A barista is an interesting profession very suitable for socially-minded people who like to talk, meet people, listen to stories and enjoy the memories of special “coffee moments.” One of these special memories is the story of a cup of Kopi Luwak coffee that a coffee patron shared with a barista friend.

The coffee patron was very specific in his order of genuine gourmet Sumatra Mandheling coffee. He sighed at the absence of Kopi Luwak on the coffee menu. Kopi Luwak is among the most expensive coffees in the world. For this reason, it is not something a coffee shop would feature for regular consumption.

However, the coffee patron said to the barista, “…you realize how delicious coffee really is when you taste a cup of genuine Kopi Luwak coffee as I did during my travels in Sumatra. It is a paradox to learn that a Paradoxurus or “Luwak,” basically a little mammal that goes unnoticed and is not very beautiful, produces “animal coffee” for which humans pay hundreds of dollars per pound! Sumatran locals call the little mammals “Luwak.” Paradoxurus is their scientific name more fitting for the high priced coffee droppings collected to make this marvelous coffee. These animals live in the trees in Sumatra. One of their favorite foods is red, ripe coffee cherries. Interestingly, they eat the cherries, bean, everything. Once the coffee cherries get to their stomach, the animal’s body produces enzymes and gastric juices that process the beans.

A scientist from the University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada, Doctor Massimo Marcone, ran scientific tests on Kopi Luwak coffee. This scientist proved that proteolytic enzymes penetrated into all the “Luwak” beans. This is what causes substantial breakdown of storage proteins and reduces the caffeine level in this special coffee. Apparently, these animal enzymes prevent bitter taste and caffeine jitters. The “Luwak’s” stomach is almost like a natural “coffee mill.” When the beans exit through the animal’s digestive system, the beans are still intact.

The animals move primarily at night. They creep along the branches of coffee trees. The animals sniff the coffee cherries and pick only the reddest and tastiest ones. They chew the exterior of the cherry but swallow the whole beans. Amazing to think there are Kopi Luwak farmers who follow these creatures through the Sumatran forests. The beans stay in the animals’ stomachs for about 36 hours before they come out. The farmers are familiar with the “Luwak” territory so they scour the grounds for animal droppings to collect. The farmers clean the beans thoroughly. Then they can roast the beans and grind them just like any other coffee. Funny to think that the origin designation for this coffee is “Kopi Luwak.” The price tag is a high one but worth every sip!…”

The barista nodded and the coffee patron continued. “…Aah! Kopi Luwak coffee: rich and strong aroma. Full bodied like no other coffee, almost “syrupy” and with a hint of chocolate taste. It is coffee that lingers on the tongue with hints of malt coffee. A shame the production is so low, only about 500 pounds per year. But you know, it is not the only fruit digested by an animal, excreted and then collected for human consumption as a pricey drink. There are others….”

The barista said, “Really, did not know that.” The coffee patron replied, while taking his last sip of Mandheling gourmet coffee, “…In Brazil, they have Jacu Bird Coffee. In Vietnam, the weasel is what produces Weasel Coffee. I find “Luwaks” prettier than weasels, don’t you? In the Philippines, the ‘civet” (a “Luwak” by another name) produces Kape Alamid Coffee. I could go on and tell you about the Argan oil story, a tale of nuts and tree climbing goats from Morocco. But, it is late and I need to go. By the way, the Sumatra Mandheling coffee was great!…”

Yes, genuine gourmet Mandheling Coffee tastes great and it is available for the asking. Go ahead; treat yourself to a cup of this delicious specialty coffee!

You’ve probably been hearing a lot about the value of a raw foods diet. A raw food diet consists primarily of uncooked, unprocessed fruits, vegetables, sprouts, seaweed, nuts and juices. It’s a vegetarian diet, but one that rejects any animal products. Its central tenet is that cooking and processing take out the majority of essential vitamins, enzymes and nutrients that our bodies evolved to thrive on.
Fruitarians, as the word implies, eat primarily fruits, with nuts and grains as well. A fruitarian diet also includes foods like tomatoes or avocadoes, which are fruits.
Fruit is nourishing and refreshing for your health. It doesn’t clog the body’s vital arteries; better still, it actually flushes and cleanses. A fruit diet also lightens our bodies and spirits, in line with the general lightening of our planetary vibration rate which many higher sources tell us is taking place at this time.

You need to eat carefully if you choose a fruitarian diet, because it can be more of a challenge to get enough essential protein in your diet. A fruitarian eats nothing which has been killed or stolen. That supplants meat, dairy, and plants with the thousands of fruit and nut combinations on the planet. E.g., a fruitarian can eat an avocado sandwich, a coconut milk shake or the purest coconut ice cream made from the milk and meat of the fruit, veggie burgers made of lentil or bean paste or tofu, a succotash of corn, limas, peas, and tomatoes, sweets made with pure maple syrup or date sugar, pecan pies made with fruit sugars, fruit shakes made of a mixture of orange and banana, pear and peach, pomegranate, papaya, and plum. A pizza of tofu, tomato, and pepper (not pepperoni), salads of tomato, cucumber, green and red peppers (but not lettuce, cabbage, or celery), nut butters such as almond butter or tahini, hummus {chickpea paste}. In other words, fruitarian may eat fruits 99.9% of the time, but occasionally do indulge in the delicacies of other food groups.

Baking used to be something which was popular and almost every girl was taught how to bake and cook. These days it seems that the art of baking is fading away and many people find it difficult to manage even the simplest cooking. This is why I was glad to see my nephew trying out some baking in the holidays and he produced some amazing results by following an easy clotted cream recipe along with a homemade toffee apples recipe. This is the simplest pear and Pear and Chocolate Tart Recipe which he perfected. (more…)

Are you a last-minute, casual, easy party food , pot-luck kind of event thrower? Perhaps youre a well- organized, elegant soiree kind of host. Or like many of us, you may think you fall somewhere in between. If you arent sure what talents you truly have, in honor of Columbus Day on October 14th, why not discover your true entertaining style?

Theres a difference between what you might typically do and what you want to accomplish with your parties. Too often time and budget places constraints on our ability to plan and execute the kind of party we desire. So just imagine, if you had the chance what sort of party could you realistically want to throw? Would it be focused on ambiance and decoration, or would easy party food, delicious meals, or delectable desserts and drinks be your goal?
Start by asking yourself what sort of party you enjoy attending? For the most part, our comfort zone and our abilities can best be channeled through what we enjoy experiencing. If you prefer quiet affairs, you are most likely well suited for throwing them. If big, fancy events really have you in heaven, then you are likely energized enough to throw one.
There are online quizzes that say they can help you determine your entertaining style. But not everyone can be put into one particular category. Try asking yourself these questions to help you figure it all out.

How do you want your guests to feel when they attend a party in your home- energized, relaxed, surprised, at-home, or glamorous?

Do you truly love cooking, or just feel that youre supposed to?

Are you trying to impress people by going over-the-top, or should you do more to create some kind of cohesion and style?

Next, think realistically about how much can you do and what you want to spend.

Are you really going to begin preparations days in advance, or will you leave things until the last minute?

Do you want to cook each dish yourself, throw together some easy party food, or are some prepared items from the market okay with you?

Will your guests actually notice all the details, or do they just remember the tastes, or the general feel of the event?
Perhaps the most important thing to consider is what you are honestly comfortable doing. If you are overly-stressed, exhausted, and cant even remember any conversations from your last party, then perhaps your style needs an overhaul. If you routinely overspend, then rethink your entertaining goals.
You dont need elaborate dishes and dcor if your goal is to create a warm and relaxed vibe. You also may want more than just easy party food if youre hoping to create a special occasion. Take the time to discover your entertaining style and remember if youre happy and relaxed, your guests will be too.

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Okanagan College and Infusions Restaurant have many buffets all year long, and one of the last “buffets” was held a week after their Okanagan Wine Festival Gourmet Dinner which attracted a sellout crowd of over 80 dining guests. Guests were treated to a “Five Course” gourmet dinner with special Okanagan Valley wines to accompany each course.

The Okanagan College Culinary Arts Christmas Buffet will be prepared with the special talents and skills of the new, and future gourmet chefs of your favorite restaurants, cruise ships, hotels, ski and golf resorts, all directed and instructed by World Class Chefs. The Christmas buffet will include fresh meats, poultry, seafood of all types, and of course Okanagan Valley fresh vegetables and fruits.

Infusions Restaurant and the Okanagan College Culinary Arts Bakery will have a spectacular dessert buffet for this special Christmas night with freshly made gourmet desserts, and with a delicious assortment of as many freshly made Christmas Pastries, Tortes, Cakes and Christmas Chocolate Confections as a person could possibly eat after this buffet.

This Christmas Culinary Arts buffet will offer a HUGH selection of seafood and seafood platters, from Sushi Rolls, Dim Sum, Salmon, Halibut to Shark and Lobster. Many culinary dishes containing the Classic Gratin of Potatoes & Yams, many types of Pastas with your favorite Grilled and Glazed Vegetables, and of course do not forget the Roast Beef and Beef Tenderloin, and ALL for $15.95!

For people, guests, visitors and tourists in Kelowna and the Okanagan Valley who want a “Spectacular Christmas Food Feast”, this Christmas buffet will take place on December 12, 2008 at Okanagan College’s Infusions Restaurant. Infusions Restaurant at the Okanagan College and the Okanagan College Culinary Arts program hosts many private gourmet dinners, special functions, and buffets every year for people, companies and organizations in all parts of the Okanagan Valley and beyond.

Join them on Friday, December 12, at Okanagan College’s Infusions Restaurant for their Spectacular Christmas Friday Night Buffet! The Chefs and Culinary Arts Student chefs will create special tantalizing items for this special December Christmas Buffet Extravaganza! Come in on Friday from 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm and enjoy a fine gourmet meal of your choice. Infusions Restaurant is located at 1000 KLO Road, in Kelowna. Fine Dining At Kelowna’s Best Kept Secret!

A very reasonable price for this gourmet buffet at $15.95. Call for reservations at Infusions Restaurant: 250-762-5445 ext. 4426. James Murray is a successful writer and online SEO and SEM expert providing valuable tips and advice for those interested in making money on the internet and online SEO and SEM strategies. His numerous articles found on the Internet ,provide useful and factual SEO information and insight. Some of his websites are SEO-Worldwide.net, Top Online Casinos & Poker Rooms (1000), Top Online Bingos (300), Top Online Sportsbooks (100).

One of the best things about visiting new places the chance to combine sampling the local food and travel. One single country can offer an enormous variety of dishes. Indian cuisine is very sophisticated, though often we don’t know its diversity because the food in most Indian restaurants comes from the Punjabi region of northern India. The other great Indian styles of southern, eastern and western cookery are largely vegetarian, though some include lamb, chicken, fish and even goat. (more…)

Turkish coffee is the oldest way of making coffee. This is a short article answering frequently asked questions about Turkish coffee. You can also post your question as a comment and I’ll do my best to answer it.

Questions are in bold.

What kind of coffee must I use for Turkish coffee?

Turkish coffee nowadays is usually made of Latin American blends. Usually the blends contain two kinds of coffee: Arabica and Robusta. Except for the Latin American coffees the blends may also include coffees from Asia or Africa. Some of the best coffees for Turkish blends come from Brazil, Ethiopia and Yemen.

Should I use a coffee particularly made for Turkish coffee or can I use any blend?

Turkish blends are created in a special way to be optimized for Turkish coffee making. Most people that drink the popular Turkish coffee brands are used to a special characteristic taste. This doesn’t mean that you cannot use another coffee blend to make Turkish coffee. For example you can use an espresso blend. The only requirement is that it must be ground very fine like powder. If it isn’t ground fine enough there will be no foam on top of the coffee after you make it and the taste will be weak.

So, in other words you can experiment with any blend you want if you grind it fine enough for Turkish coffee. The taste will be different than the usual though.

Is it healthy?

Turkish coffee is as healthy as any regular coffee. Actually according to some some researches a quantity of two small Turkish coffee cups (demitasse cups) can be beneficial for the heart. If you exceed this amount then it may become bad for your health like any other coffee. Bear in mind that Turkish coffee is made almost as quickly as instant coffee but it’s far better for your health.

What is this thick thing on top of Turkish coffee? Is it like espresso?

When you make Turkish coffee properly you will notice on top a layer of dark, thick and homogeneous foam. This is also known as kaimaki in Greece. If the coffee doesn’t have kaimaki then something is definitely wrong with the coffee making:

  • small quantity of coffee used
  • not properly heated
  • ground coarser than required
  • very stale coffee

In some Eastern countries it is an insult to serve Turkish coffee without this special foam on top.

Kaimaki foam is looks similar to the espresso crema but it very different in terms of physical properties. The espresso crema is formed not only due to heat but also because of high pressure so it’s quite different.

Do I need any special expensive equipment for Turkish coffee?

Making Turkish coffee is very easy and very fast. All you need is a small coffee pot and a heat source. You can use a small stainless steel pot and your electric stove top but it’s preferable to use a traditional copper or brass Turkish pot. Regarding the heat source it’s better to use low fire to make the coffee. A gas burner or an alcohol burner is my favorite heat source for home use.

What size coffee pot do I need?

This is a question that creates a lot of misunderstandings. Basically it depends on how much coffee you are going to make each time.

First, what you need to know is that you will need a coffee pot that holds approximately double the amount of coffee. This is because coffee must have enough room in the pot to foam up and furthermore because of the so-called “oven effect”.

Let me explain…

Traditional Turkish coffee pots have an hourglass shape. This special shape creates an oven-like effect when making Turkish coffee. The oven-effect is highly desirable for better taste. The only requirement for this “oven-effect” is to fill the pot till the point where the pot diameter is smaller. Usually this means a half-full pot.

So, If you want to make two demitasse cups, for you and your friend, you will need a 4 demitasse-cup size coffee pot.

Please note that sizing differs among manufacturers. So instead of looking for a 4-cup size coffee pot look for a coffee pot that holds 4*60ml which equals 240ml. 60ml or approximately 2oz is the size of a demitasse cup.

What about a coffee pot for just one cup?

In this case you will need a coffee pot that holds 2*60ml=120ml coffee.

What about one normal cup?

One normal cup is approximately 250ml so you will need a 500ml pot.

These numbers are not exact. They are just guides to help you. Most of the times buying a bit smaller coffee pot will also be adequate.

Can I grind Turkish coffee with my coffee grinder?

Turkish coffee is ground at the most fine grind setting. Most grinders for home use are incapable of grinding so fine. If you have a blade grinder consider upgrading to a burr grinder. This doesn’t mean that every burr grinder can grind Turkish coffee. So if you are in the market in research of a burr grinder make sure it has a Turkish coffee setting. Some burr grinders don’t have a Turkish coffee setting but they can be modified very easily to grind fine enough for this coffee. This information can be easily found if you make a couple of searches in a search engine.

Another solution are manual-operated Turkish coffee grinders. These grinders are much cheaper than burr grinders and because of their low speed coffee is ground gently without getting heated. In cheap burr grinders because of the small burr dimensions the rotating speed is higher. This way the friction is bigger and the heat generation is higher. More heat means more coffee taste destruction! So in other words small grinding speeds of manual grinders are better for your palate! The big drawback is that this sort of grinding can remind you of manual labor sometimes…

Is there any special way to serve Turkish coffee? Any special tradition?

If you have guests and you want to impress them with your coffee making mastery and your hospitality you can do some simple things. First use a big traditional looking serving tray and put some glasses of water for your guests. Water is used to clean the mouth before tasting the coffee. Prepare the coffees immediately before serving time so that they keep their kaimaki foam and their temperature. You can pair the coffee with some cookies or muffins.

For dessert after the coffee you can offer traditional Turkish delight or baklava. Your guests will be grateful!

If you have any questions about Turkish coffee please post your comments. Enjoy!

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As a young man, I remember my grandmother trying to give me sauerkraut for dinner once and making the worst face possible in response to which my grandmother laughed and said, “Sauerkraut is not only good, it’s good for you!” When I tell my patients about sauerkraut as a health food, they make almost that same funny face! Recently, however, it turns out that grandma’s words were correct – sauerkraut has a surprising health benefit to it as do other fermented foods. In fact, a group of Polish women were recently studied for their rates of breast cancer. The group who ate a lot of sauerkraut had very low rates of breast cancer.

Health Benefits of Fermented Foods

Fermented foods, like sauerkraut, olives, pickles, sourdough bread have been around for a long time. They were created to help food keep longer using a natural fermentation process called lacto-fermentation. In this process, beneficial lactobacillus acidophilus bacteria (the kind that live in your gut and help digest your foods) convert the starch and sugar in foods to lactic acid. The lactic acid acted as a preservative so refrigeration was not necessary and food had a long shelf life.

A surprising, little known health benefit about these fermented foods was then discovered. It seems that the same fermentation process that both preserves and gives these foods their distinctive sour-tangy taste are also higher in vitamins and actually help your digestion, remove excess saturated fats and cholesterol, and keep your digestive tract healthy and happy.

In fact, these good bacteria present in naturally fermented food have recently started popping up all over television ads and health food articles as “probiotics” which restore and maintain your intestinal flora, i.e., the level of good bacteria in your gut. In case you didn’t know this, your large intestine, the place that houses all these beneficial bacteria, is the very seat of your immune system. When your beneficial bacteria levels are optimal, you have a healthy immune system strong enough to ward off infections and other diseases.

Many fermented foods, like olives, also contain good Omega-3 fatty acids that are beneficial in reducing inflammation throughout your body.

Not All Sour Foods Are Naturally Fermented

When I tell my patients about naturally fermented superfoods, they say, great I’ll pick up some at the grocery store! However, most canned sauerkraut, pickles, greek olives on the shelves, and buttermilks, yogurts, and kefir in your dairy section of your grocery store may not have been created through a natural fermentation process and may not contain the live bacteria.

In fact, many of these grocery store varieties of sour-tasting dairy foods are pasteurized, and the canned-shelf varieties can get their sour taste through the addition of vinegar (a fermented food in itself) and/or certain preservative-grade minerals like potassium sorbate and sodium benzoate added to extend shelf life. Most have lactic acid added to them rather than it developing naturally in the fermentation process described above. However, even these grocery store varieties of “fast” fermented foods give some health benefits in addition to their vitamins, minerals, proteins, fiber, etc, just not as much as naturally fermented that contain the live culture.

Unless your local grocery store has a special section for refrigerated health foods, you likely will have to go to a health food or natural foods store to get real, naturally fermented, nonpasteurized sauerkraut, pickles, olives, kefir, buttermilk and yogurt. You can also make your own fermented foods very easily. Fermentation starter kits are available, along with directions how to ferment many foods, in health food stores and/or online.

Avocado, fruit is sometimes avoided because of the fat content. Though the fat in avocados is unsaturated fat that is actually healthy for the body. By also taking notes is not excessive, so that the levels are maintained.

Well, this avocado as well as olive oil, which can increase levels of HDL or the good cholesterol called. HDL can help protect the body from free radical attack, so it can regulate triglyceride levels and prevent diabetes.

In addition, there are many other benefits of avocados, including: karotenoidnya protein content and are also good for the body. While, vitamin C and E in avocados can help keep the skin moist. Wow a lot of it also benefits avocado. Now, we will help you select and store fresh avocado to keep it when they want to consume. Consider the following tips yes.

Tip 1:

The ripe avocado tree is the best quality, but usually the most frequently encountered in the store or market is not yet ripe. Well, if you have this you should choose avocados that are heavy, dark green skin color and no blemishes on the fruit skin.

Tip 2:

In order to quickly cook avocado, does not need to be washed after purchase. Wrap in use newspaper and keep it away from sunlight. Within 2-3 days, avocados will ripen, the skin is more tender and soft.

Tip 3:

Sometimes, it’s not a large alupkat eaten alone. As a result after the split, part of which half should be stored. But the color will turn black and it seems to be less fresh.

Overcome this, you can use lemon juice. Squeeze the lemon juice over the avocado meat, avocado enter into the plastic and wrap tightly. With avocado this way will stay fresh at least up to 2 days. Tips can also be used for avocado chopped or blended, add a little lemon juice so that the color does not change blackish.