Mediterranean Diet

The classical cultures

Classical Greece was not only the cradle of great artists and philosophers but also the place of the origin of the trilogy consisting of bread, oil and wine – the base of the Mediterranean diet. When the Greeks discovered olive oil they used it primarily as a condiment but they also found other purposes for it. These included using it as a body balm and as fuel for lighting. Their wine, which they mixed with water, resin or with herbs, was famous throughout the Mediterranean. Bread, for the Greeks was the staple food and they created as many as 72 varieties of it.

Sophistication

The Greeks were also responsible for the delicacy and sophistication of culinary art achieved through the use of seasoning and herbs. The Greeks invented the concept of dieting. The “diaita” or way of life, sought a balance between the body and the spirit. Although the Greeks would follow medical advice, each person decided which foods and exercises where the most beneficial through the observation of their body. For this reason, they identified the Gods with natural phenomena and everyday activities. The Magna Grecia was the home of Archestratus of Gela, the first writer of culinary history during the fifth century BC. He wrote the poem Gastronomy, a compendium of the kitchen of that time.

The Roman Empire

Rome, as for the rest of its culture, followed the path of the Greeks even for their cuisine, perfecting it with the improvement of the cultivation of vine and olives. Thanks to its vast empire Rome spread new foods, such as lemon, fish and melon.

Arrived from the New World

The discovery of America represented the integration of new foods in the Mediterranean cuisine. Among the products that stand out the most were red peppers and beans. Beans became a fundamental legume in the Mediterranean from the nineteenth century onwards. Tomatoes also deserve a special mention – together with potatoes, the tomato is one of the fundamental ingredients in Italian and Spanish dishes.

Healthier Pizza

One of the simplest ways to cut calories is by leaving certain toppings off. If you can stand parting with the cheese, removing it can make a substantial difference. And, of course, forgoing processed meats like the ever-popular pepperoni will help, too. When you’re deciding what to put on your pie, make sure you stop and consider what the healthiest options are. Vegetable toppings are best although some people also enjoy fruit pizzas. And if you have to have your meat, consider lean ground beef. Whatever you choose, consider quantity as well. The less of each you put on it, the fewer calories involved. So even if you have to have cheese, just use less. It does make a difference.

If you’re making your own pizza at home or ordering gourmet pie, make the first change with the crust. Replace the standard crust with whole-wheat. White-flour is what is usually used in crusts, and when it comes to health benefits, there just aren’t any. By replacing your crust with whole wheat you add protein and also gain a bit more flavor. Of course, you can also replace the crust entirely with something else like English muffins or pita bread.

The sauce can also be altered to be healthier. Tomatoes are already healthy, but the sugar content of many recipes is surprisingly high. You can make your own with fresh tomatoes for a truly low-sugar sauce or read labels to make sure you get a good quality marinara. You can also replace the sauce entirely with thinly sliced tomatoes, pesto or mushroom tapenade. Little changes can add to your pie’s flavor, making it even better than before.

Toppings are the next logical place to make some changes. Meat lovers would benefit from chicken instead of red meat, and there is even chicken sausage available. If you have to have red meat, make sure it’s lean. Beans are another good source of protein, and black beans have a good flavor for pizzas. And if you just can’t forego the pepperoni, try turkey pepperoni. It tastes great and is significantly healthier.

Vineyard Restaurant in Northampton

The a la carte menu has a tantalizing choice of appetizers including pan-fried mackerel marinated in garlic, thyme and served with horseradish as well as a homemade fishcake of the day with tomato sauce and salad. Make sure to check the specials board to see what freshly caught fish is available. As you would expect from seafood restaurants in Northampton there are classic starters such as smoked salmon drizzled with olive oil, lemon and capers, crispy, deep-fried calamari served with tartar sauce and de-shelled king prawns served in either garlic butter or tomato and chilli. Diners in the mood for something other than sea food will be tempted by the homemade duck and chicken liver pate with redcurrant jelly, basil dressing and toast or the succulent carpaccio of beef served with ‘chefs’ dressing. Vegetarians have not been forgotten with choices like oven-baked goat cheese topped with caramelized onion or the rich and earthy ravioli stuffed with mushrooms in a homemade tomato sauce.

Nothing goes as well with fish and seafood as a carefully chosen wine. Fortunately The Vineyard Restaurant has an excellent wine list and friendly house manager, Tina, takes great pleasure in assisting diners with food and wine pairings. If you want to try something a bit different then monkfish tails served with beurre blanc sauce is a great option, or why not try the sea bass in leek and mustard sauce for a fish dish with a slight bite. A very popular dish when available is the loin of cod with black butter and fried capers, and those who want a real indulgence can order the fish platter with king prawns, cod and sea bass in a decadent saffron sauce.

If seafood isn’t your first choice don’t worry as The Vineyard, like many restaurants in Northampton, also has a great selection of meat, pasta and salads. Steak lovers will be happy to see prime British fillet served with a choice of homemade sauces; Stilton, Diane or classic peppercorn. Other options include duck breast infused with summer fruits, a tender chicken breast topped with parma ham and mozzarella and the rack of lamb with garlic and herb crust comes highly recommended. All the main courses come with fresh seasonal vegetables and potatoes from the local Northampton market. Those dedicated to pasta can enjoy penne arrabiata, spaghetti carbonara and ricotta and spinach tortelloni, while the chicken Caesar salad is always a treat!

The lunch and pre-theatre menu offers a choice of 1 or 2 courses and has a great range of dishes from classic prawn cocktail and garlic mushrooms for starters to smoked haddock and spring onion fishcake and a rich, homemade pie of the day for mains. The Vineyard Restaurant in Northampton serves fresh, delicious and classic food in stylish surroundings. With an established history of quality and excellence, this is a very busy and popular spot for those looking for something special, booking is highly recommended.

Bindi Restaurant in Lincoln

Starters include many classics such as tandoori chicken, meat and vegetables samosas, onion bhaji, aloo chat and prawn on puri. Diners looking for an extra special experience should try the Kurzi lamb, which needs to be ordered 24-hours beforehand. This succulent and decadent dish features a whole leg of lamb marinated in spiced yoghurt sauce and roasted for 4-hours to really maximize its flavour. Before being served it is then smothered with flavoured minced meat curry and garnished with salad dressing. Unlike many other Indian restaurants in Lincolnshire, Bindi goes beyond the usual to offer diners exquisite dishes not normally seen on the menus of many curry houses. The achari bahar includes marinated pieces of chicken or lamb cooked in a tandoor oven and then smothered in a hot, spicy sauce with pickled Indian fruit. Those looking for something milder can tuck in to the mango delight with barbequed strips of chicken breast cooked in a creamy, mild, rich sauce topped with fragrant ripe mango.

Curry lovers needn’t despair however as Bindi still offers a wonderful range of curries like the milder korma, bhuna and rogan josh. Guests wishing to delve a little deeper into the world of spice can try the dansak. However this restaurant doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to spice and diners wanting to test themselves are invited to take Bindi Restaurant’s exclusive “Widower” challenge, but be warned this is definitely not for the faint hearted. I.D is required and a disclaimer must be signed! This is certainly not a challenge you would see in most restaurants in Lincolnshire and it has garnered plenty of media attention. However, diners who just want to enjoy a relaxed meal with no challenges involved have plenty of delicacies to choose from on Bindi’s menu. Succulent butter chicken, indulgent tandoori king prawn koraya and delicately spiced lamb biryani are just a few of the dishes waiting to tantalize your taste buds!

Characteristics Good Restaurant

High quality food

A good restaurant that values its customers will go to lengths to set high standards with the food quality it offers to the customers. Quality food can actually earn a restaurant good reputation and compel most guests to visit again and even recommend it. The ingredients used and skilled cooks can determine food consistency and every guest should have their food served as they order. When comparing restaurants and you are particular with food, consider what other guests have to say about the quality of the food to expect at the restaurant.

Impressive overall experience

Another quality that makes a restaurant good and you should consider when finding a good restaurant is the overall experience. How interactive and friendly is the staff? Is the environment clean enough to your liking? Are the servers competent and how fast do the arising issues get to be resolved? Customer satisfaction should be the most valuable to management and hence everything possible should be done to ensure that you have the most pleasant experience every time. Restaurant reviews can help you determine how good it is in ensuring that customers get nothing but the best.

Good management team

The management team plays a huge role in how the restaurant is run and should ensure that customers are satisfied. What measures has the management put in place to smoothen the running of the business? Is the staff supervised in terms of service delivery and customer handling? A good restaurant should actually have an active management team that knows how to handle issues as they arise. As a customer, you also want to know that you can get support and help with anything that you could need while in the restaurant and have your pleas listened to and solutions offered.

Uniqueness

When looking to have a good time at a restaurant most people tend to look at what makes it different and worth trying. Is it that it offers fresh ingredients daily? Is it the cooking styles that makes its food unique or does it have a secret recipe that is worth trying? A good restaurant should at least have something that sets it apart from the rest. Find out what special thing you stand to enjoy from the restaurant and make sure that indeed you take the time to enjoy it to have a memorable time.

Many Toppings of Pizza

No matter where you are in the world, there will be a preference for different pizza toppings. While most people think that by adding spinach to their slice is really shaking things up a bit, they need to understand that there are some really strange food items that are being used as toppings, all around the world. If you find it hard to believe that someone would prefer to eat their slices with or without cheese and pepperoni, then it is time for you to start expanding your knowledge of different cultures. A perfect example of weird toppings comes from the Japanese culture. Did you know that one of their most popular toppings is made with hot dogs as a part of the crust? You would assume that the hot dogs are chopped up before they are placed on top, but they are not. They are cut into shorter pieces and rolled into the outer edge of the crust. In the center, there are hamburger toppings, bacon, garlic and more. Plus this dish comes with a side serving of ketchup and maple syrup for sauce.

Frying an egg and placing on top of an all cheese pizza is a very popular and tasty way to eat this dish. While it may not look very appealing, it is very tasty and is thoroughly enjoyed all over the world. You could choose to have the egg fried hard, or do like most people and have the egg cooked until the yolk is lightly set. Once you take a bite into a slice, the running yolk acts as a sauce and adds a lot more flavor to the dish.

If you have a penchant for seafood, one style of this dish that may blow your mind and excite your tastes buds is one that has squid ink. While it may not look very appealing, it is rumored to be very tasty. Many people, who enjoy this style of pizza, tend to have their favorite seafood toppings added to it and they use the squid ink as a sauce that goes right on top, to complete the dish.

If you have already eaten something for lunch or dinner, you may be in the mood for a dessert. Pizza doesn’t always have to be a savory dish. There are some desserts that are in the style of Italian pie, and instead of dough with tomato sauce and cheese, cream and fruit are the topping. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter what you like to have for your toppings, as long as you enjoy eating them.

Turkish Yogurt

As most of you probably know, yogurt is prepared using milk. In the US, cows have become the primary source of this milk, though it can also come from sheep, goat and water buffalo. In fact, milk from sheep and goat has a much higher fat content and more nutritional value; the first yogurt probably came from these animals. Yogurt is created by introducing bacteria to the milk. Though the actual discovery of yogurt is still unclear, it is likely that natural enzymes in animal’s stomachs curdled with milk during the milking process, forming something similar to what we now know as yogurt.

Yogurt was discovered 4,000 years ago by nomadic Turkish peoples in Central Asia. It quickly spread throughout the Middle East, becoming a staple of many of these people’s meals as well as a signature food of the Ottoman diet. Yogurt became popular and important for a few reasons. Firstly, milk spoiled very quickly back in the day, turning bad after only a few hours. Yogurt, in addition to extending the life of milk, was easier to digest because the bacteria assisted in breaking down lactose. It can be said that yogurt was the first probiotic. High in fat, protein, vitamins and calcium, yogurt was considered a sort of miracle food for people throughout the Ottoman Empire.

The Ottoman Empire, an incredibly culturally and ethnically diverse group of people (including, among others, Turks, Greeks, Armenians and Kurds), was key in the introduction of yogurt around much of the western world. In the 16th century Francis the 1st, the King of France, had life-threatening diaria. Suleiman the Magnificent, a friend of Francis’ and the most iconic and legendary of the Ottoman Sultans, sent a doctor to cure him. As the legend goes, the doctor prescribed yogurt for the King and his diarrhea was cured not long thereafter. However, it wasn’t until the late 19th-century that yogurt really began to take its hold on the western world. The Ottoman Empire was increasingly weaker during these years and many people were leaving it as a result of its crumbling state: as these people left yogurt was brought with them. During this period one scientist identified the yogurt bacteria and spread knowledge about yogurt health benefits. Yogurt being eaten as an every day food happened a bit later. In 1919, a Jewish doctor by the name of Isaac Carasso left the Ottoman Empire and settled in Barcelona. He began a yogurt plant that he named after his son, Danone. This has now grown into Danon, the largest yogurt company in the world. Armenian immigrants fleeing the Armenian genocide introduced yogurt to the United States, though it didn’t really catch on until Daniel, the son of Isaac, opened a yogurt factory in New York in the 1940’s.

Food Safety Tips During Hurricane Sandy

  • Stock up food, canned goods and instant foods in your shelves. Before a storm hits, make sure you’ve stocked up enough food in your shelves and fridge. Most of the stores and other establishments tend to close when a mega-storm like Sandy hits.
  • Keep your foods on the shelves and not on the ground. Make sure that you put your foods on the shelves or in the fridge. In case of flooding, your foods wouldn’t be contaminated by dirty flood water.
  • Keep perishable foods cold. A fridge can hold up cold for your food for as long as 4 hours (as long as the door is closed) while a full freezer can hold up for 48 hours.
  • Use an ice box to store your food in case of power outage. In case you don’t have a full freezer an ice box or any clean large containers that can seal cold with ice will keep your food cold.
  • Have a appliance thermometer. This is to ensure that you know how cold your appliances like your fridge or freezer is when there is a power outage.
  • Buy or make ice. This is to make sure that you have enough tools to make your food as cold as it can be until the power returns. Make sure that your ice box has its own ice.
  • Wash your hands before and after you touch food. This is to ensure we eliminate any possibilities of cross-contamination and prevent foodborne-illnesses to spread.
  • Before preparing food, make sure that all utensils and surroundings is clean. Make sure that everything is clean before using it when cutting or placing food. Kitchen counters, utensils, chopping board and others should be clean before placing any food in it.
  • Clean the food if necessary. Wash fruits and vegetables but don’t wash meat, poultry and eggs says the FDA. This is to prevent the spread of foodborne viruses.
  • Cook the food properly. Make sure that you properly cook the food with the FDA’s recommended temperature and minutes of cooking. You can also check the FDA website to know when to throw away your food.

History Chinese Food

Though it possesses an engaging history that spans over 5000 years, Chinese culinary history only began to be documented during the 5th Century B.C. and evolved across several dynastic periods including the Han, Tang, Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties. Imperial oversight played an important role in the development of culinary trends. A cook’s work was set to strict culinary rules determined by the emperor and senior officials. China’s varied regional, climatic and cultural influences saw the development of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes with exclusions that followed the availability or religious significance of certain ingredients. Over the last 2000 years, Chinese cooking saw the development of strong culinary differences across the banks of the Yangtze River. European travellers brought with them dairy products, a class of products rarely found in historical culinary records. The blurring of cultural and geographic lines led to the development of regional cuisines and the ‘Four Schools’ and ‘Eight Schools’ of this cuisine as well as several dietary trends. Today, we know these as ‘cleansing’ or ‘balanced’ diets. Ancient Chinese cookbooks list nearly 200 distinct vegetables and over 100 types of meat that featured on imperial and common menus throughout the country. Through all these cultural, religious and imperial upheavals, the core philosophy of this cuisine has been moderation, balance and harmony.

Chinese food has always enjoyed immense popularity in the West. Today, there are nearly 50,000 Chinese restaurants in the United States, a tribute to the popularity of a culinary style that feeds over a billion people every day. Some of the most popular Chinese dishes that find their place on tables around the world include:

Chow Mein: This delicious marriage of hand-drawn noodles, meat and select vegetables such as Bok Choy and bamboo shoot. Chow Mein, served crispy or soft is popular comfort food in the West and may be served with a hot sauce or with a choice of milder, aromatic sauces.

Duck: Roast duck is easily the most popular gourmet delicacy served up in Chinese restaurants. The modern Peking duck is a challenging interpretation of an imperial recipe that serves up a beautifully glazed roast duck with aromatic herb sauces and tender meat. Some gastronomes have gone as far as to name it ‘China’s National Dish’

Xiaolongbao: These soup dumplings form excellent finger food and accompany other dishes. These steamed buns are served with soups and several gravies including a garlic vinegar sauce or a Schezwan dip. A culinary cousin, the sweet Lai Wong Bao is the perfect end to a Chinese meal.

Kung Pao Chicken: One of the most popular savory dishes from southwest China, Kung Pao chicken is one of the best examples of a recipe that has survived since the imperial aristocracy of the Qing dynasty. This delicately flavored chicken is typically cooked in peanut oil.

The diversity of China’s varied cuisine places hundreds of ingredients at a cook’s disposal. Some of the most ingredients unique to Chinese modern cuisine include Shaoxing rice wine, Nanjing Chinkiang vinegar, sesame and groundnut (peanut) oils, Hoisin sauce, spring onions, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, red chili, mushroom and shiitakes or dried mushroom. These ingredients are combined to create the legendary flavors of Chinese cuisine and combined with a palate of over a dozen spices. Five spice powder—a combination of Cinnamon, Cloves, Fennel seeds, Schezwan peppers and star anise — rounds off the list of essential ingredients of the Chinese kitchen.

The Chinese people attribute their long lifespan and excellent quality of life to the philosophy and style of culinary arts. Centuries of refining the harmony of food groups offer several significant dietary benefits. One of the key benefits of Chinese dishes come from the use of steamed ingredients and well-balanced food groups. Most vegetables and some meats are steamed and have a much lower lipid composition. Very few Chinese dishes are deep-fried and are far healthier than most other South Asian cuisines. The use of rice and wheat in noodles is a perfect combination of carbohydrate energy and the wheat aids to slow down digestion for sustained energy release. The use of soy as a primary vegetable protein is considered one of the healthiest culinary features of this cuisine.

Over time, the term ‘Chinese food’ has, quite inaccurately, expanded to include South-East Asian cuisines such as Thai, Malay and Singaporean cuisines. Every country has its own interpretations (and often, distortions) of Chinese dishes. American-Chinese and Indo-Chinese cuisines have emerged from the shadows of being dubious imitations to culinary art forms that pay respect to both cuisines. As the world appreciates the curative benefits and flavor of healthy Chinese food more chefs are beginning to study and experience the magic of this beautiful, balanced style of food.

Buffet Restaurants

Types of buffets

The following types of buffets are generally found in some of the Best Buffet Restaurants and could be selected according to the requirements of the customer.

  • Cafeteria style: In this type of buffet, customers are required to select plates of food according to their choice while waiting in a queue. The cafeteria-style buffet is less frequently practised in restaurants.
  • All You Can Eat: The name says it all! These buffet styles are considered as the most beneficial investments on behalf of the customers as they would have to pay a single price for serving themselves with a wide assortment of delicacies. However, it is interesting to note that the popularity of All You Can Eat buffets is waning due to the increasing threats of obesity.
  • Healthy Buffets: These concepts are followed by restaurants that provide soups, fresh produce and salad bars in their menus and promote healthy eating habits. However, these could not be considered as one of the Best Buffet Restaurants owing to the criticisms on the basis of the higher calorie content of specific menu items.
  • Catered buffets: The catered buffets approach is followed by restaurants which specialize in business meetings, special occasions, and weddings as well as holiday parties and also involve facilities of off-site catered buffets in certain cases.

Pros and Cons of restaurant buffets

While it is explicitly observed that the Best Buffet Restaurants have changed the way people looked at dining alongside reforming the traditional approaches followed in the restaurant business, it is also important to focus on the positive as well as negative sides to buffet restaurants.

  • Restaurants could leverage the benefit of minimal workforce required for conducting buffets. Furthermore, a lot of customers could be served at once thereby implying the promising opportunities for higher income.
  • Buffets serve as promotional tactics and can be used to lure in customers who would not have dined at a restaurant otherwise due to budget concerns.
  • The pricing of the buffet menu in the Best Buffet Restaurants is tailored to provide opportunities to customers for enjoying diverse cuisines and delicacies without making a dent in their budgets.
  • On the contrary, restaurants also face limitations especially in terms of profit margins as buffets generally cost less than the conventional sit-down dinner.