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Old 04-25-2021, 09:04 PM   #41
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I]Kathleen: Maybe somebody could make a curry on our next visit somewhere, hint, hint, nudge, nudge. [/COLOR]
I can do that! I even have something in mind that I think everyone would enjoy!

I'm a bit behind on the book. Life is being pesky and getting in the way.
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Old 04-26-2021, 04:32 PM   #42
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I've made Country Captain Chicken before, years ago, but I used Rachael Ray's version. I remember it being pretty good. I need to make it again soon.

https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/...recipe-2013490
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Old 04-28-2021, 11:47 AM   #43
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Lohman mentions omitting certain prominent American flavors from the book, such as chocolate and coffee, because of the wealth of existing coverage and research on them. Why else do you think she specifically chose to feature these eight flavors? What other quintessential flavors in American food are not featured in this book?

I'm not so sure I would have included Sriracha as a unique flavor. It is made of chilies and garlic, and both of those were covered in separate chapters. While it made for an interesting story, I don't see that is constitutes a ubiquitous flavor in American cookery. Even though I use it, I see it as more of a specialty ingredient, categorized under chilies.



In its place, I would have included smoke. Our American obsession with smoke, either from a grill, stove top charring, liquid smoke, or even adding smoked bacon to nearly everything, certainly qualifies it as a major flavor in American Cuisine.
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Old 04-28-2021, 01:34 PM   #44
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I did enjoy reading this book and it gave me a new respect for the labors of those who produce spices and the lives of the unsung heroes who made these things possible. There will always be those that are looked over for their accomplishments because of gender, color and national origin. But the few of us who read about the people mentioned can remember their contributions and appreciate their work and ingenuity so they will not be forgotten.

The two flavors that will not be on my table is MSG and Sirachia. MSG because I have experienced bad headaches when using it (also from sea salt). I'm wondering about the origin of the MSG since it is derived from kelp and sea salt from, the sea, of course. Some medications are made from extracts of plants and can cause unusual symptoms if eaten in foods, kind of like an "overdose" of medication. Something to consider ...

Sirachia is one of those spicy flavors that does not sit well with my digestive tract. We have sirachia mayo that my son uses for his sushi, and I did try it, but no go.

Matcha is another thing I just don't care for. It has a woodsy taste that I find overpowering. My problem with "in flavors" is that most restaurants will catch on to a flavor and everything they serve has chipolte, sirachia, bourbon bbq, or some other thing. Maybe they could leave just some plain food for folks too. It's nice to spice it up a bit, but sometimes just plain old comfort food is good too.

This was a very educational and eye opening read. Looking forward to the next selection. Till then ...
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Old 04-28-2021, 06:06 PM   #45
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I did enjoy reading this book and it gave me a new respect for the labors of those who produce spices and the lives of the unsung heroes who made these things possible. There will always be those that are looked over for their accomplishments because of gender, color and national origin. But the few of us who read about the people mentioned can remember their contributions and appreciate their work and ingenuity so they will not be forgotten.

The two flavors that will not be on my table is MSG and Sirachia. MSG because I have experienced bad headaches when using it (also from sea salt). I'm wondering about the origin of the MSG since it is derived from kelp and sea salt from, the sea, of course. Some medications are made from extracts of plants and can cause unusual symptoms if eaten in foods, kind of like an "overdose" of medication. Something to consider ...

Sirachia is one of those spicy flavors that does not sit well with my digestive tract. We have sirachia mayo that my son uses for his sushi, and I did try it, but no go.

Matcha is another thing I just don't care for. It has a woodsy taste that I find overpowering. My problem with "in flavors" is that most restaurants will catch on to a flavor and everything they serve has chipolte, sirachia, bourbon bbq, or some other thing. Maybe they could leave just some plain food for folks too. It's nice to spice it up a bit, but sometimes just plain old comfort food is good too.

This was a very educational and eye opening read. Looking forward to the next selection. Till then ...
I also have had the weird MSG "headache". I got that reaction for years, when I would unintentionally eat MSG. I wouldn't call it a headache, just all the muscles around my face, at the hairline, pulling in different directions. It feels weird, somewhat unpleasant, but not painful. However, I have not had that reaction for quite a while. I really wonder if it's the difference between synthesized MSG and naturally occurring MSG. MSG is a stereoisomer. That means it comes in two chemically identical versions, but one version is the mirror image of the other. This is from Wikipedia:
Quote:
MSG has been produced by three methods: hydrolysis of vegetable proteins with hydrochloric acid to disrupt peptide bonds (1909–1962); direct chemical synthesis with acrylonitrile (1962–1973), and bacterial fermentation (the current method)
I think that those methods don't all produce the same isomer of MSG. I think that the bacterial fermentation method probably produces the same isomer as occurs naturally. I think that is why I no longer have the MSG reaction. I also doubt that most MSG was produced by the bacterial fermentation method as long ago as 1973. I think it took a lot longer to switch over all those factories make it that way.

When is the last time you had one of those MSG reactions? It might be worth trying it again in a small amount.
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Old 04-29-2021, 10:54 AM   #46
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However, I have not had that reaction for quite a while. I really wonder if it's the difference between synthesized MSG and naturally occurring MSG. MSG is a stereoisomer. That means it comes in two chemically identical versions, but one version is the mirror image of the other. This is from Wikipedia:

Quote:
MSG has been produced by three methods: hydrolysis of vegetable proteins with hydrochloric acid to disrupt peptide bonds (1909–1962); direct chemical synthesis with acrylonitrile (1962–1973), and bacterial fermentation (the current method)
I think that those methods don't all produce the same isomer of MSG. I think that the bacterial fermentation method probably produces the same isomer as occurs naturally. I think that is why I no longer have the MSG reaction. I also doubt that most MSG was produced by the bacterial fermentation method as long ago as 1973. I think it took a lot longer to switch over all those factories make it that way.

When is the last time you had one of those MSG reactions? It might be worth trying it again in a small amount.
According to this, only one of the isomers has the flavor-enhancing effect.

Quote:
The molecules of MSG can exist in two different forms known as isomers. These isomers are chemically identical, but physically different because their molecular structures are dissimilar. ... The isomers of MSG have different physiological effects, and only one of them, known as the L form, has flavor enhancing properties.
https://science.jrank.org/pages/4433...stics-MSG.html

I have a tin of Accent in my spice cabinet - I think I got it from my MIL's cabinet after she went into the nursing home. I tasted it yesterday - it reminded me of the charred, browned fat and meat you get from a well-browned steak or pork chop. Neither DH nor I had any reaction to it.
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Old 04-29-2021, 11:56 AM   #47
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According to this, only one of the isomers has the flavor-enhancing effect.


https://science.jrank.org/pages/4433...stics-MSG.html

I have a tin of Accent in my spice cabinet - I think I got it from my MIL's cabinet after she went into the nursing home. I tasted it yesterday - it reminded me of the charred, browned fat and meat you get from a well-browned steak or pork chop. Neither DH nor I had any reaction to it.
I didn't mean to imply that everyone got the reaction. I am just saying that decades ago, I was getting the reaction before I heard about it. I eventually heard about the connection to MSG. I stopped consuming it, when possible and only had the reaction when I unintentionally got some.

If you never had the reaction before, I wouldn't expect that older MSG would give you the reaction.
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Old 04-29-2021, 12:06 PM   #48
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When is the last time you had one of those MSG reactions? It might be worth trying it again in a small amount.[/QUOTE]

It's been several years for me with MSG, but I have tried sea salt more recently and each time I feel weird after using it. I don't use either anymore and I'm just fine. I have high blood pressure and take meds for it so I'm wondering if there is a correlation with "salt" as kelp would retain some salt enzymes and interaction with meds. Some people can't eat licorice if they take certain heart meds because their meds are derived from the plant, and some cholesterol meds are derived from enzymes in grapefruit so patients are told not to eat it with that med. Also blood thinners are derived from dark green plants, therefore patients shouldn't eat dark green leafy vegetables.

So, I don't think I'll miss MSG or sea salt as I'd rather not risk it.
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Old 04-29-2021, 12:08 PM   #49
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I didn't take it that way I just wanted to mention that I tasted it and had no reaction.

The point I meant to make is that the MSG made decades ago and now is the same isomer because only one of them has the flavor-enhancing effect. There is apparently a tiny portion of people who have some sort of reaction to it. I find it interesting that scientists have been unable to induce it in double-blind studies.

Check this out.
https://m.facebook.com/davidchang.mo...8628166958612/
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Old 04-29-2021, 12:16 PM   #50
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As to the isomers, I was guessing that it might be the reason for the difference in the MSG. There could be other reasons due to the manufacturing differences. There could be traces of something completely different left in the synthesized, as opposed to the bacterial fermentation version. Again, just guessing. For all I know, they could have changed something about the process with the bacterial fermentation method.

But, I am fairly sure that there is a difference, since I used to get the reaction and now I don't.
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Old 04-29-2021, 12:18 PM   #51
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I have high blood pressure and take meds for it so I'm wondering if there is a correlation with "salt" as kelp would retain some salt enzymes and interaction with meds. Some people can't eat licorice if they take certain heart meds because their meds are derived from the plant, and some cholesterol meds are derived from enzymes in grapefruit so patients are told not to eat it with that med. Also blood thinners are derived from dark green plants, therefore patients shouldn't eat dark green leafy vegetables.

So, I don't think I'll miss MSG or sea salt as I'd rather not risk it.
MSG was completely isolated from all other compounds in the kelp, so that's not the source of the reaction.

I don't know about the others, but the issue between grapefruit juice and some meds is more complicated than that. It's not because the med is derived from the fruit, because grapefruit juice has similar interactions with other meds.
https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consum...drugs-dont-mix
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Old 04-29-2021, 12:21 PM   #52
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As to the isomers, I was guessing that it might be the reason for the difference in the MSG. There could be other reasons due to the manufacturing differences. There could be traces of something completely different left in the synthesized, as opposed to the bacterial fermentation version. Again, just guessing. For all I know, they could have changed something about the process with the bacterial fermentation method.

But, I am fairly sure that there is a difference, since I used to get the reaction and now I don't.
Maybe something else changed. Going through menopause or childbirth, for example, can change the way the body reacts to things or processes substances. I know of people who stopped having chronic headaches after childbirth. My stepmother was on anti-depressants for years; during menopause, her med stopped working and it took a few years to find a new one that worked for her.
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Old 04-29-2021, 12:23 PM   #53
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I have seen several videos that claim to debunk the MSG sensitivity. I suspect that they are not using the form of MSG that was making people react. I also think that a lot of people jumped on the "I'm sensitive to MSG" bandwagon, the same way people have jumped on the "I'm gluten intolerant" bandwagon, without actually having a sensitivity or intolerance. And that muddies the waters for people with actual sensitivities.
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Old 04-29-2021, 12:30 PM   #54
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What would be the point of using a different substance than the one they want to test?

There have been dozens of peer-reviewed, double-blind scientific studies published by real researchers over the last 30 or more that have shown inconsistent results.

I'm quite sure that people have convinced themselves that they have health issues that they don't, which goes along with the American obsession with diets and food in general. People have many cognitive biases and make logical errors that they don't even realize.
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Old 04-29-2021, 12:31 PM   #55
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Maybe something else changed. Going through menopause or childbirth, for example, can change the way the body reacts to things or processes substances. I know of people who stopped having chronic headaches after childbirth. My stepmother was on anti-depressants for years; during menopause, her med stopped working and it took a few years to find a new one that worked for her.
That is a possibility that I haven't ruled out. It actually was my first thought at the time I noticed that I was no longer sensitive to MSG. I don't really know when I stopped being sensitive to it, because I had gotten so good at avoiding it.
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Old 04-29-2021, 12:53 PM   #56
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What would be the point of using a different substance than the one they want to test?

There have been dozens of peer-reviewed, double-blind scientific studies published by real researchers over the last 30 or more that have shown inconsistent results.

I'm quite sure that people have convinced themselves that they have health issues that they don't, which goes along with the American obsession with diets and food in general. People have many cognitive biases and make logical errors that they don't even realize.
I'm not saying that they intentionally used a different substance. I am saying that they might not have considered the difference in manufacturing methods.

I think I'll just stop talking about it. I do have a bit of a bee in my bonnet about the subject. I have had too many people tell me that the reaction doesn't exist. I have been sent links to all sorts of "proof" that there is no MSG reaction. Often with claims that I just fooled myself because I'm a racist and hate Chinese people.
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Old 04-29-2021, 01:38 PM   #57
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I'm not saying that they intentionally used a different substance. I am saying that they might not have considered the difference in manufacturing methods.
As you probably remember, I worked at a medical school for 14 years. I spoke with many of the scientists, observed meetings of the Institutional Review Board, which evaluates proposed studies before the researchers can even apply for funding, and I edited news articles and press releases about research. I'd guess it's rare for this process to overlook something so fundamental.

That said, I do think some very small number of the population can have a reaction to MSG and I understand why you don't want to continue talking about it. Hope you have a great day {{{hugs}}}
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Old 05-01-2021, 01:53 AM   #58
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I'm not so sure I would have included Sriracha as a unique flavor. It is made of chilies and garlic, and both of those were covered in separate chapters. While it made for an interesting story, I don't see that is constitutes a ubiquitous flavor in American cookery. Even though I use it, I see it as more of a specialty ingredient, categorized under chilies.

In its place, I would have included smoke. Our American obsession with smoke, either from a grill, stove top charring, liquid smoke, or even adding smoked bacon to nearly everything, certainly qualifies it as a major flavor in American Cuisine.
I agree with you on both accounts. Although other cultures smoked foods, I tend to associate it with our country. My grandmother had a smoke house and would cure many things to get the family through winter. Plus, it is a trend that simply keeps on growing. I typically have something cooked via open fire multiple times per month.
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Old 05-01-2021, 08:08 AM   #59
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Here are a few more discussion questions about the book.

Which of the eight flavors did you feel you learned the most about? Which did you have the most prior knowledge of?

What was the most surprising thing you learned from this book?
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Old 05-01-2021, 06:00 PM   #60
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Here are a few more discussion questions about the book.

Which of the eight flavors did you feel you learned the most about? Which did you have the most prior knowledge of?

What was the most surprising thing you learned from this book?
I learned a great deal about all of the flavors mentioned. I never really thought about spices before or how they were derived and processed. This was a very eye-opening read related to how hard people have worked to improve the simple taste of food. I have a much greater appreciation for the work others have done just so I could put a tasty meal on the table. If not for the dedication and ingenuity of many curious and productive people, I wonder what our food would taste like today?
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