Monthly Archives: December 2013

Bael Fruit

Bael Fruit

BAEL FRUIT

     The bael fruit, aegle marmelos, is a baseball sized fruit related to citrus. It belongs to the Rutaceae family.
       The bael fruit is native to Central and Southern India, Burma, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. It thrives in subtropical climates. The bael fruit looks like a large grapefruit. It has a pale green, hard and woody shell that turns bright yellow peel when ripe. When sliced in half around the middle, it contains 10 to 15 segments with numerous seeds. The flesh is a pale green, or a slight greenish yellow. The taste of the flesh is at first sweet, similar to a mild honey, but then gets irritating and acidic.
      The leaves of the tree are poisonous. Ripe bael fruit are a digestive aid, and a laxative. Unripe, they cause diarrhea and dysentery. Bael fruit are rich in minerals and vitamins.
Bael fruit is commonly sliced in half and eaten with palm sugar. In India, the flowers are used as perfume.
     Bael fruit are also known as beli fruit, Indian bael, wood apple, Bengal quince, and golden apple.

© 2013 Chef Jennifer M. Denlinger All rights reserved
Please contact me for permission to use or reference this work.

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Cauliflower

Cauliflower

CAULIFLOWER             

Cauliflower, (Brassica oleracea), is a member of the cabbage family.
It is said to have originated in the area of the Mediterranean or Asia Minor. It has been in our diet for more than 2500 years. It was possibly cultivated in Egypt around the 4th century BC. Cauliflower was a popular staple in the time of Louis XIV. Today, it is an important vegetable staple in the British Isles, and has a high production rate in England.
Cauliflower means stalk flower. (caulis = stalk, Floris = flower). It has a head, or heart, composed of bunches of tiny florets on clusters of stalks. It is hard and compressed. It almost looks like curd. It grows on a short, central stalk, and is surrounded by crisp, blueish-green leaves.
       There are three main colors of cauliflower: white, the most common; violet, and pale green. The purple variety turns green when cooked, and is much milder than the white variety.

CAULIFLOWER, PURPLECAULIFLOWER, VARIETIES

        Cauliflower can be eaten raw or cooked. Since cauliflower is sort of bland, dry heat helps to concentrate that flavor. Also, the shorter you cook it, the more flavor it will retain. Over cooking cauliflower will cause it to be pasty.
        Cauliflower is available year round, but the flavor is the best in the fall. It contains vitamin C, iron, folic acid, potassium, vitamin B6, vitamin K, copper, citric acid, and malic acid. It also has many cancer inhibiting properties. Choose cauliflower that feels heavy and is firm. There should not be any blossoms, or brown spots.

Flavors For Cauliflower

aioli
almonds
anchovies
bacon
béchamel sauce
bread crumbs
butter, esp. brown
cheese, esp. Cheddar, Gruyére or Parmesan
chervil
chives
cracker crumbs
cream
créme fraîche
curry
garlic
ham
hollandaise sauce
lemon
Mornay sauce
mousseline sauce
mushrooms
mussels
nutmeg
nuts
olive oil
parsley
pepper, esp. hot
tomato sauce
walnuts

Originally Published:  12/5/13

© 2013 Chef Jennifer M. Denlinger All rights reserved
Please contact me for permission to use or reference this work.

Please contact me if you wish to receive “Food For Thought” in your mailbox.