their preparation is labor-intensive and time-consuming, usually steamed in their husk but an important part of the holiday meal.

Enchiladas date back to Mayan times, perhaps earlier, when the practice of rolling corn tortillas around other foods made for easy meals. In the lake region of the Valley of Mexico, the people traditionally ate corn tortillas folded or rolled around small fish. As we know them now, enchiladas are still corn tortillas rolled around a filling, including various meats, cheese, beans, potatoes, vegetables or a combination and covered with a chili pepper sauce, topped with cheese.

In a class by itself, Enchiladas suizas (Swiss-style) are topped with a cream-based white sauce, such as béchamel, which was derived from Swiss immigrants in Mexico who produced cream and cheese.

Burritos are also rolled tortillas but made from wheat, stuffed with rice, beans and/or meat, called ‘coçito’ in the Yucatán and ‘taco’ in Mexico City. Burritos may have been created in times of war, easily transported and eaten on the run, primarily during the Mexican/American strife of the early 1900s. Because they are enclosed and easily eaten standing up, they make great street food.

Quesadillas are a flat circle of cooked corn tortilla, warmed to soften it enough to be folded in half, and then typically filled with Oaxaca cheese (queso Oaxaca), a stringy Mexican cheese. They originated in central and southern regions of Mexico and can also contain chicken or shrimp.

Arriving late at the party, chimichangas made their appearance in 1946 thanks to Woody Johnson, founder of Macayo’s Mexican Kitchen, who claims he invented them when he put some burritos into a deep fryer as an experiment at his original Phoenix restaurant Woody’s El Nido. The name means “trinket” loosely translated.

For those cooks who want to re-create their favorite dishes at home, you might want to include these basics on your shopping list:

Rice – brown, spicy or plain, a great accompaniment
Beans – both refried pinto beans and black beans
Salsa – dozens of combinations, both cooked and fresh
Avocados – either sliced or mashed with tomatoes and spices for a tantalizing and delicious guacamole

Red or verde (green) sauces to squirt on top or drown your favorite dish
Corn, white or wheat flour tortillas
Assorted peppers and chiles, both spicy and mild
Cheese (queso) usually crumbled or shredded blends, the most popular is cotija and anejo, even (drumroll) Velveeta now offers Mexican and pepper-flavored cheese blends
Tortilla chips for dipping

Although most towns and cities host the popular fast food and chain restaurants, like Taco Bell, Del Taco, Chipotle, El Torito and Acapulco’s, frequently the best Mexican foods can be found in small, family owned shops, or in an area often called “Old Town” which can be a delightful mix of restaurants and street vendors, all serving up our favorites. Buen apetito.

 

Benefit Order Online Food

A few months back I thought of having crown fried chicken so I went to the nearby restaurant. It was a normal Wednesday but I had to wait for 40 min for order. I was damn hungry and anyone in place of me would have got irritated. I had to say back because I had done the payment. The crown chicken no longer fulfilled my appetite instead It was a complete mess.

From that day onward I took a pledge that I will never visit a restaurant for my meals. But the interesting part of it is I can enjoy my chicken sitting at home. You must be wondering after that incident I have turned to be a chef. Not really I am not in favor of cooking except for the bread and omelette and sandwiches.

Now coming to the main part how do I bring restaurant experience to my doorstep? With the changing technologies, delivery has become very easy. Quickly install a restaurant deliver app in your mobile phone, always place the orders using it, and you will be getting home delivery within a particular time.

Food delivery is always on time as food cannot be kept long and there is someone sitting in the home with an empty stomach.

Here are a few advantages of online ordering & delivery services

  • No need to waste time visiting the restaurant

Absolutely true, when you have a smart alternative then why not use that. Research has shown that people feel comfortable having foods sitting at home rather than visiting a restaurant. Imaging the time you waste for placing the order then suppose the restaurant is full and there are no seats left.

Ultimately you have come out with a hungry an empty stomach. If you are with your girlfriend, it is a true shame, as you have to search for another restaurant.

  • Very simple and saves you from cooking

With restaurants offering dishes for all your meals, at affordable rates you do not need to take the burden of cooking. Cooking is a long process indeed, you go the market to buy fresh ingredients, come home make the preparation to cook, and an oven is required, and then you begin cooking.

It’s true that handmade foods have their own authentic taste, but home delivery saves you from the burden of cooking. It is convenient the food is ordered, delivered and consumed.

In fact, it is also beneficial for elders who do not have the energy to go to the kitchen and cook. And why not mention the ones who just love to have breakfast in their bed. All you have to take the phone and place the order and have your breakfast in your bed.

  • You can bring the restaurant experience to any place you want

Party on the weekends, the surprise party for your parent’s anniversary, maybe you have your wedding party just near. Whatever the occasion is the local takeaway delivery method is so convenient that they take orders in bulk too.

Previously for a large occasion, you needed to hire a caterer for cooking food but now all you do is ORDER. On the other hand, if your friends want to have a party in your house, now delivery does not only mean pizza, you also enjoy the taste of crunchy fried chicken, chicken nuggets, chicken wings and a lot more.

 

How To Keep Your Food Storage

After a great party or dinner celebration, deciding what to do with a table full of leftovers may not be at the forefront of your mind, but it’s an important part of partying. It’s certainly a pity to waste good food, but letting leftovers linger without temperature control can be unsafe.

Any food left out for more than two hours is susceptible to harmful bacterial growth and should be disposed of. This goes for any part of the meal, and it’s especially important if your leftovers have been sitting out in the summer heat. This holds true for both cold and hot foods, so be sure to serve foods immediately before mealtime and store anything that’s sitting out as soon as the meal is coming to a close.

Bacteria thrive between 41 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit – this is known as the temperature “Danger Zone” for food storage. As soon as the food hits that range, bacteria start growing immediately, so the less time spent in that zone, the safer the food is.

Wrap it up!

How should you handle what’s left?

• Save only the food you know to have been handled safely in the first place, and which hasn’t been tainted by double-dipping or by lots of hands picking at it. If it’s been sitting out uncovered in your backyard, get rid of it.

• Be honest in assessing what you are likely to eat over the next three or four days. While no one likes throwing away food, it’s not worth storing it in your fridge just to end up throwing it out anyway. If you’d like to save them, freeze them immediately.

• Be sure to store foods properly. Pack meats separately from vegetables and grains. Mark the storage containers or bags with the item names and the dates you packed them in addition to a “use-by” date so you can keep track of what to use by when.

• Cool all foods completely before storage. Make sure your refrigerator is working to keep food cold enough, preferably no more than 40 degrees. You can help keep the temperature consistent by not overloading the refrigerator, which compromises its efficiency – another reason to be choosy about what you’re saving!

• When reheating, leftovers must reach a minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit for at least 30 seconds to kill bacteria. It’s best to do this on the stove top or in the oven as microwaves don’t heat evenly and some areas may be heated properly and others may not be hot enough. Be sure to use a thermometer to check the temperature, removing the food from the heat source before checking the to make sure you’re getting an accurate reading and you’re not just measuring the temperature of your heat source!

In Conclusion

Storing your leftovers safely not only keeps you from wasting delicious food, it prevents the growth of dangerous bacteria and limits your exposure of foodborne illnesses. Any hot or cold foods should not be left out for more than 2 hours. Be choosy about what you decide to save, and be sure to eat it within a couple of days.

When in doubt, toss it!

 

Benefit Eating Fruits

The best gift that Mother Nature gives to us are fruits. They are filled with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, too. They can be sweet, sour, or at times bitter. They are as well varied in shapes, colors and sizes. They are, without question, healthy to eat. They can be picked directly from one’s backyard or farm and can be purchased at the supermarket for a few dollars. They exist everywhere. There’s no reason why you can’t have them now.

Now, are you ready to know the five reasons why you need to eat fruits every day? If you are, then I’m going to discuss it right now.

Full of Nutrients

They are full of nutrients, specifically vitamins and minerals. They’re packed with anti-oxidants, too. They’re excellent for your health because they naturally contain nutrients and anti-oxidants. Certain fruits provide certain nutrients, to ensure that you get the right balance and combination of nutrients, eating lots of varieties of fruits is a wise idea. You can combine bananas with other fruits such as apples, grapes, mangoes, turnips, and water melons, among others. The choice is yours.

Provide Energy

They provide energy naturally. They are energy boosters. If you desire to obtain energy the natural way, eating fruits regularly is the way to do it. Eating them before and after exercise is a great idea. With it, energy of yours is not lost no matter how hard you exercise. So, don’t forget to eat fruits if you plan to exercise today.

Good for the Skin

They are good for the skin. They after all contain lots of water and fiber. Individuals with good-looking, healthy skin are usually fruit eaters. If you want to be one of them, then do not forget to chew any kinds of fruit any minute or any time of the day. When you’re eating them on a regular basis, you’ll be ending up with clear, healthy, glowing skin. And that’s a fact.

Eliminate Certain Illnesses

They can be your natural medicines. They are free from toxic or unwanted chemicals. Thus, using them as natural medicines to certain illnesses is a fantastic idea. For instance, if you have high blood pressure or asthma and you want these illnesses to be cured the natural way, eating any types of fruit regularly is your best solution. It is through it that you’re able to redeem your old back self again, that is healthy and strong. Such strategy has been used for over a century already.

Perfect for Sleeping

They are perfect for sleeping. Bananas and nuts are the best examples of that. Mentioned fruits are termed as natural sleeping pills to some individuals. Bananas and nuts have certain elements that would help you sleep better and soundly at night. That explains why some individuals would take in bananas and nuts prior to sleeping.

Those are the five reasons why you need to eat fruits every day. I’m sure that the only thing that you want to do at the moment is to eat fruits. Am I right?

I’m not perfect. Nobody is perfect. Life is meant to be imperfect. Imperfections will make us better individuals. And that’s the truth.

 

Things You Should Know About Jelly Bean

The modern-day jelly bean dates back to the Civil War, when it was promoted to Union soldiers (1860s) by the first-known manufacturer, the Schrafft Candy Company. In the early 20th century, “jelly bean” was slang for a man who dressed stylishly (commonly referred to a “fop”). In other words, your basic man of style but no substance, which pretty much describes the actual candy, almost pure sugar, with a bit of flavoring.

Present at all Cabinet meetings were several large jars of jelly beans sitting on the conference table during President Reagan’s administration, as well as a fixture in the Oval Office and on Air Force One. Guests at Reagan’s 1981 inaugural parties consumed a whopping 40 million jelly beans (about 7,000 pounds). Gourmet Jelly Belly brand actually created a new flavor, blueberry, specifically for the event. Ronnie was clearly the jelly bean president (wouldn’t foodie Thomas Jefferson have loved that).

Jelly beans became a regular penny candy in the early 1900s and were the first confection to be sold by weight rather than piece. Later they were packaged in bags and sold in assorted flavors. In the 1930s, they exemplified Easter candy and sales skyrocketed each spring. There are a staggering 16 billion manufactured yearly just for Easter baskets and decorations. (That’s enough to circle the Earth three times.)

Simple in shape and flavor, manufacturing is anything but. It can take from 7 to 21 days to produce them, is rather labor-intensive, and a simple bag usually contains 8 different flavors. In honor of this all-American candy, there is a National Jelly Bean Day every year, which will take place on April 22 this year. Annually, we consume about 100 million pounds in the United States alone. (Dentists love that.)

Unquestionably the Rolls Royce of this popular candy is Jelly Belly, which positions itself as the “gourmet beans.” Very Cherry enjoyed the top position in popularity for several decades until 1998, when (drum roll) Buttered Popcorn moved into first place; other unique flavors include Champagne, Draft Beer, Pancakes and Cappuccino. Much of the allure of Jelly Bellies are their unique, fresh flavors, which deliver a burst of sweet delight in their small size and can be purchased in bulk by individual flavor. What more could you ask? (And since they are small, you can cram more into your mouth at one time, a definite plus)

So all you fans, do you pick out your favorites or just grab a handful, flavors be damned. Are you influenced by the colors, do you buy “designer” jelly beans, or just go for the regular? Perhaps you (sadly) have to avoid them because they wreak havoc with your dental work? No question, they are all-American, like so many other penny candies, and have fascinated children of all ages for decades. Okay, so they don’t have any nutrition, but sometimes we have to forget about intrinsic value and go for it. They’re just good, clean fun. Know what I mean?

 

Avoid This When Going To Movie Grill

Even though we’re civilized people who understand that a society needs rules, the last thing we might associate with a place with rules is a movie grill. If you think about it, a movie grill is supposed to be the leading model of how a movie theater should run. It keeps the customer as its top priority, so the notion that there would be anything the customer couldn’t do seems a little contradictory.

Then again, it is important for folks to remember that a movie grill is also a business that caters to a large number of people. If they, or any other business, allowed their customers to go “willy-nilly” and do whatever they wanted, you’d have chaos. Movie grills are about making the moviegoing public feel at home while providing a top-of-the-line movie experience. This means that for all of the fun and innovation, there are some things you probably shouldn’t be doing.

Here are a few things you probably shouldn’t do at a movie grill:

Don’t Arrive Late – Obviously, life can get in the way, but try to arrive a bit early for your movie. There is usually have a limit as to how late they will see someone, so be sure to check with your local theater about their policy.

Don’t Forget about Age Limits & Requirements – Though the MPAA ratings system is a guide for moviegoers, your theater may also have limits in terms of the ages of prospective young viewers. Moreover, if you have very young kids, there might be policy info that pertains to best times for certain ages.

Don’t Forget about Cut-off Times for Food and Drink – Alcohol consumption has cut-offs based on local laws, and when it comes to food, movie grills want to have customers close out checks prior to the end of the movie. As such, food service usually ends about 30-40 minutes prior to the end of a movie to help in this pursuit.

Don’t Fret About Having A Printed Ticket – If you purchased tickets at home but couldn’t print them out, you can either use a lobby kiosk to print out your tickets, or you could go to the box office for help. If you’re big with technology, you can also use a QR code for paperless ticketing.

Don’t Be Disruptive – As in any movie theater, don’t be disruptive during the movie. This includes phone use, talking, and constantly moving around. This is big as well for families who are used to having their kids using mobile devices or who have a hard time being still.

Movie grill or not, these “should nots” are common sense in nearly all applications. Part of what is being asked of you as a customer, a consumer, and as a fellow person is to be considerate of those around you and of those who are there to serve you. That said, movie grills have taken the industry by storm for the last two decades, so you owe it to yourself to check one out. You just might find it to be the place to go for a night out on the town.

 

Benefit Avocado Fruits

Have you heard about a magical fruit which contains a large number of healthy fats that can in fact benefit your body in numerous ways? Recently, the avocados have gained recognition in the healthy lifestyle community. This article talks about this unique fruit and the ways by which it can keep all your health issues aside.

  • What is this unique fruit?

Avocado is a pear-shaped fruit which grows on a tropical tree. They are green in color, rough in texture and contain a big seed inside them. They are also known as alligator pear or butter fruit and contain healthy fats with less to no cholesterol.

  • Given below are some of the reasons why this fruit should be made a part of your diet:

Super Fruit: –

They are very rich in vitamins, minerals, nutrients and healthy fats. It is a known fact that healthy fats help to reduce weight and promote metabolism. Making avocados a part of your balanced and healthy diet will not only reduce weight but also keep you full for a longer time and it can be used as a substitute for products like butter.

Dental Care:-

Bad breath is usually caused by an upset stomach and due to the build-up of bacteria in your mouth. Avocados can help to kill the bacteria, remove bad breath and even help to prevent oral cancer.

Skin Care: –

Avocados can be applied in the form of skin and hair masks. Being rich in nutrients, they help to soothe uneven, chapped or damaged skin and hair. They are especially helpful for people suffering from chronic skin diseases.

Anti-oxidant properties: –

Being rich in vitamins, avocados have anti-oxidant properties. They have anti-cancer properties too and reduce premature aging. They improve vision and protect our eyes from diseases like cataract and age-related eye conditions.

Other benefits: –

They reduce morning sickness in pregnant mothers, keep the kidney and liver healthy, reduce the chances of diseases like arthritis, make your bones stronger, maintain the blood-glucose level and promote a healthy heart.

  • Some ways to incorporate avocado as a part of your diet: –
  1. They can be consumed directly.
  2. Avocados can be made a part of your salad. They can be consumed along with onions, tomatoes, and lettuce. Adding salt, pepper, lime juice and boiled meat along is also a good option.
  3. Chopped avocado can be used as a dressing over soups.
  • Eating too many avocados can, in fact, be dangerous for your body, read the points below to understand that they should be consumed within a given limit:-
  1. Avocados are rich in potassium. Consuming one too many avocados can increase the potassium levels in your body which can be dangerous for the heart.
  2. Some people feel nauseous and vomit after consuming too many avocados.
  3. They are even known to cause a migraine in some people.

Don’t be afraid of the side-effects. This fruit has many benefits and consuming it in a given limit will definitely make you healthier in every aspect.

Going For Taco Tuesday

Unless you live in the Southwest, you may not be familiar with Taco Tuesday, but it’s a tradition among Mexican restaurants, both large and small, to feature tacos at a discount each Tuesday thus generating more business, and allowing families to dine out for less. (Think of them as Mexican happy hours.) And you may not be familiar at all with the most popular taco, namely the fish taco.

Although many people still think of ground beef and shredded lettuce as the filing of choice, the fish taco tops the hit parade in most restaurants, especially in California and other border states, and traditionally contains shredded cabbage, a piece of fried white fish or grilled mahi mahi, white cheese, maybe some avocado slices and topped off with a creamy dressing. There are a lot of variations, of course, which might add salsa fresca or chile peppers, served up with a wedge of fresh lime (an essential). And of course, there are always the designer and gourmet variations, which may include lobster, shrimp, calamari or salmon, with a melange of fillings. There is almost no end to the ingredients (and prices) depending on where you dine.

Tacos de pescado (fish taco) originated in Baja California, Mexico, where they consist of fried or grilled fish, shredded lettuce or cabbage, pico de gallo, and a creamy sauce, all nestled on top of a tortilla (flour or corn). Historians seem to agree that in the U.S. the first tacos, which were housed in a crisp shell, can be attributed to Taco Bell, where they were served to a receptive dining audience, and contained ground beef, lettuce, chopped tomatoes, a bit of cilantro and shredded cheese, but in all likelihood had been served years before in a handful of Mexican restaurants. The hard shell variety is not native to Mexican cuisine but was embraced by Americans as a fun snack or meal, often accompanied by rice and beans, The concept of fish tacos is nothing new. Mexicans have been wrapping fish and other seafood in corn tortillas for centuries but probably didn’t garnish them with pico de gallo or creamy dressing. They ate them in a simple sandwich-style.

And embraced they were. In 2016, Americans ate over 4.5 billion tacos. That’s roughly 490,000 miles of tacos, which would take you to the moon and back or could equal the weight of two Empire State Buildings. Wow, just think of the salsa that would be needed.

There is no question that the king of fish tacos is Ralph Rubio, who as a young college student headed south to San Felipe on the Baja Peninsula each spring break to surf with his college friends, living on beer and the local cuisine, fish tacos. The legend goes that young Ralph could not talk the beach vendor into returning with him to San Diego and opening a taco stand, so he decided to do it himself in the early 80s. California surfers flipped over the tacos, as Ralph’s future was secured. And yes, Rubio’s has Taco Tuesday each week, featuring his original recipe for under $2, packing in hordes of hungry fans.These days, San Diegans consider the fish taco as their official food but may disagree on where to find the best ones. More popular than the ballpark hot dog, you’ll see thousands of baseball fans wolfing them down at Padre games.

Hole-in-the-wall stands can serve up some of the cheapest and tastiest, but many just head for their local Rubio’s knowing they will not be disappointed. Since most Mexican restaurants feature a salsa bar, you can drown your taco of choice with cilantro, several types of salsa, hot sauce and lots of fresh lime juice. Popular chains La Salsa, Chipotle and Baja Fresh have certainly helped spread the fame of soft tacos, along with numerous regional shops.

The carne asada taco, made with shredded beef or pork, also reigns but never quite measures up to the fish version. And of course nothing goes better with any taco than a cold Mexican beer or fresh lime margarita. If you have never tried one, take your first opportunity to enjoy this delicious import from our Southern neighbors.They make for a simple buffet dinner, an easy sports party snack or an inexpensive workplace lunch. Best of all, it doesn’t have to be Tuesday.

 

Making Nutty For Peanuts

Whether you are a chunky or creamy fan, peanut butter and its many forms comprise one of America’s favorite foods. Are you a brand loyalist, be it Skippy, Jif, Peter Pan, Smucker’s, or an organic-only consumer? On average, Americans eat more than six pounds of peanut products each year, worth more than $2 billion at the retail level. Peanut butter accounts for about half of the U.S. edible use of peanuts-accounting for $850 million in retail sales each year.

The peanut plant can be traced back to Peru and Brazil in South America around 3,500 years ago. European explorers first discovered peanuts in Brazil and saw its value, taking them back to their respective countries, where it was a bit slow to catch on but became popular in Western Africa. (And the French just never quite got it.)

History tells us that it wasn’t until the early 1800s that peanuts were grown commercially in the United States, and undoubtedly showed up at the dinner table of foodie president Thomas Jefferson, probably in the form of peanut soup, a delicacy in Southern regions. After all, Jefferson was an enthusiastic gardener who lived in Virginia. Civil War Confederate soldiers welcomed boiled peanuts as a change from hardtack and beef jerky. First cultivated primarily for its oil, they were originally regarded as fodder for livestock and the poor, like so many other now-popular foods. Technically not nuts, peanuts are part of the legume family and grown underground in pods, along with peas and beans.

Peanuts started to catch on in the late 1800s when Barnum and Bailey circus wagons traveled cross country hawking “hot roasted peanuts” to the crowds. Street vendors soon followed, selling roasted peanuts from carts, and they became a staple in taverns and at baseball games. (Throwing the bags to anxious consumers became an art form.)

As with many other popular foods, peanut butter was first introduced at the St. Louis World’s Fair in 1904 but basically still had to be made by hand. Catching on as a favorite source of protein, commercial peanut butter made its appearance on grocers’ shelves in the late 1920s and early 30s, beginning with Peter Pan and Skippy.

Dr. George Washington Carver is unquestionably the father of the peanut industry, starting in 1903 with his landmark research. He recommended that farmers rotate their cotton crops with peanuts which replenished the nitrogen content in the soil that cotton depleted. In his tireless research, he discovered hundreds of uses for the humble peanut.

While it is believed that the Inca Indians in South America ground peanuts centuries ago (we know for certain they weren’t spreading it on white bread with grape jelly), credit is usually given to Dr. John Harvey Kellogg (of corn flakes fame) for creating the first peanut butter in 1895 for his elderly patients who had difficulty chewing other proteins.

In the U.S. peanuts are the 12th most valuable cash crop and have an annual farm value of over one billion dollars. They are an easy, low-maintenance crop, nutritious, economical, transportable and just plain delicious. Some of our more popular uses include:

Butter
PB&J sandwiches
Brittle + other candies
Crackerjack
Soup
Baking and cookies
Garnishes
Snacks, both boiled or roasted, in-shell or no-shell

Not to be forgotten is peanut oil, which is a highly regarded form of cooking oil, due to its ability to withstand higher temperatures and the added benefit that food doesn’t hold any peanut flavor after cooking.

Sadly, due to a rise in allergies, peanuts are disappearing from sporting events and other venues, and some airlines replaced them years ago with more economical pretzels. But no matter how you enjoy them, in their simplest form, covered in chocolate or mixed into your favorite dishes, this popular snack and sandwich filling crosses all economic and age barriers. We’ve gone nutty, all right. And for those of you who are allergic, you have our heartfelt sympathy.