Monday, September 5, 2011

sweet life

as i'm making my way through my breakfast snack of a flavor grenade pluot from tory farms, i am thinking about a conversation i had with the heart sister last night that i wanted to share with you.

last night i was talking to the heart sister about ice cream. specifically, a recipe that i came across in a rather food-porn centric magazine that i subscribe to on my ipad. i remember being surprised that it called for "corn syrup" and cornstarch. i think there was a part of me that had an instant reaction when i saw the words corn syrup. while i may know that it may make an appearance in caramels and candy.....i had a bit of reaction when i saw it in this particular magazine for ice cream. she also mentioned that she's seen recipes in certain magazines where that ingredient seems to be appearing more often. so one of the things we did while talking over the phone was a bit of co-researching. while we were talking, i wondered aloud if there were some folks associated with food manufacturers and whether this sort of a "seed campaign" or a similar marketing campaign to improve the image and connotations associated with corn syrup....or a way to try to distance corn syrup from high-fructose-corn syrup.

while we were on the phone, i wandered over to my book shelf and started looking through mcgee's on food and cooking (a must have reference in my opinion) and saw that mcgee refers to an enzyme process that is part of transforming corn syrup into high-frutose corn syrup. then, the heart sister suggested that i look at pollen so i pulled the omnivore's dilemma off the shelf and found references to corn syrup in the index. then, after we discussed this, particularly about a substitute for corn syrup in ice cream and whether it was really necessary to have corn syrup in ice cream....i went to my ipad and did a google search and scrolled through the various entries until i found a link to david lebovitz's post about why and when (or not use) corn syrup. the reason why i clicked the link to this post was because i bought and read his the sweet life in paris a while ago. i came across it when i was in browser books on fillmore and was so glad that it became an "impulse buy" and read it.... more on this later though....back to the corn syrup posting. i think this posting provides insight and advice that is extremely useful and very practical. i must confess that the reason why i have ice cream on the brain is because i've decided to purchase an ice cream machine....and was delighted to see that david lebovitz has some very delicious sounding recipes on his site and that he has an ice cream book out called the perfect scoop as well. i sense a purchase of this book the next time i'm at green apple books is in my near future.

recalling the conversation i had with the heart sister last night made me pull the sweet life in paris back off my book shelf this morning.

when i did....this warm and cozy feeling came over me. this is not surprising. this is how i felt when i read it. i remember curling up in bed, reading this book, and feeling like i was privy to having a slumber party/ know when you are amongst a group of friends..... when stories are relayed late into the night, where you chortle, laugh, sigh, and sometimes roll your eyes because you (or this case i) can relate to some of the insane level of french bureaucracy. in some of the snippets, it reminds me of when you are with a loved one or buddy in the kitchen.....sharing stories and connecting over making food.

it is interesting isn't it? how books ....or words....or stories....have the power to provide that lasting impression...even when a substantial time has passed. it was quite some time since i'd read this book. yet, it still had the power to invoke warm memories just by picking it up. this makes me think that i should probably write more about some of the books that i truly enjoy. while i read quite a bit for work, i also read quite a bit that is food related.


Chelsea said...

I remember reading that post by DL a while back and feeling better about using corn syrup, mostly for making caramel. I don't think I've ever used a recipe for ice cream with corn syrup. Sometimes cornstarch is used as a thickener for ice cream when eggs/cream aren't used. Some italian gelato's use milk and corn starch instead of eggs and cream.

You should definitley get "The Perfect Scoop"! I love it! And definitely write more about the books you enjoy:)

foodie hunter said...

i was just thinking about you last night! i went to green apple to pick up a copy of perfect scoop but couldn't find it. the system said that there was a copy in the store but sus + i looked at every book in food section....but couldn't find it. then sus points out the recent ottolenghi book. i totally thought about you as you were the one that did the initial recommendation for me to visit them in london. i do love their food so i bought it. i'm still going to buy the perfect scoop too though. good to know that you love it!

Chelsea said...

I have Plenty too (and Ottolenghi). It's such a beautiful book! Such simple recipes that make me think "why didn't I think of that?"

foodie hunter said...

i know exactly what you mean!