Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Shellac and brownie with orange salt

Gnocchi with lentils
Food Diary (August 09, 2011)
Breakfast: Sourdough with lentil spread
Lunch: Gnocchi with lentils
Dinner: Potato bread with sauerkraut and cucumber salad

Gnocchi with lentils went well together, surprisingly. The lentils were relatively mild tasting so it worked with the gnocchi.

Today's Favourite Photo
Brownie with orange salt

Today’s Favourite Blog
Source: Care2
Ever wondered what the shiny stuff is that covers tablets, candy and even some fruits? It may be shellac, a resin made from the secretions of the female lac insect. Shellac’s ‘E’ number is E904 and can be described on food labels as ‘confectioner’s glaze’, ‘confectioner’s resin’, ‘resinous glaze’, ‘candy glaze’, ‘pure food glaze’ and ‘natural glaze’.

Laccifer lacca is a small insect about the size and color of an apple seed. Lac is found in India and Thailand. During the larval stage of its life-cycle, the lac insect creates a hard, waterproof, communal protective shell as a cocoon in which to mature and then mate. The encrusted resin that forms this shell is scraped off the branches where the insects nest. This raw material, known as ‘sticklac’,is the basis for shellac.

Vegetarians and vegans, don't be alarmed. There is a vegan alternative called zein, a corn protein. Pure zein is clear, odorless, tasteless, hard, water-insoluble, and edible. It is already used as a coating for candy, nuts, fruit, pills, and other encapsulated foods and drugs. In the United States, it may also be labeled as ‘confectioner’s glaze’. Sometimes it may be difficult to tell whether a plant or non-plant extract is being used. NOTE: As well as sometimes being made from shellac, confectioner’s glaze can also contain beeswax.

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  1. Oh my heavens...those brownies are to die for! I'm wondering what the orange salt is all about so I have to check that post out after this. As for the knowledge that I may have eaten the secretions of a female insect all these years, that's something I could've happily stayed ignorant about. But thanks for sharing it anyway because well, knowledge is certainly power.

  2. That is maybe the best picture you have ever posted...and you post really fabulous pictures. Something about the fact that there are brownies missing makes them that much more tempting.

  3. Your gnocchi looks delicious. I've come to realize that I'm better at eating gnocchi than making it!

  4. Great looking food! And I never knew that about shellac, how interesting :), Miriam@Meatless Meals For Meat Eaters

  5. interesting article about the bug.....trying hard not to get grossed out. :(

    and i've never heard of orange salt before! but anything with brownie, i love. hahaha too bad that recipe isn't in english!

    btw, i've been meaning to ask you, where do you live? outside of the US right?

  6. Your gnocchi looks so plump and chewy!! And orange salt sounds lovely...I would also love that on chocolate bark or a tart. :-)

  7. Eeww .... I meant about the insect part.
    Orange salt sounds fascinating ... gotta check that out.

  8. Those brownies looks so rich! so chocolatey

  9. I can't drag my eyes away from those brownies!

  10. A very interesting article! Thanks for letting me know I am regularly eating insects secretions :-) But seriously, this won't put me off the tablets and candies. I am conscious of eating small insects all year long (the other day I saw one worm in the fish fillets I wanted to fry. I threw away the piece with the worm, but cannot be sure other tiny, invisible to me worms weren't hiding in the other fillets... not to mention salads or herbs).

  11. So glad the gnocchi and lentils together were good. I am interested to try it myself. Never heard of shellec but that is why I love coming to your blog because I always learn something new

  12. Those brownies look great...but my appetite may have flown the coop after learning about shellac :)

  13. Orange salt? Hmmm...now that sounds as though it is worth investigating, especially wrapped up in those decadent chocolate brownies! Thank you for visiting my blog- I heartily recommend Welsh Cakes, but I may be a little biased!

  14. Mmm I love gnocchi and that picture is a great reminder that I haven't made them in forever!

  15. Foodiva: I have no clear what orange salt is. I am guessing orange flavoured salt!

    Angela: thank you. Its amazing how little things can sometimes make pictures look more appealing

    Yummychunklet: me too!

    Miriam: I didn’t either and was a bit surprised

    Junia: sorry about that! I live in Sweden

    Sophia: thank you, and thanks for visiting

    ping: it does sound fascinating, I have never heard of it before.

    angsarap: they do, it really makes me want to try

    Maris: imagine if you had the real thing in front, they won’t last long!

    Sissi: you are most welcome, a balanced (and varied) diet is good:) I don’t eat tablet but this does not put me off either. I have never seen worms in fish fillets. Maybe I never looked hard enough. I wonder if worms and fish complement the taste!

    Kitchen Belleicious: thank you!

    Lizzy: sorry about that. I didn’t realize – first a nice picture of a brownie and then unappetizing news!

    Kate: even without your ‘biased’ views the cakes sound awesome for sure

    Joanne: happy to remind you!

  16. I'm very intrigued by that gnocci dish. It looks very hearty.
    *kisses* HH

  17. Orange salt is very easy to prepare - you just have to mix sea salt with orange peel - that's everything :)

    Thanks for nice comments!