Monday, June 6, 2011

Hot food in hot weather and America surpasses France in wine consumption

Spinach and bacon pilaf
Food Diary (June 05, 2011)
Breakfast: Rolled oats with coconut, banana, sunflower seeds and flax seeds
Lunch: Spinach and bacon pilaf
Dinner: Lentils with rye bread
Baking/sweets: Crème brûlée, vanilla cookies

The warm weather is here now, and looks like it is here to stay for some months. What is the ideal food to eat in warm weather? Hot food in hot countries and cold food in cold countries? It seems that in non-Asian countries lighter non-spicy food is preferred. On my first trip to Singapore, as I went down to the streets in my first morning I was absolutely shocked to see everyone eating hot (both heat hot and chilli hot) and spicy food. I was a little put off by the sight, I could never imagine eating hot and spicy food on a scorching day. Fast forward a few days and I was one of them, absolutely loving hot and spicy food to the point of almost getting addicted. 

A few days after my arrival in Singapore I was having a conversation with a German girl who had been living in the region for many years. She said hot and spicy food is eaten in hot climates because the food makes you sweat and this helps to cool you down. It made sense to me. Spices are used more in warmer countries since it helps to keep the food longer. I guess it takes longer for spicy food to go bad in warm weather. So the mystery of hot food in hot weather was solved.

Fast forward a number of years and I was on my way to Sweden in the middle of winter. On the plane we were served cold pasta and cold meat. And quite a number of meals I had initially were cold dishes. This made me unhappy, I was expecting hot dishes in cold weather. I guess there must be logic in having cold dishes in cold weather, like having hot dishes in hot weather. Or maybe I just enjoy complaining about food temperature! Time to experiment with different foods this summer.

Today's Favourite Photo

Today’s Favourite Blog
I remember reading about a blind taste done on American and French red wine a few years ago. The American wine won and this story was repeated, and repeated. The latest news is that Americans have surpassed the French in wine consumption. We are talking about total amount consumed, not consumption per capita (per person). On a per capita basis the French are still consuming more.  I presume from the timing of the press release that America only recently overtook France in wine consumption. Considering that America is about 5 times larger than France in terms of population I guess on a per capita basis consumption by Americans is much less. Food blogs and other ways of increasing awareness is assisting in driving wine consumption.


  1. I like that factoid about Americans consuming more wine than the French. I think it's great!

  2. Lov this pilaf look yummy! gloria

  3. Interesting fact about the wine consumption in America

  4. First of all thank you once more for choosing my crème brûlée recipe! I am very flattered and happy you enjoyed it and even without a blowtorch!
    The French alcohol drinking situation is hopeless. Very soon it will be easier to find good French wines in Japan than in France, since the French drink less and less wines, but take more and more tranquilisers. It's not a joke! Everyone knows a glass of wine makes one see the world in brighter colours (well many glasses not, but it's a different story). In fact, the French Health Ministry and different lobbying groups do everything to put wines at the same level as strong alcohols, such as vodka, they present them as bad, cancer provoking (they base themselves on a very dubious American test on heavy drinkers which apparently didn't convince the Americans), they do not allow any wine ads, they don't allow anymore farewell parties in the offices with wine, they force producers to put scary crossed pregnant women images, they make everything so that the wine sales and consumption be extremely difficult.
    No other country in Europe does it (other wines producing countries promote their wine industry) and one can only wonder who profits from it (not the young French people, who drink lots of beer "it's not alcohol, only beer" and lots of strong alcohol to get drunk quickly.)
    Just one example: last year I think a French magazine got sentenced because they made a special article about champagne just before Christmas.... The French don't realise they are slowly destroying maybe the most precious thing they own. Personally it drives me crazy.

  5. Interesting tidbit about the wine! I gotta say, that's pretty surprising!

  6. Some desserts just look too pretty to eat. ;) Not that this would stop me mind you...ehehehe.

  7. I know we're doing our part to up America's wine consumption. ;)

  8. I also heard about how Americans are consuming more wine, than in France. Kudos for us!!!
    We have become a nation of wine lovers...yeayy!
    There are so many nice wines out there, from California, that we should be proud to let the French know that!
    Loved your post, interesting theories about the cold-weather, cold food, and hot weather hot and spicy food, which we have plenty of it here, in South Florida:DDD

  9. I might be backward, but when it's hot, I need a gelato; stat. And when it's cold enough to make me hide my nose in my glove; it's got to be soup- with steam I can see.

  10. Hmmm interesting theory. I actually love spicy food all the time...and I'm always cold. So I'm not sure where that leaves me!

  11. Sissy: you are most welcome. I am very surprised to read about the sad situation in France. I was not aware, I am quite shocked actually. I don’t understand why the authorities are targeting wine consumption. Whats next – cheese industry? I will do some research to learn more.

  12. Interesting story about French wine - I read Sissi's comment and I was also surprised. It's nice to have foodie blog friends. I am learning a lot from you guys.

  13. Threee-Cookies, the cheese situation is much butter, although more and more cheese is produced with pasteurised milk (it's easier, quicker and cheaper for big industrial production and the big companies try to brainwash people it's less risky, even though all the French scientists say it's false).
    Nami, I approach the subject maybe in a very passionate way, but I love wine, not only French, and am so sorry to see how they make the winemakers' life difficult. (The France is very close to where I live, so I feel almost like living one foot there).