Thursday, October 20, 2011

No more foie gras and salty licorice

Chickpeas and cauliflower in UN sauce with pasta
Food Diary (October 19, 2011)
Breakfast: Rolled oats with coconut, banana, sunflower seeds and flax seeds
Lunch: Chickpeas and cauliflower in UN sauce with pasta
Dinner: Carrot and onion soup, oatmeal sourdough toast
Baking/sweets: Chocolates

The United Nations sauce was concocted from ajvar, pasta sauce, tikka masala sauce and taco seasoning. It was a way to use leftovers. The outcome was great. I thought of including China but then decided against it, I wanted something that tasted delicious rather than create a  sauce that would be interesting to talk about. The results count. The concept of mixing such type of flavours is certainly not new. Butter chicken combines tomato paste, cream and coconut milk, and last week I combined ajvar and filmjölk (cultured milk). Such combinations are really delicious. This made me think whether the UN is like UN sauce, a collection of leftovers producing good results, or the opposite. I know one thing for sure, the UN sauce was delicious.

Today for the first time I tried a bar of Plopp Saltlakrits, a chocolate bar filled with salty licorice, also known as salmiak or salmiakki. According to  Wikipedia, salty licorice is common in Netherlands, Nordic countries and Northern Germany. If you haven’t heard of salty licorice, it is probably because these countries want to keep this delicacy a secret. Regular licorice is an acquired taste and I like it, however I never managed to acquire the taste of salty licorice. Plopp Saltlakrits surprised me in a good way. The chocolate worked quite well with the salty licorice, sort of like salted caramel but with a licorice flavor. You will probably either say yum or yuck.

Today's Favourite Photo
Black Widow Chocolate Rum Cupcakes

Today’s Favourite Blog
This caught me by surprise, in eight months the sale of foie gras will be banned in California. In 2006 foie gras was outlawed in Chicago. The ban lasted barely two years.

As part of assessing the merits of banning foie gras both sides produced experts and videotapes. Marion Nestle, a professor of food studies and public health at New York University, and perhaps not related to or sponsored by Nestle the food giant, said that she viewed the California law as excessive. She said, “I’ve seen the videos, and everyone says the same thing: they all seem to run up to be fed.”

Sitting on the other side of the fence, Lindsay Rajt, an associate director with the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals said “The idea of paying upwards of $100 to eat pieces of a diseased organ would be laughably funny to most people if it didn’t involve cramming pipes down birds’ throats and painfully force-feeding them.”

There are two sides of the coin, and there seems to be strong arguments from both sides. The animal rights protesters have won this battle. Violators of the law will face fines of up to $1,000 a day. I am guessing if supply is restricted diners will be willing to fork out extra to eat the forbidden food. For 100 guests, the fine will be up to $10. Perhaps some diners will accept the surcharge. Or maybe some foie gras suppliers would sponsor the payment of the fine. While the animal rights protestors have won perhaps restaurateurs and diners will find ways around it. It makes me think of the effectiveness, or lack of it, of outlawing drugs. 

On a separate but related note today the Senate in the US blocked a proposal from the Obama administration to place a limit of two servings a week of potatoes and other starchy vegetables in schools. The kids won, there will be no limits. Or should I say the potato farmers won. Maybe the Obama administration should hire the foie gras protestors, they seem to be getting good at their job!

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  1. hi three cookies. You write smart, you are also innovative about that UN sauce ..ha ha who would have ever thought of that.
    I am for animal rights- perhaps heavier fines would be better on those culprits.
    Personally I don’t think they should limit potatoes, this is more of a staple food for children, it's not junk food.
    i saw your link here on sticky fig pudding- wow , they look delicious..

  2. I think I'll pass on the salty licorice...cherry licorice is more my speed than the typical anise flavored. And I love those cupcakes...great photo today~

  3. Love those spiderwebs on the cupcakes!

  4. UN sauce! Great name, great combination! Looks great too!
    I doubt the amount of the fines are going to stop fans of foie gras. It's the rich who can afford to pay for them anyway and those fines are peanuts to them. Maybe they should make it mandatory to show a video of the abuse each time a diner orders it. Hope he gags.

  5. I didn't grow up with licorice in Japan so when I first tried it in the US (I was 20) I thought it's so weird texture and tastes so strange! My 5 year old son recently tried it for the first time and he liked it! Now you say there are secret salty version? Hmmm I'm willing to try how it's like though.

  6. Eversince I watched a documentary on foie gras I haven't been able to eat it... and you just reminded me that I forgot to have oats for breakfast today! Tomorrow...

  7. UN sauce! What a creative name!
    The foie gras article obviously made me furious. The animal rights activist should rather visit standard chicken farms in the US, where animals do suffer so much I am sure the force-fed free range ducks are happier (I have seen both and one doesn't have to be a specialist to see which animal looks normal and joyful) than the poor chickens dying and developing diseases because of their living conditions. Or cows? Or pigs? Of course the activists will lose because the chickens'/cows/pigs breeders lobby is too strong in the US. The foie gras producers are very rare, so they can fight them. I am so happy nothing is forbidden where I live (at least nothing I love eating).
    I'm one of those who doesn't really like liquorice, I have tasted the salty one and this one is really not for me.

  8. wan: thank you for your kind words. Potato has positives and its also cheap. Maybe the schools can try other methods of preparing it so its less unhealthy

    Lizzy: cherry licorice sounds nice, I haven’t had it in a while

    Yummychunklet: they look great, I agree!

    Peachkins: they look great, I agree!

    ping: I also doubt the amount of fines will stop fans but if there is a risk of the restaurant getting shut down it will make them think twice. Showing movies/videos will get the theatres annoyed due to competition:) I didn’t read details on where the bans apply. Perhaps people will cook at home, or invite chefs to prepare it in their home. There are many ways around this.

    Nami: licorice does have a special taste and texture. I first ate it when I was small so I am used to it. Most people I know don’t like it. Salty licorice is even more special:)

    Martyna: Glad to remind you of oats and foie gras:)

    Sissi: I knew it would make you furious, that’s another reason for you not to move to California! These are difficult issues and there is no right answer. As you say other animals are not treated all that well but the industry is much larger and the lobbysts are more powerful. But change will come slowly.

  9. You always find such great input - I had no idea about the administration trying to cut back on tatties! I wonder if they were just going after fries - what about the good old baked potato!!
    Love the cupcakes - chocolate rum seems like a good idea to me :)
    Mary x

  10. Mr. Three-Cookies, the more I live in Switzerland but almost with one foot in France and in a very international city with Japanese and other Asian products available, the more I am convinced this is the best place in the Western world to have access to the food I love. I have recently discovered another extraordinary product (I will post about it) which is forbidden in the whole US.

  11. Mary: I think it was potatoes in general and I suppose its mostly turned into chips

    Carol: thank you, it was delicious

    Sissi: now I am very curious. I wonder whether its absinthe, Cuban cigars, certain cheeses made from unpasteurised milk...I will wait for the post.I think by living in a country you start to get used to and like products that are available and of course you don't miss what is not available such as lutefisk, surströmming, corned lamb, kumis, dalo/taro...:)

  12. Mmm that pasta looks delicious, and those cupcakes are absolutely adorable. I love how the tray resembles a web as well. I'll have to whip some up for Halloween. :)

  13. Love the UN sauce

    OK let me get this right, the activivts won but he find for dinner guests will be 10$ ????? Sounds like winning out of principal without consequence lol. Is that not the signs of dictatoship?

  14. Caroline: good luck!

    Cheap Ethnic Eatz: its a win win situation perhaps:) I thought the world was trying to eradicate dictators!