Tisano Tea, based in San Francisco, sells chocolate tea. It was started in 2010 by Patrick Pineda, Leonardo Zambrano, and Lucas Azpurua. I was curious about the company because I like two chocolate tea blends very much: Red Cloud Cacao (a black tea/chocolate tea blend from Peet’s, no longer available but they will bring it back) and CocoMate (from American Tea Room). (more…)
Archive for the 'chocolate' Category
- chocolate: what is the best dose?
- tasting sugar water improves self-control
- The Beijing Interceptors.
- doctor complains about over-prescription of opiates. The author, a doctor named Susana Duncan, complains about several things, including “a system where symptoms are treated but the source of pain remains”. Treatment of symptoms rather than identification of causes is overwhelmingly true of the whole health care system, not just treatment of chronic pain. One example is depression. Anti-depressants do not reduce whatever caused the depression. Another example is high blood pressure. Blood-pressure-lowering drugs do nothing to eliminate what caused the high blood pressure. Duncan was once science editor of New York magazine, which may have something to do with her ability to cogently criticize the system.
- A British surgeon performs hundreds of unnecessary operations before being caught.
- details of home energy usage. For example, how much energy does a rice cooker use?
- Chocolate lowers blood pressure only if your blood pressure is high
- Identical South African twins test different diets. (Ignore the misunderstanding in the first sentence: “My identical twin sister and I have genetically high cholesterol.” Maybe their cholesterol is high because of what they eat.) What’s important is that their cholesterol levels are similar and their genes are the same, making it easier to detect environmental influences on cholesterol.
- surprising value of cooling hands and feet after exercise
Thanks to Tucker Goodrich and Allan Jackson.
- more evidence that chocolate is healthy. “The highest levels of chocolate consumption were associated with a 37% reduction in cardiovascular disease and a 29% reduction in stroke.” This is good news.
- The great bank robbery by Nassim Taleb and Mark Spitznagel. “For the American economy . . . the elephant in the room is the amount of money paid to bankers over the last five years.. . . That $5 trillion dollars is not money invested in building roads, schools and other long-term projects, but is directly transferred from the American economy to the personal accounts of bank executives and employees. Such transfers represent as cunning a tax on everyone else as one can imagine.” This is a new variation of “behind every great fortune is a great crime”.
- Nutritionist, heal thyself. Fat is obviously good for the skin. Which suggests it is good for the whole body, just less obviously.
- The Taleb/Spitznagel point is supported by this article (via Marginal Revolution), which concludes: “Who has been the first to lose confidence in the European banking system? . . . The European banking system itself.” As they say: Don’t con a conner.
Toni Rivard, a Dallas dessert caterer, makes one of the best chocolate-chip cookies in America, according to Forbes Traveller. She ages her cookie dough about three days. She says it improves the texture. I wonder if it improves the flavor, too:
Rivardâ€™s secret? â€œI like to age my cookie dough and feel that it makes for a better texture in cookies. As a result, the aptly-named OMG! [which is what customers have actually said when they taste one] chocolate chip cookies at Creme de la Cookie are soft and chewy with a deep rich flavor.
Fermenting cookie dough should certainly improve the flavor, although chocolate already supplies a lot of complexity. My experience has been that cooking delicious stuff became a lot easier when I started using fermentation to help (e.g., miso soup instead of soups flavored without fermented ingredients).
Thanks to David Archer.
At the Fancy Food Show, Kriss Harvey, a pastry chef and frozen dessert solutions specialist, served me a spoonful of powdered chocolate ice cream, his invention. It looked like chocolate ice cream but it tasted unlike any ice cream (or any food) I’ve ever had. It was there and not there. It was in my mouth and then it was gone. It was the most ethereal food I’ve ever had.
We had been talking about El Bulli, the Spanish restaurant of experimental food. Two friends of Mr. Harvey’s had worked there one summer and had come back complaining about the food (rabbit ears) and the workload. Just because people will pay a lot for your unusual food doesn’t mean you are advancing things, said Mr. Harvey. Maybe your food doesn’t taste very good. He pointed to a certain now-forgotten fad among New York dessert chefs a few years ago. That’s fashion, I said; it has a perfectly good purpose (to support experimentation). Then Mr. Harvey served me his powdered ice cream. Which was more memorable and impressive than anything I had at Alinea, an American version of El Bulli.
From the January 2008 Journal of Nutrition:
In a cross-sectional study, we examined the relation between intake of 3 common foodstuffs that contain flavonoids (chocolate, wine, and tea) and cognitive performance. 2031 participants (70â€“74 y, 55% women) recruited from the population-based Hordaland Health Study in Norway underwent cognitive testing. A cognitive test battery included the Kendrick Object Learning Test, Trail Making Test, part A (TMT-A), modified versions of the Digit Symbol Test, Block Design, Mini-Mental State Examination, and Controlled Oral Word Association Test. . . .Â Participants who consumed chocolate, wine, or tea had significantly better mean test scores and lower prevalence of poor cognitive performance than those who did not.