Food trends for 2016

coffee_table_talk_PA_150_wht_6082at least according to William Sitwell in the Times 2

You need to read the article to get the full flavour but here’s the skinny:

  • An end to tipping. A trend starting in tip-crazy America
  • Eat purple food which contains anthocyanins. You can get purple carrots, cauliflower, potatoes and yams.
  • Music-inspired restaurants. A thrash metal inspired restaurant has already opened up in London. So what you  might think. Punk next where you’re allowed to spit your food out?
  • Gin is big now. Not with a splash of tonic and a slice of lemon though. But added to fermented tea along with peppercorns. Remember how butter in tea didn’t last?
  • Vodka is for hipsters. Micro distilleries are on the increase globally. I’ll stick to Stoli and Absolut thanks. At least I know what I’m getting (but I’ve also got Estonian, Lithuanian and Ukrainian vodka in my cupboard).
  • Plates are out and bowls are in. Well have you tried eating soup from a plate?
  • Foodie radio is on the increase apparently if you still listen to the radio. What happened to podcasts?
  • Charcoal is the new drink additive. Activated charcoal as used for medical detoxing but not without side effects. You can also buy it in tablet form on the high street.
  • Food fashions go in cycles like everything else so expect to find chicken kiev, prawn cocktails and sardines on toast back on the menu. Of course depending where you live they’ve never gone away.
  • Having your food delivered to your home. Isn’t that what pizza delivery is about? Well it’s probably posher food.

Mirror, mirror on the wall..

looking_in_mirror_1600_wht_5647Who is eating most of all?

Scientists are interested in factors that influence how much people eat.

Previous research has shown that the size of plates, even their colour can have an effect. As can background sounds e.g. the sounds of the sea makes fish tastier.

Eating with a fork rather than a spoon (which makes people underestimate their meals), using paper plates or even giving people toys with their meals can make them accept smaller portions.

On of the latest ideas is putting up a mirror in the dining room so you can see a reflection of what you are eating. Given a choice of chocolate cake or a fruit salad those eating in front of a mirror enjoyed the chocolate cake less (those eating fruit salad were unaffected).

Researchers at the University of Florida where the experiment took place said that having a mirror in the room makes diners more careful about their behaviour including watching how much they ate. “A glance in the mirror tells people more than just about their physical appearance. It enables them to view themselves objectively and helps them to judge themselves and their behaviours in the same way they judge others.

Maybe they also feel more guilty when they are being observed. There was some research which showed that people tucked away in dark corners of restaurants tended to eat more.

Researcher from the University of Texas found that telling people they were eating healthy food encouraged them to eat bigger portions because they found it less filling. This suggests that “low fat” and “low sugar” labels may encourage over-eating.

This research is to be published in the Journal of the Association for Consumer Research. One of the editors, Professor Brian Wansink from Cornell University is also releasing the results of a survey on what makes slender people different from overweight ones.

Half of people who are not overweight try to eat vegetables for supper every day, 34% eat salads for lunch and 30% would choose vegetables as part of their last meal on earth (what – no ice-cream?). And a quarter avoid chocolate altogether.

That sounds pretty boring to me but don’t forget the stats mean that the other half of people who are not overweight don’t do those things.

And before you start making New Year resolutions about losing weight, it’s also a time to remind you that diets only work for 10% of people, juicing takes the fibre out of the fruit and veg so nutrients aren’t absorbed effectively, removing whole categories of food from your diet is just a fad and can be unhealthy,  and the only sure way to lose weight is eat less and exercise more.

And don’t forget that when you eat out you are being psychologically manipulated from the moment you walk in the door. Read here to find out how.

Size matters when it comes to plates

tape_measure_around_plate_1600_wht_15585It’s been officially confirmed by scientists that the smaller your crockery, the less you eat.

Researchers at Cambridge University looked at over 60 studies about the effect of portion size on calorie consumption. And surprise, surprise, the more food you give people the more they eat!

Giving people bigger plates encourages them to eat more. Tweaking plate sizes and portion sizes could reduce calorie consumption in the UK by 12% and by 16% in the USA.

It may seem obvious that the larger the portion size the more people eat but until this systematic review the evidence for this effect has been fragmented” said Gareth Hollands at the university’s behavioural and health research unit.

There has been a tendency to portray personal characteristics like being overweight or a lack of self-confidence as the main reason that people overeat. In fact the situation for most people is far more complex. Our findings highlight the important role of environmental influences on food consumption”

Short of controlling the amount of food people consume one way to cut down is to use smaller plates (plates have increased in size by 25% since 1900).

Reducing the appeal of larger portions (which may provide better value for money) is a challenge for future research.

Previous research has looked at other environmental factors.



Huddersfield Food and Drink Festival (part 2)

If you want to read part 1 click here   Last year’s festival   2013 Festival

Kindadukish's Blog - I am not a number, I am a free man (The Prisoner)

Another day wandering around the excellent food and drink festival today. Arrived around 11.15 to find the place already busy with considerable amounts of food and drink already being consumed. The smell of cooking food is like an “elixir” that draws people to each stall, first to gaze on the wonderful colours of the food and then it is just a matter of time before a purchase is made. The only problem is, which to buy?

Below are a series of photographs which give an idea of the food that was on offer and the variety………………..(so well done to the organisers and this year the sun shone on “Gods own country”)


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Can we afford to eat healthily?

tape_measure_around_plate_1600_wht_15585No, according to Eleanor Mills in the Sunday Times yesterday.

She starts her column by pointing out that for the first time in history poor people are fatter than rich people.

At one time of course being generously proportioned meant you could afford to eat well. The we had the idea that pale and thin was good – “you can’t be too rich or too thin” – well yes you can actually and why I support the “No More Skinny” campaign.

But that’s a different story. She says expensive clothes tend to come in smaller sizes than supermarket own-brands, the average British woman is a size 16 (that’s 40-32-42 in inches) and the only part of retail doing well is Plus Size.

If you haven’t got much money it goes further in a fast-food outlet according to research at Cambridge University. They found that eating healthily costs three times as much as eating junk food.

Over the past decade healthy food had increased in price by over twice as much as junk food based on a study of almost 100 food items, taken from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) consumer price index basket, including salmon, yoghurt and tomatoes at the healthy end of the spectrum to pizzas beef burghers and dough its at the other end.

The author of the study said “The increase in price difference is a factor in increasing health inequalities and a deterioration in the health of the population”. An that’s no joke given the cost to the NHS of obesity and diet-related ill-health like type-2 diabetes and heart disease.

The experts seem to think that we can do nothing about it and teaching people to be able to cook well on a low budget won’t help. For example Dr Joun Middleton at e the UK of Public Health charity puts the blame for the poor being obese purely on high prices. I think sometimes charities take a simple point of view to make it easier to get there point across and raise money. How can teaching people to cook not help?

Mills doesn’t agree either pointing out that in many cultures people eat well on low incomes citing Indian cuisine as a good example or making home made soup from beans and pulses. But she acknowledges that having the time to do it is a factor, putting a pizza in the oven for ten minutes when you’re in a hurry to get to work is easier than cooking from scratch. But you can use a slow cooker overnight and it only takes 20 minutes to cook fish and boil potatoes.

  • A 2014 Nuffield Health study found that 1/3 of people in the UK said they could;t afford to eat a healthy diet and 1/7 said they didn’t have time to prepare balanced meals.
  • DEFRA found that the pest 10% of households by income bought the least fruit and vegetables – almost 3 portions a day down 14% since 2007.
  • In 2013 price was rated as the most important factor influencing food choices but if you haven’t got a car getting to a cheap supermarket with kids in tow can be a problem.

Cooking is apparently back on the school curriculum. This has got to be a good thing. When I was at school, a long time ago I admit, boys did joinery or woodwork at boys’ schools and girls did cookery or domestic science. Both were useful skill sets that more recent generations seem to lack.



Huddersfield Food & Drink Festival 2014

Kindadukish's Blog - I am not a number, I am a free man (The Prisoner)


This years festival took place from 7 – 11 August 2014 in the area in front of the railway station in the town centre.

DSC_0101Over the last few years the festival has grown and expanded and is now one of the “must attend” items in the diary.


My first visit this year was on the Thursday morning and things were relatively quiet with some stall holders still setting up, and pretty hard work it looked for some of them.


I retuned in the afternoon and by now everything was in full swing………..all the food stall were up and running (food from India, Pakistan, Mongolia, Mexico, Thailand, Brazil and many other countries was on sale) and doing extremely good trade.

DSC_0152 Several “micro breweries” were displaying their ales much to the delight of the locals who were consuming the liquid refreshment in copious quantities.

DSC_0134 My favourite stall was back again “The Gift…

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“Dear God, feed me with Ratatouille, please. Amen.” Your belly

Don't dig your grave with your own knife and fork


“If you are what you eat, then I only want to eat the good stuff.” I am sure that most of you remember these wise words of one of my most favourite Disney characters – Remy, from the movie Ratatouille. Christmas time is slowly passing by and our bellies start calling for “menu revolution.” After too much of sugar, wheat and milk we consumed during Christmas feast, there is nothing better than vegetables to cleanse our body system, mainly liver and colon. This time, I inspired by the traditional French recipe, that made us all drooling in front of our TVs while watching little rat Remy cooking it, and I decided to share with you the recipe of this delicious and healthy meal.

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You can fool some of the people all the time…………………………

Kindadukish's Blog - I am not a number, I am a free man (The Prisoner)

The diet dangers of healthy food: How adding fruit to dessert fools us into thinking it has a 16% LOWER calorie count

According to new research, our brains are often fooled by restaurants into thinking that adding healthy toppings to an unhealthy dish actually makes it less calorie laden.

In a Forbes study to be published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology, participants were asked to estimate the calorie count of meals with a healthy base, like salad, and those with an unhealthy base, like cake.

When a topping of fruit was added to a piece of cake, participants’ calorie count prediction was a whopping 16per cent lower than it was without the topping.

Fruit toppingFooled by fruit: According to new research, we are more likely to underestimate the calorie count of unhealthy foods, like cake, when it is topped with something healthy, like fruit

This is because, according to Forbes, ‘our brains…

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Choose your cutlery carefully

whats_for_dinner_1600_wht_11336Scientists at Oxford University have been investigating the ways in which cutlery affects taste.

If you want yoghurt to taste expensive eat it from a lighter spoon; if you want it to taste sweet paint the spoon white – unless the yoghurt is pink.

Confused? Well so are your senses.

Black spoons make yoghurt taste cheaper; blue spoons make it taste saltier.

If you’re tasting cheese eat from the knife. Drinks from cold-coloured glasses are more refreshing and sea-food is tastier if you can hear the sea.

Strawberry mousse is more intense when eaten from a white plate (in fact all desserts taste sweeter on a white plate than a black plate).

But, according to Professor Charles Spence, Professor of experimental psychology at Oxford, the colour of food is the strongest indicator of taste eg red indicates sweetness. So when you contrast it with different coloured cutlery or plates it makes the colour look different.

And the NHS should make note of such findings. malnourished patients in hospitals may be given different food indicated by being served on red plates. Unfortunately, says Professor Spence, research shows that the colour red inhibits eating!

The experiment was published in Flavour and reported in The Times

Inconsiderate vegetarians……………..

Kindadukish's Blog - I am not a number, I am a free man (The Prisoner)

I have always been a bit of a foodie and enjoy cooking dishes from all over the world.


 I am also a regular meat-eater but I am happy to eat vegetarian dishes as I believe that this enables me to eat and enjoy a wide variety of foods.

 Over the years I have entertained vegetarian guests and it is noticeable that they always remind me that they are vegetarian in advance of the meal. The implication being that they EXPECT me to make the meal completely vegetarian or cook something different for them.

 However, when I am invited to dine with them I am NEVER asked if I would like a meat dish, there is just an assumption that I will be happy to accept the limitations of their diet.


 Why is it that vegetarians expect me to cater for their peccadilloes but simply refuse to cater for mine on…

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