Rising Stars, Sugar Myths, and Snack Granola
|Ubuntu chef Aaron London.|
1. Young Turks. Yesterday, the Chron named this year's crop of "rising star chefs". Having been impressed by most of them ― I haven't eaten at Oenetri ― it's a solid list, and the Chron has a good record of picking rising stars who make a name for themselves nationally. Is the 2011 lineup short on women, as many have noted? Pastry chefs? Sure. It does show a little diversity, though ― the chef of a restaurant (Mission Chinese Food) serving <$10 entrees. I looked back over the past five years to confirm just how rare that is.
2. Why has sugar pwned HCFS? Mother Jones posted a story today about the return of sugar-sweetened sodas. Nobody wants to sweeten their drinks with high-fructose corn syrup (aka "HFCS") anymore, and so non-mass-market soda makers are returning to sugar. Well, the author of this article thinks that's just silly. The fructose-sucrose profile of HFCS and cane sugar (aka "evaporated cane juice") are practically identical, she argues ― the molecular difference between the sweeteners disappears as they're digested. She meanders from there, raising a lot of questions that don't get answered. (Is agave syrup actually bad for us? Was there a reason the author included a taste test of alternative sweeteners?) The takeaway: Don't kid yourself about your fancy artisanal root beer. Soda is bad for you, period.
3. Granola. I picked up some great granola at the New Taste Marketplace on Saturday. Nana Joe's Granola makes a cardamom-walnut-orange granola ($8 direct, $6.99 at Faletti's right now) that's well toasted and neither too oily nor too sweet (owner Michelle Pusateri uses maple syrup). Better yet, the recipe includes sea salt ― which anchors the sweetness and gives it a more robust flavor. Pusateri told me she adds salt because she prefers to eat granola sprinkled on yogurt rather than in a big bowl with milk. Forget yogurt ― most of the bag I bought disappeared while I was lying on the couch, reading.