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After the sensory overload I encountered at the Winter Fancy Food Show, it was nice to visit the much more intimate Food FĂȘte. However, compared to last year there seemed to be fewer exhibitors on display. I tried everything and there were still a few things worth mentioning, either because they were tasty or just weird.
I had the opportunity to visit the Winter Fancy Food Show on behalf of Cooking for Engineers this January. It was my first time attending this specialty food and beverage trade show and it is absolutely overwhelming in terms of the number of vendors exhibiting at the show. According to Specialty Foods Association, the sponsor of the show, there were 1300 exhibitors at this past show, representing not only North America but also many foreign countries.
For the last couple months, I've had the opportunity to cook with Anolon's Nouvelle Copper Stainless Steel 3-qt saute pan. We cooked with it in a variety of ways to get a good overall impression of the product.
The smoke point of various fats is important to note because a fat is no longer good for consumption after it has exceeded its smoke point and has begun to break down. Once a fat starts to smoke, it usually will emit a harsh smell and fill the air with smoke. In addition it is believed that fats that have gone past their smoke points contain a large quantity of free radicals which contibute to risk of cancer. Refining oils (taking out impurities) tends to increase the smoke point. The table below lists some ballpark values for smoke points of various common fats. I like cooking with extra light olive oil and butter. This is mainly because olive oil is high in monounsaturated fatty acids (73%) while being low in polyunsaturated fatty acids (less than 10%). The refined nature of extra light olive oil mainly affects taste and smoke point, but does not reduce the nutritional benefits of olive oil. Butter, although high in saturated fat (66%), is low in polyunsaturated (4%) and contains a host of vitamins, antioxidants, essential fatty acids, and acids that are antimicrobial and antitumorigenic. Also, it tastes good.
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