My, but we have grown fond of tinkering with our food.
Our 21st century edibles are awash with low fat, vitamin-enriched, cholesterol-free labels. As consumers demand more and more bang for their grocery buck, it gets ever harder for an unadorned fruit or vegetable to just be. It seems that they must be both new and improved to attract our attention.
Perhaps that’s why scientists at Japan’s Obihiro University have been subjecting potatoes to electric shock treatment.
Zapping a potato with ultrasound
(photo: Kazunori Hironaka / Press Association Wire)
They were worth the tummy ache.
At least, they must have been, because we could never resist picking and eating the apples from our tree long before they were ready (and, in truth, they never got that sweet anyway). We would use them to play bob the apple at Hallowe’en and, later, they would be arrayed on makeshift tables in the shed and would keep us in stewed apple, apple tarts and glorious baked apples for the winter.
Neither, I might add, could we resist climbing our apple tree and, on occasion, swinging from its branches.
My brother demonstrating the fine art of swinging from an apple tree
My desk is all a-clutter. Assorted items clamour for my frequently divided attention, and, lately, suffer from varying degrees of neglect.
Over there, my review copy of Domini Kemp’s new book, Itsa Cookbook, languishes. Frankly I got distracted when I read therein that her granny cooked potatoes in a pressure cooker, and have been more interested by the idea of emulating that than by anything else in the book (though I can safely say that fans of Domini’s Saturday columns in The Irish Times will be pleased to know that they can now get themselves a bookful of same).
Also sent to me lately, a glossary of delightfully named Scottish delicacies. The name alone makes me want to try Cullen Skink, a soup of smoked haddock, mashed potato and onions, though desire and execution are proving, as often happens, to be two very different things.
Other bits and pieces, such as reminders of upcoming food events, like the Food and Wine Christmas Show in the RDS from November 26th to 28th, as well as a slew of potato-related news stories, crowd my inbox.
But none of that and, I repeat, none of that is terribly important compared to Foodcamp.